22 Jan 2015

Darshan and Satsang in Nagano

After Swamiji’s first ever events to take place in Japan, the group headed to Nagano to continue the tour with a Darshan and Satsang. The group took a very scenic train ride on Japan’s famous ‘Bullet Train’ that lasted around 2 hours.

Passing Shinkansen by laszlo-photo, on Flickr

We moved from Tokyo’s high-paced city life to the snowy mountainous area of the Nagano District and we were eagerly welcomed by our hosts.

On this closeup of Japan, the red pin is Nagano.

The location of the Darshan and Satsang was an old Japanese Buddhist monastery that had a really nice authentic feel to it. The rooms all had very traditional Japanese arrangements and decorations which Swamiji liked very much! We quickly got changed and after a short introduction Swamiji arrived to commence with Satsang.

Swamiji was garlanded three times before he even reached his chair! After Guru Stotram, he immediately began to sing and asked the group to participate as he led them through a simple rendition of Jai Ram Sri Ram Jai Jai Ram. They quickly overcame their shyness and were participating full-heartedly very quickly.

As Satsang began, one question in particular stood out. Swamiji was asked to comment on the effects of chanting mantras. Swami then proceeded to teach them all in a very sweet and loving way how to properly pronounce and chant Om Namo Narayanaya. He said that when we chant mantras we create a shield of protection around us that prevents any negative influences from affecting us. He said it’s like the Sudarshan Chakra of Maha Vishnu protecting us from everything and there isn't anything that can ever get past the Sudarshan Chakra! Of course for the Japanese devotees who had never heard of any of these characters it was all a lot to take in! Swamiji hilariously tried to explain everything to them but after struggling for a while with mixed results he finally settled with, “Well God’s protection is with you and we just leave it at that!”

Directly after Satsang Swamiji went straight into Darshan. It was short and sweet and then Swamiji was very gracious to give Shaktipat to seven of Swamini Dayamatis Atma Kriya Yoga students. Straight after the initiation the hosts presented us with an incredible multi-course traditional Japanese meal prepared for over 60 devotees. Their love and service was beautiful to witness.

Before heading back to Tokyo we all went to visit the famous Zenkoji temple of Nagano, a beautiful sight to behold. The snow covered temple was magical and Swamiji later said that it was a very strong place with very concentrated positive energy. It was truly beautiful to see the heritage of Japan and to witness so many people praying there.

It was a truly magical day and the devotees were so filled with joy and gratitude for all that Swamiji had given them!