πŸ’― Years of Spreading Love πŸ’•

It was on the 6th of October 1920 , one century ago, that Paramahansa Yogananda had addressed the International Congress of Religious Liberals in Boston, as a delegate from India, and the subject of his talk was – The Science of Religion.

His only desire, as a youth, was to be with his guru, Sri Yukteshwar, and commune with God. But he was chosen by the Masters to spread Kriya Yoga, the scientific method of God realisation, in the west. A very reluctant Swami Yogananda left the shores of Calcutta on 2nd August 1920. He was only 27 years old! One can only imagine the multitude of feelings in his heart as he watched his loved ones fade away from view: apprehension, excitement and aloneness!

Guruji was very insecure about his English but Sri Yukteshwarji (his Guru) had assured him all shall be well! His skill was put to test when he was urged by the captain of the ship to give a talk to his fellow passengers. The topic was – The Battle of Life and How to Fight it! When the captain introduced him to audience, he was stuck mute. He has said that his mind went blank for ten minutes. Some of the audience chuckled. Then the voice of guru came to him: β€œYou can! Speak!” He did and did a great job of it!

And just a few weeks later he received standing ovation from hundreds of delegates to the International Congress in Boston!!

Paramahansa Yogananda had said: God is one, necessary to all of us, so religion is one, necessary and universal. Only the roads to it may differ in some respects at the beginning. As a matter of fact, it is illogical to say that there are two religions, when there is but one God. There may be more than one denominations or sects under that one universal religion.

And it is that Universal Consciousness that he, and the organisation (Self Realisation Fellowship and Yogoda Satsanga Society of India) he set up, have been teaching and spreading for πŸ’― years. Paramahansa Yogananda was Love Incarnate and that is what his legacy to the world is : Love πŸ’•

After this memorable day of 6th October 1920, Paramahansa Yogananda traveled length and breadth of USA and many other countries to spread his message of universality of religion and his love for God.

I am truly blessed that I have two of his traits – Love of travel and nature. And even if I can get 1% or less of his consciousness, my life would be worth its while. It is going to happen only with His grace πŸ’–πŸ™

He wrote, composed and spiritualised about 60 chants.
Ever changing and evolving faces of love
The last smile – the day he made conscious exit from the body – 7th March 1952
He looked so different every few years that one would have failed to recognise him if seen after some gap. But to me he looks similar in these two pics – when he was 6 & 42! I have these on my study table and are my constant source of inspiration and love.

God is Love. My Guru is Love. Love is all there is πŸ’•πŸ’•

Related Post: My Nature is Love

Reference books:

Autobiography of a Yogi

The Science of Religion

Yogananda- Philip Goldberg

My Nature is Love πŸ’•

Today, the 25th of July, is Smriti Diwas (Remembrance Day) of Babaji (deathless Himalayan Yogi) And 100 years ago on this day he had appeared in flesh to Paramahansa Yogananda (author of world famous – Autobiography of a Yogi) to bless him on his journey to the US to spread the sacred science of Kriya Yoga in the west.

Babaji had appeared in a vision to Sri Daya Mata (Faye Wright) in 1963 and had told her: My Nature is Love πŸ’•

Babaji is love. Paramahansa Yogananda is known as love incarnate and had said once, “After I am gone only love can take my place!”

There are two saints from Pune, where I live, one is Mehr Baba and the other Dada Vaswani – both were love. I have been blessed to listen to Dada and meet him once – utter humility and pure love πŸ’• And I am sure there must be many saints and prophets from all over the world and from all religions, who are love.

I have written in so many of my posts: My God is Love and Love is all there is.

God = Brahman = Allah = Love πŸ’• πŸ’•

Shams of Tabrizi asks us not to just go with the flow but to become the flow. And that is what we need to do: BECOME LOVE πŸ’•

If we want to live in peace and harmony in this world there is no other way than — to become love πŸ’•

Pre COVID or post COVID or no COVID — Only Love can Heal.

******

PS: Paramahansa Yogananda’s teachings, Scientific Meditation to realise we are Love; are given in Home Study lessons available from SRF and YSS

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It is Beauty I Love πŸ’• πŸ’– πŸ’—

I See Thee Painting

“O Cosmic Light, every day I see Thee painting the sky in bright colors. I watch Thee clothe the bare soil with green grass. Thou art in the warmth of the sunshine. Oh, Thou art so plainly present everywhere!”

Paramahansa Yogananda

“Whenever you see a beautiful sunset, think to yourself: “It is God’s painting on the sky.” As you look into the face of each person you meet, think within: “It is God who has become that form.” Apply this trend of thought to all experiences: “The blood in my body is God; the reason in my mind is God; the love in my heart is God; everything that exists is God.”

Whatever I am today is a gift of my Guru, Paramahansa Yogananda. One of these gifts is my love for nature and travel. Nature is God πŸ’•πŸ™

Some of my earlier posts which might interest you are:

Monsoon Love πŸ’•

The Red Rose 🌹

Mornings are mine 😊❀️

Paramahansa Yogananda had composed so many divine chants, like:

Oh Thou Blue Sky

Frozen Sky

I will be a gypsy

It is beauty I love. In love and with love I seek the Maker of the beautiful”

Swami Paramananda

This quote of Swamiji has been a favourite of mine for years. Read it first in 1998 πŸ’•πŸ™

How can one see a flower, a sunrise, a sunset, a sky filled with different coloured clouds, the smile of a child, a beautiful face and not think of God πŸ’•πŸ™

Babaji’s Cave: Donagiri Kumaon Hills 4❀️

For seasoned trekkers one km uphill trek to Babaji’s cave won’t be something to rave about. But for devotees like me, it is divine and uplifting 😊❀️

For more details about Babaji pls read : Autobiography of a Yogi. Am sure it is available in your language 😊 This book has changed millions of lives and has the potential to change yours. SRF

We (Yogada Satsanga Society of India and SRF) have an ashram in Dwarhat, Uttarkhand. It is simply divine. I was blessed to visit the ashram twice last year. In April ( thanks to Neha) and in September with my older sisters.

Dwarhat ashram, like all our Ashrams, is simply divine. But the vibrations even outside the ashram are so good. Whole of Kumaon Hills are so vibrant. So many saints like Babaji have lived and meditated here. Every inch of the hills has divine vibrations. And it is picturesque too. Heavenβ€οΈπŸ™

Crank’s Ridge πŸ˜‡ Kumaon Hills 3 ❀️

Kausani- Switzerland of IndiaπŸ’• Kumaon Hills – 1❀️

1st visit APRIL 2018

Met her carrying heavy load up the hill with a smile. Beautiful 😍

Darling Sheru. He accompanies all devotees to the cave

At the cave with another devotee from Lucknow. Was pleasantly surprised that she wanted a pic with me😊

Just outside the ashram. Morning walk time 😊

12th century ruins near the Ashram

YSS Dwarhat Ashram

Ashram runs a free school for children upto class V

2nd visit SEPTEMBER 2018

My second trip to the Cave last year was with my older sisters. It was even more divine. My oldest sister is 80 and has had her knees and hip transplanted. And on our way to the Ashram, drive to Dwarhat from Kathgodam station, she hurt her wrist. We had stopped at Kanchi Dham (Neem Karoli Baba) and she slipped and hurt her wrist. With all the love and care we got from all at the Ashram (including Swami Vasudevanandaji), and her devotion and determination- she went upto the cave. It was drizzling a little but it rained only after we had returned safely. Can’t thank God and Gurus enoughβ€οΈπŸ™

The moment we alight at Kathgodam we can feel the vibrations changing and see beauty all around. The railway station itself is so beautiful.

Towns of Bhimtaal and Ranikhet on the way and the hills all around are simply divine.

View from a little above Bhimtaal 😍❀️

Kanchi DhamπŸ™

With my beautiful sisters 😍

Sheru accompanied us even in this trip. He is so devoted 😊❀️

A big SRF group from Mexico too was visiting the Cave

Made friends with this gentleman, who was accompanied by his daughter and son in law; part of the group

Aum Babaji ❀️ Aum Christ ❀️ Aum Guru ❀️

There is so much to see in India. North, North East and South have awesome hills. But Kumaon hills are my current favourite ❀️😊❀️

Another Divine ending – Brisbane 3β€οΈπŸ™

Like my Guatemala trip ended with a group meditation in the SRF center there, Brisbane trip too ended with an uplifting Sunday morning meditation at SRF Brookfield center. Love and Good Bye – Guatemala 14❀️An Indian family, Preeti Kotecha, have given part of their beautiful property to SRF, and that is where Uma and I landed up in the morning. The place is a little away from the Citi center and we took a cab to the place.

Am so glad we could make it to this beautiful center and meet some beautiful people. Guruji has indeed given us such a big, beautiful and loving family.

While coming back Uma suggested we take a bus, though Preeti had very graciously offered to drive us back. It being a Sunday there were very few bus services available. We had such a pleasant surprise when a lady stopped by to give us lift β€οΈπŸ™ In fact she had slowed down and come towards the bus stop and then driven away. After five minutes she came back, thinking we might be stuck here for a long time ❀️❀️

Rest of my last day in Brisbane: a good lunch at a French Café; a movie and a just right cup of tea😊

Whole of my trip was so beautiful and enriching. And it was smooth and hassle free. I am so convinced that when we have God in our hearts and He is the first priority, everything else falls in place. All my cab rides, check in, security, flights …all were so smooth πŸ™πŸ™

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto thee”

Peace ❀️ Love πŸ’•β€” SRF Lake Shrine RetreatπŸ’•πŸ™

Around the World with Love

Looking forward now to my next trip 😊

Peace ❀️ Love πŸ’•β€” SRF Lake Shrine RetreatπŸ’•πŸ™

I was back in LA after spending 18 amazing days in Guatemala!

Christmas in Los Angeles ❀️

Love in Los Angeles ❀️

More peace. More love πŸ’•

It has been my dream to be able to spend a few days at our Lake Shrine Retreat. Simply divine. The love and care and hospitality of the staff and volunteers is incomparable. And such uplifting vibrations! God willing shall spend more time here in my next visit.

Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine is a Temple, a Shrine, and a Meditation Garden offering people from around the world a quiet oasis for meditation, prayer, and receiving the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda. All are welcome here, not only devotees πŸ™

For those who love silence and nature it is an amazing retreat to spend a days or weeks. Simple yet beautiful rooms. With every little detail taken care off. All rooms face Pacific Ocean. Wholesome, pure, tasty vegetarian meals. A chapel for individual meditations and a study room to sit and read. Conducted meditations are in the main temple.

We were 11 of us there in the retreat. Most others looked like a Spanish group. Another two ladies used to share the dining table, where I normally sat. We used to smile at each other but never talked. Retreants normally remain silent. On my last day there it was raining and I was wondering how to go to the temple for morning meditation. One of these ladies had an umbrella and offered to share it with me. It turned out that both these ladies too were from India (Mumbai only😊) and thought I was part of the Spanish group 😊 We were together for three days, from the same city – Mumbai and kept thinking that the other person was from Spain πŸ˜‡

Lake Shrine is dedicated to all religions πŸ™πŸ™

Gandhi Memorial – has Gandhiji’s ashes πŸ™

With a couple visiting from India, with their children living in the US and Canada. In the center is Pillaar, the ever smiling and ever helpful supervisor at Lake Shrine😊😍

Later I was able to accompany this family to SRF Hollywood Temple too. They were happy and grateful. A day well spent πŸ˜Šβ€οΈπŸ™

Tikal National Park – Guatemala β€οΈ9

Tikal was discovered in 1848, exactly hundred years before I was born and was opened to public in 1955, the year my wife was born😊❀️

And it was recognised as a site of ‘Humanity’s Heritage’ by UNESCO in 1979. The Mayan culture dates from 800 BC till 900 AD and the nucleus of the city was about 65 square kms.

Acres and acres of trees and forests all around and many Mayan structures of 7-8th century.

Beautiful

Ancient

Divine

Peaceful

Temples and city plazas to palaces and burial sites — lush green landscapes; a great place to contemplate and to meditate.

Maybe in our next visit we shall stay at Tikal and explore the place more.

I had just read the last chapter of the Autobiography of a Yogi and Guruji had mentioned Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh – Trinity; and here I was at Tikal and this temple top looked so much like the Trinity. God has His ways we know nothing about yogananda.org yssofindia.org

The end – Guatemala 8❀️

The end – Guatemala 8❀️

Well it was not the end of my beautiful trip but a small village called El Remate at the Eastern end of lake PetΓ¨n Itza πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ El Remate means The End😊 – end of the Lake, and we reached here at night after about 25 kms ride from Flores. Idea was to park ourselves here and visit Tikal, the world heritage national park and Mayan ruins site.

Blanca and PepΓ¨ had stayed at this place earlier too (Eco friendly); forget me – even they weren’t prepared for a single room, without attached bath for the 4 of us πŸ˜πŸ˜‚ It still turned out to be huge learning, acceptance, fun, love experience ❀️❀️

The hut on the right with thatched roof is the WC and the one on the left, without a roof is the shower😊 The rope at the entrance indicates someone is using itπŸ˜‡

Clau enjoying the hammock πŸ’ƒπŸ»

At opposite end of the world; more than 27,000 kms away from home/India and far away even from Guatemala City (530 kms NE) – when we entered the open air dining space; an Aum chant was playing – classical Indian, and the menu had Indian curry, lassi and chai β˜•οΈ ❀️

I had to get up at about 2 at night to go to the toilet; tiptoed out of the room and was greeted by an amazing site – sky literally filled with stars, bright and shining and big; the kind of sky I had seen only once earlier – Leh, India in 2013. Oh God Beautiful ❀️❀️

While peeing I was thinking I will come back with my mobile to take pics of the amazing sky. But just at that time I started to hear some strange animal sounds and was a little scared – we were staying in wilderness. So I didn’t come out again and came to know next morning that it was only monkeys πŸ’ 😝

I had got up rather early in the morning and it was still pretty dark. I decided to sit on a bench outside to meditate. After a while a heard some movement and was a little concerned. After a few more minutes it became louder and I realised someone was sleeping in a sleeping bag a few yards away πŸ˜‡. Found out later that it was a young girl who had driven down at night on a motorcycle 🏍

I had mentioned in an earlier post Love in Los Angeles ❀️ about my Guru – Paramahansa Yogananda. In fact my trip to Guatemala had happened through this connection of Guruji Around the World with Love

Since last few years I have been reading The Autobiography of a Yogi, with many others around the world. We would start the book on the 18th of Nov and read one chapter a day. As it has 49 chapters it would end on Guruji’s birthday on the 5th of January. SRF YSS

Just imagine my elation and happiness that I read the last chapter of The Autobiography of a Yogi at El Remate – The Endβ€οΈπŸ™ I had goose pimples that day and even now; thinking of this amazing coincidence or His graceπŸ˜‡

Love in Los Angeles β€οΈ

My trip around the world started from my landing in LA on the 21st of December 2018. Around the World with Love

Well begun is half done ❀️😊❀️

I had come to LA last in August 2014 to attend the SRF World Convocation. At that time I had stayed in our Encinitas Retreat. Simply divine❀️ and during the Convocation had visited our Mother Center and Lake Shrine retreat. Had promised myself at that time to come and spend more time in both these places againπŸ’•

I had booked myself in the same hotel in down town LA, where I had stayed 4 years back – Biltmore Millennium; but at the last moment decided to stay with fellow devotees. And am so glad and so blessed that I did so. They not only opened their doors to me but their hearts as well β€οΈπŸ‘

It was like being home. Being loved and cared. Thank you so much Joanna and Dallas; Donna, John, Mel and Padmini for all the love and understandingπŸ‘πŸ€—β€οΈ

Joanna and Dallas and their two beautiful sons had gone to their family in San Diego for Christmas and I was alone at their home. Had a beautiful walk in the morning and got a little taste of the fall colours tooπŸ‚πŸβ€οΈπŸ™ Reached home and pulled a back muscle as I sat down to untie my shoes😝

Just imagine – the beginning of my long trip around the world and the very first day I pull a back muscle and am far far away from home and home alone 😝 And this was the beginning of the love and care I got all through the trip. Can’t thank God enoughπŸ™πŸ™ Because it is His love only which comes through His childrenβ€οΈπŸ™

I called up Pallavi, my life line in the US, and Joanna. Joanna is so organised – she told me the exact spot where the balm was lying in the house😎 And Pallavi ordered some medicine and hot and icy packs for me for delivery within two hours. Love you so much Pallavi. And I was up and about in no time. I think it was Love that healed me faster than the medication 😊❀️😊

Mother Center is divinely beautiful and serene ❀️❀️ Guruji (Paramahansa Yogananda) had said that he has left behind maximum holy vibrations at Mother Center in LA and YSS Ranchi Ashram and that is so true. One doesn’t want to come out of this place. Pure bliss❀️ Went there every day that I was in LA.

One day when I took an Uber to go to the Mothe Center I started to talk to the driver. I was amazed how well read and aware he was. We talked about how our thoughts create our reality and that outside world is a reflection of what is inside usπŸ˜‡ And I told him about Guruji and his teachings and the SRF International Head Quarters at the Mother Center. When we reached there he parked his cab, came inside with me and took the introductory literature to start with the Home Study lessons πŸ˜ŠπŸ™

And he hugged me and thanked me and said he didn’t know such a divine place existed in LA ❀️❀️

God is LoveπŸ™β€οΈπŸ™

Guruji is Love β€οΈπŸ™β€οΈ

Love is all there is ❀️❀️❀️

Around the World with Love πŸ’•

It all started on that beautiful Sunday morning, the 14th of January 2018. Looking back, our meeting was divinely ordained.
I shouldn’t have been in Mumbai that day. And if yes, certainly not in Gordon House Hotel in South Mumbai.
And Clau and Blanca told me, when I met them in Guatemala a year later, that they too had made the change of the hotel at the last moment.
And again it was a coincidence, that we were at the same long table at the same time for our breakfast.

Clau is a shy young lady, not like the extrovert Blanca! And when we met, a year after our first contact in that boutique hotel in Mumbai, Clau told me that she had heard a voice in her head telling her to talk to me!! She had said hello and told me that I had very peaceful aura about me! And then she asked me what do I do? And I told her about our YSS (Yogoda Satsanga Society of India) cruise the previous evening, my Guru – Paramahansa Yogananda, and the Autobiography of a Yogi. And that was the beginning of a beautiful and loving friendship, which eventually led to my visiting Guatemala a year later.

First and last I had heard of Guatemala, before this, was in my childhood when I used to collect stamps, about 55 years ago!! I love traveling but visiting this country wasn’t even at the bottom of my wish list. It just wasn’t there! But it happened. And I am so glad that it did.

It was such a beautiful and enriching trip around the world. Pune->Mumbai->Los Angeles->Guatemala->Los Angeles-Brisbane->Mumbai->Pune. Three very long flights and a very long stop over in Auckland. Every place I visited and every person I met was so different from the other. Australia and Guatemala are poles apart! 180 degrees!! And Los Angeles another story of divine love and friendship altogether!! But this trip strengthened the world view I have had for many years now. And that is:

People, at the core of their hearts, are same all over the world. Everyone wants some love, some respect, some appreciation…..every one wants to be happy …..they have similar fears, worries and insecurities…… However different people may look and whatever language they may speak; and whatever may be their food habits and lifestyles; essentially they are all same.

 

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