Ashram Mission Statement
We aspire to live the Teachings of Haidakhan Baba, to share the Love of Babaji
and the Divine Mother with others, to hold this Ashram as Their Home,
to serve humanity, and to be stewards and caretakes of the land.
Dear Friends of the Ashram,
As we approach Lord Krishna's birthday on September 4, this photo of Shri Babaji taken in August of 1982 reminds me of Krishna. Dressed in vibrant blue, Baba had us all dancing around the kirtan hall that night. He said it was important to gather in our own home countries to chant and dance around the temple.
We have had some large gatherings in the kirtan hall here this last month. The group I particularly remember dancing around the kirtan hall was the yoginis led by Sophia Diaz. Their photo is below in the kirtan hall article.
I am looking forward to seeing many of you in the upcoming events this month. There will be a fire ceremony and aarati in Berkeley, CA on Sunday morning, September 16 and chanting and dinner in Denver on Saturday night, Sept. 22. Read below for more details.
Fall Navratri, the Divine Mother Festival, is also just around the corner. The dates this year are Thursday, Oct. 11 through Friday, Oct. 19. It is always a full and beautiful event. The article below gives more details.
Our evening aarati is at 7pm and morning aarati is at 7am. Our next new-moon fire ceremony is on Tuesday, September 11, and the full-moon fire ceremony is on Wednesday, September 26. The fire ceremonies begin at 10:08am and are followed by a meal. In order for more people to be involved long-distance in the fire ceremonies, we have expanded our sponsorship range. We will also take a mala or bracelet to the fire with Shri Babaji's padukas to send to you so that you can wear the blessings from the fire. The categories are:
$27 sponsorship - copper, brass, nickel Om Namah Shivaya bracelet
$54 sponsorship - Sandalwood Mala
$108 sponsorship - Rudraksha or Crystal-Rudraksha Mala
You may also sponsor the bhandara or feast after the fire ceremony for $108. You can make the donation on line by just clicking here or call 719-256-4108 or e-mail the Ashram at info@BabajiAshram.org or send us a check at P.O. Box 9, Crestone, CO 81131. We are continually grateful for all of your support.
In truth and love, Ramloti
Spiritual Centers in Crestone work to protect our land, water, and air.
From time to time we have written about the Crestone Spiritual Alliance and how it was formed partly to come together in a united voice to protect this pristine and beautiful place which has become home to over 20 spiritual centers. One of the latest concerns of people of this area (spiritual groups included) is the potential turning of Baca Wildlife Refuge and wetlands into an industrial zone for the production of natural gas. This would not only severely compromise the health of the wildlife and residents of this area, but also could contaminate the water source for this valley for generations to come.
We rarely share petitions with our readership but this one is very positively framed with a unique idea to deal with a serious concern. If you would like to read it to form your own opinion on whether or not to support it, please go to http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/McEwenMineralRights/
Thank you for your time in this matter.
Fire Ceremony in the Bay Area, July 16
We are so happy to announce the visit of Nirmal Sharma and Ramloti who will perform a YAGNA on Sunday, September 16th at 10:08am, location 4669 Elmwood Rd, El Sobrante, Ca 94803. Following the Yagna, there will be Aarati, Kirtan, and a Potluck Brunch. Please be so kind to RSVP @ 510 758 7725.
Nirmalji is our modern Indian/American vedantic priest, originally from Benares/India, who has been living and working in the US for more than 30 years. He is a very close and dedicated devotee of Shri Babaji and Shri Muniraji and he is the president of the American Haidakhan Samaj.
Ramloti has been leading the Babaji Ashram in Crestone, Colorado for many years, which blossomed under her guidance into a very beautiful, well known and sacred spiritual center. Both, Ramloti and Nirmal are very experienced Fire Yogis, spent time with Babaji in Haidakhan, and are powerful instruments of HIS LIGHT, LOVE and SERVICE for humanity.
This YAGNA is dedicated to Lord GANESHA, whose birthday falls on this weekend. Lord Ganesha is an embodiment of wisdom and bliss. He is the presiding Deity of the Muladhara Chakra, the psychic centre in the body in which the Kundalini Shakti resides. He is the Divine manifestation who removes all obstacles on the path of the spiritual aspirant, and bestows upon him/her spiritual as well as worldly success.
Every YAGNA or Havan is a small miracle in itself. Countless spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, and environmental benefits come from participation in and performing of these ancient sacred rituals. In a wonderful 31 page long article "The Integrated Science of Yagna" Dr. Rajani R. Joshi from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, describes scientific studies about Yagnas and the astonishing outcomes of those studies. Those results clearly support the claims made about the role of Yagnas in control of air pollution, and in the creation of mental, emotional and physical health. Here is an excerpt:
"...The patterns of chanting of Mantras are so designed that they latently contain the essence of the music or the quite essential sound of the torrent of life sustaining energies emanating from the cosmic energy centre of the corresponding Mantras..... Uttering of these Mantras produces vibrations which are soothing to human mind, all plant and animal life. These vibrations also help in spreading specific energy waves in the surrounding atmosphere as the oblations are offered..."
In this spirit please join us in our journey towards healing of ourselves and the world one step or YAGNA at a time.
With Love and in gratitude, Saradambe and Dharma Devi
Denver Ganesh Chaturthi, Bhajans & Dinner September 22 - 6:30pm - 9pm
Our last gathering was so successful, heartfelt, and delicious, that we have decided to have another one. The evening will once again be at Windsong Condominiums Club House but this time in the larger East clubhouse. The address is 7474 E. Arkansas Ave, Denver 80231.
Ramloti will be leading bhajans with special emphasis on Ganesh chants. We will once again have the delicious food donated for the fund raiser by Masalaa Restaurant. For more information please call Hari Morisetti at 303-522-2633. We hope to see you there.
Thurs., Oct. 11 - Fri., Oct. 19
Fall Navratri, nine days in honor of the Divine Mother, is always one of the fullest and most attended festivities at the Ashram. Our Mother, Vishveshwari, is always giving to us, Her children. This is the time we set aside in our sometimes too busy lives to say thank you and remember Mother with daily fire ceremonies, pujas, readings, discourses, chanting, and aaratis. It is also a beautiful time of year in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, so we hope that you will consider joining us in person for all or some of the time. The dormitory fills up quickly during this time, particularly on the weekend, so make your reservations soon. You may call us at 719-256-4108 or e-mail us at info@BabajiAshram.org.
If you can not join us in person, you may want to consider setting aside a time at home each day to honor the Divine Mother. You may also sponsor one of the sacred fires or feasts. The welcome letter above tells you how to do this.
Kirtan Hall Update
This ladies' yoga retreat group led by Sophia Diaz, danced around the temple in joy as we sang the bhajans after aarati. Since they have been coming to the Ashram for aarati for many years, we reminisced about how squashed we were in the early years before the kirtan hall was built. Their group usually numbers near 40 and so we are grateful to have the space to sit and dance comfortably now.
We are pleased to let you know that through your generosity and all of your shop purchases, we have paid down our kirtan hall loan to $57,000. We have organized another fund-raiser with bhajans, celebration of Ganesh's birthday, and dinner in Denver on Saturday, September 22. Read above for more details.
We continue to look for other ways to help pay this loan off more quickly, if you have any ideas, please call the Ashram at 719-256-4108. We want to thank you for all of your continued support in this meaningful project. If you are able to contribute to help us pay the loan off, you can send a check to the Ashram at P.O. Box 9, Crestone, CO 81131 or donate online by clicking here.
The Ashram Board of Directors
We are deeply grateful to all of the folks that serve the Ashram through sitting on our Board of Directors. Each summer we have our yearly elections and we would like to let you know who is serving this year. They are: Deborah Michalak, chair; Ramloti, president; Premanand, vice-president; Jonathan Yates, vice-president; Annelou Perrenoud, secretary; Cindy Cleary, treasurer; Dan Sundaresen; Danush Dopierala; Arvind Suman; and Shastri Jayanty. We also have three liaisons from the American Haidakhan Samaj who sit on our Board. They are: Nirmal Sharma; Peggy Thompson; and Richard Cahall. A few of our Board members are new this year and we would like to introduce them over the next few months.
This month please meet Shastri Jayanty. Born in Andhra Pradesh, India, Shastri came to the United States in 1998 and worked at Purdue University and then at Michigan State University. Last year he moved to the San Luis Valley to work on potato post-harvest physiology research with the Colorado State Extension and is a faculty member at Colorado State University. He is married to Bhargavi and has a three and a half year-old son, Chinmay.
When he first moved here, while he was exploring the valley, he stumbled upon the Ashram. Ever since then, he has felt connected to the Ashram. He feels that sitting on the Board is an opportunity to contribute in his own way. He feels it is a spiritual experience and service to God. A hearty welcome to Shastri!
Visiting the Ashram
by Frances Frischkorn
Visiting the ashram is always a healing and revitalizing experience for me. When I am here I feel renewed and nurtured by Mother’s love. Sitting in our magnificent kirtan hall resonating with the devotion of voices singing bhajans, truly lifts my spirit and reawakens me to the divinity present everywhere and always.
The mindfulness of practicing karma yoga is so clarifying. When I am working at the ashram, whether it is baking bread, pricing items in the shop, hanging laundry or picking flowers, I feel as though I am receiving so much more than what I am giving. I love preparing and sharing meals with the residents and others who come to visit.
Being here for this full-moon fire ceremony was such a joy and a blessing. It was so wonderful for me to help prepare for the ceremony by stringing Babaji’s marigold mala, painting the havan kund, and baking cakes and bread for bhandara. Being involved so intimately with all of the preparations made our joyful community event all the more meaningful to me.
Yesterday Ramloti and I hiked up Spanish Creek together to a pristine and lovely waterfall high up the trail. We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world among these powerful mountains! The opportunity to escape from my busy college life and come down to Crestone is always such a blessing. Jai Ma!
Visiting Shri Babaji's Ashram in India
It is not uncommon for us to receive correspondence from people wishing to visit Shri Babaji's Ashram in Haidakhan, India. We have a couple of excellent web sites to help you with this travel if you are interested or if you just want to read more about it. One is www.babajicalling.com and the other is www.hairakhan.in The web site of the American Haidakhan Samaj, www.BabajiSamaj.org has a listing of Babaji's Ashrams around the world as well as much more information about the work of the Samaj and about Shri Babaji.
Many Centers Join Us for Fire Ceremonies
Shri Babaji teaches that all religions lead to God. Crestone is the home of twenty-two different spiritual lineages and traditions. A mutual respect and honor for all the traditions and rituals is deeply felt here. As Ashram members, we attend different functions and ceremonies of the different centers throughout the year. We often have many of the representatives from the different groups at our ceremonies, particularly the fire ceremony.
The first photo is from the full-moon fire ceremony this month. In it we have Hanne Strong (who was instrumental in bringing many of the spiritual lineages to Crestone) and other members of the Manitou Foundation. We have members of Savitri House and Shumei International Foundation. We even had Linda Joseph, one of the Saguache County Commissioners, at the fire.
The second photo is from the new-moon fire ceremony this month. We not only had Tibetan Buddhist Lamas, from the Vajra Vidya Retreat Center and members of the Yeshe Karlo Buddhist Center from Bhutan but also a yoga teacher and students from around the country and a teacher of Kriya Yoga from Denver.
We are very much aware of the potency of spiritual practice when many of us come together. Each of the last fire ceremonies had between sixty and seventy participants. We also come to know each other better and understand the different traditions and rituals of the world.
Families at the Ashram
Once again, it has been a month of many families visiting the Ashram. We had Marcella, Sandra, Hadi and families from Houston. On one of the nights of their seven day visit we were joined by Shashi and Bipin and family from Denver. It was fun to watch the teenagers share music and get to know one another and their traditions.
Another family that is growing is Amil and Sarah Wood's. Married at the Ashram several years ago, they have just added a new baby boy to their family named Benjamin. Here big brother Gavin is holding his two-day-old new brother. Grandma Ramloti (called Gramloti) will spend some of September helping with the new baby at their home in San Diego.
Calendar for 2007 -2008
September 16 - Fire Ceremony, Aarati, and Bhajans in Berkeley CA. with Nirmal Sharma and Ramloti. Phone 510-758-7725 for location and information.
September 22 - Bhajan Night, Ganesh Chaturthi, & Dinner in Denver with Ramloti from 6:30pm - 9pm, at Windsong Condominiums Club House (East), 7474 E. Arkansas Ave, Denver 80231. Call Hari Morisetti for more information at 303-522-2633.
October 11 - 19 - Fall Navratri, nine days honoring the Divine Mother. Daily fire ceremonies, pujas, discourses, and readings.
October 28 - Chanting Night in Dallas, TX with Ramloti. Call Romesh at 214-547-9133 for location and more information.
October 29 - Chanting Night in Houston, TX with Ramloti. Call Sandra Kachmarik at (713) 628-7413 or Tina at (713) 454-4563 for location and more information.
November 9 - Diwali, Festival of Lights. Fire ceremony at 10am. Chanting in candle-lit temple at 7pm followed by a light meal.
February 14, 2008 - Shri Babaji's Mahasamadhi. Paduka Puja at 5:30pm followed by aarati.
March 6, 2008 - Maha Shivaratri with all-night chanting and fire ceremony March 7 at 10am.
April 5 - April 13, 2008 - Spring Navratri, nine days to honor the Mother. Daily fire ceremonies, pujas, discourses, and readings.
July 18, 2008 - Guru Purnima Day, the day you honor your guru. Paduka Puja at 9:30am, Fire ceremony at 10am followed by an Indian feast.
September 29 - October 7, 2008 - Fall Navratri, nine days to honor the Mother. Daily fire ceremonies, pujas, discourses, and readings.
October 28, 2008 - Diwali, the festival of lights. Fire ceremony at 10am. Chanting at 7pm.
Maha Lakshmi Shop Report
A team of hardy karma yogis unpacked the 27 huge crates of murtis, drums, harmoniums, brass puja items, and books. The photo shows the last of the survivors after most of the work was done. Here they are loading the blue pickup truck with the last of the empty crates. The Shop is exceedingly full and ready for your order.
We are restocked with The Teachings of Babaji ($12), Message from the Himalayas ($12), and Babaji the Unfathomable (($9.50). We also received a new edition of The Srimad Devi Bhagavatam translated by Rai Bahadur Srischandra. It comes in two volumes and sells for $63.
You can call the shop toll-free at 866-686-4185 to order or for more information. We are open daily from 9am until 5pm. We do take Mastercard, Discover, and Visa. To view items in the Maha Lakshmi Shop, please refer to our newly updated web site at BabajiAshram.org.
You may order on line through paypal or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or of course, place the order over the phone. We love to talk with you.
We thank you for all of your shop purchases as the revenue from the shop is a huge support for the Ashram.
Bhole Baba Ki Jai!