Sringeri Week: The Value of Darshan

First of all, darshan is a word that means seeing and being in the presence of someone like a guru or a deity. I don’t know how it is that I did not before appreciate the amazing energy that one gets from seeing the guru and being in his presence. It is electrifying. I felt it a little bit in 2011 but I was tuning it out, focused so much on my own problems and thoughts and miseries. This time… Read more

Sringeri Week: Blessings From My Guru

As you guys know, my husband and I have been trying to have a baby for the last couple of years and we’ve discovered some medical issues that are making it challenging. To update you on that situation, I have been diagnosed with two things: 1) PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) which leads to irregular cycles and 2) under active thyroid. I started medication for the thyroid in October. It turns out that my sudden weight gain over the last few… Read more

Sringeri Week: The Guru Knows My Name!

A big change is coming up in my life! When we arrived at Sringeri (location of my guru, His Holiness Sri Bharati Tirtha) some of the people who were helping coordinate our stay called me Ambaa. It must have been my new friend Sundar who told them about my Hindu name. In real life only one or two people call me that. I’ve debated internally for years about my name and whether I should officially change it. After all, it… Read more

Sringeri Week: The Shishya Sweekara

When this trip was first planned it was only to see His Holiness. It wasn’t until after we had our tickets and our travel plans confirmed that the Sringeri Math put out a huge announcement… (English subtitles after the Sanskrit)  His Holiness announced that he had found a successor to the title of Shankaracharya and the ceremony that would make him officially next in line would be happening while we were in Sringeri! An amazing coincidence and a once in… Read more

Sringeri Week: How Much I’ve Changed in Four Years!

Four years ago I tagged along on a trip my parents took to Sringeri to see the guru, His Holiness Shankaracharya Sri Bharati Tirtha. I wasn’t that interested in seeing the guru. I just wanted to finally go to India for the first time. It’s amazing to me now how I squandered the opportunity that I had. Shankaracharya is a weighty title and it’s a really big deal. The gurus at this math (pronounced maat, meaning temple complex) have an… Read more

Book Club: Eat, Pray, Love: 37-39

The second book in our book club series is Eat, Pray Love. Is it a Hindu book? Not exactly, but it is very relevant to the experiences of non-Indian Hindus. The author has a Hindu guru (whose identity has been rather easily found out by those familiar with the world of Indian gurus). Julia Roberts after playing the author in the movie, claimed to have become a Hindu. So I think it will be worthwhile to examine the experiences and… Read more

Missed Pongol This Year

Unfortunately the way our trip was laid out, Pongol didn’t exist for me this year! The main day was on a Friday and that was the day that we lost to airplane travel and time changes. It would have been really awesome to experience Pongol in Tamil Nadu. Hopefully someday. We were there for Republic Day at the end of our trip but we didn’t get to see much in the way of celebrations. Mostly just a lot of flags. Next… Read more

When You Find Your True Path

During our trip we heard an interesting story about a current holy man. We spoke to someone who had been his friend in university and is now a disciple. Apparently this man used to be a staunch atheist and he would travel the country debating religious people. And then his grandmother took him to see the Shankaracharya at the time and like love at first sight, his life changed instantly. He dedicated himself to the Shankaracharya as his guru. (This… Read more

Meditating at the Ramakrishna Math in Chennai

This gorgeous building is right in the middle of the city in Chennai. It’s an oasis in the midst of a bustling city life. While we stayed in Chennai we came here to meditate in the evenings and it was so perfect. Made us all wish we had buildings like this in our cities! I could imagine living close enough to walk over every night for the peaceful atmosphere. Meditating here I had the rare but delightful experience of hearing… Read more

Scripture Study: Bhagavad Gita, book two verses 26-30

We are doing a scripture study together: reading along through some scriptures and discussing the passages. From the Winthrop Sargeant translation of The Gita… 26. And moreover even if you think this To be eternally born or eternally dead, Even then you should not mourn for this, Arjuna. 27.For the born, death is certain; For the dead there is certainly birth. Therefore, for this, inevitable in consequence, You should not mourn. 28. Beings are such that their beginnings are unmanifest, Their… Read more

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