By Dr Ravi Pillay, Singapore

Traveling with Swami in the 1950’s and 60’s was a magical time of the mission. Both my wife and I had always longed to experience this ourselves and we are eternally grateful to our Divine Mother Sai for making it possible. In the Far East, our first spiritual adventure with Swami was to Tokyo.

Swami stopped over in Singapore in March 2015 for 2 days. Anthony and Karen Tan had gone ahead to Tokyo to prepare for Swami’s welcome. By His Grace, a suitable 3 bedroom  service apartment in the prime Ropongi area was leased for 3 days. This was unusual as the normal lease was a minimum one week. Swami’s Divine Grace was evident in not only this but also in the venue selection and all other arrangements.

The satsang was held the next day at Yokohama in a commercial building. Just before Swami went for the satsang, He spoke to a few of us and said the following; “when you build a building and don’t have a strong foundation and you have some doubt about the the strength of the foundation, you should not build the building. Likewise, you should not give scope for doubts in spirituality. You must clear all the doubts in the beginning. You can’t lead a spiritual life on the foundation of doubt. Therefore, in the olden days, neither will the Guru accept the disciple nor will the disciple accept the Guru very easily.”

Once a Guru has spoken a word, the disciple takes it as his life’s mission. Whatever happens, he does not give up the word of the Guru.

“First, they will work and live together, only after a certain number of years of living together only then, will the Guru give diksha. Till then the disciple just has to be a servant and follow whatever the Guru says. Nowadays, Gurus are different. Earlier they will put you through a lot of hardships. They will test you, your patience and perseverance. Once they accept you, they will see to it that you cross the ocean of samsara. You will attain the highest.

Once a Guru has spoken a word, the disciple takes it as his life’s mission. Whatever happens, he does not give up the word of the Guru. It is not the matter whether the Guru is powerful or not; but the faith in the Guru’s word is very powerful. Faith alone can take you across.”

So much I speak; not every word that I speak is followed by everyone. Like the farmer that throws the seeds, some of the seeds germinate and some don’t. It depends on the soil. Those which fall on the rock, they do not germinate. Those that fall on fertile land, they germinate and become the crop.

Likewise, all that I speak, it does not really make a difference to many people’s lives. Because many of them don’t follow. Following is like sprouting or germination of the seed and becoming a plant. If you don’t follow, the seed will remain a seed and after some time the seed will lose its potential and will not be able to become a plant. The way you feel, that is the way you become. If you believe, you will become what you believe.

Swami had explained to us that He was travelling the world to make sure all His devotees develop a strong foundation for their spiritual growth. The sweet Lord was searching for His beloved ones so that He could guide and cajole them. He wanted the divinity within them to germinate and grow and He was providing them the fertile soil of love.

The Japanese devotees were overjoyed that the Lord of the universe had travelled all the way to bless them. Nearly all of them did not speak a word of English, yet many were crying in the presence of their Lord. Everyone could feel the palpable Divine love between master and disciple that day.

Our next journey with Swami was to Macau in September 2015. A Chinese family from Macau had come to Singapore in June and Swami asked them lovingly; “will you all like to invite me to Macau?” They were all stunned and immediately said yes.

I was perplexed as Macau is the casino capital of the world but even here, there are devout God–loving devotees who yearn for him. I realized that Swami was teaching all His devotees that the whole of creation is His and that we should not judge anyone. He will travel to the ends of the world searching for His devotees.

“Just as the lift travels up and down, God travels down to earth to elevate man to the highest.”

— Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai

A simple but elegant satsang was organized for Swami and while travelling in the elevator, Swami remarked, “just as the lift travels up and down, God travels down to earth to elevate man to the highest.”

It has always been said by many Sai devotees when Swami was in the physical, that the ‘Latin devotion’ of Swami is an exquisite divine experience. It was with untold joy that Swami gave Shyamini and I permission to accompany Him on His first South American Sojourn.

Argentina has the largest Sai following in South America. Their devotion to Swami is legendary among the Sai fraternity. It was evident from the impeccable arrangements made for Swami’s guests and in all the functions that were organized; whether at Jorge Berra’s home, the public satsang in the city or at the home of one of the devotees, the Divine outpouring of love at each event touched all our hearts and we returned home drenched in His love.

Bariloche; on the shores of a pristine lake and overlooking the Andes mountains, was the setting of the country retreat after Buenos Aires. Mr. Gustavo had built Swami a breath-taking residence. Swami‘s room had a view of the Andes which we felt must have reminded Swami of the Himalayas. Again, the South Americans gave Swami endless pleasure in their total surrender and devotion to Him.

The last leg of the journey was to Rio De Janeiro. Arriving late at night and taking a small boat to an island was an experience in itself. The next 3 days, Swami spent showering His love on a small group of Brazilian devotees. It showed us that it was not the number of devotees that mattered to Swami but how much they yearned for Him.

We can never thank our dearest Mother Sai enough for allowing the both of us a glimpse of His glory in all corners of the world.

As Swami has said; “as much as devotees are happy in the presence of the Lord, the Lord is happy in the presence of His devotees. It is a mutual joy.”