Saraswati Publications, LLC

Saraswati Publications Newsletter       ( 

June 2008
Namaste Friends,
We will be in London June 13-15 to do a Ganesha Puja and workshop, Myths & Mantras of Ganesha.  Then, we will be in Atlanta, GA, June 17-29, for our first workshop there, Mantra: A Path to Spiritual Evolution and Abundance.  We hope to see you at one or more programs this year.  There are still places available for the May 2009 Pilgrimage Trip to India.
What Is A Guru?

Thomas Ashley-Farrand (Namadeva)

Part III
(correction & addition)

A true guru knows his/her limits, the limits of how they can help or how they can speed things along. The boundaries are always in sight and usually observed.

True gurus are humble. They are not impressed with themselves. They know too much for that. But they also know that all knowledge is approximate, that everything is temporary, even time itself. They know that Truth or God is vast and that no one has an exclusive corner on "the truth." They know that great forces and beings have made it possible for them to evolve to where they are. They know that perceiving the Great Illusion of this reality does not diminish the pain felt by people living in this world. So they help, with gratitude for what they have received and what they are empowered to do in service of others.

Such a true guru is aware of the conscious, active, hugely advanced forces and beings operating in our reality. Sometimes those forces and beings come to the aid of the true guru and sometimes not. But at all times there are very, very advanced beings on the planet who monitor things. They sometimes hide in plain sight as a jagadguru, and sometimes they keep well below the spiritual radar for their own purposes. But they are here, and the true guru knows his or her limitations in the grand scheme of things.

A spiritual teacher, even if one has reached the place of an advanced adept, is not a guru until and unless the appointment for the job arrives. For many advanced adepts, the appointment to become a true guru never arrives. Yet they teach - tirelessly, endlessly, selflessly, joyfully. They have lessons to teach about spirituality, about life, about separation of the real from the unreal, about the rhythms of existence, both individual and cosmic, about the subtle habits of the lower mind that seeks to evade the light where it must surrender its bad habits, about the misuse of charming personalities that merely seek gratification however it might be obtained. The genuine spiritual teacher is a treasure beyond compare, for each has put their shoulder to the wheel of humanity's progress, each within his or her specific area of special interest or attainment. And the Grace of the Supreme flows through each teacher in wonderful and different ways.

But they are not gurus. They cannot change the course of your life in an instant. They cannot take a terrible condition away from you and assume the burden themselves by a mere thought. They cannot determine your appropriateness to receive a spiritual gift, see how it will be applied, then give it to you.

It is a commonly accepted truth in mystic and spiritual pursuits that what we all seek is within. Scripture from many religions say it. Enlightened ones say it. True gurus, sadgurus, jagadgurus and maha siddhas all say it. But appointment to the job of being a guru comes usually from an external source. It can be a being in the flesh who, determining that one's nature is appropriate to the job, appoints a person through some transfer of authority. It can be a great being who comes in a dream and empowers an adept or spiritual teacher. On rare occasions, a force of some kind will seize an individual and so alter their energy, spiritual ability and perceptions, that the condition of the job is conveyed by cosmic initiation. But in all cases, the abilities and responsibilities of the true guru remain.

Finally, a true guru has been embraced by love and realizes with every facet of his or her being that love is both the method and the destination. It is both means and end. There is no way to achieve a state of love other than by loving.  For God or Truth speaks to the heart. The mind cannot contain or apprehend Truth or God in its entirety. Truth is the ocean while the mind is like a teacup, and you cannot hold the ocean in a teacup.  It is true that you can pour the contents of the teacup into the ocean and it becomes one with the ocean. But then the meditation ends and the ego-mind-personality - even the divine ones - are back in the body. Automatically, limitations of understanding take place because of the confines of the teacup.

It is astonishing that some of the towering great minds of the East including such persons as Shankaracharya, Ramanujacharya, Madvacharya, the Buddha, and others do not agree on the finer points of what is Truth, what is Reality, what is the nature of the Self and so on.  They see different shafts of the same light, but none have the capacity to see it all.  The first Sadguru, Dattatreya, was once asked to comment on the differences between Dwaita (dualism) and Advaita (Non-dualism), between Saguna Realization with a form involved (as in Rama or Krishna, etc.), or Nirguna Realization without any form involved.  He looked kindly at the questioner and said, "If you are still concerned with such things, you still have a ways to go." Most teachers and gurus agree that love will take you all the way to the goal of human existence.

True gurus have a unique set of skills and tools to help the finite part of us merge in the infinite part of us.  They have been specially sent on assignment to help us, in our identification with our ego-mind-personality, to move as expeditiously as possible into a state of being where we understand immortality because we have achieved it.

June Mantra of the Month


The full moon in June is the celebration of the guru, personal and impersonal, known as Guru Purnima.  This month we will celebrate the first satguru, Dattatreya, with the above mantra, incorporating several bijas.

This mantra was taught by Sage Narada in the Narada Purana

Om -     Seed sound for the Ajna Chakra between the eyes, the seat of Cosmic Consciousness.

Shrim -    Seed sound for Lakshmi in both her transcendental and immanent aspects.

Hrim -    Seed sound for the Hrit Padma (sacred heart) located two fingers below the Anahata (heart) Chakra. The Hrit Padma is the true location of the self, the soul.

Klim -     Is the seed sound for the principle of attraction. It attracts the energy of everything around it.  Thus is is often added to mantras as a sort of supercharger. [This does not mean that anyone can add this seed sound to any mantra. Those who have added it to mantras know what they are doing. To add sounds to mantras without knowing the effect is like playing with fire.]

Gaum -     A Ganesha seed sound that removes blocks between the root and the throat.

Dram -     Seed sound for Satguru Dattatreya.

Dattaya - Form of Satguru Dattatreya's name often used in mantras.

Namaha -     I invoke through the process of salutation.
 The Ancient Power of Sanskrit Mantra and Ceremony Recordings
The Ancient Power of Sanskrit Mantra and Ceremony
 The Ancient Power of Sanskirt Mantra and Ceremony, 2nd. Ed., is now being revised to simplify pronunciation.
As promised some time ago, Namadeva is recording all of the volumes to be sold in CD sets of 10 or more CDs.
Update:  Volume I will be for sale at our online store in July.  Volume II will be ready in Fall 2008, and Volume III  in Winter 2008-9.

The works of Thomas Ashley-Farrand (Namadeva) give unprecedented, detailed instruction in how to empower yourself using the techniques of the ancient sages and rishis.  He and Satyabhama have been given the mission by their Gurus Sadguru Sant Keshavadas and Guru Rama Mata to bring these teachings to everyone. 

To that end, he has written and recorded a number of works, and he travels to North America and the UK to teach workshops.  Bi-annually they lead a Pilgrimage Tour of India's Holy Places, visiting with the Shankaracharayas at Kanchi Math, Guru Mata at Vishwa Shanti Ashram, and doing fire ceremonies in the Himalayas, among the highlights of the trip.
They have founded a religious organization, Sanatana Dharma Satsang, which has opened a Gayatri Temple in Beaverton, Oregon.  Plans are in the works to found temples with residential communities in Oregon, New Mexico, and other locations. The link to it is in the right column.
These works are offered in a spirit of service. We sincerely hope that they will further you on your path.
Prem & Shanti,
Satyabhama (Margalo Ashley-Farrand)
Saraswati Publications, LLC
In This Issue
What Is A Guru? Part III
Mantra of the Month
CDs of Ancient Power Volumes
2008 Schedule of Workshops
 We will be doing workshops in the following places in 2008:
June - London, England; Atlanta, GA

July - Portland, OR; Indralaya on Orcas Island, WA

August - Seattle, WA; CA:  Far Horizons Camp, Sierra Mountains (near Fresno)

September - Charleston, SC; Kripalu, MA

October - IL: Arlington Hts, Highland Park, Chicago;  CA: Los Angeles;   CANADA:  BC, Calgary (10/31)

November - CANADA: Calgary, Red Deer.

December - Bangalore, India

India Pilgrimage - May 2009

Please see our schedule for details and updates:
The Ancient Power of Sanskrit Mantra and Ceremony
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