"Denk ich an Deutschland in der Nacht, bin ich um den Schlaf gebracht" Swami surprises us with citations of German literature.
"Shut up and listen!"
|Where are you born? What do you like of this town/area/country?
||I was born in New Rochelle, near New York City. When I was three years old, my family left this place and we moved to New Jersey. What I like about New Jersey? Well, it`s a good place to be from. I liked the nature, but today it has totally changed. When I grew up, there was all around forest. Today it`s cut, there are apartements now. I`ve had a comfortable home, something like middle-class-America in the 50`s. It was a very American place.
|Where do you live? What do you like about the place/country?
||In 1992 when I was married to Niki we decided to stay in India in a small village. Almora just popped into my mind. Almora or nearby. We stopped in Kausani and stayed here for three weeks. We heard a flute but we didn`t saw it. After a few days we found the guy and played the flute together. The people were all very welcome and very friendly. When we left, we were all crying.
Nowadays I spend more time in Kausani than anywhere else. I live in Kausani for 2 or 3 months a year, after that I spend a lot of time in Goa. But I travel a lot, through India, through Europe, through the USA. About Kausani I like the nature, the view of the Himalaya. At this place I feel energy from the earth. As soon as I came here I felt the power of the goddess Shakti. I get energy from this place.
What I like about India?
I made the choice to be in India. I really got tiered to be in America. In India I can live a life of tranquility and meditation. There is a feeling of spirituality. For example nearby Kausani in a few days the local villagers will read from a holy book for 11 days. The book is written in Sanskrit. They keep this tradition. Tradition keeps India going, keeps it`s culture alive. You see a lot of poor people in India and it is miserable, but they still have a family and a priest and a religion. They still have a community, they know their place and they are never alone. In western countries poor people have a big psychologic burden. For the society they failed, it`s their own fault not to be successful.
|What do you think about Germany?
||"Denk ich an Deutschland in der Nacht, bin ich um den Schlaf gebracht". No, I don`t think like this anymore. In the western countries Germany is one of the freeest countries I know. I like the Trance Techno people and culture. In that group you find a great deal of hope, love and spirituality. 1999 I came to Germany because of the Love Parade in Berlin. 1,4 Million people joined the Parade. When I came to the "Siegessaeule" I had one thought. 60 years ago there were soldiers and weapons and the air full of hate and in 1999 people in underwear and bathing suits celebrate love, peace and happiness. What a significant change! And there was no harassment by the police. The people were allowed to do what they want to do. A kind of personal freedom and group freedom, full of hope, energy and creativity, full of music and visual art.
The youth changed. I didn`t felt that 1967 after studying in Germany. For one year I studied Germanistik and History in Freiburg. At that time it was more or less full of guilt and doubt. Only a very tiny percent of the students joined social activities. The first time I went to Germany I was 18 years old. I went to Karlsruhe for three months. I lived in a family and worked in a factory (apprenticeship) to learn useful german words like "Schraubenzieher" (screwdriver).
|What do you like to celebrate?
||I like Rave Parties. I like to dance for 10 or 12 hours, to celebrate the spirit. Friendship is the goal of a rave. Everyone gets to an a one mind space, carried along on a wave. The rhythm is a very important thing. It is also a way to get to a higher state of consciousness, to get behind your individuality to a group mind.
|What was your farest / nicest travel. Where would you like to travel next?||I couldn`t say. I travel all over the world. I like pilgrimages to various temples.
|Where would you like to travel next?
My plans for the next travels always change. I`m listening to my internal voice, to my goddess. Maybe I would like to go to South America again.
|What means of transportations do you normally use?
||By foot or in a public jeep.
|Do you live with other people?
||I live alone.
What do you especially like to do?
||I like to meditate. I do my meditation every day. Every meditation for me is different. The hours before daylight are the best for meditation. From 4 to 6 a.m. people all over India meditate. It is very quiet. You are fresh, when you have just woken up. You can ride on others dreams. With the awarenes of god you begin to love everyone. Everyone is god. Everyone has devine energy. Just be in the devine energy, share and create beautiful life without selfishness.
I like to read and to prepare slideshows. In Kausani I just like to sit here and watch this view of 350 km Himalaya.
|Which event in your life has moved you?
||The Kumbh Mela in 1998 and 2001. About ten Million people joined it. They were all there for one reason, to bath in the holy river ganga and to pray. With the Kumbh Mela in 1998 I started to wear orange clothes, being a Sadhu. In 2001 I had a special vision.
Some spiritual experiences that happened to me in my life were so real, the realest thing. In India Sadhus and Gurus gave me an explanation. I found it in the Indian scriptures, you may find it in Christian scriptures or others as well, but I found it in India. My devotion was first to the art. I made photographs of Indian temples for 15 years. Through the art the spirit came. God and goddesses became part of my life. In Hinduism there are 3 million gods and goddesses. There is one for everyone in the form that you are best able to receive it.
|What would be your fondest wish?
||I would like to complete the goddess temple in my mind and build it, propably in California. It will be a very big and beautiful temple. The design is complete. I know exactly how it should look like. The temple should be powered by it`s own energy, for example by using the energy of the dancing people.
|Do you have any message for our readers or us?
||Shut up and listen. Listen to your internal voice, where god talks to you. That is the voice of truth, that is your own soul. Sit quiet for a while every day. Just be there.
||Swami Chaintanga, 59 years old, Kausani, Uttaranchal.
12th December 2002.