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Region 5 - Shivarathri Celebrations

Shivarathri Celebrations in the Northwest

Shivaratri was celebrated in Manchester on 28th February 2014 with Sai families from Manchester, Bolton and Warrington joining together for the sathsang. The program commenced with the following opening message conveying the importance and significance of Maha Shivaratri.

Swami once said...

"Some say that Shiva was born on this day, as if Shiva has birth and death like any mortal!

Shivaratri is the convergence between Shiva and Shakti and it is celebrated 12 times a year. The most powerful of those is the festival we celebrate today, Maha Shivaratri. On this day, people all over the world worship Lord Shiva by offering milk to the Shiva Lingam, fasting and performing other acts of penance. Like all other Hindu festivals, Swami says, “Shivaratri also has many such outer ceremonial observances and a deep core of inner significance. But, human nature prefers the easier path of outer formality to the path of inner discipline and direct experience."

On this day, the planetary positions in the Northern hemisphere act as potent catalysts to help a person raise his / her spiritual energy easily. The benefits of powerful ancient Sanskrit Mantras such as Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra increase manifold on this night.

Swami said that

"Shiva is said to go about with a begging bowl. He teaches that renunciation, detachment, indifference to good fortune or bad, are the paths to attain Him. Shiva is known as Mrthyunjaya (He who vanquishes death). And, He is also the Kaamaari (the destroyer of desire). These two names show that he who destroys desire can conquer death, for desire breeds activity, activity breeds consequence, consequence breeds bondage, bondage results in birth and birth involves death.”
The only way we can detach ourselves from this cycle of birth and death is by keeping our focus steadily on the Lord. He alone can save us from this world of Maya and take us across the river of Samsara.

Therefore, on this auspicious day, let us all immerse ourselves in the worship of our beloved Lord Sai Shiva and sing His praise. Let us take that one step towards Him as he takes a thousand steps towards us and obliterates all evil within us with the fire in His eye."

Subsequently, opening prayers were chanted and the lingam abhishekam pooja started. One by one, devotees showered the lingam with milk and flowers in adoration to Lord Shiva. Shortly after, bhajans were sung in praise of the Lord and carried on till 12 midnight. As the night progressed, the pace of the bhajans picked up and elevated all present spiritually.

Finally, the program commenced with aarti and closing prayers.

Prasanth Selvam,
SSE Co-ordinator
Manchester Sai centre

Shivarathri Bhajans in Bradford

Devotees from the Lidget Green Sai centre and the Halifax Sai Group organised special bhajans for Maha-Shivarathri on 28th February 2014. The programme started with SSE prayers and bhajans. After many years, SSE was started in Bradford last year. The SSE Children read two prayers and sang a Shiva bhajan beautifully to start off the proceedings. Bhajans followed by the Lidget Green and the Halifax devotees which made everyone feel the presence of our Divine Lord in the venue on the day. A reading by sister Shivani about Shivarathri and Arathi brought the programme to closure. Delicious prasadam was served to everyone after the enthralling bhajan session.