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Region 1 - Mahashivarathri Celebrations

Maha Shivarathri is the auspicious day that is celebrated in prayers of Lord Shiva. This year, Region 1 celebrated this sacred day on Monday, 7th March and was hosted by Sathya Sai Centre of Merton.

Our beloved Swami said in His Divine Discourse on 11th March 1994: "Among the festival days, Maha Shivarathri is of exceptional importance. Today, God is in close proximity to man. At midnight (on Shivarathri), Divine vibrations are close to every human heart. At such a time, when people are engaged in holy tasks, they get suffused with the Divine vibrations."

Swami has mentioned that unlike any other night, this night is very important for concentra-tion and dedication. With these profound thoughts in mind, the celebrations commenced at 6:00pm with Vedic chanting led by the SSE children, followed by Linga Abishekam (worship of the Linga), Shiva prayers and then bhajans which continued throughout the night. All cen-tres within region 1 joined and sang with their utmost devotion during their allotted time slots.

The most wonderful feature of the Shivarathri celebrations was the unity demonstrated by the devotees from the various centres. The resonant bhajans that were sung full throated by the children, youth and adults out of their love for Swami created divine vibrations and the right ambience for the occasion. Refreshments were served throughout by loving devotees who looked after the comfort of all, many who stayed the whole night. The bhajans contin-ued until 5am, when Suprabhatham and Omkaar were chanted to awaken the Lord within us all. Bhajans then continued for an hour and concluded with Arathi.

Arrthe Nagaratnam & Janani Jeyakara