Three devotees of Swamji, Sri David Balroopji of Trinidad, Edward Bharatji of Miami and Pradeepji from Atlanta Georgia, USA share their relationship with Swamiji and the Dattatreya Yoga Center.
David, a retired teacher, first learned of Swamiji in the 1970s from a friend who had visited Swamiji’s Ashram in Mysore, India and wanted to raise funds to meet the cost of airfare and other expenses to bring Swamiji to Trinidad. David, though a Catholic, readily agreed to contribute financially toward the project and when Swamiji arrived in Trinidad, he had the fortune to meet with Him at Dr. Chandool’s home.
“Sitting next to Swamiji I was given a flower to hold in my hands. It was later that I came to the realization that that simple act was an initiation,” David reminisced. After Swamiji left Trinidad, David developed a strong urge to remain in contact with Swamiji. “I wrote letters to him, and he responded with telegrams. I also stopped eating meat and consuming alcohol,” David revealed.
In 1986 Swamiji returned, and David was among the early devotees that attached themselves to the spiritual work of Swamiji. “The decision to build the temple at Carapichaima was not whimsical but linked with Trinidad’s proximity with the 11-degree latitude which Swamiji revealed has a strong burst of energy,” said David.
Also sharing his experience with Swami was Edward Bharath of Miami. A former Trinidadian, Bharath said that he was growing up as a Catholic when he attended a yagya at Pasea in Tunapuna and Pandit Bhagowtie, the officiating pandit, ‘appealed to me to follow my tradition.’
Edward migrated to the USA and was living in Miami when Swamiji invited him to migrate to Dallas in 2012 to overseer the construction of the Ashram. After spending two- and one-half year in Dallas, Swamiji instructed him to return to Miami and he readily agreed.
Edward has visited all Swamiji’s ashrams across the world including the one at Mysore, India. During his pilgrimage to these ashrams, Edward has compiled a list of experiences devotees shared with him which he has published as Bhakti Mala in two volumes. Edward has two other volumes of Bhakti Mala to publish and is awaiting permission from Swamiiji to do so.
Edward revealed that the Mysore Ashram is heavily engaged in social outreach programs. “Swamiji runs schools for the blind, dumb, and deaf. Seva is an integral part of Mysore and the other ashrams.”
Pradeep is a devotee from Atlanta, Georgia. Employed in public health, his entire family is involved with Swamiji and his work. “My father learned about Swamiji from his guru who was a devotee of Swamiji,” said Pradeep who migrated to the USA to study and decided to make the USA his home.
Swamiji arrived in Trinidad on March 25th and would be staying until April 10th. On March 30th he celebrated Ramnawmi with devotees and is currently engaged in performing a Rudra Yagya to boost the energy level so that the negative influences that stalk the land can be disposed. On Wednesday April 05 Swamiji would be engaged in the celebration of Hanuman Jayanthi including marking the 20th anniversary of the Hanuman Murthi at Carapichaima.
David Balroop revealed that the construction of the Hanuman Murthi is a symbol of protection of the Hindu community from forces that threatens its existence. He said that while the sugar-cane industry is no more, “Hanumanji remains as a majestic force to protect his devotees.”