Applied Theological Studies
At Kali Mandir
My name is Madhuri, I am a passionate soul for devotional service (GURU AND MA) and service to humanity.. my main passions are kirtan, making medicine with plants, nature in general and everything that has to be done to serve God, from scoping and cleaning to building a kutir......
My motivation to make this seminar was to be able to dive deeper into the knowledge of the Mother and with it to be more capable of satisfying God. a real challenge for me.
Welcome Madhuri! Our classes will be under the dhuni cover that you help build. A sacred space for our sacred discussions.
My name Jai Gadai and I live in Laguna Beach near the mandir. My adult life has been spent within the fold of the Hindu tradition. I spent 12 years studying the philosophy and living out the lifestyle of a Vaishnava in an ashram. For some time, I took a break to venture into the world of eastern Christian practices. Now here I am at the feet of Thakur, hoping to open up my horizons and learn more about the broader Hindu world. It is my good pleasure to be engaged with all of you great souls! My pranam to you...
Glad you are here, and can share from your perspectives from deep within the traditions.
Jai Gadai. I would love to get some of your impressions on Eastern Christianity and its ties to the Dharma. A large part of my family are Orthodox and I have spent a great deal of time in that world as well!
My apology for the late introduction. I come here from a small farming community in southern Indiana where I was born and raised. Currently every third day I'm a career firefighter/safety inspector. On my days off I'm a full time dad of 2, home chef (lol), and partner in helping my wife with her career. I met my wife in high school and we have been together ever since. Close to 25 years now. Along this journey of life she has been my greatest teacher by just being herself. I have been very blessed to have met her all those years ago and as I progress down this path of mine, I realize that more and more as each day passes.
To be honest I have no idea how I ended up here at the Ramakrishna Seminary. Maybe its by divine grace or maybe just sheer luck, either way I feel truly blessed to be here and part of this circle. I'm here to learn more of Mother Kali and to deepen my connection with her in proper practices and traditions. I'm also here to learn more of the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna and Holy Mother and apply them to everyday life.
My goals along this journey are not so simple or at least they seem that way to me. My first goal is myself. To work on myself and become the person that I want to become. I desire to realize the self, to see the divine in all things at all times, I want to love everyone as Maharaji has done, and to be as devoted as Hanuman is to Ram. I desire to be a servant of the divine.
I've been on this journey for almost 2 years now and it feels like I've not progressed much, but when I look back, I see that I've learned and grown so much. Yet in the big picture there is still much more to learn. I'm a truly grateful and blessed to be able to do so here at Kali Mandir. Jai Ma!
Hello, hello, Jai Ma!
I'm a pretty private by default and tend to worry overly over doling out introductions like this :) But I'm 21 (a veritable child!) living in Maine. I write/am working on a novel...or two, as what I spend most of the day doing. I travel independently loads so at home instead of napping down the Mekong has been askew for ideal. I travel to learn, about other cultures and philosophies and all that, which leads me to this course! I'm a bit of a informal student of theologies and have been moved by bits and bobs of Islam and Sufism but Kali and Hinduism really struck me more than I could have prepared for.
I'm here to learn, to help me grow, to make me think, (to better my vocabulary), because I love
and feel love in return.
Most welcome, Ephraim!
Blessing everyone! My name is David Shiva Das. I exist in Detroit Michigan. I am a teacher of yoga, lead kirtan and until this pandemic stretched out to be 5 months long operated a spiritually based yoga studio here. We have had to recently close. However my partner, Durga Devi and I are looking forward to the next part of our journey. I am looking forward to diving deeper into the mystical traditions of hinduism and spiritual practices. I am a devotee from afar of Kali Ma and the Kali Mandir and am hoping to visit there one day and see Ma's holy image when this is all over. Until then I am honored and feel the wave of grace that I am able to study with all of you together.
Welcome Shiva Das!
May the Mother bless your and Durga Devi's next adventure.
Jai Ma! This is Edie. I've been studying Hindu Philosophy and other mystical traditions all my life. I have a BA in Religious Studies from UC Berkeley. I love how Hinduism not just talks about the ultimate state, but gives us many, many practices to experience it. That is what drew me to it in the first place. Studying scriptures and taking classes is sadhana for me. It helps me to focus, steady and quiet my mind and revel in the poetry of the Self.
“It helps me focus, steady and quiet my mind and revel in the poetry of the Self.”
This is beautiful. I’m glad to read you again.
Jai Ma! Edie,
You bring a lifetime of experience to this class.
@Ashlee Faye Lamb Thank you Ashlee. You are very kind.
I'm Shveta, people also know me as Syren, either is fine. I currently live in a remote area of NW Washington State. I was involved in western goddess spirituality for about 20 years before finding my way to Ma and Shaktism about 5 years ago. My ultimate goal is to love Ma and be of service. Currently that takes the form of providing resources and support for people who are disabled to experience nature, in part as a way to find connection and a sense of belonging for those who often experience isolation. (I am disabled myself). I am here to deepen and broaden my understanding of Hinduism, Shaktism, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, and living a life of service and devotion.
So glad you are here.
I am always in awe of those who live to serve others.
Dear family. I have been practicing Kriya for 28 years, out of the blue while overcoming cancer a second time, Kali Ma, and Ramakrishnaji enter my life in dramatic form, so here I am doing the next indicated step to grow in a way that Divine Mother can utilize me, so that i can be of maximum service to her, to the cancer kids that i am blessed to serve thru physical fitness and thru Street Meditation
Jai Ma! Premdhara ji,
Glad to have you here.
My name is Cheryl - I’d like to delve deeper into understanding Hinduism more with my heart instead of just with my mind..and see where that intention takes me. I‘m so grateful for the opportunity to be here .
This is a good reminder to make sure our presentation is not only in the head, and gives food for our whole being.
Ahoy & Salutations to Swami Bhajanananda & fellow students! I am Reverend Zoe. Grew up in Vedanta. & went to seminary etc. have been in the healing arts for 30 years. There by the Grace of Ma, i have a very rich private practice working with many folk & have the privilege of teaching many folk about all things God related. Dad gave me the gift at the age of 15--"you must memorize Swamiji's Poem to Kali!" saved my life on many occasion & now fills my life. here to deepen my learning so i may continue to serve. JaiMa in spades!!!
Welcome Reverend Zoe,
Swami Vivekananda's poem "Kali the Mother" is truly overwhelming! Lines from it come to me often.
Hello everyone! I am Jerry Chandrashekhar Maddox. I live on the Gulf Coast of Alabama. I come from a military family and spent most of childhood in Europe and studied for almost 2 years in Jerusalem after High School. I am a serving reserve officer in the US Coast Guard Aux. and I am pursuing the Chaplaincy for Hindu and Eastern Religions. I was born Hindu, loosely into a Shakta tradition. My family is Indian/Lebanese on one side and Scottish/Japanese on the other. I grew up with various religious influences from these backgrounds, but Maa was always there wherever I was. In this respect, I have been very fortunate to experience her truly as the Universal Mother of all religion. I am very thankful to be here and have missed you all during our hiatus!
Jai "Universal Mother of All Religions"!
My birth name is Bryan and my initiation name is Yogesh. Either one works for me. I live in St. Louis and am an acupuncturist and own a clinic with my husband. I, also, just started a master's degree in counseling and look forward to a career in that. I am taking this course because I wish to get a better grounding in Sanatana Dharma. I have been a life-long sadhak/seeker and in my journey I have made some interesting turns. I have always been involved in Hindu paths, but I didn't necessarily have a good understanding of the larger tradition and context of Hinduism. I wish to get a better foundation in the Ramakrishna/Shakta tradition to help establish me in a broadminded and authentic tradition and also to help me with my personal sadhana. I am looking forward to learning with everyone.
Jai Ma! Yogeshji,
Glad you are here.
Jai Mā! Giri here! In my own experience it has become readily apparent that it is incredibly difficult to serve a living deity without working knowledge of the intricacies of that deities various desires and līlā or pastimes. In other words only through knowledge of Brahman can we come to understand our position when juxtaposed to Brahmans vastness. This vastness essentially forces the seeker to embark on a knowledge quest, always with the “zen mind, beginner mind”, a sort of spiritual/intellectual humility. I am here because of a desire to learn, a desire to grow in my service, to understand the object of my affection, Mā Kālī in Her ever interesting splendor. I am happy to walk this narrow path with you all in discovering the wonderful and distinct sampradaya that inspired Thakur’s blessed revelation in the Kālī yuga.
Welcome back Giri ji!
Yes, it is important to have humility before the ancient sages and modern sages. Much light is then shown on our paths.
Hi everyone, my name is Kali Flowers, and I am honored to be part of this wonderful group. Mother has blessed me for so long, when she unexpectedly manifested About 24 years ago. Since then I try to be diligent in this spiritual journey by worshiping her, practicing yoga, and offering her all the fruits of my labor. I’m hoping this course will offer more spiritual insights and bring me closer to the Divine Mother. I live in Napa Valley, California. Jai Ma!
Welcome Kali Flowers!
So glad to have your presence here as we dive into Sanatana Darma's vast world views.
Jai Ma! My name is Turiya. I was introduce to Ma Kali and Kali Mandir in 2012. Since then I've been trying my best to hold onto God with both hands when I can, and with one hand when I can't. Satsang has kept me afloat all of these years. I'm looking forward to keeping holy company with you all.
Jai Ma! Turiya,
I love that you and many students are approaching the course as an opportunity for satsang. This give inspiration as to how to proceed.
Hari OM Sangha!
My name is Anandi. I've enjoyed reading a bit about each of you who have already posted. I live at Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville with my husband and almost 2-year-old daughter. My time is often spent serving the Ashram, teaching Hatha Yoga (when the Ashram is open to the public!), chanting kirtan with my husband and fellow bhakta, and hanging out with my daughter. Living an Ashram life has introduced me to Hindu ideology and practices, but I'm looking forward to learning more about Hinduism in this course and getting inspired to go deeper in my personal devotional practices.
May the entire universe be filled with peace and joy, love and light.
So glad to have you and your husband with us. You bring an important perspective from within an established ashram community in the US.
Jai Ma! Jai Aghor!
My name is Sri Subhaganandha Nath, I"m an Ayurvedic Practitioner, Acupuncturist, and Yogacharaya. I"m here to deepen and expand my studies and pursue advanced degree programs. I'm very honored to be a part of this group and look forward to meeting everyone and participating in future discussions! Some of you may find my website of interest:
Sri Subhaganandha Nath / Indra-Ram Das Aghori
Welcome Sri Subhaganandha Nath ji,
Looking forward to studying with you.
Jai Ma Everyone!
I'm here for a lot of reasons... I've just finished a degree in Religious Studies where my studies focused mostly on classical texts of Hinduism and Buddhism from a Western, academic perspective. Now that I've been discerning ministry/chaplaincy/pastoral care as a potential calling, I've wanted to gain a nuanced perspective on Hinduism's self-understanding.
I'm also here because I've found myself becoming a practitioner of this tradition as my studies have progressed, and now find myself attempting to serve and connect with Ma Kali, Thakur, and Holy Mother; these three living, eternal personalities that I now look to for my guidance and my salvation- beyond academic speculation. I've had a bit of a "come to Jesus" moment, as it were. I relate much to Giri-ji's post about being humbled, realizing the difference between what I think I know, about Hinduism, about Kali, but also about myself and the way towards a life of devotion, and the vast unknown space about which I've yet to learn. "Trinad api sunicena" says Caitanya Mahaprabhu, one must be humbler than a blade of grass. I hope for the mercy of Thakur and Ma in this endeavor.
Jai Ma Makoto,
So glad you are joining us. May Sri Ramakrishna and Holy Mother guide us.
Welcome. I am curious to know from which college did you receive your religious studies degree?
I went to Eastern Michigan University!
Jai Ma! My name is Jessica Murray. I live in Southern California and work as a physical therapy assistant and teach yoga asana on the side. I moved to California three years ago from New York City. Where I was working in High Fashion and lost my drive for what I was doing and started seeking something more. I was led into the arms of the Mother and I have developed a passion for growing to know her. I am so grateful and honored to be apart of such a special group. <3
Great you are joining us again, Jessica. I am humbled by the august gathering of sincere devotees here.
Jai Ma kali!!!!
greetings every one and my praams to you all. I go by name Ananda and I'm here as well to deepen by knowledge of Ma, Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother and hindu traditions. When I came to the Mandir about 5 years ago as a newly certified yoga teacher I knew nothing on Bhakti yoga and the sort. All I can say is the Swamis and Usha Ma showed me so much love and kindness I have not experienced out side of my immediate family, so naturally i kept coming back. The Shakti at Kali Mandir is intoxicating and the teachings of Thakur spoke to my heart. I have so many questions but when sitting in front of Ma or Guru all seems to fade and the question fall away. I am hoping to learn more so I can have proper dialogue in asking questions and as a teacher to share with students. I look forward to learning from you all and seeing you in the physical one day.
sincerely Ananda Bhai
Jai Ma! Anandaji.
Missing you too much.
Glad to at least see you on Zoom!