|You must be wondering what I’ve been up to! Though I’ve been communicating with you through our Facebook and Twitter, it has been a while since my last newsletter. I have had an eventful last six months of travel, fellowship, and divine busy-ness. I first traveled to Rishikesh for Pujya Swamiji’s 60th birthday celebration, then to Hyderabad for the First World Parliament of Spirituality. I celebrated Maha Kumbha Mela in Allahabad. Springtime found me in India attending the International Yoga Festival and International Geeta Conference. Then it was off to Shanghai, China; then Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. I can’ t wait to share the adventures and blessings of the last few months with all of you! Here’s a brief summary of my trips and activities.
- Pujya Swamiji’s 60th Birthday Celebration: In November, I spent five days celebrating Pujya Swamiji’s 60th birthday in Rishikesh. Leaders from many faiths, from all around the world, came together in fellowship to celebrate this blessed occasion. We enjoyed music by world-famous drummer Sivamani, darshan, and words of wisdom and blessings from saints and spiritual leaders. We also celebrated the dedication of special eco-friendly biodigester toilets at Parmarth Niketan by the Governor of Uttarakhand. This will help keep Mother Ganga clean for future generations of faithful. It was an incredible three days full of prayer, meditation, community, and dedication to the Earth. See more details@Pujya Swamiji’s 60th birthday in Rishikesh
- First World Parliament on Spirituality: Next I was off to Hyderabad for the First World Parliament on Spirituality. After long preparation and efforts of many hard work finally, over five busy days, over 200 speakers and gave several talks and workshops, and also listened to many talks by spiritual leaders from all over the world and attended workshops and sessions on many different aspects of spirituality. It was wonderful to spend time with so many people who are on the spiritual journey, to share fellowship, and to be in the presence of such peace and positivity. On the final day, December 21, more than 10 million people across the world joined in meditation for peace, harmony, and awakening – The World United. It was truly powerful to be part of such a conscious community who believed in Earth is One, Truth is One, We are One.
- Maha Kumbha Mela: I traveled to Allahabad for Kumbha Mela, the Season of Nectar, in January and February. This vibrant, ancient festival brings together sages, saints, and seekers from every corner of the globe. This first ever Green Mela was dedicated to preserving the Earth, and featured satsang, bathing in Mother Ganga, yoga practice, singing and chanting, and being in sacred community.
- Ayodha: On February 11th, I fulfilled a childhood dream and visited Ayodha, one of India’s seven most sacred cities. I visited the Rama Janam Bhum, the historical birthplace of Lord Rama. I enjoyed visiting many temples and getting the blessings.
- Papaji’s Ashram: I went to Lucknow, U.P., to visit the ashram of Sri H.W. Poonja, one of the major Indian gurus to export his teachings to the west. (He was later known as Papaji.) I thoroughly enjoyed the welcoming attitude of the people at the ashram, along with the peacefulness and positive energy!
- Puttaparthi: On February 18th, I went to visit the Mahasamadhi in Puttaparthi (A.P) and pay my homage to Beloved Shri Satya Sai Babaji and get His Blessing. Though, I missed His physical presence but felt He was present there more than ever.
- International Yoga Festival: March 1-7, Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh. Over 800 people from 50 countries were in attendance over the weeklong festival! There were so many opportunities for self-improvement, spiritual development, and community sharing – from yoga classes in many different styles, to Reiki and acupuncture classes, to spiritual talks by wise teachers, saints, and sages. Sivamani again graced us with his drums, and there was dancing and celebration. It was such a blessing to be part of this diverse spiritual community. If you ever get an opportunity to attend, try it and you would love
to keep going back. International Yoga Festival
- Mathura Varindavan: On March 10, on my way home from visiting my family in Gwalior (M.P.), I stopped in Mathura, Varindavan the place where Lord Krishna appeared over 5000 years ago. I visited many temples there, including Banke Bihari Temple, Radha Vallabh Temple, and the Durga Temple.
- International Geeta Conference: From March 24-27, I joined the International Geeta Conference in Geeta Dahm, Jodhphur, (Raj). We celebrated the 115th birthday of our Most Revered Shri 1008 Swami Hariharji Maharaj. The theme of the conference was “How to Control Your Mind through the Teachings of the Bhagavad Geeta.” I presented a three day workshop and listened to many uplifting, inspiring talks and special divine lectures by saints and seers.