SSSIO ACT Region was fortunate to be able to hold live Guru Poornima celebrations on Saturday, 24 July 2021 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. On a cold Canberra afternoon, approximately 120 people attended the event after missing out on having the opportunity to celebrate together in person last year.
The altar was beautifully set up for the occasion by the ACT Sai Young Adults in a manner that befitted the occasion. The program commenced with 3 Aums followed by the chanting of the Guru Stotram and Sad Guru Sai Stotram.
This was followed by a melodious musical offering by the Sai Young Adults, done in multiple languages. Some of the songs included in the offering were Our Mother Sai, Kanula Mundara and Guru Meri Pooja. The musical offering was done with heartfelt devotion and energy which truly elevated the spirits of the gathering.
This was followed by a talk by Sridhar Subramonian from Sydney who is an Alumini of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning in Puttaparthi. Sridhar spoke to the audience via Video Link from Sydney and in his talk he provided and erudite explanation on the significance of a guru. Brother Sridhar touched upon the fact that a guru will only appear for a sincere seeker and noted the great fortune of Sai Devotees in securing the lord Himself as the Guru. Sridhar also explained a story of Sage Suka and King Janaka, and how King Janaka tested the sincerity of Sage Suka’s quest for learning the higher truth, emphasising the point that in order to be able to learn the higher truths the seeker must be sincere in their quest and be unaffected by the ups and downs of life.
This was then followed by a vote of thanks and address by the ACT Region President, Mr Ratna Manivannan, who noted that being able to gather and celebrate Guru Poornima together was a blessing in itself and not something that could be taken for granted.
Finally, an array of beautiful devotional singing was the last item on the program, with the songs being specifically selected to celebrate the significance of the guru. The attendees at the event were drawn to the rhythm, melody and soulful nature of the songs and participated enthusiastically throughout.
The event drew to a close at 5:00 pm with Mangala Aarathi, with takeaway food packs provided to all attendees. The members of ACT Region were truly grateful for the opportunity to gather together given the current environment.