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!
“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!
Yes, you have read the title correctly! This post is dedicated to announcing the Kindle publication of ‘Lotuses at His Holy Feet’. For those who are familiar with this book, it is a book of poetry that tells a story and it was written by Sheetal K Prasad, a Trinidadian by birth, who is an ardent devotee of His Holiness Param Pujya Dr Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji. In this book Uncle Sheetal refers to His Holiness as, “my MASTER, my Lord, my sole reason for being.”
Lotuses at His Holy Feet is non-fiction and it is a testimony of Uncle Sheetal’s experiences as well as his love for His Holiness, his love for JayaLakshmi Maa and his love for Sri Datta Vijayananda Teertha Swamiji who we affectionately call Sri Bala Swamiji. More so it is a testimony and celebration of the greatness of the divinity each represents meaning a celebration of the greatness of our Sadguru who is the epitome of Truth, Knowledge and Bliss, as Lord Dattatreya, as Nada Brahma, as our Saviour, as the Crowning Glory of the Universe as I often times refer to His Holiness, and it is a celebration of His Mother-the Divine Mother-, His Guru as well as a celebration of Sri Bala Swamiji- Junior Pontiff at Avadhoota Datta Peetham who exudes humility, compassion and divinity.
Those who know Uncle Sheetal would know of his sincerity, his humility and his immense talent as a singer and musician. His life and messages provide us with a lot to learn. He is well-known and well-loved!
When you click on the link please take the time to read the book’s description aptly reads:
As William Wordsworth once said, “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.”
The book description goes on to say, “The verses penned here are from Sheetal K Prasad, who is widely known for his love of music, more so his love of the bhajans of His Holiness Param Pujya Dr Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda. It is a compilation of poetry and represents an emotional outburst that shows the great joy experienced by the author. Here he acknowledges the omnipresence of his Master, His Holiness Param Pujya Dr Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji.
This is an invitation to join the poet on this journey he narrates and immerse yourself in the peace, tranquility and rush of emotions he experiences.”
This is an invitation I extend to you with more good news! Uncle Sheetal’s book is available in Kindle Edition on all Amazon Marketplaces and these are the links below:
Even better, the awesome news doesn’t end here! You don’t need to have a Kindle to purchase the book! As I have mentioned time and time again you don’t need a Kindle device but you can click on the link that says, “Read with our Free App” that allows you to download the Free App and it can be read on your phone, laptop, tablet or desktop!
The beauty of having the book online is that all things considered having the book in Kindle format presents you with several benefits. Three (3) of the main reasons are as follows:
It is easily available by clicking on the link and making an online purchase, it doesn’t require physical storage space and considering the current situation we are faced with (the Covid-19 pandemic) having books in Kindle Edition means not having to travel physical distances to access books like this which will offer us peace of mind, tranquility and insight into the greatness of His Holiness, Jayalakshmi Maa and Sri BalaSwamiji.
As always I remind you that this is yours for the taking! Welcome the experience and enjoy the Kindle journey! Sri Guru Datta!
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.
“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!
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/habitats/plastic-pollution/ A simple click on the above link would help to paint the picture of the reality that mankind faces as a result of plastic pollution. One very important fact we can all attest to is that the Earth is in trouble because of our use of plastics. This is primarily due to how humans pollute the Earth because of the way plastics are used and more so because of the way plastics are disposed of.
On October 17, 2019 His Holiness Param Pujya Dr Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda issued a call for all ashramites to stop using plastic. To each His Holiness provided an eco toothbrush. Those who are devotees and followers of His Holiness Param Pujya Dr Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda would surely understand that His Holiness does nothing that is against nature and He also does nothing that is against mankind. Instead it is the very opposite and His love knows no bounds. His actions are always filled with thought, love, sincerity and compassion and this is always directed at all of Creation.
His visit to Antarctica https://www.dattapeetham.org/events/2013/sri-swamiji-in-antarctica-29-dec-2013-to-07-jan-2014 is an example of this. The care given to animals wherever His Holiness goes is another indication of this. Shuka Vana which is home to over 475 species of birds, the koi pond, the Bonsai Garden which has a plant for each of the 365 days of the year, the Gau Shala and His visit to various places around the world is proof of this. One particular memory which stands out in my mind is seeing squirrels and monkeys up and down trees and running around the Ashrama. The way that they are comfortable and the way that they are at peace is evident. No questions need to be asked. The truth is they may not be able to live as peacefully as this in any other part of the country.
As humans we owe it to Mother Earth (Dharti Maa) to take care of Her because she has blessed us with the food which sustains and nourishes us and the land where we make our homes. However we should not take care of the Earth because we feel obligated to but it should be because we care and we genuinely want to. One very real way of doing that is by reducing our use of plastics. It is doable and it is very possible. All it requires is firm conviction (your thought and belief process) and action (actually efforts and measures to reduce your use of plastics).
Here as some ways to help the environment: 1. Recycle- ( glass bottles, plastic bottles, paper, unused books) You can do this by checking locally in your country of residence for this. Those who live in Trinidad and Tobago can refer to this previous post (https://rachaelathomasj.com/2018/01/23/celebrating-nature-recyling) 2. Reduce wastage meaning use just what is needed. Do not use what is not needed. Do not be complacent and mismanage. Such actions will not help anyone. 3. Support animal relief efforts. Provide help at animal shelters or render assistance by helping however you can – feeding, care and the upkeep of the homes of animals. Share information on protecting endangered species and lead by example. Whether it is leather back turtles, birds, fishes or snakes, help animals that you can help. 4. Switch to eco friendly products. His Holiness set a precedent at the Mysore Ashrama. No use of plastics now means eco friendly toothbrushes, compostable garbage bags and no plastic bottles. In essence it means an opportunity to now use eco friendly water bottles that are BPA free and greater use of copper water bottles. These are products you can adopt in your everyday lives. These products are available online and many businesses in Trinidad have eco friendly bags for when you purchase goods or they allow you to bring your eco-friendly bags.
This being said it is advisable to do some research and find out what is available where you live. Go through the internet, go through social media and see what is available for you! Here are some other things you can also look into using: 1. Bamboo cutlery 2. Compostable plates 3. Bamboo fiber cleaning towels 4. Recyclable storage bags 5. Dissolvable due free detergent 6. Reusable bottles 7. Reusable coffee cups 8. Metal straws 9. Paper wrapping Every step counts! Every action matters! Do what you can and make a difference! Save a life, help protect our Earth!
As the saying goes nothing happens before its time. Do not stop to question but accept and do. Savour every moment because tomorrow is promised to no one. Be good and do good.
The morning of September 25, 2019 was unlike any other. Having left Trinidad on the evening of September 23 (less than 48 hours earlier) we got a very wonderful surprise that Annmarie, a very close member of our Datta family was travelling the same route and on the same flight as we were with her nephew Shivam. Our arrival in India on the morning of September 25 was in every sense a true indication that we were exactly where we were supposed to be.
Having spent a rather super hectic week the week before doing so many things that needed to be done, the morning of September 25, 2019 marked our arrival in India. After a delay of 1hour 45 minutes at Heathrow Airport the day before we arrived in Bangalore for what prove to be a most beautiful sunrise as it was unlike any other and had we arrived when we were scheduled to then there would be nothing of the sort to see.
The clouds were majestic and white. It can easily be equated to what we see in the movies when we see the heavenly regions and the captain made our descent truly scenic and memorable. It lay the perfect introduction for a journey of a lifetime meant to be experienced only true your own eyes rather than be coloured through someone else’s vision.
Our arrival to India was further welcomed by our dear Datta brother Mohana Datta who did everything to ensure that our journey to the Ashrama which was 3 hours away was comfortable and safe. On our arrival at the Ashrama we met other members of our Datta family from Trinidad- Kesh Datta, Auntie Indira, Uncle Sam and Auntie Christine. We were also fortunate to meet with Uncle Sheetal soon after.
While everything felt surreal we knew it was in every sense heaven on earth, Utopian but more as it is purely blissful and every thing and every happening echoed that all is well, all is right and this is the best place to be. Words are inadequate to fully describe our visit to the Ashrama as this presented a very scenic, peaceful, soothing atmosphere in a tranquil and beautiful Ashrama which is of idyllic beauty and is filled with love, life and meaning. A further blessing was our room which provides an absolute perfect view of Nada Mantapa.This was not all.
Walking around in an ambience that is a sanctuary was and is always a blessing. As one with unwavering faith in Sadguru it is the truest representation which shows plainly that our dear Sadguru, our beloved Appaji, His Holiness Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda gives His love to all life and all creation. To be in Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Ashrama is nothing short of a blessing. To have His Holiness Param Pujya Dr Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda with us and to be in such close proximity to Him is a great blessing and to have His Holiness Sri Datta Vijayananda Theertha Swamiji present is also a huge blessing.
With Lord Venkateshara temple, Lord Hanuman temple, Lord Datta, Lord Ganapathy, Rajarajeshwari Maa and all other deities present as well as Shuka Vana, Gau Shala, Bonsai, Kriya Yoga, Nada Mantapa, the Vishwam Museum, the birth pillars and Ayurvedic Medicine all in close proximity pure love is in full abundance. After a night’s rest we were given an even greater opportunity of a lifetime that some only dream of and others may be ignorant of. Kesh Datta, Auntie Indira, Uncle Sam and Auntie Christine invited us to join them on a journey to Mekadattu, Jayalakshmi Puram and Sogala. This journey allowed us to see and experience so much- to visit Appaji’s birthplace, to see the long journey Sri Jayalakshmi Mata would have taken before Appaji was born, to spend time in the Ashram where Sri Jayalakshmi Mata spent so much of her time meditating, to sleep in the hall of the temple in Jayalakshmi Puram, to understand the significance and importance of Jayalakshmi Puram as it relates to both Appaji’s parents, to walk through the village where Appaji lived, to visit the Hanuman temple near His home, to see where His Holiness lived, to witness puja to Sri Jayalakshmi Mata, to see the Shiva Lingam that tells so much about Appaji’s father Sri Narasimha Sastry, to visit Jayalakshmi Mata’s Nilayam, to visit the resting place of Sri Jayalakshmi Mata’s parents.It was in every sense an opportunity to get a deeper understanding and awareness of Appaji’s life and Jayalakshmi Mata’s life but also an opportunity to get their blessings on this very important journey. More so we got to do it as a family. Surely there is no greater blessing we could ask for. Surely there is no better welcome we could ask for.
Having arrived in time for Navratri celebrations our days are filled with activity. Each morning we are greeted by chanting and prayer. Each morning we witness the procession and the dancing. Each member participating in activity is fully dedicated to serving. With song, music and dance the activity begins each day of the Navratri festivities. His Holiness Param Pujya Dr Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda and His Holiness Sri Datta Vijayananda Theertha Swamiji enter the chariot that makes its way to Nada Mantapa to commence the daily proceedings there.With so much to experience here we are sure that the rest of our visit will be equally as memorable and filled with continued blessings. It is the opportunity of a lifetime and it is one we intend to make the most of. More so it is one we will always cherish. 2019 is another most memorable year for us! Om Sri Matre Namaha! Sri Datta Vijayananda Teertha Swamiji Ki Jai! Sadguru Maharaj Ki Jai! Sri Sri Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji Ki Jai!
Sita Ram! Happy Hanuman Jayanti 2019! Om Namo Hanumate Namaha!
Today Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago join with Hindus around the world to celebrate Hanuman Jayanti! Trinidad is Hanuman Land as Lord Hanuman stands tall at Sri Dattatreya Yoga Centre in Carapichaima at 85 feet tall- the tallest Hanuman murti outside of India.
This Karya Siddhi Hanuman Murti (so named because of His presence at Sri Dattatreya Yoga Centre) stands tall and majestic, greeting His Guru Lord Surya as each day starts, welcomes devotees who come from around the world to see Him, He listens to them and their prayers and offers comfort, courage and solutions.
Like other Hanuman Jayanti celebrations, for Hanuman Jayanti 2019 devotees join in the signature colour red to make offerings of roat, dried coconut, paan leaves, flowers and host of other fruits and sweets that are offered to the revered God-dutiful servant of Lord Rama- the epitome of humility, discipline, strength and courage whose greatness we learn of in the pages of the Holy Ramayana. More so we learn of His patience, His selfless service, His commitment to duty and to helping others.
Throughout the island today Hanuman puja is being conducted today in homes, temples and various Ashramas, Hanuman Chalisa is being chanted and the name of Lord Hanuman is being glorified. At the Sri Dattatreya Yoga Centre today Hanuman Jayanti is being marked with all day chanting of Hanuman Chalisa by various Pundits and groups together with all day offerings by devotees visiting the Ashrama and will culminate with Hanuman Puja and Lord Satyanarayan Vrat Katha.
While Hindus are celebrating Hanuman Jayanti, Christians are celebrating Good Friday and today being Friday, Muslims had Jumaah today. It is what we in Trinidad and Tobago can describe as a true reflection of our diversity as a people.
Many can recall that Ram Navami was celebrated last Saturday. On this said Saturday-April 13- devotees of His Holiness Param Pujya Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji, Pontiff of Avadhoota Datta Peetham and founder of the Sri Dattatreya Yoga Centre held the Hanuman Day of Prayer. This was held with the blessings of His Holiness Param Pujya Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji and in the Divine Presence of Junior Pontiff at Avadhoota Datta Peetham, Pujya Sri Datta Vijayananda Teertha Swamiji, our Beloved Sri Bala Swamiji.
Sri Swamiji’s visit many can agree was one where 4 days were well spent with priceless opportunities and beautiful memories that will last a lifetime. The 4 days were filled with a lot of activity all of which were fully meaningful and spiritually uplifting- daily Sri Chakra Puja, other daily Pujas, Homa, Abhishekam, bhajans, kirtan and discourse from Sundar Kand.
Sri Swamiji’s visit set the tone for Hanuman Jayanti and revealed several parallels between Him and Lord Hanuman- humility, devotion, purity of heart, thought and action and selfless service.
In closing keep chanting, keep praying, keep celebrating the good around you! More so as His Holiness Param Pujya Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji always asks, “Be Good, Do Good”.
If you haven’t downloaded the app yet either visit the Google Play Store or the Apple Store and download your SGSPosts today! Let that be your gift to yourself and make it a gift you give to someone else by way of introducing them to it.
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.
On this blessed occasion of Divali 2018 it is indeed an opportunity to remember how blessed and fortunate we are.
We are alive, we are given the opportunity to be good and do good, we are given the opportunity to burn up bad karma, we are given the opportunity to do seva, we are blessed to have a human body and walk the earth while Divine Beings have taken physical form to guide and protect us.
In this past week we were blessed with good news coming from the His Holiness Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji:
• SgsPosts has been downloaded over 100k times (Jaya Guru Datta! Sri Guru Datta! Sadguru Maharaj Ki Jai!)
• Appaji has inaugurated the Avadhoota Datta Peetham SriSailam Ashrama in Andhra Pradesh
• Another Bhagavad Gita class was opened to allow interested persons to learn Bhagavad Gita by memory or by fluency in pronunciation and recitation.
Just a little over a week ago (October 28) we were blessed with news that the Yoga Sangeeta App for Android users was released thereby making it easier for us to submit our Mantra count (Shivaaya Rudraaya Namaha). What some may not know is that when His Holiness Sri Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji instructed devotees to chant the Mantra it was not just for peace and prosperity in Trinidad and Tobago but it was for worldwide peace and prosperity. More people are heeding the call to chant “Shivaaya Rudraaya Namaha” and the sincere hope is that many more will continue to do so!
Then here in Trinidad we were faced with numerous challenges but we united as a people in several ways in spite of the fact that some were highly unfair and inhumane.
Here is how:
1.Many people rendered assistance to those affected by last month’s flooding (preparing meals and distributing them, rescuing people who were trapped, providing clothes, mattresses and cleaning agents, spreading messages on social media on how to help people affected by flood waters, giving cash and housing accommodation to those displaced by the floods)
2.Many people showed that we do not live according to lines of religion, ethnicity or politics.
3.Many people heeded a call to render humanitarian service to others and they did it selflessly.
4.People began sending out messages to alert others on how to find those who were in distress (giving them directions).
5.Those who could not do anything substantial (by way of monetary aide or purchasing things needed for homes) offered prayers for those in need of help and also offered words of comfort and encouragement via social media.
How then should we move forward?
1.Continue helping each other
2.Continue being thankful for all blessings
3.Do not give up
4.Focus on positivity rather than negativity
5.Never run from a challenge but stand tall in the face of adversity
6.Always aim to be the best that you can be!
7.Follow the teachings of our Divine Master (who is the absolute and is purity and humility personified) and pay careful attention to the inspirational posts in SGSPosts.