Bhagawan’s second visit to Nigeria began with His entourage boarding the flight to Dubai on Friday, July 22. The connecting flight to Lagos, the capital of Nigeria was after 18 hours, and everyone utilised the lay over well to catch up on some much needed rest, after a glorious and packed Guru Purnima Celebrations at Sathya Sai Grama.
The next morning, Saturday July 23, the flight took off from the Dubai Airport at 7am, and after a six-and-a-half-hour midair rendezvous, Bhagwan’s entourage landed around noon in Lagos. A warm welcome awaited everyone by the hosts, Mr Anant Rao, Mr Ashok Pai, both former students from the Sathya Sai Institutions, along with Mr Ricky Sharma, an entrepreneur and an ardent devotee of Bhagawan, who were looking forward to bask in Swami’s Love for the next six days, in the country which was their home. The main highlight of the trip was going to be the inauguration of the new hospital in Enugu, which Swami had announced exactly a year ago.
The entourage arrived at the home of Sri Ashok Pai and Smt Swati Pai from the Murtala Muhammed Airport. The devout couple had spared no effort to ensure every comfort of Swami and His retinue, had been taken care of. After lunch and some rest, the evening Satsang commenced with soulful bhajans by Brothers Nishad, Sumeet Tappoo and others who had traveled from Mumbai to enliven these sessions spent in the Lord’s company.
Sri Narasimha Murthy addressed the gathered group of devotees, alumni and alumnae recounting how Swami, responding to the prayers of a distraught father whose child had been diagnosed by a debilitating heart disease, and had promised the people of Nigeria to gift a hospital to the region! He spoke of the devotion of the hosts, the Pais, and how they had been drawn to Bhagawan in the subtle form when on a particular morning, Swami appeared in a vision to Bro Ashok Pai in Nigeria and beckoned him to come to Muddenahalli. Recounting the day when Father Charles Ogada had first visited Bhagawan in Muddenahalli and his instant connect with his Lord, Sri Narasimha Murthy explained the current phase of Bhagawan’s mission.
Bhagawan’s discourse was urged everyone to go inwards, and find God within themselves instead of fruitlessly seeking it outside. He illustrated this with a story of the trinity of Bhahma, Vishnu and Shiva debating where to effectively hide spiritual realisation from man. After exhausting all options, they decide to put this ‘liberation giving knowledge’ within man’s own self, where man’s outwardly focused living would never realise the thing he seeks most, which in fact is within himself! “In order to recognise our own divinity, a lot of effort is required. We are born again and again into this world, we die again and again, and we get back into the mother’s womb again. When we are born, it is like getting an admission into a school. But just getting an admission is not sufficient. Out of the 84 lakh species, human birth is the most fortunate, but it is very unfortunate that we don’t put in efforts and reach our goal!”
Swami’s discourse was studded with beautiful analogies. Explaining how one should go inwards to realise one’s true identity, He gave the analogy of drilling for water where one encounters rocks, earths and sand (tamasic rajasic and Satwic qualities). Overcoming these obstacles, one reaches the water of divinity that one seeks.
Ending His talk, Bhagawan urged everyone to transform all that they do into spiritual experienced by offering it to God, and He asked all to lead a life of sacrifice. The discourse came to a close with Arati and prasadam, and it kindled among the gathered devotees, alumni and youth, memories of the Lord’s last visit to the beautiful land, and promised an equally enchanting week with Him!