Dear Community members and Friends,
The September 3rd inauguration event with Her Holiness Shree Sai Maa was a great success. Around 300 people from more than 3 communities from all over the east coast, attended what proved to be an extremely rare and even historical event at the Bodhivastu Meditation Retreat and Healing Sanctuary (Previously Rudi’s Big Indian Ashram) . Several colorful ceremonies were conducted by 6 Indian Pundits flown in by Her Holiness Shree Sai Maa and her community along with our resident Loppon, Lama Rangbar Nyima Ozer.
The purpose of the ceremonies was to inaugurate the Mariamma Tara sacred statue or “Murti” as they call it in the Hindi language, in the Vedic tradition of Shree Sai Maa and for the communities to offer gratitude all around. Members from the Rudi community including John and Capella Mann who donated the land to Bodhivastu, and Silver Ra Baker who made the original Stupa on the land, attended along with Bodhivastu community members and many from the local area. A dedication stone of deep gratitude to Shree Sai Maa, crafted by Lama Rangbar was also unveiled amidst offering of flower garlands, silk scarves and a Holy Cow and her calf as witnesses. Although the Ashram effectively remained effectively dormant for over 20 years, the Bodhivastu Foundation has successfully rebooted the place with love and no small amount of local interest and participation. Her Holiness Shree Sai Maa blessed the Mariamma Tara Murti in an elaborate series of ceremonies which were conducted throughout the day.
Lama Rangbar said: “This place is a beautiful reflection of what created it. It is a fruit of three years of cooperation and selfless service of so many people who want a place to come to in order to meditate and focus on their inner worlds. This is place to recharge and let the tensions go and to do spiritual practices. Many thanks to Shree Sai Maa for making this possible. Everyone worked very hard for this and the event is a kind of culmination even though it is certainly a new beginning as well.”
Eric Holman of Dharmaware in Woodstock said:
“In fact this is an historic event. We grew up with this Ashram’s activities and this is the first time we are seeing it come back to life. It’s truly amazing to see this unfold in front of our eyes in such a spectacular manner.”
The World Peace Meditation gardens surrounding the beautiful Mariamma Tara Temple are normally open to the public unless retreats are in progress. The Gardens are also graced by two more wonderful statues of Ganesh (remover of obstacles) and Saraswati, (Goddess of Education, Arts and Music) both which were kindly donated by Mr. and Mrs. Dean Gitter. The place is dedicated to world Peace and “an end of suffering of any and all kinds” Perhaps that explains the extremely peaceful vibration one can experience while meditating in these gardens.
This magnificent statue of Mariamma was first gifted to Sai Maa by His Holiness Sri Tiruchi Mahaswamigal. Shree Sai Maa then chose Lama Rangbar Nyimai Ozer and the Bodhivastu Foundation to create a home for Mariamma, at the Big Indian Meditation Retreat and Healing Sanctuary. This precious and blessed gathering reflects the universality of the mission of all of our communities for global enlightenment, and our focus upon cooperation among spiritual traditions. The entire process was a divine expression of the Mother Mariamma Tara and also a manifestation of the common goals that we share with Her Holiness Shree Sai Maa to assure that different spiritual traditions come together to increase the blessings on the way to the establishment of an awakened society.
The sacred celebration and ceremony experience was a gift from Shree Sai Maa with a feast offered by Bodhivastu.
For the benefit of all,
The Bodhivastu Team
The following is a brief history the meaning and practice of Ritrod Lomma Gyonma Mariamma
Guru Padmasambhava made many predictions concerning future times that were recorded in various manners, written and in treasure revelations of various Treasure Revealers (Tertons). These predictions addressed the time markers using various signs, the problems or challenges associated with those times and skillful methods to quell the suffering resulting from our negative actions. Mentions are clearly made of elemental instability such as frequent outbreaks of flooding, droughts, fires, and earthquakes as well as famines, and new diseases and epidemics with no cure which would break out and plague humanity.
Many Masters have declared that one of the most profound methods to pacify epidemics in our age is by the practice of Ritrod Lomma Gyonma, the 20th Tara which protects from epidemics and contagious diseases. As is the case with all of the 21 Taras, they have graced our world in almost countless forms in order to benefit beings with a myriad of sufferings. One of these earliest recorded forms is Shree Mariamma which is an emanation of Tara Ritrod Lomma Gyonma who graced our world. Known as a Hindu Deity, she arrives on the scene far earlier that the categorization Hindu ever did, during the dravidian period. She herself became subject to small pox, and cured herself with prayer and neem leaves which she is known to carry as she went on to heal countless others plagued by the disease.
These days, several masters have had visions of the urgent need to begin the daily practice Tara Lomma Gyonma and have made it their personal practice. It should not be deemed as a mere coincidence that Mariamma was first gifted to Sai Maa by by His Holiness Sri Tiruchi Mahaswamigal who himself commissions the Murti (holy representation) to be crafted based on a visionary meeting with Marimma who expressed her wish to help the people of America cope with the diseases they would be facing in this age. Subsequently, when searching for the appropriate home for Marimma, Her Holiness Sai Maa gifted the Mariama murti to all of us at the Bodhivastu community so that Mariamma's blessing and protection could easily be received by people from any walk of life.
But this particular story does not end here. When inquiring with my own teacher, The Acharya Dawa Chokdrak Rinpoche, to see if it would be auspicious to accept the gift of Marimma from Sai Maa, Dawa Rinpoche looked deeply into the matter and experienced a resulting auspicious vision while commencing his own meditation retreat at our Dharma center in Sankhu Vajrayogini Nepal on the outskirts of the Kathmandu valley. Dawa Rinpoche was visited by Parvati who announced that Marimma was her sister and that if the image was accepted that great good fortune would shower down like rain. I needed no further divination into the matter and accepted the gift immediately on behalf of all beings. Due to my repeated sincere requests, Dawa Rinpoche subsequently composed a concise daily practice of Marimma Tara Ritrod Lomma Gyonma, complete with Refuge, the generation of Bodhichitta (the compassionate mind of Enlightenment), seven branch offering, visualization of the deity and mantra recitation, followed by the dedication of merit prayers. By receiving the related empowerment, aural transmission and practice instruction, engaging seriously in Marimma's daily practice yields unfathomable blessings..
Having engaged in this practice for over one year, I have come to understand that the practice of Marimma Ritrod Lomma Gyonma goes far beyond simply pacifying the potential suffering of contagious diseases, but more than that, her practice is a path to the eradication of the three poisons of mind not only results in the fulfillment of all worldly desires and aims, but culminates in the citadel of enlightenment by the enacting of her yogas of wisdom and compassion. So whereas Marimma is commonly worshipped in India when seeking blessings of progeny, protection from diseases, and the attainment of well-being and prosperity of all kinds, this jewel and her complete practice is now within our reach.
With sincere and warmest regards,