Live-wire energy enveloped the Isha Yoga Center as it celebrated its annual 12-hour cultural extravaganza, Mahashivaratri, beginning at 6 pm on March 1. High-voltage music and dance performances, powerful meditation sessions, Linga Bhairavi and Adiyogi Maha Arti and the lighting of the Mahayoga Yagna contributed to the electric atmosphere at Adiyogi as the event unfolded in the presence of Sadhguru, Founder-Isha Foundation.
As customary, Sadhguru performed the Pancha Bhuta Aradhana or the cleansing of elements at the Dhyanalinga Yogic Temple before the celebrations at Adiyogi. Sadhguru also lit the Mahayoga Yagna to symbolize the spread of Yoga through the world before welcoming the gathering at Adiyogi.
Sadhguru shared details about his latest and arguably the most critical global movement that he has launched to Save Soil. The Save Soil Movement will urge leaders around the world to initiate urgent policy-driven action in their countries to prevent soil extinction. Scientists and UN agencies have predicted that the planet has cultivable soil for only up to 55 years and have warned of catastrophic food shortages that could plunge the world into brutal civil strife. In a strong, emotional appeal, he told the audience, “Soil is the only magic where if you bury death, it sprouts life,” and added “we have come from this soil, we eat of this soil and when we die, we get back to the soil.”
Asking the audience to join the Movement and raise their voice to Save Soil, Sadhguru said, “From 21st of March, I’m riding from London – a lone motorcycle – 30,000 km, 27 nations, 100 days. These 100 days, every one of you, at least for 5-10 minutes a day, say something about soil. This is important. The whole world should speak of soil for 100 days.” He said unless people express explicitly to governments that they are concerned about the state of the soil, governments cannot act. “This is not a protest, this is not some kind of pressure tactics. This is an expression of the will of the citizens,” he said.
A galaxy of singers teamed with Isha’s home-grown music band, Sounds of Isha, to keep the energetic audience on their feet through the night. They included Sean Roland, Karthik, Sandeep Narayanan, Papon, Mangali, Machel Montano and Hansraj Raghuvanshi among others. The Kalari (martial arts) performance by students of Isha Samskriti along with dancers from Kerala had the audience spellbound. The drum jam is one of the most popular segments of the Mahashivaratri celebrations every year. This year, the Jamaab Drummers’ wowed the audience with their foot-tapping music.
The performances were interspersed with meditation sessions guided by Sadhguru and Sadhguru’s discourse which included a Q&A session. Thousands of people participated either in person or through live relay in the much anticipated powerful midnight meditation led by Sadhguru.
Guests at the event included H.E. Mrs. Mariana Pacheco Montes, Ambassador of Columbia to India; Shri. Pramod Sawant, Chief Minister, Goa; Shri. Om Birla, Hon'ble speaker of Lok Sabha; Miss India Manasa Varanasi, former India cricketer Venkatesh Prasad, and popular Hindi film actor Kangana Ranaut were among several celebrities who were in attendance besides central government officials.
The Maha Annadanam, which is an offering of food to everyone who visits the Center on Mahashivaratri, was served to all visitors.
For those who could not be present at the venue, over 150 television and web channels streamed the event live enabling them to participate virtually, reaching the event to a few million people worldwide.