Monthly Archives: January 2015
Shiva, Parvati And The Bull
as told by Yogiji Maharaj
Once lord shiva and his consort, Parvati, were travelling with their vehicle – the Bull. The Lord had taken the form of an old man, while, Parvatiji remained young and beautiful. On the road all passers-by looked on with amazement at this odd couple of an old man and a young woman.
On the way, Shiva said, ”Parvatiji, my dear, please sit and ride on the bull durig this journey.” She obeyed and mounted the bull while Shiva walked alongside. The village folk and other strangers bitterly criticised, ”What a selfish woman! She is young and healthy and yet she chooses to comfortably ride while forcing the old man to walk.” Shiva changed his mind. ”Parvatidevi, the people are mocking you. It is wiser that I sit and you walk.” So saying, Shiva sat on the bull’s back. Further along, other strangers came with sharper comments, ”O look at this mean, bully of a man. He’s fat and robust, and evil too. He enjoys the ride while forcing this young and gentle lady to walk on foot.”
Hearing this both of them climbed the bull. At least, this would ward off the criticisms. But they were gravely mistaken and no sooner had they come to the next village, people sneered and jeered. ”Look at this nasty couple. Both of them have mercilessly climbed upon the bull. They’ll kill the poor creature!”
Now there was only one option left. They dismounted and allowed the bull to walk freely. They accompanied it on either side. While they walked, they met new people with new bitterness. They laughed at them, shouting ”What foolishness! They have taken a bull as a vehicle and neither of them is using it.” Straight away Shiva told Parvati, ”Come let us do what we think is right, and live the way we want to. The world will never appreciate or see what we do as correct.”
In this world, even if we perform a good deed not everyone will like it and support it. The problem lies with the nature of our world. If a Sadhu shows miracles people say, ”He’s into black magic and possesses evil powers.” And if a Sadhu avoids miracles, some will mutter complaints, ”O! He shows no miracles. He’s ordinary and is of no use.” This is the line of thinking our world works on. It is crooked from both ends and whatever you do, the world will never see you straight. Therefore, pay no attention to the words of the worldly people and continue to devoutly worship God.
Here is the story of Maharajji’s Obama inauguration
Blessings on Jan 22, 2009, remembered and written in the
sun at Kainchi, Jan. 2015.
In January 2009, my friend and Guru Bahin, Dr. Marsha Walker and I were staying at our Guru, Shri Neem Karoli Baba’s ashram in Kumoan.
A few days before Obama’s first inauguration, Jan 21, 2009, we asked Vinod Joshi, the manager of Baba’s ashram if we could sing eleven Hanuman Chaleesas for the success of Obama’s Presidency, and distribute prasad to the school children and the people in Kainchi Valley on the day of Obama’s 2009 inauguration. Indian Standard Time it is 11 and a half hours earlier than the east coast of the USA.
Before the inauguration day, Girish Tewari ordered a bushel of bananas and Naresh got 10 or 15 kilos of ladoos. We had to preorder them. They came
from Bhowali in a Maruti van.
After morning arti and puja were finished, Raju, the pujari put the giant basket of bananas in the temple, and the boxes of ladoos arranged around Hanman.
I made a sign in Hindi and English, to put below the step of the Hanuman temple, asking for Maharajji’s and Hanuman’s blessings. (Obama’s name is very devanagari-friendly.)
Marsha Walker and I sat in front of Hanuman and sang
eleven Hanuman Chaleesas. It takes a little more than an hour to sing 11 chalisas, not ‘three hours”.
For quite a few of the chalisas, a gentleman was standing in front of Laxmi Narayan, to the right of the Hanuman temple.
He was standing with a lot of attention and respect with his hands in pranam for at least three or four chaleesas.
After we finished the 11 chalisas and ‘ki Jai-s’ the pujari began to bring out the prasad for us to take to the school and to friends’ houses in Kainchi valley.
The gentleman who had been standing so attentively to the side, requested to take our photo. I immediately said “NO!”. Photos in the ashram are ‘mana hai’ (forbidden). But when he insisted and suggested we go outside, Marsha said yes. What to do?
After he’d taken our photo outside the gates, the ‘assistant manager’ of the ashram Dinesh Tripati came out to see if he was ‘bothering’ us. We all chatted awhile, I got a bit political thinking about the government! After speaking to them both for a few minutes Marsha and I walked back in the ashram to get the Prasad to distribute. Dinesh stayed outside talking to the gentleman for quite awhile.
Some of the guys who work at the ashram helped us carry the ladoos and bananas up to the school. We had sent a message to the teachers the day before that we were coming with Prasad for the students and teachers in honor of Neem Karoli Baba’s blessing for Obama.
On that day, around the valley, people would say “Obama ki Jai.” They were convinced he is a Hanuman Bhakt. There are photos of him with a tiny Hanuman in his hands to prove it.
The next morning Marsha and I drove to Jageshwar near Almora, a sacred cluster of 9th-13th century Shiva shrines and temples
I’d lived in Jageshwar for several months in 1973. In 1993, I returned to Jageshwar with my daughter Kristina Shakti, my friend and Guru bahin, Krishna Priya, and her son Mbira Ram. At that time, I reconnected with Gopal Bhatt, my former landlord’s son, the Pujari family of the Jageshwar temple complex. Gopal showed us where the noses and hands of deities carved in relief on columns had been desecrated by an Islamic army who hundreds of years earlier had found the remote outcropping of Shiva temples hidden in a valley among the giant Deodar trees. Gopal explained why the invading army could not demolish the main temple. He carefully removed a stone an arm’s length above his head on the side of the mandap (temple tower) and showed us the secret of the construction of the main shrine at Jageshwar. The stone had broken neatly in half revealing a carefully carved circular hole in the center of the stone through which ran a thick metal coil, like rebarb, which was visible in the space from where the stone had been removed. The iron rods connected all the stones together with an metal mesh. The Islamic armies could not destroy Jageshwar because it was woven together from the inside. So they just defiled some murtis and left the main mandir standing.
In 2009, we arrived mid morning and entered the Jyotirlinga inner shrine. A young pujari came in and after a few prayers we spoke for a while and found out that his uncle had been my landlord twenty years before.
Two young boys appeared outside the door of the inner sanctum and started
sing-songing quietly “Obama! Kainchi! Obama! Kainchi!” Then the pujari’s son said, “They are saying that you were singing the Chaleesa for Obama at Kainchi yesterday.”
I asked if he had been there. He sent the boys running
off on an errand. They returned with the daily Hindi newspaper The Dainaki
Jagaran, which has wide circulation in northern India.
After that they went scouring the village looking for extra copies to give us before the papers turned in to fuel or trash. Very endearing that Baba had blessed Obama.
When we returned to Kainchi the conversations were rather funny, because reporters and filming are not allowed at the ashram. But it was Dinesh Tripati who stayed back and chatted and told the reporter our names, our professions, where we came from. The reporter got all the detailed biographical information from Dinesh. Which made Vinod and everybody laugh because Dinesh didn’t know he was a reporter either.
A few days later we went to Rishikesh and Uttar Kashi and everywhere we went we had feedback about that article. At least once a day, someone at a tea shop or some shop would see us and go get the copy of the article that they had saved and show it to us.
A couple of people when they recognized Marsha and me from our newspaper photo together, asked if Obama had sent us to Kainchi to do Hanuman puja for the success of his administration. We assured them we were just ordinary American citizens, devotees of Shri Neem. Several people thought it was good that Neem Karoli Baba was blessing Obama!
Most people really do think Obama is a Hanuman devotee, based on the photo of his palms holding the contents of his pockets, with a little statue of Hanuman. That rumor was viral in India at that time of the inauguration, even in the foothills of the Himalayas and still comes up in 2015.
In Uttar Kanchi, we drove all the way through town and could find no place we wanted to stay. As the road got more jungly, there was a red sign, “Shivananada Ashram” and an unpaved road to the right towards the Ganga. We needed to find a place to stay, it was afternoon.
The taxi turned sharp and came to a stop in front of a large metal gate. A man in monk’s clothing came out. He said that the main swami of that ashram was not there so no one could stay. I told him that my Guru was Neem Karoli Baba and in the olden days when Neem Karoli Baba would come to Shivananda’s ashrams and hospital, Shivananda would cause a big Bhandara to happen.
He young man went back in for a moment and then he came out and said we could stay at the Dharmsala. After we brought our bags in, two or three residents of the ashram showed us their copies of the Dainaki Jagaran photo.
After that in numerous places in north India, some one would recognize us from the photo. Since the Dainaki Jagaran has multiple editions daily published in different sectors of north India, our Hanuman Chaleesas for Obama was noticed, and the article and our photo was saved by a lot of people. We were asked several times if Obama had sent us here to do puja before he was inaugurated.
Story by RamRani Rosser
Congratulations to the 2014 Raffle Winners
1st Prize- Satrupa 1 round-trip airline ticket to India**
2nd Prize- Paula Ananda “Heart to Heart” with Ram Dass via Skype
3rd Prize- David Scott Silver amulet with a piece of Baba’s blanket inside
4th Prize- Nirali Framed canvas photo of Baba or Hanuman
5th Prize- Dylan Trachtman Blanket offered to Maharaj-ji on his takht in Taos
6th Prize- Ameya Hardbound copy of “Chai Pilgrimage” by Jenny & Patrick Shaw
7th Prize- Betsy Davis “Feed Everyone” apron with a jar each of organic ghee and chutney from Baba’s kitchen
8th Prize- Vikas Tiwari Gift basket from “Aromaland” featuring soaps and shampoos scented with essential oils
9th Prize- Gail Morah Semi-precious stone mala
10th Prize- Vimal Chatianyav Hanuman Chalisa CD
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