Regeneration in Katargama; Pilgrimage to Sri Lanka-II. Photo Gallery of Katargama Workshop.

April 16, 2016

Dear readers, kindly first read the last post, if you have touched this post now. I am continuing from where I had left. The picture gallery is our journey in pictures. This section deals only with the Workshop activities while on Face Book, I have made an album with other side of our journey-sight seeing and how we covered the entire programme -https://www.facebook.com/sarika.nagrath

We reach Colombo on 9.3.16 early morning and stay in a new high rise hotel. Right in front we find a very old monastery, RamaKrishna Mission Math to our pleasant surprise! We visit the place twice.

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Our journey from Colombo to Katargama in the mini bus on 10.3.16. We sang devotional songs and also read some passages from Swami Shivanandji’s book on Shanmuga or Murugan Swami  whose place of great penance we were heading for-Katargama or Kartikgrama, the ancient name that was.

We take our first halt after enjoying a few hours of deep tranquility of the island, breathed a lot of fresh air, space and ether. The mind becomes calm without effort and can be sustained at that state in such places. A journey of solidarity well begun!

 

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Devotional songs and melodious renditions on our way. We reach our destination, hotel Mandara Rosen

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Same night after dinner, our first group interaction and session of teaching and learning in hotel room.

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Next day morning we proceed towards the holy shrine, the day was 11.3.16

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Our very first step for the main mission. River Manek Ganga’s stream flowing just below the bridge.

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Time being utilized during the walking time. Quite lucky since very few around.

The entrance of the Devalaya or the holy shrine now called Ruhunu Devalaya.

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Peacock, the vehicle of Swami Murugan everywhere.

We come inside and go first to the holy Peepal Tree and not the Murugan temple since many people had not yet come here by then.We wanted solitude.

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Receiving light and knowledge under the sacred tree. A few asked me something about this holy tree and I began to narrate in a flow. As they say, where there is devotion for the religious or spiritual teachers and the Omnipresent God, they themselves appear in some mysterious forms. Felt severe presence of Omnipresent God and the sacred Gurus from the celestial skies and hence the flow. The real work commences.

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This peepal or Bodhi tree is the one where Shri Mahavatar Babaji had to shift his meditation and penance after the Banyan Tee under which he used to spend hours was chopped down by the woodcutter. This tree is the soul of a sage who is entrusted and laden with excessive sankalpa shakti and ichchca shakti.

One more reference from my quite old post, I quote some lines here-

 “Recall the gigantic Peepal  Tree that you saw in Murugan temple in Katargama in Sri Lanka. It has both- Ichha Shakti and Sankalpa Shakti. So it is very, very big and is also spiritual and holy. And my child, that tree can hear also! Therefore whoever comes to worship it, say their prayers there have wishes fulfilled. Those who come to quietly meditate under it, gain a lot of power to overcome their hurdles on the spiritual path and consequently make quick and hasty progress.”

Me: “No wonder, Hindus and Buddhists alike come in large numbers to worship this gigantic tree!”

https://spiritinlife.wordpress.com/2010/12/30/the-state-of-super-cons-part1/

Also please refer the previous post and the two links for reference to be able to understand the whole context.

Dear friends, now from this Bodhi tree, we now shift to another part of the complex where a humble temple exists in memory of the penance done by Shri Mahavatar Babaji. Very little activity happens on this side of the temple since all the Buddhists and Sinhalese people visit only the Murugan Swami Temple, pictures of which are about to be uploaded. On this side are the so called Hindu temples- that of Devayani Devi, wife of Swami Kartikeyan and one temple is dedicated to him-Swami Kartikeyan. We first wished to see and pay our homage to the spot where Shri Mahavatar Babaji meditated in the forest.

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The gate of this temple at which we are congregating is one one quiet corner of the complex. As I was speaking to others, somewhere I was wondering if the trustee, whom I address as Anna or brother would remember me. I had asked him to plant a Banyan tree in lieu of the one that was cut some eighteen hundred years ago. As if God was a witness to my feelings and I see Anna suddenly to my utter joy. My most blessed moments uncovered slowly and most unexpectedly when he not only remembered that I had come in 2013 and had expressed my deep desire to plant a tree near today’s Babaji’s temple. He also showed me the healthy baby plant that was protected from the invading monkeys and other destroying elements and forces.

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He takes me to the spot where Anna has grown and protected the tree since 3 years.

Anna and me

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Inside view of the very humble temple of Shri Mahavatar Babaji with the picture Swami Kartikeyan blessing us with one hand. Rest are the idols of his other Gurus, Shri Agastya and Bogarnathar.

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As the Sun was very strong and sunshine scathing, we decided to leave and return in the evening to this pious place again to spend some more time and absorb the gentle flowing spiritual vibrations.

We come back in the cool evening and first of all take darshan of Swami Muruga, to whom hundreds flock everyday from far and wide in the Ruhunu Devalaya and where the present peepal tree stands majestically.

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The idol is not shown to the public, just a curtain with an embellished painting on the curtain waits you. A rich and splendid temple where people offer many expensive items in a very big way. We offered nothing-material and kind. However, we had gone there especially to offer all our unseen deep seated and very primitive ignorance-ignorance of not knowing God. We offered our whole Self at the most holy altar of Swami Kartikeyan for which he had mainly called us for. Therefore, we were quick in departing from here.

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In the frames-Swami Kartikeyan with his two wives- Devayani and Valli.

We move towards the Bodhi tree after exiting this temple. Lamps and lights all around us.

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We all do collective meditation in the stillness of light and night.

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Early morning of 12.3.16.

Lecture and discourse in the very quiet and serene surrounding where only birds were chirping on the many trees. Everyone relaxed in spite of my picking up grave topic after a very important question asked. Peels of laughter in between to break the fatigue.

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And we go again towards Babaji’s temple to offer our collective offerings-a huge platter of fruits symbolic of the fruits of our past actions. And also a pledge to sow new seeds of divinity in our sacred hearts!

In the evening we decide to walk the beautiful 2 kilometers stretch from the hotel to the temple and pick up the platter of fruits and also give collective donation for the upkeep of the holy spot of Shri Mahavatar Babaji. We saw this beautiful sunset during our brisk walk towards the destination.

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Free bird soaring in the sky another metaphor for our Spirit- it should soar freely in the sky of expanded consciousness.

Devotion overflowing in each one of us. Some moments of joy again as the night falls.

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Next-During aarti of Swami Murugan near Babaji’s temple. We pay our humble obeisance.

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My good dear Lord, Muruga, Shanmuga, Kartike, may you always stand behind us like an eternal power of light to protect us from the veil of darkness never entering us! Bless us, illumine us and protect us. My silent thoughts. May the flame of eternity be ignited in all of us!

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As I return home, I seek just one more blessing-

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Me last pic

I give you, I submit you all my actions and service, my beloved God and my most revered holy Masters. Whatever I do, I do because of you! I summed up my whole journey with these silent prayers in my humble heart!

Prayed for this grant and benediction and felt very light and free……

An important announcement for all.

These photos are selected ones and are about our spiritual and workshop related activities undertaken in Katargama. Rest will be uploaded on Face book shortly. They will cover the main highlights of the whole trip.

The blog has become very extensive by this time and references of older posts are given from time to time for your quick understanding. However, time has come now to do the following essential things-

Slow down the pace of new articles. Instead spend more time on linking the related posts and then connect the dots to get the view of the underlying many precepts.

Give yourself more time and attend my Workshops.  When I elaborate and explain in Workshops, you are then able to penetrate and grasp the fine lines of some of the blog posts.They are not easy to comprehend thoroughly.

This is the reason for a Workshop at a very short notice in Mumbai in May 2016 now. And also I wish to explain further the same topics as explained in Katargama, we ran short of time there. Whoever can come to spend some hours with me, I shall be very glad to teach and explain. New batches can be made with new seekers. At the moment, I am handling the little senior ones who have been with me for a few years.

Also, to give more time and personal attention, a group of 42 people has been formed on Whatsapp. From time to time small announcements are made on it.

Henceforth, there will be more Workshops and travels. Travelling together to a specific spiritual place not only gives you an opportunity to visit that holy place, it also gives you a chance to look deeply and find out your own weaknesses and strengths. Give me a prospect where I can help you to catch hold of your blocking and stumbling stones. Life skills are learnt when we travel, we learn to co-habitat with co-operation and we also come to know how much more we should build up our physical, mental and spiritual endowments.

Some of the upcoming events are for the coming 2 or 3 years as planning ahead will give you more time to upgrade your health and mental stamina. Plan your life accordingly. Minor changes are expected as the calendar is being made much in advance. This is just a preview to sneak and get an idea.

Workshop in Mumbai 7th and 8th May 2016.

Annual Meet-Rishikesh, 10th 12th Nov 2016. Expected guests 30, family members included.

January 2017-3 day road trip to Pandharpur & Kolhapur.

September 2017 -Badrinath and valley of flowers, total no of people 15.

May 2018 Trek to Satopant Lake- expected no of people 7 only.

Besides these, there are several other visits apart from periodic Meets and Workshops.

During such times, specific posts will be picked up again and the underlying meanings explained.

There was a post on Nov 12th 2012 titled-https://spiritinlife.wordpress.com/2012/11/20/a-foreword-before-we-take-a-new-turn-into-our-future-spiritual-training-on-this-website-2/

I point out some lines and quote that again to recall-

Today’s sadhana according to Babaji, is something that can be done at home but we need to give ourselves in whatever ways to restore the environment that has been deteriorating at a very rapid pace in modern times. We have to add to our sadhana, which we will be doing at home, the seva or serving the Mother Earth. This is new age sadhana as per his vision and if we care to follow this ideology, then we should get very quick results in our endeavours.

A foundation will be made in future which will have the name Nav Jeevan Jyoti Foundation, NJJF. It means New life New light Foundation. This word has been coined by Babaji himself because through this blog and its Foundation, he wishes to communicate with his millions of followers and well-wishers. He wishes to spread spiritual light and wisdom and give new life to this planet by involving as many people as possible with the help of these two mediums. There would be mainly five objectives of NJJF-

  • To spread awareness about the grave necessity of restoration of our Earth planet
  • To spread divine knowledge in India and far off lands
  • To dispense ancient spiritual wisdom through modern tools and technology through internet to cover as many people as possible in the world.
  • To involve people’s participation in greening the Earth
  • To preserve the Himalayan Mountains and the rivers; more so the sacred place where Mahavatar Babaji lives near Badrinath. The recent spate and trend of landslides and flash floods in the Himalayas in the month of August and September are an indication that all is not well in that environment. And to enable and allow Babaji to live in his cave in Satopanth and other winter abode, that environment should be protected. In future, tie ups with other working agencies and NGO’s in the mountains shall be welcomed and solicited in this regard. It is indeed a mammoth task and mission.

Dear all, it gives me immense joy to announce that in the coming next 6 months, this Foundation will be set up and should be active.

After this assignment is completed, initiatives will be taken up to publish this blog in segments as books. All the proceeds of the sale of these books will be donated to my Foundation-Nav Jeevan Jyoti Foundation-NJJF. Publishers based in Mumbai will be preferred. Your co-operation and professional help is sincerely solicited. You may please contact me on spiritinlife@gmail.com if you wish to give a helping hand in this selfless mission done for today and posterity sake.

Thank you very much.

With best regards and wishes.

Sarika

 


Regeneration in Katargama; Pilgrimage to Sri Lanka-I

April 12, 2016

Dear all, we visited Sri Lanka between 8th and 14th March 2016 in a large group comprising of 15 people from India, UK and USA. The troupe was between age group of 25 to 60 plus and had people of all ages, places and backgrounds. Yet the Workshop proved to be very purposeful as well as life altering. It took all of us a few weeks to revive and come to terms with our normal way of living; such was the deep impact of the holy space and the spiritual vibrations that we received as blessings and benediction!

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I dedicate this post as my small offering or pranami to the most revered and most sought after in the whole world, to Omnipresent sweet Lord in whose refuge we all thrive and sustain. We regenerate and redeem ourselves and our Souls with His holy touch and benediction. The One and only One-God.

It is His special and extra ordinary grant and kindness because of which we all could go and return safely to our homes with spectacular yet benign experiences for which we are forever grateful. Without God’s benevolence such mighty endeavors never materialize. It is because of God’s kindness in the manner of special foresight and insights given to me in the last years that I could decipher the past of none other than Shri Mahavatar Babaji  and his spiritual endeavours carried out in the past in that place in today’s Sri Lanka.

However, that is not enough. I was also able to find the trail of his predecessors and lineage of his Gurus, out of them one was Swami Kartikeyan, son of Lord Shiva who arrived astrally to initiate him, along with two others-Agastya Maharishi and Bogarnathar, into deep breathing exercises and spiritual methods of enhancing the intake of Cosmic Light and Divine Wisdom. It was God’s own initiative and will that He wished Shri Mahavatar Babaji to go thousands of kilometers into the tiny island and meditate where another spiritual giant had executed intense holy endeavours until he left his immortal body by making it of Cosmic Light alone…..Shanmuga, Murugan or Swami Kartikeyan as I call him.

During such ancient times, when human civilization had not culminated and bloomed, everything was simple and very basic yet serious and weighty ! I am pointing out to human spiritual pursuits at this juncture. Today the method of teaching of Spiritinlife is revivalist and alike in nature and are on those very ancient lines -pursue your path of Self Realization silently and quietly at home by keeping your efforts very simplistic and serious. Maintain silence and peace always. As devised by the ancient sages this revival and regeneration in modern times through Spiritinlife worldwide, under the guidance of Shri Mahavatar Babaji and other ancient sages- one should go to those spiritual dynamos which are still vibrating very powerful divine vibrations in order to invoke our own latent divine light thus triggering our own speed of evolution.

Keeping these principles in mind, my Workshop there was conducted in open spaces, under trees, while walking with others or in our own hotel rooms at night. The focus was on inner space and transformation and all the baggage of humdrum and frivolousness had no room. On FB, you will see photos which will tell you about the itinerary and schedule while on WordPress, I have dealt with only useful past references in part I and in part II, you shall see images related to Workshop and other related actions. In the third post, for the first time you shall also get to hear the audios of my explanations and lectures during our stay there.

I have also pasted a summary by one pilgrim in the end which should suffice for the information of this memorable event.

And yes, one  thing very important which should be told to you. Kindly refer to this post of 30th March 2013-  https://spiritinlife.wordpress.com/2013/03/30/how-to-manifest-our-soul-part-1/

Quoting one relevant paragraph from this one-

The office bearer whom I met this morning, told me disappointingly that they have been trying to plant a Banyan Tree again at the same spot where there is a modest temple of Babaji today, but all their efforts have failed. The new Banyan Tree that they plant, die and do not survive. This piece of information intrigued me and I was very curious to know the reason behind the dying of the Banyan Trees at the holy spot where Babaji once did intense penance and meditation……

With God’s miraculous wish, finally one Banyan Tree has survived which I had asked the trustee to grow on my behalf in 2013 so that I can document the history of Shri Mahavatar Babaji for posterity sake on the very spot where he had meditated relentlessly and that tree was cut by that faltering woodcutter. However, some miscreants there even today try to dislodge such efforts and wish to propagate their own theories and ideas. This sapling is not just a sapling of a Banyan Tree for me. It is a great symbol of revival and regeneration-regeneration of Dharma and truthfulness. It is my very earnest request that you please pray very intently in your prayer time for longevity and life of this symbolic Banyan Tree so that it survives and grows till it becomes a huge tree.

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For the first timers, please be informed that Shri Mahavatar Babaji had gone and penetrated in thick forest of Sri Lanka’s southern most part to do intense penance in solitude. It was after completion of this arduous penance or tapasya, that he was guided by the Omnipresent God to move towards the Himalayas in Badrinath regions. Since then, he has been living an immortal life of a great living avatar or incarnation since little less than two millennium or so.

Another important para from-https://spiritinlife.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/the-state-of-super-consciousness-ii/

One night, I decided to leave the place quietly as giving sermons to people was never my goal.

I took a boat from the shores of Kanya Kumari and reached Sri Lanka. The forests were very thick and the number of people much less then. I wanted to maintain uninterrupted silence for a few years so I hid myself in the thick forests of Katargama in Sri Lanka away from the noise and found an old Banyan Tree. I sat under it to meditate and did not move for days. Rishi Boganathar saw me in tapasya and gave me initiation in Sudarshan Kriya. The Sudarshan Kriya practiced now a days is a very simplified form of the original. Earlier Kriya was not practiced by the homemakers as its sanctity cannot be maintained by them. By practicing Kriya uninterruptedly, the need for food for the body became unnecessary. I mastered the art of living without food, sunshine, air and water for incessant days. The glory of divinity and victory over nature shone in the glow that was emanating out of me. The radiance and glow was many kilometers wide and could be seen by the rishis and munis in that area and those sitting in meditation in caves and hills. Maharishi Agastya was sent to me on the behest of God to give me more powers and siddhis as my workload in future would require me to use them as my tools in my endeavours to do the service of God…..

Credits-

I have tried to take the best photos from Nishith, Midhun, Paripurna, Kanchana and Nazma. Although the resolution is weak, I am showcasing all since this project/ Workshop was executed with help from all quarters. In the following post part-II, you can go through the picture gallery of all our activities.

Deep gratitude to all my great Masters and holy sages, angels and all the unknown and known divine and celestial beings who were silently standing by me and all other pilgrims to teach us, make us understand the hidden meanings, keeping our minds calm and quiet and helping us cut through all our old deposits of redundant age old debris.

Special thanks to my husband, Atul who was with me from day one in planning and executing this whole pilgrimage comprising of 15 people. Thanks for your unconditional co-operation and  being there for all of us too.

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Thank you dear Nishith, for recording the whole event so beautifully and sincerely. You were always behind the stage and making sure with me that the whole programme was carried out without any snags. God bless you. Your concerns for me and attuning with my thoughts is worth mentioning here. Without you and Atul uncle this, project would never have been so successful. I could not do it alone.

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And thank you Ragu, Kiran, Bharat, Kanchana, Paripurna… and all of you who were always available if I called you anytime. And gratitude to all those pilgrims also who were behind the scenes and carried out the given duties with such sincerity and interest….You all made this trip and pilgrimage worth remembering all our lives!

 

Summary of Nishith Patel-

Om Shri Ganeshaya Namaha

Pranaam dearest Gurus and Maa,

Thank you Gurus and Maa for organising this wonderful journey for us and doing so much for us all.

A short summary of a wonderful pilgrimage, to a wonderful place, with wonderful people.

Our journey of the wonderful piligrimage to Katargama, Sri Lanka began in Mumbai from where ten of the 15 pilgrims were flying first to Colombo. Five other pilgrims joined us from Banglore and Chennai. We landed in Colombo at 5:30 on 9th March morning, and had our pre-organised taxi (minibus) take us to our first overnight stay in Colombo at a hotel very close to the sea shore.

Our first blessings from God came in surprises that there is a Ramakrishna Paramhansa temple right across the road from the hotel, as well as a vegetarian restaurant couple of lanes down the road called “Shanmugas” (six faced one, another name for Swami Kartikeyanji”), where we later had our lunch. Later, in the evening we visited a few places of sight-seeing in Colombo.

On 10th March, we had more blessings from Gurus and God, as the temple was celebrating the 180th birth anniversary of Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa. We began our 7-hour road trip to Katargama with these wonderful blessings.

We took the expressway to save time and avoid traffic, everyone marvelled at the scenic beauty of Sri Lanka’s countryside, clean waters, the discipline of the people to follow rules and the road infrastructure to have facilites while protecting and sustaining the environment. We had an hour’s stop at Gaulle to view and capture images of and around the fort city. The good old coconut water came to the rescue from the heat. We visited a turtle hatchery on the way.

The next phase of our journey got interesting, as we approached closer towards Katargama, we read a few pages from Swami Shivanandaji’s book on Lord Shanmukha (Swami Kartikeyanji) and Maa explained a few things, and we learned the all-important meaning of Swamiji’s Spear. Then, few of the the pilgrims started singing devotional songs starting with a wonderful Ganesha stuti by Raguram and everyone repeated after the lead singers (Raguramji, Niravji, Chayaji, Kanchanji, Paripurnaji and Maa).

We arrived at the hotel in Katargama at around 6:00 in the evening, had an early dinner and good sleep before we embarked on a short drive to the Katargama Temple early in the morning.

On the very peaceful morning, we first went to the main temple and offered prayers at Swami Kartikeyan’s temple, we stood under the large peepal tree with great Ichcha Shakti (will power) and Sankalp Shakti (thought power), where Maa gave us some deep wisdom and knowledge. The unique thing I observed about the tree was that none of the leaves had turned yellow during autumn, unlike other tree near-by. Next, we visited the temple of Deviyani Amman (wife of Shri Swami Kartikeyanji) and other temple of Shri Karikeyan Swamiji. Then, we visited the small temple of Shri Mahavatar Babaji and offered our prayers, where some of the pilgrims were drawn to meditate. The most pleasant news for Maa and us all was that after years of unsuccessful attempts to plant a Banayan tree near Babaji’s temple, one tree planted 2 years ago has survived. Seeing the tree growing I asked Maa, whether she was happy. She joyously replied her blood increased by 10 ounces after seeing the young tree.

After going back to the hotel and having lunch, we had a short session with Maa in one of our rooms where we all gathered. We made a few more visits to the temple and had few more  morning and evening sessions of lessons and learning with Maa. On the penultimate day in Katargama, we visited the Yala Wildlife Sanctuary. A group of elephants teaching young ones was the highlight of the trip.

The blog came alive on a few occasions during our trips and activities. It was one of the most memorable journeys for me, and one of the most important pilgrimages I have been to so far. It would have been incomplete without any one of my fellow pilgrims, so thank you all for sharing the journey. Also, would like to thank the driver and his assistant who were very good to us throughout the journey.

A few important lessons learnt from this pilgrimage:

– Self-introspection and control over thinking is very important. A habit of good, pious and powerful thoughts should be present in every good seeker/yogi.

– Calm and slow breathing will calm the mind, but a short-cut is to keep the mind calm, the breath will automatically remain calm.

– Breath should be conserved, use each breath only for good actions and good thoughts.

– Maya is extremley powerful and dangerous; until the Spirit does not assure us of our safety one should not stop or be tempted by any of the forms of Maya on this path of Self-realization.

– Always keep saying to God, “I am nothing”, slowly the ego will melt away.

– The main reason of this pilgrimage for the pilgrims was the removal of deep rooted ignorance. What a good Sadhak can do in decades, the Gurus can do in seconds from such a powerful place.

– What we gain on this path is mostly due to Gurus grace and powers, our contribution is only a tiny fraction in comparison.

– The baby Banayan tree near Shri Mahavatar Babaji’s temple is the sign of regeneration; regeneration of spiritual values in the world, regenaration of divine consciousness in humanity, regeneration of Mother Earth and its environment.

Date:
8th March to 14th March 2016

Places:
Colombo, Katargama, Sri Lanka

Pilgrims:
Maa, Atulji, Arunji, Bharatji, Midhun, Nazma, Paripurnaji, Raguram, Rashmiji, Kanchanaji, Chayaji, Kiranji, Parulji, Nirav bhai, Nishith.

(To be continued in next post)