The last travelogue on Gangotri, which included over 70 pictures, sparked several questions in my mind about the sadhu way of life in India. I found myself wanting to learn more and more. Through the days, my thoughts were constantly migrating back to questions on Gangotri – trying to gain a better perspective and appreciation […]
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There are nine forms of Durga, which describe different aspects of the Goddess. This is a description of the nine forms of Durga: Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraganta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalaraatri, Maha Gauri and Siddhidaatri.…read more
Photo of the week – Aug 17 – Aug 23 2007
(Picture taken August 2007 at the Devi Mandir)
Manasa Devi is the snake Goddess. She is the daughter of Kasyap Muni and Diti. Diti was the progenitor of all ashuras. Her third child was Manasa Devi who was born on this day.
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Photo of the week – July 6 – July 13 2007
(Picture taken July 2007 at Devi Mandir, Napa, CA)
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“Ganga has been charged with the responsibility to cleanse the world from selfishness. When Ganga complained that She would becomeÂ polluted from cleansing the world, Brahma proclaimed that the sadhusÂ will perform sadhana in order to clean Her. What actions can we takeÂ to help clean Ganga?
We have to live up to the highest standards of mental and emotional purity so that instead of contaminating the River of Heaven, we add a little of our purity to it.
It is our own mind stream that must be cleansed and we are the ones that must do the cleaning. This is the River of the Gods we swim in and drink. This means removing the detritus and particulates floating therein, placed there by our own actions, as much as we can.
If we do that wholeheartedly and sincerely, over a period of time, we will without special effort be contributing to the clean spiritual water for all humanity. We will also no longer be paddling about in circles – we will be cutting through the waters of confusion in a
purposeful and inspiring fashion.
Just try to understand ourselves and more we do more clean She becomes, and we can hasten the process by letting our incomplete understanding wash the feet of the Masters, so that we can come away with better understanding and little more closer to completely understanding Ganga.
On the first take Ganga concern might look little selfish, but if we look deeper it was Her compassion that made Her get the boon, so that if we awaken through Her, She has made sure that there will be someone there to carry us all the way. It was through hard work of our ancestors Ganga flows in us, but it was Ganga compassion that made sure that the beings she liberated would be there to help the the rest of us – Oh! thats our Mother!
As I understand, we help to clean Ganga every time we act selflessly as a natural expression of our love. Our capability to do this will grow if we persistently strive to surrender selfishness and make every effort to take refuge in the Guru: `Eternally remembering the image of the Guru, always making recitation of the name of the Guru, always observing the instruction of the Guru, always maintain the attitude of none other than the Guru’. Thus we gradually learn how to cultivate peace and maintain a relationship with the attitude of Truth, thereby creating waves of vibration stronger than those of our thoughtless and selfish actions. Then we enjoy the privilege of belonging to the family of sadhus and pure souls who sit on Ganga’s banks, joyfully singing the names of God and contemplating the Light of Wisdom reflected in her pure waters.
I feel the following would help:
- Love towards all
- Help and serve others without any expectation of returns
- Truthful and honest in conduct.
We can clean ourselves, both inside and out so when we bathe in Ganga, both physically and spiritually, we can help purify Her instead of burdening Her. By our example and by our Sharing and Giving, once we have attained something to Share and Give, we can help others to do the same. We can live in Harmony with this World and help others to do the same, so Bhu Devi is pleased and tranquil. We can be regular and consistent with our sadhana and steadily increase it until every moment of our short lives here becomes a puja, a meditation, a seva.
By making sure Pure Love is the origin and intention of all our actions. Actions taken out of Pure Love are clean, never selfish.
To love so intensely that we cannot live without this intense love and to follow Dharma.
Grasp understanding of Absolute Truth (knowledge), develop and put into practice that understanding (devotion), toss the pollution of fear, resentment, worry, anxiety, and hatred into the river (surrender of ego), and the ever-flowing source of unconditional love will carry it away, all of it – always…faith keeps the river clean…thus you have peace.
I thinkÂ with sadhanaÂ weÂ can help to clean Ganga.
In our appreciation and reverence for Ganga cleansing the world from selfishness we would what to exemplify that action ourselves. Through our spiritual practices of Japa, Puja, scriptures as well as selfless service in the world. If we have a scripture like the Ganga Strotram which I downloaded from the web site and it is a wonderful way to fathom her greatness. A couple of days ago I chanted the Chandi Path by the creek and felt enveloped in her presence and her constant nurturing and purifying essence.
In our pujas we establish a container of consciousness with water, mantras, etc. as well as water oblations to the deity with our sincere devotion. We ourselves are made up of so much water and in bowing down to Ganga,we are bowing down to our selves.
The Guru Gita says that “the water from the Guru’s two feet can purify all sin. The water from the Guru’s feet is a holy river.” Selfless surrender, sincere and consitent service to Guruji would assist in cleansing Mother Ganga. Following the steps of devotion as outlined in the 2nd Chapter of the Kasyapa Sutra will also help in cleansing Goddess Ganga.
To help to clean Mata Ganga we can do pranayama, drawing ojas up the ida, moving the energy around the ajna chakra (washing the feet of the Guru), and then moving it down the pingala.
I think that we are talking about cleansing the nadis. As above so below. Just as our nadis get clogged up with negativities and thoughts; the Earth’s aura gets clogged up with the negativities and thoughts of all of humanity. How to help cleanse the Earth? The central nadis of humans are potentially connected to Her central nadi through the hui yin point at the base of the body; the perineum; and our crown chakra is connected to a star far above our head; the abode of Shiva. Ask and receive; these connections can be made that simply.
We can do sadhana beside our favorite stream. All the streams and rivers of this world are Maa Ganga. So we can purify all the waters. After that, if there’s some litter around, we can clean the place up a bit. Jai Maa Ganga !!!
Shiva receives Ganga so She can safely come to EarthÂ to purify unfortunate souls and further sanctifies Her withÂ His touch. Ongoing puja to ShivaÂ with gratitude for the offerings of both seems another way to assist in ever-transforming the impurities Ganga receives.
~~Durga & Shubal
I believe that enlivening every molecule with the name of Divine Mother shatters any impurity in Ganga within and without.
Because I am learning to see and understand Ganga as the stream of Life or Consciousness which runs throughout all of creation, I believe that the best actions we can take are those which keep our input into this Consciousness pure and sattvic.
This question reminded me of the saying “ethics are what you do when no one is looking.”Â It is the things we do, think andÂ believe in the depths of our hearts that are what we put into the river.Â These can either be the lotus flowers of love, compassion and truth, orÂ selfishness andÂ toxic waste.
Living a life of prayer and meditation is the filtering system of our input into Consciousness.Â Sadhana allows our input to come from hearts of pure devotion.Â If we live in the most sattvic way we can, with love and focused attention on Maa, we are certainly helping to clean the river.
An excellent start towards purification is to establish a daily schedule, a commitment, a sankalpa which we faithfully follow with our full attention. This concentration of purpose will cause us to commune, ultimately, with our own soul, bringing devotion into our hearts and clarity into our minds. In the Cosmic Puja (Samasti Upasana), the Nava Durga Puja (1) on page 120 describes this process of purification beautifully through several steps, each represented by a specific Goddess:
- Goddess of Inspiration (Sailaputri), the Mother of the Universe
- Goddess of Learning (Brahmacarini), the Image of the Three
- Goddess of Practice (Candraghante), also the Goddess of Welfare
- Goddess of Refinement (Kusmanda), the Eyes of Desire
- Goddess Who Nurtures Divinity (Skandamata), She Who Tears Apart Thoughts
- Goddess Who Is Ever Pure (Katyayini), You Who Belong To Shiva
- Goddess of the Dark Night (Kalaratri), The Seed of Desire
- Goddess of the Great Radiant Light (Mahagauri), also the Goddess of Contentment
- Goddess of the Grantor of Perfection (Siddhide), the Reliever of Difficulties
As you may note, this puja describes a series of purifying processes we experience inwardly as we dedicate ourselves to helping to cleanse Ganga, the River that flows within each of us. May we all be blessed with success in applying the numerous tools for purification Shree Maa and Swami Satyananda have so kindly given us!
We can make it our individual intention to maintain equanimity in the face of all the pairs of opposites…just as Ganga Mata does, accepting everything equally: death and life, worship and inattention, plastic bags and tiny arati lamps floating across her face. We can do our small part in cleansing our own incarnated world from our own ego-driven selfishness. We can offer our sadhana for the benefit of others. Thank you for asking this question…and for your wonderful support.
There are several highlights to this week – we crossed our first million in japa , and then a phone conversation with Swamiji on the sankalpa.
He asked, "Have you watched the broadcasts before the evening program on weekdays? We have been chanting the peace sankalpa mantra, atleast 1 mala a day, but we dont count!"
"Oh you count alright Swamiji", I hastened to clarify ,"In fact you are like Florida, you count AND count ! You count a LOT !" (Readers will doubtless remember the election of 2000 in Florida, but we will not probe into those boring political details here !)
Anyway, having Swamiji and the Mandir residents join our sankalpa is beyond value! Our heartfelt thanks to Swamiji for adding momentum to our progress .
There was a beautiful post by our beloved Rick Veda, on this sankalpa . Here is what he had to say
"The Universal Peace Sankalpa has taken on a life of its own in me. One thought I had was that being the UPS, it always delivers the package, and always on time! But it has become universal in a much more profound way to me. It is the first thought I have when I awake, and it follows with me in every moment, every conversation, every interaction I have all through the day. It has become my universe. I am so grateful to Shree Maa for giving this great blessing to me. Although I have been chanting mantras for years, there is a wonderful difference with this sankalpa because the mantra is chanting itself through me.
Swamiji’s inspired translation likewise blesses my spirit. The two words that keep coming back into my awareness are "disturbances" and "hostility." I ask her to "terminate all disturbance in the three worlds." It always begins with a disturbance. If I am kept from becoming disturbed, I will not lose my connection with Maa. But if I allow disturbances into my thinking, they will take root and create hostility. I do not have to experience hostility. But it is inevitable if I nurture any disturbance.
Shree Maa is the Spirit of the Supreme Sovereign. I am so grateful to pray this mantra to her, and know the bliss of deliverance from all disturbances. By her grace I am experiencing more of this each day. "
Thank you for your beautiful and profound words , Rick – it struck a chord in my heart, and am sure resonates with our other participants too.
Our friend Chris from Tacoma, WA , agrees with Rick and says "I am amazed every time I sit down for my japa of this mantra how strong the shakti is and how connected t is to Mother."
Thanks to all for sharing in your numbers. Congratulations to Mausumi for completing 100 malas at the fire.
As of Feb 25, here are the totals for those of us that prefer to do the sankalpa at the fire
Number of Mantras
|Swamiji & Mandir Residents||
And below are the counts for those of us that do the sadhana without the fire
Number of Mantras
Travelogue: Festival for Annapurna, Varanasi During our stay in Varanasi, it so happened that there was a very special festival for Mother Annapurna at the Annapurna Temple. Thousands of devotees streamed in and out of the temple to get a glimpse of the golden Annapurna feeding the solid silver Lord Shiva. We were fortunate to […]
Travelogue: Satsang in Kolkata One evening at the Meera Mandir, Shree Maa and Swamiji conducted a very large satsang. In attendance were many of Shree Maa’s very first devotees and several of Her immediate family members. The hall was large, but the devotees filled it up completely. The celebratory evening began with a puja to […]
Travelogue: Dakshineswar, The Temple of Ramakrishna The last stop on the India tour was Kolkata. The group traveled by plane from Varanasi to Kolkata and, after settling in at the Meera Mandir, visited the Dakshineswar Temple. This temple is special to our lineage as this is where Ramakrishna had spent most of his life worshiping. […]
Travelogue: The Forgotten Shiva Lingam of Varanasi – Agnishwara Shree Maa had a great inspiration to visit the temple of Agnishwara, the Lord of Agni, the Divine Fire. It is said that whoever worships Agnishwara will have no problems from fire or lightning. Most of the residents of Varanasi we spoke to had never heard […]