In North India the sadhus keep akhanda dhuni, which they worship three times a day and keep burning continuously. It is the same as nitya yagya (daily fire sacrifice).
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Every year during the month of Kartika our two temples arrange for special programs each evening, with kirtana, offering of ghee lamps by all visitors, and distribution of prasadam.
On one of my recent trips I went to visit the ashram of Dayalu Baba, a sadhu residing on the edge of the Salandi reserve forest in Odisha, I noticed his glasses were broken and were missing one arm. He had improvised by tying a string around it, and was wearing them crooked because without the other arm they couldn’t stay straight.
The universe exists independent of our perception of it. The eyes and senses are like the imperfect screens of a cell phone. Some model will have higher resolution and some lower, some are black and white, some are color, some can show photos in 3d, some can’t. Various phones can display the same image data but it will look completely different depending on the capacity of the device.
Last night I visited a saint named Nityananda Baba, who I have known for around 15 years. He told me a war will begin next year, and last till 2024. Afterwards there will be a sadhu sabha in Puri in 2025 where they will discuss what to do for the world.
Every so often echoes of the Vedic past can be detected in the most obscure of items. Such is the case with the simple ‘piggy bank’. Was this staple of childhood nostalgia just a cute animal chosen at random or is there a deeper hidden meaning? If you promise not to squeal we’ll give you the clues.
Today we had the good fortune to go to Sri Marundeeswarar temple in Thiruvanmiyur. Valmiki, the author of Ramayana used to worship Lord Shiva here. In this spot Lord Shiva taught the science of herbal medicine to the great sage Agastya, so devotees come here to pray for being cured of various diseases.
Its been a while since we posted an update about the protected cows at our ashram in Odisha. Some people have been asking us, “How does Baladeva the bull calf look today now that he is all grown up?” Let me share some photos of the cows along with the new goshala we built for them, which gives them more space and a bit more comfort.
Today I was going through a file of old letters and I came across the first notice we printed for distribution in Palani in 1998. It seems to still be in good shape even after 23 years.
This is a picture I took 15 years ago of a stone “coin” or tablet which was being kept at an ashram in the forests of Odisha. The sadhu who kept it said he used to find many of these in the river, but he lost all of them in the super cyclones of the 1970’s and 1990’s when the ashram was under water.