Sunday, January 01, 2017
As the flight took off from the Bangalore International Airport to Columbo on the very first day of a spanking New Year, one could not help but ponder deep about the current phase of Bhagawan’s glorious mission. “I have much to accomplish in the last few years of this Avatar“, He had declared many decades ago. And every day this grand mission is gaining momentum, like it has never before. The Lord’s entourage on the first trip of the year included Sri B N Narasimha Murthy, Sri C Sreenivas, Dr Hanumanth Rao, Brother Madhusudan, Brother Anand Kadali, young Maria Tan (daughter of Mr Anthony and Karen Tan from Singapore), and Sister Bhuvana, who were welcomed with much love at the Bandaranaike International Airport by Mr Ravi Jayewardene, his devout wife Mrs Penny Jayewardene and the organising team. As always, special arrangements were made at the Arrivals Hall, and the entourage made their way out to a convoy of cars, as they proceeded on their one hour journey to Piliyandala.
Bhagawan manifested at the entrance of the Jayewardene residence and was welcomed with a lot of devotion and gratitude by all the devotees. Though this was a little past midnight, the loving Lord spoke and blessed everyone who were gathered at the residence. He asked Brother Nishanta, youth leader for Sri Lanka where he was going to stay for the night, as his house was an hour’s drive away Piliyandala. When Brother Nishanta said he was going to stay at the Jayewardene residence, and will be sleeping on a couch due to the lack of rooms, the compassionate Lord took pity on him and said, “Paapam”, and revealed something beautiful. Swami said, “This place is like a temple. In a temple, people can rest anywhere!”
Day One – Monday, January 02, 2017
Barely after a few hours of sleep, the Jayewardene residence was buzzing with activity from wee hours of the morning. While breakfast was being served on one side, Bhagawan blessed the Hon Speaker Sri Karu Jayasurya with an interview. Thereafter, a traditional Sri Lankan breakfast was served to the Lord. During the conversation, He spoke of how there is a permanent chair for Him in the room now, which was not the case earlier. He then said, “I am the Chitta Chora. I slowly come and take over everything of yours; not wealth, but the hearts of the devotees.” Indeed, the One who steals yearning hearts away!
At 9 A.M., Bhagawan’s entourage along with His chosen guests proceeded to the Ratmalana Airport to take a chartered flight yet again to Batticaloa. Devotees were eagerly waiting to receive everyone at the Army Airport in Batticaloa, in the midst of heavy showers. The drive from the Airport through the rain washed roads was a feast for the eyes. After a short refreshment break which was arranged at a Resort on the way to the Ashram land, a convoy of 12 cars with a police pilot vehicle lead the way for Swami and His guests. Mr Sutharshanom and his wife Mrs Selina from Singapore, who have offered the land to Swami for building the Ashram, School and Medical Centre, Mr Thiagarajan and his wife Mrs Shantini, Mr Gary Seaton and his wife Mrs Frances, who had arrived early were also part of Swami’s entourage.
The Lord first alighted at the site of the Sri Sathya Sai Karuna Nilayam Medical Clinic and commended the team on the swift progress of the construction work. He lighted the lamp and unveiled the Sarva Dharma stupa, and blessed everyone, promising to return soon when the building gets completed. “The baby has just been born. It has to crawl, grow and walk. It will happen as time progresses”, said the Lord. Thereafter, He proceeded to the Satsang area. Over 1200 people from the village, devotees and children had gathered to welcome Bhagawan. The Lord entered amidst a ‘Kavadi attam’ (traditional dance performed for Lord Subramanya) by the children of Kirankulam.
Soon after the traditional lighting of the lamp ceremony, a young girl, who was around eight years spoke in Tamil very eloquently about Swami’s life from His birth, and the continuing mission in a very succinct way. She reminded everyone that Swami has come to make each person a better human being suffused with love. This was followed by a dance performance, to the beat of a traditional Tamil song, by a Bal Vikas student from Kirankulam. More than 30 children from Talawalke Tea Estate, who had specially come all the way braving many challenges, performed a short musical skit suffused with messages from Swami’s life, thereafter. The compassionate Lord then gave away Awards of Excellence to students who are being trained by the Sai youth of Batticaloa.
Swami then commanded Smt Penny Jayewardene to deliver her opening remarks. She said, “Swami established this Foundation in July 2015. It was a joyous occasion for us as we were able to witness the unbroken love of Sathya Sai. It is joyous because after 30 years of bloodshed and war, there is some hope for all the people of this land.” Mrs Jayewardene went on to narrate how Swami christened the Foundation, and also spoke about the education wing where children are being educated both in Kirankulam and also in Dharmapuram.
The next speaker was Sri C Sreenivas, who spoke in Tamil, straight from the heart which touched every heart seated at the gathering. He said, “There is happiness and pride at this moment, as the future is in the safe hands of these children who are seated here with so much of love and devotion. My personal belief is that this Medical Clinic will become a lighthouse not only for the people of Kirankulam, but for the whole of Sri Lanka.” He prayed to the people not to see this facility as a hospital, as every initiative of Bhagawan, whether education or healthcare has been regarded as a temple. “This is going to become a Ananda Nilayam, a future centre of ‘Ananda’ or happiness. Apart from giving treatment, the transformation and the opportunity to do Seva will be immense. Swami’s love is manifested in a totally free of cost facility.” He prayed to Swami fervently to bless the Medical Clinic so that the first free heart surgery can be performed in the near future.
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy, took to the podium next and began his talk briefly in Tamil first. He expressed his joy and happiness of being in Batticaloa, and said, “We have experienced great devotion here in the children and all those gathered. In spite of the heavy showers, people have been seated here for a very long time, patiently. This shows the spontaneous love and devotion to God, which is very evident in the faces of everyone.
Sri Lanka is a Punya Bhoomi, a sacred and holy land. India and Sri Lanka have been sanctified and touched by Divine incarnations. 7000 years ago, Sri Rama blessed this land by the touch of His holy feet. 2500 years ago Lord Buddha came and blessed this land. Now, during our times, Bhagawan has come to shower His infinite love and blessings on everyone. No country outside India, other than Sri Lanka has had the fortune of three Divine incarnations blessing the land.” Sri Narasimha Murthy reminded everyone gathered that Lord Sri Rama gave His greatest assurance to mankind, when He said that a man or woman, animal or bird, says even once that he or she or it belongs to Him, they will be granted refugee and freed of fear; and about Lord Buddha who taught nonviolence and compassion. Sri Narasimha urged everyone to develop these values in life.
Bhagawan began His Divine discourse with a poem, “The reason for lack of peace in this world today, for the diminishing truths in recent times, and the fear of weapons increasing day by day, is selfishness. For someone who has selfless character, the whole world is a family. To teach you this broad mindedness, I have come here. God has given enough to everyone to live peacefully. Yet some have all of it, some have nothing; this is due to selfishness. There are people from India, Sri Lanka, Australia and Singapore seated on this dias. They are here to serve you all, as they all think ‘We are one’, with the feeling that they have another brother or sister here. It is their duty to love you all with the feeling that all belong to Swami. The purpose of the Foundation is to love and serve the people of Sri Lanka. Today, in the times when everything has a price, this Ashram should stand testimony as everything is offered free of cost. Where there is love there is compassion. Where there is compassion, there is service. This Medical Clinic should become an example to the whole world, not only Sri Lanka. For the hungry stomach there is Annam or food; for the mind there is Akshar or education; for body there is Aarogyam or health, and for peace of mind there is Anandam or the highest joy. The Ashram will serve people in these four ways, totally free of cost.” Swami also revealed that a heart hospital will be established in the years to come where free heart surgeries will be performed! He concluded His discourse by saying, “Today is a day which will go down in history.”
Tears of joy flowed from all eyes during the function. It was indeed a beautiful experience, in the midst of hearts which were beating only for their Lord. After Mangala Arati and lunch Prasadam, Swami proceeded to the Resort where lunch arrangements were made for Him and His guests. He also profusely blessed the owner of the Resort and his family. After Mangala Arati, Bhagawan’s entourage proceeded to the Airport for the flight back to Piliyandala.
After a couple of interviews, Swami was served dinner at the Jayewardene residence, and everyone retired after a long but blissful day.