Come August, and it is that time of the year when a divine visit is planned to Singapore and Malaysia. And this time was even more unique as 40 students from the brass band of the Muddenahalli Campus were joining the trip to perform in both countries, as an expression of their gratitude to all elders who have been supporting their education, and more importantly, the brass band. The students departed a day earlier, and arrived in Singapore on August 23. It was very endearing to watch these children, as apart from a handful, rest of them were travelling outside the country for the very first time! Swami along with His entourage reached Singapore on the evening of August 24, and was welcomed with deep gratitude by Dr Ravi Pillay and the entire team, for He had chosen to bless them benevolently with yet another visit. Upon arrival at Sai Anandam Ashram, the ‘Singapore Gang’, as Swami fondly calls the core team of Singapore devotees, had gathered and Bhajans were in full swing. Not minding the travel or tiredness, Swami stood for almost an hour speaking on various topics. He answered many questions and filled them all with bliss and joy. Speaking on the ultimate truth written in various religions, Swami said, “The only way to understand what truth is by personal experience. Our scriptures speak about three steps to realisation. First is Shastra Pramana – is there a Pramana to this, is there somebody who has experienced this and written about it? Next is Tarka, which means you argue it within yourself, and find out the logical reasoning. Then you apply that Tarka logic and you only take what appeals to your judgement. The third step is Svanubhava – experience the truth for yourself by putting some effort. Then you are established in the truth. Most people take the scriptures, do not apply logic to it, and go about without even having a personal experience.” Swami then narrated the story of Bhrigu and his father Varuni, who was also his teacher. Through this story, Swami explained how the father ensured Bhrigu really understood God and experienced the oneness.
Swami said, “The real master understood that sweetness is God. Sweet is not a God. Sweet is a form of God. But what happened is that, over a period of time, ‘ness’ went away, and it became ‘sweet’ is God! And what emerged from sweet? ‘This sweet only is God. The rest of the sweets are not God.’ This is the case of somebody who has not experienced, and did not understand Brahma. They got into a Bhrama because this is all inexperienced knowledge.”
Swami went to say that the true understanding of God and happiness is everybody’s individual experience. “You can’t borrow the knowledge of God and say, ‘I know God.’ The more a person says, ‘I know God’, all the more you know he doesn’t know God! Because, God is an experience and not an object or knowledge to know. And the experience can be best described as sweeter than the sweetest thing on earth, or more happier than the happiest experience on earth!” Mangala Arati was offered, and Swami retired for the night.
The next morning, August 25, the Sai youth in Singapore took all the students around the island country, and they got to learn about the various cultures and traditions. Truly, these overseas trips for students is such an eye opener to them, as it brings about a lot of learning, and broadens their horizon. Swami proceeded to the office of Brother Kishore Parikh to bless the team with His guidance. After chairing the Board Meeting, He returned to Sai Anandam at around 2:30 p.m. for lunch and rest, while devotees and youth prepared for the evening Public Satsang.
Swami emerged at around 5:15 p.m. for the Public Satsang, amidst soulful Bhajans. Dr Ravi Pillay welcomed the gathering and made a beautiful prayer to Swami from the Shivapuran, “Not even for a moment that it takes to blink my eye, should You leave my heart!” Dr Pillay prayed to Swami to speak about this glorious phenomenon of Sri Madhusudan Sai. Sri B N Narasimha Murthy took to the podium and spoke about this greatest miracle of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, and how He is now fully manifesting in the physical body of Sri Madhusudan. He went on to speak about the profound experience which overwhelmed him on the day of Guru Purnima 2019, when Sri Madhusudan became Sri Madhusudan Sai. “This is not something which can be comprehended with our puny minds. Only a pure heart can experience and understand it.” He went on to quote from the Upanishads, ‘Yasya deve parā bhaktir, yathā deve tathā gurau, tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ, prakāśante mahātmanah’ – Unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master, all the imports of Vedic knowledge are automatically revealed. Sri Narasimha Murthy went on to explain that it was because of the absolute selfless love and devotion ‘parā bhaktir’ of Sri Madhusudan to his Master, that this experience was revealed to him that auspicious morning. “Though he has been a fortunate part of many divine experiences, Sri Madhusudan admitted that the divine ecstasy which he underwent that morning, was a first. The scriptures say, the one who knows God, becomes God – Bhramavid Bhramaiva Bhavati!”
Swami then beckoned Bhuvana Santhanam to share what He had told her about this phenomenon, which is still a bit difficult for many to comprehend. She went to quote Swami, “An example would be that of a mansion which has three floors. The ground floor is the consciousness of Madhusudan. The middle floor is the consciousness of Sathya Sai and the topmost floor is the ultimate supreme consciousness of Parabrahman. Earlier Madhusudan had access only to the ground floor where he could be only his human self – Madhusudan, and could come up to middle floor only with my permission. But now I have not only granted him access to the middle floor where he can become one with Me – Madhusudan Sai, but also given the access to the top floor where he can be the divine supreme self. This is the reward for all the service that he has done to Me.” She also spoke about how Sri Madhusudan has given up himself, inch by inch, piece by piece of himself, until nothing was left in him, and of him!
Swami started His divine discourse by saying, “Water bubble is born out of water, it floats in water and finally bursts and merges back in the same water. Man is the water bubble, Lord or God is the water. The good news is that we are all born of the same water, we are living in the same water and ultimately some day or the other we will go back to the same water. The question to be asked is do we know that we are also part of the water. We think we are different from the water, which leads to all the confusion. Like the reflections in the water bubble are all unreal, the bubble bursts, the reflections disappear. Likewise, when this realisation dawns that we are not different from the water, the bubble bursts and all these reflections of the world, all the achievements, all the relationships, all that we have ever done and imagined to do, they all just disappear in a trice and nothing remains, you become water. The existence of the bubble ceases to and then the bubble becomes the water. So all these reflections and illusions are only till such time that the bubble thinks its existence is different from that of the water. This is the truth of everyone. There is no other truth!
Everyone is born of the same Divine principle, everyone is living on the same Divine principle, and ultimately everyone has to merge in the same Divine principle. It is just the matter of when and how. For some the bubble bursts earlier, as a Guru may come and gives a small prick. The bubble bursts and become water. For some, it floats and floats, and continues to float for a while and bursts someday. That is all the difference. Everybody is going to burst some day or the other and all the illusion that we have gathered around us, the relationships, the wealth, the name, the positions, all the attachments, are all going to disappear as if they never existed. That is the truth at the end. That is why… This is the word of Sai that tells us the truth. This is the ultimate truth!”
Swami went to talk about the case of Sri Madhusudan, where there was immense love and devotion to God on one side, which was well complemented by the grace of God. “Without Guru’s Anugraha, it is not possible. Call Sai Baba your Guru or God, whichever way. Without a Guru’s Anugraha, it is not possible to find God. If God Himself has become the Guru, what greater fortune! The path is Him, the goal is Him. Can we be ever doubtful that we will never reach our goal? No! Because we know the path is also Him and the goal is also Him. So for sure this Guru will take us to our destination. That is Sathya Sai Baba as a Guru, who teaches this path of looking inward. See Always Inside – SAI. If you follow this path, you can be sure that you are going to meet your destination, because He Himself is the goal, He Himself is the path!”
Swami then answered a few questions before Mangala Arati. After Prasadam distribution, Swami blessed many families with interviews, before partaking His food, and retiring for the night.