In this post I am celebrating His Holiness, Param Pujya Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji!
To some He is Sri Swamiji but to many of us He is Sadguru Deva, Appaji and Tataji!
He is the bearded Master who loves all of us and mankind unconditionally! He is the one who takes care of us selflessly, whose love transitions everything. He is the one with the priceless smile, with the overflowing energy, who gives and gives and only asks when He needs us to do what is necessary for our own good.
The past couple days have been a testimony of Appaji’s unwavering love and selflessness. His entire life is but this has been one microcosm of a much longer story that is representative of His life and transitions everything else! He is Nada Brahma, friend, teacher, Sadguru, healer, protector, Appaji, Tataji, and so much more in one physical form. He is Lord Datta!
In spite of health challenges, prior commitments, His extremely hectic schedule and so much more, Appaji came to Trinidad from Mysore for His devotees in Trinidad and Tobago and created history once again as His every action resulted in a most memorable visit that would forever be in the hearts of all whose lives have been touched by the events of this very short but blessed visit where so many blessed things have happened.
With Appaji’s Grace, an entourage of learned vedic pundits and scholars, all a part of Appaji’s mission travelled to Trinidad from Mysore, India and some from the USA and Canada to ensure that the Maha Rudra Yagam was conducted as it should be and from Day 1 of their arrival, they did excellent service.
In addition to this, devotees came from several different countries to witness the very same and some also, to see His Holiness for the very first time and to do seva. While on one hand His presence is a testimony of His greatness, His every action is a testimony of His greatness! He is the epitome of Truth, Knowledge, Bliss, Grace and Humility! He is Sachchidananda.
Appaji we pray for Your Health. Appaji thank You immensely for all You do for us moment after moment, day after day. Thank You for all that You do for all mankind! You are a blessing to us all! We love You more than words can ever say and value You immensely! You are our Appaji, Tataji to our children, Sadgurudeva to us all! Thank You for loving us, Thank You for guiding us constantly, Thank You for showing us how to live and all the reminders You share with us through social media platforms and Apps. Please accept our humble prostrations at Your Lotus Feet!
Your help is critical as the family needs to raise $50,000 USD and Nurse Annette’s cancer is spreading rapidly. Each contribution is essential in helping them. As many would not be aware Nurse Annette La-Rosa Charles used to work at Petrotrin’s Augustus Long Hospital, Wellness Unit. Today, she needs your help and she needs it urgently!
Please read her story as shared by her husband Earl:
“My wife and I have been married for 45 years and I have been lucky to have a partner who has always been committed to being there for anyone in need. If I had to use one word to describe my wife, it would be ‘Selfless’. As a nurse, her selflessness has touched lives well beyond our immediate family (our kids and grandkids) as she has continually given of her time to make sure that others are well taken care of. It’s just who she is.
As someone who has also been very careful with her diet, exercised regularly and has always been an advocate for wellness and stress management, it was quite a surprise to all of us when she was diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma – a rare and very aggressive type of cancer.
For over 15 years, my wife has supported cancer survivors as the leader of a cancer support group so we all understand that early intervention is critical. Given the anatomy and nature of this type of cancer, she must start chemotherapy immediately.
Needless to say, this has been quite the rollercoaster for the entire family as early scans (including a detailed PET scan which was recently done) initially indicated that there was no cancer present. However, after having severe pain and having her gallbladder removed, tests revealed the presence of cancer that had metastasized and invaded the gallbladder. A subsequent MRI revealed the type of cancer and the extent of the spread, confirming that she is now at Stage 3.
The doctors have explained that this type of cancer needs to be treated urgently given its aggressiveness and location. It is our hope that chemotherapy will reduce the size of the tumors present so that doctors can successfully operate. The funds raised from this GoFundMe will go toward costs associated with her treatment.”
If you can help, please do! If you can share this post, please do! If you can share this link, please do! It’s https://gofund.me/62742a50 Let’s not pass up this opportunity to help Nurse Annette when she needs our help!
“It’s a Happy, Happy, Happy Day! It’s a Holy, Holy Day! “
These are the words which have been playing in my head all day, because for us (meaning the devotees in Trinidad), the celebration is two-fold! The difference is, I am hearing it in Sri Bala Swamiji’s voice and the only other song I stopped to sing today was “Vande Santam Hanumantam” when I heard it in Pt Ganesh Maharaj’s TikTok video being sung by His Holiness Param Pujya Dr Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda!
This was one of the first bhajans of His Holiness that I heard and today I was reminded of my initial visits to the majestically tall Sri Karya Siddhi Hanuman Murti which stands tall in Carapichaima. It is one many Datta devotees enjoy listening to, so I am sharing the YouTube link here.
Why is the celebration two-fold?
Let me explain:
June 9, 2022 marks the 19th Anniversary of the consecration of the 85ft Sri Karya Siddhi Hanuman Murti by His Holiness Pujya Appaji.
At the time when this post is being written, it is already Jyestha Sudha Ekadasi in India. It is also the day when we celebrate the Lunar Birthday of His Holiness and we wish His Holiness a very Happy 80th Birthday!
The 85ft Karya Siddhi Hanuman Murti here in Trinidad is one that reminds us day after day, how blessed we truly are here in Trinidad. No amount of words can ever say how truly grateful we are!
As the day began, for me it didn’t feel like one where I wanted to be rushing and sorting work! Yes, I know work is important and it takes so much of my time, but it was a day when I wanted a different pace and in more ways than one, I got it.
The energy, the peace and the way the entire day unfolded was proof of it!
For those wondering about Sri Karya Siddhi Hanuman, please allow me to share an excerpt from a post on Trinidad Hanuman Datta Mala, “Apart from that, Sri Appaji has always realised from His early visits, that our ancestors brought Hanuman worship in their hearts and minds and would sing his Chalisa if physical worship was not always possible, because of the difficulties they faced! This Hanuman devotion sustained them and helps us now also to overcome all obstacles!”
As described in “The Journey- Memoirs of A Devotee of Parama Pujya Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji,” by Sheetal Prasadji, a very humble and gentle soul who is widely known as a musician and author, who is Trinidadian by birth, “On that most auspicious day, Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji, Pontiff of Datta Peetham and Spiritual Master to countless devotees all over the world, by His Divine Sankalpa, consecrated the Karya Siddhi Anjaneya Temple and later stated, Now He had synthesized Himself with Sri Hanuman and taken permanent residence in my ‘Bhoomi’ my home land (Chapter 31).
With an abundance of posts on Social Media, namely on Facebook to mark this historic occasion, the energy and celebration were evident. They were all filled with so much love with several special moments and memories shared by Datta devotees. For most of the day messages and posts celebrating the anniversary of Lord Hanuman dominated social media and messages celebrating Appaji’s birthday were evident as soon as it was either morning in India or it was morning in other parts of the world.
What made my day was being able to view Puja and Purnahuti live from Avadhoota Datta Peetham in Ashrama and being able to hear Appaji’s message as before one of the live sessions concluded. It gave me renewed energy to do one of the things I love most- writing!
Today was a day of peace, a day of giving thanks and a day for counting blessings! It was also a day of positivity and gentle reminders.
In closing I take this opportunity to wish Appaji a very Happy Birthday 80th Birthday year to You! Please accept our humble Prostrations at Your Lotus Feet!
Today a nation cries. Today a country is brought to its knees. Today hearts were broken into pieces throughout the island. Today tears were shed by many and pain, anguish and anger were evident everywhere.
February 4, 2021- the day the body of Andrea Amy Bharatt was found in the Heights of Aripo, her body thrown over a precipice. This is a day many would not forget. Prayers were being said for the young law clerk to return home safely since she went missing on the evening of Friday 29 January, 2021. Hundreds turned out for a vigil only the evening before while several hunters and trackers had joined the police in the days she went missing- many hoping they would find her alive.
The life of a family was turned upside down as this young woman who had done everything she was told to do was subjected to a horrific end. She travelled with a friend in daylight shortly after finishing work in what appeared to be a registered taxi. However, she was lured into a trap many others would not have expected as the license plate was fake. God only knows how her father is coping. To think that she left home and could not return as she left, to think that they could not say goodbye or hug each as they would is the unfortunate reality that her murder has brought.
To think of her last moments is painful and heartbreaking. To think of the scant disregard and respect for her body as she was assaulted and her body thrown over a precipice is beyond disturbing.
Described as an ‘angel’, Andrea was also described as a soft-spoken, pleasant and very hard working young lady who worked towards her dreams and she greeted everyone she met with a smile. She was one who left many with great memories and there has been an outpouring of love and concern since the day she went missing.
To have raised her alone for the last eight years following the passing of his wife, for her to grow up to be the young woman she was, it means Andrea’s father did an incredible job. It also means the bond they shared would have been a very close one. To have her snatched from him like this and to lose her like this is inconsolable. More so it means more hearts are continuing to break as many think of the irreparable damage done to him and the constant pain and anguish he is facing.
Andrea’s story is one of the many that has brought pain to many in our twin island Republic. This is not the ‘sweet T&T’ Natasha Wilson described years ago. The stories of the tragic end Andrea Bharatt, Ashanti Riley, Krysta Lackpatsingh, Joanna Díaz Sánchez, Rachel Logan, Cindy Joseph, Hope Arismandez, Emily Annamunthodo, Sean Luke, Jezelle Phillip, Ellena Dial and so many others faced have showed the harsh reality of the times we are living in. We pray for each of their souls. We pray for each of their families.
Ashanti as many would remember left home to attend her grandmother’s birthday party. She was on her way to meet her boyfriend and other family members and together they would go to her grandmother’s home but Ashanti never arrived. Like Andrea, she was a beautiful young woman with a beautiful soul. She too was described as a loving young lady who was hard working and she too had a horrific end. She brought joy and laughter to many.
Ashanti had spent her Sunday morning at home with her Mom and when she left little did anyone think that she would never return. Ashanti disappeared on the 29th of November and her corpse was found on Dec 4th; Andrea disappeared on January 29th and her corpse was found on February 4th. Her murder sparked outrage and the ordeal she faced in her final hours was surely inflicted by persons with no compassion, no mercy and no respect.
Let us go back to a most tragic day in 2004! When Krysta Lackpatsingh’s life was taken in 2004, it was on a day when she had returned home early to type up a report on the family’s computer because a computer had not yet been installed at work. Krysta, a Probation Officer attached to the Point Fortin Magistrates Court was found by her parents, Jade and Steve Lackpatsingh in a pool of blood. She had been stabbed at least 18 times. Always pleasant, she loved helping others and she loved life. She was beautiful inside and out. Her laughter could fill a room and she had a special ability to soothe those around her.
What wrong did Krysta do? She came home early to complete her work because it could not be done at her place of work and instead had her life taken in a most tragic way, heartlessly and brutally. Krysta’s death shocked the entire Cedros community.
The torture Andrea, Ashanti, Krysta and each of the other victims endured is unthinkable. So too is the torture their families have endured and continue to endure. When several of these victims did the right thing how can we say they did wrong? Their lives were ended by heartless, cold, unfeeling monsters that are roaming our land. Who are they to take lives they did not give life? Yes, once there is birth, death is inevitable but when that time comes is not to be determined by man.
We need to wake up and look out for each other. We need to be vigilant and careful. We need to take measures for good protection and we need to keep praying. We need to be thankful for our loved ones and for our time with them.
Yes, many of us did not know any of these victims, but it has not stopped us from caring and praying. Do not let their stories be stories which will be forgotten. Do not let their lives be a distant memory in time to come. Do not forget their families. Do what you can to offer them comfort and prayer. In essence, keep applying the golden rule- Treat others the way you want to be treated.
The lives of each of these victims matter! Let us remember what they taught us, how they have inspired many and what they have showed us. The lives of their families matter too! This is not about you or me but it is about every single one of us!
We celebrate each of these Angels! Together they have shown us how inner beauty radiates outward! Together they have shown us how rising in the midst of adversity is imperative! Together they have shown us that the purity of their hearts is something they were blessed with! They were gone too soon but they will never be forgotten!
Today I celebrate our India Pilgrimage 2019! A little over a year ago we were blessed to be in Mysore! One year ago we were blessed to be in Varanasi! One year ago we were blessed to take bath in the Ganges! As I have said time and time again our pilgrimage to India was the blessing of a lifetime.
Had anyone told us what 2020 would be like except our Sadguru we would have questioned it because a first visit to Mysore Ashrama is a visit that will be followed by other such visits!
No one I believe would have thought that Covid-19 would bring the world to its feet. No one would have thought the travel industry would be brought to a standstill. No one would have thought life as we knew it would be replaced by the ‘new normal’.
Our visit to India was a trip that will never be forgotten! We left Trinidad on September 23 and arrived in India on September 25. We arrived at the Ashrama in the evening after a 3 hour drive. It was scenic and provided a first hand view of India as it really is- a mixture of hustle, bustle, honking horns of taxis and rickshaws, well maintained roads and businesses of all types lining the highway.
The next morning we were invited to join our Datta family from Trinidad (they had arrived a few days before) on a trip to Mekadatu where His Holiness was born. Along the way we saw so many beautiful sights- fields of flowers in full bloom, rice paddies well cultivated and maintained by hard working farmers, a buzz of activity in the marketplace, school children going to school and people in general going about their daily activities with pride and a sense of duty.
Our arrival at the temple where Jayalakshmi Maa stayed was peaceful and tranquil. The humility and the love of the people there is something which will always be with us. One thing that stood out was the peacefulness of the monkey who freely moved from tree to tree.
Had anyone told us that we would be crossing the river in a basket we might have doubted. With the water higher than it usually was, it was certainly an experience and an experience that was guided by SadGuru. There was no time to think of being afraid of anything and the peace and serenity that was with us was incomparable. The sound of the water as it moved, the monkey that moved freely, the small Hanuman temple where we were able to pay our respects and receive Darshan- all memories we will cherish!
We were fortunate to spend the night in Jayalakshmi Puram which is very sacred grounds and has a lot of spiritual significance for all Datta devotees. This journey allowed us to get a valuable understanding of the life of His Holiness and His parents, Sri Jayalakshmi Maa and Sri Narahari Teerthan Swamiji. The next morning we got the opportunity to walk through the village where His Holiness lived in His childhood days and in the afternoon we were able to visit Sri Jayalakshmi Nilayam. Our last stop before returning to Ashrama was Sogala- very sacred grounds surrounded by lush green grass and beautiful well maintained surroundings.
Our return to Ashrama occurred with us finding the Ashrama with a buzz of activity with Navatri preparations well underway. Experiencing Navatri in the Ashrama is beyond description.
It meant seeing the ladies busy sweeping from early morning, doing beautiful rangolis, looking at the ladies who led the procession each day dressed in the colour for the day with the kalasas on their heads, the dancers and singers moving in unison and then those strategically positioned at the front of the chariot carrying His Holiness and Sri BalaSwamiji. It was in every sense truly festive, celebratory and filled with energy.
It also meant seeing His Holiness beautifully dressed every morning on the chariot to Nada Mantapa where the devis would be aartied and gifted, Puja would be conducted and discourse would be given. It also meant bhajans from visiting groups who would have the privilege of performing while His Holiness conducted Puja.
Following the morning programme it meant being able to go upstairs to take the Darshan of the Divine Mother. Each day was a blessing! Following Navratri we were able to visit different parts of the Ashrama and nearby places like the Market, the temples at Chamundi Hills and the shopping area just to name a few. Added to this Divali was a memorable occasion that will always be with us.
Our journey from Mysore took us to Bangalore where the peacefulness, the divinity and the overall atmosphere reminded us of the Ashrama we had earlier left in Mysore. Undoubtedly the divinity, the positivity, the energy- everything provided insight on the spirituality and divinity of these spiritual grounds.
The next day we travelled to Varanasi, a city steeped in history and religion. Different yes, but the walk to the Shivala Ghat the next morning where we took bath in the Ganges was an experience we would never forget. The beauty of the sun over the Ganges is something we also will never forget. The steps that made it easier to step into the water were quite helpful too. It was not just about being in Varanasi but it was about being in Varanasi with His Holiness our Sadguru and with His Holiness Sri Bala Swamiji for the consecration of the Varanasi temple and for the Maha Ati Rudra Yagna. With guidance from both we were able to see holy sites and maximize the extent of our travels! Every day brought something new that was reflected in various ways! Every day provided something to treasure! The experience will always stay with us! It meant time in the presence of divinity, visiting the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, the Vishalakshi Devi temple, visiting the Kedarnath temple and several other sacred places throughout the nearby areas.
If you would like to read more about our 2019 India Pilgrimage please click on the links below. Please also click on the links to the videos above and do also take the time to view the photos that have been included.
In this post I am Celebrating Life’s Lessons! Regardless of how many times your brain may feel saturated, at some point something happens that shows you it isn’t but you have time to take in more.
Every day is a new one and every day brings a new dawn. Let that be your hope that you are not alone! Your Master, whatever name He is called by, is always with you, guiding and protecting you.
Every now and again it may happen and you might be flooded with something unexpected! Every now and again someone may show you something you lost sight of or something to snap you out of the illusion you have been living in. Many may think they have the right to judge but in truth and in fact they don’t. That is a fact that remains whether people want to hear it or not.
Friendship and love should never be mixed with envy. Friendship and love should never be synonymous with being selfish. Friendship and love should never be negative. Friendship and love should never be toxic.
Always give yourself the best chance possible! Always learn not to expect anything from anyone but always focus on being you and focus on being the best you that there is! I made a decision a long time ago that giving up or quitting is not an option at least not for me. Those who know me would know why! Those who don’t can question it but they may never understand why.
Like you I have had my fair share of experiences and I continue to have them day after day. Don’t let life break you and don’t let it trick you into living an illusion or getting entangled in one! Don’t let circumstances get the better of you!
Being in pain doesn’t mean you are justified in causing someone else pain. Nothing justifies being jealous of someone so don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for what you have or what you deserve.
Think of every cold shoulder you got, every harsh word you have received, every tear you shed and every ounce of pain you experienced! Thank God you did not let it define you! Thank God you are where you are and Thank God you are existing!
After you do this I urge you to take the time to do the following: 1. Celebrate every challenge you have overcome!
2. Celebrate every time you have turned a frown upside down.
3. Celebrate every negative you have walked away from.
4. Celebrate every negative you have turned into a positive.
5. Celebrate every toxic situation you have walked away from.
6. Celebrate the fact that you have removed every toxic person who is no longer in your life or you are in the process of doing exactly that.
7. Celebrate every opportunity you have grabbed and made the most out of.
8. Celebrate every genuine person who has become a part of your life.
9. Celebrate every time you have done something for you.
10. Celebrate your growth.
11. Celebrate your strength!
12. As you focus on your healing celebrate how far you have come on your journey.
13. Celebrate the success and happiness of others.
14. Celebrate every day you survived.
15. Celebrate every today and every tomorrow you are yet to see.
“Karya” means wish or act. “Siddhi” means realizing. Therefore Karya Siddhi Hanuman is one who fulfills your wishes”.
Sri Karya Siddhi Hanuman stands majestically tall at the Sri Dattatreya Yoga Centre in Carapichaima. His is the 85 ft Murti which is known by people the world over and it is the largest in the Western Hemisphere. He represents strength and He represents victory. He gives Protection, Courage and He is synonymous with friendship, loyalty, compassion, bravery, purity of mind, thought and action! On a day like today thousands would make their way to the Ashrama to make offerings, give thanks, do puja, chant and glorify His name. Today however is quite different.
Today would be a day steeped in history as Hanuman devotees cannot do so! Why? We, like so much more of the global human population, are forced to stay at home to protect ourselves, our families, our communities and others because of Covid-19, the global pandemic that continues to wreak havoc on humanity by its spread and increasing number of deaths. Added to that Tuesday being Lord Hanuman’s Day was celebrated as Lord Hanuman’s Day by most of the Western world.
As I am typing this I have stopped for a view minutes to take in the Facebook Live from His Holiness Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji! I am blessed to witness Poornaphala, I am blessed to witness Homa and I have been able to see many devotees from Trinidad and around the world being blessed to experience the very same! I have also been blessed to see Lord Hanuman as He stands majestically tall from a beautiful vantage point at Sri Datta Venkateswara Temple. Priceless!
Today, in Celebrating Hanuman Jayanti, I also take this time to celebrate His Holiness Param Pujya Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji – our dear Sadgurudeva, Appaji, Nada Brahma- and Sri Datta Vijayananda Teertha Swamiji- our dear Bala Swamiji! Both always take care of us. They always guide, They always share, They are always selfless and both show us sincerity, humility and all that is good and kind. They have made it possible for us to keep our focus in this very trying time of Covid-19 when so many are confined to their homes. If I may say, They have provided the oxygen to keep us going!
Day after day we are given the opportunity to look at various lives from Mysore Ashrama. Appaji has given devotees an opportunity to guess the Bhajan that will be sung, day after day we are invited to participate in Puja, there is daily Kriya Yoga and this is in addition to all the other daily messages and activities to participate in.
Photo Credit: Avadhoota Datta Peetham
How can we make this a true celebration?
Keep being good and doing good by being true to yourself and being your brother’s keeper
Chant Sri Hanuman Chalisa. Record your count and submit it on Avadhoota Datta Peetham. Do not just do this today but do it every day!
Chant Sri Hanumanji’s Mantras
Be thankful for life and for this lifeline we have been given
Make today count and let every day after bring added value!
Click on the links for each of the videos shared here and sing with Appaji
Use the Bhajan Mala App to learn the words for the Bhajans
Keep your focus
Keep praying and keep giving thanks
As we thank Lord Hanuman for all His blessings, let us also pray for the health of our dear Appaji- our Sadgurudeva- and our dear Sri Bala Swamiji. Appaji and Sri Bala Swamiji, thank You for all that You continue to do for us. Please accept our Humble Pranams and Prostations at both of Your Lotus Feet!
This post is dedicated to celebrating our loved ones and in particular those who have passed on.
In life you may see it as winning some and losing some but don’t see it as a race or a contest. See it as a journey with lessons that is meant to be lived to the fullest. Things may come unexpectedly and we can all agree that none of us is sure what tomorrow will bring.
Let us look at it like this: Life is a journey and on that journey there are many experiences. Just as people come into our lives so too we enter other people’s lives. Just as we make our entrances and exits so do they and the exits we make or they make are in preparation for a new chapter of the journey. Not all exits are the same and some are understandably harder than others.
The time we spend with each other gives us time to experience and to learn. In essence it gives us time to do good and to be good. It gives us time to learn, time to love, time to make the most of. It gives us time to celebrate the time we share, the opportunities we are given to learn from each other and to create memories while celebrating the opportunity those in our lives have given us to become better and do better.
This being said it is important to live each day as your last, make the most of each moment, do the things you need to do and give it the absolute best that you can. Life is uncertain and unpredictable if you want to call it such so get in the habit of making each moment matter.
Photo Credit: Mandy Hale
If you cannot for one reason or another (such as health or immobility) be thankful for all that you have and all that you have done and keep praying. Celebrate all that you are and all that you have accomplished. Take the time too to celebrate all your loved ones and all they have accomplished and all they stood for.
Photo Credit: loveliveson.com
Though we are taught to accept that when there is birth, death is inevitable, life’s journey may shake us in some unexpected ways. God, regardless of how we refer to Him, is caring, loving and forgiving. He nurtures, He protects and He guides so being angry with Him is not an option. Instead ask Him for courage and strength to deal with your loss. I know it is easier said than done but I maintain that I am no expert and I hold firmly to my belief that you cannot tell someone how to feel if you are not in their shoes.
Grief should not be bottled so don’t bottle it.
Just as you celebrate you, take the time to celebrate the loved ones who have passed on.
Remember their smiles, their words, the love they showered you with and the lessons they taught you. Remember the moments you shared and the impact they have had on your life. Thank God for the time you had together. Ask for peace of mind for yourself and courage to face the realities of what is.
Jaya Guru Datta! The countdown to the visit of His Holiness Pujya Sri Vijayananda Teertha Swamiji (our beloved Sri Bala Swamiji) is officially on and mere hours away. The coming days will without a doubt be days to remember! They will be days of prayer, spiritual upliftment and a spiritually enlightening and rewarding journey!
This is what 10-14 April 2019 will be for Datta devotees of Trinidad and Tobago and Datta devotees from around the world who will be joining with us for what will prove to be a historic Ram Navami celebration and Hanuman Day of prayer.
We will be blessed to be in the presence of pure Divinity as we will be blessed with the visit of His Holiness Pujya Sri Vijayananda Teertha Swamiji (our beloved Sri Bala Swamiji), Junior Pontiff at Avadhoota Datta Peetham. His Holiness Pujya Sri Vijayananda Teertha Swamiji (our beloved Sri Bala Swamiji), returns to Trinidad after 14 years to bless us with His presence, His messages and discourses from Sundar Kand. His Holy feet will touch our soil (Dharti Mata) and He will bless this land.
For those who are aware Trinidad holds special significance in Sri Bala Swamiji’s life as this is where He began His life as a Swami (following ceremony at Aripo Datta Ganga) and Bala Swamiji’s visit is one many have been eagerly awaiting for several years now as it is in a very real sense, His return home if we can humbly call it such! Just as we always look forward to the presence of our beloved Appaji (His Holiness Param Pujya Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji)- His physical presence, His graceful walk, the sound of His voice, His radiant smile, His chanting of mantras, His singing of Bhajans, His discourses and messages- we also wait in eager anticipation with thousands of devotees for Sri Bala Swamiji’s physical presence, His graceful walk, the sound of His voice, His radiant smile, His chanting of mantras, His singing of Bhajans, His discourses and messages.
It promises to be epic, historic and memorable. The programmes of Thursday and Friday at the Sri Dattatreya Yoga Centre will be followed by the Hanuman Day of Prayer on Sri Ram Navami day (Saturday 13th April 2019) which will begin at 5am and conclude at 9pm. This Hanuman Day of Prayer is designed for families to take part in a range of activities which include Yoga, Prayer and Puja, Hanuman Chalisa chanting, a Bhajan concert, Mangal Aarti, a live address by His Holiness Param Pujya Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji (our beloved Appaji) and a host of activities that are especially designed for kids.
Sri Bala Swamiji’s final day of programmes in Trinidad will be held on Sunday.
Of primary significance is His life of unwavering devotion to Sadguru, His selflessness, His commitment to service and to mankind, His humility, His purity of thought and action which parallel that of Lord Hanuman on so many levels. Permit me to say that on the occasion of Ram Nawami there is no other fitting tribute to Lord Rama than to have Lord Hanuman in physical form, leading the proceedings and marking the occasion with readings from Sundar Kand.
His Holiness Sri Bala Swamiji’s visit is in preparation for Maha Rudra Yagna which His Holiness Param Pujya Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji (our beloved Appaji) announced will take place in Trinidad in 2020. As you continue chanting “Shivaaya Rudraaya Namaha” be sure to register your count on Yoga Sangeeta.
Be sure to save the dates, visit the Ashrama (DYC, Carapichaima), participate in Pujas and activities, and do everything you can to ensure that you are a part of this historical spiritual occasion.
“A boomerang returns back to the person who throws it.” -Vera Nazarian
“Some day people will ask me what is the key to my success…and I will simply say, “Good Karma.”- K. Crumley
This post is dedicated to Celebrating Karma! Many may think it is quite a strange post but honestly to me it is not and as you read on you will understand exactly why this is so!
With regards to the question, why did I choose to celebrate karma this is why- if you know you are living a good life then you have nothing to worry about. More so, if you know that you live according to the line, “Treat others as you would like to be treated”, then surely you have nothing to worry about. This is the way I have always lived and it has always shaped my life. I am eternally grateful to my parents (my Mom, Mrs. Doris Thomas and my Dad, the late Mr. Ramchit Ramesh Thomas) for bringing me up the way they did and for the guidance they provided. Also I am eternally grateful for the guidance of His Holiness Param Pujya Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda who we affectionately refer to as our Appaji who on a daily basis reminds us we are on the right track when we “Do Good” and “Be Good”.
Karma can be either good or bad. This is because good actions and thoughts merit good results and vice versa for bad karma. Nothing good can come from doing bad.
I am not one to live with my head in the clouds and I do not intend to start now. The numerous problems plaguing our country is highly disturbing (people losing jobs over the last couple years, the events of the last week with the closure of the oil refinery, medical centres and administrative offices which displaced so many more, cost of living being what it is, people losing everything due to flooding throughout the country, news of more and more people missing on a daily basis) and this reminds us urgently that we must keep praying and keep our faith.
So then why hurt others?
Why be selfish?
Why be unfair to others?
Why try to take what is not yours?
Why take advantage of others?
Why disregard others?
Why take joy in the pain of others?
Why place people in unfair situations to get something?
Why be greedy?
Why do you choose not to be straight with others?
There is no point in any of these negative acts!
Instead we should aim to do the following:
1. Help others
2. Be kind
3. Look out for each other
4. Take an active role in making positive change rather than be a passive bystander
5. Do what we can to protect each other
6. Be fair in our thinking and in our actions
7. Treat others in the same manner that we would like to be treated
8. Do your best at all times
9. Make a concerted effort not to hurt others
10. Think before we act
11. Practice active listening
12. Be the change that we want to see in others
13. Focus on our goals
14. Realize that when something feels wrong it usually is
15. Understand that doing good comes from being good
16. Accept that staying away from toxic people is advised as it helps to remove the cloud of negativity that can damage you
17. Never lose hope and accept that God does not leave you alone
18. Trust yourself
19. Be your best friend rather than your worst enemy
20. Remember that life’s journey does not come without challenges