A Place where devotees gather to share inspiration.
"Holy Mother" painted by Swami Tadatmananda
Used courtesy of the Vedanta Society of Southern California
Thanks for the interesting and informative reply, Paritosh. Am sure Jayrambati is all that you say, and i too must go back some years to recall my visit to Dakshineswar. Everywhere was closed and I wandered around for a while, actually witha a somewhat disappointed feeling in my heart. The gardens were beautiful but i wasn't sure where i was allowed to go etc. However, got a nice feeling looking at the Vivekananda bridge from there.
My vibrations can't have been good that day, for at Belur also I just was unable to lift the mind. Basically the time was not good;
however i received Diksha upon returning from that trip, and remember my Guru also saying, later, that he too preferred to remember Dakshineswar as it is described in the Gospel. Incidentally he had met many great saints outside the Order aswell and had been advised by Ramana Maharshi to join the Order. He was highly pleased that i had been to Swami Sivananda Sarasvati's Asrama in Rishikesh - (There are posters of many gods and saints in the main hall there, but an overwhelming preponderance of Mother, Master and Swamiji pictures..A bit of a rambling message this!
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
Anthony thanks for reminding me of all those places …. each one has its own flavor. It would be a difficult choice to make so let me take a journey to those places with all of you and that may help in answering this wonderful question.
Jayrambati is what can I say…. The village is as if Mother was just there a month or so ago (these are recollections from 9 years ago). I have always felt a vibrant presence of the Mother there. The shrine is beautiful, calm peaceful and inspirational. I have sat there one afternoon outside the temple door (since I arrived after the shrine closed) at even at the doorstep felt Mother was there with me.
I would however say Belur is my all time favorite. Depending on my mood I can be in the main shrine or Mothers temple or old shrine or Swamiji's temple or room. Just sitting at the banks of the Ganga is renewal and it is like you go and have your batteries charged to last you another round of the world. If you go to the Old Shrine, there is a different aura as compared to the Main Shrine. Even in the main Shrine depending on whether it is the Mangal Arti (early 3 am wake up call to Thakur) or the evening prayer the ambience is different and unique.
Depending on our stage of spiritual unfoldment we need a different place or rather the place that will suit us changes. In the initial stages, these places are so important and give so much of meaning to our pursuit of the spiritual goal, just like the books that are needed in the beginning. I still go and visit these places on the web and you can visit Belur, Jayrambati, and Kamarpukur from the website.
Each place you have mentioned has their own relevance and meaning. One thing is certain these places have their intrinsic spiritual current and we need to know that and then use the current of the place of pilgrimage to internalize the spiritual vibration/current of that place
I miss all this being away from these places, but I firmly believe that Mother alone knows what is good for each one of us. When the opportunity comes She will make suitable arrangements and make sure we get to go to those places.
However, it is essential that we internalize what we feel when we are there to something that we can translate into “here” so that we may always have darshan of that form and place of the Mother that is closest to our heart.
Thanks for your thoughts on Dakshineshwar and Belur. However, even though you did not perceive being uplifted did the visit later not culminate with your receivig Diksha?
Having received the mantra from your Gurudev did you not begin your spiritual journey? I think you have yourself answered these questions so I personally view both that visits as being fruitful.
No one knows the ways of the Mother. Why She does what She does. Have faith and patience as a child does when he is with his mother, know She will make arrangements for you. Holy Mother would always stress on the “ripeness of time”, when the time is ripe, it will happen. So also when you mention your visits and don’t feel so positive about it, I am sure that was all a preparation for your real journey into the spiritual world.
I did not mention Ridgely, New York here in USA. This place is Swamiji all over. There are life size pictures and the shrine is so vibrant. They have also kept the room where Swamiji slept like a shrine. All these places are always there to inspire us.
Let me share once again what I once asked Swami Bhuteshananda when I met him at Belur. I told him that at Belur or such places the mind is calm and peaceful and easily mmoves towards the spiritual plane, however this flow doesn’t remain once we leave those special places and how could I ensure that the mood was maintained. He smiled very sweetly and told me “You are looking for it on the outside so it doesn’t stay with you. Once you look for it inside (and he pointed to his own heart) then you will always feel the inspiration.
May Mother bless us all that we may always feel this inspiration.