As more and more regions start having face to face regional functions, after the temporary shut downs due to the COVID pandemic, we take a look at how Aradhana Mahotsavam was celebrated across the country.
Victoria Region East Aradhana Mahotsavam
Aradhana Mahotsavam was celebrated in Victoria East Region at three locations due to a limit in the number of people the halls could accommodate as a result of COVID restrictions. The three programs were organised by the Victoria East Region, Springvale and Nunawading Sai centres and was attended by approximately 240 devotees across the three locations. The programs included Devotional singing, Gayathri Mantra chanting, a drama offering, a presentation providing an overview of Sadhana plan, music program and sharing of experiences with Swami by young adults. The attendees thoroughly enjoyed the event and felt reconnected coming together after a long time to attend a Sai function.
NSW Region East Aradhana Mahotsavam
On April 24 2021, SSSIO NSW Region East held a function for the important event of Aradhana Mahotsavam. This was made even more significant as this was the first face to face regional event held in NSW Region West after a long time due to COVID-19. The function was held in strict accordance with all government COVID-19 requirements.
With Swami’s grace, the devotees had an unforgettable evening of experiencing Swami’s love. The attendees of the event were instantly transported to Prasanthi Nilayam with an altar which replicated Swami’s Mahasamadhi in Prasanthi Nilayam. The event began with a scintillating and soul stirring musical offering by the young adults as well as devotional singing. The event concluded with two speeches by devotees sharing their personal experiences with Swami. Many of the personal experiences shared by the speakers, thoroughly reminded the devotees that Swami has always been with them and has personally guided them through all the ups and downs of life.
New South Wales Region West
In NSW Region West, Aradhana Mahotsavam offering for 2021 was held at a centre level in line with what has occurred in previous years. Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions for places of worship, the number of people who could attend the program was limited. Despite this, it was an encouraging sign to see that people were starting to return to in-person offerings in NSW. In total over 265 members attended the offering at various centres across NSW Region West. The centres were again vigilant in following the COVID guidelines from the government.
The NSW Region West devotion wing prepared a guideline document for the celebrations which was distributed to each Centre. This guideline provided a number of options centres could include in their offering, however the Centres were free to develop their own program if they wished. The program included devotional singing, drama and acts by SSE children, talks on the theme by members from the respective centre, all of which included participation from a wide range of members from all age groups.