To the world with love! Surely you must need this, so let the music play! I am going to create a playlist with this on YouTube just for you!
As promised, here is the playlist everyone!
To the world with love! Surely you must need this, so let the music play! I am going to create a playlist with this on YouTube just for you!
As promised, here is the playlist everyone!
Jaya Guru Datta!
Yes, you have read the title correctly!
“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:
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!”
Please take the time to click on https://www.dattamalatt.com/post/happy-19th-consecration-anniversary and read the article in its entirety. Also, please take the time to view the video on the page in its entirety.
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).
For those wondering about the consecration day itself, please take the time to view this video posted by Hanuman Hoffman. https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=YcgT5S_1360 Also take the time to view this video posted below:
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!
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Thank you Premier TEFL!
There are times when you think you know but then you realize that you don’t. You think you need it but then you realize you really want it.
This being said in this post I am celebrating the journey! Where are you on yours? Have you taken the time to celebrate it? Have you stopped to think about it? If not, please know it’s time to!
This is in every sense the myriad of life! This is something we all go through at one point or another. However, through it all it is imperative that we understand this is what life is- experience, highs, lows, ups, downs, and so many other forms of contrast other than what has been mentioned before.
Think about it- you are where you are because of where you have come from! You are where you are because you made a decision to start somewhere! You are where you are because you saw something and you put one foot in front the other and started a walk that led you to where you are today!
So it’s not the road you wanted- not the straight path you envisioned. It’s not the road you imagined it would be. Instead there are bumps (unexpected surprises that are not so good), maybe some potholes (disappointments that cause you pain) and winding bends (things that show you the need for added caution).
Stop and think or at least try to think! What is the last thing that made you smile? When was the last time you laughed? Where were you? What were you doing? What prompted it? Who was there? What made you so happy?
Hopefully this begins to get you thinking but don’t just think- feel and experience! Replace pain and sadness with something that is the opposite. Don’t ignore it and don’t forget it but don’t let it get the better of you.
Find some positives that can replace the negatives! Remind yourself of why you started and remind yourself of why you need to finish! Think of what you are sure about and focus on that to help you clear the path of uncertainty.
It may sound tough to do but once you get started it will become easier. Remember too that procrastination may just be a hindrance. It always helps to be your best friend rather than your worst enemy. Similarly it always pays to be true to yourself!
This is your journey and it needs to be celebrated. If you don’t celebrate it then it is highly unlikely that anyone will do it for you! Don’t wait until tomorrow because tomorrow we can agree is promised to no one!
It’s yours for the taking. The moment is yours for the making. Make the most of it! Live with no regrets because simply put, they are not worth it! Regrets are like weights that hold you back and weigh you down! What’s important is to live without regrets! Learn from mistakes. Try to right the wrongs! Treat people as you would like to be treated! Live each day like if it is your last.
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.
Life is what you make it! Well it certainly is!
Life presents us with so much and it can be a mix of so much- overwhelming, heart wrenching, confusing and complicated. But it can also bring reason and clarity!
Clarity can be as bright as daylight! Clarity can be as harsh as the coldness that hits your face in winter! Clarity can hit you like a ton of bricks! Clarity can knock you off your feet but you it is important that you stay grounded!
Sometimes you need to have a good laugh and sometimes you just need to get rid of the bottled up pain. Whichever it is do what is necessary!
Like many people I have had my fair share of experiences and I have learnt many valuable lessons:
Reality presents us with so many harsh truths that sometimes they may feel hard to swallow but here are some useful things which should be of help:
Be clear! Be firm! Be resolute! Be you and love yourself! Repeat!
#celebratelife #celebrateclarity #livelovelaugh
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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
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