All of us at the Ashram are sending our love and deepest wishes to each of you for a blessed and a peace-filled New Year. As a special gift, we have created a beautiful video with images of the Divine Mother, with an English translation of the Haidakhandeswari Sapta Sati. Click here to view. Composed by Vishnu Dutt Mishra (Shastriji) in Sanskrit, the English translation is poetic and inspiring. Devotion to the Divine Mother is profound and I have always felt that Her bigger-than-life Presence here in the Crestone temple is important to help spread compassion and love throughout America.
Malti, a long-time devotee from Germany, who is responsible for this lovely translation, wrote this in the introduction:
"Above all the gods who come and go in the consciousness of man through the rise and fall of civilization, in the abode of infinite space, in absolute peace where time is no more, there resides the Great Mother of all creation, one with Her Lord, the Supreme Spirit, Sambasadashiva Eternal Lord Shiva one with the Goddess Mother Amba. The Great Goddess matrix and creatrix of all that is, takes as many forms, or aspects of manifestation, as the human mind can conceive. Within and without, it is always She who weaves the patterns of all life, as the divine force behind everything perceived by the senses. It is in Her honor and to glorify Her many names that this work has been written: May our prayers to the indwelling life-force in all that is, keep us close to Her/Him who is mother, father, brother and best friend, all knowledge and riches - who is all."
At the beginning of the Haidakhandeswari Sapta Sati, the author , Vishnu Dutt Mishra (Shastriji), shares this about his recognition of Shri Babaji and the Divine Mother.
"On May 25th, 1969, one month before the most worshipful divine Master Mahendra Maharaj left his body, he called me to Vrindavan by sending two telegrams to my home in Rajgarh, Rajasthan. These were his words when we met: “Brother Vishnu, if the Lord should appear during my absence, then this mantra will help you to recognize Him. As far as I know, this mantra is known only to the Lord and to no one else. It is mahamantra and was given to me by the Lord himself at Siddhashram: it comes from His own divine lips and is a priceless jewel for many lives.
"When, in February 1971, Sri Haidakhan Bhagavan came to Samba Sada Shiva Kunja, Vrindavan, I was overcome, when I heard, word for word, the same mantra from the Lord’s own lips. My heart was filled with joy and my soul was immersed in a sea of bliss; my body felt elated, my voice failed me. Then the conviction dawned in me that He is that Ultimate Absolute Divine, worshipped by our beloved Master (Mahendra Maharaj), that Shri Babaji is the immortal Being of the beginning of time, indestructible, beyond vision, the Lord Narayan, who resides in Haidakhan.
"The same morning at Samba Sada Shiva Kunja I met an old friend of mine. Shri Vora of Bombay
who was also a devotee of Mahendra Maharaj. As soon as we met he said to me: “Shastriji, a few days ago I had a divine dream: a young maiden of very fair complexion appeared to me; Her hair fell over the back of Her shoulders, Her forehead was luminous, Her eyes very large. When I asked her: “Who are You?”, She replied: “I am Haidakhandeswari”, but when I asked further, She only said: “Search for me!”
"Having told me this episode, my friend asked me: “Can you tell me something about Haidakhandesvari?” Immediately I took out my manuscript of the “Sri Haidakhandesvari Sapta Sati” from my bag and said to him: “These are seven hundred verses I have written in praise of the Divine Mother of Haidakhan. When I presented them to our Master, Shri Mahendra Maharaj, he put the book on his head and started to dance, saying “I am only a crow and do not deserve this beautiful script; when the swan will come (Shri Babaji), within your lifetime, then give it to Him. Today his blessing and instruction are going to be fulfilled, when I will show this book to Lord Haidakhan.
"When he saw my manuscript and getting in this way such an immediate reply to his question, Mr. Vora was overjoyed. The Lord, Shri Babaji, Himself then had a painting of the Divine Mother made by Mr. K.D. Tripati of Vrindavan, directing every detail of its execution. The events related above are the grace of the Supreme Goddess, the Divine Mother of Haidakhan and the manifested miracle of the divine incarnations of Lord Siva, in the Lord of Haidakhan."
I am deeply grateful to have been guided by Shri Shastiji to read the Haidakhandeswari Sapta Sati daily. He told me that when he was writing it, the Divine Mother was appearing to him the whole time. When I told him that I did not know it in Sanskrit, only English, he told me that Mother understood all languages. And so I know it pretty much by heart and share it with you.
Shri Babaji said that the Divine Mother is the love that He carries in His heart for us all and when He left His body, He said, " I leave you the Divine Mother." May the everpresent Love of the Divine Mother shower the world with peace and compassion as we step into this new year and decade.
In deep deep gratitude and love to you all,
Ceremonies and Schedule
The next full-moon fire ceremony is on Friday, January 10. The new-moon fire ceremony is on Friday, January 24. 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 daily small fire ceremony is at 6:20am. We do not have the small fire ceremony when we have our large fire ceremony on new and full moons. The Maha Lakshmi Shop is open every day from 9am 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.)
Please remember the Ashram will be taking a quiet time between the two January fire ceremonies. From January 11 through January 23, the Ashram will not be taking visitors for meals or for overnight visits. The temple and ceremonies will, of course, be open to all and the Maha Lakshmi Shop will also remain open each day from 9am until 4pm.
The Next Long-Time Resident Hermitage Has Final Color Coat of Stucco!
The hermitage has gotten the final color coat of stucco already. We also passed the plumbing and electrical inspections so we were able to finish the interior insulation. The drywall is almost complete as well. After this, there is lots of finish work for the interior, it is amazing how much goes into building a structure. With the colder, snowy weather and holidays, things have slowed down a bit with the building but still work will continue at a steady but slower pace. For this last phase of the construction Bill, who many of you have met in our kitchen, is leading the crew, which consists of all karma yogis; Will, Anthony, Prem, Jonathan (and for the next week, visiting karma yogi carpenter, Raven). It is exciting as each step takes place and the hermitage comes closer to completion.
We can still use your support of this project. Please donate as you are able so that we can build the whole hermitage this year. Click here to go to our donate link You can pay with a credit card or Paypal, or you can send a check to HUA at P.O. Box 9, Crestone, CO 81131. Thank you again.
Florida on the Horizon - January 12- 19
On January 10, I will be flying to Florida to do programs on the East and West coasts. I am 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.
Sunday, January 12 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.
Monday, January 13 at 10am - Aarati, chanting, and sharing followed by a potluck lunch at Elaine Hereoux's home in Jupiter, Florida. This event will be in memory of her dear husband, Tom, who passed away this last month (read below). Call Elaine at 516-277-8326 for more information and location.
Wednesday, January 15 at 10am - Makar Sankrant Celebrated in Treasure Island, FL. There will be Paduka Puja, Aarati, Fire Ceremony, potluck lunch and a dip in the Gulf of Mexico. Call Sharda and Jeffrey at 727-363-0800 for information and location.
Sat & Sun, Jan 18 & 19 at 10am - Paduka Puja, Aarati, Fire Ceremony, potluck lunch and satsang in Treasure Island, FL. Call Sharda and Jeffrey at 727-363-0800 for information and location.