Centres and Regions across Australia chose to celebrate the occasion of Guru Purnima in a variety of ways this year. Below are a few glimpses into some of the offerings and celebrations.
Toowoomba Service Activity
The Toowoomba Sai Centre organised a service opportunity as part of their Guru Purnima Celebrations. A total of 24 grocery packs were donated by Toowoomba Sai Centre to Mission Australia. The packs were warmly received with great joy and appreciation. The donation packs were distributed to the local Toowoomba refugee community, largely consisting of families from Afghanistan.
QLD Regional Celebrations
VIC East Nursing Home Visits
The Guru Purnima service offerings kicked off in Victoria East last weekend on the 1st July with the nursing home singing activity being the first. This service activity included energetic renditions of old time classics, interactive games and lots of dancing performed by the young adults, which the residents thoroughly enjoyed. The majority of the service attendees were young adults.
Trillion Trees Challenge – SYA of WA
“There is not greater example of Selfless Love, than Nature” – Sathya Sai Baba
As part of their Guru Purnima offering, the SYA of WA have undertaken a series of service activities. One of these was attending a local Trillion Trees Challenge planting site. As they were planting the young adults lovingly dedicated each tree to a person to encourage the heart to heart connection with their task.
NSW Nursing Home Visits
On Saturday 4 August 2018, 90 members across NSW came together to offer the final service for Guru Purnima. Members visited 6 nursing homes across metropolitan NSW. The nursing homes were located in Quakers Hill, Greystanes, Merrylands, Baulkham Hills, Carlingford and Ryde. These visits incorporated the positive and refreshing energy of the Young Adults, Adults and SSE children collectively, which allowed us to spread Sathya Sai Baba’s love and joy with the residents.
Nursing home visits gave us the opportunity to come together and promote the message of love and peace that our beloved Sai Baba emphasises. Through music and games, we were able to interact and bond with individual residents. Members were also inspired by the enriching life experiences shared by the residents. We were blessed to come across couples who have been married for 50 years and are continuing to venture through this journey of life together. It is always challenging to walk into a foreign environment and trying to engage with strangers, but through Sai’s grace, we were able to interact with the residents through games, music and dancing. In one instance, the music and atmosphere was so lively that a resident believed that Christmas had come early. We left each nursing home with a promise to return very soon, eagerly embracing our theme for GP 2018: Endless Service, Timeless Love.
Let us all continue our journey of service with our beloved Sathya Sai’s words in mind – “Service gives widespread pleasure and happiness for all mankind. In fact, service is the first step along the spiritual path, for service to man is service to God.”
NSW – Devotional Offering
The Guru Purnima devotional offering was held on Saturday 28 July 2018 at Marsden High School, West Ryde. The theme for the month long activities was ‘Endless Service, Timeless Love’. The service part of the Guru Purnima activities included a simple spiritual discipline plan which incorporated the Body, Mind and Soul, blood donation, clothes donations, nursing home visits and tree planting and bush care activities which coincided with National Tree Day on 29 July 2018.
The devotional offering commenced with devotional singing followed by a drama by some of the young adults from both Region East and West. The drama depicted the Body, Mind and Soul aspects in a family environment comprising a mother and her daughters. The daughters (named Mindy and Soul) lovingly called their mother Bodyma. The sisters were completely different from each other; the older sister Sou was very calm, spiritually minded and eager to teach Mindy about spirituality and the benefits derived from reading Sai literature and doing daily meditation. The mother was constantly exercising and encouraging her daughters to lead a healthy lifestyle which included a healthy body, sound mind and a peaceful soul. The play was well written and the young adults certainly made every effort to drive home the message of caring for your body, mind and soul equally.
The play was followed by a presentation on the service activities that were undertaken by the young adults as part of Guru Purnima, and the event concluded with more devotional singing. It was a very well executed program and the take home message was clear to all who attended.
The WA Region celebrated Guru Poornima with its members on the 29th of July, a Sunday morning. This year’s inspirational theme was “Service to Man, is Service to God”.
In line with the theme, the members began the event by packing dental items for the homeless of Perth. Children, youth and adults worked together in an assembly line, packing toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash and floss into a dental kit.
Following the service activity, the Sai Youth Adult presented their service offerings for Guru Poornima, including Liquid Love, Trillion Tree planting challenge, Sai Youth Mentoring service and cooking for the homeless. There was also a launch of a new service initiative program called SOS (Service our Sai families) and sharing of inspirational stories and the Nepal SSIO service Service Video and the National Conference 2019 video.