Text size: A A A

Please Click Here
to Return to
Love and Light

Region 2 - Orientation & Welcome Day

On Saturday 23rd March, around 40 Centre Chairs and Active workers with Brother Kiran Patel and Sister Vidyulatha Narayan came together to better understand "The Mission of Sathya Sai" through some of the activities our Spiritual Aspirants had on offer last year as well as to hear what the year ahead holds for them. This year’s activities will provide devotees more opportunities to "Serve ably as His Instruments". The aim of RSSOC this year was to Inspire Individuals and Centres members into action of selfless service.

On Today’s RSSOC Menu, the Starter was served by Swami’s Omnipresence, the ambience was charged by the vibrant chanting of Vedams followed by Group Devotional Singing. Sister Bhadra Patel (Former R2 Chair) highlighted some of the items on last year’s menu served regularly by Centres and Groups in their local areas within North West London and highlighted some of the centres signature items and achievements.

In the way of drinks on the menu, we would be served 3 different types of Nectars during the afternoon for our taste buds to be inspired. Each one came with its own unique ingredient of ‘Take Home Messages’. The first drink was a cocktail called ‘Power of Words’ and the results of mixing its words were amazing. Just imagine a Blind Man sitting on the pavement on a bitterly cold day with a sign that read "I’m Blind, Please Help" in a hope you would drop a few coins in loose change. At this point not much loose coins followed. A Young Adult changed the sign and this prompted every passerby to donate their loose change. When the young adult returned, the man asked her "what did you do to my sign". She replied I wrote the same, but just in different words. The sign now read "It's a Beautiful Day and I Can’t See It". This reminded me of how Swami also played with words with devastating effect and one such word was Impossible where he said everything is I.M. Possible.

In the form of side dishes, Brother Senthil (R2 Chair) and the Regional Wing Coordinators shared they vision for the year ahead. The R2 Team were here to compliment and support all the main dishes the centres served up. Taking forward some of the centre’s best ingredients and making the activities available to other Sai Family members and local communities. Always innovating the menu to ensure all members have ample opportunities to "Serve ably as His Instruments" on the Centre, Community, Region and National platforms. Devotees were informed of the launch of the R2 inspiration Desk, which was on display in the foyer. The desk was a point of information and inspiration for all to see upcoming programmes, centre and group locations in the Region, contact details for all regional and centre chairs and how to get involved in service activities at Regional level.
The desk is designed to be dynamic with information changing as required and will be in action at every Regional event.

The glasses were topped with another nectar, "Pass the Kindness", the glass was full of atoms bouncing with energetic soundtrack called ‘One Day’ which followed a multitude of people who received one act of kindness and went on to help another fellow being without any discrimination to race, colour or creed. The amazing thing was the first character that started the chain reaction act of kindness was also the final beneficiary, just like when a boomerang returns to its starting point. It reminds me of how Sai Centres are the focal point in the community and the important role they play in "The Mission of Sathya Sai". How Swami has set up this Organisation to provide different openings for his beloved children to lead a moral life, by rendering selfless service to those in need, by engaging in devotional practices, and by developing love, respect, and compassion for all life.

The main course was served with the recipient’s full involvement in the two workshops: ‘Guidelines for Centres & Groups’ and ‘How to serve ably as His Instruments’. The first workshop concentrated on Guidelines and asked us to reflect if the operation of the centre met these guidelines. It generated a lot of discussions and debate exposing changes were needed at all levels in the organisation and at the same time analysis the benefit and constraints these changes posed. We were reminded that Swami was the Master Chef of these International Guidelines and the workshop was concluded with the Divine Discourse from 3rd World Conference (21/11/1980).

The second workshop gave us an opportunity to become his apprentice and allowed us to reflect and question if we had all the ingredients we needed to "Serve ably as His Instruments". As a Team, we were given a variety of scenarios to work through for different wings and asked to draw an action plan and think of ways of turning action points into actual actions. These scenarios required us to work and identify members of centres who can grow and take the centre forward into the community with the support of all the wings.

Brother Kiran Patel, shared some of his experiences and his observations from the workshops he attended and reminded us how we still have a lot of work to do and why we should grasp every opportunity in doing Swami’s work with full faith and know it will helps us in our spiritual journey.

After the closing address, we were served our final drink to warm our hearts and appreciate the time Swami has given us today to serve. This drink was simply called ‘Joy Jars’. A little Angel called Jessica Joy, whose selfless attitude and action changed the lives of many thousands of children across USA. Jessie was dialogised with Brain tumour when she was 11 years old. Regardless of what she was going through, she wanted to help all the other children going through the same painful treatment. The plan was to put small gifts of toys and stationary into a small paper bag and delivery it to all the children who cannot leave the hospital. The hospital changed the paper bags with small plastic jar. The joy and happiness she saw on the children faces when they were presented with the gift, made her determined to do more. A foundation was named in honour of Jessie who dies at a tender age of 12 and now it sends 130,000 Joy Jars’ across the USA every year bring hope and joy. Her simply message was ‘Never Ever Give Up’.

Finally, the desert were served by the Master himself as we joined him in the chorus and offered our humble closing prayers and Aarti.

Jai Sai Ram.
Written by Bhupendra Solanki (R2 SSE Coordinator).