In the early hours of September 17, the entourage landed in Singapore for a two-day stopover en-route to India. A satsang was organised in the house of Sri Kishore and Smt Rekha Parekh this morning. Close to 75 devotees had gathered on a Saturday morning at their residence. As Bhajan’s were underway, Bhagawan arrived around 11:30 am, to a warm welcome by the Parekh family amidst Veda chanting.
Bhagawan asked Sri Narasimha Murthy to address the gathering. Sri Narasimha Murthy shared the highlights of the Fiji trip – Bhoomi Puja of the Sai Prema Ashram and the inauguration of the mobile medical unit among other solemn and the divine fun aspects, including the lessons that Swami benevolently taught all in the process. Reminding all of the extraordinary times we live in, he urged all to offer themselves at Bhagawan’s feet and thereby redeem themselves.
The next speaker that morning was Sri C Sreenivas, who began by expressing expressing how he felt an abundance of Love that morning at the Parekh household in Swami’s divine presence. He said he witnessed how each one there that morning had come to find the expression to Love, which had sublimated in their Love for the Lord. The other sublime feeling that he found expression that morning was that of Service. He asked everyone present to strengthen these feelings which would eventually help one to transcend from the ordinary to the Divine.
Bhagawan’s divine message began with a quote of Kabir, “Man remembers God only when he is in trouble, and forgets when he is in good times. Why would the bad times come if one remembers God during the good times. The Dharma of Love or Prema Dharma, wherein one loves everyone unconditionally will protect him.” Swami said Nature is a good example of this Dharma. One can only understand the nature of God by service. One can only understand the Love of God by loving others.
“God only gives what is good for you out of his love. But the selfish mind thinks Swami does not love me. Getting and forgetting is the nature of the self. Today, so many people have gathered here, drawn by Love. Wherever devotees are and where the Lord is, the place transforms into a temple and becomes a confluence of all sacred things.”
The discourse was followed by interviews to the host family and lunch prasadam to all devotees.
Evening Satsang at Sai Anandam Ashram
The evening programme was at Sai Anandam Ashram, where a public Satsang had been organised. The hall was filled to its capacity, with many eager devotees waiting to speak to their beloved Lord. Moreover, it was the first time that the entire Satsang was being video broadcast live to the rest of the world (a first for any Satsang outside of India).
The first speaker for the day was Sri Narasimha Murthy who gave a background on Bhagawan’s current continuing educational mission and its genesis in the dream of one man – Sri Madiyal Narayan Bhat – who started the institutions in Alike and Muddenahalli, based on Bhagawan’s model of values-based integral education. He spoke about the time when Swami first announced His intent to have such temples of knowledge in every district of India by a innocent question to Sri Narasimha Murthy, asking how many districts India had!
Drawing the attention of the audience of yet another legacy left behind by Sri Madiyal Narayan Bhat, Sri Narasimha Murthy spoke at length about the Tyaga Jeevis, a dedicated group of around 40 Tyaga Jeevis who would work full time in Bhagwan’s mission. Mr John Hislop had been very inspired and amazed at the Tyaga Jeevi group and had asked Swami (about which he has written in his book – Conversations with Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba) why this jewel among His institutions had not been known around the world. Swami had said he had kept it under wraps intentionally and would reveal it to the world at the right time. Sri Narasimha Murthy said the time had come now! As today, these Tyaga Jeevis are running the institutions which are being established all across Karnataka.
Sri Narasimha Murthy spoke of the epochal times we live in, when the advent of divinity upon earth is ushering in a golden age, at a time when the weapons of mass destruction can obliterate the world many times over. He said each one of us had a choice of either being a witness, a participant or a critic on His work.
The next speaker blessed to speak that evening was Sri C Sreenivas. He began by confessing he was overwhelmed and embarrassed, as He said much had to be done as the challenges of the present day were so mammoth. Taking lines from a Bhajan -‘ Mujhe Bhakti do, Mujhe Shakti do, Mujhe Mukti do Bhagawan’, he interpreted these words to his own journey in Swami’s service. Bhakti, he said, is about making the choice; Shakti is about taking the chance and Mukti is the change which is brought about in oneself, by Bhakti and Shakti coming together. This has been the journey of the Raipur Hospital – Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital. Today, the Stanford School of Medicine considers its honour to be associated with this hospital!
Sri C Sreenivas than shared a very pleasant and pride inducing news. That morning He had received a letter from the Government of India saying that the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevini Hospital has been awarded the status of a National Center for Pediatric Cardiac Care, thus designating it as a recognised premier institution of the nation!
Mr Issac Tigrett spoke next, and urged all to give up viewing God as seperate from oneself. He reminded each one about their own divinity, and spoke of his own spiritual journey with yogis in the past, which had been a transformative process. All great masters, he pointed out, have said two things – “God and you are one and everything is a illusion.” He spoke of how Swami had brought about these distinctions in his life. He urged all to look at the sameness and divinity in all. He said “we are going through the darkest hour before the dawn and each one should train the mind to listen to the heart, and be kind towards others.”
Swami’s discourse was on the theme of true happiness. He began by saying everything man does, he does to attain happiness. “True happiness that does not change with time is hard to find. As one desire is satisfied, man goes to the next one. Going after worldly desires is like climbing the shadow of a coconut tree, or like a dog chewing on a dry bone and mistaking its own blood from its gums for juice from the bone, and relishing it. Man is lost in this world and prays to God for guidance, Swami guides them by encouraging them to take the first step without fear. Only with the knowledge of the Self, can one achieve redemption. What is the use of investing in something that is temporary like body, relationships, wealth and worldly acquisitions? Only God who is permanent can give permanent happiness. And only a Guru can guide one through this path. Satsang (the company of the good) is the first step in this part. It is like keeping a pot of water inside a larger pot of water. The water will not evaporate.”
Devotees from both Australia (who were watching the Satsang live) and Singapore asked a few questions thereafter, and the Lord lovingly answered them, before the Satsang ended with Arati and dinner prasadam.