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?
(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
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
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
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
June Mantra of the MonthOM SHREEM HREEM KLEEM GLAUM DRAM DATTAYA NAMAHA
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
Shrim - Seed sound for Lakshmi in both her transcendental and immanent
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
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 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
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: