1 Aug 2014

Chapter 2: Bhagavad Gita Course with Swami Vishwananda

Sri Swami Vishwananda has decided to give commentary on the Shreemad Bhagavad Gita, the eternal Word of Lord Sri Krishna. It will take place over 18 consecutive days, and each day will cover one chapter. Guruji will give his commentary with a particular Bhakti perspective.

For now, we will provide a small portion of the commentary on this blog for those who could not attend the course. At a later stage, we will offer the full length of the Gita commentary as a book and also as CD and DVD sets.



On July 31st, 2014 Swamiji covered Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita, titled: Saamkhya Yoga

Chapter 2 is like a short summary of the whole Gita, it touches topics of Jyaana Yoga, Karma Yoga, and Bhakti Yoga which are later on explained in more detail.


General topics covered in the Chapter:
  • Arjuna talks against the war
  • Teachings of the Gita begins
  • The Atma is eternal, body is temporary
  • Death of body and transmigration of the Soul
  • Lord Krishna reminds Arjuna of his duty as a warrior
  • The Vedas deal with both material and spiritual aspects of life
  • Insights in Karma Yoga
  • Dangers of uncontrolled senses
  • Attainment of peace and happiness through sense control and Self-knowledge

Excerpt commentary from Swamiji:

14
mātrā sparśās tu kaunteya
śītoṣṉa sukha-duḥkhadāḥ
āgamāpāyino’nityās
tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata

The interaction of senses and objects, O son of Kunti, giving cold and heat, pleasure and pain, transient things which come and go, endure them, O Arjuna.

"Mātrā means the senses and sparśās means contact – the contact of the senses. Whatever comes in the contact of the senses, in the contact of the mind – heat, sound, touch, colour, taste and smell: these are the product of the senses. Heat and cold, pleasure and pain stay always there. So whoever gives attention to the outside, to the sense organs, to the sense objects, is bound by duality. And one will not be aware of this greatness, of the eternity of the soul. Because when the mind is always focused on the limitation one is trapped into that duality. And from that arises the cold, the heat, pleasure and pain. So this duality's experience bring also joy, grief and so on.

Here Lord Krishna is asking Arjuna, “Overcome pleasure and pain. Go out of this drama and remind yourself that you are eternal.” Again and again Krishna is repeating the same thing – the eternity of the soul – to remind him – you know, sometimes you have to repeat ten times for somebody to get something. And the mind is like this. Until it doesn't accustomed itself to a certain reality, forgets it easily and jumps around.

You are here to witness, you are the Great Witness. And only when you realise that you are the Great Observer, then you can observe life and be apart from it. Not part of it!"



Testimony


"I am speechless. The deep knowledge given by Swami on Chapter 2 makes me realise that we should focus on God all the time. We should always keep reminding ourselves that there is God in everything." - Dakshesh, Poland

31 Jul 2014

Chapter 1: Bhagavad Gita Course with Swami Vishwananda

The much expected day has finally arrived: The beginning of the exquisite Commentary by Sri Swami Vishwananda of the Shreemad Bhagavad Gita, the eternal Word of Lord Sri Krishna. It will take place over 18 consecutive days, and each day will cover one chapter. Guruji will give his commentary with a particular Bhakti perspective.

For now, we will provide a small portion of the commentary on this blog for those who could not attend the course. At a later stage, we will offer the full length of the Gita commentary as a book and also as CD and DVD sets.


On July 30th, 2014 Swamiji covered Chapter 1 of the Bhagavad Gita, titled: Arjuna Vishaada Yoga.

Quick overview of the Chapter:
  • Chapter one contains 47 verses.
  • The two armies are ready on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.
  • The Pandavas led by Yudhishthira and the Kauravas led by Duryodhana.
  • On the Kurukshetra Battlefield are 4 million soldiers.
  • The blind Dritharasthra, who is the father of the Kauravas, and who would like that his son Duryodhana stays king of Hastinapura asks Sanjaya, his charioteer, to tell him what was happening.
  • Sanjaya (who has the gift of seeing events at a distance, granted by the sage Vyasa) tells that Duryodhana after seeing the Pandhava army went to his teacher Drona and tells him the names of all the great warriors in both armies.
  • Duryodhana was concerned, that his army is inadequate, while the army of the Pandavas is adequate.
  • Then Bhishma blew his conch to encourage Duryodhana, all started blowing their conches, playing the drums e.t.c.
  • Then Arjuna took up his bow and requested Krishna to move his chariot between the two armies. When he saw all the relatives and friends in both armies, he was filled with compassion.
  • Arjuna threw aside his bow and arrows, and sat grief striken down.
  • The extremely kind Arjuna, in spite of the repeated attempts of the Kauravas to destroy him and his brothers, which would have justified revenge of his part, nevertheless declined to fight.
  • Arjuna was also filled with fear, not knowing what was Dharma (righteous) and what was Adharma (unrighteous)
Excerpt commentary from Swamiji:

19
sa ghoṣo dhārtarāṣṭrāṉāṁ
hṛdayāni vyadārayat
nabhaśca pṛthivīṁ caiva
tumulo’bhyanunādayan

That tumultuous uproar, resounding through earth and sky, tore the hearts of the sons of Dhritarashtra.

"When the conches of all the heroes of the Pandavas sounded all together, the sound was so powerful, so deep and dreadful that it filled all regions of heaven and earth. Like I said earlier, even Indra was scared. So this sound echoed spreading in all regions. It resounded throughout the earth and sky and caused such a terror and fright to all the sons of Dhritarashtra and other warriors, that they all felt, “Oh my goodness this sound is too strong!” At that moment, the soul inside of them knew that it was the end. That's how they felt. They felt that their heart had been torn. 

When you go on your spiritual path with full force, this is the power which will remove all negative things. If you don't let the negativity take control, if you don't concentrate on the negativity, but you concentrate on moving forward on your spiritual path – that strength will erase everything. There is not much to do, really, just one thing: have confidence, have trust and the rest He will take care of. This is the assurance that He gives. In the Bhakti Yoga (chapter), later on, Krishna says, “Whoever surrenders to me, I am (even) more surrendered to them and I will give them strength and power.”

Whereas here, the sons of Dhritarashtra are looking at their weaknesses. When they see this power arising, they start to compare - comparison starts happening, “Where am I? Why is that person far in spirituality? Why is he beaming with so much joy and life?” There is this comparison which starts happening. But when there is comparison then you don't move; you are frozen, you have fear inside of you! That's what happened in the heart of the sons of Dhritarashtra when they saw how great the Pandavas were and how they were moving forward: they started to have fear. Fear nothing!"

Testimony:

“Excellent. Really enriching. Swami has gone very deep in the first chapter. He has gone through each and every word of each verse. I hope tomorrow is going to be the same!” - Ravi, Mauritius 

30 Jul 2014

The Bhagavad Gita is about transforming ego identity into Divine identity


"The Bhagavad Gita is not just to be read as a novel, because it has nice words and is beautiful to read and makes one excited. No! It is about life itself! The whole Gita is to transform one's ego identity into the Divine identity.

So, here Krishna was giving the Gita to Arjuna, because when arriving on the battlefield, he experienced doubt. Looking at his cousins, uncles, his own family, all of them on the other side, he asked, “This is part of myself, part of my family, how can I fight?” He experienced a great dilemma inside of himself.
Now you see, look at your own life. In life, it comes to a point when you do experience such a dilemma, not outside of you but within yourself. When you are on your spiritual path doubt arises, “Am I really going on that path? Am I doing something right?” Because this is what the mind wants you to believe. Until you transcend the mind, the Self doesn't reveal Itself and sometimes to transcend the mind, there are great challenges. Kurukshetra is not out there, it is here [Swamiji points to the body]. This body is Kurukshetra! This is where Moksha will happen! This is where you'll meet the Lord! That's why to have a human body is the most important of all. And, if you don't use this physical body to attain the Lord, then you'll come again and again and again; because this is the aim of being born as human, to attain the Divine! Not just to say, “Yes, God I love you.” No, this is not enough! Because when you love God, you have to express it. The same way, when you love somebody, what do you do? You express yourself, no? You always express yourself. But, towards the Divine, the Divine also wants you to express yourself. However, for that, you have to get to know Him, not out there, but within yourself, within this temple, where He is seated.
In the Gita Chapter 10, Lord Krishna Himself explains that the only Reality is only Him, there is no other reality. It is only Him, who plays different roles in everybody. There is no you, there is only Him! That's what Tukaram always said, “Who am I?” There is only the Lord. Who are you? Throughout lives you have gone through many identities, thousands, hundreds. Which one would you call yourself, from all those identities? This one you have now?

In the other nine chapters, Krishna explained to Arjuna why he had to do his duty, as a kshatriya, as a warrior. He had to do his duty, like everybody, wherever God has put them, in whatever duty, wherever they are, they have been placed there for a reason. And they have to do their duty accordingly. The disbalance starts happening when one doesn't do one's duty.
Here, Arjuna was standing and saying, “I don't want to fight!” But a kshatriya, a warrior, has to fight, he can't run away. So, in all these chapters, Krishna was reasoning with Arjuna and clearly said, “Fight!” And Arjuna said, “How can I fight? They are all my dear ones!” It is the same when the mind is looking inside at all the qualities which one has to get rid of. The mind says, “Well, all this is me! I don't want to get rid of all these qualities!” Because the mind enjoys every quality. The mind rejoices even in the negative qualities. But will one be free from that? One will never be free! One will never attain the Lord with the negative qualities. Even if this is part of you, yes, you can't get rid of it, because it is part of you. But you can transcend it. Even the mind can transcend itself into the intellect and from there it can be transcended again into consciousness.

So here, Krishna was telling Arujna, “You have to fight!” What does Arjuna represent? In the Gita, very often Krishna describes Arjuna as the ‘conqueror of sleep’. What does it mean the ‘conqueror of sleep’? The ‘conqueror of sleep’ means that he is wise, that he has full control over his senses. He has all his senses under control, because Arjuna was a great warrior. He had fought so many battles before Kurukshetra. But yet to attain Moksha, there is a final battle.
After this talk, Krishna said to Arjuna, “Fix your mind on Me! Be devoted to Me! Worship Me! Bow down to Me! Having thus surrendered yourself to Me, have thus united yourself to Me, certainly you will attain Me!” This is very deep here, the whole Universe is the manifestation of God. Everything that you see is a manifestation of God. Everything manifested or unmanifested it is His Glory, but it is not fully Him. It is part of Him. It is His manifestation in everything. So, to attain the fullness, to attain His Divine Glory completely, one is called to do something. Even if the whole Universe is His manifestation, yet He is free from everything. His creation is a part of Him. And He is calling back His creation to unite again with Himself."
Sri Swami Vishwananda

29 Jul 2014

Darshan in Kiel

Swami VishwanKurunandhanAnanda who was with Sri Swami Vishwananda in Kiel, has written the following: 




The Darshan in Kiel, Northern Germany was very nice.

Held in a gymnasium located at the local Rudolf Steiner school; one would feel immediately at home in the curved rolling architecture.





It is said that the more one goes north, the less people are interested in spirituality. It remains to be seen whether this is a valid hypothesis or not, but there seems to be some truth to it, because also in other Nordic regions, the interest in spirituality seems to be relatively restrained.This is astonishing, as the climatic conditions are ideal for going more within. 




As if the Northern Germans wanted to prove this thesis wrong, many more came than what could have been expected. Close to 350 visitors were present. Considering we are in the summer holidays, and also less people could come from the surrounding regions, since the Guru Purnima celebration has just happenend, and with the extensive Bhagavad Gita Course (SPN) approaching, this makes the number all the more remarkable. The large-scale hall was well filled, and still offered a relaxed space.



In summer temperatures, Sri Swami Vishwananda, felt quite comfortable and led the people gently into "his" world; the world of the Self, the heart, and the unconditional Love of God, who dwells within us all.
Swamiji sang, "OM NAMO BHAGAVATE VASUDEVAYA," and then a whole new beautiful song, "BHAJA GOVINDA JAYA GOPALA.”




It began to rain heavily, and Guruji smiled and mentioned it was normal that when he comes it would rain. Often this happens and even during his last visit to Kiel it started to rain. In Mauritius, this is considered to be a special blessing.



Actually, Swamiji didn’t want to give a talk, as on the next day there was a satsang taking place, where he would take plenty of time to answer each question visitors and devotees ask alike. Even so, Suresh, the host, an old friend and disciple of Guruji, asked him to lead a short meditation and Guruji lovingly corresponded to his wish and gave us all a sweet foretaste of what we can experience when we delve deeper into the ocean of the Self. 


The meditation itself we will tell you about some other time. However before the meditation, he explained in detail what our life is all about. To return to God, to our Self, to Love, and that without this Love, life degenerates through the day-to-day routine. We go to work, come home, go back to work, and so on. Work is important, but for what? It was a wake-up call for the people in the hall, and ultimately for all of us. For we are all still on our "path" to the heart, and we are constantly running the risk of losing ourselves or as Guruji explained, of “drowning” in the sea of our thoughts and desires. 


It is better to go within, where if the mind drowns, it cannot actually die, but will be uplifted and enwrapped by the Self. And when it is completely saturated with the elixir of life, the Divine Love that is in all of us without exception - we are all essentially this Love - only then will we genuinely live and life will become what it is, the most wonderful gift that God has given us.



27 Jul 2014

A Sri Yantra in the middle of Europe

"I am lucky! I feel very blessed to be in Shree Peetha Nilaya, in Germany. Why? Because it's the centre of Europe. Of course there is the historical point of view, why God sent me there. It's also the balancing of the energy in the centre of Europe.


Springen itself is the place where the Divine Mother resides. She creates the whole balance. In the Sri Yantra course, I explained that Shree Peetha Nilaya stands as a Sri Yantra in the middle of Europe.


Whoever goes inside it,­ goes into the Ananda Loka where the Divine Mother Herself resides. So, you are on Her lap, sitting like a baby on the Mother's lap. And She takes care."
Sri Swami Vishwananda

26 Jul 2014

Open day at 'Shree Peetha Nilaya'



Last year during our official opening, we promised that we would have an open day once a year in order to provide an opportunity for the local residents and interested parties from the surrounding communities to get a glimpse of our lives here.


The District Administrator Mr. Albers was invited and he came. He was welcomed by our management team and Swami Vishwananda and was led on a tour to the different hotspots of the building.

The construction progress over the last year could not be overseen. In the afternoon, Mr. Diefenbach, our mayor from the Heidenrod community, came to Shree Peetha Nilaya, so we were very happy.

During the whole day there was music played by Tandav, Nikhil and a guest musician. 
During the morning there was a tour around the center. it was given by Pramod and Paartha and about 100 guests joined. The tour started in the temple and continued by visiting the chapel, the studio... They went into our vegetarian dining hall, then one level down to the heating system and the laundry and later outside to the garden.


The visitors were open, felt comfortable and did not hesitate to ask all kinds of questions, such as: 

How do you finance yourselves and the centre? 
Why do such young people come here  and already want to live in celibacy? 
Can they go away again if they want to? 
What are you doing the whole day? 

And so on - we realized that they were really interested and we happily answered all their questions.

Choir Cäcilia from Springen
In the evening three choirs from our region, which have accepted our invitation, sung - it was really wonderful!

Men's choir Liederkranz from Langenseifen


Catholic church choir from Breithard
All three choirs: 'Cäcilia' from Springen, the Men's Choir 'Liederkranz' from Langenseifen and the 'Catholic church choir' from Breithard received a huge applause. At the end of their concert, Swami gave each member of the choirs one of our CD's as a gift.


Unfortunately, most visitors missed our Bollywood Disco - it was getting late but we had - with a few guests - a lot of fun.



In the daily newspaper of the Region around Wiesbaden (Wiesbadener Kurier) there is an article we would like to share with you:






24 Jul 2014

Interview with Sri Swami Vishwananda

During His Italy Tour in March this year, Sri Swami Vishwananda has given an interview.
The interviewer, Amrir Ananda Giri J., started by asking how the four Gurus mentioned in the Guru Prayer (below) operate through Swamiji.

Gurur Brahmaa Gurur Vishnuh
Gurur Devo Maheshvarah
Guru Shakshat Param Brahma
Tasmai Shree Guruve Namaha

Sri Swami Vishwananda: Actually you have to understand this mantra; there are not four different Gurus, they are all four in One. There is only one Guru – Guru is Brahma, Guru is Vishnu, Guru is Shiva and Guru is Parabrahma. In the Hindu tradition, of course, we worship God. We have a great veneration for God – God is the Ultimate. But God Consciousness prevails everywhere, in everything. There is not a single place where God is not present. However, as Krishna said in the Gita, “I shall come in the form of the Master, in the form of the Guru.” The Guru is the representative of the Creator, Protector and Destroyer. And Guru is Parabrahma, because in the Hindu tradition we can't achieve God's Grace without the Grace of the Master. And it's not only in the Hindu tradition. It is in all the traditions. Because one can't approach God without receiving the Grace – and the Masters carry this Grace. So, when one is inclined towards the Master, when one is in connection with the Master, the Master pours that Grace over the disciple or the devotee. And when one receives that Grace, one perceives the Divine. Then one perceives that there is no difference between the Master and the Divine. There is no difference between God and His Disciple, the Guru, who has achieved the Discipleship or God Consciousness. They have become One. But one thing is very clear – the Guru will always know where the Guru stands and where God stands. That's why I was saying the day before yesterday, in the life of Kabir there was a time when he had a vision: on one side his Guru was standing and on the other side Krishna was standing. He had a big dilemma, “Who shall I bow down to first, to the Guru or to Govinda?” Then, he bowed down to his Guru first. Why? Without the Grace of the Master he would never find Govinda, he would never find God. But through the Grace of the Master he had found Krishna. It is the same in the lives of all the great ones. Sri Adi Shankaracharya himself said, “I have been a great scholar. I have known all the Vedas, all the Upanishads, all the Puranas, but yet without the Grace of my Master, without the blessing of the Guru nothing is possible.” That's what this verse stands for. It says that the Guru is the Creator. The Guru is the One who creates a certain Maya, certain situations, a certain direction in the life of the devotee or the disciple. 
And He is the One who sustains everything in the form of Vishnu. He is the One who gives the knowledge to sustain, gives the knowledge so that the devotee may understand where one is being led to. And Guru is Shiva, because He is the One who destroys ignorance.
That's what the word Guru stands for. The word Guru means the ʻremoval of darknessʼ. In that form He is Shiva, who destroys ignorance, the darkness of ignorance, and makes one shine forth the True Self. The Guru is these three in One and then the other verse says, “Guru Shakshat Parabrahma.” “Guru Shakshat Parabrahma” means, the Guru is the Ultimate. Here the Guru is not the physical Guru, but He is the Universal Preceptor – God Himself.
To watch the full interview, please click the link below:
http://vimeo.com/99775715

23 Jul 2014

Seva at St Luthmer Childrens Home in Kenya


This is a report, send by Rakesh from Kenia, about the Gurupurnima Seva at St. Luthmer Childrens Home on the 13th July 2014: 

St. Luthmer Childrens Home, located in Ruiru County, Kenya, is a home to 40 children.
They are taken care of by 3 women, who were inspired to start a home together to help and fulfill the needs of these beautiful children.


A team from Bhakti Marga Kenya went to this home to see these children, spread Guruji's Love to them, and give them happiness, even it was for a few hours.

The smiles on their faces when they saw us and the goodies we took for them were simply priceless!


They welcomed us with a couple of wonderful songs (the videos can be found in the Flickr album - Link is at the end of this post)


They were given hand-loads of sweets, and they were very happy. Some even filled their pockets, and all it gave us was joy to see them so excited.


This little one, so adorable.


Since its worldcup season, we thought of getting them some footballs. Ah, they enjoyed, some played like little stars!


Part of our team were 2 denstists, who did a checkup on each child. Names of those who had some problems were taken down, and it will be followed up so that each gets treated to have a 'Colgate Smile' :D


Except for this little cute one, he was too excited by the sweets, and so he went and hid behind a chair to avoid his teeth from being checked.


It was truly an experience we will take forward with us, and a blessing from Guruji that HE gave us the opportunity to serve these little children of HIS.


Without HIS Grace, nothing is possible.
God is Love, God is Kind.
Be this Love, Be HIS Kind.

~ Always at HIS Lotus Feet ~
♥ Much Love ♥

For the full photo album and videos, please visit our Flickr page by clicking on the link below: 

21 Jul 2014

Swami Vishwananda inaugurates a Temple in Bari




Sri Swami Vishwananda sang some bhajans, spoke about the meaning of Satsang and answered many questions from the Italian devotees.

Saturday Morning Swami Vishwananda did a Yagna



Sri Swami Vishwananda has done the Gayatri Yagna in the nice garden of Vasudeva. 

More Satsang Questions:


There are more questions  from the satsang of Sri Swami Vishwananda in Bari on: 

http://vishwananda-talks.blogspot.de/

20 Jul 2014

Satsang of Swami Vishwananda in Bari / Italy

The small temple was packed full of Italian devotees attending the Satsang of Sri Swami Vishwananda:



"Satsang means to gather together. In the old times the sages were discussing the holy scriptures in satsangs. What the science discovers nowadays was already know by the sages 5000 years ago. Like the city door in Delhi which is made of iron and the pillar of iron. The pillar—over seven metres high and weighing more than six tones — was erected by Kumara Gupta of Gupta dynasty that ruled northern India in AD 320-540. There's no trace of rust on this pillar.The 1,600 years old iron pillar in Delhi has never corroded despite the capital's harsh weather. The deep Knowledge of the Vedas was hidden in form of stories. A satsang was the gathering of people interested in knowledge. Spirituality is linked to unity and respect of the others.
When we sing the glory of God one forgets about his own ego. Then love awakes. In the heart there is always a flow of love. The mind stops it when it thinks about one´s self. When you are in love you think upon your lover, what is he/she doing. Let's sing the name of God. There is no difference between God and His name. God has different qualities but there is no difference between God and His name. The name of Rama is stronger as his name."

Swami Vishwananda inaugurates a new temple in Bari / Italy


As Swami Vishwananda arrived to Bari on the 17 July 2014, he went to inaugurate the new Temple dedicated to Him. Guruji talked about the great blessing the devotees got by creating the first temple dedicated to Him. There is no others deities, only him that is venerated in this temple.


In the following Satsang Sri Swami Vishwananda answered the questions which came up:

- What is fear? Fear is due to ignorance, to things unknown. It is a lack of trust in yourself.

- Why have the people so much problems?
Because of the karma. We have to go through it. God reduce this karma to a minimum. It is important to know how you have to go through this karma. After the Mahabarata Kunti went to Krishna and asked Him: "Give me everlasting problems so that I always can remember you." You have to go above the good and the bad, looking at the world like children. Hindu saint Mirabai also had  a lot of problems, but she was always in ectasy, thinking of Krishna. Around her the people were arrassing her but she could transcend all these sufferings.

- How to know if we are on the right path?
You will feel it. And also if you don´t feel it, you will be guided. The nature will bring you were you have to be and your mind will be guided.

- What is surrender? 
The one who is fully surrendered has no questions in his mind. To surrender means to be detached from everything, to have trust in every situation and to accept everything what happens. When you surrender you give up your own will. God cannot force you to love Him. This is the only thing that God cannot do.To surrender to the Divine is your act of opening. You forget about yourself and give your will to Him. There is only Him, there is one reality playing many games.