The Yangon Diary

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9 Dec 2015

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10 December 2015

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11 December 2015

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Yangon Invite

34 comments

    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Seethalakshmi
      Glad you enjoyed the blog! Thanks for your visit!
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be on every member of your family is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  1. Jai Sri Ramakrishna
    Swamiji
    Such lovely pictures Swamiji!
    Looking at your pictures makes me wish again that you were here with us imparting the good advice and lessons that Swamiji always gave us.
    Just seeing the pictures brings a tear to my eyes because we miss you so much!
    Jai Sri Ramakrishna! Swamiji!
    Rani
    Chatsworth, South Africa

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Rani
      Glad you liked the pictures in my blog!
      Reading your comment, sometimes I think I should not send any pictures at all to the devotees in South Africa. Perhaps that would bring about a change in the emotional perception of nostalgia. However, I am grateful to you that you are outspoken as before! Thanks for the noble sentiments that you have expressed!
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be on every member of your family is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  2. Param Pujaniya Srimat Maharaj,
    Enchanted & mesmerized with your visit to Yangon. So nice to see the devotees in Yangon.
    Pronam!
    Hiru Mukherjee
    Reading, England

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Hiru babu
      Thanks for your encouraging words of appreciation!
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be on every member of your family is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  3. Pranam and aum namo narayanaya Swamiji!
    Thank you so much for the divine message and we wish Swamiji every thing of the best for the festive season.
    Exams for Paksini was all successful and everyone is well and Nerisha is on her way to Sydney to her grandparents’ home for three weeks.
    My research is still on.
    Thank you Swamiji
    Jai Shri Ramakrishna Bhagwan Ki Jai
    Preethma
    Durban, South Africa

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Preethma
      Glad to receive your noble wishes for the ensuing festive season! Please accept the same from me to every one of you!
      Congrats to Pakshini for her success in spite of so many obstacles in her young life. Master is gracious and your prayers have been answered. Tell Nerisha that we have a centre in Sydney and she must visit at least once. There a very senior Swami is living and to have darshan of him is itself a great blessing!
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be on every member of your family is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  4. Jai Sri Ramakrishna Sharanam
    Aum Swamiji,
    I don’t even know how to express my gratitude towards you for visiting my country.
    It is always my dream that our guru brothers and sisters get benefit from you as we have got in South Africa.
    I have got a very positive feedback from my mother, relatives and friends on your auspicious visit. I am glad to read that you are trying to get information on the Mission. We all believe that Thakur has listened to our prayer and would send his son to rectify. This is the place we were brought up and so much of memory! Lots of students such as doctors and engineers used to get benefit from the Library while there were not much of any library service at our time.
    Hope I will be there during your next trip. All the devotees have already diarised.
    May Thakur, Ma, Swamiji and our Guru bless you with good health and strength for the growth of our Mission.
    With humble pranam,
    NiNi
    Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear NiNi
      Thank you for your noble wishes to spread the teachings of our Holy Trio among the people of Myanmar.
      I am glad that my visit has created positive feedback to you. I could understand clearly that our Mission Library would have been the best at pre-1960s. Not only the elder generation acknowledged it so but also there I could not but think that some rare treasure of knowledge is hidden in the form of books of historical value.
      Presently I was sad to note that there is no maintenance at all of the Library. Dirt and dust aside, the books in the almirahs have never been touched! Working hands have dwindled to such an extent, presumably in the absence of a Resident Monk for the last 20 years.
      The last Monk of our Order to visit Yangon was Most revered Gahananandaji Maharaj. I met a few initiated disciples of him. Your mother was one of them!
      The happiness that your mother exuded was indeed palpable. Even at this old age, she sings without any tuning error. No apashruti…not out of tune!
      Of course, I will be glad to meet you when I visit Yangon next time.
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be on every member of your family is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  5. Wonderful work Maharaj!
    Thank you for the insight into Ramakrishna Mission activities in Yangon.
    With Thakur‘s grace, we shall have a resident monk soon in Yangon.
    Vasan
    Singapore

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Vasan
      Glad you visited the blog! yes, welcome!
      You struck the right point. The devotees there in Yangon are indeed praying for a Resident Monk just as we have in Kuala Lumpur. I could feel the pulse of positive support from the Hindu Community in general. Moreover, the venerable Buddhist monk, the Head of International Buddhist Academy was indeed loving and assured me of his assistance.
      It seems everything augurs well for a start rather a re-start!
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be on every member of your family is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  6. Om Namo Narayanaya and My Humble Pranams at your Holy feet Swamijee Maharaj,
    I am so happy that “Mother Sarada” sent you as her chosen son to exuberate love and compassion to the people of Yangon and to reassure Hindus out there that they are not forgotten as they try to re-integrate their forgotten country back onto the world map.
    You are now chosen to work across countries based on the fact that during your stay in South Africa you carried out, amongst so many other tasks, worked tirelessly in building bridges across various ashrams by dismantling fanaticism to remind Hindus and others that we all are children of the same One, “Mother of the Universe”.
    Back in South Africa, we still wonder how you were able to remember each devotee and their names as you visited various Ashram Centres in different towns, in so doing, you made each one feel so special. You definitely have Mother’s mind as it is not possible for her to forget anyone particular child.
    You will always be an inspiration to me and, to so many others. With these few words, I remain clinging to you and shelter under the Holy Trinity.
    Jay Shree Ramakrishna swaroopaya
    Love,
    Praveen Sookmungal Maharaj
    Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Praveen
      Indeed, your Comment written with loving words soaked in deep appreciation of my humble efforts in SA has moved my heart. Perhaps a few like you could discern what was happening as you were very much connected to the people at grass roots. I am thankful to you for putting your feelings in black and white.
      Working within a country amongst intra-religious groups itself was a hard task. I felt the so-called staunch (read fanatical) always brought obstacles in reaching out. But the grace of Master and Mother can do wonders. That was what I witnessed in SA where many, many people of different faiths and beliefs could be so natural in my presence and could feel a ‘connection’ – the thread of spirituality. In Singapore, I have begun that in right earnest.
      Now perhaps our dear Holy Trio want me to go across countries and meet inter-religious groups also. Well, “Thy Will be done!”
      Since your spouse is from Yangon, I can understand your emotional upheaval on my visit. Have our sincere efforts in your prayer so that the Centre in Yangon takes a nice shape.
      With love, best wishes and prayers
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  7. Dear Swamiji,
    Aum Namo Narayanaya
    Thanks for the interesting review and pictures on your trip to Myanmar.
    We are happy that you have settled in well at Singapore and spreading the universal message of the Holy Trinity in the Far East.
    How is your health, Swamiji?
    Aruna and children send their love.
    Prof Vinod Jogessar
    Durban, South Africa

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    1. ||Aum Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Vinod
      Glad that you found the post in my Blog interesting!
      Yes, by the grace of our Holy Trio I am doing well and happy to be Their servant in the South-east region.
      Convey my hearty wishes and love to Aruna and children.
      May Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna bless you all is my prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  8. Pujya Maharaj,
    Sincere thanks and appreciation for your inspired and unrelenting endeavours towards spreading the universal message of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna throughout this world of ours.
    I am eagerly looking forward to reading the next post from your enlightened self.
    Sadar Pranam,
    Debanjan
    Kolkata, India

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    1. ||Aum Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Debanjan
      Thanks for your words of appreciation!
      Throughout the world the teachings of Master, Mother and Swamiji are capturing the thinking minds because of their universal appeal. In the Buddhist Academy at Yangon recently I explained why people of different faiths are determined to study Swamiji. He stands as a towering personality with his sweep of Universalism over the fanaticism of pygmies! Hence he is attracting the attention of peace lovers everywhere.
      May the Holy Trio bless you!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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    1. ||AUM Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Yatatmananda
      Glad you visited the blog!
      Your wish is indeed an echo of the devotees of Yangon who were demanding a Resident Monk. I think such individual wishes one day would get consolidated and Sri Thakur would work through that.
      May the blessings of Bhagawan Sri Ramakrishna be on every brother of your Ashram is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  9. Pranam Maharaj
    When I went thru your Myanmar diary I went back to Swami Vivekananda‘s visit to Chinese Buddhist monastery and the charm with which he thrilled everyone. And the picture of reclining Buddha brought to my mind the Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam, called the bhooloka vaikuntham.
    It is true that even at Badrinath the Buddha image was shifted to Tholingamatam and Lord Badrinarayan was installed by Bhagavatpada Sankaracharya.
    After all, Buddhism has imbibed certain values from Hinduism and negated many others.
    Great is your visit and it will be greater when the Mission is revived soon.
    On this Janmadin of Swami Ranganathanandaji (Dec 15th), I pray to Sri Thakur for such a revival.
    And your replies to comments from NiNi, Vasan and host of others is another superb diary !!
    with pranam
    Swami Tatpurushanandapuri
    Chennai, India

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    1. ||Aum Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear and respected Tatpurushanandaji Maharaj,
      Your thoughts on Buddhism were welcome! It was a fruitful meeting with Venerable Sitagu Sayadaw at the Sitagu International Buddhist Academy on the 9th December. I went straight from the Airport to this Academy as it is on the way from the airport to Shangrila Hotel.
      The Venerable warmly welcomed me and the accompanying Dr Bose and others. He said that he wanted me to speak about Swami Vivekananda to the monks and nuns who are undergoing learning in that Academy. He also assured me of all help to Ramakrishna Mission, if a Resident Monk comes to Yangon.
      My grateful thanks to Maung Thaung, a Burmese old devotee whose mother was one of the Founder members of the Ramakrishna Mission centre, now living in Sydney. He took extraordinary pains in making my visit successful through Kathleen Thein, a soft-spoken lady, President of Hindu Women Organisation in Yangon.
      Perhaps a few more visits are required to tie the loose ends. We leave it at the hands of the Master for its future shape. Your best wishes are required.
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  10. Om Namo Narayanaya!
    Thanks again for the update on Maharaj’s activities.
    It is apparent that Mother had a special mission for Maharaj in Singapore and its surrounds.
    From the perspective of an observer, I can conclude that Maharaj is thriving! Maharaj is truly where He should be.
    That being said, it does not mean that I, on a personal level (like many other South Africans) do not feel the chasm left by Maharaj’s departure from here!!
    Hari Om Tat Sat
    Nirmala Balkaran
    Ladysmith, South Africa

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    1. ||Aum Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Nirmala
      I would not dare say that your comment as an ‘observer’ is wrong, but I sincerely feel that I am not the ‘doer’ to thrive!
      It is His grace that is behind me. To borrow an example spoken by Sri Ramakrishna, we are like those baby potatoes jumping here and there in the boiling water of the Kadai thinking that we are the ‘doer’. Alas! we forget the firewood that heats up the water with its flames below! I have surrendered at the holy feet. Taking His name, if need be, I am ready to go places wherever He takes me!
      Generally, I would consider you as one of those intellectuals – not exhibiting their emotions unawares. I appreciate your charming handling of English using double negatives in your later part of the para, a sentence that gives you ‘out’ in such a sweet manner!
      May Sri Gurudeva bless you!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  11. My very Dear Swamiji,
    Pranam again and again.
    Although you are there, I never feel far from you.
    Whatever His wish, that is being done.
    Indeed, your diary recordings bring back many sweet memories of events in SA.
    Finally got a chance to spend a few days at Headquarters.
    Fortunately, Swami Gautamanandaji and Swami Atmajnanandaji are here also.
    The last 3 days have really been a spiritual feast.
    I recalled with much joy the moments in your saintly company and the open and objective love you showered on us all.
    Your child
    Sunny
    Johannesburg, South Africa

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    1. ||Aum Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Sunny
      Your comments are always incisive. I love them.
      Unless a person matures spiritually the tagging with another personality would ever continue. You have rightly said that you never feel far away from me. Yes, the physical distance varies considerably with the mental distance! And accepting the Lord’s Will is making our lives peaceful.
      Happy to know that the holy company that you had with the two Swamis in HQ has brought up many deeply seated memories of my presence. Well, it’s all His grace again! May His grace be with you and all the members of your family is my earnest prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  12. Maharaj,
    Pranam.
    Enchanted to read your diary. More surprised to know about Ramakrishna Mission there.
    It seemed we also visited the place with you, The description was so vivid!
    We are okay.
    Alpana
    Ranchi, India

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    1. ||Aum Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Alpana
      Thanks for your kind words!
      Yes, it’s an old Institution where our Ranchi Sanatorium Durga Maharaj lived in the Society centre. Many, many stories about this centre I have heard from his mouth while sitting on the outside wooden bench. He was always witty.
      May Sri Sri Thakur be with you!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  13. Om Namo Bhagavate Ramakrishnaya
    Revered and dear Maharaj,
    Please accept my pranam.
    Many thanks for yet another brilliant post on your visit to Yangon. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your dairy and viewing the exquisite pictures.
    It is true indeed that the Great Master is making you His tool in spreading His Universal message and true spirituality in various countries. It is really heart warming to see your interaction with Buddhist monks. It is good that they were interested in knowing about Swami Vivekananda and his views on Buddhism. How much regard and reverence Swamiji had for Buddha! Incidents related to young Naren‘s vision of Buddha, his mystical experiences at Bodh Gaya, his burning spirit of renunciation as depicted in the chapter ‘Master and Buddha’ in the Gospel unfold before one’s mind.
    Rangoon was blessed by its association with Most Revered Swami Ranganathanandaji Maharaj when he was in charge of the centre there. It is bewildering to think how the great Swami chose to leave Rangoon at the height of World War II, walking all the way to India along with refugees.
    Let us hope and pray that Yangon would be blessed with another Resident Swami of the Order.
    With pranam once again,
    T S Sitaraman
    Hyderabad, India

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    1. ||Aum Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Sitaraman
      Your comment always inspires me!
      Yes, the contribution of Revered Swami Ranganathanandaji is still remembered by many devotees in Yangon. Recently I was reading a blog from Muttipada Behera who wrote about the sufferings of the Indians returning from Burma to India in those trying times. And how the Ramakrishna Mission rendered service to these people when the then British officials refused to do anything for them. It is an eye opener. He has collected this info from the writings of Revered Swami Bhuteshanandaji Maharaj. I give the link here. Please read it.
      I also join you in your prayer that Yangon should get a Resident Swami again.
      May your love for Master multiply is my prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  14. Dear and Revered Swamijee
    Please accept humble pranam!
    “The Travelling Monk” is a name best suited for our most revered Swamijee! It is so apparent that wherever Swamijee goes then that place becomes immersed in Spirituality! Devotees are drawn to Holy Trio by Swamijee‘s inspiring and brilliant accounts of the Lives and Experiences of Divine Incarnations.
    From the different parts India and South Africa to Botswana, Zambia, Europe, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Mauritius, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Bangkok, Yangon our Swamijee has become a Spiritual Trailblazer!
    We sorely miss revered Swamijee‘s holy company and more importantly the wonderful words of wisdom and guidance that Swamijee provided to us in the past nearly eight years. Thankfully we have recorded many of Swamijees Talks, which we listen to as often as possible.
    Yes! Revered Swamijee has left a deep void in South Africa!!
    With loving Pranam
    Avitha
    Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

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    1. ||Aum Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Avitha
      Wow! I am a recipient of a new Title! Thanks for that!
      Yes, lot of travel has come to my lot, not by my own design but by His will. Whatever comes unasked, I think it is the duty given by the Master. Hence, travelling ceases to be problematic. I also think while the people who come to me may learn something from me, I also get some teachings from them. Learning never has an end. Recently I went to Yangon in Myanmar. Hope you have seen my Report. How many things were not known to me and it was a humbling experience! Travels open our eyes. Fanaticism flies away. Small mindedness is swept away. One develops an uncanny power of understanding.
      Thank you for the words of appreciation for my Talks. If they have soothed any one’s heart it is because of His grace. I try to convey the words of Holy Trio. They are indeed powerful. No claim of credit to me!
      May your love for Master multiply is my prayer!
      Swami Vimokshananda

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  15. My pronam Maharajji.
    As always, your posts are inspiring and help us understand the state of our Hindu brothers and sisters around the world. Your presence always unites the society in distant lands.
    Hope and pray that you keep in excellent health for a long time and continue to spread the message of Lord Ramakrishna in all corners of the world.
    With humble pronam at your lotus feet,
    Goutam
    USA

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    1. ||Aum Sri Ramakrishna sharanam||
      Dear Goutam
      Thanks for your kind words!
      And also for your prayer for my healthy long life!
      To have the mind soaked in the thought of Master every moment is indeed a great blessing. All our scriptures repeat tirelessly that we should remember His name always. And in the course of travels, if I could speak about Him, it is a blessing afforded to me. He knows how best to utilise everyone!
      May your devotion to Master multiply!

      Like

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