Sunday, September 28, 2014

Next-Level Prasad

During Navaratri, the kitchen team at Shree Peetha Nilaya has been working hard to make some top-tier prasad.






We wanted to share a few of our recipes over the upcoming days of the festival for the Divine Mother.

Here is one of the favorites from last night.



LAMINGTONS




BISCUIT:
325 gr flour
240 gr sugar
180 gr oil
410 gr water
1 ½ baking powder
Vanilla aroma
Pinch of cinnamon powder

Mix separately in one bowl dry ingredients; flour, backing powder, cinnamon powder and sugar and in another bowl put together water, oil and vanilla aroma.
Then put all together and mix gently with the whisk.
When it is well mixed put the mixture into a backing pan and bake it on the 180 degree for 15-20 minutes.


DIP:
200 gr butter
100 gr carob powder
6 spoons of sugar
3 dcl milk
Vanilla aroma

Melt everything in a pot.
For this measure it is required 30 dkg of coconut
Biscuit cut in cubes, dip them into the carob sauce and then roll them into the dried coconut.


Bon apetit! ☺


Bhajan Cafe

Right now  we have a very nice bistro in our Bhajan Cafe.


Bhyageshree set it up in the last week. You can get a really good espresso or cappucino. Of course, there is also chai available.

You can also have different kinds of cakes, fresh made fruit salad and pancakes with different toppings. 


Today, after the Sunday morning prayer all of a sudden started a wonderful jam session.

One guy from St Petersburg brought a 'hang drum' - somebody went to the piano and another guy with a flute show up - a perfect spontaneous 'dowlnoad' of divine sounds so soothing to our ears and hearts...in our divine home.

video

So beautiful - the "Bhakti Marga Bhajan Cafe" way of life!







Saturday, September 27, 2014

New Cash Card System in Shree Peetha Nilaya

The cashless age has also reached us in Shree Peetha Nilaya!

To make life and work easier in all areas and also in our accounting, Rishi Madhavananda (ex-Naamdev) developed a system with a so called "cash card".

We ask you now to accept this new system openly because without a cashcard, nothing works here anymore!



First, you need to befriend our new resident, the "cashless automat"!



He doesn't appear/look very charming but he can do quite a few things!





At the beginning of Navaratri there will be an attendant by the side of this automat to help you get to know his characteristics. At this automat one can:

  • Obtain a cashcard for 2€ deposit (as a hotel guest you get the card at reception with a corresponding credit for meals during your stay)
  • One can top the cash card with cash or debit card
  • One can also decharge the card and get the money back in cash. 

Attention: one cannot get money with a normal debit card from the machine - it's not a cash machine!
Once you have a cash card you can pay with it the various meals :

Cashcard scanner at the food table
You can buy things in the shop, buy coffee and cake during events as well as drinks and chocolate from the vending machine in front of the Babaji cave.

Bhagyshri and her team filling up drinks

PS: The only thing that still works with cash here in SPN are your donations and Gurudakshina! For this purpose we still have the donation box in the entrance hall.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Upcoming Mridanga Workshop during Navaratri



Shree Peetha Nilaya is a host of a number of workshops: art, paint, music, Atma Kriya Yoga, Simply Meditation, and more.

As music is a very hub of devotees' life in SPN there is no surprise that it attracts also many people to its workshops. When Guruji sings a bhajan everybody wants to know what he sings; everybody wants to sing along with him and also to try to learn to play it at home.


SPN musicians have developed a mridanga workshop for the beginners led by Mayuran, a great mridanga player from London. The result of the last workshop in Gurupurnima was amazing. 

Mayuran conducted a workshop which attracted 10 people. That is a maximum number of participants as the workshop is designed to give a maximum attention to each single individual. Many people who did not believe in their abilities to play, by the end of the two-day course, were able to play simple beats and they got the solid base to build upon their skills.

Mridanga is an Indian drum perfectly suited for bhajans and kirtans. As mridanga (or khol as it is called in some parts of India), is not easy to learn, so the groups are kept small.

Next workshop is organized during Navaratri - October 2 and 3.
You must register for the workshop before attending!

If you plan to come and want to learn how to play mridanga, please write to us at music@bhaktimarga.org or speak with us personally (Chaturananda, Mayuran, Tandav Krishna, or any temple mridanga players).

We would be happy to answer your questions.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Transcend Pleasure and Pain

There is a point where pleasure and pain intersect.

One transcends duality and a new dimension of bliss arises. Once the line is crossed there is no going back.

In the heart of Germany at Shree Peetha Nilaya one can find the ultimate tool that helps one transcend the duality of life.

Where one can finally find the utmost pleasure, in the greatest of all pain.

Testimonies:

“When I first discovered that pain can lead to pleasure, I was shocked. I couldn’t help but grow more and more into this way of life.”

- Girikumar, Head of Garden

“The more I put in it the more I transcended the plain of duality. Eventually there is nothing more to do but bottle up this feeling and store it.”

- Bhagyshri, Head of Kitchen

The duality transcending medicine can be found at specific times of the year, and not everyone is capable of handling it. Get ready for the key to everlasting life. It is ……..

Swami’s Chilli Sauce!



A note of caution, this sauce is blisteringly hot, made with Sri Swami Vishwananda’s chilies which are some of the hottest chilies in the world.

Please do not buy this product for any person with any respiratory, stomach, or throat problems.
If anyone is having any “heart” problems though, this is the perfect product.

Only available during Navaratri 2014.

 ** Please don’t take the article too seriously, it's meant only as a joke. But seriously - the sauce is really tasty!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Preparations for Navaratri


Since two weeks ago we've started to prepare slowly for Navaratri, the nine day festival in honor of the Divine Mother. It is the biggest festival we celebrate here in Shree Peetha Nilaya and it takes a lot of time and clarity to coordinate everything and build.

Here are some pics of the work involved.



Outside the tent, a pedestal for the shoes was built and the yagna kund for day 10 - Dussera - was prepared.



Sadly, a storm swept down our not-so-stable smaller tent. Now we have something better built.


Inside the tent we set ourselves some high goals: the entire tent roof should be covered! This was pretty time consuming but after it was finished, it looked wonderful!



For the Divine Mother we cut out a nice wooden frame, which was then milled and gold plated ...



... and another one for our Guruji.

 

After we knew about how many visitors have registered, we had several meetings and made ​​plans: "How can we ensure that we can seat everyone in the best way possible?"

So we tinkered with a system: every night a different group of 80 devotees can sit up in the front of the tent and then can join in with the arati in the front - and with your cooperation, it can work!


Kitchen Meeting
The kitchen also had to be much more organized - not only will there be 400-500 guests to provide for, but also there will be a LOT of prasad for each of the 10 ceremonies to prepare.




Slowly, slowly, the inside of the tent is starting to take shape.





Yesterday was the big move: the Murti of the Divine Mother of the temple was transported with the frontloader into the tent and lifted by four strong men onto the altar.

We look forward to the Navaratri festival with all of you, and most of all we look forward to seeing Swamiji again, who returns today from Kenya!

Jai Gurudev!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

We Have Peacock Babies


This summer our peacocks were busy. They showed their best feathers and impressed not only the Peahens: many guests at the ashram enjoyed themselves and the peacocks posed for the countless photos.



Early this summer there were three nests with eggs - even one with 7 - but gradually this brought a fox or a marten. We found a scared peahen running around nervously one morning, looking for her "scrim" (her nest) . 


In the second run, some time before the Krishna Retreat there were two nests of five eggs from two of the hens. There was a place just by the entrance and another under the stairs to large darshan hall.


 a proud peahen with her newborn chicks 
The hen had four weeks to stay on her eggs unscathed. On the first day of Krishna retreat the first chicks hatched, and all five chicks are doing well. Meanwhile, it can be seen that the first five chicks are five males (we call them "the 5 Pandavas")

the 5 pandavas on their way ...
Since Swamiji told me to be careful and keep them in their small barn for three months, I arranged the hens with their little ones in our little aviary. They were here for the first days, remaining undisturbed. I bring the whole crowd out early in the morning and in the evening they come back to their house by themselves - because there will be delicious food! - and then they are locked up overnight.

All 10 chicks

These are the wise chicks...
... the Rishis!
The chicks of the second hen (born near the darshan hall) hatched on the 13th day of the Bhagavad Gita Retreat. They have been there listening for two weeks to Swamiji's talks - not your average birds ;-)


So now that we therefore have a proud group of 10 peacock chicks. For now we are happy to have them - we don't know yet how to handle having too many when they are all grown up!


curious peacocks during the retreat


During the Bhagavad Gita retreat, the birds would go to the porch, where from time to time we would see some curious adult peacocks listening to Swamiji explaining the Gita. During a break in the course, he said, "I love them so much! I do not want that we give away any peacocks."


Here's a little video that Swami Kuru made from the first flight tests of the 5 Pandavas:


video

And some more photos from the babies (thanks Isolde!)











Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wanted: Seva Helper for Maintenance


Bhakti Seva Programme: 

We are looking for a diligent Seva-Helper for the maintenance area in Shree Peetha Nilaya!


This is a great opportunity to enjoy the daily lifestyle of the ashram, and to help grow Swamiji's mission from the "ground level". :D

Seva duties:


Maintenance (cleaning and small repairs) of buildings and machines, such as:

- repairing and greasing of doors and windows
- repairing of bathrooms 
- cleaning of wood burner
- cleaning of washing machines
- maintenance of gardening machines
- cutting grass



Requirements:
If you are a man, cooperative and willing to learn new things (practical experience in mechanics, sanitary facilities, construction, wood and painting works would be advantageous) and would like to stay for min. 2 till max. 4 weeks here with us at Shree Peetha Nilaya. 

Please send your application to the following email: 

seva@bhaktimarga.org

Application form for Bhakti Seva Program:
  • First Name & Family Name:
  • Spiritual Name:
  • date of birth: (age)
  • home address: / email:
  • profession/formation/experiences:
  • photo of yourself
  • short motivation: WHY you would like to do seva at Shree Peetha Nilaya?
  • Do you have already other seva experiences? 
  • If yes, where and in which area?
  • WHEN and for HOW LONG would you like to come?
  • Do you have a valid European health insurance for Germany?