UK - National Conference 2024
The National Office Bearers and Active Workers Conference 2024 brought together devotees across the UK, in what was an uplifting event filled with a blend of energetic bhajans, enlightening talks and interactive sessions.
The conference commenced with a beautiful set of bhajans, followed by our dearest Swami with His divine discourse. Swami’s message underscored the notion that merely chanting God’s name without engaging in selfless service is futile. ‘What mistake is there in serving God or society?’ Swami preaches. ‘Without serving anybody, if you go on repeating God’s name, it is all useless.’ Therein lies the message that reverberated throughout the conference: service. What better way to serve than through the roles with which Swami has entrusted us, as His divine instruments, in His name and with His divine mission of love? Brother Pratap Thakkar, our National President, gave the welcome address with words that carried guidance. ‘In the face of challenges, the seed of opportunity lies in adversity,’ and can be seen as the source of our own spiritual ‘growth and transformation.’ Being an office bearer, as with any role, is not without its challenges, but approaching it with love will unify and ‘propel the collective mission forward.’
A talk by our Zonal Chair Brother Philipp von Dietlein highlighted the first duty as an office bearer: personal discipline. ‘Authenticity is the currency of the modern age,’ and Brother Philipp encouraged attendees to lead by example, an approach that not only fosters trust and credibility, but aligns with Swami’s teachings to embody His principles.
Following the talks and a video recap of 2023 highlights, the conference proceeded with each wing providing a comprehensive recap of their activities throughout the past year. The segment allowed for the progress to be showcased whilst sharing in their accomplishments and reflecting on the impact of their dedicated efforts. One such reflection was that of the Service Wing, in their humanitarian response of sending 27,373 items in aid to those devastated by the earthquakes in Syria. Moreover, the wings also spoke on their future plans, such as training development in the Bal Vikas wing and A Moment with Sai led by the Young Adults Wing, in combination with the Media Wing, to list just a few.
The inclusion of interactive sessions in the conference provided a valuable opportunity for attendees to engage in introspection and allow meaningful discussions within the group. The questions for discussions covered the importance of office bearers, sharing resources within and between centres, and not having affiliations with other spiritual/religious organisations.
There is great privilege in being the servant of Bhagawan. We are not just the children of Sai but His divine legacies. To that end, we must embrace the responsibility of not only holding but also perpetuating His transcendent teachings. This purpose extends beyond our own spiritual growth and consequently lays down the foundations for the benefit of present and future generations.