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Love and Light

Sathya Sai National Human Values Day 2014: Reflections 1

April 26 2014

The event was held at the Watford Colosseum, an impressive civic building with excellent acoustics. The stage was beautifully decorated with illuminated symbols of the world’s leading faiths, depicting Baha’i, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.

The theme of national human values was very appealing, and looking at the programme in advance I was struck by how many different faiths were to be represented.

The day started in true Sai welcoming style, - tea and biscuits on arrival and of course so many lovely members of the extended Sai family to touch base with.

A parade of children started the programme, carrying lights and flags representing the Human Values of Truth, Right Conduct, Peace, Love, Non-violence. Dr Kiran Patel opened the meeting, and we were then treated to representatives of the world’s faiths introducing their beliefs with prayer, and explanation. A Buddhist nun and practicing Buddhist chanted the mantra Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, filling the hall with pure vibrations. A group of Muslims sang beautiful holy songs in Arabic, accompanied by drums and tambourines. We were treated to an explanation of the principles of Jainism, most importantly that no living creature should ever be harmed, and I reflected that if everyone was able to follow this principle, how different today’s world would be. Two representatives of the Baha’i faith explained how the essence of Baha’I is all about the unity of God and the oneness of mankind. They sang a beautiful song to a guitar accompaniment.

Brother Julian, a Franciscan monk, spoke of the despair and then the joy associated with the recent Christian festival of Easter. His words were uplifting and inspiring. To complement the Christian message, a gospel choir treated us to some joyous and powerful singing, which had us all joining in by the end. We were also introduced to the key teachings of Zoroastrianism and Sikhism and a highly talented group of Sikh musicians played devotional songs using classical instruments. A group from the Hare Krishna temple at Bhaktivedanta Manor led us all chanting Hare Krishna, Hara Rama.

As the day went on, the vibrations went higher and higher. Then, during the afternoon, we were treated to an exquisite musical performance of classical Indian music featuring sitar, ‘tar’ shehnai, tabla and mridangam, Although we had to vacate the hall briefly due to a fire alarm, we were fortunate to resume the concert within a short while as we resumed our seats in the hall.

We were struck by how much careful and thoughtful planning had gone into the preparation of the event. In order to maximize on time spent soaking up the energy and spiritual messages from all the participants, we received a snack which we ate in the hall, and later on lunch was served – delicious food served in individual ready prepared bags so we did not have to wait or queue.
Brother Ajit Popat gave an inspiring talk on the importance of putting Baba’s teachings into practice. Then the programme came to an end with bhajans and arathi, and we returned home, full of Swami’s Divine Love and Grace.

Barbara Baker
Wandsworth Sai Group,
Region 1, SSSSO UK