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Love and Light

Region 1 - Sathya Sai Regional Orientation Day 2016

On Saturday 9th April 2016, Region 1 hosted the Sathya Sai Regional Orientation Day based on the National Theme for the year, ‘Love in Action -The Sai Path’, at Sathya Sai Centre of Tooting. The Orientation Day was open to all current and outgoing office bearers and active members within Region 1. There were more than 70 attendees and we were glad that the National Vice-President Vidyulatha Narayan, National Secretary Subo Gunam, National Spiritual Coordinator Dr. Rakendu Suren, National Youth Coordinator Saiganesh Ketheeswaran, Former Region 1 President Yoges Yogendran and Region 6 President Dr. Mahesh Narayan, were able to join us on the day.

Speakers at the Sathya Sai Regional Orientation Day from Region 1

The aim of the day was to deliver information about the various regional and national projects that were planned for this year. Another vital aim was to look at where the Regional team could provide support to the Sathya Sai centres in carrying out these service projects and also where they could help in the day-to-day activities that take place in the various centres. It was all about sharing ideas, about what worked well and what could be improved.

After being offered a wonderful breakfast by the many volunteers, the Region 1 Orientation Day commenced with uplifting bhajans followed by Region 1 Vice-President, Sakthi Shanmugathasan, opening the Orientation Day and setting the scene for the rest of the day. The welcome speech was delivered by our Region 1 President, Rajendra Krishna Manandhar, who touched upon the aim and objectives of the Sathya Sai Service Organisation founded by our beloved Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the importance of Loving Communication.

The Wing Presentations were delivered by the Regional Coordinators - Saish Balakrishnan (Youth), Roni Ramdin (SSE), Jayesh Patel (Service) and Aanand Venkataraman (Spiritual). The regional wing coordinators gave an overview of the events that took place in 2015 including details of the multitude of planned events in both Region 1 and nationally that would be taking place in 2016. Maureen O’Hara of Spires, a South London based charity that helps hundreds of homeless and disadvantaged people, provided an update of what Region 1 had offered and thanked the organisation for support. Yoges Yogendran and Jayesh Patel delivered a delightful presentation taking many volunteers back to Prashanti Nilayam during Christmas Celebration in 2015 when UK was blessed with the opportunity to decorate Prasanthi Nilayam. It was wonderful to watch a video clip of volunteers decorating the Sai Kulwant Hall which was done with a deep sense of love, devotion and unity as an offering to our Lord.

Thereafter, the SSE, Spiritual, Service & Youth wings held workshops which provided the opportunity to discuss plans for the year ahead, current challenges and areas of improvement. Some of these included ideas to facilitate practice of Swami's teachings, enhancing spiritual vibrations in Centres and Groups; the importance of SSE teacher, parents and student relationship; projects on Educare, Socio-care, Aqua-care, Enviro-care and Medicare and how Youth should unite across the UK to make 'Our Lives his Message', etc.

After a lovingly prepared sumptuous lunch, the afternoon session started with a Wing Breakout Review session where each coordinator shared the outcome of their discussions. This was followed by talks by two guest speakers.

The first one was Vidyulata Narayan, National Vice President (SSIO UK) who spoke about how Bhagwan's focus was on awakening the latent divinity within each one of us and how we should try and emulate even a small fraction of Bhagwan's life which was spent in intense love and service of humanity. She also shared a heartfelt poem composed by Professor N. Kasturi for Swami.

The second speaker was Dr Mahesh Narayan, Regional President (Region 6) who spoke about the importance of understanding Swami’s message and applying this in our daily lives. He expressed that there was no need to strive in search for an ideal role model when we had Swami Himself!

The eventful programme concluded with Bhajans and Aarti. We finally all departed with elevated thoughts and how we could all best serve in Swami's Organisation with Love in Action.

Akhilesh Manandhar,
Youth Coordinator,
Sathya Sai Centre of Brixton,
Region 1