The Ashwin Navaratris 2017 started with not so many people as we have seen in the past but the mood was sweet and none-the-less powerful. Our Chairman Shri Alok Banerjee was unable to make it this time due to official entanglements and left a big hole in our midst. Pratibha and crew had painted the ashram beautifully, and with the solid group of organisers Lakshmi, Nirmala, Indra, Ram Pyari (Germany) and Raidass, the different activities went smoothly. The weather started to warm up, however on the 6th day we had two days of heavy downpour where the temperatures dropped significantly. The weather picked up again and we enjoyed warm weather for the rest of our days there.
Sandeep was also unable to come but our secretary Sanjeev took over his bandara services. The bandaras were sumptuous everyday and very well attended by local people who enjoy having a tasty nutritious meal at Babaji’s ashram.
As Alok was unable to attend, the ghee spoon at the havan was held each day by a different elder of our community. The vibrations were powerful as they always are, coming from the sacred fires. With less people attending everybody was able to sit twice or more at the havan this time. There is also more ease around the fire now with a growing consciousness that there is no difference between offering or being simply present and concentrated.
A memorable moment took place on the Saptami evening darshan: Ram Pyari, the Russian dentist we all know well from her spectacular dances close to Babaji’s assan, was dancing that evening, happy and in ecstasy. All of a sudden she sat down, fell over backwards in prostration to Babaji’s assan and Paduka, and there and then she left her body. It was a big shock at that moment, but later when we all realised what had taken place, it was seen as a miracle and big blessing for her to have left her body in this way at this auspicious moment. A miracle or not, the loss and pain for her husband Bushan, daughter Annapurna and son Aditya should not be forgotten also. (Please see Annapurna’s obituary for her mother on Pages 36 & 37 of this Journal).
In the end about 90 to100 people from abroad and about 200 devotees from all over India participated in these Navaratri celebrations. Even if the numbers were down everybody enjoyed a marvellous Divine time and left happily.
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