It was Good Friday, a day which commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his physical departure at Calvary. Rev Leonora with Swami’s blessings conducted a beautiful Good Friday Service at Sai Grace. Swami then gave His sermon. He said, “The angel Gabriel had come to Mary and told her about the birth of a divine son. For Easwaramma as well, a blue light from heaven rolled into her womb. She fainted thinking something went wrong, but Kondama Raju told her not to worry and assured her it was a divine sign, as he was promised by one of seers Venkaavadootha that God Himself will incarnate in his lineage. Mother Easwaramma was in labour for a long time, before I was born. Everyone knew that this was a divine child, but as time progressed due to the Maya, they forgot. I showed My divinity, not to exhibit it, but to remind everyone. Jesus at a young age of eight said He did not belong there, and said He had a lot of work to do and many were waiting for Him. He left home and was not back for seven years. He went around the world seeking the truth. Jesus came to the far east as well, and went back seeking life’s purpose. He realised it to be to serve humanity and teach them the path of God! All great men are born only for the sake of others. Be it Rama, Krishna, Sai, Buddha, Jesus, or Mohammed. All can be Jesus, all can be Sai, if only every individual lives for the sake of others. One should lead a life of love and service in accordance to the teachings of Jesus. This Good Friday, pray and resolve that these sacrifices will not go waste. These Masters came, putting upon themselves so many restrictions, suffered so much for the sake of others, so that each human being can become Divine! Let the blood and sweat of the Masters not go in vain. Strive to be divine and selfless! Pay the homage of gratitude to the Masters today.” Swami then gave each person palm leaves which were brought from Jerusalem, and blessed all gathered. It was a divine moment for every one. To symbolise bread and wine, bread and Lingam water was given to everyone. It was a blissful morning filled with divine feelings, and every person present were thankful to the Lord for this once in a lifetime opportunity of being with the Master Himself on this day! Arati was offered to Swami, and Swami departed from the Sai Grace Ashram to Wimbledon to bless three devotees by visiting their homes.
Incessant rains delayed the arrival, and after more than three hours on the road, Swami arrived at the residence of Sri Vickneswaran and Smt Devanayaki. He and his entire family joyfully and emotionally welcomed the Lord. After spending some precious moments with them, Swami proceeded to the residence of Sri Rajasingam and Smt Vasanthi. As soon as He sat down, there was a piano recital by Francesco Paniccia, a charismatic composer and pianist from Italy. Swami then spoke about Jesus again, saying, “Jesus was born into eternity. He gave up His physical existence, as He knew that was not the truth. He knew the truth was beyond, and that was the real birth. When man realises this truth, that is when the birth truly happens. This birth is only in passing, as the true birth is when one is born into the true self. And as one is truly born, one is truly liberated!” Lunch Prasadam was served to all, and thereafter Swami inaugurated the new floor of the house, which has been built for Swami. He spent precious moments with the family before departing to the residence of Sri Deepak and Smt Mona Mehta, a twenty minute drive from the Rajasingam residence. And while the rain continued, the cherry blossoms glistened along the way.
Swami alighted from the car and was welcomed by the family which also included Saisha, their daughter. It was an intimate family affair, and Swami inaugurated the extension of this home as well, which was a beautifully done conservatory. Swami’s throne was wonderfully arranged, and in the most casual way Swami engaged everyone in conversation and spoke at length about the Mandya Campus and the upcoming new Hostel for the boys. After tea and snacks, Swami departed to Chigwell, promising the Mehtas to stay at their home during His next visit. Overwhelmed and grateful, they submitted themselves to their Lord yet again. When one witnesses these unique moments of love between God and His children, tears well up and the verse from the Bible, John 14:23 comes to memory – “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” This is exactly what the entourage witnessed in the three homes!
Yet again, rain and bank holiday traffic delayed the arrival at the Malhotra residence in Chigwell. About 70 to 80 people were already seated, waiting to hear the Lord. Everyone were indeed tired, and more over jet lagged, but looking at the joy and devotion was panacea enough to regain all the lost energy! The power of love can indeed be overpowering. A quick refreshment break, and Swami came down amidst Bhajans to bless everyone gathered. Dr Grish Malhotra thanked Swami for His presence on this Good Friday, and invited Mr Isaac Tigrett to address the gathering. Mr Tigrett broke down as he started speaking about Jesus Christ. Just that evening Swami gifted him a cross pendant and so he reminded everyone about the real meaning of the Cross, which meant crossing the ‘I’, or the ego. Mr Tigrett urged everyone to evolute beyond barriers and show compassion to all. Sri C Sreenivas spoke about how one look, glance of a word from Swami can change the destiny of a person. He narrated the story of an eight-year-boy who had visited Muddenahalli, and possibly was blessed with a look from Swami, which changed his outlook towards life. Sri B N Narasimha Murthy said, “You cannot attain God by listening to lectures or giving lectures, or by reading or by intelligence. But when He chooses to reveal Himself to you, is the only way you will know Him! All of us know Him to the extent He reveals to us!” He spoke about the similarities in the lives of Jesus and Sai, and said that the essence of all their teachings was Love.
Swami in His divine discourse said, “When asked ‘Who are you’, Krishna said, ‘I am not a man or demi God, nor a celibate, nor a householder or renunciate, I am not from the Brahmin caste or any other caste. What I am truly is ‘Sathya Bodhakaha’, a preacher of truth. All messengers of God, Messiahs came to preach the truth. They were all preachers of truth, and nothing else. And what is this truth Jesus talks about that will redeem you, once you know? That truth is the truth of who you truly are! Jesus first said, ‘I am The Messenger of God’. Then He said, ‘I am the son of God’, and finally He said, ‘I and my father are one!’ First He thought, He was the body with a name and form to spread the message of God. Then He realised it was more than that and there is a power inside. Then He said this spark of life force is a part of the divine Creator, and therefore He said, ‘I am the son of God.’ And finally, when He delved deep into this thought, He declared ‘I and my father are one!’ These are the three steps that one needs to take in the path of God!”
Mangala Arati was offered, and dinner Prasadam was served to all. Swami retired for the night after dinner.