Sunday, July 27, 2014

Children's activities during the "Open day" in SPN

Kids, who came during the "Open day", had a lot of interesting things to do.
We've organised learning of bhajan's singing with Mira and Chatur. And they have learned fast!

Marina has also sang bhajans while playing the keyboard:

And little Niranjandas has done his best learning to play the manjiras:

Sri Swami Vishwananda also dropped by to greet the kids:

The most fabulous activity was doing the abishekam all together on their new saligrams, under the guidance and instructions of Swami Keshava and Mataji Tusti:

They all enjoyed it so much. Their attention was entirely captivated for more than one hour!

The parents were also looking curiously at what's going on...

As you can see on the photos, they have been completely mesmerised by every detail. In the end they have enjoyed painting the saligrams and putting them on the altar:


Later in the afternoon, they all had fun doing yoga for children, which was done in combination with singing "Bhajo Nitai Gaurango Radhe Shyam, Japa Hare Krishna Hare Ram".

Saturday, July 26, 2014

How we made the Adishesha for Gurupurnima

Some weeks before Gurupurnima we were thinking about how to decorate our Guru's chair and the stage around him for Gurupurnima.

The idea came up to make an Adishesha behind him, the big five headed snake - actually we had the strong feeling that He put the the idea in our collective minds... ;-) 

The first plan was to just cut the form out of wood and paint it, but after talking to Dakshini, we felt a 3D Adishesha made out of papier-mâché would be even nicer.

We slept over the idea and the next day it was crystal clear - we'll do it! Some of us already had some experience with other similar work but to do something for the Guru is always a different challenge.  

We asked Swami Keshava and Yajneshwar to help with the wooden construction and they where super happy to help.

The boys started with the wooden framework taking measurements around Swamiji´s chair. The construction served as a skeleton and helped to keep the Adishesh stable. 

The next steps were to build a wire frame around the wood which we filled up with bubble-wrap to give the structure volume.

We glued thick layers of papier-mâché on top of the wire structure.

And as a final finishing touch, we added a special sculptural material which gets very hard after a 2-day drying period and can be even sanded afterwards!

Our electrical master, Sabarish, installed cables and electric connections beforehand to create some special effects in the eyes.

We choose to use yellow eyes as they provide a warm atmosphere and can be seen also from larger distances.

And last but not least, we painted the snake. For such big projects, an airbrush technique  turned out to be the perfect approach as you can paint very quickly and smoothly. Gitanjali from Portugual has a lot of experience and luckily we could inspire her with our enthusiasm and she was able to come and help us a few days before Gurupurnima.

What perfect timing! - the Adishesh was finished the evening before Gurupurnima!

We brought it up and we put it on the stage to see if everything fits, how the light-effects will be, and if the eyes were shining bright enough.

It looked truly amazing and we were very excited to see if Swamiji would be happy … and we think He really was!

Jai Gurudev!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Football WM with Swami Vishwananda

This is a story written by Tilakavati, a russian devotee from Moscow who was there in the right moment: 

On the day of the final football game between Germany and Argentina we were thrilled. There were quite a number of people among us who enjoy to watch good final football game. Especially that we were in Germany, we were attuned with the final game fever.  One of us, mataji Adhi, daughter of Ashiriyadevi bought a fan garland with colors of German flag in the "football fan section" at the petrol station. This was the only possibility to get it, as it was Sunday. 

When Swami Vishwananda was passing by, she got chance to hand it over to him, hoping that he will just hold it in his hands and bless it, but Swamiji joyfully took it from her and put around his neck, to our delight. 

Walking around the compound like this, Swamiji was asking people whom do they cheer for, and who do they think will win. 

Seeing that there was no more doubt for us that it was the auspicious sign that Germany will have better luck in the match.

This increased our spirit and Swamiji went smilingly outside the building to the place where the snacks were being sold, including pop corn machine.

As he knew that some from us were going to watch the game starting soon, Swamiji decided to make popcorn using the new popcorn machine for the first time himself. It was a lot of fun for him and for us, slowly people surrounded him, but he seemed not noticing it, as he was totally involved in the process of making popcorn, changing it in his own way, like adding sugar and salt together, reducing the level of oil etc, in spite of all objections of Bhageshri, that this is not the way of doing it. 

All of a sudden a lot of steam and some smoke started to come out of the pot, probably due to the excess of sugar, and Swamiji was the first one to shout "Oh! it burns, it burns!!!"

After few moments the pot with cooking popcorn fell down inside the glass box and all the popcornes were saved. It was a lot of fun, and a lot of laughter.

We got to taste Swamiji´s made popcorn. Everybody got 1 piece. It was delicious and well cooked. 

The final game was going to start soon, so people went away and Swamiji went to give interviews.
The first part of the game was pretty boring, nothing much happened until Swamiji came to the room where prabhus were watching the match. It was almost at the end of the 2nd half. 
Prabhus started to ask and tell who from the German players should shoot the goal. Someone said, Mueller should. But Swamiji just waived his hand, meaning no. And really, Mueller, one of the best ones,  as much as he tried could not shoot the needed goal. 
The additional time was going to the end, and everybody understood, that in the final penalty part it will be harder to win. 

But as a miracle, when everyone was pretty sure for the coming final penalty part, one German player, Goetze, all of a sudden was able to outwit the experienced Argentina´s goal keeper and shoot the first goal!
As it happened at the last minutes of the game, Argentina didn´t have time and chance to respond.
As you know, Germany won the world cup. We say, the Garland helped!

(... besides the nickname of the German coach Joachim Löw is "Yogi")

(Thank you, Tilakavati, for your article!)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Gurupurnima and the colourful exuberance of Mother Earth

As Gurupurnima is fast approaching, at Shree Peetha Nilaya, Mother Earth is dressed up in an exuberant, colourful way.
She is getting ready to venerate Her Lord in the form of our Beloved Guruji, Sri Swami Vishwananda. May our hearts blossom! May our hearts be constantly showering Him with the flowers of our devotion, in gratitude for the Infinite blessings He showers on us all.
Blessed seeds and plants are a wonderful souvenir from Shree Peetha Nilaya garden. They represent a continuous reminder:
    - of the Beauty of Mother Earth, completely surrendered to the Lord;
    - that whatever we offer to Him it is already His. It has always been His. And, it will be forever His. There is absolutely nothing apart from Him. He is Everything!