"..I am always present with each one of you all
Mataji Nirmala Devi, August 2nd, 2003
on the occasion on Shri Krishna Puja,
Her presence, love and blessings were there all the time as Sahaja Yogis from
around the world gathered to celebrate Shri Krishna Puja in Canajoharie, USA
during the weekend of August 8th-10th. It was one of those historic events
that will be remembered forever for Sahaja Yogis who had a great fortune to
be here in Canajoharie.
The Land of Canajoharie
Despite the news that Shri Mataji would not be able to come to Canajoharie
in person for the Puja celebration, Sahaja Yogis from around the world came
in huge numbers to enjoy the blessings of performing Puja in this collective
Sanga. They were all full of vibrations, joy and bliss. Everyone had a sense
of maturity that they hold a great responsibility to carry on this great work
of Shri Mataji’s.
A Solemn Feeling
One of the highlights of this Puja seminar was Shri Mataji’s speech,
which was recorded for the Puja in Pratishthan, Pune during the morning hours
of the Puja day. The Yuva shakti of America and Pune bonded together and utilized
all the powers of technology and Shri Vishnumaya to transmit the speech from
Pune to Nirmal Nagari's computer system just in time for the Puja. Her talk
was in Hindi, which was immediately translated in both English and Spanish.
The Puja hanger that was filled to capacity was so silent and full of vibrations
after we listened to Her speech. We could ONLY feel a deep sense of devotion
after the Puja.
Preparations for the Seminar
During Guru Puja, Shri Mataji had asked to hold Shri Krishna Puja in Canajoharie.
Since then, Sahaja Yogis from North and South America started preparing Nirmal
Nagari in Canajoharie to host brothers and sisters from around the world. Nirmal
Nagari (A name given by Shri Mataji than means "Town of Purity")
is a very special place. It is a heavenly retreat nestled in the rolling farmland
in upstate New York, USA. In 1993, this land was selected and purchased by
Shri Mataji for the use of Sahaja Yogis.
With Her guidance over the years,
it has now truly become a Sahaj community. It is a place very vibrant and
tranquil. Sahaja Yogis from all over America get together in Canajoharie throughout
summers to enjoy collectivity and to enrich their vibrations. In addition
to a collective hanger assembly Hall, a Kitchen, and shower facilities, there
is also a beautiful Ashram on Nirmal Nagari where Shri Mataji always stays,
which was fully prepared and decorated for Her visit this year.
Enjoying the Collective
This Krishna Puja celebration seminar was a great sign of a level of maturity
that we have reached as a collective. Nirmal Nagari became Shri Krishna's Gokal
with Sahaj Yogis enjoying each other while strengthening their ascent. Sahaja
Yogis from both North and South America started arriving in Canajoharie from
Monday onwards taking sometime to get settled in, meeting old friends and enjoying
the fruits of the Holy Land. For the first time ever, a live webcam broadcast
was done of the whole Puja celebration event via Internet. As per the statistics
from the Internet team, over 3,000 Sahaja Yogis worldwide watched the live
seminar over the Internet.
During the daytime on all the three days of the seminar, there were several
activities organized for the little children and for grown ups. A separate
activity area was setup and decorated for the children in addition to a beautiful
playground and a fountain.
Sitar Performance by Anwar Khursheed
On Friday night, we had a wonderful music program with a professional Sitar
player from the Toronto area (Anwar Khursheed with Anjan from Florida on the
tabla). There were so many other performances from children and Sahaja yogis.
For example, there was a reading of Shakespeare’s poems about the Devi,
bhajans, and Indian classical dances. Each performance was full of tremendous
Performance by Yuva Shakti
On Saturday, we started to prepare for the puja. Some of us were working on
the decorations, some were busy in the kitchen and others were practicing for
the music performance for that evening.
Preparing in the Kitchen
Preparing for the Evening
On Saturday night we had yet another amazing music program. While Friday night’s
performance included more Indian classical items, Saturday night’s program
was truly diverse with talents from North, South and Central America. With
so many flavors, one after another, yogis gave a standing ovation after each
performance without fail.
The performances ranged from songs from musicals, a Rock & Roll band,
folk music, the Negro National Anthem, Sahaj Hip Hop, a song about Canajoharie,
Kumba and Salsa from Colombia, a dance from Mexico, and much more. It was such
a blessing to hear such extraordinary talents during these musical performances.
Two new CDs were released during the Saturday night program: the first ever
Sahaj Hip Hop songs and vocal music by Mr. Subramaniam.
On Sunday, before the puja, we had a wonderful Raksha Bandhan ceremony. All
the brothers were gathered together in the pendal awaiting the arrival of their
sisters. Meantime the yoginis were gathered together at the courtyard getting
instructed on how to perform the ceremony. Each yogini was given a thali, a
plate, on which were several elements such as a candle, incense, rice, kumkum,
perfume, rakhi bracelets and sweets.
Bhajans during Raksha Bandhan
The bhajans began as the yoginis started walking into the pendal with their
thalis. They strolled around finding the brother(s) who have been dear to them
and performed the ceremony. The vibrations were so strong from the sisters
and brothers that the atmosphere became one of pure love.
Preparing for Raksha Bandhan
Although we are all brothers and sisters in Sahaja Yoga, the Raksha Bandhan
ceremony helps to reinforce the bond between brothers and sisters. And, that
day, it certainly felt like relationships were strengthened. Soon after the
ceremony the ladies in the kitchen prepared a light snack for us to have before
Stage for the Puja
After the snacks, we rushed into the pendal to start the puja. We began with
Swagata Agata Swagatam as Shri Mataji’s photo was gracefully brought
to Her seat. The ladies did aarti to Shri Mataji, and we began with the Ganesh
Atharvasheersha followed by the Ganesh Stuthi. All the children from four years
and up gathered on the stage to wash Shri Mataji’s Lotus Feet. Then 7
married ladies from the hosting countries came up to do puja as we sang some
We then watched a video from Shri Kubera Puja 2002. As soon as the video was
over, we were told that Mother’s speech was recorded from Pune and was
going to be played for us to hear. In this speech, Shri Mataji talked about
how we should never criticize others and stressed the importance of introspection.
Hearing a talk of Shri Mataji’s from the Internet on Shri Krishna Puja
was not the only new innovation in Canajoharie this year; however, it was indeed
one of the greatest advances.
Dandiya going past 2:00 a.m.
In terms of the preparation of Canajoharie, every year, it is getting much
more easier, comfortable and enjoyable for Sahaja Yogis to be at Canajoharie.
The ladies’ pond was also cleaned up this year. It is now much larger
and deeper than before. Some yoginis said that it looks like a lake now!
We also had TVs installed in the kitchen in order to have the cooking ladies
watch what was going on in the pendal and not have to feel like they were missing
any of the performances or activities.
Traditional Fire Dance from Colombia
Each year our Vishuddhis open up more and more. In the areas of music and
dance, we have been able to demonstrate how we can introduce Sahaja Yoga to
the American people through Hip Hop and Rock & Roll.
Collectively, we have grown both in number and in spirit, with a wide array
of talents to appeal to diverse audiences.
Furthermore, we are now in the age of technology where we have found how to
use this form of communication to penetrate deeper into the society at an en-masse
The Sahaja Sangha
As our society makes more advances in the years to come, so will the society
of Sahaja Yoga. And, one day, Sahaja Yoga will become our only society, and
Canajoharie will become a land where we all belong...
Jai Shri Mataji!!