Author Archives: Radhikesh Das

Amrit Yoga Institute — Ocala, FL

I had the great honor of going to the Amrit Yoga Institute in Ocala, Florida. The Institute is a beautiful spiritual oasis tucked away in the vast Ocala National Forest. Thousands of sincere spiritual seekers go there every year to perform yoga, rejuvenate their spirit, and regain their health. Amrit Yoga is headed by Amrit Desai, a legendary yoga teacher from India, who has taught tens of thousands about the process and value of yoga. My wife and I were fortunate enough to spend some time with Amrit Desai and take advantage of his vast knowledge and expertise in the field of yoga. He is one of the oldest living masters of this ancient art. Of course, at 86 he looks better than most 40 year olds, undoubtedly due to a life lived purely and in harmony with the body and mind.

I met many wonderful yoga practitioners who live near the ashrama. They are endeavoring sincerely to follow the spiritual path. I gave a seminar on astrology, meditation, and bhakti yoga. I believe the event went really well and the people loved the interaction. They loved hearing ancient stories from Indian scriptures, we did a very deep and beautiful guided meditation, and ended with an amazing kirtan. Our dear friend Rasamrita, her 10 year old son Kunja Bihari, and our two beautiful daughters Radha and Janaki came with us and helped with the kirtan. Kunja is expert on the mridanga drum and Radha is a natural musician who expertly played the harmonium.

The next morning I did astrological readings. After the seminar, my schedule became full! More people sign up for a reading than I expected. We were busy with reading from 8am to 5pm, but I didn’t mind at all. People were thrilled with the accuracy and insight that I was able to give them through their reading. I never get tired of doing astrological readings. It’s energizing everytime I see the readings help someone at the deepest levels of their life.

We left that evening to be invited back on a monthly basis to conduct more seminars, kirtan, and astrological readings. We will definitely go back to share the message of love, bliss, and internal satisfaction that comes from following the path of bhakti yoga.

NYC Rathayatra

Next, we headed to NYC! For the ecstatic, colorful, blissful Festival of Chariots — an epic spiritual festival full of dancing, spiritual joy, great food, and the association of deeply realized souls. In this festival the deities of Jagannath, Baladev, and Subhadra are pulled down 5th Avenue in the most magnificent chariots by thousands of devotees. I was overwhelmed that my family and I got to spend some time with our Guru Maharaj, His Holiness Radhanath Swami. We received his guidance and blessings on this beautiful journey on the path of Bhakti. He gave a wonderful lecture at the Bhakti Center in NYC on the subject of deepening our spiritual understanding of Bhakti Yoga. The Bhakti center is a very special place in NYC which focuses completely on bringing the knowledge of the ancient scriptures to the modern world in a way that is relishable to every walk of life. Radhanath Swami is absolutely expert in presenting this very esoteric knowledge in a way that everyone can understand and apply to their daily life.

I did astrological readings and spoke with so many wonderful people at the festival. People were so interested in the topic of astrology, reincarnation, and karma. I explained that the birth chart is basically a map of our past good and bad karma that is manifest in this life. The astrological readings I did that day were so helpful in giving guidance to many people about deeply personal matters in their life. I am always humbled and joyful that I get to assist people on their journey of life. There is always something that stands out whenever I do readings, especially among people who don’t know much about astrology. I had one man ask me in a very challenging mood, “I am moving in 3 months, where am I going to move? If you get this right I will take this seriously,” he said. This science is so particular and clear. Evaluating his chart I was clearly able to see that he was going to move Southwest from his current location. He was speechless! We then had a long and very heartfelt discussion about his life and his desire for spiritual growth. Through the guide and words of our spiritual master, it is most rewarding to be able to help someone on their personal journey toward God. I feel humbled and honored to be able to do this. Thank you.

APPI Convention in Atlanta

I attended the American Association of Physician of Indian Origin Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. This was the 37th annual meeting. It is a huge gathering of all the doctors in America who have come from India, a very large and quite elite group. This was held at the Georgia World Congress Center — an absolutely massive building in downtown Atlanta. There were thousands of attendees, including physicians, Bollywood stars, and famous yogis. We shared a booth at the festival that focused on Astrology and The Bhagavad Gita. The Bhagavad Gita is a 5000 year old scripture in which Lord Krishna explains in great detail about yoga, karma, time, the soul, and the universe.

I was just amazed by the sincere nature of all the people who came to our table. We had hundreds of inquisitive seekers come through. They asked very insightful questions about Astrology and the spiritual path. Many people asked to have astrological reading done for themselves and their family members. It was wonderful to be able to give them some guidance and inspiration as to what may be happening in the future. I particularly remember one young man’s reading in which I told him the exact year that his father died. He looked at me in shock and said “ What, are you serious, how do you know that?” He then proceeded to grab my computer and stare at his birth chart for several minutes. I then explained to him that Vedic Astrology is an ancient science that can be understood by anyone who has the desire to learn. It is a spiritual science, which means there is a subtle nature to it and 2 plus 2 is not always four. As with any other field of knowledge it just takes time, intelligence, and patience. He was so interested in the Bhagavad Gita and the concept of reincarnation. I was so happy to help him in this way. It was a great time. My gratitude to my dear friend, Premvilas Prabhu from Columbus Ohio, who at the last minute allowed us to join his booth. Of course, I could not have done it without the assistance of my dear wife Premanjali who makes all the arrangements for these programs, sets everything up, makes the appointments, and so much more. This gives me the opportunity to focus on the readings. It really is a team effort.

Seminar @ Prana Yoga Studio

In June we had the good fortune of meeting Lisa, the owner of the Prana Yoga Center in Chicago, Illinois. The is a very dynamic and spiritually centered yoga program with many deeply devoted practitioners. At Prana Yoga, I gave a seminar on Meditation and Astrology. This seminar includes an understanding of one’s true self, an introduction to Bhakti yoga, and a guided meditation with kirtan. This was a great experience for me and the people who attended. It started off with a discussion about astrology and the basic concepts of this ancient science, including what the different planets and houses represent. We then had a very interactive and esoteric discussion about karma, free will, destiny, and astrology. The dynamic group of attendees had many very intelligent and insightful questions. I told them the story of Parasara and his disciple. The disciples asked him what are the qualities of a noble person who is devoted to God and the answer was Salt, Chicken, a Crane, and You. We had a wonderful discussion about this humorous yet deeply valuable story from ancient india. Then we performed a very powerful guided meditation followed but kirtan, all in all a very inspiring and spiritually uplifting time.

I was also able to do Astrological reading for many of the yoga practitioners and attendees. As I have seen many times in the past, people who are on the spiritual path are many times protected from the effects of bad planets by the mercy of Krishna. Here also, some people with malefic influences on the astrological chart did not feel the full effect of the malefic planets because they had gone deeper into their spiritual life which brings the grace of God into our life. Radhanath Swami tells the story of the fish who swims at the surface of the Ganges and is swallowed by a Bird. His realization was that if that fish had swam deeper it would not have been swallowed by the bird. For us this means, if we live deeper in our spiritual life, understanding this world to be temporary place, the storms and predators of this world will not affect us to the same degree. This is a very profound realization that we can all try to understand and by that take our spiritual life very seriously.

Astrological Readings — Clearwater Beach

May 4th was a very memorable day. There was an incredible Ratha yatra at Clearwater Beach in Florida. For those of you who don’t know what a Ratha yatra is, it is the Festival of Chariots! It is the day Lord Jagannath, his brother Balaram, and their sister Subhadra leave the temple and go out among the people. They shine their mercy on everyone and grant bliss and happiness. This festival, dating back thousands and thousands of years, is originally from the town of Puri in India. Now it is held all over the world! This beautiful red, green, and yellow cart, 30 feet tall with wheels taller than most men, beautifully decorated was pulled by the devotees and everyone around the beach who wanted to, across the sand and water at Clearwater Beach. Hundreds of people were singing beautiful kirtan and pulling the ropes to move the cart. Everyone who saw Jagannath was amazed, many beachgoers joined the kirtan and danced in bliss for Jagannath. Afterward, there was a wonderful free vegetarian feast for all, along with entertainment at the pavilion.

I had an astrology table set up as part of the program to give anyone interested a glimpse of how our life is really predestined through our past actions and a window into who they really are. The response was phenomenal! My wife, aka, my secretary, spoke to all the passers about perhaps getting an astrological reading done. So many stopped in for readings.

This was so exciting for me. I really love helping people and this was an opportunity just for that. A young man, about 25 years old came by. He was not too interested but decided to give it a try. The first thing he said when he sat down with me was that he was incredibly skeptical and didn’t believe in this stuff — not too a surprising! I hear that all the time and I always say, “try it, you will be very surprised.” As I began interpreting his chart, I told him his personality, his past chaotic life, his current dilemmas, and what the future held for him. He sat silent the whole time. I always tell people to please stop me if they have any questions. So it was unusual that he was silent. When I was finished he said, “I am just stunned! You are really freaking me out. You have told me my exact personality and entire past exactly.” This boy was just exploring spiritual life and I was so glad to give him this insight to help guide his very bright future on the spiritual path.

A lady in her 30s sat down for a reading, very pleasant and never had a reading done before. Naturally, she was unsure of what to expect. She asked a few questions about karma then we began her reading. The first prominent thing I saw in her birth chart was that she was deeply estranged from her daughter and told her this. Shocked that a total stranger would know this, tears began to flow, she opened up and explained her family difficulties. I shared the philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita with her and she left with tears in her eyes, grateful to have some deeper understanding of this material world and our place in it.

Another astounding story is of these two ladies, of which one wanted a reading and the other was very skeptical. They were actually sisters. As I studied her chart, the one very important thing I noticed was that her other sister might have colon cancer. They both were shocked. They said that just recently their older sister was complaining of stomach issues. I told them that they really need to ask her to check the issue out soon. The skeptical one was convinced. She also wanted her chart read. It’s such a good feeling as a physician to be able to use this science to find an illness that may be fatal, shedding some light on it, early enough, so that people can look into it and take care of it. Praying that all goes well!

Willowhaven Non-profit Program — Orlando

Amazing day. We had a program in Orlando with Kim. She runs a non-profit named Willowhaven. This incredible lady works with cancer patients and survivors teaching them veganism, meditation, and yoga, to help the healing process and improve their overall health. She hosts these programs at her home twice a week, cooks all the meals, serves everyone, and shares the newest information about alternative and integrative cancer treatments. All at no cost to anyone.

We had the great honor to present Astrology and Meditation to this fabulous group. Amongst the group was my co-worker, Dr. Winters and his son, Zach, and friend, Fox. We had the audience of a holistic doctor, Shahnaz, a lovely lady. This group showed a great interest in alternative approaches to treatment.

I shared the story of the disciple of Parasara who went into the mountains of Tirupati to get his question answered, “What are the qualities of a noble person who is dear to God” and came back with the answer “Salt, A chicken, a crane, and you.” This story was enjoyed by everyone, created a lot of laughs, and a discussion on the topic of astrology, spirituality, and karma. The questions were wonderful and enlightening. It was a time of sharing some of their own experiences, seeing astrology, perhaps for the first time, as a guidepost in their life.

There was a wonderful Indian vegan meal prepared by my wife, Premanjali, who is, by the way, a gourmet cook. The meal included coconut Moong dal, a beautiful sabji, salad, and rice. We had a meditative call and response kirtan on Kim’s patio. Thanks to our dear friends Shyam and Bhishma for leading such a wonderful kirtan putting everyone in bliss! This was another great day of sharing the joy of astrology, meditation, and kirtan with an incredible group!

Florida College of Integrative Medicine — Lunch and Learn Program for all the students

On April 17 I had the great privilege of giving a talk at the Florida College of Integrative Medicine. This is an amazing and very busy acupuncture practice and school that is run by the children of its founders. The two sisters who run the school have completely followed in their parent’s footsteps and taken on the family business. They have a wonderful group of students and teachers, all of who were just so dynamic and with great questions. Halfway through my talk, one student wanted to know when I could start giving private lessons. So many people asked wonderful questions about karma and free will, which lead to a long discussion on these topics. Scotty, one of the instructors told me that the weak planets seen in Astrology can be connected, through acupuncture, to particular points on the body and treated. We both agree this is such a nice way to combine the knowledge of astrology and acupuncture, and expect to work together on patients in the future. So many of the students, teachers, and administrators wanted to get astrological readings. I accommodated as many as I could with short 20 minute readings. Each reading was personal and private but gave them so much information to help guide the future and have some insight into past events. I offered to scheduled full readings in the near future. We are planning a seminar in August so these folks can learn more. It was a great first meeting and I’m looking forward to working with them as we move ahead.

Holistic Medicine and Nursing Care International Conference

This was a medical conference in which people came from all over the world to show alternative ways of healing. There was an energy healer from Columbia who taught us how to read auras and use our positive energy to heal weakened areas within our aura. It was a really neat exercise and he had examples of how this affects our physical health. There was a nice presentation on pure essential oils and the health benefits of oils. I did a poster presentation titled: Medical Astrology: A Perspective on Your Health Through an Ancient Science. It was a big hit. I did not have any spot to speak, but the topic was so enlivening, everyone wanted to hear about it. They asked me if I would speak even for 5 minutes. I was so happy to present this knowledge. I have an article on my website pertaining to this poster at medicalastrology108.com. You are more than welcome to visit it. It was wonderful to meet new people who are also looking at alternative ways of healing.