The First batch of international devotees’ pilgrimage to Parthi, an initiative by the International Sai Organisation commemorating the 85th year of Bhagawan’s Advent, had its presentation, USA Unison Singing Program, on 29 June evening in the immediate Divine presence at Sai Kulwant Hall in Prasanthi Nilayam. The group that had a total registered strength of 699 comprising of devotees from 89 centres across the US, a first of its kind happening in the history of the US Sai Organization, had an yearlong preparations in the run up to the pilgrimage.
Coming with the backdrop of this yearlong preparations taking advantage of the modern communication facilities that would help coordinating various events involving members from various regions, the group also had a successful USA pre-world conference held in Orlando, Florida. The conference had a unique theme on Sai Ideal, “God Is!”, “I Am I!”, “Love All, Serve All!”, developed from nine selected Divine Discourses.
The group had hectic rehearsal sessions in Prasanthi too, twin sessions per day, ever since its arrival on 23rd June to make it a perfect presentation to the Lord. Celebrating its presence with the Omnipresent One in physical frame, they sang in unison a series of songs in various languages, namely, Latin, Spanish, English etc., accompanied by fine music scoring. These songs were thematic, revolving around the discussed theme of the conference, ‘Sai Ideal’.
Starting with a initial set of offering as a prelude to the presentation followed by prayerful introduction, hymns in praise of Lord Ganesha, Sai Gayathri etc., the troupe moved on singing a dozen compositions including Adoramus Te Christi , a combination of the traditional Christian prayers, Love All Serve All, a mix of several languages, Hine Ma Tov U’manayim, a medley of three Jewish songs, God Is, Sai Me Caigo, a Spanish devotional, Stand Together, I am I, Awesome God, You are the Rhythm, Surrender to the Feet of the Lord, Our only God, Come and Go with Me to the Land to end with the famous devotional number across the US in praise of Bhagawan. Bhagawan sat through the session that lasted for more than an hour and upon the programme, Bhagawan interacted with the conductor for sometime before asking the group to commence bhajans.
Bhajans continued till 1950 hrs. when Bhagawan called for Mangala Arathi. A mention should be made of the active participation of the Alumni Sri Sathya Sai University in various areas of preparations in the run up to the programme.
Over the years many US groups representing individual centres have made it to Prasanthi Nilayam; significantly, this is the maiden attempt bringing a large chunk of devotees from across the US, coming from various centres, joining together in a pilgrimage to Prasanthi Nilayam. This exercise is expected to bring greater harmony and unity in the Sai fraternity across the vast US continent, opined a senior official from the Organisation.
The second batch is scheduled to arrive on the 5th of August that would comprise of eight native Americans. The group is expected to have two cultural sessions, pending Divine blessing.
It was simple and disciplined devotion that was on display with many a hundred across the seven seas pouring their hearts out singing in unison in His immediate presence, in typical western style, marking their journey back to Him.