Kindling Higher Wisdom

Dear students, disciples, and friends:

It is a very interesting and beneficial time at present, as we approach our annual Navaratri celebrations in September and October.  The second full sized issue of Nectar of Nondual Truth is presently being finalized.  The newest book from SRV Associations, A Quintessential Yoga Vasishtha, is also about concluded, and even has a new cover which renders it ready for publication.  Both of these works will be sent to India within a month, and a dozen or so traveling pilgrims from SRV will pick them up in India in December when they arrive for sacred pilgrimage there.  In the interim, Durga Puja, Kali Puja, and Jagaddhatri Pujas will be celebrated in Portland and San Francisco at our ashramas, begging that sweet participation and devout worship which will bring subtle benefits to the attending devotee throughout the coming year, and to humanity in general.  For all of this and more, we say “Jai!” three times, and “Shanti” three times as well.

I want to call attention as well to this, our worthy e-newsletter, the Mundamala, which also comes forth with this message in it.  Its electronic pages hold as many gems as reside in our Nectar magazine, also replete with the many activities we, as a sangha, did together, and all their wondrous memories.  Take the time to stretch out and take in these spiritually based teachings and their fruits, thereby justifying all the work that a few dedicated souls are pouring into SRV’s life and existence for the highest good of all.

In accordance with my visit to the West Coast beginning around September 26th in San Francisco, I am giving classes on Tantra philosophy.  Many of us from the Shogren ashram days remember the first weighty transmission of this perennial darshana that I leveled adamantly upon our respective spiritual playing fields, introducing a few beings in the Western hemisphere to authentic Tantra and its aims and means.  On September 26th in San Francisco, and October 3rd in Portland, I will take us through a good outline of Tantra, thus getting us all ready, inside and out, for the major Durga Puja with its ten article worship, as well as our rare and auspicious retreat on Mother Kali.

As to the retreat on Sri Sri Ma Kali in Ashland Oregon, I am compelled to say that the words “ash land” apply very well in this context.  In sacred songs and poems of Mother India, great poet/saints sing to the effect that “my soul has been transformed into a sacred cremation ground, and I sit there in meditation, surrounded by the ashes of what was once my conventional life and being.” If all of us who attend this unique retreat can end up declaring sentiments like these, then we will have succeeded, indeed, in the purpose for such an austerity.  May mundane human convention, as our founder, Lex Hixon, stated, find its end and destruction in the fires of the cremation ground of higher wisdom kindled at this forthcoming retreat.  Please come, one and all, to experience what this feels like – the experience of Enlightenment in sacred religious tradition.

And so my message for Mundamala this time is all tantric in flavor, but don’t forget that we also have classes in the Vivekachudamani during the forthcoming visit – a Vedantic classic.  Many charts, as well as a few new ones, will be presented.  Looking back on the past two visits, I have thought on several occasions in that regard that we in SRV were put to the test of fire and ice.  That is, the winter, with its unprecedented freeze, was daunting, and the summer, with its intense heat wave, was rather debilitating.  Yet through it all we managed to maintain a fair number of aspirants at classes and worships.  I can only wonder and anticipate, then, how many of us will show up in great numbers this Fall, with the weather hopefully more mild and gentle, to celebrate the victory of Sri Ramakrishna over maya and human ignorance.  We bring higher consciousness to bear every time we meet in this fashion, and another nail is hammered into the coffin of ignorance and suffering as we do.  I want to see and meet every one of you over this coming visit, so please do not deprive me of this boon of seeing God in human form gather to realize and praise the absolute perfection inherent in all things, in all beings.

I end here with Holy Mother’s words, uttered every time She thought about Sri Ramakrishna and His coming to earth for the highest good of all, and commend them all to all of you.  She would say, “Ganga, Gita, Gayatri, Bhagavata, Bhakta, Bhagavan, Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ramakrishna!” May these auspicious words bring you solace in times of trial, inspiration in times of study, and bliss in times of peace and harmony.

Babaji Bob Kindler
Spiritual Director
SRV Associations