By Kartik, Poland
When Swamiji went into mahasamadhi in 2011 we thought that spiritually he is still with us and his support has seemed to be even stronger since that time. However, one day, when I was doing pujas to the lingams that Swamiji gave me I realized that we still have part of his physical body alive with us: the lingams born from him during Lingodbhava. Swamiji said many times that these lingams are made out of his blood so I think my conclusion is quite correct.
The first time I was in contact with Swamiji, was indirectly through the official visit of one of Swamiji’s sannyas disciples, to the Sri Premananda Centre of Grenoble, France in 1996. I was 20 and really into youngsters’ things, my studies and not that ready for spiritual matters. My family had been into spirituality for years though and as my father’s partner, Dhanalakshmi was running the Grenoble Centre, I never really forgot about Swamiji. In 2000, after finishing my studies in Ireland and moving to the United States, the time came to find a job, take my first step into a man’s world and pay back my student loan. However, despite very good qualifications I couldn’t find a job. Months passed by and I was getting worried and sad about this situation. One day my mother told me, “Why are you taking all this so seriously? Maybe you should forget all about this job searching for a while. What would you do if you could do whatever you like?”
Seven years ago, I went to the Sri Premananda Centre in Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina. I was feeling depressed because I couldn’t find a deeper meaning to my life at that time and one of my friends had said, “Come! I will take you to a very special place that will be good for you!”
The first time I went to the Sri Premananda Centre in Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina, I attended the Centre’s regular Sunday programme and from this day onwards I really felt the necessity to come back and participate in all the activities. In the beginning, I didn’t believe in Swamiji that much. I wasn’t practising meditation either. However, in each activity that I took part in at the Centre, I felt more light and more strength, which helped to support my daily life…
Swamiji gave many satsangs about the necessity of having a Guru if we want to progress well on the spiritual path, about the Guru-disciple relationship, how we benefit from having a spiritual master, and advised how to celebrate Guru Poornima. Here are some of his golden words.
“Guru Poornima is a day to remember the saints, sages, avatars and spiritual masters who guide us on the spiritual path and who have been born on this earth from the time the world was created.
This day comes once in 365 days. On this day, let us think about those great souls and in our minds chant, “Gurur Brahma, Gurur Vishnu, Gurur Devor Maheshwaraha” and think of the Supreme who is the Guru of Gurus.
Guru Poornima is celebrated in Sri Premananda Ashram in India and in the Sri Premananda Centres, Groups and Youth Groups around the world.
Typically on Guru Poornima we perform a pada puja, the worship of the feet of a saint or of his/her traditional sandals called padukas. It is understood in the Eastern spiritual tradition that the feet of the sage are to be venerated as symbols representing Divinity. We also present the Guru with a tray of traditional offerings containing fruits, some money, flowers and – particular to Guru Poornima – a set of clothes.
By Rosa, Centre of Unity Premananda, Amelia, Italy
In attempting to define the personality of a master, we confront the question of the duality existing between his physical person and his real nature. We generally limit ourselves to the first aspect, as it is easier to illustrate a portrait with anecdotes and facts. The second aspect is more rarely mentioned as, to describe it, we would have to talk about sensations, inner experiences, ways of feeling, special moments and other subtle indications which are – though real for us – not always related to something tangible, but to something lived in the core of one’s being.
I bless my children who live all over the world. I pray for their minds to become pure. I am sitting as a lotus flower in the hearts of those who accepted me as their guide. I will protect you …
The lingam is the symbolic form of Lord Shiva. For more than forty years, lingams manifested through Swamiji’s body and emerged from his mouth on the auspicious nights of Mahashivaratri. This phenomenon is known as Lingodbhava. Even after Swamiji left his physical body, he materialized a lingam at this special time when the energy of Lord Shiva is strongly working on earth.
Swamiji gave many satsangs about the benefits of observing the sacred night of Mahashivaratri. He advocated staying awake all night, fasting and chanting the mantra, Om Namah Shivaya, which means, “I bow down to Shiva.” Shiva is the name for the inner Self which exists in all. Here are twenty-one beautiful quotes from Swamiji together with a selection of photos from Shivaratri nights over the years.
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.