Jesus came as the embodiment of love and compassion and lived among men, holding forth the highest ideals of life, 2000 years ago, when narrow pride and ignorance defiled mankind. As Bhagawan says, the celebration must take the form of adherence to His teachings, loyalty to His principles and practicing the discipline and experiencing the awareness of the Divine that He sought to awaken.
The proceedings on the auspicious morning of Christmas began with Bhagawan’s arrival amidst melodious Bhajans and songs. After He had blessed all who had gathered, Bhagawan took His seat and the morning’s proceedings began with Sister Bhuvana Santhanam leading the whole gathering to recite the Lord’s Prayer. This was followed by an offering of carols and songs by devotees from Singapore. Their presentation included a number of popular and well-known Christmas songs, including Sai You Are, O Come All Ye Faithful and Long Time Ago in Bethlehem. One of the highlights for Christmas morning every year, is the arrival of Santa Claus and this year was indeed a blissful sight to see as he entered Premamrutham on a sleigh complete with reindeer. Bhagawan blessed all the chocolates and sweets that had been brought and along with two helpers, they were distributed to everyone, bringing much joy and laughter to all present. Thereafter, Bhagawan blessed the Singapore group with tokens of love and took pictures with the members of the group.
After a short break, the proceedings continued with an address by Mr Isaac Tigrett. Mr Tigrett spoke about the omnipresence and omniscience of God. He detailed some aspects of the crucifixion of Christ and spoke about the equanimity of Jesus. Even though much injustice and pain had to be borne by Jesus, He bore no hatred or negativity towards anyone and this is the kind of equanimity which Bhagawan teaches everyone to develop.
The next speaker for the morning, was Sri B N Narasimha Murthy who spoke further about the equanimity and compassion of Jesus. Speaking about the life and message of Jesus, he urged everyone to keep progressing and be motivated by the principles of love and compassion in order to become more and more selfless.
Bhagawan then granted His Divine message and elaborated on the story of Jesus Christ. He said, “Today, we are celebrating Christmas Day which marks the birth, life and the message of Jesus, the Christ. When we think of Jesus Christ, we think of love. When we think of Jesus, we think of compassion. When we think of Jesus, we think of sacrifice. And when we think of Jesus, we think of divinity. For Jesus isn’t an individual who lived in Jerusalem at some point in time. He is what he practiced. Every time humankind forgets how to live in peace and harmony, how to show love and compassion and how to serve and sacrifice, God comes down in a human form. And when He comes taking upon Himself a physical body, He truly installs in hearts of men, the values of love and service.” Bhagawan urged everyone to develop compassion and love for everyone, including those who do not love us. He continued saying, “It won’t be wrong to say that Jesus was the incarnation of compassion. If we want to worship and celebrate him, we should follow his message of unconditional compassion for all beings. He always pointed towards his heart. What did he mean by that. Heart means that which is full of compassion. It is easy to live those who love us. But a real devotee of the Lord is one who loves those who don’t love him too. This is the message of Jesus. Compassion, compassion, compassion. When you see someone in sorrow and distress, your heart should melt in compassionate and your hands should help. Whatever is possible in your own might you should do for relieving distress.”
Thus, concluding His Divine Christmas message, the Bhajan ‘Love Is My Form’ was sung and Mangala Arati was offered to Bhagawan. Prasadam was distributed to all and a beautiful Christmas morning with the Lord concluded.
The music and joy of the Christmas festivities continued well in to the evening, as Bhagawan entered Premamrutham amidst Bhajans. The evening began with the launch of a new audio CD, Ananda Sudha – Volume 1 by Sister Pooja Vaidyanath. Hailing from Chennai, Sister Pooja offered this CD of nine devotional songs arranged and recorded by a group of renowned musicians from all across India.
It was an everyone were eagerly waiting for – performance by the girls and boys brass band. The evening commenced with the girls’ band, Sai’s Symphony offering three songs – Silent Night, Gloria and the popular song We Will Follow You. It was the first time that the girls were on stage as an all-girls band. The love and devotion expressed by these girls through their music was truly amazing and beautiful.
They were followed by the boys’ band, Sai’s Angels who played a wide range of songs, including What A Wonderful Lord and Hawaii Five-O among others. Both the girls’ and boys’ performances were interspersed with heartfelt speeches from the band members.
Thereafter, Bhagawan blessed the boys and girls along with their band teacher Mr Dimitris Lambrianos, with tokens of His love. After taking group photos with each of the bands, Bhagawan received Mangala Arati. Prasadam was distributed and thus ended a most beautiful day of Christmas celebrations in the Divine presence.