28 Feb 2014

First Shivaratri Night

Last night Sri Swami Vishwananda started with the Shivaratri celebrations. 

In the early evening he held the following speech: 

'Shiva took in the form of Anjaneya (Hanuman) the Aspect of service. Shiva shows how great it is to forget about oneself, to be dedicated to the service, to serve the lord. Shiva stands for the forgiveness of the pride, he is the destroyer of the pride so that only god is live.

We are so concentrated on the Ego, on the 'I', the 'I' is so big, and as bigger it becomes, as more difficult it is to get rid of it. With Shiva the 'I' disappears an what awakes is the consciousness, which is Shiva. But the consciousness will not just stay as the consciousness, as Shiva, it will devolve to Narayan. The consciousness itself will loose its Ego consciousness and will arise to the super consciousness and it will reach the absolute. 
Thats what Shivaratri is: You forget about the pride and let the pure consciousness inside of you awake.'

As there where already more than 400 visitors here to celebrate the great night of Shiva,  we organized 4 shifts so that everybody had the opportunity to sit one abishekam inside the temple. 

Who could not be inside the temple was sitting outside nearby in the lighthall where there was a big screen to watch live what happens inside. 

The night was supposed to finish at 2am in the morning, but our 'hardcore' devotees rocked the night till the morning prayers at 7am. 

25 Feb 2014

Shivaratri Schedule

Jai Gurudev Bhakti Marga Family,

We would like to announce a small addition to the Shivaratri schedule. On Thursday the 27th we will be conducting an unofficial Shivaratri prayer adhering to the traditional Hindu calendar for all those present at Shree Peetha Nilaya. The official ceremonies you are all invited to remain unchanged and will take place on the 28th of February.

We look forward to seeing you all this week!

23 Feb 2014

Atma Kriya Yoga Teacher Training

Jai Gurudev!

At the beginning of last week, the Atma Kriya Yoga Teacher Training of 2014 concluded. It was a whirlwind of two weeks - lots early mornings and long evenings of study and practice. We wanted to share a bit about what happened, and what experiences the new teachers have gone back into the world with.

The new teachers came from all around the planet:
European countries like Germany, Switzerland, France, Croatia, Slovenia, Portugal, Great Britain, Spain, and Italy;
African countries like Kenya, South Africa, and Mauritius.
Both eastern and western United States: Hawaii, New England, and Alaska,
Many new teachers came from Russia, even a young doctor from Malaysia!

From the beginning, the training was intense but enjoyable - the trainers really knew the topics deeply, and they taught us about all things Atma Kriya Yoga.

They taught also about how to teach, so that not only would we as new teachers be able to know all about Atma Kriya Yoga, but that we also would be able to explain why we love to practice it to people who've not yet heard about it.

Many practice sessions later, the teacher-trainers gave their okay for all attendants to participate in a three-day initiation yagna with Guruji. It was a very amazing experience.

To get a deeper benefit from doing the yagna, all new teachers were asked to stay in silence for all three days, and to avoid touching anyone - not even family members!

During the days of silence, one teacher-trainer noticed that everyone was getting a bit stiff from sitting every day for so long. They suggested that we all go outside and have a walk after lunch. It was very nice. The whole group was in quietly walking, chanting Om Namo Narayanaya internally, and we followed the "parikrama" path (the path going around a holy place) around Shree Peetha Nilaya.

The new teachers, from the beginning of the course, connected very well with each other. There was a great energy in the room, day after day, and lots of new friends were made.

It was clear that everyone's lives had been touched in deep ways through practice of Atma Kriya Yoga and through contact with Guruji. Through this training, we now have tools to share this Love in powerful ways.

Many stories and experiences arose about the closeness of the Masters and of the Divine Mother to all people. Throughout the training, we got to experience that closeness, time and time again. We got the gift to spend time remembering how much Love is made available to us by Atma Kriya Yoga and by the presence of the Masters.

One of the more enjoyable parts for me was getting the chance to practice speaking about what Atma Kriya Yoga can mean to people's lives, and about how great a blessing has been given to me and to so many people through having Guruji in our lives. As a new Atma Kriya Yoga teacher, I really look forward to share these life-changing gifts with those who are ready to give time and energy to meet Love within themselves.

Big thanks to Guruji and to Mahavatar Babaji for giving us Atma Kriya Yoga. This gift is unimaginably valuable. To be able to share this gift with people is beyond anything I dreamed about.

Secondly, big thanks to our teacher trainers. They were amazing, and raised our standards as devotees in a really great way.

Much love, and,... this cannot be said enough: Jai Gurudev!

Sanjayananda, Atma Kriya Yoga teacher 

21 Feb 2014

Darshan in Mauritius

We have got some nice "fresh" pictures from Mauritius. Sri Swami Vishwananda gave a Darshan there last night: 

The bhajans where amazing. Sati from Russia together with the Mauritian musicians rocked the Darshan!

20 Feb 2014

Pictures from Mauritius with Sri Swami Vishwananda

Tim sent us some pictures and a lovely letter: 

"It is a very nice privilege to be here in the home and island of Gurudev. I think for me getting to meet His beautiful family has been a highlight. They are all so full of Love, their eyes are bright and receptive, and their smiles are always beaming. They have been treating all of us visitor pilgrims with what I would call, True 'Aloha', or warm greetings."

Arrival day at Sri Ranganath Mandir. Gurudev's Mauritius family full of Love and so Happy to see Him.

 First night with the pilgrimage group... Abishekam to Shivalingam at Sri Ranganath Mandir

 Group visits a Kali Mandir with Gurudev, a very short walk from His home.

Family enjoying the presence of Gurudev after dinner... :)

Puja with kids!

During Christmas there was a "Puja-workshop" with the children. Dorothea says:

Swami VishwaKeshavananda and Tusti organized a "Puja and Abishekam workshop" within the Christmas holidays for the children. Everyone brought his Murti or a laminated picture of Swami Vishwananda's feet for the course.

Swami Keshava and Tusti prepared everything very properly just as if they were about to perform puja and abhishekam in the temple.
We all gathered in front of the altar in the children's room and Swami Keshava went step by step with all of us through the prayers. The children did every part of the puja themselves to their personal murtis. 

There was a great enthusiasm and the kids were the whole time very focused and calm.
The so-called "best thing" came at the end. Everyone could offer Prasad to his Murti. The Divine Mother had more than taken care of us for this part. Tusti arrived with a large basket of fine Swiss chocolate she had received as a gift from an Atma Kriya student. Furthermore, we still had plenty of fruits and other sweets. Soon the Murtis almost disappeared under the Prasad, since we had so much. Everyone was thrilled!

At the end every single child could perform the Arti to his personal Murti.
After more than one and a half hours of high concentration, the children asked very calmly when they might be allowed to eat the Prasad.

I saw how children, irrespective of different backgrounds, languages and ages, supported each another in the puja and the abhishekam and helped each other with calmness and concentration, which was astonishing given their different ages ranging from 4 to 14 years.
At the end not only the murtis and Padukas were cleaned, but also all of us who participated!
Thank you Swamiji

19 Feb 2014

Bhakti Marga Report

Review 2013

Since 2010 we regularly issue yearly reports about the activities of Shree Peetha Nilaya and Bhakti Marga overall. While the previous reports centered mainly around Shree Peetha Nilaya and the progress of its renovation, this years report has the focus on BM Temples and activities all over the world. 

We welcome you, devotees of Swami from all over the world, to send us stories about your temples and centers, about work you conduct and Bhakti Marga projects you have. We will be happy to include them in our next reports. Please, write your stories to:

15 Feb 2014

Satsang 14th February in Shree Peetha Nilaya

The lighthall was packed full - nearly 100 questions were collected before - many where about the same topic but yet, they where all patiently answered according to everybody's own level and understanding!

Sri Swami Vishwananda gave an amazing Satsang, creating a beautiful atmosphere. There was plenty of laughter such was the humorous mood he was in - it was very entertaining and made for a lovely evening!

Here are some of the questions:

How can we not lose the connection to the supreme in our worldly life?
    Remember him and have his image in whatever you do. Whatever God gives you in your life is spiritual work. Its all Him that is doing it. If He does not will it, it will not happen. On the spiritual path one can´t lose connection to God because the essence of life is God Himself. 

    How does the soul create negative karma, as the soul is Divine?

    The soul is not touched by the karma, the karma floats around it, not in it. It creates karma because of the mind. The soul is ever free. It's like in a well, after some time the rope will leave the mark of the pulling. Same with the mind. The mind acts, karma is created, and then this karma stays in the consciousness. The mark of the mind stays as well. You cleanse it by directing the mind towards the Divine, so that all your actions become purified and free from creating any more karma. That’s what your sadhana stands for. Prayers are not just prayers, for when the sadhana is performed with devotion, it erases the negativity from the consciousness itself. When you are near to a higher source it cleanses even more.

    How to pass the tests from the Guru? 

    If you accept you will be able to pass them. There is no need to solve them. You just have to accept what the Guru gives you. How to learn this? Just accept. 

    14 Feb 2014

    Cities of Light

    We want to introduce a new initiative of the OM Healing group: 

    Places where many people live in close proximity to one another are full of life. Yet, sadly, that does not also mean that they are full of Light. On the contrary. People in cities usually don’t live in harmony with nature. Not only with nature ‘outside’, but unfortunately also with their own 'inner' nature. Thus the Light inside of people who live in cities is often dimmed to a point where it becomes weak. The result is that negativity, stress and suffering can take over.

    With the “Cities of Light” initiative our goal is that in 2014, OM Healing is spread to bigger cities everywhere. OMH circles are already active in over 700 places around the globe and, within only a few years, have made a tremendous impact on thousands of lives worldwide, sowing the seeds of light and love among the darkness. Despite all that, there are still many cities where there are no OMH groups yet.

    For more information please send a mail to:

    Soon there will be more information of this activities on:

    13 Feb 2014

    Gayatri Yagna near Belo Horizonte

    There is a nice little story which happend "behind the scenes". Yamunashree told us:

    The participants of the satsangs there, which still remained to Aarti, have been invited by Sri Swami Vishwananda to participate the next day on a yagna about 1 hour outside of the city. This Gayatri Yagna was also the inauguration ceremony of the Bhakti Marga ashram in Belo Horizonte. The way there was an adventurous road and the place was not easy to find.

    A young couple on their way where lost in the middle of nowhere and the Yagna group was not reachable by phone. They send a short intense prayer to Swamiji to give them a sign to find the way!  They recognized an arrow in the sky made of fine clouds and they decided to follow!

    This arrow showed directly the direction where the Yagna took place and they arrived in time! 

    Here some more pictures from this wonderful afternoon:

    Sri Swami Vishwananda loved this place and the beautiful landscape! There where even wild Tulsi plants growing there! 

    10 Feb 2014

    Darshan in Salvador with Sri Swami Vishwananda

    The final event of the 2-week tour of Brazil was a Darshan held once again in Salvador, with around 100 participants.

    Guruji had originally said the day before that he would not give any talk during Darshan but Guruji being Guruji, he spoke for almost 1 hour!

    The theme was as always, Love and Bhakti. After telling, in short, the story of Mirabai, Guruji went on to tell the story of Sudama, the childhood friend of Lord Krishna. When Sudama and Krishna were both young and at school together, they went for a trip into the forest. Their teacher's wife gave Sudama some puffed rice and said that if they became hungry on their trip then they should both share and eat the rice. At one point during the trip, Krishna climbed a mango tree to pick some mangoes. At that time Sudama felt a great hunger and so he began to eat the rice without sharing any with Krishna. Krishna even asked Sudama what he was eating at one point, since he could hear him chewing. Sudama lied, telling him it was so cold that his teeth were trembling and that is what Krishna was hearing. 

    When they returned to the school, Krishna said to the teacher's wife, "I'm very hungry, do you have something for me?". She was very surprised to hear this from him and asked Sudama immediately what he had done with all the puffed rice. When Sudama revealed the truth to her, she cursed him to forever be poor for his actions in the forest. Life went on, Krishna became the king of Mathura and Sudama a poor man with a small hut, a wife and kids.

    One day Sudama told his wife that Sri Krishna used to be his best friend. She then said to him, "Well if that is true then you should go to him and ask for his help! We are so poor and we could really use the help of a king". As she kept on insisting, he set off towards Mathura. Before leaving, his wife handed him a pouch of puffed rice telling him that he should offer it to Krishna. 

    After a long journey to Mathura, Sudama arrived at the gates of the palace. The guards asked him what he wanted. Of course, he told them he was a friend of Krishna and wished to see him. The guards mocked him for his outrageous claims, saying, "How can someone dressed as you are possibly be a friend of the King? Hahahaha!". However, as Sudama kept on insisting, the guards finally decided to get the matter out of the way and they went and asked Lord Krishna personally. He was with 8 of his wives at the time but when he heard the name 'Sudama' he sat up and asked his guards, "What did you say?! Who is here??". The guards repeated themselves, "Sudama is here to see you Lord". Krishna immediately sprang out of his chair and rushed to the gates. Upon seeing his old friend, Krishna embraced him lovingly without saying a word. He picked up his weak, skinny friend and carried him into the palace, saying, "You have walked more than enough today my friend!". Upon entering the palace, he placed Sudama on the throne itself, much to the surprise of all present. He asked for water and a plate and began washing his feet as is customary when a guest of honour enters your house. Such was the love Krishna felt for Sudama, he didn't even need the water; he washed his feet with his own tears. Everyone witnessing this scene was in total shock. Who was this man that evoked such emotion and love from Lord Krishna? 

    Having washed his feet, Krishna spotted the bag of puffed rice around Sudama's belt. Sudama had been trying to hide it as he felt ashamed to offer such a simple thing to a King that had everything. Yet Krishna insisted and so he took the bag and grabbed a big handful and ate it. With the first handful, Krishna gave Sudama all he would need to live a prosperous life, ensuring he would never be lacking anything ever again. With a second handful of rice, Krishna purified and blessed all his ancestors and all his incarnations to come. When he was about to take a third handful, his wife, Rukmini (Maha Lakshmi Herself), intervened and stopped Krishna. She said, "My Lord, if you take this third mouthful, you will gift him Vaikuntha itself! You are the only Lord of Vaikuntha and there can be no other. Sudama is still human after all.". Acknowledging her wisdom Krishna stopped and when it was time for Sudama to leave, the Lord embraced him once more and showered his love upon his dearest friend. 

    Sudama was so awe-struck with everything that had transpired that he actually forgot to do what he came there to do. He had forgotten to ask Krishna for the money and food his family needed to survive. He wondered what his wife would say to him when he returned home. After a long, long walk home he spotted a huge palace around where his old hut used to be. It was as beautiful a palace as he had ever seen, so he approached a guard and asked him if he had seen a small hut nearby. Before the guard could even speak, Sudama saw his own wife and children run out of the palace door dressed in the finest clothes, rushing to him with beaming smiles. It was only at this point that Sudama understood what Krishna had done for him. He thanked the Lord from the depths of his heart and he went on to live a very righteous and spiritual life. This shows us what the Lord will do for us when we hold him dearest in our hearts, no matter what happens in life, no matter the hardships we must sometimes endure. He had not even asked the Lord for anything but yet he had received much more than he could even think to ask for. 

    Satsang with Sri Swami Vishwananda in Salvador

    The first official event in Salvador was a Satsang held at a beautiful little retreat centre around 20 minutes away from the main city. However the traffic on the road was so bad it took us almost one and a half hours to get there!

    As always Guruji sat patiently answering all the questions from the people gathered. It was cute because at the beginning of the event itself, Guruji asked the crowd if they were familiar with Hindu culture, to which he received a general answer of 'no' from the audience. Perhaps it was because of that that he went on to tell so many stories of prominent figures in the Hindu culture and other concepts.

    One story was particularly nice to showcase the power of surrender to the Guru. Once there was a guru and a few of his followers walking through a village. On their way they encountered a well with a very large tree growing over it. When the Guru looked into the well he saw that all the water was contaminated because this tree had branches that were covering the opening of the well and this meant that always leaves would fall inside and render the water undrinkable. Thinking out loud, the Guru said, "It would be so nice if the tree would not cover the well. That way the village would have drinking water readily accessible!".

    Without even thinking twice, a disciple among the devotees started to climb the tree to cut down all the branches that were hanging over the well. All the other devotees became extremely agitated and worried for him. They could see that if he cut this branch then he would surely fall into the well and die. They all tried to stop him but he was resolute, saying, "Guruji was clear as to what his wishes were. I am simply fulfilling that request". So hearing that, all the devotees ran to the Guru to ask him to stop the disciple since it would seem he would only listen to his Guruji. The Guru tested him and told him, "You know it's true, if you cut these branches you will most likely fall and die". The disciple replied, "That changes nothing. I would happily give my life to fulfill your wishes". So upon hearing that the Guru simply told him, "Ok".

    Indeed he did fall after cutting the branch off and everyone who saw it rushed to the well to look inside and see what had become of the disciple. What they saw shocked them. There he was at the bottom of the well, being carried by Narayan who was lying on Adishesh. Such is the power of complete surrender to the Guru. God Himself will do anything for such a disciple!

    After Satsang, Guruji spent plenty of time speaking with many people one-on-one, counselling them and showering them with his love and blessings. The people were truly happy to have Guruji among them for the first time!