The morning was a flurry of activities as Swami’s entourage were preparing to leave for the next destination, Kuala Lumpur. There was a certain gloom in the air, which is the case when it is time for Swami to leave from a particular city or country. It always seems that Swami just arrived, when it is already time to leave. After breakfast, Swami emerged from His room, blessed all the devotees who were waiting to seek the Lord’s blessings before His departure. And along with Swami and the entourage a whole host of devotees also accompanied them to the Airport to bid everyone a fond farewell, until the next visit. A short hour and a half flight, and the entourage landed in Kuala Lumpur. The spirited and energetic youth of Sai Ananda eagerly and lovingly received everyone. Wading through the traffic, after more than an hour’s drive, the entourage reached Sai Amrutham, the residence of Brother Ayavoo Arumugam and his devout wife Dr Vimala. Swami manifested outside their home and was welcomed with much devotion and adoration by the couple and more youth from Sai Ananda. After some quick refreshments, Swami and His entourage proceeded to Batu Caves. The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India, dedicated to Lord Murugan. January 31 was Thaipusam, a festival celebrated with much fervour, as this was the day Lord Shiva from His third eye created His son Subramanya or Murugan. On this day, Mother Parvati gave the Vel or a spear to Murugan to vanquish the Asuras.
The walk to Batu Caves is generally the most popular element of the celebration, during which many devotees carry large milk pots and colourful frames called Kavadi. Special permissions were acquired, and special arrangements were made for Swami and His entourage to witness the celebrations from a viewing deck. After spending some time there, Swami proceeded back to Sai Amrutham, where a small and intimate Satsang was waiting to unfold. It was truly a very beautiful and a memorable evening which will be etched in the memories of all the youth and devotees. Swami beckoned a few youth to speak while revealing intimate details about their life to their pleasant surprise. Three songs, including ‘O Nesthama’ in Telugu was offered by the youth of Sai Ananda at Bhagawan’s Lotus Feet. Swami then called Aunty Doshi, an octogenarian, who came to Swami as a young girl of 19 years, to speak. She spoke about how she was inspired to do Seva at that young age, but did not have the means or the money to do anything. So she decided to start donating her blood, as she felt that it could save someone. Swami was very happy with her, and urged all the youth gathered to imbibe life’s most valuable lesson – Seva, from her. Since there were many doctors in the making, Swami commanded Sri C Sreenivas to share his thoughts about the expansion of the medical mission in Malaysia. Swami also shared that very soon there would be a collaboration between the Government of Malaysia and the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospitals, which will pave way to mend little hearts from Malaysia. Mangala Arati was offered to Swami and dinner Prasadam was served to all. After Swami went to His room which is situated in the first floor, He lovingly sent word for His entourage! When everyone went up, He said “I have brought you here to show you the sacrifice made by My devotees abroad”, and asked them to see His room! He said the couple gave up their master bedroom for Swami and continue to believe in His Presence there every single day. He said “For those who believe Swami is with them, He is very much there. For those who don’t, He is a dream!” A very profound statement ridden with deep meaning!
The next morning, February 01, after breakfast Swami proceeded to bless the Sai Ananda Cafe, a fully vegetarian venture in the Batu Caves area. As Swami arrived, Ganapthi Homa was in progress, and the priests were waiting for Swami’s arrival for the final Purna Ahuti. Proceeds from this new Cafe will go towards the Dialysis Centre at Sai Ananda Medical Centre. The Cafe has messages of Swami everywhere, and posters talking about the Dialysis Centre. After the Homa concluded, Swami walked around and blessed the Cafe profusely. A couple who had given the Cafe to Swami for Seva were blessed, and Swami visited their residence which is right behind the Cafe. Over 50 people had gathered, and Swami entered amidst Bhajans by the Sai Ananda youth. After a few Bhajans, Swami beckoned the daughter of the house, Mathivani to address everyone. She was overcome with emotions as she spoke about her journey and the family’s journey to Swami from the first time they had heard about the Lord. Thereafter, Swami gave them all precious advise on how they run the Cafe. He said, “Annamaya Kosha to Amandamaya Kosha is a journey. Food is a basic necessity. God resides in everyone as hunger and must be appeased. Anandam (bliss) is God’s nature and therefore one must experience that too. The joy that one experiences is truly God. When you eat it’s actually a Yagna. You chant ‘Brahmarpanam’, so the eating, cooking and digesting are all acts of Brahman, and should be considered as a Yagna.
What Yagna? It is a Bhuta Yagna, offering to beings. At this Sai Ananda Cafe, through food one should reach divine joy. Food should help in purifying thoughts.” Swami also spoke about Patra, Paka and Padhartha Shuddhi – Purity of vessels, cooking process and ingredients. Swami narrated a couple of stories to drive home the point about why it is important to cook with pure thoughts, as the thought enters the food, and therefore the head (mind) of the person who is eating. Lunch was served to Swami and all the devotees. Thereafter, Swami blessed the textile and daily necessity store of the family, before departing for Sai Amrutham.
In the evening, a little after 5 p.m., Swami proceeded to Sai Aananda for the Public Satsang. As He alighted from His car, Swami first went to the Dialysis Centre to officiate the commencement of operations, as the official permissions and license to operate was just received from the Ministry of Health. With six machines, a couple of full-time staff and visiting Doctors, the Centre will provide Dialysis care to the needy absolutely free-of-cost. After blessings the patients and staff, Swami proceeded to the Bhajan Hall for the Satsang. The place was over flowing with devotees who had gathered from various parts of Malaysia and other neighbouring countries. Sri Ravi Nayar, Chairman of the Sai Ananda Foundation Malaysia welcomed Bhagawan and placed his immense gratitude at Bhagawan’s Lotus Feet for blessing everyone with a prayer to make visiting Malaysia a habit! Three Doctors spoke next, and explained the various facets of the Sai Ananda Medicare in Malaysia. An amazing aspect was that all these three youth were Bal Vikas students and had the urge to serve in Swami’s mission. Thereafter, Dr Vimala presented a short update on the various aspects of Ananda Cares and also about the Sai Ananda Cafe.
Swami then beckoned Mr Isaac Tigrett, Sri C Sreenivas and Sri B N Narasimha Murthy to speak. They fell short of words after seeing all the wonderful work which is being done at Sai Ananda, and congratulated all on the various Seva activities which are being consistently carried out for the last three decades! Swami in His very short speech started with a verse – “The whole world is under the influence and control of God. This God or divinity is subjected to truth. However, truth itself is governed by good people. Hence, noble people are greater than God.” Swami went on say that noble people are even greater than God, for in every good there is God. ‘Keep doing good day and night, and always remember what is real and unreal’, said Adi Shakaracharya. “To be close to God, you need to keep doing good. You are born to serve. ‘Paropakarartham Idham Shareeram’ – This body has been given only to serve. In the word ‘Paropakarartham’, there is Para (God) + Upa (Near) + Kara (To Do). This word is usually understood as service, but it carries a deeper inner meaning as that which brings us closer to God and brings God closer to us.
For those who have faith everything is possible. Truth is that, ‘God is possible’. If God is, everything is! There is nothing that God cannot achieve. Have faith in God, and greater faith in good and keep working, definitely everything is possible.”
There was a short break of 10 minutes, as the stage was set for a short cultural offering. A drama on the story of Lord Subramanya was staged by the Bal Vikas children, and it was followed by a short video presentation of the various Seva activities undertaken at Sai Ananda. Mangala Arati was offered to Bhagawan, and then the Lord walked towards the food area in the ground floor and blessed all the food counters displaying a delectable spread of South Indian and Malaysian cuisine, which has now become a customary tradition after every Satsang. Swami then returned to Sai Amrutham for dinner, and the entourage packed to leave very early the next morning to Singapore.