Books: Swami Sivananda Radha’s “The Rose Ceremony”, by Pranada Devi

The spring flowers are in their heyday here in Toronto, fulfilling a promise that abided unseen through the winter.ย As May arrives, we may have gone through a spring cleanse (internal or external), or we may simply feel lighter, more refreshed and more capable as the days grow longer and brighter. We may feel able to begin new initiatives or catch up on old ones left unattended.

For post-secondary students, the academic year is coming to an end. As we walk out into the spring sunshine from our last exam, the voice of our soul may ask, “What’s next?”

Whatever the case may be, we may now feel able to dedicate ourselves, or rededicate ourselves, to one or more goals in our life. If one of your goals is awakened living or spiritual evolution, you may wish to try performing the Rose Ceremony, a simple and non-denominational ritual created by Swami Sivananda Radha using roses to symbolize self-dedication to the Divine (by whatever name you may refer to the Divine).

Swami Sivananda Radha lived from 1911 to 1995. Born in Berlin, twice widowed, emigrated to Canada, she felt the call in her meditation practice to travel to India where she met her Guru, Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh. After she returned to Canada, she founded the Yasodhara Ashram in Quebec. Her collected writings and talks are published by Timeless Books, the imprint she founded in 1978. Timeless Books also published Ascent Magazine, the award-winning, non-commercial quarterly yoga magazine that was published from 1999 to 2009.

The Rose Ceremony is a small book (83 pages). The ceremony was devised by Swami Radha after witnessing the beautiful and elaborate ritual worship, or puja, that was done in India using flower petals and other items. Seeking to make this experience available to people who might not be familiar with Hindu practices, she created a practice that is simple for anyone to do using just roses, a bowl, water, and later a small fire. In the book The Rose Ceremony, she guides you through the ceremony and invites you to go as deeply as you wish into introspection, dedication, and willingness to release what no longer serves.

We often become caught up in opposites in this world: knowledge and ignorance, love and hate, light and dark, punishment and reward, push and pull, surrender and control. The Rose Ceremony is an invitation to release attachment to these opposites and make space instead for Divine love. The book is a satsang with a very wise teacher. If you are ready for your evolution to blossom in new ways, give the Rose Ceremony a try.


Pranada Devi is aย communications professional living in Toronto, Canada. She manages the Politics, Books and Activism sections for Parvati Magazine in addition to serving as Managing Editor for the magazine overall. She serves as an advisor on marketing communications for Parvatiโ€™s various projects.