|Sao Paulo, Brazil|
Baba’s Centenary Celebration in São Paulo
More than 1,300 people participated in Baba’s Centenary Celebration in São Paulo, Brazil.
Inspired by the video received from the Kriya Yoga Institute featuring Paramahamsa Prajnanananda speaking about the centers organizing Baba’s Centenary Celebration, the São Paulo group decided to take Baba to as many people as possible in Brazil. In order to make this possible, a fund raising campaign was created among the kriyavans to raise the funds to fulfill this objective.
A simple and touching exposition was set up with four banners which talked about India, the Kriya Yoga masters, and about Baba’s Centenary. This exposition traveled to various cities in Brazil, and was accompanied by the newly Portuguese translated book, “Words of Wisdom”, T-shirts with Baba’s face printed on the front, a fifteen-minute DVD showing clips of Baba’s last birthday celebrations, and leaflets inviting people to attend the Celebration. We let people know that the public events were free and all could come and participate.
We invested funds into publishing articles in the two main spiritual Brazilian magazines, Sexto Sentido (Sixth Sense) with 30,000 copies and Planeta (Planet) with 70,000 copies, both with ample national distribution. The May issue of Sexto Sentido magazine had a four-page article, and the July issue had a three-page interview with the Paramahamsa Prajnanananda. The July issue of Planeta magazine had a four-page article about the event and Kriya Yoga. We also printed and distributed 5,000 leaflets by mail to yoga academies and schools, vegetarian restaurants, homeopathic pharmacies, bookstores, libraries, informing people in São Paulo of the event.
In the early morning of July 20, a group of kriyavans dressed in the Baba Centenary T-shirts waited at the airport to welcome Paramahamsa Prajnanananda. It was a stunning sight, and many people asked us who Baba was. By coincidence, a Peruvian passenger at the airport recognized Baba’s face, because she had been at the Miami Ashram, and came and bowed to Paramahamsaji.
The grand event was the lecture, “Live 100 years. Live in Peace” with more than 900 people in attendance. The evening event began with a singer of Indian music, Ratnabali, at the SESC Pinheiros Theater.
On the 22nd, we had 97 new initiations. Having so many people interested in learning Kriya Yoga really touched the hearts of the kriyavans in São Paulo, because this was clearly the fruit of the traveling exposition, as many people traveled from different cities to come and receive Baba’s teachings. Our biggest dream was to take Baba to more simple people, to cities that have almost no access to anything related to Kriya Yoga.
At 6:00 pm, the Centenary closing ceremony began with musical performances by two Kirtan bands, Saraswati, and Nada Prem. A group of more than 20 kriyavans entered the hall singing “Hariharananda,” throwing rose petals in the audience and carrying a life-sized photo of Baba with a flower garland around the neck. A sense of great love and emotion arose in us all as we gathered around the stage where Baba’s photo was placed beside Paramahamsaji and Don Baba, and the audience offered flowers at the feet of Baba and bowed to him. It was an unforgettable moment for all.
We had made 1,500 small orange candles with Baba’s picture and the Centenary logo on it, which were distributed free to the public, and the remaining ones were sent to the Brasilia center.