31 - November 2
by divine soul Lily Bafandi of Zurich, Switzerland, this
special weekend retreat included yoga, meditation, lectures,
question-answer sessions and yagna (fire ceremony).
Pujya Swamiji systematically took the participants
through all of the obstacles to peace � ego, anger, greed,
temptation, stress and fear � and showed how to remove
each of these obstacles from our lives.
participants (selected on an invitation-only basis by Lily) were
approximately 50 European businesspeople, bankers
and other professionals. It was most of their first exposure
to a spiritual Holy man and they were beautifully touched,
taught and transformed by the end of the weekend.
Divine Soul Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa led Kundalini Yoga
during the retreat � so that the participants were touched
on every level of their being: mental, physical, emotional
the Zurich retreat, a few of the participants journeyed with
Pujya Swamiji to Ascona in the Swiss Alps.
the journey to the Alps, following the retreat, Pujya
Swamiji said that the next retreat should take place in the
natural, divine surroundings of the mountains, rather than
in the city. So the next retreat will take place in the
Italian, Swiss Alps on Lake Ascona at the palatial home of
Divine Soul Mr. Werner.
the next retreat will be open to more people so that more can benefit
from the divine wisdom, healing and teachings.
from top: Pujya Swamiji crossing the
"Friendship Bridge"; On the friendship
bridge; Swiss Alps countryside - site of the
Pujya Swamiji's time in London He gave a public darshan/satsang
program on the 7 November and He was the Chief Guest at the
opening of the Meera Nursing Home along with the Mayor of
Brent. The Nursing Home is run by Shri Pramodbhai Thakkar
(named in honor of his daughter) and Pujya Swamiji expressed
His great appreciation for this beautiful work. The nursing
home is open to all but it caters to the Gujarati community
and it has all the comforts as well as medical amenities.
Most importantly, it is filled with a beautiful sense of
family, love, tenderness and care that is so important
throughout one's life and particularly in the elderly
nursing home has been running for many years now and they
have just added a new, large wing to it, which was
inaugurated by Pujya Swamiji's hand on the 7 November.
from top: lighting the lamp with the Mayor of
Brent; Unveiling of the plaque with the mayor
and also Shri Manubhai Madhvani and Meera; Pujya
Swamiji with the Mayor and Smt. Jasuben and Shri
Pramodbhai Thakkar, the owners and proprietors
of Meera Nursing Home.
During Pujya Swamiji's time in Los Angeles and
the San Francisco Bay Area, He gave several functions,
public and private. He spoke publicly at Golden Bridge Yoga,
the home of divine Kundalini Yoga inspired and run by
Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa and Gurushabd Khalsa. He spoke on �How
to turn your Holidays into Holy Days.� During this
enlightening and thought-provoking lecture, he explained, in
profound yet humor-filled ways about how we can take this
holiday season and make it a true holy season � both with
our families and also within our selves. �Commercials tell
you to shop until you drop,� He said. �But spirituality
tells us to shop before we drop. But shop for what? What
should we shop? Just another coat or another pair of shoes?
No. We must shop for Him. We must shop for our divine
He also gave satsang at the home of Smt.
Satya and Shri Krishan Kalra in Danville.
12 -- Marin
County (San Francisco), CA, USA
request of Divine Soul Elizabeth Shaver, Pujya Swamiji
visited the Marin County Jail. Elizabeth has been working in
the jail and prison system as a psychologist. However, she
is committed to bringing spirituality, not only psychology,
into the jail and prison system. Therefore, she has been
requesting Pujya Swamiji to come and speak to the prisoners.
Finally, this wish was fulfilled and he spoke to all of the
male prisoners. The session was optional, but 100% of the
prisoners came, and even a deputy who was off on that day
came just to hear Pujya Swamiji. He began his talk by
telling them, �You are not the crime. You are not the sin.
You are not a sinner. The crime was committed through you,
but you are not the crime. You are bigger than the crime.
You are divine.� By the end of the hour, the prisoners
were teary eyed and transformed. One man in his 40s or 50s
told Pujya Swamiji, �In my whole life I have never had a
positive male role model. Now I do. Thank you for showing me
the path and for being my first positive male role model
whom I can look up to and emulate.�
end of the lecture, they all lined up one by one to shake
His hand, ever so vigorously and enthusiastically.
said that in her next session with the prisoners, as they
went through the routine exercise of expressing their
feelings, each of them prefaced his own thoughts with
something that Pujya Swamiji had said. So, for example, they
said, �As Swamiji said�.� Or, �Just like Swamiji
said�.� Or, �In the same way that Swamiji said��
Pujya Swamiji and IHRF have expressed full support to
Elizabeth for her work and we are all confident that this
program will grow and flourish with her dedication to
changing the lives of the incarcerated.
Pujya Swamiji traveled to Louisville, KY where he
visited the site of a new temple to be built in Lexington,
KY as well. He gave blessings and advise to the temple
committee. On November 15 evening He led a special
meditation session and then on November 16 He had a public
satsang/darshan program in the Hindu Temple.
Pujya Swamiji gave a special Thanksgiving satsang
program at the home of Dr. Sarojiniben and Shri Harshadbhai
Desai, organized by Shri Arvindbhai Patel. The theme of the
satsang and lecture was �Thanks� and �Giving.� How
to be thankful and how to give� these are the true
messages of the Thanksgiving holiday
Pujya Swamiji concluded His USA/Canada yatra in
Toronto. First, He blessed the birthday satsang of Divine
Soul Smt. Cintra Persad with His presence and words of
blessing. Then, He gave satsang and darshan at the home of
Shri Narendrabhai and Smt. Purnimaben Parujanwala
Pujya Swamiji concluded His abroad
yatra with a visit to London (and, as His yatra concluded on
2 December, we decided to include these 2 days in the
On December 1 He gave a special program
at the University College London on "Why Should I be a
Hindu." The lecture was not focused on making people
Hindu, but rather focused on the beauty, wisdom, insights
and truths of the Hindu tradition. It was actually more a
talk on "The True Definition of Hinduism - What Does it
Mean to be a Good Hindu" and "Why I should
maintain and upkeep my Hindu faith and
The program was successfully and beautifully organized in
just one week's time by Bhavit Mehta, Neeraj Nathwani, and
Naveen Joshi of UCL and IHRF - UK.
December 2 Pujya Swamiji was the guest of the Treasury
and the House of Commons. The Rt. Honorable Paul Boetang,
Treasury Minister had been together with Pujya Swamiji
at the Vision Dinner in 1999, hosted by Shri Ramniklal
Solanki and family of Garavi Gujarat and Asian Trader
Publications. Since that time, he has been inquiring
about Pujya Swamiji and requesting him to come to
the treasury. So, this time Shri Kalpesh Solanki and
Shri Shailesh Solanki organized the visit.
It was beautiful to see
Hon. Paul Boetang greet Pujya Swamiji with
garlands of flowers, traditional tilak and aarti.
Then, he took us throughout the entire Treasury
building, explaining the history of the treasury
as well as the nuances of its daily operations.
However, what impressed Pujya Swamiji
the most was that the Honorable Minister keeps a beautiful
temple in his office, with deities of various faiths,
including Ganesh. There was even prasad laid out beautifully
in front of the deities.
Boetang is the first
non-white minister of that high level in UK and he is a
beautiful, humble, dignified, loving and committed soul. He
and Pujya Swamiji greeted each other with the love of old,
Now, we just hope that he will allow us
to make him feel that much at home in Rishikesh!
Swamiji with Hon. Paul Boetang, the Solanki
family & Sadhvi Bhagwati
the visit to the Treasury, Pujya Swamiji was the guest of
Mr. Barry Gardiner, MP at the House of Commons where he took
Pujya Swamiji throughout the House of Lords and the House of
Commons as well as to the old Westminster.
Highlights in December update:
Swamiji as the Chief Guest at the Rotary International
Convention, Bombay, India
- December 5
Swamiji at the World Youth Peace Summit, Bangalore, India
- December 8
Swamiji at the Delhi Peace Summit with H.H. The Dalai Lama,
New Delhi, India
- December 9
March 1-7, Parmarth is pleased to once again host and
organize the International Yoga Festival. For more details
please see www.parmarth.com/yogafestival.htm
year�s highlights will include:
taught by world famous Gurmukh
Kaur Khalsa of Golden Bridge Yoga,
Hollywood, California, USA
. Gurmukh is one of the world's most renowned
Kundalini Yoga teachers and is one of the highlights
of every year's Festival.
Karin O�Bannon, certified
Senior Intermediate Level 3 Iyengar Yoga
Instructor (one of the highest levels)
newest, divine addition to the Parmarth Yoga Centre.
Previously the Senior Teacher of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of Los
Angeles, Karin is will be residing full time at Parmarth,
and will offer daily Iyengar yoga classes as well as
periodic special courses and workshops. Stay tuned to
www.parmarth.com/yoga.htm for class and course info for Iyengar
classes and courses taught by Karin.
Reiki courses and treatment by Reiki Master
Ayurvedic course and treatment by Ayurvedic Expert
Brahmachari Vishwapal Jayanti
by revered saints
Evening divine Ganga Aarti
Sant Shri Rameshbhai Oza (Pujya Bhaishri) is one of the
world's most famous and revered Kathakars (those who recite
the stories and messages of the scriptures). His Shrimad
Bhagwat Katha and Shri Rama Katha attract audiences of tens
of thousands of people, all across the world. He not
only tells the story of Bhagwan Krishna, but -- for 9 days
-- one feels as though one has been transported back to the
divine lands of Gokul and Vrindavan. The story is told with
song, bringing alive the messages and teachings of Bhagwan
The Katha will be given in Hindi, but even those who do not
speak the language will undoubtedly be touched, taught and
transformed by the power of the chanting, the depth of the
shlokas and the message of God, which is universal and
atmosphere at Parmarth Niketan during the katha will be
especially spiritually charged as it is also the time
will be in the morning, and evenings will
be filled with bhajans, kirtan, satsang, Ganga Aarti and yagna. Please go
AND PARMARTH PROJECT UPDATES
Diwali day, Shri Sangay Gurung, the tour agent for the
Parmarth Mansarovar yatra and the liaison for stage 2 of the
development project, brought drawings and plans for the
ashrams to be built in Saga and Prayang.
drawings were offered to Mother Ganga and Pujya Swamiji gave
Sangayji and his team the go ahead. Now, on December 20, Mr.
Norbu of Lhasa will be meeting the Chinese officials in Saga
and Prayang to sign the official papers.
Pujya Swamiji holds up the drawings
for everyone to see at the evening Aarti
Bali, Indonesia on the Vishwa Dharma Prasaar Yatra in
October, the people of Bali approached Pujya Swamiji through
Divine Soul Dr. Somvir Yadav. They requested that they would
like to build a Balinese style Hindu temple on the banks of
Ganga, and if Pujya Swamiji knew somewhere they could do
that. The people of Bali have a very strong and deep
connection to Mother Ganga. Pujya Swamiji told them, �Our
land is your land.� Therefore, Dr. Somvirji came with the
head of the project to see the land in Veerpur and will
return to the Governor of Bali with a full report. With
God�s grace, the project will progress smoothly and in
March the groundbreaking ceremony for the Balinese temple on the banks of Mother Ganga will