Wednesday, December 24th, 2014
Apart and quite distinct from celebrations galore around the world, Prasanthi Nilayam has a unique style of celebrating the grand Christmas occasion. In Prasanthi Nilayam, in Bhagawan’s Presence, everything earns a unique Divine Touch and Christmas is no different. Christmas in Prasanthi always begins in typical Indian style, with 3 Omkars, only to evolve into gentle ‘Western’.
Yes, it’s western time again here in Prasanthi Nilayam. No folks, no country and Western but Western Carols for Christmas. It’s the time of the blessed birth of the Baby Jesus and it means a lot for Westerners… and so with the entire ‘Prasanthi Folks’.
The programme in this beautiful Christmas Eve commenced with the lighting of the Christmas Candle at the Sanctum Sanctorum. International Christmas Committee Coordinator John Behner from the US along International Christmas Decorations Committee Director Tom Lehoy from Australia shared the unique honour, this evening here in Bhagawan’s Divine Presence.
There was a pause of stillness…and in the stillness of silence was His Presence, as the organizers followed up, presenting the programme at Bhagawan’s Lotus Feet.
International Christmas Choir followed next. Sitting upfront, facing the Sanctum Sanctorum, an all white-clad-team of men and women choristers from over 24 nations, presented an hour long concert, offering 18 hymns – a bouquet of carols, devotional and prayers, singing paeans to The Divine Father-Son duo. 430 strong International Choir was led by Ms Gisela Sebastian from Germany, accompanied by a host of ‘musicians’ from around the world.
Beginning with a Ganesha offering, “Vakratunda Mahakaya…” the hymns followed are “Ding Dong Merrily…”, “Christmas Pipes…”, “Be Still For The Presence Of The Lord…”, “The Message Of Love Goes On…”, “Gaudete…”, “Hallelujah…”, “Open The Eyes Of My Heart…”, “There Is Only One Religion…”, “Sanctus…”, “Silent Night…”, “So This Is Christmas…”, “Joy To The World…”, “You Are My All In All…”, “Only You Are Holy…”, “Just To Know You…”, “Above All Powers…” to conclude with “With All I Am…”. Concluding poetic lines summed up the “Bond Of Love”, that runs as…
I’ll walk with You wherever You go
Through tears and joy I’ll trust in You
And I will live in all of Your ways
Your promise forever…
With rich memoirs of Sai’s Golden Presence enriching their minds, hearts and souls, the choristers sung with great devotional passion enlightening the packed Home on the beautiful Christmas Eve.
The programme concluded with “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti!!!”
The Sai Kulwant and the entire Prasanthi precincts shone with brilliance in the evening, with beautiful Christmas decorations, based on ‘Canadian’ theme. Bhajans continued and ended with Mangala Arathi at 1850 hrs.
Thousands of devotees from many overseas countries are camping in Prasanthi Nilayam, partaking and spreading ‘Joy For All’.
II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II