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Region 2 - Sathya Sai Centre of Harrow West Celebrates Babas 90th Birthday

This being the 90th year of Baba’s Supreme Advent, Baba’s Birthday Celebration was of special significance. The Harrow West Sai Family celebrated this august occasion with great piety, joy and ceremony. To celebrate the sacrosanct day, the Sai Family of Harrow West came together and with great love and reverence, laid a warm hearted and worshipful program offering at the Lotus Feet of our Beloved Bhagawan.

The anticipation of this holy day was growing for many weeks and the cold, crisp afternoon couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of devotees. A sacred ambience pervaded the venue. The beautifully decorated statue of Lord Ganesha at the entrance filled one’s heart with veneration. In the prayer hall, the impressive blue and white background on the stage and tastefully decorated silver Jhoola in the foreground was breathtaking. The Divine Presence was instantly felt by the captivating photograph of Bhagawan, and our spirits soared. The program commenced with Veda chanting. The sacred vibrations in the hall were clearly felt with our hearts filled with love.

The children from nursery and SSE Group 1 were up on the stage first, presenting an episode from Lord Krishna’s life. It was delightful to see the charming Krishna lifting the Govardhan Mountain to save His devotees from the perils of Lord Indra’s wrath. Their love for Swami was evident in the hard work and effort they put into the play. They also performed a beautifully choreographed traditional dance. The “little hearts” delighted and enchanted all with their poise and verve.

After this, there was a presentation from our Group 2 and 3 SSE children. Through prayers and Grace of Swami, our twelve musical students formed an orchestra and presented a superb instrumental rendition of one of Bhagawan’s Bhajans, “Hari bhajan bina sukh shanti nahi”. The combination of harmonium, tabla, flute, guitar, keyboard, saxophone, clarinet, and violin, with the vocal rendition of the bhajan was faultless and the whole congregation joined in with the beats and singing. With their rhythm, tempo, harmony, melody, instrumentation and enthusiasm, they energised and infused the whole atmosphere with joy and jubilation! Every heart was replete with the musical performance. The children were indeed blessed to have had the opportunity to perform on such an auspicious day!

A joyful offering of bhajans by the adults ensued thereafter and the auditorium reverberated with the rapturous melodies. All those assembled joined in the singing and clapping and keeping beat with the tabla. The ambience was vibrant and soulful.

Our beloved Swami has lovingly elucidated the significance of singing bhajans. He has said, “The bhajans that are sung permeate the ether in the form of sound waves and fill the entire atmosphere. Thereby the whole environment gets purified. Breathing in this purified atmosphere, our hearts get purified. Reciting the Lord's name is a process of give and take. Singing the Lord's name should become an exercise in mutual sharing of joy and holiness. It should be remembered that the sounds we produce reverberate in the atmosphere. They remain permanently in the ether as waves and outlast the individual uttering the sounds.”

The bhajans were brought to a stirring end by a medley compiled by the Harrow West’s dynamic and zealous youth wing.

As an offering to Beloved Baba on His 90th Birthday, the youth members decided to serve the local community thereby experience “Love in Action”. By practising ceiling on desires throughout the month of October, our ten youth members raised a sum of One Thousand Six Hundred and Thirty Pounds! They used the saving to support charities close to their hearts – Post Pals, ¬a charity helping to ‘Post a Smile on a Sick Child’s Face’ by the sending of cards, letters, emails and little gifts to seriously ill children and their siblings in the UK. They offered Christmas gifts to 16 children.

The second charity they supported was Hands on London which runs a campaign during the winter season called ‘Wrap Up London’. Coats were collected to help the homeless, refugees, women and children living in poverty. Through their loving dedication, the youth purchased and donated 38 good quality coats!

The third charity they supported was St Mungo’s Broadway. St Mungo’s provides bed and support to more than 2,500 people a night to homeless and they also work to prevent homelessness, helping about 25,000 people a year. Our youth donated a sum of Three Hundred Pounds towards this most worthy cause.

The Harrow West Youth group has committed themselves to the above projects and through implementing ceiling on desires, will continue to support charities from this year forward.

Afterwards, our guest speaker, brother Ishver Patel was invited to speak and relate some of his experiences with Baba to the assembled congregation. His heartfelt speech sounded nectarine as he relived his tender and loving experiences. Finally, and much to the delight of the children, it was time to cut the cake! A lovingly made and decorated sarvadharma cake was brought forward and as the children gathered around Swami to help cut the cake, the devotees began singing Baba’s Birthday song with such affection and reverence that tears of love, gratitude and devotion filled every eye.

The program came to an end as the hall resounded powerfully with Swami’s Aarti. Some devotees had generously bought gifts for the children and youth which were given to them on Swami’s behalf. A well prepared and delicious Mahaprasadam was distributed to all afterwards.

Jai Sai Ram

Shivani Singh
Sathya Sai Centre of Harrow West