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Love and Light

Region 4 - Gratitude Day and Walk for Values

An epic moment in time

My humble and loving pranams at the lotus feet of our lord Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Sunday 18th October marked an auspicious moment in the history of the Sathya Sai International Organization UK. Devotees in the UK were brought together for one common cause: Gratitude and values.

90 elders from across the UK who have been instrumental in driving the organization forward were honoured on this day for their drive, determination, dedication and most of all, LOVE for the service organization and for our dear Swami. We take our direction and inspiration from Swami himself who first conducted this in Prashanti Nilayam in 2005 and the occasion was named Bhima Ratha Shanti.

The program commenced with bhajans and address by our UK chair Dr. Kiran Patel. We then had a blessed speech by the SSE children reminding the audience of the importance of gratitude to elders for their inspiration and guidance.

As the main programme commenced, it became evident that even at such a grand age, the elders were full of youthful spirit, joy and love as they came up to the tastefully decorated dais to light a candle and receive gifts of gratitude. One elder was filled with so much happiness to see the youth lovingly help them on and off the stage that they were moved to tears. This is the depth of the bonds of love formed between generations of the Sai family.

After the ceremony, we were lucky to be inspired by our zonal chair Petra von Kalinowski who shared a beautiful story of how Swami had called her into the family of Sai and how she felt she had come home when visiting Prashanti for the first time.

We were also addressed by Dr. Kishan Gadhia who shared with us many loving stories of his journey with Swami and the beautiful playful nature of Swami.

This was followed by a musical offering by Akash Parekh and Aarti.

The next part of the day was a Walk for Values, which was the first of its kind in the UK. The aim was to remind and instill values in the hearts of all as we walk. There was a sense of unity as people of all ages and faiths joined together to promote and inspire others to hold fast to truth, peace, right conduct and non-violence. Walking from Abbey primary school to Cossington park with banners and shouting together ‘Walk for Values!’, you couldn’t help but feel positivity being dissipated in to the universe.

On this day we also had visitors from Refuge UK, a charity that aims to help those women and children who are victims of domestics violence. Thus far the UK have gathered more than 200 packages for women and children. These packages of love from us all will enable the women and children to have confidence and hope to move forward in life.

Overall, this day was filled with the 5 human values Swami has all taught us through thought, word, action and heart. Let us continue to move forward in the mission of Sai and be the beacons of love, light and service to the world.

Nirali Sisodia
Regional Youth Coordinator
SSIO UK, Region 4