September 2012 Edition

Quote

Sai has come in order to achieve the Supreme task of uniting as one family all mankind, through the bond of brotherhood; of affirming and illumining the Atmic reality of each being in order to reveal the Divine, which is the basis on which the entire Cosmos rests; and of instructing all to recognise the common Divine heritage that binds man to man, so that man can rid himself of the animal and rise to the Divinity which is his goal. I am the embodiment of Love; Love is My instrument. Those who have recognised My Love and experienced that Love can assert that they have glimpsed My reality, for the path of Love is the royal road that leads mankind to Me.

~ Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Articles

Education Wing - National Sai Retreat 2012

Personal Account of the National Sai Retreat 2012

Region 1 - Blood Donation: Liquid Love

Region 1 - Guru Poornima Celebrations 2012

Region 1 - Sports Day 2012

Region 2 - Sports Day 2012

Region 3 - Free Walk-in Health Awareness Day at The Mayor’s Newham Show

Region 4 - Satsang with Professor Anil Kumar

Region 5 - Love - Universality of Faiths - Multi-Faith Celebration

Region 5 - Multifaith Poem

Region 5 - Satsang with Professor Anil Kumar, Oldham

Region 7 - Professor Anil Kumar’s Visit to Region 7

Sai Ideal Healthcare in UK

Editorial

Dear Fellow Pilgrims,
Loving Sai Ram to you!

August marked yet another significant period of activity in our calendar. The name 'August' originates from Emperor Augustus for the very many positive events that occurred in his life in that month; it means 'great, magnificent'. True to its name, the month of August brought abundant joy for the countless in the UK.

This year is celebrated by our organisation as the Year of Illumination, an year for prayerful yearning for Light, its Radiance, its Brilliance and its Enlightenment within.

The month witnessed the finale and the finish of the Olympic Games which lured humanity together in unity from around the globe. It also marked the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting for the millions of Muslims. Hindus all over the world also celebrated Krishna Janmashtami, the birth of Lord Krishna, a unique incarnation possessing all attributes assigned by man to Godhood. The air indeed was filled with Light all around!

We were very fortunate and doubly blessed by the visit of Prof Anilkumar Kamaraju from Prasanthi Nilayam, who brought the joy of the 'Divine Light' of Bhagawan, initially to the National Retreat which was attended by over 400 delegates at the sea side resort of Llandudno, and then to the different cities of UK namely, Oldham, Leicester, Bristol and London.

The programmes in the different regions generated tremendous enthusiasm amongst devotees which has helped create and sustain their spiritual focus. Devotees travelled long distances from remote parts of the UK to attend. It has also helped raise understanding and awareness of the unity and love within our Organisation. For the events, strong team work was required with national perspective rather than just being limited to regions and centres which will be an asset for the organisation for years to come.

Please visit the Organisation website for links to Prof Anilkumar's talks.

September is expected to be another busy month with the 2nd National Sri Sathya Sai Ideal Healthcare Seminar planned for the 16th September. The day will involve talks, presentations and discussions on integrating Bhagawan's message of selfless service in the field of healthcare in a sustained manner. Invitation is open to all professionals involved in healthcare activities including students, healthcare managers, administrators, researchers, and those in healthcare industry and informatics. All participants are requested to register on–line.

Also take note of the 'Sai Smaran' Bhajans (devotional singing), our National offering of gratitude to Bhagawan planned for the 29th September. I am overjoyed to see that this event is led by our Youth. The programme will also include our final Sadhana meeting for 'Sai Jyothi', our National Pilgrimage planned for October. Again, please ensure you register on-line.

On behalf of the Council, I thank you for your active
participation in the programmes planned.
Kiran Patel
National Chair, UKCC



Education Wing - National Sai Retreat 2012

Llandudno, Wales - 17th to 19th August 2012

My family and I arrived at the Regency Hotel, Llandudno at 4:20 pm on Friday the 17th of August 2012. The location was perfect, as it was located right at the seaside which really made me happy!

I was pleased to hear during registration that a programme had been put together for all children who were attending the retreat. On the first night, after a very delicious meal, I listened to some very funny stories from Uncle Vadgama and Prof Anil Kumar about their experiences with Swami.

On the 2nd day, I was ready and seated by 5am for morning prayers and meditation, and it was soon after this, that I met other children from all over the UK, who like me, had come to the retreat with their families. We all had a lot in common, especially, Our Love for Swami and quickly became friends!

The activities and programme planned for us over the next 2 days of the retreat was exciting and wonderful, with Swami always being at the centre of everything we did. This included, yoga and prayers ( which I found very relaxing), games and team building activities, arts and crafts, walks on the beach, and even a trip to the local farm! Thanks to Swami in all the time that we spent outside, the weather was very good. We all had a big surprise, when Prof Anil Kumar visited us during our Arts and Crafts session. He was very loving and full of praise. At the end of Day 2, all the children got a chance to do the Aarti in the main hall. I felt very blessed that we were chosen to do the Aarti.

On the last day of the retreat, we received certificates from Prof Anil Kumar for participating in the retreat. I was so nervous to go up on stage, but I knew Swami is always there and my parents felt very proud.

I had a beautiful time at the retreat and am glad I went with my family. The SSE teachers and the youth helping made my weekend very enjoyable, and I will most certainly remind my parents to register me for next year’s retreat!

Sai Ram
Diya Bechoo - 10yrs
Region 3
Foster Hill Sai Centre, Bedford

Personal Account of the National Sai Retreat 2012

17th to 19th August 2012

After an absence of several years, the UK National Sai Retreat exploded onto the scene in 2012 and was held in Llandudno, North Wales, from 17th to 19th August. The “big bang” came from the fantastically high level of the organisation of the whole event, the location for the retreat, the chosen venues, the programmes timetabled, the catering, the sevadals, the facilitators, the singers and musicians, the delegates, and of course, the guest speakers.

This weekend "party" began around 11am on Friday 17th August, when a solitary car carrying three elders and me set off from Coventry, heading for North Wales. Great fun was had by all in this journey as we discussed topics based on spirituality, had a pit-stop/picnic at a service station, tried to remember where the car was parked as we returned from our respective comfort breaks and attempted to pronounce phonetically the names of the Welsh towns we passed! With God’s grace, we just managed to miss the mayhem that ensued on the M6 motorway.

On arrival, we were warmly received by the planning team and our hotel and room details were promptly provided. The “80s throwback” hotel and room allocated to some of our party members (situated away from the main venues) added to the ambience of being at the British seaside!

Once settled, we headed back to the main venue hotel for the evening programme. As per the summer showers refreshing us after a hot, scorching day, the talks given by the eminent guest speakers, Mr Vadgama and Professor Anil Kumar, calmed and cheered the attendees (some of whom had had protracted and arduous journeys due to problems on the M6) and united and injected us with Sai energy. The professor stated that spirituality, especially retreats, should be fun and blissful; I stuck to this prescription!

Detailed coverage of the retreat is available online (http://www.srisathyasai.org.uk/national-programmes/nationalretreat2012/) and, so, is not covered here. There were no highlights at this weekend, as all the programmes and the hospitality were of an exceptionally high standard and very enjoyable. There were two surprise events: the laksharchan spanning two days that was conducted by Mr Vadgama; and the talk on the Saturday evening by the professor of his experiences, prompted by ex-Sai students who were actually present when these events occurred.

I took away the following from this retreat:
• The existence of Chekka Bhajans! Beats Zumba workouts any day, as the former benefits the body, mind and soul (web search for this)!
• Food from Andhra Pradesh state (the Indian state affectionately referred to as "Andhra" by the professor) is very hot, spice-wise, especially the Andhra pickles!
• How to interact with people. Professor Anil Kumar stated from the outset that we should never consider him as a guest: that would have been the worst way of insulting him. He requested that we considered him as a family member. Mr Vadgama and the professor demonstrated how this may be put into practice throughout this retreat.
• Even though God is everywhere, it was reassuring to see that eminent people were also missing the physical portal that was Sri Sathya Sai Baba. This was especially evident during the moving speech given by the professor on the Sunday morning: there were hardly any dry eyes amongst the delegates.
• That we should not be serious. The professor quoted Swami: “The one who laughs is divine; the one who cries is human”. He continued that we are essentially spiritual and divine. Therefore we need to be happy and to smile. We should contain our problems within ourselves and share the joy with everybody (and not vice versa, which humans tend to do!).
• That religion is laughter, ecstasy and celebration; never serious.

As the professor beautifully put it, "King Kong cannot be satisfied with one idli – it is impossible!" The "King Kong" that is the UK Sai Organisation cannot be satisfied with this one national retreat for another several years: many of us are eagerly looking forward to more such retreats in the near future.

In the meantime, where can I get these Andhra pickles...?!

Geetha Krishnamoorthy

Sai Ideal Healthcare in UK

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba constantly reminded mankind that the Divinity that is inherent in all manifests as universal and unconditional love. He practised this central teaching in His daily Life and through His ceaseless work in various fields, including the Healthcare, Educare and Sociocare fields. Various institutions, projects and activities resulted from His untiring and compassionate service that continue to benefit the lives of millions world over. His selfless work in the field of medicine demonstrates that the highest standards of care, delivered with love and compassion, could transform the hearts and lives of both the patients and professionals alike. Sai Ideal Healthcare, presented to the world, the principles of integrating spirituality and medicine and gave a model for unfolding the Global Mission of Sai through healthcare.

Inspired by our Master, the Sai Organisation of the UK has for many years been involved in healthcare activities both domestically and abroad. Healthcare professionals have organised Health Awareness Days, Blood Donation Clinics, raised awareness of Bone Marrow Donation and travelled abroad to conduct Medical Camps and participate in hospital rota programmes.

In 2011, the UK Sai Organisation held its first Sai Ideal Healthcare Conference, aptly themed "Experiencing Kinship through Healthcare". This landmark conference provided a platform to share experiences and expertise, raise awareness of the work undertaken by the Organisation, highlight future healthcare projects and most importantly deepen our understanding of the Sai Global Healthcare Mission and our role in it. It was considered important that a facilitative body comprising of healthcare professionals should be constituted to help, support, guide and streamline activities for the future.

Following from this, by Bhagawan’s Grace, the Sathya Sai Healthcare National Coordinating Committee UK was formed under the auspices of the National Service Wing of the UK Central Council. This committee has been working diligently towards providing a framework, so as to facilitate wider participation from both the health professionals and the non-medical volunteers in the service of our brothers and sisters. The committee has also been in consultation with various professionals, voluntary bodies and local governmental agencies, and is making steady progress in evolving qualitative guidance and support for the various healthcare projects undertaken under the sacred banner of SSSSO UK.

Within UK, members of the committee have participated in the Sathya Sai Health Awareness Days (SSHADs) in various regions and gained valuable insights. This learning and experience presented opportunities to evolve a standard proposal form and a set of guidelines which aim to provide help, support, and advice on a variety of topics, to all those wishing to organise and run an event in their region.

Invoking the blessings of our Lord, our objective is to encourage these SSHADs with a focus on prevention, a key principle of Sai Ideal Healthcare, while at the same time ensuring that we offer the highest standards of service in the name of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The SSHAD Proposal forms and practical guidance are now freely available via the National Website. They can be accessed by visiting the website http://www.srisathyasai.org.uk and clicking on the Service Wing Tab and then choose Health Awareness Days.

Anyone interested in organising a SSHAD, please email the completed Proposal Form to saihealthcare@srisathyasai.org.uk and the team will be in touch to assist you.

The Sathya Sai Health Awareness Day is just one of the exciting projects planned for the coming year. Many more healthcare activities, including Blood Donation Clinics, First Aid Training, Bone Marrow Transplant registers, International Medical Camps, International Hospital Rotas, Telemedicine, and Mobile clinics are on the anvil too.

To find out more about these projects and volunteer your participation in the Sai Healthcare Mission, we would be most honoured to welcome you to our 2nd Sai Ideal Heathcare Seminar – "Sai Ideal Healthcare through Sustained Partnerships". The seminar will take place on Sunday, 16th September 2012 in Hatfield, London. To secure your place, please register at http://www.srisathyasai.org.uk/national-programmes

Jai Sai Ram
Dr Kumaresan Pillay

On behalf of Sathya Sai Healthcare National Coordinating Committee UK

Region 1 - Blood Donation: Liquid Love

Our beloved Swami has always placed an emphasis on the beautiful yet simple words, "Love all, serve all." With this in mind, the project of ‘Liquid Love’ was born, to enable Sai devotees around the UK to donate blood to help save the lives of others. The NHS uses a staggering 7,000 units of blood every day for accident and emergency patients, as well as scheduled treatments such as maternity and cancer care. Through the loving act of donating blood, we can contribute towards this vital need.

On Sunday 26th August, Sai devotees from Regions 1, 2, 3 and 6, young and old, gathered to offer their selfless service at the NHS Blood Donor Centre near Oxford Circus, Central London, from 9.30am until 3.30pm. Volunteers were on hand to ensure the smooth process of registration and care, assisting the NHS staff who happily remarked that the Sri Sathya Sai Service Organisation’s devotees were some of the kindest and most helpful people they had met as donors.

Swami’s love was evident on the smiles of all the faces and in particular first-time donors, who had given up a day of their bank holiday weekend to provide this amazing service to mankind. The day began with vibrational prayers and bhajans to our Lord, conducted by the Sai Youth, and this continued intermittently throughout the day so that devotees could chant and spiritualise the environment that we were in. Devotees streamed in from afar, arriving by public transport and car, to make sure they could be there on time and contribute towards this service of love. Two Sai Youth boys were standing outside Oxford Circus underground station to direct devotees to the donor centre. A total of 102 Sai devotees came, of which 81 registered as new donors. A grand total of 77 Liquid Love donations were given, to help save lives and ensure that those in need were supported. It was an emotional day for all. 25 people unfortunately could not donate for various reasons but that did not leave them deterred as they promised to return again to offer their Liquid Love. They offered their prayers and sang to help uplift the atmosphere for the others who were able to donate. Families and friends came together to support each other and did not feel the time pass by as they were called to donate.

A special incident came in the form of a very sweet couple celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary on the day by giving blood: they felt the best way to mark their memorable occasion was to share Swami’s love and do service. Another couple also donated whilst celebrating their first wedding anniversary. It was definitely true that love was in the air…that of Liquid Love. It was a truly remarkable and inspiring day: all the staff enquired about our Swami and our organisation and we proudly explained and satisfied their intrigue. Nurses commented on the enchanting bhajans and, despite having never heard bhajans previously, they were totally engrossed in the music and felt the vibrations. The feedback afterwards from the NHS was incredibly positive with our services and efforts being recognised.

Swami had blessed us with a great coordinator and his dedicated team of Sai Youth and adults for the day were the driving force in promoting Liquid Love, as they all poured their hearts and souls and all their energies into making sure that everyone’s needs were catered to and they liaised with the NHS Blood Donor Centre staff to ensure the smooth running of the day. Swami’s love resonated powerfully through all the volunteers who were constantly offering food and drink. One Sai Youth spent the early hours of the morning with her family making fabulous pizza bread as an act of love to make sure that donors were well-fed before giving blood. Delicious cupcakes, made by an SSE child, were also readily available at the end of the day as a treat to those who donated.

The blood types may have been different but the one thing uniting all that attended was Liquid Love, which permeated through everyone. There will always be continuous opportunities to take part in this type of divine service: this need will never go away, so please enquire with your local Sai Centres or Blood Donor Centres and get active about being part of Liquid Love, where we can all make a difference through a simple yet powerful act of selflessness.

Laavanya Nagendran

Region 1 - Guru Poornima Celebrations 2012

Dear Love & Light Readers,
Loving Sai Ram to you!

Region 1 celebrated Guru Poornima on Saturday 14th July. The event was hosted by the Bromley Centre

The evening began with Vedic Chanting performed by some of the brothers and sisters of Bromley Centre, and this was followed by some uplifting Bhajans sung by the Bromley Centre members. After the initial introduction, the welcome speech was given by the Region 1 Chair, brother Yoges, telling us how any post that we take is for Swami and our organisation and not for ourselves. He also spoke about Service, especially the Liquid Love programme that is due to take place soon, and ended with the Maxim: If you crack an egg you take a life - if it cracks itself it gives a life.

The evening’s entertainment started with 13-year old Janaki singing a Ganesh Bhajan accompanied by the vina and tabla. Next was 12-year old Krishnan who played Manasa Bhajare on his violin, and Sahana & Debanshi narrated the “Sun” poem to us quite beautifully.

Sister Alisha from Brixton Centre was the compeer for the evening and gave us some stories and quotes about Guru Poornima before introducing each performance which we all enjoyed. The guest speaker was brother Partish Dubey who told us that any chance given to speak about the Lord is a blessing from Bhagawan. He spoke about Faith and told us some stories when he was a Sai Student and reminded us to remember Swami’s words – "You need not always Oblige but speak Obligingly.".

The regional members then gave us a wonderful video presentation in which the Bhajan “Tu Pyar Ka Sagar” was sung. To hear devotees in the audience quietly singing along with it was truly food for the Soul.

Some of the Bromley SSE children sang for us. First was Anouska who sang a song that she had written herself for Baba titled: “Put your Trust in me.” Then all the children sang: “He’s got the whole world in His hands” - to which we all sang along. Region 1 youth came next and played their musical instruments and performed some lovely Bhajans and again we could not help but sing along with them. Brother Vicknesh gave a short talk on Faith and said:

"Instead of asking what Baba can give us, we should ask ourselves what we can give Him."

The evening finished with some more Bhajans and closing prayers and Aarti was performed with great reverence to Baba.

We then enjoyed delicious Prasadam and each others’ company for a short time before leaving.

Thank you Swami.

Sandra Fletcher
Bromley Sai Centre

Region 1 - Sports Day 2012

August 2012

"Life is a game, play it. Life is a challenge, meet it." - Sathya Sai Baba.

Region 1 Sports and Family Value day took place on the afternoon of Saturday 30th June 2012 at Tooting Bec Athletics Track in Wandsworth, South London. With the Olympics coming to the capital in the summer of 2012, this day provided the opportunity to create a buzz amongst the Sai children and their parents as they took part in their very own day of athletics. The first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896 in Athens, and following a morning of traditional British downpour, Swami graced the day by recreating the sunny Mediterranean climes found in Greece.

A well executed march by the SSE children in their pristine white clothing with banners and Olympic flames to hand kicked off the Sports day. Pupils aged between 6 and 15 were placed into houses named after the five human values: the boys were divided into the Sathya and Dharma houses with the girls being allocated to either the Prema, Ahimsa or Shanti houses.

Once the students had changed into their sporting attire, they were led across to their respective starting points for the first events, which were the 100 metres sprint and the obstacle race for the boys and girls respectively. At least one member from each house represented each age group of 6-8 years, 9-12 years and 13-15 years of age.

After the first 100 metres heat, the boys were called back for the 200 metres which they did fantastically in. Even though not all were able to run at full pelt to the finish line, they all completed the race which was the important lesson, for Swami says we must: "fight to the end and finish the game"

The idea behind these sporting events is to encourage healthy competition, and show how important teamwork and team spirit are. As our Divine Master says; "the mind sees separateness; Love sees unity." The boys practiced this by splitting into four teams and playing a round robin football tournament. The girls played rounders which even got the parents involved. Later in the day the parents and youth got a chance to stretch their legs as they too were involved in 100 metre sprints for the ladies and gentlemen, and also an adult versus youth tug of war.

As the sports events drew to a close, the focus was drawn to a set of performances in front of the pavilion where Swami's chair resided. There was a play by each house demonstrating their team’s values in action which brought out fine acting skills from the SSE children - not to mention amusing their audience with their light hearted quips. Most importantly, the dramas provided the opportunity for students to think carefully about practicing their values when facing daily obstacles, and to inspire the audience by sharing their solutions with them.

The results of the sports day were then announced and as the sun drew closer to the horizon, the day was rounded off with Aarti to our beloved Bhagwan and each student left the sports facility with a token bookmark in remembrance of a brilliant Sathya Sai Sports day 2012.

Jai Sai Ram
Punit Ghumra

Region 2 - Sports Day 2012

Students should realise that the determination and perseverance they show in seeking to win laurels in sports and games are also equally necessary in other spheres of life, especial in those of morality and spirituality
~ Sri Sathya Sai

Having only assisted with the organisation of the games in the past two sports days, we were both immediately hesitant to accept the responsibility of organizing an entire sports day, with thoughts running through our Mind on what ifs and buts?

But then we remembered exactly why we were here on earth… to do Seva (Service)! We knew this was one of the tests swami had planned for us and it was our time to show him we can do it and make him proud. Of course he wasn’t going to leave us alone to plan it, which was clear from the flood of immediate responses we received from the sports day emails we had sent out. All our brothers and sisters were more than happy to help with anything possible, which was a classic example of what swami has been saying for years about service. It was wonderful to see so many helping hearts! To see the large amount of help people were willing to offer inspired us both to assist in every possible opportunity to do Seva (Service) in the future.

As sports day was fast approaching there was some doubt about whether sports day will go ahead or not due to the bad weather in the previous days. And it was vital that sports day was cancelled if the weather was not suitable, as our children’s safety was paramount. Although there were some doubts, we all knew deep down that swami was not going to disappoint his children.

And he did not! He gave us the brightest day of that week, adding in a beautiful clear blue sky to the already peaceful atmosphere.

This was just the setting for a beautiful day swami had laid out for us.

The children and their parents came in one by one with huge smiles of excitement on their faces. Just seeing their smiles was the greatest and most precious reward we could get for all the hard work that had gone into organising sports days. Everyone together as one – adults, youth and even the children – all helped out to set up the field in no time.

The day then began with prayers and relaxing exercise of yoga to warm up the children and get them ready for the games. As well as the children, many of the parents were also very keen to take part. The children were then split into 6 teams with a range of all ages in each for the variety of challenging and fun filled obstacle course races.

There were also bonus points for each team upon correctly answering questions after each race.

The final relay race saw everyone taking part including our own Sister Vidyu (National SSE Coordinator) and Sister Bhadra (R2 Chair) and the parents who had come to watch and support. With plenty of energy, excitement, cheering and support for their team members only one phrase kept coming up in my mind to sum it all up – one team, one family, a true Sai family!

Following on was a huge group photo and certificates handed out to all for attending and taking part. In the background many had been slaving over the kitchen beforehand to prepare delicious food for all which was set up and ready to go.
Everyone sat together under the beautiful sun that beamed down to gain some food fuel for the second round of activities. The boys went off to play football and the girls’ rounders. With a team effort and every single person contributing, no matter how big or small, young or old, the day was an ultimate success. Baba’s grace was always upon us and we had the best weather to date – he has never let us down and certainly was not going to.

The smile of each and every individual shone through and it was wonderful having people from various centres attend and join in on this memorable occasion.

Region 2 SSE Sai Olympics Participants – July 2012.

Article written by Sister Reshma & Sister Shajiny (R2 Teachers)

Bringing the Spirit of the London Olympics 2012 to the joyous flavour of the day in the form of the Certificates.

Region 3 - Free Walk-in Health Awareness Day at The Mayor’s Newham Show

21st/22nd July 2012

The sun was shining brightly but the ground was still squelching underfoot thanks to overnight rain. The Olympic torch arrived to entertain the hundreds of eager people lining the footpaths through Central Park in Newham. Children were running around and playing games. And yes, it was time for another Free Walk -in Health Awareness Day...

The Newham Mela (or Mayor’s Newham Show as it is officially known) is a 2 day event and has been the location of a Health Awareness Day for the past 5 years. I was attending it myself for the second time. However, this time there was a big difference. On the Saturday the Olympic Torch was coming to this London Borough which was about to host the 2012 Olympic Games and this Mela was one of the stops en route where the torch was to be displayed to the public before moving on to Greenwich. Hence, a much larger crowd was expected than normal, helped greatly by the good weather that day.

The actual Health Awareness Day was well organised by the Health Partnerships- London Borough of Newham in partnership with NHS East London and the City supported by the Region 3 SSSO UK. This consisted of the Medical team lead by Dr. Chirag Parikh, Service wing lead by Sister Anupama Raichura, Region 3 Service Co-ordinator , Youth wing lead by Mali Almeida, Region 3Youth Co-ordinator with many young volunteers manning the reception desk, and several GPs, medical specialists, dentists and eye specialists. All in all 18 Healthcare professionals and 39 general volunteers selflessly served on two days. We were provided with two mobile units for our Dentists and Eye specialists to use, while the GPs worked in the open under the Canopies outside the Mobile units.

We screened 386 people and provided 886 consultations over 2 days. We made 26 referrals for people to contact their GP/Dentists and Opticians for further investigations. Those attending were a mixture of patients with known conditions, to those who just wanted some advice about specific symptoms. The ethnic mix of the local population was clear, with over 40 countries represented among our attendees from all over Europe, Asia, Africa and even the Americas.

The Newham Primary Care Trust was providing a service checking blood pressure, sugar, cholesterol and body-mass index, with each person receiving a print-out of their results and an explanation of what they meant. If there were abnormalities then people came to see one of us for advice, sitting outside in the open at two desks in the intermittent sunshine. Some people needed reassurance, but a few others were referred to their GP because an important abnormality had been found through the screening process. Fortunately no one had a heart attack after seeing the Torch!

The queues for the dentists and eye specialists were long as ever, but people left satisfied that they had been seen properly. Swami’s message of "Service to Man is Service to God" certainly seemed to be evident. People kept coming all the way up to 6pm on both days , when finally our time had come to an end. All in all it was satisfying two days and most of us ended with an ice cream as a reward, and a few people went on the fairground rides (and yes, we do have the photos)! Finally, a big thank you to all the medical and non-medical volunteers who helped make this such a successful weekend.

Dr.Suneil Aggarwal

Region 4 - Satsang with Professor Anil Kumar

21st August 2012

The Region 4 satsang (spiritual gathering) with Professor Anil Kumar was held in Leicester. Upon entering the hall, you could feel the excitement of having such a humble devotee of Bhagawan on our doorstep.

The programme commenced with a few bhajans (group devotional songs); then Prof. Anil Kumar began his talk with a bhajan, "Gopaala Raadhe Krishna, Govinda Govinda Gopaal." He spoke about the body being not merely just a body, but how each of us, individually, is a spark of divinity, a son of immortality. Recognising that this body is just mortal but our soul is immortal is itself a spiritual achievement. He then went on to talk about how Bhagawan states that, "Nature is the best teacher and life is the best preacher," for instance, how trees teach us how to be unified and equal with everyone. A short question-and-answer session followed the talk.

Then came an extravagant, melodious musical programme, which involved a sitar and tabla recital. Roopa Panesar on the sitar was joined by Upneet Singh Dhadyalla and Rishi Chowdury on the tabla and Akash Parekh on tanpura. A wonderful and uplifting performance offered at our beloved Swami’s lotus feet.

Upon the request of devotees, Professor Anil Kumar was then asked to talk about his experiences of being in the Divine Presence. He narrated his experiences from his travels with Bhagawan and how Bhagawan always made sure that all of his smallest needs were fulfilled.

The devotees were ecstatic and wanted to listen to him for a longer time, but due to time constraints the satsang had to end! Devotees were anxious to talk to him, photographs were taken and he made sure he spoke to as many devotees as he could. It was an inspirational satsang that brought everyone together remembering our dear Bhagawan and His glory.

Poonam Patel

Region 5 - Love - Universality of Faiths - Multi-Faith Celebration

It was a beautiful day as Lidget Green Sai Centre hosted the Region 5 multi-faith celebration on 2 September 2012. The programme began with Vedam and multi faith bhajans followed by a welcome address from Kantibhai Mistry. Speakers representing Hinduism, Sikhism, Bahai, Christianity and Islam then delivered talks on how love is the undercurrent of every faith.

Rev. Alan Evans, representative of the Christian faith, talked about Jesus’ teachings of “Love Thy Neighbour”. The speaker from Islam, Mr Mufti Helal said that the first verse of the Quran talks about love only whilst Ms Jaspal Kaur Birdi delivered a beautiful kirtan (musical rendering) on love after her presentation on Sikhism. The representative of the Bahai faith, Dr Hallam, not only gave a wonderful presentation on his faith but also arranged a mini-exhibition to help understand the faith. The talk on Hinduism ended on a high when the speaker, Bharatbhai Sisodia requested everyone to stand up and hug each other in name of that Universal Love. Sanjay Vaja concluded the series of talks with a beautiful presentation on Swami, His Life and His teachings.

The programme drew to a close with a beautiful Inter-Faith musical item from the Region 5 music group. The atmosphere was filled with His love and it was a truly inspiring and unifying event.

Region 5 - Multifaith Poem

So many different faiths, so many lovely stories,
That allow God's name, to be heard in all its glories.
Strip back the stories, at the core what is there,
It's all about love, and for each other to care.

It really is that simple, for love is the key,
Common to all religions, as today you will have seen.
All these different faiths, many paths there may be,
They all lead to God's door, the same door for you and me.

They all have their messages, and lots of songs that you can sing,
To fill you with bliss, as God's name it does ring. This feeling of bliss,
it comes from the heart, It's the same for all humanity, of which we are a part.
Zoroastrians have the fire, its significance we will learn, Bitterness and hatred,
should be offered to be burned.
Buddhism has the wheel, of cause and destiny,
If we follow all the teachings, in the end we will be free.

Hinduism's philosophy, it forms a way of life,
It helps you cope better, with any trouble or strife.
Many of these messages, Sikhism also shares,
Discipline devotion and sacrifice, of action they’re not scared.

Baha'is central belief, is that humanity is one,
The time to be one family, is very soon, to come.
In Judaism they do believe, man's the image of the divine,
Each person is equally important, they have the potential to shine.

The crescent of Islam, together with the star,
If we’re fixed in steady faith, from us, God won't be far.
Put your ego on the cross, cut the feeling of 'I'
Once your ego is less, on life's journey you can fly.

From today's event, lots of things to take away,
Perhaps a new perspective, a different feeling when you pray.
A feeling of oneness, the brotherhood of man,
A renewed sense of love, share with others, I hope you can.

- Sanjay Vaja

Region 5 - Satsang with Professor Anil Kumar, Oldham

The hall at Oldham mandir was packed with devotees eager to enjoy satsang with Prof. Anil Kumar. After the opening Vedam and bhajans, Swami’s dear devotee was introduced as the Maruthi of Sai Rama.

Prof. Anil Kumar began by asking "where is Swami?". He emphasised that we are blessed to have known the Avathaar; that Swami is here now and we should always lead our lives trusting that Swami is with us all the time. Prof. Anil Kumar shared his various beautiful experiences with Bhagawan, which he called a “divine romance”.

He enlightened the crowd with stories about Hanuman and how he exemplified pure devotion with his one-pointed devotion towards Sri Rama. His bhajans were uplifting as he danced and sang on stage, to the delight of the devotees. Thereafter followed an interactive question and answer session (which will soon feature on http://www.srisathyasai.org.uk).

The event concluded with bhajans and araathi. Prof Anil Kumar kindly took photos with devotees and spent time discussing their experiences with Swami. It was an honour to enjoy the company of one of Swami’s most ardent devotees here in the UK.

Region 7 - Professor Anil Kumar’s Visit to Region 7

On the evening of Wednesday 22nd August, Professor Anil Kumar came to Portishead in Bristol, where he gave a most wonderfully inspirational talk to many devotees from throughout the South West of England

After some devotional songs, Professor Kumar came onto the stage and took as his theme CIA, or Constant Integrated Awareness. By looking in depth at each of these three words in turn, he explained that Swami meant us at all times to ensure that we are aware of our thoughts words and deeds and that they are aligned with Swami’s teachings. In his own unique style, he interwove his talk with some enlightening and hugely entertaining anecdotes relating to his own personal experiences with Swami, that held the entire audience spellbound.

After a beautiful musical intermission, he again came onto the stage where he answered a series of questions from the audience, before continuing to illustrate his answers with stories about Swami which demonstrated His Omniscience, Omnipotence and Omnipresence.

What Professor Kumar said to us was deeply important in helping us to understand Swami’s message more clearly and completely. But it was also the manner in which this information was conveyed that made this talk so special. With an original and exact use of English, and a style completely his own, he conveyed to his audience precisely what he meant them to hear.

In addition, his whole being was filled with love, joy and a zest for life that inspired us all, and illustrated very clearly what Swami meant when he told us to “Be Happy, Be Happy”. For the audience this talk was a hugely uplifting experience, packed with Swami’s instructions heard at first hand, with humour, with fascinating insights, with passion, and with an energy that filled the hall.

We are deeply indebted to this marvellous ambassador for our beloved Swami and His teachings, for sharing with us all his joy, his enthusiasm and most of all his overwhelming love for Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

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"Love and Light"
© Sri Sathya Sai Service Organisation (UK) 2013

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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.