As many may know, the Ashram Bhole Baba of Cisternino, known all over the world and desired by Babaji himself, closed last February. This was unfortunate, but we are happy to say that on April 25th, the ashram was reopened. The celebrations for its rebirth have aroused joy and gratitude in all the devotees in Italy and abroad.
This courageous enterprise was due to the tenacity and determination of Ma Shivā Mayi (Titti) who arrived in Cisternino with a group of chelas in mid-April. Since then, this group of Babaji’s yogis has given body and soul in a non-stop sadhana race in order to revive this magical and holy site. Shivā Mayi has been sharing her spiritual work for years between the HariHara Dham in Livorno (Tuscany) and the Haidakhandi Dharma Ashram in San José, Costa Rica. With her lead, people have come from all over Italy and Costa Rica to work spiritually and materially in order to quickly put all areas of the ashram into operation: starting with the deep cleaning of dormitories and kitchen, restoring the Mandir and Kirtan Hall, and renovating the Dhuni and the Havan Kund. The Baba Kutir and the niche of Shri Ganesh were also restored. On the celebration day of the ashram’s rebirth, 50 liters of sattvic fresh milk were offered to the big murti of Shri Ganapati. It was a wonderful and purifying abhishek.
In the days following the celebration, the renovations continued. The woodshed was whitewashed and because there were no longer even basic tools in the warehouse, wood and many necessary tools had to be purchased. All of the items for puja and havan were purchased, including precious fabrics to adorn Babaji’s photos, his asana and bed. Precious clothes were sewn for the various murtis and new carpets bought for the kirtan hall. Furthermore, it was necessary to purchase pots, pans and appliances of all kinds. We have planted various vegetable and flower gardens. We tried to do this with immense love and devotion in order to attract the devas of nature who can support us in the energetic transformation of the ashram. It now shines with a new light. On the respective days, we offered abhishekas with the five precious purifying elements of the panchamrita to each of the murtis initiates of the mandir. They seemed very sad as they had been locked in the temple for months. Now, the murtis smile and shine again with pleasure at this beautiful spiritual energy.
Karma yoga proceeded with the deep cleaning of every part of the ashram. The messy ex-library and the office were scoured, rearranged and whitened. The large glass room was put back into use and a marvelous sitar concert by Surendraji was held inside. Unfortunately, in the very near future the wooden floor will need to be completely replaced. It is damaged and unsafe. The trullo, known as Healing Center (renamed Trullo Ganapati after a general inquiry), has been totally remodeled. Now it is a cozy and cool residence that will host groups of devotees, especially foreigners, who can combine spiritual practice with a little tourism in this wonderful region of Southern Italy.
In order to bring change and allow new generations to get in touch with Babaji’s teachings, we reserved a specific area and a trullo near the kitchen to the Bhole Baba Bambini Project. The B.B.B. will be a series of initiatives and activities of an educational, spiritual and recreational nature conceived specifically for children and held by expert operators. Mothers or families who would like to participate will have the opportunity to stay overnight in the trullo and have a sufficiently large area to allow children to move, learn, grow and have fun. This project is also aimed at local families from Cisternino and the other villages in the area.
In addition to this, there are also many initiatives planned for this summer. The ashram held “The Path to the Heart” spiritual retreat from the 15th to 25th of July. 10 days full of immersion in the Haidakhandi sadhana with an everyday satsang with Ma Shivā Mayi, to guide us on a journey of Revolution of Consciousness.
The great work of rebirth of the ashram will continue with the transformation of the chai shop into a literary café and the transformation of the back areas of the ashram into a well-organized camping site especially for young people. The expenses for all these endeavors are huge and thus far, the majority of all economic needs have been covered by Ma Shivā Mayi and her group. Cisternino is in need of your support and donations. We would also like to organize a regular monthly contribution of Italian devotees.
If you care about the rebirth of Cisternino you can help with karma yoga or any other kind of support! Please send a message to the Ashram Bhole Baba Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ashrambholebabacisternino/
or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bhole Baba ki Jai !
“All of you must take
a vow to go
from house to house,
from place to place
and help the needy.”