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Love and Light

Region 1 - Blood Donation: Liquid Love

Our beloved Swami has always placed an emphasis on the beautiful yet simple words, "Love all, serve all." With this in mind, the project of ‘Liquid Love’ was born, to enable Sai devotees around the UK to donate blood to help save the lives of others. The NHS uses a staggering 7,000 units of blood every day for accident and emergency patients, as well as scheduled treatments such as maternity and cancer care. Through the loving act of donating blood, we can contribute towards this vital need.

On Sunday 26th August, Sai devotees from Regions 1, 2, 3 and 6, young and old, gathered to offer their selfless service at the NHS Blood Donor Centre near Oxford Circus, Central London, from 9.30am until 3.30pm. Volunteers were on hand to ensure the smooth process of registration and care, assisting the NHS staff who happily remarked that the Sri Sathya Sai Service Organisation’s devotees were some of the kindest and most helpful people they had met as donors.

Swami’s love was evident on the smiles of all the faces and in particular first-time donors, who had given up a day of their bank holiday weekend to provide this amazing service to mankind. The day began with vibrational prayers and bhajans to our Lord, conducted by the Sai Youth, and this continued intermittently throughout the day so that devotees could chant and spiritualise the environment that we were in. Devotees streamed in from afar, arriving by public transport and car, to make sure they could be there on time and contribute towards this service of love. Two Sai Youth boys were standing outside Oxford Circus underground station to direct devotees to the donor centre. A total of 102 Sai devotees came, of which 81 registered as new donors. A grand total of 77 Liquid Love donations were given, to help save lives and ensure that those in need were supported. It was an emotional day for all. 25 people unfortunately could not donate for various reasons but that did not leave them deterred as they promised to return again to offer their Liquid Love. They offered their prayers and sang to help uplift the atmosphere for the others who were able to donate. Families and friends came together to support each other and did not feel the time pass by as they were called to donate.

A special incident came in the form of a very sweet couple celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary on the day by giving blood: they felt the best way to mark their memorable occasion was to share Swami’s love and do service. Another couple also donated whilst celebrating their first wedding anniversary. It was definitely true that love was in the air…that of Liquid Love. It was a truly remarkable and inspiring day: all the staff enquired about our Swami and our organisation and we proudly explained and satisfied their intrigue. Nurses commented on the enchanting bhajans and, despite having never heard bhajans previously, they were totally engrossed in the music and felt the vibrations. The feedback afterwards from the NHS was incredibly positive with our services and efforts being recognised.

Swami had blessed us with a great coordinator and his dedicated team of Sai Youth and adults for the day were the driving force in promoting Liquid Love, as they all poured their hearts and souls and all their energies into making sure that everyone’s needs were catered to and they liaised with the NHS Blood Donor Centre staff to ensure the smooth running of the day. Swami’s love resonated powerfully through all the volunteers who were constantly offering food and drink. One Sai Youth spent the early hours of the morning with her family making fabulous pizza bread as an act of love to make sure that donors were well-fed before giving blood. Delicious cupcakes, made by an SSE child, were also readily available at the end of the day as a treat to those who donated.

The blood types may have been different but the one thing uniting all that attended was Liquid Love, which permeated through everyone. There will always be continuous opportunities to take part in this type of divine service: this need will never go away, so please enquire with your local Sai Centres or Blood Donor Centres and get active about being part of Liquid Love, where we can all make a difference through a simple yet powerful act of selflessness.

Laavanya Nagendran