Onam Celebration & Vamana Avatar Drama At Sathya Sai Baba Centre Of Taman Brown
The Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Taman Brown (SSBCTB), Penang, held the annual Onam Celebration on Sunday, 18th September 2011 at the centre premises at 21 Jalan Endah, Taman Brown, Penang. The celebration commenced with ladies of the centre carrying the Nilavillaku into the Sai Gangadharan Hall and placing them on the altar accompanied to the rhythm of ‘Chenda Mulam’ beats (traditional Kerala drum beats).
This was followed by Vedic chanting by the Balvikas students. Soul inspiring bhajans rendered by the members power charged the Sai Gangadharan Hall with over 200 people with divine vibrations. A brief explanation of the Onam celebration and its significance ensued followed by the reading of Swami’s message on Onam and regular activities conducted at SSBCTB which was highlighted by SSBCTB Secretary, Bro G Krishna Kumar.
The attendees were then entertained to Malayalee cultural dances known as Kaikotti Kalee and Kol Kalee which traditionally signified the welcoming of the harvest season. The climax of the day was the drama performance by the Balvikas students entitled ‘The Story of Onam’ which depicted the life of King Mahabali who ruled Kerala long ago and how Lord Vishnu came as Vamana to remove the only bad quality of ego in him and gave a boon to King Mahabali allowing him to visit his subjects annually on the occasion of Onam. The transformation of the small sized Vamana to the normal sized form of Lord Narayana drew loud applause from the attendees and kept everybody in awe. Many participants were mesmerised by the majestic appearance of Lord Vishnu in full regalia with His spinning Chakra accompanied with the bhajan Narayana Hari Narayana in fast beat. SSBCTB Chairman, Bro R Rajan then gave a thanksgiving speech and encouraged more parents to send their children for the Balvikas classes as well as for them to take part in the regular centre activities which received encouraging response.
The attendees were then treated to a 14 items banana leaf vegetarian meal which was fully prepared at the centre. This preparation of meals for 250 people earlier in the day was led by the Wanita Wing and assisted by the men folks of the centre including some Balvikas parents and saw for the first time some husbands assisting in the vegetable cutting and cooking of the meals to the utter surprise of their wives!
The Balvikas teachers of the centre have to be particularly commended for preparing the 41 students who took part in the performances and in preparing the various outfits for the drama and dances. Many of the attendees as well as parents of the Balvikas students congratulated the centre committee for the good work and diverse activities that is being carried out by the centre and in the helping of the transformation of their children and enhancing their spiritual knowledge. SSBCTB currently has over 80 students in regular attendance. Apart from weekly Balvikas classes, cultural promotion programmes such as Tabla, Sangeetham and Bharathanatyam classes as well as Vedic chanting and Tamil Language classes are conducted weekly at the centre for all age groups including adults. The Wanita Wing meets regularly every 2nd and 4th Saturday every month during which cooking demos and other household upkeeping activities are shared and discussed and this activity continues to attract more participation of women from the surrounding community.