Your chance to be part of Broome St. Temple’s Hanuman Jayanthi

Here’s the full invitation to the Broome St. Temple Hanuman Jayanthi. I’ll be doing the West Coast version at Tim Miller’s early Friday morning:

HARI OM!

YOU are cordially invited to attend…

SRI HANUMAN JAYANTHI CELEBRATION

(birthday of Lord Sri Hanumanji who helps us win over all “impossibles”)

ON FRIDAY, APRIL 6, 4PM-12AM

at the BROOME STREETGANESH TEMPLE located on 430 Broome Street (2nd floor), Manhattan

Continuous Chanting of the Hymn of LORD SRI HANUMANJI (Hanuman Chalisa) will be done to gain His divine blessings 108 times followed by puja, arathi and prasad.

PARTICIPATE!

Join the Divine Chanting anytime for any length of time and receive Sri Hanumanji’s blessings

SPONSOR!

$108.00 (tax deductible) for a chanting of Sri Hanuman Chalisa for a person or family

DONATE!

Any amount (tax deductible) for the program will be appreciated

http://chyk.chinmayanewyork.org/hanuman_jayanti.html

VOLUNTEER!

For chanting, hospitality, puja arrangements, publicity and fundraising

To sign up for volunteer opportunities or a chanting time slot, send an e-mail to chyk.nyc@gmail.com or call Shabana at (646)-932-2040 .

The slots are: 4-6 p.m., 6-8 p.m., 8-10 p.m. and 10p.m.-12.00 midnight.

Volunteer if you’re in the area.

Posted by Steve

Ways to celebrate Hanuman’s birthday, including with Krishna Das

It’s official.

I’ve worked out some work meetings so I can get down to Tim Miller’s for his Hanuman puja on Friday morning, Hanuman’s birthday. (In an attempt to garner sympathy, I’ll note that the puja begins at 6 a.m. and Tim’s is precisely 100 miles from my house.)

But if you can’t join us, there are other ways to celebrate Hanuman. A good one — well, especially if you’re a subscriber to SiriusXM — is via the Krishna Das channel.  Here are some details:

Airs Friday 4/6 and Saturday 4/7 starting at 10 am ET and plays every hour until 8 pm ET. Krishna Das Yoga Radio celebrates one of the most observed Hindu festivals — Hanuman Jayanti. A day to commemorate the birth of Hanuman, Ram’s most ardent and eternal devotee.  Hear specially selected music and stories about Hanuman from Krishna Das every hour.

 “It’s a great honor to be asked by SiriusXM to introduce chanting to a larger audience and people who might not otherwise be exposed to this type of music – music to quiet the mind and open the heart. I am very excited by all the possibilities of Krishna Das Yoga Radio. I hope to do interviews with chanters and teachers and we will keep adding new chants to the playlist. Please keep tuned in. All Love,” said Krishna Das.

Here’s a link to the Krishna Das SiriusXM website.

But, you’re saying to your computer screen, I’m not a subscriber. Well, that’s OK because there’s an offer for a 30-day free online trial right here. I make no promises about how easy it will be to get out after 30 days. But if you’re able to listen to Krishna Das all day at work, why would you want to leave?

Via exoticindiaart.com

If you are a bit leery of free trials (as I am), I bet you could search for a local kirtan session on Friday honoring Hanuman. Here in Los Angeles, Friday night at 9 p.m. there’s a Hanuman Jayanti Kirtan happening at the aptly named Bhatki Yoga Shala. Our friend — and the woman who is helping fix my shoulder and may end up moving on to my knee — Maria Zavala mentioned it to me this morning, as we passed each other outside the shala.

Surely there’s something similar in your neck of the universe?

UPDATE: New Yorkers! I see that Broome St. Temple is hosting a Sri Hanuman Jayanti celebration on Friday from 4 p.m. to midnight.

Posted by Steve

Tim Miller + Hanuman’s birthday = an early morning trip to San Diego?

I’m not sure how I’m going to manage this, but… it would seem I need to get down to San Diego on Friday.

Why? It’s Hanuman’s birthday, and the celebrating is happening at the Ashtanga Yoga Center. Here are the details, from this week’s Tuesdays with Timji:

Hanuman was born at sunrise and on Hanuman Jayanti a Hanuman puja is traditionally performed just before the sun rises. It is said that at this time the power of Hanuman in the world is 1,000 times what it normally is. The Hanuman Chalisa and other Hanuman prayers are sung and offerings of sindoor (red powder), red hibiscus flowers, a coconut, incense, and arati (an offering of light in the form of an oil lamp) are made. … [snip] … For any interested locals, there will be a Hanuman Puja at the Ashtanga Yoga Center on Friday at 6am.

Tim’s post also notes that this week is an auspicious one. First off, Mercury is back in order. (Tim has a warning for those who think that really means all is well.) And then there’s the little matter of Easter and Passover, as well.

Tim also weaves together an unusual, even for him, amount of threads as he talks about the Friday full moon. We’re at a moment of balance, we can say that.

Can we say whether I’ll make it down to AYC on Friday. I’m not sure… I’ll have to check the rest of my calendar.

If not, there will be a little birthday party here.

Posted by Steve

New! Krishna Das chanting the Hanuman Chalisa

This is new video of Krishna Das leading a chant of the Hanuman Chalisa. It is from this month’s retreat, Open Your Heart in Paradise. Seems to have posted very recently, sometime today. (68 views at the time of posting.)

Good, good stuff. (Actually, “kicks butt” comes to mind.) Jai Hanuman!

Posted by Steve

Hanuman: A god for worshipping god

Today, Dec. 5, is Gita Jayanthi, the day on which Krishna halted time and revealed the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna on the battle field of Kurukshetra. Those of you in New York should be planning to go to the Broome St. Temple for a chanting of this key, central text.

I’ve been thinking about the Gita as I’ve been reading Mataji Devi Vanamali’s book on Hanuman. It had been sitting next to my bed as I read a few other things, but I picked it up because I had been feeling like my practice was all the asana without enough of the inner work, of the devotion. It was starting to seem like gymnastics. If my gymnastic poses were worthy of a gold medal, that might be OK. But my practice without the “yoga” part — if you will — is not something anyone should be doing.

So I dove into Hanuman stories and their meanings for us.

It’s helping. Vanamali may not have Ramesh Menon’s way with re-telling these old Hindu spiritual texts, but a book entirely focused on Hanuman and his ego-less devotion to Rama — with light explanations of their spiritual, yogic and Vedic astrological meanings — is a fine thing with which to end one’s day. (Better than a Kardashian TV show, right?)

What has struck me this time — and I’m pretty familiar with these stories, via readings of different versions of the Ramayana — is that Hanuman so perfectly personifies all the attributes that Krishna describes to Arjuna. Acting without ego or thought of the result? Check. Doing all with god in mind? Double check. Following one’s own dharma as well as possible. Check, indeed.

But Vanamali also points out that unlike Arguna or the other Pandevas — or anyone in the Mahabharata other than Krishna — Hanuman makes the leap, so to speak, to godhood. And in that sense, he’s a god for worshipping god. That’s his function, which is wonderful in both its simplicity and complexity.

Vanamali points out that the worship of Hanuman is relatively new — a few hundred years, really — and is growing. He’s gaining popularity, in other words. And that’s something that, as a Western, is attractive to me. It feels a little less like jumping onto a thousands-of-years-old train; instead, the tracks perhaps were laid down thousands of years ago, but this particular train — or maybe car on this train — isn’t quite as daunting, quite as inscrutable.

Among all the parts of the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence, I may be looking most forward to Stern and Tim Miller talk about the symbolic meaning of Ganesha and Hanuman on Saturday afternoon. It all just doesn’t feel like nearly as much to me without that aspect to the practice.

Posted by Steve

A teacher learns from her student.

A scene from Glass's opera. Via PhilipGlass.com.

Because quite a few of my students hadn’t seen it, I showed the now-infamous video of campus police casually pepper spraying a line of peaceful protestors at the University of California, Davis to my class today. I’d seen it many times, but this time I had the unusual position of standing at the front of a classroom, watching the faces of young people as they saw their fellow UC students being violently treated for peacefully protesting the same issues that they are angry about as well.

It was…difficult. There was shock. And anger. Those who had already seen it were shaking their heads in disgust. After class, I got this unexpected question: “Why didn’t the teachers do anything?”

One of the great benefits of the practice of Ashtanga for me has been the way it’s changed my classroom teaching. I’m more compassionate, patient. I’ve learned to expect the best from every single student. The question has given my pause, though. Have I ever actually helped my students in larger ways, ways that would change the world for the better?

Then comes this timely and thoughtful essay from Ian Desai at The New York Times. In it, Desai bids a thoughtful farewell to the  Occupy Wall Street movement in Zuccotti Park while at the same time pondering the close of Philip Glass’s opera based on Gandhi’s life, Satyagraha. The essay asks, basically, what would Gandhi make of both the opera of his life, and the movement in the park. It’s clear the author finds both lacking

It can be difficult, though, to overlook the incongruity of Champagne corks popping at intermissions, the see-and-be-seen atmosphere and the steep ticket prices at the Met. These trappings have little to do with Gandhi’s ideas of social justice and make opera an uneasy medium for his political vision; in fact they lend an unhappy irony to the very deftness of the rendering of that vision on the stage.

Desai also thinks that Gandhi would find the divisive nature of the protests troubling, that “We are the 100%” would be a better motto. He concludes that our actions are “most meaningful when they set the stage for constructive social action, through which we might begin to mend the world.”

When my student asked me that question, I became painfully aware of how little I’ve really done on their behalf as their tuition skyrockets and budget cuts threaten the quality of their education. This, too, is yoga, yes? What I’ve been taught by my teachers as the real purpose of the practice, in the vein of Hanuman: service.

Desai’s review is a worthy read, but be prepared to question your own practice-in-the-world.

Posted by Bobbie

Off to practice & this will be playing in my head

But only because I’m headed to a Led / Intro class, so my usual quiet, unshakable inner resolve will be on hold.

(Note: There is no quiet, unshakable inner resolve. I believe my mind is well described by this photo:

My mind, mid-practice and all other times

My mind may be dirtier than that, however.)

Nonetheless, here’s what I’ll be bringing to the mat, along with the above monkey:

Posted by Steve