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Love and Light

Region 2 - Akhanda Bhajans

'The Alter was breath-taking and beautiful. Set up with Love and care. The colours were chosen carefully to set the mind at ease and calm. It was beautiful and befitting for the Lord. It looked just as beautiful after the 24hours.

Akhanda Bhajan – literally meaning Unbroken Bliss! And indeed what divine bliss was derived from 24 hours of uninterrupted devotional songs, not only sung with great fervour, but felt in the heart and experienced by the soul! What makes this annual event even more special is the thought that our Sai brothers and sisters all over the world are engaged in the same divine task – creating a universal web of love, peace and divine vibrations, which can only serve to uplift humanity and bring much needed peace inside and out.

Region 2 came together once more at the Oxheywood Primary School in Watford, beginning at 5:45pm on Sat 08 November with a procession which included Vedam chanting and opening prayers, followed by the first unity slot of the programme, which allowed centres from across the region to sing as one. After this, the event was well and truly underway as one centre after another delivered sublime bhajans, accompanied by some great musicians, giving devotees the perfect opportunity to be one with Swami and bathe in waves of pure ananda (bliss).

As midnight approached and another unity slot drew closer, a calm, peaceful and serene aura enveloped the venue and the bhajans took on an almost hypnotic effect, as the worries of our daily life disappeared and all that mattered in that moment was connecting to Swami and Swami alone.

The region’s spiritual and seva coordinators as well as the youth and new singers who wanted to offer their voice at Swami’s lotus feet, all sang their way into the early hours of the morning, until at 5am sharp everyone chanted the Suprabatham and once more awakened the Lord to be present with them through the next 12 hours of bhajans.

As the morning progressed, different centres continued to make their heartfelt offering as singer after singer did their utmost to please Swami and the musicians played their part in making the offering complete. Swami has often mentioned what a great opportunity it is to be able to sing bhajans. ‘Those who sing bhajans get what can be called 'double promotion,' for they derive Joy and distribute joy!’

This joy was plain to see not just for those who sang, but for those who simply had the pleasure of listening to the beautiful melodies, which were even more touching and poignant in the last few hours as the SSE Bal Vikas children offered their sweet voices to our dearest Bhagavan, followed by the SSE Gurus and the final unity slot of the programme. And what better way to finish than Swami himself singing a few bhajans as the congregation sang after him, to bring the extended 24 hour programme to an uplifting and glorious ending. Then there was a period of calm and reflection as devotees were led through the guided Jyoti Light meditation, allowing everyone to soak in the divine vibrations and spread them across the world. This was followed by mangala aarathi, vibhuti mantra, kshama prarthna and thought for the day, bringing a close to one of the most important events in the Sai calendar and purifying the heart and mind in time for Swami’s Birthday celebrations!

Swami once said: “THIS day you have resolved to imbibe Divine Bliss by reciting the Glow of God in chorus and with music, continuously for twenty-four hours. You call it akhanda bhajan, even though it will end after that period. Still, the idea is good and the programme will yield good results. For in this busy age of fear and anxiety, the remembrance of God and the repetition of His name is the one means of liberation that is accessible to all.”

How blessed we all were to have the opportunity to remember our Swami and have His name constantly on our lips, if not for the full 24 hours, then at least for part of it.'

Sai Ram
Priya Kotecha