Sri Sathya Sai Vrindawith Love, at His service

Shivarathri Celebrations February 24, 2017 – Day Two, Evening

Shivarathri Celebrations – Day Two, Evening

Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli

February 24, 2017

This year’s Maha Shivarathri would be celebrated in history as the day that revealed yet another divine facet of the Sathya Sai Avatar. While high energy and spiritual fervor is typical of the festival, this year’s celebrations were unique for it witnessed the magical Lingodbhavam by Bhagawan, signifying the divine symbol of creation.     

Bhagawan arrives

The evening began with the welcome of Bhagawan into the Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham auditorium with the traditional Poornakumbham by the girl students of the Sri Sathya Prashanthi Niketanam, PU College, Chikkaballapur campus. Bhagawan then took a full round of the hall, talking and blessing the devotees. Once, He ascended the dais, the formal proceedings of the evening began.

Evening speeches set the tone for a devotional vigil

Bhagawan had blessed two speakers to address the gathering. The first speaker was Sri B S Vijay Sai, a senior alumnus of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. A hypnotherapist and a soft skill trainer by profession, he also is a Visiting Faculty at the Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Excellence, Muddenahalli. Speaking on the purity and innocence of Lord Shiva, he explained how the Lord is also called Bhola Bhandari as he fulfills all the wishes of his devotees without a second thought. He also shared a personal experience when Bhagawan, the embodiment of Shiva and Shakti, fulfilled his wish during his student days. He urged the audience to offer their selves to Bhagawan with unity in thought, word and deed and ended his talk with a prayer chanted by Adishankara, imploring all to offer everything whatever they do as an offering to God.   

Sri BN Narasimha Murthy, Chief Mentor, the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Institutions, addressed the gathering next. He pointed to the unfathomable aspect of the divine, be it Krishna or Shiva and spoke about how they can be won over only with pure love. He drew parallels from it to the present, when everyone is in the presence of the loving subtle phenomenon that too is unfathomable but can we experienced only through love. He then reminisced the awe-inspiring ways in which Shivarathri was celebrated in the 1960s and 1970s at Prashanthi Nilayam. Every Shivaratri morning would commence with Bhagawan hoisting the Prashanthi flag and would be followed with the miraculous Vibhuti Abhishekam performed on the Shirdi Sai statue, he said. The evening programme would then commence and witness the glorious phenomenon of Lingodbhavam, wherein Bhagawan would manifest a Shiva Linga (sometimes multiple lingams) from His being, he explained.

He ended his talk reiterating that love was the only way to win the divine and shared an instance he had witnessed during the recently-concluded Sports Meet celebrations.

Bhagawan then blessed the audience with a Divine Discourse, post which the Akhanda Bhajans commenced with Bhagawan lighting the ceremonial lamp.

Glorious Lingodbhavam Phenomenon

After almost 50 minutes into the bhajans, Bhagawan indicated Sri Sumeet Tappoo to sing the next bhajan. As soon as he started singing the bhajan “Om Shivaya Om Shivaya”, Bhagawan manifested the Lingam through the body of Sri Madhusudan Naidu. The Lingam, which means That in which this merges or dissolves, is symbolic of how eventually all forms have to merge in the Formless. It is the simplest sign or symbol of the Emergence and Mergence. The Lingodbhavam on the holy night of Shivarathri was a reminder to all of this profound truth.

The devotees, having had the unique good fortune of witnessing the emergence of the time-space-embodiment in the Linga-Form, were in for yet another treat as Bhagawan then walked among them, showing the Golden Lingam to all and giving many an opportunity to touch it too.

Bhagawan then addressed the audience and explained that many devotees felt bad that they couldn’t witness the Lingodbhavam when Sri Vijay Sai and Sri Narasaimha Murthy spoke about the glorious divine phenomenon earlier in the evening. So, as an answer to their heart’s yearning, He manifested the Lingam.

In the coming times, more amazing and wonderful things will happen, Bhagawan declared. To realise and understand the formless aspect of the divine is difficult for human beings with forms, He explained. The Lingam helps one understand the transition from the form to the formless aspect of God, He added. Bhagawan ended His Discourse, asking all to sing the bhajans with the full involvement of their mind and heart.