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Love and Light

Region 1 - Sri Sathya Sai Orientation Day 2015

On Saturday 7th March, Region one hosted the Sathya Sai Regional Orientation Day based on the national theme 'Love is My Form: Living as Reflections of Love and Service’ at Tooting Sai Centre. The Orientation Day was open to all current office bearers and active members within Region one. There were 65 attendees in all and we were glad that the National Chairperson, Dr. Kiran Patel, National SSE coordinator Thana Yogendran, National Spiritual Coordinator, Dr. Rakendu Suren, including Region 6 Service Coordinator, Nila Murday, was able to join us on the day.

The aim of the day was to deliver information about the various regional and national projects that are planned for this auspicious 90th Year since the advent of our Lord. Another vital aim was to look at where the Regional team could provide support to the Sathya Sai centres in carrying out these service projects and also where they could help in the day-to-day activities that took place in the various centres. It was all about sharing ideas, about what works well and what could be improved.

After being offered a wonderful breakfast by the many volunteers, the Region one Orientation Day commenced with some very uplifting bhajans followed by Region one Vice-chairperson, Sakthi Shanmugathasan, opening the Orientation Day and setting the scene for the events of the day. The welcome speech was delivered by our Region one chairperson, Rajendra Krishna Manandhar, who touched upon the aim and objectives of the Sathya Sai Service Organisation founded by our beloved Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

The Wing Presentations were delivered by the Region one coordinators, Roni Ramdin (SSE), Jayesh Patel (Service), Anand Venkataraman (Spiritual) and Sai Ganesh (Youth). All the regional wing coordinators gave an overview of the events that took place in 2014 including details of the multitude of planned events in both Region 1 and Nationally that will be taking place in 2015. We were all left with excitement and a degree of buzz at the sheer numbers of events planned this year, culminating in December with the National Pilgrimage to decorate the Sai Kulwant Hall at Prashanti Nilayam.

Thereafter, Uncle Sabesan discussed the importance of the DBS clearance (known previously as the CRB) and the fact that it is not an option but a NECESSITY for all centre members who come into contact with children and vulnerable adults to have this done. It has to be validated by the Sri Sathya Sai Organisation, UK.

The SSE, Spiritual & Service wings then broke into Workshops which allowed the opportunity to discuss plans for the year ahead, current challenges and areas of improvement. Some of these included ideas (and this is by no means exhaustive) to facilitate practice of Swami's teachings, enhancing spiritual vibrations in Centres, this year's topics for Study Circles (Love & Selfless Service), Meditation workshops, English devotional songs CD, projects on Educare, Sociocare, Aquacare, Healthcare, Medicare, how to unite Youth across the UK to make 'Our Lives his Message', the 'Spread The Love-STL ' model, training in specialist projects, Nutrition, First Aiders, shared skill sets, Blood Donations, etc.

After a lovingly prepared sumptuous lunch, the afternoon session started with a Wing Breakout Review session where each coordinator shared the outcome of their discussions. This was followed by a talk from the guest speaker, UK National Chair Dr Kiran Patel where he shared his thoughts on the Organisation and Swami with us all. He said that Bhagwan's focus was on awakening the latent divinity within us and how we should try and emulate even a small fraction of Bhagwan's life which was spent in intense love and good for humanity. He reminded us of the threats that come to Swami's Organisation, both within and outside, and how we must cling to Swami's teaching and principles no matter what the circumstances.

The session concluded with some Bhajans and Aarti and we all departed with elevated thoughts and how we could all best serve in Swami's Organisation in this most auspicious 90th Year. Our thanks to Tooting Sai Centre for hosting this event and all the selfless love and Service they put into it.

Robin Pillay & Shakti Shanmugathasan
Region 1