Namaste, Divine Brothers and Sisters,
This month's article is about the Buddha. You will find more information about Buddhism, including Tibetan Buddhism and mantras in Vol. II of Ancient Power of Sanskrit Mantra and Ceremony.
One of the Mantras of the Month brings detachment. I have found for many years that the more detached I become, the more into the macro view of life, and the less I am caught up in my own personal emotions about anything, the happier I am. This also means that I am better able to handle whatever comes my way, because getting over-emotional about life just gets in my way. Yet, I have not become only mental and not emotional. I feel love, joy, and compassion and get angry, too, but I don't hang on to those feelings. I highly recommend that we all move in that direction, especially in these changing times.
Happy Mothers Day to all who have chosen to mother children, whether our own or others', and those whose mothering is to the whole world.
Prem & Shanti,
PS The information about the Summer Retreat will go out next week.
Buddha's Day - Wesak
Annually, the celebration of the life and work of the Buddha (Wesak/Visak/Wisaki/Baisaki) is celebrated by Buddhists of all sects and some Sikhs and Hindus. It is supposed to be on the Full Moon in Taurus/Scorpio but is often arbitrarily celebrated in May, even when the Sun is in Gemini.
Our celebration, which will be May 5, 2012, is chanting a lot of Om Mani Padme Hum and the Quan Yin mantra, with other mantras. We will also stop to do a SatyaNarayana Puja in the evening, because of the efficacy of that puja on the full moon.
The esoteric Wesak ceremony is believed to be a gathering of souls high in a Himalayan valley, who chant for hours. At the moment the moon is full, the Christ and the Buddha appear together and pour out the annual blessings for the earth. Our chanting will include having a crystal bowl of water present, which will become supercharged by the chanting. At the end of the ceremony, the water will be shared with those present.
NAMADEVA ACHARYA'S TEACHINGS ON THE BUDDHA:
In Vol. II of the Ancient Power of Sanskrit Mantra and Ceremony, Namadeva Acharya/Thomas Ashley-Farrand states that the majority of Hindu priests, pundits, and scholars do not view the Buddha as a true avatar of Vishnu, as he purposefully distanced himself from the teachings of the Brahmins, even going as far as to ignore or contradict them directly.
The Buddha, according to some sects, dismissed outright the existence of the soul, insisting that only the mind exists. The end of existence, these Buddhists claim, is to become one with the Cosmic Mind, overcoming all delusions concerning our present "reality." This idea is controversial, as Gautama (the Buddha) taught different doctrines at different stages of his teachings to his students at that time. Then he would stop teaching for a period of time, and the students left him. These teachings later became different sects of Buddhism. Because of this, there are entire schools of Buddhism (Hinayana, Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana) with widely divergent teachings.
Because these teachings did not rely on Brahmin priests to act as a conduit to God through secret mantra and ritual (Hinayama and Theravada do not include any mantra teachings), it undermined the priests' job security. The fact that each individual could reach their own enlightenment through personal effort (rather than by supplication to Rama or Krishna through the person of the priest) was considered the highest heresy.
The advent of Buddhism allowed for the breakdown of what had become a corrupted priesthood, allowing the knowledge once available only to a secret cabal to become accessible to the people once again. Those who sought power through control of spiritual mysteries lost their followers once they received the message that such methods were largely unnecessary. Those who were true priests and devotees of God continued a life of service, while those greedy for more mostly left the priesthood in search of other pathways to wealth, power or fame.
There are, however, certain kernels of commonality containing valuable and important truths within each Buddhist sect.
Among the religions of the world, Buddhism is the Divine Psychology. As Namadeva Acharya writes:
"[Buddhism] allows for an individual to take complete responsibility for the earthly predicament in which one finds oneself and develop a strategy and a method of extrication from the predicament. The mind is directly confronted with all its vagaries. So complete is the Buddhist approach that the mind has no place to go to escape. It ultimately confronts its own frailties, limitations, and ignorance and becomes confounded. A surrender of sorts is the only path of any logic."
Namadeva Acharya points out to us that the Buddha's approach is certainly consistent with the last two avatars of Vishnu, Rama and Krishna, who brought their divine power to earth and demonstrated it in abundance. The tenth avatar, Kalki, will be sent to gather those souls who have progressed enough to advance into humanity's next cycle. However, to "bridge the gap, humanity must be required to take responsibility" for their own actions and their own spiritual evolution. "After all," Namadeva Acharya writes, "[I]f divinity is the end point of evolution, when does that evolving divinity begin to take the responsibility incumbent upon increasing intelligence and will?" It is time, the Buddha teaches us, to stop depending on divine rescue and instead take the reins of our own morals and ethics, leading us to Love, which is the purest form of unity for our (and all) species.
The Eightfold Path and Four Noble Truths of Buddhism present the central beliefs of Buddhism and outline the approach to balance life and eliminate the attachment to desires which are at the root of all suffering.
The Four Noble Truths:
All existence as we know it is suffering.
Misery is rooted in ignorant craving or desire.
Misery can be abolished by eliminating ignorant craving or desire.
This elimination can be accomplished by following the Eightfold Path.
The Eightfold Path:
- Right Understanding
- Right Mindfulness
- Right Speech
- Right Action
- Right Livelihood
- Right Effort
- Right Meditation
- Right Emancipation.
Because these beliefs gained much popularity in India, some Brahmin priests adopted the idea of the Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu. They, as Namadeva Acharya writes, "wanted to hitch their wagons to a rising star."
Although the Buddha claimed in his early teachings that the tools of religion (ceremony and mantra) were not necessary (later teaching them to a small group before his long life ended,) this was likely a misdirection used to break down a corrupt system and lead to a breakthrough for the human species by forcing people to take on a new spiritual responsibility. The "roots of spiritual power," as Namadeva Acharya calls them, are unchanging. "Mantra and ceremony still are called upon when nothing but the scientifically applied use of ancient mantras and ritual power will do. The Buddha, as the ninth avatar of Vishnu, knew this, and earned his title of "The Great Deceiver." Sometimes the path of misdirection is necessary for us to reach our ultimate enlightenment.
Mantra of the month:
Om Mani Padme Hum
The Jewel is in the Lotus
This is the mantra of Avalokateshwara.
Om Namo Kuan Shi Yin Pusa
Basic mantra for Kuan Yin, the feminine aspect of Avalokateshwara.
Both bring compassion to the heart.
Gate Gate Para Gate Para Samgate Bodhi Swaha
Gone, Gone Beyond, Gone Beyond Beyond. Hail to the Goer.
Excellent mantra for developing vairagya/detatchment.
Mantras for Healing the Earth
For immediate assistance.
Om Vighna Nashanaya Namaha
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:
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.
Certified Priests and Pujaris
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 has been certified by Sanatana Dharma Satsang as a Pujari for 10+ years. 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 email@example.com
Parvati/Pat Murphy J has been certified by Sanatana Dharma Satsang as a Pujari. She is available for pujas and yajnas in Los Angeles area. Please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Shivani/Silvia Sune has been certified by Sanatana Dharma Satsangas a Pujari. She is available for pujas and yajnas in the Boston Area. She also travels frequently to the Miami/Hollywood, FL area. Please contact her at email@example.com
The works of Thomas Ashley-Farrand (Namadeva Acharya) (1940-2010) 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 (d. 1997) and Satguru 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.
Bi-annually, we 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.
We have founded a religious organization, Sanatana Dharma Satsang, (a 501(c)3 nonprofit) which has opened a Gayatri Temple in Beaverton, Oregon. The link to it is in the right column.
Our new place in Albuquerque, NM, will be the location of the 2012 Summer Retreat. We hope to expand to the East Coast and other locations.
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
NEW ITEMS Coming soon:
Mantra Therapy for Overeating
Mantra Therapy for Undereating, Anorexia, Bulimia
Mantra Therapy for Deeply Imbedded Habits, Addictions (Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking)
Ancient Power of Sanskrit Mantra and Ceremony, Volumes I, II & III CD-sets now available separately or bundled with or without the books.
Dr. Wright's Clean Out Technique - guided pranayama for healing and releasing negativity
Ganesha's Abode of Bliss Guided Meditation (CD)
Mantra Therapy Healing Intensives 1,2
Disk 1 - Systemic Disorders,
Disk 2 - Mental, Emotional Disorders
Mantra Therapy for Prosperity CD
- Help with karmic blocks to prosperity and mantras to bring it in.
Mantra Therapy for Restoration of Dharma & Peace
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.
Adventures of Sita & Rama, Co-Starring Hanuman, a version of the Ramanaya with mantra intensives, including the Bala Ati Bala mantra - 16 CDs
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.
Price Reduction: Vital Yoga,A Sourcebook for Students & Teachers, by Meta Chaya Herschl - 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 plus yoga asanas.
2012-13 Schedule of Workshops
Satyabhama will be doing workshops in the following places: 2012 information: http://sanskritmantra.com/schedule.shtmlMay - Calgary, AL, Canada SUMMER RETREAT - Albuquerque, NM
July 31-August 5
September - Niagara Falls, Canada; MO -Kansas City and St. Louis
October - Chicago, IL
November - Austin, TX
December - Tampa, FL
Other workshops are in the process of finalizing their dates.
May 2013: India Pilgrimage - emphasis on Goddess temples
Events at the Gayatri Temple
May 5 - Wesak/Buddha Celebration
June 8 - Dattatreaya Puja and reading of the Avadhuta Gita in English
July 6-9 - Satguru Rama Mata, Lalita Yajna
Click on the Events link above for more information.
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Cochrane, Alberta, Canada
Los Angeles, CAAtma Jyoti Chanting Group, Contact Jagadamba, Certified Mantra Instructor: firstname.lastname@example.org