Namaste, Divine Brothers and Sisters,
In October, we celebrated the Nine Nights of the Goddess, Navaratri. In some traditions, the Nine forms of Durga were propitiated. Most of India celebrated three nights of Durga, three nights of Lakshmi, and three nights of Saraswati, then on the tenth day a special Durga puja. This purpose of this celebration is to propitiate Shakti, the Goddess in her aspect as Power, to bestow upon us wealth, auspiciousness, prosperity, knowledge (both sacred and secular) and all other potent powers. Everyone is blessed by her loving mercy and protected by her.
At the Gayatri Temple, we performed the Victory to the Mother Puja, celebrating Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati in one grand puja, chanting their mantras together and calling on all of them for their blessings.
On Tuesday, November 13th, there will be a solar eclipse with a lunar eclipse two weeks later. During the eclipses, it is very auspicious to chant the Ganesha/Ganapati Upanishad, which says towards the end, "Realization of a mantra deity comes to one who recites this prayer in a holy place during a solar eclipse. All obstacles become thereby removed. One becomes free from all sins and mistakes. One gains the highest wisdom and all wishes come true." It is in the handout from Namadeva Acharya/Thomas Ashley-Farrand's Ganesha I workshop, pp.8-13 in transliterated Sanskrit and English. It is also in Volume II, Chapter 48, page 239, of the Ancient Power of Sanskrit Mantra and Ceremony.
New York City is my birthplace, and I have two sons and two grandchildren living there, so the damage to the area from the two storms, Sandy and the Nor'easter snow really affected me. (They are all fine now.) It seems that month after month there is a new reason to chant the Healing the Earth Mantras below for the people and animals harmed by one calamity after another.
Prem & Shanti,
Diwali or Deepavali is popularly known as the Festival of Lights. It is a five day festival which starts on Dhanteras, celebrated on thirteenth lunar day of Krishna paksha (dark fortnight) of the Hindu calendar month Ashwin and ends on Bhaubeej, celebrated on second lunar day of Shukla paksha (bright fortnight) of the Hindu calendar month Kartik. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali festival is celebrated between mid-October and mid-November. This year the official and day is November 13th.
For Hindus, Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes. It is an official holiday in India and several other Asian countries.
The name "Diwali" or "Divali" is a contraction of "Deepavali," which means "row of lamps". Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps (deepa in Sanskrit) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. These lamps are kept on during the night and one's house is cleaned, both done in order to make Lakshmi feel welcome. Firecrackers are lit in order to drive away evil spirits. During Diwali, all the celebrants wear new clothes and share sweets and snacks with family members and friends.
Diwali commemorates the return of Lord Rama, along with Sita and Lakshmana, from his 14-year-long exile and vanquishing the demon-king Ravana. In joyous celebration of the return of their king, the people of Ayodhya, the Capital of Rama, illuminated the kingdom with earthen deepas and by bursting firecrackers.
The festival starts with Dhanteras on which most Indian business communities begin their financial year. The second day of the festival, Naraka Chaturdasi, marks the vanquishing of the demon Naraka by Lord Krishna and his Queen Satyabhama. Amavasya, the third day of Diwali, marks the worship of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth in her most benevolent mood, fulfilling the wishes of her devotees.
Everyone forgets and forgives the wrongs done by others. There is an air of freedom, festivity and friendliness everywhere. This festival brings about unity. It instills charity in the hearts of people. Everyone buys new clothes for the family. Employers, too, buy new clothes for their employees.
The most significant spiritual meaning of Diwali is "the awareness of the inner light". It reminds the celebrants that there is something beyond the physical body and mind, something which is pure, infinite, and eternal, called the Atman. The celebration of Diwali as the "victory of good over evil" refers to the light of higher knowledge dispelling all ignorance, the ignorance that masks one's true nature: the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality. With this awakening comes compassion and the awareness of the oneness of all things (higher knowledge). This brings ananda (joy or peace). Diwali is the celebration of this Inner Light and the recognition that the same atman or flame resides in the sacred heart of all humanity.
The Great Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh taught this meditation for Diwali:
"O Ram! The Light of Lights, the self-luminous light of the Self is ever shining in the chamber of your heart. Sit Quietly. Close your eyes. Withdraw the senses. Fix the mind on this supreme light and enjoy the real Deepavali by attaining illumination of the soul.
He who Himself sees all but whom no one beholds, who illumines the intellect, the sun, the moon, and the stars, and the whole universe, but whom they cannot illumine, He indeed is Brahman. He is the inner Self. Celebrate the real Deepavali by living in Brahman, and enjoy the eternal bliss of the soul.
The Sun does not shine there, nor do the moon and the stars, nor do lightnings shine and much less fire. All the lights of the world cannot be compared even to a ray of the inner light of the Self. Merge yourself in this light of lights and enjoy the supreme Deepavali.
Many Deepavali festivals have come and gone. Yet the hearts of the vast majority are as dark as the night of the new moon. The house is lit with lamps, but the heart is full of the darkness of ignorance. Realize the constant and eternal light of the soul, which neither rises nor sets, through meditation and deep self enquiry.
May you all attain full inner illumination! May the supreme light of lights enlighten your understanding! May you all attain the inexhaustible spiritual wealth of the Self! May you all prosper gloriously on the material as well as spiritual planes!"
Mantra of the month:
Om Sri Hanumate Ramaha
Salutations to the prana which is directed by the Divine Self.
Mantras for Healing the Earth
All of these mantras are powerful Ganesha Mantras.
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 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Lalita/Deanne Lozano has been certified by Sanatana Dharma Satsang as a Pujari. She is available for pujas and yajnas in Chicago. 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 some workshops. 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
Please consider items from our online store and the three new ones below for holiday gifts. Also, you may wish to let your friends know if you want an item or two from the store for yourself.
NEW ITEMS, not on website:
Mantra Therapy for Overeating, $15, click on button and pay with your credit card. Priority Mail shipping.
Mantra Therapy for Undereating, Anorexia, Bulimia, $15,
click on button and pay with your credit card. Priority Mail shipping.
Mantra Therapy for Deeply Imbedded Habits, Addictions (Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking) 2-CD set, $25,
click on button and pay with your credit card. Priority Mail shipping.
To Order all three, click on button and pay with your credit card.
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 - Very effective Shakti mantras to destroy evil energies.
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.shtml
December 22, 20127:00 pm- Tampa, FL
Planetary Puja for the Solstice
120 S. Howard Avenue
Tampa, FL 33606
Other workshops are in the process of finalizing their dates.
Events at the Gayatri Temple
December 31- Gayatri Puja to bring in the Spiritual Light for the New Year.
Click on the Events link above for more information.
You can donate to Sanatana Dharma Satsang just by shopping, if you join iGive. Hundreds of stores give a percentage of your purchase to your cause, so please join. The way it works is you join iGive and name your nonprofit beneficiary, Sanatana Dharma Satsang, then when you shop online through the iGive link, a percentage of the sale is donated by the store to us.
Click here to join our cause
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Cochrane, Alberta, Canada
Los Angeles, CAAtma Jyoti Chanting Group, Contact Jagadamba, Certified Mantra Instructor: firstname.lastname@example.org