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Love and Light

National Easwaramma Day

Saturday 2 May 2015

We should stand united as a country. When someone asks you, ‘Where do you come from?” you should proudly say that you belong to India. Do not say you belong to Puttaparthi, Anantapur district, etc. Only those with a narrow mind will give such an answer. “I come from India,” this should be your answer. Similarly, one should not say that he comes from California, which is only a small part of America. One should say that he comes from America. Always be broadminded in your thinking. (Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 41, Chapter 13)

With this sentiment in mind, SSE children, teachers, parents and others from across the country converged on Hatfield, Hertfordshire for this year’s National celebration of Easwaramma Day, a day designated by Swami Himself for children.

National Easwaramma Day – Festival of Love

The programme started with a children’s procession, accompanied by vibrant Vedic chanting. This was followed by a speech by Mrs Thana Yogendran, the National SSE Coordinator, to introduce the event and to remind all present about the virtues of SSE.

Vedic Chanting and children’s Procession

An SSE student then ascended the stage to lead the pledge to be recited. All present, young and old, took the solemn oath.

Next was an item called “Garland of Love”, entailing a reading from each of six different major world faiths. The reading was on love, tying in with this year’s National theme of Love and Service.

Outside the main hall, a display of entries for this year’s poster and poem event could be seen. For the poster, children had been asked to portray the value of love without the use of any text, again tying in with the National theme. One poster had been selected to appear on the programme flyer. The poems covered the subject of “Love as thought is truth; love as action is righteous conduct; love as feeling is peace; love as understanding is non-violence.” Certificates were awarded to the winners.

Posters and Poems on Love

During the three months leading up to Easwaramma Day, children around the country had also been recording their good deeds and other expressions of love in a special box, as part of a coordinated activity. These boxes were also displayed outside the main hall for all to see.

Back to the hall and it was the turn of guest speaker Mr Sai Tej Kumar to address the audience. Besides being an alumnus of the Sri Sathya Sai educational institutions in India, he is also the great-grandson of Mother Easwaramma herself. He spoke about the love Swami showered upon His students and reminded all that, having the love of a thousand mothers, Swami will give us what we request so we must therefore request wisely.

Brother Tej Kumar sharing his experiences with Swami

At this point, but not before the children sang three group devotional songs, the programme split into two. Adults remained in the hall to hear more reminiscences from Anantapur Campus alumni, followed by another talk from Sai Tej Kumar. The special guests of the day (the children), however, were taken to the dining hall to have their lunch, before they started their activities.

Talk by former students of Swami’s Anantapur Campus

These activities varied: there were placemats being made for the recipients of meals on wheels in Region 4; there were cards being made for those who suffered during the previous week’s earthquake in Nepal; and there was plant pot painting by younger children. Alongside this was an exhibition expanding on the theme of Love and its various expressions in the form of other the values. Features here included silent sitting, jigsaw making and even a charming puppet show!

Interactive exhibition

The afternoon hall session started with a musical concert by the youth and then saw each region present an item.

Musical item

Starting with a welcome dance by Region 5, there were various skits and poetry by other regions, before nearly 60 children from Region 6 filled the stage to for a musical item.

Regional performances by the children

The programme came to end with some rousing group devotional singing, whilst attendance certificates and gifts were handed out to the children. In all it was a very enjoyable day: some remarked that it was the best one in years, especially due to the large number of children present.

Roll on next year!

Today we are celebrating Easwaramma Day to propagate the glory of motherhood. The world is sustained by the prayers of mothers. A woman’s prayer is more powerful than a thousand prayers of men because women are pure and tender-hearted. Never cause displeasure to your mother. Never hurt her feelings. Then God will help you in all your endeavours. One calls one’s country motherland and not fatherland. Thus, mother is given an exalted position in the world. Consider your country as your own mother and work for its progress. Under any circumstances, do not cause any harm to your mother and motherland. This is the significance and main teaching of today’s celebration. (Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 34, Chapter 8)