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Love and Light

Region 3 - Sri Sathya Sai Baba Group of Thurrock celebrates Swami’s Birthday

This saying bestowed to us by our Lord was the theme during Thurrock’s celebration of Swami’s Birthday. His message, teachings and guidance forever moulds and shapes us. Service, an unconditional act conducted with love and unity, brought us all together on Sunday 17th November wherein we all gathered with smiles ready to start the day.

The Birthday celebrations commenced with us singing the name of the Divine. After weeks of preparation and rehearsals, the youth presented a musical offering which was delivered beautifully and sung with love. These melodious and uplifting Bhajans started the day with a lovely atmosphere leading to the inspiring and motivational talks.

The day was filled with service related activities, from talks by our youth and their involvement in international service projects, to talks by local service projects such as making sandwiches for the homeless, to assembling, packing, wrapping and distributing hamper food packages made for the needy in our local area – this day was not only our centre coming together, but a community, through service, in the name of our Lord.

Nimisha Komalram, one of our youth, shared with us her experience of doing service with a group based in Romania during the summer. She, alongside other youth from the centre, travelled to Romania to work with a group of feral Romanian children, who live on the outskirts of society, never having seen the luxuries that we may take for granted. It was lovely to hear of love being the universal language, in that it does not matter who we are or where we are, through love and service we can come together in solidarity and harmony.

We were also very honoured to have the Mayor and Mayoress of Thurrock take part in the celebrations. The Mayor spoke to us about unity and coming together to undertake service projects. Having read on Swami, the Mayor showed his appreciation and enjoyment of what we were doing for Swami’s Birthday. This presented how we as a society and community work hand in hand, like the previous talk; love truly is a universal language.

The National chair person, Dr Kiran Patel, travelled all the way from Leicester to Essex to take part in our celebrations. This again brought forward the sense of unity – the underlying theme of the day! We listened to Dr. Patel’s insightful talk about his experiences with Swami.

After the inspirational talks, in true Birthday style, it was time to cut the cake! The SSE children all gathered around the cake ready to blow out the candles! It was lovely to be a part of such an amazing day!

It was then time – hamper packing time! Every year, we come together to pack food hamper packages for the needy in our community for Swami’s birthday. These packages are then collected by the Salvation Army and distributed to the needy around Christmas time. From the young to the older, we all work together, with gleaming smiles, to create these packages.

Once the boxes have been constructed and filled with non-perishable food items, they are then wrapped with Christmas wrapping paper, ready to be passed on to the Salvation Army. From pasta, to tea, to biscuits, these boxes were not only filled with food but packed with love and a sense of oneness.

The day ended with the Salvation Army arriving to pick up the hamper packages, one by one, we formed a chain and whilst singing Bhajans passed the packages to the Salvation Army. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate a Birthday! Celebrating Swami’s Birthday through service was such an honour to be a part of.

Swami once said “service is the highest spiritual discipline. Prayer and meditation, or knowledge of scripture and Vedanta (holy scriptures of India), cannot help you reach the goal as quickly as service can.” Therefore, service is of the utmost honour, when we serve, we are actually serving God – what could be more beautiful?

With Swami’s blessings, the day ran smoothly - laughter, smiles and camaraderie between us all made this day a success.

We would like to offer our most gratitude at the Lotus feet of our Divine Master for the benevolence He has bestowed upon us and pray for many more such opportunities to serve our fellow brothers and sisters in need, and for His continued guidance and inspiration.

Davina Komalram – Region 3 Sri Sathya Sai Baba Group of Thurrock