- by Shiva Sundari (Premananda Youth, The Netherlands)
Shiva Sundari, together with Aniruddhan, coordinated the Mahashivaratri livestreamed programme that broadcast for almost 12 hours and interconnected devotees from around the world with an international programme. In the article below she shares with us her feelings about Swamiji and this Mahashivaratri seva.
Mahashivaratri is a very special time to pray and meditate on the energy of Lord Shiva. When we align ourselves with and surrender to Lord Shiva’s energy, we open ourselves to receiving his divine grace.
When I was little, in the late ’80s, my mum travelled to South India many times and often met Swamiji. So I grew up within an atmosphere of devotion that included rituals, the chanting of holy names and other spiritual practices. The first time I myself met Swamiji was in the Ashram in 2010, during the time of Mahashivaratri, when I was 24. The main thing I remember was the incredibly high energy that there was. I couldn’t think anymore; everything went so fast. So much was happening with me and within me, which I couldn’t understand. I felt nurtured and felt so much love and happiness.
Now I’m 35 with a good husband at my side and two beautiful young sons. I feel very blessed with all this wealth. Like in every human life there have been, are and will doubtlessly always be challenges and problems to overcome. But when I sit quietly and think of Swamiji, I come to a state of surrender and feel so much faith, strength, bliss, joy and peace and guidance. At such times I can strongly feel that everything that comes to us is from the Divine and so there is no need to worry about anything. The path of bhakti gives me peace of mind, removes worries and stress and brings light to my family life.
Doing my service with devotion during the great night of Shiva was a wonderful opportunity for me to bring my soul closer to the Divine. To connect with other devoted people and do loving service together gives so much joy and inspiration. It increases the energy. And as always, there were also tests, little lessons reminding me to be patient, to have faith and surrender. Thank you Swamiji for guiding me on my spiritual path!