Every morning and evening at the Ashram we sing the beautiful aarati to Shri Babaji, much of which was cognized by Shri Mahendra Maharaj. One of the parts that always strikes me is the first line in the second verse of the Sharnagati Stav. It reads:
"Us Din To Nath Tumne Apna Bana Liya Tha" and translates to "Oh Lord, You made me Your own that day."
These words touch me deeply and often send me back to the first day I trepidatiously met Shri Babaji in His physical form. It was February, 1981 and after days of traveling, I had just arrived at the devotee's home that was hosting Babaji, in Wape, Gujarat. There was a huge tent set up where hundreds of people were singing morning aarati when I arrived. Several things occurred quickly and you can read the whole story on our website at http://www.babajiashram.org/ramloti
The part that is pertinent to this story is that the second time I went up to Him, He smiled so sweetly at me and asked me my name. I said my name was Deborah. He looked at me with searching eyes and said, “No, you Devi (I had been called Debby all my life and in India the letter “B” and “V” are very close). Then He said, “No, you Ramloti.” I asked Him what that meant, He handed me a toffee and told me to go ask Shastriji. Shastriji was standing off in a corner. He was a great Vedic scholar and the high priest at all of the ceremonies. He was so close to Babaji, even sleeping in His room, he called himself the shadow of Babaji. When I asked the meaning of my name he said, “Very good name, it means one who carries God inside of them at all times, when you are sleeping, speaking, playing, working, eating….” Needless to say, I was very touched to receive a name immediately from Babaji and learned later that this was one of the ways He expressed accepting you as a devotee. Indeed He made me His own that day!
On my next trip to be with Him in Haidakhan, it was summer of 1981. I barely remember what I was doing, perhaps trimming flowers along the walkway where we would sit with Him after His bath. All of a sudden He was standing next to me with His mouth next to my ear and He began whispering into my ear, "Ramloti, Ramloti, Ramloti, Ramloti, Ramloti...". I was transfixed by this sudden gesture of recognition and closeness. His energy, always so big, put me into momentous bliss, I do not remember anything more. Many years later I learned that when a baby is given a name in the Indian tradition, the father will often repeat it in the baby's ear over and over again. It is called the Namkaran Samskar Ceremony. Once again, another example of how He made me His own that day. I am so grateful to have this heavenly Father. Bhole Baba Ki Jai!
In Truth and Love,
Ceremonies and Schedule
The full-moon fire ceremony this month was on Monday, August 7 and with about 60 in attendance. We will not have a new-moon fire ceremony this month on Monday, July 21 due to the eclipse which will be happening during this time. Shri Babaji advised us to not go outside during the eclipse period nor to light fires during this time. So we will abide by this from 10am until 2pm. Our next full-moon fire ceremony will be on Wednesday, September 6 at 10am 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, morning aarati at 7am, 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. 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 donate link to sponsor a fire or bhandara.)
Fall Navratri (Divine Mother Festival) - September 20 - 28
The special time of year when we gather together to say thank you to our beautiful Mother, Haidakhandeshwari. Nine days of special pujas, chanting, discourses, daily fire ceremonies at 10am along with daily aaratis. We will honor the children on Sunday, September 24 after the fire ceremony. You are welcome to come for all or any of the time. We still have rooms available so contact us at email@example.com.
Babaji Weekend at Lake Lanier, Gainesville, Georgia - Sat & Sun - October 7 & 8
There will be a wonderful Babaji gathering at the beautiful lake house of Kelly and Pam on Lake Lanier which is about an hour outside of Atlanta, GA. in addition to the pujas, aaratis, chanting, satsang, fire ceremonies, Real Love gatherings, swimming, and boating, we are excited to announce that Vajra and Surdas whom you may have heard at the Ashram leading chanting or know from their several albums under Rahasya will be joining us on Sat and Sunday. It should be a very special time together. Call Ramloti at 719-256-4108 for more info and to reserve a space. We hope many of you can join us.
Update on Solar Project
We are so grateful to have had the new solar system operating in the earthship in time to purchase a new electric refrigerator for the first time before Family Week. This made it possible to accommodate all of our many groceries for the big groups, we even had ice cubes available for a young man who turned his ankle. Perhaps this escapes the wonder of most of you who have lived with an electric refrigerator all of your lives but for us on solar, this is a big deal. Thank you for all of your support.
We are also happy to announce that we have raised funds to continue with the solar upgrade in the dormitory although our solar man, Luke Christy, can not fit it into his schedule until September. Here is a video of him explaining the upgrade. We still have some minor components to purchase for the project so if you wish you can still contribute to the work. You can make your donation by clicking here and scrolling down to donate any amount or send a check made to HUA to PO Box 9, Crestone, CO 81131. Thank you for taking care of Shri Babaji's and Mother's home.
Karma Yoga Opportunity at the Ashram
We asked for support a couple of months ago for our fence surrounding the earthship. Gratefully a karma yogi came and did all of this for us. Now we are asking for support to build a new cover for the sand filter on our water system. This is about 25 years old and it is amazing it has weathered so long in our intense sunlight here at the Ashram. If you have the skills and time, let us know at 719-256-4108. If you would rather donate some funds toward hiring a carpenter and buying the supplies for the project you can make your donation by clicking here and scrolling down to donate any amount or send a check made to HUA to PO Box 9, Crestone, CO 81131. Thank you so much.
The Ashram Continues to Develop Ways to Make itself more Financially Sustainable
The Ashram has multiple ways for you to contribute and help in it’s various activities and initiatives that make this such a beautiful place for people to visit and do service. A good starting point is to visit the donations page at our website: http://www.babajiashram.org/donate. Recently, we have added PayPal Giving Fund and Amazon Smile to the options.
PayPal Giving Fund is helpful, whereby PayPal covers all fees of the transaction. This allows the Ashram to receive the maximum amount of your donations. You can donate using PayPal Giving Fund by going to: https://www.paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/2274187.
Since many people are regular Amazon shoppers these days, you can also make donations to the Ashram as you do your regular shopping on Amazon. Amazon Smile is a program from Amazon where they contribute a small amount of the purchase price to your chosen charity. This does not affect your purchase price, it’s a contribution made by Amazon. You can start donating using Amazon Smile by: going to https://smile.amazon.com/ch/74-2482773 -> clicking on Start shopping. Please note that you will always have to shop by going to smile.amazon.com (not amazon.com) to make these contributions.
Optionally, if you happen to be selling something on eBay, then eBay also has a Charity program in conjunction with PayPal. You can explore more by going to: https://charity.ebay.com/charity/charity-name/2274187."
Karma Yoga at the Ashram
With the busy summer, many visitors, long days, and lots of sun we he have plenty of karma yoga. We are grateful for all who have come to help with the garden, repairs, and grounds. We are always grateful for all of the folks that come and help us with cooking, cleaning, restocking the shop, and serving the copious amount of food that we serve at the Ashram. You are all the reason this Ashram is what it is. Thank you.