Straight after the Sai National Conference in Sydney last year the National Media Team presented to the National Council Meeting that they are considering embarking on the following two exciting projects:
Virtual Sai Centre – running of Centre activities in English from start to the finish – on Website/YouTube The idea is by providing platform for wider community and young new generations to understand, experience, expand and live with Sai ideals/teachings
Virtual Tour to Prasanthi Nilayam – virtual visit to:
Prasanthi prayer session
visiting Mandir and interesting sites including Chaitanya joti, Museum, etc. – on Website/YouTube
The intent of this idea is to attract and facilitate visits to Prasanthi Nilayam.
Now, during the lock down SSIOAU members are becoming well versed in undertaking a large number of Virtual prayers. So we think now this is the perfect time to take little steps to do and expand HIS mission so that people from everywhere are able to enjoy the bliss of the Sai Centre and Prasanthi Nilayam from the comfort of their own home.
Please contact us if you are interested in being involved with these projects for benefit of many millions of people in the years to come!
It is now more important than ever before to pray for the welfare of all beings in the universe. Some Sai centres, Regions and National programs are running on virtual platforms. Please feel free to join any of the following virtual Sai programs that are on offer from various parts of Australia.
Adelaide - SSC Adelaide Central - Centre
Prayers (Rudram & Sai Gayathri) followed by devotional singing
Weekly Sundays from 5.30pm - 7pm (Adelaide time) Click here to join the session
Contact - Lal Chettimada : 0432 089 484
The National Media Team urge you as an individual, centre/group or region
to provide us your spiritual experience in the form of article and where
possible with quality photos. This is yet another way you can be of service to
the Sai Community, especially during this lock down period.
How do you maintain your Health and Sai Spiritual Progress during this testing times? Please send your articles to National Media Team through your Regional Media Team member or Regional President
The SSIO Media Team has notified SSIOAU that the article describing the presentation of People’s Choice Award for Schools for sustainability to the Sathya Sai College of Murwillumbah, New South Wales on 15th November 2019, has been published in the March 2020 edition of Sanathana Sarathi, and on Sathya Sai Universe.
This inspirational article has been shared with Sathya Sai devotees and the public internationally. SSIO Media has thanked Sai Australia for sharing this article.
Keep any eye out for this article in this edition of the Sanathana Sarathi!
On Tuesday, 24 March 2020 SSIOAU ACT Region undertook it’s first online Vedam class with six students joining in for the one hour session through Skype. With face to face classes cancelled due to COVID-19, an online forum was the only method for Vedam students to continue their learning. This was the first major activity to be undertaken online in the ACT region since the onset of COVID-19.
The online class, which was taught by Chandra Balivada, was a firm success with students being able to learn their lessons in a more focused manner. The class was structured in leader-follower manner such that Chandra would chant a verse and the students would repeat the verse. Only two students repeated the verse at any one time, with other students muting their mic’s, in order to maintain clarity in the chanting.
Participants observed a number of benefits of conducting the lessons through an online forum including each student being provided with greater individual attention as a result of participants having to chant in groups of two. Participants also noted that the focus on the sounds of the chanting was greater when the lesson was undertaken online. In addition to this, students saved significant time by not having to travel to a venue for the class and were able to experience the spiritual benefits of Vedam chanting from their own home.
The success of the first online Vedam class opens up possibilities to undertake future classes online even after the current COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and creates opportunities for people in distant areas to benefit from learning Vedam.
A number of Sathya Sai Centres in Victoria Region West did not want to let the Novel Corona virus completely stop them from the joy of bhajans and therefore took the innovative approach of deciding to hold bhajan sessions online to enable their members continue to experience the benefit of bhajans. Online platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom were widely used by Sai Centres in order to conduct these bhajans with members logging on at the specified time to participate in the bhajans.
Victoria Region West President Sandeep Kuppan commented “Since many Sathya Sai Centres have had to close down due to the Corona Virus (Covid-19), as a Regional team, we did not want devotees to stay away from the opportunity of doing collective Chanting of the Lord’s Name. As a result, we encouraged Sathya Sai Centres to host Online Prayers and Bhajans so that devotees can stay connected.”
The importance of prayer, staying connected and finding hope during these challenging times were a key driver in ensuring these online bhajans were established. As online bhajans are a new format, careful planning and trial runs to overcome any potential technical issues were necessary prior to formally commencing the online bhajans. Sai Centres have trialled different platforms and are currently using whichever is most convenient, based on their suitability. Some are hosting live Bhajans whilst others are using pre-recorded Bhajans.
Devotees have been very happy with the online platforms. They have expressed their gratitude and look forward to their weekly sessions. The organisers of the online bhajans hope that the initiative can help members continue their spiritual development, maintain their connection and commitment to Swami and help obtain the grace of the lord for all during the shutdown period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For several years now, the Brisbane Young Adults have been having weekly study circles on Swami’s teachings, with the current focus on studying ‘Prema Vahini’.
Amidst global situation moving the study circle online, whilst keeping a similar timing and the same regularity was the natural move for the study circle organisers. The only change that was made was starting 15 minutes earlier to chant the Gayathri Mantra before starting the study circle which typically goes for one and a half hours. These one and a half hours is split between how everyone has gone with the prescribed activity (homework) derived from reading the previous week’s passage and the second part revolving around reading a new paragraph and deriving a homework for the week ahead.
“I feel that having to go online was a blessing in disguise for us. It gave us the opportunity to write down comprehensive guidelines for facilitators and participants, which we believe, will be useful as the skeleton for future study circles. It also seems that this change has also brought, paradoxically, a bigger sense of unity amongst the participants” reflects Kawshal Reeybye who is one of the Young Adults who facilitates the online study circle. With the restrictions around communal gathering everyone has had to join remotely, as opposed to before, when most people were physically present in the room whilst others were joining virtually. Now that people’s timetables have freed up slightly, they are able to dedicate more time to study circles and be more present and mindful during a session. Whilst the members are not discounting the benefits of having a physical study circle – the sense of fun that is established when they see their fellow YAs, the warmth of spiritual discussions with fellow seekers over a meal and the simple joy of physically seeing when the homework has helped someone confront a challenge cannot be fully recreated virtually. However, the young adults are grateful that Swami has given them the best tools to make this situation as positive as possible, and that’s what they will endeavour to keep doing.
The group has consistently had between 10-15 participants over the past few weeks, which has enabled them to have some meaningful and relatable discussions of how Swami’s words have impacted their lives over the week. The move to online has also meant that the facilitator’s approach has had to change from a rather organic and conversational approach to a more structured one whilst still enabling the participants to share openly, feel safe while talking about how the homework impacts them, express the problems it has helped to resolve and identify the challenges they are currently facing.
Study Circles in Brisbane have definitely changed, the interactions between members have changed, the dynamics have changed; but the commitment of Swami’s youth to seeking the truth has not changed, their reverence for their Guru hasn’t changed and the love Swami’s youth have for Him has not changed.