January 1 st has come and gone and 2014 is already on its way. However, in China and many South East Asian Nations, namely Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia etc. it is time for Chinese New Year celebrations. Chinese New Year celebrations for 2014, also known as the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, started on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month of the Chinese calendar and would last for 15 days. This New Year is identified as year of Horse, symbolising power and vitality.
This is the 17th Chinese New Year in Prasanthi Nilayam in the immediate Divine Presence of Beloved Bhagawan. The first ever Chinese New Year was celebrated in the year 1997.
This evening, the programme commenced at 1650 hrs. in traditional religious style with lighting of the lamp, done jointly by the Zonal Chairman Dr V K Ravindran and Chinese New Year Coordinator Billy Fong. Traditional offering of delicacies to Bhagawan followed next, offered by children from Malaysia and Indonesia. Sacred chants of Kuan Yin Mantra came next before Brother Billy Fong took over to introduce the ensuing session to the august assembly.
Delivering his introductory speech Brother Billy Fong introduced the theme of Chinese New Year 2014, "Sai Baba's Teachings - His Greatest Gift and Blessings For Mankind" before dwelving in brief detail about the greater significance of Bhagawan's Teachings. He then introduced the main speaker for the session, Brother Phoa Krishnaputra.
Brother Kuan Krishnaputra's talk was on the greater significance of Kuan Yin Mantra. The octogenarian from Medan, Indonesia in his brief speech enumerated his evolutionary spiritual journey, praying to Mother Tara, following Buddhism.
Serenading the Lord, wishing Him "Happy Chinese New Year' the group then burst into a spell of melodious devotional session, singing an assortment of devotional numbers, in Chinese, Chinese-English, Sanskrit and English. Spreading devotional ambience around, lighting up the hearts present they sang "Remind Me My Lord...Remind Me My Lord...You Are There..." vibrating the Sai Kulwant with rare mix of Bhava and Bhakti.
Bhajans continued and ended with Mangala Arathi at 1830 hrs.
The two-day Chinese New Year would continue tomorrow evening with cultural presentations by Malaysia and Indonesia.