At Play in the Fields of the Dharma

At Play in the fields of the Dharma

December, 2017

At play in the fields of the dharma

Today is Holy Mother’s birthday, a fitting day to construct a message for Mundamala — Her necklace of human heads, like egos, of various races and colors.  Living beings, in all realms, are all various types of necklaces around the Divine Mother’s lovely neck.  Some beings form a cheap necklace of fake, worthless jewels; others, rare and high-minded, are a string of expensive pearls.  Still others cluster as rough-hewn beads of common wood, while others are rudraksha beads, sacred and revered.  Some encircle as tiny balls of cheap, colored glass; others, as pure diamonds.  From the lowest to the highest, from the base to the most sublime, all have their lives in Her, and strangely enough, the same essence, Atman, exists in them all as well.

Here, towards the end of the year of 2017, which falls during the time of figuring out the coming year’s schedule for SRV staff and sangha, thoughts naturally turn to how far we have come as a Vedanta group, and what is in store for us and our organization in the forthcoming year.  Of inspiring possibilities, at the top of the list is the 2020 Vision, wherein intrepid devotees of the Holy Trinity, young and old, are entertaining thoughts of joining together in Hawai’i to live as a community in the dharma, existing solely for the singular purpose of Self-realization married with selfless service of God in mankind.  Beyond this world, all worlds, is the loftiest Goal of all goals — gatam, gatam, Paragatam — and certain souls have heard enough of their own inner voice by now to pay heed to the presence of this vaunted Home of Eternal Peace and Ultimate Freedom.  The Hawai’i retreat in January over Martin Luther King’s birthday holiday will be a chance to speak more about this journey, and plan for its eventuality.

However, throughout the year there will be a set of four retreats, one seminar, two Hawaii retreats, a pilgrimage to India in September, and a host of classes during the dharma visits I will make to the U.S. mainland.  Intriguing subject headings abound in this schedule, including Universality, Vedanta and Buddhism, the Bhagavad Gita, more on Yoga and, of course, more inroads carved into the “minor” Upanisads that we have been studying since before Swamiji’s sesquicentennial.  A retreat in Seattle late in the year will top off the year by pursuing the recent tradition of looking deeply into the Divine Mother Upanisads — a very popular series with SRV students to date.

So let this issue of Mundamala usher in the new year of 2018 with its scintillating schedule of spirituality, and may the true devotees of Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother, and Swami Vivekananda gather together in the spirit of Unity in Absolute Reality, and Harmony on Earth.

Peace, Peace, Peace,

Babaji Bob Kindler
Spiritual Director,
SRV Associations