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Beauty of Winter

January 29th, 2015

The weekend I like to air and have a walk where the gaze can wander to the horizon – it feels like expanding the soul.

Last weekend we had a walk in Ried near Worb, about 10 km from our home. There was a bluish brilliance in the air and the sun reflected from the fresh white snow. When I looked at the farmhouse where we had parked our car I saw a gallery of big cowbells hanging at the window.

We went up the hill and there was a gorgeous panorama. At first the road was clean but then we entered a small path where the fresh snow scrunched under our feet. The village of Biglen was sleeping in the afternoon sunshine. On a meadow a small ski-lift transported children and parents up the hill – the air was filled with their voices.

We went over a white field towards a farmhouse and then returned walking towards the sun. When we came along the backyard of a farm some icicles were hanging to the gutter.

Picture to the Month: Aquarius – Apollo and the Song of Light

January 22nd, 2015

On a very subtle plane, colour and sound converge and become one. This plane is related to Aquarius and to a supra-cosmic musical intelligence whom the Vedas call Vena the Gandharva. The Vedas say, he merrily sings the “song of light”. The Greek Apollo is no other than Vena; through his influence the sound- and light principles of the higher planes are expressed in identical scales.

Meditating on these correspondences, an image arose in me of Apollo with a musical instrument super-imposed on his face and light pouring down from above.

For the painting I chose a black and white photo of a head of Apollo and converted it into light yellow. I found the picture of a beautiful classical instrument, the “Viola d’Amore” (Viola of Love). It is used like a violin and has a sweet, warm sound. There are 6 or 7 playing strings on the top and the same number of “sympathetic strings” below – a beautiful symbol of the 6 pairs of signs of the zodiac or of the 7 planes of creation in the manifest and in the subtle spheres. I placed the instrument on the face of Apollo so that the upper part with the pegs and the head is like a stair towards the spheres of light. There is a second viola merging with the face of Apollo and a part of a nearly invisible third one surrounding the head like an aureole.

For the background, I first took a photo of Uranus and merged it with another one of a star cluster from the constellation Aquarius. Though you don’t recognize these elements anymore, they are there in the “background” of this painting. And the light coming from above looks like pouring down from out of the nearly invisible Aquarian pot.

See more pictures on the site with my paintings. If you want to print the image, you can download the file in medium and high resolution format.

Aquarius - Apollo and the Song of Light

Aquarius – Apollo and the Song of Light

A High-Definition Panoramic View of the Andromeda Galaxy

January 22nd, 2015

NASA has published the sharpest composite image ever taken of our galactic next-door neighbour, the Andromeda Galaxy (M31). It is a bird’s-eye view of a portion of the galaxy and has been created with 7,398 exposures taken by the Hubble Space Telescope over 411 individual pointings.

In their publication, they write about this image: “Though the galaxy is over 2 million light-years away, the Hubble telescope is powerful enough to resolve individual stars in a 61,000-light-year-long stretch of the galaxy’s pancake-shaped disk. It’s like photographing a beach and resolving individual grains of sand. And, there are lots of stars in this sweeping view — over 100 million, with some of them in thousands of star clusters seen embedded in the disk.”

Click on the picture below to get a larger view of the galaxy or see the zoom-version at the Hubble site.

Andromeda Galaxy


Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Dalcanton, B.F. Williams, and L.C. Johnson (University of Washington), the PHAT team, and R. Gendler

Guru Puja: Scenes and Images

January 14th, 2015

Each year, the Guru Puja celebrations follow a similar structure of rituals and program items. So the second day early morning, the members from the West were invited to come to the dais for meditation. Sitting in the focal point of the energies is always a special experience.

Later, there was the water ritual in honour of Lord Rudra with its rhythmic, vibrant Vedic chants, while the lingam, symbol of the manifestation of divine Will, was decorated in a sublime manner. The ritual was followed by the session of the Fusion of East and West. Four members of the Western brotherhood were asked onto the dais. This year, Sri Kumar had chosen members who had never spoken before to share their experience. It was inspiring to listen to their words. Sri Kumar also explained to the audience the publication work going on in the west and presented the latest publications from the last year.

In the afternoon some Indian members spoke about their experiences, mostly in Telugu. And the evening concluded with another lecture followed by the arati with the camphor light.

Tuesday morning it was very cold – more than the other days which were also quite fresh. Sri Kumar mentioned that this cold is more than usual but, “We complain when it is too hot or too cold. At this last day of Guru Pujas let us enjoy this cold…” And referring to the sublime invisible beings present, he pointed out, “Only because we don’t see the great Masters we think they are not there.”

After meditation and the morning lecture of Sri Kumar on the 12th labour of Hercules, the ladies prepared for the Lalitha Puja. This puja is just conducted by the ladies in honour of the divine Mother. Under the melodic intonations, the ladies decorated an image of the divine Mother with red and golden yellow powder. These pujas always create a very vibrant and sublime ambiance.

When the puja ended drums and horns resounded from the backside: A small procession with a newly-wed couple approached for receiving the blessings of the Master. I felt like a paparazzi standing there in front of the dais with the many photographers capturing the auspicious moment of the young couple.

In the afternoon there was the last discourse of Sri Kumar, followed by the evening meditation and the Pada Puja, the traditional ceremony to honour the teacher by worshipping his feet. On the first sight, this ceremony might be a bit irritating to a western mind but it has a profound significance: the feet of the divine are understood as symbols of the lowest part of the Highest (the divine) touch the highest part of the humans (the head centre).

Today the journey home will start – filled with inspiring impressions and enriched by many profound teachings and encounters.

 

The Beginning of the Guru Puja Celebration

January 11th, 2015

Saturday morning, the group went to Simhachalam to visit the temple on the top of the hill. Before the journey, Sri Kumar explained that it is the only temple in India where Varaha, the avatar in the form of a boar is worshipped, together with Narasimha, the avatar in the form of a man-lion. The occult meaning is, the divine energy lifts us up from being blocked in the matter, the base centre, first to the heart and then to the head centre. Varaha, the boar, is symbolised as giving this lift-up through his brilliant tusks, and Narasimha opens the pillar of the vertebral column, so that we can enter from the heart centre and ascend via the throat and the brow to the top of the head.

We got the darshan of the embodiment of the divine in form of a lingam in the innermost of the temple. There the Lord is established together with the World Mother called Sri. The ambiance was vibrating while the rhythmic sounds of the mantric chants reverberated through the air.

Afterwards we descended into the valley via the long stairway. Many pilgrims were around – some groups were chanting and clasping cymbals, while some men were pushing up the stairs a “holy cow” which seemed to be not enjoying this ascent. They were massaging its legs before with a push the cow was further drawn up the stairway.

In Simhachalam the preparations for the Guru Pujas were going on. This year the site is at a new place near the pond. Many volunteers were setting up the hall and the area for the dining hall. It was impressing to see how within a few hours they transformed the whole site into a beautiful festival group.

At 5.30 Master Kumar came to inaugurate the 54 celebrations of Master CVV Guru Pujas. Vedic chantings were intonated while he saluted the Masters of Wisdom present through their images on the altar and garlanded a statue of Master CVV. Then the evening prayer started. Afterwards, he gave an introduction to the group living. Group members from many groups all over India and the West have come together to stay here for three days and nights with the aspiration to reorient and to lift themselves up to the Light with the help of the energy of the divine Presence.

The Sunday morning celebrations started with the Ganesha ritual conducted by Kumari-Garu, followed by the intonation of other worship songs. After the morning prayer the Master presented some new book releases: a small booklet by Master EK, “Good Luck”, with thoughts about spiritual astrology. A book on “Sun”, a lecture given in 1990 at Andhra University in Visakhapatnam. Sri Kumar also wrote books on Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, Mars, Mercury and Uranus. He mentioned that in 4 colleges in the United States these books have been included in their syllabus. A reprint of the book on Uranus and also Saturn Regulations of Master CVV were also released, together with a book on “The teachings of Lord Maitreya”, published during December Call – 108 statements taken from the Vaisakh Newsletter. Further some Telugu books – a book on Lalitha Sahasranama Stotra and on Gurupaduka Stotra.

The talks of the Guru Puja continue the series of the previous years on the Labours of Hercules. This time, Sri Kumar started with the lesson on the 8th Labour of Hercules relating to Scorpio, telling the story about the killing of the Hydra and giving explanations. The other labours till the 12th labour will be the content of the next lessons.

After breakfast, a group of small children was introduced into first writing and the intonation of OM Namah Sivaya, the mantram for developing an enlightened will. Later the fire ritual was conducted invoking the presence of the devas for the upliftment of the beings. Later there was the new releases of books by Master EK by the team of Kulapati Editions until noon.

Group Living: Small Excursions and End of the Seminar

January 9th, 2015

Today was the final session of the seminar and the good-bye ceremony. From tomorrow on, we will be at the Guru Puja celebration at Simhachalam, only returning late in the night to the retreat centre.

The last days were intense seminar days interspersed with small excursions. Wednesday we visited a service centre of the WTT, where daily about 150 needy people are taken care of by food distribution and where also free health consultations and professional training courses are held. Then we went to the Bala Bhanu School. Two months ago, I had seen the devastations of the Hudhud cyclone. Now we were very much astonished how well the surroundings of the school had been restored. Although in the neighbourhood you could see the traces of destruction – mainly remains of fallen trees – the school made a very good impression.

The students just had their exam day and all were in their classes busily writing. We had a look into all classes and then a short exchange with the teachers.

In the afternoon we visited the Theosophical Society (TS) of Visakhapatnam, one of the oldest in India. The new head of the TS feels very much inspired by the teachings of Master EK (Dr. E. Krishnamacharya) who had been given lectures in the premises in the 70s/80s. Their temple had been destroyed by the cyclone and you could still see a lot of dust around.

Yesterday we went to Ramadri, the temple site of the WTT about 20 km outside of Visakhapatnam. We could not see the Planetary Healing Centre, it seems that the devastations of the cyclone had destroyed number of trees.

At Ramadri we were very much astonished how well the site had been redone. The roof of the small buildings of the Mithila school for poor children had been redone, all the little temples and the buildings freshly painted and the garden beautifully set up again. Also the small shrines were reset to order and were shining in fresh brilliance.

The children gave us a warm welcome. We then walked around on the large compound and visited the new “Gosala”, the cowshed where now 60 cows are held. Their milk is distributed to the school children and poor people in the surrounding. Then we assembled in the amphitheatre, where Sri Kumar and Kumari-Garu distributed clothes to the school children. Afterwards Sri Kumar gave a talk and the children presented some Vedic recitations. When we had our evening prayer with the beautiful view over the ocean, groups of birds were flying through the sky which displayed sublime shades of pink and violet.

Visit to the Birthplace of Sripada Srivallabha, Avatar of Lord Dattatreya

January 6th, 2015

Already in a previous blog-post I described how I came to know about the incarnation of Lord Dattatreya as his first avatar in this era, as Sripada Srivallabha (1320-1350 AD), and the request to translate his biography into German.

I very much wanted to visit his birthplace, Pithapuram, where he said that his energy would be anchored permanently. When seeing the program of the seminar in Visakhapatnam, I was very pleasantly surprised to notice that an excursion to Pithapuram was planned for 5 January.

2 January 2015, I could speak to Sri Kumar. He very warmly smiled and told me that his family is  deeply related to Lord Dattatreya since 3 generations, since his grandfather, and that he had been introduced into the line of Dattatreya in his early childhood. He had read the book “Sreepada Sreevallabha Charitamritam”: “It is a very great book“. And: “Already one month before you wrote me about the translation of the book I got the impulse that the book should go over the world. And when you told me that you want to go to Pithapuram, I thought it is good that the whole group goes there.”

One day later, I accompanied Robert who is going to translate the book to Spanish, to his consultation with Sri Kumar. Robert gave him two statuettes of Lord Dattatreya (one he had given me as a gift) to bless them and Sri Kumar was very radiant.

On the question what is the relation between Lord Dattatreya, Agastya and Master CVV, Sri Kumar said, that Lord Dattatreya is most high, higher than the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. He is working through Sirius for our system. Agastya brings in the energies from Sirius and Dattatreya is the Master to Agastya, and Master CVV is a member of the ashram of Agastya. He told us that it is a very great blessing that we are allowed to translate the book.

Before we went to Pithapuram, he gave an introduction to the group, and today he gave some further explanations. Here are some extracts from his talks:

“It is planned that tomorrow the group will visit a sacred place where the Lord Dattatreya, the Lord that presides over the dog star or Sirius, the Lord who is also the Master for Agastya, the teacher for the entire solar system, he took birth and he guided for 3 continuous incarnations. It is a placed visited by all in India especially those who follow a teacher. Lord Dattatreya is said to be the synthesis of the Trinity. The details of Dattatreya were published long ago. For the benefit of the humanity in Kali Yuga, he took birth 7 centuries ago in Andhra Pradesh which is 100 km from here. Even the Sufis, priests of the Mughal emperors visited this place. The priest to emperor Akbhar built his ashram to be near the Lord. The priest of Mughal emperor received instructions from higher circles to establish his ashram in this place in Pithapuram. Pita [] meaning the village of the Pita or the grand master, that’s the name of the place. Pita Puram has gradually become Pithapuram. He took birth in this place. … The Lord Dattatreya is said to be the cosmic principle of yoga. That’s why in scriptures he is worshipped as the Lord that presides over yoga. He is also called “Datta” meaning his nature is to give his presence. Many are the episodes of Dattatreya. I strongly recommend every member to buy the English version of the book for those who can understand English.

I also made a visit to this place. It is not the first time I went to this place. I read it [the book] many times. During the year, it so happened that energies of the Master visited our group. It was a pleasant surprise to know that the energies touched Ludger, and he feels an urge to make translation of this book into German. Likewise, Robert Badia received an impulse separately, from the Spanish group. It is all in a period over a year.

Dattatreya is the head of mystical hierarchy. All the teachings on this planet culminate in Sirius. Such a one, to benefit the beings in Kali Yuga, he took birth in a humble place, lots of acts of teaching and healing. Very miraculous deeds he has done…

His feet are kept in the back of the temple. You may touch the feet, you may go around. It is so simple, you may not get the impact apparently. But subtly there is a great impact. Go there, relax there, meditate there, and then come back.”

Tuesday, 06 January, morning:

“I hope you have enjoyed the visit to Peetha Puram called Pithapuram. It is a typical center where the light is hidden. As we say, the key note of India is “I hide the light”. Pithapuram is one of the most important spiritual centers that we have in India, but it continues to hide the light. It is so humble that unless you get insight, you don’t get the profundity of light. But in due course it unfolds from within. That’s why it was a good pilgrimage that has happened….”

The bus ride took 3.5 hours to go and 4 hours to come back. The temple is located in a side-road, the bus had to stop some streets before. It is a very vibrating place though you would never suppose the greatness of the place by seeing it from the outside.

We received a very warm welcome by the members of the Maha Samsthanam (Trust) of the Sripada Srivallabha Temple. Sri Ramaswamy Garu, who is over 80 years old, gave us a lecture and his blessings. We felt a profound presence around, while we saw the place where Sripada had been born. Unfortunately, the English book  of Sripada’s biography which Sri Kumar had told us to buy, was out of print. However, I received 2 last copies for future translators of the book. So in case you feel the impulse to translate the book to a Western language (except German and Spanish), please contact me.

Later we went to the Kukkuteshvara temple in Pithapuram,  a very old temple compound with one of the 18 (?) temples of the Divine Mother in India, a “self-born” Dattatreya statue (in form of a lingam) and statues of Shiva. We sang some mantrams and saw the different parts of the temple before setting out to our return journey. While driving on the highway, a huge orange Capricorn full moon was hanging in the sky, and the video in the bus was playing a colourful screenplay of an episode of the life of Lord Rama.

Back to Visakhapatnam: The Beginning of the Seminar

January 4th, 2015

On Wednesday we flew from Bangalore, where we had attended the December Call, to Visakhapatnam. It was a beautiful flight – unlike the flight of some other group members who came with an airline which seems to be near “grounding” and had cancelled plenty of connections.

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In Visakhapatnam it was very windy and drizzling – there was a lot of water around, signs of some heavy rain.

The airport was still suffering very much from the hurricane in October – most of the roof was away and the open sky peeped in.

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On the way into the city we saw many uprooted trees or palms with their leaves hanging down. The big ad-displays were swinging in the air:

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There was a very warm welcome in the Retreat Centre of the WTT – it was so nice to meet friends again after one year, and there were some new faces, from Argentina and from Spain. It is a “small” group living, just 34 members from 6 countries.

First of January in the morning there was a lecture of Sri Kumar in Telugu for the Indian members, and our group living started in the afternoon. The topic of the seminar is “The Scripture of Synthesis: Eighteen Steps of Yoga by Kapila Maharshi”. I enjoy very much the lectures; although much of the topics is not “new” to me but there is always such an uplifting and inspiring ambiance. Besides, one thing is having heard a topic, another is, having integrated it in daily life.

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I had many exchanges, especially with my two room-mates Meinrad and Robert. And the consultation with Sri Kumar the day before yesterday deeply touched me. I will tell a bit about some details after our visit with the group to Pithapuram tomorrow. Tonight, we will have Capricorn full moon meditation – you already strongly feel the energy of the full moon in the air.

The house of Sri Kumar, Radhamadhavam, is under construction – a 5 storey building, which is scheduled to be ready by summer this year. We will have the celebration of the closing of the seminar in the premises, on the 9th of January.

The altar of Radhamadhavam is for the moment in the retreat centre, so we have the beautiful statues around, like this image of Krishna:

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Bangalore: December Call Ambiance

December 30th, 2014

(I now inserted the pictures to my last blog-post from Doha. I still could not get to my e-mails; the mailings from the seminar will go out later, from Vizag.)

Sunday evening the shuttle bus of the hotel in Doha brought is to the airport. Check-in, boarding, a few hours in the air and then landing in Bangalore around 2.40 am – and the smell of India came back.

At the exit of the hotel 2 group members were waiting for us with a taxi. A short stop in the hotel to put off the luggage and change clothes, then we went to Tapovana, the beautiful colony of WTT-members with the assembly hall, the “Wisdom Temple”, where the celebrations of December Call (29 December) were going on. We just arrived on the main day. Mantric chantings were filling the air when we approached the hall. We slipped in and joined.

Morning prayer, water ritual, lecture, breakfast… It was a day passed in some kind of a trance state – not having slept the whole night but now during the day, I was changing between moments of wakefulness and short naps, which interrupted my listening to inspiring talks of Sri Kumar or the silent moments of meditation

Besides the seminar, the group living was filled with encounters and exchanges. Here receiving some new books, there hearing news from friends from all over the world who had come to the celebration, or just the joy of meeting other known and unknown faces. Many stories could be told here, about adventures of friends or little surprising events happening in the ambiance charged with spiritual energies. It was an extremely intense day.

One special moment: In the afternoon, Siva Shankar, the brother of Sri Kumar came to me. I was happy to see him again for he had gone through a very long time of transformation through a prolonged disease. He told me if I could release a book mark he had got printed in Visakhapatnam but didn’t want to release in the assembly hall. I smiled and said, yes. He replied, “Master Ludger is now releasing the bookmark”. I answered, “Yes, we are all Masters in the making.” I unpacked the bookmarks while he got an Indian standing nearby to take some photos and I showed the bookmarks to the camera.

There was a saying on the bookmark, “It is better to have prayer without praying hall than have a praying hall without prayer” and then “Funlawn Master, Master FM”. I said, “Oh, the Master who is making jokes on the meadow”. He replied, “Yes, I have written sayings from Masters from A to Z.” – “Oh, so there is also a “Tea Master?” – “Yes, Torturing Master or Teasing – the Master is very often teasing you.” He bubbled with joy – and I very much enjoyed his humour. He gave me a number of these bookmarks to distribute them to all Western members present. I did it with much joy, explaining the “occult work” of the Funlawn Master. For some people it took a moment to understand the story….

A short night in the hotel with about 4 hs sleep followed, getting up again around 3.30 am. Around 5 am we were back at Tapovana. The pathway through the rows of houses to the hall was beautifully lighted with blue and green garlands between the trees. About 400 people had assembled in the hall. The day started with a ritual to Lord Ganesha, followed by different hymns and the morning meditation. Afterwards Master Kumar started his morning talk introducing a questions-answer session closing the celebrations. Though it was difficult for me to follow acoustically it was a beautiful ambiance.

While some members from Europe and various Indian groups started their ways home, I used the time for talking with friends, taking pictures or writing notes. Since I couldn’t get an internet connection I prepared these notes offline.

Tomorrow, the last day of 2014, our flight to Visakhapatnam will be around noon time, and on 1st of January the seminar with Master Kumar shall start there. I remembered his remarks in his closing works that while we can celebrate the New Year as it is now the convention, the date of 1st January is just a date fixed by human minds and has no correspondence in the rhythms of the year giving the beginnings of new phases with the solstices and the equinoxes and that best the New Year is to be celebrated at spring equinox, the 21 of March.

On the Way to India – An Unscheduled Stop in Doha

December 28th, 2014

Yesterday a quarter past 3 am I left the house in ice-cold night, driving to the flat of my eldest son, Marwin. He took me with our car to Geneva airport. On the way it started snowing more and more, and when we reached the airport the roads were white. I checked in and then there was the call for boarding. When all had taken their places, the captain said that we had to wait for de-icing before we could start…. It nearly 1.5 hs late when the plane took off. Will I catch the connecting flight?

The captain flew very fast but in Frankfort we were parked at the far end of the runway. Waiting for the bus and the ride took 30 minutes. As soon as I entered the airport I made a sprint the long way to the connecting flight with Qatar Airways.

At the checkin I saw my friend Elif waiting and then heard at the counter that my place was already given to someone else because I came so late. Nevertheless they managed to give us new seats…

The airport was frozen, snow was in the air. The captain told us, we had to wait, maybe a quarter of an hour, later, maybe half an hour, later, “I don’t know”. The de-icing station had problems, some machines didn’t work. We finally left 2.5 hours late… We saw that we won’t be able to catch the connecting plane… So we enjoyed the inflight movies knowing that some adventure was waiting for us.

At Doha airport in Qatar many people from our flight had lost their ongoing flight but the staff was busily working to manage the situation. An Indian next to me said, “I’ll never take again this airline, I have an important date tomorrow. I told him that it is not the fault of the airline but of the weather and the de-icing machines. He said,”Other planes took off faster, our captain didn’t try everything.” I said nothing but inwardly smiled – a child’s complaints….

We said, we will have a beautiful stay in Doha, and so it was. We got 1 day visa and tickets for a hotel. We had to wait till the bus came; people were brought to 2 hotels.

A nice lobby and polite staff took care of us. We went to the room and then had a delicious dinner shortly before midnight.

At 6 am in the morning we met for morning meditation. We sent information to the group members in Bangalore informing about our adventure, and soon we got the reply that they will take care of us at our arrival early morning on the 29th.

We tried to connect online to the December Call celebration but could not establish connection. So we had breakfast , good talks, and after lunch an Indian servant told us we could have a beautiful sight from the top of the hotel. It was only then that we realised that the hotel was directly at the best place at a little port, near Doha museum, and the grand skyline of Doha on the other side. We decided to go for a walk. Fantastic impressions. We were grateful for our unscheduled stop. Now in about an hour the bus will pick us up and bring us back to the airport, for the next part of our journey.