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Mahasivaratri Report | Pictures 1 | Pictures 2 | Swami Chidanandaji

Mahasivaratri Report from
Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh

 

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05-March-03

Radiant Divinities,

Om Namo Narayanaya!
Om Namo Bhagavate Sivanandaya!
Om Namo Bhagavate Chidanandaya!

A few days ago on, 1st March 2003, Sivananda Ashram held the celebration of the annual festival of Sivaratri. Siva symbolizes all that is auspicious and benevolent. On Sivaratri, devotees generally take a vow to fast and spend the entire night singing the holy name of Siva.

Here in Sivananda Ashram, residents and devotees sang the sacred mantra Om Namah Sivaya in the Vishwanath Mandir from morning till evening with a joyful heart. It was highly inspiring to hear the unbroken singing of the holy mantra of Lord Siva.

In the Ashram the night of Sivaratri was a night unlike any other. It was a divine night filled with thunder and rain, as if the sky had opened up and God was getting ready to visit us! It was a divine and magical night, and there was a message of hope in the airóof something beautiful and divine about to happen.

The evening session of the Sivaratri celebrations started at 8 p.m. and went throughout the night. Residents of the ashram and devotees from all over India and the world came to celebrate Lord Siva. The festivities were held in Vishwanath Mandir where the senior swamis, Swami Jivanmuktananda, Swami Nirliptananda, Swami Premananda participated in the various pujas, and the singing of hymns and sacred mantras to propitiate Lord Siva. At regular intervals, devotees took part and offered sacred ash and offerings into the divine fire. Hearts and minds were filled with devotion, and all participated enthusiastically in the various kirtans and bhajans with devotion.

The entire atmosphere was permeated with divine bhava, and all were praying and singing to Lord Shiva. The all-auspicious Siva heard the unspoken prayers of the devotees and decided to grant us his darshan in the form of our revered Swami Chidanandaji. At 3 a.m. as if an angel were descending from heaven, Swamiji Maharaj appeared among the devotees in Vishwanath Mandir. In his holy presence, hearts were filled with expectation and devotion, and the atmosphere was suddenly completely filled with divinity. For many of us it was as if Lord Shiva Himself had come down from Kailash to grant us his darshan. And what a beautiful and divine vision it was: our holy Swamiji Maharaj in his simple but majestic monk attire.

Swamiji stirred our souls with heartfelt prayers and bhajans and led our spirits into spiritual realms with an outpouring of divine blessings and words. In the presence of Swamiji Maharaj, the members of the Sivananda family in the mandir were united in their prayers, and felt the presence and blessings of Lord Siva. Every heart, mind and spirit was focused on Swamiji Maharaj. Every heart, mind and spirit felt the unmistakable blessings of Lord Siva, and Gurudev. By giving us his darshan, Swamiji Maharaj had made the presence of God manifest to us.

While the kirtan carried on Swamiji Maharaj, went to pay his homage to the various deities within the shrine and then joined devotees in the mandir again. As he took his seat, all could see that despite his frail body, Swamiji Maharajís whole being was permeated with divinity, holiness and majesty. After some bhajans, he left the mandir having filled the hearts of the devotees with more love, faith and devotion for God.

After his departure, the Sivaratri celebration continued, but our minds were turned inward. Our eyes were filled with a rare happiness and our being was purified, as if the chanting of hymns and sacred mantras and the presence of Swamiji Maharaj had acted as purifying agents.

Truly Sivaratri on 1st March 2003 was a unique and beautiful night and it fulfiled its divine promises.

Report From Divine Life Society Headquarters

Mahasivaratri Report | Pictures 1 | Pictures 2 | Swami Chidanandaji


Last Updated: Sunday, 17-Oct-2004 08:45:04 EDT
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