January 13, Malke. Cold and fire have a strong relationship. This January Punjab saw great snowfall after 61-62 years hence the chill was obvious to spread. But even otherwise its a norm every year that in summers people would say its too hot this time and in winters its too cold… It is really amazing to notice how short is our memory. No wonder we have forgotten our true sat-chit-ananda nature.

At Shabad Surat Sangam Ashram, every moment and every breath is used to remind ourselves of this hard fact that happiness or peace is not an achievement to be made or gain but our true nature. All we need to do is collect our otherwise scattered mind and focus it inside where resides the almighty contained by the tenth door. But there are so many obstacles and covers which separate us from this reality and fire is the best purifier to remove all this cluttering. This is a great reason why fire is at the core of many spiritual practice. Essentially, fire is there in all the spiritual practices but at times it is in form of inner fire (Yog-Agni). As per the Vedas, “agni shomatkam jagat”  this whole world is made of basically two forces, fire and nectar which is manifested at causal, subtle and even physical levels. As long we live at physical (sensory) level, it is more effective and appropriate to start at physical level and with physical fire or nectar. Physical nectar we may take in form of sunlight, nutritious food, herbal supplements or we may induce its inner secretion with pranayama and other practices. And actually this process helps intensify the inner fire also, if used wisely. But we have physical (wood-based) fire also to help increasing the inner fire, again if used wisely as in agni-kriya or vedic-yajna.

Lohiri, a festival indicating the new year and the new crop and also a new life as the winter starts downgrading is celebrated with fire. It is one of the main festivals in Punjab though other states in India also celebrate it in some or the other forms.  At Malke ashram it is celebrated with utmost joy and fun due to the above mentioned reasons. Moreover, Maharaj Ji not only gives his time and blessings on this auspicious occasion but also takes part in chanting, singing, dancing and also meditation. His deep voice takes the participants deep and deeper along with the fire burning outside. It is more like eating the fire, drinking the fire, not only being one with the but being the fire.

Surely Fire is the Best Purifier, as it purifies the body, the mind, the heart and also the environment.