Being afraid of making mistakes has haunted me my whole life and has certainly kept me from attempting things at times that would have been in my best interest. When I made a mistake as a child, I was often reprimanded and felt like I was a bad girl. I remember dropping the watermelon on the walkway when I was little and trying to be helpful, and getting scolded. I remember being late for swim practice and hearing that I was a spoilt brat. I remember being yelled at by a neighbor for doing something I had no idea was wrong. These were all big deals to me as a growing child.
It was not until I met Shri Babaji that I had a different experience. I remember sitting outside of His room one afternoon with Him and someone brought Him some milk in a lovely silver cup. He drank some of it and then handed it to me. Not knowing any better, I took it and drank the rest of it putting my lips to the cup. Babaji just smiled at me and I felt His love. It was not until later that I learned that one does not drink directly from His cup and that I should have just poured a little into my hand and drank it that way.
I remember seeing some people bring Shri Babaji pomegranates that had been carefully separated and He actually ate some. I thought I would like to do this and so I painstakingly worked on this in the afternoon before aarati. As I rather proudly went to present this to Babaji, I accidentally knocked the dish against His hand and the pomegrantes went flying everywhere. I wanted to run away being so embarrassed that I had made such a mess and a fuss as several people scurried to clean them up. But Babaji did not reprimand me, He only sat there with His deep look of love for me. I was so touched by His compassion.
I remember dropping Babaji's open bag down the side of the hill and watching all of the contents scatter. It took me a while to even meet His gaze, I was so mortified to make such a terrible mistake, but when I did look I, once again, only saw unconditional love in His eyes. I learned with Babaji that there was nothing I could do that would diminish His love for me and nothing I needed to do to increase that love, it was just there.
I recently had a dream where I was in India with Shri Muniraji and I was putting the offerings on his spoon as he offered the ghee at the fire ceremony. I remember making a couple of unintentional, but sizable mistakes. The remarkable thing about the dream was that I did not feel bad about the mistakes, I was just able to learn from them and move on. I took this as an indicator that I am finally really understanding that unconditional love is not dependent on my mistakes or accomplishments, it is my birth-rite as a Child of God. I am so grateful for Shri Babaji's magnanimous love.
In Truth and Love,
Ceremonies and Schedule
Our new-moon fire ceremony this month is on Saturday, November 18 and the next full-moon fire ceremony will be on Sunday, December 3 and the following new-moon will be on Sunday, December 17. All fire ceremonies begin 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 moons and during Navratri. 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.)
Solar Upgrades on Dormitory
We have been making much progress on upgrading all of our solar systems at the Ashram.
The earthship is complete, the temple has new, industrial sized batteries, and we are currently working on the dormitory system. It was decided to replace the old panels (several were not working any longer) on the dorm with new ones so we are still raising money for this upgrade.
If you can help please go to our GoFundMe campaign at https://www.gofundme.com/babajiashramsolarfund and remember even a little is a big help and sharing it with friends is also great. You may also go to our website and donate by scrolling down or you can send a check to HUA at PO Box 9, Crestone, CO 81131. We deeply appreciate your continued support, love, and prayers. Thank you.
Florida on the Horizon
In January, Premanand, Richard Cahall, and I will be flying to Florida to do programs on the West and East coasts. We are looking forward to joining devotees for chanting, puja, fire ceremonies, satsang, and aaratis. I will also be carrying goods from the Maha Lakshmi Shop, so if you have a special request, please let me know at 719-256-4108 or firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to carry it to you. Here is where you can join us.
Sat & Sun, Jan 13 & 14 from 10am - 4pm - Makar Sankrant Celebrated in Treasure Island, FL - Paduka Puja, Aarati, Fire Ceremony, Potluck Brunch & Real Love Workshop in the afternoon. Call Sharda and Jeffrey at 727-363-0800 for information and location.
Friday, January 19 - Fire Ceremony, Chanting, and Satsang at Elaine Hereoux's home in Jupiter, Florda - We will begin at 11am and will end with a potluck lunch. Call Elaine at 516-277-8326 for more information and location.
Sunday, January 22 at 10am - Chandan, fire ceremony, aarati, and chanting at Harmony House in Del Ray Beach, Florida followed by a potluck lunch. Call Sarena at 561-274-0883 for more information and location.
Karma Yoga at the Ashram
We are getting ready for winter at the Ashram with linseed oiling all of the exposed wood, repairing drainage for the snow melt off the back of the dormitory, and planting the greenhouse with a lovely array of greens and flowers. We still have all the regular jobs to do: mudding and repairing the havan kund, separating rice for the puja, preparing meals, and clean up. Diwali always allows us even more karma yoga with the preparation of luminarios and lights everywhere and all of the sumptuous food. We are always grateful for all of the folks that come and help us with all the jobs that are necessary to make this place run smoothly and receive our hundreds of visitors. We really could not get everything done with out you, you are all the reason this Ashram is what it is. Thank you.
We ask each of you to look into your hearts and see what this Ashram means to you and to please donate as you are able. You may go to our website and donate by scrolling down (you can even set up a monthly tithe). You can also send a check (made out to HUA) to P.O. Box 9, Crestone CO, 81131 for your support, love, and prayers. Bhole Baba Ki Jai!!
Aditya Raj Kapoor Visits the Ashram
Aditya came to the Ashram early in November for a couple of days. He is the son of the famous actor, Shammi Kapoor who was a great devotee of Shri Babaji. Aditya has wonderful stories of his experiences as a late teen and early adult with Babaji in Haidakhan. It is always inspiring to hear these stories that shaped his life in many ways. This is his second visit to the Ashram in Crestone.
Babaji Weekend at Lake Lanier, Gainesville, Georgia
It was a beautiful weekend together in a magical place in Georgia. We did have rain on the second day so the fire ceremony had to be done inside but that did not dampen the spirit of all who attended. Thank you to Vagra and Surdas who came and help lead the kirtan and big thank you to Pam and Kelly for hosting this special event.
Diwali - Festival of Lights - Thursday, October 19
What a special celebration of light, Diwali we had this year! Beautiful sharing, lots of people (about 150), splendid food, and everything aglow with lights. The brightest light of all was put out by all the generous souls that attended bringing the food, sharing the music, and cleaning up. Thank you to all for making this such a memorable occasion. Bhole Baba Ki Jai!