What a wonderful time in India this has been! It’s thrilling to see how each time we return, Ananda’s work, its leaders, new teachers, Kriyabans and devotees, centers, and all aspects have expanded and grown in size and attunement with Master and Swamiji.
We landed running in Delhi with a lunch the day we arrived, hosted by Sri Kaarthikeyanji for about 20 people at our ashram there. Two days later there was a satsang mainly for our own members at the Gurgaon center, with over 200 people attending. Many stayed for nearly two hours after the event to greet us.
Dharmadas, Nirmala, and his family were also visiting India at this time, and they had the opportunity to greet everyone, speak briefly as part of the satsang, and sing one of Swamiji’s songs. People in Gurgaon were happy to see them again.
The staff from the Paramhansa Yogananda Charitable Trust in Brindaban drove three hours to come to the satsang, and it was wonderful to see these saintly souls again. We presented them with the money raised through the sale of the mala bags they made, and they were very happy.
In fact, one of the core Gurgaon members who runs a successful textile design company is volunteering her time to teach the women who made the bags advanced sewing and embroidery techniques. With this training they will be able to improve and expand their product line. Our donation will help them to purchase better equipment for their home industry.
The work in Brindaban continues to grow, with four “community care” residential homes now that house about a hundred widows. Another seven thousand are being helped with food, clothing, and medical care on a regular basis. Manjunath, a longtime member of Ananda and head of the project, said that the loving, personal kindness and respect that our staff offers all these people is providing a new, more caring model for charitable work there.
After five days in Gurgaon and Delhi, we flew to Chennai, where we will focus most of our time during this trip. There were two reasons for this: 1) They will open a beautiful new center in a few months, when renovations are completed, which will quadruple the space of the existing center. 2) Chennai is particularly receptive to these teachings. It was where Swamiji had his largest crowd in India, when in 2012 two thousand people filled a large hall here, with another thousand turned away for lack of space.
We began activities in Chennai with meditations and satsangs with core members and a discourse for a hundred engineering and MBA students at a nearby college. These have been a great joy for us with so much enthusiasm and devotion on the part of everyone participating.
The real highlight thus far was the major public event on Sunday, Feb. 21. The team here, led by Dharmarajan and Dharmini, has been focusing on this program for many weeks, with publicity on TV and in the newspapers, and fifty big banners throughout the city. A wonderful crew of volunteers worked tirelessly to decorate the hall, so that when we entered the five-hundred-seat auditorium an hour before the talk was to begin, one could already feel the spiritual magnetism.
We went to a back room to meditate before things began, and we prayed that all the energy the Chennai Sangha had put out would be rewarded with a good crowd. The hall was only half full fifteen minutes before the event was to begin, but then people started pouring in until the main floor and balcony were filled with nearly 600 people, some of them sitting in the aisles and standing in the back. Another 150 were able to watch on TV monitors in the lobby, and 200 were turned away for lack of room.
We have many more activities planned in the two remaining weeks that we’ll be here in Chennai. Then we fly to Bangalore for a weekend retreat for Master’s Mahasamadhi that already is booked to capacity.
We’ll stay in touch. Thank you for your prayers. You also are in ours.
In Master’s love,
Jyotish and Devi
Audio MP3 of the talk “Kriya Yoga: The Yoga of Energy” here.