Sangha News

And Mother Claps Her Hands…

Timothy Madera – Kapisa

kapisaTimothy Madera of San Francisco received initiation from Babaji at the most recent Durga Puja. The name of Kapisa was bestowed upon him. This translates as “the Fountainhead of Strength” and is an epithet of Hanuman, the great devotee of Sri Ram.  This name is quite fitting as Kapisa feels drawn to Lord Hanuman as an ideal. It also refers to the combined power of Shiva and Shakti, so this auspicious name “covers a lot of bases” as Kapisa aptly put it.

A resident of the San Francisco Center, Kapisa grew up in Annapolis, Maryland and has long had an affinity for Hinduism. He has been a long-time student of the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita. After meeting Babaji three years ago he slowly and naturally immersed himself in the teachings of Ramakrishna Vedanta.

As so often happens after initiation, Kapisa felt a considerable “karmic shaking up” take place. Fortunately, Babaji had told him this might occur and that life would balance out in short order, which indeed has been the case.

Kapisa is currently attending City College in San Francisco with an eye towards transferring to another college next year to study international relations. The spiritual foundation that he is developing should serve him well in these future endeavors.

Sam Muller – Jnanasri

jnanasri2Sam Arthur Muller of Bend, Oregon received initiation from Babaji during Holy Mother’s Puja this year.

Jnanasri was born in a rural setting in the Tygh Valley of Eastern Oregon. He grew up in eastern Oregon, then attended the University of Oregon in Eugene. He served in the United States military, including a tour of duty in Vietnam.

Jnanasri has a long history of spiritual seeking and study. For the last 10 years he was a student of Tibetan Buddhism, which deepened his practice.

When he met Babaji he saw and trusted that Ramakrishna Vedanta was his next step. He considers Babaji to be the first teacher that he has truly embraced and trusted. As a musician, he has particularly responded to the musical offerings of Jai Ma Music.

He has been deeply moved and reached by his initiation, and by what came through Babaji in the ritual of Mantra Diksha. It has left an imprint, and he considers his initiation to be a highly significant event in his life.

Those of us who have had the good fortune to meet Jnanasri have enjoyed his warmth and heartfelt interest in all those around him. He is also an amusing storyteller. The tale he tells of arriving at his first retreat at the American River is a classic.

Nancy Pitney – Jagadaya

jagadayaNancy Pitney had the good fortune to be initiated on the auspicious day of Kali Puja. Babaji bestowed the name Jagadaya upon her. This translates as “the Goddess of Compassion.”

Jagadaya, who grew up on a dairy farm in Junction City, Oregon, works as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.

Since initiation, she has become more acutely aware of the role of compassion in her life, particularly as it pertains to living a spiritual life in the midst of the daily vicissitudes we all encounter. She is persevering in steady spiritual discipline while cultivating the equanimity that comes with understanding that ultimately everything happens as it will for the best.

Her gurubais and friends in the Sangha appreciate her radiantly gentle nature, and her new spiritual name seems most fitting for these qualities that she embodies.

We welcome the new initiates to the sangha!