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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.