It was an exciting morning, as Swami was going to visit one of the most holiest Shinto shrines in the region. The Yahiko Shrine stands majestically at the foothills of the sacred Mount Yahiko in the lap of magnanimous Mother Nature. People from all over Japan flock to the Shrine. The Hotel where Swami and the entourage were staying was barely 50 meters away from the Shrine, and Swami decided to walk to the Shrine. It’s commanding presence was extremely overwhelming, and yet there was a certain serenity about the whole place. The large vermilion Torii gate soaring 30m high, the Japanese cedar trees with remnants of fresh snow on either side of the path leading to the shrine, the snow capped mountains and the blue sky in the background, the entire setting was magnificent and magical! And to top it all, walking with Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the Creator Himself! Swami made a few revelations about the Shrine, and blessed the multitudes of devotees who had gathered there to be in the presence of their Master.
From the Yahiko Shrine, Swami proceeded to ‘Sai Hrudayam’ a Bhajan Centre which was about 20 minutes away. After a few Bhajans, Swami spoke about the importance of chanting the name of the Lord. “Whoever is in need of help, will receive the prayers. So keep changing the name of the Lord. The more you chant, the more it will benefit the world. Everything is vibrations, so whatever you chant, the sound waves will reach any part of the world. This is the minimum Seva you can do, which will benefit the world!”
Mangala Arati was offered and Prasadam was distributed to all. Swami then departed from ‘Sai Hrudayam’, and proceeded to another holy Shrine established by a 90-year-old lady, who has been blessed with hearing the voice of God. She has multitudes of followers, and the Deity who speaks to her had told her about Swami, and she wanted the Lord Himself to bless the place. Over 150 devotees were eagerly waiting, and as soon as Swami entered, the lady dressed in a traditional Shinto costume was overwhelmed. Swami immediately gave her a gift of His love, and blessed her profusely. He then commanded Brother Nimura to talk about the Shrine and the old lady, whose words gave way to tears! He narrated his experiences about what the old lady had told him about the upcoming Ashram as she heard it from the deity, which absolutely matched what Swami had told him during an interview during Maha Shivaratri, word to word! Swami then blessed the lady and promised to return when the Ashram is ready. Lunch was served to Swami and His entourage as soon as they returned to the hotel thereafter. After a brief rest, everyone proceeded for dinner to the residence of Brother Nimura.
All the ladies of Brother Nimura’s family including his two grand daughters who were around ten years old, were dressed in traditional kimonos. Swami emphasised why helping others is important at the intimate gathering. He said, “By speaking sweetly, or by sharing what we have in excess, we can help. Why help? It’s like a deposit into the bank account of God. You get interest, and when retire you can withdraw. Likewise, when you help others, in your time of need God will give you grace. In the world, like day and night, success and failure will come and go. So keep doing good always. As a family, as an individual, do good everyday.” Swami was then served dinner which began with the traditional tea ceremony. Dinner was a combination of traditional Japanese and traditional South Indian dishes! Swami departed the residence after Mangala Arati. The entourage returned to the hotel as well, and packed to depart to the next destination Hong Kong the next morning, March 12.
After breakfast, Swami blessed the core team of Japan with an interview and gave them directions about the Ashram. Mangala Arati was offered and then everyone proceeded to the Niigata Airport to board their flight to Hong Kong via Tokyo. They landed at around 10 p.m. at night, and were lovingly received at the Airport by Brother Raja Daswani and his family. A 30-minutes drive through this bustling and lively city, Swami reached the Daswani residence where He was very lovingly received by Mrs Shalini Daswani and a few other devotees. Since it was close to midnight, Swami urged everyone to rest for the night.