Jaya Guru Datta
It is because His Holiness Param Pujya Dr Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji does nothing that goes against nature but He does everything with deep love and sincerity. The depth of His love and compassion extends to all of humanity and it is this understanding that has led Datta devotees from India and around the world to heed His call.
Celebrating Varanasi 2019 is the celebration of a true blessing that has brought thousands of Datta devotees together because the Divine Master has willed it to be so. Varanasi which is also called Kashi or Benares is of deep religious significance. November 2019 marks the inauguration of the Varanasi branch of Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Ashrama, Avadhoota Datta Peetham and it also marks the Ati Rudra Yaga being held at Chet Singh Maidan where over 121 pundits are present chanting mantras and doing Homa that has brought together thousands of devotees in one venue for 11 days of worship.
This is because this visit is one which gives all devotees an opportunity to search within and engage in true self discovery. It is not the dusty streets of Varanasi or the narrow alleys that might be called filthy and filled with hundreds of scooters.
It is the entire opposite- the purity of mind and action that begins with self and allows the individual to experience self and develop spiritual growth through yoga and pranayama, chanting of mantra, participation in Puja, reading holy books like Sri Datta Darshanam, doing seva, meditation and availing oneself of opportunities like taking bath in the Ganges- Holy Mother Ganga and visits to Holy Sites that are known for being sacred and also for their deep spirituality. More so it is a time to remember duty and responsibility and it is not a time to deviate from either.
Whether it feels surreal or it doesn’t, an opportunity like this doesn’t come by chance and we can all agree that it must be a blessing for anyone who can be here.
To see the sun set, anyone can tell you that it is a blessing and it is a rich orange shade of the vastrams Datta devotees wear. To see the sun rise over Mother Ganga is priceless. This river which flows from the Himalayas (the home of Lord Shiva) is a confluence of the Alaknanda, Bhagirathi and Gangotri. To be in the presence of Lord Datta Himself who is Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva is a blessing and in addition to Lord Shiva, Lord Surya and Mother Ganga who are also in the same place in one of the oldest cities in India that is the home of one of the 12 jyotirlingas (the jyotirlingam at the Kashi Vishwanath temple), Ganapati Temple (Chintamani Ganapati Temple), Khedareshwarnath Temple and Vishalakshmi Temple.
Varanasi is steeped in religious significance for Hindus and being here clearly means you are at the centre of the Universe with the Crowning Glory of the Universe. It is the place where Lord Narayan is present on every street, a place known for several Surya Narayan Temples, Kal Bhairav Temples (as Lord Kal Bhairav is the kotwal- gatekeeper of Varanasi). The vast presence of monkeys are an indication of Lord Hanuman’s presence which together with Mother Gowri’s presence (evident from the hundreds of cows that can be seen on the streets).
Sri Guru Datta