The Ashram is the attitude behind this place. It is like an invisible banyan tree, protecting and holding together all the people living here, infusing activities with meaning and guiding us all on... an on...
The Prayer Hall
GOD ALONE IS .... at the heart of the Aum Pranava Ashram.
Aum (or Om) is described as the primeval sound, the beginning of all creation. Even though people all over the world chant the sound OM, we have to acknowledge that the sound can actually only be heard, not spoken. Aum or Om is born from the density of silence. Its form is light with the splendor and brilliance of a thousand suns. Any living entity's inherent desire is to be happy which arises from its heart and is actually a natural expression of the latent bliss that we are carrying at the core of our being - a tremendous and vibrant ocean of blissful existence - Sat Chit Ananda.
How do we express this spirit?
By flooding our beings with LOVE, fill all activities with Love, and do whatever helps us to come closer tho this realization of GOD, of WHO WE REALLY ARE. This Love for all beings, also called PREMA, finds its expression in JEEVA KARUNYAM (compassion towards all beings) which is at the core of this ashram, the very reason behind all our activities.
When we have found Truth within our own heart, it will slowly get reflected in our lives as righteous living (DHARMA).
This righteous living will slowly get reflected as supreme peace (SHANTHI) in our lives.
This lasting peace will get reflected as GREAT LOVE for all beings (PREMA), which is not centered on objects or people, but on GOD .... in all beings.
Poojas and Homas purify the atmosphere and are conducted for the welfare and protection of ALL, for all the beings in all the worlds.
True spiritual life is an ego-less way of life. Whether we are engaged in social activities, service activities, meditation or other activities, ego and narrow vision handicap the fulfillment of ones righteous (dharmic) way of living. Hence our goal is to be aware of this truth and make life meaningful by giving up false ego and narrow understanding.
Life can become ONE by unifying thought, word and deed and by seeing all with the eyes of equanimity, without discriminating between races, castes, creeds and genders, yet following one's own unique path in a peaceful way.
Our sincere prayers go out into this world and beyond ... !
Asato Ma Sat Gamaya (Lead me from illusion to Eternal Truth)
Tamaso Ma Jyothir Gamaya (Lead me from darkness to light)
Mrtyor Ma Amritham Gamaya (Lead me from death to eternal life)
Om. Shanthi Shanthi Shanti: (Om. Peace. Peace. Peace.)
Let all the beings in all the worlds be happy!
Here is a beautiful quote from Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba about the power of the "Aum Pranava” - the sound OM:
"Life is a mighty river and desires constitute its water. Thoughts are the innumerable little waves in this river. Aspirations are the crocodiles that abound in it and illusions are its whirlpools. Only a yogi can cross such a terrible river, as he alone has gained control over the modifications of the mind. The flow of the water in an ordinary river may increase or decrease but the river of life with ever multiplying desires as its water has no decrease. It may become so wide as to be a boundless expanse of uncontrollable, turbulent waters. To cross such a river, a boat is absolutely necessary. ‘AUM’ , the name of God, is the boat that takes you across the river. The ancient Rishis had crossed the turbulent river of life with the boat of ‘Pranava’ with ease. ‘Pranava’ has the power to save the world from ‘Pralaya’ (the great final deluge)“. - Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Happy Pongal to all the readers of this blog!
Pongal is usually associated with Thanksgiving. While it is true that Pongal is celebrated before the winter harvest in South India, there is much more meaning to this festival celebrated throughout India and also known as Makara Sankranthi among the Indian population.
The word 'Pongal' has its origin in the word 'ponga' which means to boil, or to overflow in abundance. For something to get boiled we need fire or heat. The SUN represents that fire reaching out to the EARTH which overflows with abundance of life as a consequence thereof. The Sun and the Earth are the main agents in this wonderful play called creation which brings forth all kinds of life in the kingdoms of plants, animals, and minerals.
Pongal is usually celebrated from 14th to the 16th of January. It marks the beginning of Uttarayana which means that the sun starts its northward course again leading to longer days and shorter nights. In the Hindu calendar, this period is called Uttarayana, the upward path to more light and warmth. Yogis and spiritual aspirants in India and other places in the world prefer this period for auspicious actions and spiritual practices.
Pongal celebrates life from its source to all its forms on the earth. No sun no life. On Surya Pongal, the first day of Pongal dedicated to the Sun-God, people offer vegetables and fruits, milk and grains, as well as boiling rice under the open sun. We offer our gratitude to our parents, Father Sun and Mother Earth. The Sun as the father of life and the Earth as the mother of life are giving us innumerable things for proper living of mankind.