A View of Santhigiri Ashram

A View of Santhigiri Ashram
Lotus Parnasala and Sahakarana Mandiram , Santhigiri Ashram, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Navapoojitam Celebrations - Press Release issued from Santhigiri Ashram

Gurucharanam Saranam



Santhigiri Ashram, Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 21: Union Finance Minister, Sh. Pranab Mukherjee, will inaugurate on August 23rd, Sunday, the month-long ‘Navapoojitham’ celebrations, marking the 83rd birthday of Navajyothisree Karunakaraguru, the founder of Santhigiri Ashram.

The function, to be held at the A J Hall at Ernakulam, at 6.30 p.m. will be presided over by Union Minister of State for Agriculture, Prof. K V Thomas. The keynote address will be delivered by KPCC President, Sh. Ramesh Chennithala. The release of a book containing ‘1001 Guruvanis’ will also be done on that day. Kochi Corporation Deputy Mayor, Sh. C K Manishankar, CPI district secretary, Mundakkayam Sadasivan, BJP district president, Nedumbaserry Ravi, Santhigiri Ashram Director, Swami Navananma Jnana Thapaswi, actor-director, Sh. Madhupal and Santhigiri N N Communications AGM, Sh. G Jayakumar, will also speak on the occasion.

The main programmes connected with ‘Navapoojitham’ will be held at the Santhigiri branch ashrams at Ernakulam, the birthplace of Guru at Chandiroor, Alappuzha, and at New Delhi besides the main ashram premises at Pothencode, Thiruvananthapuram.

A function to formally declare the ‘Navapoojitham’ programmes and to mark the 9th anniversary of the consecration of the ‘parnasala’ at the Ernakulam branch ashram will be held on August 22nd, Saturday. Kerala High Court Justice Haroun Al-Rashid will inaugurate the function at 10 a.m. at the Ernakulam ashram premises. Kochi Mayor, Prof. Mercy Williams, will preside over the function. The programme declaration will be made by Swami Satyaprakasha Jnana Thapaswi, President, Santhigiri Ashram. The keynote address will be delivered by the Ernakulam District Collector, Dr. M Beena. Santhigiri Ashram General Secretary, Swami Chaithanya Jnana Thapaswi, Kochi Corporation Councillor, Sh. P J Vinod, Ernakulam Santhigiri Ashram Advisory Board President, Sh. C K Venugopal, Santhigiri Vishwa Samskarika Navothana Kendram (VSNK) president, Sh. D Pradeep Kumar, regional manager, Sh. Subhash Chandra Bose, Santhigiri Mathrumandalam secretary Girija Chandran and Advisory Board secretary R Satheesan will also speak on the occasion.

At 11.30 a.m. on August 23rd, Sunday, Union Minister of State for Agriculture, Prof. K V Thomas, will inaugurate a public meeting at Chandiroor Santhigiri Ashram, following a ‘Janmagriham Teerthyathra’ (procession around the Guru’s birthplace) at 8 a.m. Kerala Agriculture Minister, Sh. Mullakara Ratnakaran, will preside over the function. Advocate A. M. Arif, MLA, will felicitate local agricultural families who have been tirelessly working for the development of agriculture in and around Chandiroor. Chandiroor Santhigiri Ashram ‘karyadarshi’, Swami Gurumithran Jnana Thapaswi, Aroor grama panchayat president, Smt. Leela Thanjan, district cooperative bank president, Sh. C V Chandrababu, Janata Dal state committee vice-president, Sh. Varghese George, Aroor grama panchayat member, Sh. P P Sabu, BJP district committee member, Advocate V Padmanabhan and VSNK secretary, Sh. V Ajithkumar, will speak on the occasion.

The Navajpoojitham function at the New Delhi Santhigiri Ashram will be inaugurated by Delhi Legislative Assembly Speaker, Dr. Yogananda Shastri, on August 23rd. Delhi Health and Family Welfare Minister, Prof. Kiran Walia, will preside over the function. Dr. Syed Zafar Mehmood, President, Inter-faith Coalition for Peace, and Ms. Annie Raja, general secretary, National Federation of Indian Women, will also participate in the function.

The ‘Navapoojitham’ celebrations at Santhigiri Ashram, Thiruvananthapuram, will commence at 3 a.m. on August 25th, Tuesday. ‘Pushpanjali’ will be held at 5 a.m. followed by prayers and flag hoisting at 6 a.m. ‘Gurupadavandanam’ and floral offerings at the Guru’s feet will take place from 6.30 to 9 a.m. The ‘Navapoojitham’ public meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Prayers and ‘Gurupooja’ will be held at 12 noon and ‘Deepapradakshina’ at 7 p.m. The functions will conclude at 11.30 p.m. with floral offerings and ‘pushpanjali’ at Guru’s feet.

The ‘Navapoojitham’ public meeting will be inaugurated by Kerala Food Minister, Sh. C Divakaran, and presided over by Devaswom Minister Kadanapally Ramachandran. Sh. A Sampat, MP, will release the ‘Navapoojitham Souvenir’ on the occasion. Former MP, Sh. Varkala Radhakrishnan, will deliver the keynote address. Felicitations will be offered by Smt. J Arundhati, Advocate M A Wahid, and Sh. Thomas Chandy, MLAs, Sh. J Alexander, former Karnataka Tourism Minister, Sh. Srinivasalu, IAS, Labour Commissioner, Andhra Pradesh, Sh. G Vamadevan, president Pothencode grama panchayat, Dr Kiran, zonal manager, Santhigiri Ashram, New Delhi, and Dr. P A Hemalatha, secretary, Mathrumandalam. Sh. K Satheesan, secretary, VSNK, will give the vote of thanks.

On September 20th, Sunday, the concluding day of the ‘Navapoojitham’ celebrations, Guru Mahima, the young women’s organization of Santhigiri Ashram, is organising a youth meet at 10 a.m. This will be inaugurated by union Food Processing Minister, Sh. Subodh Kant Sahay and presided over by Leader of the Opposition in Kerala, Sh. Oommen Chandy. The keynote address will be delivered by Sh. N Peetambara Kurup, MP. Sh. Kadakampally Surendran, secretary, CPM district committee, will release a special edition of ‘Umminithankam', an ashram publication. Felicitations will be offered by Sh. Koliyakode Krishnan Nair, president, State Cooperative Bank, Sh. P K Krishnadas, president, BJP Kerala unit, Advocate B Balachandran, president, Manickal gram panchayat, Dr T S Somanathan, treasurer, VSNK, Sh. V Subhash Chandra Bose, Project Chief, DISA, Santhigiri Ashram, and Brahmacharini Dr. Anu, secretary, Guru Mahima. Sh. T K Unnikrishnaprasad, DGM, Operations, Santhigiri Ashram, will offer the vote of thanks.

The month-long ‘Navapoojitham’ celebrations will conclude with a ‘Poorna Kumbhamela’ procession around the ashram complex, commencing at 4 p.m.

Swami Gururethnam Jnana Thapaswi
Organising Secretary, Santhigiri Ashram

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Spiritual Experience of Brahmacharini (Dr) Anu

My Life - Gift of Guru
Brahmacharini Anu

My Guru, Navajyothi Sri Karunakara Guru is the reservoir of love and kindness. And this has given me my life for a second time. And the experience, which I met with, is beyond what modern science is able to explain. My name is Anu Kureethara and ‘Kureethara’ refers to my family which had its own position in our village. My grand father Dr. Sreedharan was well known to each and everyone in our locality. But by the time I was born, the family had lost most of its glory. My father was a Section Officer of ‘CUSAT’ and my mother hails from an equally well known family. But unfortunately, most of the members of my family died at an early age and this included my grandfather, father and uncle. All died around forty years. Now my family consists of my mother, who is working in CUSAT, and my brother. The incidents which occurred when I was 9, compelled me to believe in fate, or what is known as GOD’s wish that is written even before one’s birth. But all my beliefs were proved wrong when GURU-gave back my life or else I would have left this world as per my family’s history.

After completing my tenth standard exams, I continued my studies staying in the Ashram. It was according to my GURU’s wish. I did not understand why GURU told me to stay here, but now, I know that GURU knows everything - what has happened in the past, is going on in the present and what is to happen in the future. And GURU knew that my life-span was short, so kept me near HIM and saved me from death. I consider the moment when I decided to stay in this ashram as the luckiest of all, because it was the turning point in my life.

Once when I was with Guru, Guru asked me - where is the seat (position) of Sishya (disciple)? I had no answer and Guru explained that the place for disciple is always on Guru’s lap. He again asked me where Guru should be? For this also I had no answer and Guru told - The position of Guru should be in the sacred (holy) chamber of disciple’s heart. In later years, I was able to experience the endless love of Guru towards me.

I had not suffered from much serious ailments even though there were severe headaches that would last for only one night. The next day or after sleeping, I would be okay. But the severity of the pain was in high. On one such occasion, I went to Guru and told about this. To this GURU told... “YOU SHOULD COME TO ME WHEN the pain HAPPENS TO BE INTOLERABLE”.

On hearing this I felt like crying, thinking how could I tolerate even more pain than this. Years passed, and there were occasions of severe headache and they were all tolerable. Then on 6th May 1999 - Guru merged with “Adisankalpam” we were all left alone. But Guru did not want us to be alone and gifted us with Guru’s Sishya Poojita Janani Amrutha Jnana Tapaswini. And from that day, I have felt Guru’s presence everywhere.

On October 2nd 2001, around 3 pm, the most dreadful thing happened. For some reason, I had to bend down and it so happened that I had some irritation in my nose - especially the left one. And then a drop of blood came followed by an outflow of blood. I was frightened and within minutes my dress and my towel all were smeared with blood. Every one around me was frightened and they rushed me to Janani.

Janani was calm at first but suddenly rose from the seat and gave me some medicine (homeo). My nose was bleeding severly and when someone told me to raise my face in order to decrease the flow of blood, I felt the blood flow through my throat. Then Sishya Poojita Janani gave some oil, which was applied over my nose. Suddenly, the blood flow decreased to one or two drops. I don’t know what had happened to me, except that I was going away from this world. I felt I had no relation to the outside world.

I was rushed to the nearby hospital first and then to Dr. Radhakrishnan (ENT specialist). By that time all the people in the Ashram prayed for my life on Janani’s advice. When I reached the hospital, the bleeding had stopped, but suddenly I had a vomiting sensation, but only one or two drops of blood came out of my mouth. Later, I came to know that at the same time Sishya Poojita Janani had vomited blood.

The doctor made a detailed check-up but was not able to diagnose anything. I was given a few medicines and was asked to come only if I bled again. This never happened again because Janani gave me some medicine (Balasarvangam). But today I know how I was able to survive that day - only through my GURU’s unlimited kindness. How GURU through Sishya Poojita Janani has given me a second birth. And now I realize - GURU and Janani are one. Guru acts through janani and what Janani speaks out are the Divine Words of Guru”.

Sishya Poojita Janani had done sankalpam for me and had diverted my disease. And it was as a result of this that Janani had vomited blood when actually I had to. I consider this as the greatest example of Guru-Sishya relation. Guru takes care of every one, every child, even when his/her parents are left helpless. GURU can do much more than blood relations can.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Spiritual Experience of Janani Divya Jnana Tapaswini

Guru - Boundless Store house of love and grace
Janani Divya Jnana Tapaswini

I consider the day on which I got the darshan of my Guru for the first time as the most blessed and auspicious day in my life. It was in 1990 and I was studying in standard III. A disciple of Guru told my father about Guru and asked him to go to meet Guru. Accordingly, we had gone to the Ashram. Fortunately when we reached, it was time for Guru-darshan. Guru was not well at that time. He gave darshan in a recumbent state. The sight of Guru and the ambience endeared me to the Ashram. A unique sense of comfort and freshness dawned within me. Guru asked mother if she was having any problem. She answered in the negative.

When we came out, Guru asked Amrutha Janani to find out from mother if she had any ailment. Now mother opened up and told that during monsoon season she could not raise one hand. It was a chronic problem and all attempted treatments were of no avail. When Guru was told about this, he beckoned mother and talked about the issue. He then gave a pack of bhasma (vibhuthi) and asked it to be applied on the affected hand with prayers. “It’ll be cured” Guru assured mother. Mother was less enthusiastic about this suggestion and left it at that. But when the pain exacerbated she applied the bhasma and prayed. After sometime, she felt that the pain subsided and then it was gone forever! We developed great love, affection and reverence towards Guru. We started visiting the ashram once or twice a year.

Guru visited our house on 20th May 1994. This was during the pilgrimage to Kuthuparamba. He stayed at our house for more than three days. But during those days, I could not go near Guru and had to be away in a relative’s house. However, whatever ‘prasadam’ Guru would give others, he made it a point to keep my share thereof. When I returned (after the monthly periods), mother handed over these things to me. I could discern Guru’s love and care for me and felt that I must be having a bond of relationship with this Acharya.

Guru had instructed my parents to take me to meet Guru when he reached Kozhikode en-route the pilgrimage. We did accordingly and listened to Guru’s discourses on various topics. But, I was poor in listening. Although I would be looking at Guru, my attention used to drift to other things and people around. Many a time, Guru had caught me wandering around by saying “Look here and listen to me”. When we left, Guru gave me sweets and other prasadam. We were also told to let Guru know about any developments in the house and to accompany Guru’s entourage back to the Ashram. We joined Guru at Ernakulam. When we stayed at the Ashram there, two girls were introduced to me as kids with the power of darshan (spiritual vision). I wondered what the darshan was about.

Within a month of our return home, I experienced ‘darshan’. It was at 6.30 pm on 25th June. I was a student of class VII. It was like this: I was habitually not good at praying. When we - my sisters and myself - sat together for prayers, I used to take it lightly and engage in mischief. Not because I did not respect and love Guru. I was simply like that. On the day of the experience, when we sat for lunch, I didn’t have proper appetite. When mother compelled, unwillingly I took some non-vegetarian food. After sometime everything was vomited. There was no illness and I felt okay. In the evening, when we sat for the regular prayers, I felt pleasant. At the end of the prayers, we were on our feet chanting Guru Gita. At that time, I was transported to some other plane of consciousness. In that state, figures and scenes appeared and vanished in front of my closed eyes as if in a movie. I could see clearly those standing on either side and the lamp and pedestal in front. After a few moments, I involuntarily took steps and bowed before the lamp and fell unconscious.

Internally at that time I was seeing a black cat, frightful as it was, staring with its luminous eyes at me. I cried aloud. Mother and sisters were simply watching me taking steps and bowing in front of the lamp, thinking that, as usual, I was being playful. Hearing my cry, father came down from the upper floor and those around me were also upset. I lay unconscious for about five minutes. Kumbatheertha (holy medicated water of Kumbamela) was sprayed on me and vibhuthi was applied on the body. I was sweating all over, was stiff and could not tell anything.
Father contacted Ashram and told Amrutha Janani about the matter. Janani informed Guru and was asked to advise us that what was seen was good and that Guru would speak to me over telephone. I was nervous about talking to Guru over phone. Two minutes later Guru was on the phone, asking me what I had seen. I explained everything. Guru told: This is the beginning of darshan for you. The cat was a tricky sanyasi who was stealthily trying to bag everything from Guru. Your darshan is good and this is beginning of spiritual advancement. I was told that I would be seeing such things again and again. And I did. The following day, while praying, I could see not only the black cat but various other things as well. When Guru was informed about this, we were told that continuing at home would not be okay for me and that I was to be brought to the Ashram for proper interpretation of my darshan. We were also instructed not to take any food en-route to the Ashram. Upon reaching Ashram, I was given a detailed account of the various aspects of the darshan and was enabled to experience the subtle aspects. I got spiritual vision, which unfolded the reasons for Guru’s incarnation; the grace of Guru thanks to which I was with him for several incarnations; how the devis, devas, rishis, prophets and other great souls have been prostrating before and worshipping Guru etc. Needless to say, all these are the most treasured experiences of mine.

Guru could actualize great and noble tasks, unattained by the innumerable prophets and great souls who descended on the earth so far, through his arduous penances and ‘tyaga’ (sacrifice). The said prophets and great souls revered Guru and told me thus: “Dear, take to this path and tread it with all attention, unerringly. We were not fortunate to have a Guru like yours. Till last breath, hold this firm to your heart”. I had the darshan of my maternal grandfather as well who said: “Baby, hold this precious spiritual line rapturously, as it is perforce needed for our salvation. It can happen only through this Guru”.

I used to frequent the Ashram at monthly intervals, with a view to get my darshans interpreted. During such visits, we used to stay for about a fortnight at the Ashram. When this practice started affecting my studies, as per Guru’s direction, I joined Santhigiri Vidyabhavan and stayed at the Ashram for proper interpretation of my spiritual experiences. This was on 5th June, 1996, and I was in standard IX. While studying in IXth and Xth standards, there were moments when I desired to return home. Obviously, my mind was not stable in the new path during such periods. While in Xth standard, I had told Guru that I envisioned the life of a sanyasini. He responded, brushing aside such ideas, asking me to concentrate on the studies. But Guru had told my mother that he would tell about my future course after two years. When I was studying for Plus Two, Guru left his body and merged in Adisankalpa. As destined, after 72 days Guru gave me sanyasa-initiation and the new name in the sanyasa-robe.

Beyond description is the greatness of our Guru who is now above us as Navaoli! Unfathomable is Guru’s love and affection for his disciples! Guru’s divine light is all pervading in this Universe. His greatness, as experienced by me, is the ultimate truth beyond anybody’s comprehension. The cardinal mistake which occurred aeons ago was corrected by Guru with his unparalleled spiritual power. This was unimaginable for all the acharyas of yore.

Guru has merged in Adisankalpa. But the same love, affection and care I’m experiencing now also through Guru’s Sishya Poojita Amrutha Jnana Tapaswini. And the whole of Santhigiri lineage would vouch for the fact that Guru is always with us. Welfare of the world through his disciples is Guru’s mission. And that’s the Will of God.

(Courtesy: Santhigiri International Conference Souvenir)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Role of Spirituality in Health

Dr. Bahuleyan
The place focality in the science of Ayurveda is unique. They are inseparable because the bond between them is very firm. This divine form of Science has penetrated deep in to the spiritual and material aspects of life.

If we want to bring forth the spiritual aspects of this science of life, we have to explore the personal experiences. I have a lot of personal experiences with Guru. Santhigiri came to the field of health under the guidance of Guru to alleviate the sufferings of the poor and the needy. The people who came to the ashram could get tranquility and peace of mind at the very sight of Guru. I was much graced to witness innumerable exciting moments during my association with Guru. A lot of people came to Guru after undergoing treatment for many serious diseases but without any recovery. I can recollect many instances where such people got relief and cure by adhering to Guru’s words. In such cases, doctors will only be instruments.

Here, I would like to narrate an instance from my personal experience. A person, who had fallen from a big tree, was brought to the ashram. He had many fractures, injured muscles and dislocations. Guru asked me to treat him even though I was very inexperienced at that time. Only because of Guru’s grace he got quick relief and could walk and go home. That instance aroused much satisfaction and happiness in me. Once a twelve-year-old boy was brought to the ashram who had lost his eyesight, as the reaction of a medicine given for curing fever. According to the doctor treating him, there was no chance of regaining the eye sight since the optic nerves had been damaged. The entire family was in a terrible plight. At that time, late Mr. K.P.Vaidyar, Karuvatta and myself were in charge of the Santhigiri Hospital. Guru asked me to give all the necessary treatment for the boy and I started the treatment on the usual prescribed way. In addition to that, we gave the medicines prescribed by Guru after Sankalpam. The boy recovered very soon and was advised to continue the treatment for a certain period every year for a length of time. That boy regained full eye sight and has completed more than two decades and now heads a Panchakarma Centre at Malappuram. Thus Guru’s grace and kind words give motivation and strength to every deed. Guru fulfilled His mission through me, I felt . The boy and his parents were very happy . They brought some gifts but I refused to accept these. But when they brought these home, I was forced to accept them. I submitted the gifts to Guru. At that time, Guru looked at every one and commented ‘what use of money for a Swami, I am the one who treated him’. Later on, I realized that Guru quoted this as a reminder of an experience which Sree Narayana Guru had from his Vaidya disciple at Aruvipuram.

When hundreds of experiences come to my mind in a row, I cannot forget my bitter personal experiences that affected my family. My wife, Mrs. Lalitha Bahuleyan, was a victim of the dreadful cancer during 1984-85. Even after giving various treatments, there was no sign of recovery. I was in a very pathetic situation. But I never told Guru about it. Once Guru asked me why I was worried. Guru knows everything but a disciple has to tell his grievances to Guru and beg for Guru’s mercy. That awareness is lacking in us and that itself is the grief of Guru. When I told Guru about my wife’s ailment, he instructed Janani to find out the details through vision. The ailment was of a defect in the jiva and there was no treatment for it. The entire family has to pray, and only through that, the defects in the jiva can be rectified, that is what Janani had seen in the vision. We strictly followed the advice of Guru and were deeply involved in prayers, sankalpa and offering of flowers on every Monday and Friday. Janani had also seen in the vision that no secondaries were formed. After a period of time, Guru told us to remove the tumour through surgery and take medicines afterwards to prevent it from recurring. Doctors in the R.C.C. commented that I was doing research with my wife’s tumor. It was because of their ignorance about jiva and soul that they commented like this. After surgery, my wife is enjoying good health.

According to the Ayurveda philosophy, diseases are the result of Karmadosha. These cannot be cured by medicine alone. Those doshas can be removed through prayers and these should be done under the guidance of a fully realized Guru. By the grace of the ultimate Brahmam, through Guru, the disease was completely cured. My wife wrote an article about her experience under the title ‘Guru - God for us’ in the 65th Gurujayanthi publication of the year 1991.

One day in Nov. 1998, I had a heart problem at one O’ clock in the night. I could not breathe. When I came out and started vomiting, the sound awoke my family and they were frightened. I prayed strongly to Guru and I felt his presence. I got some relief and did not have much problem later. I was taken to Sree Chitra Medical Centre and all the tests were done. They identified three blocks in the heart and told us that an urgent bypass surgery is required. If not, there is possibility of heart attacks. I reached ashram and informed Guru. After listening to me Guru asked me to postpone the operation and to take some medicine which was identified through vision by Janani. I started that medicine and still continue it.

In the present context, I do remember the words of Guru. He once told us that He was an Ayurveda Acharya and we devotees were the disciples in one of the previous births. Let these words be accomplished always. Let the renaissance of Ayurveda occur through the research at Santhigiri.
(Courtesy: Santhigiri International Conference Souvenir)