On the lunar eclipse, Wednesday, August 5th, we will be at Far Horizons. We will perform a Planetary Puja that evening, and we will remember all of you in our prayers.
Here are program notes of some importance.
(1)By popular demand, there will be another workshop in Quincy, MA, in September.
The Mysterious Kundalini
The workshop starts with the 1,000 Power of Lalita Puja on Friday night, September 25. It continues on Saturday and Sunday, September 26 and 27. There will a few private consults available on Thursday September 24. Info: 781-204-9350
(2) At Kripalu, starting Sunday evening September 27, a ground-breaking five-day workshop begins: The Evolutionary Power Of Ceremony. This workshop is composed of long form pujas: Ganesha, Shiva, Lalita, a healing Rama Puja, the classical Satya Narayana Puja for fulfilling noble desires, and a Sudarshana Chakra Fire Ceremony which is very effective at reducing karma and very hard to find anywhere. It ends with chanting for restoration of Dharma and world peace. See www.kripalu.org for information and reservations.
Next time, I will address some positive aspects of the 2012 Mayan end cycle. Hint: I am not worried.
May the Light of Truth shine in all the needed places in your lives, bringing joy and blessings for all you do.
INDIA JOURNAL, continued
The Himalayas - Babaji's Cave
The trip to Babaji's cave is somewhat deceptive in looking easy at the beginning. Our bus took us from Yagoda Satsang to the beginning of a jeep road that is flat and easy to walk. There is a storefront right at the beginning of the trek, so I stocked up with a Coke. "A trek to Babji's cave is much easier with a Coke," I said, posing for the non-existent camera. About a mile and a half down the road, the path to Babaji's cave turns abruptly to the left and up. It is a narrow path that at first doesn't seem too bad. But we keep going up and up and up.
About a half hour later of increasing upgrade, it starts to get even steeper. The path is narrow for awhile but then broadens into a stacked stones walking road. Flat stones have been molded into a steep but navigable path that continues to increase in grade up, up and up around the hills. Finally, we come to a pavilion that is just thirty yards down from the entrance to Babaji's cave. It takes about two hours to get there.
Once at the cave area, we spent a little time recovering from the climb and then went in the cave in small groups for a short meditation. In the cave, I gave initiations into the 32-syllabled mantra of Ganesha. Meanwhile, Mahavir/Marc Bennett and Brian Cumming hiked up the mountain carrying all the materials necessary for the 1,000 Names of Shiva Fire Ceremony afterwards. Taking a "wrong" turn they came unexpectedly on an old fire pit on the "other side" of Babaji's cave. With knowing grins about Babaji's mysteries, they prepared for the ceremony for which Jorge Lopez and Amy Bellart were our fire wallas. It was glorious, as we were full of the energy of Babaji's cave and Ganesha. As usual, we remembered all of you as we poured oblations into the fire.
The next portion of the trip back towards home was the usual logistical adventure. First, on the way to the train, we ate at a restaurant that didn't have enough chairs for everyone, so we had to eat in shifts, but the food was good. Then the overnight "sleeper" train to New Delhi. The saga of luggage loading on and off the train of over 40 pieces of luggage was an adventure in and of itself. The hard bunks for sleeping are tolerable if not luxurious. The beds are stacked in bunk bed fashion in little alcoves holding four beds each. The first class sleeper car is air conditioned, and they provide clean sheets and a blanket. I have always slept well on the train, but some slept very little. Kirit Pandya, our tour manager, seems to always have some crisis erupt which prevents him from sleeping very much or very well. Sorry, Kirit!
We arrived in hot and soggy Delhi and bussed to the Lalit Ashoka Hotel. This is a four-star establishment that that is like an oasis. We were fortunate to stay also at the Lalit in Bangalore on a promo for their new management. The ground level café has choices of gourmet western or Indian food, and a chocolate fountain (Oh Yeah!).
The next day we went to the Lakshmi Narayana Temple that I first visited in 1978. It was a smallish affair then, with a main temple room just a bit larger than a large living room. Now it occupies roughly two large city blocks. It was originally built by an Indian automobile manufacturer. His promise at that time was that as long as his business grew, he would increase the size of the temple. I think its safe to say that he has done very well. Aside from the main murthis, there are separate shrines to Durga, Shiva and Parvati, the Court of Rama, and an entire separate shrine room to Krishna. The murthi there is very powerful and "alive." Everyone could feel the energy of this temple and the various shrines. Some of our members were shocked that so much energy could be found in an urban temple. And the priests were all so young . . . late twenties and thirties.
There is a side note to our trip to this temple. When I went on Sant Keshavadas' 1978 tour to India, I was garlanded by the Jagadguru of Pejor Math (in Udipi) while chanting at a world peace conference in Bangalore. As I stepped away from the jagadguru, still in a daze, Sant Keshavadas motioned me over and quite strongly told me to take off the garland and give everyone a few petals from it. I realized that the lesson was that whatever blessings came to me were to be shared. I complied and moved on. Several days later when we had traveled from Bangalore to Delhi, I visited the Lakshmi Narayana Temple by myself. While there, I offered prayers for various people including Guruji. The head priest came over to me and, taking a garland that had been on the murthi, he placed it over my head. I tried to share petals from it with others who were there, but they respectfully declined. "It was for me," they seemed to be saying.
In 2007 when I visited the temple, the main shrine was briefly closed for a changing of the priests in attendance. When the door opened again, and I first saw the Lakshmi murthi I heard inside, "Welcome back." I was astonished . . I had not been there since 1978, and I got a greeting from the Lakshmi herself. Wow! Now again in 2009, when I walked into the temple and up to the priest presiding over the murthis of Lakshmi and Narayana, the second priest there took one look at me, went over to the garlands that had been on the murthis, selected one and placed it around my neck. I have no idea what went through his mind, but I was and am grateful and, yes, astonished. Then we all spent some time at each shrine and the Krishna temple. This gives you some idea of the amazing spiritual adventures we all have on our Pilgrimage Tour. Of course, Satyabhama and I offered prayers for all of you in that holy setting.
The next day, after lots of shopping again, it was time for final goodbyes as we prepared to go to the airport. Several people were staying a bit longer or taking different flights. Once on the plane, we all slept and slept on the way home via Brussels and New York. We do keep in touch, though, through our Yahoo Group for India Travelers.
This concludes our recalling of the India trip 2009. Hope you enjoyed it. Just a special "Thank You," for the sterling and outstanding work of our Tour Manager Kirit Pandya and Comdt S.P. Ahuja, General Manager of Mercury Himalayan Explorations. Their efforts made the trip so much easier and more enjoyable.
We hope you will join us in 2011, when we will go to Goddess temples not Ganesha temples in the middle of the itinerary!
|Krishna Janmastami is mid August:
Om Kleem Krishnaya Namaha to attract Krishna energy to you.
Ganesha Chaturthi is August 23:
Om Lakshmi Ganapatayae Namaha for removal of obstacles to abundance.
|Certified Priests and Pujari|
Maheshwara and Sri Savitri Devi, Sanatana Dharma
Satsang Certified Priests, are available for pujas and fireceremonies in absentia. Please click here for further details: Pujas in absentia.
Mahavir has been certified by Sanatana Dharma Satsang as a Pujari for 7 years. He is available to do puja at your location in New York City on a donation basis. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The works of Thomas Ashley-Farrand (Namadeva Acharya) 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, we 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.
We 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
Video Quick LinksIndia Video
Visit with SatGuru Mata at Vishwa Shanti Ashram and Pujas
India Video HD
NEW CD: Piercing the Knots-Granthis CD - A Mantra
& Visualization Meditation to release the Kundalini
Mantra Therapy for Prosperity CD - Help with blocks to prosperity and mantras to bring it in
Ancient Power of Sanskrit Mantra and Ceremony, Volume I & II CDs now recorded and available
Mantra, Path to Spiritual & Material Attainment - a 15-hour workshop on 14 CDs
Rama & Sita Workshop, Co-Starring Hanuman - approx. 15 CDs.
2009 Schedule of Workshops
We will be doing workshops in the following places:
August - Far Horizons, Sequoia Nat'l Monument, CA; Maple Ridge, BC, CANADA.
Sept - Lansing, MI; Chicago, IL; MA: Boston & Kripalu
October - Keene, NH;
CANADA: Alberta, BC - 2-3 workshops
November - CANADA: Ontario
December - Austin, TX
January - Los Angeles, CA; Puerto Rico
April - London, England
2009 information: http://sanskritmantra.com/schedule.shtml
Cochrane, Alberta, Canada Contact email@example.com
Los Angeles, CA
Jyoti Atma Chanting Group, Contact Jagadamba, Certified Mantra Instructor, at
Contact Mary Huddleston, Certified Mantra Instructor, at firstname.lastname@example.orgSt. Louis, MO
Contact Nita Turnage and Craig Hamby,
Certified Mantra Instructors, at email@example.com
Contact Bill Barry, Certified Mantra Instructor, at
Contact Don Campbell and Chris Walsh, Certified Mantra Instructors, at
The Ancient Power of Sanskrit Mantra and Ceremony Recordings
The Ancient Power of Sanskrit Mantra and Ceremony, 2nd. Ed., is now being revised to simplify pronunciation.
As promised some time ago, material to be chanted is being recorded by Namadeva
to be sold in CD sets of 7 or more CDs.
Volume I and Volume II 7-CD sets are now for sale at our online store for $65 each.
Volume III, which will be more than 7 CDs, will be ready in late 2009.