AGM 2019

We cordially invite you to participate in the 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM 2019) of SAaS

Date – Saturday, 1st June 2019
Time 3-7pm (arrival 3 pm for 3.15 Start)
Location – Sherwell Church, Plymouth University, PL4 8AA

1. Welcome: Soft Drinks / coffee / tea
2. Tribute to Anjanaben
3. Short Cultural programme plus Prize distribution
3. A. Welcome by the chairperson
B. Secretary – report
C. Treasures Report.
4. Members comments- AOB
5. Food served and socialisation- 5:30pm onwards
06:30 pm close

If members want to discuss anything, in particular, please email us ( your agenda item by 18th May so that we can add it under the General Meeting item. Please confirm your attendance by 18th May for catering purposes and let us know if you have any dietary requirements (e.g. allergies etc.).

We encourage our members to participate in the cultural programme. If you/your child would like to participate for a short performance for the programme please send an email to by 18th May

Please note, photographs will be taken during the event and will be used to promote the work of the society externally. By attending the event you are providing consent to use these photos for the above-mentioned purpose. If you do not want us to use any of your photographs then please let us know via email by 18th May.

All trustees please email ( at least 2 weeks prior to AGM (i.e.18th May 2019) that you would like to serve as a trustee for next year. If anyone would like to join as an associate trustee, please send an email to by18th May 2019.

We look forward to seeing you all during the AGM.

Thank you

SAaS Trustees

Eden project visit – Free entry

We are delighted to announce that in collaboration with the EDEN project, we have been able to secure a free of charge admission to Eden project on the Saturday 12th of January 2019.
Whilst in EDEN, you may like to take the opportunity of upgrading to a Local’s Pass.  This gives you unlimited admission to Eden project and all of their wonderful seasonal programmes until the end of October 2019 and can be purchased at the time of your visit.  They will also have ice rink up and running, and advance booking is recommended (there is a charge for this activity). These opportunities might change so please check the Eden Project website for an updated information.

The current ticket prices are £64 for a family of 4 or £25 per adult and £12.50 per child. This is a great opportunity to avail (for FREE) and explore EDEN as a community event. We have a limited number of places and we need to let them know in advance. Please fill in the following form to express your interest. We have also investigated the option to travel as a group in a coach. If we have enough members interested to travel as a group we will book a coach. Ticket prices per seat will be between £7-£10 depending on final numbers. We need to inform them by 2nd January 2019 latest.  

Obituary – Mrs Anjanaben Bhagwanji

25 July 1951 - 05 January 2019 

It is with great sadness, we have to inform you that Mrs Anjanaben Bhagwanji, a founding member of South Asian Society (SAaS) passed away peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, 5th January 2019 at her residence in Plymouth. 

Those who have been associated with SAaS would know that Anjanaben worked, passionately, tirelessly and selflessly for the progress of the society since its establishment in 2003. She not only assisted her husband, Mr Jayanti Bhagwanji (affectionately known as Jayantibhai) performing his duties as trustee and long-time treasurer of the society but also contributed to the society in many ways including catering, organising many successful events (including AGMs and Annual Diwali-Eid events). She also donated generously to all the charitable activities SAaS undertook. 

As its founding member, Anjanaben also very actively worked for the Plymouth Hindu Community. She also assisted Jayantibhai to organise many events for Masonic (Freemason) Victory Lodge No 4189. 

By Anjanaben’s departure, we have lost a generous, hospitable, hardworking and kind hearted personality. We pray for the peace of the departed soul. May God give enough strength to bear this loss to Jayantibhai, his son and daughter-in-law, Vimal and Suzanne; daughter and son-in-law, Anita and Manish, the grandchildren and a very big family besides large number of friends. The wider society will greatly miss Anjanaben.             

Season’s Greetings

Dear Members

As another holiday season approaches, we send our warmest wishes to you and your family. May you find the true spirit of the season and may it fill your heart with joy. Whatever is beautiful, whatever is meaningful, whatever brings happiness, may it be yours this holiday season and throughout the coming year.

Wishing you laughter, contentment, joy and peace in 2019 and always.

SAaS Trustees

Annual Event 2018 – Thank you

On behalf of the SAaS Trustees, we extend our sincere thanks to all those who attended and participated in the annual cultural event this year. Our sincere thanks to all the participants who worked extremely hard despite their usual day to day commitments to make the evening enjoyable and memorable for all. We had over 220 guests who joined us for the celebrations this year. We would also like to take this opportunity to extend our special thanks to the Plymouth and Devon Racial Equality Council (PDREC) and the Diverse Communities Team of the Devon and Cornwall Police force for their support towards this event. 

We have now uploaded some images from the event on our website (gallery section) as we have not received any objections by 30th November 2018. We informed all participants and guests through the joining instructions and through signs during the event. If at any point you want us to withdraw any of your image/s, please let us know and we will remove it from our website and delete it from our archives. 

SAaS Annual Cultural Evening 2018

As an amazing and eventful year progresses, SAaS brings to you another exciting and colourful event to look forward to in 2018! 
Be ready to be a part of the biggest celebration of South Asian culture with our local communities, to put on your dancing shoes, try some amazing asian food and show off the hidden talents you all have! 

SAaS presents our 15th Annual Event 2018!!

Venue: Devonport High School for Girls, Lyndhurst Rd, Plymouth, PL2 3DL

Date: 17/11/2018

Time: 6pm-11:30pm

Buy tickets for South Asian Society 15th Annual Cultural Event 2018

SAaS Badminton charity event 30th June

Together with the support of Nuffield Health, South Asian Society of Devon and Cornwall is delighted to announce our first Badminton tournament on the 30th of June to raise money and support a day of research towards Brain Tumours & Cancer.

Brain Tumour Research is an official charity partner of Plymouth University. It is one of only four universities in the UK working with the charity to improve the treatment and outcomes of brain tumours. 

  • brain tumours continue to kill more children and adults under 40 than any other cancer
  • there are over 120 different types of brain tumour
  • it is estimated that around 16,000 people a year in the UK are diagnosed with a brain tumour
  • less than 20 per cent of brain tumour patients survive beyond 5 years of their diagnosis
  • 10 people a day die of a brain tumour

Accordingly we have teamed up with Brain Tumour Research and help raise funds for this important underfunded area of research.  

In support of this cause Nuffield Health, Devonshire Health and Racquets Club is offering free access to their world class facilities for the participants and their families for 30th June and 1st July. Nuffield Health are investing heavily this month to upgrade their gym facilities with an launch event planned on the 24th June. It will be a great opportunity for you and your family to experience the state of the art facilities while contributing towards an important cause and enjoy some badminton. 


Please buy your tickets or offer to volunteer here by clicking the button below.

Buy tickets for SAaS Badminton Cup 2018

Format and rules: 

As this is the inaugural Badminton Cup from our society the format and rules of the event will be determined by the number of registrations we receive by 20th June. 


AGM 2018

Date/ time: 9th June, 16.00- 18.45
Venue: Sherwell Church, University of Plymouth, PL4 8AA
Dear all
Many thanks to those who have confirmed their participation for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the South Asian Society (SAaS). Sincere thanks also to those who have volunteered to participate or have suggested kid’s performance during the AGM.
Sincere thanks also to members who have volunteered themselves to be trustee of the society.  
Needless to mention, society’s activities, achievements and future directions depend on active participation of its members. Apart from socialising, this is an important opportunity for the members to move the society forward.
We also had good response for the cultural event to be organised during the AGM. There are still the opportunity for the members, especially the kids to perform during the event. Please let us know if you or your kids would like to take the opportunity to perform during the event.
If you have not already registered, this is a final request to come forward and participate in the meeting. Please spare few minutes to register your participation.
Please note- parking is available free in the University Campus and in the Sherwell Church parking area. The car should however be parked in the designated parking ways only.   
We will look forward to see you on 9th June, 2018.

Agenda / sequence of the event:

  1. Welcome and socialising: 16.00- 16.30 (Tea/ coffee/ soft drinks available)
  2. Cultural programme: 16.30-17.00 
  3. AGM: 17.00-17.30
    • Welcome by Chairperson
    • Secretary’s report
    • Treasure’s report
    • AOB
  4. Snacks/refreshments and socialising: 17.30-18.30
  5. Close of the meeting: 18.30

Supporting St Lukes Hospice – £1000 raised

We are delighted to inform our members and the local community about our consolidated efforts to raise over £1000 pounds in support of our local charity, St Lukes Hospice. St Luke’s Hospice is the local hospice for Plymouth. They care for people whose illnesses are no longer curable, enabling them to achieve the best possible quality of life during the final stages of their illness. They care for patients through their in-patient unit, out-patient clinics, and day care unit, as well as in patients own homes through their community and home care teams.

We are very grateful to all our members to make this possible due to our collective efforts as a community and continued generosity. Our special thanks to Mr Jayanti Bhagwanji for contributing substantially towards the final amount.

St Lukes Hospice Community Fundraiser Wayne Marshall said, “It was a real pleasure to meet Professor Jha and members of the South Asian Society at our Turnchapel hospice today. Their support and this generous donation really means a lot to us, our patients and their families. On behalf of St Luke’s I would like to say a big thank you from all of us”.

Buddhism and Meditation workshop

The Vidyadhara Acharya Mahayogi Sridhar Rana Rinpoche was born in Kathmandu, Nepal in 1949, the eldest child of Nara Narayan Shumsher Junga Bahadur Rana — a former Deputy Inspector General of Police and the grandson of the penultimate ruler of the Rana Dynasty, Maharaja Padma Shumsher Junga Bahadur Rana — and  Shanti Rana, the daughter of Raja Jaya Prithvi Bahadur Singh, the humanist King of Bhajang.

The Vidyadhara began his spiritual pursuits early in life, and soon after graduating from St. Xavier’s High School — a Jesuit boarding school in Kathmandu — he began exploring Hindu Tantra under the guidance of his granduncle, Dhana Shumsher Junga Bahadur Rana. However, after failing to find spiritual fulfilment even after nine years of intense practice, he began to practise under the famous Vedantic master, Khaptad Baba. However, here too he failed to find the answers to his questions, and this led him to seek them in the Buddhadharma.

In 1979 he began practising Zen under the guidance of Roshi Nanrei Kobori — the Abbot of Ryokoin, a sub-temple of the Daitokuji of Kyoto — and the Korean Master, Seung Sahn, and his student, Zen Master Wu Bong (Jacob Perl). However, the difficulties in communicating with his teachers from Nepal led him to seek for qualified teachers within the Tibetan Buddhist community in Nepal, and in 1987 he met his first Vajrayana teacher, the Venerable Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, considered by many to be among the greatest modern Dzogchen masters.

Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche further introduced him to various other masters, and from them he received numerous empowerments (Abhishekas/Wangs) and practice instructions. In April 1996, under the guidance of His Eminence (HE) the late Chobgay Trichen Rinpoche — the then head of the Tsarpa subdivision of the Sakya School — and His Holiness (HH) Sakya Trizin Rinpoche, he entered retreat at his residence in Bishalnagar, Kathmandu.

After completing six and half years of retreat, Chobgay Trichen Rinpoche bestowed upon him the title of “Rinpoche”, and in 2006, at the end of his tenth year in retreat, he again bestowed upon him the tile of “Mahayogi” (Great Yogi). On 25 May, 2013, at the end of his seventeenth year in retreat, HE the Fourth Karma Thinley Rinpoche honoured him with the title of “Vidyadhara” (Wisdom Holder). Called Rigdzin in Tibetan, the title refers to one who constantly abides in the pure essence of the nature of mind and who has special knowledge of the use of different Vidyadharanis (Wisdom Mantras), their principles, origins, uses, etc. It was used in the past to address such accomplished Tantric masters as Mahasiddha Vimalamitra, Guru Padmasambhava, Mahasiddha Virupada, etc.

Now in his twenty-second year of retreat, the Vidyadhara is committed to extending it to the rest of his life in the Tse Tsam style of the Tibetan tradition as practised by the great yogi,  Lama Shyabkar. This type of practice allows for the retreat to be held in multiple places with short breaks. As such, in March 2017 he embarked on his first teaching tour with a visit to Thailand; with visits to the US, the UK, and Australia scheduled for later in the year.

Although he is under a strict practice schedule in retreat, the Vidyadhara has always found time to disseminate his teachings, primarily in the form of written discourses, which are translated from the original English into Nepali and read out by his chief disciple, Narayan Prasad Rijal, during monthly gatherings of the growing Sangha. Four volumes of these teachings, entitled “Bodhipushpanjali” (The Flower Garland of Wisdom) have so far been compiled and published. In addition, the Vidyadhara has written prolifically, primarily in English, on various aspects of Buddhism, including defences of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, and his visions for Buddhism in the modern age.

While his Hindu background has facilitated his teachings and interactions in Nepal, his wide knowledge of western philosophy and psychology makes his style especially suited for western and western-oriented Sangha members. In addition to traditional Vajrayana teachings, including those based on his termas, he also conducts healing and therapeutic workshops, and advocates integrating various psychotherapeutic and psychological practices with Buddhist meditation techniques in order to expedite mind transformation and enable his disciples to advance rapidly along the path.

Besides the Vajrayana tradition of Tibet and Nepal, the Vidyadhara is also a scholar of Chan and Zen Buddhism; Jodo Shinshu; and the Abhidharma  of the Mahayana, Vaibhashika and Theravada traditions. He also maintains a keen interest in both Zen and Theravada practices, and one of his aims is to make available all aspects of the Buddhadharma to those interested in studying and practising it. As such, he promotes a non-sectarian and universal Buddhist tradition, where all lineages and traditions of Buddhist practices are respected.