Divine Visit – Netherlands
Day Seven – Tuesday, 05 April, 2016
Love knows no rest! Like a river, it flows for the sake of others, quenching the thirst of millions who come to drink from this perennial oasis. Like nature, which is His creation, He extends Himself selflessly to all. No calculations, no judgements, no verdicts!
Swami’s love continued to flow in Europe as He chose to visit The Netherlands, on the invitation of a few alumni and devotees who had met Him in August last year, in London. They prayed for Him to grace Eindhoven, which is about 125km to the south of Amsterdam.
Brothers Kiran Thumma, Balaji Adhimoolam, Ramachandra Rao, Vishnuvardhan K, and a few other alumni along with the their families and other Dutch Devotees, were eager to receive their Lord, and left no stone unturned to make the best arrangements for Him, and His entourage, even if it was for less than 24 hours!
Landing at the Amsterdam Airport Schipol, after an early morning flight from London Heathrow, everyone were taken to the newly purchased home of Brother Kiran Thumma, alumnus from the Prasanthi Nilayam campus, and his devout wife Smt Kavitha, whose prayer to inaugurate the new home chosen by Swami Himself earlier, was being answered!
The Lord walked into their home in Eindhoven, on the red carpet rolled out till His car. He ambled in to the home, amidst the chanting of Vedas and Bhajans, and headed straight to the living room, where a chair was kept for Him. He was truly at Home, and asked Smt Kavitha, “What is the name of this home?”. They prayed for a name, to which He graciously responded by naming the home as “Sai Sannidhi”, means proximity of Sai! The compassionate Lord explained that “nearness to the Lord, is possible only if you are dear to Him! Therefore, this home is named as Sannidhi, or nearness to God, that is born out of Dearness!”
After a few minutes downstairs with the devotees, Swami on His own accord, started walking towards the staircase, revealed Brother Madhusudan later. The staircase would take Him to a specially furnished room, created just for Him! No one needed to tell Swami where to go, for He was the one who had chosen this abode in the first place!
The simple, yet elegant room was perfect for His stay, as He proudly showed it off to all gathered, like a father who gives everything to his child. But when the child offers even a little back to Him, He is full of joy and pride! Brother Madhusudan said, “A father’s pride was evident in Swami’s eyes, as Brother Kiran had kept this special, exclusive room for Him, in the home given by Him!”
It was already past noon. Lunch was served to Swami, made in the traditional South Indian way, which was a delight to Him! Swami commented, “More than me, the people who have accompanied me will be happy to eat pure South Indian food in Europe”. Always thinking of others!
After a brief rest, all were ready to leave for the Satsang venue, which was a countryside farm house. A large godown was magically transformed into a beautifully decorated Satsang Hall. This was for a reason, as the same place also was blessed to have the first “Inter-faith library”, that Swami had asked the Dutch devotees to create in The Netherlands. It already has a contribution of over 3,000 books on spiritualism and religion, along with a robust Library Management System. Thanks to the techies in the team!
Swami alighted from the car in front of the make shift Satsang Hall, while the Dutch devotees, men and ladies, chanted Veda in perfect synchronisation. Swami seemed surprised at this feat, and asked, “Who taught you the Veda?”
“Your students Swami!” responded the devotees, which again made Him proud of His only property, His students!
Swami graciously glided on the carpet path to the new Library, “Sai Anandam Inter-faith Library”, unveiled the Plaque and cut the ribbon, to officially open it for one and all. The Lord was given a guided tour and Brother Pavan even made Him log in to the Library Management System, and issue the first ever book from the library on Him in Dutch, to the gentleman who had offered the place! Swami guided the team to have a TV screen, and show spiritual videos and conduct Satsangs.
Thereafter, He made His way in to the hall, which barely bore any resemblance to an old shed, that it was just a few days ago. It was truly transformed in to a beautifully decorated hall, that had seated more than 200 devotees, mostly Dutch. Bhajans and Veda chanting were in progress, as Swami took His seat.
Brother Kiran Thumma welcomed the Lord with tearful gratitude, and narrated how the compassionate Lord accepted their invitation to visit The Netherlands. Thereafter, Brother Pavan Dadlani took over to introduce the speakers, and the translation was presented in Dutch by Sister Shanti Snijders. A short play titled, “Sai Geetha” was offered, by three tiny tots who presented the story of Swami’s elephant Sai Geetha and Her loving relation with Swami. After the amusing play, the host introduced the speakers for the day.
The first speaker was Mr Issac Tigrett who said, “Spirituality is an individual journey from ATMA to ATMA; no one can tell you what to believe and what not to believe, it is up to oneself to experience and understand the truth”. He recollected the moments spent at Swami’s feet earlier in Parthi, and again in Muddenahalli, where He experienced the same divine love, as now. “Mind is a poor instrument to know God, open you heart and experience Him”, he advised.
Thereafter, Sri C Sreenivas took to the podium, and for the first time he expressed his views as a former warden of the boys hostel in Brindavan! He took pride on learning about the good work being done by his students, and said that the greatest fulfillment for a Master is to see his pupil grow, and blossom in to good humans. He urged the alumni to keep up the good work, for now the responsibility was on their shoulders to take forward the mission of Swami, the mission of Love and Service, and make Swami proud!
The last speaker before Swami, was Sri BN Narasimha Murthy. Taking off from the drama presented by the children on Sai Geetha, he narrated an instance which happened in Trayee Brindavan many years ago, when Swami asked the students and staff gathered as to who would like to take Sai Geetha home! No hands went up, except for a small boy, about seven or eight years old from Swami’s Primary School, who said he will take the elephant home. Swami quickly materialised a small crystal idol of Sai Geetha and gave it to this little boy, to the surprise of everyone! Swami asked the boy, “None of the students sitting here wanted Sai Geetha. If I would have given you the real Sai Geetha, how would you have managed taking the elephant home?” He replied, “Swami, if You give me something, You will also give me the ability to look after it!” Sri Narasimha Murthy spoke about the complete faith the little boy had in Swami! When Swami gives a task, He will also give the capacity, ability and the strength to do it, he reminded everyone.
Swami in His discourse spoke about the presence of God in everything. He said that it is He who takes all names, all forms and is one, without the second; full of truth, awareness and bliss (Satchidananda). “In fact He is the very embodiment of Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram ( Truth, Goodness and Beauty). Swami addressed the devotees as the Embodiments of Truth-Goodness-Beauty (Sathyam- Sivam-Sundaram).
Swami said that Man is in search of happiness and looks for it everywhere. He thinks that the world will give happiness and strives hard to attain it. But alas, the temporary world gives only temporary happiness and is not permanent. The permanent happiness lies within, and not without. To find that happiness by uniting with one’s own divinity is the purpose of life. The time and effort spent to reach this goal alone are worth it, all else is a waste.
He emphasised that the easiest way to reach this goal is to get rid of ego and attachments, that cover and hide our divinity, through love and service. He said that though Swami has been addressing all as embodiment of love, divinity and Atma, yet not many take it seriously and believe in it!
If we simply have faith in these words of Swami, our inward journey will begin immediately!
Talking about the bhajan that was sung before, “Remind me my Lord who I am, I am truth, I am peace, divine Bliss”, Swami said “I am here to remind you of your true nature, as prayed by you.” Swami said that it is the same sun that shines over pools and ponds in various countries. Everything is His reflection, similar to the Divine who shines in all the beings, as the indweller.
Thereafter, Swami accepted a few questions from the audience. A person asked as to “why is there so much of conflict and opposition to this divine phenomenon. People quote Swami that He needs no mediation, He has direct connection and no third party is needed. Then how do we understand this in context of the present happenings?”
Swami replied that conflict is only in the mind, heart knows the truth! “Just now I gave a discourse that all are one, all are the embodiments of the same divinity, Avatars being no special cases. The whole journey is about you, to yourself. Even an Avatar is a third party in that sense, who has come to connect you back to your true Divine Self. Even your own Divinity had to take a physical form, to show who you really are. Even now Swami is divinity only, and nothing less! A pure and calm mind can see the reflection clearly!
Like nobody can eat, sleep or breathe for you, nobody can tell you where Swami is, or is not! It is your own experience, and your own understanding, to which you are a witness.
Even when Swami manifested in Puttaparthi, the whole world did not believe. Even today, how many in world know, and believe that Sai Baba is God? There was always a large number of people who did not know or believe, as per Swami’s will! Even now, it is Swami’s will, as to whom He wants and whom He does not want, at this point! Just as we mistake a rope to be a snake in the dark, in the darkness of our mind, we do not realise the truth. Therefore, you must understand and experience the truth for yourself!”
After mangala arathi and prasadam, Swami met and blessed the organising team, before heading back to Brother Kiran’s residence for dinner.