Last weekend we celebrated our Satguru Sri Neem Karoli Baba Maharaj who left his body 40 years ago on September 11th 1973. We – almost 100 devotees of Sri Durgamayi Ma – gathered in the ashram Brindavon to honour and remember Maharaj-ji with kirtan, a radiant Aarti, a reading from Dada Mukherjee’s book „By His Grace“ and a festive bandhara.
The heavenly sound of the conches resounded three times to announce the beginning of the festivities in the early evening. We stepped individually before the beautifully decorated puja dressed with a large picture of Baba to pranam to Him while Mataji stood at the side of the puja and blessed each of us.
Ma was 26 years old when Baba left His body and since then Ma’s love for her spiritual master has resided in her heart.
The other day Ma sat at the kitchen table and said to Hari Om:
Your Ma has been in love for over 40 years – a state of residing in love, very simply and very naturally!
What a blessing – one which your Ma would so much like to pass on to you, my students!
Ram Ram Yours Ma
THESE ARE THE WORDS THAT MATAJI WROTE INTO THE SATSANG BOOK OF HER STUDENTS IN COLOGNE
From this profound silence, which had filled the room while each of us stepped in front of Maharaji-ji’s picture, rose a deeply-felt kirtan. Mataji sang kirtan with all of us and carried us into the divine love she wrote about above.[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/111119047″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
When the last kirtan had faded Hari Om called out in Mataji’s name: „Go and eat Baba’s Prasad!”
A bhandara was served on the first floor of the ashram with delicious Indian dishes – sweet mango lassi, pakoras … lots of laddhus and barfi – just like Mataji had experienced it during festivities in Sri Neem Karoli Baba’s ashram in India.
After the bhandara we gathered again in the temple to listen to the reading from Dada’s book which was followed by a wonderful slide show with photos of Baba projected onto a big screen. Some of the photographs showed Vishnu Digambar, Mataji’s spiritual husband and companion over many years, who died in 2009, seen here together with his beloved Baba – and there was even a photograph of our Ma, showing her as a young woman in the presence of Maharaji-ji. Looking at these pictures is a truly great joy and inspiration to us every time.
As Mataji has taken a vow of silence for the duration of this year and, therefore, did not speak herself, we listened in her presence to the recording of the darshan that Mataji gave at Baba’s Mahasamadhi remembrance last year – a completely timeless darshan that moved some students to tears.
The crowning end of these festivities was a spirited aarti full of light to Maharaj-ji, Mataji was the first to circulate the flame around Baba after the pujaris had decorated Him festively with a flower mala and tilak. Then some students stepped forward also to offer the light to Baba.
Incredible peace spread over all of us as Mataji turned to us with the aarti light at the end and in a slow movement passed the flame over all our heads. We dropped to our knees totally of our own accord and so received Maharaj-ji’s unconditional and immeasurable love.
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
Jai Sri 1008 Sri Neem Karoli Baba!
Jai Sri Guru Mata Sri Durgamayi Ma!