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.
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!
Devotional songs and melodious renditions on our way. We reach our destination, hotel Mandara Rosen
Same night after dinner, our first group interaction and session of teaching and learning in hotel room.
Next day morning we proceed towards the holy shrine, the day was 11.3.16
Our very first step for the main mission. River Manek Ganga’s stream flowing just below the bridge.
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.
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.
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.
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!”
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.
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.
He takes me to the spot where Anna has grown and protected the tree since 3 years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We all do collective meditation in the stillness of light and night.
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.
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.
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.
Next-During aarti of Swami Murugan near Babaji’s temple. We pay our humble obeisance.
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!
As I return home, I seek just one more blessing-
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.