After departing South Africa on May 27, Kaliji traveled to Mysore, India for Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji’s 70th Birthday Celebration at the Datta Peetham ashrama. Kaliji was given the honor of closing the 5 day celebration with a Devi Dance on the main stage of Nada Mantapa, the largest open air auditorium in southern India.
Click here for Datta Peetham coverage of Birthday Celebration.
Sri Swamiji greeted Kaliji affectionately after the Devi Dance. Swamiji encouraged everyone to practice TriYoga, and added that Kaliji’s students attend Swamiji’s programs all over the world.
During the South Africa trip, Kaliji gave the name “HAMSA Music and Visual” to TriYoga’s new production facility in Kentucky. “Hamsa” means “swan” in Sanskrit, and Hamsa is the vehicle of Saraswati, the goddess of creativity, knowledge and learning.
The first program Kaliji attended in Mysore was the Teppotsavam, in which Sri Swamiji rides on a raft on the ashrama pond. Amidst thousands of eager devotees, Kaliji had the best view from a front row seat, just a few feet from where Swamiji boarded the raft. Kaliji immediately noticed that the raft was in the shape of a gorgeous Hamsa!
The ashrama was decorated in every corner, celebrating the happy birthday. Ashrama staff estimate that 8-10,000 devotees attended the birthday programs, yet the ashrama atmosphere remained calm and peaceful.
No trip to Mysore is complete without the help of Sri Kanth (far left), Kaliji’s driver and main assistant in Mysore. He invited Kaliji and guests to his home for a meal with his family. Sri Kanth’s eldest daughter is starting technical school in the fall and will learn computer programming.
John and Stephanie accompanied Kaliji to India, and Hari joined the group in Mysore. Hari provided invaluable assistance as Kaliji’s personal secretary, and also translated whenever needed.
The trip from South Africa to India included a stopover in Dubai. Kaliji is pictured here in front of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world by a wide margin.