It was amazing. As soon as I shot out our version of the Manav Sadhna weekend from June 30th to July 3rd, moments later, we got a version from Virenbhai on the same weekend. We were engaged in writing about the weekend at the exaxt same time without knowing of each others’ intent. Amazing!
Here is Virenbhai update on the weekend:
With our luck and blessings of God, 16 volunteers of Be The Cause decided Manav Sadhna Ahmedabad India as the place for them to go for two-week service vacation in January 2006. Six months after that, they all invited their friends and family to share the experience and what they learned in this two week service vacation. They wanted to create a little India for an evening in a very nice place in Irvine LA. I just could not wait to go to this event and see every one again.
As I was looking for a good deal for the flight to LA my bhani Bindi came to the rescue by finding the best deal for me. My family and friends were all very happy and inspired to here what this trip was all about. Flight delayed by 2 hours gave me 3 hours of airport stay. But the excitement of meeting every one soon, made it very easy. Actually it is amazing to chill at these places and see every one running and rushing around trying to get some where!.
Every other bags on the conveyor look just like mine, did not make things easy after arrival. Conveyor stopped. I could not find my bag so I approached the counter and the lady pointed me to the bunch of bags that other (similar) people took it off the belt on the other side of the belt. I found my bag and as I look up I see a unknown man going for my neck with beautiful bid neckles . Thank God Britny was with him so quickly I recognized THE CAUSE of the Be The Cause monk Sukh. The humblest man who spends every moment just giving. Laura drove us back to Sukhâ€™s famous Garage. It was so nice to be welcomed by Nirali with a beautiful smile, pure love and with a traditional welcome. We all prayed in this temple for little while. The simplicity and lack of possessions in this Garage will inspire any one. One room, no TV, no bad no furniture!
A special diner was planed for the evening in a beautiful restaurant. It is hard to describe the joy of meeting all our BTC family. It was a very special evening. What made it special were to here the inspirational changes that many of them made in the lives to travel further in this path of love and service. Laura resigned her excellent paying job in search for the job to serve. Angle became nurse to serve more people in pain. Nirali decided to leave USA and give up all that she earned and worked for to return to India and continue to serve and progress. Her kindness love and spiritual dedication inspired me very much. Carolina joined many local service places and found her hometown in a new way of place to serve. Angela is serving every day to 50 countries under this amazing organization. Jason quit many things that used to be things that he canâ€™t live without. I can go on and on â€¦.. but the point is that it was one special and inspiring evening. I MISSED ALL OF YOU VERY VERY MUCH. I was hosted at Bhartibenâ€™s house an official BTC guesthouse. BTC mother and father greeted me with a big smile and Jaishrikrishna that night in their beautiful, peaceful house full of love and humor.
Three huge boxes of our Gramashree things landed at Bindiâ€™s house just in time. So the SF gang gathered and tagged, priced and organized the stuff to load up for the drive to LA. After driving for a long time Bhaniba and Soham and his sister arrived in the morning. As always it was a very happy moments to see Bhaniba and Soham and his sister. We went to Seemaâ€™s house for lunch, which is surprisingly 1 mile from Bhartibenâ€™s. Seemaâ€™s mom Naynben and Bhartiben are good friends for a long time. It is hard to describe how nice it was to see Shri Dada, Ba, Naynaben, Kiritbhai and masi. Many awesome memories of Ekta came back in that house. They invited couple other people to meet us also. Uni, his brother and friend drove 3 hours to meet us at seemaâ€™s house also. We all had excellent lunch. It was the best testing idli sambhar I had in a long time. Dada was as always very strong and inspiring. Seeing dada after a long time made me very happy. It was one of the high light of the trip. We all missed Seema and all of you guys very much.
We all rushed to the event place at 4pm. It was a very beautiful hall. Bunch of young volunteers were waiting for us to get guided. As we setup the GS exhibition other BTC family members arrived. The place got decorated with beautiful rangolis and lights and ornaments in one hour! It was hard to get used to Sukh all clean-shaven in a nice Kurta!
But he made it all easy by being Sukh playing the dhol to welcome the guests that he inspired a friend to donate for the event. Many volunteers were cooking and helping. Sikh community sponsored more Indian food. Bahai people managed the renting of the hall for the event. The event started right on time. Over 200 guests arrived. It was so nice to see all the family and friends of our BTC family. Big excitement was to see our John at this event. Spending time with him is always a â€œSatsnag.â€ It was so nice for him and Toye to drive all the way from SF just for that evening.
The event started with the prayer. Our Om Tatsat prayer brought tears in my eyes.
Jason kicked off the presentation with a nice job of MC. I was so happy to see the pictures of all of you and specially our kids on the big screen. It moved every one in the room to here the experiences and presentations of all 16 volunteers. I missed every MS soul so much. You all would be so proud and happy to here what they expressed about MS and India ,what they experienced and how that changed their lives going forward. Nirali gave an amazing and very powerful speech. It was so well written and from the heart. I followed after her un prepared and not sure what I was going to speak about. I still not sure what I spoke about but I got emotional remembering our kids and their selfless love and how God lead us and help us in this beautiful work for service. At one point embracing the love of innocent kids and God in my life as I was speaking could not stop tears and made almost every one in the room cry. John shared his thoughts of spreading of kindness so beautifully and highlighted the upcoming seva cafÃ© project. Sukh closed it with very inspirational story and speech. Followed with a beautiful volunteered entertainment. The lady voice was magical. Many people left the event with a promise that they are so inspired and motivated that they will serve in some way starting tomorrow.
It was cool to see Dr. Soham making all the attempt to sell the women clothing at the booth with Bindi and his sister. Angira did a fabulous service of decorating and presenting the products. All that hard work was all worth it. The products were so beautiful and people were so kind we sold $750 worth of stuff! Seemaâ€™s family and Sohamâ€™s mom also came to the event. Every one wanted to dance with the dhol but it was too late in the night. Had no desire to get arrested for disturbing the neighbor hood with the dhol hanging our necks. Missed India again so much.
Sunday morning after getting the well deserved sleep we just hangout in the beautiful back yard of Bhartibenâ€™s house. We had excellent satsang time with Bharatbhai, Nirali and Bhartiben. After lunch Nirali took me to a beautiful Ramkrishna Ahram in the middle of woods and mountains. Bindi and Soham joined us also. We all meditated for an hour in a very charged and awesome mediation bhoonga style round room. They have a beautiful statue of Shri Swami Vivekanad as you enter in the Ashram. The architecture of this place is beautiful. They have 3 mile long walking trail and on the way they have 5 stations with 5 different religion symbols. The walk on it will be like a pilgrimage. Need less to say that I missed all of you and you all were in my heart and soul at all those places.
We all went to Sukhâ€™s GARAGE for diner. Every one arrived before us and we were surprised with the Dhol and dance for welcome. The love and bonding was beyond words can describe. They all brought awesome food. They had setup just like at Niralis house. Many times it was tough because it was so much to receive and absorb from all of them. I was so happy and blessed to give one by one a big huge special hug on behalf of all of you and all our kids.
We all shared the most adventures moments of our lives. Many of them said Trip to India was an adventure for them. After the wonderful diner many of them started drumming dancing and having a good time. I was surprised with the best gift of all a beautiful picture of all BTC friends in front of Red fort Delhi signed by every one. I just cant wait to share this picture with you all an to put it on our MS wall. Some of us went in the GARAGE and shared thoughts and stories. Many beautiful things were shared for the Sukh and no matter what we say is not enough about the love, humbleness and simplicity of this blessed soul. As Gnadhiji said â€œMy life is my messageâ€ same thing is true for Sukh. When I was requested for a bhajan in that holy place I had to sing Vaishnavjanto followed with beautiful songs for Jesus by Laura sisterâ€™s girls and Sohams holy slokas, Guru Nanak dhun and in closing couple of Spanish songs by Carolina and Soham. It was one of the most powerful evenings of my life. Me, Nirali and Sukh meditated for little while and left his place thanking the Universe in silence.
Next morning after quick breakfast we went to meet Don at Angeles office. She has set this amazing meeting with this blessed man. Sukh and Laura also came for the meeting. He reminded so much of Shri Saheb. The man is so down to earth and doing purely the Godâ€™s work. In six years, Free Wheel Chair Mission have donated 1,60,000 wheel chairs in 50 countries. To see him in his office working in his own wheel chair though he dose not need one is a blessing. He doses that so that he can keep improving the design. Manav Sadhna will be getting the first shipment of wheel chairs by Nove- December. So that we can get ready for all the Govt. requirements. Who knows we might even find some one to make the wheel chairs in India so that we donâ€™t need to Import. Listening the stories from him about how immediate and what difference it makes in the lives of people that crawls on earth all day long. It was one inspirational hour. We all prayed together.
Listening to beautiful music in Lauraâ€™s awesome car we all went to Seva CafÃ© LA! The name will be Seva CafÃ©. The place is so cozy and so much likes our Seva CafÃ© in Ahmedabad already. It is perfect and beautiful project and location for BTC and LA. Every one is so pumped up and exited about this already. They have one of the best sandwiches I had in a long time. Excellent food, excellent location and endless possibilities. We prayed for little while in this place. The Lauraâ€™s little nieces blessed the place with beautiful songs of Jesus and with couple of slokas I invited Ganpatidada to bless the place. As we were doing all of this, Nirali pointed out to a picture of Swami Vivekanand on top of us already blessing every one.
As we were having so much fun and peace in this place we loose the track on time. We rushed to the airport almost in silence trying to soak up the three blessed days with events full of love, fun, inspiration, and peace. Prayers, kindness and bonding.
As I settled in the plain go back to Chicago all I can think is THANK YOU BHOLENATH LIFE SURE IS BEAUTIFUL!