Swami’s entourage landed on the night of March 12th in Kuching, in the beautiful State of Sarawak in Malaysia, the next destination after Kuala Lumpur. Brothers Tony Bong, Julius Tan and Hamish Ravindran along with other devotees welcomed everyone at the Kuching International Airport, as they landed at 9 p.m. A short 15 minutes drive is ‘Sai Love’, Swami’s residence in Kuching. Mrs Magdelene Tsai, wife of Brother Tony, Mrs Uma Tan, wife of Brother Julius, along with many other devotees welcomed Swami traditionally, and were soaked in bliss as they were in the presence of God yet again! After blessing everyone and partaking His dinner, Swami urged all to rest, assuring to meet them the next morning after breakfast.
The next morning, March 13, Swami proceeded to inaugurate SWAMI HOME (Sunshine Welfare Action Mission) in Kuching, the first outside Singapore, while all the staff and students were taken on a tour of the city and a cultural village. SWAMI HOME was established in the year 1986 in Singapore. In 1979, SWAMI HOME started off as a community service initiative, which turned into a Nursing Home Project. After six years of regular visits to the aged and aged sick in the various Nursing Homes, a group of volunteers decided that it was time to consolidate their community work, with the objective of providing nursing care and shelter for the sick, aged sick and handicapped from the lower socio-economic sector. The HOME in Singapore started with only 20 residents, 32 years ago, and today with 265 staff, they care for more than 300 elders. Home help, home medical and nursing services are also offered, and all together every single day SWAMI HOME touches the lives of over 1000 elders! Swami had mercifully blessed the Home during His visit to Singapore in August 2018. In His discourse He mentioned that He would like a similar facility to be established in Kuching. Immediately, Brothers Tony Bong, Julius Tan and Hamish Ravindran started working on the project with the help of Mr Low Chang Yee, Chairman of SWAMI HOME, and his entire team. An appropriate piece of real estate was required, and an old school friend of Brother Tony Bong, Mr Sim Meng Chiok, and his brother Mr Sim Kiang Chiok came to the rescue. They currently have a very large Development and Construction Company. When Mr Sim Meng Chiok was young, he had dreamed of opening an orphanage to help the less privileged. He was always intrigued by Brother Tony’s devotion to ‘Sai Baba’ and his ‘almost’ borderline madness in executing Swami’s every word, without any questions asked!
Like it is said, God calls those whom He wants, in His own time! So, finally in 2017, Mr Sim Meng joined Brother Tony for the Navaratri celebrations in Muddenahalli. He was overwhelmed by what he saw and his heart was filled with a desire to be a part of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s continuing Mission! He along with his brother and mother Mrs Datin Sim immediately decided to gift a building to the Divine Will Society and as a result, a Trust has been set up under Swami’s instructions (Divine Will Charitable Trust) to operate and manage the Sunshine Wellness Centre! The brothers have also made the fifth floor of the adjoining building available as an office for all the administrative purposes of the Trust. There are hundreds of stories like these which come into light every day, hundreds of individuals who are transformed by the unseen hand of God every day, and hundreds of yearning hearts who meet their life’s true purpose – union with their divine Master, every single day!
Swami and His guests, which included the team from SWAMI HOME in Singapore and other devotees from Kuching reached the facility by 11:30 a.m. After walking around and giving instructions to the team from Singapore about assisting the Kuching team with all the requisite set up and training needs, Swami proceeded to the fifth floor of the adjoining building to inaugurate the Medical Outreach website and also the One Youth Malaysia Skills Development Centre. Swami commanded Brothers Hamish and Tony to speak about the facility. Swami then advised everyone to be kind to each other, as only kindness, and not any rules, regulations or forced policies can change the world. “Every single day that we lose, we lose a little bit of our life which could have been used for service to others, than just feeding, clothing or looking after one’s own private or personal needs. So every passing day is a reminder that we have lost one more day and we haven’t started serving others yet! Therefore, every day you have to remind yourself, that this body has been given primarily to serve others, which is the main purpose of a human birth. Everything else is secondary. Eating, sleeping, clothing, working – all these are secondary to this primary cause of serving others. That is what all great Masters of all great religions, all great faiths, and all great philosophies have preached. What did Jesus Christ preach? When they asked ‘what should we do’, He said, ‘Love one another and love thy neighbour as thy self. If you want to love Me, you learn to love one another. Love each other and that way you will love Me. Serve each other, and help each other’. This is the thought in all religions, scriptures, and faiths. So this is going to be a Centre which will host this idea of service without any distinction or discrimination. No one is below, above, or beyond, and everybody will be treated as our own. Today, what you do as service will come to your rescue tomorrow as the insurance of divine grace!” Mangala Arati was offered to Swami, and He returned to ‘Sai Love’ for lunch.
In the evening, Swami had commanded all the students and devotees to gather at the prayer hall ‘Heart of Love’ adjoining His residence. For almost an hour, Bhajans and devotional songs were offered to Swami. Brother Hamish Ravindran welcomed the gathering and narrated the events of the morning inaugurations. Swami then addressed the gathering, as He spoke about singing and the importance of music. He said all great arts originated from devotion, and urged everyone to use music as a medium when they wanted to pour out their feelings to God.
Swami said, “All great saints were poets. All great devotees were poets or singers because they knew when they simply spoke, it may not reach God, because everybody were speaking. The question was to sound different from so many hundreds and thousands of devotees and attract God’s attention. When you say the same thing through poetry or music, God will say, ‘Who is this?’ Otherwise God is getting millions of requests every day. How will He know which is the request from you? When you sing with complete devotion, you pour out your heart in beautiful words or a poetry or music, it immediately attracts God’s attention! Out of so many prayers, it immediately reaches God. This is why singing is important! Through a song one can express oneself more. The first man was always in awe of this beautiful creation, and wondered who was behind this. He did not know any language, and wanted to express what he saw. They would shout, they would sing, there were no words to that song, they would just sing whatever came from their spontaneous expression. That became language eventually. First was music, then came language. Therefore, music is closer to God. If you say the same thing through music, the Lord sits up and listens. Of all the prayers, the prayer that is musical and poetical, reaches God first! That is why you should sing.” On a lighter note and amidst laughter, Swami joked that the one who sings badly, his or her prayer is answered faster, but He immediately added by saying that anybody who sings with devotion is always dear to God!
“God Himself is a great musician! The whole creation is a music. In the breeze, the rustling of the leaves, the singing of the cuckoo, in the flowing of the water, every step that you take, the rhythm of the heart, the flow of the blood in the body, everything is music. What is not music? If you carefully listen and if you have the ears to understand, you can observe that God’s music is in everything. So rhythmic. So perfect. You will slowly understand all the music. The sound that you hear is Aum, the original sound. If you strike anything, you hear Aum, the primordial sound.
While eating also, Aum is the sound which is heard. ‘Aum Iti Brahma’ is what the scriptures say, as it is the very representation, personification. It is the very Brahman. Brahman is a term used for representing that God, who is formless and nameless. So how did the first man know God? He heard this sound (Aum) in everything. You press any note in the harmonium, the final reverberations are of Aum, which is everywhere, the original, fundamental sound from which everything else has originated. In A-u-m – there are three syllables. ‘A’ should start from the navel, ‘U’ should come from the throat, ‘Mmm’ should reverberate in your mind’s eye. Chant this way, as it will connect you to the original basis, your fundamental basis.” Swami then very beautifully taught everyone the correct way of chanting Aum! A blissful experience it was indeed.
Swami then went on to speak about the three phases of the ongoing subtle phenomenon, and explained that the third phase ‘Sankramana’ is currently underway. Pointing to a beautiful painting of Hanuman on the wall of the Prayer Hall, He said, “Hanuman just prays to Rama, ‘This task is not something that I can achieve all by myself. But with You in my heart- Man mein Ram’, I am ready to do Your task!’ He opens his heart and shows who is there within. Chanting His name, Hanuman does his task, and this is the secret of success. Name in the heart, work in your hands. Chanting His name, and doing His work!”
Mangala Arati was offered. Swami called all His students to His room and spoke to all of them, and also took group pictures with everyone. Dinner Prasadam was served to all, and as Swami retired for the night, as Brother Tony and his entire team went about putting final touches to ‘Vishwaniketanam Ashram’, one of the 18 Ashrams being established by Swami, which would be inaugurated the next day!