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Love and Light

Region 1 - Maha Shivarathri Celebrations

Shivarathri means an auspicious night. Every day, there is a rathri (night). But all nights cannot equal Shivarathri. Real Shivarathri is only that, where the divine name is contemplated upon and sung with devotion. That is the only auspicious night. Hence, cultivate noble feelings in your heart at least on this auspicious night. (Shivarathri discourse March 07, 2008)

On Monday 20th February, Maha Shivarathri was celebrated by Region 1 (hosted by Merton Sai Centre). The festivities commenced at 7pm and continued on throughout the night until 6am. The programme began with Vedam including Rudram, the chanting of Aum Sri Sai Lingeshwaraya Namah mantra 108 times, bhajans and musical renditions. Linga Abhishekam was also carried out at 9pm, 12am and 3am. At 5am, Omkaar and Suprabhatham were chanted, followed by bhajans which continued until Mangala Aarti and closing prayers at 6am.

The night was filled with mesmerising vibrations from the melodious bhajans and talented musicians from the Balvikas children, youth and adults. A strong sense of faith, unity, love and devotion for our Dear Divine Beloved Swami was eminent amongst all present. The hall was filled throughout the night with support from various centres across the region.

Swami says “Devotional singing (bhajans) is the process of singing that originates in the heart, not from the lips or the tongue. It is the expression of the joyous thrill that wells up from the heart when the Glory of God is remembered. It is the spontaneous manifestation of inner ecstasy. No attention is paid to the blame or praise that others may give. It does not seek the admiration or the appreciation of the listeners.” (SSS Vol X, p84)

Sister Verushka Naidoo
Merton Sai Centre