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National Sai Retreat 2013 - Reminiscent of Prashanthi Nilayam

Reminiscent of Prashanthi Nilayam

I had the great opportunity to attend this year’s National Sai Retreat in Wales, where Swami also blessed me with special opportunity to perform at His divine lotus feet. As a young boy, attending the retreat without my parents was a daunting thought at first, but Swami blessed me with many Sai brothers and sisters who took very good care of me!

We had the great privilege of listening to Sri Rathnakar, the nephew of our beloved Swami, who narrated numerous experiences he had with Bhagawan Baba. Sri Rathnakar not only highlighted the various messages Swami taught him throughout his life, but also Swami’s humorous side. Sri Rathnakar narrated a very important message with a funny anecdote; he said, in a certain village a survey was carried out to see whether a husband is always forced to listen to his wife. At the voting booth, the husbands were given a choice to either vote that they are always forced to do as their wife says, or that this is not true and that in fact they do have their own freedom. After nearly a whole day of the men voting, one man came to vote and said that he had his own freedom. He was immediately asked as to how come he had his own freedom when all the other men of the village had voted otherwise. He said, “I voted here, because my wife told me to!” From this small incident, Sri Rathnakar brought out a more significant message saying that instead of listening to our wife/husband, we should listen to our conscience. This simple but strong statement made me think; as a young boy, I am not writing this to say that I would disobey my parents or teachers, but in certain situations you have to ignore what the monkey mind says and stay strong to one’s own conscience.

The retreat was reminiscent of times in Parthi; getting up at 3.45am, attending morning prayers etc. And at the end of each day you would feel a sense of spiritual upliftment; whether it is from the prayers, meditation, Bhajans or talks. I thoroughly enjoyed myself on the retreat this year and with Swami’s grace, I will be attending the years to come!

Akilesh Sreecumaar
Group 4 SSE
Region 1