In October Sivananda Math began the great task of giving the final touches to the preparations, which had begun earlier in the year for the Rajasooya Yajna to be held from 5th to 9th December at Paramahamsa Alakh Bara, Rikhia. Sat Chandi Maha Yajna was performed on this occasion to invoke the blessings of Devi. Sita Vivah, the marriage of Sita and Rama, was held at the culmination of the yajna after the poornahuti had been offered.
This year the yajna was the venue that stood sakshi or witness to the offering of mangal patra, in the form of utensils of every kind, to over forty villages in and around Rikhia panchayat as well as to thousands of devotees from all parts of India and the world. In the past year the bhet or offering was vastra (cloth). This year it was patra (container) with akshat, the symbol that carried Sri Swamiji's auspicious blessings.
Each family received items that were not just sacred but useful too. In addition to utensils they also received blankets, garments and ornaments for ladies, clothes for men, woollens for the aged and widows, as well as for school children trendy fur-lined blue and brown jackets with hoods that any child in any part of the world would be proud to wear.
Soon after the worship of the cosmic mother, Sivananda Math hosted the Christmas celebrations to worship the cosmic baby, Jesus Christ. Devotees from over twenty countries joined together to sing carols, kirtans, meditate and hear spiritual discourses by Swami Niranjan. Father Jose, Principal of St Francis, Deoghar, and Mother Superior joined in the carol singing along with the devotees. In the true spirit of Christmas, five hundred children were presented with warm fur-lined jackets for the winter months. The purity and simplicity of this worship of mother and son, during the month of Marga Seersha, radiated peace and joy to all.
Devotees were blessed by the darshan and satsang of Swami Satyananda. While speaking of the Rajasooya Yajna he said, "Next year's bhet will be anna, grain. Through food, through grain, we live. Not only in India but in every corner of the world there are hungry souls whose children go to sleep with only a morsel of food in their stomachs. You may not understand it, you may not have seen it, but I have seen it and I have lived with such people. Even now I live with such people all around me. So next year I expect grain from everyone, not flowers, chocolates, candles or greeting cards. Greeting cards and flowers do not feed a hungry stomach. Candles are good for churches and temples, flowers are good when you want to meet your boyfriend or girlfriend and greetings are good when you want to do business. But grain is necessary to feed a hungry stomach."
Sivananda Math takes this opportunity to thank each of you for your support and participation in this magnificent event. A special thanks goes out to Shakun and Kamal Mukhi from Barcelona, Spain, who especially designed and fabricated the smart fur-lined jackets which were distributed to over 1200 children of Rikhia panchayat to see them through the bitter winter cold.