On the occasion of Guru Purnima Mahotsav (day dedicated to Godfathers), India’s Swami Brahmadev Upadiyah will be conducting Ramayan Satsaangs at the Brahma Vidya Peetham Ashram, 41 Caratal Road, Gasparillo.
This religious event which began on July 9 will continue tonight ending on Sunday with devotional hours from 6 pm to 9 pm nightly. Swami spoke about this function saying that he will be delivering Ram Katha (expounding on the life and times of Lord Rama). “The Ramayan (Holy text of Hindus) is popular in this country through Ram Leela and the various yagyas,” Swami said, adding that he will be doing the favourite pastimes of Lord Rama.
At this function Swami will be initiating his foremost devotee Ananda Sushri as she takes the first step of becoming a “Sanyasi” (Priesthood). Having studied scriptures in India for many years, Ananda is now preparing to go one step further and renounce the world as she dedicates her life to the service of God. For the past 25 years she has been living a life of devotion as a member of the (BVPA).
Ananda has been visiting many villages in the country delivering lectures from the religious scriptures. She spoke on the topic of becoming a Sanyasi, indicating a sannyasi lives a celibate life without any worldly possessions, practises yoga and devotional meditation. “The goal of the Hindu Sansyasi is ‘moksha’ or liberation,” she stated, adding that this liberation means connecting with God and performing only his work.
Ananda who was born in Claxton Bay has been learning philosophy for ten years, she has mastered both Hindi and Sanskrit and is now on a mission to travel the world with messages from the Vedas (Holy text of Hindus). With the past seven years she has travelled to many countries including many states in the USA, UK, India, Holland, Norway, Denmark, Israel, Japan, England, India, Indonesia, Hawaii and in the Caribbean – Barbados, St Maarten, Guyana, Curacao, St Lucia, Suriname, Jamaica, and Guadeloupe. In India she visited Rajasthan, Punjab, Mysore, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh for various lecture series. “I am so happy as a small daughter of Trinidad and Tobago that I have a golden chance to propagate our ancestral spiritual property in so many countries,” Ananda said. She noted that audiences “are appreciating and accepting my discourse when presenting the global views of Hinduism and scientific explanation of our philosophy, tradition and culture, they like this more.”
“However”, she elaborated, the orthodox explanations they don’t like very much especially the younger generation of most countries. “People want simple answers of any questions, something that they can relate to in this time,” she said, adding that she is happy that people are accepting the philosophy of yoga and meditation, reincarnation, vegetarianism, and family values as stated in the Ramayan. In recalling her lectures in the different countries she felt, Japan and Israel, India and Europe – Holland, England, Germany love the ideal of Ram Raj or the kingdom of Sri Ram. “They are more eager to know in detail,” she said. More challenging questions are usually based on the point of reincarnation and the rituals of Hinduism. Sometimes, she says, the audience condemns some practices “but on my behalf Gurudev gives beautiful answers.”
Swami said he is very proud of Ananda who has taken the time to study philosophy and is travelling around the globe soothing minds, healing hearts and giving solace and hope to all souls. This through the universal and uplifting katha (divine messages) of the Ramayana. Ananda says she will spend her life reaching people and bringing positive messages to them. “I believe that the answers to life’s problems really lie in the philosophy of Ramayan,” she said, adding that any problems that a human may face can become either a springboard for betterment in the future or a stumbling block that one cannot remove because of ignorance. She noted that when a problem arises it weakens the individual. As a result one cannot make a move forward that easily. “This is why doing devotion and gaining spiritual strength is important,” Ananda said.