Baba's and Mother's guidance and love keep showing up unexpectedly. A young Czech woman was at the Ashram for 6 days and needed to get to Santa Fe. The ride arranged had fallen through, and then four lovely Indian people from Oklahoma City showed up for the first time to the Ashram. After praying in the temple, they offered to take her to Santa Fe on their way back home.
Last week Mark was meditating in the temple being on a spiritual journey to find a place to live a more focused dedicated life. As he went to leave, his battery was dead for no detectable reason. I met him trying to charge his battery, invited him for lunch, and now he is living at the Ashram.
A couple weeks before that a young man arrived at the Ashram the
evening before Deborah, our cook, arrived back with her right arm in a sling after breaking her arm. He had just finished a summer cooking job, so he literally became Deb's right arm for the next three weeks.
It seems these things happen so often at the Ashram that there is a pretty constant awareness of how Shri Babaji and the Divine Mother are taking care of us. I am reminded of one of my favorite speeches by Babjaji given on October 1, 1982. It follows:
Conversation with Babaji
In the Kirtan Hall at Haidakhan, a western devotee approached Babaji, having in mind to ask permission to obtain a long term visa for returning to India and to present all of his belongings to Babaji. The westerner, who had been assigned temple duties by Babaji, had recently been offered Yoga initiation by another Babaji devotee and had asked Babaji if he could accept the offer. Babaji had told the westerner that he should not take initiation from somebody else and then told him that he should go back to his country. Babaji’s comments were made directly to the westerner.
“You are being sent back to your country, because you have lost your faith. If you were a true devotee, you would have unshakeable faith and a steady mind. What are you doing believing that a man, who himself is not a yogi could initiate you into yoga? This I do not like. By giving you temple duties I had accepted you as a devotee. To devotees I give Abhaya Dhan, the blessing of My protection, by which you will always be protected and should be fearless. I am responsible for you and your liberation. Whatever initiation you need, I will give to you. Why, then, should you doubt or seek elsewhere?”
The westerner responded that he had been motivated by spiritual greed. Babaji continued: “What would you not receive from Me? Your faith must be as mighty as Mount Meru. Even the sun and the moon can move from their course, but the faith of a devotee should not be shaken. A true devotee will be ready to shed his life for God and will have faith to his last breath. Never be moved by false doctrines. You are protected in every moment.”
In truth and love, Ramloti
Ceremonies and Schedule
The new-moon fire ceremony is on Monday, October 8. The full-moon fire ceremony will be on Wednesday, October 24. On Tuesday, October 9 through Wednesday, October 17 we will celebrate Fall Navratri with daily fire ceremonies (see below for more details). 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. 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.)
Fall Navratri (Divine Mother Festival)
Tuesday, Oct. 9 through Wednesday, Oct. 17
With the changing of the leaves and the harvesting of vegetables comes the lovely time to thank Mother called, Fall Navratri. It will be celebrated from Tuesday, October 9 through Wednesday, October 17. Each day we will have fire ceremonies at 10am, special pujas to the Divine Mother of the day at 8am, discourses from the Sri Mad Devi Bhagavatam at 11am, bhandaras, aaratis and chanting. We will honor our children on Sunday, October 14.
We still have some room for most nights except Saturday night. Email us at email@example.com to reserve a room. We hope you can join us for all or any part of the celebration. You can also support us long distance by sponsoring a fire ceremony or bhandara. Jai Ma!
Diwali (Festival of Lights) Wednesday, November 7
We are looking forward to the special evening when we gather together to share songs of peace and light on the night of Diwali. This seems to be a favorite time for many of the Crestone Spiritual Centers to share with us songs from their tradition that speak of the theme of peace and light.
This year to facilitate everyone having a chance to share, we will hold aarati an hour early (5pm) and hold the sharing from 6pm until 7:30pm with dinner served afterwards. All are invited and please share the word with others.
We will have our new-moon fire ceremony at 10am followed by a meal. Anyone that wishes to stay through the day and help set up luminarios, decorate the temple, and prepare the food is welcome.
Call the Ashram for information or to procure accommodations at 719-256-4108.
Karma Yoga at the Ashram
We continue to have so many generous people coming to the Ashram for various amounts of time giving great help. This month we have linseed oiled all of the wood around the Ashram, totally redecorated and cleaned the temple in preparation for Navratri, made malas for fire ceremonies, washed and repaired all of Ma's malas, restocked the Shop with a big order from India Arts, made new signs for the Ashram, painted the Shop floor, repaired the greenhouse, received help with all the cooking, gardening, and dishwashing.
We are always grateful for all of the folks that come to the Ashram and help us with all the jobs that are necessary to make this place run smoothly and able to receive our hundreds of visitors. We really could not get everything done without you. You are all one of the reasons 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. We are so deeply grateful for your support, love, and prayers. Bhole Baba Ki Jai!
Long-Time Pujari, Rita Berault, Retires from Her Position
We are sad to say that our long-time pujari has decided to retire from her very early morning service. For several years she lovingly bathed and dressed the Divine Mother, Shri Babaji, and the many murtis each day and her loving touch is missed.
We send love her way and are always happy when she comes to the Ashram. We still carry her lovely artwork in the Shop in the form of cards, earrings, and small prints of her work. She is really a very talented and sensitive artist.
Samaj Annual Weekend
We had lots of old and new devotees come to the Ashram for the Annual Samaj Weekend. Here are some of the many photos from our time together.
Krishna's and Ganesh's Birthday
We celebrated Lord Krishna's and Lord Ganesh's birthdays at the Ashram. All of our many murtis received panch amrit baths, new clothes and malas, and received prasad and aarati. These are always special holidays.
We love our children at the Ashram and enjoy introducing them to yoga, stories of deities (this time was Ganesh), chanting, puja and aarati. It was a lovely time and we had the special surprise of being joined for a while by one of our 90 year-old neighbors who brought her family to see the temple. The children enjoyed hearing some of her wisdom.
Shiva Heads Back for Nepal
We were happy to have Shiva from Nepal arrive at the Ashram for a fire ceremony and decide to stay for 6 weeks. He loved doing havan, puja, making malas, teaching the children drumming, and conversing in Nepalese and Hindi with our many Nepalese and Indian visitors. We wish him luck and love on his journey.
Many Groups visit the Ashram
It seems that in the warmer months we have many groups that come to the Ashram. We had young adult groups from Shumei, a student group from Colorado College, a retreat group from St. Louis, and a yoga group that came to learn about the Ashram.
John Heads Home after Three Weeks at the Ashram
We had a wonderful young karma yogi here for three weeks, who we referred to above as Deborah's right arm, since she broke her's. Here is a bit about his experience.
"I have just finished my 3-week stay at the ashram and would share about my experiences. My time here has been absolutely wonderful and I am grateful that I chose to come here. I originally intended to stay for about 9 days but extended my stay to around 3 weeks. My days at the ashram were very peaceful and content, and my environment was very warm and welcoming. Everyone did a good job of making me feel comfortable, and I got used to the daily schedule quickly. I enjoyed chanting, playing music, and found the fire ceremonies to be particularly profound. Babaji has an amazing energy. One of, if not my favorite part of the day was Karma Yoga. Serving and feeling useful is very fulfilling and empowering. The beauty of the mountain wilderness surrounding the ashram is astonishing. I also appreciated the vast cultural diversity of interesting people coming and going. I felt very inspired having met some of the visitors to the ashram, and it was cool to meet people from Australia, India, Japan, Denmark, Nepal, Germany, etc. I also thrive on a sense of community. It was a great time to learn and be of service, and I feel that the ashram has benefited me just as much if not more than I have benefited it through my helping out. I have had some conversations here that I will never forget. This is a good place to examine your behavior patterns and establish new ones. It allowed me to slow down and attain greater clarity on my intentions and feelings about my life. Everyone here is awesome and it was super fun!"
The Path of Karma Yoga by David
Another regular karma yogi is David who works in Alamosa and comes to the Ashram each weekend. Here is a sharing from him.
"The word Karma Yoga or Nish-kama-Karma literally points to the practice of serving or performing an action without the desire for a reward. It is the absolute act of giving your time, effort or energies for a higher purpose. Even though the work performed in the form of karma Yoga may not offer material rewards, it offers the karma Yogi the reward of spiritual fulfillment and rejuvenation.
"I became a Yoga practitioner and instructor 34 years ago from Sivananda Ashram in the southern Indian state of Kerala. This was my first experience in doing Karma Yoga. After 34 years, life has come full circle and I am once again following the path of spirituality with a sincere devotion.
After having lived in Minnesota for over 20 years, I was offered the position of quality controller at a firm in Alamosa. I heard of a place called Crestone that is a spiritual destination for people of many faiths and wanted to visit. And that is how I happened to visit Haidakhandi Universal Ashram.
I feel that it is a blessing to find a place of peace such as this where I feel welcome, comfortable and appreciated. I feel I have much to offer in return for all that the ashram offers me mentally, emotionally and spiritually. When I perform Karma Yoga, my mind becomes quiet, thoughts are stilled and my actions take on a life of its own. I come here every weekend and feel this is an oasis where I replenish my energies and offer what little I can and be of service."
Visitors to the Ashram
We continue to welcome new visitors to the Ashram. It is a joy to get to know as many as possible when we are not too busy preparing, serving, or cleaning up after meals. It seems that more and more people find their way here from all parts of the world. We are also grateful to have so many families that come here, year after year. It is fun to watch the children grow. Here are some of the photos, unfortunately, there is not room for them all.
Calendar of Events for 2018
October 9 - 17 - Fall Navratri
November 7 - Diwali
November 22 - Full-moon Fire Ceremony on Thanksgiving at 10am followed by a Feast.
Maha Lakshmi Shop Report
The Maha Lakshmi Shop just received an order of puja items, sacred boxes, many new malas, murti stands, stone lingams, purses, kurtas, yoga pants, bracelets, jewelry and much more. Many are on our website at https://mahalakshmishop.wazala.com and some are not. You are always welcome to call and ask to have photos sent of our new items and to place your order over the telephone at 719-256-4108. It is really nice to connect in this way. You may also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to bless an item at Baba's and Mother's feet for you. We take Visa, MasterCard or Discover.
The Shop is a major supporter of the Ashram. We deeply appreciate your patronage.
Maha Lakshmi Mata Ki Jai!