November 2014 News Video

Our November 2014 news video covers events in October 2014, including: Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami’s 72nd jayanti, our 2014 Gurudeva mahasamadhi observances, the Skanda Shashthi festival, Iraivan Temple stone delivery, recent temple landscaping and our visiting upakurvani from Mauritius, Sivarathna Manick.

Ashram on the Ganga

For decades we have enjoyed a rare and close connection with Swami Chidanand Saraswati, whom all endearingly call Muniji, the head of one of the great ashrams in Rishikesh and our erstwhile Hindu of the Year. We are eager to visit them and to join in the famed evening arati to Ganga Mata that they hold every night.

We cross the bridge and walk through the narrow streets that lead to this amazing place, sitting with Muniji and his able administrator Sadhvi Bhagavati for a few minutes before the call comes that all have gathered at the water's edge.

Muniji guides us to the ghat where hundreds have gathered and where that very day 12 priests chanted the Hanuman Chalisa for twelve full hours, 54 rounds that they will repeat tomorrow.

Such a sweet way to be with the river and with devotees of the highest caliber. Hours pass. Devotees come to their guru's garden to ask questions, seek counsel and blessings, offer gifts and service. Swami speaks a lot about the need for toilets in India! A surprising but much-needed subject that is dear to him. He even has a bio toilet experiment that he shows us, right in the ashram.

A lovely way to end our day in Rishikesh. Jai Ganga Ma!

Mauritius November Ganesha Homa

Click here for description and many beautiful photos of our November homa in Mauritius.

A Dip in the Holy Ganga

For a long time now Yoginathaswami has held a gentle wish in his heart that, one day, he would touch the River Ganga, bathe in its sanctifying waters. That desire was finally fulfilled in Rishikesh.

We were taken to the river's edge by the swamis of Omkarananda Ashram, to a gentle spot in front of one of their many massive buildings. A sandy beach greeted us, the river's soft invitation to enter.

Yoginathaswami went first, finding a spot deep enough to permit the required three immersions. Then Sadasivanathaswami followed, soon to learn how very cold this water is. It makes sense, as it is all glacial melt here, not far from the beginnings of the great river. It even has that tell-tale color that glacier waters always have. Cold. Cold Cold! Blessed. Blessed. Blessed!

We bathed with a mind that all of Gurudeva's shishyas were here with us, all dipping down with us, all releasing karmas of the past, all receiving Siva's special grace. Jai Gurudeva! And thank you, Bodhinatha, for blessing this journey.

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September 2014
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