A grand celebration was held in honor of Linga Bhairavi’s first anniversary on January 20th. The day began at 6:30am where the opening of the temple was accompanied by the Sounds of Isha. The music was beautiful and full of verve; many came after their morning practices and the temple was quickly filled. After the morning Aarthi (offerings), many visitors and devotees brought in their first harvest as an offering to Devi.
The anniversary falls on Thaipoosam, an auspicious day under the Tamil calendar, which also marks the end of the harvest season. In this spirit, Sadhguru has introduced a new offering - Dhaanya Arpana - where, going forward, one can offer farm produce such grains, spices, fruits, vegetables, oils and dairy products to Devi and receive her abundant blessings.
In the same traditional setting, the offering of a cow is considered to be the most sacred. (An act which is said to absolve one’s sins and incur divine blessings.) This offering is now available at the Linga Bhairavi temple and Devi has already received her first calf, which we have lovingly named “Gauri”. Gauri will be a part of the temple, roaming around the grounds and happily inviting devotees inside with her bell. The offering was made by Shri Satyanarayan family from Palakkad on behalf of his late son Sridhar.
Sadhghuru has said that on this Thaipoosam day, we have two women to celebrate. Not only is it the first anniversary of Linga Bhairavi, but also Vijji’s Mahasamadhi. Every year on this day, hundreds of residents and meditators gather at Vijji’s Samadhi, where flowers lovingly hang and gentle music of Sounds of Isha play. This day is always a magical and heartening experience in remembrance of a woman who attained solely out of love. Sounds of Isha offered beautiful emotional bhajans and, in the end, all chanted ‘Shiva Shambho’.
On the morning of this January 20th, I got right out of bed and went outside to contemplate the moon, becoming soaked with Sadhguru’s words about the significance of this past month for spiritual seekers. I later reached Vijji’s Samadhi where I had volunteered to usher people and I felt so joyful - as if I was welcoming people to a wonderful party. When I finally sat, my eyes caught sight of Vijji’s photo and the intensity of bliss and joy emanating from it hit me like a tidal wave; I let myself sink in this ocean.
- Full-Time Resident & Volunteer
1,008 Sarees Given to Local Village Women
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In the afternoon, 1,008 sarees were offered to women from local villages on behalf of Devi. Crowds of eager women gathered in line in anticipation of the beautiful saree they would receive. Afterwards, “Annadhanam” (offering of food) was served to 3,000 visitors and laborers. Over 7,500 visitors came to the Isha Yoga Center to celebrate the day.
An elaborate pooja is offered each Pournami (full moon) at the Devi Temple. Attendees were especially touched by this month’s pooja, which marked Devi’s one-year anniversary.
Pournami is the day the Devi is in full bloom and bestows her abundant grace upon you. On that day, being inside the Bhairavi temple during the abhishekam (offerings to the Devi) is like being nurtured in her womb. She makes you weep and cry profusely at her beauty and then wipes your tears. Then she plays hide and seek with you as she changes from a butter cream color to turmeric yellow to sandalwood beige. The most magnificent form of hers is when she is adorned with the vermillion red kumkum. I can only bow down and stare at her forever.
- Sue, Isha Samskriti Teacher
The temple stayed open and welcomed all until 12:30 am, where many stayed on and basked in Devi's grace while she was dressed all in red.
Sadhguru stopped for a three-day engagement in Greece for the Young President’s Organization, visiting the mystical remains of Delphi and Athens before heading to to iii (Isha Institute of Inner Sciences in Tennessee). Darshans with Sadhguru were offered and open to all from January 23-28, as well as a live webstream for all of us who could not make the trip. Sadhguru also met with Anaadhi participants as a follow-up to the intense 90-day program which took place this summer at iii.
As I saw many familiar faces arrive on Friday, my Anaadhi summer that was beginning to seem like a distant memory suddenly flooded back as if it were just days ago. Orange robes began to fill the hall and everyone was excitedly greeting each other, chatting and comparing their experiences over the last six months. The air was full of anticipation--'What will Sadhguru say about our progress with the new practice?' For me, I have experienced an incredible sense of emptiness--I feel empty and very even within myself--the mind dances, nothing else really moves. Sadhguru explained this experience meant we were finally breaking our cyclic patterns of emotions, compulsive reactions and endless entanglements--that we are finally traveling on a straight path, a trajectory toward something much greater.
I feel more and more grateful to Sadhguru for the Anaadhi process He has given as my eyes wake up more and more to the stickiness of my trap--surely it would have brought utter madness if I had tried to break free on my own. Would I have ever seen enough to even know in which direction to grope? Unlikely. This Anaadhi Sathsang has fueled me on--to bring more discipline, to refine my attention to my actions, words, thoughts, emotions with a sliver more awareness than I had before. To bring myself to the heights of my life as quickly as possible. It is my only way to honor all of the life Sadhguru has invested in me.
- - Alison, resident at iii