There was a sense of fun and excited anticipation at our Centre on the morning of Sunday 23rd December, as Amma’s children streamed in for the Society’s first Christmas Celebrations.
The event started at 8am with Paduka Pooja, followed by Guru Sthothram and Amma’s Ashtothram. In introducing the special celebration of Christmas, our Chairman Mr. Rajan Menon underscored the significance of Amma’s saying that all religious beliefs are like many rivers flowing into the same ocean of love and the importance given to the festival at Amma’s Ashram at Amrtapuri, and of Amma’s teachings that emphasise the importance of love, compassion and inter-religious understanding and unity. This is particularly significant in the multi-religious and multicultural society of Singapore. He also extended a warm welcome and appreciation to the presence of Senior Pastor Dr Babu Devanand of the Landmark Church in Singapore who was invited by one of Amma’s Children to come to our Satsang and Christmas celebration.
The Satsang then watched a short video of the celebration of Christmas with our Beloved Amma at Amritapuri, where the festival is marked with much joy and reverence. In the video Amma says, “Whenever celebrations and holy days take place, Amma gives a message. However, in reality, these messages are not different; they are all one. Their essence is one. Although religions are many, spirituality has only one message. It is just that this message is presented in different ways. If you want to put it in phrase, this message is Know yourself. This is the supreme message.”
Amma’s powerful words which were spoken in Malayalam were translated into English and explained by our Resident Priest Sunil Kumar. Following this was a reading of excerpts of a recent Christmas message from Amma:
“…Christmas only gains its true meaning when we use it to reflect on the life and teachings of Christ and to evaluate our spiritual progress. Real love for the Lord occurs when we imbibe these ideals for which he stood, for they help us to realize the Kingdom of Heaven within ourselves and transform our life into an offering of service to humanity.
Be it Sri Krishna, Sri Rama or Jesus Christ, they all had to undergo a lot of challenges in life. However, they boldly faced them without breaking down. Moreover, they converted every obstacle into a stepping stone. This was their greatness. They showed us through their lives that if we are putting sincere effort towards a higher goal, no force in this world can stop us. Even after thousands of years, their lives still inspire us and fill us with strength.
The seeds of spirituality lying within start sprouting when we water them with the waters of compassion. Children, we should be able to find some space in our hearts for others as well. May my children be able to achieve this.
Amma offers her children to the Paramatma. Amma wishes all her children a very Merry Christmas!”
Everyone was then invited to join in the singing of Christmas Carols. As all sang “O Come All Ye Faithful”, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “Joy to the World”, each of Amma’s children went forward to the Altar to decorate the beautiful Christmas log cake. There was much joy and laughter as this activity took place. The bhajan group then sang the beautiful bhajans ~ “Karuna Sindho”, “The Sweetness of Devotion”. “Vilvattal Archittom” & “Trimurtigala”.
Arathi was followed by Meditation and the Prayer for World Peace – Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bavanthu. As the Satsang closed with the chanting of the Bhagavad Gita, they were treated to a joyful surprise in the form of Santa Claus who, with the ringing of a bell, enthralled everyone with his HO HO HO, words of encouragement and little gifts.
As each devotee went forward to the Altar to received Prasadam, they went to receive the gift of an audio CD each of Amma’s bhajans, from Santa who stood by the Christmas tree.
Prasadam Brunch was then served on Level 1 to a very delighted Satsang.
The occasion also witnessed the launch of our Food Sales as a fundraising endeavour for Amma’s 2019 Programme. All the food packets that were lovingly prepared by our volunteers, were taken up by sponsors and delivered to beneficiaries of our Serve-a-Meal Programme in Woodlands.
Mata Rani Ki Jai!