Updated: 10th World Conference Proceedings
In grateful commemoration of the 90th year of advent of Lord Sathya Sai, the Sathya Sai International Organisation (SSIO) recently held the 10th World Conference, with the theme: Love is the Source, Love is the Path, Love is the Goal. Held every five years, the World Conference brings together the worldwide Sathya Sai family to celebrate Bhagawan’s divine love during the Birthday celebrations.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s life, His message, His ideals and His humanitarian works can all be enshrined in one word—Love. Bhagawan Baba also told us that selfless service is the single, most efficient and universal tool for understanding, experiencing and expressing Divine Love.
Preparations for the Conference started over a year in advance, with the release of two study circle guides, one on Love and another on Service. These study guides contained excerpts from Swami’s discourses, for in-depth study by Sathya Sai devotees all over the world. The second step was a series of uplifting pre-world conferences held in 16 countries – representing 11 zones of the SSIO. The two- or three-day conferences were held from January to September 2015 and provided a forum for devotees to discuss these profound truths in practical terms, learn from each other, energise themselves, and move forward along the path laid out clearly by Bhagawan.
The Grand Finale was the 10th World Conference, held 25th–27th November in the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL), Prasanthi Nilayam campus. The University Auditorium hosted about 900 delegates from approximately 80 countries who travelled from all corners of the globe to attended this historic conference. SSIO officers, devotees, Trustees of the Central Trust, other senior officials and Sathya Sai Youth came together in a spirit of unity and divinity to study, share and inspire one another. The programme included talks by members of Prasanthi Council, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, Sri Sathya Sai World Foundation, and many others from different countries, cultures, professions and backgrounds – united by the common thread of Swami’s Love. The main focus was on the role of the SSIO, personal sadhana, Bhagawan’s teachings and stories of personal transformation that moved many to tears of joy. The programme also included live musical performances, short skits, and an upbeat theme song which was composed and produced especially for the 10th World Conference. Over 100 dedicated Sathya Sai volunteers worked tirelessly for many days, including the actual days of the event, to help produce a most remarkable and memorable occasion befitting the Lord of the Universe.
Sathya Sai International Youth Leadership Programme (SSIYLP)
The inaugural batch of 43 SSIYLP graduates from 34 countries were recognised at a graduation ceremony on the final day of the World Conference, at the SSSIHL University Auditorium.
Bhagawan Baba has repeatedly stressed the important role played by youth, since the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. The SSIYLP was developed in 2014 to provide standardised leadership training to the youth based on Bhagawan’s teachings. The course covers both foundational knowledge and practical application in society, through nine modules – six online sessions, and three residential sessions at the SSSIHL, Prasanthi Nilayam. Areas of focus included Baba’s life and His teachings, overview and functions of the SSIO, Bhagawan’s teachings on leadership, challenges faced by youth, loving communications, team dynamics and project management.
Several outstanding cultural programmes were offered by the SSIO of Dominican Republic, Brazil, Africa, Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan during the conference, reflecting local traditions and heritage. Bhagawan’s devotees from Indonesia, Africa, Russia and adjoining countries, Thailand, Turkey, Mexico and Central American countries, Dominican Republic, Brazil and Azerbaijan also offered brilliant performances in the Sai Kulwant Hall during the grand Birthday Celebrations. Finally, an international group of Sathya Sai musicians presented Bhajans to entertain and inspire the assembled devotees.
The SSIO hosted a beautiful International Exhibition during 20–27 November in the Ashram. The exhibition showcased the highlights of educational, spiritual and service activities around the world and the life and teachings of Bhagawan through audio, video and multi-media presentations and posters, skits and music programmes. Live programmes were staged from many countries. One could see glimpses of the Divine glory of Baba through His life, Eternal Message and His work around the world. Articles and pictures of this wonderful display can be viewed on SathyaSai.org and SaiUniverse.SathyaSai.org websites.
Another unique aspect of the conference was a series of nine workshops offered during the afternoon sessions of the first two days – to commemorate the 90th Birthday of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The topics chosen allowed the delegates to delve deep into the conference theme, its relevance in daily life and practical applications. About 30 groups of ardent devotees met in small circles at the Indoor Stadium, after lunch, for the workshops.
Two publications were released by the SSIO in November 2015 – one on Swami’s teachings and the other on His works. An outstanding product offered at the Divine Lotus Feet, and shared with the delegates and others was the landmark publication, Divine Nectar – a collection of selected Bhagawan’s discourses related to the workshop topics. The nine chapters in this book, consisting of seminal discourses by Baba that capture the essence of His teachings on nine important topics, will guide and inspire devotees all across the globe.
Secondly, the 2014-2015 Annual Report of the SSIO was produced and offered to Swami during the Birthday celebrations. This report provides an overview of the activities being conducted by the SSIO in 123 countries, and reflects Bhagawan’s work being conducted with love, all over the globe by His devotees.
On 27th November 2015, Conference Resolutions were presented in Sai Kulwant Hall. These action items, recommendations and directions will help not only Sathya Sai devotees, but all spiritual aspirants and new-comers to realise the full potential of the Sathya Sai Avatar’s teachings and divine guidance.
The Conference Resolutions were developed for the following nine seminal areas:
- Ideal Sathya Sai Centre
- Leadership in the SSIO
- Educational Programmes
- Role of Women in SSIO
- Role of Youth in SSIO
- Balancing Family, Career and the SSIO
- Public Outreach
- Effective and loving communication in the SSIO
- Selfless Service
The few days spent in November, at the World Conference and the SSIO Exhibition, will be cherished by those who were able to attend. Upon returning to their homeland, the delegates will share the resources and information garnered at this unique Sai function. There was unanimous acknowledgement of Bhagawan’s presence and His tangible love was felt distinctly by many delegates. A picture of Bhagawan at the conference registration site was filled with Vibhuti (and Kumkum on Ladies Day), as a sign of His grace and divine blessings for His devotees.