The current mission of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba continues to expand in such dynamic ways that it baffles the mind and yet confirms that it is impossible for mere mortals to undertake such tasks – it is only and only God who can do what He is doing – on one hand, in the constant pursuit of establishing institutions and providing free education for young girls and boys, who would otherwise face bleak prospects, and on the other, opening Hospitals to change the medical landscape of a nation. But His work doesn’t end there – the Sai Annapoorna breakfast programme continues to grow at an ever expanding pace and along with that, various projects and initiatives which is making an impact to the lives of underprivileged and needy not only in India but globally. And if all this wasn’t enough, He takes out time, painstakingly, to travel the world, to the homes of His devotees, inspiring and transforming them towards love and compassion.
On September 18 morning, Swami’s entourage left the shores of Bangalore India for a three country tour of Dubai, Brazil and Argentina. Upon arrival at Dubai International Airport, the entourage was lovingly welcomed with bouquets by the devotees of Dubai. They immediately made their way to the home of Sri Vishal and Smt Pooja Chhabria. Bhagawan manifested immediately upon arrival into their home and as He lit the lamp, He manifested Vibuthi for the family. After walking a few steps into the palacial home, he quickly recognised family members and a few devotees who were from Mumbai. He called forth Sri C Sreenivas and began speaking about the Mumbai Hospital and invited them for the opening in November.
Swami made His way up the elevator and into His room and the family followed and expressed their happiness and gratitude to Swami for gracing their home once again. Swami reminded them all that “True joy in life is when we have Jesus (God) first, others next and you yourself last. If you reverse it and have yourself first, then there is no joy, only misery”. After some more personal interaction, a sumptuous lunch was served to Swami and His entourage.
In the evening, Swami granted interviews to the hosts and members of the entourage before proceeding to the home of Manu and Sapna Jeswani. The devoted couple welcomed Swami into their home, Swami proceeded to the area where a small group of devotees had gathered, some of whom were experiencing Swami for the very first time. It’s amazing to see how the Lord interacts with His devotees and how He touches the hearts of so many. Some of those present have never experienced Swami in Puttaparthi nor His current subtle form and yet when the Lord enters, they are drawn to the magnetism of His love – some shed tears of joy and some are left spellbound and unable to fathom the joy in their hearts.
The evening began with a young Dubai based singer who was called in the very last minute to perform devotional songs to Swami. Not many would have known Him but is there anyone that He does not know? Swami revealed to all that this young boy began to speak very late and had his parents worried. The young aspiring singer presented devotional songs accompanied by his musicians including “Ek Radha Ek Meera“. Swami commented that he had a very good voice and blessed the singer with a materialisation which left him perplexed and in awe. The Lord commanded him to learn more Sai Bhajans and prepare himself for His next visit to Dubai. Swami then commanded Brother Sumeet Tappoo to speak about the devotion of Radha and Meera and he presented two songs based on this theme of their pure divine love for Krishna.
Thereafter, a revered Guru to the Jeswani family welcomed the devotees to the Satsang and spoke about the fortune of each one present in the Divine presence and also spoke about devotion and the need to practice love for God.
Swami, very lovingly spoke about Bhakti and story of Tansen and Hari Das. One day, as King Akbar was walking, he was drawn to a divine voice which emanated from the forest. Akbar walked to where the sound was coming from and then entered the door step of the hut from which He witnessed such divine singing. Upon completion of his song Akbar enquired about him and when Tansen explained that it was his guru Hari Dasa, Akbar asked Tansen to explain why he couldn’t match how his Guru sang. Tansen explained his plight and said that Hari Dasa sang by looking at the face of God and he had to sing looking at the face of Akbar! Swami spoke about devotion and devotional music and the importance of Raaga (melody) and Taala (rythm) but most of all was the need to sing with Bhaava (feeling) which could only be possible if one sang with Bhakti for God and not Bhukti (for the world).
The Jeswani family then served dinner to the Lord who commented about the beautiful decor and meticulous planning in anticipation of having Swami in their home. During dinner, He spoke about the various Ashrams around the world to the host family and also invited them to visit His Ashrams which were slowly manifesting in countries like Argentina and Fiji. After granting numerous interviews to the host family and their extended family too, Bhagawan made His way back to the Chhabria residence and retired for the evening.
On the morning of September 19, Sri Sunil Gavaskar, who was in Dubai to commentate on the Asian Cup Cricket series, came to the Chhabria residence to seek blessings from the Lord. After breakfast, Sri Gavaskar was blessed with an interview with Bhagawan. As He made his way out of the interview room, a visibly touched and emotional cricket maestro proceeded to the cricket stadium for the upcoming match between India and Pakistan. On 15th August, Sri Gavaskar had hosted a “One Nation” event in Mumbai which was attended by numerous illuminaries which pleased Bhagawan immensely.
After granting interviews to Sri Vishal, Smt Pooja and the Chhabria family, Swami made His way downstairs for Bhajans and Arati. Thereafter, He departed to Sai Hridayam, the residence of Sri Madan and Smt Shobhna Gupta.
A 30-minute drive, and Swami was welcomed in a grand manner at Sai Hridayam. Invigorating Bhajans filled the air and pure love and emotions poured forth from the heart and soul of devotees gathered. After a few Bhajans, Swami spotted a 23-year old female youth and told everyone that she had recently lost her mother. It was a very emotional moment for this young youth who was assured by Bhagawan that He was her mother and that her mother was with Swami. Bhagawan then spoke about the love and sacrifice of the hosts Sri Madan and Smt Shobhna who were so committed towards the mission of Sai. Swami explained that whatever the couple earned, they gave 100% of it to Swami’s mission. Swami told everyone seated that they along with other devotees at Sai Hridayam had built the Hassan campus which was giving much joy to the children and their families. Much to the surprise of the teachers, the children studying at Hassan campus are brilliant and performing beyond expectations. Swami said that only by sacrifice can one attain immortality. He also said that attachment to worldly pleasure is like a cataract. It creates false illusion. But this “removal of cataract was only possible through the surgery of Seva”. After Swami’s talk, the devotees had compiled a book of their individual journey of self transformation offered it to Swami. Swami very lovingly named this book “Sai Hridayam – in the heart of Sai”. Swami said that happiness has nothing to do with body, it is only to do with mind. One may have the best car or the most comfortable bed but if the mind is not at peace, one would not experience happiness.
After Arati, Swami commanded all to have lunch and then that He would bless them all in the evening once again. A hearty Lunch was served to Swami, His entourage and all devotees.
Bhagawan granted interviews in the evening and then made His way to the Shamiana on the lawns in the home led Sri Madan and Smt Shobhna Gupta. It was the last Satsang to be held in this home which Bhagawan had graced since 2015. Sri Madan and Smt Shobhna Gupta are relocating to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.
Sri Madan Gupta, who had just landed back from Riyadh introduced the evening programme by reminding all about the power and importance of prayer which was a necessary tool to navigate our way through the daily chores and challenges of life. Smt Shobhna Gupta offered a heartfelt prayer to Swami to continue to guide each devotee, continue to allow each devotee to serve Him and continue to teach how to please Him.
The introductory speeches were followed by a soulful music programme where each singer offered a prayer before their offering. The programme began with an offering by a young girl who so confidently offered her song to Swami. After starting her song, she realised that it wasn’t to her satisfaction, so she stopped and asked Swami if she could re-start her song to which Swami very lovingly agreed. Her second attempt was perfect and the Lord was pleased. The new generation of young devotees, the army of Prema Sai, the army in training, have such an incredible heart to heart connection with the Lord. Such things cannot be taught. This pure devotion and love is within each one of them.
The music programme featured songs by young sisters and brothers whose offerings included a Thyagaraja Kirtana, a Telugu Shiva Bhajan and a Hindi devotional song “Sai Naam Sumiran Jo Bhi Kare, Yahi Naam Sab Dukh Door Kare”.
The music programme was followed by two speeches. The first by Brother Abhinav, a third generation devotee of Shirdi Baba who came to Swami through His wife Sonal. He said He found His Shirdi Baba in Sathya Sai Baba and found solace and surrendered to Him especially through the tough years battling health issues. Brother Abhinav said that after having Darshan of Swami in His subtle form in both Muddenahali and Dubai, He found a new sense of meaning and purpose in life. Firstly, after joining the Sai Hridayam family, he and his family experienced so much love. But the transformation process started when he learnt to serve those in need. Brother Abhinav said that He found peace through service and he prayed to Bhagawan to keep giving him the opportunity to serve Him. After His speech, Swami called his wife to the front and enquired about their son. When they told him that they had left him at home, Swami revealed that their young son was crying because He wanted to see Swami. Swami materialized a beautiful token of His love and asked them to give it to their young son!
The second speaker Sister Sangeeta began her talk by quoting a very powerful statement from Psalm which says “A good shephard knows His sheep and His sheep know him”. Sister Sangeeta, an alumni from the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Anantapur Campus profusely thanked Bhagawan for giving her an education which was so profound and deeply rooted with values. She recounted many experiences of being touched by the hand of Sai during her time in Anantapur as well as beautiful ‘saincidences’ of having unexpected Darshan of Bhagawan in both Puttaparthi and Chennai. Sister Sangeeta spoke of the pain of 24th April 2011 and then the pleasure of His arrival in His subtle form in 2015. She offered her heartfelt gratitude to Swami and thanked swami for the opportunity to love Him again and serve Him again
The speeches were followed by the launch of the Sai Hridayam newsletter as well as the giving of a token of love to farewell Smt Shobhna and Sri Madan Gupta by the Sai Hridayam group.
Swami commmaded Mr Isaac Tigrett to speak. He said that all of creation was bound together by a collective consciousness. He said he was blessed to witness today’s offering of love and that he found such incredible energy and purity that it reawakened his own spirit. He praised and thanked the Sai Hridayam group which was feeding such incredible positive energy to that collective consciousness through their Service to society. At the end of Mr. Tigrett’s speech, Swami said “You are right! You are right!”.
Sri C Sreenivas gave a short yet powerful message drawing upon a statement made in Hindi by the Hon. Prime Minister of India Sri Narendra Modi who had said “Baba, ya unke bhakt, unme safalta ka vishwas, sankalp ke shakti se jud jaata hai”. Sri Sreenivas expounded on this statement by explaining that the thought which manifests in the mind of a devotee is verily the coming together and manifestation of human ascension and divine will and the natural coming together of the two brought about a completion which formed success. He said that the Sai Hridayam group was a living testament of this statement.
Sri BN Narasimha Murthy conveyed his congratulations to the group for having truly justified the name given to them and stated that Love is the very essence of Swami they were indeed true messenger of love. Sri Sri Narasimha Murthy conveyed the gratitude of the Hassan campus students to the devotees of Dubai and said that the love and sacrifice which manifested in the hearts of the Sai Hridayam group is the saving grace and reflection which manifests in the hearts of the students of Hassan.
In His Divine Discourse, Bhagawan explained that a heart without love is equal to a dessert land with thorny bushes, which represents negativity. However, when a heart is filled with love, it becomes fertile, giving seeds which sprout to give shade and shelter of love and compassion. He reminded the group that although Sri Madan and Smt Shobhna were leaving Dubai, He was the true captain of the ship and He will steer this group to its destination successfully. Swami recounted His first visit to Dubai and the nervousness of Sri Madan and Smt Shobhna and how He assured them that He would bring many children together. In a space of three years, Swami said from not knowing that even one person would join them, today the group was many devotees strong and that too, all very dear to Swami. Swami said “God lives in all hearts. But how many live in God’s heart? Find a place in the heart of Sai and keep doing good. You are all very dear to Swami”. Swami told Sri Madan and Smt Shobhna Gupta to make the desserts of Riyadh into a fertile garden and that He would visit Riyadh when the time was right. Swami said the two goals of Namasmarana and Seva should be in the forefront of the minds of all devotees and groups. Swami ended His Divine discourse by telling the devotees that He was on His way to Argentina to inaugurate the Ashram there. After offering Arati, dinner was served to Swami and all the guests.
Early next morning, September 20th, Swami’s entourage made their way to the airport to catch a 7am flight from Dubai to the city of Rio De Janeiro in Brazil, thus ending a beautiful Divine trip to Dubai.