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Region 4 - Leicester Akhand Bhajans: Sing for Harmony

Swami has placed great emphasis on chanting the Lord’s Name during the present Kali Yuga. Why is this? Swami has told us that “The Name promotes comradeship and establishes concord; it stills all storms and grants peace.” Hence, the Global Akhand Bhajans were conducted across the world from Saturday 8th November to Sunday 9th November 2014. These were completed, not for the benefit of a single person, country or community, but rather for the welfare of humanity in its entirety.

Leicester devotees were graced with the opportunity to organise and participate in Akhand Bhajans during the auspicious weekend. Held at Abbey Primary School, the theme for the past two years has been “Sing for Harmony”. This theme we hoped would generate a sense of unity across all communities - regardless of religion, race and language.

The bhajans commenced at 12.30pm on the Saturday with a selection of multi-faith prayers: Hindu; Muslim; Christian; Sikh and Jain. Bhajans followed in full power. From the young SSE students to the respected elderly, everyone was given the opportunity to offer their flower of divine bhajan at the lotus feet of our beloved Lord.

Throughout the 24 hours we were joined by a number of different local faith groups including, the Leicester Jain Centre; Clarendon Park Mosque; "Kathiywadi Gujarati bhajans" by Prabhudasbhai Suchak’s Group; Namdhari Sikh Community; Leicester Sikh Group and Leicester Buddhist Vihara Centre. This coming together truly epitomised the ideal of Unity in Diversity. It did not matter that we had different beliefs, ideas, languages, practices. What did matter though was that every individual was present to Sing for Harmony.

Bhajans continued all through the night, generating divine energies that allowed us to keep on going. What is perhaps a beautiful element about Akhanda Bhajans is that those devotees who do not normally sing, plucked up the courage and offered their song to the Lord.

At 5am on Sunday, the devotees, with a heart touched by the vibrations of the night, tried to awaken the Lord though chanting 21 Aumkars and Suprabhatam. After 24 hours of soulful singing, the bhajans came to a close at 12.30pm on the Sunday, followed by Aarti.

Just think, it truly is a spectacle to imagine that 24 hours of singing God’s glory was conducted from as East as Australia to as West as California. Such a phenomenon can only be the will of the Lord. But why is it important to sing bhajans in a group? When a myriad of voices join together to sing the divine name, the pinnacle of unity is reached and an endless flow of divine vibrations are conjured to purify the environment in which we live.

We, with all humility, offer our gratitude to Swami for allowing us to conduct such an event and hope he continues to permit us to work towards the ideal of true harmony in society.

Needless to say, whilst the Akhanda Bhajans of 2014 have concluded, Swami tells us that Akhanda Bhajans “should not be just a twenty-four hour affair or even a seven-day affair; it must go on, from birth to death, this contemplation of the Source and Goal of things.” Hence, Swami reminds us that we must incessantly have the Lord’s name in our thoughts and on our lips, for he is undoubtedly our very beginning and our ultimate destination.

Sai Ram
Dixa Thakrar
Youth Wing, Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Leicester