Amma: The Loving, Hugging, Humanitarian Saint

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Amma, the remarkable, unmatched Hugging Saint. A personal photo (yup, that’s me!). Do not use.

As of the date of this article, Amma has hugged attendees to her programs over 40 million times. Her free events attract thousands upon thousands of people, often taking place in football stadiums. In the early days, when 50 or 60 people were in attendance, Amma was known as “Ammaji” or “Ammachi.”​

It was 1990 when I first met Amma. She was seated on a tattered, cushioned chair in the center of a small, basement room in The African-Methodist Episcopal Church in Central Square, Cambridge, MA.

The moment I walked into the room, I was so profoundly struck by Amma’s light and presence that I fell to my knees and bowed to her. I spent the rest of the day sobbing in absolute bliss, happily crouched in a corner. In addition to a few Swamis and helpers, there were less than ten other people in the room.​

While indulging my tears, Amma caught my eye and invited me to her chair. I was so nervous, I could barely speak. I walked toward her, awkward and self-conscious as if it were my first time walking. I bowed and she immediately took my hand, then gently bent me across her lap.

Amma then gently rubbed my body from head to toe while I cried. She massaged my scalp and forehead and patted my spine. Amma even squeezed my ears and tussled my hair. It felt as though I were embraced by the most loving bundle of light.

After 20 minutes of her healing touch, Amma lifted my head with her soft hands and pressed her cheek and lips against my ear. She lovingly whispered Sanskrit mantras to me as I absorbed every morsel of her love.

“Pure Love Transcends The Body. It Is Between Hearts. It Has Nothing To Do With Bodies.”
— Amma (Amma.org)

During this timeframe of my life, I was the host of a popular children’s TV show with fantasies of fame running through my head. After meeting Amma, my heart expanded and I changed my approach to my career and every other aspect of my life.​ Amidst all of my faults and challenges, Amma helped me blossom in ways that I could never have imagined.

During the years to come, Amma would ask me to open her retreats and events with spiritual comedy shows. It was lovely to sit near Amma’s chair and deliver playful lectures and videos about the hilarious things that happen within spiritual communities.

“I don’t see if it is a man or a woman. I don’t see anyone different from my own self. A continuous stream of love flows from me to all of creation. This is my inborn nature. The duty of a doctor is to treat patients. In the same way, my duty is to console those who are suffering.”

— Amma (Amma.org)

Amma’s Birth And Family

Amma, an enlightened master, was born as Sudhamani (bright, precious gem) Idamannel on September 27th, 1953, in Kerala, India. Devotees call her Amma, although she is also known as Mātā Amritānandamayī Devī, an incarnation and embodiment of The Divine Mother. Amma’s ashram, Amritapuri, is in Kerala, India.

Amma was born into a family of fishermen with six siblings, most of whom did not understand her or treat her with kindness. Amma’s commitment to her divine path is what eventually inspired every member of her family to embrace her as the Divine Mother.

Witnesses of her birth say that Amma was born without tears and with a sweet smile on her face. She was reported to have been born with bluish skin, reminiscent of stories Krishna. Even though her skin soon turned to brown, many believe Amma to be an incarnation of Krishna. From age 5 onward, Amma spent most of her time in devotional prayer.

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Known as “The Hugging Saint,” Amma tours the world continually, holding free programs in multiple cities on every continent. In the hotels she inhabits, Amma rejects all comfort and sleeps on the floor (requesting that all beds and pillows be removed). She barely eats, yet will hug thousands of attendees, often for longer than 24 hours at one sitting. Amma’s darshan, or blessing, comes in the form of hugs and gentle, loving whispers during the embrace.

Amma offers mantras to those who request them, and she makes herself available to people who have life-or-death questions.

“I am not interested in making believers by showing miracles; I am here to help you find the real truth, and to find liberation of the Self (Soul) through the realization of your eternal nature.”
— Amma (Amma.org)

Amma’s Mission: Hospitals, Housing, Tsunami Relief & More

Amma’s international missions, Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM) and Mata Amritanandamayi Mission Trust, help millions of people around the world.

In addition to spiritual education, these organizations have a long, successful record of helping the poor and uplifting humanity. She has garnered hundreds of millions of dollars in donations for disaster relief, healthcare for the poor, the environment, global hunger, and education for financially strained students.

The primary missions of Amma’s organizations are to promote activities of selfless service. The idea is based on her teachings around karma yoga, which encourages everyone to help those who are less fortunate as a prayer.

Thousands of people around the world volunteer for Amma’s organizations. This includes monastics, students, and householders (married and/or with children), who come from a long list of religions, races, creeds and ideologies.

When you attend Amma’s events, you’ll hear about her mission, “Embracing the World.” All of Amma’s charitable organizations work under this premise and title.

Ranked as the #1 private India university, Amma’s Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, is an accredited university that offers degrees in Arts & Sciences, Chemistry, Biotech, Business, Education, Engineering, Nursing, Medicine, Ayurveda, and more. Students can also learn meditation, Sanskrit and yoga.

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Here are a few highlights from a long list of Amma’s unique, humanitarian accomplishments:

  • Awarded over 100,000 scholarships to help disadvantaged people and the many families stricken with farmer suicide
  • MAM’s university, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, a 5-campus system, teaches nanotechnology, biotechnology, robotics, and satellite-enabled software solutions. Amma says that their goal is “To harness the power of modern technology to provide the effect of targeted aid to communities and individuals in crisis.”
  • Built four charitable hospitals that serve the poor and disadvantaged
  • Established the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre (AIMS) and several HIV/AIDS care centers. The AIMS hospitals and related programs have 1,300 beds, a medical college with 400-beds, and a 210-bed Intensive Care Facility. They’ve served over 5.5 million patients since 1998.
  • Amma’s MAM funds and manages over 47 grammar schools with an education that integrates spiritual and universal values
  • MAM is part of the “United Nations Billion Tree Campaign” and has actively planted over 1 million trees around the world
  • Amma’s SREE program and her over 5000 self-help groups serve over 100,000 women to improve their lives and support their families
  • Built over 200,000 homes for the poor
  • Raised and gave over $50 million to earthquake, tsunami and hurricane relief
  • Awarded over 60,000 microloans to help families improve their living conditions, careers, health, and businesses
  • Established nine tailoring schools and furnished them with over 2000 sewing machines
  • Educated over 500 students in pursuit of their driver’s licenses to become bus, truck and taxi drivers
  • Educated hundreds of young people in a variety of trades, including mobile phone and TV/VCR repair, plumbing, fashion design, and bag manufacturing/production
  • Her Amrita Nidhi financial-aid program is giving out pensions to over 100,000 widows, and physically and mentally disadvantaged individuals
  • Build four elderly-care homes, equipped with community prayer, ceremony and function halls
  • Amma’s AYUDH helps young people integrate spiritual and universal values into their lives, as she teaches them ways they can help the elderly, homeless and disadvantaged
  • Built two homes that continually help hundreds of children with food, housing, and education

There are many other services, functions, and organizations that Amma and her MAM manage or fund across the globe. Her mission represents one of the most profound humanitarian efforts in history.

Amma’s Miracles

Amma began performing miracles very early in life, including licking the sores of lepers which healed them of their debilitating disease. While she does not place emphasis on these miracles, there are many confirmed stories circulating throughout India.

During her early life and beyond, Amma was known to be extraordinarily generous and compassionate with the lower classes in society, her most impoverished neighbors, and all of the nearby animals. She would regularly forsake her own hunger and give her food to hungry cows and goats. To many, Amma was the miracle that saved their livestock and families.

Amma would also give her family’s belongings to those in need. Even as a young girl, Amma would spontaneously hug others with the hope of comforting them.​

“If we penetrate deeply into all aspects and all areas of life, we will find that hidden behind everything is love. We will discover that love is the force, the power, and inspiration behind every word and every action. This applies to all people, irrespective of race, caste, creed, sect, religion, or of what work people do.”
— Amma (Amma.org)

Amma Quotes

  • “Children, love can accomplish anything and everything. Love can cure diseases. Love can heal wounded hearts and transform human minds. Through love, one can overcome all obstacles. Love can help us renounce all physical, mental and intellectual tensions and thereby bring peace and happiness.”
  • “True worship of God is rendering help to those who are suffering.”
  • “Different people will think different things – that is the nature of the world. People have the right to have faith or not to have faith.”
  • “For me, everything in creation is God, there is nothing but God. Every single object is a wonder for me.”
  • “Only when human beings are able to perceive and acknowledge the Self in each other can there be real peace.”
  • “All I am concerned with is what positive I can do.”
  • “Compassion is Consciousness expressed through your actions and words. Compassion is the art of non-hurting. Compassion cannot hurt. Compassion cannot hurt anyone because compassion is Consciousness manifested. Consciousness cannot hurt anyone. Just as the sky cannot hurt anyone and space cannot hurt anyone, the manifestation of Consciousness, compassion, cannot hurt anyone. One who has compassion can only be compassionate.”

Amritapuri: Amma’s Home Ashram

Amma began hugging people at her home in her early teens, and more regularly as spiritual disciples took residence on her family’s property. Amma says that when people would share their troubles with her, she would listen, share advice and then hug them.

This loving ritual eventually became part of Amma’s blessing which new seekers can experience when they visit Amma. By lovingly embracing others, Amma is absorbing a measure of pain in the world, which heals hearts and helps humanity.​

Amma’s home ashram, Amritapuri, is in Kerala, India, which is also Amma’s primary residence. There are only a few weeks throughout the year when Amma is not touring the world and therefore resides at Amritapuri. Her original tiny temple is still in perfect working order and often used for Pujas and Homas, ceremonies of light and love.​​

When visiting the ashram, you’ll find inexpensive accommodations akin to a youth hostel, delicious and affordable vegetarian meals, free spiritual education, and free programs where attendees are invited to receive Amma’s special darshan in the form of a hug.​​

Mornings at Amritapuri begin long before dawn, when men and women chant in separate halls. If you walk near Amma’s main temple, you can find the sweet spot between the two halls, where you’ll be drenched in waterfalls of chants occurring on either side of you. It’s a profound experience. Visitors are always welcome to attend as fellow-chanters.

Spiritual ceremonies in the forms of Pujas and Homas are performed daily, and can be of benefit to individuals, families, friends, and loved ones. If you have a personal prayer, need or desire for help, healing or cleansing, Amma’s Pujas and Homas can be ordered through her website.

Amma’s Awards And Honors

It seems that every year Amma and her organizations are recognized for their tireless efforts to serve humanity. Here is the most current list of their remarkable achievements:

  • 1993: Named “President of the Hindu Faith,” at The Parliament of the World’s Religions 100th Anniversary
  • 1993: Hindu of the Year, by Hinduism Today
  • 1995: Address at The Interfaith Celebrations, 50th anniversary of the UN
  • 1998: Care & Share International Humanitarian of the Year Award
  • 2000: Keynote speaker at the Millennium World Peace Summit, UN General Assembly
  • 2002: Karma Yogi of the Year, by Yoga Journal
  • 2002: Gandhi-King Award for Non-Violence
  • 2005: Mahavir Mahatma Award
  • 2005: Centenary Legendary Award of the International Rotarians
  • 2006: James Parks Morton Interfaith Award
  • 2006: The Philosopher Saint Sri Jnaneswara World Peace Prize
  • 2007: Le Prix Cinéma Vérité
  • 2008: Mahavir Mahatma Award
  • 2008: Keynote at the Summit of the Global Peace Initiative of Women
  • 2010: Honorary Doctorate, The State University of New York
  • 2012: Amma in the Top 100 Most Spiritually Influential, Living People
  • 2013: 1st Annual Award, Vishwaretna Purskar (Gem of the World Award), by Hindu Parliament
  • 2013: Proclamation by the State of Michigan, declaring Amma to be a true citizen of the world for her worldwide charitable works
  • 2014: One of the 50 most powerful women religious leaders, by Huffington Post
  • 2014: Kavithilakam Pandit Karuppan Award
  • 2014: Participated with the first coalition of Anglican, Catholic, Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist leaders (including Amma) to sign a shared commitment against modern-day slavery and human trafficking under the direction of The Global Freedom Network
  • 2015: Keynote at The United Nations Academic Impact Conference
  • 2015: Medal of Honor, by Ms. Evie Evangelou, Fashion 4 Development
  • 2015: Special Envoy for the Protection of the Planet in the Summit of Conscience for the Climate in Paris, by French President Francois Hollande
  • 2015: Golden Goody Award (Oscar for Social Good) for Amma’s Worldwide Humanitarian Charities

Amma’s Titles, Roles And Positions

While Amma is hugging people, you’ll often see her Swamis hand her a variety of cell phones. I often wondered why – until I realized that Amma is the CEO of a variety of missions.​

Here are Amma’s primary roles and positions in organizations that serve millions of people across the globe:

  • Founder and Chairperson, Mata Amṛtānandamayī Math
  • Founder, Embracing the World
  • Chancellor, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University
  • Founder, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS Hospital)
  • Parliament of the World’s Religions, International Advisory committee member
  • President, Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary celebration committee
  • Member, Elijah Interfaith Institute Board of World Religious Leaders

Other Divine Mothers

Mother Meera is also known as an embodiment of The Divine Mother. Born in 1960, Mother Meera can be found touring the world giving visitors her loving blessing. This free transmission of Light, Love, and Grace is Mother’s gift to the world. Mother Meera once said, “The whole purpose of my work is in the calling down of the Paramatman Light and in helping people. For this I came – to open your hearts to the Light.” You can visit MotherMeera.org to learn more.

Sri KarunaMayi has spent her life immersed in prayer and is known for her embodiment of Divine Motherly Love, which she readily shares with all of creation, including people, animals, and plants. Karunamayi has said, “Where there is selfishness, love will not manifest, and where there is love, there is no room for selfishness.” You can learn more at her website here.

Both of these embodiments of divine love regularly tour the world, shedding their eternal light on all walks of life.

Attacks And Allegations​

While there have been a few physical attacks and negative statements toward Amma, none have materialized relevant corroboration or material evidence. In the one or two public cases, every accuser recanted their stories and apologized directly to Amma and her organizations.​

Despite occasional harsh treatment toward her, Amma repeatedly says that she forgives and loves all of them. Concerning one disgruntled devotee, Amma said, “Even now, Amma is only filled with love for that daughter. I am praying that virtue and goodness come. Time will shine forth the truth.”

“All those who are born will die one day. I am going ahead keeping this reality in mind. I will carry on. I will continue to give darshan to the devotees coming here to meet me.”
— Amma (Amma.org)

Books & Documentaries About Amma

There are hundreds of books written by Amma and her disciples, which can be found on her website at amma.org. Here are the television programs and documentaries that feature Amma and her remarkable work:

  • River Of Love, 1999
  • BBC’s Weird Weekends, “Indian Gurus,” 2000
  • Darshan: The Embrace, 2005
  • In God’s Name, 2007
  • Science of Compassion: A Documentary on Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, 2016

“There is always a lack of love. It has always been Amma’s wish that her life should become love and compassion itself. My sole mission is to love and serve one and all.”
— Amma (Amma.org)

Living With A Master

When traveling to or residing at Amma’s ashrams, everyone works as volunteers in service to the poor and disadvantaged. A volunteer might stay for a few weeks or up to several years, and possibly longer. Some people come to Amma’s ashrams to enter into periods of prayer and meditation.

Many of Amma’s devotees spend half their time working in their home cities and then travel in spurts to volunteer for Amma’s organizations, all of which serve humanity. Some devotees have portable businesses that allow them to work when needed, travel with Amma at her programs around the world, and volunteer regularly to help others.​

It’s exhilarating to be around Amma, and it’s always of benefit to serve others through her karma yogi programs. As always, Amma encourages her followers and visitors to continually seek ways to serve others, no matter where they live.​

Amma continually tours the world and can be found traveling throughout the United States and Canada from May through early August every year. Amma’s unique bookstore and vegan cafe travel are always a lovely and nourishing part of her programs. Admission is always free, although it’s recommended that you arrive early.

Do Jesus, Dionysius, Krishna, And Mithras Share The Same Life Story?

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Krishna and Radha – A Shutterstock Licensed Image

Whether you’re a Christian, Buddhist, Pagan, Muslim, Hindu, Jew, New-Ager, Atheist, Zoroastrian, or Planetary Alienist, you’ve somehow been privy to the story of Jesus. While Christians like Catholics and Baptists might not agree on the procedures required to celebrate and worship Christ, they agree on these aspects of the Christian narrative:

  • When Jesus’ mother conceived Him, She was a virgin. An angel announced the birth.
  • Upon his birth, wise men and shepherds visited Jesus and his family. They were guided to a remote manger by the constellations. 
  • At a young age, Jesus had an unusual thirst for spiritual matters and a powerful command of his birth religion. 
  • Throughout his life, Jesus taught about love, faith, hope, devotion, and justice. 
  • He performed many miracles, including healing lepers and casting out demons.
  • Jesus defined himself as the Son of God and was assumed to be omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.
  • He defined the nature of God to be a trinity, comprised of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 
  • He often claimed, “I am the Resurrection,” and promised to cleanse the world of sin. 
  • Jesus gave many lectures and had a core group of disciples who spread his teachings. 
  • He was known to be loving, meek, and merciful, and he forgave his enemies. 
  • Jesus was criticized for associating with society’s outcasts and sinners. 
  • He withdrew to the desert to confront all aspects of the universe within Himself. 
  • Before being betrayed, Jesus held the last supper for his dearest disciples.
  • His teachings threatened old religious doctrine and fearful politicians, which resulted in Jesus being captured and crucified.
  • After Jesus died, he rose from the dead and appeared to his disciples. 

Click to read Amma: The Loving, Hugging, Humanitarian Saint

“After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.”

— Luke 2:46-47

The Life Story of Krishna

What’s surprising is that most of these story elements are also found in Krishna’s narrative. While some might assume that the early Christians stole from the older Hindu religion, it’s fair to say that when the divine births a master, He or She knows that some aspects of the narrative are vital for inspiring devotion to divine love and light. Also, all masters are born from the same cloth, the same mysterious force, and the same eternal consciousness. It might be said that focusing on the narrative detracts from the embodiment of the teachings. 

Many other religions claim Christianity stole their stories. Some of the ancient writings on parchments and stone indeed point to this possibility. Regardless, much of the evidence has been poorly constructed and presented. It’s incorrect to say that early Christians and propagandistic writers did not steal from this sacred religion, it’s just that, when considering traditional academic procedures, it’s not apparent. 

In all things, our devotion and beliefs are personal, and therefore, sacred. While claiming theft might seem justified, it’s also a distraction. With positivity and focus, we can deepen our devotion to our chosen Gods, refrain from judgment, and circumvent our egos. 

No worthy God has a penchant for sustaining a vendetta, ego, or attitude. As all precepts are illusions, details are merely dust. 

Horus The Child and The Cult of Isis

Most of the writings that equate Horus The Younger with Jesus were written by comparative religion enthusiasts who often referenced the writings of other enthusiasts, most of whom are from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. While compelling on first-read, the thrust of this research does not stem from accredited religious figures, Egyptologists, or biblical scholars. This could limit its credibility.

While the narratives around Horus The Child and his mother Isis are fascinating and potentially illuminating, there are few proven similarities to the story of Jesus. The research on this topic is vague. Some of it points to teachings assumed to have been birthed in the City of Atlantis. It might be that the writings that promote the connection between Horus and Jesus are born from hopes rather than qualified scholarship. 

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The original narrative of Horus the Younger, very different from Horus the Elder, featured a powerful Sun God who commanded the elements from the sky. He was the protector of those who suffered affliction and pain. Often depicted in the arms of his mother, Isis, the imagery most likely had a substantial influence on Christian iconography in the forms of the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child. While there are many other reported similarities, they may or may not be bonafide. 

There is a vast array of conflicting information on this subject, found in libraries and on the web. Because of this, our religious beliefs must stem from the core of our beings and the centers of our devotional hearts.

Mithraism life story

Mithra is known as the God Sun, and some have claimed him to be the mediator between God and humanity. Sadly, anti-Christian writers may have sought to defame the religion, hoping to victimize their unique God. Other writers, especially those who lived during the years 100-500 AD, such as Justin Martyr, Athenagoras of Athens, and Clement of Alexandria, wanted to remove the stigmas against Christianity in support of making it a legal religion.

While Mithraic writings may have pointed to the notion of salvation, they were most likely based in Zoroastrian principles around man’s participation in the cosmic struggle of a magnificent creation opposing the eternal forces of evil. Other purported similarities between Christ and Mithra have mainly been dismissed, including shared December 25th births, a water-miracle, and the mark of the cross.

Dionysius and Jesus life story

The culture and religion around Dionysius were born from a philosophical form of Hedonism. While Jesus may have been the true vine of divine love, Dionysius was literally referred to as the God of Grapes, and therefore wine. While both Gods were traveling teachers, performers of miracles, riders of symbolic donkeys, and then murdered, this is where the similarities end. 

Summary

Regardless of what you believe, your God is whomever you elevate above yourself. With a little faith, Horus, Dionysius, and Krishna could certainly protect you from the perils of this world and the demons within your nature.  

In all religions, the details are sketchy. We’ll never know when or how Christ, Mithra, or the other Gods-in-Human-Form were born. Since all of their narratives were written many years after their deaths, we can only assume their stories were born from combinations of divine intervention, subjective truths, mythology, and hope. While we can love them and honor them, we might never know the truth of their physical lives and purpose. It might also be true that the details are unimportant. 

The prevailing truth of our lives is that the divine can spring forth and lovingly envelop our spirits in an instant. She can birth a master from a vibrant flower or a ray of sunlight. He can conjure realities and spacetime trajectories that appear to last forever, yet only last a moment. 

There are many ways to connect with a loving, divine master. Given their eternal, non-egoistic natures, they probably don’t care which name you call them. Whether it’s Shiva, Saraswati, Aphrodite, Ares, Sol, Tristan, Dolya, Gabrielle, Isolde, Khepri, Koko, or Lena, because they were either born from light or elevated by human consciousness, their vibrations are bright, beneficial, and eternal. 

There are many types of Gods and masters. There are living masters, birthed/deceased Gods, and divine Beings that solely live within the other realms. It is up to each of us to command our divinity, bow to the eternal light, and remain humble in our pursuit of perpetual resurrection. 

Jesus Is Far More Eternal, Loving, Powerful Than His Christian Narrative Reveals

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Jesus was an enlightened master, still accessible, still embedded in the light. A Shutterstock Licensed Image.

Jesus was one of the first enlightened masters with a broad mission and mass appeal. A true and eternal master, Jesus was likely olive or dark-skinned.

While originally based in the teachings of Jesus, and focused on love and compassion, Christianity has since become somewhat broken, splintered and confusing. Even the white portrayal of the likely olive or darker-skinned Jesus is a fabrication.

It’s a religion with many limbs and branches, most of which are not fully rooted in The Eternal Light of Christ. In many ways, Christianity, in all its forms, has lost its way.

Behind the leadership of each of Christianity’s sub-sects, are lineages of successions that were not always inspired by love. Many of the church’s leaders have been ambitious men who promoted codes and ideologies that defied Jesus’s teachings. This is still happening today.

From protected, pedophile priests who’ve committed multiple crimes with no repercussions to hateful born-again Christians who use Bibles as weapons to judge millions, too many of the church’s factions no longer live by the Master’s teachings. It’s become a sea of conflict and misdirection.

While the core of Christianity is still accessible,

it’s rarely upheld or defended.

Most of its followers seem to almost condone

their religion’s sins, saying things like, “Have faith.”

Consider how “born-again” Christians continue to villainize and denigrate people who are LGBQT, immigrants, agnostics, atheists, or members of other religions. They also taunt those who choose to meditate, do yoga, or exercise their rights to have an abortion.

These sad and misled people have continued to demonstrate hatred against those who don’t follow their cult-like ideologies, by telling them, “you are not saved.” How sad it is that this type of ignorance is still in play!

Many churches that call themselves “Christian” are so steeped in their own hypocrisy, they have rendered themselves ill-equipped to love, meet the spiritual needs, or foster the growth of disciples.

Many of their adherents are being taught to hate rather than love. They’ve become so hyper-focused on their incomplete and over-edited Bible, they can’t help but judge and forsake those who are depressed, poor, lonely, disenfranchised and desperate. Aren’t those the people who Jesus taught us to love and heal?

These types of Christians regularly guilt and shame those who refuse to jump-aboard their exclusionary hate-wagons. In what twisted reality did Jesus use guilt and shame? He didn’t. Jesus was the embodiment of love, compassion, and acceptance. These things are no longer taught at American mega-churches, because hate sells.

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When these ignorant people most often quote their “scriptures,” they do so specifically to hurt others, not to nurture them. It’s as if they imagine themselves to be in relationships with a dark, egoistic and fictional Christ, rather than the loving, healing and transformative nature of the Eternal Christ.

Within the first day of posting this article, I was verbally ambushed by some of the most backward, hateful people I’ve experienced, none of whom have any idea what their short-sighted outbursts do to others. I can only imagine how many sad and lonely people they’ve damaged this way. If Jesus were to return as his original person, they wouldn’t recognize him. They’d put him in a detention center and toss the key.

How Do I Access The True Nature Of Christ?

For the purest teachings of Jesus, follow a living, enlightened master, and read the Gnostic gospels, the texts rejected by male, Christian leaders throughout time. With so many dark souls having tainted these teachings, it’s a miracle we can still seek and find Him.

Christianity’s agreed-upon religious tome is The Bible, a 1700 year old text filled with inconsistencies. The old testament has been translated into over 600 languages, and the new testament has been translated from the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, into over 1534 additional languages.

The oldest version of the Bible has over 14,800 discrepancies when compared to the latest King James version. There are now over 2000 uniquely translated and edited versions of the bible. The current version has been rewritten over 300,000 times (yes, three hundred thousand). Over 99.9% of the translators were men.

Given its limitations, the Bible should never be used to limit our beliefs,

define or confine God and the universe, or judge others.

Throughout time, Christian popes, leaders and warriors have maneuvered, raped and pillaged, all in the name of God, and in direct opposition to the teachings of Jesus. Jesus, like any enlightened Being, would disavow his position in such an organization, and he would question the tenets outlined in their limited, manipulated “holy” text.

If Jesus returns, which he continues to do in many forms, he might not limit himself to being Christian. His membership in such a thing might be antithetical to his nature. While he would be loving of Christians, he would most likely neither prefer them nor emblemize his position among them.

If He were here with us now, Jesus would lead us to eternal truths, the ones not properly recorded by early followers, subsequent editors, and the church’s many selfish leaders throughout history.

No matter the religion or creed, it’s silly to put God in a box. The universe and God are unlimited. The Divine has never relegated itself to merging with one master, path or creed. She has been birthing enlightened teachers and teachings for eons. All we have to do is open our hearts and seek Her.

God, the Eternal Consciousness, the everlasting Being of light, in the form of Christ and all of the Eternal Masters, is one glance or thought away. Just open your heart.

Who Was Jesus?

The true nature and lineage of Jesus have little to do with his carpenter father or virgin mother. The depth of Jesus’s spirit and the breadth of his mission is born from many lifetimes in service to humanity and creation.

As a boy, and throughout his teenage years, Jesus benefited from the deep and beautiful teachings of the famous, regional rabbis of his day, including Johanan ben Zakkai, Hanina ben Doda, and Abba Yose Holikufr.

Jesus was a devoted Jew, who quickly emerged as a profound sage and prophet. As he further embodied God’s light, delving deeply into the realities and natures of humanity, love, and the Universe, Jesus grew far beyond the limited teachings and judgmental nature of his birth religion. Within a short period of time, Jesus exponentially expanded into the Eternal Embodiment of Love.

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Although he was born infused with divine light, Jesus most likely became a student of Buddhist and Hindu tenets. Either way, He had a clear, Vedic astrology chart of an Eternal Master. He was not a figurehead of a religion or movement. He was the embodiment of light and love.

 

This is why gurus and “wise men” flocked to witness his birth. There were many more than three men who came to visit Jesus in his early years.

To be with Jesus, visit with the living masters who travel the planet today. Most of these enlightened Beings are female, and embody feminine qualities. This is because the nature of the universe is predominantly feminine, as are Jesus’s teachings.

One cannot follow Jesus without understanding the nature of the Divine Mother, whether your understanding is conscious or not. It’s in this way that embracing Jesus’s mother Mary can be helpful for unfoldment into Self-realization through Christ.

Click to read “Do Jesus, Dionysius, Krishna, And Mithras Share The Same Life Story?

Without The Divine Mother, there is no depth of femininity, receptivity, compassion or empathy. In Her embrace, we are immersed in eternal love and embraced by all of creation. It’s through Her arms that we can also experience the living Jesus.

Here is a partial list of living and recently deceased Sons and Daughters of God, who many believe to be akin to Jesus and embodiments of divine love. Other terms for them are “Spiritual Masters” and “Gurus.”

1. Amma

2. Karunamayi Ma

3. Mother Meera

4. Thich Nhat Hanh

5. Paramahansa Yogananda

6. Anandamayi Ma

7. Eckhart Tolle

8. Yogi Bhajan

9. Chogyam Trungpa

 

The Mystical Teachings of Jesus

Somehow lost in the catacombs of The Vatican and other Christian cultures, these teachings are the foundation for spiritual growth.

  1. Love others as yourself.
  2. Seek forgiveness of yourself and others.
  3. Embrace a life of service to others.
  4. Be lovingly detached from relationships and physical realities.
  5. Transcend beyond your emotional, psychological, and physical limitations.
  6. God is both masculine and feminine, but mostly feminine.
  7. Your imagined self-identity is temporary. If you choose, you can be born again, and into the nature of God.
  8. The physical and spiritual realities that comprise all Beings and all matter, in all the worlds, and in all the realms, are One Living-Being. This Being Is The Embodiment Of Light And Love.
  9. We cannot help others by affirming their illusions, temporary Self-identities or attachments to their temporal physical realities.
  10. We can help ourselves and others by releasing illusions and accepting the fact that we can never be truly trapped by them. We are also eternal.
  11. We only harm ourselves in our own self-perceptions, and our self-limiting thoughts and paradigms.
  12. Our compassion for others should not affirm their illusions, it should free the individuals from their addictions to illusions.
  13. Our mistakes are canceled checks and carry no lasting consequences.
  14. The Divine (God, Jesus, and Other Divine Beings) are not responsible for our mistakes or pain. They allow them, in agreement with our true natures, and in pursuit of our expansion into Self-realization.
  15. Closed minds and closed ecosystems are born from egos.
  16. Remain non-attached to whichever states of consciousness you encounter or achieve.
  17. The substratum of your mind is ego. Sink deeply within yourself and explore that which is beneath and beyond all substratum.
  18. Duality is the belief that there is an “other.” There is no other. It’s all connected.
  19. You are, and you always have been LOVE.
  20. Seek and affirm love in all people, places, and things.
  21. Your love and gratitude will unveil the truth and set you free.
The journey to spiritual liberation begins with devotion to a master. Whether it’s Jesus, Amma, Yogananda, or another Holy Being, be true to your heart and follow the path of light and love. Stay close to your master, in mind and heart. The master will never leave you.

The Personality Cards are Officially Launched!!! WOOOHOO!

personality cards

Hi Everybody,

My Personality Cards just arrived and I’m grateful for all the work that went into them. The card artist Lucy Kyriakidou did an amazing job! I love how the cards, booklet, and box came out.

personality cards

personality cards

The personality cards are fun to use and can

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I use them in every intuitive session I do,

and they are always on-the-mark!

Buy them HERE.

The Humble Life Of Yoga Master, B.K.S Iyengar

 iyengar yoga

Iyengar Yoga – A Shutterstock Licensed Image

As trendy as yoga has become, when it’s properly practiced it can help earnest people release physical and emotional toxins, and reach deeper levels of clarity and self-realization. Improperly practiced or bastardized, yoga becomes nothing more than an ego-serving, adrenaline-inducing exercise.

While there are many social-experimenters in the US and UK offering varieties of classes involving Party-in-Your-Pants Yoga, B.K.S. Iyengar, and his Iyengar Yoga are the real deal, both grounded in spiritual truths and ancient texts. While some of Iyengar’s followers and teachers may come from a more egoistic state than their master, Iyengar’s teachings have endured the tests of time and dilution. They remain profound and penetrating.

“My Body Is My Temple And Asanas Are My Prayers”
— B.K.S. Iyengar

Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar’s career spanned eight decades, during which he developed and taught a unique version of Hatha Yoga. Hatha was founded in the early 10th century by Matsyendra, the yogi-saint known to be an incarnation of Avalokiteśvara, who has been honored in both Buddhist and Hindu traditions.

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Iyengar’s style focused on correcting alignment through the precise performance of yoga postures (asanas). This “new yoga” was the first popularized form that utilized benches, blocks, belts, sandbags, blankets, and other tools within the practice. This was not only revolutionary, but it also opened the doors for people with physical limitations to correctly perform the asanas without hurting themselves.

Yoga And Sex

Hatha Yoga was originally an extension of Tantra, the celebratory practice of physical and spiritual fusion of masculine and feminine aspects. With specific poses aimed at raising the kundalini or “life force,” Tantric aspirants were enveloped in blissful unions with the eternal consciousness of the cosmos. Tantra, as it’s practiced today, can be exciting, transformative, and yet challenging to master. It can also become addictive and inspire ongoing sexual promiscuity, which can detract from living a balanced, love-based life.

Have no doubt, yoga awakens our most coveted aspects, including our sexual prowess. This is why some yoga masters become sexual predators or at least sexual experimenters. The lure of multiple partners can be enticing and overwhelming, and eventually intoxicating.

But if we consider that most yoga asanas were designed to awaken the flames within us, how can we find faults in our desires, addictions, and yoga teachers? Sexual expression and healing have always been intertwined with the tenets of yoga. Eventually, it comes down to taking responsibility for our projections, and enjoying the outcomes, whether they result in disaster or bliss. Remember, there is no “other.”

“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.”
— B.K.S. Iyengar

Trendy Yoga

While it used to be an honor to be invited to study yoga, today, anybody can wander into a gym and sign-up for classic forms of yoga. Gym and yoga studio members can also engage with the more hipster versions of this ancient rite, including “Rage Yoga,” Metal Yoga,” and “Sailor’s Mouth Yoga,” the latest forms designed to massacre the ancient texts with ego and attitude. There’s even a USA Yoga Championship and The International Federation of Sports Yoga. Hooray!

While these concepts are exciting and potentially fruitful for their followers, they have nothing to do with the original yogic disciplines. Yoga is not a sport or a hobby. It’s a spiritual path that can lead to awakening. And while you might feel joyful, accomplished, and self-validated when competing, copping attitudes, or slamming shots of Jäger after downward-facing-dog, these activities tend to be more self-aggrandizing than transformative.

The Basics of Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar Yoga requires discipline as it strives to unify the body, breath, mind, and soul. What also makes Iyengar Yoga unique is that it focuses on learning and experiencing rather than pushing through a list of poses in one sitting. It’s all about quality instead of quantity. While this style of yoga veers from the traditional flow of Hatha Yoga, it’s equally calm, gentle, and mindful. While the practice of Iyengar Yoga does not require its students to adopt any set of beliefs, it follows this teaching to its core:

“Let us bow before the noblest of sages Patanjali, who gave yoga for serenity and sanctity of mind,

grammar for clarity and purity of speech, and medicine for perfection of health.”

BKS Iyengar authored many books on yoga, including “Light on Yoga,” which sold over 3 million copies, and became an international best-seller, translated into 17 languages. He also authored 13 additional books, including “The Tree of Yoga,” “Light on Pranayama,” “Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali,” and “Light on Life.” Although he was a profound teacher and master, he never required his students to follow his personal, religious traditions. In fact, he would encourage them to remain devout to their birth religions and cultures, the sign of a true spiritual master.

The BKS and Ramamani Iyengar Family

Married to BKS in 1943, Iyengar’s wife was a humble, loving woman named Ramamani, for whom he later opened The Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, India. During their loving marriage, Ramamani gave birth to five daughters and one son. Their children Geeta and Prashant continued the Iyengar Yoga legacy by becoming internationally-known teachers and authors.

Throughout her life, Geeta (1944-2018) focused on yoga for women and published “Yoga: A Gem for Women.” Prashant authored several books on yoga and served as director of the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Institute for many years. It is said that Iyengar’s and Ramamani’s other children Vanita, Sunita, Suchita, and Savita, led more secular lives. Yet, the lineage continues: Abhijata Sridhar Iyengar, their granddaughter, continues to each at the family’s institute in Pune, and in other countries.

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While many yoga masters fall under the tutelage of a guru very early in their lives, Iyengar did not hear the calling until his brother-in-law invited him to a class when he was 15. Not only was his brother-in-law a respected teacher of yoga, but Tirumalai Krishnamacharya is also often referred to as “The Father of Modern Yoga.”

“There is a universal reality in ourselves that aligns us

with a universal reality that is everywhere.”
— B.K.S. Iyengar

BKS Iyengar’s Early Education

BKS Iyengar lived a fascinating life. Born in a poor village in Karnataka, India, he was the 11th child of 13. After contracting influenza during the pandemic that ravaged his hometown, the young BKS was never the same. Before reaching adulthood, he was stricken with malaria, typhoid fever, poor nutrition, and bouts of tuberculosis.

By the time he was 15, he was ready for a change. Beckoned by his famous brother-in-law, the yogi Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, Iyengar moved to Mysore, India, and spent two years devoutly practicing yoga asanas. In 1937, when Iyengar was 18 years old, Sri Krishnamacharya ordained the young man as a yoga instructor and sent him to Pune to spread the gospel of asanas.

During the time of his study with Sri Krishnamacharya, the young Iyengar struggled. Since he neither showed spiritual promise or was a favored student, Iyengar was often assigned to the drudgery of household chores. Because of this, his relationship with Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya was often strained.

It wasn’t until Sri Krishnamacharya’s prize students moved away when Iyengar’s master training began.

While some students were given lighter exercises and less stringent schedules, Iyengar was taught a series of difficult postures, often being instructed to fast until he mastered specific asanas.

After teaching yoga for many years, Iyengar felt called to teach in other parts of the world. He spent time in Switzerland and Europe teaching violinist Yehudi Menuhin. Back at home, Iyengar taught celebrities Jiddu Krishnamurti and Jayaprakassh Narayan. He also taught the Queen of Belgium how to do a headstand, and writer Aldous Huxley and actress Annette Bening to perform his unique asanas. Iyengar continued to teach and lecture through to his death on August 20, 2014. He was 95 years old.

“Be inspired but not proud.”
— B.K.S Iyengar

B.K.S. Iyengar Quotes

“It is through your body that you realize you are a spark of divinity.”

“Breath is the king of mind.”

“Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul creates the symphony of life.”

“Yoga does not just change the way we see things; it transforms the person who sees.”

“There is no difference in souls, only the ideas about ourselves that we wear.”

B.K.S. Iyengar’s Legacy

As an Indian national hero, Iyengar’s government awarded him several prizes, including “The Padma Shri” in 1991, “The Padma Bhushan” in 2002, and “The Padma Vibhushan” in 2014. These accolades were heard around the world. In 2004, Time Magazine named Iyengar as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2005, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors declared October 3 as “B.K.S. Iyengar Day.” In 2011, Beijing’s China Post honored this prolific writer and teacher with a commemorative stamp.

More recently, the Oxford Dictionary recently defined the noun “Iyengar” as “a type of Hatha Yoga focusing on correct alignment of the body.” On December 14, 2015, Google honored what would have been Iyengar’s 97th birthday with a Google Doodle, a digital animation that was shown on browsers in India, North America, Europe, Russia, and Indonesia.

A true master of yoga, BKS Iyengar continues to inspire millions of people to improve their postures, health, happiness, and souls through his uniquely profound Iyengar Yoga.

Osho: The Bhagwan Rajneesh

Osho

Osho was quite magical. A Shutterstock Licensed Image.

While many agree that Jesus, Buddha, and Guanyin (among others) are enlightened and eternal light-beings, it’s a bit difficult to experience them in three dimensions, let alone receive a hug from them. It might be said that for those who cannot see their internal-masters in a living, breathing human being are missing out on something special.​

The moment someone calls themselves a spiritual master, all the beings in all the realms perk up and get to work. These etheric forces will test potential spiritual masters, not to bring them down, instead, to prepare them for the paths of service they declare.​​

The universe continually seeks ways to infuse the eternal nature of consciousness into human beings. It loves to assist in the births of powerful spiritual avatars. This tendency is one of the most beneficial wonders of this world. Because of it, there’s always an abundance of living spiritual gurus, masters, and sages.​

Avatars take births to teach us about love and consciousness, and to challenge our attachment to the physical universe so that we can know the world within us. Much to our collective chagrin, authentic spiritual gurus generally do not seek to validate our financial and physical realities, or reinforce society’s oppressive constructs and rules, although some of them do.​​

purchase-the-personality-cards-oracle-tarot-deck

There are some who might judge and condemn today’s living gurus and their disciples, noting that this world is not holy enough to birth a living saint. These naysayers doubt many gurus’ divinity, teachings, and methods. Some protest, picket, and write books about how horrible one guru or God is versus another. These folks probably have similar doubts about themselves.​​

While discipleship can be a profound and liberating experience, it comes with challenges. A guru will help her followers reduce their attachment to their egos and minds, but she also peels away our layers of illusion and delusion, which, while freeing, can be painful. Being a disciple of a guru is not for the spiritually timid.

This process of devoting oneself to a guru can also be frightening and life-shattering because it has the potential to disrupt the false identities and lives we’ve built. Upon the guru’s glance, our egos might also become inflamed, causing us to think that we are the All and Powerful Oz. Egos don’t always dissolve without a fight.

From the outside, a community centered around a spiritual guru can appear quite insane. Why wouldn’t it? Most people living in traditional society are climbing ladders, pursuing goals, and conquering a temporal world. It’s difficult to defend the eternal against the emanations of the physical, especially to people who have no frame of reference for alternative spirituality, and no interest in change.

The Bhagwan

Gurus like India’s Osho, otherwise known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, can be misinterpreted by society and misrepresented by devotees. In the documentary, “Wild, Wild Country,” fears and egos dominated what might otherwise have been a profoundly peaceful pursuit.

The Osho biography describes a variety of miracles, contradictions, and controversies. What does “Osho” mean? Originating from Sanskrit, it refers to a master or teacher. Osho was a renegade, which can be both a challenge and a blessing.​

In the 1980s, Osho and thousands of his followers moved out of India and descended upon a small town in Oregon. Instead of infusing the city with love, they conquered it, which caused their neighbors to demonize them.​​

During their tenure, several of Osho’s followers were charged with crimes, including attempted murder, and eventually served time in prison. Chances are this wasn’t the original vision. Google “Rajneesh Oregon” and you’ll see a flood of fascinating pages.​

Most of us weren’t there, and we can’t comment on what it was like to be a disciple of Osho’s or a local homeowner. I’m also not here to judge. That said, I believe there are some profound, applicable lessons to be extracted from the ordeal.

For the guru, it’s not about the details, drama, or press. Peaceful or not, and authentic or not, a guru’s path is about the spiritual journeys and advancement they’re called to inspire in their disciples. It might be said that when we are subject to change and catastrophe, our minds evaporate and our souls progress.

How To Avoid Toxicity

In all things “guru,” here are a few key lessons to consider:

  • We need not adhere to rules and pursuits set by a tangential collective. The goal is to follow the teachings of the guru and the eternal.
  • When engaging in a spiritual community, refrain from becoming entangled in heated activities, even if they appear to be benign.
  • Each person’s journey is unique, each with her own pace and personal responsibilities. In the enlightenment scene, as long as it’s based in love and includes service to those in need, an individual’s spiritual growth takes precedence over the worldly goals of a group.
  • Infuse your beliefs with love and base your projections in love. This will reduce your ego and fears.
  • The communities that emerge around gurus are often spiritual hospitals. Refrain from being interested in or attached to the drama unfolding around you. After all, a fair number of spiritual aspirants tend to be little devils working out their small problems or new-age narcissists seeking to enroll others in their spiritual self-aggrandizement.
  • A guru’s physical form is not reality. Their bodies are metaphoric vehicles meant to help us see their eternal nature within us. When we attach to a guru’s form or life, we put them in boxes, which, in turn, does the same to us.
  • Refrain from blaming a guru for your participation in their ideologies, methods, and communities. We only lose our free will when we relinquish it, which is also a choice.

Wild, Wild Country

If you’ve not yet watched this fantastic documentary about what is often called, “the Rajneesh cult,” let me sum up its spiritual gems:

  1. Many of us do not know how we feel or how to express ourselves. Learning how to do this can open doors to our divinity.
  2. Having a spiritual master can expedite our evolution. This can be invaluable.
  3. ​For a sad, broken few, a guru relationship might send a disciple in the opposite direction, and deeper into their shadows.
  4. ​When we fuse our worldly desires with our spiritual projections, we might make other people jealous, confuse ourselves, and possibly set the world on fire.
  5. ​When we believe a guru to be anything but the embodiment of the universe, which includes everything, both good and bad, dark and light, love and evil, we are mistaken.
  6. ​Just like regular folk, some spiritual people love recognition, power, and control. Given the right conditions and motivations, they might consider doing anything to bring these darker attributes to life, especially when holding power-position within religious organizations. Think priests and little boys, nuns and rulers, and preachers who demonize gay people to avoid their self-hatred and gay natures.
  7. ​While certainly family-focused, loving, and prayerful, small-town America might not be the most open and aware populace in the world. Being landlocked has consequences.
  8. ​We don’t know whether or not there was a pre-birth pact between Osho and his infamous directors and their helpers. We also don’t know whether or not Osho was an enlightened master or if he encouraged some of the organization’s less benevolent activities.
  9. ​It might be that by allowing his directors to manifest their dangerous and illegal actions within his controlled, confined organization, thereby distilling them from society, Osho saved the world from another Jim Jones or Hitler.
  10. ​A few things about gurus: some gurus might have karma to work out before they blossom into embodiments of light. They might have pre-birth soul commitments to fulfill before merging with the eternal. They might also not be consciously omniscient or care about omniscience. The lessons and benefits from their missions might only be derived from the insanity they inspired.
  11. ​When a collective is seeking a particular style of spiritual advancement, radical gurus are required to awaken the group through specific, uncommon modalities. Without these modalities, a large number of people might never know their light.
  12. ​Praying for dark or damaged souls, whether they are evil are not, is helpful to all living beings and healing for our judgmental hearts and minds.
  13. Living within a judgment-free spiritual path means that we must look at all the attributes from an experience, whether it is our experience or another person’s, and we must use

Rajneeshpuram: The Rajneesh Compound

Osho’s mysterious compound, which the majority of inhabitants seemed to love and cherish, and where all sorts of drama and illegalities occurred, is a metaphor for our minds. This metaphor begs a few questions:

  • If we were given the opportunity, would we live with an enlightened master in a community of like-minded souls?
  • If it appeared to be the only way to protect our loved ones, would we use guns to defend ourselves?
  • What spiritual chaos have we each created or fed in our lives?
  • What imaginary fires have we turned into harsh realities?
  • Where have we allowed our needs to experience liberation to wreak havoc in our lives and the lives of others?

Who Are The Living Spiritual Masters In The World?

Spiritual masters and gurus are not always public or famous people. Your babysitter, mechanic, or optometrist might be a living spiritual master. You might be one breath from becoming enlightened.​

Luckily for humankind, many wonderful public masters have taken birth to bring light and healing to the planet. Steering clear of the gurus at the center of controversies and lawsuits, here are a few profound and divine rockstars whom I’ve met, enjoy and love:

Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi)

Known as “The Hugging Saint,” and found at Amma.org, this Amma is a profound master, teacher, and humanitarian. She has the broadest and most comprehensive mission of love and benevolence seen in recent centuries. With multiple hospitals, housing charities, and millions of followers, Amma has inspired volunteers from all walks of life to serve others. When receiving a hug from Amma, she chants in Sanskrit and helps unlock and dissolve your karma. You can get a mantra from Amma and ask her pertinent questions. Amma tours the US every summer and then returns in the fall. Her ashrams are found all over the world, most notably in San Ramon, CA and Kerala India.

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There are other lovely spiritual masters, also known as “Amma.” For example, Karunamayi, who, from an early age, decided to shower the world with unconditional love through prayer and seminars. Karunamayi is known to be a beacon of light which seeks to remove suffering from the hearts of her followers. You can learn more about Karunamayi here: http://www.karunamayi.org/

Mother Meera

The lovers and followers of Mother Meera say that she is the Divine Mother on earth, the embodiment of the Divine Feminine. She offers free transmissions of light, love, and grace as her gift to the world. Visit https://www.mothermeera.com to learn more.

Thich Nhat Hanh

This enlightened soul is an inspiring spiritual leader, poet, peace activist, and teacher of mindfulness. Enjoy his books, entitled, How to Love, Peace in Every Step, Being Peace, and The Art of Power. You can learn more about this peaceful master here: https://plumvillage.org/about/thich-nhat-hanh/

Onward On The Path

There are many living masters, including but not limited to: Sadhguru, Eckhart Tolle, and Ram Dass. There are also many enlightened masters who have since passed, including Paramahansa Yogananda, Swami Vivekananda, Neem Karoli Baba, Jesus Christ, and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Explore these beautiful human beings and others who appeal to you, and continue to seek the source of light within you. Engaging with and devoting oneself to a guru can have miraculous effects, especially if the master is rooted in love and is devoted to humbly serve humankind.

Thich Nhat Hanh: Buddhist Master Of Mindfulness, Miracles & Peace

Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh – such a beautiful human being. A Shutterstock Licensed Image.

Known as “Thay” in the western hemisphere, Thich Nhat Hanh is a poet, scholar, Zen Master, and lovely human being. He is also the father of “Engaged Buddhism,” a movement that brings together practical Buddhist wisdom, social activism, and mindfulness.

Thay is a global phenomenon and a gentle, inspirational friend to all. His tireless efforts as a teacher of Buddhadharma have alleviated the pain and suffering of millions of people across the globe. His beautiful lectures, meditations, and bestselling books have inspired countless followers to seek the light within, and find peace.

Thay was born as Nguyen Xuan Bao, in the city of Quang Ngai, Vietnam, in 1926. By age 16, he was a novice monk at Từ Hiếu Temple, in Hue City, which is where he was given his name, Thich Nhat Hanh. Thay was the first monk to be seen regularly riding a bicycle in public and one of a handful of monks who saw serving humanity to be a form of meditation.

“There Is No Way To Happiness. Happiness Is The Way.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh

Thay graduated from Báo Quốc Buddhist Academy and received extensive training in Mahayana Buddhism and (Vietnamese) Thiền “Zen” Buddhism. Soon after, he became a Bhikkhu, a fully ordained male, monastic, Buddhist monk.​

To Thay, everything is a meditation: eating, walking, seeing, speaking, breathing, and relating. With each step and each breath, we can either inch away from the depth of ourselves or be fully present to our peacefulness. In every moment, we have an opportunity to decide the fate of the next.

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Thich Nhat Hanh has been continually involved in the peace and nonviolence movements since his early days at Từ Hiếu. He believes veganism is vital to saving the planet and that nonviolence toward animals will inspire a more profound peace and improve the natures of our souls.

“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh

Plum Village Monastery

Thay founded a lovely, Buddhist community known as “Sweet Potato” near Paris in the 1970s, shortly after he left Vietnam. In 1982, it was time to expand into Plum Village, which began as a small, rustic farm and developed into what is now the largest Buddhist monastery in Europe.​

The official name of the monastery is Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism. It’s here that Thich Nhat Hanh established his monastic order, which consists of around 600 monks and nuns in 9 monasteries across the globe. The Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation is the charitable arm of Plum Village.

Thousands of Buddhists and other visitors journey to Plum Village every year, where each is nourished by the hundreds of resident monks and nuns who practice and teach Buddhism for the benefit of humankind.

The primary purpose of this lovely community is to live mindfully throughout every activity. This includes eating, walking, working, relating, laughing, or sharing a cup of tea with fellow visitors from other countries.

The monastery’s environment is peaceful and nourishing. In addition to serving the global, monastic Buddhist community, PlumVillage.org states that they hold many programs and retreats for laypeople, teenagers, veterans, the entertainment industry, members of Congress, law enforcement agencies, and people of color.
All meals are vegetarian and delicious.

“When You Touch One Thing With Deep Awareness, You Touch Everything.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Thay’s Remarkable Accomplishments

Thay was very busy in his youth, which continued throughout his life. In the early 1960s, he founded Lá Bối Press, Van Hanh Buddhist University, The Order of Interbeing (Tiep Hien Order), The Unified Buddhist Church, and the School of Youth for Social Service. The latter provided immeasurable value to Vietnam by sending young Buddhist workers to rural areas to build schools and clinics, and to help rebuild infrastructure in towns and villages.

Thay studied comparative religion at Princeton University, taught Buddhist psychology and other courses at his Van Hanh Buddhist University, taught comparative religion and Buddhism at Columbia University, led symposiums in Vietnamese Buddhism at Cornell University, and was a lecturer and researcher in Buddhism at the University of Sorbonne, in Paris. In short, Thay is a rock star.

In 1966, he became a Dharmacharya, or “one who becomes the dharma,” from Zen Master Chân Thật. He became the head of The Từ Hiếu Pagoda and a long list of monasteries. Later, he would chair the Vietnamese Buddhist Peace Delegation.​

Thich Nhat Hanh has a long list of celebrity and religious followers, including Martin Luther King and Thomas Merton. After nominating Thay for a Nobel Peace Prize, King said, “I do not personally know of anyone more worthy of this prize.”

When Thay visited the United States to inspire efforts toward peace in Vietnam, both North and South Vietnam denied him entry. This exile lasted 39 years. The CIA labeled Thay a political dissident. By all accounts, Thay was an unrelenting and powerful force during these years. He led the Buddhist delegation to the Paris Peace Talks in 1969.

 

His monasteries and Dharma centers include:purchase-the-personality-cards-oracle-tarot-deck

  • Blue Cliff Monastery in Pine Bush, NY
  • The Community of Mindful Living in Berkeley, CA
  • Deer Park Monastery (Tu Viện Lộc Uyển) in Escondido, CA
  • Magnolia Grove (Đạo Tràng Mộc Lan) in Batesville, MS
  • European Institute of Applied Buddhism in Waldbröl, Germany
  • Từ Hiếu Temple in Vietnam
  • Prajna Temple in Vietnam
  • Additional monasteries can be found in Paris, Hong Kong, and Australia

More recently, Thich Nhat Hanh founded “Wake Up”, a global movement of young people training in mindfulness, and related education centers in Europe, America, and Asia, known as “Wake Up Schools,” where teachers are trained to teach mindfulness.

Thay has been invited to teach at some of the most prestigious companies and organizations in the world, including Google, The World Bank, and The Harvard School of Medicine.​

His mindfulness calligraphy has been exhibited in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Canada, Germany, France, and New York. Thay’s artfully crafted phrases are spiritually inspiring and nurturing.​

​In addition to his native tongue of Vietnamese, Thay is fluent in English, Chinese, French, Sanskrit, Pali, and Japanese.

Thich Nhat Hanh Quotes

Thay’s sweet and touching sentiments penetrate every heart who hears them. Enjoy these simple, yet profound thoughts from Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh:

  • “Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.”
  • “The real power of the Buddha was that he had so much love. He saw people trapped in their notions of small separate self, feeling guilty or proud of that self, and he offered revolutionary teachings that resounded like a lion’s roar, like a great rising tide, helping people to wake up and break free from the prison of ignorance.”
  • “Many people think excitement is happiness…. But when you are excited, you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.”
  • “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
  • “It’s very important that we re-learn the art of resting and relaxing. Not only does it help prevent the onset of many illnesses that develop through chronic tension and worrying; it allows us to clear our minds, focus, and find creative solutions to problems.”
  • “Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”

“Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity.”

Thich Nhat Hanh Books

Thay wrote over 100 books on mindfulness, peace, fear, death, communication, and Buddhism. Over 70% of his books are written in English. Here is a sampling from his authored works:

  • Vietnam: Lotus in a Sea of Fire
  • Being Peace
  • The Sun My Heart
  • The Miracle of Mindfulness
  • Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
  • Zen Keys: A Guide to Zen Practice
  • The Heart Of Understanding: Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra
  • Living Buddha, Living Christ
  • True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart
  • The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching
  • The Miracle of Mindfulness: A Manual on Meditation
  • The Path of Emancipation: Talks from a 21-Day Mindfulness Retreat
  • Be Free Where You Are
  • No Death, No Fear

“If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the rain, the sunshine. You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and that is meditation. If we chew every morsel of our food in that way we become grateful and when you are grateful, you are happy.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh

Living And Dying In Peace

In 2014, Thay suffered a severe stroke which left him paralyzed on his right side, and without the ability to speak. Fortunately, he can write, and often uses hand, head, and body gestures to answer questions.

In 2017, Thay was given an honorary doctorate from The Education University of Hong Kong for his “life-long contributions to the promotion of mindfulness, peace, and happiness across the world.”

In November 2018, Thay returned to the Vietnam temple where his initiation into monkhood took place, Từ Hiếu. Imagine those early days when the young Thay eagerly learned about meditation, mindfulness, and Buddhadharma from his Zen Master, Thanh Quý Chân Thật. Thay has chosen to spend his remaining days here.

​Throughout the years, media outlets have called Thich Nhat Hanh, “The Father of Mindfulness,” “The Other Dalai Lama” and “The Zen Master Who Fills Stadiums.” Martin Luther King Jr. said Thay was, “an apostle of peace and nonviolence.”

Mahavatar Babaji: The Eternal, Holy Master Of Kriya Yoga

Mahavatar Babaji

Mahavatar Babaji OM OM OM. A Shutterstock Licensed Image.

The most magical, mystery tour imaginable might be a holy trek to the Himalayas, in search of the eternal Kriya Yoga master known as Mahavatar Babaji, or Babaji, an incarnation of Krishna.​

It has been recorded that this immortal yogi transferred the ancient Kriya teachings to thousands of initiates, working behind the scenes, and without their conscious knowledge of his transmissions.​​

Having achieved a high level of spiritual awareness and superpowers, Babaji was and is a great Siddha. Within each of several lives, he overcame a long list of human and spiritual limitations, on his eternal quest to help humanity evolve.​​

Few have seen the great Kriya master, yet many have claimed that he is the holy Being that gave birth to their devotion and spiritual lineages.

“If You Come To Doubt, I’ll Give You Every Reason To Doubt. If You Come Suspicious, I’ll Give You Every Reason To Be Suspicious. But If You Come Seeking Love, I’ll Show You More Love Than You’ve Ever Known.”
— Mahavatar Babaji

Mahavatar Babaji’s Quick Ascent

According to ancient legend and tradition, Babaji was born in 203 AD, to two Nambudri Brahmins, in a village known as Parangipettai, in Tamil Nadu, India. Babaji’s father was a Shiva devotee and Hindu priest. Mahavatar Babaji’s birth name was “Nagaraj,” which translates to “Serpent King,” a reference to the energy “snake” of Kundalini.

After being kidnapped and freed at the age of 5, Babaji sought the Kriya Kundalini Pranayama teachings from Agastyar, the revered and holy Vedic sage and scholar of Hinduism. Nagaraj soon moved to Badrinath, where he surrendered his ego and gained initiation into divine service.

Kriya Yoga Comes Back To Life

In his Yoga Sutras, Patanjali defines Kriya Yoga as, ”the constant practice of and cultivation of detachment, self-study, and devotion to the Lord.”

Kriya meditation and yoga techniques have been around for thousands of years but were kept a secret to protect their purity. These techniques were utilized by Jesus Christ and his disciples, the Buddha and his followers, and Arjuna, the most powerful archer in history, as noted in the ancient Indian epic, Mahabharata. Arjuna and Krishna’s dialogue is found in the Bhagavad Gita.

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Kriya Yoga was reinitiated into the physical world in 1861 when spiritual initiate Lahiri Mahasaya asked Babaji to be his guru. In return, Babaji transmitted to him the ancient and powerful knowledge of Kriya Yoga.
Sri Yukteswar, one of Lahiri’s disciples, requested the Kriya transmission from Mahasaya Lahiri, and it was granted. Paramahansa Yogananda was one of Sri Yukteswar’s disciples, who received the Kriya teachings when he was in his 20’s.

During a meditation in his home, Yogananda sought Babaji for reassurance in his quest to take Kriya Yoga to the west. Babaji appeared to him, gave him the assurance he needed, and then disappeared.
Describing Babaji’s eternal role here on earth, Paramahansa Yogananda wrote, “Babaji is well aware of the trend of modern times, especially of the influence and complexities of Western civilization. He realizes the necessity of spreading the self-liberation of yoga equally in the West and the East.”

Babaji promises to guide all Kriya Yogis on our quests toward liberation.

Mahavatar Babaji’s Home

The small, humble village in the Himalaya Mountains known as Badrinath, in Uttarakhand, India, has long been considered the home of Babaji. The large temple in the town, The Temple of Badrinath, is regarded as an eternal doorway to Babaji, through his prior incarnation, Narayan. Hundreds of thousands of people visit this site every year to chant his name.

Adi Shakira, a late-7th-century philosopher and theologian, and the yogi who consolidated the Advaita Vedanta doctrine is credited with reestablishing Badrinath as a holy site and preeminent stop on any pilgrimage. Adi compiled the main concepts of Vedanta which formed the basis for today’s Hinduism.

Yogis of the Himalayas who wish to connect with Babaji will faithfully pray to Narayan at this magical temple. They chant the names Narayan, Babaji, Krishna, Babaji-Krishna and Babaji-Narayan hoping to receive their blessings.

As noted in the Bhagavata Purana, ”There in Badrikashram, the supreme being, in his incarnation as the sages Nara and Narayana, had been undergoing great penance since time immemorial for the welfare of all living entities.”

This is a reminder of a true Yogi’s sadhana in Amma’s (The Hugging Saint’s) mantra, “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu,” which translates roughly to, “May all the Beings in all the worlds be happy.”

Babaji Quotes

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  • “Love is the undisturbed balance that binds this universe together.”
  • “The Divine realm extends to the earthly; but the later, illusory in nature, does not contain the essence of Reality.”
  • “Even in the world, the yogi who faithfully discharges his responsibilities, without personal motive or attachment, treads the sure path of enlightenment.”
  • “Even a little practice of this dharma (through religious rites and righteous action) will save you from great fear, the colossal sufferings inherent in the repeated cycles of birth and death.”
  • “For the faults of the many, judge not the whole. Everything on earth is of mixed character, like a mingling of sand and sugar. Be like the wise ant which seizes only the sugar, and leaves the sand untouched.”

“Whenever Anyone Utters With Reverence The Name Of Babaji, That Devotee Attracts An Instant Spiritual Blessing.”
— Paramahansa Yogananda

How Do I Invite Mahavatar Babaji To Appear

As with all eternal masters, they might appear to us when we truly need it. Only they know what our soul requires for liberation.
Consider these ideas in your pursuit to merge with the eternal nature of Babaji:

  • If Your Desire Is To Be Showered With Babaji’s Love, Chant This Mantra For Some Time, “Om Babaji, Om Babaji, Om Babaji” With A Sweet And Vulnerable Reverence.
  • To Experience The Essence Of A Light-Being, You Might Imagine The Master’s Form And Bow To His Or Her Image. Humbly Ask For A Blessing By Saying, “My Heart Is Open. I Am Open. Bless Me With Your Light So That I Can Grow In Love.” You Might Also Speak To Babaji As Your Most Treasured Friend.
  • Consider These Chants To Invoke These Divine Incarnations:
    • “Om Hreem Kreem Babaji Namaha”
    • “Om Kreem Babaji-Narayan Namaha”
    • “Om Hreem Narayan, Om Hreem Krishna, Om Hreem Babaji-Krishna Namaha”
  • Some Might Also Chant The Maha Mantra, Found In The Upanishads:
    • “Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare Hare. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare Hare.”
  • This Divine Meditation Technique Might Also Be Of Help:
    • Sit cross-legged on the floor or in a comfortable chair, with your spine straight.
    • Take ten very slow and deep breaths, commanding that each breath’s energy fill your body’s cells, organs, and systems with light and love.
    • Take another ten breaths, using them to go deeper within yourself so that you can be without thoughts.
    • Imagine the physical form of Mahavatar Babaji in front of you. See him at the age of 25, filled with light, copper skin and brown hair, and with rose petals at his feet. Ask Babaji to fill your heart and life with peace and love.
    • Consider repeating in your mind, “Mahavatar Babaji, have mercy upon me.” You might also repeat “Mahavatar Babaji” in your mind upon inhaling, and then “have mercy upon me” upon exhale. Use a cadence that opens your heart.
    • After some time, say this aloud, “Sitting within the sphere of the divine light of my master Babaji, I am safe, whole, happy and aware. I seek the master’s divine presence, love, blessing, and guidance in my life. I am with you master, forevermore.”
    • Take ten more breaths and imagine the love of the universe filling your vessel. Pray for a handful of people whom you love. Open your eyes and have a blessed day.

Even if we do not experience visitations of spirit, when we seek the eternal light in specific forms, we will undoubtedly receive their essence in the forms of joy, light, love, and peace.

Chögyam Trungpa: Crazy Wisdom

Chögyam Trungpa

Chögyam Trungpa was a profound soul.

I was entranced with the beautiful writings of Chögyam Trungpa for many years. His book, Shambhala: The Sacred Path of The Warrior became a staple in my life. It opened my eyes to spiritual potential and deepened my understanding of life, love, and the divine.​

The more I learned, the more I craved Chögyam Trungpa’s books. When I meditated on him, I could feel his playful and loving heart. He had died a few months prior to my first experience of his unique spirit and work.​

My favorite Chögyam Trungpa quotes are, “Everyone loves something, even if it’s only tortillas” and “The ideal of warriorship is that the warrior should be sad and tender, and because of that, the warrior can be very brave as well.”​​

A prolific writer and Buddhist meditation master, Chögyam Trungpa (March 5, 1939 – April 4, 1987) is among the first masters who brought Buddhist teachings to the west and made them accessible. The holder of the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages, Chögyam Trungpa, was a brilliant man who lived a remarkable life.

Besides being the 11th Trungpa Tülku, an incarnating line of Tibetan lamas, Chögyam was:

  • A radical, groundbreaking teacher in the Vajrayana school of Buddhism
  • A re-imaginer of the original visions of Shambhala (a mythic Buddhist kingdom)
  • A Tertön, someone who discovers ancient, hidden, Tibetan Buddhist texts
  • The Supreme Abbot of the Surgmang Monasteries
  • Globally adored Poet, Artist, and Scholar

“Enlightenment Is Ego’s Ultimate Disappointment.”
― Chögyam Trungpa

The Adventurous Life Of Chögyam Trungpa

While studying meditation, philosophy, calligraphy, painting, and monastic dance, Chögyam Trungpa became a monk in 1947. In the 1950s, when Chinese communists repatriated Tibet, the Rinpoche trekked over the Himalayas and narrowly escaped capture. He reached India in 1959 and began teaching Buddhism to young lamas in Delhi, India.

Fluent in English, Chögyam Trungpa studied at Oxford, and taught throughout North America and Europe, giving thousands of talks to eager initiates.

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Known for presenting Buddhist teachings in secular terms, Chögyam founded his growing Buddhist community and teachings under the name, “Vajradhatu” in 1973. The organization was renamed, “Shambhala International” in 2000 by his son, born to a nun named Lady Kunchok Palden.

Shambhala International focuses on Buddhadharma, meditation, mindfulness, wakefulness, creativity, and new thoughts on living a peaceful life.

In 1970, Chögyam married a wealthy sixteen-year-old student named Diana Judith Pybus (also known as Diana J. Mukpo). They had three sons together, two of whom are recognized as reincarnations of Buddhist lamas. Diana also had a son out of wedlock, Ashoka Mukpo, raised by Chögyam, who is also considered a reincarnated Tibetan lama.​

Ashoka states on his blog about his father, “I believe from the bottom of my heart that we will be unpacking his life and teachings for a thousand years.”​​

Diana wrote a book entitled, “Dragon Thunder: My Life with Chögyam Trungpa”, which details the challenges and triumphs living with the Buddhist master. While remarkable, their marriage wasn’t all malas, mantras, and magic.

In 1974, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche founded Naropa in Boulder CO, the first Buddhist-inspired university in the United States. Chögyam’s books are published by Shambhala Publications and is not affiliated with Shambala International or Naropa University.

To many Buddhists, Chögyam Trungpa is known as a profound and enlightened Buddhist master. He is also one of the most influential spiritual leaders of our time. His books and lectures are considered essential teachings on meditation and Buddhadharma.

The Chogyam Trungpa documentary, “Crazy Wisdom: The Life & Times of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche” can be found on online and in stores.

“We Do Not Have To Be Ashamed Of What We Are. As Sentient Beings, We Have Wonderful Backgrounds. These Backgrounds May Not Be Particularly Enlightened Or Peaceful Or Intelligent. Nevertheless, We Have Soil Good Enough To Cultivate; We Can Plant Anything In It.”
― Chögyam Trungpa

Chögyam Trungpa Books

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s work is vast and profound, so please do not allow this short list to limit your exploration of his work.

Here are a few highlights among his remarkable publications:

  • Born in Tibet (1966), autobiography, the story of escaping from Tibet
  • Meditation in Action (1969)
  • Mudra (1972)
  • Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism (1973)
  • The Tibetan Book of the Dead: The Great Liberation through Hearing in the Bardo, translated with commentary by Francesca Fremantle and Chögyam Trungpa (1975)
  • Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior (1984)
  • Crazy Wisdom (1991)
  • The Heart of the Buddha (1991)
  • Secret Beyond Thought: The Five Chakras and the Four Karmas (1991)
  • The Lion’s Roar: An Introduction to Tantra (1992)
  • Timely Rain: Selected Poetry of Chögyam Trungpa (1998)
  • Great Eastern Sun: The Wisdom of Shambhala (1999)
  • Glimpses of Space: The Feminine Principle and Evam (1999)
  • The Essential Chögyam Trungpa (2000)

Famous Chögyam Trungpa Quotes

It’s impossible to encapsulate the writing of Chögyam Trungpa in a few quotes, but here are a handful of his thoughts that might inspire an opening of heart and mind:

  • “Shambhala vision teaches that in the face of the world’s great problems, we can be heroic and kind at the same time.”
  • “Becoming “awake” involves seeing our confusion more clearly.”
  • “As long as a person is involved with warfare, trying to defend or attack, then his action is not sacred; it is mundane, dualistic, a battlefield situation.”
  • “When we talk about compassion, we talk in terms of being kind. But compassion is not so much being kind; it is creative to wake a person up.”
  • “Enlightened society has to be real and good, honest, and genuine.”
  • “When we are afraid of ourselves and afraid of the seeming threat the world presents, then we become extremely selfish. We want to build our little nests, our cocoons so that we can securely live by ourselves.”
  • “The key to warriorship and the first principle of Shambhala vision is not being afraid of who you are. Ultimately, that is the definition of bravery: not being afraid of yourself.”
  • “Warriorship is so tender, without skin, without tissue, naked and raw. It is soft and gentle. You have renounced putting on a new suit of armor. You have renounced growing a thick, hard skin. You are willing to expose naked flesh, bone, and marrow to the world.”
  • “Meditation, or samadhi, is connected with the idea of overcoming the constant search for entertainment.”

The Wild Side Of Chögyam Trungpa

It might be said that every master who can see through the veils of reality might also enjoy an occasional, secret dip into the most human enslavements.

To boot, any great re-imaginer and re-presenter of ancient texts are bound to cross lines that most of us would consider sacred. Whether the crossing of these lines is inconsistent with the path leading to liberation is up to the reader.

Chögyam taught many students to explore their wild natures so that they could know their passions, depths, and limits. He encouraged others to seek authenticity in pursuit of knowing their gifts, values, and uniqueness. Given the wide berth he gave his followers, Chögyam may have imagined that each soul would eventually tire of these mundane activities and seek the divine.

Chögyam Trungpa loved to engage elite and revolutionary writers, artists, and thinkers. His students included the famous author Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck, and the lovely Joni Mitchell. He also spent time with the voice of the Beat Generation, Allen Ginsberg, and poets W.S. Merwin and Anne Waldman, among many others.​

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It was said that Chögyam Trungpa enjoyed drinking alcohol, and on occasion, used cocaine. Some have said that they would not recommend becoming a student of his due to his narcissistic and sexual tendencies. Chögyam’s wild side could be challenging, off-putting, and potentially dangerous, if not harmful to others.

When we dance with the pains, perilous thoughts, and behaviors of humanity, either as a writer, artist, or teacher, we begin to see that every vice is akin to the others. Over time, the collection of human vices becomes a collage, each one fading into the next. There is no reason to judge one vice over another, except in the harm that it might engender to ourselves and others.

There have been other accusations against Chögyam Trungpa, including sexual liaisons, consorts, and the like. While we cannot know the depths of pain that Chögyam may have inspired in others, we must realize that not all teachers are as pure as they portray. If we weren’t present to the mayhem, we might never know the truth. Chögyam said, “You shouldn’t imitate or judge the behavior of your teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche unless you can imitate his mind.”​

It might be said that Trungpa enjoyed provoking people, even shocking them, out of their attitudes, masks, apathy, and aloofness, with the hope that they might seek expansion and liberation.

“My Devotion And Gratitude To The Vidyadhara Know No Horizon For Bringing Us The Blessings Of Our Lineage, Which Continue To Inspire Me To Be A Genuine And Compassionate Human Being. It Bears Remembering How Difficult It Was For Him To Transmit That Lineage, And What An Integral Part Of His Heart And Mind It Was. I Have Great Faith That We Are In A Special Moment Right Now; May The Memory And Legacy Of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche Guide Us.”
— Ashoka Mukpo, Journalist, Photographer, and adopted son of Chögyam Trungpa

Chögyam Trungpa’s Controversial Son

When high-profile, spiritual leaders repeatedly make mistakes that hurt others, it’s usually the sign of something much deeper and more problematic, not only within the individual but also within the related organization.

Born Sawang Ösel Rangdröl Mukpo, Mipham Rinpoche, also known as Sakyong or King, is the leader of one of the most expansive Buddhist organizations in the world, known as Shambhala International, which includes over 220 centers, groups and gathering halls in over 50 countries. It was initially founded under a different name by his father, Chögyam Trungpa. Sakyong Trungpa is Chögyam Trungpa’s son and spiritual heir in this life.

Chögyam imparted profound Buddhist teachings to his children but may have imbued his son with sexual and mischievous ideas and behaviors, along with other related dependencies and complications. It is impossible to know what was transmitted, transmuted, and consumed into Sakyong Trungpa.

Choseng Trungpa Rinpoche: The Reincarnation Of Chögyam Trungpa

It appears that the teachings of Chögyam Rinpoche are getting a second life. Choseng Trungpa has born as the 12th and current Trungpa Tülku on February 6, 1989, in eastern Tibet. Enthroned at Surmang Monastery, where his father Chögyam Trungpa was the most recent abbot, Choseng has been officially recognized as the reincarnation (reemergence into a new life through birth) of Chögyam Trungpa.

It’s True: In Life And Death, What Comes Around, Goes Around!

Sai Baba Of Shirdi: Sufi Saint, Creator, Sustainer, And Destroyer Of Universes

Sai Baba Of Shirdi

Sai Baba of Shirdi, a profound soul. A Shutterstock Licensed Image.

Revered by thousands of Hindu, Muslim, Christian, and Zoroastrian devotees, Shirdi Sai Baba was known to be an Indian saint, Satguru, fakir (vowed to poverty and devoted to God), and spiritual master. The translation of Sai Baba’s name speaks directly to how people saw him. Sai means “Sufi Saint” and Baba means “Father.”

Baba did not support the hierarchical caste system or the notion that one religion was more significant than another. Throughout his life, he gently wove elements of Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam into his unique version of Vedantic teachings.

While Sai Baba’s birth year was not recorded, it is assumed he was born near the year 1838. He passed from this life in samadhi in 1918. Baba often lived in a Mosque, and his physical body was cremated in a temple.

Many believe Sai Baba of Shirdi to be the embodiment of Saguna Brahma, which refers to an eternal, absolute and immanent divine presence. Many also believe Sai Baba is the embodiment of the supreme God and Sri Dattatreya, one of the consecrated avatar-lords of Yoga in Hinduism.​

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Baba was most likely born to Brahmin parents within a few hundred miles of Shirdi, Maharashtra, India. Some have reported that he came from the village of Pathri. When he arrived in Shirdi, at the age of 16, where he led an ascetic life, Baba began meditating under a neem tree and teaching local villagers.

Baba left Shirdi for some time and was thought to have traveled throughout the country meeting with other saints, fakirs, and gurus.

“Do not be misled by what you see around you, or be influenced by what you see. You live in a world which is a playground of illusion, full of false paths, false values, and false ideals. But you are not part of that world.”
— Shirdi Sai Baba

The Teachings Of Shirdi Sai Baba

While most of the local villagers saw Sai Baba as a beautiful and humble saint, a few considered him to be evil and would throw stones at him. Regardless, he remained in a state of profound peace and showered his followers with love, respect, and kindness.

When living at the Mosque, Baba would tend the sacred fire (dhuni) and would give out the ashes to his devotees. Baba’s holy ash was reported to have produced many healings and miracles.

Sai Baba’s teachings were based in the three Hindu paths, Bhakti, Jnana and Karma Yoga. He believed one God to govern all. He was occasionally heard chanting, “Allah Malik” or God is King.

​Like many Satgurus, Shirdi Sai Baba focused on the importance of self-realization, while continually warning of the trappings found when we love things in the material world. Baba taught about love and forgiveness, charity, selfless service, inner peace, and how to maintain an un-shattered devotion to God.

Sai Baba of Shirdi was particularly adamant about the importance of surrendering to your guru or Satguru. He taught that having a living master helps initiates release their attachments to their self-identities and move closer to God-consciousness.

Sai Baba of Shirdi would often share ideas that seemed to be akin to a spiritual form of physics. He would say, “To every one of us there must come a time when the whole universe will be found to have been a dream when we find the soul is infinitely better than its surroundings. It is only a question of time, and time is nothing in the infinite.”

Baba taught two fundamental principles over and over again, Shraddha and Saburi. The Sanskrit word “Shraddha” means to have love, respect, and faith in the divine. Baba taught that Shraddha would take devotees far beyond intellectual intelligence and a rationalized reality. He taught that Saburi, meaning “patience and firmness,” is a vital part of achieving self-realization.

In all things, Baba taught us that our spiritual paths would be less burdened if we protected the purity of our souls, minds, and hearts.

Sai Baba Of Shirdi Quotes

  • “What is new in the world? Nothing. What is old in the world? Nothing. Everything has always been and will always be.”
  • “Man is lost and is wandering in a jungle where real values have no meaning. Real values can have meaning to man only when he steps on to the spiritual path, a path where negative emotions have no use.”
  • “College education gives you the chance to earn money and live thereupon. But, unless it destroys certain illusions that are nourished by the common level of mankind, your lives will not be happy.”
  • “Look out into the universe and contemplate the glory of God. Observe the stars, millions of them, twinkling in the night sky, all with a message of unity, part of the very nature of God.”
  • “Why fear when I am here?”
  • “The end of knowledge is wisdom. The end of culture is perfection. The end of wisdom is freedom. The end of education is character. And character consists of eagerness to renounce one’s selfish greed.”
  • “I am formless and everywhere. I am in everything and beyond. I fill all space.”
  • “I will not allow my devotees to come to harm. If a devotee is about to fall, I stretch out my hands to support him or her. I think of my people day and night. I say their names over and over. I look on all with an equal eye.”
  • “I cannot do anything without God’s permission.”

The Other Sai: Sathya Sai Baba

More recently, Sathya Sai Baba, an Indian guru who lived from 1926 to 2011, was a revered spiritual teacher who claimed to be the reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi.

Both devotees and non-devotees reported Sathya Sai Baba’s ability to materialize jewelry, heal the sick, and appear in multiple locations at the same point in time. These public displays of spiritual magic elevated his fame while also producing controversy.

Throughout his 84 years, Sathya Sai Baba established a network of free hospitals, clinics, ashrams, and schools, and was committed to funding clean water projects in a long list of cities throughout India. There are over 1200 Sai Centres in 126 countries.
Over 500,000 people attended Sathya Sai Baba’s state funeral, including the President, Prime Minister and other famous dignitaries. Among thousands of others, the Dalai Lama offered his sincerest condolences. In fear that Sathya Sai Baba was creating an uncontrollable movement, the CIA followed him for decades. Other accusations included the use of popular, non-spiritual, magic tricks, sexual abuse, fraud, and murder.

“Love All, Serve All. Help Ever, Hurt Never.”
— Sathya Sai Baba

Shirdi Sai Baba’s Miracles, Movies, And Biographies

Many of Shirdi Sai Baba’s followers believed that Baba had profound, spiritual gifts and therefore was able to perform any miracle at will.​

It has been said that Baba was able to read minds, appear in multiple locations at the same time, cure incurable diseases, exorcise evil spirits, energetically stop moving objects, levitate, enter Samadhi at will, physically materialize other people’s illnesses and ailments, and open the most stubborn hearts and minds.​

Even after Baba’s death, some people reported that Baba would appear to them as various Gods and divine forms and give them spiritual and life advice.​​

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The following movies were made about Baba’s life, including: Shirid Che Sai Baba(Marathi), Shirdi Ke Sai Baba (Hindi), Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Mahathyam (Telugu), Bhagavan Shri Sai Baba (Kannada), Sai Baba (Marathi), Sri Sai Mahima (Telugu), Shirdi Sai Baba (Hindi), Ishwarya Avatar Sai Baba (Hindi), Malik ek (Hindi) and Shirdi Sai (Telugu).​​

The remarkable life of Shirdi Sai Baba was chronicled in two books as follows:

  • The Shirdi Diary (1910), by Ganesh Shrikrishna Khaparde, a noteworthy account of Sai Baba’s life.
  • Shri Sai Satcharita (1916), by Govindrao Raghunath Dabholkar. This book consists of 53 chapters about Sai Baba’s teachings, miracles, and life.

Many people have reported feeling peaceful and inspired by these books, a feeling that can also be achieved by visiting Shirdi Sai Baba’s temples. His first temple was built in Bhivpuri, Karjat, India.

“Unless there is some relationship or connection, nobody goes anywhere. If any men, women or creatures come to you, do not discourteously drive them away, but receive them well and treat them with due respect. Sri Hari (God) will certainly be pleased if you give water to the thirsty, bread to the hungry, clothes to the naked, and verandah to strangers for sitting and resting. If anybody wants any money from you, and you are not inclined to give, do not give, but do not bark at him like a dog.”
— Shirdi Sai Baba

Shirdi Sai Baba’s Devotees And Temples

The Sai Baba Temple in Shirdi has over 25,000 visitors every year. It’s managed by the Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Trust, a philanthropic and monastic order in Baba’s name. Their website, www.Sai.org.in states, “Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi, is the Governing and Administrative body of Shri Saibaba’s Samadhi Temple and all others temples on these premises, and devoted towards the development of Shirdi village.”

Devotees of Sai Baba of Shirdi hail from all over the world. His temples have been constructed in a long list of countries and continents, including but not limited to the Caribbean, Nepal, Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji, Canada,

The United States, Australia, The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Malaysia, several countries in South America, many countries throughout South Africa, The Netherlands, Cuba, Pakistan, Japan, New Zealand, The United Kingdom, Germany, France and Singapore.

Anandanath of Yewala, a Hindu saint, declared Sai Baba to be a “spiritual diamond.” Gangagir, also a Hindu saint, called Baba, a “magnificent jewel.”​

Meher Baba, a self-self-declared, Indian, God-Avatar, believed Sai Baba of Shirdi to be a “Master of the Universe” or Qutub-e-Irshad, a term known only within the Meher Baba community.