Akshay Tritiya

The word akshaya literally means that which is constant, stable and is never destroyed. On account of the indestructible power of this auspicious day, the words you speak, the thoughts you think and the actions you perform stay with you life after life. In our lives, the only example we have of something which is never destroyed is satya or truth, and guests and residents of Rikhiapeeth were most fortunate to have the darshan of Sadguru on this sacred day. The grace and blessings which he showered on everyone will be felt for many lives to come.

As this day occurred on Monday, which is the day when the kanyas and batuks perform Rudrabhisheka each week, guests were invited to witness this sacred pooja in the Pooja area of Swami Satyananda, the hallowed ground where he performed many rigorous sadhanas including panchagni. As the kanyas chanted the ancient mantras of Rudraprashna and Chamakprashna, the batuks performed the worship of the Shivalingam offering all the prescribed items, under the watchful guidance of Swami Satyasangananda who has personally trained them to chant the mantras and perform the poojas.

During the abhisheka, Swami Satyananda was in Ganesh Kutir, as guests were to receive his darshan after the program. However, the kanyas, with some spontaneous prompting from Swami Satyasangananda, went confidently into Ganesh Kutir and invited him to join the pooja and to everyone’s joy he accepted and came and sat within the panchagni area. This was a memorable moment as he had not sat in the panchagni site since he ended his panchagni sadhana in 1999.

After the Rudrabhisheka, Prasad was offered to the senior citizens and to the widows of Rikhia Panchayat who received a generous bag full of practical items including new clothes and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Guests and residents were then invited to Ganesh Kutir for darshan with Sri Swamiji whose jovial mood was contagious and had everyone in fits of laughter as well as giving insight on the necessity for one and all to “look within ourselves!”

In the afternoon, a special program was conducted for all in the Yajnashala and the kanyas and batuks attended in full numbers bringing vibrancy to this occasion. The kanyas led the chanting of Hanuman Chalisa twenty-seven times followed by Vishnu Saharsa Namavali havan, the 1,008 names of Vishnu. After the program, the kanyas and batuks were offered special Prasad of springrolls, cold drinks and gulab jamun which was a special treat for them and which they loved immensely. All who attended this program were blessed to have spent this auspicious day in the spiritual vibrations of Rikhiapeeth and to have received the darshan of Swami Satyananda.

Shimoga Children’s Shivir

From 8th to 15th April, a spirited group of children travelled from Shimoga to Rikhiapeeth to participate in a special children’s shivir. The children participated in daily morning classes of asana and pranayama and an afternoon yoga nidra class. They enthusiastically joined in seva of gardening, watering and cleaning of the Yajnashala. The classes were conducted by Swami Nityachaitanya and were aimed specifically to meet the needs of young children with an emphasis on awareness in their daily activities and the environment around them.

The group had the opportunity to have satsang with Swami Satyasangananda who developed an instant rapport with them, answering all their questions with wisdom, wit and humour. The children received Prasad of new outfits which they wore proudly during their stay. During the regular evening programs of chanting and kirtans, films of the Ten Avataras and other children’s documentaries were shown to the children and kanyas and batuks of Rikhia.

The Shimoga group, along with ashram life participants, were fortunate to have the darshan of Swami Satyananda on 12th April, in which people were free to ask questions and Swami Satyananda expounded the importance of ashram life for holistic growth of the individual, among other topics related to destiny, freewill and mind. The children benefited immensely from their time in the ashram and their innocence and spontaneity brought much joy to Rikhiapeeth.