It was after a gap of two years that Mahashivaratri was celebrated at the Madanapalle Ashram on the 1st of March 2022. The Peepal Tree was decorated with marigolds, durries were laid and the ashram was ready to receive visitors in large numbers for the first time since the pandemic. A little over a thousand Satsangis poured in from near and far.
Sri M arrived at the Shivalaya for the Aarti of Lord Shiva and Shakti.
Everyone wanted a seat closest to the Peepal Tree, to listen intently to Sri M.
As if addressing their wish, Sri M spoke during the morning satsang and said that M was sitting next to them, amidst them and everywhere. He added that while he knows this to be a fact, he would be happiest the day everyone else realises this too.
To the delight of everyone, Sri M took time to meet those who had come over to the Ashram.
The milling crowd thronged Magenta Publications Book Stall where they were able to get hold of their favorite books. They also got to know many of critical projects that have been initiated by The Satsang Foundation, in various fields and across India. Understanding the importance of giving back to society, they were happy to become part of these programmes that encouraged tree plantation, water conservation, education and so forth.
The evening started with the melodious voices of children of The Satsang Vidyalaya. They sang simple bhajans that touched the hearts of the participants and gave the right atmosphere for the evening to follow.
During the evening Satsang, Sri M revealed two ancient secret practices and said that he would reveal the third secret during Gurupurnima.
Sri M then lit the Dhuni, a very important practise in the Nath Sampradaya, judiciously instructed to him by his Guru, Maheshwarnath Babaji. He encouraged everyone to offer all their concerns and desires into the Dhuni and let them burn away, so that all that remains is the pure essence of the Divine.
Lighting a Dhuni on Shivaratri and Gurupurnima is a practise that is common to all who belong to the Nath Panth.
As the dhuni was being lit, a group of satsangis chanted the Rudram, while others lined up for pranaams.
A beautiful dance recital by Nandita Bharadwaj, Shruti Natanakumar and Swati Mittal, followed.
The evening program ended with a melodious rendition by Thiruvananthapuram R Mahadevan on the violin, accompanied on the Mridangam by Sri Harishankar.
Many people observed night vigil at the Dhuni. Some immersed themselves in the chants of Shiva, while others meditated through the night, soaking themselves in the devotion towards Shiva and Shakti.
To learn more about the significance of Mahashivaratri, click here.