30 Jul 2015

#LoveChangesEverything Video Compilation

You did it! We got dozens of videos from all over the world, talking about how #LoveChangesEverything, and they were awesome!

Some of the videos were funny, some where deep and heartfelt, and it was amazing to see such a wide range of how Love expresses itself.

Of course, how did we come to experience this amazing Love? By the grace of our beloved: Sri Swami Vishwananda.

To celebrate the videos that you all made and shared, and also the inspiration that Swamiji is to each of us, here is the compilation video that was presented during the 10 Year Anniversary festival.

This video was presented as the final event of the closing night. We've added video-in-video to share Swamiji's live reactions during the premiere.

To see the individual videos from the whole campaign, (many of which weren't able to fit in the compilation video above, unfortunately; they were all so awesome!), check out the video campaign page, here:


Thank you, for speaking out for Love and for Swamiji with this campaign.

We can't wait to experience more of this amazing Love through Swamiji's Grace during the next 10 Years.


29 Jul 2015

Rheinfelden Darshan: A Note from Guruji

One day after the Darshan in Mannheim, Germany, Sri Swami Vishwananda came to Rheinfelden (Switzerland) for another Darshan.

Branthi, from Switzerland, wrote about the experience of the event:

Approximately 450 people from different countries (from Switzerland of course and the neighbouring countries Germany, Austria, France and Italy, but also from Poland, Russia or England) came to receive Darshan from Sri Swami Vishwananda. At least one third of the visitors came to meet Swami for the first time.

Since Swamiji was stuck in a traffic jam for some hours during his journey from Mannheim to Rheinfelden, the Darshan got delayed. But the time was filled with some enthusiastic bhajan singing. When Swamiji arrived, he made the audience laugh by saying that he kept us waiting which is not a very Swiss way to do … but he isn’t Swiss after all…

In his Satsang, Sri Swami Vishwananda asked what the difference is between humans and animals. He explained that both – humans and animals – are made of the five elements. But animals, although they go through a certain evolution, are bound by the five senses. Whereas we humans are the highest form of evolution. Therefore it is our aim to reach God. We are not here to degrade ourselves down, but to move forward. If we look at our body, our feet are not made to walk backward but forward. But people go mostly backward by thinking of the past, dwelling in the past. Yet this will never lead anyone anywhere. That’s why God has made our body in a way that we can move forward. But for that we have to control our mind.

What makes us humans superior to any other creation is that we can reach God—that we can be with Him. Animals only know that there is a creator but they don’t have the will to attain Him. Whereas we humans know, our inner self knows, that we are here to attain God.

28 Jul 2015

Sri Swami Vishwananda Explains a Favorite Bhajan

Before leaving on the Darshan trip to Switzerland, Sri Swami Vishwananda came to the temple in Shree Peetha Nilaya to sing bhajans with devotees.

A few songs into the wonderful evening, he started singing the bhajan "Narayana Bhaja Narayan" (in the Atma Bhog bhajan book pg 126), and then stopped to share the meaning of the holy song.

Here is Swamiji:

This bhajan, it’s wonderful what it says.

You see, ‘Tana Mana Ranjana, Bhava Bhaya Bhanjana, Asura Nikhandana Narayan’, which means the one which keeps the body, the mind, which removes all the misery and fear, and who looks after the devotee, who gives peace to the mind, the one who destroys all evil and demons, is Lord Narayana.

Like it is said, all these demons that we just mentioned earlier, they are not outside. In Kali Yuga it is inside, in the mind of men. Because the mind is so corrupt, the mind is so running towards the outside that the mind gets corrupted, finish. So, it’s said only Narayana can save, nobody else. Only the name of Narayan; ‘Narayana Bhajo Narayan’, only by chanting the Name of Narayana you will be saved. Only by surrendering to the Name of Narayan you will have peace.

Then; ‘Jaba Jaba Pida Pade Bhakta Par, Bar Bar Avatar Kiya-a-a-a

This is from the Gita, Bhagavan Krishna said, na? “Whenever there is adharma I shall incarnate myself, I shall manifest myself. Again and again I shall take different forms to remove my devotee, to save my devotee from troubles destroying the sins, giving them courage and patience and unity.” (The audience cheering and clapping hands.)

Papa Mitakara Dhira Dikhakara, Manava Ko Oddhar Kiya

So, time to time - not every time - time to time, when the bhakta has devotion, when the bhakta is ready to be saved He manifests on earth to free them. You have to see here, the manifestation of Narayana is not often. Manifestation of Narayana is very rare. So, only when the bhakta has reached a certain level or when the world really needs Him, He will manifest, He will come, He will come only for one soul to save the bhakta, to remove them from the sin, to remove them and remind them of who they are, where they come from and what they have to reach.

Kunja Vihari, Krishna Murari, Narayan, He Giridhari, Narayan’ People are asking why I love Giridhari, no? Giridhari is one which shelter the bhakta, the one…you know, when He lifted Govardhan with His little finger, He didn’t do it for Himself. He could have just pack His luggage and go to heaven. [audience laughs] No, He did it for the bhaktas, for all the Brijbasi. That’s why He incarnated, that’s why it’s said, ‘Kunja Vihari, Krishna Murari, Lila Dhari’, so that they can enjoy that Leela also with Him.

Because this leela of Bhagavan is not easy to get. This leela of Thakur is very rare. The wise ones, they will enjoy it. The unwise ones, they will put it aside. That’s why He is called Lila Dhari. Lila Dhari stands also for this longing, when the bhakta has this longing for Him, He will come.

You see, we were talking about the Gopi Gita, na? We know the story of the Gopies, how much they loved Krishna and why Krishna manifested for them there at that moment, at that time it is very sweet to know, you know. This is…this verse here, ‘Jaba Jaba Pida Pade Bhakta Par, Bar Bar Avatar Kiya-a-a-a’, which means, He comes, not for His sake, He comes for the bhakta's sake. He comes, He manifests Himself, He lowers Himself for the sake of the devotee. Here you have to see the sweetness of Giridhari, sweetness of God, how wonderful He is, you know.

In the time of Sri Ram…you know, Rama was sent to exile in the forest, na? As He was in exile in the forest…I was saying that in Croatia, you remember? As He was sent in the forest there was a bunch of rishis meditating there, deep meditation, they were doing their sadhana, you know. And as Rama was passing by they saw Lord Rama. When they saw Lord Rama they realised, “We are doing our penance for what? What are we doing all this for?”

The same, you know, we amass so much wealth, so much things from the world, do you know when death will come to you? Huh? That you don’t know. In one second it can snatch everything away. So, what is yours? Nothing! Everything what is here will stay here. That’s what Gita said, “You came empty-handed, you will leave empty-handed.” All what you take from here will stay here. The only thing why you are born, is to realise the Lord. The only thing why you are born is to attain Him, to be with Him.

So, here the rishis, great yogis are meditating, saw Lord Rama walking with Lakshman. Of course, with their Divine sight they could see that this is the manifestation of Narayana Himself, na? They said, “All our penance, we are doing to attain Him and here He is walking as a human being; ‘Jaba Jaba Pida Pade Bhakta Par, Bar Bar Avatar Kiya’, you know, ‘Papa Mitakara Dhira Dikhakara’, to show the way, to show the path. ‘Manava Ko Oddhar Kiya’, which means, He takes the form He takes a human form.

So, seeing that form the rishis said, “Why are we meditating? Why are we – how say – sitting like this here?” At that moment, they said, “We should have become women!

[audience laughs]

The bhav inside of them awoke to love Him. So, automatically what happened? Due to that bhav, due to that emotion inside of them they started running madly in love towards Rama. You see, the two Avatars, even if it is the same Lord, they have different qualities. Krishna is called Lila Dhari, Rama is Dharma Dhar. So, it’s quite difficult, different personality, you know. [audience laughs] He is very righteous and very… this is Rama. Whereas Krishna, He would see the rishis coming, He would say, “Yeey come, let’s have fun!” [audience laughs]

So, when the rishis, sages and sadhus saw Rama…they had this bhav inside of them, you know, they said to themselves, “You know, why we are just men?” At that moment they realised that every creation is feminine towards the Lord, you know. Every creation which is created is feminine. There is no male in creation. There is only feminine. The only male is the Supreme Lord Himself. So when the rishis realised that truth they had this wish.

So, running towards Rama with such bhav like mad, you know, some of them, [audience laughs] so, Rama saw them coming, bunch of them, you know, running towards…and put Lakshman in front, “Please, protect me!” [audience laughs]

Lakshman, you know, Lakshman, Adishesh, you know, very powerful, stands there. Then they asked, “Why are you stopping us? We want to go to our Lord!” Then from behind Rama said, “Sadhujis!” meaning, “O sages, in this life I can’t let you be near me. In this life you have taken…you are sadhus…you are forest dwellers. So, you can’t be near Me in this life. But I promise you one thing; in my next incarnation when I come you all, your wishes will be fulfilled. So, I will be born in Vrindavan, you come. Be born also there as a gopies. Your wishes will be fulfilled.” So, the sadhus did their penance to attain the Lord and you see how easy the Lord made it for them.

You see, you can do your part, you can do your maximum. Your sadhana you have to do, but the Grace is given by the Lord Himself. And that’s the Grace that your sadhana allows you to receive. And that’s more higher than anything, you know, that kripa.

That’s why it is said that time to time He manifests to save the devotees, to remove the suffering. What is the suffering? Suffering of the mind. Suffering of many kinds, you know.

Then it’s said, ‘Matsya Kurma Varaha Narahari, Vamana Ko Avatara Kiya-a-a-a’. So the Lord incarnates as Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, na? So all these forms are different aspects of Narayana.

Parashurama aur Rama Krishna’. Parashuram, Ram and Krishna; so all the other Avatars; Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narahari, Vamana, these are incarnations which came to bring peace in the world. So they manifested themselves to balance the world from…the rebalancing from demons at that time, different kinds of demons who came. Whereas, Parashuram, Ram and Krishna, they came to destroy the pride and arrogance. They manifested themselves to destroy the evil doer. You see, when pride arises you think you are very important. Isn’t it? Huh?

Audience: Yes!

SV: You know, you think that you are the master of everything. You have to be always front, front. Isn’t it?

Audience: Yes!

SV: But where would that lead? Nowhere! So, this is the Lord Himself. You know, when you look at Parashuram, Ram, Krishna; they came to destroy these manifestations. You know, to destroy whether it’s pride, arrogance, all this. So, here is very important to realise also that… ‘Parashurama Aura Rama Krishna Bana, Dushto Ko Samhara Kiya’ Also the Master incarnates in that form to destroy pride and arrogance.

Bhajana Se Mana Ko Sajana Banakara, Bhakti Marga Dikhala Diya-a-a-a’, Which means; to calm the mind, to relief the mind, to divert the mind from evil thoughts the only way is to sing the glory of the Lord, you know. And by singing the glory of the Lord, that’s Bhakti Marga, that’s the path of devotion. There is no other path that will lead one to the Divine.

That Krishna said in the Gita, you know, - He said there is sattvic, tamasic, rajasic; three aspects, three paths, you know. Which are the three paths? The three paths, the three forms of the...the three gunas. No, not the gunas, sorry! What I’m talking about? - Yes, the three kinds of yoga, na? He talks about three; first He said, Jyana yoga, Karma Yoga and Raja Yoga. But from Raja Yoga He separates something. He said, “Above all the three I value Bhakti Yoga; is dearest to Me. Bhakti Yoga is the most auspicious to me, because Bhakti Yoga is much easier.

Here in the bhajan it’s said, ‘Bhakti Marga Dikhala Diya’, by singing the Name of the Lord, by singing itself you are awakening devotion inside of you, you are awakening bhakti.

Hari Bhajana Se Bhava Sagara Ko’, only the Name of Sri Hari will lead one out of samsara., will lead one from this illusion. Only by chanting the Name of Sri Narayana that one will be free from delusion and will be free from life and death.

Parana Bhi Sikhaladiya’, will cross over the ocean of birth and death.

So, it’s said, ‘Narayana Hari Narayan, Narayana Bhajo Narayan’, only by chanting the Name of Narayana this is possible, nothing else. So this is the bhajan which I love very much.

So, good. You understand it?

Audience: Yes!

SV: Really?

Audience: No! Yes!

SV: Good to hear it. You have all life to understand it.

[audience laughs]

25 Jul 2015

Darshan in Mannheim, Germany

Last Wednesday’s Darshan in Mannheim, Germany was complete with excitement as dozens of devotees and over one hundred people new to Swami filled the Darshan hall.

Not only local Mannheim guests arrived, but more than two full buses of residents and community members came to support the event.

Swamiji started the Darshan with a satsang

Sri Swami Vishwananda asked, “Why are you here in this world? Answer me! Anything!”
We heard three answers from the audience: "Love," "To find God," and "To learn." Swamiji responded:

"Different people have different aims, different views of what one has to achieve. But all these achievements are right. But to achieve it there is one most important thing: to attain God you need to love. To learn, you need to love what you are learning. Otherwise you will not learn anything. So, love is what connects everybody and this is the dharma of humans; it's to love each another.”

A short note should be mentioned that this Darshan had some of its best livestreamed results yet!  The Periscope application has had some of its largest use to date with over 350 viewers watching the livestreamed event! Follow @BhaktiMarga108 to get updates about the next Periscope livestream.

Street Kirtan

Soon after arrival, devotees went en masse on a sankirtan voyage through the city. The kirtan-goers created a passion-filled wake that drew in people of all sorts to join the mobile concert. The party attracted interested citizens to follow back to the hall and receive Darshan from Sri Swami Vishwananda.

 As one of the devotees recalls:

“The kirtan actually started in the buses, as excitement grew and devotees warmed up to the day’s festivities. Around 20-30 people started with a circular formation invoking the grace of the masters as they took off to the streets. We headed to a popular park nearby and we encountered many people. Lots of private videos and photos were taken from houses and balconies. The group was joyful. We were there to support Sri Swami Vishwananda.”

The devotee noted that he felt that “if we get one person to come to Swami, we are successful. We gave away fliers for Darshan and it was a great experience when we got to the water fountain…so beautiful—Hari Nam, Gauranga, we chanted these repeatedly when we arrived.

"At that moment a group of people arrived and joined. They were interested in the collective happiness. As I like to call ‘Mahaprasad of the Name of Gauranga.’ At that point, I stopped the playing to explain what the day was about for the kirtan group.”

As the kirtan group had been dancing, soaking, and playing in the water fountain, he noted that the water got charged with the name of Gauranga. The curious people too, dipped in the fountain and tried singing. The group taught them to sing “Swami Vishwananda” and thus they were blessed through the water both the name of God and Guru.
“I was so happy because our purpose was to share Name of God and Guruji and sing and be happy and spread that happiness to people not in the kirtan. I feel we were very successful. People smiled, waved and danced. Music from beginning to end was really rocking, and created a joyful energy that carried even in the buses [driving back to SPN] until 1 a.m.”

The devotee remembers around eight curious people that day who came off the street to join the experience of Darshan and had the opportunity to go straight to the front of the line to meet Sri Swami Vishwananda.

“It was obvious” the devotee mentions, “that the music sustained the devotees until late, no fatigue. We left at 1 p.m. and arrived at 1 a.m.—roughly twelve hours of continuous singing…that was really beautiful.”

“In general,” he said, “really great experiences come from street kirtan, many people we have brought to ashram and Guruji. But more important to distract the mind, to plant seeds of Hari Nam. People feel the Love and bhakti we carry. Then people get interested. People wave back, kids join in to dance, people clap. They see just a gang of happy people showing love for God! In that way, we reach many people, many different age, background, nationalities.”

Due to the numbers, many devotees were required to wait outside the hall. Inspired by the previous successful kirtan, a second wave of music developed and another kirtan took off to the streets of Mannheim. The enthusiastic singers and musicians attracted several more curious citizens to follow back to the hall to receive Darshan from Swamiji. Many of these new to Darshan with Sri Swami Vishwananda were anxious for the next big event at Shree Peetha Nilaya, Gurupurnima.

OM Healing and Mantra Project Satsang with Swami Kuru

Swami Kuru had the opportunity to share OM Healing and the Mantra Project with a local yoga studio (Bala Shanti Yoga Zentrum). The people enjoyed it very much and had great questions to ask about Bhakti Marga, OM Healing, and the practice of the Mantra Project.

All in all, Darshan in Mannheim was a blast. Packed full of singing, music, and fun, Mannheim provided lots of special experiences to be remembered!

24 Jul 2015

Experiences from the Sri Yantra Course with Sri Swami Vishwananda

This past weekend, Sri Swami Vishwananda led an event at Shree Peetha Nilaya honouring Divine Mother in her mystical geometric form. In the Sri Yantra course, a two-day exclusive discourse on the inner meanings of this symbol Divine Mother, Swamiji invited people to find those qualities within themselves.

We interviewed some of the participants to hear how the course was for them, and what they learned from their introduction to the Divine Mother via Sri Swami Vishwananda.

Experience of a Translator

Wonderful! It was very informative. It felt like I was connecting to something inside of us. I could imagine and connect to [the Sri Yantra]. I felt Guruji explained everything very well, as always: very clear and accessible.

Doing the complicated puja was rewarding. It now makes sense to make the effort and commit yourself…there are simpler ways, but this is the cosmic energy and divine energy which is our essence and so you have to really give yourself time to invest in your Self. Your true Self, this divine essence.

I had feedback prior to doing it that it was going to be really special, and my experience was truly incredible. [The course] gives you all the tools you need to connect fully with the Divine. There it is, in the Sri Yantra—if you see it, if you let it.

[Sri Swami Vishwananda] was incredibly giving and generous with his time. That’s what’s so amazing with him. He shares so much and is so patient whether they are knowledgeable or not. As long as we will put in the effort to find the Divine, he will give us the tools to do so.

Giving us the amazing mantra (at the end) is one of the highlights which furthers our ability to go deeper into the practice. I always find with him you can’t really put it into words what he gives us. You can’t truly understand what he gives us because it’s unfathomable. The gratitude we can give is not adequate for what you receive. No one truly understands what you really get from it.

From an Atma Kriya Yoga Teacher

“What were you expecting about the course?”

Information about the Sri Yantra…I got the information I needed — we are the Sri Yantra. As an Atma Kriya Yoga teacher, the Sri Yantra course helped me see that while doing Atma Kriya Yoga, we are doing puja. It is the biggest Abhishekham for us. Imagine ourselves as the Sri Yantra and our Kriya is much like the Sri Yantra puja. The course allowed me to experience this connection, and better understand the beauty in the Sri Yantra.

“Can you tell me about working with Guruji?”

It is amazing to be with [Sri Swami Vishwananda]. It is difficult, mental notes are hard because of so much information. I feel like learning the information in the course makes the drawing of the Sri Yantra very extraordinary because of having the meaning of the individual parts. During the initiation, I felt something very special. I don’t know what but it was something really deep. I don’t have words to explain what happened, but I know it was strong. I nearly fell asleep—a calmness came about me.

From a Devotee

I didn’t have any expectations. But to be honest, I did the course just to spend time with Him. The content was less important than time spent with him. The experience was amazing though. Hearing him recite the mantras, chanting the mantras, and meditating on the parts of the Sri Yantra left me with a spiritual high. Going through the experience though, I felt connected to something I wasn’t expecting any connection with. I feel like we barely scratched the surface of what the Sri Yantra is. But I feel like he planted the seeds for something that may reveal itself in the future.

 I feel like I got a taste of what the Sri Yantra is and means. I feel like it only scratched the surface because I don’t think the essence of the Sri Yantra can be described with words. However, Guruji gives not just words but this whole other type of experience beyond communication.

21 Jul 2015

Auspicious Cow Seva in the New Bhakti Marga Era

Sri Swami Vishwananda talks to devotees while preparations were being made for the first auspicious abishekam on His Lotus Feet with the milk of Bhakti Marga cows

On last Friday night, more than 200 devotees of Sri Swami Vishwananda, who had come to Shree Peetha Nilaya to attend the Sri Yantra Course on the 18-19 July, received an unexpected blessing: the opportunity to attend an auspicious abishekam on Swamiji's Lotus Feet.

This event took place, without an official pre-announcement, in the Light Hall of Shree Peetha Nilaya, where people started to gathered around Sri Swami Vishwananda after 22:00. The particularity of this abishekam is that it was made with the milk obtained from the two new Bhakti Marga cows last milking before they give birth in September.

These two cows were donated to Sri Swami Vishwananda in the morning of the first day of the Celebrations of the 10 Year Anniversary of Bhakti Marga. A few hundred devotees present outside of Shree Peetha Nilaya's Main Entrance, were surprised by their sudden appearance, while they were being guided towards the lobby.


Sri Swami Vishwananda in the lobby of Shree Peetha Nilaya, ready to welcome both cows and to give them His blessings.

It is very auspicious that Bhakti Marga Cow Seva has begun during the celebrations of the 10 Year Anniversary of Bhakti Marga. In order to have a little glimpse of the deep meaning of these auspicious happenings, let us remind ourselves of the cow's great importance in the Hindu tradition and its symbolism, in particular in Vaishnavism.

Gau Dhaan
‘Gau’ means ‘cow’ and ‘Dhaan’ means ‘donation’. The auspiciousness of cow donation is known since ancient times, when cows were donated to brahmins, in particular by kings, whose duty was to support the good functioning of the ashrams. The cows provided the products milk, yogurt, ghee, urine and dung which were needed to perform the Hindu rituals of worship, like puja, abishekam and yagna.  In Vaishnavism, the donation of a cow it is considered to be the second highest form of donation which someone can give to a Guru (first being one's own surrender), and its benefits are endless.

Sri Swami Vishwananda performing a puja on both cows in the morning of the first day of the 10YBM Celebrations

Gau Mata
‘Gau’ means ‘cow’ and ‘Mata’  means ‘Mother’. In the Hindu scriptures the cow is referred to as Devi and Mother Earth, the ever-giving nourisher, providing for all and sustaining the life of all creatures. In the Hindu tradition, all cows are considered to be the earthly embodiment of Kamadhenu (also referred to as Surabhi), the miraculous ‘cow of plenty’ or ‘wish-fulfilling cow’ and ‘mother of all cows’, who came out of the Churning of the Milky Ocean. She is commonly depicted together with her daughter Nandini and is a symbol of abundance and prosperity.

The cow is a symbol of gentleness, maternity, selfless service, loving-acceptance, tolerance, strength and endurance. The cow milk and dairy products are a major source of  nourishment; the cow dung is a source of fuel and is also used as fertilizer and disinfectant; its urine is used for medicinal purposes. By venerating the cows, people are inspired to develop these qualities.

Sri Swami Vishwananda visits the BM cowshed in Springen on Friday afternoon, before the abishekam

Lord Krishna, the cowherd of Vrindavan
The sweetest pastimes of Lord Krishna, the 8th Avatar of Mahavishnu, took place in Vrindavan, where He played the role of a cowherd. His Names Govinda and Gopala are related to that Bala Leela:

Govinda - ‘Go’ means ‘cow’, ‘land’, ‘senses’ and ‘vinda’ means ‘pleasure-giving’; whenever and wherever Lord Krishna appears, everything becomes very satisfying and pleasing.

Gopala - ‘Go’ means ‘cow’, ‘land’, ‘senses’ and ‘pala’ means ‘protector’, ‘guide’ ; the one who captures our senses, protects, and guides our souls towards the ultimate goal: supreme Love.

A true Satguru like Sri Swami Vishwananda is an embodiment of Lord Krishna Himself. There is no difference between the Satguru, the Supreme Lord or the Supreme Love. Therefore, the Satguru Himself is Govinda and Gopala.

Swamiji shared this with us during the Shreemad Bhagavad Gita course last year. Here's a piece from his commentary on chapter 4 verse 7:

"All the organs of the body are represented in the feet. In reflexology, it is shown that the feet represent the whole being. That’s why wherever we go, we touch the Feet of the Master; we are focused on the Feet of the Master; we surrender to the Feet of the Master.

"In this verse, the Lord said to Arjuna, “I can manifest Myself in any form: the scriptures don’t know where or when I will manifest Myself. But I always do it when there is a threat that the whole world will perish. And when there is a threat that one will perish, I manifest Myself in the form of the Guru, to help free one from ignorance.”

The book of Sri Swami Vishwananda's Shreemad Bhagavad Gita Bhasya is just recently off to the printers, and will be available for purchase by Gurupurnima! We're also publishing 108 videos of the Shreemad Bhagavad Gita course on our YouTube channel between now and Gurupurnima - check those out here.

18 Jul 2015

Bhakti Marga 10 Year Anniversary in the Press

This week a nice article appeared in the leading regional newspaper, the "Wiesbadener Tagblatt", about the 10 year anniversary of Bhakti Marga. It was positioned on the front page of the regional section.

We would like to share a translation of its contents with you. The link to the online edition of the article in German can be found here.

The Bhakti Marga spiritual community in Heidenrod-Springen celebrates its anniversary with 2000 guests

SPRINGEN - Around 2,000 people came for the ten year anniversary of the spiritual community Bhakti Marga (path of devotion) to their centre in Heidenrod-Springen. License plates ranging from Kiel to Konstanz, from Russia via the Netherlands to Portugal could be spotted across the parking lot. But also guests from Japan, Brazil or Morocco came for celebrating the anniversary with their spiritual master Sri Swami Vishwananda.

Starting in Idstein

The festival atmosphere in the extensive premises is accordingly lively and colorful. Children are playing football in the garden, or trying out archery. At small stands vegetarian dishes from India are offered, grilled or out of the pizza ovens. Off the big stage, a singing and dancing crowd has gathered around a musician of the 'Bhakti Sounds' kirtan band who combines the Van Halen classic 'Jump' with mantras. "Music is an important part of Bhakti Marga, because it goes straight to the heart and is an expression of the soul," explains Stephan Meyer. The 48-year-old is a man of the first hour of the spiritual community. "I met Swami in Switzerland in 1998. In the early years we were friends and then it evolved into a teacher-disciple relationship", he recalls. Eventually in 2003 the founder of the community, who is a native of the island of Mauritius, and half a dozen men and women first gathered in Idstein/Germany. From there they went on a search of a place where they could live together.

Like a commune

"At first it was like a commune. We would sit in the kitchen together to cook and chat," says Stephan Meyer. The first Ashram was set up by the Community end of 2004 in Steffenshof in the Hunsrück region, shortly after which Bhakti Marga was officially launched. Then in 2007 the community discovered the former trade union centre in Springen and began with its renovation the following year.

In 2013 the centre could be officially opened. Now the next step is about to be undertaken in which one of the buildings is to be converted into a large Hindu temple. 2.5 million euros are needed for this endeavour. A sum which can't be generated out of the running operations. Thus not only the concept of the temple was introduced as part of the anniversary celebrations, but also the fundraising was started.

Furthermore the plan is to launch a Bhakti Marga academy to disseminate the teachings and contents of the spiritual community. The reason simply being, that after ten years, in which already 23 temples and centers have been established around the world, one now wants to go more to the outside.

In the message box about the peace pole it says:
The World Peace Prayer Society launched the Peace Pole Project already back in 1976. All over the world the poles proclaim the following message (usually in several languages): "May Peace Prevail on Earth." To mark the tenth anniversary of the spiritual community in Heidenrod-Springen, its founder Sri Swami Vishwananda was now presented with such a peace pole which can be found at the entrance section of the ashram.

Wiesbadener Tagblatt

World Peace Prayer Society

Bhakti Marga Fundraising Page for the New Temple

16 Jul 2015

Third day of 10YBM Celebrations

The third and final day of Bhakti Marga’s 10 Year Anniversary weekend was intense and packed full of activities.

The morning kicked off with group yoga practices including Bababji’s Surya Namaskar and Atma Kriya Yoga followed by special Abhishek on Sri Swami Vishwananda's personal deities. Swamiji invited two visiting swamis on stage at the end, to offer arati to the deities, while Bhakti Sounds sang beautiful bhajans and kirtans.

National groups had the opportunity to take photos with Guruji.

Bhakti Marga Portugal and Sri Swami Vishwananda (center)
Bhakti Marga Poland and Sri Swami Vishwananda
Bhakti Marga Russia

Throughout Shree Peetha Nilaya, more than 600 people formed OM Healing circles, covering the ashram to form a Maha OM Healing experience. Many engaged in this ancient healing technique, which created an atmosphere that even those who were not participating felt immersed in its sphere of influence.

Tours of Shree Peetha Nilaya continued into the final day. Newcomers and devotees could see the progress that the ashram and Bhakti Marga have made. The three day Tombola silent auction came to a close, the results were exhibited and buyers secured their prizes.

A unique “wish-fulfilling” or, “Kalpa Vriksha” tree planting ceremony took place in the front lawn, where many gathered to hear Swamiji explain . Beautiful opera pieces sang by Nami (Namrata Shah) and Vikash (Stephan Müller) accompanied the planting ritual.

Rishi Nikhilananda's brief speech captivated the audience as he officially announced that Sri Swami Vishwananda’s Ten Year Anniversary festival marked Bhakti Marga's first annual Just Love festival. He also announced the upcoming creation of the Bhakti Marga Academy, where devotees will be able to learn a wide variety of topics, from Swamiji's teachings, to religions like Hinduism and Christianity, and even practical courses like Vegetarian Cooking.

Devotees were able to perform pujas to deities in four different temples spread throughout the ashram
The evening comprised of numerous performances by international Bhakti Sounds groups with a dance routine, by Bhakti Sounds Latvia, Croatia, England, and Mauritius all had an opportunity to share their distinct takes on Hindu bhajans.

A “jam” session consisting of Bittu Mallick, Karthiegasen, and Bhakti Sounds completed the day full of events and a well-received, unforgettable festival celebrating Sri Swami Vishwananda and his mission.

We all watched a compilation of the #LoveChangesEverything video campaign productions, and then heard from each of the swamis and swaminis of Bhakti Marga, as they shared their heartfelt gratitude and respect for Guruji, Sri Swami Vishwananda, in his constant work to bring us further in the Path of Devotion, Bhakti Marga.