Bhagawan’s entourage landed at the Heathrow Airport late afternoon, and proceeded to the residence of Smt Seema and Sri Grish Malhotra. Everyone retired early after a long journey.
Day Four – Saturday, 02 April, 2016
Though every Londoner would have rather opted for a bright and sunny day, dense clouds with its silver lining, the sun still deciding whether to give a sneak peak or otherwise, cold air gently caressing the cheeks, and to top it all, the divine presence of God, was indeed more blissful! It was all just perfect! Like Swami often reminds us, heaven is where man, nature and God coexist selflessly.
After breakfast, Bhagawan and His entourage began their two-hour journey from London to Suffolk. The Lord was on His way to inaugurate His new Ashram, ‘Sai Grace’ which will serve as a guide post for millions of devotees from the United Kingdom. The scenic drive towards the Eastern edge of the United Kingdom, was truly breathtaking! As the entourage approached Darsham, the County where ‘Sai Grace’ is located, acres of green pastures welcomed everyone. Rev Leonora van Gils, who has been a devotee of Bhagawan for many decades, had offered her home to be converted into an Ashram. She revealed that the home had always belonged to Swami. The Lord toured the Ashram, blessing every inch of space. Lunch had many Indian dishes, lovingly prepared by a group of Italians, who had come from various parts of Italy, only to cook for the Lord!
The evening was a special one! A perfect English Spring. A serene country side cottage, a small eager group of chosen devotees from India, U.K. and Italy along with Master of the house, God Himself, made a perfect place for a spiritual retreat.
After granting a few interviews, as Swami descended from His room on the first floor, the sun was setting in the west spreading a deep spiritual silence on this place, blessed by nature. “The orange of the setting sun and the orange of the robe of Swami, coming down the staircase were a reflection of each other”, revealed Brother Madhusudan later.
Swami walked through the aisle in to the drawing room, where the fire was lit in a perfectly traditional fire place, that blended beautifully with the vintage cottage. Swami remarked, “Oh, a fireplace with real fire, just like Kodaikanal!” He enquired about the welfare of a few devotees waiting by the side of the room, and made His way in to the specially erected “conservatory”, a kind of a glass house, venue for the evening satsang, with His chosen ones. The view was perfect! The setting was perfect! One hoped time would simply stand still. Alas!
Sister Sonja Venturi from Italy, with her soulful renditions of bhajans and songs started off the satsang on the perfect note. As she sang her heart out, “Krishna oh krishna, mujhe darshan do krishna”, Swami remarked, “She sang just like the Gopikas who would cry out to Krishna, during the evening hours while He returned from the forest, with His cows. They would forget everything else and experience such love for Krishna, which the Lord would not be able to resist and His feet would be drawn towards the the Gopikas yearning for His darshan. Similarly, when Krishna would play on His flute, all beings, birds, animals and humans, would forget themselves and would be drawn towards Him. Such was their love. This love emanates from the heart, whereas the mind is always an obstacle in the path of spirituality!”
Swami admired the beautiful view of the woods from the glass windows of the conservatory, and said that of all the places in the house, He has chosen this particular place because it has been made with so much of love by the lady Rev Leonora, as she wanted Swami to enjoy the view. “It is this Love which permeates this place, which has drawn Swami’s feet towards itself.” (We learnt from the lady that this place wasn’t comfortable to sit, so she got it redone to ensure that it was warm enough and comfortable for Swami!)
Swami asked Sri Narasimha Murthy to share his thoughts with the intimate gathering, about 25 devotees, who had gathered in that small glass house.
Sri Narasimha Murthy spoke about unity amidst the devotees and servants of Swami, which is the key for all to achieve what the Lord wants. No single person can achieve it all alone, therefore Swami teaches us the way of I to We to He. “When we give up ego and attachment, and surrender to the Lord we can be united and work together. This path is the sacred one and one can easily reach God through this.”
The second speaker was Sri C Sreenivas, who said its a unique opportunity to have the Lords’s Darshan (Vision) in Darsham (the County). All great things start with small beginnings with few friends to support, and help. Being part of many such small beginnings of Swami’s projects over many decades, he shared that this too will grow in to a place of great importance in times to come. He said, “Of all the places in the UK, Swami chose to be here today with a handful of His devotees, it definitely is for a reason, beyond our human comprehension and times!” He congratulated Mrs Leonora for having so very well maintained and done up the place, apt to be the Lord’s residence amidst serene nature, and which has become an Ashram today!
Mr Issac Tigrett was the next to speak. With tears of gratitude, he spoke his heart out, for having been give this opportunity to be a part of the grand mission, that continues to unfold at a tremendous pace worldwide. Words were insufficient to express his feelings on that sacred evening, as he choked with emotions for this tremendous blessing.
Swami spoke to the intimate gathering and reminded them of their good fortune of sitting at the Lotus Feet, at that very moment. He said, “Out of the billions of people in this world, only few know about Swami; of that few, only some have realised Swami is God; fewer have the proximity to me; and out of that few, today, only a handful of you are sitting here in the UK at Sai Grace. It is a great fortune, so savour this moment.” The Lord also lovingly spoke about Rev Leonora and her single pointed devotion. Swami said that Love has been the reason for which He has come. Love of devotees alone is dear to the Lord, all else is secondary. ‘Swami said, “But this love for the Lord should manifest as love for fellow men, and tabulate in to selfless service.”
Swami answered a few questions of the devotees. An interesting one was from a lady who was carrying a camera and clicking pictures. Swami lovingly called her ” camera woman” (not camera man obviously). She was the last to ask this question hesitatingly. “Swami I want to click your picture and capture your Divinity in the camera, how can I do that?” Pat came the reply from the Master, “Change the Camera from outer one, to inner one. Focus on the lense of your mind and capture the picture in the film of your heart! Swami is not physical, so camera also can’t be physical!”
After granting a few interviews, Swami retired for the evening.