New York is home to Sri Chinmoy's home and spiritual headquarters where he trained others in the contemplative life. He named it Aspiration Ground and it is alive and well; it is a place to get away from the disturbance of the city noise and dive within. This was Paramacharya's second visit to this oasis in the middle of a Queens town, a park of peace that has kept this region balanced for decades. On October 11 this Bengali Guru's devotees will mark ten years since his Great Departure. As you will recall, Sri Chinmoy was among the most prominent Indian masters to bring meditation and true sadhana to the West. He was our Hindu of the Year in 1997 and he presented Gurudeva with the U Thant Peace Award at the United Nations in 2000. So this visit of the shishyas of two illumined masters was sweet and profound.
A divine friendship between two orders--BAPS Swaminarayan Fellowship of over 1,000 sadhus and the small Nandinatha Sampradaya--was celebrated during an event with thousands of devotees in attendance. When the BAPS monks heard that Hinduism Today's editor, Paramacharaya Sadasivanathaswami, was coming to New York, they reached out to share that the timing was amazing. Satguru Mahant Swami Maharaj, successors to Pramukh Swami Maharaj, was completing three months in America and they hoped Paramacharya could honor Mahant Swami on the stage on his final night when he was to say farewell and return to India.
The night was also special in that a major scriptural text was being released, and the author, Swami Bhadreshdas, has been working with Paramacharya on projects for about two years. Bhadreshdas has also visited Kauai Aadheenam when he presented an earlier 11-volume work to Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami.
It was a true confluence of the highest nature. This humble slideshow portrays only a fraction of the astounding love and bhakti that the BAPS Fellowship brings wherever they go. The sheer number of monks and sincere devotees in one place is intoxicating. Our hope is that you get a sense of the detail and perfection that this order puts into their temples, their gatherings and their teachings. Jai Swaminarayan! Jai Kailasa Parampara! May we keep this bond for yugas to come.
Suresh and Shanthi Ramamurthi hosted Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami for a delightful satsang. This would be the last event for the travel mission's California stop, and then off to New York.
Join Paramacharya as he walks through The Huntington: a collections-based educational and research institution established by Henry E. Huntington(1850-1927). In addition to the library, the institution houses an extensive art collection with a focus in 18th and 19th-century European art and 17th to mid-20th-century American art. The property also includes approximately 120 acres of specialized botanical landscaped gardens, most notably the "Japanese Garden", the "Desert Garden", and the "Chinese Garden" (Liu Fang Yuan).
The Library building was designed in 1920, by the southern California architectMyron Hunt in theMediterranean Revival style. The library contains a substantial collection of rare books and manuscripts, concentrated in the fields of British and American history, literature, art, and the history of science. Spanning from the 11th century to the present, the library's holdings contain 7 million items, over 400,000 rare books, and over a million photographs, prints, and other ephemera. Highlights include one of 11 vellum copies of the Gutenberg Bible known to exist, theEllesmere manuscript of Chaucer ca. 1410, and letters and manuscripts byGeorge Washington,Thomas Jefferson,Benjamin Franklin, andAbraham Lincoln. It is the only library in the world with the first two quartos ofHamlet; it holds the manuscript ofBenjamin Franklin's autobiography, Isaac Newtons personal copy of his Philosophiae Natural is Principia Mathematica with annotations in Newtons own hand. the first seven drafts of Henry David Thoreau's Walden, John James Audubon's Birds of America, and first editions and manuscripts from authors such asCharles Bukowski, Octavia E. Butler. Jack London, Alexander Pope, William Blake, Mark Twain, and William Wordsworth.
The Desert Garden, one of the world's largest and oldest outdoor collections of cacti and other succulents, contains plants from extreme environments, many of which were acquired by Henry E. Huntington and William Hertrich (the garden curator). One of the Huntington's most botanically important gardens, the Desert Garden, brings together a plant group largely unknown and unappreciated in the beginning of the 1900s. Containing a broad category of xerophytes (aridity-adapted plants), the Desert Garden grew to preeminence and remains today among the world's finest, with more than 5,000 species.
For more info check out their wiki at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huntington_Library
Continuing with our traveling mission, the traveling monks found themselves in the Hollywood district where movie making is a part of life. They then met with the wonderful Muttulingam family in Manhattan Park, California, and then on to SpaceX for a inside peek at how we are going to colonize Mars.