Sunday, April 27, 2014

Meeting of German Devotees

On Saturday morning, about 35 german devotees were gathering in the Atma Kriya Room of Shree Peeta Nilaya for a meeting with Swami Kuru. He is the responsible Swami for Germany, and Anuprabha is the coordinator for Germany. 
It was wonderful to have everybody there and also very important, because we know, to be together and having Satsang, brings us together as a family. 

So firstly everybody sat in groups together, according to where they live, North, South, East and West and then discussed in these smaller groups, what would be possible to organise in their areas. Swami Kuru and Anuprabha had spoken before shortly about the many possibilities how to spread our Gurudev's mission in Germany. We can have Puja and Yagna workshops with one of the Swamis, invite the Bhakti Marga Music Group for concerts or workshops, do cooking classes (cooking for Swami) and of course have weekly or monthly meetings for Bhajans and Prayers. So every group found out, what kind of activities they wanted to create in their city. 

It was so nice to see how everybody got involved and had ideas and contributed to use the ideas that are already there and just need to be brought into life. 

Especially the new „German Music Group“ were found together and right away practiced singing for Easter in the Church.

So what is possible:
  • we can invite Swami Kuru for a Satsang or Yagna
  • invite the Bhakti Marga Music Group for a concert or workshop
  • organise a Puja or Yagna workshop, also for kids
  • try to get involved into CoL (Cities of Light)
  • ask for a Just Love Reading Circle
  • do Bhajan and Prayer gatherings regularly
  • get together for „cooking for Swami“
Also the project „City of Lights“ (CoL) where OM Healing is brought into bigger cities (as it is Swamiji's wish) was explained and posters distributed.

Prabhu Muktananda also made himself available for to give talks about the spiritual essence of OM Healing, so we can invite him too.

After this short, but intense „work meeting“ Swami Kuru showed a short movie about Gurudev's last visit to Vrindavan during the Holi Festival. We all enjoyed very much to see this colorful scenes and the happiness of Gurudev, this was surely a special treat.
What is also for sure and was clearly to be seen is, to work together, to create together activities is so important! The group energy is carrying the members along the path and makes it easier to get and stay connected on the way to God.
And that is what we all want and what we long for. So let us go for it and get together Germany!

If you have any questions or suggestions, pls contact: 

Swami Kuru, or 
Mataji Anuprabha

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A little blackbird

Santoshi, who was just visiting the ashram for a couple of days, had a special experience on Easter Sunday - the 'Resurrection Sunday' (!) - and wrote it down for you: 

The power of  'Om Namo Narayanaya'

"Me and my friends were walking up to see the Kali Temple. Me and one of my friend Lakshmi were walking a little bit behind so the two other girls, Nadja and Marina, where before us and they saw a blackbird laying on the ground in front of the Kali Temple. So me and Lakshmi quickly ran up to see this bird.

After a while Dakshini was walking up talking on the phone. So we tried to show her that there is a blackbird laying in front of the Kali Temple. When Dakshini finished the call she told us to chant 'Om Namo Narayanaya' and so we did. 

We where chanting a couple of times and then the bird stood up but didn't fly away- so we did it again, but this time more and it flew away!"

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Peeeeaaace…be with you: Japa Walk during Easter

The Easter Days were very full, intense and many transformations and inner little “resurrections” took place in many of the devotees who visited Shree Peetha Nilaya (SPN).
Besides the church ceremonies there were also a couple of additional activities scheduled and many visitors took advantage of this possibility. One of them was an introduction into the mantra project (a simple but powerful forty day sadhana practise that hundreds of people have completed since it was launched not long ago) with a subsequent one hour japa walk around the ashram (called “parikrama”, a circumambulation).

Two dozen people participated in the japa walk, and the reactions were very positive. Some even had a kind of “high”, an ecstatic experience.

The parikrama is done in silence, and much slower than a normal walk. This makes it a meditative experience. All of the sudden you notice the details of what is hidden in nature. Everything slows down and turns into a soothing movie that presents you the beauty of life. You notice and enjoy captivating flowers, beautiful butterflies, and enchanting bird sounds in a way that you wouldn’t if you walked faster. And most importantly, it connects you to the core of the mantra itself, God inside of you and everywhere around you. There is a special way to chant the mantra that connects it with the rhythm of walking. All this and more is explained in the introduction. 

So next you come to visit SPN, feel free to join in, it is fun and inspiring! :) 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Bread (recipe)

Every year on Easter Sunday after the Liturgie Swami Vishwananda gives to everybody a peace from the blessed Easterbread.

Bhagyshri baked it yesterday. Here is the recipe:

Of course here we use instead of the eggs some egg replacement from the organic shop or cornstarch.

We have a wonderful pastry kneading machine but Bhagyshri says that her hands are better ;-)

During baking time (30-45 minutes) inside the oven she wrapped some Aluminium foil arrond so that the bread doesn't get too crusty. (If you are making very big breads, then bake 60- 90 minutes.)

Finished; some glace icing on top and ready for to be blessed in the church.

All Easterbreads are waiting - - -

 and we too ;-)   The liturgy was long---

Finally - after hours -  everybody got a piece of the bread !

Friday, April 18, 2014

Flower decoration for Easter

Yesterday, very early in the morning, Dakshini went to the whole-sale flower market to buy flowers for the Easter decoration.

The plan was to make a big garland for the top of the Iconostase in the church. 

With a team of some residents and some guests we started to prepare the garland so that it would be ready in the afternoon.  

After the garland was placed on the top of the Iconostase, we added some purple flowers wich where prepared in little vases so that they would last longer :)  

At the same time, a team of swiss devotees led by Dani arrived to prepare the chariot (Epitaphios) for Jesus for the procession on Good Friday

For Easter Sunday we will change the decoration into a very bright and colourful design...

Here we prepare already the decoration for the tables in the dining hall for Easter Sunday meal.

Meeting for German Devotees

Here is a short announcement for the german devotees in german:

Anuprabha, unsere Bhakti Marga Deutschland Coordinatorin l├Ądt alle deutschen Devotees ein, am Ostersamstag,  den 19. April um 9:00 Uhr zu einem Treffen in den Atma Kriya Raum zu kommen.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Morning kitchen prayer

Every morning the kitchen team starts together with Bhagyshri the work with some prayers.

First they do the Swami Vishwananda Gayatri:

Om Premavatara Vidmahi
Sat Gurudevaya Dimahi
Tanno Vishwananda Prachodayat

Then they pray to the Goddess Gayatri for purification:

OM bhur bhuva swaha 
tat savitur varenyam   
bhargo devasya dhimahi 
dhiyo yona pratshodajat 

(May we meditate on the effulgent light of the worshipful one who has given birth to all worlds. May this One direct our Mind-rays towards the path of Good.)

And after that they pray to Annapurna, the goddess of cooking with a special prayer to her: 
Om Annapurne Sadapurne
Shankara Prana Vallabhe
Gyan Vairaghya Sidhyartham 
Bhiksham Dehi Cha Parvati

On the altar in the kitchen there is also a picture of a very powerful Saint, "Jalaram Baba" from India, Swami Vishwananda visited his place in Jhunjunuhu last November:

He always fed the poor people and in this village they still feed everyone who comes. There are big copper pots with clear clean water which get never empty - which is a special miracle there.
So we pray that if one day our pots are empty, He will help to fill them!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pocket Size Ashram

I was asked to write briefly something about the Atma Kriya course that I gave this past weekend at Shree Peetha Nilaya. 

We were a nice little group of six (plus one refresh) people from Germany and Austria, and as always, it felt, like exactly the right people were summoned by Guruji and Babaji to attend the course. We had a really full weekend starting Friday late afternoon and ending Sunday evening, as I wanted the participants to participate in all prayers and also the full Darshan that took place on Saturday. I don't get the chance to teach that often, and it is every time a very special privilege and joy to act as a guide for people's spiritual journey back „home“. And every time I teach I recognise the beauty of this Sadhana and how crucial it is for so many of us.

Atma Kriya is not „just another practise“ along the way. It is THE ticket to your ultimate dream destination, and a fulfilled life beyond imagination. It is especially like that for all those who can't live at the Ashram, cause here life itself  is a form of Kriya. I see Atma Kriya as a kind of „pocket size“ version of Ashram Life, and even a tool for receiving Darshan on a daily basis; something you can take home after Darshan, after you've left the outer proximity to Swamiji and the abode of Divine Mother, wherever you go. All aspects and power of Ashram Life, all nine forms of Bhakti are contained in the technique. And most importantly, it is an expansion of your lifeline to the masters (Sri Swami Vishwananda and Mahavatar Babaji), with which you allow their Grace to come to you. It creates a sanctum inside of yourself, where you can come into commmunion with God inside of your Heart, every day, uplifting and transforming our otherwise quite dull lives into the most-blessed, extraordinary and beautiful adventure of Love Divine.

Swami Vishwakurunandhanananda (Swami Kuru)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Seva last weekend

Swami said:

Often when people come to Springen they do Seva, Seva - service to the outside world - means one thing, whereas service at the centre in Springen is like sitting in the garden of the Divine and participating with Him in creation. That is why when people come to Shree Peetha Nilaya I emphasize that they must do Seva, because when they are sitting around doing nothing the mind gets involved and becomes active. 

When active with Seva the mind does not get stuck in being egoistic, this is a time when Mahalaksmi Herself pours out her Mother’s affection and love upon the person who is doing the Seva. In that state of forgetfulness of oneself the energy of the Divine becomes active, then one realises that Springen is not only for the people living there but for all, we are one family.“
Sri Swami Vishwananda

On a Darshan weekend like the last Saturday, in the morning all the guests which stay in the center meet after breakfast in the lobby and then they get a seva-job to do in one of the departments. This Saturday Ambika went around, took some pictures and some interviews:

In the garden: 
Kai from Germany
Kaltikeyani from Czech
Shivapadani from Latvia
Two guests from Denmark and Germany
Sewing room:  
Happy sewing team from Russia. They helped to make new meditation cushions for the tent.
The bathrooms:

Cleaning the bathrooms ...
...with joy!

In the kitchen: 

Bhavani from England
Cake for the selling table made by Poland
Russian seva team
Tripurasundari from Italy removes all the dust in the light hall 
Kai from Germany: "Seva is meditation and reflection. And being in the middle of nature you can feel very close to the Creator. This helps one to let go."

Francesca from Portugal: "I like doing seva. It is working for the community."

Lene from Denmark: "Seva gives so much love for Swamiji. You just keep on thinking of him. And it keeps your mind quiet."

Antje from Germany: "Seva gives me peace. I am enjoying that we are able to do such a thing in such a beautiful place with like-minded persons."

Shivapadani from Latvia: "I do seva wherever l have time to come to the ashram because I know that you need people for seva. I am doing this to serve Guruji and to be near to Him."

Kasha from Poland: "Seva is a work which I can do for Swami, for Bhakti Marga and of course for myself. The most beautiful experience was the seva meeting in the morning when we chanted OM and did the love meditation for Mother Earth."

Tara from Germany: "Seva for me is to express my love for my Guru and to be grateful. I am here to support the people with my violin when we are singing for God. Only through Swamiji's grace I learnt to improvise because before I was only able to play classical music from the sheet. I have been always wishing to play only for God. This is my seva."

Kaltikeyani: "Seva is relaxing and refreshes my Soul."

Katyayini from Russia: "I do seva because I feel that I have also to give something to my Guru. I know that He doesn't need anything and that He only wants me to be happy and to advance spiritually. So by helping Him I am actually helping myself and this makes Him maybe a bit happier."

Tripurasundary from Italy: "Seva is service which complete devotion."

Vanisha from Russia: "Seva is a great joy. It makes me happy to serve my Gurudev in His house together with my spiritual family."