Stay tuned to this 2019 India Travelogue for regular updates on Shree Maa and Swamiji’s travels, devotee experiences, picture galleries, and key teachings. We will share everything to the best of our capabilities!
Travelogue 2: The Good Goat
Nandu Baba has a goat that bleats non-stop and causes disturbance to the ashram residents. One day, while performing Shiva Puja to Sidhhagireeshwara Mahadev, Swamiji narrated the following story:
Lomasa Muni had a very inconsiderate disciple. This disciple was a useless, lazy fellow, who was always talking back to the Guru. He never showed proper respect.
The Guru said “My disciple, please don’t behave this way; it will not bring you good results. Please show proper respect to all people in your community especially to your Guru.”
Again and again this disciple would misbehave. Again and again the Guru would say, “Behave respectfully with all people”.
One day the Guru again forgave this disciple. Upon seeing this, Shiva got very angry. Shiva said, “O Guru! You are so compassionate. You forgave this disciple again and again though every time you told this disciple to not misbehave. And now you again forgave him?”
The Guru said, “Those who take refuge in me, I must show my compassion and forgive their actions.Even Shiva’s anger cannot prevent me from bestowing this forgiveness.”
Then the Guru sang a great hymn of praise to Lord Shiva called the Rudrashtakam.
Upon hearing this, Shiva’s anger was quelled.
And thus it is mentioned in the Guru Gita:
शिवे रुष्टे गुरुस्त्राता गुरौ रुष्टे न कश्चन ।
लब्ध्वा कुलगुरु सम्यग्गुरुमेव समाश्रयेत् ॥
śive kruddhe gurustrātā gurau kruddde śivo na hi
tasmātsarvaprayatnena śrīgurum śaranam vrajet
If Shiva has anger the Guru can remove it,
whereas if the Guru has anger, Shiva cannot.
Therefore all effort should be made to take refuge in the respected Guru.
After telling this story, Swamiji instructed Nandu Baba to bring the bleating goat. Swamiji applied a tikka to its forehead and gave him the blessing of becoming a considerate and good disciple!
Our inner Daksha will urge us to continually bleat to the tune of Mahishasura’s beats, but bowing down to Shiva and our Guru, we must choose the path of wisdom and let go of our ignorance and misery.
Travelogue 1: Travel to Delhi
Last Wednesday morning, Shree Maa and Swamiji awoke from their sleep prior to sunrise, performed their morning ablutions, said their morning prayers, and headed to the San Francisco Airport for their departure to incredible India.
Shree Maa had a three hour car ride in front of Her from Yuba City to San Francisco, navigated by none other than her own Hanuman named Monkey. (Yes, she named a devotee Monkey)
Shree Maa was giddy with happiness as She jumped into the car and made Her side-kick Ganesha all comfortable for the journey.
After the car was packed and everyone strapped in, off they went!
All the while, down south in Los Angeles, Swamiji gathered his backpack and one piece of luggage and grabbed a lift from Guru-uber (Guruber).
Guruber? Yes, no joking. This Guruber service is run by Vani and Viresh, two devotees in Los Angeles who started a service to Uber around Gurus. Swamiji’s trip was their first job, and Swamiji is their ONLY customer as they only have one Guru.
With only one customer, this is not a lucrative business financially plus they would not accept any payment for the service (and likely they gave Swamiji dakshina)! BUT – the blessings derived from Guru seva are all too real, though not quantifiable.
That morning Vani and Viresh had a tough job for they needed to navigate Swamiji through the dreaded Los Angeles traffic to catch a flight to San Francisco.
Upon arrival to LAX, Viresh and Swamiji shared their love as they hugged each other goodbye.
That is some service! I am sure customers do not get hugs from regular Uber drivers, so this Guruber service provides an upgrade from the norm for sure.
The evening before their departure, I contacted both Shree Maa and Swamiji.
Without a doubt, they both expressed a tinge of excitement about this trip, both approaching their two month yatra together with positive anticipation and inspiring intentions to share their love, wisdom, and knowledge.
At the airport they enjoyed each other’s company as they relaxed and talked between themselves. Both were centered and in good spirits as they awaited the boarding of the plane.
During the flight, Shree Maa and Swamiji met Dr. Kalpana Dash, an Endocrinologist and Diabetologist who works for the Apollo Group of Hospitals in Chhattisgarh. The interaction on the flight was so comfortable and so familiar that it was like old friends or family members from long ago just catching up.
Before the end of the flight though, much to Dr. Kalpana’s delight, Shree Maa and Swamiji invited her into the family!
Shortly after landing, Dr. Kalpana joined the WhatsApp group, explained her story to everyone, and exclaimed, “I feel as though I have met my Divine Mother!”
When we take to the road, get out of our comfort zone, and interact with people from all walks of life, we have an opportunity to touch the hearts and minds of people in ways that we can never ever measure. Inspire them positively and that can change not only their life for the better, but also everyone associated with them.
Who knows how Dr. Kalpana’s life will be changed just from this one interaction on the plane with Her Divine Mother. Who knows the compounding effect this can have on other people in Dr. Kalpana’s sphere of influence.
The manifestations of grace in our lives can never really be predicted, but as Dr. Kalpana experienced today, when it arrives at your doorstep unexpectedly, from out of nowhere, then gratitude floods every cell of the body.
The power of gratitude is the potential energy that fuels the desire to contribute and to give back to others, and this in a nutshell is spirituality — giving more than we take.
It is mind-blowing, isn’t it, to think that everything we think, say, and do has ripple-effect impact on the rest of humanity and the world.
It is our dharma to uplift others. It is our karma to share our love. What better example do we need to prove to ourselves that our behavior and our actions matter! Thank you Shree Maa and Swamiji for this example.
Before stepping off the plan, Dr. Kalpana snapped this photo of her Divine Mother and Swamiji. Thank you Dr. Kalpana for being part of the family and so exuberantly sharing this lesson with us!
On Thursday evening Shree Maa called to send all of her love and blessings to Her children in America, and to let us know that they arrived safely at Sanjay Baba’s home in Delhi. They will take rest in Delhi for four days before flying to Coimbatore, and then on to Ooty for Navaratri.
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In Case You Missed It
Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch? Shree Maa and Swamiji have once again defied the odds by graciously providing their new series of books, The Samasti Chandi Tantra Bijamantratmaka, at no cost.
Simply download the Samasti Chandi PDF and you are ready to chant the most complete and universal version of the Chandi Pathah ever written.
This awesome book contains all of the mantras of the Chandi Pathah and the Tantra Bijamantratmaka Guhyabija Namavali. We refer to it as a “series” of books because it is written in multiple languages.