Making offerings can take many shapes and forms, from making a mental offering to placing elaborately made objects at the feet of Dieties. For me the simpler the offering the more sincerity and feeling of devotion there is. For me to make an offering is to acknowledge there is a greater force, an awareness of an absolute and to show pure love for that absolute. It is an acknowledgment of an existence on a higher level, a higher plane to find residence in peace. It is an endeavour working on a spiritual plane to work towards everlasting peace for all living entities. Which is something that any endeavour connected to the material plane alone such as democracy, capitalism, socialism and communism will not bring. I make mental offerings on a daily basis; before I begin my meditation I bring Lord Ganesha to my mind, to help me overcome the obstacles, Saraswati to help bring divine knowledge, Lord Siva to destroy my lower existence and help raise my awareness, Lord Visnu to bring balance and peace, and Swami Sivananda and Swami visnudevananda for their blessings. I mentally offer them flowers everyday. I light incense and candles at my humble shrines and to me this brings more meaning into my daily life. Offerings are best made with little, sincere and humble intentions instead of being flamboyant shows made with selfish intentions.
For Swami Sivananda's birthday last saturday, I wrote quotes he had made and hung them up on the rooftop with colourful materials to blow into the wind for the whole of humanity and universe. I visited 3 temples in my local area and meditated, and at night chanted kirtan on the roof looking at the stars, paying homage to him. Swami Ji how can I ever thank you for bringing so much happiness into my life, for that there are not enough words.
I will leave you with some words from Swami Sivananda's book 'Way to peace and bliss.'
'That person who has developed universal love is nearer and dearer to God. They will never hate, abuse or show contempt towards anybody. That sort of love alone is the end and aim or goal of life. Lord Buddha was an ocean of love. Your highest duty is to develop universal love to a maximum degree. If you want to attain perfection, if you wish to enjoy infinite peace and bliss, if you want to become immortal and develop pure divine love, cultivate universal love by serving and loving all, for love alone will take you to your goal, love alone can purify your heart, love alone will bring you liberation, and love alone can carry you to the other shore of bliss and immortality, the shore which is beyond grief, pain, fear, and darkness. Purify your thought, speech and action in the fire of love. Bathe and plunge deep in the sacred waters of love. Taste the honey of love. Become an embodiment of love.'
Have a wonderful week full of prem; love, om om shanti om