Author Archives: ashram

Skanda Shashti is a six-day festival celebrating the tremendous fight between the forces of evil, represented by Surapadma, and the forces of light and dharma, represented by Lord Skanda and his Vel. This battle lasted six days…

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Guru Poornima is a day to remember the saints, sages, avatars and spiritual masters who guide us on the spiritual path and who have been born on this earth from the time the world was created.
This day comes once in 365 days. On this day, let us think about those great souls and in our minds chant, “Gurur Brahma, Gurur Vishnu, Gurur Devor Maheshwaraha” and think of the Supreme who is the Guru of Gurus. Then think of the spiritual master you have accepted as your Guru and chant his or her name nine times. This will be equal to receiving the grace of your Guru for the entire year…

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In worldly matters you have attachments, a jealous mind and other thoughts related to the world. In worldly matters such as in business, you may have doubts and want to know what is true and what is a lie because you have some worldly attachments. This is completely different from the spiritual perspective. When you come to the spiritual path you can very quickly find out what truth is and what a lie is. Initially it is very difficult to discriminate between truths and lies because sometimes your own ideas get in the way. Don’t allow your mind to be clouded by your own ideas, just observe.

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We think of God’s name with devotion. It is a very rare opportunity to worship God in this life. Not everyone will get an opportunity like this. It is a great opportunity to spend your life immersed in the thought of God and to sing his name. You can’t get such an opportunity easily. You can easily get money, name, fame, position, wealth and pleasure. Oh God, can I forget myself and only think of you? Life will always have problems and difficulties but whatever problems I have they will not stop me from thinking of your blissful form. Only a person who has eaten sugar candy or honey will know what it tastes like. Similarly, only one who has realized God will know the magnificence of God…

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In Sri Premeshvarar Temple we sing a collection of sacred songs in Tamil at the end of the daily evening puja in front of Swamiji’s samadhi lingam. Collectively we call them, ‘Pancha Puranam’. The Pancha Puranam refers to the five sacred books called, Tevaram, Tiruvasagam, Tiruvisaippa, Tiruppallandu and Periyapuranam. In each of these books are hundreds of sacred songs that were composed by Tamil saints. We sing just one or two songs from each collection…

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In Sanskrit nava means nine and ratri means night (just as we have Shivaratri – the night of Shiva) and so, according to tradition, during this festival consecrated to the Divine Mother, we perform abhishekams to worship her and to ask for her grace and her blessings. In Sanskrit riti means “to return to the source”. By means of ritual, therefore, we will acquire the capacity of returning to our divine origin, of rediscovering the Divine within ourselves. Swamiji generally encourages spiritual aspirants to perform or attend a pooja regularly, if they like, because during ritual the mind and body are fully absorbed in the worship of the Divine. It is a means of learning to control the mind and it also purifies the mind. At the same time, we absorb much spiritual energy and enjoy the physical and mental connection to the sacred divine.

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Dear Divine Souls,

Many avatars and siddhas were born in this sacred land called India. When you are living on this blessed earth, try to bring your mind to a good state. You have got a good opportunity to do this. However, when we behave with ego, pride, jealousy, greed, anger and when we don’t show respect to others or we are not welcoming to others it means we are not at a mature level. You can bring your mind to a mature stage by becoming humble. Receive the blessings of the Divine Mother, Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati during this Navaratri and live with peace and happiness, without disease, with strong and steady health, with a pure mind, without a competitive attitude and without ego, jealousy, pride or a critical mind…

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When Swamiji was living in the Ashram the devotees at that time were very fortunate to have been able to do Pada Puja to him. Swamiji said, “During a Pada Puja, you are able to touch the master’s feet. Through his grace and extraordinary power he can remove your karma, illnesses and difficulties that would have affected you for many lifetimes. (….) The divine power comes from Mother Earth through the feet of the saint or sadhu…

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In this human life we should focus our mind on God. To do this, we should think about how to reach his holy feet. In this mundane world we must create opportunities to achieve this. We pray to God to make it happen but our worldly problems stop us from doing this and confuse our mind. If we try to think about this too much our minds will get confused about whether or not we should follow the spiritual path. How can we think of God while living in this world?

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By Nagulan, Sri Premananda Centre of Vlamertinge

My wife and I have been back home in Belgium for about six weeks since our stay in the Ashram during Mahashivarathri and every day my thoughts still linger there. During the day a bhajan will suddenly come to mind and I’ll begin singing.

This year Mahashivarathri and our stay in the Ashram was a wonderful experience for me. It was different from previous years and since being home, I’ve been able to keep this feeling of joy I had in the Ashram. I wondered why this could be and, according to me, there are four reasons.

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