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Region 1 - Makara Sankaranthi Celebrations at Merton Centre

One of the lessons our Swami teaches us is about “Seeing divinity in unity”. Therefore, following our divine Mother’s example, our SSE children conduct the bhajan every 1st Sunday of the month at the Merton Sai Centre, followed by a special assembly about a festival from one of the major religions of the world that will be taking place that month. This is done, not only for the children to learn, but also to enable them to teach their parents and fellow devotees about different cultures and celebrations, in order to recognise the common ground between the many different pathways to God.

This month, in order to commemorate the celebration of Thaipongal / Sankranthi; the Group 1, Year 3 Boys gave a beautifully presentation on how Thaipongal is celebrated and the implications of the rituals and traditions that are practised.

The presentation began with a Ganesha bhajan and the Gayathiri mantra was chanted to Lord Surya –the Sun God, to whom this festival of thanks is dedicated to. The boys did not just convey descriptive material and devotional songs but, more importantly, the words of our beloved Swami on how devotees should make every effort to cultivate good qualities on this auspicious day and in the year to come. The Sai devotees were very appreciative of their efforts and words of wisdom, as were the devotees of the adjoining Hindu Temple, when our SSE children spoke on Thaipongal day on January 14th. Fittingly so; they concluded their production with swami’s words;

“Let there be a change in your behaviour for the better. The festivals of Bharatiyas (Indians) are meant to impart sacred teachings and transform human behaviour. They are not meant to merely eat, drink, and make merry.

Kraanti (change) and Shaanti (peace) both reside in the heart. You need not search for them in the outside world. Discover them within you. This is your duty. Serve your parents and society. Lead a godly life, dedicating all your actions to God. Live in love “

The presentation was a lovely reminder for us all to strive together, work hard and give gratitude to the Lord for showering us with His blessings.

Harini (Merton Centre)