Sanatan’s ashram in Goa, which is the light of the world
(vishwadeep), endows spiritual experiences of sattvikta and Divine Consciousness
I am indeed blessed, as with the grace of Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Athavale, I have been able to reside in the Ramnathi (Goa) ashram. The purpose of this article is to give information about the ashram to those who have not been fortunate enough to see it and to offer gratitude at the Holy feet of the Guru with the hope that He will accept this humble offeering.
1. Guests are welcomed to the
Ramnathi ashram with unconditional love
Who can love unconditionally other than Shrikrushna ? When guests are expected to the ashram transport is arranged to bring them here; also they are provided bedding and accommodation and even a shelf in the cupboard to keep their belongings.
They are welcomed to the ashram with a smile and assisted in moving baggage to the room. This is done by seekers with so much of love, care and speed that the visitor is left in awe. Nothing needs to be asked for.
Guests feel overwhelmed and full of gratitude on experiencing this shower of love even in the Kaliyug (era of strife). H.H. (Dr.) Athavale has taught seekers to love unconditionally through His actions. Give love and get love. Love should be devoid of any expectations.
2. Experience of stress-free bliss in the ashram due to
sattvikta, Divine Consciousness (Chaitanya) and unconditional love
First guests are given a tour of the ashram, they are explained the different sevas rendered here in detail. They are shown their room and are informed about the norms to be observed in the ashram. We experience stress-free bliss in the ashram due to the sattvikta, Divine Consciousness and unconditional love. Performing sevas in the ashram increases your concentration and capacity. A review of Guruseva performed and mistakes while doing it are reviewed at spiritual meetings (satsang) and are also taught about how to derive bliss from it is learnt.
3. Unconditional love not found anywhere in the world
is received even by a stranger quite easily and these precious
moments of unconditional love create a niche in the hearts of guests
The birthday of a guest seeker is celebrated in the ashram. If the seeker is a lady then she is dressed in a nine yard sari and is given ornaments to wear by resident seekers and her aukshan (waving a lit oil lamp in front of the face) is performed. A poem on the seeker’s virtues is penned and read out. A greeting card is given to her by an elderly seeker and photographs are clicked on the mobile phone camera. Finally she is gifted a chocolate or sweet. This entire birthday celebration is completed within 15 to 20 minutes in an environment full of bliss and enthusiasm. The one celebrating his birthday is asked about his aim in life from now on and through it he is reminded of his targets in spiritual practice. This is followed by a meal with a sweet dish. This is a universal family with all relationships – grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts etc. everyone greets the one celebrating his birthday. The shower of this love on guests is so much that it remains imprinted in his heart forever. This kind of love, which is not found anywhere in the world is abundant here. This is why innumerable people from all over the world visit the ashram again and again.
4. Every seeker in the ashram renders seva unto
the guru with happiness and intense love, and hence even
when expiating destiny in the ashram, he experiences only bliss.
Here virtues are appreciated and ego and personality defects are overcome with help from others. In case of illness the seeker is given special food with dietary restrictions, his personal chores such as washing his plate, clothes etc are done happily by other seekers. The seekers here perform sevas such as playing chants on the loudspeaker or mobile phone or applying sattvik perfume, camphor or lighting incense sticks as spiritual remedies, reminding elderly seekers to take medicines etc, to perfection. That is why even when expiating destiny seekers feel happy here.
5. Seekers lovingly bid farewell to visiting seekers
After a four day stay in the ashram when Mrs.Vijaya Kale aji (79 years) (now H.H. Kale Aji) and her husband (88 years), brother (90 years), daughter and granddaughter were seated in a car to leave for Pune, seekers of all age groups came to say goodbye.
Seekers were lovingly asking Aji whether she has left behind any of her belongings, and whether she has taken a water bottle ? Seekers were telling her to inform once she reached Pune, and to come back to ashram soon. And she was responding with equal enthusiasm. Little girls were offering obeisance. Seekers were asking her to take care of her health, and asking her granddaughter to come to ashram during school vacation etc.
Some were standing in namaskar posture while others were waving goodbye.
All hailed the Name of H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj with intense spiritual emotion, then the Holy verse (shloka) Krushnayavasudevaya was recited after which they departed. All were waving goodbye till the vehicle was out of sight.
The faces of Aji, her family members and the seekers waving them goodbyes were full of spiritual emotion (bhav). Everyone’s eyes were filled with tears of bliss, enthusiasm and pure love. Though the farewell lasted for only 5 to 10 minutes, it was as if the seven sacred rivers were overflowing with spiritual love (priti).(This is the narration of the visit of Mrs. Vijaya Kale aji of Pune along with her family to the Ramnathi ashram in Goa before the death of her husband. – Compiler)
I was experiencing all this event and felt, “what kind of pure love is God showering unto us”? , Such love, that even the king of Deities, Indra will envy of. It is love from the Gokul of Ramnathi. It is the love of the samashti (societal) form of Shrikrushna and receiving this unconditional love is indeed a great fortune. Every visitor here receives it. So to experience it, you have to visit Sanatan’s ashram at Ramnathi.
6. All embodied souls enticed by the
spiritual love of Ramnathi bid a farewell to the
ashram with a resolve to return back to the ashram
after recreating the Ramnathi ashram at their homes.
When at home we have conflicts within the family, also there is hatred and jealousy. we become irritable when we have to entertain even a single guest at home. But here in the ashram we can behave and speak with love. This is only because of the grace of H.H. (Dr.) Athavale. He has impressed this in the minds of seekers through His own actions. This is bountiful in Ramnathi only due to the grace of the Guru. All embodied souls get attracted to the fragrance of spiritual love, get impressed by the abundant Divine Consciousness (Chaitanya) here and become content with the experience of bliss. They make a resolve to make their own home the Ramnathi ashram and leave the ashram with a wish to return.
As I was not satisfied even after writing this God suggested that I write poetry.
7. Realisation that it is impossible to
describe Sanatan’s ashram in Ramnathi, in words
Despite writing poetry I am still not content, so I understood that this topic is of spiritual experience, whose description is beyond words, and it is not possible to describe what is non-verbal in words.
H.H. (Dr.) Athavale, You alone can describe (give a spiritual experience) Your ashram, no one else is capable of that. This is what I have realised and hence God, I surrender unto You.
– Mrs. Shalini Marathe, Sanatan ashram, Ramnathi, Goa (5.6.2015) at the Holy feet of the Guru