27 Aug 2013

Nirankari Oneness Festival in Wiesbaden: “One God and One Humanity”

Swami Anashuya, Mataji Ambika and myself were invited yesterday (25 August 2013) as special guests to the Oneness Festival of the Nirankari Mission in Wiesbaden. The occasion was the visit of their Satguru, Baba Hardev Singh, who visited Germany for the first time in ten years. The main motto of their movement is “Global Brotherhood” and the motto of the gathering was “Unity”. Devotees from all over Europe came together in the large Wiesbadener Rhein-Main Halle, well over a thousand, some of which stayed overnight at Shree Peetha Nilaya (devotees from Spain and the Netherlands).
The whole event was organised on very short notice, and it was impressive to see how the devotees
made it happen and worked well together.
We were given the special honour of performing a formal welcoming ritual to Satguru Baba Hardev Singh as he arrived to the venue. We did this as is our tradition with a garland, a basket of gifts and the Vaishnava mantra. 

The Nirankari movement is not so well known in the West. Whilst its main base is in India, it is global, and has actually become very large over the past few decades under the leadership of their Guru. There are around 10 million devotees, the event was live streamed and well over 100'000 people supposedly were watching (also 100’000+ people come at times to gatherings in Delhi where the centre point of the movement lies).
Nirankari has its origins in Sikhism but has moved beyond any religion. The Nirankaris believe in the formless God (Nirankar) who lives inside everyone's heart, in universal brotherhood, in seva, and very strongly also in the Guru. Our Bhakti Marga movement shares many core values with the Nirankari Mission, and it is no coincidence, that through some of their devotees in nearby Bad-Schwalbach with whom our centre has a bond of friendship, the connection was made.

Swami Anashuya and I gave a joint talk of 5 minutes about the importance of the Grace of the Guru, and that without Love there can be no unity (for a full transcript of the talk, click here). After the speech we sang "Wahe Guru" with everyone in the hall. People were a bit shy at first, but it was still nice. Singing is maybe the simplest and greatest way of coming into unity with one another.
Our Guruji Sri Swami Vishwananda wanted to meet and personally welcome Satguru Baba Hardev Singh at Shree Peetha Nilaya, but their schedules couldn’t be made to match this time. We hope, that the two of them will meet soon and that the two movements can continue to work together in unity towards the greater goal of uniting humanity through Love. We are all children of One God who lives inside the heart of all.
Swami Kuru (Vishwakurunandhanananda)

25 Aug 2013

Bhajan for Saraswati

A beautiful Bhajan sung by the russian devotee Sati in devotion to Devi Saraswati, the Goddes of Wisdom and the Arts. This was sung during Darshan with Swami Vishwananda in Springen.

20 Aug 2013

Program for Krishna Janmashtami

Today we managed to sit together with Swamiji to make the final program for Krishna Janmashtami.

Krishna was born 8 nights after the full moon in the Hindu month of Shravan (August-September). This year his birthday falls on the night of the 27th to the 28th of August.

Here now is the program which we worked out with Swamiji:
  • 27th August:  22:00 Prayers with Sri Swami Vishwananda in the temple, at midnight Abishek and Bhajans - End about 2:00 early morning. 
  • 28th August: 10:00 in the morning Yagna outside or inside the tent (depends of the weather) 
  • at about 15:00 Sri Swami Vishwananda will talk and explain about Krishna and will be reading from the Bhagavat Gita and Shrimad Bhagavatam
  • 19:00 some Krishna-Leela plays, bhajans, dancing and final Arati

We ask you all to come, dress like Gopis and come to dance with Krishna! It doesn't matter if you are old or young - man or woman - feel Him inside of you - and feel His unlimited joy and Love!

Just be happy with Him - it's all He wishes from you - nothing else! 

18 Aug 2013

Gayatri Yagna Report

We chanted now 10.000 times the Gayatri Mantra - all added together it was more than 1 million individual mantras!

The ceremonies started early Saturday morning with a Kalash Puja in which Swamiji invoked Gayatri Devi into the Kalash Pot.

Then - at about 8am the actual yagna started...

...and went on throughout the whole day and night - A few people went to take a short nap or grab a cup of tea in between for a break.

 On the following morning Swamiji performed the closing prayers and the Arati.

We had to clean the tent, wash the dishes and in no time the entrance hall of the centre was empty - everybody went straight to sleep!

16 Aug 2013

24 hours Gayatri Yagna

The following weekend there will be, like every year, a Gayatri Yagna here at Shree Peetha Nilaya. 

The special feature this year is that we recite the mantra throughout the night, from sunrise to sunrise the next day. 
This is quite a feat of strength and energy happening here! Please come rested and give your system afterwards some time to reprocess and assimilate.

About Gayatri Swami Vishwananda said last year:

"In the kurma puran which describes the gayatri they don't mention how old is the gayatri becuase it is said that the gayatri exists when creation itself happended – when you look at the Srimad Bhagavatam when the Hiranyagarbham appreared and Narayan was lying lifeless and the hiranya mergerd in to Narayana and gave him life and when he open his eyes this is when Maya started -when all cosmic creation started – even before Bramha itself. Through the Vishnu maya through the Lords cosmic energy itself bramha was created. So when Bramha was created he was confused he didn't know who he was he didn't know where he was or what his task was...like many people they don't know who they are, what they are to do, where they are going...so like bramha he was confused, he looked down and saw he was sitting on the lotus and saw a long endless rope he didn't even see Narayana and he was wondering who should I appeal – that moment he heard inside of him the gayatri mantra but he didn't hear the whole mantra what he heard inside of him only – OM Bhur Buvah Svaha."

om bhoor bhuva suvah
tat savitur vareNyam
bhargo devasya dheemahi
dhiyo yo nah prachodayaat

We meditate upon the radiant Divine Light

of that adorable Sun of Spiritual Consciousness;

May it awaken our intuitional consciousness.

There is a little story about Parvati and Shiva which Swamiji told last year: 

"Once Shiva and Parvati were sitting and talking. There was a curioustiy in Parvati she always saw her lord meditating she always saw Shiva in deep tapas so she asked: "my dear lord, my dear swami, tell me on whom do you meditate? Who do you adore?"

At that moment Shiva answered: "Gayatri veda ma trusthi sadyam shakti mata bhuvihi jagat naam janani chaiva tamud pasase madahe"

He said „I am meditating on Gayatri the first cosmic form on earth and on this universe I am meditating on the mother of all,  the mother of creation the mother of this universe and into her my deep concentration is focussed and it is her that I am adoring.“

"So, here Shiva refers to her also as the Veda Mata. Which is she is the mother of veda." (S.V.)

Here the meaning of syllable as Swamiji explained it last year:

Om Bhur Buvah Swaha is the cosmic mantra of the creation itself since this is Gayatri herself. 

Tat – the first beech mantra – the first from the 24 syllables – reprsent Agni – fire – fire purifies and cleanses and also Tat represent Keshava – one name of Maha Vishnu /krishna
Sa – represent Vayu – wind /air – Narayana
Vi – Surya – the sun/Madhava
Tur – Vidhyu – the electric energy you see in the atmosphere there is electricity which is not the energy which travel around which you can not touch but acts on the etherical body – this is govinda.
Va represent Yama represent the lord of death – by chanting the gayatri mantra it remove the fear of death –  Vishnu
Re – is Varuna Lord of the water – madhusudhana
N – Brihaspati – is the guru of the devas, and in the form of Narayana is trivikrama
Yam – Prajanya – is the lord of rain – Vamana
Bha – is Indra is the lord of the demigods – Shreedhara
r / bhara/bharga (from Go) – is ghandarva – is the lord of Dancing(?) in rishikesh –
De - Pusha - the one which look after the welfare of all – Padmanabha
Va – Mitra Varunya – the friend of all, the one which is friendly to all -the real friend - Damodhara
Shya – Trusta- Vishwakarma – the great artist/architect -this one share the artistic quality from within -Shankarshana
Dhi -Vasu- one who abide everywhere.- Vasudev
Ma- Maruta - marutatavekam – is another name for Hanuman-(maruthi nandana) -wind god – maruthi-wind god, nandana-sun – maruthinanda- windgod and is Prajumna which stands for soma – the moon but also Soma stands for elixir of longevity it stands for medicinal healing -anniruthra
Hi- Angiras which means fire like agni but denotes light – Purushotama
Yo(ya) – Vishwadeva – is the one who give the world - Adhokshaja
Yo (ya) not yo yo but ya ya first yo is ya - vishwadeva and then the second ya is the Ashwini Kumar – who is twins – their duty – they are the great doctors it is narasimha
Nah – is Prajapati is the creator – achyuta
Pra – Sarva – omnipresent – Janardhana
Cho- is Rudra – Shiva but the different is Shiva is calm Rudra is wild, Rudra means the annhilation of everything -its Upendra
Da – is Bramha – the creator – Sri hari
Yat- is Vishnu – protector and is Krishna

10 Aug 2013

Darshan in Monaco

It was a special evening in Monaco last night

The event hall itself was a challenge: it was a huge sports hall and really not very romantic. So firstly we had to rearrange the place to merit a Swami Vishwananda event!

But Marina, the organizer, did everything very well and there were walls erected, stringed with white fabric, a carpet was laid, garlands of flowers were hung up and oversized vases were placed at each side - and already it looked quite different.

When Swamiji came, there were about 200 guests. He sang a bhajan, invited all to sing along with him and then spoke about the mind - which distracts us again and again and yet does not make us happy in the end. Rather, it is far more blissful and beneficial to focus on the qualities of the heart.

Swamiji then guided us through a beautiful meditation in which he asked us all to close our eyes and bring all our focus to our hearts. Meanwhile, Swami sang beautiful verses in praise of Radha Krishna that brought so much happiness and love to us all!

Of course there was a little of the Monaco lifestyle present there ;-)

After Darshan, Swami Vishwananda took plenty of time to give interviews to devotees and spent a lot of time guiding and counselling people. After that, the hosts had prepared a lovely Indian meal which lasted until the early hours of the morning!

7 Aug 2013

Swamijis summer satsang - what He said

And here is a summary of the questions and answers that Guruji gave:

The Divine Mother is somehow an abstract image for me. How can we make contact with the Divine Mother? Which practice, rituals or ceremonies help for that?
If you want to make contact you have to know that the mother is always close to Her children. Bearing in mind that the mother is close, if you have faith, you call upon Her, she will be with you. If you want to please Her with ritual, there are many. But they are complicated. You need to learn properly. But if you can love Divine Mother like a child loves the mother it’s the most simple way. And she will be with you. You see, if you want to find God, you will only find Him in the most simple things. When you pray, when you sing, the Divine is next to you. It´s not in vain. When you pray to the Divine Mother She will come and when She wants you to have a vision of Her you will have a vision. But you have to prepare yourself. You have to prepare your mind. You have to control it. You need to have a clear aim, this gives it a certain direction. So if you concentrate you become more and more strong.
Why of all the paths did you choose the Hindu Vaishnava and the Russian Orthodox lineage?
The mysticism in Vaishnava and in Orthodox is similar. I am born Hindu, like everybody else is born Hindu. In Hinduism you do not have to do special rituals when you are born whereas in all other religions you have to do a ritual to become that religion.
How can we develop humility that helps to awaken love within us?
(There were many answers from the audience)
SV: The cosmic love awake when you forget about yourself. So the Divine can take full possession of you. As long as you trust that you can do it by yourself, its good, you have to make your effort, but bear in mind, its Him who does it. Remember that God is everything. Then you can find Him everywhere.
Beloved Guruji, how to practically understand words from the Bible like “if someone beats you on one cheek, give him the other one, too”?
Your duty is to love, not matter if the other person loves you or not. But if you give love, it does not matter if they slap you, gossip about you. You just love them, don´t be disturbed about what others give to you, but be concerned what you give to others. That is what this parable means.
Does bliss, ananda, nourish demons and gods?
When you are in ananda, you rise above qualities. So, ananda is beyond good and non-good qualities. In the state of bliss neither good nor bad exists. Neither good nor non-good is nourished. You are transcending the good and the not-good qualities. Bliss is not a quality, it’s a state. 
Question continues: Does immortality mean liberation?
No, the Devas are immortal but not liberated since they are bound by their dharma. Whereas when humans rise they realise the immortality of the soul and that makes one free. You are not bound by limitations of things, you are free in the Divine. The immortal ones sit and watch whereas the liberated ones they attain the Lord.
I would like to ask you about the Jehova witnesses. They believe that only Jehova is the best and everything else is taken from Satan. Please, tell me what is the truth.
God laughs about this. He says: I am one with many form because each quality of me is a form. He is the same God with many qualities. If God would be limited He would not be god. God is in each heart? Which God is it? Hindu, Muslim, Christian…. The God of love. When all dissolves only love stays. When ignorance disappears from the mind, God reveals itself. It does not matter what people believe, as long as they believe but don’t criticise others. That will make you a better human being. Above religion you are a human, that’s very important. You have to have the respect of the humanity, towards the people. One has to open the windows of the mind than it becomes clear. If your parents don´t respect you it does not matter, you respect them, that is important.
Why did God create Maya?
he created Maya so that He can enjoy His creation in everything. If He did not know how could He enjoy His creation?
Swamiji, can you please explain the experience of Déjà vu?
It´s not a dreaming state. When you sleep your consciousness travels and it photos images. But when the fact happens when you are in normal life, you remember that you have seen it. The mind is like a recorder, everything gets recorded in the mind. Even an imprint you left in a place you can recall it in another life. The mind is the storage of the thoughts and it will make it happen. For that you have to be watchful of every thought in the mind. That’s déjà vu, an imprint. Consciousness is not limited, there is not wall to stop it.
Is it possible that the golden age does not take place on this planet earth, but in a different world?
No, it will take place here. A yogi rotates in sat yug, they perceive the Divine everywhere. A material person will be in kali yuga cause they are so afraid of destruction. You have to make golden age happen now for you. Cause if you wait for golden age even your bones will not be here.
How to develop complete obedience and 100%surrender to the Satguru?
To reach that state you have to remove your own will. People always talk about surrender, it´s just talk. If you want to surrender, just try it.
You teach us Indian mantras, bhajans, rituals, aspects of God. I noticed that a lot of people around you wear Indian cloths. Do we – in western countries – have to live an ´Indian life` to realize God? What is your advice?
It is a certain respect towards the aim. It´s not about Indian cloths, it´s about being well dressed. But it will help on the way. There is a dress code for every occasion: church, beach.
How can we help an old person to prepare for dying (she is talking about), if that person does not follow any religion but believes in something absolute? 
You have to tell them: yes you will die. If you don´t accept that you die you will suffer even afterwards. But if you accept it it can open doors. You have to make the person not afraid of dying by talking of the immortality of the soul.
Who will end the weapon race between nations?
He will end it when there is understanding.

4 Aug 2013

Summer Satsang with Swami Vishwananda

Last night we had a wonderful Satsang!
After several ".... Narayena, Narayena, jai Govinda Hare", it finally happened: Swami Vishwananda came and the evening began with the Bhajan "Hare Ram - Hare Krishna" which Swamiji sang while he looked through the written questions which the visitors gave before.

He answered the questions sometimes with humor, sometimes with a short "no" or "yes", but still you could feel the depth from which he derived-

Particularly exciting was when he spoke about the different lokas: the Vishnu Loka (Vaikuntha) on which is Vishvaksena the guard. He takes care of the order there. He is the general of the army of Vishnu, and he is the one who allowes the souls to enter there or not - so to speak Swamiji talked about these worlds where we are not aware of.
We realized that he knows this places very well.

3 Aug 2013

Our Peacocks

In the beginning of May one of our peacock Ladies was breeding. Two days before Bhu Devi 4 happy, healthy little chicks came out.

We pampered them somehow - fed them with berries (blackberries were their favourites), cupcakes  and salad.

The peahenn guided her 4 chicks wonderfully - teaching them a lot and it was a great joy to watch them all together. 

Within 3 weeks they where able to fly on a tree to sleep there at a safe height, of course always covered by the mum's wings.

One day Swamiji asked us to catch one of the chicks to pet it. Swami Paranthapa was the fastest and got a little one - it was so sweet to see how Swamiji gave so much love to this little creature - a very special moment. 

Now comes the sad part of the story: 

Beginning of July, the chicks where about 6 weeks old, and during the night while they where all together in the tree, there must have been an animal like a pine marten or an owl.

The fact is that the next morning only the peahenn was still alive walking around confused, calling for her chicks - but they where not seen any more. 

Yes, it's very sad - tried to not be too attached - but it hurt a lot!     (Drishti)