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30th April 2015 Celebrations - Invitation
An Invitation to Prepare Ourselves for a Bhandara
This activity can be done after Sunday satsang, or by individuals or small groups of abhyasis at other times. It will take 45 minutes – 1 hour.
Play the talk:
After listening to the talk, ask participants to form small groups of abhyasis.
Read the question aloud. Take time for everyone to introspect deeply and write in their diaries. If necessary, first help everyone to understand what it means to introspect.
Whether or not I will be present at the celebration, how will I prepare myself, prepare my heart for such a special occasion?
When everyone is ready, invite participants to share in their small groups.
Relevant quotes about bhandaras
These quotes are for participants to take and read in their own time, or they can be read in the groups:
I am told there is a great rush on our canteen. That is certainly a tribute to the quality of the food that the Mission offers, but it is certainly not a tribute to your attention. Because during the course of your meditation and the rapt attention that is necessary here, our souls should dance, not our bodies. A bhajan (devotional song) is meant to evoke within us certain feelings of love, devotion, and have the ability to bring down the grace on us even as we sit in rapt attention.
There must be no polluting talk of worldly matters here [in a bhandara]. There must be mutual love and brotherhood, which create lightness in the atmosphere, and strengthen the harmony among the abhyasis.
While there is a restriction on not meditating more than one hour at a time, there is no restriction on the number of times you can meditate. … In fact meditation is a process of digestion. Babuji Maharaj always used to say, “Hum itna dete hain (I give so much) but they don’t digest it.” “How do I digest?” I asked Babuji. He said “Meditate.”
Every sitting is important, because each sitting adds to the effect of the previous one. And if you have missed one, you have missed it; the chain is broken and you start again all over now. So satsangh at bhandaras, as we call them, or annual functions, birthdays, et cetera, is very important. Satsangh and presence at every sitting is very important.
We should utilise this occasion in getting into the Master and Master alone, which will act as food and tonic for spiritual elevation. Remembrance should be in a way that we feel the thought of remembrance oozing out from the objects everywhere. It is the real remembrance which mortals can have.
Always it has been my experience that, in the final sitting of an Utsav, a celebration, the transmission is full of love. It is something always very unique; the final sitting is very unique. I have seen this through my almost twenty-seven years with Sahaj Marg. It is as if the Master is giving us a promise: “You are going now, the celebration is over, but my love for you continues. Celebrations end, but love does not end.”
So this morning I was almost totally submerged in this love, when it came to me that perhaps this sitting had something special to convey, through the medium of Babuji’s grace, His transmission, His benevolence, His mercy for us and that is that love achieves everything.
So I am very happy to say that today I have felt a very special, very subtle, very moving prevalence of that love, pervasiveness of that love. I am sure every one of you has felt it. I think it is a message for us:
Love each other. Through love conquer hatred, conquer dissension, conquer differences. Where love exists, nothing of these things can exist.
It is a golden opportunity to re-examine our attitude towards the spiritual life, as well as our sincerity and seriousness of purpose, which are the guidelines and the landmarks for our perseverance, which alone can take us to the promised goal within our lifetime.