Friday, August 29, 2014

Potato Picking

This last Thursday, many devotees gathered together to give a helping hand to the garden crew. As a new harvest of potatoes was ready for collecting, each seva department united in order to gather the newly grown potatoes.

With a team of 29, the potato picking finished in a quick two and a half hours.

The Mataji's express their joy from serving together.

The Prabhu’s contemplate the nature of the potato, and relate the idea of how digging through the dirt to find the potato, is much like the spiritual path when one must dig through their own karma to experience the Divine, which in this context, is a potato. Maybe the Prabhu’s took this a little too far…

Giri is happy to see the Bhakti Marga family come together and assist with the agriculture.

Everyone was doing their part to help out, and even some learned some new skills to take home with them.

“By forgetting about yourself and thinking of others, you are knowing what real Love is. Because Love is not something that you can keep for yourself. Even if once you realise the Love inside of you, you can’t keep it; you have to give it. And service, seva, is one aspect of serving the Lord, and serving yourself, because there is no difference between you and the person you are serving. It’s your self into that person. But when you do this with such mind, you will not benefit from that, because service has to be done out of Love.” –Sri Swami Vishwananada

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cashless at Bhakti Marga

The cashless age at Shree Peetha Nilaya (SPN) is approaching fast...! Being under the influence of the current Gita Course with Guruji, we are in the mood of detaching ourselves more and more of the material... ;)

To make the life of our accounting & finance administration easier we decided to no longer accept cash payments inside the ashram. Rishi Madhavananda (ex Naamdev) over the past months identified a convenient cashless card system for SPN.

This morning the first cashless cards were issued to the pioneers amongst the guests. Around 40 people already got themselves a card, as from 21st August onwards, one will need this card for anything for which so far cash was used at SPN, in particular for eating, shopping and accomodation
(at reception and in the shop credit cards and EC cards can still be used also).

There are two types of cards:
1. Registered Cards
2. Non-registered Cards

The registered card is connected with your personal identity, and there is a small non-refundable fee for this (2 eur). If one wants to have something printed on the card, there is an extra fee of 5 eur. One can chose what information one wants to have printed on it. Typically it will be the name (spiritual and/or worldly) & the telephone number.

Alternatively, there is also a non-registered anonymous version of the card. The deposit here is also 2 eur, but it is refundable.

Both cards can be charged at the card machine (with no person involved), which will be located in the main entry hall, either with cash or credit/EC card. The machine will be operative as of 21st August. The machine can also release money that is stored on the card.
During large events we might provide an extra desk for recharging cards (when there are queues at the machine).
The machine will look similar to the one in this picture.

The main advantage of getting a registered card is that in case it gets lost
1) it can blocked in case you stored a significant amount on it
2) if it carries a name on it, it can be returned more easily to the owner

If you have questions, our guest team is happy to be of support (click here).

We hope you will find this card freeing you up and making your next stay at SPN even more enjoyable. Jai Gurudev! :)

P.S.: the only thing for which you can still use cash (other than charging your cashless card), are donations and 'Guru Dakshina'

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The peacocks' exemplary surrender to Lord Sri Krishna

Every year at Shree Peetha Nilaya we celebrate Sri Krishna Janmashtami,
which commemorates the earthly appearance of Lord Sri Krishna in Mathura, Northern India, approximately 5,000 years ago.
This festival falls in the Hindu month of Shravana (August-September) and this year is celebrated on 17th -18th August.
The peacocks at Shree Peetha Nilaya make a very special contribution to this celebration by offering their long tail feathers and thus letting go of their pride while serving the Lord in the form of Sri Swami Vishwananda.
This natural behaviour is exemplary of their surrender to Lord Sri Krishna. Below there is a story of the Lord Sri Krishna Leela which tells us about the origin of this peacocks' behavior.

One day, Krishna was in the forest with his cowherd friends and they all took a nap. Krishna woke up first and started playing his flute, waking up everybody and calling the cows which were grazing around. The peacocks from the Govardhana hill were enchanted by the wonderful vibration that was coming from Krishna's flute. They cried with joy, while dancing with excitement, jumping up and down and flapping their wings. 
At a certain point the king of the peacocks came forward and touched Krishna's Lotus Feet to express his gratitude, requesting Him to dance with them. Krishna joined the peacocks, dancing like them, increasing the tempo and playing to the rhythm of His steps. The bliss of the peacocks increased so immensely that some peacocks fainted. All the animals and cowherds stood transfixed, unable to move their eyes away from the dance of Krishna. 
Finally, after many days, when Krishna stopped dancing, there was an enchanting silence. The king of the peacocks approached Krishna with great humility, bowed down his head and said, "You have created a festival of bliss for which we'll remain eternally indebted to You. It is our duty to offer You Guru Dakshina. Please accept our only opulence, our plumage. Wear them on Your crown as a decoration." With large tears of ecstasy, the king of peacocks dropped many divine feathers. 
Krishna lovingly accepted the offering of the peacocks and to everybody's joy, placed a few of them on His turban. Thus He came to wear the peacock feathers.