On Thursday, 17th December 2020, the island nation of Fiji was battered by a category 5 Tropical Cyclone Yasa. The cyclone left a destructive path through Vanua Levu, the second largest island of Fiji where the Australian Sai Medical Unit has been visiting for several years. The cyclone left a destructive path especially in the areas of Bua, Lekutu, Dreketi, Nabouwalu, Nasarowaqa, Seaqaqa and some parts of Labasa.
On Thursday 24th December 2020, devotees across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, gathered online to celebrate Christmas. The event was hosted by Victoria Regions East & West and South Australia, in collaboration with the National Devotional Wing of Australia. It included presentations from the Young Adults and the SSE students.
SSSIO ACT Region marked the occassion of Christmas by undertaking the service activity of donating gift items to children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The gift items were donated to the Barnardos Australia organisation on 22nd December 2020, who subsequently delivered the items to the disadvantaged children. The children to whom these gifts were sent came from a background where they were either homeless, affected by poverty or affected by violence.
This year’s Liquid Love project, SSSIO Australia’s annual blood, plasma and platelet donation drive, has had to overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in order to ensure that the initiative continues to build on a strong track record of success over the past few years. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that people have not being able to go to donation centres in groups, and so individuals have had to go on their own to the donation centres and maintain social distancing to take part in this valuable service activity. Although the the pandemic created a number of hurdles, the need for blood, plasma and platelet donation is as strong as ever making the Liquid Love project all the more important.
Toowoomba Sai Centre put together creative, energetic and beautiful celebrations for three major events which they observed in the month of November.
New South Wales Region West undertook a major service activity to mark the 95th Advent of Sathya Sai Baba. The service activity started with a spiritual discipline plan with members of NSW Region West practicing Ceiling on Desires for 95 Days.
Bhagawan in a discourse said “Man yearns for happiness in every act, in every kind of experience. Whether he does business or work in an office, his aim is to derive happiness. But does he find it? No. It is only a temporary phase as it is worldly happiness. He may be happy for a while, but permanent happiness is attained only by contemplation on God. So, contemplate on the Divine. You try to experience many things. Instead, experience the divine bliss, which is within you. That is the supreme bliss”
The ACT Region were fortunate to be able to celebrate the significant ocassion of the 95th Advent Day of Sathya Sai Baba by holding an in-person program where a limited amount of people could attend. With strict compliance to government requirements for holding functions during the current pandemic, the celebration proved to be a highly positive and uplifting event in the current circumstances. Despite the many restrictions in place, the devotees who were able to attend the event were grateful to be able to undertake a regional celebration after many months of not being able to do so.
SSSIO Australia’s Media team arose from the need to develop more ways to help Sai devotees feel inspired and connected to Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings and to each other through the use of digital platforms. This included the National SSIO Australia Website and major social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Sai Click Apps, Vimeo and YouTube Channels.
South Australia Region observed two of the major activities in the Sai calendar, Global Akhanda Bhajans and Swami’s Advent Day. through online forums this year in order to work around the restrictions imposed by COVID-19.