This was celebrated as a joint event between the 2 centres at Soar Valley College in Leicester
It is now 8 years since Swami took Mahasamadhi and the programme highlighted that the Formless is just as powerful, radiant and full of Love and NEVER EVER to be forgotten.
The event consisted of 2 main parts. They were the “Gratitude Offering” and Bhajans.
The Gratitude Offering was made by devotees offering prayer and deep gratitude for His transformative love for His teaching, infused with appropriate music and devotional songs.
OM SRI SAI RAM…
Once upon a time, God asked man, “Son, I have given you all the comforts. I have given you all conveniences. You do not lack anything. But you are not offering gratitude to God who has given you everything. When somebody extends little help to you, you express your gratitude. When God has provided you with so many things and comforts, why are you not showing your gratitude towards Him?”
So to us all seated here today, the question may arise…why and how should we offer gratitude to our dearest Bhagawan?
Gratitude to God is a form of prayer. We have to offer gratitude for all that He has blessed us with.
The power of Gratitude is eloquently expressed by author Melodie Beattie in the following lines:
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…. It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” We must acknowledge how beautifully she explains the vastness of gratitude.
Elders, Brothers and Sisters…it is gratitude that makes us content with what we have and not crave for more. We learn to accept the Will of God in our lives and not fight every circumstance. We learn to discern with clarity and find order within ourselves – it helps foster discipline. The problems we face in our lives are actually lessons we learn in the school of life. They are custom-made to our level of understanding and evolution by the Teacher. They become ‘gifts’ only if you learn from them – so that you won’t have to pay the next time you face one… Learn again from failures making them stepping stones to success.
Let our days begin and end with gratitude to the Lord for this wonderful opportunity of being alive. To be alive is a miracle and to be able to be of use to others is a greater gift. And finally, life finds fulfilment only when it is of use to others… it is Gratitude that teaches us exactly that!
Bhagawan, on this occasion of Aradhana Mahotsavam, we offer to you our heartfelt gratitude in the form of a Gratitude Offering. Jai Sai Ram.
My dearest swami,
I don’t know how to thank you enough for everything that you do for me. Ever since i set foot on this earth you have always been there for me, you even named me before i was born. I am extremely fortunate to be named by god himself and be showered by his grace. You told my parents not to worry about me and that you would always look after me. Whenever i feel low i always remember those words and instantly feel uplifted. You give me strength and courage to face all my difficulties. School can be tough but knowing that you are with me helps me choose between right and wrong. Because of you swami i am a sting confident girl and i can’t thank you enough.
Jai sai ram
A friend of mine once told us a proverb. it described an old Cherokee telling a little boy a story of two wolves.
There are two wolves, fighting. One wolf is joy, peace, love, hope, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
The other is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, and ego.
The young boy asks the cherokee, so…”in this fight, which wolf wins”?
The old Cherokee gave a sweet smile and simply replied, “Whichever one you feed.”
Growing up, our balvikas gurus would teach us in basic terms what it means to discriminate between right and wrong. We were told that ‘’you won’t understand how all this applies now, but this is good for your future”. And of course, like the kids we were, we would briefly acknowledge it but continue playing.
Recently, I started a new job. I was really looking forward to working for a company who portrayed themselves to have great values of care and compassion. However, upon starting, I quickly noticed that actually in reality, the practices were at variance not only to the expectations outlined by the company, but also to my own values. I decided to raise these observations with my seniors. But surprisingly, the managers turned a blind eye and told me to just ‘let it be’ despite the detrimental impact it was having on members of the community.
Highly confused, I asked you swami, what I should do? Tell me, what is actually right? Should I continue following the commands of negligent managers who have practised this way for years? Or should I fight for the morals and values you have instilled within me?
And of course, you never tell me the answer directly, you simply give me the resources to find the answers for myself. So I was searching, searching for answers- the internal warfare of two wolves. And then I realised, I already had everything I needed to address the situation. You had given me the resources years ago. The teachings learnt in the classroom of Balvikas applied to this classroom of real life.
And so, that’s what I did.
Through the balvikas gurus, you taught me to consult my conscience at every opportunity, and that if I did, I would never lose my ability for moral discretion, and no matter the opposition from the world, divine intervention always triumphs.
So, I say thank you, from the bottom of my heart for your divine presence throughout my life. And immense gratitude for paving more fruitful paths when things do not go as I planned for your plan has no bounds.
Jai sai ram
‘Swami, the Bible says: “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
For namesake and bonds you’re a Mother, Father, Friend, Lord and even a Teacher to others. Swami, whatever we call you by; You are that light that shows us the path ahead, Your Love is that light knowing you’ll always be there.’
‘O’ King of Parthi, resident of Shirdi, the very Rama of Ayodhya, My saviour Sri Krishna,
You have given us so much love and put us on to the right path. How blessed we are in this very birth to have heard, seen, and even touched you. When we met you O’ Lord – we found ourselves. We cannot imagine life without you. Please grant us your vision once more….
Swami our hearts call for you with the utterance of your name forever on our lips…We have experienced so much in our lives but nothing compares to you. We want only one thing, and that is your love! We are yours Sai – only yours, let this love story never end….
From the moment when we set our eyes on you Sai, they constantly thirst to have your darshan. One thing we all gathered here can confess is….we cannot live without you Sai. It is now we are realising that when we feel lost or empty…we must look within and we will surely find you there – Our Hridhayanivasi – Indweller of our Hearts…..
Bhagawan, today we would also like to offer our gratitude to our elders, who for many years have worked and continue to work tirelessly behind the scenes. Little do they know, they are the source of inspiration and motivation to so many of us here. They are indeed Your divine instruments. On behalf of us all here, we offer our heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you. We pray to You Bhagawan – to give us the same determination and dedication to carry on Your work by the example our elders have already set.
Bhagawan you give, give and give! You give us even before the thought for wanting something comes to our mind, but never do you ask for anything in return. We can only offer our hearts to you filled with gratitude and love. May this love story continue, we love you dearest Lord – we love you!
Jai Sai Ram.