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Spiritual Wing - National Sai Smaran Bhajans

The Scriptures lay down Bhajan (group devotional singing), Naamasmaran (Remembering God's Name) and Sankeerthan (devotional music) as the Saadhanas (spiritual practices) of this Age. Bhajan is the process of singing your prayers to God, praising His glory and compassion, and pleading that He may fill you with His Grace. Prayer has a highly curative effect on the body and mind of man. That is the result of constant Bhajan and recital of the Name. Bhajan has to be a thrilling experience, which must leave the participants full of pure energy and elevated enthusiasm.
Sathya Sai Speaks , Vol 11

Lord Maha Vishnu once said to Narada, "Naham vasami vaikunthe yoginam hridaye na cha, mad-bhakta yatra gayanti tatra tishthami narada", i.e., "I do not dwell in Vaikuntha nor in the hearts of the Yogis, but I dwell where my devotees sing my name, O Narada!"

Sankeertan is singing God's name with feeling (Bhava) and faith (Sraddha). Sankeertan destroys the sins and fills the heart with love and devotion thus bringing the devotee face to face with God.

The Sai Smaran Bhajans in UK are being conducted at regular intervals since April 2012 as a national offering of love and gratitude to our beloved Bhagawan. The sixth in the series were held at Sandbach on the 21st of September, and like the previous ones, this event too was a thrilling session of Sankeerthan indeed!

Sandbach is a beautiful town in Cheshire and this is probably the first time in the recent past that such a divine gathering took place here. The venue was the Sandbach High School which got a complete facelift for the grand occasion. The caretaker of the school was very impressed with all the arrangements and later admitted that he hadn’t seen such a unique and wonderful celebration at the school is his entire career spanning 20 years.

The Altar was beautifully decorated and it was a spectacular sight as we entered the Bhajan hall. It was very welcoming to all the eager spiritual aspirants. It felt as if we were in Prashanthi! The event began at 10.30am with Omkar and Vedam. The vibrant Rudram (first stanza) was chanted and this was the start of the divine extravaganza.

The Region 5 Youth Co-ordinator, Dr Nishal Govindji invited the UKCC Chairperson, Dr Kiran Patel, to inaugurate the special day. Dr Kiran Patel welcomed one and all warmly. He said that whatever we offer Bhagawan as gratitude, such as the Sai Smaran bhajans, is still just a drop in comparison to the Love, Blessings and Bliss we received from Him. He aptly reminded the gathering how Bhagawan declared His Avathar and sang the bhajan “Manasa Bhajare Guru Charanam” exhorting all humanity to contemplate on the Divine Lotus Feet of the Supreme Guru and always follow in His Footsteps. Dr Patel encouraged all devotees to follow our Divine Lord with steadfast faith and participate in Bhagawan’s divine mission with enthusiasm and dedication. He concluded by quoting Swami’s guidelines about bhajan singing and how a true singer should surrender to the lord with humility.

This inspiring talk was followed by a melodious flute recital by Mr Raja Ram which set the mood for the bhajans. Mr Raja Ram played two Carnatic classical pieces, one in Raag Hamsadhwani ( Vaatapi Ganapathim by Sri Muthuswami Dikshithar) and another in Raag Dhanasree ( a Thillana- rhythmic piece- composed by Maharaja Swathi Tirunaal). He was accompanied by Girish Mistry on the tabla.

The Bhajans began at 11am and finished at 4.30pm. The bhajans were sung with a lot of fervor and enthusiasm that continued unabated throughout. Singers came from all the parts of the country and every singer wanted to make the best offering to the Naadabrahma ( Lord of Sound). All the eight regions of the country were represented and the whole place was filled with positive vibrations and an ardent sense of devotion. The bhajans were sung n the right key and rhythm which made all those present sway in harmony. In the background, Swami`s darshan videos from Prashanthi were being shown which added to the beauty of the entire event. The instrumentalists too took turns to play and offered their best to the Lord.

Volunteers worked relentlessly to serve the devotees with love and care. As the bhajans continued, a delicious lunch was served. Bhajans ended with Bhagawan’s darshan video and aarthi. Vibhuthi was distributed.

Mr Kailash Venkat, Region 5 Chairperson, in his concluding remarks shared the feelings of joy and peace that the bhajans had created. He requested everyone to preserve these sacred feelings in our hearts with great care and carry these vibrations back to our homes and centres. Mr Sanjay Vaja in his unique style thanked Swami and all those who worked hard and supported for the success of this fantastic event. The catering team with the help of the youth made take away bags of Prasadam for the devotees on their journey home.

Thus concluded a very uplifting spiritual event, that I found to be immensely energising and unifying. I felt very privileged to be working with and learning from so many fellow devotees of Bhagawan, both regionally and nationally, whilst preparing for this sacred programme. Let us all remain ever grateful to Bhagawan for granting us such divine opportunities, and look forward to the next Sai Smaran Bhajans in January 2014!

Dr Vijayanand Nadella
R5 Spiritual Coordinator