Text size: A A A

Please Click Here
to Return to
Love and Light

Region 1 - Swami's Birthday Celebrations at Tooting Sai Centre

On Sunday 24th November, Tooting Sai centre had the pleasure of hosting Swami's Birthday Celebrations. This followed the National Birthday celebrations the previous day when a number of our Centre members either partook in the programme events or were actively involved with the Seva side. We all gathered early at the Centre by 7.15am in order to set up the Hall, the seating arrangements, the PA system and the Altar. The programme was to start from 9.30am until 1.15pm followed by Prashad.

Amazingly, as is always with Swami's grace, we managed to complete the set up of the Hall in record time. The Altar was tastefully and lovingly decorated and we used the same Sarva Dharma canvas symbols that we had used the previous day for the National celebrations. The programme began with chanting the 108 names of Swami and offerings were placed in the fire within the Havan kund.

This was followed by an hour long programme of bhajans and we were reminded of the high vibrations that we normally only experience at Prashanti.
The hour seemed to pass by so quickly for the 130 members who had gathered there on this joyous occassion.If only every day were like this!

Following a short interlude of refreshments, the programme recommenced with the Youth singing their medley of songs to the accompaniment of the tablas, harmonium, flute and keyboard. This flowed so rhythmically and melodiously as the Youth had a lot of practice having sung the day before at the National Programme.

This was followed by a Shiv Shakti presentation in which the story of Swami having sustained a stroke for 8 days due to the boon given to Sage Bhardwaj was reanacted. Swami had also promised him that he would come as the three avatars representing different aspects of the Shiv Shakti form.

There then followed a charming Bharatanatyam dance by Anjaliben who at a tender age of 7 showed remarkable composure and maturity well beyond her years. Talented youngsters like her always arouse a thunderous applause from the Centre members.

The parents then did a short presentation on the Gayatri mantra, its deeper meanings, how & what times it should be chanted and what should be going through our minds whilst chanting the mantra. It is the mother of all mantras and its significance cannot be underestimated.

The final part of the programme was a number of songs by the SSE choir who had practiced for three weeks prior.

It is no mean feat to get some of these tender youngsters to sing in unison and rhythm and again this was warmly appreciated by us all. Swami's birthday cake was then cut and the programme concluded with the Aarthi. A sumptuous Prashad was served to cap a most memorable and wonderful birthday celebration.

Jitesh Patel
Tooting Sai Centre