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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 caretakers of the land.
Dear Friends of the Ashram,
Everyone at the Ashram sends their love and appreciation to each of you and their wishes for a blessed and peaceful New Year. As we walk into this new year, let us remember the words of Shri Babaji.
"In the world today, fire is bursting out on one side while nectar flows on the other. You must decide if you chose fire or nectar...."
Although there is much to be concerned about as we enter 2009, I also feel deeply that a shift is coming toward more light and wisdom on this earth. I see it in the eyes of the children, I feel it when I am singing aarati in the temple, in my meditations, and when I am with the many visitors that travel to the Ashram. Although I am not one to put my head in the sand, I do think that if more of us spent time focusing on all the nectar that is flowing around us, the world would be a much healthier place.
My trip to India was once again very inspiring. Haidakhan was as beautiful and full of Babaji's Shakti as always. Being with Shri Muniraji kindles in me a deep sense of peace and serenity. Going to the temple in Etawah that was built through a vision of Babaji by simple folks in a remote village is beyond description. Seeing all of the devotees at the Paduka Puja in Ludhiana in the Punjab was very touching. Read on for more and photos.
Since I will be with my family from the 22nd of January until February 18, there will be no February Newsletter. Cindy Cleary may send out an update on our upcoming on-line auction and how you can support it. See below for upcoming events in the next two months and I hope to see you in Florida or at Shivaratri on February 23.
Evening aarati at the temple is at 6pm and morning aarati is at 7am. Lunch is served around 12:30 and we love you to visit. The full-moon fire ceremony is on Saturday, January 10 and Monday, February 9. The new-moon fire ceremony is on Monday, January 26 and Tuesday, February 24. All fire ceremonies begin at 10:08am and are followed by a meal. If you would like to participate by sponsoring a fire, we would like to send you a blessed item from the ceremony. They are:
$27 sponsorship - Copper, brass, nickel Om Namah Shivaya bracelet
$54 sponsorship - Rose Quartz, Rosewood, Sandalwood, or Tulsi Mala
$108 sponsorship - Rudraksha or Crystal Mala
You can make the donation online 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
The Ashram's Lens on Squidoo.com
The Ashram has created a lens page at www.squidoo.com/Babaji-s-Ashram. What is Squidoo and why sign up the Ashram? First of all, two separate people who were visiting the Ashram suggested it as a way to bring more people to the Ashram and the Maha Lakshmi Shop. When researching it, this is what we found on their charity page www.squidoo.com/charity-sign-up.
"A big big part of Squidoo's mission is to send more money to deserving non-profits so they can do good in our online and offline communities. We do that by matching hard-working charities with our hard-working lensmasters.
"Lensmasters build webpages called "lenses" -- pages that snap their point of view on a particular topic into focus. They can earn royalties from the ads on these lenses, and if they sell things on the page, like books from Amazon, or kitchen gear on eBay. Now here's the cool part: When they set their earnings to go to a charity we support, that charity gets the donation. For free!"
Some ways you can help is by going to the link above, reading our lens, and commenting on it at the bottom. You can also write you own lens about your experience at the Ashram or other related topic (can be much simpler then ours) and reference our lens. The internet is a powerful tool and the more interconnections you have on it (like a spider web), the more exposure you receive. As you can see, we put a few shop items on eBay and we also have books on Amazon. Any more ideas that you may have to let more people know about the Ashram, please let us know.
Bal Gokulam - Saturday, January 17
Our monthly children's program continues to be very popular with our families. Our next Bal Gokulam will be on Saturday, January 17, from 10am until noon followed by a potluck lunch. Each month there is a different focus on a particular deity or aspect of the Divine.
The program includes stories, yoga, chanting, coloring, sharing, and puja. We have many children and parents that look forward to coming every time and there are always new participants as well. Please call Cindy at 719-256-5007 or Shila at 719-256-4477 for more information.
Ceremonies in Florida - Jan. 17 & 18
The American Haidakhan Samaj and the Ashram will travel to Florida for a semi-annual get-together on January 17 and 18th. Ramloti will be representing the Ashram.
On Saturday evening at 7:30pm we will have an evening of chanting and slides at the Transformational Studies Institute. The address is 108 Intracoastal Point Drive, Jupiter, Florida 33447. It is always a joyful event. For more information please call 561-744-9123.
The next day we will gather at Harmony House at 9am for a sacred fire ceremony, aarati, chanting, satsang, and a potluck. The address for this event is 102 Avocado Road, Delray Beach, Florida 33444. This is where local devotees meet monthly for the sacred fire and aarati. Nirmal and Indira Sharma will travel there from Boston to help conduct the fire ceremony. It will be wonderful to meet with everyone again. If you are in the area, please try to attend. For more information please call Richard at 561-371-0067 or Elaine at 561-277-8326.
Shivaratri - Monday, February 23
Join us for a magical, inspiring, and energetic evening of all-night chanting on Shivaratri. The night that Lord Shiva is said to be most present on the earth, is a special time to sing His praises and do special pujas throughout the night. We begin with the first puja following evening aarti at 7pm. We then take a break and regather at 10pm for the next puja and chanting until 4am.
The next morning we will have a fire ceremony at 10am followed by a feast in Lord Shiva's honor. Please join us if you are able for this special celebration.
Navratri - March 26 - April 3
It is never too early to begin planning for those wonderful nine days that we set aside every Spring and Fall to honor and thank our Divine Mother.
The celebration this year will begin on Thursday, March 26 and complete on Friday, April 3. This is always a very busy time at the Ashram and the dormitory, particularly on the weekend, fills up quickly.
So call us at 719-256-4108 or email us at email@example.com when you know your plans.
Kirtan Hall Update
Our kirtan hall is a shining light at the Ashram and in this community and it has all been built by your donations and support.
We are pleased to let you know that through your donations, matching pledges, monthly tithes, and all of your shop purchases, our kirtan hall loan now has been paid down to $28,000.
We would like to encourage you to make a monthly automatic pledge to pay down the kirtan hall loan. Either call the Ashram at 719-256-4108 with your credit card number and ask us to charge a set amount every month ($501, $108, $54, $27, $10.08....) or go to our website and ask PayPal to deduct a certain amount from your account each month, Click Here. You can also send a check to the Ashram at P.O. Box 9, Crestone, CO 81131 or donate online by clicking here. We want to thank you for all of your continued support in this meaningful project.
India Trip, A Great Adventure
Arriving in India, we went pretty directly to see Shri Muniraji in his home in Haldwani where we attended his fire ceremony and aarati. He got to meet all the new new devotees including Pramod Gupta who had overseen the building of Shri Babaji's temple in Etawah (see article below).
We then headed for Haidakhan in all its beauty. We crossed the pristine Gautama Ganga River to head to the Gufa side of the Ashram where the sacred cave and nine temples are located. Here we were warmly greeted by Gaurhari, the pujari and some of the children that live there.
Too soon we had to leave Haidakhan but were in for special treat when we traveled on an overnight train to Ludhiana in the Punjab. Here in some lovely devotees' home, Shri Babaji Padukas and Shri Muniraji had already arrived for a three day yagna and gathering. The fire ceremonies were strong, the chanting energizing, and the company of so many devotees wonderful. Even more special were spending these three days with Shri Muniraji. Here he is shown holding babies as we sung the aarati and he handed out prasad. His love for all was so apparent. When asked for a message for America, he said, "I send my love to all. Be happy!"
Bhajans in Delhi, India
Our good friend, Arvind Suman and his family organized a great gathering in Delhi. Over 50 people performed aarti and sang bhajans together. Prakash on the dollak from Santa Fe and Ramloti on the harmonium led the event. They were accompanied by Kalavati on percussion from Germany and Jonas on the camera (taking photos) from Reno, Nevada.
It was a great joy to see this family who had moved back to India last spring. We had become very close to them over the years and were happy to be with them again.
The Babaji Temple in Etawah, UP, India
How special to see the Babaji Temple in Etawah totally completed with the lovely murti of Old Haidakhan Babaji, the large Shiva Lingam with Nande, and all the other murtis. After arriving and being warmly greeted by the family, several villagers arrived (many of them children) and we began chanting in the temple. What a joyous time we had. They then served us a delicious lunch, we took a little nap and we were too soon headed for the train station for our four-hour train ride back to Delhi. The family warmly invites all to visit. Just call Pramod Gupta at 011-91-941-199-2457.
On Saturday the 20th of December we had our monthly Bal Gokulam. It was solstice time so it felt especially nice to gather with the children and the parents. Cindy took us on a beautiful yoga journey and as we were imagining being animals and various elements in the nature we did our asanas It was so Fun. This time we honored Radha and Krishna and also performed a puja to 4 little murtis.
We have been doing Bal Gokulam for a year now and it has really established its place in the community. We have children with their parents that come every time and there are also new children joining.
This is what Jo DelAmor wrote about her and her daughter, Luna's experience:
"Thanks so much for Bal Gokulam today. Luna and I had a great time. Seeing her have so much fun with these beautiful spiritual teachings and practices makes me truly happy. The whole experience caters so perfectly to the children. They seem to really enjoy this special time "just for them." They love the yoga, are fascinated by the Vedic stories and are completely enthralled with the pujas. Honestly, I can't say enough about how much we love Bal Gokulam. I love the nurturing feeling of being so deeply welcomed on these special children's days. And I'm thrilled to see Luna learning cooperation, patience, honesty and other important life skills from the practices and stories. And all this while having a super fun time with so many beautiful friends!
Christmas at the Ashram
It was definitely a cold Christmas this year with lots of snow blocking the way for our usual abundance of visitors at this time of year. Still, some hardy local families made it up and we had a warm evening of aarati and Christmas carols in the temple.
We then went to the Earthship and shared some food and warm drinks. We also exchanged some simple gifts. The children each got a small treasure. Kailou received a pop-up book of Hindu altars. Jade got a small sari that fit her beautifully and little Sage got a turban, which she loves to wear.
Fire Ceremonies and Visitors
Although the snow stopped after Christmas, letting that wonderful sunshine fill up all of our solar systems, it was still very very cold on the 27th of December for our new-moon fire ceremony. Remarkably, 20 people attended including four children.
It was a warm gathering afterwards for chanting in the temple followed by lunch in the earthship.
Finally the weather became warmer, roads thawed out and so our number of visitors increased. Many wanted to spend the last day of the year or the first day of the new year with Mother in the temple.
Calendar for 2009
January 10 - Full-moon fire ceremony at 10am followed by a meal.
January 17 - Bal Gokulam children's program from 10am until noon followed by potluck.
January 17 - An evening of Chanting and Slides in Jupiter, Flordia. Call 561-744-9123 for information.
January 18 - Fire Ceremony, Aarati, Satsang, and Potluck in Delrey Beach, Flordia. Call Richard at 561-371-0067 or Elaine at 561-277-8326 for more information.
January 26 - New-moon fire ceremony at 10am followed by a meal.
February 9 - Full-moon fire ceremony at 10am followed by a meal.
February 14 - Shri Babaji's Mahasamadhi. Paduka Puja at 5:45pm and aarati at 6pm.
February 23 - Maha Shivaratri with all-night chanting and fire ceremony the following morning at 10:08am followed by a feast.
March 26 - April 3 - Spring Navratri, the Divine Mother Festival.
July 7 - Guru Purnima Day with Paduka Puja at 9:30am, fire ceremony at 10:08am, followed by feast.
July 19 - 25 - Annual Family Week and Concurrent Workshop at the Ashram.
September 18 - 26 - Fall Navratri, the Divine Mother Festival.
October 17, 2009 - Diwali, Festival of Lights. Fire ceremony at 10am. Chanting at 7pm.
Maha Lakshmi Shop Report
Ramloti and fellow travelers really bought a lot of beautiful (and reasonably priced) items in India for the Maha Lakshmi Shop.
Here is a small sample of some of them. We have lovely cotton-rayon stoles back in stock. The plain colors are $10 and the multi-colored are $15. We are also restocked with Babaji Signature altar clothes in many colors for $10. Also shown are our gold bordered silk altar clothes which are always very popular at $25. There is a magnificent array of colors. You can see all of these and the colors available on our our newly updated shop website at shop.babajiashram.org and buy on-line through PayPal or eMail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also always call us on our toll-free number at 866-686-4185 to order or for more information. We thank you for all of your shop purchases as the revenue from the shop is a huge support for the Ashram. We are open daily from 9am until 5pm. We take Mastercard, Discover, and Visa.