27 Apr 2015

Out of Love for humankind, God forgets that He is God, so that He can be close to you!

On the 24th and 25th April, at Shree Peetha Nilaya, several hundred people were graced with Sri Swami Vishwananda's Darshan in two consecutive days. Many more people around the world were also blessed with the possibility to see live streaming of the Darshan .

Sri Swami Vishwananda's unmatched Love and humility was once again clearly visible, as He stood up from His chair at the beginning of both events, and sat on the stairs leading to His chair, lowering Himself while giving Darshan.

Firstly, we thought that He would stay there only while giving Darshan to children, but the hours passed by, on both days, and He kept giving Darshan seated on that uncomfortable seat for many hours straight.

Beyond any trace of doubt everybody could definitely experience the beauty of God's Love for humankind, as He leaves His celestial abode and incarnates on Earth, taking a human form, so that He can be among people and serve them. Sri Swami Vishwananda Himself has demonstrated on two consecutive days, in the most beautiful and simple way, what He told us during a short speech at the beginning of the second Darshan (please see excerpt below):

- Out of Love God forgets about Himself and becomes the servant.
- Out of Love for humankind, God forgets that He is God, so that He can be close to us.

“Jai Gurudev! I will sing Sabse Ūnchī, which means, ‘What is the greatest form of prayer?’ And you'll respond, Prema Sagāī, which means, ‘Love’.

 Why is the Love relationship considered to be the greatest form of prayer? Because when you pray you build up a relationship with God, and due to that relationship you can say that you belong to Him. If you just pray plainly and remember Him whenever you have a problem, what kind of relationship is that? There is no relationship at all, isn't it? A relationship has to be built.

God offers Himself, but you also have to offer yourself. How can you offer yourself? You offer yourself through the Love that you have inside of you. He has placed this Love inside of you, so that you can build a Love relationship with Him, not with people.

When two people love each other, what do they love? They love the mutual understanding, the companionship, their connection, isn't it? But your soul also has a deeper connection with God and that's what connects you with your higher Self. And this is not just love which you see outwardly, but it's a sublime form of Love, the Supreme Love, God inside of you. So, that's what Sagāī means,  ‘our relationship with Bhagavan’; all other relationships are secondary.”

“When you call God, you have to be sincere. That's why the saints cry for Him, call Him, their hearts burn for Him. This is the Love that God is asking for.

This is not just saying plainly, ‘I love You’ and then you step outside and forget. This is the Love – wherever you go, in whatever you do – everything is infused with that Love and you can always perceive Him in everything. However, for this to happen the mind has to be cleansed from all impurities.

It's like a mustard seed. To get the oil from the mustard seed what do you have to do? Crush the mustard seed, isn't it? Otherwise, the oil is there but you can't see it. However, when the seed is crushed and the dirt is removed, then you'll get the oil. The same is with the mind.

If the mind hangs on the past, if the mind hangs on to the negativity, how would you perceive the Divine? How would you perceive His Love? Only when all the dirt is removed from the mind, you will be able to perceive that Love.”

Rājasuya Yajna Yudhishthira Kīno
Tāmai Jūtha Uthāī

"This verse says that if you have such a Love, even God Himself forgets that He is God. Can you imagine the intensity of that Love? What kind of bhakti is that in which God forgets about Himself and becomes the servant. And this is the beauty of God who, out of Love for humankind, forgets that He is God, so that He can be close to you.”

23 Apr 2015

Moving closer to the 10 Year Bhakti Marga Anniversary...

Besides our day-to-day "business" (if there is such a thing...) we are currently particularly busy with preparing the great feast, the

and would like to make it as beautiful as it can possibly be.

Firstly, there will be many wonderful tasty and sweet dishes nourishing the body and secondly, many wonderful performances that will nourish your Soul: 

As music is a very important part of Bhakti Marga, we ordered a really big proper and professional "open air stage" on which an exquisite music program will take place over the course of three days.

Firstly, we will get to enjoy the music group Karthigesan from Southafrica (Friday Evening), who've been here at Bhakti Marga / Shree Peetha Nilaya before already on a number of occasions. Here is a video of their music:

And here is a video of the fabulous Kirtanyas from the USA who will perform on 
Saturday Evening. We are really excited to meet them and to "rock" with them. They are young, fresh and full of devotion: 

...and finally a video with the enchanting Bittu Malick, who met Swamiji personally for the first time during the recent pilgrimage trip to Vrindavan this March (Holi Festival). He is well known not only in India but also in Russia and is very happy to sing at the anniversary for Swamiji and his guests!

We here at the Bhakti Marga in Springen would be very happy, if you can all, really all join us and celebrate and honour with us Swamiji's work of the past 10 years, with gratitude and with joy. As you surely know by now: We are very good at celebrating! So join us for an unforgettable time, which will mark the beginning of a New Era of Consciousness.

17 Apr 2015

Breaking News: Movie featuring Sri Swami Vishwananda wins festival award!

Yesterday evening on 16 April 2015 in Munich, the movie "the Miracle of the energy of life" (transl. from "Wunder der Lebenskraft") featuring also Sri Swami Vishwananda won the people's award* of the COSMIC CINE Film Festival 2015!

Produced and directed by Stephan Petrowitsch from Germany, who visited our ashram several times over the past few years, the film intelligently portrays the force of Life, that which nurtures us all. A series of spiritual healers and teachers are interviewed to shed light on ‘that’ which is the source and fabric of all of creation, sometimes referred to as Kundalini or Divine Mother, the Mother of the Universe, and her life breath, the “energy of Life”…

The movie did extremely well, was sold out in all the cities where it was shown during the festival period. Many of the people who saw it showed strong reactions and had visions afterwards. They thanked the director for having given them a "Divine moment". :)

* Publikumspreis Platz 1 bei den COSMIC ANGEL AWARDS 2015

12 Apr 2015

Hanuman Jayanthi 2015

Early in the morning, devotees gathered with Sri Swami Vishwananda to celebrate Hanuman Jayanthi: The birthday of Hanuman. With multiple versions of the Hanuman Chalisa sung throughout the puja, abishekam, and yagna, the commemoration was buzzing with bhakti. 

"Hanuman is considered to be the model of bhakti. He represents how one has to be in one’s spiritual path and how devotional one has to be."-Sri Swami Vishwananda. (Excerpt from Just Love 1: The Essence of Everything.)

The prasad for Hanumanji, with the name of "Ram" written on the cookies. 

"So, the name of Rama is infused in Hanuman through His devotion. He was initiated into the name of Rama from childhood and His devotion had no limit. Even till now it is said that wherever the name of Rama is being read, He is the first one to come and the last one to leave. Hanuman is immortal and He travels around the world, protecting, giving His blessing to Rama devotees, to whoever prays to Lord Rama." -Sri Swami Vishwananda. (Excerpt from Just Love 1: The Essence of Everything.)

11 Apr 2015

Street Kirtan

It is our great joy to share publicly with you the new project we have been doing for several months now – the Street Kirtan!

Here's Chaturananda, the head of Shree Peetha Nilaya's music:

We started it in June of last year, inspired by the River Thames boat trip we had with Guruji in London (where we did the kirtan on the boat deck).

We played several times in different places in Germany throughout last June and July, but due to the many events we had at the centre, we did not continue. As it was getting cold, and many of you know how it can be cold here in Germany, we did not think we would start doing it again until Spring-Summer the following year.

When Guruji inquired about us going out to do street kirtan, he wasn't pleased to find out we had stopped.

He spoke with me and urged me to start it again on a weekly basis. So here we are. We have been going out every Sunday in different cities, like Wiesbaden, Frankfurt, Limburg, Mainz, Koblenz, Entville, Bad Schwalbach...no matter if it is freezing cold or icy (and we had once temperature of -7 C).

We always have different people included. Sometimes we have random guests. Once we had a person, for the first time in their lives, exposed to kirtan singing. Some people are not musical at all and they also want to come and every person is precious. We all carry the dynamo of Divine Love in our hearts and just by joining the singing group, everyone profits.

The atmosphere is very relaxed without much preparation: we take the cars and drive, sometimes even changing the destination the last moment, letting Guruji guide our actions and thoughts. Sometimes we have 4-5 people, and sometimes over 20. It does not matter how, what, where, and who. All that matters is that we go out in the streets, parks, metros, any public place, and do it with the love for God and Guru. We spiritualise the streets where we imprint forever the name of God. We meet people and sing the name of God, and we smile at them and with them, and they smile back. Sometimes they react by waiving at us, or moving their bodies to the rhythm of the song, or asking questions. We always give the flyers and pictures of our Guruji whenever we catch somebody's attention or they inquire sincerely.

I started to call this project 'Kirtanizing the Cities.' I see a great potential to what we have been doing. The name of God is the only safety we have in this world, and if we can get one person to sing the name of God, we are successful. Just by going out there and spreading the accumulated vibration of love and joy is enough.

I urge all devotees to go out as this is not a single-person project, but the project of Guruji and Bhakti Marga and that is our life. If you call yourself a devotee of Guruji and you feel that you are a part of Bhakti Marga family, then let a few of you come together, without much thinking and reasoning, go out and sing the name of God, bringing out the hidden God in all people you meet. Jai Gurudev!

What people are saying about their experiences with Street Kirtan:

“My first experience with street kirtan happened spontaneously. It was during the harmonium course which was lead by our wonderful teacher Chaturananda in Shree Peetha Nilaya, that the idea to join the kirtan came up. We did not think twice and we decided to go out and continue our harmonium course on another day. After the quick lunch break we went out to Mainz and we played in the busy city street. Many people joined in by clapping with kirtan. And some of the people inquired about us and wanted to come and visit us at the center. When I spoke with Swami Kuru, Tandav Krishna and Chaturananda, they later explained to me that bhajans bear very deep spiritual vibrations and whoever listens to them receives the benefits and their hearts are blessed.”

– Tara, Köln     

“It is really amazing how the vibration of the bhajans is effecting the people passing by; it is like a positive virus: smiling, eye contact, nodding, filming, even singing and dancing. The children responded in the most touching way: their eyes were as if they were looking at the Christmas tree full of lights and chocolates. Thank you Guruji for your blessing to do street kirtan! Hari Bol!” 

– Mataji Tusti

“Street kirtan is a wonderful way to get together and spread the joy of singing God's name. It is a way to touch people's hearts and give them a chance to experience a glimpse of Divine Love, maybe for the first time in their lives. Guruji says that, to hear the name of God, even once in your life, for some souls is enough, so we never know how our singing can affect someone's life and maybe change their directions, at least a little bit towards God. It is also so much fun to get together and go out in the streets with hearts filled with love for our Gurudev, and a strong wish to make this Love grow and grow throughout the streets in the worlds, until one day the whole planet dives into the ocean of His blissful name. So go out and sing for Him. Jai Gurudev!

– Veena

“After I heard that the Bhakti Marga group will go and play bhajans (hymns) in the streets, I thought to myself, 'I would like to go with them!' Chatur was very helpful and introduced me to the art of bhajans. The following day we went to Koblenz. We were a group of about 15 people and it was great. We just walked on while singing bhajans. The feedback from the people was almost identical. First, a surprised and curious look, interwoven with scepticism of the new. However, after a few seconds we always conjured a friendly smile in the face of the people. Particularly striking was the moment when children discovered us; they were very pleased with our music, and not infrequently, the parents had great effort to continue to move their children because they were magically attracted to our music. It was a very nice and inspiring afternoon and a great experience that I would invite everyone to participate in.”

– Marcus, Würzburg

“In the street kirtan it was nice when we all sang and danced together for God. The most wonderful experience was when I was shooting a video and then a group of people happened to pass by.
Without any expectation I was overwhelmed by a wave of love and I couldn't stop smiling from the joy and happiness. I felt as though I was in front of a river of love that was flowing through the streets and spreading love and joy everywhere and on everyone...The extraordinary thing was to realise that the people around, without knowing or understanding anything what was going on, were influenced by the same wave of love! It was really a great blessing.”

– Nallini

“Street Kirtan is a time when we can go and spread the love of God first hand. Since I live in the ashram, my contact with the outside world is limited, and though this seclusion helps to stay spiritually focused, it can also limit the opportunity to share the Divine Love that the world so desperately needs.

"It’s always fascinating seeing the curious faces pass by as we sing bhajans. Often I have noticed how children have an intuitive nature to the Divine names and it’s so wonderful to their faces light up with joy. To do kirtan on the streets with your brothers and sisters gives me a great sense of family. Just as a family supports each and other, every member participating adds strength to the rest of the group. I’m grateful to be able to see the devotees come together and spread the Divine Love that has transformed each one of us. I've found that street kirtan is one way of sharing this transformation, of sharing this Divine Love, so that we may not keep it for ourselves, but rather, to give it to those who are not aware of it.”

– Karan

I would like to share one interesting incident which happened in Frankfurt a couple of weeks ago. During our ecstatic kirtan we were approached by two police officers. In our minds we were thinking, 'Oh, now we are in trouble!' The policeman spoke with us first and he inquired what we had been up to. We answered him that we were just singing the name of God. He wanted to be re-assured and asked us again if we were, by any chance, promoting some political activities. We assured him that we were not political at all, but spiritual, and we had been just singing various Divine names.

While the policeman was speaking to few of us prabhus, his colleague, a policewoman, was speaking with few matajis. She questioned us about our intention. When we told her that we had been enjoying singing the name of God without any hidden motives, she said, "We don't want to stop you. When we cross your path again and we see you surrounded with a thousand people we have to assign it to something – that's why we have to know more about your purpose of singing." We replied, "Oh, we didn't think about something like that." And she said, "Well, why not. I would have been happy for you."

Hari Nam Sankirtan ki.....Jai!!!


Bhakti Marga 10 Year Anniversary (July 10th - 12th, 2015)

On July 10th – 12th, 2015 at Shree Peetha Nilaya (Springen, Germany) we will be having the most important event ever for Bhakti Marga. It will be dedicated to honoring the tenth anniversary of Sri Swami Vishwananda’s mission, Bhakti Marga. Every devotee that is capable of being at the event should come.

To make this the biggest event ever for BM, starts with all of you. Picture your Guru’s smile as he sees all the new faces that have come because of…. You. It's the greatest way for you/us to say "thank you" to Him. We want to surprise him with an overwhelming turnout that exceeds all of our expectations.

We will enjoy three nights of world renowned musical performances, a full range of Bhakti Marga activities, presentations and satsang during the day, a buzzing array of market stalls, plus fresh vegetarian indian and western food stalls to keep you sustained and nourished.

Call your friends, register, book your accommodations and get ready for the party of the decade!

Please click on the following link to register: http://bookings.bhaktievent.de/events/

The rooms at the Centre are fully booked for the event. But don’t worry, we have made pre-reservations for our guests with a number of hotels & guest houses in the nearby region which have been held for BM until May 30th, 2015. You will need to quote 'Bhakti Marga' when you make the booking. You can get nice affordable rooms for yourself, your family and your friends. To access the accommodation options use the following link: http://www.bhaktimarga.org/events/accommodations

Location: Shree Peetha Nilaya, Am Geisberg 1-6, 65321 Heidenrod – Springen, Germany.

1 Apr 2015

Ram Navami 2015

On the auspicious day of Ram Navami we celebrated the birthday of Lord Rama. Lord Rama was the epitome of Love and is considered to be the perfect human being. He came to show all humanity that one must follows one's dharma and duties in life perfectly and accept the will of God in all aspects of one’s life.

Sri Swami Vishwananda conducts a yagna (fire sacrifice) dedicated to Lord Rama. 

After the yagna had ended, Swamiji gave a talk about Ram Navami that included a shortened version of the Ramayana, and the symbolism found in the life of Sri Ram. 

Next came a puja and abishekam to Lord Rama, Lakshman, Sita Devi, and Hanuman, as well as other deities. 

Lord Rama receives a water bath.

Swamiji offers flowers and prasad to Lord Rama. 

 Jai Sri Ram! Jai Sita Ram! Jai Lakshman! Jai Hanuman!