"Day by day, this your duty" are the words that Shri Babaji said to me in late summer of 1981. He was referring to me sweeping His terrace where the leaves from the sacred pipal tree would fall regularly and where the sacred fire ceremony was performed each morning. He had handed me an Indian broom, which unlike the ones I was used to, was just a bunch of straw. So I began to sweep standing up like I was accustomed to and He laughingly said, "No, no, no". He then took the broom and squatting began to move around in that position sweeping the leaves. He handed me the broom and I tried to squat (not my usual position) and wearing a sari, I kept falling over! He laughed again and told me "day by day" I should be doing this.
So each day I came to that sacred space just outside Babaji's room and swept the leaves, knowing it was a great honor. And I practiced squatting and sweeping, day by day. And after a while, I became more proficient at it and to this day, I can still do it. When I am in Haidakhan, I often pick up an Indian broom and sweep the terrace as I am waiting outside at 4am for chandan. Here in Crestone, I no longer am sweeping leaves but I am squatting as I wash the floor in Mother's mandir after Her bath in the morning. It is extremely relaxing to my lower back and I know, like so many of the subtle teachings that Shri Babaji gave to me, that He was showing me how to be consistent in my practices, overcome obstacles, care for my body. and keep fit to do His service.
I had other great teachers who exemplified doing spiritual practice consistently "day by day". I remember when Shri Muniraji came to Monroe, Washington in 1986 on a world tour with Shri Shastriji. They stayed in my home for several days. Although he had flown and driven many hours to get there, he bathed, did his puja, and read his Sapta Sati before he rested or took any food. I would witness this steadfastness in his spiritual practice when I would visit him in Haldwani, India, even as his health was declining.
When I would stay with Shri Shastriji at his home in Rajgard, India, he would read from his sacred books all day long. I remember having a discussion with him about the Haidakhandeswari Sapta Sati that he wrote. As I would refer to a certain verse, he would quote it and tell me exactly what page it was on. He told me that while he was writing the Sapta Sati, the Divine Mother was appearing to him and standing by his side.
And so I have learned to take new things on "day by day" and although they seemed difficult at first, just following through "day by day" has made them much easier. Like reciting the Sapta Sati daily, doing a morning yoga practice, dressing Ma, singing aarati, doing havan, reciting the Maha Lakshmi Ashtakam and the Annapurna Stotram daily, meditating, walking up to an hour a day, eliminating sugar and gluten from my diet; and now recording a silent meditation and a discourse everyday from the Srimad Devi Bhagavatam in the temple. I certainly did not take all this on at once but slowly with time, adding one thing at a time it has just become part of my daily routine.
I feel it was Shri Babaji, the Divine Mother, Shri Muniraji, and Shri Shastriji that have shown me these things that bring so much balance to my life. I am so thankful.
In deep deep gratitude and love to you all,
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Join us on Live-Stream for a Pitru Tarpan on Saturday, September 12 at 1pm MT to Honor and Nourish our Ancestors on their Heavenly Journey.
The period of Pitru Paksha is a sixteen-day period set aside to reflect on the contribution of our ancestors and to show our gratitude to them. This year it is September 2 through September 17. Pitru Paksha is observed by remembering our ancestors. It is when the deceased visit earth and bless their kin with prosperity. The kin offer food, money and other gifts to their ‘Pitras’ as a sign of reverence, it is believed that those who have died come to earth in their subtle form and accept the offering of their kin.
One of the main rituals during this time that goes to mark the short life of humans on earth, is called Tarpan. Tarpan comes from the word ‘Trup’ which means satisfying or pleasing others. Pitru Tarpan is a way of gratifying the ancestors and freeing them from any unfulfilled desires so that they can complete their journey to the heavenly abode with peace, satisfaction and happiness. The other objective of performing tarpan is that deceased ancestors’ souls, whose names are pronounced while performing Tarpan, should bestow happiness on us. Here is Ramloti on the banks of the Gautama Ganga River in Haidakhan, India doing Tarpanam.
You can join us with your list of ancestors, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents. Knowing their names is helpful but not essential and if you do not have a river to sit facing south at, you can use a bowl of water to make the offerings in. The prayers will be recited on line so you can join in with your ancestors on Saturday, September 12 at 1pm MT. Here is a simple method described below:
Methods to perform Pitru Tarpan or Tarpan:
According to ancient tradition, ‘Tarpan should be performed at the riverside’. While performing Pitru Tarpan at the riverside, one should stand in the river so that the water level touches the belly button or one should perform tarpan by sitting on the banks of the river facing South.
It is performed by remembering the ancestors with their names. Then, with the chanting of mantras, one offers water, rice and black sesame seeds. Sesame seeds particularly constitute the food of the Pitrus and the rice is offered with a wish that this offering will satisfy the pitrus desires and help them to progress in their journey. Offering of water to the deceased ancestors’ souls should be done through the middle of the thumb and the first finger of the hand. Here is a simple form of prayers for Tarpan, you can recite in either English or Sanskrit.
1. Om namaḥ pitre janma dātre sarva deva mayāya ca sukhadāya prasannāya suprītāya mahātmane
Om salutations to the manes (ancestors), who gave me birth and who are filled with all devas, And who bless us with pleasure, who are happy and are great ones liked by good people.
2. Sarva yajña svarūpāya svargāya parameṣṭhine sarva tīrthāvalokāya karuṇā sāgarāya ca
Oh manes of the form of all yajnas, who are the gods in heaven, Who are the form of all sacred waters as well as oceans of mercy.
3. Amaḥ sadā ‘śutoṣāya śiva rūpāya te namaḥ. Sadā ‘parādha kṣamiṇe sukhāya sukhadāya ca
Salutations always to them who are easily pleased. Salutations to them in the form of Shiva,
To those who always pardon our mistakes, who are pleasant and bless us with pleasure.
4. Durlabhaṁ mānuṣamidaṁ yena labdhaṁ mayā vapu saṁbhāvanīyaṁ dharmārthe tasmai pitre namo namaḥ
The human birth is difficult to get, and through you I have got it, for performing of Dharmas and so my salutations to you manes.
5. Tīrtha snāna tapo homa japādi yasya darśanam mahā-gurośca gurave tasmai pitre namo namaḥ
Having taken bath in sacred waters, done penance and meditation, I have been able to see you,Oh teacher of all teachers, because of that I salute you oh manes.
6. Yasya praṇāma stavanāt oṭiśaḥ pitṛ tarpaṇam aśvamedha śatais tulyaṁ tasmai pitre namo namaḥ
As per your words alternative of praying to you is performing of tharpana, and It is equivalent to one hundred Aswamedha, because of that I salute you.
Ceremonies and Schedule
The next new-moon fire ceremony will be Thursday, September 17 and the next full-moon is on Thursday, October 1. These will both be live-streamed on Facebook at Ramloti Wood Page at 10am MT as the Ashram is still not open to visitors. If you do not do Facebook, the fire ceremony and chanting will be posted on YouTube on Ramloti Wood channel by 12 noon on the day of the ceremony.
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.)
Preparing for Fall Navratri (Divine Mother Festival)
It is hard to believe that Fall Navratri is just over a month away, October 17 - 25. Now is a special time of preparation, making new saris for Mother, washing and repairing chunis, making new assans for Babaji, and cleaning all the photos and temple from head to toe. You can see photos below of us doing some of these things.
We have just heard that our Ashrams in India will not be open for Navratri and unfortunately, we do not expect to be open to visitors by this time either. We wanted to give everyone a chance to participate from their homes as we know that many love to bring gifts to the Temple. There are several items that we could use for Mother and the ceremonies, so if you would like to send them to the Ashram, they will be utilized. Here is a list of some of the things that would be helpful:
Small and large malas for all the murtis. Particular colors needed would be light pink, cream, and light yellow
Bracelets for Ma (cuffs for Her 4 arms, they need to open. See photo above and can be wider.)
Warm shawl to keep Mother warm at night in the winter
Perfumed oils for puja (rose or sandal preferred)
Kum Kum Powder
Chunis for Ma (we have several red ones already)
You may ship these to P.O. Box 9, Crestone CO 81131 or if you are using UPS or FED EX ship to: 2349 Camino Baca Grande, Crestone, CO 81131
We will certainly be live-streaming all of the ceremonies, discourses, and chanting during Navratri so that you can join in from home. Jai Ma!
An initiative of the Indian Haidakhandi Samaj
A message from the President of Indian Haidakhandi Samaj
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Bhole Baba ki Jai!
Babaji wanted us to constantly repeat the mahamantra 'OM NAMAH SHIVAY' which has the tremendous power to eliminate our problems and purify our mind, body, soul, as well as the atmosphere. He argued that this mahamantra was more powerful in releasing His energy than that released by the explosion of an atomic bomb!
Therefore, we will start the collective chanting of 'OM NAMAH SHIVAY', every day from 5:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. (Indian time) (That means 5:30am MT)
Please inform and invite all Haidakhandi groups as well as devotees in their cities to join this mega jap chanting.
A clip of a melodiously sung 'OM NAMAH SHIVAY' specially sung for the Haidakhandi Samaj by one of India's greatest singers, Sonu Nigam, can be found below to help you with chanting if needed. The duration is 8 minutes & 35 seconds and you can therefore restart it a second time at the end. Here is the link.
Yours in devotion,
(Honorary) Brigadier Dr Arvind Lal,
Chairman of Haidakhandi Samaj.
A Mega Jap UltraMarathon! (an ultramarathon mega japa)
A Note about Fundraising Buttons
You will often see either a link to our GofundMe Campaign or a fundraising button on many of our posts and live-streams. Please do not think that this is to oblige anyone to give if they have already donated or are not able to do so. It is simply that different people see these posts all the time and some would like to give to the support of the Ashram and the easier it is, the more likely they are to follow through. You can think of them as donation boxes when you enter the temple or earthship. Thank you for your understanding and continued support and may Shri Babaji and the Divine Mother fill your lives with blessings and protection.
We Still Have Our GoFundMe Campaign Going. We Really Appreciate and Need the Support During this Time of Closure.
With the Ashram, Temple, and Shop remaining closed to all visitors until further notice, our major source of funding has been cut off. With the upswing in coronavirus cases around the country, it feels unwise and irresponsible to try to safely accomodate the hundreds of visitors that come here with proper safe distancing and sanitation protocol. We hope you understand and support our concern for the health of everyone involved. As most of you know, the visitors and shoppers coming to the Ashram are a major part of our revenue to pay the bills at the Ashram. Since we have been closed now for almost 5 months, we have been counting on people donating through different modalities. The GoFundMe Campaign has been a major source of funding and we are so tremendously grateful. If you are able to donate, even a small amount, it all means a great deal to us and the truth is if everyone receiving this newsletter donated $25, we would be well supported. Please click here to donate to this fund. We also deeply appreciate your prayers and caring thoughts.
Karma Yoga at the Ashram
Still plenty of karma yoga. Here are a few photos from the last couple of weeks. Lots going on to keep Mother and Baba's home in tip top shape. 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 donate by clicking here and scrolling down (you can even set up a monthly tithe). We deeply appreciate all of you that do tithe monthly to the Ashram. 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!
Preparing for Navratri - Sewing, making new assans, cutting out new saris for Ma, and washing Chunis
Maintaining the Ashram - Batteries, New Hermitage, Lawns, Cleaning, and Water System,
Produce - Growing, Picking, Storing, Sharing with friends, Cooking, and making Smoothies.
And most important, the Temple ceremonies and picking flowers and making malas.
At the end of August we celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi and it was a lovely time. Each year at this time, we bring all the Ganeshes from around the Ashram and bathe them with panchamrit and dress and adorn them. We have many, they are in our cars, outside each building, in the Shop, greenhouse, Baba's kutir, Mother's kutir, earthship, and hanging in the temple. If you missed it and would like to view it on YouTube, you can click here. Jai Ganesh!
Beautiful Staff Carved for Shri Babaji
One of our ardent Crestone devotees missing coming to aarati and fire each morning, spent some of his time carving this amazing staff for Shri Babaji. It stands next to His assan ready for when Baba returns. Thank you so much Steve, it is a great honor to have.
Srimad Devi Bhagavatam Study Group
The daily discourses on the Srimad Devi Bhagavatam translated (in two volumes) by Dr. Pushpendra Kumar, continue. We post them daily on Facebook and can be found at least by the afternoon, on YouTube on the Ramloti Wood channel. To see earlier ones, click on the library to view past Srimad Devi discourses.
Our book study group on Friday afternoons at 2pm MT on Zoom continues and is a wonderful way to go deeper into the readings. It is said to love Mother, knowing Her more is a good way to do this. There are here is a way to know more of them. It has been a very inspirational time and if you would like to be included in our weekly Friday group and receive the Zoom link, please email us at email@example.com.
This is a very big book that Shri Shastriji reads each day of Spring and Fall Navratri. Participants, however, will not need to purchase the book (available on Amazon) since the daily discourses that we will be discussing will be on YouTube on the Ramloti Wood Channel and posted on facebook. We did this study group nearly 20 years ago and it was an amazing time together to deepen our understanding and experience of this beautiful purana on the Divine Mother. Some of the participants from those days are joining us again. If you have any questions, please feel free to email or call at 719-256-4108. Jai Ma!
Even though we are still closed to visitors, we are connecting in some ways more than ever with friends around the world. Here are some notes, a letter from folks who were at the Ashram last winter and a beautiful gift from a friend in Crestone. We are also continually meeting folks at the bottom of the driveway sharing vegetables from our soon to be frozen garden (tomorrow night it is supposed to be 24 degrees!) and delivery Shop items. Here are a few notes and photos.
Thank you all for your continuing support to humanity and our dear earth mother. May you be blessed in love always.
Namaste, Gayle from Colorado
Am able to follow you from YouTube in the original Devi Bhagavatam. Yea! So happy you followed your heart on this with the YouTube readings. Look forward to Friday. Much love ❤️ and hugs. Annee from Colorado
Yes, I am completely able to view the newsletter now. Thank you! I love the pictures of the ashram, the garden and all the wonderful vegetables and the work being done cooking and preserving. Lovely to see and read about. It's great that you are able to do so much with the solar energy as well. Thank you, Jane from Canada
Thank you I’m not sure if you remember me but I absolutely loved visiting the ashram and hopefully will be able to again soon after the crisis is over! The energy of the ashram is like no other I’ve been. Om namah shivaya! Palblo from Texas
I miss coming up there. Can’t believe it’s been 2 years since I visited you. Can’t wait to see you all soon!
Much love! Premal from California
Thanks Ashramites for the live-srteam. Love seeing all your smiling faces!
My dearest friends, How stunningly beautiful Mother was today. I joined for meditation and reading. Certainly one of my favorite adornments for mother, I love the lavenders and purples. What you are able to do is unbelievable dressing ma.
These orchids are in blossom since yesterday, i would like to put them down at mothers holy feet. All my love to you all, Brigitte from Spain
Hello my name is Dylan. I have been to the ashram several times and I know that the temple is currently closed to visitors. I was wondering if you could possibly relay a message or prayer in the temple to Mother for me for my friend. I would really appreciate it so much. Dylan from UK
We are always more than happy to try to help the ashram out anyway we can. We hope you guys are well. We really miss you and the Ashram so very much!
Om Namah Shivaya! ❤️In Light & Love,
Elizabeth from Colorado
Dear friends at Haidakhandi Universal Ashram in Crestone,
We’ve just came back from Babaji Asram in Okunevo, Russia, the one that we were telling you about last time.
It was so wonderful to be there again and meet dear people and do a lot of karma-yoga;) This place is really unique.
Seva and all other people from Ashram were very surprised with this incredible story that we’d told them, how we’d accidentally found Babaji in Crestone and met you all. They said the same thing as you that somehow and by whatever reason Babaji led us and connected these two places together.
They were very grateful for the gifts that you’d passed through us and asked us to write you a message and send photos. They hope someday you’ll have a chance to visit them or visa versa. And we’ll be so glad to meet you again and hope soon!!
Here are the photos and videos from Okunevo that I think will be interesting for you to soak the atmosphere of this place!
Love, Natasha and Anton from Russia
Calendar of Events for 2020
New Moon Fire Ceremonies - Sept. 17, Oct 16, Nov. 14 (Diwali), Dec. 14
Full Moon Fire Ceremonies - Aug. 3, Sept. 1, Oct. 1, Oct 31, Nov. 30, Dec. 29
Fall Navratri - October 17 - 25
You can see the full calendar of events at our website.
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Maha Lakshmi Shop Report
We just had some lvery special wrist malas made by Yogi Dreamer for the Shop. These unique bracelets were made from malas purchased over 20 years ago in Chandi Chowk, India for the Divine Mother. She has worn them since that time. They are delicate in feature but carry a huge amount of Mother's Shakti. They sell for $81 and are blue jade, green prehnite, and very light blue quartz. Here they are:
These are not up on our website yet so to order call us at 719-256-4108 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to deliver them at the bottom of the driveway or of course send them through the mail.
Oh and just to let you know that they fit men's wrists too!
We have a great supply of puja and havan items. You can purchase some of them on line at our website under devotional items at: https://mahalakshmishop.wazala.com Many items, however, are too unique to put on line, so you are always welcome to call and order at 719-256-4108. You can ask to have photos sent of our items, it is really nice to connect in this way. You may also email us at email@example.com. We are happy to bless an item at Baba's and Mother's feet for you or drop ship items to your loved ones around the country. 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!