CHICAGO: It was an evening of enlightenment at Oakbrook Marriott in Oakbrook with a spiritual Master Dada JP Vaswani, revered by one and all. The beautiful banquet hall of the Oakbrook Marriott was filled with anticipation.
The evening began with devotional music by two renowned singers of Chicago, Mrs Pramila Bhatia and Anil Sharma. On the tabla was Puranlal Vyas and Dave on keyboard. The bhajan singing primed the audience to a religious atmosphere. Joseph Cantor, President of Dupage County Forest Preserves was the chief Guest and Indian Consul General Dr Ausaf Sayeed, the Guest of Honor
Dr Gopal and Mrs Neetu Lalmalani have been hosts of Pujya Dada and his entourage on their annual visit to Chicago. Dada, even at 97 and going on to 98 in the next few months, was energetic and looked healthy despite being a bit frail.
His mind was sharp and clear. His message is of love, forgiveness and bringing God back into our daily lives. He talks of respecting all forms of life, be they of animals, insects or of plants. The 21st century, Dada says, should be the century for protecting animal rights. Killing animals for food is inhumane. Let us not make our stomachs graveyards for animals, he says.
Dada spoke of forgiveness. “The only way to forgive completely is to forget. You cannot forgive if you continue to hold the feelings of the past. The past is over. Move on with only love in your heart. Your mind will be at peace,” he said in his address.
He also talked of having humor in our daily lives. People have forgotten to smile and laugh. Dada said you are not fully dressed till you wear a smile on your face. He gave a small anecdote to make the audience laugh. He said a priest came to a small town to give a talk on “The Path to Heaven” at the town hall. On the way, he stopped to ask a little boy the way.
As the boy showed him the way he asked the priest why he was going there. The priest answered that he was going to give a talk. “What are you going to talk about?” asked the boy. “The Path to Heaven” answered the priest. The boy burst into laughter. He said, “You do not know the way to the town hall and you are going to tell people the way to Heaven!”
Dada urged not to complain and start thanking. He wanted a special place for God back into daily life. “Make God your partner in your daily life, be it your business or your personal life. Loneliness can be overcome if you believe that you are not alone, that God is always with you every moment of the day.”
After his talk, there was a Q & A session where the audience asked questions. Dada answered with clarity of thought and experience.
Dada emphasized on the value of satsang, on spending time in the company of people of religious mindset.
The Chairperson of this International Mission is Ms Krishna Kumari. The Mission has centers all over the world. The goals of the mission are to serve the needy and less fortunate people.
It has Cardiac and Eye hospitals where free surgeries are done for the poor. Dada has written over 150 books with lovely titles, some of which are available on Amazon.
The details and activities of the Sadhu Vaswani Center of Chicago, under the leadership of Mr Prakash Jotwani, can be seen on its website www.svc-chicago.org.