Saturday, July 7th, 2012
Countries from Region 4 of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations – Worldwide presented a Cultural Programme entitled “Kecak” on the evening of 6th July in the Divine Omnipresence in Prasanthi Nilayam. The Programme was organized on the sidelines of a three-day Sri Sathya Sai Spiritual Youth Retreat attended by youth from all the five member countries, namely, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore and Thailand.
Kecak is a traditional Balinese dance form from Indonesia that has been handed down from generations apart. Known as Bali’s version of the epic Ramayana, ‘Kecak’ dance form is synonymous to island’s rich cultural and artistic heritage.
The youth presentation was based on Bhagawan’s ‘own’ work, ‘Ramakatha Rasavahini’, and the storyline was about the royal battle between Ravana’s son Indrajith and Lakshmana, brother of Lord Sri Rama.
Donned in checked waist clothes and maroon full-sleeve shirts, men in large numbers circled around a pole of many lighted lamps, chorusing cak…cak…cak…, superbly synchronizing with their ‘raising-hand-action’, while fingers turned fluttering. Coordinating these sequential actions, these men swayed from one end to another, hands moving in tandem. With these men in action, representing armies in both the warring factions, the protagonists, Lord Rama, Lakshmana, Ravana and Hanuman arrived at the scene, one after one…
The storyline was thus: Indrajith decided to defeat Lakshmana by his magic stratagem rather than by the righteous tactics of war. When his attempts were foiled, Lakshmana, in a spur of rage destroyed Indrajith’s chariot, killing his charioteer. Sensing destruction, Indrajith resorted to his final weapon, Sakthi, which was presented by Lord Brahma. Even as the arrow hit Lakshmana on his chest, he fell in a mortal swoon.
Indrajith, though he was equally strong, failed to lift Lakshmana’s body that he wanted to take away to his safe camp. Even with the help of his mighty warriors, Indrajith could not prove successful. Lakshmana who was Adisesha reincarnated could not have been lifted by anyone without Lord Rama’s explicit blessings.
As recommended by Sushena, the physician in Lanka, Lord Rama sent his special envoy Hanuman to the Himalayas, to fetch the appropriate medicine. Confused and unable to trace the particular herb, mighty Hanuman lifted the entire Sanjivini Mountain, airlifting it straight to Lanka. Subsequently, Lakshmana was revived back to life along with all the vanaras who were fallen dead in the deadly battle.
With men chanting cak…cak…cak in vigorous action, symbolizing raging war, Lakshmana and Indrajith got into a fierce battle. Subsequent scenes depicted Indrajith’s vicious designs to overthrow Lakshmana, how Lakshmana fell victim to Indrajith’s devilish plans, and how Lord Rama, with the ‘aid’ of His eternal devotee Hanuman, finally revived Lakshmana, etc.
Thus, it was the strength and valour of Hanuman, fuelled by his intense love and devotion for his Lord that accomplished the seemingly impossible.
Ending the presentation, the Youth gave a new ‘backronym’ for the word Youth, YOU Think Like Hanuman.
A dance followed, to the tune of a chorus song sung by women youth from the region, illustrating the victory scenes after Lakshama’s revival.
A flag-march followed, representing all the five participating countries.
Bhajans by students continued until Mangala Arathi at 1805 hrs. Clothes were presented to all participants and prasadam was distributed to the entire assembly.
Earlier, before the commencement of the programme, Joint Youth Coordinator for the Region, Sri Parani Kumar from Malaysia delivered a brief introductory speech, commencing the evening’s proceedings. Speaking on the just concluded Spiritual Retreat Sri Kumar stressed on the importance of transforming inspiration into action, following His precepts. Service to Man is Service to God…Practising this precept, the Youth from the region are relentlessly engaged in various role-model service activities. The Joint Coordinator divulged on, listing out some of these service activities.
Some of these activities were: Youth action plan in helping the flood victims in Thailand that wreaked havoc last year. Fearless youth pressed themselves into service helping over 50000 people with fresh food and other supplies. House construction to rehabilitate the victims, that was taken up by the youth is continuing even today.
In Malaysia, Human Value Intervention Programme entitled Honouring Our Parents Everyday is being attended by over 5600 primary and higher secondary school children.
In Indonesia, Sathya Sai Youth aid for victims of Marparia Volcano is being done with various rehabilitation works in progress. While the youth of Bali is engaged in counseling and teaching homeless children, mobile clinic service, computer education etc. are happening, helping many thousands in several parts of the country.
In Nepal, Grama Seva is in full swing with food and provisions being served to the needy; Water Project initiatives, providing Pure Drinking Water to remote areas, are also being taken up.
Youth from Singapore and Malaysia in a joint venture are reaching out the indigenous population in the rain forests, trekking difficult terrains for over 12 hours, serving the community. The youth constructed a playground for the children in the region and have also provided food and ration to the indigenous community.
II Samasta Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II
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