Anandam: The Story of a Greeting

“Why are you here?”
It was Her voice all right, no mistake, and no doubt about it.
But, the question was “formed” very suddenly,
and the answer slow to come.

Another question, with the same speed as the first one,
“What is this place about?”
This time is was not only a question, but also an answer:
Ananda, Bliss, this is what this place is about,
this is the name I gave, and this is why you are here.”

Above message from the Divine Mother reminded me of what Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna once said:

“Meditate upon the Knowledge and Bliss Eternal,
and you will also have bliss.
The Bliss indeed is eternal,
only it is covered and obscured by ignorance.
The less your attachment is towards the senses,
the more will be your love towards God.”

Whether She speaks to Thakur, the Paramhansa, or to us, Her language is same. Her message is same, and it is Ananda.

The last word uttered by my Mentor before leaving His physical body, was also same, “Ananda, Swami is always in Bliss.”

Ananda is the Sum Total of Life

This is what life is all about. Ananda is life’s meaning and its goal.

That same evening, with Her Grace, a greeting was born, “Anandam” – Bliss, Happiness and Joy Eternal, Love Everlasting… In this single word “Anandam” a treasure house of all goodness, all auspiciousness, and all beauty is hidden.

But, Anandam is Not Only a Greeting

It is an affirmation of faith, “Anandam is my true nature, and that is what I am trying to realize by being here.”

Anandam is a reminder of our life purpose.

Let this greeting save us from being detracted.

There is nothing wrong in conversing about shopping, restaurants, tourist spots, family, business, and etcetera… but, being in the ashram, we must always remind ourselves that that is not the reason we are in the ashram.

Very gently, without any confrontation, shift your focus to “Anandam”. Pause, take a moment to do some inner reflection, “What is my purpose of staying here, in this ashram?”

Ashram is not a place to socialize,

It is a Place to Spiritualize

Socialization can be done anywhere; spiritualization can only be done in a place like this, an ashram. So, why would you waste your precious time in pursuing something, which you can pursue elsewhere, anywhere? Make the best of your stay in the ashram; carry back with you anandam, bliss.

However, anandam is not freely available to one and all… It is something that you must earn… You have to work for it, and that working is called sadhana, the spiritual exercises, which must be undertaken to experience anandam.

If you miss the exercises in the ashram, or you have chosen to stay here for bed and breakfast only, then you are depriving yourself of extraordinary possibilities and opportunities.

We have purposely selected evenings for our weekly meditation session, dharma-dialogue (spiritual talk), spiritual cinema, and other activities, so you have ample time all day to explore Ubud and its surroundings, and be back “home” to ashram for the sessions.

Allow me to share with you what this ashram offers you for your self-development, leading to the attainment of ananda – inner peace, joy, true happiness, and eternal bliss….

Daily Morning Agnihotra or Fire Ceremony

On the physical level, it has been established that the smoke works as antiseptic, helps in building your immune system, and works as shield against radiation. But, that is not all…
It also works as aromatherapy par excellence, helping you on mental and emotional levels, thus developing your true “self” in the most holistic manner. Last but not least, the mantras help you in your spiritual growth.

Agnihotra cleanses you of all negativities in your life and purifies your being… The Sacred Fire outside sanctify your soul, your being, thus creating a neo man, a neo man from the ashes of your old being.

We have visitors telling us their “success stories”, how their relations get better, they become more focused in what they do, and how they become prosperous in the true sense. It is just amazing!

You will also hear stories of the sick getting better by applying the agnihotra ashes, or dead trees coming back to life after being blessed with the same ashes. Try it to believe….

Weekly Evening Keertan or Group Devotional Singing

The Keertan in the ashram is not for performance. Our onepointed focus is upon the Mother Divine. Thus, we harmonize our little selves with Her Majestic Divine Self.

Keertan takes you to the realm beyond your body, mind, and soul. It takes you to the realm of ananda, your innermost being, the source of all auspiciousness.

Similarly…..

The Weekly Dharma-Dialogue and Spiritual Cinema

Help you in the sharpening of your intelligence and awareness. Know more about Bali, its real cultural values, the Hindu way of life, which is very universal.

Discuss spirituality, discuss real life issues with people who care, with people who are your co-travelers.

Watch your true “self” emerging and empowering your mind, your intellect, your emotions, your soul…

And, then….

Don’t Forget to Join Our Service Activities

Serve the less privileged, the under privileged; share with them your joy, your blessings, your skills, and whatever you are comfortable with on the material level.

We have ongoing service projects going on in Jakarta, Bogor, Yogyakarta, and Kuta, where we have our centres. You can find out more on this by talking to the caretakers of the ashram.

Finally,

Help us serve you better…

Your ideas and suggestions are very precious, that is how we can improve on the services provided by the ashram.

Thank you, Anandam



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