Beeing in South Africa now for about 1 week, the day of the arrival of our spiritual master, Paramahamsa Vishwananda, finally had arrived. He was expected at Durban airport at around 1 pm. So we took it slowly in the morning. We slept in late, and went to the empty beach for our daily morning meditation. It is always so amazing to meditate on the beach, especially when it is empty and one is not distrubed by cows or dogs (this is what happens in India always :-)).
Afterwards we enjoyed a lovely breakfast in our appartment and then it was time to get ready With our friends we jumped into the car and drove south to Durban airport which was about a 30 minute drive. At the airport it was a big reunion of our family. Well, it is not our family in the sense you might think of. It is our spiritual family that is spread all over the world. We know many of them from time together in the ashram of Paramahamsa Vishwananda in Germany or from pilgrimages we did together. But we also met knew people. It is wonderful, a ever growing family. After hugging so many people and being superexcited to meet everybody we were even more excited when the plan of our master finally had landed. We were about 50 people in the arrival hall singing loudly till Paramahamsa Vishwananda finally came out of the door smiling and greeting us all. What a joy! Finally we were with him in South Africa. And overall, I (Nina) was even more excited, as I could be one of the photographers on his 9-day-tour through the country.
We packed all the people in different cars and drove back to Stanger, or Kwadukuza how it is called here. There, we made a welcoming ceremony for Paramahmsa Vishwananda in the Maha Shanta Narasimha Temple. After the ceremony, there was delicious food for everybody. Later on it was time to go to the Stanger Siva Sungum Hall, an evnt location where the Darshan (personal blessing) of Paramahamsa Vishwananda would take place a few hours later. We helped the local team with the last preparation. It was amazing how the local community welcomed us and was so happy to have us in their team. I no other country we have been so far with our spiritual master have we so welcome. It was really a big family and we were part of it.
The hall was packed with people when Paramahamsa Vishwananda arrived in the evening. He was singing with us and gave a wonderful speech. Then he started giving each person and individual blessing and each person could also ask him a personal question. Long after midnight he finished. The south african bhajan group was playing wonderful bhajans as well as Karthiegesan, another group singing beautiful bhajans and kirtans. The were supported by artists from mauritius and also other countries.
It was a late night. When we got back in our appartment I had to safe all the pictures and send some to the media responsible so that they could be spread online. Around 3 am we went to bed. And next morning we had to be up at around 9, get ready and at 10 we were already in the temple. We met there to drive all together to the soon-to-be-ashram in
Stanger: Sri Vishwananda Nilaya. The local community has worked hard already the last year. The entrance gate and a big Garuda murti welcomed us from the road. Then it is a short drive over the property which is located in the hilly countryside. This is Zululand. It was a former sugar cane plantation. A garden with many different plants is already planted. 2 lakes were contructed. A workers cabin is ready and 2 loos in the middle of nowhere. It is a wonderfully peaceful piece of land bursting with nature beauty. We were all really touched and enjoyed the nature and the wind that was blowing. After a while also Paramahamsa Vishwananda arrived. He looked around and then her performed a Giridhari Abishekam. This is an abishekam to his personal deity. It was magic. We were all singing, the wind was blowing, the sun was shining. He joined us later in the ceremony with singing and Swami Keshava finished the ceremony. What a blessing to be together with him, a saint, in such a personal atmosphere. We were about 30-40 people only. It was really intimate, relaxed and simply mindblowing. Everyone of us had a non-stop smile on the face.
We had lunch together and no-one wanted to leave. But finally, we had to, because the next darshan in the evening needed to be prepared. So we went back to town, went to the hall and prepared the last things till also Paramahamsa Vishwananda arrived and gave his second darshan in Stanger. It was another great and long night with lots of singing, dancing and, of course, many pictures for me. People from all walks of life, all coulours and all religions came to receive darshan, to receive the divine love of our spiritual master. And it is always so amazing to observe especially how people who meet him for the first time, walk away after the darshan with a smiling and/or an expression in theirs eyes that shows how deeply touched they are. It is such an extraordinary thing to receive a blessing from a saint - it is a gift to mankind which unfortunately only few receive. Not because the master, no matter if it is Paramahamsa Vishwananda or other masters, does not give a blessing to everybody. Yes, they give it to all people who come! But most of the people do not realise the value or they are scared or they simply do not have in mind that something like this exists. So they do not go to a master. In Western Europe it is even worse. Here, people think that a guru is something really bad. Unfortunately, there are a lot of fake gurus walking around. But there are also saints - and be sure, you will realise a difference. We had no glue of what it means to receive a blessing from a saint some 6 years ago. But just one single meeting with Paramahamsa Vishwananda opened our eyes and little by little we can see and experience a bit more.
We were so sad that our time in Stanger had already come to an end. After another short night we started our long drive back to Johannesburg. Our friends from Germany joined us again in the car. It was a long but easy and fun drive back to Johannesburg with, of course, a short stop at Tanda Thau. Our friends also wanted to see the lions and the rhino there.