2022 Sawan Shivratri
In 2022, the Kanwar Yatra resumed, after a 2-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This pilgrimage takes place during the holy month of Sawan that is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the supreme being. Sawan Shivratri, the final day of the Kanwar Yatra pilgrimage fell on July 26, 2022. Many kanwarias, having completed their pilgrimage, arrived at the Vishav Manav Ruhani Kendra center in Nawan Nagar in northern India, to pay their respects to Sant Baljit Singh Ji. On many occassions, Sant Baljit Singh Ji has spoken of the importance of this pilgrimage and devotional practices. He consistently encourages people to show their love and devotion for the Divine.
Familiar celebratory festive atmosphere at Vishav Manav Ruhani Kendra
The kanwar pilgrims started to arrive from early in the afternoon. Vishav Manav Ruhani Kendra volunteers offered the pilgrims water, fruits, and petha. Those needing first aid could avail help at the medical camp set up for them. The center premises turned into the familiar celebratory festive atmosphere. As the sun was setting, the center was completely full — even more kanwarias had arrived than in past years! Cheers in praise of Lord Shiva could be heard through the center.
To the delight of the pilgrims, Sant Baljit Singh Ji came to see them and walked amongst them for some time. They were overjoyed and sang with heartwarming exuberance to the devotional songs playing at the center. Then Sant Baljit Singh Ji sat on the ground while the pilgrims of all ages, some young and some elderly, continued to sing and clap in praise of Lord Shiva. Many danced in their joy!
Local sangat came to join the celebration
In the meantime, on receiving news that Sant Baljit Singh Ji had come to see the pilgrims, the local sangat rushed to the center too! Some came in the hope of receiving Sant Baljit Singh Ji’s darshan. When the pilgrims had received sufficient time to have darshan, Sant Baljit Singh Ji also gave time to the sangat.
The evening concluded with Sant Baljit Singh Ji speaking to the pilgrims and the local sangat for quite some time. He stressed the importance of adhering to our responsibilities towards ourselves, and to the community at large. He reiterated the significance of observing government rules and regulations, particularly in reference to kanwarias being responsible and respectful during their pilgrimage.
Sant Baljit Singh Ji also emphasized the importance of devotional practices in developing the spiritual aspects of life. He reminded that it is necessary to follow devotional practices at all times. Sant Baljit Singh Ji also explained that celebratory occasions, such as Sawan Shivratri, are constant reminders to perform our devotional practices and to remain steadfast on the spiritual journey.