Her Holiness Sri Mataji Nirmala Devi sparked a renewal of hope within the 8 yogis that visited the Pine Ridge American Indian Reservation in late April. For the first time we understood who the REAL people of Shri Krishna’s land are – not the European immigrants that dominate this land, but the Native Americans who by their very nature and culture express perfectly the qualities of the Vishuddhi.
Protector of the Lakota Oyate
Our seminars to introduce Sahaja Yoga and give Self-Realization to more members of the reservation, was a return visit at the request of a Lakota-Sioux woman leader (Janice) who had received her realization some 7 months prior. She expressed her profound gratitude for Sahaja Yoga in this way: “In our Lakota culture, the eagle represents a very high spiritual being. When it has parasites, the eagle flies up to the highest peak and plucks out all of its feathers with its beak in order to cleanse itself. When the feathers are recovered, the eagle soars back down to earth. It is Sahaja Yoga that is giving me the power to tear out the negativity inside myself.” She wanted many more of her people to have the opportunity to discover the Sahaja Yoga way.
Immediately upon our arrival we felt a deep sense of being at home – the Lakota’s that greeted us were open hearted and deeply spiritual, offering a private home on the prairie to use as our “hotel” and taking the time for “kitchen table” talk so we could get to know one another more than just in passing. The Land also greeted us with such tremendous vibrations that we immediately knew that here, on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Mother Earth has been kept sacred. The peace and awe comes from the endless rolling hills graced with tall billowing grasses, ancient mountains that now are small hills (buttes), plentifully stocked with black beef cattle and healthy pinto and appaloosa horses, interspersed with modest homes and trailers rarely clustered together and no visible commercial enterprise except a few small grocery stores and businesses. The paved roads are few, rambling over the 2 million acres with a tiny human population of about 50,000 mostly Native Americans.
Pine Ridge Reservation
Only their schools looked very modern and well equipped with technology. Since the vastness of space on the land requires frequent long distant travel, there are many cars, mostly old, and how-to-get-rid-of-the-junked-autos problem has not yet been resolved as the costs of recycling are still too enormous for the reservation to undertake. The vast wealth generated by some gambling casinos on some American Indian Reservations is not a factor on Pine Ridge, and we were told that the one small casino that exists there was dominated by corrupt and greedy managers so that no money went back into the community. Many of the jobs that do exist on Pine Ridge come from local and national government funded projects. Unemployment and alcoholism is high. Community leaders are struggling to gain control of their lands and resources so as to properly preserve the Mother Earth.
Wanblee Boys and Girls Club
Our first seminar was with 10 teenagers at the Boys and Girls Club from Crazy Horse High School. One of our hosts was their mentor, a strong, tall, long-haired young Native, with a deep sense of commitment to help the Lakota-Sioux people “recover” their lost humanity. He told us most of the teenagers were from fatherless homes and that alcohol and depression were pervasive problems. We could see that he is giving them father-love as well as knowledge of the spiritual values of the Lakota culture. A few days before he had taken them on a hike to a nearby sacred butte called Eagle’s Nest where they gave thanks and prayed to The Thunder Being for having sent rain onto the reservation. They all easily received kundalini awakening....the cool breeze was billowing everywhere.
We let them know we could see they already had a spiritual connection that through daily Sahaja Yoga meditation, would give them the certain knowledge of their power while clearing away any emotional and physical problems. Several of the yoginis provided home baked prasade which was offered along with sodas, nuts and candy to gave more smiles to the young people. We promised that yogis living in nearby Colorado would come soon and give them follow-up Sahaja Yoga programs. We hoped that their mentor would settle into the meditation as he would make Sahaja Yoga an essential part of their daily after-school activities.
Porcupine College was our venue for the next two days. Eight adult seekers received their realization and stayed for a full day of workshops, including video talks by Shri Mataji. Our goal was to ensure that everyone felt the vibrations and received individualized attention. We wanted to provide a strong enough experience during the brief time we had, so the group would continue meditating with periodic support from nearby yogis too far away for weekly follow-ups.
The 17-week Sahaja Yoga course, including video-tapes and handout materials were presented to Janice who offered to try to lead follow-up classes. At the end of the first day, we were pleased to be invited to join in a "Mind, Body, Spirit Two Mile Walk and Run" organized as part of the “Wellness Program” underway at the college. As the walk through the glorious rolling hills and vast open skies of the prairie reached the end, the joyous "re-uniting" with our Lakota brothers and sisters was further blessed by Shri Shiva, as a dense spring snow cooled our Sahasraras.
The last day’s seminar and meditation felt like a puja. The vibrations were powerful and we knew that Shri Mataji’s attention was there. At the completion, we yogis were surprised and transformed by an “Honoring Ceremony” whereby our yogi coordinator, Anna Mancini, was draped in a hand made quilt with a large eagle sown into the design, the symbol of the spirituality of the Lakota people.
In the honoring, Janice spoke about her gratitude for Anna’s having brought Sahaja Yoga to The Reservation the first time and how, through continuing the meditations, she was profoundly changed by the growing realization that Sahaja Yoga could realistically enable her’s and her people’s recovery for which she had been praying since she was a young girl. The tears of compassion flowed as we experienced together the knowing that we all came from the same “Mother” and that all the people on the reservation would soon heal and become whole again.
There are hundreds of similar Native American Reservations in North America, including Canada. There are thousands of opportunities for we yogis to join up with our natural brothers and sisters residing there, to learn from them and to give them the Sahaja Yoga knowledge. Once healed, the Native Americans will help to guide us back to Shri Krishna’s Divine Plan for America.
From "In a Sacred Manner I Live," by Black Elk, an Oglala Sioux Indian and great visionary who lived on Pine Ridge
'All over the universe they have finished a day of happiness.'
And looking down I saw that the whole wide circle of the day was beautiful and green,
with all fruits growing and all things kind and happy.
Then a Voice said: 'Behold this day, for it is yours to make.
Now you shall stand upon the center of the earth to see,
for there they are taking you.'
I was still on my bay horse, and once more I felt
the riders of the west, the north, the east, the south,
behind me in formation, as before, and we were going east.
I looked ahead and saw the mountains there with rocks
and forests on them, and from the mountains flashed
all colors upward to the heavens.
Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all,
and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world.
And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell
and I understood more than I saw, for I was seeing
in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit,
and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.
And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many
hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight,
and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter
all the children of one Mother and one Father.
And I saw that it was holy.'
Jai Shri Mataji to all!
Native American Prayer - Gift During Shri Krishna Puja 2005