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Region 3 - Avataram: A Humble Offering

“Whatever talent a person has should be dedicated to the rest of humanity - indeed to all living beings...” says Baba. Holding this as the scaffolding to the big structure called Avataram- the play, the SSE children and the youth of Mill Hill started working towards one goal with one intention and as one team – Sai

The idea of the play was put forward by our youth co-ordinator who explained that taking the first step of being Swami’s humble instrument is to spread positivity, love and respect amongst individuals. What better gift can we offer at His lotus feet than a garland of an epic play with full of love and devotion

As the name by itself explains the play’s purpose was to beautifully portray the Dashavataram (ten incarnations ) of Lord Vishnu and further explaining the magnificent Purnavataram(complete incarnation) of our one and only dearest Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

As the saying goes “ no pain, no gain “ we always knew that a play that involved 50 SSE chidren and youth along with the making of costumes , props , sound and acting with finesse in front of Swami was not an easy task. It was indeed a mammoth task, but then Swami always says “Why fear when I am here”.

With that in mind we started this mammoth task three months before Swami’s birthday.

I would like to explain this beautiful journey of togetherness as follows:-

Our Challenges:-

As Swami’s children we all are aware that challenges are not obstacles but opportunities to learn and make our lives better as individual and most of all to become Swami’s instruments in our present lives. As the aspiration of the youth and the children was huge so comes the boulders of challenges along with it.

We faced the following challenges:-

1. Dasha- Avataram is the story of 10 avatars which will mean that there will be 10 different plays plus Swami at the end to complete the play .Where do we get 50 SSE children and youth to act for the play?
2. Where do we conduct regular practices for those casts ?
3. It is a beautiful epic play so we will need the best of costumes. Where do we get these beautiful and colourful costumes from?
4. Where do we get the props for the scenes and how do we record all of the voices?

We never knew that the answer for these big challenges was very simple – as Swami says if we take the first step with pure dedication He will take a million steps to achieve it.

Though we had a lot of inhibitions initially we did only one thing, we surrendered with complete unfathomed dedication and faith in Swami to offer this garland on His birthday. We the youth, the SSE children, the parents and the teachers of Mill Hill then took our first step and miraculously but unsurprisingly Swami took His million steps to complete the play.

The costumes were mostly contributed by the devotees as recycled items, props were hand made by the youth, conference calls were held every week with respective teams to gauge the progress and practices were held regularly at houses .

Swami’s Leela

As they say every tide has its ebb. This is a fact of life that most of us humans at some stage forget to realise.

The recordings had come out beautifully with the help of our actors and the enthusiastic technical team. The houses of devotees and rented halls were used to practice regularly and all the children and youth were in synergy enjoying them in the process.

A week to go and we held a final dress rehearsal of the play .The children and youth were dressed and the stage was ready.

What happened?

The music was not playing, the projector was not working and these affected the morale of the actors and they froze on the stage which resulted in lack of co-ordination.

All of was shocked by this and some serious questions raised in our minds - if we deliver a play like this on Swami’s Birthday will He be ever pleased? Have we given our 108% commitment? Do we even have to hold this play at all?

Why this happened?

As we were breaking down because of these thoughts, little did we realise it was Swami’s test of our faith in Him during challenging times.

With His grace we collectively thought of two important factors that was necessary

a) Give our 108% commitment by practicing enough and more a day before the play and
b) Nothing but complete surrender at His feet like Draupadi surrendered to Krishna, like Hanuman surrendered to Rama and like Prahalada surrendered to Narasimha.
The result, the week that followed was filled with positivity, unity, strength, courage and devotion from all – parents, teachers, you and children.

And these made Swami achieve His objective, despite all odds He kept us united together by teaching us life’s lessons.

Avataram – the play on His beautiful birthday

Mill Hill Centre was filled with positive energy - children and youth dressing up , adults helping them get ready and all of them with full of zest and devotion.

We also received great support from the regional youth team who were a part of every activity of the play, be it props, dressing or even to support us by motivating us in challenging times.

Please see below photos of the beautiful play which mesmerised all of us and left us with a big smile and we hope it pleased our Bhagwan as well

Narasimha Avatar - Lord Narsimha destroying the demon king Hiranyakahyap

Krishna Avatar - Draupadi Vasthraharan – Durshaasan gets tired, Krishna comes to Draupadi’s help

Buddha Avatar – Lord Buddha and His disciples

Krishna Avatar - Vishwaroopam

Kalki Avatar – Destroyer of Evil

Swami in His Poornavataram with the rest of the Avataram casts

Happy Birthday Swami

With the purest of the intentions and with our 108% commitment we wanted to gift Swami a play on His birthday and the result was just the opposite. He gifted us a play that was so divine that the nectar of its love, positivity and talent is still lingering in our minds and will stay in our hearts forever.

Thank you Swami for teaching the youth, the children and the elders what is the true meaning of dedication, commitment and love and thank you for giving the gift you gave us on your birthday – Avataram , the play

"My Life is my message, your life is my message" says Baba

Let us all strive to be His instruments and spread love to the farthest of the horizons

Jai Sairam
Aneet Govindarajan
Mill Hill Centre (Region 3 Youth)