February 24th

February 24th

Swami Vasudevananda
Swami Vishunanda
Swami Bavananda

Ranchi is building a new Dayana Mandir, near the reception hall. It will hold 300 people.

I eat little except in the morning when wheat portage is served. Really tastes great. But we did discover a restaurant, The Nook, at the Kwality Inn near the train station that serves Chinese, Indian and American. The inn also provides a refreshing Indian drink – sweet lime and soda with cane pressed sugar. Incredible taste, refreshing and great for the stomach. So Bob and I would go there just for the drinks.

Michele, Ewing and I went into downtown Ranchi on a rickshaw. The driver ended up the wrong side of the street (against traffic). So after some out of body experiences, we hopped out and walked to the stores. I got a pair of sandals. We went to check on some cloths Ewing was having made for Verna.

Then Michele and I took a rickshaw back to Ranchi, taking a neat route off the main road which a little quieter and more charming. This is where all the artisans, textile, lumber and coal outlets are located. Also lots of Catholic schools for girls and boys. Ah! Took a nice bucket bath when I got back to Ranchi.

We had a great satsanga with Swami Vasudevananda under the very tree Master used to teach the children – definitely 'yes' to education being held outdoors. The kids would pay more attention in this natural setting. Swamiji is very warm, loving, humorous soul.

I did some laundry and hung it out on the rooftop of the dormitory. Cloths dry fast in Ranchi air.

We leave for the train station. We ride in car C-1 for Calcutta (Kolcatta) – a nine hour ride but we get to see the Indian countryside. Michele got lots of pictures hanging out of the train. There are cows everywhere in front of each hut and house.

We pull into the station around 12:30 am. Men come on the train dressed in Red, argue and carry our luggage out on their heads to our waiting bus. It was like a dream going through the station – so many people, so intense, so fast we were moving but felt like we were in slow motion. I thought that all the people would converge on us but didn't. It was if we were invisible. I think Master hidden influence was at work.

We are loaded on to the bus for Dakshiniswar Yogada Math (YSS headquarters). But it took us 2 hours to go five miles. There was a transportation strike the day before and each night between 8pm and 6am the supply trucks move into town to make their delivers and we were smack in the middle.

We meet Swami Amarananda at the gate and finally get to bed around 3am. Then its off to the city, across the Ganges, to sight see; have lunch at the Oberi and visit Masters 4 Garpar Road home.

We had a nice lunch at the Oberi. We did the buffet and had about every desert they had – at least Bob and I did. While everyone else left to go shopping, we stayed and had a great-fun talk for 90 minutes or so. Bob is a great soul and a great Father (Dale and Evan) – lots of wisdom.

Now Master's house – Wow! We meditated in his attic room made famous in AOY. Talked with Hare Krishna Gosh, Master's brother's (Sananda's) son. His relatives and granddaughter live with him.

Lopa's (she is a member at Encinitas Temple and friend of Teri's) parents met us 4 Garpar and invited us to their house for dinner. Lopa's Dad used to be Chief of Police and is now a lawyer. Jonathan called him Mr. Lopa. He even told him a lawyer joke, “Why don't sharks eat lawyers? Answer: Professional courtesy”. Mr. Bose laughed. He is a jolly man.

Next day we left for Sri Yukteswar's ashram after a visit to Kali temple (scene of 'Heart of a Stone Image') where Ramakrishna and his saintly consort Sarada lived. Beautiful meditation in their living quarters.

Seramapor – we walk to the very spot where Sri Yukteswar met Mahavatar Babaji and received the request to write a book correlating the Bible and the Gita -- “The Holy Science”. Babaji also told him that he would send a disciple for training – Master.

Because the President of India was visiting, the bridge would be closed to traffic for hours, so Jonathan, Teri and I got off at the bridge entrance, which crosses the Ganges to Dakshiniswar.

It was neat because there was no traffic at all. It turned out to be a nice walk across. From the middle of the bridge we could see the ashram and the Kali temple.

From the other side we took a rickshaw to the ashram. All the schools were getting out, so the little children would yell, “Hello. Hello!”

Ah! Some quiet, peaceful time at the ashram. I cleaned up and had 4pm tea. We had nice talk with a couple from Santa Rosa (Steve and Chris). Steve is a Ferry Captain in San Francisco – gets razzed by his co-workers about his path (done in good humor).

There was a beautiful sunset over the Ganges. Meditated in Sri Daya Mata's Mandir located at the corner of the property overlooking the Ganges.

Energization and meditation followed. The meditation room has a warm glow with beautiful lamps and artistic ceilings. When Swami Armarananda performs the Arti, he also burns incense which filter the remaining light from the sunset rays spreading in the room – you are transported. Ewing played the harmonium.

After dinner we had kirtan.