MOTHERS TRUST ASHRAM, LAKESHORE INTERFAITH COMMUNITY,
RAMAKRISHNA SARADA UNIVERSAL TEMPLE, OPEN APRIL-DECEMBER
THE SACRED WAYS OF THE WORLD'S GREAT WISDOM TRADITIONS"
The Lakeshore Interfaith Community....
The Lakeshore Interfaith Community is an outreach program of Mothers
Place, a non-profit 501C (3) religious order, organization and interfaith
community. We strive to cultivate understanding and peace through deepening
our spirituality as individuals and as a global community. Interfaith
in philosophy and practice, our programs foster spiritual reconciliation
and compassionate service; while enriching the intellectual life through
scholarly study, experiential learning, and spiritual exploration.
The Interfaith Community, located at Mothers Trust Ashram in Ganges, MI., is a community of monastic residents, clergy, dedicated individuals
as an interfaith spiritual community, working together for the common
good of people from various faiths, religions and spiritual backgrounds.
Mothers Trust Ashram, Lakeshore Interfaith Community in Ganges maintains a strong commitment to the integrity of each religion
and faith tradition, and believes that each can better remain true to
itself by honoring the truths inherent in all traditions. The Interfaith
Community believes in the validity of all religions as paths to Truth.
We strive to foster the harmony of body, mind, heart and spirit, while celebrating
the wholeness and oneness of all. Community members welcome all at Mothers
Trust Ashram, Lakeshore Interfaith Community and do their best to make it a center to heal, to educate, to transform
and to enlighten.
Monastics are members of a religious organization, who
vow to live under strict set of rules requiring moral and spiritual self
sacrifice and dedication to the goals of the organization. After successful
completion of the organization's training program and probationary period,
make a long-term commitment to the organization. At Mothers Trust Ashram, the
monastics final vows of Sannyas were given after 14 years of strict training.
The sannyasin trustees have been together for 40 years. Monastics normally
live together as a part of a community and are held to a significantly
stricter level of austerities and private prayers, while participating
in activities such as worship services, religious study, care of aging,
outreach programs and services, and administration and ministry. Each
monastic works or serves on behalf of the religious, educational and outreach
programs and services of the organization.
What is Interfaith?
Interfaith is an expression of spiritual concern and love that serves
as a bridge for members of all religions and spiritual teachings to reach
out in understanding and communion with each other. Interfaith affirms
and supports the underlying goodness of each person and the healing of
our planet. Interfaith does not seek to blend or homogenize religions.
Rather Interfaith honors the sacredness and uniqueness of each faith and
then creates ways by which the many paths can meet on common ground. Differences
between various religions and philosophies need not divide and separate
but can instead enrich our lives and deepen our capacity to love. Interfaith
study and dialogue is a bridge to honor the differences in World Faiths
and the Common Ground in Human Dignity and Spirit. One of the many goals
of Mothers Trust Ashram, Lakeshore Interfaith Community, is to create an interfaith community
of monastics, clergy and laity, who celebrate and embrace diversity, while
searching for common ground at the heart of the World’s Great Wisdom
Traditions. Such a community, we believe, can be a transforming force
for human harmony, compassionate service, world peace, the wellness of all creation, and the flourishing of a global civilization
with strong spiritual roots.
the Sacred Ways of the World's Wisdom Traditions
The governing metaphor for our course of study together this year is
that of Pilgrimage. Individually and as a community of pilgrims, we will
be journeying into the sacred wisdom of the world’s major faith
traditions, and into our own sacred center as well. Like pilgrims everywhere,
we will do best to travel lightly, leaving behind as many of our assumptions
and other kinds of baggage as possible, so that we will be truly open
to what wisdom and experiences speak to our hearts and minds. Such an
experience has the potential of being formative and transformative on
many levels, particularly as we integrate what we are learning into our
thinking, imagining, feeling, and living. Each of us will do this in our
own unique way, and we will also find that we have much in common as we
go on this pilgrimage together.
Our guides will be our visiting faculty and the books we read, along
with our own inner spiritual guidance and each other’s wisdom. Each
afternoon from 1:30 to 5:00 p.m. our visiting faculty persons will offer
a presentation and engage in dialogue with us, concluding with a spiritual
practice, ritual, meditation, or something else of their choice from their
own tradition and practice. This will give us an experiential encounter
with their wisdom tradition, and something we can, if we choose, use ourselves
during the coming month of exploration of the tradition that has been
presented. We have asked our presenters to respond to the following questions
as part of their presentation. We will be alert to how they do this, and
follow up with our own questions, insights, etc.
The Questions given to our Visiting
1) What are the most important teachings and practices
of your tradition?
2) How does your spiritual tradition impact your
culture with regard to rites of passage i.e.
birth, death, coming of age, marriage etc.?
3) How does your tradition honor women and the
feminine in Divinity?
4) How does your tradition treat the distribution
of gender roles and the education of young people?
5) Are there texts, prayers, music, art, or practices
you could share and explore with us?
Each speaker’s presentation in the afternoon will
launch us into our own month-long pilgrimage into a particular wisdom
tradition. The elements of this pilgrimage include:
1) Studying at least two books from the reading list or LIC lending
library, or a substitute chosen by you, in consultation with Swami
Tapasananda or Dena Blay-Stroba OCDS.
2) Choosing one or more ways to engage in spiritual practice, which
attracts you and helps you enter into the heart and sacred space
of the particular wisdom more fully.
3) Delving deeper into an area of special interest to you in connection
with the wisdom tradition we are exploring each month. Examples
would be: sacred art, music, meditation, history, poetry, sacred
texts, mythology, one or more “shining examples” or
“saints” of this tradition, etc. The results of your
discoveries will be shared with the rest of the participants on
our morning sessions each month.
4) Writing, (drawing, music and other forms of art count too!) A “Pilgrim’s
Journey Log” each month of three pages or more giving a description
and reflections on your month’s pilgrimage. This is first
of all for your benefit, and will be an invaluable record of your
year’s experience and learning: it will also be a basis for
sharing with the rest of the group. The “log” can include
reflections on your study, your experience, and your research.
The morning session each month (from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) will
be devoted to sharing the fruits of our reading, visitations, practice
etc. with each other. In addition, you are encouraged to take turns
planning and leading an opening interfaith meditation or ritual
of 15 minutes or so at the start of each morning session. You may
wish to work in pairs to give everyone a chance to have this enriching
experience. The place for this can be inside the interfaith hall
or shrine room or outside in the fresh air, in the location of your
choice. The morning session serves to integrate and bring closure
to each month’s pilgrimage.
for Each Session
Saturday Schedule 10:00 am --Gather in Circle for
Opening Ritual: (Each month--June thru Dec. Interfaith Institute
participant will lead): 10:30 am --Gather
in small groups for discussion and processing: Weðll divide
into groups of three or four, for a more intimate gathering process
of the monthðs reading and practices: 11:30 am -- Gather
in Circle for discussion and processing. We'll all gather
together to share group discussion and to interact with
all the participants and continue growing in community experience.
12:30 pm --picnic bag lunches 2 miles from
LakeShores--6 Miles from Saugatuck
1:30 to 4:30 pm (with short break @ 3:pm)
--Presentation by Visiting Faculty--Presenters--Groups
4:30 pm -- Closing Ritual led by Visiting
Wisdom Traditions Course
Enrolled students will be expected to read required and optional
sections from selected books from the course syllabus and must also
submit reflection papers each month about the traditions and
practices of each Wisdom Tradition studied. These papers will be
read and commented upon [but not graded] by three of the senior
Institute teaching staff. Each first Saturday morning, April -December,
the students and staff will meet for discussion and questions from
10am-noon. This interaction has shown to be by far the most
valuable part of the entire learning experience. Students will
be expected to lead a devotional or ceremonial practice at least
once during the course during this prenoon period.
At the first Alumni Reunion of the following January (weather permitting!)
the Certificate of Achievement for the recent grads will be presented. We encourage Alumni to return each April - December, to support staff and new students in the 9 Month Certification Course.
Through the Institute Alumni Group, we will have the opportunity
to meet regularly with each other and previous Institute grads,
grow together and celebrate our journey's, share experiences, stories,
and wisdom discussions. We will be points of understanding and light
in the world and will work to bring this light and understanding
to the greater society. Now let us together begin our sacred pilgrimage
by scrolling down the page....
Pilgrims, let us Begin!
April ,Welcome Address and Opening Session:
Saturday: April , (10:00am-3:30pm)--afternoon
speakers open to public)
Hindu View of Reality
Dr Sripada Raju, Vaishnava Center for Enlightenment
Dr. Sripada Raju, Vaishnava Center for Enlightenment of
Lansing, has taught Hinduism in the US and India for the past 40 years.
Well versed in both the philosophy of Vedanta as well as the ritualistic
and devotional aspects of Hinduism, Dr. Raju is highly respected devotee
of the Bharatiya Hindu Temple of Lansing and teaches Bhagavad Gita and
other scriptures on a daily basis in the temple and in various other
venues in the Lansing area.An avid exponent of Ghandian social philosophy,
he spends time every year in India, teaching Vedanta in the villages
and advising grass roots NGOs on sustainable development of the rural
populations. Dr. Raju will give an overview of the Hindu religious and
theological traditions and teach us some spiritual practices for us
to experience for ourselves.
|Saturday: May, (10:00am-3:30pm)--afternoon
speakers open to public)
Rev. Jimyo Lisa Ferworn
Rev. Jimyo is a Buddhist Priest who has a broad background in several
Buddhist traditions. Originally ordained within the eclectic Japanese
Tendai sect, she spent 6 years training and practicing the Japanese
Vajrayana practices. Over the remaining span of her 11 years, she has
spent time with Pure Land and Zen practices. She is currently enrolled
in the Maitreya Buddhist Seminary at the Zen Buddhist temple in Ann
Arbor, Michigan. Rev. Jimyo will teach the core tenants of the various
Buddhist practices and discuss the religious aspects of Buddhism.
She will teach a core meditation practice that can be used to understand
the nature of suffering and how to end it. Also, she will lead the group
in a loving-kindness visualization, and teach a chanting practice.
|Saturday: June, (10:00am-3:30pm)--afternoon
speakers open to public)
Public Program:Taoism: Natures Oriental Code
Dr. Douglas Chung, Grand Valley State University
Dr. Douglas Chung comes from China where he was born into a family
of practicing Taoist. He learned Qigong, the Taoist equivalent of yoga,
from his father. As an adept and teacher of Qigong, Dr. Chung has produced
videos and several about this practice of meditation and energy alignment.
As President of the Asia Society and professor of social work at Grand
Valley University, he has taught extensively about Taoist and Confucian
culture and religion. He will give an overview of the essentials of
Taoist philosophy, the teachings of Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching, the
symbol Yin and Yang and the enduring impact of these ideas upon Chinese
culture and religion. He will lead a Taoist meditation.
Saturday: July, (10:00am-3:30pm)--afternoon
speakers open to public)
Punkin Shananaquet, Ojibway teacher
Ms. Punkin Shananaquet is a full-blooded Pottawatomi- Ojibway and is
employed in The Gun Lake Tribal Office. She describes these teachings
that she will give our class:
“The sacred water teachings that co-exist with Anishinabe
kwewuk (Anishinabe women) (deal with).. the relationship between
the waters of earth, ourselves, and our relationship with our Grandmother
Moon; the purpose of the shawl or blanket and what it symbolizes for
our women and the Mother-Daughter relationship; Herbal medicines associated
with our grandmothers ability to heal, midwifery, and the maintenance
of the family home. The beautiful relationship that exists with the
"kina gegoo" concept; that everything and
everyone is sacred and provides to the sacred balance here on Earth.
Referencing Mother Earth as Mshkiki Aki or "Earth
The protector is Ginew or the Golden Eagle for
the protection of Zeeqwun or Spring a forever pure
virgin spirit who brings us the new cycle of Spring and whose voice
is the only one Biboon (old man winter spirit) will
listen too. How important to understand our protector Ginew who protects
the Spring virgin spirit and how it relates to our own daughters and
Saturday: August, (10:00am-3:30pm)--afternoon speakers open to public)
Public Program: Judaism
Rabbi Michael Rascoe, Temple B’nai Shalom in Benton Harbor
(Field trip to Benton Harbor, Michigan)
Rabbi Michael Rascoe serves the Congregation of the Temple B’nai
Shalom in Benton Harbor, Michigan and two weekends per month he serves
Congregation: Sons of Abraham in Lafayette, Indiana. He comes most recently
from Waukegan, Illinois, and has served a few pulpits in New Jersey
and Pennsylvania, and in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Rabbi Rascoe has been active in interfaith dialogue, being a founding
member of the Grand Rapids Interfaith Dialogue Association. He has worked
with groups formulating minority relation, and prison religious policies.
In addition, he has served as a consultant on academic and governmental
projects, and been an advisor on counseling and medical issues. He has
also taught elementary to college level classes.
Ordained from The Jewish Theological Seminary, rabbi Rascoe has
an MA and a BA in Jewish Philosophy from JTS and a BA from Columbia
University in Political Science
Saturday: September, (10:00am-3:30pm)--afternoon speakers open to public)
Dena Blay-Stoba OCDS, Carmelite: Mother's Trust
As a member of the secular branch of the Order of Discalced Carmelites,
Ms. Blay -Stroba is an experienced teacher of two of the Mystical Doctors
of the Catholic Church, St John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila.
She has served as Formation Director to Secular Order Carmelites and
has conducted regular retreats and days of recollection for the Order.
She has also studied world religions for the past twenty years and
has made intensive studies of Vedanta under the tutelage of Swami Bhashyananda.
She will present a brief theological history of Christianity with especial
emphasis on the mystical traditions.
Ms. Blay-Stroba will focus her presentation on the premise that the
various spiritual traditions of the world offer contexts within which
individuals strive to evolve to deeper and more profound levels of Consciousness.
What is it that makes Christianity and Christian spirituality a unique
voice in the spiritual world today, a voice heard first in the Galilean
wilderness 2000 years ago and one that is still transforming it’s
hearers today? What does it mean to “put on the mind of Christ”
and to live “not I, but Christ who lives in me”?
Saturday: October, (10:00am-3:30pm)--afternoon
speakers open to public)
What The Prophet Heard
Dr. Dustin Byrd, Ismail Abdulah, Western Michigan
University - Department of Comparitive Religions
The Koran is a revealed text spoken by the Angel Gabriel into the Ear
of Prophet Mohammed [peace be upon him]
What did the Prophet hear?
Presenting the Tenets and Practices of Islam is Dustin Byrd. Mr. Byrd
is a “local son” from South Haven, who became attracted
to Islam while in high school. Impressed by its message of radical social
equality, he saw Islam as the complement of the message given by Jesus
in the Sermon on the Mount.
Mr. Byrd made the Declaration of Faith, assumed the spiritual name Ismail
Abdullah, completed his education and is now teaching Islam at Western
Michigan University and other institutions of higher learning. His area
of expertise is the dynamic tension between Wahabism and Sufism.
Mr. Byrd will present the Five Pillars of Islam, discuss the mystical
tradition of the Sufis and will share with us some of the spiritual
practices of Islam. He brings a unique perspective of Islam unencumbered
by the cultural attributes that often permeate religious traditions
which are brought to the West from other areas of the world.
Saturday: November, (10:00am-3:30pm)--afternoon
speakers open to public)
Development of Consciousness - A Seminar
This segment, which will close the World Faith Traditions course, will
be a day long symposium dealing with the Development of Human Consciousness
and how that process is approached in the various faith traditions....... .
Pilgrimage and Sacred Tour to Chicago: All Welcome!
favorite! of students of Mother's Trust/Lakeshore Interfaith Institute)
For six months, students will have met together, sharing insights,
dreams, visions and studies. Now they will retreat together for closer
bonding, spending a few days together visiting the holy places of many
faiths and sharing insights with practitioners of these faiths. This
pilgrimage to sacred places in Chicago is a wonderful opportunity to
put newly acquired interfaith skills into actual practice.
We will be visiting Temple, Synagogue, Basilica, and Mosque and be
able to savor, first hand, the unique ambience and cultural mystique
of the traditions we have studied on a more academic level. We will
be able to interact with practitioners of different faiths on their
own cultural ground, and participate in worship services and meditations
of many of these traditions. In past years we have taken part in the
Holy Eucharist at a Greek Orthodox basilica, a Shabbas service at a
synagogue and have toured a Zoroastrian Temple.
These opportunities lend a profound depth of experience to our already
ambitious interfaith journey. Sharing the lovely home of our hosts,
Mr.Jogi and Mrs. Indra Makhija, trustees of Mothers Trust/Mothers Place
and Friends of Mothers Trust, we will have the chance to eat, talk,
laugh, pray, and meditate together over this joyous weekend and life
time wonder! Students should also know, there will be a Sacred Pilgrimage
to India, this year as well--
List: Mothers Trust/LakeShore Interfaith Institute World Wisdom Course:
(Throughout the Course):
1. Religions of the World: Huston Smith
2. The Worlds Wisdom: Sacred Texts of the World Religions: Philip Novak
3. The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the Worlds
Religions: Wayne Teasdale
*These three books will be used throughout as base texts
NATIVE AMERICAN SPIRITUALITY:
1. Black Elk Speaks: John Niehardt
2. Spirits of the Earth ( Guide to the Native American Nature Symbols,
Stories and ceremonies) Bobby Lake-Thom
3. The Sacred Tree (Reflections on Native American Spirituality) Isbn
4. The Way of the Earth: T. C. Mcluhan
5. The Earth Shall Weep: James Wilson
6. The Mishomis Book: Edward Benton-Banai
7. A little Matter of Genocide: Ward Churchill
8. American Holocaust: Stannard
1. Srimad Bhagavad Gita Swami Tapasyananda isbn 81-7120-094-X
2. The Upanishads: Christopher Isherwood; *Primary scripture of Hinduism
3. The Cosmic Revelation (The Hindu Way to God) Bede Griffiths
4. The Spiritual Heritage of India Swami Prabhavananda ISBN 87481-022-1
5. Inspired Talks Swami Vivekananda
6. The Living Goddess: Linda Johnsen (Mythology)
7. The Ramayana: retold by Krishna Dharma; also William Buck rendition
8. The Mahabharata: retold by Krishna Dharma; also William Buck rendition
1. The Tao of the Tao Te Ching (Translation and Commentary)* Michael
2. The Way of Chuan Tzu: translated by Thomas Merton* *Primary Scripture
of the Taoist tradition
3. The Shambala Guide to TAOISM (ancient Chinese Spiritual tradition)
Eva Wong ISBN 1-57062-169-1
4. The Taoist Experience (Anthology) Livia Kohn, editor
5. Wen Tzu (Understanding the Mysteries--Further teachings of Lao Tzu)
Thomas Cleary, translator
6. The Tao of Pooh; The Te of Piglet: Benjamin Hoff (Taoism Lite)
1. The Holy Bible: (Tanakh--the Hebrew Scriptures)
2. Jewish Literacy: Rabbi Joseph Telushkin
3. The Messianic Idea in Judaism : And Other Essays on Jewish Spirituality
: Gershom Scholem
4. Kabbalah by Gershom Scholem
5. Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism: Gershom Scholem
6. Living Judaism (the complete guide to Jewish Belief, Tradition and
Practice) Rabbi Wayne Dosic
7. A Jewish Theology: Louis Jacobs
8. What Do Jews Believe: David Ariel
9. The Story of God: Karen Armstrong
1. The Dhammapada Eknath Easwaran ISBN 0-915132-37-0 *Primary Scripture
2. Kindness, Clarity and Insight His Holiness Tensin Gyatso --The Fourteenth
Dalai Lama -- ISBN 0-937938
3. The Heart of the Buddhas Teaching Thich Nhat Hanh ISBN 0-938077-81-3
3. Old Path, White Clouds Thich Nhat Hanh ISBN 0-938077-26-0
4. Buddha: Karen Armstrong
1. The Bible (New American; Revised Standard, or New RSV editions ----Study
Bible with commentaries useful
2. Christ of the 21st Century: Ewert H. Cousins
3. The Historical Jesus--The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant
John Dominic Crossan ISBN 0-06-061629-6
4. Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: Marcus Borg
5. Second Simplicity: Bruno Barnhart
6. The Inner Eye of Love: William Johnston, S.J.
7. The History of God: Karen Armstrong
8. The Gnostic Gospels: Elaine Pagels
1. The Qur’an (Koran) many translations and commentaries available
2. Islam: Karen Armstrong
3. Major Themes of the Koran: Fazlur Rahman
4. The Essential Rumi (Introduction by Huston Smith) Coleman Barks
-- translator ISBN 0-965-064871
5. The Essential Sufism: James Fadiman and Robert Frager
6. The Sufis: Idries Shah
7. Islamic Spirituality Foundations: Crossroads Press
8. The Heart of the Koran: Lex Hixon
9. What Everyone Should Know about Islam and Muslims: Suzanne Haneef
10 The History of God: Karen Armstrong
1. The Universe is a Green Dragon: Brian Swimme
2. The Mind Paradigm: Keith Chandler
3. Earth Dance: Elizabeth Sahtouris
4. Masks of the Universe: Changing Ideas on the Nature of the Cosmos
5. The Elegant Universe: Brian Greene
6. The Hole in the Universe: K.C. Cole
***Presenters in each module
will also recommend reading material for that module.
Swami Atmalokananda and Swami Tapasananda: commissioned by
Swami Bhashyananda and Swami Sarvagatananda, are the Monastic Assistants
and Trustees to Mataji Gauribrata Puri Devi, President of Mothers
Trust/Mothers Place, Ramakrishna Sarada Ashram, Lakeshore Interfaith
Community in Ganges, Michigan. Swami Atmalokananda will be the Swami-in-Charge,
acting as the Successor to Mataji Gauribrata Puri Devi. It takes 14
years or longer of serious study and training to receive final vows
as a Sannyasin monastic. In the Ramakrishna Sarada Ashram a Mataji-in-Charge,
or Swami-in-Charge, will be appointed the President, Head of the Order.
Swami Atmalokananda & Swami Tapasananda from 1973-1992 constructed
the Vivekananda Monastery, in Ganges, Michigan. Both joined the Vivekananda
Vedanta Society in Chicago under Swami Bhashyananda in 1973. Both
were sent to India, on several occassions, then in the Vivekananda
Monastery, in Ganges, Michigan, where Swami Tapasananda became in
charge of construction and Swami Atmalokananda became manager from
1983-1992. In 1985, after 12 years, 1973-1985, in the Vedanta Society
in Chicago, Swami Bhashyananda and Swami Bramarupananda brought Eva
E. Schroeder to enter into the womens side of the Vivekananda Monastery
in Ganges, Michigan, to create a monastic lineage in the direct order
of Ramakrishna/Sarada nuns founded by Sannyasini Gaurima. In 1987
Eva E. Schroeder was taken by Swami Bhashyananda and his group to
India where she first came upon the oldest womens convent established
in 1895 commissioned by, Sri Ramakrishna and founded by Sri Ramakrishna's
only woman monastic disciple Sannyasini Gauri Mata Puri Devi, named
Sri Saradeshwari Ashram. Again in 1989 Eva E. Schroeder was sent by
Swami Bhashyananda to this convent, Sri Saradeshwari Ashram to become
the first western woman to receive sannyas from the oldest woman convent
in the direct lineage of Ramakrishna/Sarada. Swami Bhashyananda and
Mataji Vandana Ma exchanged letters. Swami Sarvagatananda inspired
women to leave Chicago, give $20,000 and renounce to Ganges, MI, to
help consruct the Holy Mother's Temple and womens side in Ganges,
Michigan. Swami Bhashyananda and Swami Sarvagatananda commssioned
Swami Atmalokananda and Swami Tapasananda to help with the work of
constructing a Temple to the Holy Mother and with the blessings of
Swami Shraddhananda giving the name, Mothers Trust/Mothers Place,
and Swami Sarvagatananda giving the Articles of Association and By
Laws for the religious order, organization to incorporate Mothers
Trust/the Ramakrishna/Sarada womens lineage and social work began.
Swami Sarvagatananda told Eva, now Sannyasini Gauribrata Puri Devi
to take the help of Swami Tapasananda and Swami Atmalokananada and
with their help, western women were established in the Ramakrishna
Puri lineage and Sarada, Holy Mother lineage of monastics, at the
Sri Sri Saradeshwari Ashram in Calcutta, India, established in 1895.
Hinduism is traditionally called Sanatana Dharma which means perennial
wisdom. It is very diverse and, like a mighty river, it has many sources,
most of which are lost in the mists of prehistory. Not until 1987
did the west ever know of the direct women's lineage to Ramakrishna
Sarada nuns established in 1895. Not until Swami Bhashyananda, translated
the book Sannyasini Gauri Mata Puri Devi did the west ever know that
Ramakrishna amongst his 16 male monks had a woman monastic (nun),
and honored her on the altar of the Vivekananda Monastery in Ganges,
Michigan. During the largest Vedanta Conference in 1987, that ever
took place in the United States Sannyasini Gauri Mata Puri Devi was
placed in the shrine room as the 17th monastic disciple of Sri Ramakrishna
in the Vivekananda Monastery, by Swami Bhashyananda, President of
the Vivekananda Vedanta Society In Chicago and the Vivekananda Monastery
in Ganges, MI. A truth untold became a reality when in 1998 disciple
of Sannyasini Gauri Mata Puri Devi since age 7 and Mataji, President
of Sri Saradeshwari Ashram came to Mothers Trust, invited by Swami
Bhashyananda and inaugurated the Holy Mothers Temple in Ganges, MI.
The Ramakrishna Monks and Ramakrishna/Sarada continue to work in dedicated
to equality, truth and spirituality and service. We are monastics,
western michigan health clergy, parish nurses, and an interfaith community.