Today, 10 September 2011, I attended a fantastic event in Bath that was organised by Region 7 of The Sri Sathya Sai Organisation here in the UK. The event was an interfaith prayer meeting and it was attended by representatives of the Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Bahai and Jewish communities of Bath, and of course, devotees of Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
It was a very harmoneous event with some wonderful devotional singing and an amazingly inspirational video; we were also graced with the presence of The Mayor of Bath himself. But for me the highlight of the afternoon was one hilarious moment when a man called Peter, representing the Jewish community, roped his son, James, into joining him on stage. Then in the middle of trying to teach the audience to sing in Jewish, he grabbed his son for an inpromtu Jewish dance. The hall errupted in laughter…..ahh that wonderful thing, laughter; the universal language that everyone understands; that great bringer together of people. That particular moment along with the afternoon’s events in general proved once again that race, colour, creed, sect and/or religion are no barrier to people coming together in love and harmony.
For me the event summed up what Swami’s teachings have always been about. He never preached religion, instead he encouraged people to always do their best in whatever religion they were born into. He always said that people should simply strive to be good Hindus, Christians or Jews etc. and that we should never criticise the faith of another. As ever Swami’s presence was very strong in the hall and I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon. To finish I will share with you a poem by an Irish poet called John O’Donohue, which was read to the group by the minister representing the Christian Community of Bath.
On Meeting A Stranger
That the unknown
And lead us
That familiar field
Blind with the weed
And the old walls