Buddha Purnima in Prasanthi Nilayam…

16 May 2014: 14 May was celebrated as Vaisakha Pournami, the day that marks the birth, enlightenment and Parinirvana of Lord Buddha. Celebrating the holy occasion, devotees from Region 4 & 5 of Sri Sathya Sai Organisations – Worldwide, comprising of countries Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, China and Taiwan organized a 2-day programme here in Prasanthi Nilayam. The theme for this year’s celebration is “The Master Lives On…”

On 14 May evening, being the first day of the three-day celebrations, the programme commenced with lighting of the lamp by the hands of  Dr VK
Raveendran along with Bro Billy Fong, Chairman for Region 4 and National Coordinator for Malaysia respectively. After a brief spell of invocatory Veda chanting, devotees from the region rendered traditional holy Buddhist recitation beginning the proceedings.

A welcome speech by Dr VK Raveendran followed next, who in brief explained the import of the Buddha Purnima celebrations. Recalling the story of Emperor Ashoka who, after winning many bloody battles, costing many precious lives, finally got into transform embracing Buddhism as his way, Dr Raveendran briefly explained the three essential steps involved in Buddhism, namely, Self-Control, Meditation and Inner Vision. He then introduced the two speakers for the session.

The first speaker Mr Praneth from Sri Lanka, an a exponent of Buddhist teachings, also active in Bhagawan’s EHV programme, spoke of Buddhism with reference to Bhagawan’s teachings, explaining the Eight Fold Path pronounced by Lord Buddha.

Brother Billy Fong, Central Coordinator, Malaysia spoke of Bhagawan and the supreme importance of carrying out Sadhana at individual, family and societal levels as per the pronouncement by the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations.

International Bhajans continued that ended with Mangala Arathi at 1900 hrs.

On 15 May evening, the second and final day of this year’s Buddha Purnima celebrations the programme commenced with an introductory talk by Dr VK Raveendran, who introduced the venerable speakers from the Tibetan Monastry, Hubli, Karnataka.  The two speakers were Venerable Aaron Lobsang Thardodh and Venerable Gesha (Dr) Lobsang Lhundup.

Venerable Aaron is a specialist in Nalanda philosophy. His objective is to apply Nalanda logic in modern environments, envisioning a resurrected learning space for Nalanda University in the 21st century. Guest Senior Monk Venerable Gesha belongs to the Vajrayana Buddhist Order, known widely as the Order headed by His Holiness The Dalai Lama.

Venerable Aaron, who spoke in English, divulged briefly on the theme ‘Love’, as to how humans could be different from other creatures, exhibiting their inherent potential – LOVE, the best medicine for all ailments.

Venerable Gesha chose to speak in Tibetan, translated into English by Venerable Aaron. The venerable monk’s  speech was on the enlightened life of Siddhartha turned Buddha and Buddha’s main principle of Non-dualism.

The Sai Youth of Malaysia then presented a drama entitled THE MASTER LIVES ON, a depiction of the story of a dynamic Sai Youth, whose charming life came crashing down on the fateful day 24 April 2011, when The Master, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai chose to leave His mortal frame, an irreparable shock to the Sai Fraternity.

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Anand, the protagonist, who was until then active with service activities turned mute, inactive, a pale shadow of his until then enthusiastic self. Feeling deep void within, Anand was, despite efforts by his fellow Sai Youth, unable to cope with the situation. He simply failed to come to terms with the physical absence of Beloved Bhagawan, Whom he assertively called ‘The Rock’ of his life. He would often argue, “i do not want Him everywhere…i want Him to be SOMEWHERE…”

The presentation, drawing parallels from Ananda, the cousin turned foremost disciple of Lord Buddha, whose plight at the time of Buddha’s final moments were not different, portrayed the revival of Anand, whom, not incidentally, but with His Divine forevision, Bhagawan Himself had called ‘Ananda…’ during his final personal visit to Prasanthi Nilayam, just before Bhagawan’s physical departure. The presentation depicted a resurrected Anand at the end,  thanks to his Sai breathren and a series of ‘miraculous happenings in his life, showing the Master’s unceasing presence… and thus the Saga goes on… as The Master Lives On… The beautiful presentation ended with the bhajan ‘Buddham Sharanam Gachchami…”

Bhajans by the devotees from Region 4 continued before students took over and ended with Bhagawan’s Thursday Special “Life Is My Form…Truth Is My Breath…” Mangala Arathi was offered at 1910 hrs.

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II