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Region 5 - Regional Birthday Celebrations: Sunday 27th November 2011

The Region 5 celebrations for Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s birthday took place on the 27th of November 2011 at the Indian Association Hall in Oldham. The programme started at 10:30am and went on till 2:30pm.

The day started off with uplifting vedam chanting and bhajans. Dr. Harish Thampy, Region 5 Chair, gave a warm welcome with a short introductory speech concerning the day’s program. He set the day’s proceedings with the theme ‘I am with you always’. This really fitted in to the occasion as this is the first birthday of Swami after he left his physical body.

Nishal Govindji compered the day’s events which started with the Greater Manchester SSE children’s play. The Greater Manchester play was one of the two skits that day. Their play was about Sage Bharadhwaj and how he got Shiva and Parvathi to agree on coming to earth in three avatars. The play started with the story of how Swami cured his paralytic stroke by sprinkling some water on the left side of his body. From this play, we should take on board that if we do something as great as what Sage Bharadhwaj did, God will do something back. Sage Bharadhwaj waited for 8 days for Shiva and Parvathi to take notice of him as he was waiting to ask them to come to a Mahayagna. There was an excellently executed dance by Shiva and Parvathi. Shiva and Parvathi decided to come in three avatars (Shiridi Sai, Sathya Sai and Prema Sai) on earth. It had a touching end as it showed the picture of Swami saluting us on his final darshan.

The next item was an informal conversation between Kailash and Praveena from Newcastle Sai Centre. They come from quite varied backgrounds with regards to their relationship with Swami. They started with a short birthday song for Bhagawan sung melodiously by Praveena. This was followed by questions asked to each other such as, how life in Ananthapur was, how they got into Swami’s fold, how Swami stood by them always guiding them. There were interesting answers and hints of humour which livened the crowd.

This was followed by a Musical tribute to Baba by Renu Gidoomal, Nandkumar and Jagdish Patel from London. Renu is well known in the UK Sai circle as a beautiful bhajan singer and she now travels all around the world giving devotional song concerts. Jagdish is a gifted singer and Nand is an exponent in playing tabla. The three of them have formed a group called RNJ and they have sung devotional songs in various European countries. They sang a few Bhajans (both Sai and other devotional songs), and also involved the audience in some of the songs. This was a popular performance of the day and everyone seemed to enjoy it.
Lidget Green Sai Centre and Halifax SSE group then presented a play about a devotee called Mr Sahu who was a former student at Puttapurthi. He had a dilemma, whether to help at an orphanage or to give a crucial presentation at work. He chooses to help at the orphanage and Swami comes in as Sahu to do the presentation for him. The average age of the actors was 7, so it was a young group. The play ended with a song sung by Gayathri Nadella, the SSE teacher of Halifax, and the children.

The guest speaker of the day was Gunaranjan Bose. This was a very well thought out speech as he mentioned very rare experiences with Swami, such as bringing his grandfather back to life. He mentioned many teachings of Swami that suited the day well. Another experience he mentioned was when he was asked to do a play before Swami. His role was small, but Swami appreciated his acting after the play and commended him. He also shared an experience which highlighted the humility of the almighty Lord when He actually asked Gunaranjan’s mother’s permission to involve his father in the construction of the super speciality hospital.

The day ended with another 15 minutes of bhajans which were uplifting. Region 5 Spiritual coordinator, Sanjay Vaja summarised the day’s programme and thanked every one who helped to make the day a success. This was followed by Maha Prasadam.

It was an eventful day filled with meaningful programmes and everyone had lots of messages to take home and practice. Nobody felt the absence of Swami indeed and He proved to be with us always, once again.

Prahalad Nadella (aged 12)
Halifax SSE student