A festival of roses for Swamiji’s birthday

By Rosa & Sergio, Centre of Unity Premananda, Italy

This is about our celebration of Swami Premananda’s birthday in the Centre of Unity Premananda, in Amelia, Italy.

We wanted to be able to find at least a couple of roses in the garden to put on Swamij’s padukas but we had little hope of doing so because lately the weather had been very bad, the temperature had fallen near zero and on the night before the celebration a heavy rain began to fall that continued well into the next morning. When it finally stopped I went out to try to retrieve some plants that would now be completely soaked, in order to decorate the altar and Swamiji’s chair. However, I was absolutely astounded to discover a garden full of roses!

It was just like in the month of May; a festival of wet fresh roses of every possible colour. There was enough for the garland, for Swamiji’s photo, for the padukas, for the Shivalingam, for bouquets for the Divine Mother, for the Guru Astotra, plus ten small, very fragrant roses of the same colour to decorate the birthday cake.

An intense fragrance filled the temple and there were still many roses left in the garden. I was very happy, I expected it to be a nice celebration; Swamiji was with us.

Then I began receiving messages from people saying that they would not be able to attend and I felt so disappointed that I decided to cancel the celebration. But just at the moment I was about to take up the phone I received a call from someone saying she was coming from more than 200 kilometers away especially to be able to take part in this important event. So I took the decision that we would go ahead and celebrate even if just with a few people. At that moment I heard a faint voice telling me, “They will come, they will come!” but I did not pay it much attention.

As it turned out, even the people who had said they could not come were able to came anyway; I was really happy!

Another surprise was that everyone sang bhajans, something which had never happened before. We also had a meditation, a lingam blessing and a reading of some of Swamiji’s satsangs, chosen by the participants and which answered some of their hidden questions. It was truly an unforgettable evening.

Here are some impressions of four participants:
• “Saturday was very special. I was surprised by the synchronicity of everything, like how things happened in such a way that there were ten of us, like the roses on the cake. Actually I myself, and E. and R, had decided to come only a few hours beforehand. I felt Swami Premananda’s presence very strongly, just as if he were here with us.”

• “It isn’t easy to express with words what comes from the heart. When crossing the gate the first impression one gets is the feeling of great peace that embraces everything…the flowers, the trees, the buildings…as if it belonged to another dimension, and probably it is like that. On the day of the celebration – thanks to the little miracle of the flowering roses in spite of the grim, rainy day – we had the feeling we were participating in something important, something that would enrich our hearts and our lives; something subtle and penetrating, alive and exciting. We thank Rosa and Sergio for allowing us to take part and for bringing us the Universal Love received from Swami Premananda, which should be the only religion of our Mother Earth.”

• “During the singing there was a feeling of light and serenity. During the meditation I saw an old wall with some mystical figures embracing with great love and serenity. I was there, but the emotion brought me back to reality. The contact with the lingam sent an energetic shock through my whole body and gave a pleasant sensation of lightness.”

•“I have a beautiful souvenir of that very intense and particular evening. It touched me deeply and pleasantly”.


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