The importance of Bhakti and service to God through service to humanity are underscored in a world of guided missiles and misguided men, says an enlightened ascetic who is hailed as a divine entity by a growing number of Hindus in India, New Zealand and other parts of the world.
Sri Om Adi Sakthiyendra Swamigal is of the view that faith in humanity generates faith in God, which in turn leads to the overall good.
“Humanity leads to Divinity and Divinity leads to Unity,” he said, reinstating the belief that the Supreme Being is omnipresent, guiding the destiny of the Universe, the Earth and all living beings.
Adi Sakthiyendra said while humans created religion, the need for pursuing righteous life is more important today than it was ever before in history.
“Humanity is religion and if people can live and work together with love and kinship, the world would be rid of all its problems and at the personal level, people can lead lives without stress. This in effect produces a healthy society and a healthy world,” he said speaking to Indian Newslink.
He was in Auckland on a four-week visit, during which he conducted a number of meditation classes for the members of the Sri Om Inc (which he established six years ago) and participated in the Bhoomi Pooja of the organisation’s Temple and Community Hall project on a plot of land in New Lynn in West Auckland.
Articulate and learned, Adi Sakthiyendra was born on August 21, 1961 as the second child in an orthodox Hindu family in Chennai. He was named Ravinarayanan, and as a graduate in Commerce from the University of Bangalore, he was expected to follow the ‘beaten track’ of millions of his compatriots.
However, destiny had a different design. He was ordained to become a saint according to reports, the initiation came from Sri Om Adi Shakti Devi, an Avatar of Goddess Shakti, when he was 20 years old.
Successful completion of three extremely tough forms of penance (meditation in a mountainous forest during monsoon, in cold water during winter and ‘Agni Thapas,’ entailing penance seated in a pit surrounded by fire) brought divinity and radiance in him, following which he established the ‘Sri Om Adi Shakti Ashram’ in Avalur Village, Tamil Nadu. The Ashram provides free boarding, lodging and education to poor and destitute children, serves pilgrims bound for Sabraimalai and trains youngsters in dance and drama.
The Ashram has branches in Sydney and Auckland, with community activities undertaken in Fiji and Canada.
Following the completion of ‘Agni Thapas, Adi Sakthiyendra began considering himself to be a woman (in the true spirit of Sri Om Adi Sakthi Devi) and as such dresses and behaves accordingly.
“This change in appearance may surprise some people as they may not be aware that such a change is stated in the Vedas,” his devotees said.
The Temple being constructed at 7 Tomo Street in New Lynn would mark the first place of formal worship for Sri Om Inc.
According to Adi Sakthiyendra, the complex, on a 700 Sq meter plot, is estimated to cost $500,000 including the cost of land ($200,000).
“Our target is to complete the project over the next two years, providing for government procedures including Resource Consent and mobilising financial resources,” he said.
The Bhoomi Pooja, held on January 29 was a solemn affair, marked by the presence of Reverend Fred Holloway (Kaumatua), Hoani Waititi elder Awa Hudson, Whau local borad chair Derek Battersby, Labour Member of Parliament Dr Rajen Prasad and Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust chairman Jeet Suchdev.
The event comprised several prayers including ‘Sri Om Adi Shakti Devi Homam’ and ‘Sudarshana Homam.’
Chitra Poornima, Navaratri and Oonjal Seva are three major festivals that the Ashram observes with grandeour every year.
The Auckland branch publishes a bimonthly newsletter called, ‘Devi’s Voice.’
Donations for the project could be remitted to the account of Sri Om Inc at any branch of Westpac (Account Number 03-0252-0843274-00)
18 Rules to blissful life
Propounded by Sri Om Adisakthiyendra Swamigal
1. Love all living beings
2. Always think of God
3. Give respect to elders. Elders should also be considerate
4. Always lead a simple life. Teach the same to your children
5. Do Pray and meditate both morning and evening
6. Neither your words nor your deeds should harm others
7. Destroy anger before it destroys you. Anger is self-destructive
8. Your food is vegetables, not animals. Stop eating meat immediately. God is there in animals too; hence it is a sin to kill animals
9. Spend your time knowing about Gods and Saints. Do not spend time unnecessarily
10. Do not overeat or oversleep
11. Practice silence for at least one hour daily. This is good for both mind and body
12. Fast at least a day in a month and be cheerful and normal as usual
13. Shed tears for seeing God only
14. Feed the poor daily. Donate clothes to the needy
15. Move with those who believe in God and respect Gurus
16. Be a good host and feed your guests
17. Do not gossip about others. Think and talk about God only
18. Detach yourself from worldly things and attach yourself to God alone