Shivaratri is a celebration of sacrifice, dispassion, and renunciation that teaches us to abandon all other thoughts in contemplation of God and to realize the ultimate purpose of human life. This Shivaratri was celebrated by AYUDH members all over the nation of India with many inspired activities.
AYUDH Pune team celebrated Shivaratri at Ghoradeshwar Temple by cleaning up the temple premises. By understanding the fact that “cleanliness is a way to godliness”, the AYUDHians decided to do this noble act on the occasion of Shivaratri. Ghoradeshwar Temple is an ancient cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Thousands of devotees of Lord Shiva visit the Ghoradeshwar Temple during the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivaratri. The Ghoradeshwar Temple is in the main cave and houses a Shivalinga (a devotional image dedicated to Lord Shiva). One can sit for awhile, meditate and enjoy the divine atmosphere. There is also a temple dedicated to Lord Vitthal and Goddess Rukmini in one of the other caves in this complex. Another cave has an idol of Sant Tukaram, a revered 17th century Hindu saint, and poet. It is believed that he would often meditate at the Ghoradeshwar Caves. The team also had poster presentations during the trip in order to learn the significance of Shivaratri. The AYUDH team was also involved in decorating the Brahmasthanam temple consecrated by Amma. After the clean up, AYUHD organized Shivaratri programs there.
AYUDH Baneshwar team enthusiastically organized their first event after the regional camp on the occasion of Shivaratri. They decided to study Amma’s message on Shivaratri and then convey it to all their junior students. They made posters with various symbols and rituals observed during Shivaratri and explained their significance to the audience. AYUHD members said they were so grateful to Amma for giving them this opportunity for learning and spreading awareness to others.
AYUDH at Baneshwar Temple
AYUDH of the Baneshwar chapter organized ‘Annadan’ (food offering) in Swayambhu Shiva Temple. This is a famous Shiva temple where thousands of devotees visit during Mahashivaratri. After the satsang and bhajans, the prasad was served to devotees by the AYUDH team.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to serve others on the auspicious occasion of Shivaratri. We are experiencing ‘manav seva is madhav seva’ ” (serving humanity is serving God), said AYUDH members.
AYUDH of he Amdavad chapter organized an awareness poster presentation in Nalanda School. They explained the significance behind Shivaratri celebrations and the meaning of the symbols and rituals. There was an overwhelming response from the students. They said they are so grateful to AYUDH for providing this opportunity to learn.
AYUDH members of Bhubaneswar chapter organized activities to share the true meaning and essence of Shivaratri for the Gopabandhu school. The activities were conducted for younger school children to inspire the youth of India; who are seen as the future and strength of the nation. AYUDH discussed the various names of Lord Shiva, the symbols and purpose of Shivaratri, and how this festival illuminates the ultimate truth and purpose of human life. With the help of poster presentations, AYUDH explained Amma’s words that Shivaratri is a celebration of sacrifice, dispassion, and renunciation. Following this presentation, an interactive session with students and teachers was given on fostering sattvic (peaceful, positive) qualities within us which ultimately aim toward self-enlightenment. The audience was extremely happy to learn from the AYUHD members. At the end of the session, they had a photo session with the AYUDH team capturing the enthusiasm of everyone.
The enthusiastic team of AYUDH members from Goa ventured to share some of Amma’s words on Shivaratri at the Goa College of Commerce & Economics in Borda. The college students were curious to hear this presentation. At the end of the session, many among the college students in the audience came up wanting to volunteer for AYUDH.
The AYUDH team felt immensely grateful to Amma for the opportunity to learn and share the real meaning & purpose of Shivaratri. AYUDH members said they felt so lucky to be a part of AYUDH India.
AYUDH Mumbai organized an interesting event to celebrate Mahashivaratri at the Mata Amritanandamayi Math, in Nerul. It was an invaluable opportunity for AYUDH members to imbibe Amma ‘s profound explanation about the symbolism attached to the compassionate Lord Shiva. Students from Shiravane Vidyalaya, Juinagar participated in the event. An audio-visual presentation was followed by a quiz with questions based on the material shown. All the participants were divided into groups and expressed their creative skills in a poster-making contest, depicting Lord Shiva and the symbolism of Shivaratri. At the end of the event, AYUDH received a good number of new participants into its fold. “It was a great learning time and this Shivaratri is so special for us. We are extremely grateful to Amma for this opportunity to have right understanding about our festivals and symbols. This give us more confidence in our Dharma”, said AYUDH members.