journal 5 final final-word[1]

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journal 5 final final-word[1]
International Haidakhandi
Journal - No
- Winter 2011-2012
5
Incorporating the Indian Haidakhandi Samaj News
1
CONTENTS - Journal 5
Babaji Quotes
Page No.
3
Al-Khidr, The Green Man
Muniraj
4-5
- devotees experiences of his recent
hospitalisation and recovery
6-7
Ganga Ram – tributes from friends
8-12
Gurupurnima Moscow 2011
Munirajji talks to the Russian devotees
14-17
Theme: Devotion as the highest form of knowledge?
and other stories
18-27
Haidakhandi Samaj - News from India
28-31
News from Around the World
Holland
Australia
Italy
France
Croatia
Spain
32
33
34-36
37
38-39
40
Letters to the Journal
Malti
Gopal Hari
41
42
Editorial Information
43
Change in dates of Navratri :
Chaitra (Spring) Navratri will start from March 23 and end on March
31, 2012 (not on April 1 as printed in the new calendar)
Ashwin (Autumn) Navratri will start from Oct 16 and end on Oct
24, 2012 (not on Oct 23 as printed in the new calendar).
2
“ Devotion (Bhakti) and faith
are the basis of everything.
Through devotion alone
one can achieve everything.”
“ Have faith,
everything depends on faith ”
Haidakhan Babaji
3
Al-Khidr,
The Green Man
Khidr literally means 'The Green One', representing freshness of spirit
and eternal liveliness, green symbolizing the freshness of knowledge
“drawn out of the living sources of life.” Whatever the source for this
green may be, it has come to symbolize the benign presence of the divine
wisdom as imparted by the Divine Himself to Khidr and to Prophet
Muhammad.
Khidr is associated with the Water of Life. Since al-Khidr drank the water
of immortality He is described as the one who has found the source of life,
'the Eternal Youth.' He is the mysterious guide and immortal saint in
popular Islamic lore and the hidden initiator of those who walk the
mystical path.
In the Muslim tradition, Khidr is alive and well and
continues to guide the perplexed and those who invoke his name.
Here follows a story Naveen Johsi told 28 years ago:
Shri Babaji was visiting Bombay every year and mostly staying in the
Vallabh apartments. There were several devotees living and I am not sure
if Babaji was staying with Dr Clerck, Suresh Bhai or Sardharji in that year.
It was around 3 o'clock in the afternoon and Babaji was resting.
There was a ring at the door and a shabby, tired, bearded man was at the
door and politely requested to see Babaji. He was told to come for
evening darshan down in the tent. He insisted and said that he had just
come from Mecca Medina in Saudi Arabia were Babaji had told him to
come and meet Him in Bombay. Naveen who was sitting on the couch in
the living room heard the conversation, jumped up and asked this man to
come in.
4
He did not want to speak a lot and looked very tired. After water and tea
he only said that he had met Babaji not long before in Saudi Arabia and
Babaji had told him to meet Him in Bombay.
Everybody in the room knew well that Shri Babaji had never left India in
His physical form and listened with scepticism to this man. However it
seemed sincere and when it was time Babaji was woken up with a tea and
the news of this man was relayed to Him. He immediately requested to
have him called in the room. After a greeting in Arabian language
everyone was requested to leave the room so they could have privacy.
After half an hour or so this man came out happy, energised, greeted
everyone in the room and left. Shri Muniraj who was also present in
Bombay when this happened confirmed the truth of this story 2 weeks
ago.
Nobody knows who that man was, what this was all about. Through the
years Babaji spoke well of Pir's which are Sufi saints but no details were
ever recorded.
In 1986 Sheik Nazim came to Babaji's Ashram in Switzerland. He said, on
his arrival that Babaji had sent him there and mentioned later on a few
occasions that Shri Babaji was heading a counsel of great masters and
sheiks in the Sufi world. This sheds a whole other light on certain Islamic
issues that we are most confronted with nowadays.
Let us bow to the ONE who has no beginning and no end, who has many
names and forms but is truly formless, who has called us to His Holy Lotus
Feet, and humbly request Him to adorn His Assan once again with His
enchanting form of Herakhan Baba. To ask Him to guide us with His
Divine Light through these dark times with our hearts yearning for Him
how can He refuse such sincere requests from His children ? If we yearn
from our heart He will come..................
5
Munirajji
Extracts from devotees
experiences of his recent
hospitalisation and
recovery
December 26, 2011 – Kharku wrote:
As of this moment, Munirajji is waiting to go for an angiogram, which is a
test to see what is happening with the blood vessels that bring blood and
take blood from his heart. Sri Munirajji has asked repeatedly that we go
on with our work, stay focused on our sadhana. Babaji is doing everything
and Babaji will decide what happens. We are all worried and want to help
and right now the best help you can give to Sri Munirajji is to pray and go
on with our lives. He has the best care possible and he is resting calmly.
I spoke to Sri Munirajji yesterday as he was boarding the Helicopter, he
was calm and said we should not worry that Babaji was doing everything.
Dec 27th
Munirajji appears out of danger and is getting the best care possible.
He slept well and woke up wanting a bath and incense and flowers for his
PUJA !!! Of course he cannot burn incense in the ICU, but this means he
is well and has his mood back...! Last night He was asking for his wallet
so he could go and buy his own food ...complaining he does not like the
hospital fare.....so we know he is recovering because nobody likes hospital
food! We can all breathe a sigh of relief, your prayers are working.
27th Dec - Sandeep wrote:
I have just come back from the hospital and our beloved Guruji is looking
fine. To my astonishment the moment I saw his radiant face, he inquired
about my ailing mother, I was totally enveloped in his ever giving love. I
would like to thank Brigadier Vijay Chopra for his endless efforts in
coordinating with us and Guruji's family right from the time Munirajji was
admitted in Haldwani and further for airlifting him and getting him
admitted into the best possible hospital of the country. His wife Dr Savita
Chopra has been very helpful too. I firmly believe and know for a fact
6
that heart problems are caused due to stress and heartaches, and many
times we have given our Guru anxious moments. I want to take a pledge
today I will above all respect him and thank him for every little thing he
has been doing for me, I love him immensely. (Our Chairman Shri Alok
Banerjee and his team have announced that all the medical expense of our
beloved Guruji will be taken care of by the Samaj).
28th Dec - Arvind wrote:
An hour back or so, the angioplasty procedure was completed by
Munirajji‟s cardiologist Dr. Balbir Singh who very graciously allowed me
and Brig. Vijay Chopra to witness the entire procedure. I cannot describe
the relief and joy when we saw the blood gushing again through the
„ballooned and stented‟ right coronary artery. The medical treatment part
of his current medical problems is now over. He will require henceforth
rest and recuperation and of course blood sugar control. We all wish
Munirajji a speedy recovery.
6th Jan - Kharku wrote:
Sri Muniraj arrived home (from hospital) after a 7 hour drive from Delhi.
The whole family was there to meet him. He was very lively in the car
telling stories and smiling.
29 January 2012 - Kamalaya
After two wonderful weddings Sri Munirajji walked up to the temple today
to pay his respects to Sri Babaji, and just now when he woke up from his
afternoon rest I took a picture. Am very happy to report that Sri Munirajji
is doing very well, his recovery is better than expected. He has good
appetite, spends many hours each day in prayer, has time for all the
devotees etc. He has been so loving with Raghu and Annapurna and
Romi and Oil... Many family members are here as well as Alok and Vijay
Gupta. Kamalaya is thrilled and blessed to have the opportunity to serve
Guruji as best we can.
Shri Munirajji - 17th Jan 2012
7
Ganga Ram tributes from friends
MOTI MA
“I just came back from Milano. These last 6 days were so intense and it
was so good to be with my beloved Gangaji and all the devotees who
gave to each other, and especially also to me, so much love and support.
On Monday 9th, the day of her passing away we met in the evening: nine
of us at Lalla‟s house to sing Bhajans for her. It helped to smooth the pain
a bit as Ganga‟s spirit was so present.
Bhawani, Patrizia and Bernadet dressed her the next morning with a white
Sari and put a lot of perfume on her body. Phull Singh gave her Chandan
and put Vibhuti on her forehead. She looked so peaceful like a goddess
and a real saint. We are all convinced that Shri Muni Raj ji came to
receive her to bring her directly to Babaji. She is in peace for sure.
It is we who are suffering. I miss her soooooo much - I can't tell !!!
Yesterday we had the celebration in the church of Gavirate, her
hometown. The church was completely crowded. There were at least 300
people who gave her the last honour. Family and friends and many, many
devotees. Even Gabriella came with her daughter. We all hugged each
other, cried a lot and supported each other. Even Kanta came from
Germany and laid down a huge bunch of red and white roses next to
Ganga‟s coffin, also in the name of the Dutch and German Samaj. Filippo
brought a very big heart of roses, bought by the French Samaj for Ganga.
In the name of the Italian Samaj, Shivani, Phull Singh, Patrizia and I had
ordered a huge wreath for her with Om Namah Shivay written on it. I was
allowed to write it in Hindi, on the bow.
At the end of the ceremony the priest allowed us to sing "Shri Ram, jai
Ram, Sitaram Jai Ram" in the church and while the coffin was carried out
to the car which was to bring her body to the cremation-place. Madhuri
8
had prepared the Halva that Ganga always loved so much. She offered it
first to Ganga and then distributed it amongst all of us.
We started to sing "Om Namah Shivay namah Om Om Heiriakhandi".
While we were singing they slowly closed the car. With BHOLE BABA KI
JAI, SHRI MAHA MUNI RAJ JI MAHARAJ KI JAI, GANGA MATA KI JAI
she left for her last journey.
Bhawani was able to put a flower mala around Ganga‟s neck before they
closed the coffin in Milano. And Shivani put a beautiful flower mala for
Ganga on the coffin in the church. It all had much dignity and the
atmosphere was full of love, and sadness for us and happiness for her
peace. Please give my love and gratitude to Guruji. He did such a great
work for my beloved little big sister. I am so afraid to come to Haldwani
without Ganga. I still can‟t imagine it. Sometimes it just does not seem to
be true to me. I do not want it to be true and still......”
KHARKU
“Munirajji has been mostly silent and deep in prayer for the last two weeks
since his operations. He has been focused on Ganga, her family, friends
and all of us who have been touched by her. I don't feel at liberty to say
too much now but know that He has been alongside her every step of the
way, through her illness and her passing and since her passing.
He and
all of us have lost a Dear Sister, a dedicated devotee full of love, devotion
and strength with the will and the savvy to serve Munirajji and all of us, as
her offering to the Divine Babaji.
Today Ganga Ram attends her own puja; her mortal remains become ash
to be brought to the Gautam Ganga later in the year, to be immersed in
the sacred river which is her name sake, and to flow back to the sea of
consciousness. Jai Ganga Mata Ki Jai!
She is surrounded by family and friends. Throughout the world Babaji's
devotees are praying for her onward journey and remembering the time
9
they spent with her and how she touched their personal lives, the lives of
our friends, how she served Munirajji always at the right place, always
ready, and she could sing.....!
Once when Sri Munirajji, Shastriji, Raghuvir, Pujari, Ganga and I travelled
to Australia, we met a gifted psychic called Kanta who drew images of
each of us, the image of Ganga was a roaring lion who was hiding a little
girl seeking love behind its fierce exterior. I could never forget this image
and I know both of these Ganga's. She has been my friend, my confidant,
my lover, my Guru Sister; she shared the service to Munirajji and
then, answering the call, became his ideal Dass (devotee). Always, and I
mean always, she was there, ready - even until the moment she slipped
out of consciousness was she calling me and others, checking advising and
praying for her beloved Sri Munirajji.
Even after Passing she came to me, soft and gentle to check on her
beloved Guruji. Ganga has cared for Munirajji in ways most of us would
never be able to do, displaying a love and devotion that we should all be
inspired by. She has been his pujari, his gatekeeper and his nurse. She
could welcome us close to the Guru and at times keep us at a distance.
She served us by serving Him, she prepared our puja's, sang the aarati's
the bhajan's and has been a part of many of our lives and the lives of our
children. She is beloved by Munirajji's family especially his grand and great
grand children.
Being close to Munirajji she knew our aspirations and our secrets. She
gave up her self interest for the interest of all of us. She was loving but
could be tough when she needed to be, fierce when called for. Those
who knew her well know deep inside she was but a little girl longing for
love. She has served with all of her energy, all her heart, all her will,
longing for Love, longing to merge with the Divine within her, seeking a
deeper understanding, and freedom from the mundane.
Please keep her in your prayers, let her devotion inspire you. Babaji used
to say you cannot escape death, that you earn immortality by entering the
hearts and memories of others. Ganga Ram lives on in our hearts and
memories, she is eternal.
There is much more to say and I will try in future messages ... and
a Special Thanks to all those who attended to her.”
10
KANTA
“During full moon on the 9th January 2012, our beloved Ganga was
accompanied by her natural family, her Babaji family and long term friends,
with respect and immense love, on her way out of this earthly life.
She spent her last days in a coma in a hospital in Milano. Someone was
always by her side. It is said that people when they are in the process of
dying can find it difficult to let go while in the company of close friends or
family members and maybe this was the case with Ganga: Moti Ma, her
soul sister who walked with her in life, was with her on Sunday evening, as
well as Monday morning until the afternoon. Only when Moti Ma was
replaced by friends during a short break, did Ganga release her body.
I arrived from Germany on Wednesday evening for a last goodbye. Ganga
lay in total peace in a white sari, which our women had dressed her in.
She appeared to be sleeping, as if she was taking her time to rest. Over
many years during Navaratri I have experienced Ganga only in action. To
see her now so calm and peaceful enabled me to access and feel my deep
love for her. The desire grew in me that once I arrive „upstairs‟ I would
be able to simply sit with her.
The funeral in the church of her home town was on Thursday 12th
January. When Ganga was a child she lived in this wonderful little place,
surrounded by forested hills, with a lake nearby. The church was filled
with people right to the last pew and they were even standing behind this
all the way back to the entrance. I realised at that moment that Ganga‟s
family has lived in this village for nearly 50 years (Ganga was 52 when she
died) and they are a fully integral part of the village. Thus I was given an
insight into a life which also belonged to Ganga which completed the
circle: she was received here with joy and with love and it was here that
she was released with love and compassion.
The church where the funeral took place is beautiful. Like many catholic
churches in Italy it has a baroque flavour with paintings on the wall and in
this case three large oval paintings on the ceiling depicting different scenes.
One in particular drew my attention: it illustrated a dying child. The child
was surrounded by women who looked towards heaven and in between
the women and the child were angels, ready to carry the child to heaven.
At the very moment I saw the picture, the choir started to sing like a
choir of angels. This brought two contrasting realities aside each other:
11
the deep knowledge that Ganga was now in the arms of God but
also the unspeakable pain that remained as a result of losing her.
There were many beautiful symbols on Ganga‟s journey back to Babaji. She
left her body on Monday 9th January, the first full moon in the year 2012.
Monday in the Indian calendar is dedicated to Shiva and nine is the number
of the Divine Mother. During the last days of her life Settimo read the nine
chapters of the Bhagavad Gita to her. On the evening of her death, nine
Herakhandis appeared to sing bhajans for Ganga.
Thursday was her funeral church service. Thursday is the day of the guru.
After the priest had given his blessings, we were allowed to come to the
altar and sing. This we had agreed with the priest beforehand. Moti Ma
lead the bhajan „Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Sitaram, Jai Ram“, which is the bhajan
that Babaji always asked to be sung shortly before his Mahasamadhi. Some
of us began to support the rhythm with clapping hands and the entire
community stood up to show their respect. Our bhajan turned into a
gospel song with which we accompanied Ganga to the hearse that was
going to take her to the crematorium.
The driver realised how difficult it was for us to let her go and allowed for
her to remain a little longer amongst us, when one of our women stepped
towards the coffin with some homemade halva. Ganga loved halva. Our
friend offered the halva to Ganga, the way we offer prasad to the Gods.
And then she distributed the prasad to everyone, also to those who
stretched out their hand outside our little circle. It was a wonderful
connecting moment. Then we were ready and the driver came to shut
the door. At that moment I knew that the little hearts that I had brought
with me were meant to be „der letzte Gruss‟, the final farewell from all of
us to our beloved Ganga and I threw two hands filled with satin hearts
over her coffin.
Once when I was in India, Ganga told me that she had been to Gangotri,
the source of the holy river Ganga, high up in the Himalayas. I asked her
what her experience was and she said that the only thing she wished for in
the presence of those overpoweringly beautiful glaciers was:
“God I want to be near you”
For a lovely tribute to Ganga - click on the following link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=2P-4Uyi4Ul8
12
RAGHUVIR (just before Ganga‟s passing):
“It was quite a wave of shock going around the world as Shri Muniraj
became unwell. We are all grateful to Shri Babaji that he is now
recuperating, but it brought up questions in many.
Within Babaji's family we have Gaura Devi, who served Shri Babaji for 12
years by His side, suffering for a long time from a relentless disease, Ganga
Ram serving by Shri Muniraj's side for over 20 years, hovering between life
and death at this moment, Ramsevi who is running Hanuman centre in
Italy having 2 major physical setbacks last year and still not recovered,
Gopal Hari, The troubadour from Babaji, travelling throughout Europe
with his lovely family singing and talking of the Divine, suffering with an
inoperable tumour....... and the list continues......... all this seems so much
in this realm where suffering excludes no one.......
Many of us who have spent high quality time with them where hearts are
wide open during special festivals, are now having their compassionate
heart bleeding and questions in their minds......... Physical manifestations of
pain and suffering especially to such people, is sometimes very perplexing.
But we must remember that Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Vivekananda,
Mother of Aurobindo Ashram, Sathya Sai Baba and Yogi Milarepa, among
many other saints, have suffered physically. One of the basic fundamentals
of Indian spirituality is to identify ourselves with the soul which is eternal
and not with the body which is impermanent. This veil of Agyana and
ignorance is lifted with the grace of one‟s Guru. (Gu-Darkness & Ru-one
who brings light which removes darkness). Often I have read that physical
suffering in a high spiritual body is a divine manifestation to end all Karmic
scores so the soul can achieve a final liberation or Moksha from the cycle
of births and death.
So let‟s rejoice that we have the love of Babaji with us and we have such
selflessly devoted souls like Shree Munirajji, Gaura Devi, Ganga, Gopal
Hari etc. amongst us to see and be inspired. We are Blessed for Shri
Babaji is the Lord of Karma. We are asking for liberation and Divine
miracles and in our devotion deeply surrender to This Lord of Karma.”
13
Gurupurnima Moscow
17th July 2011
Sri Maha Munirajji talks to the Russian devotees:
“Today, for the work we are about to begin it is most important to be
united, to become one. For this reason I am asking all of you to put your
egos to rest. In this world no one is important. If anyone thinks he is
more important or bigger than another, this person is thinking wrongly, it
is a mistake. God (Bhagwan) has given the same attributes to everyone,
take, for example, the 10 senses he has given to everybody. When we are
born we have not brought any religion with us, at that moment we are all
the same, neutral.
At the very beginning on earth nature created one
cell, and from that one cell everything has come to be. From the one we
have become many. Babaji has told us the main religion (or Dharma) is
Humanity.
For what we are now going to achieve it is important that we see each
other as brothers and sisters and work together. For this work each one
of you must feel it is my work, I must do this work. We must forget our
differences and come together for this work. Now please begin, start the
discussions, give your ideas. If we are divided by our own small things
then how will we create something big ? Munirajji is asking you; Are you
ready to do this work together or not?
This work will be done only by
you. I can only advise you but the work must be done by you. This is my
advice to help all of you - get started. Please give your own suggestions
on how to move ahead. Who would like to start ?
Pujari:
I can make a start from experience in Holland: there we first
organized into a group as a charitable trust, as a Samaj or church in
Holland. From the trust we had a meeting of devotees and set up a
board of 7 to 9 people who were responsible for the Trust. From that we
opened a bank account and all members and non members were assured
this was Babaji‟s account, not private but part of this Trust.
Then we appointed 3 to 4 people to look for the right property. With
the whole group we made a list of requirements that we thought we
needed for this property. Then in our monthly meetings we issued
reports of what we had found. When we felt we had the right property
that satisfied the board and the people, then we sent a letter to Sri
Munirajji. Munirajji sent a telex from Haldwani: “Buy the property
immediately !”
14
Munirajji: A trust or organization is the first thing to do, a charitable trust
or society according to laws of your country.
Whatever name you
choose you can register in that name. When you do good work then
money will come, everybody will take part in donating to it and the Trust
or society should be in a democratic form. First the organization, what
name, what type, and then form a committee.
It is only thru Babaji‟s inspiration and His energy that I was able to come
here as I was really not in good enough condition to come. Now we can
make decisions.......Whatever will happen will happen because of the
blessings of Sri Babaji, I am only in service to Sri Babaji.
Grigory: ...I know how the Russian mind works: the more democracy we
have, the less work and fewer results are achieved.
Russian people,
because of our mentality, need a Tsar, someone who tells us what to do
and only in this case will people actually do something. We need a strong
leader.
Several people proposed Pujari to be the head of the Russian Samaj as he
is neutral, has experience, a Russian wife, knows the problems, the lands
being offered and most of all because he is close to Munirajji and outside
of Russian internal politics.
Munirajji: This is what I am saying, stand up and say who you want for
your leader......... Yes, if you desire Pujari, but if anyone has opposition
please stand up and speak...........Pujari please speak.
Pujari; By Munirajji‟s grace I have been able to travel a lot to Russia and if it
shows some fruits than I can serve. It is only by His Grace, if he tells me
to do this job…next to all my work in Holland. I am also busy in Holland,
but perhaps I can assist in the beginning to create an organization and find
land and deal with the dynamics of the differences.
Munirajji: This is all Babaji blessings; it is not for me to say. I am asking if
everyone is ready to have Pujari to be the leader or the chairman of the
Russian Samaj ?
This is my opinion: if Babaji is not in the heart of the
person that is leading and organizing, then the egos in these people will
build and then destroy the ashram that they build.
He must inspire !
Phuro ……!
Pujari: is there a Russian person willing to stand up?
15
Munirajji: If no one else wants to come forward and you all agree then you
can declare Pujari as your chairman.
Atma Ram: We have a lot of experience inviting leaders from outside the
country, why not we invite Pujari to be our leader.
Munirajji:
Okay then it is Pujari !
(Loud clapping again !).
A Russian gentleman stands up: “Grisha asked us to stand up and say
what we each can do, well, when you find the land, and you will eventually,
I can manage all the construction !” (Loud clapping !!!)
Paramahansa asks: “What about our interests and how do we fit in”.
Munirajji says that if your group from Prem wants to be within the Samaj
then you can be under the Samaj, and they (the organisation) will take the
responsibility and care for you. “This is for the whole country, for the
whole world, think of yourselves as a universal organization. Shall it be
called the „Haidakhandi Samaj Russia‟ or what do you desire ?”
Ashutosh: Please keep this name Haidakhan Samaj Russia
Pujari: I want to meet here tomorrow after the Havan to choose the
committee.
Munirajji: “Choose now and have those people sit at the Havan.”
Haidakhan Samaj Russia Ki Jai !
Thank you to Shri Alok Banerjee for the beautiful translation of Munirajji‟s words during
Gurupurnima.
16
“Keep your egos cool”
Later during Gurupurnima Sri Munirajji Spoke about Ashrams:
“This is not a new concept, making ashrams has been going on for
hundreds and thousands of years. In all ages (yugas) there have been
ashram communities. To give an example: If you want to earn a degree
you begin with primary school and pass all the way through to university,
it is only at university that you can earn a degree. When you study by
yourself, you may not earn a degree.
It is good to be on the spiritual path, to take teachings, do practice, Jappa
and meditation and study scriptures and holy books. You can do all this at
home also but it is only in an ashram where you can be recognized for the
achievement through service of the public by the public. Something more
happens in an ashram. Do you understand something of what I am saying?
Now about the differences between peoples: when we are born we do
not think and feel the same, we each have different thoughts, different
beliefs, understandings and points of view. For that reason it is necessary
that we follow the ashram way of life: because when we live in an ashram
the main focus is on the Divine, but also you meet and have to work, eat,
love and pray together.
It is not possible that all people would have the same thoughts and ideas.
In government also there is an opposition leader. When you are doing
something and have opposition, it is not bad as you can learn and this
makes you better. Good and Bad go hand in hand - they travel together.
This kind of opposition is not new; it has been present in all ages.
The most important thing is to keep your egos cool. When the ego is
hot the differences increase - only for this ego reason. In the past most
wars have been fought over ego. In this way atomic wars will also come;
because of ego......... At the very moment whenever you have anger or a
judgment on another, look first at yourself and see how many mistakes
you yourself have made. Just to see another‟s mistakes or weaknesses is
the simplest thing and yet it‟s so difficult to look at your own mistakes. It
is so easy to talk and so difficult to actually do something. You might have
hundreds of thoughts in your mind, but it will not help you. You have to
do something, achieve something ! It is very easy to criticise anybody
(doing something good) but if you try yourself then you will realize how
difficult it is to actually achieve something.
17
The theme for this Journal No. 5
Devotion as the highest form of knowledge ?
A conversation with Shaunaka
Rishi Das - Director of the
Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies
and Hindu Chaplain to Oxford
University
“We already have knowledge. It is part of who we are, but it is layered
with false identities, false egos: I am a man, I am Irish, a teacher etc. But
who am I really? The false identities keep me from pure transcendental
knowledge of my real identity, from Raj vidya – the king of knowledge. Raj
vidya is spiritual knowledge; it is not about material, mundane things.
The nature of pure knowledge is bliss, ananda. Bliss is eternal and ever
increasing and cannot be lost, although it can be ignored through
ignorance of our true nature. Pure, transcendental knowledge is full of
bliss. Bliss is ever increasing happiness. It is not dependent on stress or
misery in the way it is commonly understood that you can only know
happiness by knowing misery and unhappiness. We justify suffering by
saying it is a way to appreciate happiness. That stress and that happiness
are material and relative because they have a beginning and an end. But
bliss, ananda is eternal– it is transcendental happiness, based on
transcendental knowledge. The qualities that we‟ve discussed about
transcendental knowledge are the same quality we find in bhakti, devotion.
The unique feature of bhakti is that it focuses on devotion which is a
loving relationship with the supreme. In the same way Christians talk
about love of God. Jesus is a pure bhakta. What is the highest
commandment in the bible? To know, love and serve God.
By going through the heart, you acquire transcendental
knowledge as a by-product. So transcendental knowledge and bhakti
run on parallel tracks. Both of them go to the same place, and we need to
be on both tracks to be balanced. In the 12th chapter of the Gita, Arjuna
asks Krishna which is more important bhakti (devotion) or gyana
(knowledge) and Krishna validates both as important and effective but he
says the bhakti path is easier and quicker. This is the difference
18
between the Gita and the other texts like the Vedanta Sutras and the
Upanishads. The latter two profound texts are very enigmatic and lead to
a lot of speculation, whereas in the Gita, by emphasising bhakti, Krishna
gives tools that are easy to use. You don‟t need to be an intellectual, but
you need to develop love and compassion in your heart. Having said that
we should remember that the Gita is itself Upanishadic, and the challenge
to the bhakta is a real challenge, as profound as any other spiritual
challenge. But Krishna says by going through the heart you acquire
transcendental knowledge as a by product. Some Indian traditions and
gurus seem to create opposites of gyana and bhakta, as is also seen in
fraught science and religion debates, whereas Krishna validates both by
seeing them as interdependent.
How do we develop devotion in our hearts ? Primarily through
stories, stories about the different avatars and devotees, like Rama, Devi
or Hanuman. We like the stories because the characters are so attractive,
and we find ourselves in their story. Consider how humble and
compassionate Hanuman is. He is the perfect servant. If you get attracted
to these qualities, as one would, then you want to know who he is serving.
From there we are in the world of Ram and thus we see one story leading
you into the world of another story. By reading the stories or hearing
them recited we become attached to that character. It then becomes easy
to offer them a flower. Embedded in these stories are the feelings of
devotion to God and the lived knowledge of the Vedas and the
Upanishads. We identify with the characters who enliven, inspire,
invigorate and enthuse us. The natural outcomes are feelings of gratitude,
affection, and a desire to reciprocate – worship. Through that grows trust
and love, a relationship of love and service. It has been said that we may
flirt with many deities, but we have to marry one – and that one is the
deity who inspires our journey in Truth.
I personally have great attachment to Krishna. He is my Ishta Dev. I love
Shiva and Ganesha but Krishna hits it for me. Krishna is all about love.
Ram is about duty and religion, and is consequently approached with
reverence. But Krishna is a baby, a child. We approach a child with love. A
pure selfless love is the most difficult to achieve because we have to give
completely of ourselves. And that challenge draws me to Krishna. Another
thing I find attractive about Krishna is the fact that he is so naughty.
Because he is the Supreme Being he has no religion. God does not need
religion, as we do. He is the only manifestation of God who is beyond
religion and who seems to act outside the norms of religion, paths made
for and by man.
19
We work for retirement. We work for a time when we don‟t have to
work, a time when there is no duty, and no obligation. This is Krishna‟s
starting point. He does not create, destroy, or maintain, he just enjoys.
Sometimes we work so hard to attain enlightenment, or a sense of being
good, that we miss the opportunity of being spiritual. Our enlightenment
and goodness are often to be found in the future. Krishna is not worried
about the future. He just plays on his flute enjoying in the way that we
desire, inviting us to join him, now. My challenge is that at least to some
extent I want to be like him, the coolest, the enjoyer, the one who is
loved and served. I want to be the most popular, the most beautiful, the
wealthiest, and the most intelligent – but the position is filled. To reestablish my identity, my spiritual identity I am re-learning what it means
to serve and to love Krishna, and thus learning humility, patience, and
compassion.
Transcendental knowledge, the highest knowledge begins when we admit
the simplest truth; that our deepest desire is to be happy, spiritually happy,
and to be loved, eternally loved, by an eternal someone. While many of us
settle for a cup of tea and a biscuit, having successfully eluded happiness,
the highest knowledge is available to all of us willing to learn how to love.”
“Awake my little flute player, my love
The night is over, day breaks.
Doors have opened everywhere.
Women are churning cream;
you can hear their ringing bracelets
Awake my love, morning has arrived.
Gods and devotees wait at the door.
Cowherds and children raise their voice to
proclaim your name.”
From the Songs of Meerabai
20
Devotion
by Raghuvir
Devotion is deeply imbedded in the Indian culture and an important part
of the old Vedic scriptures. Devotion towards the divine but also to
parents, spouses, kings is reflected up to today in the Indian culture.
Of course the influences of modern times, from other cultures and Kali
Yuga have left their mark in this wonderful virtue. It is much less in the
western culture however the black Christian community really know how
to celebrate their saviour with abundant joy. Also in the catholic branch
of Christianity devotion was not uncommon but now rarely seen.
Devotion is a language of the heart and whatever our background and
who experiences it, it must have been a spark of the Divine which has
reawakened this feeling in us.
There are beautiful examples of devotion in India like Meerabhai or
RamaKrishna. Meerabhai who composed the most beautiful bhajans to
Lord Krishna still sung all over India today. Through time she estranged
herself from surroundings and other people, totally absorbed in Lord
Krishna, forgetting to eat and take care of herself until she physically
merged with the Lord as the story goes. Also Rama Krishna who was
devoted to Mother Kali and lived most his life in the Kali Temple in
Calcutta on the banks of the Ganges. He was also not best in his social
skills and completely lost in devotion for his Kali Ma. To most regular
people they appeared to be mad but a true devotee can recognise such
extreme devotion.
Studying the Ramayana & Maha Bharata we can also get a good feel of
deep devotion towards the Divine and to Dharma. For a western mind
such devotion is hard to grasp. It takes years of practise and overcoming
the Me and Mine in ourselves and offering everything, everything at the
Lotus feet of the Divine. I suppose there must be a good dose of Divine
Grace involved as one person seems to experience it so different then the
other.
The saying, „one has to give to receive‟ is surely a great tool in practicing
devotion. The Aarti we sing is an act of devotion and it is amazing how
ever often we sing it, it is never boring to us. Karma yoga in His ashrams
and/or spreading His messages another way to express your devotion and
get closer to our Beloved Lord. I am personally still wondering if sending
beautiful pictures and inspiring quotes of Babaji to each other over the
internet & Facebook is having an effect on our heart level ? It certainly
21
feels nice and inspiring for a moment when something comes in while
wading thru work or the dry facts which are mostly on our screen. Babaji
did not like computers as He expressed on some occasions but with life at
this pace it is difficult to live without unless we put on some robes and sit
in a cave or so.
Let us anyway remember that it is by singing Divine
praises, repeating the Holy Name's and practicing karma yoga we build a
strong foundation within ourselves, probably much deeper then the
fleeting and fast changing world on the internet can offer.
But whatever and however you celebrate your devotion dear brothers
and sisters, leave no stone unturned and put your heart & soul, your hands
and resources in it with vim and vigour and your connection to the Divine
will surely blossom.
“When you will forget yourself, you will meet Me.
These were your words to me,
the task of your difficult love.
To love you is to love the truth,
to open to reality and light.
To love you is to renounce illusions,
to die in you and be reborn again.
To love you is the silent prayer to merge in the great heart.
Not even is there service in this love,
one with the totality and emptiness of your being,
no separation is there, no demand.
Love is prayer and prayer is love,
the longing for the perfect one.”
From Flowers of Devotion by Gaura Devi
22
Brahmanand (Benjamin Thiele):
I have no clue if the following lines about devotion meet the
requirements of being relevant to anybody but myself, but they
happened to me today so I share them with you.
“Initially, when spirituality suddenly enters
one's life, we are told that there is a need for
devotion. The more the better. "Bow to
God, bow to the Guru. Touch his feet.
Surrender everything." For a westerner, this
means a new mindset that is quite a change to
what one believed and practiced before.
Total devotion
is indeed
necessary but
devotion is not
to cultivate the
difference
between me
and the source.
And when you study Advaita Vedanta, it is
emphasized that everything is one and the
same source is acting and experiencing
through every being. The world that we live in
becomes a dreamed world without any
absolute value. It is even called 'nothingness'
by some saints. And within this nothingness, there is only the source and
nothing else exists.
And although this seems to be the reality beyond illusion, spirituality faces
us with the idea of devotion, i.e. a dreamed character - me - has to
surrender everything to God (whatever that is) in a dreamed shape - be it
Guru, Ganesha, Shiva or whatever. If not, I do not get released from
bondage. And to make it more complicated: This bondage that we suffer
from during many lifetimes is, by the way, also an illusion.
So what seems to have happened is that the one indescribable source of
everything has spontaneously dreamed up a huge time-space-container full
of individuals that experience themselves as subjects although they are
created objects. The whole circle of suffering, desire, fear etc. gets
initiated and keeps annoying these individuals.
And although all this
dreamed up scenario is purposely created by the one source, this source
asks the created individuals to surrender to 'him' in order to get back to
the source and to get quite some interesting benefits in terms of selfrealization, peace, happiness, truth, etc.
An offer you cannot possibly
refuse! But it reminds me of hitting a teddy-bear in the face and telling
him: "If you behave from now on, I will forgive you!".
23
By looking at devotion in such a way, devotion seems to be a wrong
concept. It can even increase the ego by making a huge difference between
the 'me' and the source. There seems to be a huge gap between both of
them. But how can you ever dissolve the ego by cultivating such a
difference between the me and the source? I think, you can't.
How to get out of this misery? I found the work of the saint Ramesh
Balsekar very inspiring. He is a Vedanta master and argues that total
devotion is indeed necessary but devotion is not to cultivate the difference
between me and the source but to accept totally at every moment that
whatever happens is whatever is supposed to happen according to the
source. The ego is only a thought that claims all actions and thoughts to be
'his'. In fact, all these actions and thoughts just come up within us as a
consequence of our DNA, conditioning (childhood, school, ...) and the will
of the source. Devotion means, that 'I' am not the doer of my actions but
that these actions happen because they are supposed to happen. There
cannot be more devotion because the ego totally denies that it has any
existence of its own. There is not even a reason to feel bad or guilty about
having an ego. Why? Because the ego is also a creation of God. It is meant
to be. From our perspective, we cannot see why, but it has its meaning in
this gigantic play.
According to this concept, what are we supposed to do now? Stop the
spiritual path? Or increase efforts? No, we will anyway do what we are
supposed to do. But there is no reason to feel small, big, guilty, ashamed
or anything else. And the so called self-realization is the moment where
the ego (the spiritual seeker) realizes that there is nothing to seek and that
the seeker itself does not even exist. In that moment, the ego is so much
devoted that it dissolves completely.
[email protected]
24
Are you doing the Inner
Yagna ?
Jigme Khentse Rimpoche
Kharku wrote: “Recently I met Jigme Khentse Rimpoche in an airport and
he asked to have a few words with me, so we went and sat alone.
Although he is Buddhist it was as if he was channelling with words a
teaching that both Babaji and Munirajji are constantly showing us. He
asked me about Kamalaya and asked if I was doing Yagna there. I
answered in the affirmative and he began to ask about the mantras I used,
the Gods and Goddesses that are invoked and other questions about the
form of the ritual.
After some discussion Rimpoche went silent for awhile and said:
Performing the Yagna is important and transformative but John are you
doing the inner Yagna ? The outer yagna has profound meaning only when
you are totally connected, surrendered, at one with the Divinity within, (as
Sri Munirajji is constantly).
He went on; First the inner yagna, connect, forgive, inspire compassion,
transform, inner first always the inner yagna first. He had drawn us into
that expanded place of spacious awareness where one hears silence, and
spoke as Babaji had done that you must invite the divine into your being,
into your heart, breathe the divinity into you, experience Babaji entering
your being, merging with you, and with each exhale merge your being with
the divine expanding into His Being riding the breath. Be connected,
merged, forgive yourself and forgive the other, love yourself and love the
other... in this place your thoughts are one with the divine thought. You
are incapable of harmful thoughts when merged with the Presence.
He quoted Buddha saying there are more sentient beings than grains of
sand in the Ganges and that we must forgive them all and pray for their
liberation..
We sat for awhile and then he got up and hugged me and
said: “Let's stay connected in the Inner Yagna................”
25
Notes from Narayana
Magical, quite literally, is the only way I can describe my experience of
being around Babaji in Haidakhan. If you thought of Him, He‟d appear. If
you had questions they‟d be answered instantaneously. He‟d say something
to a small group of people and not only would each person hear
something different but each would hear it in their native tongue! I
exaggerate not.
In the two months I was with Him I only managed to ask Him three things
directly, even though I had several opportunities daily. This story is about
one of those. Let me explain. At least twice a day, at morning and evening
darshan, and at other times, when He‟d inspect the various karma yoga
projects and direct the work I was involved in, I would have His total
attention and be able to ask anything I wanted; and yet somehow all need
to ask anything simply evaporated in His presence. I would go through the
same internal ritual every darshan. I would realize that I was coming into
His presence and a small voice in the back of my mind would chirp up:
“You‟ll soon be with your Master. You should ask Him some important
question. Don‟t waste this opportunity,” or something similar.
So, I‟d rack my brain for a suitable question, one that seemed to ask about
the meaning of life and death, the universe and everything, with some
particular bearing on my current hang-ups, mental constructs and
contemplations. When I found it I‟d join the darshan line, but when I got
to be about two or three people away from Him, He‟d act out something
which would somehow answer my question. Yet again I‟d find myself at his
feet with a completely blank mind, devoid of any thought, just swimming in
the infinite ocean of His being. It was quite disconcerting, and also totally
blissful.
And then it happened ! I awoke one morning with the realization that
Christina and Joy, my wife and daughter, together with her mother and
two children, would be returning to England from Spain, and I wouldn‟t be
with them. I suddenly felt very protective and a part of me wanted to
travel with them to see that they were safe. Since I was in India, half the
planet away, there was little I could do. Hence I resolved to ask Babaji to
bless my family; not only would they travel safely but the rest of their lives
would be wonderful as well. I did everything by the book that morning.
Washed in the river early, put on clean clothes, had chandan, attended
aarati punctually etc., and then there we were, in His garden for morning
26
darshan – my favourite time with Him. Evening darshan was often
crowded and sometimes got a little wild, but morning darshan was always
sweet.
When I approached Him, He was sitting with His right hand resting palm
down over His knee, and when I told Him of my concern and asked Him
to bless my family He lifted His hand and made a gesture, which I
experienced as a sort of dismissive one you‟d use to shoo away a
bothersome fly from your dinner-plate, and he said, “SITA RAM, SITA
RAM BOLO PYARE. YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS.” From the kneeling
position at His feet I fair stumbled backwards, and wobbling a little, started
to return to where I had previously been sitting with the other devotees
present, feeling rather strange and a little stupid. Just at this moment
everyone burst out singing,” Sita Ram, Sita Ram, Bhole Pyare, Sita Ram,
sita Ram Bholo Pyare,” in unison, as if conducted by some unseen hand!
As I sat down another English devotee said: “What did you ask Him?” “To
bless my family,” I replied, still somewhat dazed. “Why do you ask?”
“Well I saw Him lift His hand and this huge wave of energy hit you,
knocking you over. I‟m going to ask Him to bless my family too,” and so
saying up he went. I didn‟t see what happened to him, but a few minutes
later he was back with a sort of stunned, sheepish and somewhat startled
look on his face. “What happened?” I asked. “He answered the question
behind the one I asked,” he said. “What?” “Well I was sitting deep in
thought, wondering what I was doing here, and thinking that maybe I was
in the wrong place and should be back with my family. You came back
from your darshan and I decided there and then to ask Babaji to bless my
family as well. But when I asked Him, He said, „You are here because I am
here!”
27
Haidakhandi Samaj - News from India
Performance report of 5 months of Hospitals as compared to 5 months of
previous year (report to AGM by Mr M. Shukla).
SHREE BABA HAIDAKHAN CHARITABLE AND RESEARCH HOSPITAL
RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS STATEMENT FOR THE YEAR 11-12
APRIL TO AUGUST(5 MONTHS) STATISTICAL REPORT
5 Months of 2011
2010
(April /August)
12 Months
Prev
Year
Avg/pm
TOTAL
Avg/pm
PATIENTS
RECEIPTS Rs lacs
EXPENSES Rs lacs
Loss/Surplus Rs lacs
25122
66.76
102.01
2093
5.56
8.05
-2.49
10746
35.7
36.3
-0.6
2149
7.1
7.21
-0.11
BHOLE BABA AYURVEDIC HOSPITAL AND RESEARCH CENTE
RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS STATEMENT FOR THE YEAR 11-12
APRIL TO AUGUST(5 MONTHS) STATISTICAL REPORT
5 Months of 2011
2010
(April /August)
Prev
Year
Avg/pm
TOTAL
Avg/pm
PATIENTS
P'KARMA
OPD
418
6876
35
573
179
1026
35
205
RECEIPTS Rs lacs
EXPENSES Rs lacs
Loss/Surplus Rs lacs
71.89
63.6
8.29
5.99
5.3
0.69
33.7
24
9.7
6.75
4.8
1.94
The above figures show that on a monthly averaging basis both hospitals
are running more economically & efficiently than the previous year.
However there were fewer outpatients in the ayurvedic hospital in the
equivalent 5 months – April to August - of 2011 than in 2010.
28
After Autumn Navaratri 2011 – extracts By Hiraman Mike Reynolds
After Navaratri this year, Munirajji took us to a temple in the forest called
Bhimsa. We had a wonderful morning sharing Munirajji‟s quiet joyfulness,
and the exuberant happiness of the surrounding people. We toured the
incredibly beautiful grounds and temple complex. Everything had been
done with such love, the temples and buildings seemed such a natural part
of the forest. It was as if they had grown there from the seeds of love,
devotion, and karma yoga. As we were getting into the car Muniji asked
me if I had seen all of the grounds. I said that I had and that it was very
beautiful. Then he told me that it had all started in 1955 with a single Shiva
lingam and dhuni built by the sadhu who had spent his life there. It affected
me deeply: the thought of one man coming there with simple joy and
determination in his heart and working day after day. Slowly others
coming to help and then out of that.... a place that sings to the spirit and
shines with light. It is amazing what we can do when we work together
and it only takes that first step to begin with perseverance.
That is why Babaji has given us Om Namaha Shivaya. For perseverance and
to fine tune our ability to hear and sense and feel. Ganga told me the
other day when she first met Babaji he told her she could stay three more
days. She was filled with such joy. What if we could be completely joyful
with three more days? Three more hours? Three more minutes? Three
more seconds? What if we could be complete for one moment? What
could we accomplish together?
Lal Baba on 8th Feb 2012 from Rajgarh, Rajasthan
“Today is the reopening of the Haidakhandi Vidyashram class rooms here
in Rajgarh. And yesterday there was the final cleaning, the last little things
to be done and the new coloured rooms are waiting in the darkness of the
early Rajasthani morning. It is 6 o'clock in the morning and behind the
school is a wonderful little orange shining fullmoon ball. Lord Shiva shows
us the beauty of His world. And soon around 135 Kids will enter the
area in a loud and wild way, running around and checking out their new
schoolrooms.
Many people gave little and much and very much money
... The teachers, the director, the kids and their parents like more and
more this leela, and the workers were happy....
On the last day somebody sent a very big donation ... the bills can be paid,
and Lal Baba is very happy.....
See http://planetbabaji.com/Blog/Eintrage/2012/2/8_Final_cut.html
29
Prabhat Joshi
from Sandeep.
Informing you of the sad demise of our brother Prabhat Joshi, a member
of the Joshi family of Almora, who have been devotees of Babaji for the
last four generations. Prabhat had lost his wife Manju five years back and is
survived by his daughter Bhuvneshwari and son Parijat. It is a tragic loss to
his family. He was cremated 9th February and a condolence meeting was
held on the 13th day. On the personal front I have lost my very old special
friend as he was the one who brought me to Babaji, I will always carry a
special place in my heart for him.
In addition Sanju Joshi (48), son of late Shri Naveen Joshi and nephew of
Prabhat, passed away yesterday - 27th February 2012. Please do keep this
extended family in your prayers.
2012
GURUPURNIMA
IN EUROPE
Sada Shiva Dham in The
Netherlands - Holland
Thursday 28th June –
Tuesday 3rd July 2012
There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth beyond us all,
beyond the heavens, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is
the Light that shines in our heart.
Chandogya Upanishad 3.13.7
30
DONATIONS – To Hospitals or the Haidakhandi Samaj
To avoid further confusion or errors in making donations to the
above, we give below full details for sending donations to India.
Hospital Donations
(From Indians)
Hospital Donations
(From Foreigners)
Bank Account Detail for Indians
Bank Account Detail for
foreigners
Name of A/c - SHREE BABA
HAIDAKHAN CHARITABLE AND
RESEARCH HOSPITAL
Name of A/c - SHREE BABA
HAIDAKHAN CHARITABLE AND
RESEARCH HOSPITAL
Name of Bank - STATE BANK OF
INDIA, Chilianaula, Ranikhet
Distt. Almora, Uttrakhand.
Name of Bank BANK OF BARODA
NAVIN MANDI, HALDWANI,
DIST.NAINITAL
UTTRAKHAND, INDIA.
ACCOUNT NO.
11528392032
I.F.S CODE
- SBIN0009073
ACCOUNT NO – 18490200000096
(ZERO)
Samaj Donation
(From Indians)
I.F.S. CODE – BARB 0 HALNAV
SWIFT CODE – BARBINBBMOR
Bank Account Detail for Indians
Name of A/c HAIDAKHANDI SAMAJ
Samaj Donation
(From Foreigners)
Bank Account Detail for
foreigners
Name of bank STATE BANK OF INDIA,
MAIN BRANCH HALDWANI,
DISTT. NAINITAL
UTTRAKHAND, INDIA.
Name of A/c - HAIDAKHANDI
SAMAJ
Name of bank - STATE BANK OF
INDIA, MAIN BRANCH –
HALDWANI, DIST. NAINITAL
UTTRAKHAND, INDIA.
ACCOUNT NO. - 11178415310
I.F.S CODE
- SBIN0000646
ACCOUNT NO. 11178415321
I.F.S CODESBIN0000646
SWIFT CODESBININBB506
31
News from Around the World
Mandir and Kirtan Hall building in Holland.
The construction of the temple in Holland is doing well. After a call for
support last October there was a nice response from the international
family of Babaji. India, Russia, US, Thailand it came from all over the world
and we have been continuing nicely because of it. We may not be able to
finish it with the present funds but we are confident that Babaji will inspire
those who can to participate financially. One thing is clear to us here, He
is doing it and we may be His instruments. From mid December to 1
February a building stop hung in the air but a few diehards continued
anyway. It was very cold and a break for some, who have been non-stop at
it, was very welcome. We hope now when spring is knocking on the door
in March, April and May some who have time to dedicate will come to join
us in expressing our devotion in finalising Shri Babaji's temple in Holland.
All are welcome then as we need gardeners, cleaners, builders, cooks,
organisers (for G.P) in short everybody willing to do - to create a
wonderful opening ceremony at Guru Purnima in Holland. Pictures of the
present progress can be seen at www.babaji.nl
10th Feb
16th Feb 2012
32
Babaji’s New Ashram in Australia
The Australian Samaj has bought a beautiful property for Babaji's Ashram
in Australia. The first AGM was held there in late January, the weekend
after the settlement. Today 26th February 2012 the first Havan was held at
the Ashram with 17 people in attendance.
Just as the Havan was
commencing it started to
rain for two or three
minutes, a beautiful blessing.
Recently, as Secretary, I was
looking
through
the
archives and I came across a
Haidakhan Newsletter from
2002, when Kanta Dwyer
wrote that Muniraji had
advised the Australian Samaj
to buy land near the riverside Dhuni on Tiger Singh
and Deepa's land in the
Bega Valley, south-coast
New South Wales. Now, ten years on, through the grace of Babaji, the
Samaj has found this special place, not far from Tiger and Deepa's place.
The forty acre property is located on Mumbulla Mountain, in a tranquil
place surrounded by forest, private and yet accessible from the main town
of Bega. There's a hand crafted mud brick house and a large building
suitable for a Kirtan Hall. The landscaping has been done with great love
for the environment, with detailed stonework. There's a symphony of
birds and a creek running through the property below the house.
Kameshwar, the Samaj treasurer, has devoted enormous time and energy
in negotiations to bring this purchase about and all thanks go to him for
his tireless work. There are now many opportunities for Karma Yogis and
there is accommodation for those who are able to come.
Our thanks must also go to those who have made significant financial
donations to enable this purchase to go ahead, however we need funds to
make necessary changes and alterations and building works. Any donation
you are able to make will be greatly appreciated.
Nan Singh
33
News from Italy
The story of Croce Mandir, which is near Salerno and south of Naples
It is open on one side to a view of the Gulf of Salerno, and on the
other to the beautiful Amalfi Coast. The energy here is crystal clear
It was many years ago that Kali Shani first brought Shri Babaji‟s message of
Light to our area. Our group started to get together to celebrate araati,
with Kalu Singh as our pioneer pujari, at Kali Annamaria‟s home in Albori.
This is a tiny village on top of a hill facing the Amalfi coast and the beautiful
blue sea.
When Kali Annamaria moved to Cisternino, the group
continued to get together at different devotees‟ home, facing lots of joys
and trouble.
Then in 1994, during Shri Muniraj‟s tour to Cisternino, Kalu Singh and I
went to Guruji with a list of devotees with whom we would like to make a
Centre in our area. He looked at us, „thought‟ for a second and replied:
“Later”. Kalu and I accepted this and felt that a good opportunity would
then come at the right time. So it happened like this two years later
when, in Croce di Cava de‟ Tirreni, near Salerno, we were able to rent
the flat where Prem Singh first and later Kalu Singh had lived. So Croce
Mandir was born in February 1996.
Croce is on top of a hill marking the border between Cava De‟ Tirreni
and Salerno. In October 1999, during Autumn Navratri, a devotee from
our group went to India, carrying a booklet of pictures of our Croce
Mandir to show to Shri Shastriji and Shri Muniraj.
On viewing the
Pictures Shastriji said:
“Accha, very good place. It is an outstanding place and the energy is very
good. You must stay there, don‟t change. There have been many wars
there ? (referring to wars at Roman times). Much negative karma was sown.
Was there a Church here before it became a Babaji temple? And who built
this house? The energy of the place is good, very good! How many
people are there praying to Babaji ? (It’s a group of 20-25 people). Yes,
you must go on. This is your place. It is very beautiful! Go on! Take care
of your Temple, this is a very good place! And also the surroundings, good
energy!”
Our friend who took the photos to India didn‟t know that in the very
room where the Mandir is now, there was a consecrated Church about
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two hundred years ago (as our landlord has told us recently) and the
house, an eighteenth century villa, was built by two Catholic priests.
This says a lot about Shri Shastriji, and about this place, chosen by Shri
Babaji for this area. Shri Muniraj, on seeing the photos simply nodded and
said “Good, very good.”
In 2011 we celebrated the 15th year at Croce Mandir and the second year
of its association to the Italian Haidakhandi Samaj.
Our greatest joy is to see so many people bent by life and its trials quench
their thirst at the pure source which is Bhole Baba Maha Raj. They come
back again and again, find their smile and trust returning and they might
even see a Light in their inner path. On Sunday nights there are always 20
– 25 people attending with new people each time. We‟ve been celebrating
a special festival since the Mandir existed, Ganesh Chaturthi. Year after
year, it has become a regular tradition of Croce Mandir. It is much
appreciated by many devotees who make efforts to come from all over
Italy. Shri Ganesh, with His primeval Joy, has always protected us in our
path. All this pays back all the sacrifices and efforts we face to keep this
place going; it gives us so much and helps us to overcome all the conflicts
inevitably coming out, and which are part of our personal growth, so that
we can work on our ego in Bhagavan‟s love.
Croce Mandir via Michele di Florio 47 Croce di Cava de‟ Tirreni (SA)
www.crocemandir.net.
Hairakhandi Love Centre, near Perugia, central Italy
by Aliana- Anuli
“It was March 1983 when I arrived at Herakhan inspired by Yogananda's
book 'Autobiography of a Yogi'. Babaji had a huge impact on me, it seemed
as if we were living outside of time and space, everyone had their own
story and He was above everybody. He knew everything, our present
past and future; we couldn't hide anything in front of Him. During the 40
days Babaji let me stay there, many different things happened, especially
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internal changes which were like overwhelming waves which bring you to
the other shore. When He asked me to leave, the 40 days there felt like
12 years. An Avatar can wash your soul inside Him and remove your
karma. Maybe this happened although I was really unaware at that time.
Among His many lilas I will recount the one that gave a new impulse to my
life: Once during darshan Babaji stared at me and asked: “You doctor?”. I
answered “Yes”, I was aware that it was a lila. I was a physiotherapist but I
didn't want to practice because I had had a big shock when in a car
accident everyone, including my best friend, had died. I had been the sole
survivor.
So Babaji asked me to treat an Indian person next to Him.
Trembling, I asked him what his problem was and Babaji answered
“gastroenteritis”. Really frightened I told him not to eat fat or fried food,
but Babaji was already doing something else. Although it was a simple
event it had a great impact on me, He knew how to touch me to bring my
soul to its rightful path.
In the following 10 years after Babaji‟s mahasamadhi my partner and I
opened a centre in Umbria, it has been a great job and a hard work but
Babaji has always been with us tracking the path and opening unknown
doors, our faith was total and the karma yoga was absolute. Our days
have been full of experiences and emotions, our three children have
shared everything, growing up in the ashram. Babaji has always been here
doing His job with all the visitors. In our ashram we take care of body,
mind and spirit, all together as Babaji had guided me. In 1997 Muniraji
came to inaugurate the dhuni. During his satsang in the evening aarti he
really moved us by saying: “This ashram is Hairakandi love in name and
fact !”. He was telling us we were on the right path: Babaji's teachings
unified in our heart.
„The most important thing is to be human‟ said Babaji. We are trying to
practise this every second in our life, accepting our imperfections and
limits. We are sure that He is always here to lead and love us. Without
His presence nothing could have been done. His energy, always present
within and without me, brings me beyond the barriers that my mind likes
to imagine, and towards that inconceivable freedom that He talked about
and embodied.”
HERAKANDI LOVE CENTER (Ashram)
Villarosa – Loc.Corniole 06026 Pietralunga (PG)
Tel/Fax (0039) 075-933074
E-mail: [email protected] – babaji[email protected]
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News from France
In October, a concert of Turkantam took place in a church of Cantal, in
central France. On this occasion, the villagers discovered kirtan and
bhajans and really appreciated them. It was organized by Michel, a
devotee who has proposed that his house could be used, partly, as an
ashram by the Samaj. A small group of devotees came to attend the
concert and the next day we visited the house and performed aarti there.
The house cannot be used yet as it needs big building works: it‟ll be ready
next summer. We feel that, at the beginning, it could be used for gathering
for a longer time together; for example for a week at the end of August
this coming summer.
A free kirtan-meeting which was lead by devotees, for the benefit of a
future Babaji ashram in France, was organized by Yashvir on 23th of
December in Montauban (south west).
In addition there was also a concert by Turkantam in Paris on Saturday
the 28th of January 2012 also to benefit a future French ashram. This
was followed the next day by ceremonies and the annual meeting of the
French Samaj.
Weekly aartis take place in Provence (south) and Brittany (west).
Added to this, a monthly kirtan took place from September to January in
Paris, hosted by several devotees.
All information is or will be soon on www.babaji.fr and in the next French
newsletter.
by Mukundi for the Samaj
Om Namah Shivay
Emilio/Ashok from Cisternino ashram maybe needs our prayers:
He is currently under artificial coma in Paris after a heart attack he
suffered there. He was awake yesterday but his brain is suffering and he
had to be put again under artificial coma until next week.
Information received 25 th February
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News from Croatia
In the course of the past fifteen years there have been several attempts to
find a more permanent home for Babaji and the growing number of His
devotees in Zagreb, as well as in several other cities in Croatia (Osijek,
Split, and Pula). With Munirajji‟s blessing Haidakhandi Love Center in Osijek was founded in 2002: www.babaji.hr
and Haidakhandi Spiritual Center in Zagreb in 2007: www.haidakhan.net
These two centres are the foundation of Haidakhan Samaj in Croatia
which is organizing regular meetings and Navaratri celebrations in Osijek.
The two centres are cooperating well, especially since we started
organising common events such as taking Babaji‟s Padukas to various
places throughout the country for worship. There are also other groups
of Babaji devotees who are practicing their devotion independently of
these two centres. In this article however we focus on the activities of a
group of devotees concentrated around the Haidakhandi Spiritual Center
in Zagreb.
Activities of Babaji devotees in Zagreb
In Zagreb there is a small but very reliable and active group of devotees
who are celebrating aarati at Visnu Datt and Mahima‟s home for over ten
years. Five years ago Visnu Datt initiated building a dhuni on a piece of
land at the foot of the mountain Medvednica, some 15 kilometres away
from the centre of Zagreb, in (almost) untouched nature. Maha Devi
(from Belgium), who was our guest during the first visit to Croatia of the
Padukas from the German ashram, said that this area and its dhuni remind
her of the landscape and the energy of Herakhan in its early days:
everything is still very simple and pure, impregnated with high energy of
great devotion.
Since our first Paduka journey Kishor joined Vishu Datt in building a new
dhuni house. The large new dhuni, which can seat twenty + people, is
almost finished. Most weekends we celebrate a havan there.
Paduka Journeys - cooperation between German Ashram and Croatian Centres.
Satyanand and Asha from Cologne, who are connected with Rieferath,
have been visiting Ashas‟s homeland Croatia for over ten years with their
harmonium. They have been playing aarati and bhajans with various groups
of spiritual aspirants in Croatia who are meeting in private houses.
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Croatian devotees expressed their wish to have Darshan of Babaji‟s
Padukas in Croatia. Whereupon Rieferath ashram magnanimously offered
to „lend‟ their silver Padukas for several days a year. These Padukas had
been blessed by Babaji and have been lovingly cared for in Reiferath for
over thirty years. The first visit took place in Zagreb and Osijek in
September 2010. It proved to be a great inspiration for all the devotees
who attended numerous pujas, aaratis and havans. We were especially
happy that Maha Devi joined and supported us during this first visit.
The second Paduka visit took place in Zagreb in August 2011, in
temperatures of over 40 Degrees ! Devotees rented a concert hall in the
centre of Zagreb and performed puja and aarati, with films about Babaji.
Networking and Plans for Croatia in 2012
Our meetings are becoming more and more international. Two devotees
from Slovenia invited us to organize kirtan in their country in June 2012.
Some Polish and Italian devotees are also expected to come to the
beautiful river Soca valley. In addition to regular pujas and Navaratri
celebrations in Croatia we are organizing Autumn Navaratri 2012 on the
island of Krk in north Adria, where Asha and Satyanand have a house
which is becoming more of a meeting place for devotees. We would like
to invite devotees from many countries to join us for autumn Navaratra
this year to Punat on the island of Krk. (Those of you interested in joining
us please contact: [email protected] and [email protected]).
Contacts:
Haidakhandi Spiritual Center,
Zagreb:
www.haidakhan.net
[email protected]
[email protected]
Haidakhandi Love Center,
Osijek:
www.babaji.hr
[email protected]
Trilochan, Mahadevi, Lakshmi, Parwati,
Vishnu Datt, Narmade
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News from Spain
Mahaveer Pandit writes:
“In 2006 Shri Muniraji asked me to go to Spain to help Amba create a new
ashram in a town close to San Sebastian, called Azkoitia. After three
months of hard work the „Hairakhandi Karma Yoga Center‟ was born,
with a temple dedicated to Haidakhandeswari Mata, a sacred Dhuni and a
9 room guest house to accommodate 25 to 30 people. In the last five
years we have organized many different spiritual gatherings to celebrate
the Babaji festivals.
With the permission of Shree Muniraji, two years ago, The „Haidakhandi
Samaj of Spain‟ was founded with Amba president, Kem Chand
secretary and three members: Suati, Juan Carlos and Soraya. At present
the Samaj is going through a silent moment to clarify some important
things. I will be travelling this March to Spain to celebrate the Spring
Navaratri and in April there will be a meeting of the Samaj to plan the
future. After this meeting the Samaj will send to the IHJ a report to clarify
the situation in Spain.
The ashram near San Sebastian called Hairakhandi Karma Yoga Centre is
open and enquirers can contact Amba if you wish to visit:
House Phone: 0034-943500043
Mobile: 0034-615008040
Email: [email protected]
The ashram address is:
Azkoitia, C/ Izarraitz Auzoa-Baserri Ariatzaga,
s/n, localidad de Azkoitia, provincia Guipúzcoa DP. 20720
Ashram in Valencia Spain – Correction !
from Lakshmi
The editors apologise for unknowingly publishing incorrect information in
the Summer 2011 edition of this Journal regarding the Spanish ashram:
The Spanish Babaji ashram has not closed down but is alive and kicking !
Visitors, devotees and karma yogis are heartily welcome. Please contact
Maria and let her know when you wish to arrive !
Purnima at [email protected]
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Letters to the Journal
Maltî
as I experienced you,
by Dieter Jahnke
Malti and I had known each
other for some years and kept
regular contact. Whenever we
met there was joy and
enthusiasm in her face and her
engaged interest in the world
made her always a loveable
companion.
She knew how to present her views with a sense of humour and kept
Muniraji always as a model in her mind. She was a freedom loving person.
She cultivated close relationships in order to shower love onto others.
Her love for life was expressed through music and dance. This she always
kept up, even during difficult times. This is how I have experienced Malti.
The following verse was one that she was especially fond of and how she
most likely wishes to be remembered.
"Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I, and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am just waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner.
All is well."
Canon Henry Scott Holland
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Gopal Hari
Letter from Jagadish on 21st December 2011
I'm with Gopal Hari, Ambika, Shambo, Veda and Hari Sudha now at the
house and will tell of Gopal‟s progress. I haven't been here for three
weeks or so but his progress is quite astounding. Yesterday evening I was
sitting in the kitchen not long after my arrival, and Gopal came up the
stairs on his own and greeted
me.
The
change
from
my last visit is quite amazing.
Gopal is moving around and
making trips on his own to the
bathroom and kitchen. His
presence is very strong to be
around. The doctor apparently
phoned a few days ago and was
amazed when Ambika told him
Gopal was dusting his room.
The doctor‟s reply was: WHAT!
Gopal is being seen to by people
from all over. He is being treated with Chinese medicine and all other
manner of medicinal treats. He is being very well looked after. Recently he
spoke to Shri Munirajji on the phone. He told me that Munirajji sounded
like an 18 year old. Munirajji's only words were "Bhole Baba, Bhole Baba"
when Gopal gave him his profound thanks for all His help.
There isn't much more than that. Gopal is forever dumbfounded with all
the love that flows his way. Ammaji gave him sweets to eat once a
day after her London visit. Tears flow from his cheeks every time He
thinks of Munirajji....
LATEST NEWS FROM GOMA FAMILY - January 2012
Gopal Hari is in good spirits and much improved. He is talking and walking
and grateful for quality time with friends and family. “Thank you for all
your beautiful messages. We can‟t reply to each person but we are reading
messages to Gopal Hari and feel blessed to be part of a big extended
family. We feel comforted by your love, kindness and support. We feel
held in your prayers and Babaji‟s love. Please keep praying ! We are all
one family.”
http://gomaretreat.wordpress.com/
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Editorial Information
The International Haidakhandi Journal (IHJ) which incorporates the Indian
Haidakhandi Samaj News, is published twice a year at mid-summer and
mid-winter.
It is edited and published by Rob and Gaby in Oxford
supported by the Editorial Board of Alok Banerjee in India, Gayatri Devi
and Lok Nath in USA, and Raghuvir in Holland. Primarily, publication is
on the international website of the Haidakhandi Samaj:
http://www.haidakhandisamaj.org/. See below for details of printing in
India. Please consider printing and distributing it in your own country.
Contact: [email protected]
The responsibility for the
content of the IHJ lies with the Editors, with the support of their Editorial
Board, however the Editors do not take responsibility for individual‟s
stories or country information. The Editors reserve the right to edit
information sent to us, for the purpose of shortening the length of articles
or improving written English or presentation. Finally, we would like to
heartily thank all contributors and interviewees for their invaluable help in
creating this edition, and we would like to apologise for the delayed
publication of this edition.
This Journal is printed in India by the Haidakhandi Samaj, Regd Office:
54 Hanuman Road, New Delhi -110 001 Regd No. Delhi – S-14556
International Haidakhandi Journal - No. 6
will be published in Summer 2012.


Please send in:
Your news from your ashrams, centres and national samaj
Your letters, book reviews, stories and comments
Before May 31st 2012 please to [email protected]
We would like some new blood to help us in compilation and publishing
of the Journal. Particularly needed is someone who is more computer
skilled re- publishing the Journal in a new layout – more 21st Century
style. If you feel inspired to offer yourself to help in this way the Editors
would be delighted ! We also need more reader participation: please
send in your ideas and contributions for the Summer 2012 edition. Many
thanks from the editorial team. Bhole Baba Ki Jai.
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Have courage ! Yoga, the way of union with God,
is to be courageous. So become like lions.
Babaji.
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