erk admin

spacerCircle of Good Will - Blog

A Flashmob with Young Musical Talents

December 19th, 2014

Some kind of a Christmas present: The French TV channel France 2 is running a talent show “Prodiges”, about high talent children in the fields of classical dance, music and song. For their program of 27 December, they have realised an extraordinary flashmob at the “Centre Commercial de Beaugrenelle”, at Paris. Here you find photos about the “making of”, and here videos of different young talents. I don’t like boosting children under the label of “child prodigy” with the related pressure of competition and career but just enjoy the joy of the young performers.

Not a talent show, but if you want to send some Christmas greetings to a friend, you find here some e-cards with pictures I took during the last winters.

Le_flashmob_des_Prodiges
Photo from the YouTube video (c France 2)

United Nations declares 21 June as ‘International Day of Yoga’

December 12th, 2014

A very positive news: Yesterday, 11 December 2014, the General Assembly of the United Nations unanimously adopted the ‘International Day of Yoga’. Starting next year, it will be celebrated on 21 June. The resolution was proposed by the Indian Prime Minister Modi in September.

“A record number of over 170 countries joined as co-sponsors, the highest number ever for any general assembly resolution – including the vast majority of member states of all the regional and sub-regional groups of the general assembly, as well as all the five permanent members of the UN security council,” said India’s ambassador to UN Asoke Mukerji. And Indian Prime Minister Modi said, “Yoga has therapeutic powers that could change people’s lifestyle and help tackle global problems.”

In his congratulatory message, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon pointed out: “In proclaiming 21 June as the International Day of Yoga, the General Assembly has brought attention to the holistic benefits of this ancient practice on health and well being in our modern world.”

And Modi said in his Facebook post, ” I have been a practicer of Yoga for years & you can’t believe the positive difference it has made in my life. Yoga is the anchor of my life. I urge all of you, especially the youth to take up Yoga & practice it diligently & regularly. It will truly transform your lives as well. This speech of mine at the launch of a Yoga university in Gujarat may surely interest you.”

I’m practicing Yoga myself since about 4 decades – and it does me good and keeps the body supple. However, don’t stop with seeing it as a kind of gymnastics as most people in the West do. There is an eightfold path of Yoga, of spiritual discipline with the goal of leading to synthesis.

During my stay at the WTT group living in India, 2008, a local Yoga teacher gave us a performance together with a group of his students – that’s not just what I’m practicing….

yoga2

yoga1
Yoga performance at the WTT Retreat Centre, January 2008

A Call for Help and A Petition to Putin not to Allow the Destruction of the Roerich Museum in Moscow

December 4th, 2014

I just came across a petition on Change.org addressed to Mr. Vladimir V. Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, with an appeal to prevent the destruction of the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich and to provide assistance to the Museum.

I immediately signed this petition. I deeply admire the work of Nicholas Roerich and I have published a number of blog-posts about him, also about the new museum.

The Ministry of Culture of Russia headed by Mr. V. R. Medinsky is aiming at taking away from the ICR the Roerichs heritage, thus destroying the non-governmental Museum. You find more details on the the page of Change.org with the appeal. On the website of the museum, there is also a call for help and international protection.

International_Centre_of_the_Roerichs
The Roerich-Museum, Moscow

If you also like the beautiful art of Nicholas Roerich, you might also sign the petition and disseminate it among your friends and acquaintances, as a little contribution to the preservation of the museum, for the culture of Russia and the whole world.

Madonna_Oriflamma
Madonna Oriflamma, holding the Banner of Peace

Clay Art: Mikhail Sadovnikov – Dance on the Circle

December 3rd, 2014

Mikhail Sadovnikov, a Russian artist and former mathematician, uses a spinning potter’s wheel to create hypnotizing dynamic patterns from out of wet clay sludge. On a high level of artistry, he transforms and melts the design to ever changing geometrical forms. The beautiful video “Dance on the Circle” is accompanied by a calm but driving Russian music.

Here is another video about Mikhail Sadovnikov, “The Magic Of the Pottery Wheel“, where he shows children his unique ability to create magic images – and the children enjoy creating their own ones. And if you can read Russian – here is an article with some pictures about the creation of this outstanding performance. Mikhail’s clay art reminded me of the sand art by Ilana Yahav, about which I had blogged 6 years ago.

Dance on the circle

Lord Dattatreya – Adventurous Encounters

November 27th, 2014

The month of Sagittarius is related to spiritual aspiration and the teacher, represented by Jupiter, and thus also to the cosmic principle of the Teacher.  In India, this principle is also understood as Lord Dattatreya. Sri Kumar has written a profound book about the topic. Since long, I’m fascinated by Dattatreya and I just have published the Lunar Messenger for Sagittarius on Dattatreya (PDF); you also find the text here.

In this regard, I would like to tell you some events of the last weeks which touched me very much. It became quite a long blog-post but you won’t regret reading it till the end…

dattatreya
Sri Dattatreya is depicted as a youth with three heads leaning against a white cow and surrounded by 4 dogs.

On 20 October, I got an e-mail from Lakshmi, a young IT specialist from Chennai with whom I have e-mail exchanges from time to time. She wrote: “By the way, I wanted to ask you if you have any book in German related to Sripada Srivallabha, the first avatar of Lord Dattatreya on Earth.” I didn’t remember having heard the name before. So I looked it up in Wikipedia and found an article.

ShripadShriVallabh
Sripada Srivallabha, picture from Wikipedia

In the next e-mail Lakshmi asked me if I would be able to translate a book about him into German, Sreepada Sreevallabha Charitaamrutam, if she provides me the English version. I answered her, “I think I would be able but I don’t know if I want to do it, there is other work around.” While I was writing these words, I felt a strange inner touch and that I should not decline the request. I told me wife, “I have the impression that a book translation is coming to me…”

When reading in the Wikipedia article that Sripada Srivallabha, who lived in the 14th century, is regarded as the first incarnation of Lord Dattatreya in Kali Yuga and that he was born in Pithapuram, I noticed that it is a place between Visakhapatnam and Rajahmundry and that I had passed nearby last January. Suddenly a memory flashed through my mind, and I opened my notes from the last group living in India. Sri Kumar, who could not accompany the group to Rajahmundry, told us before the journey:

“You will all start at 3 pm in the afternoon. On the way we will stop at a place Lord Dattatreya was born in this cycle of time. Lord Dattatreya comes from the system of Sirius. He lived, was incarnated to a place nearby and lived there for 16 years. Then moved from there to a place in Maharashtra for another 16 years. According to prophecy he was reborn and he said he would again be reborn and again in Maharashtra. And he would also come to many forms of Islamic community; it was Shirdi Sai Baba. … Their ashram is also in…, the place where you go. Many things he prophesied as per other religions; he continues to guide us to one religion or the other. The centre is the ancient-most place related to the system of teachers. The Lord came down via that place from the Sirius system. In this Kali age he took birth. There are books available in English, Telugu and Hindi. I strongly recommend that you pick up the English book and try to read it. It is full of knowledge and things he did on earth. When you enter from the entrance there is a bookshop, in the ashram itself there is a book available. After this you go to Rajahmundry.”
The bus came too late and so the group did not go to the place Lord Dattatreya was born for want of time. I was sad but then forgot about it.

I now felt electrified that Sri Kumar had hinted already at this book which now knocked at my doors. I also remembered a passage in the biography on Master KPK: “In his 24th year, another initiate in the line of Dattatreya visited the family and initiated Sri Parvathi Kumar, his mother and his only sister Parvathi into the path of Yoga.” It also came to my mind that several times I had seen Sri Kumar doing a ritual to Lord Dattatreya. I started an intense web-search and got more and more drawn into the matter:

dattatreya1
Statue at the house of Sri Kumar in Visakhapatnam

Sripada Srivallabha had lived from 1320 to 1350 AD, it was a powerful life full of splendour and miraculous events. As prophesied,  he re-incarnated as Narasimha Saraswati (1378 to 1459) and worked in a similar style. At the end of this life he entered into a cave and went into Samadhi for about 300 years only to come out around September–October 1856 as Shri Swami Samarth of Akkalkot (who then died in 1878 – I remembered having seen his picture on the altar of the Guru Pujas). I found articles mentioning that during this time Lord Dattatreya had taken to other simultaneous incarnations, such as Vasudevanand Saraswati and Shirdi Sai Baba – a feat other high souls also have done. I had read a lot about Shirdi Baba before. I now was profoundly touched discovering so many mysterious details which I hadn’t known before. I also thought of Swami Ganapati of Mysore, whose ashram I had visited  last year and about whom I had blogged several times –  he is also regarded as an avatar of Dattatreya.

Click on pictures to see them enlarged:

I wrote Sri Kumar about the idea of translating the book on Sripada Srivallabha, and he answered, “Get the book and read. Then you can decide.” I mentioned the whole story to Robert, a Spanish friend. He said, “Don’t you think a Spanish translation of the book would also be great? I’d love to do it.” I told him the answer of Sri Kumar, and so we said, we’ll read the book and form a triangle for the project, with Lakshmi to provide us with explanations and background information.

1-ec551ff263
Cover picture of the book Sreepada Sreevallabha Charitaamrutam

Lakshmi now bought the English books and they will reach us end of December in Bangalore, at the December Call. She also procured for us the translation and publishing rights for the book. In the meanwhile I discovered a source where I could get the English translation as a PDF (the print version will be of about 400 pages…).

I asked Doris, a German friend, if she would like to do a proof-reading of the future translation and she was interested to do it. She even transcribed a longer FAQ-session with Sri Kumar from January 1994, where he talked about Lord Dattatreya and his avatars. She also sent me 2 pictures from 1994 with Sri Kumar and two persons considered as avatars of Lord Dattatreya:

indgupu94meister1_kl
Sri Kumar with Sri Visva Yogi Viswm Ji, an avatar of Lord Dattatreya, Guru Puja 1994

indbhaktarajmaharaj_kl
Sri Kumar with Bhaktaraj Maharaj (1920-1995), 1994

In the fascinating FAQ transcript, Sri Kumar speaks about various incarnations of Lord Dattatreya, and he also mentions Sripada Srivallabha, Narasimha Saraswati, Akkalkot Maharaj (Swami Samarth), Shirdi Sai Baba and Satya Sai Baba. I wondered why Sri Kumar didn’t give these names in his book on Lord Dattatreya, and so I asked him. He answered:

“Dattatreya is the sum and essence of The Cosmic Principle of Teacher. It is too mystical to the west and hence we tread the path of Maitreya. There are many freaks of Dattatreya, meaning electric manifestations of him thru persons who are not consistent and safe to follow. I therefore did not prefer to present names. Akkalkot Maharaj is the last consistent one.”

In me the question arose, why the incarnations of Dattatreya, the cosmic principle of Teacher, are so mysterious and too mystical for the West, and so I asked again Sri Kumar. He answered,

“Teachers are essentially meant to transmit Presence. Teaching is but a feed to minds of students. Presence elevates. Teaching inspires the mind and may lead to Buddhic state which may not stay longer. The west is more with teaching and the related mental understanding. The Presence lifts unto Itself. Dattatreya and the like are beyond mental comprehension.”

I was grateful for this clarification, and while studying other transcriptions from seminars of Sri Kumar for the Lunar Messenger the image became still clearer, though questions remain, like, what is the relation between Agastya/Master CVV and Dattatreya/Sripada who both have come from the Sirius system? Robert visualised this by fusing the two with the picture of Lord Maitreya to one image which he sent me yesterday:

3_masters

At the moment, I’m reading the PDF book on Sripada Srivallabha with profound fascination. There are a lot of thrilling stories and inspiring events. However, it is not an easy read for a Westerner, there are lots of Sanskrit terms and concepts quite unfamiliar to my Western mind – although I’m in touch with Indian philosophy since several decades. But a leisurely reading is very uplifting.

I asked myself why I feel so attracted to the topic of Dattatreya, having come out of “devotional” emotions in the course of the years. I thought, I have encountered quite a lot of teachers and teachings and don’t want to go on “collecting more” – I feel well with the path I’m going. I know that the different teachings are expressions of the One principle of teaching and the teachers are expressions of the One. And just as there is a personification of the teaching principle in the World Teacher of our planet, Lord Maitreya, there is also a personification of the teaching principle on a cosmic scale, Lord Dattatreya. But this understanding remained a bit abstract.

Now, the encounter with Sripada deeply touched me, I was thrilled to discover and experience that Dattatreya is not just an abstract principle or a mythological personification but is incarnating time and again through his avatars and thus is giving his blessing to earnest seekers. While reading the “Sreepada Sreevallabha Charitaamrutam” I realised that with the book, there are quite some veils to be lifted, in the form of lots of unfamiliar concepts of Indian thought and terminology – these veils will keep off a casual reader.

The book itself has a very mysterious background: it had been hidden for 32 generations and only resurfaced in 2001, in a form copied from the original Sanskrit text. The original old copy which was brittle was destroyed by immersing it in the Krishna River, as instructed in the book. The English version is a translation of the Telugu version, and it is not an old language. However, I clearly feel that it is not a modern fake. When you read the book in an unbiased way you will realise its authenticity, inspiration and greatness.

If you feel you also really want to read the book “Sreepada Sreevallabha Charitaamrutam”, with a pure heart, you can download it here, only for personal use. (In case you just want to know more, read this article here).

 

YouTube-Video on the Sripada Shrivallabha Temple in Pithapuram – the video could not be framed into the blog:
Shripada Shrivallabhaswamy Temple..... Pithapuram

Video about Kuravpur, a place on an island where Sripada Srivallabha meditated for a longer time.

154_the_tree_of_wisdom_and_the_waters_of_life
“The Tree of Wisdom and the Waters of Life”  – a painting about Lord Dattatreya (3 Sept. 2011)

A Virtual Visit to the TS Headquarters in Adyar

November 24th, 2014

A few days ago, I came across a nice video about the international headquarters of the Theosophical Society (TS) in Adyar, Chennai (Madras), India. I visited the place in 2011, see some pictures at the end of the blogpost.

In December 1878, H.P. Blavatsky (H.P.B.) and H.S. Olcott went to India. In 1882, they founded these headquarters in Adyar, in the southern suburbs of Madras.

This documentary gives a good impression of the beautiful site and contains film footage, archival photos and interviews with a number of persons, like Radha Burnier, the late president of the TS. If you don’t have much time, just scroll through the video, it is 57 minutes.

HPB_Olcott
Statue of H.P.B. and H.S. Olcott in Adyar (own photo)

tea_cup_produced_psychically_by_hpb
A tea-cup psychically produced by H.P.B.

room_where_hpb_worked_in_adyar
The room where H.P.B. worked

2014-11-22 13_51_23-Adyar_ Home of the Theosophical Society - YouTube
A precious old Buddha relief donated by Annie Besant, over 1000 years old

autograph
An inscription by H.P.B.: With no kind regards….

banyan_tree_adyar
The famous Banyan Tree, the 2nd biggest in India
(All photos except the first (c) from the video)

Sagittarius – Fiery Alignment

November 22nd, 2014

Today, the month of Sagittarius starts.

Sagittarius is the fiery sign of the archer, symbol of single-minded attention. It teaches us to direct all our forces to one purpose, the goal of our life. On the spiritual path, the bow and arrow stand for the meditative discipline of lifting up the energies to the higher centres and to align one’s own will to the divine Will.

For the visualisation of the divine Will I chose a representation of the Lord of the Divine Will: I took the face of a statue of Shiva on the banks of the River Ganges in Rishikesh, India. I cleared it from other symbolisms and placed a bow and an arrow over the bust. With the help of photos of the sun and of a lotus I created the Sahasrara, the thousand-petalled lotus over the head, the target of the alignment, the connection to the higher worlds.

For the string and the lower part of the bust I created shapes of bluish flames, expressing the electric tension of the fiery alignment. I emphasized it by intensifying the colours.

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.

Sagittarius - Fiery Alignment
08 August 2014, pencils and photo work

Fantastic Fungi: The Hidden Internet of Mushrooms

November 19th, 2014

We know from the wisdom teachings hat all nature is inter-related, and it is getting more and more confirmed by modern science. At the same time a tremendous extinction process is going on on the planet caused by us humans – water, soils, biodiversity, bees, and the basis for our foods are being poisoned or otherwise destroyed or degraded by mono-cropping, factory farms, creation of transgenic organisms…

The inter-relatedness of life is not just an esoteric idea. The new research on mycelium, or the branching, threadlike vegetative portion of fungi, shows that it is like a high-speed internet under our feet, a network of vital information transferring the right nutrients to the right plants to ensure optimal vitality and nutrient density. It also helps detoxify, purify and recycle soil to ensure plants can grow in the most nutrient-rich conditions.

Two months ago, I read an article in the Swiss magazine NZZ Folio about the Wood Wide Web, the giant communication network in the forests. Some days ago, a Canadian friend sent me a link to the trailer of a new, extraordinary film about the same topic, “Fantastic Fungi – The Spirit of Good“. It is a 3D documentary feature by Louie Schwartzberg about Paul Stamets, a renowned mycologist, author and visionary on how mushrooms can save the world. Here is a trailer to the film – see also below.

‘Fantastic Fungi’ helps to create a new vision about the importance of the natural world from a new, ‘down to earth’ perspective. The website is for foodies, scientists and explorers…. Read more on BBC Earth about the hidden internet of plants. And this is the website of Paul Stamets, Fungi Perfecti – the finest mushroom products “for home and garden, farm and forest, people and planet”.

Fantastic Fungi_The_Spirit_of_Good
Photo (c) from the trailer Fantastic Fungi

fantasticfungi-ma3

Uranian Children

November 7th, 2014

The last 100 years, there was not only a tremendous speed-up of human evolution through the influx of the Aquarian energies. Also a re-modelling of the human body took place, and now we have better models. You can notice it if you look at photos of people from the earlier decades.

After WW 2 many changes took place in the glands of the new born bodies. There was a further re-modelling in 1988 and 1999 as well. The 21st century child grasps much more and much faster than the earlier 20th century child. Today’s children are very quick in their handling of computers and other electronic facilities.

You can read here about the new models for the bodies (PDF Lunar Messenger).

The following video humorously illustrates the birth of such a Uranian child.

uranian_children

An Office Lesson – Story of an Encounter with Sri Kumar

November 2nd, 2014

7 November is the birthday of Dr. K. Parvathi Kumar. He was born in Vijayavada (India) in 1945. So in India, they celebrate his 70th birthday, while in the Western way of counting, it is his 69th birthday.

This day has been named the Day of Good Will in his honour, for he has offered his life totally to the service to his fellow beings. If you like to read something about his life, you find some stories in the book “Master K.P.K. – An Expression of Synthesis“.

Below, I would like to share with you an occasion which has left a profound mark in my life.

kpk_fire_ritual

January 2002, I went for the second time to one of the international group livings organised by Master Kumar in Visakhapatnam. For me, it was during a time of deep transformations: I just was in the process of liquidating the psychosocial counseling centre for refugees which I had managed during more than 7 years. I had to dismiss the entire team and didn’t know if I also would soon be dismissed. For the time being I was working as a scientific collaborator and, with a small percentage, coordinating web publications. It was the time of Pluto transiting my sun….

The title of the seminar was “Meditation – A Way of Life”. One morning, Sri Kumar invited me to come with him to his office. I was very much thrilled. He drove the car himself. It was strange for me seeing him so “down to earth” – I knew him more as the brilliant lecturer at seminars.

At his office Soudamani, where he worked as a chartered accountant, he presented me to his team and went with me to all the office rooms. He explained what the individual staff members were doing and also showed me a little shrine in front of the building where they daily did a small puja before starting to work. And there was a beautiful Ficus Religiosa which was regularly decorated and worshipped.

Then we went into his office room and he invited me to ask. I asked him some questions about the beginning of his WTT presidency and of another difficult situation of the WTT he had gone through, and he very openly explained to me the backgrounds which I didn’t know before.

He spoke about the principles which guided him in his office work – that he never charged anything for the accountancy work he did – some persons, for whom he had done a lot of work just said “thank you” and gave nothing, others, whom he had just given some small counsel, had given a lot. Without expecting anything, he accepted what came in. He also told me how his father had chosen this job for him – he had other ideas but accepted his father’s advice and thus became a chartered accountant. And he told me how the three offices he was directing had developed – one in Visakhapatnam, one in Hyderabad and one in Chennai – with over 60 collaborators at that time – and how he was also committed in the formation of young accountants. And he described how he integrates his professional activities with his wife and family and the increasing demands from the work of the WTT.

I was profoundly impressed. With a meticulous, loving attention he cared for the many different dimensions of his life, without neglegting anything. I felt, this is really a role-model for me – integrating all the different planes. I think, over 2 hours had passed, when he drove me back to the Retreat Centre.

Four months later, I got a new job at the headquarters of Swiss Red Cross, where I became the head of the newly created Web Office and where I served for over 11 years. And in the same month, at the May Call Day seminar in Wengen, Switzerland, he called Sabine and me into the Executive Board of WTT-Global. I got plenty of occasions to learn integrating the different planes of life and points of view, and I felt a continuous support from his side.

The Office of Soudamani (pictures taken in 2003)
03i_kpk_office3

The Ficus Religiosa in front of the Office
03i_ficus_religiosa2

Sri Kumar in his office
03i_kpk_office2