Sahaja Yoga at the National Multicultural Festival held in Canberra 12-14 February 2016
The National Multicultural Festival in Canberra this year was blessed with five music performances (4 performances by Music of Joy and one by the Sahaja Music Group – the latter comprising musicians from the Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane Collectives).
This is the 5th year in a row Sahaja Yoga has had a presence at this increasingly popular event in Canberra. On the subtle level that denotes the vishuddhi chakra. Indeed it felt like Mother was working thru the collectivity of the yogis (more so than in previous years) as all of us converged on the centre of activity in the nation’s capital with one purpose in our heart and soul to achieve something very special. A group photo taken at Mother’s ashram in Canberra tells the story of this year’s collective effort.
Together with the music performances we had our information (self-realisation/meditation stall) kept busy during the three day event. Each year Mother has located us in different areas of the festival footprint and this year was no exception seemingly with us working on a particular problem that plagues our society and western style culture. This time our location being close to some favourite drinking venues of the local community. Our first year at the festival had us located near a favourite haunt of the gay and lesbian fraternity of Canberra.
Thank you very much to so many yogis who helped out at the Meditation stall over the three days. That included transportation to the venue, setting up, handing out flyers, explaining Sahaja Yoga and giving self-realisation. It is hard to say how many came to the stall and inquired, accepted a flyer and/or received their realisation but it seems we all received a tremendous vibrational boost from working together collectively. Some of us joyfully manning the stall past midnight into the early hours of the next day on one occasion.
In particular it was very heart warming and inspiring to see the yuvas connecting so well with the local yogis and general public and confidently taking groups of seekers thru the self-realisation process and led meditations. Particularly so under such persistently very noisy, crowded and hot conditions that we were blessed to work under. Countless seekers received their self-realisation. However, as many of us discovered (and already knew) the power of kundalini is much stronger than any noise factor or extraneous condition. For those genuinely seeking they still managed to have a very profound experience regardless of the local conditions.
There were families, single people – young and old - as well as groups of young teenagers (at times in groups of 6); many from the Asian sub-continent; others from Europe and many interstate visitors as well as locals from the suburbs of Canberra all drawn tour meditation stall - that became an oasis of vibrations - with that one desire - to get connected to their Spirit. One lady in particular a native of Nepal and had been there when the earthquake struck last year and, along with her husband, was very thankful to have found us tucked away from the sea of unrelenting noise and activity throughout the festival footprint.
As the seekers (these potential Sahaja Yogis and children of Our Holy Mother) came in wave after wave to the shores of our island of vibrational joy, set amidst the sea of noisy entertainment and worldly distractions, one was reminded of the seminal poem by Rabindranath Tagore – On the Shores of Bharat which describes the shores of Ganapatipule where all Sahaja Yogis still gather together to manifest the divine.
‘On the shores of Bharat,
Where men (and women) of all races have come together,
Awake, O my mind!
Standing there with outstretched arms
I send my salutations to the God of Humanity…
Purify your mind and clasp the hands of all,
Come O downtrodden,
And let vanish all burdens of your humiliation.
Tarry not, but come you all
To anoint the Mother,
On the shores of Bharat,
Where men (and women) of all races have come together.
Some 280,000 visitors attended the three day festival which next year will be celebrating its 21st anniversary in Canberra as the National Multicultural Festival. It all began way back in 1981 with Canberra celebrating cultural diversity, as a one-day event in Civic to celebrate Australia Day. In 1997, the newly established ACT Office of Multicultural Affairs staged the first week-long Festival as a means of celebrating Canberra and Australia's cultural diversity. In 2010, the Festival became a three-day event which has remained that way ever since. And 2012 is the year that Sahaja Yoga and Music of Joy became involved. An estimated 260,000 attended that festival. Last year some 270,000 attended the festival.
However to give the reader an idea of what we were part of and the number of diverse peoples we may have reached through the ether the 2016 National Multicultural Festival celebrated its 20th anniversary with 7.5 kilometres of bunting, 400 stalls representing 170 nationalities and 350 performance groups and 2500 performers. As a collective many us would have traversed the extent of the festival footprint as we moved from one performance stage to the next spreading our vibrations along the way to all and sundry.
As previously mentioned media reports estimated that a record crowd of 280,000 attended the Festival. That is 10,000 more than in 2015 with the event attracting people from all over Australia. For us the presence of MOJ and the Sahaja Yoga Music Group at key locations around the Festival together with pull up banners displaying Mother’s photo prominently is, in itself, sufficient to trigger the awakening of the kundalini in a seeker which suggests many more people have, perhaps unknowingly, taken their first step on the path of true spirituality. Particularly with so many yuvas and yogis dancing and singing their hearts out to the bhajans of Music of Joy and the Sahaja Yoga Music Group before enrapt onlookers.
This year the Festival organisers gave names to the various performance stages across the festival footprint. On Saturday morning Music of Joy performed a beautiful rendition of ‘Ode to Joy’ on Stage 7 (the European Union Stage) to coincide with the opening ribbon cutting ceremony of the European Union Village and a short welcoming speech by the Ambassador for the European Union, Sem Fabrizi. with the local ACT Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ms Yvette Berry also in attendance. It should be noted that Music of Joy were especially invited by the Festival Organisers to sing ‘Ode to Joy’ at the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Following on from the opening ceremony MOJ launched into their usual repertoire of bhajans with many yogis and members of the public (including senior citizens) dancing joyfully to their renditions of divine music. Later in the day they performed on the Friendship Stage ( No. 5) located in an open area that intersects a major intersection in CDB area (the bus terminus with pedestrian and commercial traffic). This location attracted quite a large crowd of onlookers of which many joined in the rapturous dancing that included some young children who were dressed up in costume for their own dance performance and the MC who introduced MOJ. A memorable rendition of ‘Raining on the Rock’ came across loud and clear from the our intrepid musicians.
On the Saturday evening the Sahaja Yoga Music Group made their debut at the Festival on the European Union Stage (No 7). An eclectic mix of musicians from Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Mid Central Coast and Brisbane. They sang the full repertoire of bhajans (such as Ganesha, Ganesha and Jogawa etc) to get the evening crowd of onlookers into the mood for the triggering of the kundalini and self-realisation. It was a seminal moment to see and hear them play so well in this setting.
On Sunday lunchtime MOJ were a little further away from the main area of activity on the Reconciliation Stage (no. 4) but in no way was their presence and vibrations diminished as slowly the crowd began to swell and dance to the sound and rhythm of Mother’s divine music. Again there was much dancing and joy expressed by the yogis that touched the clouds above and came back to nourish their Spirit and subtle being.
Later on Sunday afternoon the final performance for Music of Joy was on the Goodwill Stage (No. 5) – also referred to as the Inter Faith Stage. The performance was somewhat delayed and the timeslot slightly truncated but that did not in any way diminish the power of their performance. Whilst one of the early songs ‘This little Light of mine’ may have illuminated the way to trigger the awakening of the kundalini and the Ganesha Ganesha bhajan may have provided the rhythm to dance but it was a powerful rendition of Jogawa that had all the yogis and the general public dancing their hearts out (allowing the flow of their kundalinis to touch the heavens in ever upward spirals of joy) in a most free and spontaneous fashion to the MOJ’s finale performance of what proved to be a wonderful weekend for all of us at this annual event in Canberra. As so often it happens Our Mother had saved the best in us until the final performance.
Thank you everyone for a tremendous collective effort in taking care of our guests with a bountiful supply of wonderful tasty food (including the Saturday evening barbeque) and countless cups of tea and other assorted beverages and for creating a loving, joyful, congenial atmosphere for everyone present. How many we had at the ashram – I guess we lost count – but seemed as though a torrent of cool vibrations was emanating from our Sahaja Meditation Centre throughout the weekend.
Also many thanks to all of those who opened their hearts to welcome our interstate visitors to their own homes providing them with a well-earned respite from the hot, exceedingly crowded and at times noisy ambience at the festival footprint.
It was great to see so many yuvas from Sydney and Brisbane and even from overseas, together with Music of Joy and the Sahaja Music Group from Melbourne and Brisbane (also not forgetting our local contingent and support from Newcastle) as well as our brothers and sisters from Vietnam enjoying themselves so much with us in our collective and in what the nation’s capital had to offer by way of hot, summer weather and a diversity in culture against the backdrop of our semi alpine rural location.
Thank you a thousand times Shri Mother for a wonderful weekend that has given us so much joy and yet again the experience of the divinity that lies within each one of us. Thank you Shri Ganesha for removing all the obstacles so that we could do the work of Our Mother as one – as one diverse, multicultural sahaj collective in this place of peoples of all races coming together – meeting as one - together in the lap of the Divine in the comfort of Her Rainbow Bandhan. This small area of Australia is known, in modern times as the ACT; is also known as the Land of the ancient Ngunnawal people – but in truth is just a small part of Shri Ganesha’s Ancient abode- blessed many times by the Lotus Feet of the Divine.
Following on from that wonderful weekend we have had many weekly programs held around Canberra (at the Dickson, Woden, Civic and Belconnen Libraries; also at the Tuggeranong Community Centre) at which the vibrations of the Divine are being established and consolidated on a weekly basis. Now we also have regular programs running in the district of Gungahlin at its local library. Of which one of its suburbs is named Ngunnawal. That suburb is named in tribute to the Ngunnawal people, the original inhabitants of the area. The meaning of the word Ngunnawal is ‘we’, ‘the people’, or ‘us’. It may have another meaning in sanskrit.
As with most of our program venues a promising number of seekers are attending the ongoing programs in Gungahlin.
Looking ahead our pure desire now is for many more people to attend 35th Anniversary program on 23 April 2016 (to celebrate Shri Mataji’s arrival in the Land of Shri Ganesh) to be held, as it turns out, at The Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre just a short distance away from where Music of Joy performed on that memorable Sunday evening back in mid-February of this year.
What is not described in this article is best conveyed in the many photos that were taken during the course of the weekend during which many hundreds of seekers got kundalini awakening and/or self-realisation.
Humbly submitted on behalf of the Canberra Collective,
New State Councillors presented to Her Holiness at Nirmal Dham
Jai Shri Mataji!
We are pleased to advise that the attached letter containing the names of the recently selected new Australian State Councillors was offered at Shri Mataji's Divine Lotus Feet at Nirmal Dham yesterday.
The letter was offered seeking Her blessings for the new Councillors and the wider Australian Collective. The new Councillors, selected on vibrations, will now take up their positions.
We thank all those offering their names for consideration and those assisting with the process, including all the Yogis at the Easter Seminar. It was important that we sought Shri Mataji's blessings before advising everyone.
We sincerely thank the current State Councillors for their dedicated service to Shri Mataji and to their State Collectives over the last 3 (or more) years.
Ultimately, we thank Shri Mataji for Her guidance and indications of Her choices, and ask that all Yogis fully support the new Councillors in their new roles.
Lyn and Andre on behalf of your Australian Councillors
35th Anniversary of the establishment of Sahaja Yoga VIDEO
35th Anniversary of the establishment of Sahaja Yoga program was held at Burwood on Saturday night, vibrations were very deep and profound. Afterwards there was that old feeling in the air a mixture of happiness, joy and the feeling Our Mother was with us.
This is the Video shown at the program:
https://youtu.be/GIeE_qw5YQs CLICK HERE
Inauguaration of the New Nepal Sahaja Yoga Temple