As we traveled by car from the farmhouse to Nashik, we shared stories and pleasant memories of our time spent in the sacred land of Tryambak last year, during the 2013 tour of India.
We were all so much looking forward to our visit again as we loved the countless temples, beautiful natural areas, and sacred pilgrimages sites.
This temple offers an excellent atmosphere for performing sadhana in the main temple area, and upon entering we are always eager to claim our space for worship, lay out our asanas, and begin.
The home we stayed in was in close proximity to Tryambakeshwar, so it availed us the opportunity to visit this sacred temple several times during our stay.
On one of those visits we were allowed to enter into the inner sanctum, where the jyotir lingam resides.
Afterwards, we found a location in the main temple to worship. We were situated directly in front of the darshan line, giving the devotees in the queue the chance to, unknowingly, receive darshan of the Divine Mother as well.
We performed puja here, and it was especially beautiful, as we offered 108 pink lotus flowers to Lord Shiva.
After completing the puja, accompanied by the birds who were also chirping their glory to God that fine morning, Shree Maa and Swamiji led the group in the recitation of the Rudrastadhayayi.
The home we stayed in was large enough to hold satsangha, both inside the house and in the outdoor gazebo.
During the story of the marriage of Shiva and Parvati, Shree Maa was overcome with devotional bhavana.
Unexpectedly, She stood up and started to dance.
Her elegant hand movements resembled the graceful Saraswati Devi as She glided across the gazebo as if floating on a cloud.
The next morning, in honor of the telling of the story of Sri Rama, Shree Maa and Swamiji decided to lead all of the devotees present in singing the Sundar Kanda. This time, we set up shop in a spacious room inside the home in which we were staying.
We pulled out the drums, keyboards, and other musical instruments and sang from our hearts while celebrating God’s love.
Singing the Sundar Kanda with Shree Maa and Swamiji is always quite an intense spiritual experience.
New devotees, without a doubt, always become deeply inspired.
On this occasion, some of devotees told me afterwards that they normally don’t chant, and some even said they typically don’t enjoy chanting at all, but after singing the Sundar Kanda with Shree Maa and Swamiji, they are forever changed.
After feeling and experiencing the great joy of worship, they want to learn more. They want to practice. This is how worship is supposed to be!
Having spent four days in Tryambak, it was now time for our departure. We loaded up the car and enjoyed our four to five hour journey back to the city of Mumbai.
As we approached the city, I couldn’t help but recall that gorgeous penthouse Beverly Hills style suite, and my mind quickly grew excited in anticipation to stay there again. I soon realized, however, that we were actually staying at the home of another devotee. My initial disappointment was short-lived when, once again, I was pleasantly amazed with modern day Mumbai.
The section of town we were staying in hardly looked like an Indian city at all! My jaw dropped in utter surprise as I stared wide-eyed at the architectural design, which looked like a blend of a European city with an American city, that had been dropped into the middle of India!
As we drove through the area, we enjoyed the view of well maintained high-rise apartments, supermarkets, beautiful public parks, all sorts of restaurants, and many other modern businesses. This part of Mumbai was constructed about 15 years ago as a planned community with a distinct zoning organization, separating the residential areas from the business areas. It was really an impressive and unique concept for India.
We arrived at the high-rise and took the elevator to the 25th floor where we comfortably resided. Shree Maa quickly set up Her altar and Swamiji set up his electronics. Even here, on the 25th floor of a modern upscale high-rise, we conducted beautiful worship and held some wonderful satsanghas with the local devotees.
One such memorable celebration occurred with a father and son, who happened to have birthdays one day apart, and which happened to take place during our visit to Mumbai.
For their birthday celebration, all they wanted was to offer puja to Shree Maa and Swamiji. They got their birthday boon as they performed a heart-felt puja and offered lotus flowers, cake, malas, and more!
It was refreshing to be with devotees who would rather remember the Guru on their birthday than focus on themselves. What a blessing for this father-son team, who on their birthday were able to worship two true gurus, who show us the path to a spiritual life.
During our visit to Tryambak and Mumbai, Shree Maa and Swamiji demonstrated intense devotion, impeccable deeds, and true wisdom. Through their example, they inspired so many devotees to lead a life of worshiping the Divine.
Whether they were in the simple rural places of India or residing amongst the busiest Indian cities, whether they be in a farmhouse or in an upscale high-rise, they demonstrated how to live in peace as they gently inspired others, step by step, to move closer to God.
This is their mission — to inspire each of us to worship the Divine. Clearly, on their visit to Mumbai and Tryambak, they successfully accomplished this objective!
Jai Maa! Jai Swamiji!