The Eighth Annual On-Line Fundraising Auction was a great success! With all of your help, we raised over $14,000, the best we have ever done. We are deeply grateful to all that participated. We have remembered you in our prayers and at our fire ceremonies.
As I was awarding all of the items that were purchased on the auction, I noticed how many people from around the country (and even a few internationally) that were bidding on them. Many new people who may have come once to the Ashram or we might have met on a tour were placing bids. It seemed that when we put out the call to help us meet our goal toward the end of the auction, many people found something that they could use or cherish that had no bid on it and won the item. I have already heard from several who are treasuring the items they received from Babaji, the Divine Mother, or Haidakhan. I was really deeply touched by the love and support shown by so many people to help keep this home of Shri Babaji and the Divine Mother in beautiful shape in Their honor. A very loving thank you to all!
May is the month when our neighbors, The Shumei International Institute, celebrate their anniversary. Several of us from the Ashram attended both their interfaith celebration on Saturday and their annual Sampai, keynote speech, and natural-agriculture luncheon on Sunday. Seeing so many of our friends from around Crestone made me once again so appreciative of living in this unique place in the world where over 30 spiritual groups are located and collaborate together. The Saturday program this year was dedicated to Maurice Strong, who passed away recently and his wife Hanne, who had the vision to create this “Refuge of World Truths” and donated the land to the many dharmas from around the world. The Ute Indians came from Arizona to commemorate Maurcie with a sacred pipe ceremony and dance. It was a special time together.
This last weekend was Memorial Day Weekend. Like the other 3-day weekends, we were totally booked each night and prepared for many daytime visitors. But the amount of folks who traveled to the Ashram this last weekend was far more than ever before. It seemed like people just kept coming and coming. It was almost overwhelming but it was also a beautiful dance of cooperation and love. Many visitors jumped in and helped with the cooking, chai preparation, and clean up. We also had our tremendously generous staff and karma yogis who cooked, cleaned, answered questions, ran the shop, and welcomed folks in the temple. It was really touching and once again an excellent example of Shri Babaji’s teaching of welcoming all of humanity.
One group of visitors on the weekend was a three-generation family from Texas. The father, a dentist in Dallas, said that now they were accustomed to the 12-hour drive to come to the temple. Their children are now in their late teens, the oldest, having just graduated from high school, is on her way to become a dentist like her father. They had their 7-year old nephew with them. We were told that his parents like him to spend time with his older cousins so that he can learn from them. The grandparents, who barely spoke English, were deeply moved by the love and devotion at the Ashram and the beautiful temple, they look forward to returning again next year. Knowing that they have an Indian tailor that they use in Dallas, before they left I brought out a kurta and lunghi of Shri Babaji’s from His kutir. They were very honored when I asked them to have their tailor stitch three new sets of kurtas and lunghis for Babaji from the luxurious silk that had been gifted recently to the Ashram. We are so excited to receive these for Baba and deeply grateful for these and all the wonderful visitors who frequent and support this Ashram.
Finally I would like to speak about Premanand who has been serving at the Ashram for the last twenty years with deep dedication. Since he arrived about the beginning of May twenty years ago, he felt he would like to take a long, extended, and well-deserved vacation to renew his energy beginning in May of this year. Well due to shortage of dependable cars at the Ashram and finding enough people to take on the huge amount of responsibilities that he shoulders here, he has not left yet. We are hopeful that he will be able to leave early this month.
We have a few extra karma yogis here now and a great staff. So we are dividing up the jobs and training to take over the care of the garden, greenhouse, lawns, water system, electrical systems, heating systems, general repairs, vehicles, cats, and trash removal. It will be a big change not to have him here for several months and his amazing drumming and melodic voice will be missed at morning and evening aarati, especially by me playing the harmonium, but we are grateful that he can take some time to renew, refresh, relax, and just have fun. We send him with all of our love and gratitude and look forward to his return.
In Truth and Love,
Ceremonies and Schedule
The new-moon fire ceremony this month is on Saturday, June 4 and the full-moon fire ceremony will be on Monday, June 20. The fire ceremonies begin at 10am and are followed by a meal. Please arrive ten minutes early, freshly bathed, in a long skirt or pants with shoulders covered, and having fasted from grains, cereals, meat, eggs, garlic and onions. Fruit, yogurt, unsalted nuts, veggies and tea or coffee are fine to eat before. Also, if you have a dietary need for something more hearty before our meal at 11:30 or so, please partake.
Our evening aarati is at 6pm and morning aarati at 7am, with paduka puja at 6:15am and the small fire ceremony is at 8:00am. We do not have the small fire ceremony when we have our large fire ceremony on new and full moon. Lunch is served at about 12:30 or 1pm, and we invite you to join us. (Call if you are a group or have special dietary needs.) The Maha Lakshmi Shop is open every day from 10am until 5pm. We love to see you.
If you would like to participate by sponsoring a fire ceremony or a bhandara (feast), we would be happy to send you a blessed item from the fire ceremony if you request. They are:
$27 sponsorship - Copper, brass, nickel Om Namah Shivaya bracelet
$54 sponsorship - Rudraksha, Rosewood, or Tulsi Mala
$108 sponsorship - Rose Quartz Mala or a copper, silver, brass Om Haidakhandi bracelet
(Click here to go to our Paypal link to sponsor a fire or bhandara.)
American Haidakhan Samaj Weekend July 29 -31
Join the Board of Directors of the American Haidakhan Samaj, who are calling all devotees to share their stories of Shri Babaji and their spiritual experiences! We have heard from so many people about the inspiration and peace watching videos of stories with Shri Babaji has given them, can you imagine hearing them in person. We are setting aside most of the first day of the weekend, Sat. July 30, for deep sharing, listening, and satsang.
Join us for a weekend of ceremony, sharing, chanting, and camaraderie as we make plans for the coming year to spread Shri Babaji's message more fully. Visit the Samaj website at www.babajisamaj.us and call the Ashram for reservations at 719-256-4108.
Family Week August 3 - 6
Our fun and inspirational Annual Family Week will be from Wednesday, August 3 through Friday, August 5, with wrap up and completion on Saturday morning, August 6.
The dorm for Family Week may already be booked (we are waiting on confirmation on one reservation), but there is also still room in the yurt and for camping. The children always want to come back year after year. Call us at 719-256-4108 for info or to reserve.
About Bhatuk Bhairav by JD Marston (aka Ram Dass)
Bhole Baba Ki Jai! (Victory to the Simple Father!)...It is impossible to calculate how many millions of times this jaikar has been vigorously exclaimed by devotees of Babaji. But what does it really mean? What are we saying? Before delving a bit further into this so familiar jaikar, it seems important to remember that the beliefs embodied in the traditions of the Sanatan Dharma are many, so many, that in India alone, it might be said that the Sanatan Dharma is not one spiritual belief, but rather an ocean of beliefs! Some scholars have counted at least 300 sects in the Sanatan Dharma and their beliefs may appear to be widely varied! Yet, regardless of appearances, the Sanatan Dharma is truly like an ocean – accepting and gathering all that flows into it...inclusive of all, with the attitude of: “This too, This too!”
In the tradition that we follow, Bhole Baba is an epithet of Kalbhairav, most often related to as the wrathful, commanding energy of Shiva, who many believe is the source of Creation, and also the One who dissolves it again. Bhole Baba – Simple Father - refers to Kalbhairav (Shiva) in the form of a young boy or young man. He appears as a wandering mendicant, or a 5-year-old boy riding on a black dog. He carries a club, a trishul, a skull bowl and damaru (drum). Tradition indicates that there was once a demon, by the name Aapad who did rigorous sadhana and developed many powers – including immortality – and used them to harass the gods and terrify creation. The gods then prayed to Shiva for help and from their powers and the intervention of Lord Shiva Himself, there was a flash of light and a 5-year-old boy became manifest. He became known as Bhatuk Bhairav, and because he appeared as a simple child, was also known as Bhole Baba. Because he is the offspring of all the gods, he is considered invincible. The demon that he defeated came to represent all of life's problems and sadhana repeating the mantra of Bhatuk Bhairav helps one overcome all life's problems.
Bhatuk Baba rides a black dog. The dog represents absolute love and devotion for his/her master, however, as happens with many of our pets, these emotions can develop into attachment, jealousy, and territorial control, especially when a stranger approaches! By riding the black dog, Bhatuk Bhairav shows his mastery over all forms of attachment. At the Haidakhandi Universal Ashram Bhatuk Bhairav appears on the left side of the entrance to the Divine Mother temple, where He, and also Hanuman on the opposite side, function as protector energies for the Divine Mother. The mantra for Bhatuk Baba, in our tradition, is said as follows: OM Bam Bhatukai, Aapad Uddaranaya, Kuru Kuru Bhatukai, Bam, OM Namah Shivaya (OM, Bam Bhatuk, put on a change, quickly, quickly, Bhatukai, Bam....or....OM, Bam Bhatuk, deliver us from difficulty, quickly, quickly Bhatukai, Bam, Om Namah Shivai) Bam is the bij or seed mantra sound that represents power, ability to break through.
As an emanation of Kalbhairav / Shiva, Bhole Baba can also teach us much about yoga, healing and sadhana...Bhole Baba Ki Jai!
The image to the left is the yantra of Batuk Baba created under the guidance of Vishnu Datt Shastriji. This image now hangs in the temple here in Crestone.
Karma Yoga at the Ashram
With all of the hundreds of visitors this month we are so grateful to have so many generous karma yogis who have helped with all of the cleaning, cooking, organizing, laundry, packing up auction items to mail, unpacking all of the new wares for the shop, and all the other things that keep this Ashram running. We have been so busy, very few photos were even taken of our valiant workers.
One of our big projects is photographing the Divine Mother for a future calendar. We have professional photographer and long time devotee, JD Marston, staying with us creating these divine images.