Hundreds of Chinese devotees from Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Canada, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Peoples Republic of China assembled in Prasanthi Nilayam to celebrate their New Year in the Divine Presence. On the afternoon of 12th February, after Bhagawan granted Darshan and was seated on the dais, some devotees and monks offered Him traditional gifts and sought His blessings to commence their programme. Thirty six Tibetan Buddhist monks then chanted mantras for good health of Bhagawan and welfare of the world. This was followed by the chanting of Gayathri mantra by the Chinese devotees and Arati to Bhagawan.
Lion Dance, Chinese Hymns, Traditional Chinese Instrumental Musics, "As the Eye lid protects the Eye", a skit
February 13, 2008
On 13th afternoon, at 4.05 p.m., Bhagawan arrived in Sai Kulwant Hall lead by a procession of children chanting the holy mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” and lion dance troupe from Indonesia. After Bhagawan lit the ceremonial lamp, a group of children from the ‘Education in Human Values’ group chanted “Da Bei Jou”. They also offered Chinese New Year delicacies to Bhagawan and He blessed them all graciously.
Mr. Billy Fong, Chinese New Year Coordinator and the President of the Sathya Sai Baba Central Council of Malaysia delivered the welcome address. He quoted from Bhagawan’s discourse regarding the importance of His Darshan and expressed gratitude to Bhagawan for the wonderful gift of Darshan He had bestowed on so many Chinese devotees this New Year. He also revealed the theme of this year’s celebrations as “Zhong Xiao” meaning “Cherish our motherland and respect our parents and elders”. He delineated the objectives of the celebrations as follows:
To enable Chinese devotees throughout the world to get the opportunity of getting Divine Darshan of Bhagawan Baba.
To motivate all Chinese devotees to make a commitment to affirm the great values of Chinese tradition, religion and culture as an ongoing process in their lives, and as a dedication to the omnipresent Sai, His vision and mission.
Mr. Fong also mentioned the eight important Chinese values of Propriety, Righteousness, Integrity, Sense of Shame, Filial Piety, Brotherhood, Devotion and Truthfulness which everyone should practise, preserve and pass on to the younger generations. He also reported the progress made in fulfilling the pledge made during last year’s Chinese New Year celebrations and the rapid manner in which Bhagawan’s message was spreading in their region. Stating an instance, he said Bhagawan’s teachings and articles on Education in Human Values (EHV), Educare, Parenting, etc. appear in the See Hua Press, a Chinese Daily with a readership of over 80,000 in the Sarawak, the largest state of Malaysia.
The next item was a solo performance by Sister Fera from Indonesia on a traditional Chinese musical instrument called “Gu Cheng”. This was followed by a medley of Bhajan melodies played on traditional Chinese musical instruments called “Yang Zhing”, “Er Hu”, “Ching’ to the accompaniment of keyboard by four Chinese devotees from a village called Kwangtung in mainland China. One noteworthy feature of their performance was that one of them was playing on a Chinese wind instrument with his hands and simultaneously playing on the keyboard with his toes in perfect synchronization.
The final item for the evening was a drama entitled ‘The Eyelids Protect the Eye’ that depicted the true story of Tan Ah Lek, a Malaysian devotee of Bhagawan Baba who embodied the values of courage, love and filial piety towards his mother and firm faith and love for God. Even as a child, Ah Lek lost his father and his mother brought him up according to the ancient Chinese traditions and instilled in him many values by narrating inspiring stories of great persons of Chinese heritage. The drama beautifully portrayed three such stories as flashbacks.
One day, Ah Lek’s mother is injured when the gas tank in their house bursts in to flames. Upon hearing his mother’s cries for help, Ah Lek rushes to the kitchen and rescues his mother, but in the process, sustains fatal burns. After a few days, Ah Lek’s mother recovers, but Ah Lek is still in a critical condition in the hospital. This news soon spreads all over the country and all the Sai devotees come together to pray fervently to their Lord Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba for succor. And by Bhagawan’s miraculous intervention, Ah Lek recovers and lives to tell this moving story of how Bhagawan protected him and granted him a new lease of life. The drama was well directed. The costumes, music and well–choreographed dances added great appeal to the presentation. Display of acrobatics during the course of the drama was spectacular to say the least. At the end of the drama, Bhagawan came down from the dais and granted photographs to all the participants. He also materialized gold chains for two boys. Thereafter, there were Chinese Bhajans and the programme concluded with Arati.