On 6th December, we were all very fortunate to witness the sacred abhisheka of our beloved Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati. This very special and rare abhisheka was performed in front of the Samadhi Sthal of Swami Satyananda by the pandits from Varanasi. It was the investiture of the authority and duty that Swami Niranjan was ordained to fulfil _ the establishment of a Sannyasa Peeth for the preservation and propagation of the sannyasa parampara or tradition. Divine forces were invoked to bless this most auspicious event, to shower their grace and guidance as Swami Niranjan moves ahead to embark upon the next phase of his life - a life imbued with total tyaga and samarpan towards his guru.
As the holy water was showered upon him, tears of joy flowed down the faces of many of those present. The saffron scented water filled the environment with a holy fragrance. Sri Swamiji's divine design continues to unfold and manifest its magic, a day to the year after Swami Niranjan performed the final abhisheka before Sri Swamiji's Bhu Samadhi. Now, the perfect disciple is invested with the solemn mandate, with all the symbols of his station, to forge ahead with the blessings of divine and spiritual forces along with his guru's eternal grace and guidance. Such perfection, such beauty!
During the Sat Chandi Mahayajna, the skies did not let up and a symphony in magic, Devi's grace and seva unfolded - relentless mopping of water and the distribution of Devi's prasad continued through it all. Everyone worked together joyfully and an air of unity was everywhere. Whoever was able to, chanted along with the pandits as they recited the Devi Mahatmya. It felt like Devi Ma was giving us a thorough annual bath with the pouring rain and the continuous chanting of Aim, Hrim, Klim! Swami Satyananda once told us that the mantra of Rikhiapeeth meant "I am being cleaned!"
Shiva's auspiciousness marked Yoga Poornima, perfectly complementing the wish-fulfilling Sat Chandi Mahayajna. For five days, we were bathed in the subtle and powerful energy of mantras as the divya linga received rudrabhishek twice a day. With daily havan, 1008 Mahamrityunjaya mantras rang in the air, Shiva's favourite stotras, bhajans and kirtans were sung by sannyasins and kanyas with the whole congregation propelled to their feet as Swami Niranjan and Swami Satsangi danced in undiluted joy.
The culmination was the celebration of Sri Swamiji's birthday. The program commenced with Guru Pooja and the statue of Sri Swamiji was brought out in procession and taken in pradakshina around the sacred vedi. As he took his place on the stage, sannyasins and disciples paid their respects. Swami Niranjan and Swami Satsangi showered him with thousands of flower petals. After the last havan and rudrabhishek, everyone slowly filed out in reverence for a last pradakshina around an ethereal Samadhi Sthal area, lit up with a thousand candles. Gratitude filled our hearts to have been here and partaken of these showers of blessings.