2023 Sawan Shivratri
Nawan Nagar, July 2023
Sawan Shivratri falls on the last day of the annual Kanwar Yatra pilgrimage undertaken by the devotees of Lord Shiva. Vishav Manav Ruhani Kendra (VMRK) honors the pilgrims’ devotion to the Divine by celebrating Sawan Shivratri at its center in Nawan Nagar, Haryana. For many years, kanwarias (pilgrims) have been coming to the Nawan Nagar center on Sawan Shivratri to pay their respects to Sant Baljit Singh Ji.
On July 15, 2023, the Nawan Nagar center was once again decorated with colorful lights and flowers to celebrate Sawan Shivratri. A medical camp was set up to offer first aid to the kanwarias who needed medical treatment. VMRK prepared wholesome vegetarian food for all who came to celebrate and show their devotion to Lord Shiva on this special day. Those who were fasting were offered fresh fruit. Free accommodation was also available for those who wanted to stay at the center.
In the morning of July 15, the final day of the Kanwar Yatra, the kanwarias started arriving. Throughout the day, more and more kanwarias arrived. Their presence along with the bhajans that were played in praise of Lord Shiva brought the familiar celebratory atmosphere to the whole center. While some kanwarias sat and enjoyed the bhajans, others danced to express their devotion to Lord Shiva. VMRK volunteers offered them refreshments from the morning till the end of the programme.
At 6 pm in the evening, Sant Baljit Singh Ji came out to see the kanwarias. The kanwarias were overjoyed and their singing and clapping to the devotional songs echoed and filled the whole atmosphere. They continued to sing and dance in praise of Lord Shiva. Sant Baljit Singh Ji stood there for a long time appreciating their devotion to Lord Shiva while they danced and had darshan.
When the kanwaria darshan finished, the sangat also got time to walk past Sant Baljit Singh Ji and offer their love and respect. After the darshan program concluded, Sant Baljit Singh Ji spoke and encouraged the kanwarias to follow the rules of roads and to ensure that others are not obstructed, delayed, or inconvenienced because of them. Sant Baljit Singh Ji continued to speak for 3 hours and took time to explain why it is necessary to diligently devote time to meditation.