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Love and Light

Sai Smaran Bhajans

On Saturday 18th May, the National Sai Smaran Bhajans took place Oxhey Wood Primary School, South Oxhey, near Watford.

The programme began with a welcome address by Dr. Kiran Patel, the UK National Chairperson, opening prayers and a musical offering (consisting of flute and mridangam). This was followed by bhajans which were beautifully rendered with accompaniment by a range of musical instruments from the table and harmonium to the flute.

Sai Anandam Pilgrimage Meeting

While the bhajans continued, the afternoon saw the 2nd meeting of the UK National Pilgrimage taking place in the gymnasium. The meeting began with 3 Aums, followed by an introduction from the National Spiritual Coordinator, Dr. Veeru Mudigonda.

The year 2013 has been designated by the UK Organisation as the ‘Year of Harmony’ and the pilgrimage has, as part of the theme, been named ‘Sai Anandam’ (In Harmony with Sai). The pilgrimage will take place from 28th July to 3rd August.

Dr. Veeru recalled how in January 2011, Swami had said 5 key things:

1. Be happy
5. Be happy

In between,

2. Remember Me
3. Love God
4. Be Good

Besides being an external pilgrimage from the UK to Prasanthi Nilayam, the aim is also to be in harmony with the Sai within us.

The Sadhana (Spiritual Practise) Plan for the pilgrimage consists of four key aspects:

1. Learning of prayers including the 108 Names of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
2. Likitha Japam (Writing of the Name) for 10 – 15 minutes each day
3. Reading of 3 Vahinis (summaries will be made available)
4. Practise Ceiling on Desires and utilise the savings for a service programme.

There followed talks by guest speakers under the title of Dhyana Vahini, covering the importance and significance of meditation.

The first speaker was Mrs. Kamala Pandya, who conducts SSE training in India. Mrs. Pandya began by referring to meditation as ‘opening the doors of the heart’ and mentioned that we have to be careful of the ‘monkey mind’.

Various techniques for helping to control the mind were given such as:

1. Likitha Japam
2. Watching the flow of breath – very slowly and rhythmically

Reference was made to a quotation by Swami:

‘Bend the body, mend the senses, end the mind – that is the way to God’

  1. Bend the body means be humble – do not underestimate anyone, do seva (selfless service) and start this at home.
  2. Mend the senses refers to undertaking practises such as Ceiling on Desires and reading to have some control.
  3. How we react to something is important – taking approval of the heart links to 3HV.

Mrs. Pandya also spoke about concentration, contemplation and meditation and mentioned that mind is like a radio receiver – be silent and sit quietly for 2 minutes.

When something is offered to Bhagawan it becomes meditation.

To end with, Mrs. Pandya spoke about colour therapy and led the group through a Jyoti meditation session.

Thereafter, Mr. Nimish Pandya (Vice-President of All India Sathya Sai Service Organisation) addressed the group. Some of the key points were as follows:

  1. Going to Prasanthi Nilayam is not a matter of choice, but by His (Swami’s) grace.
  2. The 9 point code of conduct is sacrosanct when embarking on sadhana to go to the Lord’s feet.
  3. When chanting the 108 names of Bhagawan, we should aspire to become the names i.e. have the attributes.
  4. Keep unity of Thought, Word and Deed – Swami doesn’t say Truth, what he says becomes Truth and He keeps His word.
  5. The joy within must be expressed – people should be happy in the Sai Organisation.
  6. Be present, be happy, and forget the past and the future.
  7. There may be many functions, but we should move onto the next without dwelling on the previous one.
  8. Listen to the Master’s voice within – that is the whole purpose of the 9 Point Code of Conduct and Sadhana.

Mr. Pandya wished the group success on the pilgrimage.

Ending remarks were given by Dr. Kiran Patel who mentioned that we have been fortunate to be contemporaries of Bhagawan, while others in the future will read about Him.

Address to Congregation by Mr. Nimish Pandya

Meanwhile, the bhajans continued in the main hall, and at 4pm, Mr. Pandya gave a talk to the whole gathering, which began with a video of Rameshbhai Oza, a spiritual leader from India, explaining the respect Rameshbhai has for Baba.

Mr. Pandya said that this is an important phase in the Sai Organisation and that the UK has it’s part to play and went on to recount how on the Mahasamadhi day in 2012, the various leaders in the All India Sai Organisation resolved to follow the message of Bhagawan in action and held a 2 day Sadhana camp.

Some of the key points covered in the talk to the pilgrimage were again covered such as to imbibe the qualities in the 108 names, and to be happy. Other key points were as follows:

  1. One of the hallmarks of devotees in the Organisation is unconditional love.
  2. There have been comments that it is harder to render service in the UK compared to somewhere like India – the response was that it doesn’t mean that you have to leave home. The relationship with one’s Mother and Father is the biggest seva.
  3. 2015 will mark the Golden Jubilee of the Sai Organisation, the theme of which will be ‘Transforming Self for Transforming Lives’ – Swami had given the instructions Sri Indulal Shah to start small and grow.
  4. Keep Swami’s presence with you as you perform actions and ask two questions:
    1. Would Swami like this?
    2. How would Swami do this?
  5. Make the Organisation a happy place – smile!
  6. Swami was never unhappy.
  7. There is joy and peace that we can share with everyone. Spread happiness and the fragrance of love in the world.
  8. The mission is more important than the Master.
  9. It is important for each one of us to have a persona that is Divine. When people see us, they will see love.
  10. Bhagawan started 2 hospitals – millions of devotees have been rendered medical service at grassroots level.
  11. We must learn to forget the harm done to us and the good we have done to others.

Mr. Pandya also shared an anecdote about Swami’s visit to Mumbai in 2009. As a result of a packed schedule with several late nights, on His return to Prasanthi Nilayam, Swami had commented that it was a tight schedule several times, but on hearing that the devotees were happy, He too was happy!

Prior to ending his talk Mr. Pandya led the congregation with a bhajan ‘Neno ke premadhar, vachano ke premadhar.’

Mr. Pandya said that the Sri Sathya Sai Organisation is the only organisation that encourages others to undertake self-effacing service, and recounted a personal experience with Swami from which the key learning was that the sense of doer ship is a hindrance between a person and God.

At the end of the talk, Mrs. Vidyulata Narayana, National SSE Coordinator, gave thanks and reflected how the key aspects of the talk apply to every moment of our lives. Dr. Kiran Patel also gave thanks to the guest speaker and there was a vote of thanks by Mrs. Gayatri Bikoo, the National Secretary.

Thereafter the programme ended with 2 bhajans and the offering of Aarthi to Bhagawan. Mahaprasad was served in the canteen.

The next Sai Smaran Bhajans will take place on 21st September at Sandbach, Cheshire, in Region 5.

Jai Sai Ram