Observation of Aradhana Mahotsavam 2017
Across the country, programs to observe Sathya Sai Baba’s Aradhana Mahotsavam were held, spanning from Montreal in the east to Vancouver in the west. April 24 and the weeks preceding this important event has become a time of personal reflection for SSIO members on the nature of their relationship to Sathya Sai Baba. We yearn to return to the days when the Avatar of the Kali Yuga walked the earth where his gentle smile, full of divine grace and radiance, lifted us from times of deepest despair to reaffirm our faith in Him. Today, we must instead look inward and find Bhagawan within us as the ultimate source of our unconditional love. On this important day, we strengthen this relationship. Sai Centres around the country held various devotional, service, and educational programs to mark the event.
In Montreal, the Sai Young Adults embarked on a service activity at the Moisson Montréal, a local food bank. The volunteers assisted in sorting and packaging the donated non-perishable food items. To promote healthy living and its spiritual benefits, the young adults organized an outdoor activity and study circle. They discussed on how to stay healthy and its benefits to the a well-balanced mind. Relaxation exercises were demonstrated and tips on how to put everything into practice were shared. The group also conducted study circles for the month of April and focused their discussions on their relationship to Sathya Sai Baba. The adults watched talks given by Prof. Anil Kumar on past Aradhana Mahotsavam programs and reflected on the messages and shared their personal experiences.
In Winnipeg, the Sai Centre observed Sathya Sai Baba’s Aradhana Mahotsavam, Human Values day and Earth day on April 22. The Sai Centre held service and educational programs, where members cooked and served 350 people at the Siloam Mission during the morning and afternoon, while in the evening, the Sai Centre organized a children’s program with reading of poems and a skit by the SSE students. Guest speakers from several non-profit organizations: President and CEO Cancer Care Manitoba, a representative from the Welcome Place for Refugees & Immigrants and a sergeant from the local police addressed the members. The Sai Young Adults presented a video on ‘Saving the Environment on Earth’ Day and a unique Jeopardy on Human Values. On the 24th, the members had a special satsang. At the Sathya Sai Centre of Saskatoon, members joined another community group to help support a community project serving food for the less fortunate in the community. For the month of April, the members prepared a truck with the label
Love Lives Here with various food items and delivered the food every Friday at ten in the evening in front the St-Paul’s Hospital. In addition, four volunteered at the Salvation Army making sandwiches.
In Toronto, special bhajans were held at most of the Sai Centres in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). In addition to devotional programs, a select number of Sai Centres held service and educationa related activities. Most notably, the Sathya Sai Centre of Peel had a baby food drive for a local food bank. The mission was to collect baby foods for new families who are unable to provide healthy options for their children. This wonderful service activity was undertaken by the Sai Centre for a two-month period. At the Sathya Sai Centre of Toronto-York, 33 members of the Ladies wing participated in a Soup and Sandwich Drive and served approximately 600 sandwiches to the impoverished in downtown Toronto. In addition, most Sai Centres in the GTA supported the efforts to commemorate Human Values Day at the Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The highlight of the event was the raising of the flag at the Canadian Parliament and the statement by the Canadian Prime Minister’s office acknowledging the importance of Human Values and the role of SSIO Canada.
Through love and unity, Canadian members organized various service, educational, and devotional programs. Members across the country used the month of April to personally reflect their faith in Sathya Sai Baba and demonstrated their commitment to move His message forward through a multitude of service activities.