1 Jul 2015

Balkan Darshan Tour - Sweet Moments from Slovenia

Sri Swami Vishwananda is on a darshan tour in the Balkans, to Maribor in Slovenia and then to Split, Croatia.


Warm welcome to Maribor, Slovenia
Swamiji gave darshan on Sunday. Chaturananda describes the darshan:




"Darshan in Slovenia began with a sweet Jai Radhe bhajan followed by a charming talk. People responded positively to his message of Love and chorused with great power even though many of them never heard bhajans before. People are very open.




"There was a lovely and deeply touching interview just before darshan. The lady who interviewed Guruji was glowing with love. She was very touched with his person. Guruji was responding to her questions with so much love and personal attention to her and with a big smile of an innocent child."



Many devotees from Hungary made the trip to be at the Darshan in Slovenia. Padmakshi tells their story:




"As Guruji said at the beginning of the Darshan that His call for the souls is already planed for eons, we are very happy that so many followed this call from Hungary. Apart from Budapest also from different parts of the country 73 people came, arriving in groups by car.

Also a bus has arrived later. It broke down in Hungary but through his grace, the driver could drive the full packed bus to the next gasoline station where they waited for another bus to take them. Everyone was tired, but were happy after the darshan.

Also from Austria, from different parts of the country over 20 devotees and new people came: from Vienna around 15 persons and also from Graz, Villach, Innsbruck and East Tirol. Jai Guruji!"



Swamiji said that here, you can see that all is a reflection of God but where and who He really is, nobody knows.


Here's Chaturananda again: "Guruji making chapattis and explaining the meaning of the Gopi Gita (which he wants us to sing for Shreemad Bhagavatam course in August-September). "Go" means all our senses, and "Pi" means surrender and absorption. So "Gopi" means the surrender all the senses to the Divine.

Krishna and the Gopis
"Gopis were the ones who surrendered all their senses to Krishna. If you read the Bhagavatam on your own without the Gopi Gita, it is of no use. When you sing and understand the Gopi Gita, it is equal to reading Shreemad Bhagavatam.


"Guruji gave very inspiring satsang to about 18 Slovenian devotees. It was very intimate atmosphere and the questions they asked inspired Guruji to answer all of them at length.

"It was much different from the satsangs Guruji gives to the public. He answered devotees' question with clarity and depth. They soaked every word with gratitude and love.


He was also very relaxed. He started satsang with 'Mere To Giridhar Gopal Dusro Na Koi', a bhajan by Mirabhai and he explained the meaning."

We'll share some clips of this satsang soon on the Bhakti Marga YouTube channel. Stay tuned!

Next in the Balkan darshan tour is Split, Croatia, for two darshans this Friday and Saturday!


Next Atma Kriya Yoga Teacher Training

We are happy to announce the dates for the next Atma Kriya Yoga Teacher Training! It will be from February 20 to March 4, 2016 at Shree Peetha Nilaya, Springen, Germany.



Send an email to teacher_training_2016 (at) atmakriya (dot) org if you feel drawn to be an Atma Kriya Yoga teacher and fulfill the following criteria:

1. Sri Swami Vishwananda is your Satguru
2. Have practiced Atma Kriya Yoga every day for at least one year

In the email, include the following information:

1. Your legal name and, if you have, your spiritual name
2. The name of your Atma Kriya Yoga teacher
3. The date you became a sadhak (student) of Atma Kriya Yoga
4. Country of residence
5. Language(s) you feel comfortable to learn in.

Please send this email no later than December 31, 2015!

The number of participants is limited.

Jai Gurudev,
The Atma Kriya Yoga Teacher Training Team

27 Jun 2015

Job opening at Shree Peetha Nilaya: Accountant

The Shree Peetha Nilaya ashram is looking for an accountant.



This person would need to speak and write both German and English fluently.

Their skillset would need to include both accounting and tax accounting, and they'd be supporting with the steering committee with process management.

Does this person sound like you, or like a devotee you know? Check out the job description on our website:

8 Jun 2015

The power of Sri Swami Vishwananda's Love has saved me and gave me life – A Testimony


This last weekend, at Shree Peetha Nilaya, Sri Swami Vishwananda has graced more than six hundred people with two Darshans in two consecutive days.



Throughout the years Sri Swami Vishwananda has been reminding us that the Satgurus don't need anything from anybody. They have everything; they have realised God. The only thing that they want is that all of us realise God. They humble themselves to be our servants, to serve us and lift us up, so that we can hold the hand of God and realise Him.

He has also said, “God traces your life. He plans your life but you have to embrace it. He can't do that for you.“


Satsang of Sri Swami Vishwananda with a group of Austrian visitors, held in the evening after Saturday's Darshan

Short birthday prayer done by Sri Swami Vishwananda, later in the evening after Saturday's Darshan

The testimony below, shared during the Saturday's Darshan of Sri Swami Vishwananda, is an fantastic example of this Divine plan appearing in one's life, as of the power of the Satguru's Love in one's life, clearly expressed in vedic mantra (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad — I.iii.28):

Asato mā sat gamayā
Tamaso mā jyotir gamayā
Mrityor mā amritām gamayā
Lead me from untruth to truth, from darkness to light, from death to immortality.

Testimony
“Jai Gurudev! My name is Parthenia and today I want to share with you how I met Sri Swami Vishwananda. I have known about spirituality since I was twelve years old. My mum was on a spiritual path and, of course, she would talk to me about these things, but I was not interested.

At the age of sixteen, I started to become a bit wild. My poor parents! I was listening to lots of metal music, the louder the better. (audience laughs) Once I came home with dreadlocks and a piercing and my mum went totally crazy. Two years later I started to engage myself in constant partying, drinking a lot of alcohol with my friends, and sometimes even using funny drugs. I couldn't stay in a job for a long time; I was changing all the time, because obviously I was not a very responsible person. So, Gurudev saved me from all that. What a change he brought into my life! If my friends from that time knew about this, they wouldn't believe it. At that time, I was like in a sleep state. I was not really alive and I didn't really know what to do with my life, I just... yeah, I was like a zombie basically.


Then, a couple of years later, my mum, Shridevi, had just come from a trip to Poland and told me how nice it was. She had met a new Master, Sri Swami Vishwananda and received his Darshan. At that time I somehow knew that something was a bit different, because I started to get interested. She also gave me a spiritual book (Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda). For the first time in years, I enjoyed myself reading the whole book, from the beginning till the end. It made me think, ‘Wow, spirituality is something real, God is real!’ At that time, Gurudev had an ashram in Steffenshof (Germany) and once my mum asked me if I would like to go there, along with her, for the weekend. I replied, ‘Okay, I come.’ Of course, my mum had a shocked face, because she didn't expect that answer from me.

Yagna performed by Sri Swami Vishwananda

I was there for a yagna. I didn't know what was going on, but I actually enjoyed it and even felt, ‘Wow, this place is special.’ My heart was already telling me, ‘This is what you want in life. This is what you have been looking for.’ Soon after, I applied for an Atma Kriya Yoga course, even if I didn't really know what Atma Kriya Yoga was. At that time, I was still living a kind of double life. I was still going out with my friends and being the crazy person, but on the other hand I was already on a spiritual path. And I have to say that, when I started to have the interest in spirituality, all the changes came very suddenly in my life; it was nothing which I decided in a conscious way. Everything was just happening to me, and it was like watching a movie; I was just standing and looking how everything around me started to change. Obviously, I started to lose some friends, because I wouldn't go out with them anymore. I stopped using drugs, drinking alcohol, eating meat and my relationships changed completely.

Actually, for a long time I haven't thought nor talked about my past, but lately somehow I started to look back at how it was my life seven years ago and where I am now. I really felt like I was dead at that time. I was not living, and Gurudev gave me life. I really started to live the real meaning of life - why we are here for. I could taste a drop of love which I had never experienced before. I still don't know what it means to love somebody unconditionally, but I know what it feels to be loved unconditionally by him; because whatever I do or not do, he will always be there for me, holding my hand.


Therefore, when you meet your Guru just throw away all this luggage that you are carrying with you, run to him, go with him on the boat. He is our boatman. He will bring you to your goal. He will show you a complete new world which you cannot even imagine; he will lead you not only outwardly, but on the inside journey.


Like Jesus Christ said, ‘I am the way, I am the truth and I am the life.’ Indeed, this is what I have experienced. So, I invite you all to take this journey. Don't be afraid. Let everything happen like it happened to me. And yes - if you really want to see God, then I tell you, my friends, you already did, because as Jesus said, ‘If you have seen me, you have seen my Father.’ And this is Gurudev sitting here.”

5 Jun 2015

Are you getting the BM Intl Monthly Newsletter?

We've just sent out the June edition of the Bhakti Marga International email newsletter. Did you receive it?



We're only a short few editions away before we switch away from our old database completely. That means, anyone who has not re-registered for the email newsletters will not receive them!

Please make sure you get signed up for the new database so you can get the latest and greatest from what's going on in the mission of Sri Swami Vishwananda ❤️

http://www.bhaktimarga.org/contact/receive-updates
If you didn't see the newsletter in your inbox, check it out here!
http://media.bhaktimarga.org/newsletter/2015/international/html-versions/2015-06.html

2 Jun 2015

The Miracle of the Purple Flowers

This beautiful story was shared recently by a devotee from Switzerland:



Sri Swami Vishwananda first visited my house in January 1999 (Flüeli Ranft, Switzerland). Since Swamiji was visiting, I wanted to welcome him to my home with some gorgeous blooming flowers.

When Swamiji arrived, as fate would have it, there were some dead clematis sitting on my basement stairs that I hadn't yet placed in the compost. Swamiji saw the flowers, and went over and stroked them.

It was just three days later, and the dead flowers that were once there, had blossomed into three gorgeous purple flowers! Somehow the flowers had blossomed out of season, and they had changed their colour from white to a light purple.

Ever since then, the flowers have blossomed every year over and over again.





26 May 2015

The Omniscience of my Satguru Sri Swami Vishwananda – A Testimony


Last Saturday, at Shree Peetha Nilaya, Sri Swami Vishwananda gave an individual Darshan to more than 600 people. Once again we could experience how the Lord gives Himself out of His Love and compassion for mankind, pouring out His blessings on everyone who comes to His physical presence, in the form of a Satguru like Sri Swami Vishwananda.


While Sri Swami Vishwananda was giving Darshan, a few devotees had the opportunity to talk about their experiences with him. In this post, we present two experiences shared by Suresh, a German devotee, about Swamiji's omniscience. Over the years, hundreds of people have experienced Swamiji's omniscience and omnipresence and some of these experiences are published in a BM book Blossoming of the heart (for more information, see below)

Testimony
“My name is Suresh. I am from Kiel, northern Germany. I have been on the spiritual path for nearly 50 years and before meeting Sri Swami Vishwananda I had six other gurus.  When I was twenty, I wanted to have only one God, one Guru and one wife, but life is sometimes not so easy. I had more than one woman; I had some gurus and I never wanted to leave them. The relationship with my last guru lasted for twenty five years and I used to go to India every year. However, if the Satguru is calling your soul, you can't help but come to him and I'm very happy to have met him in this life.


During the first twenty years of my spiritual path, I only wanted to become enlightened. The next ten years I only wanted to live very intensively, and since I met Sri Swami Vishwananda I only want to love. I think it's enough, because in my experience, he gives us everything that we need. Today, I would like to share with you two experiences I had with Swamiji.

The first one is about my deceased mother. You know that when parents get sick and die, it's not an easy time. From 2004 to 2006, my mother was very ill and I must say that it was a very difficult and heavy situation for me. Once I spoke with Swami about my mother and asked him to pray for her. One week later he came to me saying, “She is a lovely soul, but she is deeply depressed.” And that was really the situation: she was depressed. So, one year later she died. It was on the 5th of January 2006. And now I would like to take this opportunity to thank Swami, because one day after her death, on the 6th of January, I got the only email I have received so far from our Swamiji. I hope I will get some more in the future. (The audience laughs.)


He wrote me in that email, “My dear Rolf, I was there when your mother died. She is fine now.” It was incredible to get such an email; this meant everything for me and was such a great consolation. I was very happy that he was also taking care of her. So, there are two main messages in this story. One message is that there is no death. And the other is that the Master, the Satguru is really there, not only for you, but also for your parents, bringing them up to the higher worlds or to wherever they have to go.

The other experience happened years ago when I was staying with Swamiji in Mauritius. Once I had to do an abishekam and Swamiji was absent. As you know, if you are not very professional in these things, you have to look at the paper to check the steps you have to do and the mantras you have to chant in each step. There was a time when I did the right performance but chanted the wrong mantra; when I poured milk over the statue I chanted the mantra to offer yogurt and when I poured yogurt over the statue, I chanted the mantra to offer milk. Then, I noticed, “Oh this was wrong! What can I do now? Shall I go on? Or shall I start from the beginning?” Finally, I decided to go on with the abishekam saying to myself, “Come on, it's not so bad. Maybe these gods are not that omniscient so they will not be angry with me.”

When I finished performing the abishekam went into the kitchen to clean the puja utensils and was feeling very happy, quite proud because everything had gone very well, there was only that one mistake. Suddenly Swamiji came into the kitchen and said, “Hi Rolf!” Then he tapped on my shoulder and said pointing to the milk and yogurt containers, “Oh Rolf, look! This is milk and this is yogurt. This is not milk and this is not yogurt!” (The audience laughs.) “Do you understand? Bye bye!” And then he left.

I have very often experienced  this omniscience and omnipresence of Swamiji and this is so incredible. I believe that only a Satguru can give this kind of experiences. I hope that many, many people will come to Swamiji in the near future, so that they can also have the opportunity to have all these beautiful experiences and find this love we have in our hearts. I'm very happy about my life and I am sure you are also very happy about your life. We are all happy with Sri Swami Vishwananda. Thank you Swamiji for these experiences! Thank you!”

In Blossoming of the heart, relatives, friends, devotees and disciples from different countries and different cultural backgrounds share their very personal experiences with Sri Swami Vishwananda. 

17 May 2015

Bhakti Seva Program Opportunities at Shree Peetha Nilaya


At the moment Shree Peetha Nilaya ashram needs Seva Helpers as part of the Bhakti Seva Program for the following projects:

1. Painting the Ashram's Exterior

Do you have experience in painting? For the 10 Year Anniversary, Lakshmi's home should look as beautiful as possible!





For this unique occasion - our 10 Year Anniversary - our construction team would be very happy to have someone who would like to help to refurbish our facade for three weeks from now on.


2. Improving the Ashram's Electrical Systems

Are you an electrician?


We have many ongoing projects where help in this area is always very welcome.


3. General Construction Projects

Do you have experience in any king of construction work?


We have throughout the year construction projects ongoing and any kind of skilled help is always welcome.

If you are interested to come between 2 to 4 weeks please send your application to the following email:
seva@bhaktimarga.org

Application form for Bhakti Seva Program:
  1. First Name & Family Name:
  2. Spiritual Name:
  3. date of birth: (age)
  4. home address: / email:
  5. profession/formation/experiences:
  6. photo 
  7. short motivation: WHY you would like to do seva at Shree Peetha Nilaya?
  8. Did you come already here? If yes, when and how long?
  9. Did you meet Sri Swami Vishwananda already (e.g. Darshan)?
  10. Are you a devotee of Sri Swami Vishwananda?
  11. Do you have already other seva experiences? If yes, where and in which area?
  12. WHEN and for HOW LONG would you like to come?
  13. Do you have a valid European health insurance for Germany?

We look forward to seeing you here!

14 May 2015

Highlights of Sri Swami Vishwananda's speech during Mahalakshmi Yagna 2015


Sri Swami Vishwananda performed the first Bhu Devi Yagna, at Shree Peetha Nilaya, in May 2009, to send positive vibrations to the overburdened Mother Earth, due to mankind's negativity. He conducted the Bhu Devi Yagna for four more consecutive years, and in 2014, he decided to rename this event as Mahalakshmi Yagna. Last weekend we have just had the opportunity to participate for the second time in a Mahalakshmi Yagna at Shree Peetha Nilaya.


At the opening of Mahalakshmi Yagna in 2014, Sri Swami Vishwananda explained:

“In the Hindu calendar, the month of May is considered very auspicious for Mahalakshmi. As you know very well, Shree Peetha Nilaya is Mahalakshmi's place. Every year, since 2009, we have celebrated Bhu Devi, but actually, there is no much difference between Bhu Devi and Sri Devi. They are just two forms of the same Mahalakshmi.”

“Mahalakshmi came out of the Churning of the Milky Ocean. What is the symbolism of the Churning of the Milky Ocean? When the mind and the heart are churned, then the spiritual wealth awakens. That spiritual wealth is Mahalakshmi, and when She awakes, She brings all the spiritual qualities with Her.”


Last Saturday, at the beginning of the Mahalakshmi Yagna, Sri Swami Vishwananda gave a speech about Mahalakshmi and emphasised the importance of this event for Mother Earth. Please see below the highlights of this speech.

The two forms of Mahalakshmi: Bhu Devi and Shree Devi

“Mahalakshmi is the Goddess of material and spiritual wealth. She gives prosperity, wisdom, fortune, fertility, generosity, courage and many other gifts. She is also the Goddess of beauty, charm, grace and in the Vaishnava tradition She is a mediator between Lord Narayana and the people.

Every time Mahavishnu has incarnated on Earth, She has also incarnated either fully as Mahalakshmi or in the two forms of Bhu Devi and Shree Devi. In the case of Venkateshwara, both aspects were manifested, Apara Shakti and Para Shakti. Apara Shakti is Mahalakshmi in the form of Bhu Devi; Apara symbolises the creation, everything which is material. Para Shakti is the manifestation of all the spiritual qualities. Both of them are in the chest of Mahavishnu.”


The Churning of the Milky Ocean and the purification on the spiritual path

“What does the Churning of the Milky Ocean stand for? When you start your spiritual path, what first arises in the mind is always the poison, which is all the pride, arrogance, guilt, all the negativity which is deep inside of you; you don't want to see it, nevertheless it is there. On the spiritual path you have to cleanse yourself, you have to purify yourself in order to approach Lord Narayana. If you are not purified it's very difficult.

Lord Shiva drunk the poison because He has the quality which destroy all these negative aspects inside of oneself. However this is not the ultimate aim. The ultimate aim is to attain something greater and this means to move always forward. Very often when people go on the spiritual path, once they perceive some positiveness inside of them, they feel, ‘Ah, yes! I have reached there already. There is nothing else to do.’ You are happy. Of course, it's good, because then you build up a certain reality for yourself, but you have to move forward. There are deeper things, greater things to achieve. Until you have not attained the vision of Lord Narayana you have to keep going on your path, you have to earn that Grace. Actually, Grace is something which is already inside of you and it is waiting to come out. And this is the amrit.”


The sixteen gifts of Mahalakshmi and the ultimate aim

“Mahalakshmi is the One who gives the sixteen gifts like fame, knowledge, courage and strength, victory, good children, wealth, abundance of food, happiness and so on. But at the same time, She is also the One who deludes the ones who receive the gifts. By attaining a certain gift on the spiritual path, you advance, you grow, but it doesn't mean that you are free. This is not the ultimate aim. Do you remember the story of the woodcutter? (JL2; Deep Diamonds, Darshan, Steffenshof, Germany, May 4 2008; p. 27).

The story ends when he reached a cave which was full of diamonds. After entering it, he came out fully satisfied and as he looked around there was no other way to go deeper into the forest. Then inside himself, he felt what the sage meant by saying, ‘I will tell you a secret. In that forest there is a greater treasure. Go deeper into that forest and you shall receive that gift.’

This story is not just about the material gain. The diamonds stand for the Ultimate Himself. So, Mahalakshmi represents all these gifts but She also represents the Mother who cares for her children. That's why it is said that whoever surrenders to Lord Narayana should not worry, because She will look after, She will take care of everything; even if She has to leave heaven to come and manifest Herself on Earth.”


Offering the punya of the prayers to Mother Earth

“As nowadays you perceive great changes happening in the world, so offer your prayers to Mother Earth. When you are doing the yagna, offer that vibration to Her. Don't think only about yourself saying, ‘Oh, I have come here, I have to profit from it. I have to take everything for myself.’ She will give you enough so that you can even distribute. Of course, it's not something material that you can say, ‘Yes, I take this and I'm giving it now. Done!’ No! It is through your sadhana, through the mantra you are chanting that you receive and distribute.

Let this prayer rise and go around the world. May everybody profit from that and may everybody have peace. May peace truly be in the heart of each person. Let Goddess Mahalakshmi which we are praising today, give true wisdom to people so that they remind themselves that they are human beings and shouldn't act like animals. People do nasty things because they are not at peace with themselves. They don't love nor trust themselves; they don't trust their inner feeling. So, they can't trust others. They can't trust in God.


So, let's offer this prayer to Mother Earth, because then She will intensify it and give it to everybody. And when I say everybody, includes not only the people who are here, participating in this event, but also the people who are not here. And also the people who have passed away will profit from that, because they understand the vibration better than people who are physically present.”

At the end of this event, Sri Swami Vishwananda led everybody present, in a guided meditation to offer the punya of these two days' prayers to Mother Earth, to the needy, to the sick, to our relatives, friends, people who love us or don't love us... to humanity at large.