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Ashram Mission Statement
We aspire to live the Teachings of Haidakhan Baba, to share the Love
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
beginning of December found me in the beautiful home of Shri Babaji
in the foothills of the Himalayas. I traveled there this year with Rita,
who has been to Haidakhan several times before. She elected to stay
on the main side of the Ashram where she normally stays and I stayed
by myself on the Gufa side, where I normally stay. It was a profound
experience to be there all by myself in the silence of the jungle. I
realized that I had been taking new people to Haidakhan for the last
many years and although I know it has been a good service, I think I
will be reserving this time, if Shri Babaji allows me to go again, as
my personal retreat.
My main karma yoga in Haidakhan was shopping for the Maha Lakshmi Shop
which may sound like a breeze but I fill two huge duffle bags of items
each year and it normally takes me three or four days to make all the
buying decisions. Although it is not as convenient as buying things
in Delhi, it feels good to support the shop in Haidakhan as much as
possible. They also have many treasures there that are specially made
for the shop.
other karma yoga this year was working on what I hope is the final edit
of the book about Shri Babaji’s leelas during His manifestation
from the 1800’s to 1920. Written by our beloved Shastriji’s
(Vishnu Datt Mishra) brother, Giri Lal Mishra, it was published in Hindi
many years ago but it had not been translated and published in English
So I was immersed a good part of my time in these inspiring stories
told by folks who had been with Shri Babaji during that manifestation.
Then to sit in Babaji's kutir (room) and see His padukas being washed,
receive chandan in His room, sit in the kirtan hall where we would sing
aarati with Babaji, sing aarati at the nine temples, and meditate in
the dhuni and the sacred cave was utterly profound.
Returning home to Crestone, we had a Board meeting a few days later
at which we discussed the building of a kutir for Babaji here at the
Ashram. Donors have come forward and so it looks as if this will happen
this spring. We have had the foundation in place near the temple since
1987 but it has never been built. It will be simple, very much like
Baba’s kutir in Haidakhan. It is hard to put into words the feeling
I have of Shri Babaji’s stronger and stronger presence here. In
the past I have always wanted Shri Babaji to manifest here in physical
form but I could not imagine in in my mind what that would be like.
Now it just seems so natural. I can see Him sitting on the beautiful
large assan that we have made for Him in the kirtan hall, I can see
Him sleeping in His new bed in the kutir, going to the creek for His
morning bath, and giving chandan followed by a small fire ceremony in
the small havan that we have built near His room. I can see Him sitting
with His devotees around Him, singing aarati, blessing them all, giving
out prasad, and overseeing the work that goes on at the Ashram. It is
a very inspiring time.
The rest of December has been full of Shri Babaji’s and Mother’s
blessings with many special events. You can read on to find out more
and about our upcoming activities. All of these events have really one
main purpose, to kindle the constant remembrance of the Divine Presence
of Shri Babaji in each person that we interact with here at the Ashram
or when we travel. May the New Year find us all more aware of the divinity
around and within us at all times.
In truth and love, Ramloti
January Fire Ceremonies and Schedule
Our fire ceremonies in January will be on Friday, January 15 (new-moon)
and Friday, January 29 (full-moon). The fire ceremonies begin at 10:08am
and are followed by a meal. Our evening aarati is at 6pm and morning
aarati is at 8am during the winter. Lunch is served at about 1pm. The
Maha Lakshmi Shop is open every day from 10am until 5pm.
If you would like to participate by sponsoring a fire ceremony, we
would like to send you a blessed item from the fire ceremony. They are:
$27 sponsorship - Copper, brass, nickel Om Namah Shivaya
$54 sponsorship - Rose Quartz, Rosewood, Sandalwood, or Tulsi Mala
$108 sponsorship - Rudraksha/Crystal Mala 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 to: P.O. Box 9, Crestone, CO 81131. We are continually
grateful for all of your support.
Our monthly children’s program,
Bal Gokulam, will be on Saturday, January 9 from 10am
until noon followed by a potluck lunch. This program
continues to be very important to our local families.
The children become more and more familiar with the
traditions of the Ashram and ask to come up for the
fire ceremonies, pujas, and other activities.
Each month Cindy Cleary and Vesper Gers take the children
and adults through
some simple and fun yoga postures, teach them a few simple chants, tell
a story about the deity that is being honored that day while the children
color a picture of the deity. They then bathe, dress, adorn, and offer
aarati to the deity and finish with a few more chants. After they finish,
they all come over to the earthship for a potluck lunch. If you would
like to join in and your child is any age (or even if you do not have
any children) you are welcome. We do require that a parent or guardian
be here at all times.
If you have questions about the program you can call Cindy
at 719-256-5007 or Vesper at 719-256-4569.
are lots of devotees in Florida that maintain a monthly fire ceremony
and aarati throughout the year. As the Ashram is a bit quieter in January
(and a bit colder) it is always a joy to go and chant, share stories
of Shri Babaji (satsang), and participate in a fire ceremony with them.
are three public events, each in different locations and each with its
own tenor and energy. We hope you can join us for one, two, or all of
these. Call the phone numbers for more information and directions to
the events. Ramloti and Madhuri from Ireland will be leading the chanting.
Sharma, president of the American Haidakhan Samaj will join us with
his wonderful wife, Indira, for the Saturday night and Sunday morning
programs. They are flying in from Boston, MA.
will also have the pleasure of having Richard Cahall, Treasurer of the
Samaj, join us for all the programs. He will be flying in from Seattle,
WA. Here he is shown with the secretary of the Samaj, Elaine Heroux,
who has helped organize the tour. We are very grateful to the American
Haidakhan Samaj for cosponsoring this event, which is part of the work
of the Samaj to foster and support the centers of Babaji around the
country. To find out more about the Samaj go to www.BabajiSamaj.org.
Here are the dates and locations. We hope to see you and please spread
Friday night, January 15 - Plantation, Florida–
Chanting, puja, satsang, images of Babaji, His Ashrams, and India at
7pm. The location is 1501 SW. 52nd Terrace, Plantation, FL 33317. For
more information call Robert at 954-873-8083.
Saturday night, January 16 – Jupiter, Florida – Chanting,
puja, satsang, images of Babaji, His Ashrams, and India at 7pm. The
location is Transformational Studies Institute, 108 Intracoastal Pointe,
Dr., Jupiter, FL. 33477. Call the Institute at 561-744-9123 for more
information and directions.
Sunday morning (9am until noon), January 17 - Delray Beach, Florida
- Fire Ceremony, chanting, chandan, aarati, satsang followed by a potluck
brunch at Harmony House 102 Avocado Rd., Delray Beach, FL. 33444.
We are hoping for another Makar Sankrant dip in the Atlantic Ocean
after the brunch like this one from our previous visit, so bring your
Call Sal and Sarena Morella at 561-274-0883 or Elaine at 561-277-8326
for more information and directions.
Chanting in Colorado Springs
will be a program of puja, chanting, and satsang in Colorado Spring
on Saturday, February 6 from noon until 2pm. This will be followed by
a potluck meal. The location is the home of Monica and Sumit Celly's
(and their son, Arindam) at 2840 Helnsdale Dr., Colorado Springs, CO
80920. The occasion is to help bless their new home.
We hope that you can join Ramloti and all the wonderful folks of Colorado
Springs on this day. For more information you can call Monica at 719-533-1579.
Maha Shivaratri - February 12
a year we come together to chant to Lord Shiva all night. This night
is called Maha Shivaratri, the great night of Lord Shiva. It is said
to be the night that Lord Shiva's presence is most available to us on
We do special pujas to the Shiva Lingam intermixed with Lord Shiva
chants. There are generally up to 50 people chanting, dancing, and playing
instruments, so staying up all night is rarely difficult with this much
energy. This year, since it falls on a Friday night, it could be easier
for more people to attend.
The next morning, Saturday, February 13, we have our new-moon fire
ceremony at 10:08am followed by a feast. Please join us for all or any
of the festivities.
Mark Your Calendars
Spring Navratri - March 15 - 23
Our wonderful Divine Mother Festival, Spring Navratri is early this
year. The dates are March 15 through March 23, so put the dates on your
calendars and call the Ashram for reservations as soon as you know you
will be able to attend as the dormitory always fills up quickly, particularly
on the weekends. The phone number is 719-256-4108.
Annual Spring On-line Auction
year's on-line auction was a huge success and a lot of fun too! We raised
enough money to make it possible to pay off the entire kirtan hall loan
in 2009! Thank you to all who helped so generously.
We are looking to have our next annual auction in late April of this
year. We ask your support. To all who donated items last year, if you
wish to donate again, just email us at email@example.com
or call Cindy at 719-256-5007 with the information as we still have
a lot of it on file. Those of you who did not come up with an item to
donate, perhaps you could look in your garage or attic for that vitamix,
juicer, sewing machine, or other household item you no longer use. Or
perhaps you have a service you can offer on-line. We also appreciate
those who would like to be a sponsor. Please begin thinking what might
sell and how you can support the Ashram in a very fun and valuable way.
Maintaining Baba and Mother's
These are the slower
times of the year and the days are short but there is still plenty of
activity at the Ashram and much needs to be done. This is the time of
year that Premanand is taking care of the greenhouse, planning next
season’s garden, and keeping a close eye on the solar and other
mechanical systems of the Ashram.
(with karma yogis) does a lot of wood chopping and gathering for the
fire ceremonies, fires in the dormitory and hermitage. He also is out
there after every snow clearing the paths and driveway.
Ramloti is updating
the website, writing newsletters and newspaper articles, pricing and
stocking all the new items in the shop, and organizing events in different
areas of the country for winter and spring.
Besides these jobs, they are also pujaris morning and evening, cooking,
cleaning, ordering food, and beginning to sew Mother’s saris for
Spring Navratri. This year we have Madhuri here for two months from
Ireland who has been a big help with many of the karma yoga projects
and playing the harmonium leading chanting.
This maintenance is done with love and attention because it is what
is needed to keep this beautiful home of Shri Babaji and the Divine
Mother in excellent condition befitting to Them both. It
is also important to keep it in good condition so that we can host all
of you that enjoy coming here for spiritual refreshment from time to
time. We invite you to participate as you are able. Many of you cannot
come for an extended period of time to help with the karma yoga but
perhaps you can add energy to this work through your financial support.
There are several ways to do this and we appreciate deeply what ever
you are able to do. We are all so fortunate to share this home with
Shri Babaji and the Divine Mother here in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado
We would like to encourage you to make a monthly automatic pledge toward
the Ashram maintenance. 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 Pay
Pal 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. We want to thank you for all of your continued support.
Upgrades to Our Website
We have been updating the Ashram website recently. We have added a
new topic on the left scroll bar, Ashram Residency. This has links to
the Ashram staff’s stories of their experiences with Shri Babaji and
many other people’s experiences of visiting the Ashram. If you want
to dive into the Ashram experience a little deeper, this would be the
place to go. The address is www.babajiashram.org/pages/ashram-residency.php.
Meanwhile the other newer item on our website, Family Issues, has also
had additional articles added to it. Family is such an important place
where the future generation learns its values and ways of dealing with
life situations that we decided to add these articles that Ramloti,
who is a Certified Parent Educator, writes each month for the Crestone
Eagle. That address is www.babajiashram.org/pages/family-issues.php.
Please let us know if there is more you would like to see on our website
that would be helpful to you. Bhole Baba Ki Jai!
India Trip by Ramloti
India is always
a very full and also strenuous trip. Just getting there takes about
24 hours and then the noise and pollution of Delhi is pretty overwhelming.
I am blessed to have wonderful friends to stay with and much help getting
all of the shopping for the Maha Lakshmi Shop done. However, I am always
grateful to get on the overnight train to Haldwani and know that I will
be with Shri Muniraji in the morning sitting at his havan with him and
singing aarati. As always, he was a fountain of peace and love. Although
he is now in his eighties, he still goes to the office everyday and
continues his daily puja and havan practices. He is such a strong example
of living the householder life while still being deeply dedicated and
connected to the Divine.
The next day, Rita and I headed for Haidakhan which is such a very
special place worthy of everyone's pilgrimage there. As it says in the
aarati (that we sing twice a day at the Ashram), "Haidakhan is
a wonderful place, very holy giving joy and solace." The people
that have been there for so many years are truly examples of Babaji's
teaching of karma yoga.
has been pujari on the gufa (cave) side of the ashram since the late
1970's wakes up at 3am every morning and bathes and dresses 18 murtis.
As if this is not enough, he spends much of the rest of the day plowing
the fields and tending the cows of the Ashram. He is also there for
any of the villagers that may need help. I love just to sit with him
and observe and feel his blissful happiness.
Feeling the deep presence of Shri Babaji is the main experience that
keeps calling me back to Haidakhan. Another of the boons of this year's
India trip is a deeper and more constant connection with the mantra,
Om Namah Shivaya.
Traveling to India totally turns my days and nights upside down (it
is 12 hours ahead of Colorado time). I find myself awake much of the
night and generally spend a lot of that time doing japa (repetition
of God’s name). I also find myself doing a lot of japa anytime
I am in a vehicle in India because that is such an extreme experience!
Haidakhan, the mantra seems to vibrate very strongly with so many years
of this tradition there. I am grateful for that reminder of how important
it is in my life and am currently spending time looking at what I am
thinking about when I am not doing the mantra and whether those thoughts
are necessary or helpful for me.
Om Namah Shivaya.
It was a very
special Bal Gokulam this month focusing on Jesus, Mary, and Joseph and
the Christmas story. We were really blessed to have two members of the
Carmelites here to share stories and Christmas songs with the children.
Suzy, who has long been a member of the community primarily living
here in Crestone, has an angelic voice.
Bev, a newer member of the Carmelites is an author and has recently
written a children's book. Everyone enjoyed their presence immensely
(and it seems they enjoyed being with the children too).
To add to it all, the children made ornaments with which they decorated
the small Norfolk pine tree that grows in the temple.
They also set up the manger with Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Once set
up, they sang Christmas songs, and did aarati to baby Jesus, Mary and
The temple looked ready for Christmas when they were done and everyone
was very excited when they headed down to the earthship for a delicious
There were not
quite as many visitors this year since there was a pretty big snowfall
days before. But the local families made it up for Christmas Eve aarati
and it was warm and cozy being together in the temple. After the aarati
we sang Christmas carols and exchanged small gifts. The children loved
it, as did the adults.
Full-moon Fire Ceremony Honoring
though the temperature was near freezing, over 70 people attended the
last fire ceremony of the year held on New Years Eve morning. The second
full-moon in December (blue moon) was chosen to remember Kailash in
a special way, who passed away in late October. Kailash was one of the
main builders of the original Divine Mother temple, so we chose to bury
some of his ashes behind it, since he loved it there so much.
the cold, our beautiful Colorado sun was shining brightly. That and
the warmth of the fire itself kept folks warm and spirits focused on
prayers for Kailash, all who had asked for prayers, the cosmos, and
gratitude for all that is given to us by the Divine.
After the fire ceremony, we processed with Shri Babaj’s padukas
and photograph around the temple and buried some of Kailash’s
ashes there. Some memories bubbled up in folks’ mind and they
were shared about the wonderful man and friend he was to us all. We
then went into the temple and several of us led chants on the harmonium
that reminded us of him. He was such an excellent musician and singer
he will always be missed when we gather to sing kirtan and aarati together.
We then all went down to the earthship, which was filled to the brim
with people but everyone was in good spirits and the food and chai was
enough for all. It was a beautiful last day of the year and a good day
to pay our final respects to our dear Kailash.
Visitors to the Ashram
Now that winter is here, we definitely see fewer visitors. Still we
have those that manage to find their ways here particularly on a sunny
Classes also continue to come up. At the new-moon fire ceremony we
had both a first grade class with 15 children from the Charter School
and the massage school class of 10 students from the Crestone Healing
Children and Families
The Ashram continues to be a place of gathering, particularly for our
children and families. The children play so nicely with one another,
help with the dishes after meals, and are quite respectful in the temple.
We scheduled our
December bowling day during Christmas vacation so that some of our families
and children could attend.
Others, like Paul, who serves on our Board of Directors, celebrate
their birthdays at the Ashram.
Some, like Shashi and Bipin, gain solace at the Ashram, particularly
from the children, after the loss of their fifteen-year-old daughter
a few months ago.
Calendar for 2010
January 9 - Bal Gokulam (children's program)
10am-noon followed by potluck lunch.
January 15 - New-moon fire ceremony at 10am
followed by a meal.
January 15 (7pm) - Ramloti and Madhuri will
lead chanting, satsang, and show images of Babaji, His ashrams and of
India at 1501 SW. 52nd Terrace, Plantation, FL. 33317. Call Bob at 954-873-8083
for more information.
January 16 (7 pm) - Ramloti, Madhuri, and
Nirmal will lead chanting, satsang, and show images of Babaji, His ashrams
and of India at Transformation Studies Institute, 108 Intracoastal Pointe
Dr, Jupiter, FL. 33477. Call the Center at 561-744-9123 for more information.
January 17 (9 am) - Fire ceremony, aarati,
and chanting at 102 Avocado Dr, Delray Beach, FL. 33444 with Ramloti,
Madhuri and Nirmal. Call Elaine at 561-277-8326 for more information.
January 29 - Full-moon fire ceremony at 10am
followed by a meal.
February 6 (noon) - Ramloti will lead chanting and satsang at 2840 Helnsdale Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80920. Call Monica and Sumit at 719-533-1579 for more information.
February 12 - Maha Shivaratri - all night
chanting to Lord Shiva.
February 13 - New-moon fire ceremony at 10am
followed by a meal.
March 15 - 23 - Spring Navratri, the Divine
July 24 - 25 - Annual American Samaj Weekend
July 25 - Guru Purnima Day
July 26 - 30 - Annual Family Week and Concurrent
October 7 - 15 - Fall Navratri, the Divine
October 17 - Diwali, Festival of Lights. Fire
ceremony at 10am. Chanting at 7pm.
Maha Lakshmi Shop Report
many items will one shop hold? That was the question when Ramloti
and Madhuri unpacked all the treasures from India. The next day, bright
and early, we had shoppers that were taking advantage of the very
low prices on all the new goodies from India. There is still plenty
left but some of the items, like our $9 rayon/cotton shawls and $9
beaded purses, are going fast. Since it is not possible to put every
item (many are one-of-a-kind) on line, call the Shop at 719-256-4108
for your special order.
There are still a few Shri Babaji 2010 Calendars from Italy available,
for only $15.
You can check our website for all the new items at BabajiAshram.org
and order on line through
pay pal or e-mail 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 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. We are open daily from 10am until 5pm.
We take Mastercard, Discover, and Visa.