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Education Wing - Speech Ms Diya Bechoo at the National Sathya Sai Orientation Conference

My most humble and loving Pranams to my beloved Lord Sai, respected Elders, dear brothers and sisters - Jai Sai Ram,

Like many of my brothers and sisters in SSE when I was born and eventually brought home the first thing that happened was that I was placed at Swami’s Divine LOTUS Feet. I grew up just accepting as my mum and dad said, that this is God, so even when my friends came home and asked who’s that person in the picture with the big afro, I simply said that He is God and I have seen him. They must have thought I was mad, but no doubt if mum and dad said that He was God then Swami must be GOD.

From such a young age, I sat in on SSE classes even though I was too young, (I think it was my mum and dad's idea of free babysitting). This opportunity granted by Swami gave me the chance to undertake activities with the SSE and Youth.

Additionally, my Gurus loved me as I was a nice, chubby, happy child ready to do anything they asked. So it was not surprising that I was allowed to sing and lead bhajans at our weekly Sunday bhajans.

It felt like Swami was taking me with His invisible hand and leading me to become a confident singer not only at the centre but also in school. As Swami knows everything, he knew what I liked and led me to join the school choir, drama groups and nativity plays, which further led me to discover the things I liked and could do well.

As well as singing, the SSE classes taught me how to pray and be respectful to people from all faiths. I learnt that I should care for people and treat them lovingly. Also I should be kind to animals, especially my bunny which my dad and sisters do not like, they say he occupies the entire garden but he is so cute.

However it isn’t always easy to be thoughtful and kind to everyone, as Swami challenged me with an incident last year. I was being bullied when I became the youngest editor of the Schools news paper and fashion section. My friend that I knew since pre-school, together with another girl began to say hateful things to me and told lies to the teacher about me.

This was a sad time for me, so I told my big sister who got really angry and she said she was coming to school the next day to beat those girls up, as no one was allowed to mess with me. However my mother and father said no, this is not how we act, will Swami approve of that? My sister replied saying but Swami wants Lions in the organisations, to which my mum said Lions of Truth, Peace and Love, there is a time for everything and we must not act as others do. Swami also says Help Ever Hurt Never.

My mother then advised me to go and speak with these girls, and tell them that I was not afraid of them and that if they did not like me that was fine as we cannot like everyone but we should at least be civil or stay away from them if they upset us.

My SSE gurus also said the same; however they also advised me to send Love and Light. This was very difficult for me as they were very hurtful. However, I tried and then left it over to Swami to solve. I also followed my father’s advice in that I should not be scared as I had done nothing wrong and that if I am the truthful one, I will be fine.

Eventually by Swami’s grace everything worked out perfectly as the girls stopped bullying me. Unfortunately the girl who was my friend and began all the bullying lost all of her friends. Other children started bullying her. One option for me was to leave her alone, however my mother advised me to help her and include her with my other friends. Looking back Swami had given me the opportunity to practice what I was learning from SSE in daily life. Swami, my parents, my grandparents, and SSE gurus have all taught me to become who I am, because they’ve guided me in the right path.

I can go on talking for hours like my Granny does but before they throw me off the stage I better stop!

I would like to end with a short bhajan that helps me connect with Swami:

“I keep feeling your love in me over and over again............”

Jai Sai Ram