Maha Sivaratri was observed at the end of last phase. It was a profound and amazing holy night. It always feels like a fresh new start to inner life, as we immerse ourselves in the presence of God Siva. Here Bodhinatha is taking the Kumbha that was blessed during the Maha Sivaratri homa for pradakshina around Nandi.
The holy night began about 7 PM with devotees gathering for bhajan.
The temple was beautifully decorated with lamps everywhere.
Singing to the Gods…
It was a particularly auspicious day for four of our young monks to receive their Samaya Diksha. Here Sadhaka Rajanatha receives the Holy Panchakshara mantra from the lips of the living Satguru along with instructions for the practice of japa.
Sadhaka Satyanatha as well.
Sadhaka Tandavanatha is initiated.
And Sadhaka Nandinatha. The instructions include directions for what to visualize while doing japa. It is the beginning of a lifelong practice and the first formal step on the path of Rajayoga.
Unless kundalini is active, the deepest meditative states are not available to us. But to activate kundalini, Gurudeva tells us we must invoke the grace of Lord Ganesha and Lord Murugan. "Yoga is internalized worship which leads to union with God." Experience the inside of you in a profound way. This requires dispassion. The popular term "kriya yoga" usual refers to a form of pranayama, but the original kriya yoga is defined by Sage Patanajli as the practice of three of the niyamas: tapas, svadhyaya and Isvarapranidhana. To achieve samadhi we practice yoga, steady restraint of mental activities, austerity, meditation, detachment, self study and worship of God. Communion with the Ishta Devata, the chosen God is a key and also Gurudeva tells us: the Deity chooses you.
Master Course, Dancing with Siva, Lesson 39
Master Course, Merging with Siva, Lesson 5
Patanjali's Yoga Sutras