29 Nov 2011

Swamiji's playfulness

Last night Swami Vishwananda asked us all to come to the Bhajan Cafe. He showed us pictures from the pilgrimage in India and explained a bit so that we could get an impression of the deep spirituality of this journey.

Later on Swami Vishwananda played the new "Bhakti-Memo" game with Pritala. We could hear His joy and laughter throughout the whole room while He was winning (of course)!

27 Nov 2011


“Christ is born every day in the heart of man.”
Every year, in all the world, we celebrate Christmas together; the birth of Jesus Christ, the One who came to redeem mankind, the great Master who is an example of humanness, compassion and devotion.
Swami Vishwananda says that in Mauritius, Christmas is not only a feast for Christians, but is celebrated by members of all religions: “The birth of Christ is something very mystical, because Christ renews his birth every year, whenever we celebrate it, in the heart of man.“
When we try to connect with God, Christ and the great Masters during Christmas time, we create a strong foundation for the New Year. Christ creates in our hearts a lasting landmark of love, so that we recognise that we are all children of the One God.
For this year’s Christmas we have put together a package, which is meant to help us, to find that inner Christmas in our hearts. The package contains a rose quartz heart and a bee’s wax peace candle, which have been blessed by Swami himself and are a reminder of Jesus’ light and love. With the light of the candle, blessed by Swami, we can light all candles of the coming year. The incense symbolises the gifts of frankincense and myrrh of the three Holy Kings. And on the new Christmas DVD, Swami shares his thoughts on Christmas and its meaning.
The proceeds of 29,-- Euros (plus postage) per packet go entirely into the renovation project of the Bhakti Marga Center Shree Peetha Nilaya” in Springen. The Christmas package can be ordered online www.bhaktishop.de (If anyone can't order it online, they can order it also via email: daya@bhaktimarga.org)
We wish you a very Merry Christmas, much light and blessings!
Paartha and Naamdev
On behalf of the whole Bhakti Marga team.
PS: Friends of Bhakti Marga receive a discount of 10% ! If you are interested in joining Friends of Bhakti Marga , please send an email to tusti@bhaktimarga.org

26 Nov 2011

Pilgrimage with Swami Vishwananda - 7th part

The group of Swami Vishwananda spent the last days in Vrindavan and Mathura, the the birthplace of Krishna and the place where all the Gopi stories come from. 

The group of Swami  Vishwananda was welcomed very heartfully by Dr. Satya Narayan Das and stayed at his Jiva Institute in Vrindavan.

The next days they went to many of the places where Krishna played his Leelas.
They visited the prison in Mathura, where Krishna was born and some also took a "dip" in the Radha Kund and the Shyama Kund.
Thank you, Anuprabha, for the pictures.

23 Nov 2011

Pilgrimage with Swami Vishwananda - 6th part

Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy

The next stop of the tour with Swami Vishwananda was at Mantralayam, a city on the banks of the river Tungabhadra on the way back to Hyderabad. 
Mantralyam is a Hindu religious place where the Moola Brindavanam of Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy is located.
Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy, (1601-1671), was an influential saint in Hinduism. He advocated Vaishnavism (i.e. worship of Vishnu as the supreme God) and Dvaita philosophy advocated by Sri Madhavacharya.
It is believed that Guru Raghavendra Swamy is in the Vrindavana for the past 339 years and will remain there in Jiva-Samadhi for another 361 years. While entering the Vrindavana, Guru Raghavendra Swamy stated that he would be there (in the Vrindavana) for 700 years.
He is considered to be a reincarnation of Lord Rama and Sri Krishna. Shri Raghavendra Swamy is said to have performed many miracles during his lifetime and is believed to continue to bless his devotees to this day and will continue to do so.
His devotees sing this Stotra every day.

22 Nov 2011

Pilgrimage with Swami Vishwananda - 5th part

The next place where the group with Swami Vishwananda went is Ahobilam, about 400 km south of Hyderabad, (8 hours by bus).
The landscape is green, with hills and valleys and a lot of waterfalls and a deep dark forest.
Ahobilam is the place where Lord Narasimha appeared. There are 9 different Narasimha Temples in this aera.


According to legends it is believed that when the Devas saw the manifestation of Lord Vishnu as half-lion, half-man, they shouted "Ahobala" (great strength) as well as "Ahobila" (a great cave in which the current sanctum is). Hence, the place can be called either "Ahobalam" or "Ahobilam". The mention of this place is present in the Brahmanda Purana.

The place where Lord Narayana appeared from the stone pillar to kill Hiranyakashipu can be seen in this place. The name of this pillar is Ugra Sthambha, which is now referred to as “Ukku Sthambha” in Telugu, which incorrectly translates to iron pillar.

Prayer to Lord Narasimha:

durgesv atavy-aji-mukhadishu prabhuh
payan nrisimha shura-yuthaparihi
vimunchato yasya mahatta-hasam
disho vinedur hyapatamsh cha garbhaha
"May Lord Nrisimhadeva, who appeared as the enemy of Hiranyakashipu, protect me in all directions. May that Lord be kind enough to protect me in difficult places like the forest and battlefront."

21 Nov 2011

India Pilgrimage with Swami Vishwananda - 4th part

In Shirdi the group also had some time to shop and to have a drink in between. (here enjoying sugar cane juice with Swamiji)
Swami Vishwananda takes care that the non-indians in the group don't get ripped off by some clever shop owners.
The group went to the ashram of Upasani Baba and Godavari Maa, great devotees of Shirdi Sai and saints themselves.
There bhajans were sung and Swami was gifted with a shawl and cloth belonging to both saints....the ashram is for ladies only.
The group also visited Shanipur where they participated in a puja and prayed to lord Shani, the planet saturn, to protect from enemies and ask him not to curse us since he is the God that curses people's lives and makes all bad things happen. The deity is the stone.

18 Nov 2011

India Pilgrimage with Swami Vishwananda - 3rd part

Swami Vishwananda and his pilgrimage group spent the last few days in Shirdi.
The City of Shirdi is always packed full with crowds of people, meaning that reaching sacred places often involved standing in long queues.
The group also visited the main and most important place in Shirdi, the Samadhi of Sri Shirdi Sai Baba.
Thanks to a very good and divine timing, the group managed to make it just in time for the Aarti and were able to stay in front of His samadhi for some moments to meditate and receive His blessings.

Another very impressive place was Dwarkamai (Masjid): Baba stayed at this place continuously for 60 years. Innumerable devotees got the blessing of Baba here. The Shila (Stone) on which Baba used to sit is located nearby. The Sacred Fire (Dhuni) lit by Baba is ever burning here. Baba used to give Sacred Udi (Ash) to the devotees to solve their problems in life. Udi distributed to the devotees now comes only from this Dhuni. Baba used to cook food here for distribution to devotees.

Nowadays the house has a big roof and a fence around it. If you come at the right time (very early in the morning ) it is possible to sit and meditate there.
Revati, one of the devotees attending the pilgrimage, writing about the picture below "Swami with the man looking after the temple (...his grandfather was a saint at that temple many years ago...) he was a very, very nice man and gave us all a lecture on why we should cherish and follow our Satguru.
(Thanks to Revati for the pictures!)

17 Nov 2011

Swami Vishwananda pilgrimage in Shirdi

In Shirdi Swami Vishwananda venerated Sri Shirdi Sai Baba but also his disciple Shri Upasani Maharaj who through the grace of his Guru, Shirdi Sai Baba became a Satguru himself and helped thousands of people on their way to God realisation. It was not an easy task for Shirdi Sai Baba. To find out how he did it read on: http://www.vishwanandateachings.blogspot.com

16 Nov 2011

India Pilgrimage with Swami Vishwananda - 2nd part

From Nashik we went with Swami Vishwananda by bus through a wonderful countryside to the nearby village called Trimbak.
Trimbakeshwar is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas (Lingam (pillar) of Light). The extraordinary feature of the Jyotirlinga located here is its three faces embodying Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Rudra. Due to excessive use of water, the linga has started to erode. It is said that this erosion symbolizes the eroding nature of human society.
The Lingas are covered by a jeweled crown which is placed over the Gold Mask of Tridev (Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh). The crown is said to be from the age of the Pandavs and consists of diamonds, emeralds, and many precious stones. The crown is displayed every Monday from 4-5 pm (Shiva).
Adwait Kher, our host, welcomed us very heartfully and made it possible for our group to sit and meditate with Swami Vishwananda near the Lingam for a long time and to get the blessing of its powerful energy. 
We were all dressed "typically indian" which was very helpful and opened a few more doors.
Late at night we got on the bus with Swami Vishwananda to go to the next place - more news from there coming soon...

15 Nov 2011

India Pilgrimage - 1st part

From time to time, we will post an update sharing some info about the course of the pilgrimage along with a few photos from the holy places that Swami Vishwananda and the pilgrimage group have already visited. Here is the first part:

After arriving at Mumbai Airport on Saturday night, all of the travellers boarded a bus to Nashik, one of the world's holiest Hindu cities. This place is important for Hindu rituals related to afterlife offerings. The Kumbha Mela is also held here once in every 12 years along the holy river Godavari.
Lord Rama along with Lakshmana and Sita spent 14 years in exile at Tapovan near Nashik.
Godavari Ghat: The Godavari river runs from western to southern India and is considered to be one of the biggest river basins in India.

The Godavari Temple was built by Elder Madhavrao Peshwa's mother, Gopikabai in 1760. This temple is open for devotees for 13 months during the period of Kumbha Mela (once in 12 years). It is also called the Ganga Temple.
Kalaram Mandir:
This temple was built in 1794 and is similar in its architectural design to the Triambakeshwar temple found nearby. The temple is 70 feet in height and was raised from the idea of Gopikabai Peshwa. It was built with black stone from the mines of Ramsej Hill. There is a beautiful gold-plated copper peak on the temple. Beautiful, lavishly adorned icons of Rama, Sita and Lakshman are found in the temple. The temple is surrounded by several smaller temples such as the Vithal temple, Ganapati temple and Maruti temple.