Prayers of the core team of devotees were answered in Fiji, when the Creator who has everything under His control, decided to give some respite from the incessant rains. A bright and sunny day welcomed the international guests, students and all the devotees who made their way to Pacific Harbour to be a part of history in the making. A day that will be etched in the mission of Sai as an auspicious day for the grand inauguration of yet another Ashram. A turn from the highway, and through the rugged little dirt road, what stands in front of the eyes is a golden glistening miracle of God! It seemed picture perfect – dark green foliage, freshly washed roads leading up to the Ashram, sky laden with grey clouds, and of course at a distance the soft waves brushing against the coastline, almost waiting to kiss the Feet of the Almighty!
Sai Prema Ashram, one of the 18 Ashrams being established by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in His continuing mission as He continues to guide and guard from His ethereal realm, stood proudly to be inaugurated by its Master. A golden Sarva Dharma Stupa stood in front of the Ashram, to remind everyone about the unity of all religions, and the everlasting teaching of human values of Sathya, Dharma, Shanti, Prema and Ahimsa by Sri Sathya Sai to the world. The Stupa, the magnificent dome and all the finer embellishments were done by the sculptors from India, who have engaged in similar projects at Prasanthi Nilayam, Muddenahalli and other places. They stayed for three months, toiled through rain and sun to do their part in making this Ashram a reality!
Swami reached around 10:30 a.m., and was received with a traditional Fijian welcome, befitting a King. A choir from the local church burst out into a solemn hymn, and the entire atmosphere was indeed charged with a surreal bliss. Men, women and children from the core Fiji team were all colour coordinated, and the bright yellow outfits against the golden hue of the Ashram, was indeed a sight to embrace. To top it all, Brother Madhusudan amidst everyone in his mustard yellow silk outfit seemed to be the icing on the cake. Alas! One can only imagine the Lord in a similar shade of the robe, of course visible to the fortunate few! Amidst Mantras chanted by the priest, rituals for a ‘Grihapravesh’ was performed by Dr Krupali Tappoo, and Swami cut the ribbon thereafter, announcing to the world the official inauguration of the beautiful edifice of hope and succor.
After lighting the ceremonial lamp, Swami walked around the Ashram, went to His room, and walked towards the stunning sea shore. Nowhere in the world are any of the upcoming Ashrams or Human Development Centres of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba are situated in this most unique and enthralling way! A group photo call was certainly the natural thing to do, and truly, words fail to describe the beauty and serenity of the moment with the Lord Himself standing amidst a handful of His dear ones, and of course the picture-perfect milieu!
Swami walked on to the stage, and the priest commenced the proceedings of the Yagna. After Poorna Ahuti or the final offering in to the Yagna, a short break was announced. The stage was cleared for the formal event to commence. Swami graciously returned and Dr Krupali Tappoo, Brothers Remal Tappoo and Pratin Lal took to the podium to narrate the story of Swami’s first visit to Fiji and the unravelling of the Master’s plan ever since! Swami gave away token of appreciation to all the contractors and vendors who had toiled day in and out. Swami also blessed the core five families of the Sai Prema Foundation who were responsible for the fructification of the Ashram, keeping their single pointed focus on Swami’s words and His vision. Smt Maya Tappoo, mother of Brother Sumeet Tappoo, and a very devoted lady spoke on behalf of everyone gathered. Having been with Swami for close to five decades now, she spoke her heart out as she recollected her days of struggle as a little girl growing up in Fiji, amidst impoverished conditions. Smt Maya who spoke in chaste Hindi spoke about the joy she derives as she engages and drives the Annapoorna breakfast initiative in Fiji. In about 14 months, over 15,000 meals have been served and she submitted her prayers to Bhagawan, to bless them with the opportunity for this number to be doubled in the coming months! She also spoke endearingly about Mother Easwaramma and her attitude towards life. Smt Maya offered her gratitude to her Master for giving all of them an opportunity to be a part of His divine mission.
Swami then commanded Sri C Sreenivas to address the gathering. He recollected the visit to Fiji in April 2018 when the Ashram was a mere skeletal framework. While leaving the site, he had asked one of the construction workers as to why he was working so hard, laboring day and night to build this edifice. The worker had replied, “With every little act of ours, every brick that we put, every morsel of sand that we carry, we are writing the history of Fiji!” He reminded everyone that Swami was there to help everyone think the unthought, and therefore do the undone, by elevating the consciousness to greater heights!
Swami started His divine message by saying that He was in Fiji to fulfill three vows, “To grant bliss to those who are in sorrow and protect them; to set a noble path for those who are deviating away and bring them back on this golden path; to grant the poor, sick and the needy what they lack and thereby show our love. History is being written here. ‘History’ is ‘His plus story’. His Story is being written here, God’s story is being written here. And who is writing this? God only is writing through His devotees!
Today I don’t have body, hands, legs, eyes, ears, or face, but you are all My hands and legs. The Lord has thousands of legs, thousands of hands, thousands of feet; in fact, He permeates everything, everyone. These are the thousands of hands. In each one, the Divine manifests and everything seems to be divine, and this is the Vishvarupa that we talk about. Don’t imagine a God who is from earth to sky and has thousands of heads and hands. You may or may not be able to see Him. But this God is possible to see – God in everyone, in every heart – as all hands belong to Him, all feet belong to Him, and that is the Vishvarupa that one must strive to see.
I only want such people who are willing to do anything and everything for the sake of Swami. Only such people can truly fulfill My pledge, My oath and My vow, and truly do what I have set out to do. And there are so many of you here who feel like that. In short course of time, this place will grow. It is only a seed that is sown. I have a vision, I have a plan. And all I want are people who say, ‘What does Swami want? Whatever Swami wants, we shall do it.’ Only such people can achieve this mission and plan of God. Only through sacrifice one can attain divinity and immortality.
It is not given to all to serve God. God is there to serve everyone. But this opportunity to serve Him is only given to a few God. And this is the group of people (referring to the devotees from Fiji) who are not here to make God serve them, but they are here to serve God. And they are special. They have got this opportunity and they are making good use of this. I am very very happy with this. They don’t expect anything from Me. They just want to hear this one word that I am happy with them. And that makes them all very very happy!”
After Swami’s discourse, lunch Prasadam was served to all. Swami retired for the evening at the Ashram after granting multitude of interviews, filling each person’s heart with a greater impetus to do more for the sake of fellow brethren, and graciously granting the next day, April 26 as a day of well-deserved rest for everyone!