By Balan

People come into our lives for different purposes. Some come to help, some come to support, some come to motivate, many come to share and enjoy life with us. Our first relationship is with our parents. As we grow older our relationships widen to siblings, spouse, friends, relatives, colleagues, children and so on. Some relationships fade away and some new relationships crop up. There are no rules or laws to govern these relationships. It is a spontaneous effect.

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By An Ashram resident

In October 2008 I came to live full-time in Sri Premananda Ashram. When I arrived I asked Swamiji if I could offer service. He said it was a good idea and I was assigned a particular role. I have been carrying out that work for the last year. When I first started to serve I didn’t understand the deeper significance of what it meant to run a department. Before I started running the department I would meditate and pray to Swamiji every day and I felt close to him. However, my relationship with him was a little shallow – from my side. I wanted to feel close to God and close to my Guru but I hadn’t been ready to surrender my attachment to selfish desires, to what I wanted and to how I wanted things to be.

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Swamiji’s Christmas recipe

Lord Jesus Christ’s life was the perfect example of total renunciation, self-surrender and selfless service. The world needs to ask how it is remembering the birth of this great soul. His birthday is not really a time to spend money uselessly and recklessly on unnecessary presents or behave wildly and get drunk. How shall we celebrate Christmas? ….

The symbolic meaning of ‘the blood of Christ’

Many people have asked me questions over the years concerning the life of Lord Jesus Christ. Some have said his crucifixion was a time of severe testing for him concerning his own faith in God, whom he revered as the Divine Father. Some have said his violent death was his karma. However, I feel that we must consider that Lord Jesus Christ was a wonderful mahatma (realized soul) who knew the past, present and future of humankind, like other great saints and sages who are considered as real embodiments of the Divine….

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From a very young age, Swami Premananda devoted his life to spirituality. Prem Kumar Somasundaram was born in 1951 into a merchant family in Matale, Sri Lanka. Whilst still a child he showed signs that he was destined for a spiritual life. As a pet name his parents used to call him Ravi, which means the sun, because of his radiant smile. His special psychic gifts and powers of materialization were evident even as a small child. He demonstrated a passion for religion, spiritual fervour and devotion as well as extraordinary yogic abilities. Ravi’s father and mother initially found it difficult to accept their son’s fame, which grew as people came to know of his wisdom and extraordinary gifts…

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In 2010, I had just returned from India having received the three Centre statues from Swami.
Shortly after my return home someone had given me a picture of a young man, named Jules, who had been very badly injured in a car accident. He was hospitalized and lay in a deep coma. The person who had given me the picture wanted me to do something for this young man and I thought to myself that I would place his picture on Swami’s cushion during one of our Centre programmes. I had been told that the medicine he was being treated with had not managed to lower the cerebral pressure and even cutting open his forehead had not helped to bring down the pressure! …

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“The human race has persistently destroyed and perverted Mother Earth’s dharma of love and compassion. Now Mother is warning us to take care not to destroy her.” Swami Premananda

Swami Premananda had a deep love and respect for trees and Mother Nature and he regarded all trees and plants as sentient beings. During his lifetime, Swamiji planted thousands of trees, fruit trees and flowering plants all over the Ashram land and encouraged everyone to join this seva.

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Developing human kindness

“Money, property, status, name and fame, a wife, children – all these worldly things are indeed an illusion. The path we need to on is entirely different. If, instead, we carry unnecessary burdens inside us, we will never be able to achieve anything spiritually.

Throw all your sorrows, difficulties, anger, disappointments, failures and worries away and go in search of permanent peace. Go close to God’s feet. Experience the soul that is “You” as infinite…”

Your heart is the source – a poem by Swami Premananda

”That which you long for
Is not what you should desire.
That which you want
Is not what you should acquire.
What you should forget
Is that which you keep in mind…”

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Premananda Youth group of Argentina – Our service projects

Service at a day home for disabled youngsters
We still remember the first time we did this service. We were welcomed by eight mentally challenged youngsters. We wrote a story together as a group and had great fun making a collage. On another occasion, we celebrated one of the girls’ birthdays by dancing and playing lots of different games. We often work with the youngsters by making collages in order to identify colours. Sometimes one of our friends joins us and plays guitar and sings with the youngsters.

Premananda Youth group of Poland – Devotion and unity

The heart of our Youth group beats strongly and unity prevails among us. The devoted and constant members who regularly come to the group activities are always very helpful in helping us to organize programmes. We have future projects and are always trying to think of ways to spread Swamiji´s teachings to more and more people.

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Practice Bhajans You can listen to the bhajan and learn how to sing it yourself. The words and their meaning are below along with the chords for harmonium accompaniment. Anjaney Bhagavate Bhajan # 504 in the Premananda Bhajans book Lord Hanuman, …

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– What is Navaratri? Learn about this ten-day festival dedicated to the Divine Mother
– About the Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati
– How to do a Durga Puja – step by step guide

Every year in Sri Premananda Ashram we celebrate a festival in which we worship the feminine or mother aspect of the Divine. This festival is known as, ‘Navaratri’, which means nine nights. During this festival in Sri Premananda Ashram, devotees take part in an ancient ritual to the Divine Mother called abhishekam; although this is performed every evening throughout the year in the Ashram, it is considered to be particularly powerful during this time. Fresh flowers are offered to her as well as pure ingredients such as turmeric, milk and rose water whilst sacred mantras are chanted. It is considered to be a very auspicious time, a time when each person’s personal sadhana can be strengthened and deepened. Swamiji particularly liked to celebrate this festival by worshipping the Divine Mother.

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