MEMORIES FROM SILENT RETREAT WITH PARAMAHAMSA VISHWANANDA 2017
NOVEMBER 10, 2017
Early morning, Guruji and all the whole group left Delhi to go to Hardiwar. It’s was a short travel that ended with a wonderful lunch at the Aaliya Resort where the Silent Retreat would take place.
In the evening Guruji gave a satsung about what it means to be Silent. He explained how the group should practice silence during this retreat but most of all He explained what is to be in “Silence or in Great Silence”:
Guruji shared that Inner silence it’s not about external things. Is not about “I’m not talking so I’m in silence”. He mentioned that this is not a physical process but a mental process. Only in Inner silence we can touch this deep silence. “Only here you can listen to the Voice of God”
To illustrate His words, Guruji said that when He meet with Mahavatar Babaji there is a completely stillness.The masters don’t need to talk about anything. Just observing you will hear that He is talking with no verbal communication and all the communication is in complete silence.Guruji mentioned in a very clear way that Silence is about learning to speak and listen with your heart.
To attain that level means that there exists a communication between true self and the mind. Guruji added that having a spiritual path is very important to appreciate silence.
“When one is in the inner silence one can do everything outside because one is constantly in communication with the Divine”. He mentioned that this is the communication that each one of us should have, and that this will link you to one place- and thats only (God).
After the satsang Guruji explained in detail how the group should practice the silence retreat and with a “Good night” from Guruji the silence retreat began!
1st DAY OF THE SILENT RETREAT
The group began their day at 7.30 am with Babaji Surya Namaskar. It was very a beautiful being outdoors amongst nature as the location is situated right along the Ganges and has naturally an air of peace. To complete the Sadhana, we also practiced Atma Kriya Yoga.
During the morning Guruji guided us on a Japa Walk in nature and we also some walked around some villages around our resort. It was a 2h walk in a deep and silent meditation- very profound.
During all day we should try to keep the silence in every action avoiding all noise!
Guruji emphasis this point:
“You should see what negative and positive things you mind have. You have to learn to observe your mind”.
2nd DAY OF THE SILENT RETREAT
Abishekam in the Ganges and Japa walk to Sita Ram Baba Samadi
Immediately after breakfast we walked along the bank of the Ganges where Guruji was performing Giridari abishekam.
Guruji explain that in the Hindu tradition the water is a holy element. Hindus believe that the water of the Ganges purifies all the oceans on earth. That’s why when a Hindu person go to take a bath in the sea, before he dives, he sprinkles water into his head.
Thus Guruji invited us to dive into the Ganges and with an open mind ask for purification. He said this attitude it’s very important. If you want purify yourself you can’t even allow your negativity to block the purification, He said:
“Do you think that when someone throws a closed plastic bottle with dirty water inside into the Ganges, the Ganges will purify the water? No! If the bottle doesn’t open the water can’t be puffed. It’s the same with your mind. If you don’t open the mind this same mind can not be purified.”
After Guruji perform the Giridari abishekam and all the pilgrims had the opportunity to put the Ganges water on His personal murti. Having us all pouring water on Giridhariji, He said playfully :
“Krishna also wants to play!”
Having fun and splashing water in silence was a such blessed experience for all.
After the Giridari abishekam Guruji and all group went for a wonderful Japa walk.
Some people from the hotel staff drove us to the forest by jeeps where we saw beautiful lands. From there we start our Japa walk with Guruji leading. Incredible to see how sweetly he took care and silently managed the entire group, caring for the safety from the 1st until the last person in the line.
After crossing some small rivers and climbing a hill we arrived at place where Sitaram Ram Baba took Samadhi.
Sita Ram Baba was a saint who lived about 400 years before he took Samadhi. He didn’t speak, nor eat, nor sleep to much.
The people from the center were very friendly receiving Guruji and all of us with some stories about the saint and how they managed the Samadhi place.
For example only one person has the duty to collect every morning the flowers from the exact place where Sitaram Ram Baba took Samadhi. Near to the altar Guruji showed us another altar, where we saw around 7 murtis that came out from the camp.
After the visit we went back doing Japa walk to the jeeps that were waiting for the group and Guruji.
The rest of the day was used for self analysis and observing the mind.
3rd DAY OF THE SILENT RETREAT
It’s very nice to see how most of all group are committed with the Sadhana. Everybody is very happy to enjoy the energy from the Indian sunrise.
The last day we were on our own and not allowed to have any contact with any one. The result was that everyone of us was more with ourself inside in our heart and mind. Some of us even spent the day meditating in the wardrobe!
In the evening Guruji declared the silent retreat closed with a meeting of all members of the group around the bonfire where everyone shared their experience of the last three days. It was revealing and interesting to hear and listen to everyone’s personal experiences and the ease, due to His grace, that we could share our personal intimate thoughts with so much ease and no embarrassment. We are indeed truly blessed to have His grace and blessings to be able to share and grow with each other as a family on the path of Bhakti Marga. The bonfire amplified the love and the warmth we all felt for our Satguru and his blessings upon us.
Thank you Guruji yet again.
After Guruji made a speech where He specificed that even if you are without talking this person can not be in silence if the mind is active in judgment.
Thus Guruji asked to each person of the group to take 2 portions of rice one in each hand. On the right hand carry all the things that we want to achieve and on the left hand all things that we want to let it go… After that throw it onto the fire.
We finished this beautiful night with a sky full of stars singing Bhajans with our Beloved around fire.
NOVEMBER 14, 2017
CHANDI DEVI TEMPLE
Today we started our day at 7.30 am with Babaji Surya Namaskar and Atma Kriya Yoga practices, feeling so grateful to enjoy the sunrise and The Ganga as our view.
We took a nice trip in cable car and then climbed until we reached Chendi Devi Temple with Guruji… amazing view of nature from the top.
The main murti of Chandi Devi Temple has been installed by Ady Shankaracharya who Guruji said was an incarnation of Lord Shiva himself, and had the vision of this place in meditation.
Gurudev added that when buddhism was a very strong philosophy in India at that time. This philosophy has as big goal, to achieve the nothingness! Guruji highlighted that if we have a form, then this form should be used to attain the feet of God. Only this way can we truly do our Dharma to attain the Supreme Reality of everything , Sriman Narayana. He explained that the Lord creates through Shakti, however the lord is not bound His creation, by Maya.
Then Guruji talk about surrender and how if we want something sincerely, we will get it. That sincerity comes from us from our self analysis and from our Sadhana.
After a buss journey we reached another destination, Vasishtha cave.According to the Puranas, Sage Vasishtha was the human son of Lord Brahma.In the Cave of Vashistha we were packed tightly in a very dark room that you have to bend to enter. We stayed there for a very intense and beautiful meditation.
After our visits we went to take lunch in a beautiful restaurant in Rishikesh with an amazing view to Ganga river and Lakshman Jhula bridge.
We came to the hotel and finished the day with a nice meal. Tomorrow our next Adventure begins as we travel to Vrindavan by train!
NOVEMBER 15, 2017
After we said goodbye to the hotel team we embarked for the train adventure!
The train was totally packed yet Guruji walked and socialized with all the pilgrims making memorable moments for each one in their hearts.
Arriving to the train station was yet another adventure. Getting off the train was alike a very funny scene from an action movie. We needed to come up with a strategic plan of how to get 62 people and all their luggage out of a completely crowded train in 5 minutes without anyone being severely injured.
With Gurujis grace it was possible, 2 prabhus were outside passing the luggage of the train while 3 matajis were blocking more people from getting off and on the train and protecting the luggage. Even Guruji was part of the “protection” plan to bring Him put of the train. Everything went perfectly!
The devotees of Vrindavan gave to Guruji the best welcome! It was so beautiful to see all the things were so well prepared. Arriving to the Ashram we could feel love! The residents were playing Bhajans to welcome Guruji and all the group with everything incredibly decorated!
NOVEMBER 16, 2017
The day started with morning prayers at the Bhakti Marga’s Indian Ashram and Temple, Shree Giridhar Dham. Guruji performed abishekam to His personal Murti, Giridhari ji.
Then Guruji lead the group to a “tour temple”. We all went in several Rickshaws to the temples local temples-
we visited Banke Bihari temple, Radha Ramana and Sri Radha Vallabha Mandir temple.
The trip to the temples amidst the crowds was truly an exciting and unbelievable experience. Despite the heavy crowds, with Guruji leading the way we received the blessings of all the deities. Guruji explained the significance of each of the temples to the group. The temples reverberated the sounds of the group singing and the pounding of the mridangas of our friends from South Africa Bhajan Group was indeed special.
The evening commenced with celebrations of the Kartik night.
Vrindavan rebounded to the singing of kirtans, the mridangas of the group from South Africa , the singers from South Africa, and the magical melodious voice of Sat guru Himself! No one could resist from letting their feet go and dancing through the night….. Magic was created in this special Vrindavan night……truly blessed were those who were a part of it!
NOVEMBER 17, 2017
Last day of our pilgrimage
After Kartik night the day started at 9.30 am with morning prayers and Abishekam to Giridhari in a temple.
After that, free day to make some shopping in Vrindavan and with all preparation for the Darshan. It was very nice to see specially the kids of Vrindavan involved with the people of the ashram and how they were exited with the event. All day speaking with pilgrims and some of them trying to help in what they can.
Darshan started around 5.30 am and Guruji talked about the importance of trust in the Master.
He gave the example when someone is following the master should have faith in the spiritual path that the master chose for him.
“The Master will provide always what you need”
Babaji Sri Satyanarayana Dasa the close friend of Guruji made also a speech before Darshan starts.
It was wonderful to see how Babjai interweaves the Vedic scriptures teachings to the everyday happenings in our lives.
After we attend a beautiful Darshan in the heart of the land of Krishna.
The Darshan went for 5h and after Aarti Guruji said goodbye to all the pilgrims. When He was leaving the Darshan tent one person came running with the aim to have Darshan. He was so sad the the Darshan was finish… When Guruji saw this person He went to him and in the middle of the tent Guruji gave the Darshan to this man.
Só amazing to see how Guruji is always so merciful…
NOVEMBER 18, 2017
Guruji left Vrindavan today early afternoon.