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Region 3 - Mahashivaratri Celebrations at Edmonton Sai Centre

On Saturday 14 February 2015 Maha Shivarathri was celebrated by Edmonton Sai Centre. Maha Shivarathri is one of the biggest celebrations at the Centre and the children and youths of the centre look forward to this unforgettable moment to celebrate and sing the glory of the Lord. The programme was put together by the Centre’s elder children between the age of 15 and 20. We started at 6.30 pm and continued till 10.00 pm. The programme began with opening multifaith prayers followed by Rudram chanting. Linga Abhishekam was performed subsequently whilst Lingashtakam prayer and melodious and highly uplifting bhajans were offered by all the devotees till 9.15pm. This was followed by Bilvashtakam and Shiva Ashtottara. We finally concluded with a talk given by the Brother Vickneswaren of Ilford Sai Centre who was also the priest for that day.

This was followed by concluding prayers, an uplifting Shiva Aarti and Swami’s Aarti. We were joined by the Palmers Green Sai Group who stayed with us from the beginning to the end of the celebration. The programme was filled with mesmerising vibrations from the melodious bhajans and chanting of the mantras by the children, youth and adults. There was a strong sense of unity, love and devotion for Lord Shiva and our Dearest Beloved Swami. The hall was packed with some 150 Sai and non-Sai devotees.

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)