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Region 5 - Guru Poornima Celebrations: SSE Report

Region 5ís Guru Poornima celebrations took place on the 12th of July 2014 at Sandbach High School in Cheshire. As a former SSE student myself, it was great to see that there were many other SSE students present and actively participating in the proceedings. The theme of the day was ĎOne with Saií, and how this can be achieved by practising the nine forms of devotion. The nine forms of devotion are; Sravanam (listening to God's glories), Keerthanam (singing the glories of God), Vishnusmaranam (ever remembering the Lord), Paadasevanam (worshipping the Lord's feet), Archanam (offering daily worship), Vandanam (prostration), Daasyam (dedicated service), Sneham (friendship) and Atmanivedanam (total surrender).

The day started promptly at 10:00 am by listening (Shravanam) to a beautiful talk on personal experiences with the Lord combined with some melodious rendition of songs from uncle Ajit Patnaik from Blackpool. The instruments came together in harmony and complemented uncle Patnaikís melodious singing. Young and old in the audience joined in, adding further to the already auspicious atmosphere. I was very inspired by this offering from uncle and felt that he had set the standards very high for the next performers to try and match.

The next form of devotion to be offered was Keerthanam (singing the Lordís glory), and this was performed by the Halifax Sai Group. The SSE students sang devotional songs, accompanied by myself on tabla. We felt very honoured to be able to offer our songs to Swami and perform in front of so many people. The singers were also joined by Deeshani and Prakruthi, who did classical Indian dancing for some of the songs that were being sung.

Lidget Green Sai Centre expressed Vishnusmaranam by singing bhajans as a group. They showed great unity as there were many on stage but their intentions were the same, to sing bhajans with great devotion and as an offering to the Lord.

Warrington and Liverpoolís presentation of Paadasevanam (worshipping the Lordís feet) was an enchanting performance and there were many SSE children involved showcasing their talents. They enacted a play which expressed the true meaning of Paadasevanam. The actors, their costumes and the music were fantastically chosen to make it an amazing presentation.

Archanam (offering daily worship) was done by Leeds Sai Centre, who performed rituals in order to convey the message of offering daily worship. It was great to see two SSE students, Deeshani and Sourav involved in this presentation. It was indeed a very enlightening presentation and we learnt a lot too.

Bolton Sai Group offered their prostrations (Vandanam) to the Lord by uplifting songs that they sang with love and devotion. It made me happy to see a fellow SSE student Vishaal on tabla and dholak accompanying the wonderful singing.

Uncle Jagdish Patel was next as he expressed Daasyam (dedicated service) by singing Hanuman and Meera bhajans. His singing was soulful and the whole audience was very moved by his singing. As an SSE student, I was really inspired by uncle Jagdish, as were the other SSE students.

Sneham (friendship) was offered by Aunty Praveena and Aunty Supreetha. They narrated stories of the sacred friendships from the scriptures, including the touching story story of Sudhama and Krishna. They also sang devotional songs about friendship between their narrations. All the SSE children really enjoyed the stories and also the singing that came in between.

The final form of devotion that was performed was Atmanivedanam (total surrender). Manchester Sai Centre performed a medley of bhajans to express this form of devotion. It was a fitting end to what was a very wonderful and happy day for all us. Iím sure all the SSE children were glad that they took part in this very special day of Guru Poornima, I know I certainly am!

Prahalad Nadella
Halifax Sai Group
Region 5