Ramloti, USA – January 2018
It is Super Bowl Sunday in the United States, and I am at my son’s family’s home in California. They, like many others all over the country have friends over for the big football game. I slept through the first quarter and when I awoke I heard the cheering in the other room and realized how much more meaningful the game was when many were gathered to root together. People just love to connect.
And why was I taking a nap? It had been a very full morning of chanting, pujas, and fire ceremony at Nirmal Sharma’s home here in Southern California where many people gathered, some travelling over two hours. It was another example of people, young and old, Indian and Western, loving to connect, and I have experienced this all over the country. Now I am not comparing football with a sacred fire ceremony, just the natural tendency of people to come together for a special occasion and the uplifting value in this.
It feels like an important time in our world’s history to encourage everyone to reach out and share Shri Babaji’s love and practices. Practically wherever you travel, you can always organize a gathering of devotees for a fire ceremony, chanting, or satsang. I am on vacation, visiting my children and grandchildren but this does not preclude driving 20 minutes and blessing Nirmal and Indira Sharma’s new home. We put the announcement in the newsletter, Nirmal told a couple of people and – Voilà – 30 or so of us had an inspiring morning together. I called it Super Sunday because in a sense it was similar to the Super Bowl Sunday gatherings later in the day because people love to connect.
And once again, this happens all over the country, last month in Florida and Georgia, next month Colorado and New Mexico. Nirmal had built a small havankund, but I also have a small travelling copper kund, so the fire can happen anywhere. Sometimes I have a harmonium, sometimes just an aarati CD, but it is always great. I know it has a powerful effect on me personally. I hear it does on many of the others that attend, and I also believe it does on the whole area, and goodness knows, the United States sure needs it, as does our whole world.
Loknath, USA – responding to a prediction of Babaji’s return in 2019:
My aversion to predictions of Babaji’s return is complex, however well intended and sweet those predictions may be. I do not ask that you join me, but just consider one perspective. I live in USA and work publicly in a multi-cultural and multi-religious setting. Here the return of Jesus has been prayed for and predicted for 2,000 years. Today, there are significant groups and numbers of individuals who hang onto this possibility ‘religiously’. Indeed they are assured, either consciously or unconsciously, that the environmental destruction of our planet, the profound conflict between Jews and Muslims in the Middle East, the global social unrest (weighed down by 65 million refugees), is an apocalyptic sign: an urgency and assurance that Jesus will return. He will come and save us and support our denial that it is human agency that has created institutions and ways of life that profit the few and afflict the many – including other life forms on our planetary home.
So instead of living the Jesus values of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and comforting the oppressed, including plants animals, and all of life in the natural world, those waiting on Jesus’ return set courage aside. They fearfully recoil into profound selfishness and avoidance of our human responsibilities to take care of each other and our planetary home. The Trump administration is leveraging our American denial and fear, in order to enrich the few, at the expense of the environment and billions of people worldwide.
An alternative to all of this is found in the Bhagavad Gita: Krishna encourages Arjuna to: “Strive constantly to serve the welfare of the world; by devotion to selfless work one attains the supreme goal of life.” In other words, our devotion to Babaji wants to be lived, not for itself and his return, but as a pathway to a deeper devotion to service and the joys of feeling the vital interdependence and essential oneness of humankind and all creation.
Nila, Germany – January 2018
The New World, of which Babaji spoke again and again, feels like very gently knocking at our doors. The quantum leap from Kali yoga (age of darkness) to Satya yoga (age of light) seems to be very near. The New World is a world of bliss. To be able to enter it we must drop what burdens us, give it to the Infinite Lord, be full of gratitude and trust in Him and be blissful, which is a quality of our soul. Otherwise how can we enter inside this most wonderful world which by Divine Grace now easily can be seen and experienced ?
The infinite Babaji is always, when we are open to it, totally with us – “I am you” – even if some people believe that he would come into the public sphere in 2019, we don’t need to wait for his outer appearance in Herakhan, as he is fully with us wherever we are.
Kharku, Thailand – February 2018
Babaji teaches us to actively move into the future, not live in the past. He empowers us to be positive change agents. Some of us who met him forget this, as our memories of Him overwhelm us and we ache for the beauty and intensity of our past experiences with him. Babaji taught that there is no escape from our self-created responsibilities: we must move forward making better daily choices that improve our lives and the lives of others. He implores us to have the courage to make positive choices, not easy choices.
Rosie (Geeta), UK – August 2017
While the Journal contributions are personal and varied, which is the objective of any magazine, there seem to be a much greater proportion of articles focusing on idealism and abstract philosophy than those sharing real concrete life examples, whether from oneself or others. Let’s be honest, most idealism is not new and while most abstract philosophy might carry real deep truths for the writer, these are often only fully understood if experienced oneself. What I would enjoy reading (and possibly someday writing) are stories that inspire us to be more creative with our given circumstances, and strong in our lives. Could we have more stories of growth through adversity, stories that are novel and stories that are revolutionary ?