31 Jan 2014

Darshan in Florianopolis with Sri Swami Vishwananda

Last night we had the first public event of Guruji's trip to Brazil. Florianopolis is the first of three cities Guruji is visiting to give Darshan and Satsang.

Darshan was held in a beautiful tropical resort as can be seen in the backdrop of Guruji's chair!

Swami Vishwananda spoke about the leap one has to make from conditional love to Unconditional Love. The 150 people present listened very attentively to every spoken word. Guruji said "If you are hungry, you will feed yourself right? So if your soul is hungry then you must also feed your soul!" The way to do that is through our sadhana. The point is you must be hungry in the first place because sadhana without this hunger to know the self and to attain the Divine is pointless. 

He then said "Find that hunger, then feed it with discipline and watch how your soul will prosper and shine through. Then you will reflect God's light everywhere you go. You will see that realisation is nothing but a change in perception. The minute you truly see the world differently and see God in everything - then you can call yourself realised."

The Brazilian devotees sang bhajans in a very distinct South-American style for hours as Guruji blessed all present and spoke to all seeking guidance. Tandav sang all his Brazilian bhajans that usually nobody understands in Springen but here everybody joined in! It was very sweet to watch them sing together about Guruji in their mother tongue.

At the end of the Darshan Guruji called all the devotees in close to remove their shyness. They were all very polite and quiet and sang very quietly so Guruji teased them a little. He asked "I heard Brazilians were good musicians and very enthusiastic? No?" Of course they felt compelled to say yes and so Guruji helped them to sing some bhajans, teaching them to sing all the sanskrit lyrics. He was very successful! By the end everybody was singing out loud with great joy and vibrancy. In that elevated atmosphere, Guruji ended the event and left the hall to loud applause from all present.
(written by Nikhilananda)

28 Jan 2014

First pictures from Florianopolis / Brazil

Yesterday Swami Vishwananda arrived in Florianopolis. 

With Ram and his family he made a trip throughout the city, had some corn, 

and visited a church. 

In the evening Guruji decided spontaneously to go to the "Vrinda Ashram" in Florianopolis, a small ashram with 4 bramacharis and 4 bramacharinis. 

Other guests from them and from Guruji also came and Guruji rocked with amazing bhajans almost 3 hours long!

26 Jan 2014

Brazil is calling!

Now Swami Vishwananda is on his way to Brazil

He has a long nightflight to Sao Paulo and than to Florianapolis. There will be Darshan on Wednesday and Satsang on Thursday. 

With him are Nikhilananda and Tandav. They are both Brazilians and support Swamiji with Bhajans during the events there. 

25 Jan 2014

HE made it

A little story from the period before Christmas :

Some of us were busy to make the center nice for Christmas. I had planned to decorate Swamiji darshan chair in the light-hall for the darshans after Christmas .

When I came into the light-hall, I saw that the area and the frame around the church door was beautifully decorated with fairy-lights. Dakshini was there and I suspected that she did it and said, "Oh, you have made it so beautiful!" She smiled and said, "HE has done it." I examined exactly how the lights were attached and asked her how she did it. She repeated, "No, you do not understand, HE did it, He makes everything!" Now, it took a little while, very slowly I understood what she meant!

Yes, of course! We are, in the best case, just the tools in His hands, but He is the One who does everything!

I said, "Oh ... then we'll see how He makes now the decoration for His darshan chair!" And I started to work on it.

And He did also the chair so beautiful ;-) !

(written by Drishti)

23 Jan 2014

T-Shirt Lila

“The Divine is far away from the mind because it is very difficult for the mind to understand the Divine. Until you have really cleansed the mind completely, until you have really purified the mind completely, it is quite difficult to understand the Divine.”
Swami Vishwananda

The above statement proved to be especially true a few weeks ago in Shree Peetha Nilaya. As the Media Team was getting ready to introduce the new t-shirt collection for the 2013 Christmas events, we asked Swami which t-shirt designs he preferred. As He looked through the selection, He made a few comments about each design, and pointed out that He especially liked the “Love” design which was shown to Him. Taking His input into consideration, the Media Team decided to order three t-shirt designs, one was a “Sri Yantra” design, another was a “Just Love and Chant the Devine Names” design, and lastly the simple “Love” design that Swami had mentioned He liked.

The t-shirts were on sale during the Christmas events and turned out be very popular with the Devotees. With the exception of the “Love” design, all of the other designs completely sold out, and we didn’t have any left over to sell after the conclusion of the Christmas events. This was somewhat surprising to the Media team, and we wondered how it could be that we sold all of the shirts except the one that Swami Himself said He liked. It would be one thing if none of the shirts sold well, but for every other design to be completely sold out, and for almost no one to buy the “Love” design didn’t make any sense.

As human beings usually tend to do, we started to rationalise as to why this happened. We said to ourselves, well the design is too plain, the design is too confusing, the colors don’t look nice, etc.. As we started to make excuses as to why the “Love” design didn’t sell well, Swami who always mirrors our thoughts, reflected back exactly what we were feeling. Swami started making comments such as “why did we get this design it’s too confusing,” and “we need to be more in touch with what the Devotees want in Europe.” Naturally, since Swami had confirmed what we were thinking, we concluded it was indeed a mistake to order the shirts, even though Swami himself had originally given His blessing and said He liked them.

The story could have ended there, but fortunately for us, God had other plans. It just so happened that during the end of the year celebrations, 12 Mauritian (Mauritius is the Country where Swami was born) Devotees where staying at the Ashram for a few weeks, and were scheduled to leave at the beginning of the New Year. As their stay was coming to an end, one of the Media Team Members thought it would be a good idea to give the t-shirts we hadn’t sold to the Mauritians as a going away present. The night before the Mauritians were scheduled to leave, Swami gave them a gift bag, with a few things they could take back with them including the t-shirts. After the gift bags where presented, a few of the Mauritians wondered if there where extra t-shirts they could take back to Mauritius and distribute them to the Devotees that couldn’t afford to make the pilgrimage to Shree Peetha Nilaya. After the Media Team had counted all of the Devotees in Mauritius that wanted a shirt, and couldn’t make it to Germany, the number of Devotees matched almost the exact amount of shirts that weren’t sold during the Christmas events.

If we had sold additional t-shirts with the “Love” design during the Christmas events, we wouldn’t have had enough to give to the Mauritians. The following day, when the Media Team was analyzing the series of events, we realized to our surprise that the “Love” design had the exact same colors as the Mauritius flag.

The “t-shirt lila” taught everyone in the Media Team a few valuable lessons. If the Guru gives His blessing for anything, whether it’s for something simple as a t-shirt design, to find a life partner, to have a child, to receive a job etc… then one shouldn’t worry about the outcome, one should have faith in the blessing and be firm in the fact that everything will happen exactly the way it should happen. The second lesson we learned is that we can’t possibly begin to understand the Divine with our minds. When we perceive something with our minds, and try to rationalise why certain things should be a certain way, we lose our connection with the Divine. As Swami once said, “the mind always wants to understand something and wants to understand it quickly. Well, there are certain things that the mind can’t comprehend and for that there is another sense to understand it. The sense is the soul itself”.

Hopefully with our Guru’s Grace we are able to understand with our hearts / souls and not our minds, and to follow in the footsteps of the disciples of Jesus. Jesus said to them “blessed are your eyes, for they see and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which you see, and have NOT seen them, and to hear those things which you hear, and have NOT heard them.”

“Nothing is coincidence. When people are saying a coincidence is happening, it’s not a coincidence. There’s no such thing as coincidence. The Lord plans everything in a way that when you are surrendered you know His plan even before you try to think about it. He will place it here, inside of you. Then you’re guided, and He guides you in every step. He brings you where you have to be.”
Swami Vishwananda

(written by Chidananada)

22 Jan 2014

Darshan in Innsbruck / Austria, 20. January 2014

Here some pictures from the Darshan in Innsbruck /Austria and some short news:

Sri Swami Vishwananda spoke about Radha Rani and how her name has an effect on our hearts. He told also some stories about her and her life in Vrindavan and her love to Lord Krishna.

The Bhajans were wonderful, "Mira Maharani" sung amazing, Innsbruck "rocked to insane levels"!

The hall was packed full - more than 700 people came to have darshan from Sri Swami Vishwananda. Everything was very well organized by the Innsbruck team and the event lasted till 4 am early  next morning. 

20 Jan 2014

Darshan in Munich, 19th of January

Last night there was the next Darshan on Sri Swami Vishwananda's Tour of Germany, this time in Munich. More than 500 People where there and the most of them came for the first time to see Swami Vishwananda. The room was packed full.

Swami Vishwananda gave a long talk and told 3 beautiful stories, all covering the theme of surrender to the words and guidance of the Guru. He told the story of Ekalavya, a low caste boy who wanted to learn from Drona Acharya (The Guru of the Pandavas) how to become an archer. The problem was that Drona Acharya was exclusively the teacher of the royal warriors only and so he was unable to teach poor Ekalavya. To overcome this problem Ekalavya created a murthi of Drona Acharya and prayed to it to receive all the learning he yearned for. Such was his faith that he did indeed obtain all the knowledge from the murthi and became the greatest archer in all the kingdom, even greater than Arjuna himself! 

So soon it came to the time for the Guru to take his Guru Dakshina for the teachings he had imparted on to Ekalavya. So Drona Acharya came to him and told him that he would only accept one thing as Dakshina - the thumb of Ekalavya. This would make it virtually impossible for Ekalavya to ever string a bow again and therefore all his learnings would have gone to waste. Yet such was his surrender and complete trust in his Guru that without even thinking once, he cut off his own thumb and offered it at the feet of his Guru. 

Swamiji said this story shows us how sometimes one is unable to understand the ways of the Guru or the decisions and actions he takes, but one thing is abundantly clear - never judge Him or try to fathom Him with the mind. Instead, focus completely on your state of surrender and make it so complete that it never falters. It cannot be that one day we feel this dedication and surrender and the next day it's all gone. We must be more like Ekalavya and surrender to the Lotus Feet of the Master without any thought, doubt or question!

(Thanks to Anubhraba, Ratnamanjari and Naamdev for the pictures and to Nikhilananda for this nice report!)

18 Jan 2014

Darshan 17. January in Friedrichshafen

Last night Sri Swami Vishwananda gave Darshan in south Germany, in Friedrichshafen near the Lake Constance.

He started the evening with some Bhajans and afterwards he gave a long talk:

...about the ego and that there are not friends or enemies, but the ego makes our outside world like this - and he told some nice stories about Krishna with examples.

He also said that if one makes God himself a friend, then he will be it - and then, when God comes, he does not come from the outside towards us, but he comes from the inside out of us!

The Darshan started at 17:00 and as there where more than 400 People, the evening ended with an Aarti ceremony at about 23:00

16 Jan 2014


Is the time for prayer or meditation very important?

Sri Swami Vishwananda: 

"Time for prayer or meditation is very important. Because, you see, why you have set a certain time is not only for you to be present at that time! If you are thinking you are going to meditate now at seven o‘clock, when you say the time you set for prayer or your meditation, there is also the Deity coming! 
For example, we go to the temple to pray at 6:30 - there, of course the Lord has also manifested Himself at that time. He also waits for you the same way you probably wait for Him! Because you see, He longs for you! I don‘t know whether you long for Him. This is a relationship, where you put time! 
He is there, sitting and waiting for you! Then you come at 7:00 - so half an hour He was tired, waiting for you. So, that‘s why time is very important."

Shree Peetha Nilaya, Springen, Germany, 21 September 2012

14 Jan 2014

Darshan in Berlin, 11th January

For the Darshan in Berlin Swamini VishwaDayaMati found a very nice place called "Logenhous" with space for 400 visitors.  It was possible to go there already the afternoon before and start with the setup of the music system and the soundcheck.

Subsequently, all helpers went to a pizzeria (12 apostles) and we had a lovely evening in the presence of Sri Swami Vishwananda.

We knew beforehand of 350 applications (180 "first comers") and it was clear that the room would be full. There were over 400 visitors and the darshan lasted about 5 hours.

After Swami Vishwananda came in, he began to sing and interrupted several times his Bhajan and encouraged again and again the visitors sing along loudly. He spoke about prayer, singing for God and the direct conversation with God.

Swamiji had to leave right after the darshan to the airport because at the Ashram in Springen our 12 visitors from Mauritius where waiting to say goodbye to him - they flew the next morning back home.

7 Jan 2014

Guruji's first job in the new year!

After most of the guests left on the third of January, Swamiji came one morning into the entrance hall and announced: "So, today begins the work!"

We did not know what he meant, but we soon got to feel and understand it.
He convened meetings with each department (without the group leaders), listened to what works well and what does not work and took notes. This took a whole day! He really took the time necessary for such an inspection.

Everyone of us became more aware of our individual processes and failures but happily we found a lot of solutions as well.
What was additionally triggered inside each of us - our internal processes - only He knows. Our Guru is doing a great job with us!

3 Jan 2014

Lexus Auction is finished

The highest bid was € 7,200 and was offered by the residents of Shree Peetha Nilaya just before the auction ended.

Since the beginning of December, we secretly collected some money. Together with the help of some devotees from outside, we reached a sum of 7200 € together.

We could not bear it somehow that the Lexus would leave our home, and wanted to keep the car for the museum, which will probably be opened here one day.

Now we have the Lexus here. The car is technically well taken care of in a garage and when the time comes it will be placed into a suitable "show-room".

New Year's Night at Springen

We wish you a happy new year 2014! 

The new year's night at Shree Peetha Nilaya started with singing Bhajans in the Lighthall. 

Afterwards, at midnight the first thing in this new year was to perform Aarti to all the deities on the altar in the temple.

Then Swamiji made his way outside to see the fireworks - with a lot of "Happy New Year's" to the devotees on the way out.

He lit the first rocket -

and then a wonderful fireworks display started - with lots of light, glitter and noise, the spirits of the old year were driven away! 

We all felt so blessed to be with him in this night! 

At the end until the early morning there was "Disco Night" in the entrance hall.

All these days with Swami Vishwananda filled us all with his presence in such a big way! He presented us again and again with many spontaneous actions - be it singing in the temple, serving us food or dancing with us all till late into the night, especially the newly invented "Sri Yantra Dance"

New Year's Eve in Switzerland

At the Sri Kamalanetra Krishna Temple in Cudrefin

Almost 30 Swiss devotees celebrated the last day of 2013 together with Swami Kuru from Springen and Swamini Kishori at the Sri Kamalanetra Krishna temple in Cudrefin. According to Sri Swami Vishwananda’s wish the whole evening was dedicated to Lakshmi Narayana. Before we began with the Lakshmi Narayana Abishekam, Swami Kuru gave a Satsang in which he explained deeply to us the meaning of Bhajo Nitai Gaurango Radhe Shyam Japa Hare Krishna Hare Ram and Lakshmi Narayana.

After Abhishekam the devotees wished for an OM Healing and another Satsang with Swami Kuru who answered spiritual questions (what is a Swami? How did you meet Guruji?). Swami Kuru also spoke in a very heart touching way about the time before Dharmananda left his body and his experiences with Guruji during that time.

This was followed by a huge dinner buffet and a few video clips from the last Indian pilgrimage with Swami Vishwananda to Mount Arunachala in South India. Swamini Kishori explained to us that whereas Mount Kailash is the Seat of Shiva, Arunachala is Shiva himself.

Outside we had prepared a Lakshmi Narayana Yagna and finally at midnight we all sat covered with blankets, happily around the fire. It was a very special atmosphere and the presence of the Divine Mother could be felt. At the end of the yagna, the Divine Mother blessed us with a few drops of rain. We all felt very much showered with presents and love during this New Year’s Eve.
 SV Kishori