Sunday, June 29, 2014

Again a wonderful Street Kirtan experience

Veena writes:

"With a strong desire to continue singing out in the cities, Swami Kuru and I met again this week to plan out what to do next. We were about to go for a second time and we had an even bigger challenge in front of us, as it turned out that most of the BM musician team members were away this weekend with Guruji, for his Darshan in Paris. 
But the desire was stronger than the obstacle, so we decided - let's do it anyway. So we organised a music rehearsal and prayed people would show up.
This led to a really nice surprise: on Thursday evening 17 people were there, willing to sing, clap, play manjiras and mrdangas and basically to give their support in any way they can. Our hearts were filled with joy seeing this. What followed was a magical 2 hour session of bhajan singing, laughing and sharing experiences.

We were ready to do it again.
The plan was to go to Mainz, but in the last moment we changed our minds, due to strict regulations this city has regarding street music performances.  So we just decided - lets go back to Wiesbaden.
As soon as we showed up at the city market, some people started to do pranams', which was so funny for us to see. We had a few nice conversations and invited some of them to join us. 
One of the vegetable salesmen asked us to sing right there next to his stand, but soon we found out it is not allowed, as the market has its own rules and regulations, so we walked back to a familiar spot from last time - Mauritius square.
And again, we were welcomed there very nicely. 
The man from the city council who gave us his support last time, showed up again shortly after we started, this time even giving a hug to our 'spokesman' mataji Kadambari, enthusiastically repeating 'Unlimited, unlimited!' reffering to the time we are allowed to sing (normally it’s 30 minutes). So we sang for almost two hours, gave out many flyers and had some nice conversations with people interested in what we were doing. Afterwards, we went for some ice cream and pizza to a nearby cafe, where we spontaniously started to sing again. 
Just as we were ready to leave, we felt few drops of rain falling down on us, as if Maa herself was giving her blessing.

It felt so wonderful. 

In this short period of our 'open air' kirtans, I can say I experienced so much Love and unity between us, which I never expected it would happen- thank you Guruji for your Grace.
And thank you all for being such a wonderful family.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Wonderful Kirtan Session in Wiesbaden

We recently organised a Kirtan session in the streets of Wiesbaden. Swami Kurunandha writes: 

Jai Gurudev dear all, 

so as recently announced, last week some of us went to Wiesbaden to do Kirtan, and to say it in short: it was GREAT, and it was a very successful beginning to what surely will become a regular seva. We already semi-jokingly refer to it as "the Kirtan Revolution"! ;).
We let ourselves be guided and in the end chose to do two sessions (each lasting almost an hour): 

In front of the Marktkirche
1. near the biweekly fruit marketplace, underneath to the "market church" (yes, that is the actual name) under a banyan tree, well, no, it wasn't a banyan tree of course, but it felt like being one ;) - anyway, we were warming up a little offside of the main market area, so that we wouldn't be obtrusive to any of the fruit stands, but near enough anyway, and where pedestrians can easily connect with us if they want, that is if they are attracted by the sweet sound of our music; and quite a few did and some will likely visit us soon :) some workers who had work to do nearby, could not return to their work, as they explained to us later, as they were spellbound, same as many people later also were magically attracted...

2. then we went straight into the heart of Wiesbaden: Mauritiusplatz! (what a great   name!). Now we were ready to reach more people, and this time we had also some special "agents" (Kadamabari for example who did a great job in "catching" the bees that were attracted by our flower power sounds) who made sure, that those who felt a calling in their heart, would receive further guidance in how to connect with us, and how to get to heaven on earth: Shree Peetha Nilaya! To those we engaged with, we handed out flyers, Guruji's cards & open day invitations (the open day will take place 20th of July). 

Mauritiusplatz / Wiesbaden
We had many nice experiences with the people of Wiesbaden; let me just say here, that we were able to nicely connect with many lovely beings, and quite a few we expect to come and visit Shree Peetha Nilay over the coming weeks (for example: Open Day) and months. 

A little boy was very fascinated for a long time, danced around us and filled our hearts with even more joy
Playing music like that is fun first of all, and at the same a great seva, as it attracts people in a good way (without asking for money); through the music they hear the essence of our spiritual path, and their hearts immediately feel attracted; by the way, at the main square we were visited by an agent of the city of Wiesbaden; he started asking Kadambari lots of and partially also strange questions ("how old are you?", "do you have a sister", etc.), but in the end she seemed to have passed the "test", cause he revealed his identity, and in the end he was so happy with our performance, that he said, that we are very welcome in Wiesbaden! He also said to the police man who had arrived at the scene meanwhile with his electric two wheel "horse", to leave, and waived goodbye to him, and said to us to continue beyond the 30 minutes limit, that normally is applied! So kirtan is even dissolving the boundaries of regulations! 

A promising start indeed, and we will now based on this experience, reach out further to the other BM countries and encourage them to try the "Kirtan Revolution" also in their towns and cities :)) 
Stay tuned, and join us on one of the next expeditions 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Happy Birthday Guruji!

We had a great time today celebrating the birthday of Swamiji. Here's a short clip from the day's activities.

We started the day with a full abishekam to Guruji's padukas, and to Laddu Gopal - the main deity in the temple, Krishna as a young child holding a sweet.

After a bit of seva, we all gathered in the Bhajan Cafe and shared stories we had prepared of some of our experiences from having Swamiji in our lives. Some of the stories were mystical, some were sweet, some were bitter, but all of them showed how deeply our Guru loves us, and how wonderfully and gracefully he is guiding us on each of our paths.

After lunch, we gathered on the front lawn to participate in a yagna for Swami. The mood was beautiful and peaceful throughout the whole prayer.

After evening prayers and dinner there was a full moon OM Healing circle, and to wrap up the day, there was a slideshow of our favorite pictures of Guruji. Some of the residents had hand-picked a small selection of photos and videos, and they shared what the time meant to them.

This whole day was very sweet - Swamiji was not physically present in the ashram, but his Love could be easily felt throughout the whole day, in each of the prayers and in each of the gatherings.

What a miracle it is for us to have him in our lives! Jai Gurudev!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Some gifts from the "Nine Goddeses Tour"

Swami Vishwananda brought a full suitcase with things he bought in India for decorating the altar, with murti clothes and some Durga flags for the Kali Temple at the entrance of the centre.

Yesterday Pramod fixed the two Flags right and left on some long Bamboo sticks and one on top of the temple.

Bhairav got also one stick with a flag in his hands.

Looks a bit Indian now, doesn't it?

Binodini and Nallini suggested, that there should also be some red thread around the sticks - so they will do it in the next days.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Peahen visiting the media office

For a while now, nearly every afternoon a peahen is passing by the window of Swami Kuru's working place at the media office. 

He started to offer her some nuts and raisins and after some time she lost all fear and nearly stepped on his working desk.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Never ending Prasadam

Dakshini, who was also on the North India Pilgrimage with Swami Vishwananda, noticed a special moment and wrote it down for us: 

'On our North Indian pilgrimage "Call of the 9 Goddesses" Swamiji distributed prasadam after leaving the beautiful temple of Jwalaji (meaning flame). 

Of course everybody was very happy to receive some halwa directly from His hands. But still it seemed not very unusual as He is doing it that once in a while - and especially during pilgrimages. 

He was kneading the halwa as to make little balls and was serving nice portions to more than 40 people. 

Strangely enough the plate which He was serving from was maybe the size of a puri! 

The prasadam did not finish until the last person got his portion.... and was nearly unnoticed by the group.'

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Prasad from India for us all

Dakshini, who was also on the Pilgrimage in North India writes: 

Before we left a resident asked to bring prasad from all the temples we will visit on our 9 Devi pilgrimage. 

Happily we collected all the small sugarballs, puffed rice, dried fruits and nuts, coconuts, flowers, pieces of clothes etc. 

A russian devotee heart about it and also shared her portion for the family at Shree Peetha Nilaya. After some time we got quite an amount together. 

Back home we made little pictures with names that everybody can follow up from which places the prasad is. Sometimes we got only a little bit of sugarpieces which we put in a glas of water.

It is not like the never ending prasadam from our Guruji but if you come for Darshan this weekend there is a good chance to still grasp some bits and pieces. 

Nectaria came later with a tiny murti of Narayan. She found it in between puffed rice and dried fruits. So definitly this was a joker! 

Monday, June 2, 2014

40 Days till Gurupurnima

Yesterday we - about 40 of the residents and the community of devotees who live around the ashram Shree Peetha Nilaya - had a meeting about:
What can we do in the coming 40 days leading upto Gurupurnima, things that we feel will make our Guru happy and fill our hearts?

It quickly became clear, that it would be less something in the outside, but that rather an inner gift will be most pleasing to him. 

We firstly resolved to renew our commitment and enthusiasm for the daily community prayers (morning & evening), which form the foundation of our spiritual life. In conjunction with that we added some options: For example do a bigger Yagna Sunday morning before the main Sunday prayer.

Besides getting together again for the Bhakti Study Circle in a bigger round Sunday afternoon, or together watch a spiritual movie Sunday evening , there were suggestions such as:

Say „YES“ to whatever comes (for example if someone asks you for help), be positive or at least neutral about others (i.e. not engage accidentally in „gossip“ of any sort), and SMILE :) (more often)

doing a meditative "Parikrama-Japa (Mantra)-Walk" around the centre once a week

eating in the next 40 days in silence during lunchtime and listening to Swami Vishwananda's discourses and satsangs

...and a lot of more suggestions were made. One of the deepest was:

Every night (between 21:00 - 21:30) while Swami Keshava brings our Krishna to bed, we want to recite the 108 names of our Guru and each time explain the meaning of 3 of the names, and meditate on them. Then we do the Evening Gratitude Prayer we used to say in Steffenshof (the former Ashram), which is a very nice way to end the day.
You can access or download the prayer via this LINK.

Flower of Shree Peetha Nilaya, 2 June 2014

One more thing: Quite a few of us are already are or will be fasting once a week (we chose Monday as the default day). Besides fasting from eating food, the fasting is more importantly about the inside, to refrain from "empty" things and from negative thoughts, so for example you if were to watch TV regularly, try to refrain doing so during the coming 40 days, and dedicate consciously more time to engaging in some type of activity that will strengthen the connection to Guruji and God. For example do Japa, learn a new bhajan, paint an icon of a Saint, do Atma Kriya, etc., if you can do it together with others, it is most powerful, but if this is difficult practically, you can also do it individually at home, and just inwardly connect with the rest of us. 

Double Rainbow over Shree Peetha Nilaya, yesterday 1 June 2014
So we would like to encourage you all to draw inspiration from our little "plan", and maybe you find also other ideas that fit perfectly with your community. Jai Gurudev! 

(written by Swami Kuru)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Recording a Prayer CD

Right now the music team records a CD, a double CD with the morning and evening prayers that will be a nice music recording and a nice audio document as well, for those who want to listen to and practice the Bhakti Marga daily prayers.

Anantaananda and Bhaveshananda
Anantaananda is the recording studio technician together with Bhaveshananda, Tandav Krishna and Mira lead the musical project with the support of Pankaj, Vanamali and Chaturananda. 
They tried to create a real music-studio atmosphere in the big Darshan hall - everybody has his own space and was sitting far from each other. So they could record every voice and instrument on a separate file and mix it afterwards perfectly. In this first part they played for more then 12 hours, at the end everybody was really tired at the end. 

Vanamali, Pankaj, Tandav, Mira, and Chaturananda 
The second part of the recording continues now in the Studio/Audio-Room with the instrumental details, main voices and choruses. This part will take at least one week more!
Bhaveshananda, Tandav and Mira are listening to the recordings
The only sound from outside is a peacock cry from time to time but that fits - they decided ;-)