This is a letter from Swami Suryendu Puri written on 26th October, when he entered into 40 days solitude. He shares various divine incidences that occurred during temple construction and explains Maharaj Ji’s next step and also his plan about mission. He concludes the letter by sharing the possibilities where you can also join in. So, enjoy reading and join in!
Om Namo Narayanaya! May we all travel persistently on the divine path of ultimate happiness by chanting Guru-Mantra day in and out while living a virtuous life serving the world lovingly & selflessly!
A festival of light (Diwali) has just passed and another (Christmas) is about to take place, but these festivities come and go every year. The true light of life is received in that celebration of joy and peace (Samadhi), which takes place inside us and nowhere else. When this event occurs for once, the ‘abhav-yog‘ is achieved and the path to liberation is secured. However, by the Grace of Guru and earnest practice, when this phenomenon of Samadhi becomes our very nature; the state of ‘Mahayoga’ is achieved. In such a case, we become that joyful light. This is the highest achievement of life and is the ultimate goal of mankind.
You all are well aware that a generous thought of Shri Maharaj Ji (Gurudev Mahayogi Swami Buddhpuri Ji) laid foundation of the Sri-Yantra meditation temple ‘Tripur Shiva Peetam’ in Malke Ashram almost three and a half years ago. Certainly, it was his boundless compassion that endorsed such a thought, considering the struggle people have to go through in mundane life besides the cycle of birth and death, and Sri-Yantra is an ultimate tool to get us rid of not just this cycle but all the worldly problems related to health, wealth, relation, occupation, power, position and every worry of this world and beyond. Therefore, in the construction of this Sri-Yantra temple, besides marvellous craftsmanship and artwork, sacred rituals and intensive sadhna were conducted by Maharaj Ji along with select practitioners at every level of construction, to attract and establish divine energy of Shiva and Shakti, the absolute forces that control the entire cosmos. As a result, this temple, from its base to crown and from its expanse to sanctuary, is permeated with tremendous spiritual energy now.Throughout the construction process, many amazing events took place giving a clear indication of divine guidance and protection.
We all know that Maharaj Ji’s nature is quite solitary and that’s why we never publicized this Ashram, even the neighbouring villages learnt about the ashram through the ad of temple inauguration. Therefore, his resolve to build the temple surprised everyone. A little after the construction was started, he disclosed that even he wasn’t aware where this thought had come from; had it been a personal wish, wouldn’t have got into this demanding work, ever. Anyhow, numerous designs were made in the beginning, finally one was liked by all after two years, so, Maharaj Ji also agreed. But the very next day he announced that the temple must be of Sri-Yantra and nothing else, owing to a divine vision he had previous night. And make sure, he added, the architecture of the temple must be in full in accordance with the Scriptures. All were worried that such a perfect temple is not made anywhere until today but Gurudev said, ‘Just do it’, with a radiant smile on his face. Eventually, it happened, as it must be.
In the meantime, while Gurudev was practicing Yognidra one night, he felt something cold and heavy on his chest. When he took his hand there to check; a serpent was sitting there with its hood spread as if willing to make a conversation. It was not even upset by his touch, and was rather hissing very tenderly. It stayed in his room all night and in the morning when we went there; it appeared to be doing meditation right on Maharaj Ji’s bed. It must have brought some divine message, who knows. Afterwards, Sri Gurudev, out of spontaneous insights, conducted numerous amendments in the architectural composition of the temple. As a result, the architectural design had to be changed 24 times. However, those amendments, unknowingly, curtailed the size of the temple building, from 100 feet to 64 feet square. Corresponding to this divine enablement, 64 yoginis were invocated and their yantras were installed in the foundation to kick-start the construction project. In parallel, a sophisticated numinous construction was also taking place by devout practitioners under guidance of Sri Gurudev. Immediately after the land consecration ceremony, a huge fireplace was built in that very spot and for the next two months, intense rituals and yajnas were conducted and holy fire was kept alive throughout to awaken the land. Many devotees from India and abroad took part in the ritual and incurred divine experiences.
The shape of the temple was initially kept rectangular from outside as well as inside and numerous caves were planned to be carved in the 5 feet thick walls. Nevertheless, Maharaj Ji happened to visit England for some time and the engineer erected the walls of normal thickness and accordingly all the pillars were raised. When Maharaj ji noted the error on return, instead of criticising or redoing, he devised a new plan, as per his nature. The result was round inner sanctuary, which gave 52 scopes in total to carve caves and place deity. It also became a divine coincidence and we were bestowed by another opportunity- to invoke and establish energy of all the 52 Shaktipeeths (places of Shakti in world).
Similarly, when the building’s exterior was completed very gracefully, the initially planned crown of the temple felt not so harmonious because the combination of red and white stone was giving such a grand look to the temple that artless steel top did not seem so imposing now. Moreover, Maharaj Ji had already instructed very clearly to provide for sunlight to fall on the crystal Sri-Yantra that was going to be placed right below the crown, probably for some mystical purpose. This didn’t allow much deviation too. Once again, everyone turned to Gurudev. The solution received from him, not only enhanced the beauty of the crown but also extended the height of the temple from 87 feet to 108 feet, the most auspicious number. Several such incidents gave a clear sign of divine guidance every now and then, but, there was one event, absolutely astounding.
It occurred when the building was ready with all its stone and marble work, just the wooden doors were being fixed and final polishing was going on. Inauguration was due in just four months when an unknown devotee reached Ashram with a grand Narmadeshwar Shivalingam (a natural shivalinga emerged out of river Narmada) and insisted to install it in Sri-Yantra temple. Everyone told him that the temple is almost ready and about to be inaugurated in couple of months. Moreover, there is no room for it as there was no such provision kept in the design. But he would not listen to anyone. As a final resort, this issue was taken to Sri Gurudev and just by hearing this he became so happy, revealing, “When Shakti is completely awakened, Shiva is bound to come. The bizarre advent of Narmadeshwar Shiva makes it absolutely evident that Tripur-Shiva-Peetham is now thoroughly pervaded with Shakti, the supreme energy. The union of Shiva-Shakti will now make this temple an abode of divine play and its devotees will receive immense power to fulfil all their wishes, worldly as well as spiritual. Let’s prepare to install Narmadeshwar inside.” The Sri-Yantra representing Shakti is installed in the centre (bindu) of temple and hence grace of Sri Gurudev named this Shivalingam as ‘Nadeshwar’ through the devotee ‘Lali’ who brought it. According to the scriptures, crystal Sri Yantra and Narmadeshwar Shivlingam (and also Shaligram) are naturally consecrated and bundled with extreme spiritual energy. The very land, where they appear, is divine and energized and hence no sanctification or charging up is required for them. However, construction of such Shivlingam is rare and takes thousands of years. Undoubtedly, this coincidence was made possible only by the grace of Sri Gurudev.
Just imagine, along with this unprecedented, unique and magnificent meditation temple, a fabulous fire temple, a congregation hall of size 100×200 feet, a new residential building of 20 grand rooms with all facilities attached, a complete facelift of the whole Ashram, everything was competed in just three years. That too when there were no real funds or resources to begin with because from the very beginning ashram was run in traditional manner promoting austerities and keeping needs limited. In fact, Maharaj Ji always gave encouragement to only mediation instead of donations. These all scenarios make it obvious that it was only divine resolve and guru’s grace that made this impossible, possible.
The biggest glimpse of divine grace was experienced during installation of five feet tall and wide crystal Sri-Yantra, which was witnessed by not just one or two devotees but nine intellectuals including project builder and engineer. The construction of the temple was completed when the custom-built crystal Sri-Yantra, in ten separate layers, was imported from China. The temple opening and pran-pratishta program for forty days were already scheduled and announced. Inside the temple, life size portraits of Maharaj Ji’s Guru Swami Dayalu Puri Ji and his guru Swami Dev Puri Ji ‘Kambliwale’ were placed on the wall between the two doors. ‘Naadeshwar’ was sitting just before them. All were kept properly covered. Veda-Mantras were being chanted as per Maharaj Ji’s instruction while all the layers of Sri-Yantra were being installed, one above the other. The moment last layer, mahabindu, was placed, exactly in that moment we all heard a knock. When we looked around, startled, the faces of both the portraits were uncovered. It was an utter surprise because they were kept covered for many months by thick thermal sheets properly taped and firmly secured by wood battens. Moreover, we had already been working there for 3-4 hours but there was not a slightest sign of any loosening. All were amazed. Discovering this, Maharaj Ji elatedly pronounced, “Graceful sight of great seers has fallen on this Sri-Yantra to approve its perfection; prana-pratishtha (sanctification and charging up) is already accomplished.”
Another testimony of divine grace was received on Oct. 3, the opening day in which more than 20,000 people participated from all around the world. This small quiet ashram witnessed influx of people right from 7 am to 9 pm but there was no hustle-bustle. Everything took place so quietly that not only the general public, but all the dignitaries and saints had to admit that they had seen very large gatherings and congregations, but it is nothing less than a miracle that no organizers are seen anywhere but all arrangements are running so well and despite such a heavy rush, there is no blockage of vehicles and no one is manhandled; even the food was served fresh and was so readily available and accessible for everyone. Certainly, it was Grace of Guru that was working through all the devotees-volunteers. With what words could we praise such a divine soul, Sri Gurudev, who is evenly comfortable in the mountains or jungles like lord Shiva, and even with the snakes, but takes utmost care of devotees’ safety; who is indifferent to environment, hot or cold but assures all possible comforts for the devotees; who is free from the want of food or facilities but for devotees, arranges best of both; most importantly, he leads everyone with great compassion and care on the path to ultimate happiness from their level without any discrimination of their qualities.
The greatest evidence of his objectivity and divinity was made public when, after the grand opening ceremony of this divine temple, he nominated his main disciple duo (Sadhvi Yoganjali Chaitanya Puri, and this servant Swami Suryendu Puri) in charge, traditionally by giving shawl and rudraksha rosary, of the ashram tradition, administration, activities, and initiation etc. and dedicated himself to the highest goal of Mahayoga. (Here, we must clarify that Maharaj Ji has not abandoned the ashram or the devotees and he hasn’t retired to seclusion or some mysterious land. He is rather endeavouring to open a path to higher levels for all humankind. Putting in his words- the whole system is now instituted for spiritual studies, right from primary to college level; the courses are prepared and so are the teachers; anyone can now benefit from them and take guidance. However, it’s time for further research and also to arrange for the guidance to those who want to unveil the ultimate truth in this very life. Nowadays, there are so many schools for primary and secondary levels (abhav yog) in the spiritual world and their propaganda is everywhere, but there are very few to approach the height of MahaYog. Therefore, it is a paramount need of the hour. There had been many adepts in every era, who had developed various techniques as per the need of that time, but in the later period, most traditions were compromised as their successors began to give more importance to ashrams, administration and publicity than to practice and austerities. It was also necessary in a way as it created public awareness about spiritual path. However, this awareness stands futile till the ultimate awakening is achieved. Contemporary society has enough awakening and so currently it is all the more necessary for capable practitioners to explore and open this path of MahaYog for others, keeping deep love and compassion in their heart. We must recognize and respect the fact that God always gives ability with responsibility.)
After all, we all are aware that the great rivers, bursting with volume and velocity, never rest till they meet the vast ocean; because their pervasiveness cannot be confined to any limit, whatsoever. Sri Gurudev stands at such a level of spiritual advancement, where he cannot be tied to tiny boundaries of any persona, ashram, place or even that of time and space. He is committed to achieve physical manifestation of supreme immortal consciousness and spread its vibes all around the world, at times from highest peaks of Himalayas or from extensive shore of ocean. Essentially, he is paving path to lead the whole world into Satyug, the golden age. He is devising ways to directly connect with the divine in this body itself. This would allow to live a fully independent and enlightened life, instead of living for imagined liberation (after death) while our life is abundantly affected by disease, distress and desires, despite all our ego based asana, pranayama, chanting, meditation, study of Veda and scriptures, worship or charity just because we remain unaware of our body and mind and its goal. Therefore, he has refurbished and publicized various obsolete and even standard techniques in more easy and effective form viz. Hath Yog, Mantra Yog, Yantra science, Swar Yog, Naad Yog, Raj Yog, Tantra Yog, Surya Kriya Yog, Agni Kriya Yog, Sanjeevani Kriya Yog, Khecarī mudrā, Shambhavi, Kriya Kundalini, Srividya and much more. His pragmatic commentaries on Vedanta, Bhakti (devotion) Sutras, Yoga Sutras, Japuji Sahib and even holy Bible and his articles in Kund-Agni-Shikha quarterly have made spiritual path easy and interesting for everyone, besides, the criteria of progress is so well defined that the very scope of any delusion or dilemma is totally eliminated. Furthermore, he has classified the spiritual path in progressive levels, right from primary to the highest achievement and has accordingly developed several levels of sadhna to make this vital journey simple, interesting and reassuring. Having so much readily available, certainly it is our time now, to tread this path with all our might.
Hence, by Guru’s grace, had this inspiration to start this new chapter of life, which is completely dedicated to Guru’s commands, with Chalia (forty days of solitary meditation). Maharaj Ji always says, “Without persistent practice, service cannot become selfless”. During last three years, this temple project did not allow for such a long retreat but now there is all the time and an urgent need too. Therefore, on October 26, after the monthly Satsang at Malke Ashram, got entered the solitary hut. However, inner journey starts only when you relieve your mind from all the external duties and concerns, so, thought of having a word with all the kindred souls. For quite some time now, wasn’t able to take good care of website, newsletter and emails etc. but not anymore. By grace of Gurudev, this all will be normalized much before New Year and make progress thereafter. As you also know that Maharaj Ji has written so much and all that is so substantial and valuable that it cannot be kept concealed; publication of all that material is the highest priority now. During this solitude, Sadhviji will take care of all the services (including emails etc.) and in December, after completion of this Chalia, she will enter into solitude for forty days. In fact, there will be many sadhaks giving us company for minimum one week each in parallel huts. This is how this service will continue, together, inside and outside. However, it is not only for two or four people, residing at ashram, your contribution is absolutely required. You could also join in and make progress on this path walking shoulder to shoulder; we personally and cordially ask of you for the same. There are many opportunities available at Ashram, to practice and serve together and you are welcome to create some new opportunities too J Here is a brief suggestion list-
1) An open satsang is conducted on the last Sunday of each month at Malke Ashram and on Sankranti day at Kila Raipur Ashram, where you can share your experiences and discuss your aspirations or make your queries to get further guidance. In addition, you may give your hands in making preparation for the satsang and sangat by coming a day or two earlier.
2) ‘Kund-Agni-Shikha”, the spiritual magazine published by ashram every three months, serves as herald of awakening. In this magazine, Sri Gurudev shares the secret and science of scriptures and also from the life of great adepts-saints using simple language and pragmatic approach. Maharaj Ji always says that the foremost service is to know your ‘self’ and then your actions will truly become selfless. You can easily do that prime service by taking membership of the magazine and follow his meticulous Mahayog research. Besides, you may serve others by introducing them to this eternal path and making magazine member. Back here, it is generally noted that the readers do not generally remember to renew their membership and the regular volunteers at Ashram, preoccupied with so many other things, generally don’t find time to inform them. You may help in this matter too.
3) The newly constructed Sri-Yantra meditation temple in the ashram, ‘Tripur Shiva Peetam’ has provided a new and eventful schedule of meditation, chanting and aarti in the morning and evening every day. Surya Kriya, Sanjivani Kriya and Agni Kriya are also performed regularly in accordance with climate and scriptures are studied every afternoon. Besides, there are various services viz. book stall, guest reception, langar (food), cleaning of temple and ashram and much more. You may join in any time and stay as long as you wish to participate in regular practices and services. We soon plan to start occasional short (weekend) camps of Sri Vidya inside temple. The announcements will be made accordingly.
4) Ashram conducts three-day public sadhana camp twice a year (concluding on MahaShivaratri and Dussehra respectively) and two three-day advance practice camp for the seekers who are initiated in this tradition. Additionally, body-mind shaping camp will also be conducted twice a year now (one in Malke and one in Kila Raipur Ashram). As per Maharaj Ji’s instruction, we plan to start week-long camps dedicated to study of scriptures related to Bhakti-Yoga-Vedanta for better understanding of this path. Special camps for youngsters (separately for children and teenagers) are also being planned in June holidays at Sharti Ashram (near Kullu). By participating (alone or with family) in these camps, you can speed up your spiritual progress and lead a virtuous and meaningful life.
5) For our foreign friends, who don’t follow Hindi or Punjabi, we plan to conduct one or two exclusive camps every year where all communication will be made in English. This will be planned by communicating with our regular visitors and by inviting applications on website. By the way, there may be Indian devotees who are more comfortable with English or at least their youngsters. They may also be allowed to these camps but only with prior consent. Another important task is to translate Maharaj Ji’s books and discourses into English; we would appreciate if any of you, who are good in Hindi/Punjabi and English languages, can extend a helping hand.
6) You must be aware that there are six cottages built in Malke ashram for solitary sadhna and new rooms are coming up in Kila Raipur Ashram soon. All are attached with all the basic facilities and an open courtyard to perform Surya Kriya. The seekers who have participated in regular and advance camps and have spent some solitary time in ashram, they could make use of these solitary huts for treading this path of MahaYog more actively. Starting from 7 days, they may gradually extend it for 40 days or even more. Complete guidance is given beforehand for solitary meditation and the light food, as per personal need, is delivered at the window of the hut because the first condition for solitude is to not see anyone and not be seen, no contact with anyone through sense orifices. Further, for advanced seekers, we plan to conduct special camps on the distant mountains. But later!
7) A task, which you can start right at your home, is to follow ashram’s website and Facebook regularly, and make all your family, friends, relatives its member. You may share there any specific experiences of sadhna or ashram living or the special blessings received from Maharaj Ji, and also your spiritual queries. This gives inspiration to others and also opens the path forward. In addition, most of ashram devotees conduct weekly or fortnightly or monthly group Satsang in their town; you must inquire and take part in it along with your family and friends. It is very important for spiritual progress to regularly participate in satsang and develop fondness for satsangis (fellow seekers). And if satsang has not started yet in your town, you may call us anytime to get it started J
There is another idea. As you know, this ashram runs by charity and all services related to temple, library, langar, phone, email, website, magazine publishing etc. are done by dedicated devotees. Best efforts are made to run this ashram through service and association. Therefore milk is collected from the village everyday by alms; vegetable-fruit-flower etc. are grown in the ashram as per the need; the grain are given in alms by villagers out of every new crop, which serves us sufficiently for the whole year; even daily needs are not acquired from market instantly rather kept on hold till somebody comes up to ask for service, and it generally gets arranged sooner or later. However, this austere way of living, along with the regular meditation and practice, presents surplus work and due to limited number of volunteers at ashram, some services are compromised or delayed at times especially public relation such as phone calls, emails, and website, etc.
Therefore it is proposed that if you people (alone or with family) dedicated a week (or more) in a year to the ashram then you will receive appropriate spiritual guidance (as personal time is not generally possible during mass gatherings) and also give adequate support to ashram activities. This will help all the other devotees in getting best and timely service. If only 52 people/families could contribute, activities and services of ashram will run very smoothly for all the 52 weeks of the year to benefit all the devotees and seekers. However, 52 is a minimum number, ashram can accommodate plentiful of people at once. Just imagine, if handful of volunteers have been successfully serving hundreds and thousands of devotees for so many years then wouldn’t it be much easier and efficient with more members here. Earlier, system was different and there was lot of inactive time for visitors in routine days, but now due to the temple, there is regular and busy schedule of practices and services to keep you occupied as much as you enjoy. You may choose the time of year as per your convenience and in case of any emergency it can be changed as the goal is not to get you here for work but grow together and go beyond all the worldly limits and dependencies. There is an old saying, “In body, as long you are alive, world will remain an activity hive. But death is all you gain by this drive; hence, to meet the lord, you must strive.” That is the purpose of ashram and all the services and sadhna here- to grow above the confinements of worldly possessions and relations and meet the lord. And yes, for those who are really sincere and aspire to not just walk but run on this path of enlightenment by dedicating long time or even whole life to it, indeed, there is a direct route starting right here in ashram. And remember, sooner the better J
Awaiting your sincere loving reply,
A humble servant of Gurudev,