My Experience with Swamiji, by Siddhananda, France
It had been three years ago since I had first visited the Ashram and now, this time, as I entered the gates, it was with a reflective nostalgia. I took my time to look all around me, wanting to take full advantage of my return here.
When you come from the West, living in the Ashram is like discovering another dimension, for it is quite literally another world. Not only is the way of life different but also the way of being, the climate, and especially the notion of time. Compared to the Western idea of time, here time seems to no longer exist; it acquires another density and sometimes a single day can seem like an eternity. I remember having had this feeling after my first week in the Ashram, it seemed to me that six months had passed! Yes, time is different here, it’s as if the Ashram is a kind of temporal vortex where time appears to have stopped but, in fact, it’s our mental perception that changes, our approach to everyday life and our attitude towards Life…
Early morning bhajans in the month of Margali – by an Ashram resident
In the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna tells us that, of all the months, he is Margali. Margali is a Tamil month that begins in mid-December and ends in mid-January. It is also said that to the Devas – divine beings – one of our years is for them one day, and our month of Margali is the brahma muhurtamof their day.
In 1992 I had the opportunity of being in the Ashram during that auspicious time. Back then the daily Ganesha abhishekam began at 5:30 a.m. instead of 5 a.m. as it does now. Swamiji asked us all to come together at 4:45 a.m. every day during this special month and go around the Ashram singing bhajans. Swamiji, of course, went along with us and sang too! It was so much fun. Every day he would ask a different Ashram resident to prepare a warm drink for everyone and we would end our nagarasankeertanamat their place. After having the tea, coffee, chocolate milk or other drink, we would then all go to the Ganesha abhishekam together…
In Sri Premananda Ashram there is a beautiful Shiva-Shakti temple which was planned by Swamiji long ago. In 1993 Swamiji said, “After this body dies and goes into mahasamadhi the divine vibration from it will help the world for the next 2, 500 years.” Swamiji started building the temple in 2008. He said he would imbue the lingam with a divine power so that all the people’s problems would be solved and therefore it would be ‘Kurai Teerkum Shiva’ – Lord Shiva who solves all your problems…
“… bringing Swami Premananda’s divine light…”
Swamiji blessed Ashram delegates to go to all the Sri Premananda Centres and Groups around the world who invite them, and to take the powerful pink Lingam with them on such world tours.
He blessed them to go to all the Centres, to give blessings with that Lingam, to solve the devotees’ problems through the greatness of that Lingam, to give people the opportunity to receive Swamiji’s divine, spiritual grace, and to spread Swamiji’s divine light. These tours are for everyone’s benefit and peace of mind, for the growth of spirituality, and to spread Swamiji’s message.
Swami Premananda (1951-2011) is a spiritual master who dedicated his life to serving others. He was the embodiment of unconditional love; his humility, patience and wisdom were infinite. He spent much of his life listening to people’s problems, helping them to solve them and guiding them towards inner peace and happiness.
Swamiji attained Mahasamadhi (left his body) on 21st February 2011. Although Swamiji is not present with us physically, his divine grace, guidance and teachings continue to uplift and help all who come in contact with him.
“What does it matter where I stay? The eternal energy within me will reach you from wherever you call me and benefit you and the people around you. Understand that I come to you only to do good. If you keep me in your heart, I will come with you in whichever birth you take to do good for you and I will also do good for you in this birth, for as long as you are in your body.”
Since Swamiji’s Samadhi on 21st February 2011, the night of Mahashivaratri has continued to be one on which Swamiji’s divine presence has been so strongly felt by all his devotees and especially in Sri Premananda Ashram. Each year, just as Swamiji manifested lingams on Mahashivaratri night during Lingodbhava when he was still in his physical body, a lingam has manifested at the foot of Sri Premeshvarar lingam or at the feet of the statue of Swamiji that resides in Sri Premeshvarar temple.
“The human race has persistently destroyed and perverted Mother Earth’s dharma of love and compassion. Now Mother is warning us to take care not to destroy her.” Swami Premananda
Swami Premananda had a deep love and respect for trees and Mother Nature and he regarded all trees and plants as sentient beings. During his lifetime, Swamiji planted thousands of trees, fruit trees and flowering plants all over the Ashram land and encouraged everyone to join this seva.