End of January usually heralds a divine visit to Malaysia and Singapore. Kuching was the first blessed city to receive the divine presence and overpowering love of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, as the Lord along with His entourage landed on the night of January 29. Brother Tony Bong, Julius Tan, Hamish Ravindran along with other devotees welcomed everyone at the Kuching International Airport. A short 15 minutes drive is Heart of Love, Swami’s residence in Kuching. Though it was past 11 p.m, the enthusiasm and excitement of the devotees were high even at that hour, and the incessant drizzle definitely did not deter their little welcome ceremony with Arati, as Swami alighted from the car. After blessing everyone, Swami urged all to rest, assuring to meet them the next morning after breakfast.
The wafts of traditional South Indian breakfast swept the air from the wee hours of the morning, and everyone made their way to the breakfast table. Devotees were beginning to gather at Heart of Love waiting to bask in the divine love. The auspicious morning was the first year anniversary of the Heart of Love prayer hall, which also marked the anniversary of the consecration of the Nithya Ganapathi shrine. A little past 10:30 a.m, Swami entered the Hall amidst Bhajans, and blessed the shrine while the priests chanted Vedic Mantras. The dais was tastefully decorated, and Swami took His seat on the majestic throne. He then beckoned brother Hamish Ravindran, who is also the Sai youth leader for Singapore to commence the proceedings of the morning. He gave a quick recap of the past year of the various Seva activities which were conducted by the Sai Love team in Kuching. Next, Brother Tony Bong addressed the gathering. He and wife Mrs Magdelene have been the pillars of strength behind the Kuching team, and they have humbly made Swami’s residence in Kuching, right next to their house. The two homes are linked by Heart of Love, the prayer hall which was celebrating its first birthday, since Swami lovingly inaugurated it in January 2017. He also vividly described about the Sri Sathya Sai Vishwa Nikethanam Ashram which Swami was to inaugurate in the evening. Thereafter, Swami called upon Brother Julius Tan to speak about his journey with Swami. Brother Julius saw Swami for the first time when he was a little boy of seven, and since then has obediently followed all that Swami has said all through his life. Sri C Sreenivas was the next speaker and he spoke about love, the basis of everything, the innate substratum of every existence.
Swami then blessed everyone with His divine message. He started His message by saying that every devotee should pray thus, “The heart that You have given me Lord, I offer it back to You. For I have nothing else to offer, kindly accept this.”
Swami went to explain that the greatest possession of any person is a heart full of love, which is greater than all the wealth in the world. “So what can one offer to the Lord, who is the owner of the entire universe? Only a heart that is full of love. Today, a visit to this heart of love, free from all the narrow mindedness of selfishness and attachments of ‘I and mine’, we are able to experience the Lord Himself, the indweller of every heart, who is also at ‘Heart of Love’, this Centre. If you want to find the Lord, do not look outside, but look within. So, SAI means ‘See Always Inside’, not outside.
When Hanuman was asked where is your Lord, he opened his heart, and showed that his Lord dwells within his own heart. As the Lord dwells in the heart of the devotee, he serves through the hands of the devotee. Love comes from the heart where the Lord resides, and service emanates from the hands that belong to the Lord. Therefore, a heart that is full of love will definitely have hands that are full of service, as Love cannot remain by itself. It has to transform itself to meaningful service to fellow beings.“
Mangala Arati was offered to Swami, and lunch Prasadam was served to all gathered. Swami then blessed the core team with an interview before His lunch.
In the evening, Swami proceeded to Bau, an hour’s drive from Sai Love. Bau used to be a thriving gold mining area, and as one passed by the lush green lap of nature and Buddhist towns, the sights of quarry and men working were clearly visible. A huge ‘Welcome’ banner for Swami greeted the Lord at the entrance of Sri Sathya Sai Vishwa Nikethanam, the new Ashram in Kuching. A steep climb up on the hill, Swami’s residence is perched in Mother nature’s bountiful surrounds. A grand lion and dragon dance welcomed the Lord, and as He alighted from His car, the outpour of love was indeed palpable. It was a momentous evening of course, for Kuching was to have its very own Ashram, which would provide succour to many in the region who would want to find God within themselves. A Ganpathi Homa had just concluded, and Swami blessed the final rituals with the Poorna Ahuti offering.
Swami then proceeded to His residence, ‘Sai Vishwa’, which has been constructed following indigenous Borneo architecture and material specially procured for this purpose. After blessing the residence, Swami went to overlook the site where a huge auditorium ‘Vishwa Darshan’ will be built soon. The 60 x 80 feet structure will be spread across two levels, which will also have a dormitory, and dining facilities. A dragon dance was also held in honour of the dragon temple which is present right behind the Ashram.
Swami said that the Sri Sathya Sai Vishwa Nikethanam Ashram will be a universal spiritual home for all spiritual activities. He said, “This place is for all those who want to find God. You will find God not in this place, but within your own self because of what you become when you come here! Many people will come to find peace, God and spirituality in themselves by living here. For the last 20 years this place has been waiting, but the family could not hand it over to Swami. There is a great reason behind everything that Swami does. And no act of Swami is a casual act, as it is always ridden with deeper significance. May this place help others grow spiritually, in the principal of brotherhood of man and fatherhood of God!”
Thereafter, Swami commanded Brother Tony Bong and Brother Gan to speak. The land has been lovingly offered to the Divine Will Society, the Foundation which carries out all the Seva activities in Kuching, by Brother Gan’s father-in-law, as this was his dream for the last two decades. Both spoke about the various miracles which led to the current state, and humbly thanked Swami for His unseen hand all through. Mangala Arati was offered to Swami, and thereafter a remarkable display of fireworks were held. Swami along with His entourage proceeded back to Sai Love for dinner. Everyone prepared for Swami’s departure for Kuala Lumpur the next morning, before retiring for the night.