Swami Ji gracing the traditional festival of Lohri by offering sesame seeds to Lord Agni

13 January, Shabad Surati Sangam Ashram, Malke, Moga: It was that time of the year again! Devotees had gathered around to celebrate Lohri, a Punjabi folk festival that is very close to their hearts. A day often referred to as a thanksgiving day for farmers. Nestling around a cozy bonfire, Lord Agni venerated like a deity, is praised and worshipped with much fervour, with dhol beats adding to the enthusiasm.

It was further marked by the gracious presence of Sadhvi Ji and Swami Ji who addressed the delightful souls by signifying the importance of the occasion to be more than traditional tossing of the sesame seeds.

A glimpse of the divine message:

We seek happiness. And so, every now and then we indulge in some sort of activities those we believe to soothe our soul. But as the night comes to an end, we are left with nothing but hangover of fleeting happiness. We certainly do not want that. But yet we must face the reality. Isn’t that so?

Now, how to make an experience an everlasting one, which if once realised is there to stay all day and night. Two key points; an awareness that a) He resides within us. Even for the temples that we have constructed with bricks and mortar, we make a sincere effort to let them be free of any dirt that might come. But when it comes to this body, His real temple, we let all the unwanted food, could be in the form of over-eating or alcoholic or drug addiction get piled up inviting dis-ease. Isn’t that –a deliberate insult– to Him? b) He resides within one and all. He is everywhere. If we say we love Him, then shouldn’t we be loving towards every other soul that is nothing but Him?

Sadhvi Ji sharing rhythm with the divine souls

Sadhvi Ji sharing rhythm with the divine souls

The technique is that we must keep this body, this temple of Him shaped up by a) having necessary but sufficient diet, b) religiously committing to asana-pranayama, and c) practicing Guru Mantra. Because the immense power in-stored within that (Gurumanta) is what which directs us towards real and everlasting joy. So today, while offering these sesame seeds, let us also pray to burn away our jealousies, negativities and resentment in the holy fire; a complete Surrender.

lohri dance 2

Devotees huddling around fire embracing the beat and tapping the feet