May 13 – Morning
Rudyard Kipling said, “God cannot be everywhere, so He created mothers.” But little did he realise that God would incarnate in the human form and shower the love of a thousand mothers all at one go, at the same time, to every being in the Universe. May 13 is dedicated to all Mothers and celebrated as ‘Mothers Day’, and though Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has reminded all several times that it is not about celebrating the mother on one particular day, as she needs to be celebrated every single day for all her sacrifices and selfless deeds, it is definitely a day to offer gratitude to the Divine Mother for all that she continues to do for her children in all worlds, out of Her compassion and mercy. So, an emotional morning was about to unfold, as Swami entered the Prayer Hall for the Public Satsang. From beautiful roses to cards, devotees and students were exuding their love for Bhagawan, the Jagan Matha, the source of all existence and sustenance of this creation!
The devotees of Singapore were all set and ready to offer a bouquet of songs at Bhagawan’s Lotus Feet. The songs heightened all emotions, and one could see even Bhagawan visibly moved and touched. Then, and now; physical or subtle, seeing the Lord cry touches the core of the heart, and stirs the soul. There was not a dry eye in the Hall, for every heart cried for its Divine Mother who was seated in front of them, in Her cosmic form. After a group photograph with His ‘Singapore Gang’ as He fondly calls them, Swami beckoned young Avi Gopinath, a student of First Year Pre University to address the gathering. He and his brother Rishi who hail from Canada joined the Institution last academic year, and have been under the Divine transformative influence. Today, their only desire is to serve in Swami’s mission. Avi traced the journey from the time Swami asked them to join, while He was visiting the UK. Swami then called upon Rishi as well to speak, who poured his heart out thanking Swami for all that He has done for them. Swami showered His blessings on both and gifted them with tokens of His love, and a cherished photograph.
The next speaker was Dev Archan from Singapore. Having studied Petroleum Engineering, Swami has asked Dev to relocate from Malaysia to Singapore a few months ago. He said, “The only thing I have learnt is that we are with God, and we simply have to follow Him. When I walk around with a camera in hand, trying to take pictures of Swami, He often tells me to just capture Him in the heart, instead of the camera. This is all God’s immense love and mercy.”
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy reminisced how his mother had blessed him when he took to the path of God. He urged all parents to allow their children to walk in the footsteps of God, should they insist or even show a little interest. He appealed that God is above mother and father, and narrated the example of Bharatha, who gave up his mother when she came between Lord Rama and him.
Swami in His divine discourse said that for all the creatures in the Universe, mother is verily their life. “There is nothing greater than mother’s love. There is no mother without a child, or a child without mother; this is an inseparable relationship. Therefore, the first place is given to mother in all cultures. Mother is verily your God. What is that quality which makes her equal to God? It is selfless love and sacrifice. These two qualities are in God and Mother. As long as the mother has infinite selfless love, one can say mother is equal to God. When selfishness takes over due to the changing times, then a mother looses the status of God. As long as one has selfless love and sacrifice and an urge to serve others, they are God.”
Swami spoke at length about Mother Easwaramma, and said that she was a very great and chaste lady. “When I declared that I am Sathya Sai Baba, many devotees began to come from all over the world to offer service. She came and prayed for a hospital, good drinking water and a school. She always prayed for the welfare of others, and such a mother became equal to God. Her heart was full of sacred love, and she never worked for any selfish desires.
There are many expectations in the mothers today because of worldly desires, and they also induce desires in their children. Mothers must demonstrate the great ideal of devotion, sacrifice, and selfless service. Parents should take children to God, and similarly, children should take their parents to God. Mutually, they should help each other towards God!”
Mangala Arati was offered, and Bhagawan proceeded to partake His lunch with all the Mothers. He stopped mid way in the garden and clicked individual photographs with few lucky guests and staff. The lunch was a wonderful session, and absolutely touching to see the Mother of all Mothers dole out pot loads of love and compassion to everyone seated, as He blessed each Mother seated with Prasadam, before retiring for the afternoon.
May 13 – Evening
As Bhajans began around 5 p.m. Swami came down to the Hall like an excited child! He is, when He has to distribute sarees! The colour of the sarees, the shade, the border and pallu design, the Lord decides on everything! And it is an amazing experience to simply watch Him in the midst of the saree selection and distribution. Endearing, to say the least! Boys running up and down to get more sarees, volunteers running behind the Lord one after the other, to ensure there is a steady supply going to Him, and of course every guest, staff and student eagerly waiting to get a saree from the Lord’s hands. At the end, it’s almost like a war is over! The Lord has won and is mighty pleased and beams triumphantly as He sees a saree in every hand. Simply watching the whole process is cuteness personified! Only and only God can do this!
As Swami took His seat, an evening of music was about to unfold. A special programme of songs in various languages including English, Kannada, Hindi, Tamil and Greek were put together by youth, students, staff and devotees. From a five-year-old Sai Narayan from Greece who sang ‘You are my sunshine Swami’, to an elderly ardent devotee Ms Rita Danielle; from a Carnatic self composed swaram by Dr Hiramalini Sheshadri, to a hilarious song by Mr Cass Smith as he pleaded with the Lord to take him around the world with Him (and Swami kept saying ‘No’ in a nonchalant way, resulting in ripples of laughter); from an emotional ‘O Maa O Maa’ by the students to an upbeat Greek song by Mrs Anna Papamarkou, to many other songs, it was an entertaining evening for the Lord. A few Tamil compositions on mother on demand by the Mother of Mothers, Sai Ma, brought tears to Her own eyes. All the songs were wonderfully arranged and accompanied on the piano by Swami’s very own magician musician Dimitris Lambrianos. The room reverberated in divine love, and Swami urged everyone to share this love with others who may not be fortunate enough to experience it. “This love alone can transform others. If you light one candle, you can light many more. Light is the same, candles may be many. Likewise, what you have felt and whatever you feel, share with everyone.”
Mangala Arati was offered, and Swami proceeded yet again to the dining hall to partake His dinner with all the guests.