February 17, 2015
The picturesque “Guru Paduka Vanam” at the Art of Living’s International Center at Bengaluru welcomed a large number of people for the annual “Maha Shivaratri” celebrations on February 17. Thousands gathered to hear Gurudev elaborate on the significance of Shivaratri. People from every walk of life attended the festivities. Internationals from 61 countries also participated in the celebrations, which signify peace for all.
Gurudev said: “Shivaratri is the day of Lord Shiva. Shiva is the Lord of meditation and therefore the Lord of awakening. Shivaratri is thus an occasion to awaken one’s self from all sorts of slumber. It signifies being aware of everything you have and being grateful about it. Be grateful for the happiness which leads to growth, and also for sadness which gives a depth to life.”
The celebrations comprised ancient prayer ceremonies and satsangs (music and meditation). A major draw is the Rudrabhishekam, a sacred pooja performed by Vedic priests. Explains Gurudev, “When we chant Vedic mantras, they bring a big change in the environment. That is why this Rudrabhishekam has been performed for thousands of years – for the well-being of all.” A special yoga dance was also performed to signify Shiva, The Eternal Cosmic Dancer.
People waited patiently to meet Gurudev after the satsang and the puja. The atmosphere was replete with songs. The darshan line went well into the night. Gurudev also conducted a special meditation at midnight.