Taos Hanuman Temple
Taos Hanuman Temple is within the Sri Neem Karoli Baba Ashram in Taos, New Mexico USA. The Taos Hanuman Temple is operated by western devotees of Neem Karoli Baba. Of the many gathering places of Neem Karoli Baba satsang in America, Neem Karoli Baba Ashram in Taos is the home of Sri Taos Hanuman-ji, a most unique and loveable murti.
Maharaj-ji's Taos Hanuman Temple is located at 7000-ft. elevation in the Sangre de Christo (Blood of Christ) Range of the Rocky Mountains. Taos is a small town noted as a "spiritual center". Thousands of Hindus from all over the world make pilgrimages to have the darshan of Sri Taos Hanuman-ji.
The Hanuman Temple at this Ashram in Taos, New Mexico is the only public temple institution of Neem Karoli Baba western satsang and is most likely the most visited Hanuman Temple in America. Sri Hanuman is depicted in his "Ramachudamanidayaka" form as flying over the ocean carrying Sri Ram's ring to Sita-ji in Lanka. there are many forms of Hanuman-ji in India, but Hanuman-ji in this form is very rare. He was designed in America, sculpted in Jaipur, Ragistan, India, and transported to His home in Taos. In September 1999, the Board of Director's of Maharaj-ji's Taos Ashram voted to build a new and appropriate mandir for Sri Taos Hanuman-ji.
Each day aarti is performed to Maharaj-ji and Hanuman-ji from 7:00 to 7:45 each morning and 7:00 to 7:45 each night. Aarti consists of "Jaya Jagadeesh Hare", "Guru Vandana", "Vinaya Chalisa", "Guru Stotra", "Hanuman Chalisa", "Hanuman Astaka," and "Jai Gurudev". These arati practice items can be found on this site on the "Practice" page.
Holidays at Taos Hanuman Temple
The "Night of Shiva" is celebrated on the day before the new moon in late February or early March, when the moon is furthest from Earth, a time to worship God the Absolute. An all-night puja (ceremony) begins at sunset with chanting in praise of Lord Shiva. There are five periods of worship, each followed by prasad.
This is Hanuman's birthday, celebrated on the first full moon of Spring.
Currently, the singing of Sri Hanuman Chalisa is begun at 1:08 PM on the day preceding Hanuman Jayanti and continued for 24 hours until 1:08 PM on Hanuman Jayanto day. Devotees not in attendance in Taos can listen to a live broadcast of the singing on the Web.
Following singing of Hanuman Chalisas, a bhandara of delicious India temple food is served to all devotees.
The Guru is honored on the full moon in July, when the moon is closest to the Earth, the time to worship God in form. It is celebrated with the singing of 108 Hanuman Chalisas, Aarti and a feast. Guru Purnima begins at 4 am.
Maharajji's Mahasamadhi Bhandara
Bhandara literally means to open up the food storage and eat all the food. The anniversary of Neem Karoli Baba's leaving his body (Mahasamadhi) falls on the day of the full moon in September. We celebrate it on the nearest Saturday to the lunar date. Beginning at 4 am, we sing 108 Hanuman Chalisas, followed by the Ramlila (the children's reenactment of the deeds of Lord Ram, Sita, and Hanuman) and a feast. Also during this weekend, the ashram hosts a fundraising auction.
Durge Puja - Navaratri
Durga Puja - Navaratri is a ten day festival, celebrated from the first till the tenth day of the bright half of the lunar month in September/ October, commemorates the victory of Durga. The nine-day puja culminates on the tenth day with a feast and a procession to the Rio Grande into which the Goddess is lovingly immersed. Celebrated each evening at 6 pm.
Darshan of Sri Taos Hanumanji
This photograph of Sri Taos Hanumanji was taken at the time of Hanuman Jayanti 2006, and is actually one of the finest digital photos that Hanumanji has ever allowed to be taken.
Notes About Taos Hanuman in India
Dwarka was very instrumental in requesting final carving changes and painting of the murti. It was I who asked that the stone in his mace be of a green (healing) color.
As the Ma's were polishing him before the paint, I joined them. I particularly shined his cheeks so that you could see the tears as they may fall.
You'll note that the paint-job directed by Dwarka truly changed his face into the radiant loving one we all know.
Another insight into Dwarka's careful concern: he followed Hanuman through each transition of the journey--from India, packing him up, boarding the ship, I believe (I was NOT there); at the U.S. dock when the ship arrived; loading Hanuman onto (I suppose) a truck to Taos, and again there to unload him.
THEN, he and I and Daniel (French) travelled the west to choose THE location for the temple.
We unanimously chose Joseph, Oregon. I presented a sound/slide show of the area for sale. Hanuman never left Taos!
- Saraswati Ransom
The new temple for Hanuman will be a beacon that-radiates the light of Hanuman. Hanuman, in his new temple, will draw many Eastern and Western devotees from around the country. Maharaj-ji serves as a deep pure well that gives pure water.
The Hindu tradition recognizes the ashram/temple as the guru's body. The ashram is Maharaj-ji's body. When we gather, we bring together all of our separate love of Maharaj-ji.
This collective love takes form through kirtan, making chai, serving somebody, the children's laughter, and the preparation of food as prasad (one of the tenets of Maharai-ji is to feed people). To make this a reality, we come together on scheduled occasions.
- Ram Dass