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Region 2 - Swami's Birthday Celebrations in Wembley

Wembley Sai Centre offered their celebration of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's birthday this year at the more spacious venue of Mandhata Youth & Community Hall, which is sited about a mile away from their regular Thursday evening devotional meetings at BSNL Hall, North Wembley, HA0 3NL.

Several generations - from under 1 year old to over 90 - came together in wonderful spontaneity to offer their devotion and do their utmost to share their joy with all present.

The hall was buzzing with activity an hour before the opening prayers and many of the ladies were putting up an elaborately planned and elegantly executed altar for Baba's photograph. Swami was depicted in resplendent white, and more items in white were placed at the altar and then tastefully decorated with touches of light colour. Other members were busy carrying pots and pans full of aromatic food to prepare the mahaprashadam which would conclude the evening.

The hall soon reverberated with the sounds of Ganesha Atharvashisham - veda chant, followed by a recital of Swami's 108 Names. The wonderful vibrations being built up by the prayers were soon added to by soothing notes of bhajan instrumentals - violin and tabla rectal by versatile young players prepared by Sister Rani Sarvanapavan at her school of music.

This was followed by a vibrant session of bhajans offered by centre members, young and old. Our guest speaker, Bro. Divij Desai, was then introduced by Bro. Suresh Sajnani, Region 2 Spiritual Co-ordinator. Bro. Divij, an alumni of Swami's University, talked about his recollection of Swami - and, in particular, his love of cricket.The stories held everyone spellbound and considerable interest got drawn to the mention of Sachin Tendulkar, who had retired from the game just the previous week.

The next item was a lovingly presented Bharat Natyam classical dance by Sister Nivedini Vijayakumar. This offering Attention to detail and the intensity of preparation The youngest at the event were then brought to the front of the hall for Swami's Birthday Bhajan and cake cutting.

Aarti was offered by Bro.Divij and everyone was invited to move to the dining hall to partake in a sumptuous mahaprashadam meal. The way everyone had come together and how they had given their best possible effort for Swami will mark this as a very proud day in the 36 year history of the centre.