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Sri Rathnakar in Leicester

A beautiful evening with Swami’s nephew

On Monday 2nd September, Leicester, affectionately called a ‘second Prasanthi’ by lots of the Sai devotees, had the immense and priceless privilege to welcome a much esteemed person, who had not only the Grace to study in the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning in Puttaparthi, but also to be born in the physical family of our beloved Lord! This esteemed person is none other than Sri Rathnakar, Swami’s nephew. None of us can actually truly realize what a blessing it is to be born in Swami’s immediate family, but suffice it to say that it was such a blessing to have him as our guest speaker.

After a beautiful and divine Retreat in Wales the previous weekend, where lots of us had the golden opportunity to listen to inspirational speakers (Sravanam), and recollect His Glory (Mananam), a second opportunity to rejoice in pure vibrations was given by Bhagawan for those who were in the Retreat as well as for those who were not able to go.

More than 300 people gathered at Ram Mandir in the upper hall, which had been delicately and beautifully decorated, in a purple tone. Prayers and bhajans welcomed one and all to immerse oneself in a divine atmosphere and connect with our Swami. The programme anchor for the evening, brother Sanjay Samani, a long time Sai devotee, came on stage to welcome our National Chair Dr. Kiran Patel, who then warmly introduced Sri Rathnakar. From that instant, all the devotees silently and passionately listened to Swami’s nephew who instilled in us, by narrating various divine experiences, the awareness that, actually, we cannot ever fathom the infinite blessing we have been granted in knowing Swami; to have lived during His time here on earth as a human being; and to have experienced Him. Do we realize what a great Grace we have received? Do we truly realize that we have lived during the physical presence on Earth of a Purna Avatar? We are amazingly ‘lucky’, if we can say so, to have Swami in our life. Who would take care of us like He does? Who would have that selfless and everlasting Pure Love for us, inspite of whatever mistakes we commit? Swami gives us the Love of a thousand mothers, he said! Sri Rathnakar then narrated some of the details of the terrible car accident that he was involved in, where he suffered multiple leg fractures. He was not able to walk and his body was aching very badly. Swami took so much care of him and enquired very regularly about his health, showering his Love and Care on him as if He was his real mother, and even more than that! This was just to give a small glimpse of His Divine Love.

After Sri Rathnakar’s very touching and inspiring talk, Dr. Kishan Gadhia felicitated brother Rathnakar. Following this, a short musical item was offered by two of our talented youth, Anand Bhalsod on tabla and Akash Parekh on sitar. The beautiful evening ended with Arathi to the Lord.

Sri Rathnakar then had the supreme kindness to interact with several devotees, talking to some and accepting requests for photographs with some, thus demonstrating a great humility and love towards everyone.

Thanking Swami for this divine opportunity, let’s always remember the Grace that we are blessed with to know Him, and let’s do our best to serve Him as much as we can, with selfless love, and in the awareness that He is present in every one of our brothers and sisters.

Marine Aufranc
Region 4, SSSSO UK