Feb 14-17, Shabad Surati Sangam Ashram: Change is the only constant in nature – goes a saying. Seasoned visitors to the ashram must have approached this particular camp with a mix of contrary emotions. This was to be the first camp in all these years that was to happen in the physical absence of Maharaj Shri. But those who remained undeterred by that fact and had the time to make it, may have wept tears of nostalgia in his remembrance but they were also coupled with tears of happiness and gratitude to see Swamiji in his place. In any case, the moment the reverberation of OM filled the temple, the camp was underway and it was time to put aside the flood of thought and emotion and simply start to enter within. And yes, this time the meditation sessions were held in the inner sanctum of Tripur Shiva Peetham. The work of putting an acrylic glass shield around the Sri Yantra had just been completed the night before and the Sri Yantra reflecting a blue hue in the darkness of the dawn, appeared magnificent. The shivir got off to a splendid start.
The near-about 100 participants of the camp, many first timers, performed breathing exercises, japa, surya kriya, agni kriya, and numerous other kriyas of dhyana. They ate light on all three days and participated actively in all service activities. Apart from the sadhana sessions, the highlight of the camp remained the Q&A sessions with Swamiji. Participants had everything to ask, from “Why do some saints get angry?” to “Can Surya Kriya cure problems of the prostrate gland?” – all of which were answered with respect, wit, and wisdom by Swamiji. Swamiji also discussed the science and purpose of Initiation on day 1, the significance of food on day 2, and the need to know one’s true craving by dropping all pretense on day 3. Aspirants were also initiated with Gurumantra on the mornings of 15, 16, and 17 Feb. The purpose of these shivirs is always to recharge the depleting batteries. The camp continues with its next phase which is the advanced sadhana shivir (for initiates only) from Feb 19-21.
Mahashivaratri celebrations began on the night of Feb 16 with keertan, powerful chanting, and dhyana sessions. It also marked the birthday of Shivam from Dahod, and like every year it was celebrated in the unique way of celebrating birthdays at ashram, with great love and joy. Here at ashram, any potential opportunity to increase the feeling of mutual love is not allowed to go waste.
A big satsanga held on Feb 17, the details of which we hope to share in the next post.