December 2012 Edition

Quote

On December 25th, when Jesus was born, three kings. came to his birthplace. These three gave expression to three different views about the new-born babe. One of them, looking at the infant, said: "This child looks like one who will be a lover of God." A second king said: "God will love his child." The third king declared: "Verily, this child is God Himself." The first one viewed the child from the physical point of view. The second saw the child from the mental viewpoint. The third saw from the Aatmic (spiritual) point of view. The three declarations indicate how one can progress from the human to the divine level. What is needed is the destruction of the animal and demonic qualities in man. Man today worships inanimate idols and images, but makes no attempt to love his fellow human beings in flesh and blood. This was the first message of Jesus. Though one sees his neighbours day after day, he does not choose to love them. How can one believe that such a person can love an invisible God? If a man cannot love a fellow human being who is visible before his eyes, how can he love what is not visible to him? This is not possible. Only a man who loves living beings around him can love the invisible Divine. Love must start with love for beings that have form. It must be extended to all beings. This is the primary stage in spirituality.

~ Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Events

National Christmas Celebrations 2012

Articles

Conversations with Dr Samuel and Sharon Sandweiss

Education Wing - Poem: My Sai and I

National Birthday Celebrations – A Perfect Palace in Leicester

Region 1 - Akhanda Bhajan Hosted: Merton Sai Centre

Region 1 - Ladies Day 2012

Region 2 - Akhanda Bhajans

Region 2 - Baba's Birthday Celebrations

Region 2 - National Seva Day – Make a Positive Difference

Region 2 - SSE Akhand Bhajans: November 2012

Region 3 - December 2012 Update

Region 3 - Narayan Seva

Region 3 – Birthday Celebrations at Centres

Region 4 - Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s Birthday Celebrations at Coventry Sai Centre

Region 4 - Coventry Ladies Event

Region 4 - Coventry SSE Diwali Celebrations

Region 4 - Diwali Celebrations in Leicester

Region 4 - Global Akhand Bhajans and Mosque Open Day Visit

Region 4 - Leicester Birthday Celebrations

Region 4 - Nottingham Group: Akhand Bhajans

Region 5 - Akhanda Bhajans

Region 5 - Birthday Celebrations

Region 5 - Ladies Day

Region 6 - Akhanda Bhajans

Region 6 - Birthday Celebrations 2012

Region 7 - Dr Samuel Sandweiss

Region 7 - Poem: A Living Love

Region 7 - Service to Man is Service to God

Service Wing - Sathya Sai Cataract Surgery Programme: South Africa

Spiritual Wing - Christmas in the 21st Century: a Christian perspective

Youth Wing - National Youth Satsang with Dr Samuel Sandweiss & Mrs Sharon Sandweiss

Editorial

Dear Love & Light Readers,
Sai Ram to you!

I hope that everyone found November a very invigorating and refreshing experience which started with the Akhand bhajans on the 10th and 11th November. The glory of God was sung across the length and breadth of the UK and the world over. We were blessed to have the rare privilege of being amidst the company of God loving people praising His Glory. This was followed by the Diwali festivities celebrated by Hindu Communities. Then the Ladies Day which was celebrated by our sisters across UK in various ways.

The wonderful events culminated with the National Birthday Celebrations to mark the 87th year of the advent of our Lord, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. About 1300 devotees attended the programme. Dr Samuel and Mrs Sharon Sandweiss from United States were our Guests who thrilled the audience with their experiences. The programme concluded with a musical concert and cake cutting ceremony. As part of Birthday celebrations, a number of events were also observed by several regions and centres throughout the country.

We were honoured to have Dr and Mrs Sandweiss tour some of the regions of the UK, sharing and spreading Swami’s Love all around.

As we move into December, there is a scent of festivity in the air with preparations building towards Christmas. It is a time of the year when families and friends get together to share their love and realign their thoughts and prayers onto those who are in need.

Baba reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas,

"In all religions, birthdays of great personalities are elebrated but the ideals for which they lived are not remembered and followed. If you do not care to follows their teachings the celebrations lose their meaning and become artificial observances. It is not doing justice to the good people whose birthdays are being celebrated. Christ taught people to love all beings and serve all with compassion. It is only by practising these ideals that one can truly celebrate His birthday. The Divinity within should be reflected in every action. The seat of Truth is in your heart. Worship means loving others with your full heart. You must live in love and lead a life of selfless service based on love. This is the only right way of celebrating the birth of Christ." Christmas day, 25 Dec 1992

We look forward to welcoming you to the National Christmas Celebrations on Sunday 16th December which is being held at the prestigious venue of The Cheltenham Ladies College Hall in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. We have a wonderful festive programme to include the traditional Christmas Service, uplifting prayers and music, Christmas Carols and Nativity and a sumptuous Christmas lunch. Leonora Van Gils will be our guest speaker who is a long standing devotee of Baba.

Please register via the UK website.

Finally, 2013 is looking like another fantastic year for the UK. Please be sure to make a note in your diaries of dates:

Sai Smaran Bhajans - Saturday 12th January
National Orientation & Welcome Day - 2 day conference 19th and 20th Jan for all current and previous office bearers and active members
National Youth Conference 22nd - 24th February
National Sai Remembrance Day – Saturday 27th April
National Eswaramma Day – Saturday 4th May.
National Pilgrimage – Sunday 28th July – Saturday 3rd August
National Healthcare Conference - tba
National Birthday Celebrations – tba
National Christmas Celebrations – Sunday 15th December 2013

On behalf of the Council and the UK Trust, I pray that you have a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Dr Kiran Patel,
National Chair Person




Conversations with Dr Samuel and Sharon Sandweiss

Dr Samuel Sandweiss’s first meeting with Swami - Excerpts from talk on 1st of December 2012

The strongest learning I had was when I went to Swami for the first time. I saw Omniscience and Omnipresence. That still didn’t soften my heart. We went to Whitefield during the first Summer School in Culture and Spirituality in 1972. I was a little disturbed even though Swami had showed me his Omnipresence and Omniscience. By this time, I should have fallen at His Feet but I still hadn’t.

And then I heard him talking, simple talk. “Why don’t you try to comb your hair and why do you wear tight pants and have long hair? Not washing. Look like a monkey. “

And I thought I came all the way from California and I just wanted to hear of very complex things and He is telling me about washing and cutting hair? And I noticed my sideburns were pretty long. Actually I cut them after I had heard this. I was feeling terrible! Such simple little trivial teaching. Isn’t that trivial teaching or not?

This was at the old house in Brindavan. At the back there was a thatched roof that they had put up and monkeys were jumping around and Swami used to come out and speak. I was at the front of the house waiting to go. I was waiting for Swami to go upstairs. I was feeling very bad.

I hadn’t slept well. I was eating hot food which I wasn’t used to it and then Swami was telling me don’t be this….I was feeling I came all the way to hear this from Swami?

I was also thinking of going back although I had seen His Omnipresence.

He then comes up to me, His eyes sparkling, full of love, full of knowledge and full of understanding and gave me 2 pieces of little candy. He was so sweet to me, so very personal. That is what did it to me! First lesson I said to myself, don’t think it is a mere candy and Swami said,”Sweet, Sweet, Sweet”. He came up with a personal contact and a sweet, that filled my heart.

That was what broke me!

That was what made me fall at his feet and I wanted to sing a song. That is what we should do too.

If we just know the background of the type of person we are dealing with and we understand with softness and sweetness, not always so easy to do. Swami has put you there to give love and to learn from projection of your own selves. Through steadiness, through perseverance and through patience will come your own purity. This is our training ground. It is Tapas.

Extract from presentation provided by Sharon Sandweiss on the 1st of December 2012

This is an excerpt from a talk given by Sharon Sandweiss to parents of SSE children. It involves an interview that Baba had given to a group of devotees from New Zealand in 2009. Swami loves to converse with His devotees and knows what is on their minds. He answers them directly:

Devotee: Baba, how do we get close to you? You are so far away.

Baba: Distance is only in your imagination. You are always close to me when we realise that I am in your heart, but until that happens I am here and you remain there thousands of miles apart. Your connection is Me. That is what I want you to do. Then I am yours automatically. Eliminate your anger, jealousy, ego. Purify your heart. Have you ever thought of practising atleast one idea, one teaching from me? Do it, Do it. Do it! Then surely success will come and Grace will flow.

Devotee: How do we work for Sai’s Mission as true servants of the Lord?

Baba: For this Baba has given you this, the Sai Organisation. Make use of it to the best capacity by doing Service, by Devotion and by being Loving to all. Sometime you are very impatient with the Organisation. I know, I know, I watch everything. Baba makes rules, regulations for specific purpose. Without rules, without discipline, soon it becomes a zoo. Discipline is the watch word in any spiritual path.

The Sai Organisation is not like a Rotary Lions Club, it isn’t a family club, it is purely a spiritual and service organisation.

The very name SAI stands for ‘S’ Spiritual Transformation, ‘A’ Association or Social Change and ‘I’ Individual Transformation. All these have to be achieved through the organisation but if you are uninterested in Transformation, then better to stay home and not waste your time. Time is precious, life is speeding fast, make best use of every minute. Make every minute the best minute for you and all around you. Fix your attention on God only. Focus on God. Do Selfless Service. And be happy.

Excerpts of a conversation between Samuel Sandweiss and John Hislop

Dr John Hislop was an ardent devotee of Bhagawan and a highly spiritual person. He had served the United States Council and the Organisation for many years. Many may have read his book titled “My Baba and I”, a title that Bhagawan Himself had given. When he was near death, Dr Sandweiss had the rare fortune to talk to him. Soon after this conversation, Dr Hislop passed away. Following is an excerpt of his video conversation that he presented during his tour of the UK.

Sam: Is that something special -- that somebody (Swami) should proclaim that (“I am God”) – or that we believe that He actually is God -- is that a special event?

John: I think that is a special event Sam -- in all other teachers I have been involved with, none has made that claim. The Claim that God is their Divine preceptor, and that they are travelling with God in the path of spirituality -- but none has ever made the claim that “I am God.”

Sam: Does this give a special potency to His Message?

John: I don’t see how it cannot fail to, especially when you look at the companion statement because He says, yes I am God but so are you. The only difference being that I know it, and you don’t know it. And you can know it because you are God.

Warren (interviewer2): After your long life of spiritual searching, if you can summarise the essence of the wisdom that you gained in a sentence or a phrase, could you do that?

John: Yes, it’s very simple. The wisdom that I have gained through my spiritual life with Buddha and with Baba and with others too -- is that the primary path to spiritual opening is Devotion to God. All the other things, meditation, action and so on -- have all fallen away in their importance. Devotion is the primary way to God.

Sam: Is that what you are holding onto now?
John: Yes.

Sam: In what form does it take?

John: It takes the form of always seeing Swami wherever I am and recognising that He is in me and that if I see Him standing there, I recognise that I am in Him too. So I visualise Swami a great deal, I see Him.

Please click the link below to see the video of this interview -
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=359124457517569&set=vb.307509206023512&type=3&theater

Education Wing - Poem: My Sai and I

My Sai and I,
The one who takes away my sorrow,
The one who cares for me, I follow
Someone I can talk to that won't judge me,
Someone who will teach me values and harmony
He who brings me happiness and joy,
He who has seen me grow, from baby to a boy
The mother who has taught me love and care,
The father who has taught me how to be kind and share,
A friend who has lent me his hand in studies,
A friend who will forever be the best of my buddies,
A teacher from whom I learn the lesson of life,
A teacher who takes care of me in struggle or strife,
My Sai who stays with me from birth till I die,
And even after,
That is my Sai and I

By: Ian Gordon, SSE student
Region 7

National Birthday Celebrations – A Perfect Palace in Leicester

It was a cold but crisp Saturday morning in Leicester, but the weather was no dampener to the excitement of His devotees from all over the country gathering together in Leicester to celebrate the Lord’s 87th Advent. The anticipation of the National Birthday Celebrations had been growing over many weeks and the day didn’t disappoint.

As you walked through the door, you were instantly transported to the Hill View Stadium in Prasanthi Nilayam, as the impressive backdrop on the Stage with the Golden Palace and a beautifully decorated Jhoola in the foreground, enhanced the sacred ambience. Everyone could feel the Divine Presence instantaneously, and the spirits soared higher still as bhajans started.

Aptly reflecting the theme for the day- The Light in our Hearts- the programme commenced with a beautifully choreographed traditional Bharatha Natyam dance titled ‘Deepanjali- An Adoration of Light’. Four young students (Jhyni Ravishankar, Melisa Thulaseetharan, Maduri Satkunabalan, Vaishnavi Mohan Sarma) of the renowned Bharatha Natyam dancer and teacher Mrs. Pramila Ramanan from London,
performed this dance with such finesse, poise and verve that every assembled heart could experience the vibrant and colourful energy of Light. Then followed an offering by our beloved ‘little hearts’, SSE children from all across the country, who lovingly presented their Lamps of Love at the Divine Feet of our Bhagawan, even as a group of pilgrims from the recently concluded Sai Jyothi UK pilgrimage sang mellifluously a selection of familiar songs that they had rendered in Prasanthi Nilayam such as ‘I am the light’ and ‘Master of Light’.

After this uplifting introduction to what promised to be a wonderful day, the National Chair of our Organisation, Dr Kiran Patel, formally welcomed everyone and especially our esteemed guests from America, Dr Samuel Sandweiss and his wife Sharon. He reminded all those present of our unique fortune in being the contemporaries of the Sathya Sai Avathar who bestowed His Love constantly and unconditionally on all of us, and who worked all His Life tirelessly towards our spiritual transformation. For such a loving and divine Master, the ideal Birthday present that we could hope to offer, Dr Patel felt, would only be our unflinching commitment to integrate His Message of Love and Human Values in our daily lives.

Dr Samuel and Sharon Sandweiss who need very little introduction amongst Sai devotees then enthralled us, and enlightened us all by sharing a lifetime’s worth of experiences with the Divine. It was evident from the very start that they had a vast amount of love, happiness and wisdom to share with everyone seated in the hall and all those watching online from around the world. Stories about their interactions with Bhagawan, personal experiences and working with Sai devotees filled everyone’s hearts with limitless joy and at many points laughter. The special feature of their engaging talks was the accompanying high quality video clips on Swami set to some beautiful music from different genres in a very imaginative way by Dr Sandweiss. These videos with music highlighted Bhagawan’s Message and Mission very vividly to everyone assembled and drenched everyone in beautiful memories, pure joy and devotion.

After a delicious lunch and some lovely bhajans, Dr Samuel and Sharon continued with their wonderful sharing. What a wonderful opportunity it was to hear even more from those who have had such close experiences with Bhagawan and who permeate joy in a way that it becomes infectious! It was clear that their unwavering focus on Swami and His Teachings had a direct impact in all the activities they undertook, be they simple daily activities or organising large concerts in America to share His Love and Message with the wider communities. Flying all the way from America to share their love, it is difficult to explain just how they uplifted everyone in attendance on the day, in a such a profound way that we were sitting in His presence celebrating His Advent!

Everyone who has ever been fortunate enough to be in the Divine presence on His birthday (or seen the videos) knows that the Jhoola ceremony is an immensely special and unique part of an unforgettable celebration. This event was no exception, and the Jhoola swayed once again to the divine melodies in the form of a beautiful music offering by a group of 11 extraordinarily talented musicians.

Words cannot describe the offering of supreme devotional vibrations that permeated the hall and sweetened the already filled the hearts. The musical offering commenced with a vocal rendering by the renowned singers Kaviraj Singh Dhadyalla and Deepa Rasiya accompanied by Tabla maestro Manjeet Singh Rasiya. Then followed an elaborate and expert instrumental rendition of Raag Bhairavi lead by the internationally acclaimed Sitar player Ms Roopa Panesar, and accompanied on Santoor by Kaviraj Singh and on Tabla by Dharmesh Parmar. Ms Roopa Panesar was also accompanied by her students Jasdeep Singh, Varinder Singh, Akash Parekh, Iksit Gadhia, Nimrata Rasiya and Meera Rasiya. Truly the divine vibrations created made the Jhoola ceremony a celestial one. There was no doubt that Bhagawan had adorned the stage to enjoy this awe inspiring performance.

The climax of the programme was still to come though! Accompanied by the smiling faces of enthusiastic children, no less than 4 specially made cakes by devotees around the UK, bejewelled with candles, were brought onto the stage for the grand finale Birthday song and cake ceremony. A wonderfully memorable way to end a programme in the ‘Palace Setting’ where Bhagawan’s grand 85th Birthday was celebrated in Prasanthi Nilayam, only to be relived again in all its glorious splendour in UK two years later. One never to be forgotten!!

Dr Amit Patel
Leeds

Spiritual Wing - Christmas in the 21st Century: a Christian perspective

"He was created of a mother whom He created. He was carried by hands that He formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy. He, the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute." – St. Augustine

‘Deck the halls with boughs of holly’, put up the ‘Christmas tree, O Christmas tree’ and perhaps spend a ‘silent night, holy night’, remembering the true meaning to Christmas, but for many people today the Christmas message is easily lost amidst the shopping, family commitments and children’s parties. So what does Christmas mean to me? Perhaps not what it does to Stevie Wonder, even though it is a great song!

Christmas to a Christian is the start of something wonderful. The waiting period of advent is full of expectation…the hype grows as another day is burnt off the advent candle or with each Sunday’s advent service. The lights appear, just as the star appeared in the sky to lead the magi towards the baby Jesus, the long awaited King of the Jews; the Messiah who would offer humans the chance to repair their relationship with God – the relationship bruised and injured by the Original Sin way back in the Garden of Eden. Our ‘wait’ of just 24 days reminds us of the thousands of years of history when people waited and kept faith that God would return.

Christmas is a chance to know the personal nature of God, to become one of the characters we know so well; to become Mary who was chosen by God to be His mother, to become Joseph who had to surrender to God and trust that all would be well, to become the humble shepherds who waited so desperately for the news of a saviour who would bring them freedom at last. It’s a chance for us to confront our own fear and jealousy as we hear about Herod’s massacre of the babies, a chance for us to consider how far we are prepared to travel in the hope of seeing our dreams come true as the wise men did.

And, perhaps above all, Christmas is a time for us to realise how much God loves us. To be born as a baby whose life was in danger before he’d even taken his first breath and who was chosen to bear the weight of humanity, to live his life solely to show people the unconditional love of God and then to die in the most excruciatingly painful and humiliating way – what a sacrifice to make for us. He was perfect, and he took the pain of the world before he was even born.

So as we look at the baby in the manger we are called to remember: this tiny child was born to die, and that is why the angels sing his glory as he lies in the stable, the lowest of the low. Jesus wasn’t born to be rich or to parade his power to those he met. He was born to show us that he understands what it is like to be human: the good and the bad, the joy and the pain that make us who we are. He was born to love us and to invite us to love him in return.

Kathryn Crosweller

Youth Wing - National Youth Satsang with Dr Samuel Sandweiss & Mrs Sharon Sandweiss

On Sunday 2nd December, the youth of UK were blessed to have a youth satsang with the highly respected, energetic and renowned Dr Samuel Sandweiss and Mrs Sharon Sandweiss.

The morning began with uplifting Bhajans by the youth followed by a welcome address by Shyam Jamnadas (National Youth Coordinator) who went through the format for the day and reminded us all of how we are fortunate as youth to have been born during the time the Avatar walked the Earth.

Shitubhai Chudasama (International Youth Coordinator) then followed, with a motivational talk setting the vision for the youth globally and setting the scene. He asked us to reflect how our lives were before Swami had impacted our lives and also how our lives would be without His teachings to guide. Shitubhai then introduced our guests, Dr Samuel Sandweiss and Mrs Sharon Sandweiss to address the youth.

This couple reminded me of two very different peas from the same pod both with immense love for Swami but with alternative ways to demonstrate it. Dr Samuel Sadweiss is a global visionary who has big ideas on how to spread Swami’s message referring to Swami’s thoughts on the youth and how they should be courageous like lions taking his mission forward, and living by His message. He explained how we live in a time where technology enables us to reach out to people all over the world and we should use such platforms for “expansion” – expand Swami’s message to every corner of the globe. He explained how we must translate Swami’s teachings and message in a way that the world will understand and showed many examples of this being done with videos of concerts for example.

Later, Mrs Sharon Sandweis reflected on the importance of the smaller things in life such as the development of the family and the home, sharing stories of the upbringing of their four daughters. She even shared stories of interviews where Swami showed concern for the welfare of their children. She emphasized strongly the role of the woman and the pressures they can face but it is a woman who carries a home.

During the question and answer session the couple shared techniques of meditation and ways to connect with Swami and interacted with the youth on topics such as marriage, explaining how a couple are “one” and united. They also talked about how we all are messengers of Swami’s love and instruments in carrying out His mission.

This couple are very blessed having numerous experiences to share and of particular importance, Dr and Mrs Sandwiess were guest speakers at the 2009 convocation and Ladies day receptively and the youth of UK were very appreciative of their guidance.

The satsang ended with Bhajans followed by Aarti and the youth left energized and inspired from the infectious energy that the Sandweiss couple carry.

We thank Swami for sending His wonderful messengers to uplift us and pray the youth have more opportunities to interact with Dr Sandweiss and Mrs Sharon Sandweiss again.

Gobika Mohandas
Region 1 Vice-Youth Co-ordinator

Region 1 - Akhanda Bhajan Hosted: Merton Sai Centre

Akhand bhajan involves constant contemplation on God in the morning, evening, and even during the night. It is constant contemplation on God during all three states: the waking, dream, and deep sleep states. It is “sarvada sarvakaleshu sarvatra harichintanam”
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: Akhanda Bhajans 2007

Between Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 November 2012, Merton Sai Centre hosted akhand bhajans (continuous group devotional singing) and began with prayers and Vedic chanting.

As per tradition, the bhajan “Akhanda Jyoti Jalaavo” was sung while SSE children lit altar candles that burned throughout the 24-hour vigil. This bhajan has a significant meaning which very appropriately links the two concepts of Love and Light:

"Sai, light the eternal flame within the temple of my heart and illumine my intelligence. Embodiment of love and divinity, with effulgence equal to that of million suns, light in me the flame of divinity, knowledge and love."

The Region 1 SSE students participated in the devotional singing; and the Region 1 Sai Youth sang with a lot of energy and enthusiasm from midnight to 3am. The continuity of the akhand bhajans was assured by the active participation of the Region’s centres and groups with cooperation and love. At 5am on the Sunday, Omkar was chanted 21 times followed by Suprabhaatam. Bhajans continued throughout the day and concluded with Bhagawan singing the last two devotional songs followed by aartee at 6pm.

Region 1 - Ladies Day 2012

On 18 November 2012, as part of the Region 1 Ladies’ Day events, Merton Sai Centre organised an afternoon tea and entertainment for South London elderly members. Once again, it proved to be one of the highlights of the year. And what was so special about this day?

As always, every detail of the programme had been planned and carried out meticulously to make our friends feel welcome and at home – such a very special time for these housebound people who are usually isolated and alone. Delicious food and drink was in abundance and served with big smiles.

There was much to learn about the Chinese zodiac when the children of the Merton Sai Centre performed a most entertaining play. A lot of talent was on show: the violin and veena players; the dancers; the singers. In fact, when two gorgeous little girls performed an exquisite dance, Christine, one of our guests whose legs had been injured in an accident when she was very young, was so excited that she climbed onto her chair and swayed to the tune of the music. The rhythm of the music and the dance were so captivating that Chris nearly fell off! Luckily, no harm came to her; and she was clearly enjoying the occasion.

It is always much appreciated by our older friends when they are included in the events. The general knowledge quiz questions were stimulating and provoked various debates. And many of the guests were delighted when the talented bingo comperes remembered their names from previous occasions. It felt as if every helper was an embodiment of Swami: pouring out constant love.

Food and drink was prepared and lovingly served throughout by devotees. A memorable afternoon came together due to the unity and love from devotees of all ages who contributed in various ways.

On 19 November, ladies from Region 1 conducted bhajans for one hour, followed by aartee. A short video was then shown, which included Bhagawan giving a Ladies’ Day discourse and darshan clips, ending with Swami’s student singing, “O Mere Sai Baba.” Prashaad (consecrated food) was shared, which had been prepared by the ladies of the Region.

Region 2 - Akhanda Bhajans

10th to 11th November 2012

The Region 2 Akhanda Bhajans this year was full of vibrancy throughout the whole 24 hours!

We were also very lucky because the program brought to the forefront those talented instrumentalists and singers from our Region whom we had not seen in some time. One of our Brothers played the Thavil (large barrel drum) which gave a very authentic feel of Prashanti Nilayam when played during the program, and another brother played the electric guitar.

The Akhanda Bhajans started with a unique opening procession of Vedam led by the SSE Children from Region 2 , all dressed in their Red Dhothis, just as you would see in Prashanti. Children from the age of 8 to 13 chanted The Ganesh Atharvashirsham followed by 9 Gayatri mantras, and carried Swami’s Padukas way over their heads thereafter installing them under his Divine chair. They then lovingly offered flowers and a Prayer at the Divine Lotus feet that Swami may watch over and bless the full 24 hour program. The Bhajans started just perfectly, and throughout the night vibrations were kept very strong and powerful by our dedicated Seva, Spiritual and Youth wings too. They sang soulfully and whole heartedly with hearts full of love!

It was felt by many that the end of the Program was the best part of the event. We had our SSE Children singing, followed by their Gurus, ending with Unity Bhajans. The SSE children sang English devotional songs and bhajans for nearly two hours continuously! Some of the English songs sang were not especially common or heard often, but all sang most beautifully and most innocently indeed.

To conclude the program we had a session of popular Bhajans which united all 10 centres across our Region. It is very difficult to put into words the energy and the power with which all sang throughout this slot. However, we can say that everyone participated with full hearts and it was an amazing experience, to say the least!

During the short silence at the end of the Bhajans the Divine energy could be felt all around the hall.
Our Sister and Regional Chair, Bhadra Patel, very lovingly gave the vote of thanks to everyone for their efforts and love throughout the whole 24 hour program.

Lastly, I would like to say thank you, again, to those who gave their precious gift of time, all their loving seva and energy to make the Akhanda Bhajans this year very, very memorable and so special.
We are already looking forward to next year’s Akhanda Bhajans, as it is definitely a favourite event for many of us. It is a time in which the entire region 2 Sai family come together, pray together and connect to our dearest Bhagavan. May this tradition continue always and forever!

Yours Lovingly,
Article submitted by Suresh Sajnani, R2 Spiritual Co-ordinator

Region 2 - Baba's Birthday Celebrations

Sri Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Greenford

Greenford Sai Centre celebrated Swami's advent day on the 25th November with the morning starting off with Ganapati Athirvashirsham and Narayan Upanishad. This was followed by a short Paduka pooja and some melodious bhajans.

The Balvikas children took turns to talk about what they felt Swami would want from us as a present on His birthday.

The youth continued on a similar note and performed a play based on constant integrated awareness - which was a combined drama and presentation reflecting on how one should incorporate Swami's teachings on a daily basis and how we should see God everywhere, in everything, all the time. It showed how living His message is not actually that difficult as Swami does not demand much from us. This was followed by Aarthi and maha prashadam.

The 23rd November is known all over the world for one reason – the day the world welcomed the Almighty in human form. This is not just a day of celebration for us; it is a period of reflection to assess how far we have progressed spiritually and how much we have transformed over the past year which was the basis of the theme of the whole day.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Harrow East

The Sri Sathya Sai Centre of Harrow East celebrated Swami’s birthday on Sunday 18th November. Around 300 devotees enjoyed the programme which began with Vedam Chanting creating an atmosphere reverberating with divine vibrations. Bhajans then followed which transported the gathering into the Sai Kulwant Hall. The highlight of the programme was a thought provoking and uplifting talk by Brother Divij Desai from the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning.

Brother Divij studied Physics as an undergraduate and was then instructed by Swami to study for an MBA. He is now working in London on a project for Citibank. Many devotees recognised Brother Divij as one of the uniquely privileged boys who pushed Swami’s chair during Darshan.

Brother Divij shared many experiences of the tender Love and care with which Swami had guided him and how through his intensity of devotion Swami had allowed him proximity as a personal attendant. He recounted numerous personal interactions which all carried some message or another. He also shared Swami’s guidance to all of us about being fearless and experiencing the divine presence at all times and all places.

The Birthday Song then followed and one final (surprise) bhajan sung by Swami himself (with his delightful form seen via the projector screen which the IT team had set up). The programme concluded with Aarthi and distribution of the birthday cake whilst devotees left with smiles on their faces feeling uplifted with divine vibrations and looking forward to the big week ahead.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Harrow West

Our beloved Swami’s Birthday celebration began with prayers to Lord Ganesh, the remover of obstacles. The altar was beautifully decorated in Prashanthi colours and the Oxhey wood hall was filled with ardent devotees.

The unified sound of the voices chanting the complete Sri Rudram filled the hall with such vibration that we all felt transported to Prashanthi Nilayam. With Swami’s physical presence no longer on this Earth, his last instructions for humankind to recite the Sri Rudram to cleanse Mother Earth was undertaken by Harrow West devotees as the beautiful Vedic chanting heard from children and adults alike was a joy.

After the prayers were chanted including the powerful Gayathri mantra, the melodious bhajans began from the lead singers supported by a strong chorus which uplifted and energised all the devotees. The bhajans ended with a song dedicated to Swami’s birthday, where we wished Him with all our hearts.

The birthday programme continued with the SSE children’s rendition of Swami’s play that He performed as a child, with the central theme ‘practice what you preach’. The excellent performance by the children provoked many a thought about the actions that we as devotees are taking to ensure that Swami’s messages lives through our own thoughts, words and deeds.

Following this was a Youth musical item where they expertly sang Westlife’s ‘You raise me up’ and ‘Armiti Anahita’ with such devotion that the entire audience was moved by the love that the youth, our leaders of tomorrow, displayed for all to feel. Their heartfelt songs were followed by a bhajan medley where all the devotees joined in.

Harrow West was greatly privileged to have the distinguished speaker Dr Upadhyay sharing Swami’s Birthday celebrations from Prashanthi with us. He had flown from India to London the day before and was suffering from a sore throat and thus was unable to speak. However, when listening to the Youth musical recital, he experienced such devotion that he felt this throat had healed and he spoke to us with no difficulty. We were blessed to hear him tell us Swami’s message, his account of the story of Jay and Vijay, Narayan’s two inseparable companions and the love and devotion Meera had for Lord Krishna, moved us all.

Dr Upadhyay explained that we should pray to the Lord to come to this Earth not to grant us protection from evil, but for purity of love for the divine. His insightful talk provided all the devotees much inspiration to continue our journey towards divinity.

The birthday celebration ended with Mangala Aarthi followed by Maha Prasadham. Dr Upadhyay had kindly kept a rose from Swami’s Samadhi so that we could make our salutations to the Lord. This special day was both enjoyable and memorable as there were lessons for us to learn from.

Most importantly we were reminded of our mission to practice the five human values that we had seen demonstrated by our loving Swami in his physical body. We must remember that Swami lives among us, with us and inside us and through these celebrations we were reminded of this eternal truth.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Heston

Sunday 25th November we had started the joyful celebrations by chanting the Gayatri Mantra 108 times for the welfare of the whole world followed by Bhajans in praise of our Beloved Lord.

After offering the Aarti and seeking Bhagwans Divine blessings we welcomed all the devotees to our Centre. Our SSE Children read stories from Swami’s life that has brought great delight in all as they showed Swami's message of Love.

Later we had hosted a quiz to find out how much we really know about the life of Swami and events that occurred in Prashanthi Nilayam which was both insightful and great fun.

We were privileged to have Uncle Selva Kumar as the special guest speaker who highlighted to us the significance of celebrating the auspicious occasion as a step to analyse the growth within us in union with God, and share pure selfless love with all.

The Celebrations concluded with cake cutting from the Children and offering of Maha Prasadam. Overall at the end we spent the evening in a love-filled exhilaration as we all cried out in joy

"Our Dear Swami, here is my Love, Happy Birthday to you!!"

Jai Sai Ram

Sri Sathya Sai Baba Centre of London West

Mother Sai’s 87th birthday celebrations will be a memorable day of happiness and divine joy for the SSE children, parents and devotees present at the London West Sai Centre. Each and everyone could feel swami’s presence as we all believed that HE was verily sitting on the chair and enjoying the events.

The celebrations started with the light meditation followed by Ganesh prayer, Gayatri prayer and Sai Gayatri chanting. A girl and a boy amongst the SSE children were chosen to do the offering of flowers during the chanting of ashtotram.

The SSE programme commenced with humble salutations to Mother Sai. As the narrator was offering the pranams, the youngest children of the batch offered roses at Swami’s padukas followed by birthday cards and chanting of the Slokas where the hall vibrated with the chanting of Sivopasana Mantram by all the SSE children.

Our young and enthusiastic SSE girls aged between 4 and 5 performed a very beautiful dance for the Anamacharya's Brahmammokate song, which emphasised our Swami's message that God is one but HIS forms and names are many.

Swami has always stressed parents should lead an exemplary life if they want their children to be good and come up in life, as they will follow their role models actions. Therefore, parents should tread the right path and set an ideal so that their children can emulate them. To bring out the above statement into reality, our SSE Boys staged a small skit named "Cheppinattu Chesthara?" with a flavour of wit and humour.

The skit had two scenes where in the first scene the son tells lies and the mother preaches to the child not to do so. Later the son finds that the mother too is telling lies and is totally confused with his mother’s behaviour. Before we teach our children to adhere to truth, we should practice it in our daily life. Only then can the children emulate us and become ideal.

The second scene was about not wasting food. The father stands out as an example to the son for not wasting food even though the food had no salt in it. The child later agrees that food is God, God is food and so we should not waste it. At the end all the SSE children promised to Swami that "Our Deeds would follow our Words" (Manamantha Cheppinatu Chesthamu).

All the tender and innocent hearts offered a musical treat to Swami by singing "Tumhi Ho Mata Pita Tumhi Ho". As they understood the meaning of the song so it was filled with devotion and love for the Lord. This was followed by a dance of the Gopikas in remembrance of Lord Krishna and his leelas by the SSE girls aged between 7 and 9 to a melodious Krishna Bhajan.

The children ended the programme with a thank you note to Swami for the wonderful opportunity and to all the parents and elders for their support and guidance. Bhajans were sung immediately and everyone joined the children in singing the very happy and joyful birthday song while the cake was being cut.

The whole celebrations ended with Arathi, Vibhuthi and the distribution of Prasad. It had been a day of bliss and inner peace to all who gathered for the special occasion.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Pinner

Unity in Diversity, the life and times of Sri Sathya Sai Baba
In celebrating Swami’s birth anniversary, we wanted to rekindle the mission and message of Sai, to really remember how to make our lives His message. For this reason, everything for the programme resounded and reflected the life and times of Baba, for instance instead of blowing out candles on Swami’s Birthday, our wonderful SSE Students lit candles, one for each of the 9 points in the code of conduct before cutting the cake, reminding us to cut ego out of our lives.

Bhakti Yoga
Three Aumkars and powerful prayers were recited followed by heartfelt bhajans sung with such devotion and the icing on the cake was that all of the bhajans sung were those which Swami Himself had sung.

Emotions were further stirred by three guest speakers who shared some wonderful experiences in which Swami showed His omnipresence and His ever present helping hand.

Karma Yoga
Continuing the vein of the message and mission, the young adults and the Group 4 students launched the Go Greener project, inviting our centre members to practise ceiling on desires. Each month we will be collecting clothes to be re-cycled and focusing on better care for ourselves, those in need, and our environment.

Gyan Yoga
The morning concluded with a beautiful most aptly named and thought-provoking video entitled “Who Am I”, reminding each of us as to why Swami had come on this earth and to cause pause for reflection on whether we each are practising his teachings

Region 2 - National Seva Day – Make a Positive Difference

True Seva occurs when one carries out an act without expecting anything in return. Whilst doing this, one is serving God himself.

"If you lift the hand to save, to help, to console, to encourage another man you are lifting it for God, because in every man is god."- Sri Sathya Sai Baba-

This year 07th October designated as National Seva Day. Events are being organised by participating organisations up and down the country where members of all communities regardless of age, screed and cast join together to offer their valuable time, love and perseverance for the betterment of their local community.

Each event is being organised is based on bringing joy where none exists, to improve the environment and relieving hardship.

Projects being undertaken by some organisations on this day, include tree planting in local parks, building garden in an citizens advice centre, cleaning communal areas and removing graffiti from walls, painting murals in schools, old people’s home etc;
The list is not exhaustive or in fact particularly innovative but importantly it is volunteers giving something back to the community.

From Region 2 various centres/groups participated in the following activities:

• "Giving Joy & quality time to Senior Citizens in London Borough of Brent”
Entertaining elders of the community with Musical entertainment performed by the children from Alperton Centre and serving all with delicious lunch and entertaining with Games and sing along session and presenting everyone with a gift in the spirit of "LOVE ALL & SERVE ALL".

• Hara Krishna Farm Service in Watford: 10.00am - 13.00pm.Over 100 SSE children, parents and teachers participated from Pinner, London West and Slough Sai Centres. It was a glorious sunshine day and all joined forces in various tasks from ploughing, potato picking and weeding. At the end of seva volunteers were treated to a special Hare Krishna prashad.

• London West Sai centre was Collecting clothes for West Middlesex University Hospital for patients who would not be having any clothes at the time of discharge also few devotees offered their time in repainting part of the community area at Belvedere House in Feltham which is used for classes and other activities for the local community.

• 35 volunteers were took part from Green Ford Sai Centre in organising Age Link seva day for elderly and people with special needs. Collecting elderly people from their homes and providing entertainment, refreshments, one to one company and dropping them back. Approximately 60 guests were attended and they enjoyed through and spend a wonderful time.

• Nearly 35volunteers from Harrow West Sai centre joined together to pack shoebox gifts for adults & children in need. With Swami’s grace and blessing they managed to pack 108 shoe boxes.

• Heston Sai Centre visited Norwood Green Care Home. Devotees experienced love and happiness in their heart while serving the elderly at the Care home. The seva started with unity Bhajans followed by small speech on kindness and a flute play. The highlight was the dance program that made all the members present to get up dance with a smile that is simply unforgettable. Afterwards devotees visited the rooms of the residents and shared their love as you could see in the photos.

• Devotees from Wembley Sai centre prepared and served food at Mother Theresa Home in Southall for 40 homeless.

• Harrow East Sai centre attended Meera old people’s nursing Home in providing companionship, devotional singing, food and flowers for their enjoyment.

This wonderful seva experience ended with all of us thanking our Dearest Swami.

A small helping hand makes such a large difference and can be an inspiration to thousands. Therefore, as the part of Sai organisation we are encouraging all Sai devotees across the UK to partake in an act of sewa on this day in coming years.

T.Sivalingam (Siva)
Region -2 Service Wing Co-ordinator.

Region 2 - SSE Akhand Bhajans: November 2012

In unison with the Lord....singing His Glory.

The patter of shoes being removed, the anticipation and thrill of excitement for the first rehearsal of the Akhand Bhajan could be clearly heard and felt, as children and parents from across the region lovingly gathered for practice... And exactly where had HE orchestrated to hold it? Sai Prema!

What was to unfold over the three weekends, over a total of nine hours, was indeed pure love rendered through songs!

The first rehearsal saw the whole programme unravel as each child put forward their special bhajan through which they connect with Swami as their singing key was established and each one them showed their love for Swami. Some rendered very softly and sweetly and some with absolute gusto raising the roof of Sai Prema leaving vibrations to perfuse through the walls and reach neighbours’ homes!

Seeing the effort that these children put in was just amazing and was certainly a lesson learned. What was so evident was their discipline and dedication in parallel to the wonderful support and love given by their parents. Additionally, the encouragement provided by the SSE teachers who sacrificed their Saturday afternoons in an expression of love to Swami through assisting bhajans to ensure they were sung at the highest standards and infused with Bhav (love).

After such a great effort, filled with moments of fun and laughter as three year olds sung with sweet innocence and sometimes even using their own beats and tunes, it was time for a small snack to recharge their batteries and allow everyone to stretch their weary legs....

The remaining time was valuably spent practicing a most wondrous medley of some soul stirring songs including a various mix of mellow and upbeat styles invoking the presence of the Lord.

By the end of the first rehearsal everyone had a beautiful picture in their hearts as to how the SSE slot would be finely tuned over the next two sessions with Swami having helped to portray a framework of the bhajans and medley. It truly was a glorious and fruitful afternoon!

The next two sessions saw the effort and concentration increase leaps and bounds. The children’s confidence grew and grew as did the level of enjoyment. Melodious intros were created using the talent of guitar and flute players amongst the children and harmonies were practiced. Swami’s presence was ever felt and the preparation was most certainly in full swing.

As the actual Akhand Bhajan weekend approached, the children put further practice in at home with guidance from their parents and this effort definitely produced results as was seen and heard during the final loving rendition during the SSE slot.

The little angels walked into the hall, immaculately dressed in their whites and sung their hearts out to Swami. The heart just melted as it was filled with joy and bliss. Although the light in the hall was low, it still shining brightly as the little angels filled everyone’s heart with a beautiful glow. What an amazing journey to be finally in unison with the Lord....singing His Glory.

Article written by An uplifted Devotee.

SSE Students, Parents and Teachers coming together from
Region 2 centres as "FAMILY OF SAI"

Region 3 - December 2012 Update

Let's Come Together… Unity of Faiths 2012 at Hatfield Sai Centre

"Let’s Come together" was a landmark event where Hatfield Sai Centre offered a platform for around 100 people from various practising faiths to share and experience the Divine through music and songs on Sunday the 14 October 2012.

How did the event come about?
The first small steps were taken in 2009 when a human values workshop was conducted for the local community by at the Hatfield Sai Centre. This community event was attended by various faith groups from the local area, who planted the seeds of working together to promote harmony and Unity. During question time, Cllr Tony Skottowe, from Welwyn & Hatfield district council asked a very pertinent question:

"How do different religions break barriers and come together to prevent different religions from disliking each other and using it as an excuse for destroying each other?” This engaging discussion from various members of local multi-faith forums, stressed the need to focus on the similarities and not the differences within our society: Unity in the diversity of all faiths.
"Let the different faiths exist, let them flourish, and let the glory of God be sung in all the languages and a variety of tunes. That should be the ideal. Respect the differences between the faiths and recognize them as valid as long as they do not extinguish the flame of unity." ~ Sathya Sai Baba

Over a period of time, a liaison person from Hatfield Sai Centre, began to form meaningful links with the Welwyn Hatfield Interfaith Group. Hatfield Sai Centre members were subsequently invited by this group to deliver a presentation on the “Teachings of Sathya Sai Baba and His Mission” on 11 September 2012. We presented Swami’s Message of Unity of Faiths, Love and selfless service, giving examples of Sai activities. This was well received, many questions were raised and our presentation opened up a unique opportunity for Hatfield Centre to work together with the Welwyn Interfaith Group.

Let’s come together: The event The event was planned jointly with the Welwyn Hatfield Interfaith Group, under the leadership of Mr Reynold Rosenberg, the Chair of this group, who liaised for many weeks prior to the event with Hatfield centre members.

The Sunday afternoon of 14 October 2012 came alive with people from various faiths full of joy and enthusiasm coming together at the Hatfield Centre. Dr. Daksha Trivedi was the presenter on behalf of Hatfield Sai Centre. She opened her welcome address, offering our salutations to the indweller in all of us and by highlighting that “ This day is a landmark event for our local area, where we have come together to experience the Divine through music and songs from various faiths. In every street of this world, people of different faiths live, therefore we are all neighbours. We have come together to light the lamp of understanding – we are not only lighting a lamp in our own homes and places of worship, but also spreading the light in others, our friends and neighbours. As spiritual aspirants, no matter what faith or tradition we come from, we pursue the path of Truth and Love, embracing non violence, and endeavour to live our lives righteously, serving those in need, for peace and harmony.

The Rosetta stone of two languages and three scripts changed everything, opening up vast possibilities of understanding ancient beliefs, customs and practices. Today we will experience the one language of the heart uniting all our various faiths – so Let’s come together…."

The afternoon became exuberant with live music and songs by the Welwyn Hatfield Faith groups, beginning with the spiritual rhythms of Africa, the Zimbabwe choir, (led by Upenyu Chioko) who danced and sang of their Christian faith and devotion in Shona language energising the whole congregation through a soul stirring experience in praise of the Lord.

Then followed the message of ‘Adon Olam’ in a metrical Hebrew hymn that summarised the understanding of God from the Jewish faith by the Welwyn Garden City Synagogue, Mr Reynold Rosenberg. This profound rendition gave us all a powerful reflective energy. Father Philip Knights gave a moving rendition in Latin celebrating the resurrection of Christ, through the ‘Exsultet’ an ancient hymn associated with the Easter Vigil in Catholic practice. The Focolare Movement, inspired by the gospel, share the aim of building a united world. Paul Gateshill provided a very befitting musical experience bringing us all together in One World. We then embraced the beauty of nature and God’s creation through the Digswell Village Church Choir, led by Rev. Nicholas Young, on "Look at the World" by John Rutter. Nature’s creation sometimes appears to be a secret garden but it really is open to all of us!

"The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there." ~George Bernard Shaw

Filling us with the vibrant chants that reached our consciousness, were the devotees from the International Society for Krishna Consciousness who inspired the congregation to join in the Hindu chanting of experiencing the Divine, led by Krishna Kishor dasa who conveyed the meaning and significance of Hare Rama, Hare Krishna.

Swami’s message was blissfully sung by Hatfield Sai devotees through Sai songs of Love, Peace and Unity of faiths. Daksha Trivedi expounded further on the teachings of Sai Baba, to ensure that our lives are governed by the principles of Truth, Right Conduct, Peace, Love and Non-violence, which depict the underlying unity of all these great faiths treating them as different sacred paths leading to the same goal: realising the inherent divinity within one's self.

Not surprisingly, the Zimbabwe group were brought back once again energising the congregation with more songs and dance, but this time they were joined by musicians from Hatfield as well as from other faith groups, united in a musical finale!

Our penultimate item was a Universal song sung by everyone from Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical aspects of love "Love changes everything", reflecting Swami’s message of the ONE religion of Love for in that lies our togetherness.

The Bahá’í teachings emphasize that all of us, as creations of one God, are part of one human family. We concluded our programme with a universal prayer from the Bahai faith, presented by Mr Rosenberg from the Welwyn Hatfield interfaith Group.

"I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. I testify, at this moment, to my powerlessness and to Thy might, to my poverty and to Thy wealth. There is none other God but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-subsisting."

The joy of togetherness filled the congregation and we thanked everyone who had brought this Oneness in everyway. The presenter conveyed that Helen Keller who had lost her sight and senses had said

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart."

Not only did we all come together in our hearts and minds but we experienced a powerful vision of future possibilities. We celebrated unity of faiths but also unity in diversity, celebrating difference, where everyone has something to bring from his or her faith and tradition. We sang in various languages – English, Hebrew, African, Latin, Sanskrit – through the One language of the heart! We brought a spirit of ONENESS, towards a unity of purpose, to love and to serve, and in doing so enrich our own spiritual journey. The day ended with a ‘meet and greet’ session sharing food, refreshments and Divine moments! It was a beautiful sight to behold.

What next?
The interfaith groups look forward to working with the Sai community. Hatfield Centre has been invited by the Focolare group to render Sai songs at their Centre of Unity in Welwyn Garden City on the 22nd November 2012. We continue to serve on the Welwyn Hatfield Interfaith Group and Swami’s Divine legacy of the Unity of Faiths continues to be realised through our actions, as we learn to recognise the Divine in all.

Dr Daksha Trivedi

Akhanda Bhajan 2012 - Milton Keynes

With the blessings of Swami, The Annual Akhanda Bhajan for Universal Peace was conducted in Milton Keynes on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th November 2012. This was hosted by the Sai Centres of Milton Keynes, Luton and Bedford. Simultaneously thousands of Sai Centres across the world also conducted the Akhanda Bhajan, as has been the practice over the years.

The peaceful surroundings of the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple near the Peace Pagoda at Willen Lake in Milton Keynes provided a wonderful serene setting for the event. The programme was held in the prayer hall of the Temple.

The event was publicized in the local newspapers and radio. The local radio station, BBC Three Counties Radio, also supported the event by inviting representatives to their studio to speak about the event, reporting on the Akhanda Bhajan in their News Bulletins, and conducting a live telephone interview on the Sunday morning. For the first time ever, the entire event was streamed on the internet, allowing devotees to join us all through the 24 hours, from different parts of the globe.

In addition to the Akhanda Bhajan programme, there was a lovely, informative exhibition, set up by the Youth Wing in an adjoining hall. The theme of the exhibition was the effects of music on the body and mind. There was a display, and individual CD players playing music from different religions that one could listen to…an innovative and interactive way to show the unity of religions from a musical standpoint.

The Exhibition put up by the Youth Wing – Milton Keynes Sai Centre

The Honourable Mayor of Milton Keynes attended the function and expressed her joy and appreciation of the concept and the organization of the event. Members of the Luton Council of Faiths also attended the event.

The programme began at 17.45 hours on 10 November with the chanting of the sacred Vedas. Bhajans by the Milton Keynes and Luton Sai Centres, which started at 18.00 hours, followed this. Thus began a melodious journey, which continued till the next evening at 18.00 hours. One after another, each religious group sang their tuneful prayers, sending warm, pure vibrations all around the area. The devotees from the Kiln Farm Gurdwara and the Christian group from ‘The Well’ in Milton Keynes lent a mixed cultural flair to the rest of the evening, exemplifying the multi-faith nature of the event. ‘Into Self’ and the Foster Hill Sai Centre took us through to the early hours of Sunday, where BaluBhai thrilled us with his bhajans.

Omkar Suprabhatham and Vedic chanting greeted the Sunday morning, followed by Buddhist prayers by Sister Maruta giving a peaceful and refreshing start to Sunday’s events. The rest of the morning was taken over by the younger generation – the youth team from Luton, the SSE children of Milton Keynes, and the Bal Ambika Bhajan Group who, with their melodious singing, showed their love and commitment towards the event.

There were prayers by the Hare Krishna Group, Islamic prayers, Jewish prayers, Baha’i prayers, and singing by the Quaker Community and St Mary’s Choir from Wavendon, all happening in a Buddhist Temple, reflecting the true spirit of brotherhood of humanity and the fatherhood of the one God.

The Youth Group from the Milton Keynes Sai Centre and the SSE children from Luton provided the perfect launch pad for the final hour of bhajans provided by the Milton Keynes and Luton Sai Centres, which lifted the spirits of all present to a thrilling crescendo, with Swami’s love embracing every heart and touching the soul. The event concluded with Aarthi at 18.05 hours.

Aarthi, by Mr. Richard King, a long-time Sai devotee of Milton Keynes. Here are some comments received during the event:

"We felt welcomed from the moment we walked in. The atmosphere was vibrant and we felt that all of us were one big family"

"We enjoyed the fact that all the people joined with us during our prayers, irrespective of their own religion"
"One can sense the mutual respect and the eagerness to unite with each other. Such events will drive social cohesion. We hope to have more of these events in other areas also, e.g.in Social Service, Education, etc".
By Dr. Kumar Subramanian

Akhanda Bhajan - Sri Sathya Sai Centre of Mill Hill

Sri Sathya Sai Centre of Mill Hill held Akhanda Bhajans from 6 PM on the 10th of Nov to 6 PM on the 11th of Nov. Bhajan groups from different parts of London participated in this event. Each Bhajan group was allotted a slot which they attended as per schedule and offered their devotional music to Swami. The groups who participated were Sri Sathya Sai Centre of Mill Hill, Hare Krishna Temple, Pinner Sai Centre, London East, Mila Group, Hendon Sai Group, Hatfield Sai Centre, Arkley Sai Centre, Wembley Sai Centre, Soda Group, Harrow Sai School, Alperton Sai Centre, Harrow East Sai Centre and Watford Group.

The Bhajans were enjoyed and appreciated by all who visited the Centre. They also admired the beautiful and captivating altar which created an ambience conducive for contemplation on Swami. Approximately 500 devotees must have visited the Sai Centre at various points of time during the 24-hour period. The programme concluded with a medley of songs in the last 30 minutes by Bhajan singers from Sri Sathya Sai Centre of Mill Hill, followed by Arati. Prasadam was prepared and served by volunteers during the entire course of the programme.

Traditionally, this event is also seen as an opportunity for devotees from different parts of London to meet one another in the Sai Family. One could feel the love of devotees for Swami and the spirit of brotherliness amongst members of the Sai Family.

We owe special thanks to all the organizers and volunteers for the smooth conduct of this event.

Krishna Subrahmanian

Akhanda Bhajan – at East London

Baba said "Akhanda Bhajans is unbroken Bliss - This day You have resolved to imbibe Divine Bliss by reciting the Glow of God in chorus with music continuously for twenty-four hours" - Sathya Sai Speaks - volume 13.

Region 3 East London Sai family celebrated the Global 24 hours Akhanda Bhajans with so much love, devotion and dedication with the Sai Centres joining hands to unite in BABA's Divine mission to spread Love and Peace throughout the whole world.

Two of the key highlights of the East London Akhanda Bhajans is the appearance of Vibhuti in Swami's altar and the elongation of Swami's garland. These two miracles in the early hours of Sunday filled the devotees with heavenly bliss, serenity and tranquillity.

This whole event would not have been made possible if it wasn't for all the devotees and many who worked relentlessly around the clock.

The program concluded with vibrant and spiritually uplifting devotional songs from devotees from the Sai centres in the region. It was a truly auspicious occasion whereby Beloved Bhagawan Baba blessed all the devotees with his divine miracle.

Ashok Panchabakesan

Serving Man, Serving God: Region 3 Ladies Day – Saturday 17th November 2012

The Lady of Lourdes Church in Wanstead and the ladies from Region 3 once again hosted the annual Ladies Day on Saturday 17th November. Despite the cold weather and their busy schedules, the ladies still got busy with their cultural offerings and culinary delights – to recognise this special day in the Sai Calendar and offer their eternal love and gratitude to our Swami.

The day started with a workshop on "Stress Management" techniques, with reference to ceiling on desires as a way to uncomplicate our daily living – thereby bringing peace and happiness to ourselves, our families and all those around us. This was followed by a practical session on Pranayam (breathing techniques) and how with a few simple exercises, we can all increase our energy levels to deal with the stresses and strains of daily life.
Following this, a delicious cooked lunch kept everyone satisfied and refreshed for the afternoon programme.

After a few rousing bhajans, there was a short presentation entitled LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARDS highlighting the small service projects completed this year by the Ladies and most importantly, what they had learnt about themselves whilst participating in these monthly workshops and how this activity had brought them closer to Swami and assisted in their own personal transformation. The presentation also confirmed that these workshops would continue into 2013 and samples of the finished garments were also displayed around the hall; significantly, the loving attention to detail in each case was apparent for all to appreciate.

Then, the guest speaker – Mrs Nadia Eley (Chairperson, Region 6) gave a delightful talk on her journey with Swami and how HE had lovingly trained her to embrace Sai work – right from her infancy, and as an SSE student. With colourful and practical examples, Mrs Eley kept the audience enthralled as she demonstrated the endless possibilities once you allow SAI into your life. Her touching account of how Swami had guided and guarded through every stage of her “journey”, indeed every single moment of her life – aptly illustrated the theme, SERVING MAN, SERVING GOD – and touched all our hearts.

The ladies of Walthamstow Sai Centre then presented a poetic drama entitled – SUNDARAKANDAM (Awakening Within) which was very entertaining and uplifting, followed by some heartfelt, devotional singing to our Beloved Swami by the ladies of Thurrock Sai Centre.

The afternoon programme concluded with the Vote of Thanks to our Beloved Swami ,the real “doer” in all things, the offering of an exquisite birthday cake to HIM, some rousing bhajans and Mangala Aarti. Swami’s presence was felt throughout the day and everyone left the Church feeling energised and uplifted.

Jai Sai Ram
Sutopa Sen
Region 3 Ladies Co-ordinator

"Service to man is Service to God" at Central London Sai Centre

The time has arrived when we all need to engage ourselves in selfless service.
Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray ~Baba

The Lord is pleased when we serve our fellow human beings; it brings people together and we are able to practice His message of Love in Action.

On 18th November 2012, which is the third Sunday of the month, 40 volunteers came together at Central London Sai Centre to participate in the monthly Narayan Seva, where guests, many of whom are homeless are provided with a hot lunch. November's Narayan Seva is of particular significance as it falls during the month of Swami's birthday. During this month, individuals alongside their lunch are also given a jacket, hat, socks and various different toiletries to support them during the winter months.

Love all men without distinction; know that mandkind is a single community (Baba).

There were two aims for the day; the first was to provide a cooked meal and the second was to distribute clothes and toiletries to our fellow beings.

On the previous evening, volunteers came to clean and set up the hall with chairs and tables. On the day itself, the hot drinks and food areas were set up in preparation to serve the lunch. In the smaller hall volunteers organised the clothes and toiletry items ready for distribution at designated work stations. The needs of our friends was paramount and great consideration was taken beforehand via feedback and a questionnaire to select items they really needed. The Centre was given the task of collecting the items in advance.

At 10am, a group meeting was held where a schedule for the day and the tasks left to do were discussed. The importance of serving peacefully and with love was emphasized.

Service is worship. Each act of service is a flower placed at the feet of God (Baba).

At 11am, the guests started arriving; they were provided with a drink of their choice and were seated. This gave them an opportunity to meet and chat with friends and volunteers. Each guest was treated just as if the Lord had walked through the door.

If you lift the hand to serve, to console, to encourage another man, you are lifting it for God, for God is in every man (Baba).

The atmosphere was wonderful, where many souls had gathered with lots of smiley faces. Our guests were really excited about the gifts, and were very much looking forward to receiving them.

At 12pm, a prayer was recited and then lunch was served. The guests remained seated and waited patiently while the volunteers lovingly prepared the plates with hot food, which consisted of rice, a few different curries, salad and a popadum. For dessert, they were all given a bowl of fruit salad. All food was served to them at their tables.

We ensured there was a relaxing atmosphere and encouraged individuals to take their time whilst eating. Once all were finished, we started calling out table numbers. Each table was numbered and a raffle system was used to ensure fairness and equality, so that individuals could to go into the smaller hall to receive their gifts.

135 bags were pre-packed which consisted of a hat, a pair socks and various toiletries. In addition we had a range of different jacket sizes, enough for all the guests. 135 bags were given out, 27 were given to women; which meant 108 were given to men.

It was wonderful to see the guest’s joyous smile when receiving the gifts.

Phil, one of the guests on the day, commented that a friend he had brought (for the first time) was so overwhelmed by the gift of love she received that she was close to tears. This is the power of God’s Love.

Love was given and received by both the guests and volunteers alike. Each person whether a volunteer or a guest left with the gift of Love; this is also the power of God's Love.

God always gives us the opportunities to serve our fellow human beings, and we must be ready to take up that opportunity. The loving volunteers came together and performed Swami’s message of Love All Serve All. Let us continue with this message of Love in Action and make our life His message.

Reshma Shah and Janki Joshi

Region 3 Swami’s Birthday Celebration – Sunday 25th November

Walking into the school at 7.30am on Sunday morning with the PA gear I had brought from the car, I stopped briefly to survey the hall. Active workers from Region 3 were congregated into small groups of two or three, some discussing the stage décor, others floor arrangement. We were against the clock as we had to vacate by 9:00am to make way for a regular church group. It’s an amazing example of Swami’s Love in Action (a presiding theme of the 80th Birthday) when ordinary people through their own journey of transformation and awareness, come together from different strands of the community, working together in adoration for Sathya Sai and in their own individual ways contributing their time and effort in Service to celebrate His Message.

Today’s Regional birthday programme was full of enchantment. The programme began with Vedic chanting followed by bhajan singing then a short but very moving video of Swami’s discourse followed by an introduction by Sam uncle, Region 3 Vice- Chair.

Walthamstow Sai Centre children then presented a drama about the Mughal Emperor Akbar and his courtier Birbal. The drama illustrated how Birbal demonstrated to the Emperor why God takes the form of an Avatar to rescue Humanity (in the story Birbal throws a doll overboard the Emperor’s boat purposely calling out that the prince had fallen into the sea. The Emperor immediately dives in after his ‘son’. Birbal used this example to explain the intensity of Love that God feels for man and why He chose to send no one other than Himself) Coupled with sound effects and an on-stage visual of waves, it was an excellent effort.

Mill Hill Sai Centre children followed with a fantastic recital of "Gananayakaya Ganadaivataya," which is a song praising Lord Ganesha and "Achyutam Keshavam," which is a song about Lord Krishna in a light classical style.

This was followed by a beautiful, heartfelt talk by brother Sri Devij Desai an ex-student of the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher learning narrating his experiences in the presence of Swami. Especially he narrated one incident that involved a young girl who had aspirations to join Swami’s primary school. Sri Devij explained that admission into the primary school was more difficult than admission into the university. This young girl did not possess the knowledge required to pass the admission entrance assessment, only her deep love for Swami and determination to succeed.

The School admissions team were confounded as to what questions they should ask and asked Swami how they could admit her when she did not possess any academic knowledge. Swami simply replied you accept her into our school based on her faith and love of Swami. Sri Devij then went on to explain that at the time of her admission to the school she could not speak English, but in one year she could speak fluently. Such was her example of determination and love for Swami.

We were then treated to excellent singing by members of Region 3 school choir who sang three songs and instrumental music on Veena by one of the students.

This was then followed by a bharatanatyam dance by two girls. Full of life and colourful vibrancy, their synchronised movements were sublime and seemingly effortless. Their performance greatly appreciated by the audience.

We were blessed with the presence of Dr & Mrs Sandweiss our guest speakers. They had the previous day attended the National Birthday function in Leicester and despite an arduous schedule had kindly agreed to attend our Regional function. The talk focused on transformation through the awareness and development of Love (see www.pathoftransformation.org). They presented their talk in an enjoyable way, each taking turns to lead the discussion. Dr Samuel Sandweiss would provide a deep and purposeful philosophical and often psychological interpretation of Swami’s teachings in a language that was easily accessible and inherently powerful, interwoven with narrative by Sharon Sandweiss which was full of emotional expression of the impact that Swami’s Teachings had on their family life, the upbringing of their children and their lifestyle. Dr Sandweiss provided numerous examples of how ego and individual will interrupts the flow of Divine Will and Swami’s patience to allow one to undergo that individual Karma. However, the most important illustration that stuck with me, was when Mrs Sandweiss spoke of how her husband decided one day that he wanted to journey to India to see this Holy Man Sai Baba. She explained that there was no internet or Google in those days and few individuals with first-hand experience. As a wife she had to act on faith and duty to her husband (one has to appreciate that they were a Jewish family based in the US) in supporting his wish to travel to this remote part of India to see Sathya Sai. Upon his return a month later, she found him overjoyed with his experience of Baba and talking endlessly of Swami’s Teachings. But it was the transformation of Dr Sandweiss’ character and his actions, more than the recollection of the teachings that convinced her that Swami was good and that His teachings were important and relevant to their family. They concluded their talk with a video of Swami.

A brief question and answer session followed by bhajan singing by the youth and cake cutting by the children. The programme concluded with Aarthi.

As we began to pack up at 7.30pm that evening, we all felt tired but jubilant. Lifting up the PA gear to take back to the car, I stopped briefly to look at the now empty hall, grateful for the efforts of all who attended, thankful of Swami’s presence through each and every one.

Jai Sai Ram
Ganesh Yoganathan

Region 3 - Narayan Seva

"Service to man is Service to God" ~ Baba

The time has arrived when we all need to engage ourselves in selfless service.

"Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray." ~ Baba

The Lord is pleased when we serve our fellow human beings; it brings people together and we are able to practice His message of Love in Action.

On 18th November 2012, which is the third Sunday of the month, 40 volunteers came together at Central London Sai Centre to participate in the monthly Narayan Seva, where guests many of whom are homeless are provided with a hot lunch. November's Narayan Seva is of particular significance as it falls during the month of Swami's birthday. During this month, individuals alongside their lunch are also given a jacket, hat, socks and various different toiletries to support them during the winter months.

"Love all men without distinction; know that mankind is a single community." ~ Baba

There were two aims for the day; the first was to provide a cooked meal and the second was to distribute clothes and toiletries to our fellow beings.

On the previous evening, volunteers came to clean and set up the hall with chairs and tables. On the day itself, the hot drinks and food areas were set up in preparation to serve the lunch. In the smaller hall volunteers organised the clothes and toiletry items ready for distribution at designated work stations. The needs of our friends was paramount and great consideration was taken beforehand via feedback and a questionnaire to select items they really needed. The Centre was given the task of collecting the items in advance.

At 10am, a group meeting was held where a schedule for the day and the tasks left to do were discussed. The importance of serving peacefully and with love was emphasized.

"Service is worship. Each act of service is a flower placed at the feet of God." ~ Baba

At 11am, the guests started arriving; they were provided with a drink of their choice and were seated. This gave them an opportunity to meet and chat with friends and volunteers. Each guest was treated just as if the Lord had walked through the door.

"If you lift the hand to serve, to console, to encourage another man, you are lifting it for God, for God is in every man." ~ Baba

The atmosphere was wonderful, where many souls had gathered with lots of smiley faces. Our guests were really excited about the gifts, and were very much looking forward to receiving them.

At 12pm, a prayer was recited and then lunch was served. The guests remained seated and waited patiently while the volunteers lovingly prepared the plates with hot food, which consisted of rice, a few different curries, salad and a popadum. For dessert, they were all given a bowl of fruit salad. All food was served to them at their tables.

We ensured there was a relaxing atmosphere and encouraged individuals to take their time whilst eating. Once all were finished, we started calling out table numbers. Each table was numbered and a raffle system was used to ensure fairness and equality, so that individuals could to go into the smaller hall to receive their gifts.

135 bags were pre-packed which consisted of a hat, a pair socks and various toiletries. In addition we had a range of different jacket sizes, enough for all the guests. 135 bags were given out, 27 were given to women; which meant 108 were given to men.

It was wonderful to see the guest’s joyous smile when receiving the gifts.

Phil, one of the guests on the day, commented that a friend he had brought (for the first time) was so overwhelmed by the gift of love she received that she was close to tears. This is the power of God’s Love.

Love was given and received by both the guests and volunteers alike. Each person whether a volunteer or a guest left with the gift of Love; this is also the power of God's Love.

God always gives us the opportunities to serve our fellow human beings, and we must be ready to take up that opportunity. The loving volunteers came together and performed Swami’s message of Love All Serve All. Let us continue with this message of Love in Action and make our life His Message.

Article submitted by Reshma Shah and Janki Joshi

Region 3 – Birthday Celebrations at Centres

Mill Hill Sai Centre

Ilford Sai Centre Swami’s Birthday celebration
24th November 2012 at St Peter’s & Paul church

More than 100 ardent devotees from Ilford Sai centre gathered on this auspicious occasion at this holy venue at St Peters and St Pauls’ church hall to celebrate Swami’s birthday. Within minutes the venue was transformed from an empty hall to a wonderful ‘Mandir’ with Baba’s picture adorning the centre of the altar. The program started with Vedam chanting, prayers, and devotional songs.

The programme continued with the artistic performance and talent of the SSE children after endless practices. The first play depicted the mother’s role and love where Lord Krishna explains to queen Gandhari that the Pandavas have always had the love, blessing and affection of queen Kunti. But queen Gandhari chose to remain blind-folded for her husband sake.

The second drama was a scene from the ‘Mahabharata’ where sage Durvasa visited Draupadi and the Akshaya Patra had already been cleaned. Lord Krishna comes to the rescue of Draupadi and Duryodhana does not succeed with his evil plan. Lord Krishna eats one grain of rice and the sage with all his disciples feel satisfied and are no longer hungry. The Lord is always there when his true devotees are in need of him.

The third play was titled ‘Love gives and gives’ where Lord Rama gives his wealth and love to the poor before going to exile.The children did not just demonstratetheir talent but also their lovely sense of humour. Last but not least,the wonderful story of Bhasmasura and Shiva was displayed in the modern age. The devotees were left in fits of laughter and the children were overjoyed.

The programme continued with a Bharat Nathyam dance with music by Ravi Shankar followed by uplifting and beautiful devotional songs including a medley which created a true vibration which energised all the devotees. Awards and gifts were presented to the SSE children and Vibhuti and prasadam were distributed to devotees on their way home.

This was a truly moving evening which touched hearts and souls of everyone present and left a loving smile on everyone’s face.

Sheila Ring
Spiritual Convenor, Ilford Sai Centre

Region 4 - Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s Birthday Celebrations at Coventry Sai Centre

Upon arrival, devotees walked into a heavenly atmosphere as they were presented with a beautiful altar set up. Many centre members had dedicated hours and hours into creating the wonderful backdrop and decorations, and it certainly instilled a sense of peace before the Birthday celebrations began.

The programme commenced with three Aums and the Sathya Sai Ashtottarashata Nama Ratnamala – 108 names of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba – whilst the SSE children went to Swami’s chair to offer flowers at His Lotus feet. After this, the SSE children confidently sang the Sarva Devata Gayatri Mantra, followed by the powerful chanting of Purusha Suktam by the large congregation of devotees.

At this point, the first part of the musical offering began with devotees joining together to sing the Sri Sathya Sai Navaratna Mala followed by 3 bhajans, giving everybody the opportunity to sing the glory of the Lord. The SSE children then presented a garland of multi-faith prayers which wonderfully displayed the “One religion” message that Swami emphasised his entire life and which also forms the very symbol of the Sri Sathya Sai Service Organisation. The children then proceeded to sing a medley of short songs which tied in with the theme of the programme: “I am the Light, the Light is in me”. The songs were sung so brilliantly by the SSE children, especially considering the limited amount of time they had to prepare, that the entire hall applauded them once they had finished.

This led perfectly to the next item – a talk by Perdeepbhai Asi on the theme for the day. He started by mentioning that much of what he was about to share with us, he had learnt from Dr. Dhirubhai Gadhia. He demonstrated how the concept "I am the Light" could be applied when chanting the Gayatri Mantra, as initially taught by Dr. Gadhia. Perdeepbhai then explained the significance behind the three statements "I am in the light", "The light is in me" and "I am the light". The "light" that is referred to in these statements refer to God’s light and love, and therefore these three statements reflect three different levels of awareness. He explained how these levels are represented by Jesus’ progress through the levels when he made the following statements during his life: "I am the Messenger of God", "I am the son of God" and finally, "My Father and I are one". Perdeepbhai emphasised how Swami has told us this repeatedly and has even given us the prayer “I am God, I am God, I am not different from God”. This helped everyone remember that there is no better way to celebrate Swami’s birthday than by following His primary message.

Perdeepbhai’s inspirational talk certainly provided many points to reflect on as well as giving practical applications of this teaching. Devotees were able to sit and soak in these words with the start of the second part of the day’s musical offering. More melodious bhajans were sung with love and light, followed by three final group songs. These songs were rendered beautifully and the final song reached a crescendo, which flowed seamlessly into the birthday song that was sung whole-heartedly by every person in the hall.

This brought an end to what was a thoroughly enjoyable programme and devotees left the hall filled with joy, love... and cake too!

By Mukund Prajapati
Youth Coordinator, Coventry Sai Centre

Region 4 - Coventry Ladies Event

17th November 2012

The afternoon commenced with prayers and beautiful bhajans. Sister Zina, Sai Youth, welcomed the sisters and reminded everyone there the pertinent message of Sathya Sai Baba on the role and responsibility of Women in Society. She also informed everyone that our beloved Swami had initiated the Global Ladies Day in November 1995.

Sheena Harratt, a devotee of Sai Baba and guest speaker for the event was warmly introduced. Sheena, a Certified Laughter Yoga teacher, gave a brief introduction of herself and her background into how she came to know Sai Baba and her interest in developing workshops based on Eastern Philosophy, including yoga and meditation. She was also very fortunate to have trained in Haridwar with Swami Ramdev. We learnt that Sheena had gone through some hard times with her son’s illness. She further spoke about her voluntary work both in the UK and India, the issues arising with mental illness and the support available to people who suffer with this illness.

We then began with Sheena’s practical laughter Yoga workshop and she spoke about the health benefits and its spiritual benefits too. This session was conducted for an hour and a half and every participant there were literally rolling around laughing on the floor like little children. Some of the older ladies who live alone enjoyed it too as they often do not have the opportunity to laugh in this manner. The session was thoroughly enjoyed by all and they came away invigorated and felt very light hearted.

We learnt that laughing for 10 minutes daily was beneficial to our bodies as doing 30 minutes of aerobic exercise. Sheena had used many different techniques to keep us all laughing throughout the session. It is important to laugh and enjoy the moments in life.

Our next guest speaker was Bhanuben Dhabhi, also a devotee of Bhagawan. She set up the Asian Blind Association in Coventry many years ago and had also received a special award from the Queen for her commitment and dedication to her voluntary work in Coventry. Bhanuben was selected to carry the Olympic Torch through the City of Coventry in July 2012. She brought this torch with her as a symbol of strength to all women and her message was clear and profound – all Women have inner strength and can achieve what they want in life as long as they believe in themselves. She is a true inspirational figure to all women.

The afternoon ended with a beautiful song in Hindi by Vinaben and finishing off by offering a special bhajan - 'Mother O Mother Sai Maa' to our dear Mother Sai followed by Aarthi.

Zina thanked everyone there and also our loving Swami for making this event successful, blissful and full of laughter. We then shared some food that everyone had so kindly brought in and mingled with each other. The atmosphere was light and happy.

"Change the world with a laugh" - Baba

Jaymatiben Lad, Coventry Sai Centre

Region 4 - Coventry SSE Diwali Celebrations

The celebration commenced with Universal Prayers and Bhajans led by the SSE children. Krishan, Group 1 child introduced the item, ‘Ten Incarnations of Lord Vishnu’ from his Year Group. Each child held a picture of the Vishnu incarnation as they spoke which was also displayed on the screen. Krishan then described the glories of Hanuman.

Group 2 presented a very informative item on the characters of Lord Ram, Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman followed by a combined presentation by the Group 3 children on the differences between the brothers in the Ramayana story. They described the different characteristics of Ram, Lakshman and Bharat, Sugriva and Vali and finally Ravan and Vibhishan. The final presentation by Group 3 included reciting prayers to Lord Ram and informing the audience of the inner significance of Diwali and Ramayana.

The programme concluded with a Lord Ram bhajan and recitation of Ram Stuti followed by the children holding a tea-light as an offering of Aarti.

Coventry SSE
Region 4

Region 4 - Diwali Celebrations in Leicester

Diwali & New Year celebrations in Leicester have always been special, and this year was no exception. We started with multi-faith prayers, vedam chanting and then some beautiful bhajans which were appropriate for the Festival of Lights! Great vibrations and a lovely atmosphere! And this year we had invited our esteemed guest, Dr Jaydeep Joshi to talk about Diwali festival – its significance and its relevance in Hindu religion.

Dr Jaydeep explained that Diwali or Deepavali, popularly known as the "festival of lights," is primarily a five day Hindu festival which starts on Dhanteras, celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of KrishnaPaksha (dark fortnight) of the Hindu calendar month Ashwin and ends on Bhaubeej, celebrated on the second lunar day of ShuklaPaksha (bright fortnight) of the Hindu calendar month Kartik.

Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. These lamps cleanse one's house, and welcome goddess Lakshmi. Firecrackers are also lit because it is believed that they drive away evil spirits.

Dr Jaydeep further explained the reason for the New Year celebration. The festival starts with Dhanteras on which most Indian business communities begin their financial year. The second day of the festival is called the Naraka Chaturdasi. Amavasya, the third day of Diwali, marks the worship of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. The fourth day of Diwali is known as Kartika Shudda Padyami. The fifth day is referred to as Yama Dvitiya (also called Bhai Dooj), and on this day sisters invite their brothers to their homes. The devotees were all enthralled by the talk, and could have listened to Dr Jaydeep for much longer.

On this special day, we had also prepared Ankut – rows & rows of mouth-watering dishes, cooked with love and offered to Swami by the devotees to celebrate the Gujarati New Year. And the dishes were wonderfully displayed for everyone to enjoy. The hall was filled with the delicious aroma of the many different dishes on display for Swami!

After the Aarti, the Ankut Mahaprashadam was served to the devotees – all lovingly served and enjoyed by all!

Vinod Patel.

Region 4 - Global Akhand Bhajans and Mosque Open Day Visit

Faith Groups Join Global Akhand Bhajans in Leicester

The Leicester Global Akhand Bhajans were held at the Ram Mandir in Leicester between 12:30pm on Saturday 10th November 2012 to 12:30pm on Sunday 11th November 2012.

This year the Leicester centres reached out to the local faith groups and invited them to join the event. Each group was offered a one hour slot convenient to them and they were able to sing their traditional prayers, hymns or songs. The first group to join the event was a Children’s Gospel Choir who sang a number of beautiful hymns and songs praising the glory of God. The children were in perfect harmony which was an amazing feat as they had no instrumental accompaniment, and they delighted the audience with their singing. They even presented their version of a popular song that is sung in our centres “This Little Light of Mine”.

The next group that joined us was a group of children and youth from the Clarendon Park Mosque in Leicester. This group sang some traditional Nazms in praise of Allah and the Prophets. Nazm is an Urdu word which means ‘Poetry’ and again the children sang beautifully with no instrumental accompaniment. There was total stillness in their singing which mesmerised us all and provided the whole congregation with an immense sense of peace.

Following this, a group from the local Jain temple joined us and sang some traditional bhajans with great devotion and enthusiasm. We were also joined later in the event by a member of the Sikh community who led some kirtans (a form of bhajans).

The overall vibrations created at the Akhand Bahjans were lifted by the various groups that joined us. We sincerely pray to Swami that more groups will join us next year and make this an even more uplifting event to help promote peace and harmony in our communities.

Leicester Centre Members Attend Clarendon Park Mosque Open Day

As part of the outreach to local faith groups and communities when inviting them to participate in the Leicester Global Akhand Bhajans, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, based at Clarendon Park Mosque, invited members of our Organisation to attend a special open day celebrating the life of Prophet Mohammad.

During the open day we learnt more about the core beliefs and work of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the UK and Worldwide. Very much like our Organisation, this community recognises the noble teachings of the great religions of the world and is also involved in various service activities helping the poor and distressed.

A number of speakers spoke about the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and the life and teachings of Prophet Mohammad. We also had an opportunity to ask questions to the guest panel. This event was also attended by members representing other faith groups and the co-ordinators of a local Inter-faith group based in the area. Over a delicious meal that was served, we were able to learn more about the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and interact with the other invited guests.

This event highlighted to us that we have so much in common, and believe in the same universal teachings of Love and Service as many other faith groups in our community. It also showed us how one small outreach on our part can lead to many more doors opening and bridges being built with our local community.

Region 4 - Leicester Birthday Celebrations

Friday 23rd November 2012

This is the most significant date in the calendar year for the Sri Sathya Sai Service Organisation and everyone that is part of it.

We may celebrate birthdays with great pomp and joy, with food and pleasure and we often look outside for our source of happiness, but we should remember that material desires are temporary and are not the pure and true form of Divine bliss we really seek.

The SSE Children of Leicester reminded us of this most important fact. Through song, dance and play the SSE Children, from the tiny tot’s from the tender age of 2 to the teenage boys and girls leading the rest of their younger brothers and sisters in song and narration.

We started off with a short talk by Group 1 Year 1 children, followed by songs from the newly formed SSE Playgroup for children aged under 4 years and their parents. The theme was the value and beauty of nature around us and treating all as God’s creation. They started off by singing a Sai rendition of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Sai Star, How I wonder what you are your, In my heart you are so close, Shining like a fragrant rose’

The children continued with more uplifting group songs, with musical accompaniment on flute by a Youth sister and SSE girl and 2 SSE boys providing rhythm on the Tabla.

We then had the SSE Group 1 and 2 boys perform a role play titled: ‘Quest for Contentment’, linking our life’s journey; full of twists and turns, up’s and down’s!

We all journey through life looking for the answer to life outside, whether knowingly or unknowingly. We must remind ourselves that the real adventure has to be the one we take inside ourselves, in order to find the divine boundless treasure in our heart!

We were also very fortunate to have Dr Samuel and Sharon Sandweiss as our guest speakers. They were a dynamic Sai couple! Speaking on how they came to know Swami. Sharon spoke about how her husband Dr Samuel was the first to know and meet Swami and that herself and their 4 daughters were sceptical at first, but through Baba’s love, compassion and grace they too came to understand what Swami really was.

The program ended on a jubilant note with a dance by the SSE girls: ‘I’ve got the Joy down in my heart! The children then gathered round the beautifully decorated birthday cup cakes for the birthday song and we finished with the Aarthi.

As Prasadam of Ladoo and cake were given out, I am sure that all 500 devotees were ruminating on Swami’s true message on his birthday; the journey within! The one that we must all take, that will lead us to true salvation and mergence in that Sat Chit Anandam!

JAI SAI RAM

Region 4 - Nottingham Group: Akhand Bhajans

Nottingham Group conducted Bhajans for 6 hours (12:30 – 18:30) on the occasion of World wide Akhand Bhajans, designed by our beloved Swami. This year the Devotional singing was interspersed with Prayers and Slokas, 20 devotees sang aloud the Glory of God from their heart. The vibrations were very good, which left the purified atmosphere of Joy, delight and satisfaction.

Region 5 - Akhanda Bhajans

This Year the Akhand Bhajan event was hosted by our Bradford centre and as usual their hospitality was fantastic. The altar decoration which included pictures of all the 5 religious gurus was extremely apt for the occasion. The Bhajans were collated in advance and all the bhajans were projected on the screen. All singers were also given an approximate time for their bhajans.

Akhand Bhajan 2012 was a very wonderful and a unique experience as it not only gave the pleasure of listening and singing the glory of our beloved Bhagwan through sai bhajans but also listen to performances by the Ahamadiya community and the Sikh group. This event was represented by delegates from the multi-faith conference that took place in Bradford in September 2012. We had representation from the Bahai , Muslim, Christian and Sikh faiths and also received fantastic feedback emails from them after the event. We in turn received invitation to attend a programme in the mosque and our brothers from the region represented on behalf of the sai organisation. On that day we could see all the faith groups united and have prasadam under the same roof. We could really feel the true meaning of ‘Vasudeva kutumbakam’ on that auspicious day.

Praveena Srikantan

Region 5 - Birthday Celebrations

November has been an eventful month and a busy month culminating in the most auspicious festival of the entire year which is our dear Swami’s 87th birthday.

In Region 5, this year, the Divine Birthday was hosted by the Warrington Sai family on the 25th of November, Sunday. Keeping in line with the theme of the year the day has been named as The Divine Light.

The alter was beautifully and tastefully decorated and all the devotees who walked in felt the vibrations as soon as they walked in.

The day began with the enchanting dance performance by the SSE children of Warrington. They looked bright and beautiful in their red attires, as they evoked the blessings of Lord Ganesha.

The region 5 spiritual coordinator, Dr. Vijayan and Nadella, gave the welcome address and reassured everyone present that swami is everywhere and that we need to feel his presence and welcome Him into our lives with conviction. Every human being has four birthdays. The first one is on the day he is born, being neither holy nor unholy, craves only for food and shelter. The second, when he begins his spiritual study to lead him from darkness to light. The third, when he gains wisdom and the fourth is when he realises his true identity and merges with the divine light, Brahman.

This was followed by the introduction to the Good values club, a very successful after school and holiday club run by Mr. Deepak Kumar from Leicester. The children from this club performed fabulous dances, recited admirable poetry and narrated their positive experiences of this unique club which has left an indelible mark in the lives of many, many children. Mr. Deepak Kumar himself was very enthusiastic and kept the crowd entertained with his humour and friendly banter.

The speaker for the day was Mrs. Bharathi Sanghani, Who studied in Sri Sathya Sai Womens college in Ananthapur and who now resides in Derby where she an active member of the sai organisation.

Bharathi straight away, transported us to Parthi, with her nostalgic experiences of the divine love and the whole audience was overwhelmed by a bevy of emotions. Time stood still while she narrated few fantastic experiences which exemplify the pure and unconditional love showered by swami. It left the devotees spellbound and wanting for more.

The next thing on the agenda was a melodious song sung by the SSE children of region 5. This Telugu song was sung well and the accompaniments added to the melody. This was followed by the poetry recital by Prahalad, an SSE child from Halifax. The poem was very apt as it conveyed the principles laid down by swami and his continued blessings to all of us inspite of his physical exit.

The SSE teachers and children of region 5 presented an incredible dance drama about the Goddess Durga and the slaying of the demon king, Narakaasura. The play was very well executed and the costumes were unbelievably real and the crowd was filled with awe and wonder. All the characters looked real and magnificent.

Brother Sanjay vaja’s uplifting and energizing poetry was the next in the agenda. Brother Sanjay, who is a master of poetry, added a different dimension to it this time by a unique but apt selection of slides depicting swamis’ different moods and moments. It was absolutely amazing and very creative indeed!!!!

The compeer for the day was Aditi Puri of Warrington and she did an excellent
job, enthusing and entertaining the audience with her effusive personality and her amazing anecdotes.

The eventful day came to an end with a lovely musical organised by the region 5 youth. The youngsters of the region dedicated their time and effort to put their soul into making this offering. The gorgeous cake was cut amidst cheer and merriment by kids and adults alike.

The Birthday song was sung beautifully and it brought back the memories of Prasanthi and its grandeur. The food that followed was tasty and nourishing.
Everyone felt absolutely elated and uplifted after the days programme and left the place feeling the presence of our beloved Lord.

Mrs Gayathri Anand Nadella
R5 SSE Co-ordinator

Region 5 - Ladies Day

With the Divine grace of our beloved Bhagawan, region 5 Mahila day event for 2012 was successfully celebrated on 18 th November at Hudawi centre, Huddersfield.With in a year of its existence, Bhagawan graced the Halifax sai group with an opportunity to host a regional event. Our salutations at His lotus feet and our sincere thanks to region 5 Sai family and one and all in the Halifax community for their support.

As with any other event in SSSSO this event was organised with lots of planning from the team and sincere efforts from all the devotees involved. The day was a typical wintery day with lots of chill and mist. Fortunately there were intermittent sunny spells to add to the event. All the Bhajans and cultural activities of this event were performed by Ladies and children of region 5 and were well supported by the men of the region.

The programme started off at 10.45 am with Vedic chanting while the candles were lit by ladies from Halifax. Durga Sukhtam was recited by the devotees and I am sure all those who attended this event would agree with me that Goddess Durga removed all the obstacles on the day to make it a grand success. This was followed by melodious bhajans by our ladies.

As the Halifax group chair, I welcomed all the guests and devotees from various places of region 5, SSSSO. The significance of Ladies day and the declaration of Ladies day on 19 th November 1995 by Swami was remembered. Swami laid great emphasis on the role of women in the society and their obligation to change themselves and help to change the men and the children.

The cultural events of the day started with prayers from Halifax SSE kids. It clearly showed their dedication and Love for Swami.In celebrating the glory of womanhood Halifax community women presented a Dance Drama dedicated to the Divine Mother Durga, choreographed to the melodious Mahishasura Mardini stotram composed by Sri Adi Sankaracharya. The artistes who performed were all amateurs. The dance drama was presented to perfection reflecting their efforts and hard work.

Music is divine. Swami loves to listen to melodious songs. The ladies of Manchester Sai center presented beautiful, heartfelt songs, which they humbly offered at the divine lotus feet. Following the melodious songs, Sandbach group presented a wonderful piece of poetry dedicated to every woman. Performance by Bolton Sai center sisters on the five mothers was uplifting. The five mothers, bhoomata, deshamata, dehamata, vedamata and gomata symbolize s the strength and beauty of the female form. This presentation by the Bolton Ladies in Gujarati and English languages showed us how all these unite to inspire and guide us in our lives.

After a few cultural activities we had a wonderful and spiritually uplifting opportunity to listen to our guest speaker Smt Praveena Srikantan, Alumnus, SSSIHL. Smt Praveena shared with us her experiences with Swami during her studies at Anantapur campus of SSSIHL.She described the vastness of Swamis love on His children, in particular on His students and how they were looked after by Swami as a Mother. She narrated personal experiences where Swami helped her get through very difficult times of her life.

The talk was followed by some more cultural activities such as a dance ballet based on the wonderful life of Lord Krishna. The first part show cased Mother Yashoda s immense love for her son and the second part showed the everlasting love of Radha and Krishna. The concluding part depicted the divinity of Krishna and the realization of the same by one and all. This vibrant item was presented by the Bal vikas children of Halifax. Again, we were able to perceive the discipline, efforts, and dedication of Bal vikas kids to present this wonderful item to show their love to Swami.

Then followed "who wants to be a Mahillionaire" event by Warrington Sai Sisters which was very unique. It was a quiz with questions on Great epics, puranas and sacred religious books reflecting the multifaith theme of our events in SSSSO. All the devotees actively participated, with brothers supporting one team and sisters supporting the other team. Interestingly there was a’ tie’ with the quiz scores towards the end.

The Halifax ladies then presented two lovely songs, one in Telugu and the other in Hindi praising the glory of the sweet lord and his love and compassion. The songs were sung with intense devotion, dedication to our master. The Bradford ladies then presented the famous Garbo dance item. The Garbo dance is an offering to goddess Durga during the dussera festival in Gujarat. It is a graceful dance involving bright clothes, rhythmic steps and beautiful music. This dance was very well coordinated indicating their practice, efforts to present this beautiful item in the event.

Vote of thanks was rendered by Smt Meena from the Halifax group and the support from every group in making this event a successful one was appreciated. Bhajans and Aarthi concluded the event. Prasadam was served to all following the Aarthi. The devotees went home thoroughly uplifted through the experience of divinity by celebrating the glory of womanhood.

Dr. Shankar Srinivas Kuchibatla
Chair, Halifax Group

Region 6 - Akhanda Bhajans

Regional akhand bhajans were held in Basingstoke this year on Sunday 11 November. Centre bhajans also took place this weekend in Folkstone and Southampton.

Each devotee, upon entering the bhajan hall, was instantly drawn to the beautiful altar that had been lovingly decorated and assembled. The day started with 3 Aums and the bhajans commenced thereafter until 6pm with closing prayers and aartee. The day went by so quickly with each and every devotional song being sung from the heart and with love.

Everyone came together beautifully and, throughout the day, devotees not only came with beautiful voices but also prashaadam to share. The energy and vibrations from the day were felt by all and people left the day on a high. It was a truly uplifting day for the soul.

Sai Ram

Region 6 - Birthday Celebrations 2012

The Regional Birthday celebrations were celebrated in Farnborough on Friday 23 November. Over 150 devotees attended the function.

Devotees were inspired by the SSE programme called, ‘A Garland of Love,’ consisting of a drama including Veda chanting in which even the youngest child (aged four) took part. They then went on to recite multifaith prayers associated with the values. The children were showered with blessings from one of the respected elders of our Region, Dr Mahendra Patel, as they were presented with SSE attendance certificates.

The evening continued with vibrant music and songs performed by the well known Sapan Raii, who enchanted the devotees with his musical offering. The Regional Chair then said a few words and was followed by Brother Selvakumar who gave us all much food for thought. Devotional singing finally energised the congregation with so much love and allowed all to leave with regained peace.

During the programme, many of the helpers were busy preparing the prashaadam (consecrated food) and also busy preparing for the Region’s small offering at the National Birthday celebrations.

Vibhooti and prashaadam were distributed to all devotees who also enjoyed the most delicious Birthday cake. We left feeling uplifted, taking with us the following message: What present can we offer Swami? – Answer: To Be; aided by the tools of reflection and self-audit.

Region 7 - Dr Samuel Sandweiss

We were so fortunate to spend an evening with Sam and Sharon Sandweiss at the Region 7 talk in Portishead. On such occasions it is good to be reminded how important satsangs are, bringing our focus away from the material and back to the spiritual, especially at this time of year! It was also good to see the Sai team in action, working together to transform the hall with decorations and flowers and to focus on Swami whilst the couple shared their experiences and wisdom gained over many years. It is incredible to think that they have been devotees since the 70's. What a loving couple they are, and so proud of their expanding family! We had to laugh at Sam's attempts to find husbands for their daughters, who all had high, exacting standards, and at Swami volunteering to become his 'agent'. A very intimate and loving evening was had by all.

An extra delight was to see Richard Brake there, who lost his wife Joan earlier this year. Joan and Richard were both Region 7 Chairs, and Joan also became National Vice Chair. They both devoted so much time and energy to the Sai Organisation and family and it was wonderful that this satsang allowed us to once again come together to listen to the glories of our Beloved Swami.
Lynette Stopford, Exeter Group

Region 7 - Poem: A Living Love

A Living Love.

Living in this world I’ve found
a living love in you,
With honour to be shared around
on globe of hope we all are bound.

The air is changing fast right now
In ready for the ways ahead,
to turn the eyes from dark to light
from head to heart start seeing there,
a throne in all it’s splendoured care.

For in the darkness none can see
who lodges there in silent love,
the seat is always occupied
awaiting hearts to wake and find,
to live in heart …and not so mind!

The heart will feed the throne of love
It carries all your burdens there,
Put all aside and look within
A heart that’s full and loved by Him.

A message rides within your heart
you’ll know it all one day,
of simply waking up the space
to enter now with given grace,
This chamber offers all who seek
a love so strong… a fear so weak!

With growth this world will enter in
a wonderful arranging day.
With heart so open to the joys
of all the gifts, unused till now
or cornered till another time.

So march right in, and all this world
shall start again with you.
So drink the cup, and see the heart
begin to change, as change it must,
or wither in the winds that blow.
Don’t tell me then you didn’t know!
I’m finding life within my love,
A world where all will love to grow,
A World in Love with Love…. Just so!

Deborah Bullen
Marazion - R7

Region 7 - Service to Man is Service to God

"Service to Man is Service to God"

Sai Spiritual Education instils in children the importance of respecting one’s elders and working for the well-being of the society from which we have ourselves benefited.

Swami has said, "This world is our society, and we should reach the society".

The children of the SSE Class, in Royal Wootton Bassett commenced a new service project to commemorate the 87th Birthday Celebrations of our Beloved Bhagawan. The children, supported by their parents and teachers arranged a tea party at the local Civic Hall for elderly members of the community who we were told lived alone and would appreciate some loving care and company.

These are some of the children’s thoughts and experiences:

SSE has taught me a lot about service to others, without expecting anything back from it. We remember when serving someone, that we are serving Swami.

We baked cakes, with all our heart to show how much we cared. When I sang, I tried to imagine that I was singing in front of Swami.

I felt that the tea party went really well and it made us happy to see our guests smiling. Some of them told us that they don’t have much company or many people to talk to. They said they enjoyed the afternoon and felt loved and wanted to come again.

The lesson I learnt, was that service is very important and we should always help others feel happy and loved. It also makes you feel happy when you see others happy.

Marina Fortune, Group2 Year2

On 17th Nov 2012 our SSE class hosted a tea party for a few elderly residents of Royal Wootton Bassett. The idea of a tea party came about during a discussion about Swami's teachings and how we could put them into practice.

On the day, the hall, was decorated with banners and balloons to welcome our guests and we met and spoke with our guests as they arrived. It felt like we all knew each other very well, though this was our first meeting.

One of the older SSE students welcomed everyone and gave a short talk on Swami’s teachings on the importance of serving our community and respecting our elders.

Sandwiches and cakes were served with lots of hot cups of tea and there was a lot of laughter around the room. We helped our guests to play a game of Bingo and presented prizes afterwards.

Finally, we ended with a few songs that got our guests clapping and singing along.

All our guests enjoyed themselves and we were humbled by our experience.

One guest said that she had never been so loved before. Someone else asked for some literature about Swami; he wanted to know who had inspired us. They all left saying they would definitely come back again.

We are really looking forward to our special Christmas tea party at which we will be singing carols.

Personally this experience taught me how good it feels to share, and make others happy.

Dhanisha Patel – Group2 Year2

I have been attending SSE (Sai Spiritual Education) for the past 2 years. At SSE I have learnt about Swami’s life and teachings. Swami taught us the importance of helping others. I got to experience this at our tea party with our elderly guests.

I felt that we would please Swami by helping others in our community. This experience made me want to help even more people in the future.

Urvika Patel, Group2 Year2

Service Wing - Sathya Sai Cataract Surgery Programme: South Africa

This year’s Sai Ideal Healthcare Seminar focussed our minds on the delivery of Sai Ideal Healthcare through Sustained Partnerships.

At the seminar, we heard of an opportunity to engage in a much needed Service activity, performing free cataract surgeries for the people of South Africa. By Bhagawan’s Grace this project will shortly commence, in partnership with our brothers and sisters of the Sai Organisation of South Africa and The South African National Council for the Blind.

Background

Within the African continent, South Africa is in many ways a first world country offering high standards of medical care, much of which remains inaccessible to the poorest of its citizens. There remain significant socio-economic differences and there are millions who continue to live without access to clean drinking water, basic sanitation and free healthcare facilities.

At present, it is estimated that 35,000 South African people are awaiting life changing Cataract surgeries. These people have no means of accessing the care they need outside of the state run healthcare services. These services are often overwhelmed and many people face waiting times of up to 2 – 3 years.

Sathya Sai Cataract Surgery Programme

The Sai Organisation, in partnership with the South African National Council for the Blind (SANCB) has responded to this need, by providing free Cataract surgeries to people on the state hospital waiting lists. The government of South Africa has acknowledged this outpouring of Love, and provided access to state hospital theatres and facilities to facilitate this programme.

The Sathya Sai Healthcare National Coordinating Committee UK is delighted to announce that the first team of Ophthalmologists from UK will be joining this sacred project between the 2nd – 9th February 2013. We will thereafter be coordinating a regular rota through which Ophthalmologists in the UK can participate in this service project. Each team will fly to South Africa and undertake cataract surgeries for one week.

We invite the participation of all Consultant Ophthalmologists. If you require more information or to volunteer for this project please email your details to saihealthcare@srisathyasai.org.uk

We sincerely pray for Bhagawan’s blessings for the success of this Project.

Jai Sai Ram

Kumi Pillay
On behalf of SSHNCC

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"Love and Light" is the only nationwide monthly publication of the Sri Sathya Sai Service Organisation (UK). You are free to pass it on in its entirety to any interested party. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the Sri Sathya Sai Service Organisation (UK) UK National Chair.