USA Tour: Atlanta, New York and Alexandria
Continuing his World Peace Tour 2019, Vishwaguruji visited Atlanta, Georgia from 27 to 31 March, with a beautiful 5-day seminar on the topic of the Science of Chakras and Kundalini.
On Wednesday 27 March, the program began with practice of asanas, pranayama and a lecture from Vishwaguruji. On Thursday 28 March, the group visited Shiv Mandir of Atlanta in Nicross. Many Indian devotees attended to receive Vishwagurujis darshan and satsang. The program ended with a delicious meal of homemade Indian food.
On Saturday 30 March in George Pierce Park in Suwanee, Atlanta, Vishwaguruji's lecture was accompanied by a cultural programme. This included the classical music of Bach played by a young musician on cello and Bhakti Devi from Vienna performing in the classical South Indian dance style known as Bharatanatyam.
After the cultural program the group visited Peace Tree, which was planted a few years ago in front of the Public Hall in George Pierce Park and took pictures with Vishwaguruji.
On Sunday 31 March, Vishwaguruji and the group went to new yoga retreat property in Atlanta named Sri Swami Maheshwarananda Ashram and Retreat Center. On a nice sunny day everyone sat together for a picnic lunch, sharing food, taking pictures and then walked through the woods. A new Shiva Temple was established by Vishwaguruji there that day and named Sri Alakh Deveshwar Mahadev Shivamandir.
At the end of that most beautiful day, Vishwaguruji planted new World Peace and Wishing Tree. The tree which was planted is from the Cornus family of trees, commonly known as dogwood.
These blessed days ended on Sunday evening at the Yoga in Daily Life Atlanta Center with an evening prayer.
Visit to United Nations
On 2 April 2019, Vishwaguruji visited the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Accompanied by some of his European and American devotees, he spent several hours there appreciating the exhibition that documented the progress and various efforts for world peace and accomplishments that the United Nations resolved to pursue. He also met with his friend and yoga disciple Kaha Imnadze, Ambassador of the Republic of Georgia to the United Nations.
Yoga in Daily Life Retreat with Vishwaguruji at the Garrison Institute, Garrison New York
Yoga in Daily Life New York welcomed Vishwaguruji and Swami Umapuri for a three-day Yoga in Daily Life retreat at the Garrison Institute in Garrison on the Hudson River in upstate New York. The Garrison Institute and the area around it were formerly a monastery for the Capuchin Franciscan order of monks. It is a beautiful old building and interesting to walk through the woods along the river to get acquainted with the history of this area and the people who live in the town of Garrison.
Vishwaguruji continued his teachings on chakras and kundalini in his lectures and satsangs. He encouraged participants to consider their yoga practice as endless, a path they have been going through all their lives. In this way, one remains humble and learns to understand that the wisdom of yoga, like the ocean, is endless. Weaving the science of the chakras with stories from ancient texts, he explained the meaning of the symbols in the images of the chakras. Vishwaguruji stated that all representations have a meaning that we should learn, and that as one goes back and re-reads his book "Hidden Powers in Humans", one's understanding and knowledge of one's own chakras and kundalini – or the awakening of wisdom – will grow.
Vishwaguruji encouraged some practical measures that can be added to daily practice. When waking up in the morning, we should say to ourselves, "I am human." These three words should begin our day and guide our thoughts, words and actions to others. Every day we should walk on the ground with bare feet, so that our earth chakras (in the feet) connect to the ground and receive nourishment from the soil and the natural elements. If you live in a city or apartment, keep a small box of gravel on which you can walk. In following a daily routine that is good for us, we build a daily life that promotes and supports our health.
Vishwaguruji spoke about the five koshas (sheaths/bodies) and reminded us how important healthy eating and daily pranayama exercises are. There were many opportunities to develop pranayama practice at this seminar.
The Yoga in Daily Life teachers conducted meditation exercises, asanas and pranayama in the morning. All who participated in the seminar were happy to learn from the different teachers how to improve practice and care for the body.
At the end of the retreat, Vishwaguruji left with simple words that resonated as pearls of wisdom and inspired all to continue in their practice. He said: "Think of the happiness that comes from within, and the misfortune that comes from outside; and the difference between ego and self-respect. We need to master our ego and become humble, but develop a sense of self-respect and respect for others. Self-esteem creates trust and our chance to progress on our ways and in our lives with consideration for others."
Participants were grateful to Kripadevi and Daya Puri for organizing the retreat and the Garrison Institute for their welcoming inclusion. Many were also thankful to continue travelling with Vishwaguruji to Alexandria in Virginia. Learning is endless!
With Washington DC bursting with early Spring flowers amidst the popular annual Cherry Blossom Festival, Vishwaguruji arrived for a blessed five-day visit with yoga aspirants from near and far. Devotees and students representing all five continents enjoyed his luminous satsangs. These included beloved Indian friends of Sri Deep Madhavananda Ashram in Alexandria, Virginia, which is just across the river from the nation’s capital.
Visit with Mayor and Former Mayor of Alexandria
Newly-elected Mayor Justin Wilson visited Vishwaguruji at satsang at the Ashram. They shared with each other some highlights of their many public service activities. Two videos were helpful introductions for the mayor to the Om Ashram and other humanitarian projects in Jadan and to the holistic nature of the worldwide Yoga in Daily Life system. The visual information enhanced the mayor’s prior knowledge of YIDL learned from his wife and mother-in-law, both of whom take yoga classes at the Alexandria center.
Alexandria’s former Mayor, Allison Silberberg, renewed her acquaintance with Vishwaguruji in a warm and wonderful meeting at his residence. She encouraged the planting of additional peace trees in Alexandria and described her current activities devoted to expanding public awareness of the symptoms of stroke and ways witnesses can helpfully respond. Her efforts include teaching school children how to recognize and respond when someone has a stroke. Vishwaguruji explained how pranayama and kapal bhati techniques help this condition. The two leaders discussed joint development of a yoga workshop to enhance stroke awareness and prevention.
Peace Tree Puja
The group enjoyed an outing with Vishwaguruji to visit the most recent World Peace Tree, planted in the city’s Four Mile Run Park. All were inspired by the health and growth of the tree, a native eastern redcedar (), and showered it with love, water, and blessings, led by Vishwaguruji.
Classical Indian Dance Performance
The was transformed into a theatrical venue for the city’s first-ever classical Indian dance performance by Vishwaguruji’s disciple, Bhakti Devi, who traveled with her Master throughout his North American tour. Her performance was attended by Alexandria’s Mayor, Justin Wilson. The beautiful and exotic dance interpreted ancient stories for the modern-day Westerners, teaching lessons from Indian mythology that featured Lord Shiva, the goddess Lakshmi, and other deities.