Prasanthi Nilayam.... the Abode of Peace. That heart leaps at the very mention of the Name. How we long to be there! We greet with joy those who are just returning from there, hoping that some of the lustre and grace of the Sai drenched devotees may rub off on us.
To me, Prasanthi Nilayam means, simply, Home. It is my Mother's Place. When Mother calls, i go to Her. She knows what is needed. She gives it, namely Her Ananda in plenty. One returns from Mother rested and restored, and refreshed in body and spirit always. Many of the trees in the Nilayam can be recognised in mediaeval paintings, depicting scenes from Lord Krishna's career on earth. Near the Mandir, on the west side is a beautiful tall tree, which blooms around early Dasara and waft the lovely fragrance into Mother's Room. This tree can be noticed in many of the Rajasthan miniatures painted by mediaeval artiste devotees as well as the Deccani and Early Mughal painters. The neem, the coco nut, the tamarind, the banana, the rose, the jasmine and mogra bushes all offer their beauty and their scent for us to admire and offer gratitude to the Mother.
Mother's Darshan in the morning! A flash of red, the graceful Form arrives, closer and finally, a deep look and a compassionate smile, —can any mother on earth, cause such an ecstatic flutter in all hearts? Mother is loving, yet, detached—every movement, gesture, flash, smile has a meaning and a lesson. Only Mother knows the agony of each of us each step, especially to those of us who have already taken the wrong ones. If Mother smiles, all is well; the heart is light and filled with joy.
But, let her turn away or look over us into the beyond, then, gloom descends. "What have I done, now?"...a great deal of interpretation and interrogation, in the quiet of the room. And, soon, the answer comes. A prayer for forgiveness, a promise not to repeat the mistake, and a renewed dedication, to please the Mother and the Mother only—regardless of what others may say or think. Please her, with each little thought, word and deed—and, Peace reigns again.
Mother smiles, at the afternoon Darshan. Ah! I was right! Even the slightest deviation from the path towards the ideal is noted by Sai Mata, for, She is Omnipresent. She is everywhere, in us, with us, beside us and behind us. A poem written in the room to Her, reaches Her as soon as line is formed in the mind. A wish, a thought, all is known and if only you trust in Her, she keeps the lines straight and true. She is the world's greatest teacher of the art of Positive Thinking. As soon as you grasp the Universal Laws of Love, Service and Compassion, as taught by Her, Mother takes you closer. She is helpful; you make less mistakes. Sai is pure Bliss. Mother, i love Thee.
Since at Mother's house, I am care free of kitchen chores. Mother has a lovely Dining Hall, with many varieties of delicious and nutritious dishes, very lovingly prepared by devoted hands. Out of sheer happiness, I had all four meals on the first day—breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner. But, it was really too much. I restrained myself to one meal a day, with some banana and curds, now and then. Mother spoils us thoroughly with Her Love. She knows that we must relish the stay with Her, away from kitchen chores. She is such a practical Avatar.
The Gokulam Milk is the world's most blessed milk. It is rich, sweet and sustaining. Behind the Hill Is a Tree, behind the Meditation Tree, and this is the place I go to, in the early dawn. Just before sunrise, the hills are purple and the dark green forests and fields oblige us to give a glimpse—a silvery glimpse—of the river, Chitravati. The golden sky is streaked with pink and orange. Oh! How Mother would enjoy a morning walk in the cool crisp air listening to the tinkling of the cow bells, as She used to do for years in the past and as Krishna in Brindavan! I am wrong in believing that this is not being done now. She must be with me now, as I watch these skies and fields, for, how can I visualise the beauty if She did not reveal it to me? She has taken upon Herself the heavy burden of saving Mankind. Multitudes are following Her whenever She goes or stays. Mother is busy with prayers from all around the globe; She has to watch every child of Hers while it sleeps. The child may forget the world, but, the Mother cannot forget the child.
The day of departure arrives. The tears well up, the hand quivers, as Sai Mata comes for a last look and smile. Ma! Ma! I am going, today.... "Accha!".... She is off. In a trice, teaching us the higher Truth, the Reality, that She is in every atom of the Universe, and that we cannot go to any place where She is NOT.
Prasanthi Nilayam...leaving Mother is so hard. The last glimpse of Mother, among Her, children.... and the last cry..."Mother! Call me again soon!"