Buddha Poornima celebrations on 3rd and 4th May 2015 in Prasanthi Nilayam, commemorated Lord Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and attainment of Pari-Nirvana. Pilgrims from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Lao PDR, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan joined in the event, themed “Metta – Loving Kindness.” The two-day programme commenced with ceremonial lighting of a lamp and traditional Buddhist prayers, and also highlights included Dr. V. K. Ravindran, Chairman of Zone 4, reiterating Bhagawan’s universal message of the importance of finding the Buddha or divinity latent in each person; a representative from the Buddhist Association of Kathmandu in Nepal discussing Buddha’s teachings to avoid doing harm, practice love and kindness, and tame the mind; and a choir from Japan with more than 40 members rendering devotional songs in Japanese.
In addition, the Chief Monk of the Pho Sai Pagoda in Vientiane, Lao PDR, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to visit Bhagawan’s Mahasamadhi. In his younger days as a novice monk, he had attended SSEHV classes, and he commented that the teachings of Buddha and Sathya Sai Baba were similar. Dr. Art Ong Jumsai, Member, Prasanthi Council, spoke about the importance of “looking within” to know the truth. Internationally acclaimed Kandyan folk dancers from Sri Lanka presented a captivating traditional dance, accompanied by rhythmic drumming and showcasing tremendous acrobatic skills. A final highlight was a sketch titled, “The Heart of Buddha,” performed by Sathya Sai youth from Malaysia.