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Love and Light

Sai Smaran Bhajans

"Sing aloud the glory of god and charge the atmosphere with divine adoration...." (SSS, VI 239)

On the 31st of May 2014, the 7th ‘Sai Smaran Bhajans’ national gratitude programme was held in Region 1 of SSSSO UK at Tooting Sai Centre. Sai Smaran Bhajans have become more and more popular, and devotees from across the country come and participate in singing HIS glory, as an offering of love and gratitude at HIS feet and experience bliss.

Like previous ‘Sai Smarans’ a lot of planning and preparation had gone in to this event too. Devotees all over the country attended practice sessions in their respective regions which were facilitated by the regional spiritual and youth coordinators. Devotees who wanted to lead the bhajans were encouraged to attend the practice sessions and feedback was given to them by a group of experienced singers and instrumentalists. For the first time at this event, SSE children also participated in large numbers which was very heartening to see.
With the Grace and Blessings of our beloved Bhagawan, and the continuing support from all devotees in the UK , this event which is conducted once every 4 months, has continued to be a great success.

Attended by over 300 devotees from across the UK, this Sai Smaran was no different to the rest. The day started with a melodious Flute and Mrudangam concert, rendered expertly by two young brothers, Harrisan (flute) and Anushan (Mrudangam) Mohanarajah. The young but finely honed talents of these 2 brothers created a perfect ambience in which all the agitations of the mind settled, and all hearts were prepared to receive the joy of singing His glory. With the unison of voices and prayers from our hearts, powerful vibrations of Swami’s love was felt throughout the day.

Bhajan singers and musicians had prepared diligently in the lead up to this occasion, giving devotees the opportunity to listen to various devotional songs, some of which they might not have come across in their own centres or regions. Also, bhajans were sung in a multitude of languages, for example in English, Tamil , Telugu and Hindi -all with the underlying message that we continue to yearn for the love of our dear God.

As well as preparing for bhajans, much planning went in to the organization of the day too. Many devotees were working in the background silently prior, during and after this special occasion. For months, a core committee had been working on various arrangements such as the venue, altar set-up, decorations, food and logistics. As Swami says “love my uncertainty…”, on the eve of the bhajans, the venue was handed over to us much later than agreed, at the late hour of 10pm! We thus had a shorter timeframe in which to get all the preparatory work done! As usual, Swami made sure there were plenty of volunteers at hand, who turned up even at such short notice and at such a late hour. As the quote goes, “many hands make work light“; devotees worked tirelessly to set up the Altar, sound systems and the food hall until 2 am, only to return again early at 8am the same morning for final preparations before devotees arrivedI It was truly amazing to see this spirit of service, sacrifice and love amongst all of them.

The attractively decorated hall had the colour theme of orange and purple with beautiful fresh flowers, candles and draping throughout the hall, a key theme were the human values as beautifully displayed on the Altar.

To add to this, in true Sai Smaran style video projections of classic film footage of Swami’s darshan were played throughout the day. Fortunately, bhajans in the main hall were streamed live, and thus volunteers serving in the food hall and devotees partaking their Prasadam too could participate in the singing. The Prasadam was lovingly prepared by members from various Centres in the Region and served with immense love and care.

The programme finished at 4pm with concluding thoughts from Dr Kiran Patel, our National Chairperson. This was followed by Aarti and then the devotees were served a further hot sumptuous meal prior to embarking on their journeys home. The bhajans sung with great devotion, love and discipline created an atmosphere of Prashanthi Nilayam. The overwhelming feedback from the event was that people felt they were in Prashanti, rather akin to singing in the Sai Kulwant Hall and then going off to the various canteens for partaking of the Prasadam! Mention was also made of the harmonious, congenial and serene atmosphere which pervaded throughout the day and many devotees remarked on how the multitude of volunteers worked as a cohesive team in serving our Lord.

May our dear Swami always guide us in future events and allow us to do more such devotional offerings at His Lotus feet.

Sai Ram.

Jitesh Patel
on behalf of Region 1