Foundation Annual Day
24th October! A day in the calendar which we always look forward to and year 2018 was no different! In fact this was one of the most fabulous celebrations of our Annual Day! The year 2018 is special for the Foundation as it marks the 50th year of Yoga Sadhana of Revered Sadguruji. It is also His Birthday. And the day was more special, as the EYE PLEDGE WE PLEDGE campaign led by Sadguruji has crossed the magical figure of 50 Lakh Eye Pledge donors. This was Foundation's Silver Jubilee Annual Day and it added more energy. The function was held at Swatantryaveer Savarkar Auditorium, SHivaji Park, Mumbai from 8.00 pm onwards.
Our Kriyaban anchor for the evening, Sandip Pandyaji, welcomed everybody and gave a brief account of the programme that would follow. Shortly, all the dignitaries arrived. Sadguruji was welcomed with traditional arati and then He lit a lamp and offered His prayers to Param Guruji Sri Sri Mahavatar Babaji and invoked His blessings. Thereafter, Sadguruji and all the dignitaries lit the customary lamp on the dais.
Sandipji then wished Sadguruji on His birthday and gave a brief account through an interesting and informative audio-visual presentation of montage depicting Sadguru Yogiraj Sri Sri Dr. Mangeshda's life as to how, born as a 9th child in a household of humble means, His rebellious nature questioning blind faith and rituals which led Him to leaving His home, His meeting His Guru and His subsequent spiritual journey. Sadguruji's multifaceted character was easily visible from this video. It was specially mentioned that Revered Sadguruji has been practicing and spreading Yoga for the past 50 years and KRIYA YOGA has been the central focal point around which His life revolves. In fact this whole Visual presentation gave a brief insight into His journey of these 50 years.
Another audio-visual presentation followed and it narrated Foundation's mega campaign – Eye Pledge We Pledge. Started in March 2011, this campaign gained momentum with every individual programme. It is worth mentioning here that in the last 7 years, more than 2000 programmes have been undertaken to promote awareness about Eye Donation. It is Sadguruji's ambitious project and He dreams of INDIA which has no cordially blind person. One of the highlights from this presentation was the super success of our social campaign EYE PLEDGE – WE PLEDGE which has so far gathered more than 50 Lakh pledges, and its going on!
Renowned surgeon Dr. V. N. Shrikhande, a well known personality in the field of medicine and legendary music composer Shri Pyarelal Ji were the Guests of Honour for the evening. Dr Shrikhande and Shri Pyarelalji were felicitated by Sadguruji! Many other famous personalities from various fields attended this special celebration. The dignitaries included Shri Amol Pednekar (CEO, Hindi Vivek Magazine), Shri Rajesh Sarvadnya (Chairman, Vivekanand Youth Connect), Shri Nilesh Suryavanshi (President, Heritage Foundation).
Dr. V. N. Shrikhande regaled the audience with his remarkable and witty speech. He also praised Sadguruji for the noble work He is doing and commended the Social Activities of the Foundation. It is always a pleasure listening to him as he brings out so much of positivity. Pyarelalji also appreciated Sadguruji for His huge contribution to the Society and he mentioned that he was truly humbled to be in this program and get felicitated by Sadguruji.
Then came the moment which everyone was waiting for, Sadguruji's felicitation and His speech!! Sadguruji was felicitated by Shri Pyarelal Ji and Dr Shrikhande and it was a wonderful sight. He was presented with a paan-supari, shawl and small plant. A special memento was presented by Dr Sharda Sharma, Vice President of the Foundation as a small token of love from all the Kriyabans.
In His address, Sadguruji praised both the legends on the dais and acknowledged their contribution in their respective fields. He talked about their commitment & their will power to tackle any situation or defeat any challenge. Sadguruji was emotional when He briefly talked about His journey and remarked that its difficult to believe that 50 years of Yoga Sadhana have passed! He narrated about His childhood, struggle of His early days in the lesser known village of Dahisar, how the negativities surrounded Him and actually made Him a better person, taught Him as to what He should not do. He stated that there should be some vision, some target which should be achieved with full efforts. He always avoided being monotonousness and a proper attitude makes all the difference. He said, "My Municipal Teacher had explained a beautiful concept of VADH - DIVAS i.e. Birthday. Birthday could be an increase in the age or an increase by a day in our life. This difference between the two teaches a lot in our life. I took the latter meaning of increase of a day in my life and then I started thinking what could be done. Then I reduced my sleep. Optimum utilization of each hour of the day, each minute of an hour, became my way of life." He further mentioned that He teaches a basic thing like how to breathe properly and conscious breathing is everything. He proudly talked about the all ambitious Eye Pledge We Pledge campaign and it was indeed a milestone to have crossed the 50 Lakh figure of Eye Donors. But a lot of work is yet to be done and at least the number of 2 crores is to be reached so that the corneal blindness is totally eradicated. He thanked each and every volunteer of the Foundation, each and every supporter of this campaign for this success.
He also mentioned that He was humbled by the love and affection showered on him on His birthday. And it was clearly visible in His eyes. These are some special moments and you have to simply witness it! It was indeed our privilege to listen to the motivational, emotional and highly energizing speech. As always, everyone was wishing that His aashirvachan goes on and on!
Our Sadguruji and the other dignitaries present, released the 20th Anniversary Issue of our popular International Magazine, ‘The Awakening!’. This special magazine carries messages from many dignitaries, articles by the Master Himself & contributions from many members, a copy one must have! A special Cup and a special carry bag was also unveiled on this occasion. These special cups were distributed all members (families or individuals) present in the auditorium.
Then it was time for some special and quality performance. Ms Yogita Tambe, a visually challenged artiste presented her musical skills. She played so many instruments with ease and gave a stellar performance. In her 50 minute musical tribute, she presented her skills on many instruments like Tabla, Pakhavaj, Dholak, Drum, Rhythm instruments and many more. It was sheer treat to witness her performance. She dedicated her performance to Sadguruji and the evening came to a pause after she played HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU tune for Sadguruji on TABLA !
The evening came to an end with National Anthem and Vote Of Thanks by Prakash Irde.
What an evening it was! The entire auditorium was spellbound; listening with rapt attention to the speakers and performers! Every year the celebrations become a unique memory & the joy we get from those special moments is just priceless!
All of us have witnessed Birthday Celebrations in our lives, but this one was unique and special! The Master only gives, its just that one has to be there to receive his blessings! Thank You Sadguruji! A word of praise for all involved for making this evening special.
Immediately after this program Sadguruji left for the airport to London, where HE would be conferred the prestigious Mahatma Gandhi Samman Award, at the House of Commons, London for his contribution to society through various social activities and especially for registering 50 lakh Eye Pledges, 50 years of Yoga Sadhana and spreading health, fitness and Yoga across the globe. Wishing Sadguruji Dr. Mangeshda heartiest congratulations for the various prestigious National and international awards bestowed upon Him.