Getting Ready for Guru Purnima

 

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The excitement is building up at the ashram as we are getting closer to Sunday’s Guru Purnima.

Guru Purnima is the day of celebrating the presence of one’s Guru in the Hindu tradition by observing reverence to one’s Guru. For us in Taos, devotees are preparing the ashram grounds by doing a deep cleaning all through the ashram especially in the temple and the sunroom areas, few are elated to work in setting up of the Dhuni (an auspicious fire place set to invite the presence of various Gods), others are setting up the video camera for live streaming and some are preparing, managing & getting ready to serve the Prasad (the food offering to gods & gurus) for more than 300 people.

Although, our other festivals of the year have a higher attendance because they fall on the weekend, Guru Purnima is of special importance and tends to be very beautiful and sweet here.

Guru Purnima day involves the celestial chanting of a chosen mantra. We will be chanting the Maha Mantra for 24 hours without break, beginning at 1:08 pm Sunday, July 21st and finishing at 1:08 pm Monday, July 22nd. Maharaji always requested to chant the Maha Mantra at his ashrams in India during Guru Purnima and we humbly keep that tradition in our Taos Temple.

For those of you who don’t know the Maha Mantra, it is-

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare

Hare Rama, Hare Rama

Rama Rama, Hare Hare

 As many of you may know Guru Purnima is an occasion that started during the Vedic times in order to give devotees a chance to convey their humble gratitude for all that the guru has bestowed upon them. The selected day of celebration falls on the full moon (purnima) in the month of Ashadha of the vedic calendar. It is during this full moon night that the guru is most accessible and we are most receptive. The blessings of Guru Purnima guarantee that all the offerings and gifts we give are received by the guru, and a promised benediction for his beloved devotees.

~Shama

P.S. We hope you can join us either in person or via live streaming on the internet. Jai Jai Hanuman.

 

 

The Legend of Tulsi

The Legend of Tulsi

According to the Shrimad Devi Bhagvatam Lord Vishnu’s consort Goddess Laxmi was transformed into a tulsi plant due to a curse. Unable to reverse the curse Lord Vishnu granted Laxmi a boon to be born as a girl on earth.

In her new life as a woman she married a demon named Shankachura. Victims of Shankachura prayed to Lord Vishnu for help and so he sent Lord Shiva to kill him. The death of Shankachura relieved the world of his tormenting and Goddess Laxmi of her curse.

To mark this event the tulsi plant was born on earth and has since been revered and worshipped for it’s purity and the peacefulness it brings. Tulsi leaves are offered in many pujas. This is because tulsi ensures the presence of the supreme trinity-Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva on earth. She is especially important in the worship of Hanuman.

While tulsi offers spiritual value she also offers medicinal benefits as an adaptogen reducing the effects of stress on the body and as a remedy for various ailments.

 

Om namo tulsi namaha.

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Sacred Tulsi at the Ashram

P1070395Sharing tulsi with devotees this summer was a labor of love for our green house gardener.

In February she planted 800 seeds in little pots and kept them in her room until she could move them to the green houses. Now all the tusli plants live in the green house where a picture of Hanuman watches over them. With love, care and attention we now have a variety of thriving tulsi that devotees can take home.

We have three varieties of Tulsi;  Kainchi Tulsi, Tulsi Rama and Tulsi Krishna. The Tulsi Rama seems to have been sold out. And yes, the Kainchi Tulsi was sprouted with tulsi seeds from Kainchi, India where Maharaji has one of his ashrams. The Kainchi Tulsi grows very well and is very hardy being able to withstand the arid climate of New Mexico. Tulsi Krishna (Krishna Shyama Tulsi) can be recognized by its dark green leaves and is important for the worship of Hanuman.

Traditionally, tulsi is potted in clay pots.  Many Hindus have them growing in front of their homes or in the center of their courtyards. She is also revered and grown at many Hanuman temples.

The ashram will be planting some of the tulsi plants around the temple in honor of Hanuman. Om namo Tulsi namaha.

 

Reciting the Entire Ramayana

IMG_0114Every year at Maharaji’s ashram in Kanchi the entire Ramayana is recited before many religious holidays. Reciting the entire Ramayana before you begin something new or in times of difficulties is a humble offering to Hanuman and request for blessings.

The leader of the recitation will choose the theme of the offering which is called the Samput. The Samput is a refrain repeated after every doha.  The Samput can be a line from the Ramayana or a line from Tulsidas and will depend on the purpose of giving thanks.

Reciting the entire Ramayana may be done at home or at a local Hanuman temple. Here is a link to download the Ramayana (it’s 1100 pages). Simply download the PDF called Code 1318 RamCharitaManas (the Ramayana of Goswami Tulasidas).

Ramayana at the Ashram

Devotee Gita Singh, from Delhi, will be chanting the entire Ramayana starting Wed. July 3rd.

rama2Here is the Schedule for Wednesday, July 3rd through Friday, July 5th:

Start: 8:30am – 1:00pm

Break: 1:00 – 2:30pm

Continue: 2:30 – 6:30pm

She has brought 5 books for people to participate with.

You may also visit this page for the exact copy she and her family will be reading from.

Simply download the PDF called Code 1318 RamCharitaManas (the Ramayana of Goswami Tulasidas). We recommend you download it and bring your laptop or iPad to the temple room (printing would take 1100 pages). Please also bring a clean cloth to place your laptop on as sacred books should never touch the floor.

We look forward to chanting together. Jai !