To be in Kodaikanal with Bhagawan is the dream of every devotee and the ultimate fantasy of every Sai student. As the day dawned to a bright, sunny morning, it seemed like those very dreams had come true with their beloved Lord in their midst. The Lord too seemed to enjoy the morning warmth, as He walked down the steps leading to the Prayer Hall. Soulful Bhajans were in progress and as Swami walked down the aisle blessing everyone in the gathering, it was the perfect start to the day! After a couple of Bhajans, Bhagawan beckoned for the Mangala Arati, so that there would be no delay for the morning programme.
One of the hallmarks of Bhagawan’s visit to Kodaikanal includes boat rides in the Kodai lake and shopping at the Tibetan market by the lakeside. And so He had planned that the women devotees and girls students go ‘marketing’ as He calls it, and the most compassionate Lord even distributed envelopes of pocket money, so they could purchase gifts for their family members. The purpose of the shopping, He explained was to generate some income for the shopkeepers who are mostly refugees from Tibet. Having lost their country, hearth and homes, they had relocated to this tourist spot, so they could earn some money and support their families. The all-inclusive, all-encompassing love of the Lord!
The men devotees and boys students were also sent to enjoy boat rides in the picturesque Kodai Lake. Bhagawan too drove down to the lakeside to bless those fortunate shopkeepers who were extremely happy, and expressed their gratitude with shouts of ‘Sairam’ ‘Sairam’ as Swami’s car passed them. Swami thereafter returned to His residence, partook His lunch and retired for the afternoon.
May 16 – Evening
As everybody reassembled at the Hill Top Bungalow, the evening Bhajans commenced at around 5 p.m. Once Bhagawan was seated, a musical offering was made by the alumni of the Sri Sathya Sai educational institutions along with a few youth members. The multi-lingual programme included songs in Tamil, Kannada, English, Hindi, Telugu, a Marathi Abhang and Sufi Qawalis. Pleased with their rendition, Swami acknowledged the efforts made by the singers for practising the same. The evergreen finale song- ‘I keep feeling Your Love’ had the audience too joining in, expressing their love for Swami.
A particular song dear to Swami – ‘Sai Matha Biddalam Anadaram’ was sung that spoke of the coming together of all His children, and unitedly serving Him by serving humanity. He reinstated that only those who obey and follow Sai Matha’s teachings and carry on the work of Sai Matha, can be called as Children of Sai.
Bhagawan then spoke of how the alumni were involved in various service projects such as the Annapoorna Breakfast programme, supporting His educare mission through the Each One Educate One (E1E1) initiative, etc. He also said that since each person is a spark of the Divine and a child of God, each person has an obligation towards society to better the lives of the lesser fortunate brothers and sisters, and provide them what they lack, be it education, healthcare or basic necessities. He then blessed all the participants with tokens of His love. The shower of blessings continued as He partook His dinner with the alumni and alumnae, satiating every pining heart and yet leaving them yearning for more. Truly the thirst for God and His love seems unquenchable!
Thus ended another memorable yet insightful day for all those present, with one of life’s greatest blessings – to live, learn and bask in God’s proximity!