Celebration of the 56th Guru Pujas
Tuesday morning two old buses brought the group to Simhachalam, where in the outer court of the temple uphill we met Master Kumar and Kumari-Garu. At the entrance to the second court the Master was received with honours. Headed by a group of musicians, we circumambulated the inner court of the temple and then entered into the innermost part. There priest conducted a ceremony for the Master and Kumari-garu in front of the sanctum sanctorum. The Master later explained that inside the lingam formed by sandalwood powder there are symbols of the Varaha Avatar, symbolising the upliftment from the Muladhara, the Lion, symbolising the heart centre and the Man 7 Cosmic person, symbolising the Sahasrara. Afterwards we stood a while with the Master in the outer court of the temple where he gave some explanations of the symbolism of the temple. It was a very thrilling experience – the Master had not been with us in the temple for a number of years and never I witnessed such a splendorous reception.
Going up to the temple of Simhachalam
Inside the outer court
Group photo with Sri Kumar and Kumari-garu
Later we went down the long stairway to the valley and came to the Guru Puja compound where the preparation work was going on. It was again very astonishing how the Indian brotherhood managed to set up such a huge hall in such a short time.
Walking down to the valley
At the pond
Cow in the palm forest where we had our siesta
In the late afternoon the celebration of the 56th Guru Pujas started with a small ceremony to Lord Ganesha followed by Vedic chantings and worship of the presence of the great Masters symbolised by their images on the stage among others.
Master Kumar entering for inaugurating the Guru Puja celebration
Master Kumar and Kumari-Garu conducting a ritual to Ganesha
After evening meditation the Master began with the first discourse. Since I had no access to hearing the English translation of the Telugu words of Sri Kumar, I did a re-translation from the German translation. These are the opening words:
“All who have come to the Guru Puja celebrations my hearty welcome greetings. We are at the bottom of Lakshmi Narasimha Swami, the temple we have visited. We celebrate the 56th Guru Puja celebrations with the blessings of the Divine. This we could do without having any interruption. The fact that the Guru Pujas could be conducted in such a continuous way is a blessing of the Hierarchy. Master started here the Guru Puja celebrations November 1971. Master EK conducted the Guru Pujas before there was the WTT but since the WTT was founded they are conducted by the WTT. At many occasions the members thought whether we should conduct the Guru Pujas somewhere else but the Lord on the Hill saw that we conduct the Guru Pujas in his area. From the aspect of Yoga the goddess being present here sees that we are uplifted. The upliftment from the material state even lifts up the earth; it is the avatar of Varaha, the boar.
Since our birth we are sunk in problems, and we urgently need to be uplifted. We are units of consciousness, we are not just these bodies and we also not have just these states of awareness. There is another aspect. The Lord causes the upliftment from the material state. The Lord causes this upliftment from the material. In Vishnu Sahasranama we praise the Lord Varaha. Varaha and Narasimha, the Man-Lion are two avatars of Vishnu, and at this holy place both aspects of the Lord are present. He is called Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha. Since the Lord is there the Mother is also there. So the sanctum is called Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha. Here the Lord is only seen in a small form. There are places where the Lord is seen in huge forms and places, where he is seen in smaller forms. The Lord gives a medicine for our situation. The Lord is so much hidden here that his power is hidden below sandalwood powder, you cannot photograph him. He has the message, I am the right means for you. The more you purify yourself inwardly, the more I will become visible for you So much dirt is in our body, our thoughts and mind, the first aspect is that we purify ourselves. At such a holy place we conduct the Guru Pujas. Since a short time we are at this new place but it is still the surroundings of the Lord. It is the 33rd Guru Pujas since Master EK left the body. The Guru Pujas were conducted before with Master EK and afterwards. The number 33 has a profound meaning. The Indian brotherhood has worked very much to set up a splendorous place here. There is a lot of light and radiance there. It is lie sitting in a garden, there are so many plants here. The group has worked so much to make the place beautiful. This is because there is so much purity inside that it could manifest in the outer. When there is no purity inside there cannot be expressed purity in the outside. The different aspects like the air, the arrangement of the images, the incense, all this produces an upliftment of consciousness when we perceive it. The sounds we do with the singing, all this causes the needed purification…”
Each of the days of the Guru Pujas has a major ritual in the morning: On the first day there was the Rudra Abhishekam, the Water Ritual dedicated to the First logos. The second day there was the Fire Ritual dedicated to the Second Logos. And on the third day there was the Lalitha Sahasranama, the worship ritual to the World Mother. It is always a thrilling ambiance when the sounds of the rituals are reverberating through space while the worships is conducted.
End of the Water Ritual conducted by Ravi Shankar
Master Kumar and Kumari-Garu conducting the Fire Ritual
Women during the Lalitha Puja
On the second day the Western members join the Master on the stage for morning meditation. There the presence of the great Masters whose images are installed with beautiful flower decorations. And later in the morning there was the meeting for “Spiritual Fusion of East and West”. Six members from different Western countries were asked to come to the stage. The Master spoke about the wisdom preserved in the various parts of the globe is an expression of the universal wisdom which is eternal. He later presented the publications which have been done during the last year in the West. He presented in length the Sripada book about the cosmic teacher, Lord Dattatreya. Then he asked us present on the stage to say some words. It was a very moving moment to hear the different contributions.
The western group during lunch
Morning of the second day – fusion of East and West. Western group on the dais
Presentation of the Sripada biography
Ladies from the West
The book shop
These were very intense and long days with little sleep – we returned to Visakhapatnam in the late night and started again at 4:45 am. But the strong spiritual vibrations created by the joint orientation of the group to the sublime dimensions generate a profound ambiance of upliftment, and the celebration is always a very inspiring gathering. When the Guru Pujas close with the Paduka Puja – the worship of the feet of the Teacher as a symbol of the divine grace we were all filled with gratitude for having been able to attend to this extraordinary group meeting.
Symbol of the Simhachalam temple