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National Easwaramma Day 2012

In this world, there are many relationships but none equals the relationship that exists between a mother and child. Thus, mother is given the utmost importance in human life. Even Divine Incarnations, including our very dear Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, revered their chosen mothers immensely and taught humanity the glory of motherhood through such exemplary conduct. It is in this context that Easwaramma Day is celebrated the world over by Sai devotees, commemorating the passing away of Mother Easwaramma, Bhagawan Baba’s Chosen Mother, on 6th May 1972. Children attending SSE (Sai Spiritual Education) classes offer their gratitude to mothers for their love and sacrifice through participation in various activities on this day.

This year in UK, the Easwaramma Day celebrations were joyously held at a national level on Saturday the 5th of May 2012 in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. About 550 devotees, including 175 children and their parents from all the 8 Regions of the Sri Sathya Sai Organisation in the UK, participated and made this day a memorable one. Preparations were underway for many months preceding this day, and every child, parent and teacher participating in the celebrations worked sincerely in love, harmony and devotion to Bhagawan Baba. They made drawings, wrote poems and articles, prepared music programmes, songs and chants, short plays and multimedia presentations. The entire country and the SSE Wing seemed to buzz with enthusiasm and energy, and most of all the children naturally were very eager! The theme chosen for this event was centred around expressing gratitude to the ‘5 Mothers’ that Bhagawan has taught us to revere. These include, apart from our physical mother (Dehamaatha), our Motherland (Desamaatha), our Scriptures (Vedamaatha), our Cattle (Gomaatha), our Mother Earth (Bhoomaatha).

As the day dawned, the cheerful little hearts filled the venue and its ambience with a sense of unsullied joy and beauty. Devotees walking in could instantaneously feel the warmth and brightness enveloping the venue, despite the slightly cloudy and cold weather outside. The main stage which was tastefully decorated in shades of white, blue, gold and pink, and which was adorned by the kind and loving visage of Mother Easwaramma and the beautiful form our dear Lord Bhagawan Baba added to this inviting and comforting experience. A professional band was playing some upbeat and uplifting music in the background as delegates were settling down in their seats. There was an prevailing sense of eager anticipation and expectation, and one could hardly wait for the programme to begin and unfold the joys for the day. And one didn’t have to wait long!

At the stroke of 10.30 am, the programme commenced with a procession by the children. They marched in a disciplined yet cute manner to the tune of "When the Saints go marching in" carrying banners, flowers, and various symbols representing the theme for the day. These were reverentially offered at the main altar on the Stage. The children then invoked the blessings of the Lord and the Mothers by chanting prayers and by group devotional singing. The SSE teachers and children then made a pledge to Swami and below is the children’s pledge:

Dearest Swami, we the children of the United kingdom stand before you with all our love to take this pledge.
I promise to love, honour and obey my mother and father.
I promise to be truthful, gentle and kind in my thoughts words and actions.
Dear swami, I promise to help and comfort those who are in need.
I promise to do my best in all my tasks and remember to be thankful for the all that I receive.
With this pledge I pray with all my love for your presence in my life today and forever more.

The National SSE Co-ordinator Mrs Vidyulatha Narayan,set the scene for the day with the welcome address , and introduced the keynote speaker, brother Sanjay Sahni - Director SSSIHL, Brindavan campus . Brother Sanjay Sahni enthralled the audience with stories that portrayed the love that mother Easwaramma had for the Lord, and spoke on sacrifices that mothers make for their children. He narrated stories from his own life and the sacrifices his own mother had made for him. He showed a small video clip shot in Africa that showed how the maternal feelings of a buffalo herd had resulted in the herd chasing away a pack of ferocious lions (!) that had captured one of their calves, and the courage they showed to retrieve the calf.

The next ninety minutes were filled with the lovable and loving offerings of gratitude by the children from all the 8 Regions. Each Region, in their allotted time of 10 minutes, presented an item on an aspect of motherhood and the 5 Mothers. Children from Region 8 chanted and explained the significance of the Vedic chant Manthra Pushpam; children from Region 7 enacted scenes depicting the lasting influence of mothers in building the characters of great personalities such as Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela etc; children from Region 6 offered a presentation on Mother Easwaramma, Mother Mary and Putli Bai (mother of Mahatma Gandhi); Region 5 children offered a song and dance item offering gratitude to the 5 mothers; Region 4, and Region 3 children including those from the SSE School in Region 3 made musical offerings; Region 2 children made a multimedia presentation on our responsibility and duty towards respecting our environment and mother earth; and Region 1 offered a talk expressing gratitude and love to one’s physical mother and our Divine Mother Sai. These renditions touched the hearts of all those present, and from every lip there arose a spontaneous blessing and prayer for the welfare and happiness of all our little angels.

Then came Lunch! And what a delightful lunch it was! The squeals of delight from the children that reverberated in the dining hall as they were treated to pizza and potato wedges, reached a crescendo when their eyes fell on guessed right…… ice cream! Even the adults joined in the merry and mirth and some even moaned in mock, "why can't we have pizza instead of this rice and curry? We are also children of our parents!"

Following lunch, children were engaged in group activity such as arts and crafts, and a treasure hunt while the adults were treated to a second helping of brother Sanjay Sahni’s deliciously divine stories and insights. He seemed himself to have enjoyed the company of the guileless hearts, and his talk in the afternoon reflected this joy in great measure. He also participated in a Q & A session giving everyone present rare insights and higher understanding. None wished for this uplifting session to end, but it had to nonetheless!

The finale for children and adults was an energetic, fun-filled, toe-tapping musical rendition on values by the highly talented and devoted Sai sister, Renu Gidoomal! Renu had everyone singing along, children especially but the adults too, and the enthusiastic participation of the children in singing along to the song "I am a little ant" seemed to bring the roof down! All in all, it was a fitting finale to a wonderful programme.

The programme concluded with the offering of Arati to the Lord, and a souvenir for each child to take away. But looking at their beaming faces, it was clear to see that they were taking away much more than the souvenir!

Pravina Patel
SSE Teacher