Posted in Being Prayerful, Blessings from Appaji

Blessings from Appaji-Divali 2018!

Jaya Guru Datta!

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.

Photo Credit: Avadhoota Datta Peetham
Photo Credit: Avadhoota Datta Peetham

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.




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Celebrating the Power of Silence!

imagesI5DQML35Let’s celebrate the Power of Silence or as I choose to call it, The Lost Art of Shhhh! Silence according to the Merriam Webster dictionary is the “complete absence of sound”. But what is the power of silence? It is the ability to search within and find that inner peace that none can disturb. This is not impossible but like everything else it takes practice.  I am happy to share these images with you:

“Silence the Mind by Simply Watching the Breath”- HH Param Pujya Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji
“Mirror reflects body. Meditation reveals Soul.”- HH Param Pujya Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji
“Experience the Soul”- HH Param Pujya Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji

Have a look at this video:

This is an excerpt from a speech by HH Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji on the evening of September 4, 2014 at Meinberg, Germany. Here is the link to the rest of the speech by His Holiness:

Silence quotes according to HH Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji:
“1) In silence there are no quarrels.
2) Silence lies beyond the realm of judgment.
3) Silence is peace.
4) True silence occurs when the mind is still.
5) In silence there are no questions.
6) Creativity begins with silence.
7) The source of innovation is silence.
8) When the leaves stop rustling, the trees enjoy silence.
9) It is in silence that a fruit ripen to sweetness.
10) A flower gathers its colors in absolute silence.
11) True friends communicate best in silence.
12) Listening to pure silence is bliss.
13) To a screaming mind, silence is unbearable.
14) Silence teaches many things.
15) Silence can be peaceful, uncomfortable or ominous.
16) When thoughts are unclear, silence clears them.
17) A spell of silence brings clarity to situations.
18) Beautiful snowflakes fall so silently.
19) When silence is comfortable, there is peace in the air.
20) Compassion can be shown in perfect silence.
21) The silence of stubbornness is not pleasing.
22) When the mind is silent, the soul gets refreshed.
23) In deep sleep there is silence.
24) Silence speaks more eloquently than words.
25) There is music in silence.
26) Restless minds are frightened by silence.
27) Silence weaves lovely, soothing patterns.
28) Total silence turns the mind off.
29) In silence not even a leaf moves.
30) Words sometimes hinder communication.
31) The mighty and glorious Sun rises in deep silence.
32) The moon beams gently descend in silence.
33) The stars twinkle in absolute silence.
34) Silence empowers.
35) Words create a storm. Silence makes it calm.
36) Silence is sacred.
37) No communication. No conflict.
38) Beyond the realm of judgment lies silence.
39) In peace there is silence.
40) When the mind is still, it is true silence.
41) A questioning mind is not silent.
42) Silence inspires innovation.”

Here we are provided with a lot of great advice! They are priceless words and precious messages. Do not let these messages fall on deaf ears! What do we need to do? We need to Listen, we need to put these words into practice, we need to focus on being more silent. I

In closing please have a look at some of these other quotes which you might find helpful:






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Celebrating Existence: Remembering my grandfather- The late Mr. Ramlal Dookie

Today makes it one year since my dear grandfather passed away.  We, his grandchildren, called him Baba!

A token of our love from all family members of the late Ramlal Dookie

We miss him but we know his pain and suffering are over. Our love for him and the love he showed us is something we will never forget. He is gone but will never be forgotten.

Have a look at this video and listen to this bhajan by His Holiness Dr. Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji:

message on life
So very true!

Here are two pictures I am happy to share:

nanny and baba1
This is a picture taken a few months before Baba got more sick and ended up in the hospital. Nanny and Baba had puja and Nanny placed a mala around Baba’s neck and did Aarti for him- October 14, 2014
my grandparents
My grandparents (Baba- The late Mr Ramlal Dookie and Nanny- Jassodra Celia Dookie) after Puja on 14 October 2014.

I have been thinking of all the things I wanted to share with Baba in this past year- my graduation, my internship, our fishes, our plants etc! He has given us so much memories and now his pain and suffering are no more. That is our comfort and the fact that we have each other!

I called him as often as I could and before marriage he would ask about everyone at home  and after marriage he would always ask, “How the boss?” referring to Shiva. I enjoyed those times when I was able to sing Happy Birthday to him and when I was able to talk to him and spend time with him.

I would always value the time I was able to spend with Baba in his last days at the hospital. Even then we were being taught valuable lessons-every single one of us who was there!

Knowing that when there is birth there is death is a reality we have always been taught but what matters is that we have made the most of the time we had Baba and all our other loved ones in our lives and we keep doing that for all those who are still with us. bhagavadgita
Guidance from the Holy Scriptures is our comfort!

We were fortunate to have Baba, our grandpa, around for the time he was here. He was able to see us all grow up- children and grandchildren. He  was also able to see some of his great grandchildren and each of us has similar memories but also different memories. Either way there are lots of memories for each of us to remember!
Baba was always a great Devotee. He was always prayerful and continued chanting the name of God in his last moments!

This is a post I wrote  last year to celebrate Baba’s life:

This one captures our gratitude to Level 16 Ward 12 Suite 5 of the San Fernando Teaching Hospital for the high level of care and attention they gave to him.

Maybe you might also remember this next post!  It captures the relationship my grandparents shared. On the day Baba passed away I had a presentation to do for one of my courses, Critical Analysis of Media and TV Coverage with Mr Roddy Batchasingh at COSTAATT. Baba had passed away in the morning and I had class in the evening. My presentation was dedicated to the bond my grandparents shared and my song of choice was “Thinking out Loud”  by Ed Sheeran.

Here is the link to that post:

Gone but not forgotten: The late  Ramlal Dookie: November 14, 1933- March 19, 2015

Father of seven (7) children born to Jassodra Celia Dookie- 6 girls and 1 boy- Doris, Dora, Dolcie, Devi, Jaggs, Bena and Rajdaye, my grandma is the mother-in-law of and my grandpa was the father-in-law of Ranjit, Winston, Fyzal, Sharaz, Hosein, Rosemary and Rajesh.

He was the Brother-in-law of Mynee, Bissondaye (Betty), Bharose, Doodnath, Sita,Vinda and the late Sookraj Ramlakhan (my grandma’s siblings). Grandfather of 15 (Rishi, Savita, me, Adesh, Ria, Ricky, Sarah, Imran, Candice, Premnauth, Susan, Joseph, Josiah, Vincent and Leah), he was also a great grandfather of 5, uncle of Dilip among many others and he was a friend of many.

Apart from loving his family, anyone could associate him with riding his bicycle which he did for many years and with fishing with his seine which he enjoyed a lot.

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Celebrating Music

Music is my solace and it’s a sign I’m relaxed. Hearing me singing and enjoying music is something not many may have witnessed but it’s something Shiva has witnessed on so many occasions. I’ve never gotten around to taping it for those who might find it hard to believe, but the truth is, at that moment you’re thoroughly enjoying the moment.

There is so much truth in these statements:

Bob Marley -“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”

Friedrich Nietzsche- “Without music, life would be a mistake.”

Victor Hugo- “Music expresses that which  cannot be put into words and that which  cannot remain silent.”

We don’t feel pain when we are really into the music do we? We don’t. Further to this, can we imagine life without music? Surely we cannot, now can we? Music is just so full of energy and rhythm. The lyrics, the beat and everything we can think about are proof that it’s soothing, through and through!

It’s pure therapy for most, including me. It relaxes and it’s healing also. Here is an example:

Can you think of the effect soca, calypso and parang have on Trinidadians and Tobagonians! It’s the perfect example especially when Carnival and Christmas come around.

Just a few weeks the Digicel Rising Stars 2015 completed. Now in Trinidad and Tobago we can all agree that is a big thing as it’s local talent and an outpouring of our local talent . The winner was Angela Didier. Here is some of what you missed:

This past week marked the Finals of The Voice Season 9. It was such a great season that was also overflowing with pure talent.

Music appeals to us in various ways. It means different things to all of us!

Now this is how I need your help everyone! I really would appreciate it! Please share your responses to these two questions:

What does music mean to you?

Which song/ songs make you laugh? Which songs make you sing along?

Hopefully you have enjoyed this but please remember I’m looking forward to hearing from you!