Divine Visit – Enugu, Nigeria – November 06, 07 and 08, 2017
The sun rose to the beats of African music as the whole Ashram got ready for the inauguration of the Sarva Dharma Stupa, the doctors’s quarters, the pathology lab and the Hospital canteen. What more? The Greek architect Jai Mexis was all ready with his plans for the High School and everyone were ready for the Bhoomi Puja for the thousand children School that will be built in the coming months. Too much to soak in, in one day. But this day has waited long to have the Lord with it, so it had to be so!
The Commissioner of Health Dr Fintan arrived soon after 10 a.m. and after an initial discussion with the team, Swami proceeded along with the guests to declare open the Sarva Dharma stupa right in front of the Chapel, with inscriptions of the symbols of five religions and the five values as taught by Swami. It is no ordinary feat to propagate the principle of unity, equality and harmony of all religion in this part of the world.
Swami cut the ribbon as He declared open the symbol of harmony of all faiths to the public. Thereafter, everyone proceeded to the Aruike Hospital to have a quick tour. Professor Basden who is a cardiologist from the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) joined just in time and was all praises for the free medical work of Swami in Raipur and Delhi, which he had recently visited. No coincidence that he turned out to be the teacher of the Commissioner of Health who is a neurologist himself! Both were deeply impressed by the infrastructure that was developed for medical service and met the small team of the doctors and nurses too. Everyone then walked down to the new Canteen to inaugurate the same. The Commissioner was very impressed with the thought of free food along with free treatment to the patients, and said that nowhere in Nigeria such work is happening. The Pathology Lab was next to be inaugurated, and the health experts exchanged few ideas on the way forward.
Hospital done, it was the turn of the High School which is still in the womb of time. The young Greek architect Jai Mexis, an Alumnus of Swami’s Primary School in Prasanthi Nilayam where he spent eight years, shared the plans of the school with all, and the enthusiastic Commissioner overwhelmed by the happenings could not stop himself from digging up the earth, thus symbolically performing the Bhoomi Puja, all the while declaring, “On behalf of the State of Enugu and its people, I dedicate this upcoming High School to the service of children on the principle of Love All, Serve All.”
Swami along with the dignitaries then walked to the new staff quarters, a two-storied building with 3BHK units, a much needed infrastructure in this remote location. As Swami inaugurated the edifice jointly with the Commissioner, the two new doctors whom Swami has chosen to join the Hospital were ushered in. The Commissioner was awe struck at the quality of the construction and commented that he too does not have such nice Quarters!
The public programme followed with a welcome speech by Father Charles Ogada during which He also acknowledged the presence of the village people from the next State where Swami is initiating a new cooperative farm project with the sole intention of creating employment and feeding Africa. Another feather in the Nigerian Cap!
Dr Fintan, the Commissioner of Health spoke next about the good work which is happening, and said that ‘When God is in charge Good has to happen!’ He thanked the whole group of guests who had taken pains to travel to Enugu and are also contributing to its development.
Dr Basden spoke thereafter, praising the good work being done in Swami’s Hospital in Raipur and Delhi, which he had seen first hand, and hoped that he could work in all his capacity to replicate such a model in Enugu too, along with Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani hospitals.
Mr Isaac Tigrett spoke next remembering his origins from the stage of Mississippi which had 90% population as Africans and they were the most loving people. He wished everyone well and prayed for betterment of Africa with collective efforts.
Sri C Sreenivas spoke next introducing the doctors and nursing staff to the public along with the two new doctors Dr Bharathi, who has served for over three decades in Lagos and Dr Hanumanth Rao, who served at Swami’s Whitefield General Hospital for over 35 years. He shared the glad tidings of the joint work in the field of pediatric cardiac care and training, with the UNTH that is to commence shortly.
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy drew parallels between the life of Jesus and Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who continue to live and love beyond their bodies. He emphasised on the need of right kind values-based education which is the panacea for all problems that plague the world today. He welcomed the new High School in the premises which is a step taken towards this direction all along, lauding the efforts of the wonderful teachers of this place.
Swami in His discourse which was translated from English to the local language by Father Charles, brought out the message of India which is to pray for everyone’s happiness and health based on the feeling of a global family, above and beyond the narrow domestic walls of ‘I’ and ‘Mine’. He declared His intentions to help Africa in four ways of Annam (Food), Aksharam (Education), Aarogyam (Health) and Anandam (Bliss). The whole team consisting of the experts in each field was brought by Him, “Father Charles works for God and His people, therefore God is here to help him through so many hands”, Swami assured. Swami blessed that the Ashram will soon grow in its repute as a pilgrimage centre, and people from far and wide would come to experience this miracle of love happening right here.
A native dance and music programme was presented by the students to the joy of all. Their sense of rhythm and energy was infectious as everyone around tapped their feet and clapped their hands too! The programme concluded with a prayer by Father Charles for the welfare of all. Food was served to all the participants, as Swami partook His lunch and thus the morning programme came to a close.
Swami was extremely happy with the morning, and beamed in joy, revealed by Brother Madhusudan later. In the evening, few members of Swami’s entourage proceeded to meet the Governor of Enugu, Mr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in his office. It was a wonderful meeting and the Governor was extremely happy to hear about with all the good work that is being done, and extended all his support. While the entourage were at the Governor’s office, Swami spent precious time with the children at the Chapel. The children and the teachers presented a short musical programme, and Swami blessed them all profusely inviting them to come to Muddenahalli and perform for Christmas. By then, the entourage returned from the Governor’s office, and Swami met them all giving precious advice. He also blessed all the devotees who had come from Lagos. Dinner was served to Swami, and thus ended two wonderful days in Nigeria.
The next morning, November 7, soon after breakfast Swami’s entourage proceeded t board their flight to Dubai via Ethiopia. They landed at 3 a.m. on the morning of November 8, and after a brief rest, proceeded to board their flight back to Bangalore in the afternoon.