Editor's Message
  
Sumiran, your monthly spiritual energizer, is always endeavoring to bring fresh, heartwarming, and spiritually elevating content to your inbox.  This time, the theme article, 'A perfect world' explores the perfection that secretly manifests in our world .  Read the article to understand the wonderful pattern that exists behind the enormous chaos that we perceive in our world.  Also, as we offer prayers for the well being of our brothers and sisters in Nepal, we revisit the legend of Lord Pashupatinath, the holiest of Shiva shrines in Nepal.
 
We also share with you the latest updates of JKYog activities from across India and USA.  Retreats, Satsang Centers, and Bal-Mukund Centers are all buzzing with activity and good work to make a positive change in our lives, homes and societies.  We leave you with a delicious bhog recipe and hope that as you relish both 'chia berry bowl' and the bliss of devotion, you eagerly wait for the next edition of Sumiran.

Best Wishes,
Editor's Desk
editor@jkyog.org 
In This Issue

 

एक तो न भूलो हरि गोविन्द राधे |
दूजो तनु क्षण भंगुर ना भुला दे ||

   
ek to na bhoolo hari govind rādhe

 doojo tanu kṣhaṇa bhaṅgura nā bhulā  de

 

Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj says, "You must be careful in keeping two points in mind at all times. One is constant remembrance of God and the other is the transitory nature of human life."

 

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A Perfect World
  
In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order. 
-Carl Jung

A satellite view of the earth shows a beautiful blue planet existing peacefully as it should be.  However, a closer look at the on-ground reality speaks a different story all together.  The daily newspaper gives you a fair idea of how things are not all hunky dowry in our world.  One part of the world is incapacitated with conflict and poverty, the other is stricken with natural calamities, and yet another is struggling with major economic challenges. 

If there were one word we would choose to describe the present state of affairs, it would be 'disorder'.  This disorder or chaos is not a characteristic of global issues alone; countries, societies, institutions, and humans are all experiencing the disorder.  Even at the personal front, our own experience tells that no matter how much we try to put things in order, new disorder keeps creeping into the system.  A relative is unwell in the family, there is confrontation with somebody in the office, and the weather is too hot or too cold.  You take care of one issue and the other one is waiting in line to pop up as soon as you feel a little settled.

Since disorder is the intrinsic part of our life and world, it naturally makes us accuse God of doing a terrible job of running the world.
 How can God be all-perfect if he has created such an imperfect world?
 
Has he really created an imperfect world?

A study of the  scientific findings will dispute our accusation on God.   Amazing order manifests i  n every aspect of God's creation.  There is order within the tiniest atom, which has more than 300 subatomic particles.  It has got the electron rotating at 600 miles an hour and the proton rotating at 40,000 miles an hour; without any collisions.  That is the extent of order  in an atom.  Com  e to the cells, we have trillions of cells within the body.  One aspect of the cell is the DNA and it has such an amazing amount of information.  The human DNA was decoded a few years back.  Francis Collins wrote in his book Language of God that DNA has so much information in it that if you write it on A4 size sheets, those sheets will have to be piled up to the Washington monument.  And if you were to read that information at a speed of 3 letters per second, you would keep reading for the next 31 years.  DNA is only a tiny aspect of the human cell; we can well imagine the organization that must have gone into the human body.  Even at the macro level, the sun around which our planet rotates is one of the billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

Like this, there are so many physical properties of this world, which represent the amazing amount of order, which we find around us in the creation.  The other aspect is that we perceive in our day-to-day lives so much of chaos.  It seems to be a kind of contradiction.

The enlightened masters tell us that there is really no contradiction.  This creation is perfect in its every aspect.  There is a Taoist saying, "Snowflakes fall into the ground each one in its proper place."
What then is the perfection in this world?


And the Ishaponishad of the Vedas states:
ishavasyam idam sarvam yat kincha jagatyam jagat

This means that the whole world is a veritable form of the perfect God.

In the Ramayan, Lord Shiv tells Mother Paravati that if some fortunate soul can finish the internal anger, greed, lust, illusion, that fortunate person will perceive the perfection of this world and realize this world is a veritable form of God.

Behind this amazing chaos is a wonderful pattern. This world is designed in such a way so as to bring about the gradual growth of all living beings.  Events are patterned in a manner to help the flowering of the consciousness of the soul over a continuum of lifetimes. This does not mean that every micro event will fall into this pattern.  For nature gives us free will or freedom to fashion our own events.  However, the general logic behind the creation is that it is gradually helping the soul evolve to perfection over a continuum of lifetimes.  Now growth of living beings does not imply that the creation is obliged to fulfil our puny desires or ensure that things happen in accordance with our likes and dislikes.  It is possible that for the unfoldment of our personality it is necessary we have hardships to face, obstacles to overcome, and challenges to bear. 

This growth is not of material possessions or wealth, it is an internal growth that is engendered over infinite lifetimes.  If we can perceive this pattern in creation, the perfection with which this world pushes us towards eternal welfare, it will transform our paradigm of life.   This knowledge will then help us focus on our internal growth and development, which despite all our hardships and imperfections of the world, will make life a truly fascinating experience.

Leela - The Legend of Shree Pashupatinath Temple 

 
The splendid temple of Lord Pashupatinath is located 5 kms away from Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal.  It is situated amidst many other temples on the bank of the river Bagmati.  Pashupathinath is worshipped as the guardian spirit of Nepal and is one of the holiest shrines of Lord Shiv in the country.  Lord Shiv is known by many different names, and Pashupati is one.  Pashu means living beings, and Pati means master.  In other words, Pashupati is the master of all living beings of the universe.  This is how Lord Pashupati is praised in all the religious books.

Legends are numerous as to how the temple of Lord Pashupatinath came into existence here.  One of the legends about Lord Shiv is that, once Shiv took the form of an antelope and wandered in the Mrigasthali forest on the Bagmati River's east bank. The Gods were looking for him and finally found him as an antelope and they grabbed him by the horn and forced him to come back to his divine form. The broken horn was worshipped as a linga, and it was buried and lost.  As stated in the chronicles, the image of Lord Shiv in the form of Jyotirlinga  was covered with earth over the years, and soft green grass sprouted over it.  Further, as the legend goes, a cow used to come here mysteriously every day and offer her milk to this holy but hidden Linga of Lord Shiva.  When the cow owner saw that, the cow had stopped giving milk since the last few days he started keeping eye on her; and finally came across the place where the cow used to offer her milk.  With a natural curiosity to know the importance of the place, where his cow used to make offering of her milk, the gwala dug the place and found the Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva.  After this, a number of gwalas gathered to worship this Linga according to religious conformity, starting the tradition of worshipping this Linga.  As the time passed, Lord Pashupatinath started gaining more and more popularity and reverence of the devotees as a guardian spirit and gradually the temple of Lord Pashupatinath became a great place of pilgrimage. 

For centuries now, the holy shrine of Lord Pashupatinath has been an important place of pilgrimage in the Indian subcontinent.  No visit to the beautiful country of Nepal is complete without paying visit to the temple.  Recently, when the unfortunate calamity struck Nepal and the earthquake levelled many historical monuments, Lord Pashupatinath's Shrine stood unharmed.   For the devotees, this seems like a divine miracle but archaeologists also point out structural features of temple that explain its resilience.

As Nepal recovers from this mishap, we pray that the guardian deity blesses everyone with strength and courage.
Swamiji's visit to Pashupatinath Temple premises during Nepal Tour in March 2015

Swamiji has been visiting Nepal for over two decades to preach the philosophy of Jagadguru Shri Kripaluji Maharaj.   Swamiji fondly says that the country holds a very special place in his heart.  Nepal's picturesque scenery and warm-hearted people have attracted people the world over.  This year, Swamiji had visited Nepal in March for a 10 days tour where he conducted sadhana shivir in Radha Govind Dham, Birgunj, and Shreemad Bhagavat Mahapuran lecture series in Bankali - Shree Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu.  Here are some pictures from Swamiji's morning walk with devotees to Pashupatinath Temple complex.
 
Earthquake in Nepal

Message from Swamiji 

 

The calamity that has come upon the people of Nepal from the earthquake and its aftershocks is of mammoth proportions. We are all dismayed to hear about the loss of life and property in the most beautiful country of our planet. From the side of all the devotees at JKYog, we wish to express our heartfelt solidarity with the people of Nepal in this hour of crisis. Though it may be just a drop in the ocean that is required, we will try our best to offer our humble assistance to those affected.
I cherish my long association with Nepal and its people, having travelled the length and breadth of the country many times over during the last two decades. In Maharajji's mission, we have thousands of Nepali devotees and they are unanimously admired for their fervent devotion and exceptional seva bhav. The Nepalese are such wonderful people, full of simplicity and faith; they have repeatedly won the respect of the world for their trustworthiness and sacrifice.

It came as a shock to hear that so many famous buildings and temples have been demolished by Mother Nature. On such an occasion, we can only submit before the will of God, and take reassurance in the wisdom of the scriptures that when God takes something away with one hand, he is preparing to give much more with his other hand in the form of spiritual succor and grace. We at JKYog offer our sincere prayers at the lotus feet of Bhagavan Pashupatinath, the presiding deity of the Himalayan country, to provide strength and wellbeing to all those affected by the natural calamity.

Jai Maharajji! Jai Bhagavan Pashupatinath! Jai Nepal!

News & Updates

Yoga, Meditation, and Lecture Programs in
San Jose, Pasadena, Phoenix
 

The Techies of Silicon Valley were inspired by the fascinating principles of Mind Management as they participated in Swamiji's program in Balaji Mandir, San Jose. 
Swamiji's program in Los Angeles had a house-full crowd in the Hindu Temple, Pasadena. Devotees and guests look forward to Swamiji's annual program in CA with great eagerness. They were thrilled to have his association for a week. Every day of the program was like a celebration of devotion, wellness, service, and wisdom. 
Those who attended Swamiji's program at the Unity Church of Phoenix were deeply impressed by the sense of peace and calm they experienced through the program. The talk on selfless love adorned with quotations from the Vedas and the Bible touched the hearts of the audience. Many later thanked Swamiji for sharing his wisdom so generously with them.  See pictures.


Morning walk with Swamiji 

Wherever Swamiji travels, there is one thing that all the devotees look forward to - accompanying Swamiji for a morning walk. So this time again, devotees from San Francisco accompanied Swamiji on a morning walk to Golden Gate Park. Early morning fresh air, warm sunshine, and the elevating presence of Swamiji made the atmosphere truly inspiring. See pictures.
 
Yoga and Meditation Camp in CISF

Samarpan Jagadguru Kripalu Yoga and Naturopathy Hospital conducted a Yoga and Meditation camp for Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) in Mundali, Odisha on 8th May, 2015. More than 500 cadets from the force participated in the camp. See pictures 

Featured Video


JKYog brings to you 'Srimad Bhagavat Mahapuran' lecture series in English by Swami Mukundananda . Every week a new episode will be added to JKYog's YouTube channel.

Visit youtube.com/JagadguruKripaluYog  to watch the first episode of the lecture series.  Also, if you haven't subscribed to the channel yet, click on the SUBSCRIBE button to get an email alert every time a new video is uploaded on the channel.

Fresno Retreat with Swamiji

 
From beginning to end, the Fresno retreat was a grand success. Participants delighted in hearing Swamiji expound his first ever commentary on Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, clearly defining a step by step path to spiritual success. Everyone indulged in a variety of soul-nourishing activities for the whole family, including a joyful Ram Navami Celebration, an entertaining Bhajan and Dance Competition, enlightening Q&A sessions with Swamiji, a Parikrama and guided meditation by Swamiji at beautiful nearby lakefront park. The retreat was filled with so many memorable events, all interwoven with deeply moving soul stirring sweet kirtan, rejuvenating and relaxing yoga sessions, and fun-filled yet educational activities for the youth. The retreat was an unforgettable experience with jubilant and joyful memories for all who reveled in the energetic dancing, relished the quiet inward moments, and savored the multitude of opportunities to be in Swamiji's company. Who can wait for the next one!

This is what devotees had to say:

The retreat was absolutely phenomenal!  I was able to realize that I am so close to God.  I have never had this much opportunity to be this close to God 24 x 7.  Swamiji explains all the concepts so clearly.  It definitely made me want to commit to my faith more.  Moreover, I was amazed at how accessible he made himself.  I just want to spend a lot of time with him. 
Deepa Ramaswamy, CA

It was a wonderful experience, a validation of our journey towards the goal supreme.  It is great to listen to the words of wisdom from a learned and knowledgeable individual who is in the spiritual path himself.
Manidip Sengupta, CA

Our Bal-Mukund children say:

I liked art and music class the most at the retreat.  I also liked Ram Navami celebration. Swamiji is open with everyone and answers my questions fully.

Ansh Bhatnagar, CA

I learned what "I" is at the retreat.  When you say "me" or "you" there are two parts, the body and the soul. I also learned many things like bhajans, played games and made new friends. 
Iva Goel, CA 
View Retreat Album 

Up-coming Events 2015

May 30th to June 5th  

 Getzville, NY 

 June 13th to June 19th

 Middletown, CT

June 6th to June 12th

Queens, NY

  June 20th to June 26th

  Morrisville, NC

Up-coming Retreats 2015

July 10th to 12th

Mount Laurel, NJ

 Sept 5th to 7th

  Dallas, TX

For details, click here

Transience of Human Life

by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj 

 

You must be careful in keeping two points in mind at all times.  One of these you already know. You hear about it, you read about it, and you are aware of its importance. It is the remembrance of God.  Constant remembrance of God!     

 

Now, let us discuss something more important than this. What is that? The human body, which is the means of practicing devotion, is temporary.  In other words, it may be snatched away at any time.  A young man writes his I.A.S. exams. He meets with an accident on the way home and dies. A couple is getting married.  The young man and woman are circling around the fire for the seventh and the last time.  The bridegroom feels faint, he falls down. He dies. How strange this is! Death does not look at what is going on in life; it comes at whatever time. And it does not care whether one is a king or a beggar. It does not discriminate between a scholar and an illiterate man. It visits both the beautiful and the ugly. There is no concession for anyone. Everyone's time is fixed. The exact number of seconds you have been granted in the human body are already fixed. Death is certain.  However, we tend to forget this. We say, "Oh, I am only ten years old; I am only 25 years old; I am only fifty. "This is how we think. We never think that we may or may not live to see the next moment.  What if this body is snatched away from us? Moreover, after death you will attain the result according to the thoughts in your mind in the final moments of your life.


This is why both the points must be kept in mind simultaneously and very carefully. God must be remembered at all times, but you must not procrastinate. You must not wait for even the next moment to remember God.  If we constantly reflect upon the transitory nature of human life, we will cease to be careless.   We will always be careful. You are driving on the road. While driving you are always mindful of the traffic in front of you, behind you, and on your side.  You are careful all the time, otherwise you will meet with an accident and die. Similarly, we must be very careful in life at all times.  In other words, we must keep death in mind at all times.  Who knows when death may come! Everyone is powerless before death. No yogi, no ascetic, no meditator, no God-realized saint can avoid it. Everyone has to leave at the right time. Jagadguru Shankaracharya left his body at the age of 32.  He passed away at such a young age. Though a great Saint, yet he could not conquer death. Saints do not interfere with God's rules. They leave their body when they are meant to leave.  King Dashrath, who had Lord Ram as his son, died, but Lord Ram did not save him.  The Almighty Lord Ram did not save his own father.  Abhimanyu died.  The Kauravas killed him by trickery.  He was the son of Arjun, one of the greatest saints; he was the nephew of God Shree Krishna. Moreover, Ved Vyas ji, a descension of God, had performed his marriage to Uttara. Three divine personalities could not save Abhimanyu and his wife Uttara became widow at the age of sixteen.

 

Thus, no one has any control over death.   For this reason, we must be cautious at all times. Think, "What if I die the next moment? What will happen then?" Be prepared; be ever prepared.  Always remain in the remembrance of God so that you may think of him in the final moments of life and reach his divine abode after death.  

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 Happy Holi at Bal-Mukund!

Holi, the day of colors and fun was celebrated with full enthusiasm at Bal Mukund, North Carolina. Holi was enjoyed as part of Parent Information Session in NC. It was a day full of energy and delight, right from the start of the function, as the day was studded with various activities including singing, shloka and poem recitations, pranayama demonstrations by the children, dancing, live music, games etc. The highlight of the event was color initiation run in which the parents drenched the kids with gulal and colorful water as they tried to run through parents lined on either side, followed by 'let's douse one and all" fun with beautiful colors of Holi. By the end of the day, everyone was soaked not just in multi colored hues but also in exhilaration and delight!  

 

Bhog Recipe

Chia Berry Bowl

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6) 
  • cup chia seeds
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond, hazelnut or regular milk 
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional) 
  • teaspoons cinnamon
  • Fresh strawberries 
  • Topping: mint leaves 

Method: 

  • Combine all ingredients in a jar, cover and shake vigorously
  • Chill for at least 1 hour to let the chia seeds do their magic. They will expand and form a gel-like substance to make the pudding
  • Scoop strawberries, fill the pudding and dip in dark chocolate
  • Top with mint, blueberries and a cookie
Contact us

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(Near PUSA), New Delhi - 110008, India

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