On December 25, 2018, Christmas day, the Children Sunday Satsanga (CSS) of YSS Noida Ashram celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ with meditation and a cultural programme. Decorated with flowers of all colours, the Dhyana Mandir sported a Christmas tree adorned with twinkling lights and wrapped presents. Beholding the beautiful sight before them, children were pleasantly surprised upon entering the Dhyana Mandir.
Christmas celebrations at YSS Noida Ashram
At the start of the day's programme, volunteers led the children through the Energization Exercises. Proceeding to the mandir, they joined in the opening prayer and by making an invocation to Jesus Christ.
On this occasion, the cultural programme was anchored by two girls from CSS. Beginning with Guru Vandana, the programme included a skit based on the story of Niraharini Yogin from the Autobiography of a Yogi (the world best-selling spiritual classic authored by Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda), two other theatrical performances were performed – one on Christmas ke Tohfe ('The gifts of Christmas') giving the message of love and preventing child labour, and a silent play Pap Ki Kursi ('The Seat of Evil'), portraying the tight clasp of wrongdoings and attaining mukti (salvation) through the blessings of a saint.
The joyful singing of Christmas Carols reverberated through the hall and soon, a volunteer-devotee in the guise of 'Santa Claus' appeared jiving to the words of "Jingle Bells" distributing chocolates and toffees among the excited young attendees who joined in the singing and merriment.
The gaiety of the group was channelised through the inspiring words of Brahmachari Vinayanandaji. While appreciating the cultural performances by the children, he encouraged them to attend the Children Satsanga regularly every Sunday, and continue to carry this joy they expressed in the hall into their lives. If they would be happy, they would make others happy too, he said. He concluded his address with a simple affirmation followed by closing prayer.
After observing some moments of silence, pushpanjali was held. Little ones offered flower petals at the feet of Lord Christ and received gifts and cake from Brahmachariji. All were ushered to proceed for langar.
Thus the great day of the birth of Christ filled everyone’s heart and mind with sweet and vibrant memories of love and togetherness.
Around 120 children from Noida accompanied by 70 parents from nearby areas attended the programme.
Christmas celebrations at YSS Delhi Kendra
Children dressed as mice, elves and various characters from skits gathered at the YSS Delhi Kendra for children satsanga on the occasion of Christmas.
Following a brief period of group meditation and chanting, the audience consisting of over 50 kids and parents were enthralled with performances by the little ones.
A few of them sang Christmas songs, devotional bhajans and carols, while others performed in skits with inspiring messages of kindness and gratitude.
One of the interesting activities of the day was the enactment of Gurudeva's cosmic chants by the young devotees, which were to be guessed by the audience. It caught the attention of all those present, including the older devotees, trying to guess the words of the same.
Brahmachari Sheelanandaji spoke to the kids on this special day about Christmas. He quizzed them about the similarities between Bhagawan Krishna and Jesus Christ. The children responded enthusiastically.
Brahmachariji also urged the children to make a resolve to do one good thing in the coming New Year.
He gave away prizes to those children who clocked full attendance at the Children Sunday Satsanga throughout the previous year, and encouraged the others present to qualify for the same in the coming year.
The conclusion of the programme was with the distribution of gifts through the "Santa Claus" (a volunteer dressed up in the red dress).
Children received packets with food and a gift each.
To view images from the Christmas celebrations at YSS Noida Ashram and Delhi Kendra, click here.
To read more reports on Children Satsanga activities, click here.