This morning, commencing the programme Dr Art Ong JumSai, a distinguished scientist, formerly with NASA, and educationist from Thailand gave an enlightening speech touching upon the theme of this year’s celebrations – MAN. Dhammika Kalapuge from Srilanka followed next before the youth from Nepal took over singing bhajans for the next half-an-hour. Earlier the programme commenced at 0820 hrs., after half-an-hour Veda chanting, with a brief introduction by Dr VK Ravindran, Chairman, Region 4 & 5 SSSSO - Worldwide, introducing the occasion and the speakers for the session.Elaborating the theme – MAN, Dr JumSai explained: Man is Maya, Atma, Nirvana, that is, overcoming Maya, experiencing the vision of Atma and attaining Nirvana (liberation), as enlightened by Baba Himself. Dr JumSai spends his full-time educating the children at Sri Sathya Sai School, Thailand, teaching them to enquire into ‘what man is’ and ‘who am i’. Truth is changeless; it remains the same all the time said the speaker, touching upon the mysteries of the universe, highlighting the impermanence of the entire creation. The universe that had emerged from nothingness will go back into its origin, nothingness, after billions of years. Illustrating the limitations of science and the absolute nature of Sai, Dr JumSai narrated a beautiful experience with Baba inside the interview room, wherein, Baba materialized a living object, a monkey, in presence of another three distinguished scientists. Reminding himself of Baba's peculiar way of addressing him, the scientist, as 'Sai-tist' , Dr JumSai added that we should try to know Sai as science will not be able to answer all our questions, knowing Sai will help…Nirvana is Sathya Sai.Dr Dhammika Kalapuge, the second speaker for the session, spoke on the five precepts preached by Lord Buddha as way of life. Elaborating each point in detail, Dr Kalapuge narrated his own experience as to how Baba helped him to follow these precepts.Bhajans by youth from Nepal followed until Mangala Arathi at 0930 hrs.
Continuing with the Buddha Purnima Celebrations 2013 devotees from Thailand presented a drama entitled “Eight Jewels’ this evening here in Prasanthi Nilayam.Eight Jewels are the eight-fold path preached by Bhagawan Buddha helping humanity with cessation of suffering.The presentation revolved around the ambitious life of a youngster, Preecha, a modern man with modern logics.Preecha, the young and dynamic one was successful in material life; he had a modern bent of mind right from his moulding days. Despite his father’s repeated efforts counseling his young son, Preecha never paid heed to his wise counseling, finally ending up addicted to modern vices. His modern logic always countered father’s logic based on Buddha’s ‘middle path’, that advocates moderation in everything.As fate would have it, it was time for transformation and the change came in trying circumstances. Preecha met with a life-threatening helicopter mishap and landed in a jungle along with his subordinates. Completely helpless they moaned and called out God, thanking Him for being alive, intact. Grieving at their fate of being trapped in the jungle, without even having a mobile phone, to their utter amazement and relief they accidentally met a healer who offered to cure them with the help of herbs.Even as the healer offered his healing expertise, the young man got engaged in serious conversation about his life and its travails, mysteries and the path to get rid of pains and suffering to make it more meaningful. The healer declared: Following Buddha studiously with his Eight-Fold Path is the right method for cessation of suffering; ceiling on desires is the best antidote for modern-day logic based out of greedy desires.
Observing and the youngster and happy with his right earnestness, the healer talks about Baba and Puttaparthi advising him to go over to Puttaparthi to meet the living God of the Age, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Even as great hope blooms in the tender heart of Preecha, the helicopter lands to lift them out of danger, from the 'mysterious forest' to safety. The presentation ended with a ‘colourful’ group song, singing paeans to Baba.The presentation was entwined with a beautiful dance by the tiny tots from Sri Sathya Sai School, Thailand, a depiction of modern-day ambitions and its antidotes.Even as International Bhajans continued, all the participants were felicitated by senior officials and prasadam was distributed to the entire assemblage.The session came to a close with Mangala Arathi offering at 1830 hrs.