Summer Course 2002 Begins
(From: April Skrobiza)
16 May 2002 11:30 am Thursday Brindavan
My Dears, Today was the beginning of Summer Course 2002. Being
Thursday, the crowds for morning darshan were very large. I did
not get into Sai Ramesh hall, along with lots of others. Only the
first 6 or so token lines got in the back section.
But, as Swami's grace would have it, I got a nice seat on the
outside looking straight into Swami's compound (beyond His gate)on
the right side (ladies side). It's the first time I've sat there
and been able to see Him walk from the Lotus house all the way to
the hall without obstruction (at 7:00 am). He stopped and talked
with several men along the way, including Anil Kumar.
As He came closer to us, He stopped by the VIP ladies bench (from
outside the hall) and spoke lovingly to several of the ladies. He
usually does this in the morning. He even allows one maharini to
kiss His hands. It is very, very sweet to see.
After Swami went through the hall, He went up to the stage via the
women's stairs (I could see this through gate #2 entrance) and
stood by His chair for a moment listening to the current bhajan.
As soon as that bhajan was finished, He signaled for arti to begin,
lit the lamp and walked back down the stairs toward the exit,
where we were seated. Even the Prashanti staff, who are here for
Summer Course, were seated outside with us today. Of course, they
were right at the entrance to gate #1.
Swami came out of the hall and came over to where we devotees were
seated and gave us a nice wave blessing with a beautiful smile. He
began to walk back to the lotus house, when Anil Kumar came on the
loudspeaker and announced that today was the beginning of Summer
Course. There would be an inaugural discourse by Swami to students,
staff and invited guests at the auditorium following darshan. He
also said that Swami had graciously given His consent to address
all the devotees each afternoon during the next 9 days.
Swami had stopped to listen to what Anil Kumar had announced. We
could tell that He wanted something else said, and saw Him send
someone to tell Anil Kumar to say that those invited to the
inaugural discourse were to go immediately to the auditorium.
We had a nice long "after" darshan as Swami lingered in the
driveway talking to several men before going inside.
I decided to go over to the auditorium to see where I might get a
view of Swami coming and going and maybe even giving the discourse.
I followed my heart and it lead me to the guest house (where I go
on Wednesdays and Fridays to practice bhajans). I was able to stay
there and watch Swami come to the auditorium in His red car and
even watch the discourse on a TV monitor that was set up across
the way for overflow. But, there was no overflow. As a matter of
fact, it seemed that there were not that many people attending
For the next couple of hours, I sat, watched and listened to the
inaugural activities. The weather was cool and breezy. I had a
seat in a chair(!) under the shade of several trees. There were
multi-colored flags strung around the grounds near the auditorium
and the water fountain in front of the school was spraying water
very prettily in the breeze.
There were two speakers before Swami's discourse. I could not hear
what they were saying. Even when Swami was talking, it was
difficult to understand. Sometimes the wind would blow the words
away, sometimes a car or truck on the street would honk and
obscure the text. But, I was able to get some of Swami's discourse
and share it with you:
The topic was self-confidence and self respect. He told the story
about President Lincoln (Swami uses this example quite often) as a
young boy, being teased by his classmates for having poor clothing.
When he came home all upset and told His step-mother, she gave him
some wonderful wisdom. She told him that the best wealth is that
of self-confidence (self-respect). If he remembered that, he would
be far wealthier than those who had nice clothing. Lincoln
remembered this all his life and it took him to the highest post
in the land - president.
Swami continued to speak and at one point said - Purify your heart
with love and those around you will atomatically change. Develop a
good character. An interesting bit of information was given - Anil
Kumar said Swami had not taken any food for the past month, yet He
is always blissful (or youthful). Swami said in English: My Life
Is My Message. You'll be stong and healthy if you follow Bhagavan.
Toward the end He said: You are born to serve, not to rule. Swami
seemed to finish by singing "Sai Bhajana Bina", but after the
song, He continued to say a few more words, then fianlly signaled
for the arti lamp. After lighting the lamp, He walked immediately
out of the auditorium, got into His car and went out of the school
grounds, back to the lotus house. It was 10: 30 am. The Summer
Course inaugurual function had come to a close.
At His Feet, April