Contact Us
Mental Health
Financial advice
Youth Matters
Techno Corner

Check Classes
Upcoming Events
Faith & Worship

Submit your events








HINDU TEMPLE OF FLORIDA: 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday; 5509 Lynn Road, Tampa, FL 33624; (813) 962-6890.

SHIV MANDIR: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday; officiating priests are Pandit Balraj Maharaj and Ram Maharaj; 2001 N. Howard Ave., Tampa, FL 33607; (813) 907-6311.

DADA BHAGWAN’S GROUP OF TAMPA BAY: Satsang every Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.; everyone is invited; call Ramesh Patel at (813) 926-1143 or Mukesh Patel at (813) 969-1740.

JAIN SOCIETY OF TAMPA BAY: Monthly bhavna from 3 to 5 p.m. every fourth Sunday; also, non-Jains can take Dev Darshan of statues made of marbles by sculpture-artist from Rajasthan; 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.; both events at Days Inn hotel at Fletcher Avenue and Interstate 75; call Kini Shah at (813) 503-0715 or Pradeep Bavishi at (727) 525-5400.

VISHNU MANDIR: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday only, discourse by Pandit Vishnu Sharma; 5303 Lynn Road, Tampa, FL 33624; (813) 654-2551.

SANATAN MANDIR: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday; 311 East Palm Ave., Tampa, FL 33602; (813) 221-4482.

SHRI SARASWATI DEVI MANDIR: 9:30 a.m. to noon Sunday only; officiating priest is Pandit Purnanan Sharma; 16220 Livingston Avenue, Lutz, FL 33559; (813) 264-1539.

SHRI RADHA-KRISHNA MANDIR: daily morning arotik at 7 followed by Srimad-Bhavatavam class; 6 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Wednesday Bhagavad-Gita class followed by prasadam; 14610 N. 17th St., Tampa; (813) 971-6474 or click on

BAPS SHRI SWAMINARAYAN MANDIR: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily; darshan is closed between noon and 4 p.m. but reopens at 4 p.m.; 9226 E. Fowler Ave. (between Interstate 75 and U.S. 301); (813) 986-5473.

MANAV DHARMA ASHRAM: sumiran is from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. first Thursday of every month; satsang is 5 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, followed by dinner; yoga classes begin at 7:30 a.m. Saturday; bhajans are 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. every third Sunday; 7520 Caron Road, Tampa, FL 33615; call the ashram at (813) 889-7155, Himatlal Parekh at (813) 969-1661 or Ashok Modh at (813) 935-3439.

SHREE YAMUNA PREETI SEVA SAMAJ: Pushtimargiya Satsang Mandal invites Vaishnavs of Tampa Bay area to weekend Satsang sabhas and kirtans; 1340 Robin Road S., St. Petersburg, FL 33707; call Smitabein Patel at (813) 961-3816 or Himatlal Parekh at (813) 969-1661.

ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF TAMPA BAY AREA MOSQUE: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily; 7326 E. Sligh Ave., Tampa, FL 33601; Tel: (813) 628-0007.

GURDWARA: 8 a.m. till 8 p.m. daily; 15302 Morris Bridge Road, Thonotosassa, FL 33592; (813) 986-6205.


HINDU SOCIETY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA: 8:30 a.m. to noon and 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 1994 Lake Drive, Casselberry, FL 32707; (407) 699-5277.

GURDWARA, SIKH SOCIETY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA: 11:30 A.M. to 1 p.m. Sunday; 2527 W. Aloma Ave. (west State Road 426), Oviedo; (407) 805-0404.

MASJID AL-RAHIM, ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA, WEST ORLANDO: five times daily prayers and pray on Friday; 4962 Old Winter Garden Road, Orlando, FL 32811; (407) 523-7882.

SARASWATI DEVI MANDIR/INDO CARIBBEAN CENTER: Sunday service is from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; all special days observed with worship; 1453 N. Pine Hills Road, Orlando, FL 32808; for information, call (407) 522-1988 or click on

SHRI SHIVDHAM HINDU TEMPLE AND BRAHMRISHI YOGASHRAM: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily; 460 O’Berry Hoover Road, Orlando, FL 32825; (407) 380-2661 or e-mail

SANTOSHI MA TEMPLE: bhajan and aarti first Friday of every month; 10900 Park Ridge Gotha Road, Windermere, FL 34786; (407) 996-2830.

SHRI LAXMINARAYAN MANDIR: 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday; 269 N. Klondike Ave., Pine Hills, FL 32811; (407) 877-7916.

SHRI SWAMINARAYAN MANDIR (BAPS): 1325 W. Oak Ridge Road, Orlando, FL 32809; (407) 857-0091.

POINCIANA HINDU MANDIR INC.: 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. each Sunday and on special festivals; 3999 Monterey Road, Kissimmee, FL 34758; (407) 873-2679.


ISKCON OF ALACHUA (International Society for Krishna Consciousness): founder is A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, P.O. Box 819, Alachua, FL 32616; (386) 462-2017.


SHIRDI SAI CENTER: 4707 Pleasant Grove Road, Inverness, FL 34452; for timings of the center and any other information, call (352) 860-2181 or e-mail


HINDU SOCIETY OF NORTHEAST FLORIDA (HSNEF): 714 Park Ave., Orange Park; for information, call (904) 269-1155 or click on


SOUTH FLORIDA HINDU TEMPLE: 13010 W. Griffin Road, Southwest Ranches, FL 33330; for timings and classes at the temple, call (954) 438-3675 or e-mail

Send information on upcoming events to Nitish S. Rele, Khaas Baat, 18313 Cypress Stand Circle, Tampa, FL 33647
or e-mail
Deadline for submissions is the 18th of each month to be included in the next issue.


Swami Suryadevananda

The third section of the Yoga Vasistha deals with the theme of ‘Creation or The Evolution of the World.’ Why is it important to have any understanding of this topic? What has ‘creation’ to do us at all? Knowing how things have unfolded, may give us some clues as to the binding factor behind the drama of the changing world that we find ourselves in that does not rest and demands a response in some form from moment to moment. The attempt here is to peek through the faces of change and try to get a glimpse of the unchanging that animates change.

The Yoga Vasistha tells us that what we see as creation is not a reality as an effect from a cause but an appearance, just as the dream condition. If creation is to be considered ‘real,’ there cannot be hope of liberation. Our experience of bondage is rooted in the belief of the reality of the world appearance and here is the crux of the matter. As long as we believe that we exist as an individual, that others too exist as individuals and that everything that is perceived is external and apart from everything else, a need arises for establishing some sort of relationship with this mass of disconnected persons and things. But nothing stays in a uniform condition and since the nature of the visible is change, we find ourselves in a race to adjust and stay adjusted. Every moment, we are in this ‘adjustment game,’ hoping that our adjustments can last forever or long enough to give some pause. However, this does not seem to happen and it seems that our entire life is nothing but a series of adjustments that are called for in different levels of existence.

Since life presents a stream of change, it seems that we can never become completely free of adjustments unless we find a way to adjust ourselves to the very principle that animates the changes we encounter in life. If this total adjustment is somehow possible, we may be free from the clutches of subjection of these moment-to-moment demands that pull us in all directions.

Bondage arises when we perceive something or someone as an externality, which is insisted upon by the senses, mind and intellect. It is this externality consciousness that requires a relationship and status as a classification, which is the seed of bondage. Each time we revisit this something or someone, we discover that the hands of change have impacted our own understanding, the object of perception or the space that envelops the subject and object. The relationship or status foisted upon the object of perception is challenged and we find ourselves making adjustments to better suit the present condition. This game goes on endlessly and demands unrelenting effort to cope with the hands of change.

To posit that there is no creation is a never-ending argument. Something seems to be there in front of us as the world but what that something is may not be clear. As long as we are embodied, we are susceptible to reports from the senses, mind and intellect. What is then needed is to empower the ‘higher mind’ in the perception process that has been properly educated as the nature of reality. This ‘higher mind’ is the best instrumentation we have though it cannot conceive the Absolute; it is what can be brought into play in our present condition.

The higher mind has to be educated so that our continued interaction with creation through thought, speech and action may be of recognizing the substratum of unity threading the myriads of shapes and forms.

Meditation is difficult if we are not reconciled with all that we see as creation and all that we are. The Yoga Vasistha tells that even if one is able to enter deeper stages of meditation somehow, this state will not last be everlasting as the world since creation will continue to insist on this condition. The idea of the phenomenal world is in the mind of the perceiving subject with such strength and if life is lived unwisely, this erroneous notion will only be strengthened.


Rishi Vasistha tells Rama the story of a holy man named Akasaja who lived a life of meditation and was always inclined toward the welfare of all. Messengers of Yama, Lord of Death, noticed that he had lived more than a full life and sought to devour him. They were unable to devour him inspite of repeated attempts. Having failed in every attempt, they returned and placed before Yama their failed encounters.

Yama replied that death does not really kill as it is the fruition of the karma of the dying person who through karma cooperates in the release from the physical body we call death. The holy man Akasaja was living as pure spirit, completely free of incurring any karma as the sense of ‘person’ or ‘doership’ was not even known to him. His very existence was like the purity of air without any smell or scent. The grip of ego was absent completely, and hence, there was nothing to grasp him by. The Lord of Death further went on to state that this holy man had never been born as an embodied being but was causeless and hence, pure consciousness manifest as a subtle body. This total absence of cause has made him as a vacuous being functioning in an ethereal arbor.

Rishi Vasistha goes on to tell Rama that the Creator’s thought can be said to have given rise to what is beheld as creation and therefore, this creation is thought only without the substance of matter. The Creator’s thought has spread itself as forms and beings endowed with intelligence. With the many forms and beings, self-forgetfulness can arise and till this state of self-forgetfulness continues, there is a freezing in the form of beings. It is only the thought forms that undergo this delusion and the Creator remains unchanged in any way. What we see as the universe is thought projection appearing as solid matter.

In the Upanishads, there is the commonly used analogy of the snake in the rope where in darkness, a coiled rope can be mistaken for a snake and there can be a reaction to it, though there is no snake in truth. In the dream condition, we have all sorts of experience though there are no objects and it is all the creation of the mind only. The subject, the objects, the space, the light that illumines the animation and the witness of this entire drama, all is the play of the psyche only. We can have pleasant experiences or otherwise and tangible reactions also. Solid objects are not necessary for tangible reactions and the play of the mind can inject a sense of convincing reality. It is not till we are in a state of waking that we realize the dream experience.

Rama then asks Rishi Vasistha what the mind is and this leads to a further exchange of answers, questions and more answers, which we will look into the next time.

Swami Suryadevananda, presently residing in St. Petersburg, is with the Divine Life Society founded by Sri Swami Sivananda in Rishikesh, India. He can be reached via e-mail at

Contact Information
The Editor:
Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site. Copyright © 2004 Khaas Baat.

Anything that appears in Khaas Baat cannot be reproduced, whether wholly or in part, without permission. Opinions expressed by Khaas Baat contributors are their own and do not reflect the publisher's opinion.

Khaas Baat reserves the right to edit and/or reject any advertising. Khaas Baat is not responsible for errors in advertising or for the validity of any claims made by its advertisers. Khaas Baat is published by Khaas Baat Communications.