10:07 am, Feb 20: The Beginning
On the morning of day one, participants across the ashram campus awoke at sunrise to the sounds of the Yogeshwar chant. After morning yoga practices, they made their way to an outdoor breakfast in the gentle morning sunlight, then to the hall for the first session at 10 am.
Over 12,000 participants from 50+ countries have arrived to be a part of the consecration process. Clothed in white, they flow into the hall steadily from 9:00 to 10:00, finding their seats and chanting or meditating silently within the vibrant space.
At 9:45, Isha Samskriti take the music dias and the sounds of “Chandrashekara Ashtakam” soon fill the hall. “Gauranga” follows, a chant which praises Adiyogi, also known as Gauranga, or “White-bodied one,” referring to the ash smeared all over his body. Several of Adiyogi’s names are included in the chant, such as Shashibala, one who wears the moon on his hair, referring to his ecstatic, intoxicated state; Digambara, one who is clad in space, referring to his embodiment of the non-physical, upon which existence comes about; Sadashiva, the eternally still; and Bhujangesha, lord of snakes, referring to his immense perception . In yogic culture, the snake is known to perceive effortlessly that which most human beings have to strive for.
The Yogeshwar Linga Arrives
On the evening before the consecration is slated to begin, the Yogeshwar Linga made a grand entrance in to the Adiyogi Alayam. Within the space and spread throughout the surrounding mandapam, well over 10,000 gathered for their first sight of Sadhguru and the Linga. The Yogeshwar Chant reverberated throughout the hall, creating an ambiance of intensity along with the eager anticipation. Closer to Sadhguru’s arrival, Sounds of Isha began the Guru Paduka Stotram chant.
The first glimpse of Sadhguru was a surprise for many in the hall, as he arrived at the main entrance of the Alayam in a grand fashion driving a bullock cart and flanked by a procession of Samskriti students and brahmacharies chanting and drumming. Unfazed by the massive crowd of onlookers, the bull dutifully advanced to the front of the hall, reaching the platform on which the Linga would be kept throughout the consecration.
Using a specially-designed framework, Sadhguru directed the lifting and placing of the Yogeshwar Linga into position on the dias. He then placed a copper ring around the Linga and covered the surface with vibhuti, black cloth, and finally a garland.
Addressing the onlookers, Sadhguru spoke about the best way to go through the next 3 days of consecration and make oneself receptive to the powerful situation. “You are not here just to witness a consecration,” he reminded them. “You are participating in a consecration. In some way you have a role in making it happen.”