Emerging Tirthas in Sedona
BY: SADHUDAS SHASTRI
The six-wheel drive, air cooled Swiss Army command vehicle called the Puch "Pinzgauer" is perfect for getting yatris to the spots that mystics and yogis claim to be ancient swayambhu Shiva-lingas.
Jun 11, SEDONA, ARIZONA (VALLEY INDIA TIMES) Since the seventies, Sedona, AZ has been celebrated as the geophysical center for a New Age of spiritual consciousness. From all over the world, millions have made the Sedona pilgrimage to discover the benefits of herbal treatments and ayurveda; Vedic wisdom including astrology; yoga, meditation and higher consciousness. Sedona, long famed for its gorgeous red rock canyons and higher energies, is now being hailed as Siddha-dana, a mystically emerging tirtha bhumi in the Western world, much like the sacred places alongside Mothers Ganga, Narmada or Kaveri.
In an interview with Shriman Dasarath Das Pandit, American-born founder of the beautiful Sedona Center of Vedic Culture, the long-time Krishna devotee revealed, “Our Guru Maharaja, Shrimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, was the founder-acharya of the worldwide Hare Krishna Movement. Shrila Prabhupada often mentioned that soon there would be an international resurgence of Vedic culture, which he called Krishna Consciousness. In fact, when Shrila Prabhupada established the first Radha-Krishna Temple at 26 2nd Ave. in New York, he actually founded the first Hindu or Vedic temple in the Western world. By his spiritual potency, Shrila Prabhupada continued to establish many such tirtha-bhumis all over the world, including New Vrindavana in West Virginia, New Dwaraka in Los Angeles, Bhaktivedanta Manor in London, etc. However Shrila Prabhupada also said that there are existing tirtha-bhumis in the West, and indeed all over the world, but these have been forgotten. He predicted that as the Sankirtan Movement of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu advances, these tirthas will gradually emerge. Sedona is such an ancient tirtha, an emerging Vedic site recognized by sadhus and yogis of many schools.”
Dasarath Pandit has teamed up with the well-known jyotish-shastri and Western sage Shri Dayananda Saraswati (Dennis M. Harness, Ph.D.), the visionary founder of the American College of Vedic Astrology, to share their revelations of Sedona’s holy spots. Dayananada says, “Many of Sedona’s emerging shrines are giant Shiva lingas, and we have identified many, performed their puja and pradakshina. Some of the emerging tirthas are the 200 foot linga named Sedona-ishwara, the whitish Mt. Kailash and that sacred hill’s ‘son’ along side it, the smaller bright red Kartikeya Giri. The four stalwart pillars at the southern end of Sedona’s Mt. Kailash are the four sagacious Chatur Dig-pals, the guardians of the four directions. Alongside Mt. Kailash is the three-columned 30-foot Trimurti Linga, a thirty-foot Shiva-linga. Then there’s Ganapati Giri, Elephant Rock, Kali Canyon and Saraswati Creek where yatris have a dip.
Dasarath Pandit has purchased a six-wheel drive, twelve-passenger Swiss Army Puch Pinzgauer, which navigates terrain that is off limits even to a standard four-wheel drive. On certain holy days of the Vedic calendar, such as Purnima or Shiva-ratri, he has started guiding his center’s guests, pious European, American and Indian yatris, to these remote places of wonder, enchantment and spiritual bliss. He concludes, “Probably in past yugas when the devatas visited Earth, these were their swyambhu-puja-stans, the demi-gods’ self-manifested places of worship.” He adds, “This is not our conclusion alone, it is the conviction of many, many yogis and sadhus who have visited Sedona in the past. Anyone may come here, take advantage or our guest facilities, take the tour, and see for himself what we are talking about. There are many who have arrived as skeptics and have left as believers. The intense devotional vibration of the emerging tirtha speaks for itself.”
For those who would like to learn more about spiritual practices in Sedona and the Sedona Center of Vedic Culture, check out these sites: www.dennisharness.com and www.sedonavedicculture.com. Or call the center at 520.331.3108.