I would like to thank Swami for the opportunity to share the inspiration behind, and details of, the recent service project conducted by the young adults of Victoria regions East and West.
From the outset, the aim was two fold: to organise a service activity that would both give the maximum number of people an opportunity to serve, and also allow for the propagation of Swami’s divine love. Additionally, we wanted to ensure the activity was as environmentally friendly as possible. After a few options were explored, Swami directed us to a series of scientific articles, that reported the psychological and physiological benefits of indoor plants.
Namely, the evidence showed benefits through the correlation between flowers/indoor plants and more positive health outcomes in post-surgical patients, and the increase in life satisfaction/ decrease in loneliness in older people who engaged in gardening programs. Furthermore, a study that documented the experiences of nursing home staff, found that indoor and outdoor plants had a beneficial effect on residents with dementia, and while more research needs to be done, there is a link between indoor plants and pain relief.
With this knowledge, Swami inspired us to liaise with a local aged care home and make terrariums (miniature pot plants) for the residents. In keeping with our go green focus, we decided to reuse empty juice/soft drink bottles as the ‘pots’ for the plants. We also made maracas for the residents to shake in tune with the songs we’ll be singing when we visit them next month.
Swami continued to guide the project through His little miracles, such as giving us a beautiful sunny day to help establish the plants in their new homes and providing us with more bottles and drainage pebbles when they were starting to run low. With His grace, the project ran smoothly and in a timely fashion and all the youth in attendance felt Swami’s love and fun-loving nature throughout.
We pray that the plants provide a sense of hope, peace and happiness to the residents of the aged care home, and that they feel Swami’s love through this project. On behalf of the SYAV, I’d again like to thank Swami for the opportunity to do his work.
With Sai Love,
Swami’s Sai Young Adults Victoria Team
NSW Region West
SSIO-AU ACT Region marked the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivarathri by holding devotional singing, Rudram chanting and undertaking abishekam to the Shiva Linga from 6:00 pm to 12:00 am on Friday 21 February. Approximately 85 people attended the spiritually charged event.
On Sunday 1 March 2020, approximately 30 members from the ACT Sai Region assembled at Edison Park to participate in Clean Up Australia Day. Clean Up Australia Day is a service activity that is undertaken annually by the ACT Region of Sathya Sai International Organisation Australia and is intended to raise awareness of the need to conserve and protect our environment. Sathya Sai Baba has said “You have to realise that Nature is a manifestation of God. Hence, Nature should not be ignored. Nature is the effect and God is the cause. You should recognise the immanence of the Divine in the entire cosmos.” (Sathya Sai Baba, June 20, 1996). The Clean Up Australia service activity allowed Sai Organisation members to put Sai Baba’s teachings into practice through removing rubbish and litter in public locations to create a cleaner environment in Australia.
Adults, Young Adults and Sathya Sai Education (SSE) children all gathered at 9:30 am on a bright and sunny day at Edison Park to commence the clean-up activity. Edison park is a large public park in Woden which is frequently used by children and adults for picnics, walks and outdoor activities. Teams of three were formed for cleaning various locations of the park with each team given a white bag, a yellow bag and a green bag for picking up rubbish, recycled material and organic material respectively. Participants were also supplied with Clean Up Australia gloves to ensure their safety and hygiene. The SSE children in particular displayed a high level of enthusiasm and energy in participating in the clean-up activity. Approximately 9 bags of waste were collected at the completion of the service activity with the majority of the waste consisted of cigarette buds, bottle lids, wrappers, tissue and broken glass. The activity concluded at 11:45 am with all the participants leaving with a strong awareness of the importance of avoiding the pollution of our environment and having a deeper appreciation of nature’s beauty.