A 14 hour flight did not deter the high spirits of the enthusiastic entourage of Swami, as they were lovingly welcomed in Rio by Swami’s host Mr Gonçalo, and a whole host of other devotees at the Airport on the night of September 20, 2018. A delay in flight departure from Dubai, and also the time difference meant, rest until the next afternoon (September 21) when everyone surfaced around lunch time. The host Mr Gonçalo is an octogenarian who had sold his apartment to buy a beautiful and spacious villa for Swami! The things that devotees do for their beloved Lord Sai in every single country, even though He is beyond the physical realm, is truly overwhelming and palpable! This only confirms the fact that experience is the best teacher. Understanding this current phase of the Avatar is not everyone’s cup of tea, as it is clearly evident. Only those with an open heart with the understanding that Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai is God, and therefore God can do ANYTHING, are indeed fortunate to enjoy His divine subtle Presence. It’s only personal experience, and not hearsay which is key!
Mr Gonçalo has been inspiring people for the last 24 years by conduction classes for Education in Human Values, and had a silent prayer in his heart to be able to use this new home as a Centre to continue doing the same. It is said the Divinity inside every heart prevails over everything and any selfless prayer does get answered, as outside is but a true reflection of the inside. Bhagawan came down to meet a group of devotees in the evening, and as He lighted the lamp, He named the house Sai Prema or Sai Amor, and announced that this will be a Centre where many activities for human development will be conducted.
Bhajans in Portuguese were also offered with great devotion. Swami then commanded Mr Gonçalo to ensure once a month on every full moon day all devotees would meet at Sai Prema. A very emotional Mr Gonçalo could not hold his tears back and thanked Swami for his heart’s prayer was fulfilled that day! Swami then commanded Mr Isaac Tigrett to share his thoughts. He started by saying that the high vibrations because of the collective search for divinity within, was the reason why Sai Prema was reverberating with much positive and divine energy. “At this moment, even though we arrived as individuals, we have joined together in a mysterious moment which we are sharing collectively. That’s why it’s important to come here every full moon, so all can become one and share selfless thoughts.”
Sri C Sreenivas in his short talk said, “In life there is only one golden rule, and that golden rule states – ‘there are no golden rules’, and this was said by George Bernard Shaw. We keep reinventing and rediscovering ourselves. Gonçalo’s years of faith in Swami is seen at this moment!” He congratulated all the devotees, and reminded them to serve selflessly. Sri B N Narasimha Murthy also shared his thoughts about selflessness and thereafter Swami blessed all gathered with His divine message. Swami said that He has officially inaugurated Sai Prema, and yet again reiterated that every full moon day of the month, all the devotees must come to Sai Prema Centre. He advised them to conduct mutual discussion on one spiritual topic by one person for 45 minutes, followed by dinner. He said, “As you get together and talk, you will get more ideas on how you can serve selflessly. Feeding the poor and homeless, teaching values to children and youth, value education, spiritual and meditation workshops, study circles to discuss questions related to spirituality, and also embrace anyone who wants to experience and serve others. Leave all your negativity outside the gate, love and experience and take love from here! Any positive thought adds to the positivity of the world. It has great power to transform people even at long distances!” After Mangala Arati, dinner Prasadam was served to all devotees, and Bhagawan retired for the night after partaking His dinner.
The next morning, September 22, was a bright and sunny day with no trace of clouds, and thus a perfect morning to go to Sugarloaf Mountains in Rio for some sight seeing for the entourage, while the devotees and organising team were busy with preparations for the public Satsang in the evening.
Swami arrived amidst Bhajans, a little before 5:30 p.m. at the Convention Hall, a 15 minutes drive from Sai Prema Centre. Devotees had gathered from many countries to experience their Lord, and bask in His love. Mrs Elizabeth Magalhaes, who had hosted Swami during His visit in 2016 welcomed everyone, and offered her gratitude to Swami on behalf of all the devotees for visiting Rio again. She invited Mr Gonçalo to address the gathering, who also echoed that it was a great blessing to have Swami amidst them in Rio. He explained to all that the primary lesson to be learnt is to learn to love oneself, as the divine is enshrined in the heart. He urged all to spread and share this love with each other, a personal learning which he has been stressing through the Human Values classes.
A short cultural programme of music and mantras by a local group from Rio was offered next at Bhagawan’s Lotus Feet. Thereafter, Mr Isaac Tigrett shared brief details about Swami’s continuous travels to all the countries, and the publishing of a booklet soon after a visit concludes. He went on to quote Swami who often reminds everyone through His discourses that permanent happiness cannot be found in this temporary and transient world. He said, “Self realisation should be the final result which has been proclaimed by every Master. Discovery of your true identity is divine and immortal. Swami has reminded this time and again, but how many believe? The mental Maya is so intense, that this truth is forgotten!” He lamented about the state of current consciousness, which earlier was higher to the extent that people could communicate heart and heart. To change the consciousness in today’s date, Mr Tigrett advised everyone to practise kindness and compassion.
Sri C Sreenivas spoke about the birth of Sai Amor, or Sai Prema Centre the previous day. “This is a new birth, and not all are given this experience to enjoy the beauty and joy of birth in a lifetime! Birth brings with it the most beautiful emotion that God gives, and human life begins with wonder.” He compared the wonder that existed in the birth of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences in Puttaparthi many years ago, and what had happened with Sai Amor a day earlier. “A tiny small seed does not know what magnificence it contains, the beauty and shade it will give all cannot be understood now”, he concluded talking about how this Centre would serve as a light house to many in the coming future.
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy started by admitting that the love for Swami was so palpable, as everyone had gathered because of Swami, and Him alone! He spoke about temporary world and permanent happiness. “The scriptures say – ‘Only those will get permanent happiness and not others.’ And who are these? Those who understand that there is one God who lives in the heart of every being. Therefore those great men and women, who believe that God is within their hearts will get permanent happiness!”
Swami is His Divine Discourse started by saying, “Everything is born from love, and everything finally goes back and merges in love. There is no place without love. This is purest of the love that we must learn about. The one whose heart is full of love only experiences love. There will be no situation for such a person where he does not feel love. Only love exists for this person, as his heart is filled only with love. The world is nothing but reflection, reaction and resound. That which is inside, and you feel inside you, is what you see outside. A saint will always see everyone as a saint. A thief will always think all others are also thieves. The world depends on the kind of vision that you have. If you fill your heart with love, you will only experience love everywhere. There is no need to go around trying to change the world; you change yourself! If you become a loving person, you will find love everywhere. Humans have forgotten to love each other and themselves, and this is the reason for all the chaos in the world.
Much is being done in the world to remove man’s sufferings through developments. But unfortunately all the focus is outward. If you water the branches and the leaves, the tree is not going to grow! You have to water the roots in order for the the tree to grow. Similarly, this process has to begin from the heart, and not from body and mind. It is for this purpose Swami has established this place (Sai Prema Centre) where all will learn to love. When people become loving and sacrificing, and concerned about the welfare of others, the world will become a better place. Selfless love is the antidote in today’s selfish world.
I believe in the power of love, for love alone is enough to solve the problems of the world! Love is the only weapon and property, through which I have changed and transformed people. You should be able to love, like I have loved all, so that you can transform others.
In times to come, Sai Prema should lead you to Prema Sai. All this is in preparation to welcome Prema Sai, but if you don’t know Prema, how will you know Prema Sai? So prepare yourselves by filling your hearts ONLY with pure love, even to those who disturb you! Only then can you understand Prema Sai! At least I talk so much, Prema Sai will not speak. No lectures or discourses. He can be understood only through a pure heart, the language of the heart, NO WORDS!”
After Swami’s electrifying discourse, Arati was offered and Prasadam was distributed to everyone. Swami along with His entourage returned to Sai Prema, and retired for the night.
The next morning, September 23, Swami’s entourage were all packed and ready to depart for the next destination, Buenos Aires in Argentina. With heavy hearts, few of the devotees had gathered to bid their Lord farewell. As a parting Swami said, “Where there is purity, there is divinity. Though the Divine is everywhere in every place, He chooses to manifest in a place where there is purity. For example, the way you feel inside the temple is not the same way that you would feel outside the temple. One may ask ‘If God exists everywhere, then why don’t we experience Him everywhere?’ This is because there is lack of purity in all places, but purity is there in a temple. Many people come with great faith and devotion for God, so all their thoughts and devotion are focused towards God, so the place gets energised! So from time immemorial, people knew this, where pure hearted could gather, sing the glory of God, and that’s why all the places of worship like Churches, Mosques, Temples, Synagogues etc were built. Like a lighthouse which guides a ship towards a shore, these temples light and guide people to the shore of divinity. Truly, a temple or any place of worship is not about the architecture or buildings, but it is truly about what goes on inside it! It may look like a large monument, but it is about what people feel inside. Wherever devotees and God gather, it is a temple! The mind thinks differently because of the accumulation of Karmas from past lives. When you put a question to the mind, it may answer differently for different people. But when you put the question to the heart, it is one and the same! ALWAYS THINK FROM THE HEART, and not from the mind!”
Swami blessed everyone with group photographs and Vibuthi, assuring them of His presence at Sai Prema Centre. The entourage then proceeded to the Airport to board their flight to Argentina! Upon landing at night, they were lovingly received by Dr Jorge Berra and other devotees of Argentina.