Coming Face To Face with the Past
As it was very nice to catch up, I didn't see any reason to spoil the mood by letting them know that I am no longer a Sai devotee especially as the aged grandfather held my hands and lovingly asked about my current occupation. So although I decided to keep my ex-devotee status quiet, it was something of a slow torture to hear the inevitable discussion about 'Swami' and when their next trip to Prashanti Nilayam will take place. I did feel slightly guilty about not mentioning anything, but it wasn't really an appropriate time or place.
Although I did hear a nice tidbit of info: there's a huge UK pilgrimage going to Prashanti Nilayam this November. By sheer coincidence today I came across the Sai Youth UK site where full details of this pilgrimage have been given. Looks like quite a big affair. What a shame, looks like I've missed the application deadline, boo hoo!
I really enjoyed meeting that family though, although I'm unsure how they'd react if they found that I am now an ex-devotee. Maybe they already know, as I'm sure they've heard whispers from a few years ago. When I said 'goodbye' to the eldest friend, I could see that he was waiting for me to say 'Sairam' or something before he said it himself. With any luck they'd respect me for my choices in leaving, but I'm not too confident when I compare the past experiences I've had. Says a lot for Sai Baba's "Love All - Serve All" tripe, huh?
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