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Love and Light

Region 2 – EGGStravaganza!

As part of the on-going Young Adult Programme,in line with the 2015 theme of Love and Selfless Service, Region 2 was appealed to donate Easter eggs.

Swami explains “Seva (selfless service) can be identified by means of two basic characteristics: compassion and willingness to sacrifice”.
SSS 15.31: November 19, 1981

The Youth of Region 2 initiated the Ceiling on Desires programme, whereby all were encouraged to give up something and practice keeping desires under control. Instead of inordinate spending for our own pleasure, we chose to spend the money raised for the relief of paediatric and elderly patients. This year, Region 2 targeted distribution to 3 local hospitals: - Hillingdon, Watford General and West Middlesex.

As there were so many donations from the devotees, we also were fortunate to donate eggs to other organisations like Access Storage, Mencap, Ashford Childrens Home, Skanda Vale and Mother Teresa Soup Kitchen. There was great participation from SSE children, youth and adults across the region. Many of us could not believe how many eggs were collected within such a short period – in fact an EGGStravaganza as we collectively managed to collect over 700 eggs!

On Monday, March 30, Youth began the distribution of Easter eggs at the West Middlesex Hospital. Nurse Staff at the children’s unit were overwhelmed allowing us personally distribute the eggs in the wards.

It was amazing to see the Nurse staff and other medical professionals show much love in action, 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week taking care of their patients. We were all inspired by the courage of the patients, and personally delivering eggs was a gratifying experience for the Region 2 Youth to offer our love honourably to serve God verily Himself.

Swami profoundly states “Seva (selfless service) is the adoration of the Lord as Vishwa-Virat Swarupa, God with multifaced form and with immanence in the entire cosmos. The Vedas described Him as “thousand headed, thousand-eyed, thousand-footed”. The thousands of hands and eyes and feet are all His, the Lord’s. Worship Him. That is the purpose of your seva. And He is none other than your own Self. Do not count an individual as just an individual. The individual has God within him or within her as the reality. Be aware of that”.
SSS 8.33: September 22, 1968

There were some instances where Swami showed his presence atWest Middlesex Hospital, including an incident where we met a particular patient who at first was not interested in receiving the Easter egg. The patient was interested to know where we were from. One of the members began to describe that we were from the Sri SathyaSai Service Organisation, tears of disbelief and joy started to roll down the patients face. The patient kindly urged her Son to take the Eggs as prasadam which was received with a very warm and welcoming “Sai Ram” as her Son told us that she felt that Swami had himself come specially to show he is Omnipresent.

In addition, whilst distributing Easter eggs,some visitors were seen with Vibhuti on their forehead, urging us to say Sai Ram. It was soon discovered that the visitors were from Leicester Sai Centre!

On Friday, April 3, Youth began the second Easter egg distribution at Hillingdon Hospital. Another great opportunity where we were able to serve in particular the Paediatric wards. Again, the Youth were able to personally distribute the Easter eggs to the very brave paediatric patients.

On Monday, April 6, Youth began distribution at Watford General. Some Youth from Region 1 were also able to join; there was great unity and bond between the Youth. Swami very profoundly states unity in diversity being essential to Selfless service:

“What a single individual cannot accomplish, a well-knit group or society can achieve. A person walking alone will feel tired and miserable at the end of five miles but walking with ten others as a group he or she will find the five miles a jaunt. That person arrives refreshed and strong. Social living contributes increased happiness and more efficient effort among birds and beasts. They are able to defend themselves from enemies, secure food and shelter and migrate to places beyond great distances when they act as a group. Even ants have learned that immense benefits are derivable from group activity and social organisation. Monkeys also live in groups for greater security and happier lives. Let me tell you that nothing is impossible to achieve if an organised society is set on achieving it. Even liberation from material entanglement (moksha) can be won through serving and promoting the progress of society. Through the sense of unity, the willingness to sacrifice and the softness of compassion all objects can be gained”.
SSS 15.31: November 19, 1981

It was very satisfying to hear from one of the Staff nurse describing it as “spreading the love”. This very much summed up this year’s Easter YAP Programme – an enriching feeling of spreadinglove and
kindness, in the name of our beloved Sai.

We also received many letters of gratitude from some of the hospitals for the donation of eggs:

We offer this effort at Sai’s lotus feet, with deep gratitude for the blessed opportunity, and we look forward to next year’s Easter activities and building on our current relationships at each of the hospitals.

Until next time, that’s all yolks!

With Loving Sai Rams

On behalf of the Region 2 Youth Team
Vishal Paul