Recent trip to Sai centre- Japan- Shared by Sis Archana Goswami
Japan is one country that I had been longing to visit, especially during the Cherry Blossoms Season, for a long time. But somehow the language and the availability of vegetarian food were never too encouraging and we kept postponing our trip. Last September-October, I was a bit disappointed and complained to the dearest Sai Maa that now I will never be able to visit Japan to see the beautiful blossoms. The reason for this complain was the fact that my daughter being in grade 9 would have had her exams as soon as the school resumed after the Easter break, as the trend was. In His infinite Compassion Sai Maa heard my prayer/complain and lo and behold, the exams got postponed to May. I thanked Swami from the bottom of my heart and was quick to grab the opportunity that was gifted to us.
Next challenge was to find the Sai Centre in Tokyo since I was very keen to attend Sai bhajans before we actually began our tour. After a few attempts everything got sorted out and we were all very excited about our trip. From this stage onwards we started getting more aware of Swami’s grace pouring on us. The Sai sister in Tokyo Centre told me that we are landing on the auspicious day of Ramnavami and it will be celebrated on the next day, the day we intended to visit the Centre.
Japan’s transport network is really very intricate and complicated and since it was our maiden trip to Japan, we did not have any idea about the system. We decided to go for sight seeing in the morning since the bhajans were supposed to start at 4pm. By 2pm we were all very tired due to continuous walking and on top of that we had to skip lunch since there was no vegetarian restaurant. The Sai Centre was quite far from this place and because we were all very tired, we asked for help in finding a taxi. As were going, we saw a bus that was going to the train station. We thanked Swami and boarded the bus. The bus took quite long to reach the station and to add to my anxiety the train journey also seemed never ending. By 3:30pm, we were still in the train and my blood pressure levels had started rising. To top it up, it started raining too. By the time we got off the train it was 3:55pm so we decided to take a cab. But due to rain, the queue at the taxi stand was quite long and there was hardly any cab in sight. My husband spotted the bus that we were supposed to take and was ready to leave anytime. Most reluctantly I agreed to board the bus and somehow reached the Centre by 4:40pm – hoping to at least see the Aarti. But we were so happy to see that we had just missed couple of bhajans. Guess, they had Veda chanting for the first 30 minutes. Soon we got lost in the Soul-stirring Ram bhajans sung by the Japanese devotees. Bhajans were followed by a talk in Japanese by a Sai brother. Though I did not understand anything but what moved me was their love and devotion towards Swami. By now it was 6:30pm we were all starving. The Omnipresent and Omniscient Lord knew our state so after the bhajans as I went to thank the Sai sister for her emails earlier, she insisted that we all have the dinner that was served in the basement. We were overjoyed. We thanked our dear Lord again and had the prasad after which we were ready to start our return journey to the hotel. It was drizzling and quite cold outside but Swami was kind enough to make things smooth for us. By the time we reached our hotel it was quite late and we were all very tired but we were happy and full of gratitude.
Our tour began the next day and we had a magical time with wonderful food even in the remote areas.
I can’t thank Swami enough for this precious gift that is so dear to me and will keep cherishing it forever.