“Australia Dreaming”, Cultural Presentation by Children from Australia

Underlying the diverse Aboriginal beliefs of Australia is the Lore of spiritual Oneness, which has been passed on through stories, songs, dance and art for over 40,000 years. The Light of Life, the Breath of Love – the essence of the Creator is alive in everything.  Mother Earth, considered the teaching place, is where we come back again and again to learn all Truth and all Knowledge.  Through our interactions with her land, her people, her flora and fauna, we are each given the opportunity to absorb essences that will awaken our Soul to fulfill our bond to remember the Creator and obey the fine regulations of Creation, so that we may return to the Absolute. The theme of this programme was to show the unity between the rich and ancient aboriginal culture of Australia and the timeless teachings of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

The programme started with an introductory talk by Ms Sheila Nagaratnam who narrated the backdrop of the pilgrimage and Bhagawan’s instructions to her on an interview many years ago. Over a year ago, she said, Bhagawan spontaneously inspired a Sydney-wide children’s project from Australia with a spiritual and service focus, culminating in a pilgrimage to offer a modest musical and drama performance to Swami.  The Sadhana programme focused on the purpose of Human Birth and a love for Sai, His life and teachings.  Through discussions and interactive activities around inspiring videos such as the Message of the Lord series, they felt their “Journey to Parthi” was just a mirror reflection of the inner “Journey to Sai”.

As a mark of respect, the group have engaged as sincere friends with the Indigenous community to seek their support to share their deeply spiritual culture.  The group learned many things through this project, most of which is surrender and faith, concluded the speaker.

The children presented stuffed animals to Bhagawan as a representation of the animals of the country. They started the music programme with sanskrit lyrics seamlessly moving on to English. The songs included Gajananam Bhuta Ganathi Sevitam, Twameva Mata Cha Pita Twameva and Daya Karo. Quoting lines from the Holy Bible appropriate to the age we live in, they sang a song on Nirvana supported by some very good instrumental rendering.

They followed this up with a skit based on an Aboriginal Dreamtime story on how the Kangaroo got its pouch which on a deeper level expounded the human values of Love, Compassion and Sacrifice through some of Australia’s unique and lovable  wildlife, including the kangaroo, wombat, koala and emu.

Biami, the Great Creator Spirit, visits Mother Earth, disguised in the form of a wombat, to test His Creation for greed and selfishness. He finds the Emu to be full of haste and the Koala to be extremely lazy. Of all the creatures, He is moved by the mother kangaroo and rewards her by bestowing on all her kind in the future, a pouch in which to carry her young joey, as a symbol of her Love and Sacrifice.

The skit featured traditional Aboriginal dancing accompanied by the drone of the didgeridoo (a wind instrument developed by Indigenous Australians of northern Australia) and the rhythm of clap-sticks.  The children mimicked the behaviour of emus by pecking, kicking and sprinting around randomly.  They also delighted us as kangaroos by lazing about, pestering each other, scratching, kicking, boxing and hopping around.

The children concluded the programme with a famous Australian song which evokes the rich spirituality of the traditional people of Australia and  their deep connection to Nature, “We are one, but we are many”. The children’s programme was enhanced by a beautiful backdrop, depicting the Rainbow Serpent and Australia’s unique natural flora and fauna in Aboriginal dot painting.

The participants were honoured with gifts and prasadam was distributed to the  assembly.