Sathya Sai Baba touched the lives of millions during his time with us. His example of ceaseless, selfless service in alleviating the distress of those in need has inspired those who have found His teachings an outpouring of wisdom. The Sathya Sai International Organisation (SSIO) was founded to practice the teachings and to provide members with opportunities to serve their communities, especially those in dire need. Sai Baba has been and continues to be an inspiration and guide for many spiritual seekers. The anniversary of his passing on 24 April 2011 is a special date observed the world over.
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The observance of the anniversary of Sai Baba’s passing on 24 April 2011, is styled the Aradhana Mahotsavam, an offering of love and gratitude to Sai. Due to the current coronavirus crisis, SSIO group functions are temporarily in abeyance. To mark the occasion, a special webinar is being presented on Sunday, 26 April as an alternative to the usual events carried out by the various units of the SSIO.
Whilst the SSIO is a spiritual organisation with no particular affiliation with a specific religion, it honours the teachings of all the major religions seeking to find the shared ideals. It also seeks to encourage a sense of brotherhood of man within a Unity of Faiths by observing some of the various religions’ holy days. This year, members of the NSW Region West Young Adults will be using Ramadan, a holy time of Islam, to devote the period as one of sacrifice.
This year, Earth Day marks its 50th anniversary. The event is a day of global environmental awareness, but it aims to make every day ‘Earth Day’. One in which we become proactive in caring for our Mother Earth. How can we make a difference during this time in which many of us are confined to our homes?
Easwaramma Day is an annual celebration held by the Sathya Sai International Organisation to honour and remember the mother of Sathya Sai Baba. Easwaramma was a pious and pure village lady who over the years had to broaden her concept of love, expanding it beyond the confines of family and community to embrace all as the phenomena of Sai Baba attracted more and more people. The day honours the principle of motherhood and the role the mother plays as the child’s first teacher. It is also observed as Children’s Day, as children were her particular concern.
At Easter, one of the holiest periods in the Christian calendar, Christians around the world celebrate the life and teachings of Jesus Christ remembering the sacrifice He made through His death on the cross for all of humanity. Christ’s life and message of love and service to our fellows is something to reflect upon during this difficult period we are currently experiencing.
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.
Around the world humanity is experiencing some truly testing times. In
times like these that our confidence and faith in God is truly tested. During
these times of uncertainty let us focus our efforts on turning inward and
connecting with the divine within. Let us ardently pray for Love and protection
for all of humanity. We saw the impact of prayer during the Australian
bushfires, and now is no different. Let us send our love and energy to the
world and know that the Divine will take care.
Our hearts and thoughts go out to the people who have been affected by this unprecedented event. We also appreciate the frontline healthcare workers, local communities, and governments around the world who are on the working to contain this Novel Coronavirus. As an organisation the safety of all our members and the community is paramount. With the escalation communicated by the Australian Government in relation to the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), new precautionary measures are being introduced.
As members of the SSIO of Australia, it is our duty to help prevent the spread of the Novel Coronavirus in the community. By abiding by the below advice, we truly fulfil our duty as Selfless Servants.
Please be advised of the following but also note that the advice of local or government authorities supersedes our advice.
- All major National and Region events scheduled between now and 15-June 2020 are being cancelled or postponed. This includes all unity events, retreats, Aradhana Mahotsavam and Easwaramma Day Celebrations.
- Sai Centres will remain open. However, Region Presidents will review activities of all Sai Centres in their respective regions and advise if centres should/will close. This includes SSE programs. Consideration will be given to the size of the centre/activity and the venue being used. PLEASE SEE UPDATE BELOW.
- Centres that will continue are to provide hand sanitizers for members or members are requested to bring their own. Further they are to ensure that the premises are properly cleaned before and after centre activities, noting that public venues could be used by other groups. Precautions need to be taken for items such as microphones which are shared between people. The SSIO does not recommend moving centre activities to members’ homes.
- No practises or activities are to take place at members’ homes who have recently returned from overseas or are unwell or have come in contact with a confirmed case.
- Senior members and members with pre-existing medical conditions are requested to take extra caution as data indicates they are most at risk.
The following precautions issued last week have now been revised:
- There will be no distribution of food offerings (prasadam) in centres until further notice.
- The distribution of holy ash (vibhuti) may only continue with care and good hygiene practises, such as using a spoon for distribution
- Members who are feeling unwell are asked to stay at home and refrain from attending Sai Centre Events, Devotional Singing Sessions, being involved in service projects, particularly in relation to food preparation
- Members should abide by the advice of the Australian Authorities in relation to the extended 21-day self-isolation period if overseas travel has occurred or contact has been made with a confirmed case
- Region and Centre Presidents are to thoroughly evaluate all service activities involving members of the public or the use of public venues.
- Activities such as nursing home visits and soup kitchens should not proceed without a review of risks and precautionary measures with the organisations leading the service activity
- Non-essential service projects are to be put on hold after careful review of the risks, together with the organisation responsible for the activity
- Activities involving large groups of people need to have precautionary measures introduced.
Here are useful links for your reference:
From Australian Authorities:
• Information on the COVID-19 Virus
As an organisation, we urge members to continue regular prayers. All Centres are requested to commence devotional gatherings with the Sai Gayatri for 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the gathering to pray for the welfare of Australia and the world.
If members have any questions, please contact your Centre Presidents. The situation will be reviewed by the National Council every 3 weeks or as changes are advised.
IMPORTANT UPDATE 19 MARCH
CENTRES AND GROUPS MEETINGS AND MANY SERVICE ACTIVITIES ARE TEMORARILY CANCELLED INCLUDING MANY OF THEIR OTHER ACTIVITIES. This is under regular review with the first review scheduled towards the end of April. Please use the LOCATIONS link to ascertain the status of your local group.
Due to the potential health risks associated with the COVID 19, the conference has been postponed tentatively to some time in 2021 as a post-World Conference.
Full details available at present are contained in the communication available HERE.