This has been a very busy summer. In late June, Satguru Rama Mata visited the Gayatri Temple in Beaverton, OR, blessing us as only she can. She also gave programs in Kansas, sponsored by the Kansas City, MO, group (thanks to Elizabeth Cutting for organizing and hosting Mother and Pujari Parvati Pat Murphy from L.A. for assisting Mother.) She gave Gayatri initiations at both places. I was able to be in KS and participate in the programs due to postponement of a workshop.
In June, I presented Guru Namadeva Acharya's workshops in Maple Ridge, BC, in July in Calgary and Red Deer, Alberta, in August at the Summer Retreat in NH and in Tampa and St. Petersburg, FL. In September at the Gayatri Temple, I will perform the Sudharshana Chakra Yajna (fire ceremony,) which is very powerful in removing karma, and also present Guru Namadeva Acharya's Lakshmi workshop as a fundraiser for the temple.
I am working on two projects to expand Sanatana Dharma Satsang's temples. First to set up a hatha yoga and wellness center in E. Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY (calling all available yoga teachers and healers in the area to participate--please email me.) The yoga classes and wellness center will support a Gayatri Temple there at the same location.
The second project is the purchase of a house in Albuquerque. I am negotiating on one SW of Old Town that has 3/4 acre. The house has a large room with a kiva-style fireplace for chanting, pujas and yajnas. It has 3 bdr and 1-1/2 baths and can be expanded for dorms for future workshops.
Invitation to join the Mantra Teacher Community: Lately, there have been more people joining the Teacher of Mantra program, which is a self-study course. It includes membership in a closed Yahoo Group, which is a lively discussion board between students and Certified Mantra Instructors. When certified after passing the exam, the Mantra Instructor is ordained in Sanatana Dharma Satsang, a nonprofit religious corporation, and has all the legal protections of any ordained minister. Testing is being done by me and Certified Mantra Instructors. We will do testing in other countries via Skype or other services. Please check out the program via the link in the column to the right.
Ganesha's annual celebration is September 1 this year. Please chant the Ganesha mantras below for healing Mother Earth on that day. More about Ganesha in the next newsletter.
Many thanks to all of you from whom I receive so much support during the workshops and from your prayers and chanting.
Krishna, the Eighth Avatar
Krishna was born in the Dvarpara Yuga as the "dark one". Lord Krishna is the embodiment of love and divine joy, that destroys all pain and sin. He is the protector of sacred utterances and cows. Krishna is an instigator of all forms of knowledge and born to establish the religion of love.
Krishna was born as the 8th child of Devaki, sister of the cruel demon king Kamsa. Sage Narada had predicted that Kamsa would be killed by his nephew, so the king killed Devaki´s first six children. The 7th, Balarama escaped and the 8th, Krishna, was secretly exchanged for a cowherd's daughter, who was really Durga. When Kamsa tried to kill her, she revealed her true form and told him he would be killed before long by Krishna.
The demon king Kamsa sent many demons to kill Krishna, but all were defeated. Among them were the whirlwind demon Trinavata, Vatasura disguised as a calf, the enormous crane Bakasura, Aghasura the demon snake and the monstrous horse Keshisura. Lord Krishna also mastered the five-headed demon snake Kaliya, to stop it from poisoning the holy river Yamuna and send it back to the ocean. He jumped on the snake from a big Kadamba tree and then defeated him by dancing on his heads.
Krishna was brought up in a cowherder family and loved to play the flute to entertain the other cowherders (gopas,) the milkmaids (gopis,) and the cows. As a child, Krishna had great love for his foster-mother Yashoda, and their relationship stands as a great exemple for the love between a mother and her child.
Krishna also became very famous for teasing the milkmaids of Vrindavan as well as Yashoda. He and his friends would steal milk and butter, let the cows go free at milking time, hide the clothes of bathing girls or even break the water pots the milkmaids were carrying on their heads. Little Krishna was not just teasing purely for the fun of it. He wanted to destroy the ignorance of his devotees, teaching them not to be attached to matter and forms and only focus on him. As such, Lord Krishna is the deity of Hasya or Humour and a messenger of peace.
Krishna, Radha and Leela
Radha and Krishna are the divine couple that rules love, romance and the aesthetic sense. Radha was foremost among the milkmaids of Vrindavan, as the incarnation of Lakshmi (Vishnu's spouse) and Krishna's obvious favorite
Love and devotion may also find beautiful expression in the relationship between lovers. In India, women often see their husbands as Krishna, while men see their wives as Radha, the beloved. When men become gods and women goddesses, then we do not see the imperfections, and see only perfection, divinity. Surrender and serving each other are the keys to any good relationship, which becomes a rehearsal of surrender to the universe and the divine.
While Krishna's love was truly universal, Radha sometimes expressed feelings of jealousy. One day Radha became jealous of Lord Krishna' flute, because it was allowed to touch his lips and because he would breath his prana into it. Thus she took it from Krishna and did not want to return it. Some thus see the relationship between Krishna and Radha as the love between god and man, between self and ego.
One moonlit night, Krishna multiplied his body into many to dance with all the milkmaids and fulfill their desire for union with him. (This was the fulfillment of the promise by Rama to the sages in the forest.) The love between Krishna and the milkmaids represents the divine play (Leela) between reality (consciousness) and illusion (form), purusha (soul) and prakriti (primordial nature), divinity and humanity. The maidens dance around Krishna as electrons dance around the nucleus of every atom, and as body molecules and energies dance around the soul of every being.
Lord Krishna was only eight years old, when he left Vrindavan and and his beloved Radha to study in the ashram of Saint Sandeepani. Therefore, everything that happened between Krishna and Radha or Krishna and the milkmaids took place when they were children. They were all very conscious of being incarnations of divine beings and saints. Whatever happened between them can only have been very romantic and spiritual. A lot of it was child's-play.
Krishna and Bhakti in the Mahabharata
After Krishna killed Kamsa, he became king. In the great Mahabharata epic, Krishna spoke memorable words on the essence of Bhakti Yoga or the yoga of pure spiritual devotion. During the battle of Kurukshetra, Lord Krishna revealed to Arjuna the essence of Bhakti Yoga, of love for God. This revelation is found in the famous Hindu scripture called the Bhagavad Gita.
The Deity is the beloved and the devotee is the lover. When the Bhakta is blessed by divine grace s/he feels undivided union and non-dual consciousness. Bhakti Yoga is regarded as the most direct method to merge in cosmic consciousness. Food, sex, sleep, attachments, responsibilities - all are no longer important in Bhakti Yoga : only worship is. Paintings and sculptures of deities are an essential part of the Hindu worship known as Puja. In temples or home shrines, images of many gods and goddesses are worshipped on a daily basis, bathed with water, decorated with flowers and offered food and incense.
Krishna's Janmasthami (birthday) is celebrated annually in August. This year it was August 22 in the US. Statues of Krishna are placed in wooden chariots and paraded around each temple. There are pujas and other ceremonies all over India and wherever Krishna is worshipped.
Mantra of the month:
For order and proper rhythm to all of life's activities by the grace of Sri Krishna:
Krishna Krishna Maha Yogin
Bhakta Nama Bhayam'kara
Sarva Me Vasha'mana'ya
Salutations to Krishna, King of the Yogis! I am your devotee. Make me fearless and let those things that concern me come under my control.
Mantras for Healing the Earth
Om Vighna Nashanaya Namaha
For immediate assistance.
To relieve energy blockages especially for the Devas that work with the energies of the various species: wind, water, plant, bird, mammal, fish and human.
Om Ucchista Ganapatayei Namaha
To destroy negativity
Om Vakratundaya Hum
To correct something that is not working properly.
Om Dhumra Ketuve Namaha
To bring difficult circumstances under an umbrella of peace.
Om Gana Dhyakshaya Namaha
To bring healing to a group. In this case, the people harmed by the earthquakes and tsunami.
Om Kshipra Prasadaya Namaha
We offer a number of pujas and fire ceremonies which may be done on your behalf for various purposes. You will find a list of them here:
Certified Priests and Pujaris:
If you wish to have a puja performed for you, purchase it online, and one of the priests will contact you to make arrangements with you as to which puja or fire ceremony/yajna you want and when.
Sri Savitri Devi and Maheshwara,
Sanatana Dharma Satsang Certified Priests, are available for pujas and fire ceremonies in absentia. Please click here for further details: Pujas in absentia.
Bharata/Bill Barry, a Certified Priest who lives in Massachusetts, is available for pujas and yajnas in his area. Please contact him at email@example.com
Rajeshwari/Gretchen Carmel is a Certified Priest, living in Keene, NH. She is available for pujas and yajnas in her area. Please contact her at TheYogaSpace@gmail.com
Mahavir/Marc Bennett has been certified by Sanatana Dharma Satsang as a Pujari since 2001. He was initiated by Sadguru Sant Keshavadas at age 15. He is available to do pujas or yajnas in Brooklyn or at your location in the New York City area on a donation basis. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Parvati/Pat Murphy J, a Certified Pujari, is available for pujas and yajnas in Los Angeles area. Please contact her at email@example.com
|Guru Namadeva Acharya|
The works of Thomas Ashley-Farrand (Guru Namadeva Acharya) give unprecedented, detailed instruction in how to empower yourself using the techniques of the ancient sages and rishis. He and Satyabhama were given the mission by their Gurus Sadguru Sant Keshavadas and Rama Mata to bring these teachings to everyone.
To that end, he wrote and recorded a number of works. He also traveled to North America and the UK to teach workshops, which Satyabhama is now continuing.
In May 2012, Satyabhama will lead a Pilgrimage Tour of India's Holy Places, visiting with the Shankaracharayas at Kanchi Math, Vishwa Shanti Ashram (our gurus ashram), and doing fire ceremonies in the Himalayas, among the highlights of the trip. This trip will focus on Goddess Temples.
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 Links
Visit with SatGuru Mata at Vishwa Shanti Ashram and Pujas
India Video HD
Teacher of Mantra Program
(click above for more information)
is the equivalent of a college level course in mantra. This course has two objectives: (1) A comprehensive course for those interested in the subject, and, (2) A course that would prepare one to become a teacher of mantra, teaching methods for solving problems that we encounter in life. The Teacher of Mantra Program is designed to meet both of those objectives.
This is a full-color yoga book like no other on the market. Meta Hirschl opens the door to the full vision of yoga with graphics, photographs, and personal stories.
Vital Yoga, A Sourcebook for Students & Teachers, by Meta Chaya Herschl -
Rama & Sita Workshop, Co-Starring Hanuman
- 16 CDs.
Ganesha's Abode of Bliss Guided Meditation (CD)
Ancient Power of Sanskrit Mantra and Ceremony, Volumes I, II & III CD-sets now available separately or bundled with or without the books.
True Stories of Spiritual Power on Amazon Kindle to download to iPod, iPhone, iPad, or your computer.
Dr. Wright's Clean Out Technique - guided pranayama for healing and releasing negativity
Piercing the Knots-Granthis CD - A Mantra & Visualization Meditation to gently release the Kundalini from its home at the base chakra, through the knots and to the crown chakra, then back again.
Gayatri Mantra Meditation -2CDs with the long and short versions of the mantra, an intensive Gayatri Discipline and 1000 Names & Powers of Gayatri on Disk 2.
Mantra Therapy for Prosperity CD- Help with karmic blocks to prosperity and mantras to bring it in.
Other Mantra Therapy CDs in the series:
Healing Intensives 1,2;
Restoration of Dharma & Peace
Mantra, Path to Spiritual and Material Attainment
- a 15-hour workshop on 14 CDs. This is a comprehensive overview of Eastern and esoteric cosmology and spirituality with mantra intensive practice. Click on its name for a complete description.
2011 Schedule of Workshops
Satyabhama will be teaching Namadeva Acharya's workshops in the following places:
2011 information: http://sanskritmantra.com/schedule.shtml
September - Portland, OR
October - Charleston, SC; Chicago, IL; Ontrario - Niagara Falls, Toronto
November - Sherman, TX
December - Austin, TX
May 2012: India Pilgrimage - emphasis on Goddess temples
Click here for
Events at the Gayatri Temple
We have a new larger space at 4040 SW 114th Avenue at Canyon in Beaverton, OR. There is a large yard for our summer Fire Ceremonies, and the tents are already up. Y'all come!
Sept. 1 - 6:30 pm
Ganesha Chathurthi Yajna
Sept. 10 - (Sat) 2 pm
Sudarshana Chakra Yajna
Friday 7 pm Lakshmi Puja
Sat-Sun 10 am - 6 pm
Oct. 1 - Namadeva Acharya's First Mahasamadhi Celebration - Guru Puja
Nov. 13 - TBA
Dec. 21 - 7 pm
Winter Solstice Planetary Puja
Dec. 31 - 9:30 pm
New Year's Eve Gayatri Celebration
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Cochrane, Alberta, Canada
Los Angeles, CAAtma Jyoti Chanting Group, Contact Jagadamba, Certified Mantra Instructor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Mary Huddleston, Certified Mantra Instructor, at email@example.comSt. Louis, MO
Contact Nita Turnage,
Certified Mantra Instructor, at firstname.lastname@example.org Western MA Contact Rev. Bharata/Bill Barry, Certified Priest, at email@example.comNew Hampshire
Keene: Contact Rajeshwari, Certified Priest at TheYoga Space@gmail.com
Moultonborough: Contact Don Campbell and Chris Walsh, Certified Mantra Instructors: firstname.lastname@example.org