Guru Poornima Launch: Sunday 23 June 2019
To kick off Guru Poornima 2019, the Young Adults of NSW hosted a special Unity Meeting with devotional singing, an outline of the theme this year– ‘The Path to You’ and two service activities – the assembly of care packs by the Young Adults and Adults, and arts and crafts to create Christmas cards by the SSE. Around 300 devotees attended, and with everyone’s helping hands and Sai Baba’s grace we managed to procure and assemble items to make 1000 care packs and 50 Christmas cards. The care packs were delivered to Homeless Connect, Anglicare Australia and the NSW Country Women’s Association; the packs will be provided to people who find themselves in emergency situations without basic necessities such as toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner etc . The Christmas cards made by the SSE were given to families at Sydwest Multicultural Services as part of the ‘Christmas in July’ program.
Jammin’ with Sai – Sunday, 7th July 2019
“Jammin’ with Sai” was a musical opportunity for NSW SSE Groups 3 and 4 to bond with the Young Adults over their shared love for music. The day was split into three sessions. Two sessions were dedicated to exploring an instrument of choice or practising vocals. Young adults trained in tambourine, tabla, box drum, dholak, manjira, harmonium and singing facilitated these sessions in groups of approximately five to eight SSE each. The third session saw the entire group of 35 come together for a musical extravaganza, singing two devotional songs accompanied by our future musical stars on the instruments they had practised over the day.
Christmas in July – Saturday, 13th July 2019
“Christmas in July” was an event held in collaboration with SydWest Multicultural Services and was an opportunity for the Sai Organisation to spend some quality time with young families. SydWest is a not-for-profit organisation working with refugees and migrant families to support the self-determination and empowerment of our diverse communities. The day started with approximately 25 young adults performing an interactive musical program with the children of Sydwest dancing and singing to well-known Christmas songs. A short break for lunch followed so we could all re-energise ourselves with some fresh, homely and healthy food. Then the families split into an hour-long activities session for children and an introductory parenting workshop for the parents. Activities included drawing, Santa limbo, and Snowman and Christmas tree making. The day ended with the attendees taking home a small Christmas gift from the Sai Organisation – activity books or novels along with the personalised Christmas card made by the SSE at launch.
Study Circle – Sunday, 14th July 2019
To delve into the theme this year – ‘The Path to You’- a study circle was organised for the young adults to explore the Sai literature around the meaning of the three paths to Sai Baba – Devotion, Service and Wisdom. The discussion centred on each individual’s relationship with God, the affinity of these paths to each, the importance of fostering these paths and recognising the interaction between each path and the role it plays in our daily lives.
Guru Poornima Devotional Offering – Tuesday, 16 July 2019
Our formal Devotional Offering program was held on the full moon night of Guru Poornima itself and built on the theme ’the Path to You.’ The night began with a devotional singing medley – a 15 minute rendition to our Guru. We then relished in Sai Baba’s words with a discourse exploring the meaning of Guru Poornima and the importance of unity in thought, word and deed. The GP coordinators were up next and shared their experience as a conduit to execute what could have only been Sai Baba’s vision. This was followed by two other young adult reflections sharing their experience from their unique perspectives. Next were two examples of the energy, love and devotion unity can bring. The young adult brothers offered an acapella-inspired performance and rendered a poignant version of ‘Narayana Hari Narayana’ with varying harmonies. The young adult sisters offered the song ‘Yaatra’ featuring an ensemble of instrumentalists on violins, keyboards, octopads, kazoos and of course their voices.
The month of Guru Poornima presented an opportunity for our devotees to get involved in two donation drives.
The Liquid Love Campaign is a well-known national initiative inspiring people to practice their inherent love for all by making blood, plasma and platelet donations. The campaign will continue to run until 23 November 2019.
The second was a book donation drive to share the gift of reading by helping primary school children in Sri Lanka experience and imagine new worlds through fiction novels. Around 30 boxes of books were shipped to Sri Lanka and will be stocked at 40 primary schools for their English reading program.
Guru Poornima Journal
Central to Guru Poornima spiritual discipline (‘Sadhana’) practise this year was the journal. A team of young adults put together an interactive journal with places to record daily reflections, inspiration for Sadhana ideas, tracking Sadhana goals for the month, activities, and messages from Sathya Sai Baba. The idea was to create a personal companion for each devotee as they journeyed through Guru Poornima 2019 through the three paths to our dearest Lord.
Our Guru Poornima celebration was held on the 16th of July at Box Hill Town Hall, celebrated by our Young Adults. With Sai Baba’s Grace the celebration was a success. We had a beautiful play called “The Legend of the Monkey Soldier” – the ultimate battle between Good & Evil. The play was shown through the values in Sai Baba’s teachings and the actors played their parts very well. We had a beautiful musical program, lovely devotional singing with good lead singers and the instrument players; it was fantastic and it showed how much their tireless practise paid off. The Shrine setting was very elegant, and the night finished with a lovely served dinner.