The penultimate day in Rishikesh was very special when Swami beckoned all the students of the Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Excellence who had accompanied Him for an exclusive interview. This was a vital, essential and an important session for everyone. He guided them towards themselves, as He re-emphasised the importance of time, as He distributed wristwatches to everyone. He said, “See! If you keep your mind in one pointed meditation for about 21 mins, it will be liberated from the cycles of birth and death! Focusing the mind for 11 seconds is Concentration, 11*11 seconds is Contemplation and 11*11*11 seconds is Meditation.” He also spoke about the six virtues being Shama, Dama, Uparathi, Titiksha, Shraddha and Samadhana which all must develop for spiritual practices. He told the students to practice ‘Thought Meditation’ which was the highest of all.
Swami also told the students to keep their thought on self-realisation and encouraged them to read books on spirituality and philosophy from various cultures, so the opportunity is not lost and they will play their roles well. He said since He is aware of all the routes, He is showing the shortest path to reach the goal! What a blessing!
Swami then moved to the banks of Ganga where Narayan Seva was organised for over 350 Sadhus. These Sadhus have left everything and chose God, and they depend only on God! Swami told that those who leave everything for Him and depend only on Him are very dear to Him. They were blessed by Swami as He distributed clothes and served food to them.
In the evening, Swami came to the banks of the Ganges yet again for the Ganga Arati, and thereafter blessed all the devotees with His presence at the Satsang venue. During the Ganga Arati, Pujya Sri Chidananda Saraswati Ji expressed his gratitude to Swami for visiting Rishikesh, and Swami expressed His love for all the help and support that he had provided for a comfortable stay for the whole entourage. Swami also promised that He would get His devotees to ‘Paramarth Niketan’ every year, much to the delight of all the devotees!
Swami then proceeded to the Satsang canopy along with Sri Chidanand Saraswathi ji. Swami distributed clothes to the Rishikumaras, and then also blessed each person gathered with a pocket sized ‘Bhagavad Gita’ book, and told everyone to study at least one Shloka every day. He reminded that it was of no use if kept it in the pocket. He added, “Whenever you get free time read the Shlokas and contemplate on it.” The previous day was Gita Jayanti, and it was indeed a precious gift for everyone to take home!
The next day, December 2 most of the devotees and students went for an early morning walk to Ram and Lakshman Jhula, took a dip in the holy Ganges, and also collected the sacred water to share with others who were not able to join the divine trip. Swami granted many interviews that morning, and later proceeded to the Jolly Grant Airport to return to Muddenahalli. Everyone returned with their hearts filled with love and gratitude for Swami for having recharged their batteries with greater fervor to serve Him more than ever before!