‘Sai Love’ in Kuching was abuzz with activity from 3:00 a.m, as the kitchen team which comprised of a few ladies who had specially flown to Kuching from various parts of Malaysia, were busy preparing breakfast for Swami and His entourage who were departing by an early flight to Singapore. After Mangala Arati, and blessing all the devotees and promising them of a visit very soon, Swami proceeded to the airport along with His students. Lord Sai can simply ‘walk across the sky’, and so He bids farewell to His entourage, when they reach the airport! The excitement of the students was quite palpable for they would finally be seeing Singapore, and of course Swami’s ‘Singapore Gang’! Upon arrival in the afternoon, everyone were welcomed with much love, and soon were on their way to their respective accommodations. In the evening, Swami and His entourage made their way to the residence of Brother Umashankar and his wife Smt Vidya for Satsang and dinner. Before arriving at their residence, Swami first blessed the home of Brother Krishnan Varadarajan and his wife Smt Vasundhara. After spending more than 45 minutes at their home, Swami proceeded to Brother Umashankar’s home. He entered amidst Bhajans which continued for close to 45 minutes in the Divine Presence. Swami beckoned Brother Umashankar to speak to everyone gathered. He thanked Swami for His presence and spoke about the purpose of life, which he believed was – ‘to give or give it up’! He went to speak about the beauty for giving, and urged everyone to selflessly serve fellow beings.
Swami then called upon one of the University students Madan Kumar to speak about his heart ailment, and how he was cured in His hospital. He thanked Swami profusely and said that he was cured by the Lord, and hence wanted to dedicate his entire life serving others in His divine mission. Swami then asked for Nirvana Shatakam to be chanted, and then blessed a few families with interviews. Dinner was served to the Lord, and then He departed back to the Pillay residence.
Students went on a tour of the city next morning, March 16, while Swami and the elders rested. Sai Anandam Ashram, the very first among the 18 Ashrams which was established by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in His continuing mission, bustled with activity in preparation for the Public Satsang all morning. Eager devotees queued up from 3:30 p.m. waiting to be seated, and of course the eager Lord was also waiting to be amidst His dear ones, and in fact came out as early as 04:45 p.m. amidst Bhajans!
A loving welcome was offered to the Lord after more than 45 minutes of melodious and soulful Bhajans. Thereafter, Sri B N Narasimha Murthy spoke to everyone gathered about Swami’s wonderful mission which is gaining greater momentum with every passing second.
Like Swami has been slowly, but surely revealing to all devotees around the world that He will eventually stop Discourses very soon, the evening Divine Discourse was short as expected, but pregnant with deep philosophies. The devotees of Singapore are very dear to Swami, as they have been selflessly working towards the fruition of various projects, not only in the recent past, but for many decades now. The core team of 14 families have had the great fortune of not only having many blessed moments with dear Bhagawan during His physical sojourn, and instrumental in supporting many projects, but they continue to do so with more gusto even today! These are a group of devotees who undertake projects even before Swami commands! Many around the world generally wait to be told by Swami on what should be done, but these are a bunch of ‘God crazy’ devotees who pre-empt what He would want, and lovingly offer it at His Lotus Feet, much to His joy, every single time. Swami often says that this is the way devotees should connect with Him internally and lead from the front!
Swami said, “For many reasons, Singapore is dear to Me. It is not the question of whether it is the city which needs Swami or city which Swami needs. More than anything else, this place is full of devotees whom Swami wants! There are lot of devotees who want Swami for various reasons – Arthi, Artharthi, Jijnasu and Jnani – and there are the four kind of devotees who come to God. The first ones – Arthi – come because of their problems and pains, so that God would resolve and relieve them. Second ones – Artharthi – come for fulfilment of certain worldly desires – name, fame, position, power, marriage, jobs and the likes. Thirdly, there are those who are curious about the nature of God, and want to experience God, know the truth; they are the Jijnasus, the curious ones. And then come the Jnanis who know the nature of God, and don’t desire anything. Even if they are in pain and distress, they don’t ask God for its cure or relief, because they know God knows everything and will do what is best for them. And with that faith and surrender they come and this Singapore city has so many such devotees, Jnanis, who don’t desire anything from God; they only want God for God’s sake! Though all are devotees, these are the best of the devotees who desire God for God’s sake. And wherever such devotees are there, it is natural for God to go to them. Only a flower full of nectar can attract the bees. If you put a plastic flower, however beautiful it might be, you cannot fool the bees and the butterflies. You can fool human beings, but not bees. Likewise, only where there is pure love for God, those who crave only for God, doesn’t ask, doesn’t want, and knows that – ‘God knows everything, so He will do what is best at that right time in the right way and the right place, I need not remind God, I need not ask for it, He will do what is best’, and when they come with this surrender and faith, they are the dearest to God! So these are the devotees, the Singapore devotees who are an example for the rest of the world.
People always ask as to why Swami goes often to Singapore. It is not because Singapore is located in such a way, and Singapore airport is the most convenient, though some may think and argue that way, which could be only an outer reason. The real inner reason is that the devotees in Singapore despite being surrounded by so much of materialism, still have their heart established in the feeling of God. And all the time, their thoughts, words, actions are directed towards God. They do many activities. They are professionals, they have businesses to run. But all the time their minds are focused on God, and this is the way to live in the world! You live in the world, but let the world not live in you. You use the world, but let the world not use you. That is the kind of people here, and this pleases Me a lot. And so I always love to be in the company of such devotees. Imagine the plight of God. For a moment you think – how many requests, how many prayers, how many orders, demands He receives every moment from around the world. Amidst all those, if He just receives one simple plea or a prayer from a devotee with a heart of gold who wants God for God’s sake, will not God be happy and go there because the other prayers have been coming for millions of years, and will continue to come for millions of years again?! Only those of you who want God for God’s sake, can attract God’s attention! And so God keeps coming here, as He loves to be in the company of such people, as they are His best, best friends, His best comrades, and His best companions! Gopikas were like that. You were all singing Krishna Bhajans. They didn’t desire anything, nor did they say, ‘Our butter should be better quality; we can export it to Europe or America.’ They were happy with whatever they produced for the day, and sold it by end of day. They only wanted to be with Krishna because they enjoyed being with Krishna. They had no other desire, aspirations, nothing at all! That is why Krishna loved to be with the Gopikas. His mission did not allow Him to stay back in Brindavan, but if there would have been an opportunity and a chance, He would never have left Brindavan because that is where He found His people, people who loved Him for His sake. God loves such devotees! Let Singapore become a Brindavan, where there are Gopis and Gopalas whose only thought is to be with God, to love God, to serve God and nothing else to desire or ask for. When such a thing happens, why three times a year, every month I will come and spend time here!”
Swami then went on to reveal about Prema Sai, the upcoming Shiva statue, and urged everyone to learn and chant the Nirvana Shatakam or Atma Shatkam by Adi Shankaracharya. Swami’s students from India present in the Satsang, beautifully chanted the Shatakam, and Swami also mercifully explained the meaning to everyone. Mangala Arati was offered, and dinner Prasadam was distributed to all gathered, while Swami spent more than an hour blessings a few chosen devotees with interviews. Thereafter, He proceeded to Dr Ravi Pillay’s residence where Swami’s entourage had gathered. Swami lovingly spoke about Dr Pillay and his father, and their selfless sacrifices which have ensured the success of many projects of Bhagawan. After blessing everyone with Prasadam, dinner was served to Swami by the Pillay family, after which He retired for the night.