Sunday, January 3, 2016

Bhakti Marga presents a Resident Christmas: A Taste of Home

The Magic of Christmas is not in the presents, but in His presence.

Here comes Christmas time, the time of Christ's birth. This is the time when everybody is very joyful and there is a lot of happiness and excitement vibrating in the air. It's a very special and mystical time. When we keep the spirit of Christmas, we keep the Spirit of Christ, because in essence, the Christmas spirit is the Christ Spirit.

"...the birth of Christ, is actually very mystical because Christ renews his birth every year, whenever we celebrate it, inside the heart of man. We have to understand the mystery which is hidden behind the birth of Christ. …..He didn’t come to be served; He came to serve. This is very important to understand. That as much as we desire God, as much as we long for God, God actually longs for each one to return back to his original state, which is Divine. This living unity with the Divine, the living and realising this Unity with God, that is what Christ has come for and to show to us. He has shown that through humility one perceives the Divine. One realises what lies inside. One realises real Love and joy. Christ is alway s with you, every second , every moment – whether you think of Him or not ! He’s there. Any time you can hold His hand.“-Sri Swami Vishwananda. Just Love 3.

There is no better time than now, this very Christmas season, for all of us to reflect, to dedicate ourselves and to act upon the principles taught by Jesus Christ. It is His example which stirs within us more kindness and love, more respect and concern for others. We can express our love towards one another and towards God by giving ourselves completely to service.  

As you know, in our home Shree Peetha Nilaya, there is a tradition – every year a Christmas lunch is prepared by devotees from different countries. But this year we have departed a little bit from tradition and it was decided that the Christmas lunch will be prepared not by guests, but by the community members. It gives us a chance to express our love to all of you! “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (St.John 13:34/35) And the law that Jesus left us with is nothing else but the law of Love.

And now we wish to give you a little behind-the-scenes of how our community cooking all happened. First, there were organised teams from each seva department in the center. Then, each team began to develop and plan a dish, and soon enough, the cooking began....

The first who came was the Guests Service Team (including Reception, Event team, and Childcare). They named their team MAMMA MIA! Decoding - If one more person rings that bell....The girls who keep this place running smoothly for all of us, couldn't be happy to do only one thing, they wanted to give us more- so they made "Panzerotti" and "Tiramisu“ (pronounced "tih-rah-mee-SOO").

After "MAMMA MIA" was the Audio Team and the IT team. They named their team EVERYBODY HEARS YOU. Decoding - aka Don't ask Us to Turn Up your Microphone.... They presented "Apple pie“ - Tender apple slices and sweet cinnamon baked into crust, topped with vanilla ice cream.

The next were Nuns. Their team was named THE NINJAS. Decoding - Sometimes known as THE NUNS when they're not having to do Ninja stuff..... They presented - crispy golden brown filled dough, with a thick middle layer of crushed walnuts and topped with syrup and pistachios. Its Sweet dream "Baklava“.

The girls from the Housekeeping, THE QUEENS OF CLEAN. Decoding - What!?! We only mop the lobby a thousand times a day!
Lots of mayo, mustard and pickles: how "potato salad“ is meant to taste! That dish was prepared for Christmas lunch.

The following departments STC and co./Friends of BM/HR/Finance were merged into one team to prepare a dish. The team named "THE REAL 'GET THINGS DONE' GROUP“ , but *shhh* don't tell them. They prepared "Sweet Nuss Cake“, homemade bread filled with sugar and nuts braided and baked, economically made, of course.

The Spiritual Services named THE BEGINNERS . Why? We don't know, you can try to ask them …. Artistic Presentation of the dish: A Chicoree Sailing Ship with a Hungarian Dip and a Beetroot Dip/ strong meeretich taste. Simply delicious!

And yes, of course we can not do without the musician team. They are represented in minority , (only two people) and we named them WHERE IS THE DRUMMER??!?!!!?
To have rythym is a very important thing, but now it is fine without a drummer, because Mira and Aradhaka have learned the art of playing the mridanga with their feet, while their hands are busy at the harmonium! Presenting to you, a "Balkan Sweet,“ chocolate covered balls with marzipan and a surprise inside.

The next team - THE PILLARS OF LIGHTOur Rishiji's.
Well, it happened like this, Rishi Tulsidasananda began to search for his dish on google.....when he found it, he called his compadre Rishi Pramod who was cutting some logs, and over the roar of the chainsaw Rishi Pramod said, "Yeah, that sounds like a great idea!“
Ladies and Gentleman, we present to you the "Sloppy Joe!“

And the big, BIG Communications Team - HE WHO TALKETH ALWAYTH WINNETH. Please never call during working hours; we might be able to help you some other time- if you filled out the request form.
Ever-creative, ever-resourceful, they came up with two nice dishes: Polenta Rounds with rucola and Mushrooms, and Baked Corn with Cheese.

The Swamis' team was - "DID YOU KNOW 'SWAMI' ALSO MEANS LORD?“ (this is only for information...)
There was a lot of ideas, some talk of raw food from one of them, but at the end, they decided to go with what they know works, 'Bhagy, Guruji has guided us to entrust you with picking a dish, we know you won't fail us- and if you do........' (Note: This is Bhagy, please like this dish of Stuffed Tofu Turkey with a sauce, 'cause I realllllllly don't want to find out what will happen if you don't...)

Also The Sadhanas team - 'GET THINGS DONE'. Decoding - They have assured us, it is the quality of the work not the quantity. A "Greek Salad“ with feta, cucumbers, tomatoes, and herbs, this team is always teaching and keeping us healthy.

And the mysterious Garden team and the Cows - GLORY TO KAMADHENU and SUSHILA and SURABHIand the other 105 cows soon to come
They declared the soup. That classic beetroot soup "Borscht“ with sour cream from Kamadhenu—famous for keeping generations of gardeners hale, hardy, and healthy!
In the stated time this team does not appear. But soup was prepared. By whom? it's a secret, and it wasn't the cows......

The Construction and Architects department were - THE WORKING MEN(and LADIES)
Here's the thing: We've done the real work. We didn't cook, that's for lightweights. Your dishes? You thought they were done, actually we built them up, decorated them and now you can call them finished. Your welcome.

And Last but certainly not Least..... THE KITCHEN
Serving to you a whole bowl full of Loooooove!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
...What did you say? You didn't like it?!? Let me remind you of when we stopped to cook a few weeks ago, it was NOT a strike, but WE ARE NOT AFRAID TO STRIKE AGAIN! OKAY?????
So, you do like it? That's what I thought- best to keep momma happy :)

We wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!
Love is all you need!