Whilst the SSIO is a spiritual organisation with no particular affiliation with a specific religion, it honours the teachings of all the major religions and seeks to find shared ideals. It also seeks to encourage a sense of unity by observing some of the various religions’ holy days. Throughout April, Muslims across the globe observed Ramadan, which is a time marked by prayer, reflection and the wilful sacrifice of one’s personal comforts and pleasures in honour of the Divine. Throughout this period, Young Adults from NSW devoted themselves to sacrificing something of value to practice discipline, self-control and to feel empathy for those less fortunate.
Here are some excerpts of Reflections:
My pledge for Ramadan is to read Sai literature daily, exercise consistently and to avoid fast food and soft drinks. Soft drinks have been an Achilles heel for me. When accompanied with fast food, I feel bogged down, and become very unproductive. As Swami says “to remove a bad habit start a new (countering) good habit”. By reading Sai Literature daily and exercising consistently, I would be able to eliminate my bad habits. There will be plenty of temptations and desires to break my pledge but I must find my inner strength to overcome this challenge.
This Covid period has been pretty rough for me, and I was forced to let go of a lot of “my” plans due to illness and general restrictions, which got me complaining alot and also feeling really down. For Ramadan, I took on not complaining and meditating as my Sadhana. Not complaining felt like it was supposed to be a service to others initially, but actually in the end it’s proving to be more useful for me as I started to actively move away from how Covid impacted my life to focusing on the positives that have come out of this period.
My pledge this year has been to do a few things: Fasting between 6AM – 6PM, not consuming Artificial Sugars and being Vegetarian. I particularly chose these activities to challenge myself to practise ceiling on desires to satisfy my food senses particularly, and indeed it has been challenging. I love food, not only eating but cooking as well. Initially it was hard and then by day 4 or 5 it became a lot easier as my body adapted to the change. I would like to share a quote from Swami that has motivated me to persevere and be consistent with this Sadhana – “You must be a Lotus, unfolding it’s petals when the sun rises in the sky,unaffected by the slush where it is born or even the water which sustains it”
With the start of isolation, my general routine was a little messed up. I was feeling very lazy, purposeless and bored. Choosing my two Sadhanas was to build some discipline and self control in my ‘routine’ and general lifestyle. With my limitation of social media, I have now started reading or listening to videos/podcasts. When I would usually turn to my phone in boredom or when I couldn’t sleep, I now reflect on my day and connect with Swami!
My pledges this year were cutting down my phone usage and practicing the Radiosai Thought for the Day, everyday. I started this Ramadan with the goal of being more present and more focused because I just felt I was becoming a robot in all aspects of my life. I’d definitely like to continue these pledges in the long run. The physical and mental silence has helped my relationship with Swami grow, and love Him more – everyday.
This year has been full of ups and downs and this group sadhana could not have come at a better time. These sadhanas have really helped me find my grounding again and keep connected with my one truth – Swami ❤️