Off to Singapore

Today, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami and Sannyasin Shanmuganathaswami left on their two week journey to Singapore and Malaysia. Upon reaching the airport, the two had a firsthand look at the Airport's island author display, which showcases the Master Course Trilogy, Lumarian Scrolls and The Guru Chronicles, as well as photos of Gurudeva and the monks.

November Chitra Puja

This morning the monks celebrated the Chitra Nakshatra with their monthly padapuja to Gurudeva's Tiruvadi. Bodhinatha is leaving on a two week trip to Singapore and Malaysia today, so the padapuja was held a little earlier than usual, so that he and Shanmuganathaswami could catch their flight. Natyam Rajanatha and Nirvani Nilakanthanatha performed the puja as other monks chanted Sri Rudram.

"Find your actinic spiritual destiny in this life. Learn to live fully each instant, completely in the eternity of the moment. Become refined by constructive, rather than abusive, practices. Become positive through the generation of good deeds, rather than those uncomplimentary experiences we react to and reenact. Yours is a new and positive destiny, one that is true, constant and free from want or dangers. Life ahead for you can only become one of fulfillment and radiance as you adjust to dharmic principles.

"On and on through the mind we travel daily, once awareness has become detached from the limited area of mind it has been trapped in. The journey seems endless! It is. Seek on, seek on. Look in, look in. And on that solid foundation of good character, move into that place in the mind and live there, seeing no difference between the inner and the outer states of fluctuating awareness. Be that now for which you have been striving. The search is within. Go within the mind. Go in and in and in and in and make fathomable the unfathomable depth of Being. You can do it. It has been done countless times over the past several thousand years. Give yourself the great benefit of believing in yourself and flow inward, inward--to the totality of it all."

Off to Rishikesh, Land of Sages

We reached Dehradun airport after a day of flights from Chennai and were escorted into Rishikesh, just half an hour away. The two swamis from Kauai Aadheenam were generously welcomed by the disciples of Sri Swami Omkarananda, whose story has been told in the pages of Hinduism Today and whose Swiss ashram was a part of our story on Hinduism in Europe. Bodhinatha has been to their Rishikesh Ashram, but this is our first visit. We spoke with the swamis about publishing, about guru bhakti and more.

Upon our arrival at the Dehrahdun airport we were greeted by Nageshwari (Padmarajah's wife--from Malaysia) and a local devotee. She is spending several months at the Omkarananda Ashram doing seva. 

We were greeted by three of the senior resident monks who have lived here for decades: Swami Vishveshvarananda, Swami Satchitananda and Swamini Somashekari. We attended their evening 6 pm arati at the ashram's Kamakshi Amman temple. The temples here all follow the South Indian tradition, and the ashram is rightfully proud of the traditional form of the temple. The founder and guru, Swami Omkarananda, is originally from Andhra Pradesh, though he settled in Switzerland and Austria for many years. Right now they have 20 local priests doing the nitya puja and havan. 

After a light dinner, we were taken to a delightful kutir--very clean! We can see the Ganga flowing from our kutir. The ashram is supplied with water from Ganga. So we were fully immersed in sacred water!

The ashram is not exactly on the banks of Ganga but about 600 yards away. They do have another property with a padashala that sits right on the bank of the river. It looks like an ancient Vedic-age place with incredible scenery. Within just a few steps one can walk into the holy waters. They have a four story building that is functional and are building a couple more. The first two floors are utilized by padashala boys, while the top two stories are reserved for monks.

Chennai Gatherings

Yoginathaswami and Sadasivanathaswami are deeply impressed with the scale of development in India. Here in Chennai there is a massive rapid transit train initiative underway that goes for miles and miles, something that will transform the landscape (traffic) here.

Having settled in for a few days, we were able to catch up with our reporting from the road and to sit with many good souls, begin some projects, end others and just spend friendly time with families in the area.

We are in the Chennai airport, online due to our Airtel modem which works everywhere (something that is priced beyond reach for the monks in the US). Swami and I will sleep on the banks of the Ganga tonight, a fact that would certainly have confounded the early sadhus and sannyasins who explored Bharat on foot in those early days. Not to mention that not that many decades ago it would have been unthinkable that this report, replete with photos, could be in your hands within moments of completion.

With infinite blessings from Bharat Mata to the many who are, in fact, but part of the One...

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