Diwali celebration and the 2nd anniversary of Holy Guruji’s Mahasamadhi
Our group arrived in Nipal on the 29th of October and was accommodated in tents behind the Ashram. On the night of the 31st a large Satsang was held, with many bhaktas from near and far coming to join Swamiji on this day, the Mahasamadhi day of Guruji on the European calendar. The area resonated with the sound of bhajans sung the whole night through.
In the morning we had prayer and prashad – it was the 1st of November the day of the Diwali festival.
Swamiji had an intuition on the previous evening: all people of the village should bring with them to the Ashram the next evening, one oil lamp or dipak. By bringing the light they should ask forgiveness for their sins and pray for love and harmony in the family and the society. In the Ashram they will be welcomed with flowers, and after a Parikrama around the Ashram, they should place the lamps at the feet of Mahaprabhuji and Holy Guruji.
This ceremony should increase harmony in the family life and social life of the villages. The village people reacted very positively and they promised they would repeat this ceremony every year. Swamiji called this light: VISHVA SHANTI JYOT, the "World Peace Light". It should increase peace and the harmony in the whole world.
In the evening about 100 village people came with their lamps. A divine atmosphere developed as we surrounded the whole temple area, singing with the sound of joyful drums. Finally the group entered the main temple and placed the dipaks at the lotus feet of Mahaprabhuji and Holy Guruji (symbolically). It was a very special occasion. The whole Ashram was illuminated with little oil lamps, creating a very peaceful aura. After the ceremony, Swamiji blessed the village people with some divine words and holy prashad, they then left to celebrate Diwali in their homes.
We had the great opportunity on this evening of Diwali, to be in the presence of Swamiji. The temperature was warm, the night clear and the stars shining above us. The surrounding dipaks created a divine vibration, which we will not forget. Such moments of deep peace and bliss are rare in life.
The next morning was the day of Laksmi and Swamiji called us to Holy Guruji’s room to give us His blessing and sweet ladhu prashad. He wished us all good health, happiness and prosperity.
We stayed four nights in Nipal Ashram and then left for Jadan.
In Satsang Swamiji spoke about the Diwali festival: while the whole of India is celebrating the glory of Lord Rama, we are celebrating the birthday of Mahaprabhuji. It is the day of the divine light and the end of darkness – the glory and the victory of the divine forces. Most schools are closed for the week, presents are given, new clothes are bought, houses are cleaned, and lights are used as decorations everywhere. Rama is celebrated on Diwali and Sita is celebrated the next day at midnight with the Laksmi Puja. Shopkeepers place all their accounting books at Her feet, hoping and praying for Her blessings.
Animals also receive prashad. Holy Guruji used to give 100 kg of ghur (from sugarcane) to the cows. Some people also feed them with ladhus and lapsi (sweet prashad). The cow is the symbol of nutrition, mother, and life itself. There is also a special puja (ceremony) in the evening for the mother cow (Ghau Mata).
Diwali is also the beginning of the Hindu new year and millions of crackers are exploding during the night. In Nipal it was a peaceful New Year, different from events in the towns and full of traditions and ceremonies.
Holy Guruji’s Mahasamadhi Anniversary
On the second anniversary of Holy Guruji’s Mahasamadhi, Swamiji invited all bhaktas of Guruji to Jadan Ashram to celebrate the occasion together. Various preparations had to be made by the 7th of November, the day of the big evening Satsang and beginning of the commemorative activities. At the Samadhi place of Holy Guruji, which in the future will be the Shiva temple, a very large photo of Holy Guruji (3.5 x 5 metres) was placed above of the temple area. It could be seen from a great distance. Spacious tents were constructed around the Om building (which is already built up to the second floor), to accommodate the many people who stayed overnight. A meal for all bhaktas was prepared in a special eating area with the food cooked in huge pots.
The evening began with Swamiji welcoming his guests to Satsang, held in front of the 3 metre high altar with the big picture of Holy Guruji, in the basement of the new Shiva Mandir. About 1500 people came to give their reverence to Holy Guruji and His successor Swamiji. Swamiji was garlanded with many flower malas and the devotion of the bhaktas was great. After the prayer, prasad was given and Swamiji gave a speech (in Hindi). A video of Holy Guruji in 2001 was shown, where Guruji gave a very powerful Satsang.
After this the bhajans started and throughout the night different singers gave their best to show their love to Gurudev through the divine songs. Swamiji stayed until about 1 a.m. At 7 a.m. the Shiva Arati (morning prayer) began and halva prashad was given.
After a short break, the program resumed at 9 a.m., this time under a big roof and open hall, near the old Shiva temple. Many people arrived during the morning, and the program ended at about 12.30. The whole area was a very beautiful picture of colourful Rajasthani dresses and turbans. The hostel children from the school attended, reciting from the Bhagavad Gita.
The state Minister of Education in Rajasthan, Sri Ghanshyam Tewari, gave us the honour of his visit, as did the Maharaja of Jodhpur, His Highness Sri Gaj Singhji, who was highly acclaimed. Many talks were given and respects for Holy Guruji expressed. After the official end of the ceremonies and speeches Swamiji invited the special guests for eating in his residence whilst all others made a pilgrimage to the eating tent.
Swamiji had to farewell many, many loyal and old bhaktasand you could see the intensity of the Guru-disciple relationship. By nightfall most people had departed. We had a beautiful Satsang near the Samadhi place and again during this night there was non-stop singing until morning.
Today we feel the waves of this event in the whole Ashram. Flower malas are hanging on the trees, bhajans are heard although nobody sings… The love and adoration towards our beloved sataguru Holy Guruji lies sweet as a the fragrance in the air...
He is forever and ever in our hearts, as an example of divine devotion, grace, love and discipline. May we always be aware of His presence, so we can feel His love and protection with us in every moment of our lives. "Thou are in my heart and in my soul, Thou are my Master and my sweet Lord, Thou are my beloved and my best friend, Thou are my all..."
Love and blessings from Swamiji to all bhaktas round the world!
With love Sadhvi Shanti