Sadhana in Benares Worship at Annapurna Temple Shree Maa and Swamiji perform puja and arati at the Annapurna Temple in Benareas, India. Play Video
There are also stories from the puranas, and Swamiji masterfully weaves the magic, retelling these with his own brand of wisdom.
Shree Maa in Sedona
puja offering to Lord Shiva
Shree Maa and Swamiji practicing sadhana in India This video is of a trip Shree Maa and Swamiji took to India with several devotees to practice sadhana, or spiritual discipline, at various sacred sites. Among the places they went were the Jyoti Lingams which are among the most sacred places of worship for Lord Shiva […]
Swami Performing Shiva Homa Swami worshipping Shiva with the sacred fire Play Shiva Homa
In this class Swami Satyananda Saraswati explains the essence and inner meanings of puja. He explores esoteric Vedic and Tantric sadhanas and demonstrates proper performance of these practices. This video is a resource for devotional seekers and anyone interested in yogic worship.
There is one video in the Meaning and Methods of Worship class by Swami Satyananda Saraswati and Shree Maa.
Swamiji is a master of devotional worship, and with His charismatic and loving personality He shares with us specific techniques to enhance our puja. He shows how to organize our worship and how to incorporate articles of worship in the most efficient and graceful way.
Swami Satyananda Saraswati discusses why and how we worship on Shivaratri. He answers questions about the holy day’s pujas, the symbolism of Shiva’s madness following the death of Sati, and tells one of the many stories regarding the origin of Shivaratri.
Visiting India with Shree Maa, by Shree Maa This is a rare and intriguing documentary. Join Shree Maa and Swamiji as they and a group of devotees seek out the company of the anonymous renunciates of India. The extraordinary individuals that they meet define what it means to be sadhu and share their experience of […]
Parasuram was one of the avatars of Vishnu. He went to see Shiva and Ganesh was at the door. So Parasuram began to fight with Ganesh. Parasuram had received the axe from Shiva, the Parasu. He was Parasu-Ram. He had the axe in his hand. And the axe was amog, it was infallible. Whatever he would strike would be instantly cut in two.
When he fought with Ganesh, Ganesh was just this little boy. And Parasuram had defeated all the kings of the earth twenty-one times. He had a great ego. He had come to see Shiva. Ganesh said, “Shiva is inside and he told me to stand outside so no one can come in.”
And Parasuram said, “I am a devotee of Shiva and and no one has the authority to keep a devotee away from his ishta deva, away from his chosen form of worship. I am a pure devotee. You stand aside.” Ganesh said, “no one comes into the inner sanctum of Shiva’s abode without wisdom. You must first honor wisdom.” The devotee said, “stand aside.”
They got into an altercation and Ganesh was predominant in the altercation, Ganesh was defeating him and then Parasuram got so mad he threw his axe and cut his tooth. So he became Ekadanta.
The other story is Shani Deva. You know Shani, he is Saturn, the planet. He came to see Shiva and he got into the same type of argument with Ganesh and he cut Ganesh’s tusk with his trident, the Trishul. Those are the two who both cut Ganesh’s tooth.
Now remember when we were gonna churn the milk ocean. The Gods and the Demons got on each side, and they were using Mount Mandara as the churning rod. And they were afraid the mountain would sink to the bottom of the ocean, so Vishnu came as a tortoise and supported the creation.
So he supported the mountain, and then they were able to churn the milk ocean.
One day Brahma and Vishnu were walking down the path. They came to a place where they met, and Brahma was walking from one direction and Vishnu from the other direction. And Brahma said, “Would you please step aside, I’m trying to pass.” And Vishnu said, “Well, you know, I’m the protector of the entire universe, and I think it would be appropriate for you to step aside, for me.”
And Brahma said, “Well, you know, I’m the creator of the universe, so you step aside for me.” And Vishnu said, “You took birth from the lotus, which came out of my navel, so you step aside for me.”
And as Maya would have it, they began to argue as to who would step aside for whom, who is the greatest, and they decided on a competition. There was a Shiva Lingam that came out of the ground right between the two of them. And it went up, up, up through the clouds all the way to the highest reaches of the atmosphere, they couldn’t see the end of it.
And Brahma and Vishnu said, “Let’s find the end of this Shiva Lingam.” And Brahma said, “That’s fine, I’ll get on my swan and fly to the top.” And Vishnu said, “I will become a boar, and I’ll go to the bottom. And the first one to return here to the ground zero, he will be the superior amongst the two of us.”
So, Vishnu became a boar and he started digging into the earth down along side the Shiva Lingam. And He went down, down, down, and He said, “This Shiva Lingam doesn’t have an end. I’m getting tired, and I’m getting hungry and I’m going back, I can’t find the end of the Shiva Lingam. Shiva is Infinite.” Vishnu came back.
Brahma got on his swan, and he started going up, up, up, higher, he went through the clouds. And he went higher still, and he was getting to where he thought he must be near the end of the Shiva Lingam. When a gust of wind came and blew a mallika flower off the top of the Shiva Lingam, and it started falling down.
Brahma caught the mallika flower, and he said, “Hello little flower, where have you come from?” And the flower said, “I came from the top of the Shiva Lingam, some devotee put me there, and a gust of wind blew me off of the top of the Shiva Lingam.” Well Brahma said, “That’s just wonderful, I was just going up to the top of the Shiva Lingam to get a little flower just like you! I have a little work for you, a little job for you.”
And the flower said, “What is that job?” And Brahma said, “Well, you just tell Vishnu that I took you off of the top of the Shiva Lingam.” And the mallika flower said, “Well, Brahma, that’s not quite true. A devotee put me on top of the Shiva Lingam, and a gust of wind blew me off of the top of the Shiva Lingam, and that’s how i came to be in your hand.” And Brahma said, “Do you know who I am? I’m the creator of the universe. And if you do this little thing for me, I will make sure that you are honored amongst all flowers.”
Brahma put the flower in his pocket, and returned to ground zero. Brahma saw Vishnu already standing there waiting and he said, “Hi Vishnu, did you find the bottom of the Shiva Lingam?” And Vishnu said, “No. I went down as far as i could possibly go, and I got tired and I got hungry and I decided to come back. I couldn’t find the end. How about you? Did you find the top of the Shiva Lingam?”
And Brahma said, “Yes I did. I went up there, I said hello to Shiva, I took darshan of the Divine Lord. I came back just to tell you all about it.” Vishnu said, “Wait a minute, there was no end down below, how could there be an end up on top? What proof do you have?” And Brahma said, “You know I thought that you would be a doubting thomas, and I didn’t think that you would believe me, so I brought this mallika flower just to give proof.”
And Vishnu said, “Hey flower, where did you come from?” And the flower said, “I came from the top of the Shiva Lingam.” And then Vishnu thought for a minute and He said, “Flower, did Brahma take you from the top of the Shiva Lingam?” And the little flower began to shake, and he said, “Yesss.”
And suddenly Shiva shouted out, “Liar! Brahma didn’t take you from the top of the Shiva Lingam, nobody can measure the limits of Infinity. Without my grace no one can reach the top of the Shiva Lingam! That flower is lying! And so is Brahma, and now I pronounce I will never accept mallika flowers in my worship.”
And Brahma used to have five heads. And Shiva said, “Because you’ve spoken a lie, I’m not going to accept any words that come out of the mouth that spoke the lie.” And he cut off one of the heads.
So that’s why Brahma has four faces now. And that’s why we don’t offer mallika flowers to Shiva.
Remember the woodcutter who met the sannyasi, who said, “Go forward!” And he went past the grove of trees where he was cutting and he found a silver mine. And after becoming very wealthy and mining all the silver he remembered the sannyasi said, “Go forward”, he didn’t say, “stop.”
And he went farther into the forest, he found a gold mine. And when he became so wealthy that Kuber was jealous, he remembered the sannyasi’s words, and the sannyasi said, “Go forward”. And he went farther into the forest and he found a mine of diamonds and emeralds and jewels.
And you are that woodcutter.