27 Nov 2014

First Day of Babaji Celebration – Atma Kriya Yoga and the Love Relationship with God

For the first time at Shree Peetha Nilaya, Sri Swami Vishwananda decided on a short notice to extend the Celebrations of Babaji's Day by an extra 5 days.
Throughout this first celebration day dedicated to Mahavatar Babaji, Sri Swami Vishwananda, through his exemplary unmatched devotion, kept reminding us about the connection between Mahavatar Babaji, Atma Kriya Yoga and the Love Relationship with God. Thus, since the morning he started leading us into the mood of Meerabai's love for Krishna by sending a Tweet to his followers saying, “Like Meerabai let all sing and dance in the Love of Krishna ‘Mane Chakar Rakho Ji Giridhari Lala’. Later on he sent the following Tweet, “May the fragrance of His Love enchant your life and His name echo deep in your heart. Giridhari Lala, how I miss You.”
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Flower petals are offered at the Feet of Sri Swami Vishwananda while we chanted the ‘Guru Stotram’ during evening prayers
Then, Sri Swami Vishwananda changed the original celebration schedule and blessed us with his physical presence during the evening prayers in the Temple. Furthermore, he surprised us by performing a public Abishekam on Giridhari Gopal, one of his private murtis (see explanation below).

Sri Swami Vishwananda performs Abishekam on Giridhari Gopal and Giriraj shila
We were looking forward to listen to Sri Swami Vishwananda singing, “Mane Chakar Rakho Ji Giridhari Lala” since he sent his morning Tweet (see message mentioned above), so everybody rejoiced together with him while singing it for the first time.

Sri Swami Vishwananda sat on the floor singing with us many Krishna and Narayana bhajans and also one Meerabai song entitled “Mane Chakar Rakho Ji Giridhari Lala”

At the Babaji Cave there is a life size deity of Mahavatar Babaji
After Arati, all Kriya Sadhaks (people initiated in Atma Kriya Yoga) had the extraordinary opportunity to do their evening practice in the Babaji Cave together with Sri Swami Vishwananda.

Later during the night, Sri Swami Vishwananda sent a Tweet with a photo of Giridhariji and Giriraj shila saying, “May His blessing be with all. Jai Sri Radhe.”

About Giridhari Gopal murti
Giridhari Gopal murti after Abishekam (the smallest tiny murti in the centre of the photo)

The Giridhari Gopal murti it is actually the original deity which belonged to Meerabai. Last October, during a Satsang which took place in Viseu, Portugal, Sri Swami Vishwananda said, “This Giridhari Gopal belonged to a 16th century saint by the name of Meerabai and she was in love ecstasy all the time. When she was five years old, there was a wedding and she saw the bride passing by, on a horse. At that time she asked the mother, ‘Where is my husband?’ The mother pointed to this deity and said, ‘He is your husband.’ And that's how she used to loved Him, as a husband. She was a princess. She had everything, but she was so madly in love with Krishna. The only thing that she would think about was to serve Him, to sing for Him. She got married. The husband could not understand anything. Every day he would hear his wife talking to somebody and there was a man's voice in the room. So, he started to doubt his wife. One day he got furious and broke open the door, but there was only Meera and Giridhari. Giridhari Gopal was talking to her. For her, this deity was not just a statue. It was Krishna Himself and she was talking to Him. Due to her devotion, she would danced in the streets of Vrindavan like crazy. Everybody used to say, ‘Look at this woman. She is a princess. Look how mad she is.’ But no one would dare to stop her, because she was so much in love, that her love would radiate through her body; and whoever was in touch with that love, they would also be infused with that love. So, one day her in-laws accused her of many things and said, ‘As a punishment, you have to drink poison.’ Everybody was gathered there. She was holding this deity in her hand. In her mind she said, ‘It's not poison. It's Amrit, it's Divine nectar.’ And she offered it to Giridhari first. That poison became amrit, Divine nectar. And she was so much full of love for Giridhari that at the end of her life, when she was 83 years old she disappeared into a deity, a statue of Krishna. Not this one, but another one. This one was her lifetime companion. This year, He (Krishna in the form of Giridhari Gopal murti) chose to come to me; and today, He chose to come to see you. Like that, you see, devotion creates that bhav, this connection to God which is beyond the mind, beyond the body, beyond the spirit itself. That's why it's called Maha Bhav, where the Ultimate Himself come.”

Atma Kriya Yoga and the Love Relationship with God

Sri Swami Vishwananda has always made it very clear that Atma Kriya Yoga is intrinsically connected to devotion and Love for God. He said, “At the beginning of the year 2007, through His Grace, Mahavatar Babaji instructed me to give Atma Kriya Yoga. Atma Kriya Yoga is similar to Kriya Yoga, which is considered one of the easiest ways to reach Realisation, but still there is a difference, because Atma Kriya Yoga deals with devotion; it deals with the Love that you are.” (JL2, p. 207)

“Atma Kriya awakens this Love for God. It awakens these nine forms of bhakti (JL Q&A Vol.2, p. 125), which brings oneself nearer to one's Goal. Firstly, by practising it, one burns the karmic things from the past, and also the karmic things that one is creating in this life itself. When one is free from all these karmic things, then it makes it easy for one to attain the Divine, God-Realisation, or Self-Realisation. That's why I think, for myself, this is one of the most important techniques. It is not because I brought it here. Not because Babaji gives it. But because it is meant for this time, and if one sincerely practices it, one receives the Grace and the blessing of all the Kriya masters – the whole lineage's blessing. And the blessing of the Master always helps one to advance." (JL Q&A Vol.2, p. 113)

Sri Swami Vishwananda has also often emphasised the importance of Krishna avatar in helping human beings to experience Divine Love by engaging into a Love relationship with Him.

He said, “Krishna came to reveal the relationship which we all have with Him. Like He said in the Gita, it's Him who gives the power, the energy for the soul to act. He is the Supersoul inside everyone. But He wants you to realise this, He wants you to achieve this relationship with Him. He wants you to build up this Love inside of you so that He can show you, how accessible He is! How close He is! But without this Love it's very difficult! It is only through that Love that He can reveal Himself. And this Love is not just  human love, this is sublime Love. This is the True Love which you carry deep inside of you. And this Love is beyond time and space. Throughout the life of Krishna you see that continuously He revealed a Love that was unknown to the people. Before, people were just praying to God but they were not in a relationship with Him. To have a relationship with God seems absurd. Some people will hear about that and will say, ‘Are you crazy? How can we love God like that?’ People will say, ‘It's impossible! That's a big blasphemy!’ But in reality He is the only One that has True Love. He is the only One, which allows you to perceive that Love. And then you can say, ‘Yes. I truly Love!’ Bhagavan Krishna incarnated to show that Love. He came to remind one that there is a greatest Love inside and this Love can be awaken when we built a relationship with the Supreme; when we forget that this that we call love, that we call the world it's not permanent; and when we really want to achieve the Ultimate. It's not a fantasy, something that is just written in a book. No. Even if Lord Krishna had enacted this Leela 5300 ago, yet He is still very active inside your heart. He has never left your heart. He has disappeared physically from this world but spiritually He is revealing Himself inside of each one's heart as devotion, as bhakti. How much you express that Love towards Him, how much Love He expresses towards you, even 10,000 times more than that. Aim for His Grace! Aim for His Love! That's how one will be free and liberated!” (excerpt of speech from the Karthik Night)