[This article previously was published in the August 2108 edition of the AHYMSIN Newsletter.]
Those of us who have experienced the infinite love and grace of the Himalayan Masters, of the Guru Lineage through the sacred mantra diksha (Initiation) were blessed with the mantra seed having been sown deep within. When nurtured lovingly, this mantra seed develops into a tree of spirituality within. The Initiates Retreat has been especially designed to show us exactly how to thus nurture the mantra seed.
As Swami Veda has said with regards to the initiate retreat, “You have been a guest at the Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, perhaps once, perhaps many times, and have had basic lessons in sitting and breathing etc… You have also received mantra-diksha. Now the question remains: WHAT after mantra? How to refine it; where to go further? There is always need for (a) refreshing, (b) refining to subtler levels and (c) learning the next steps.”
This year’s Initiate Retreat will be during the 9 sacred days dedicated to the Mother Divine, during Navaratri, during October 10-18, 2018, at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG). We will have non-stop recitation of the 1000 names of the Mother Divine (akhanda japa of the Lalita-sahasra-nama). Navratri is indeed a special time to renew one’s commitment to their sadhana and spiritual life.
Swami Ritavan Bharati has given the theme of “Bhakti and Loving Meditations” for this special initiates retreat.
[This article was previously published in the August 2018 edition of the AHYMSIN Newsletter.]
Dear Spiritual Family,
Since 2011, and each year since 2014, we have gotten together to celebrate the Holi(y)days with the youngest members of our family. This year, too, we are hoping to get together during the sacred and joyous time of Christmas and New Year, and looking forward to filling the ashram with children, whom our beloved Swami Veda Bharati loved so deeply, so profoundly. Swami Ritavan Bharati extends his own loving invitation to everyone in the family to get together, “So that the grace and the practices and teachings of meditation in our lineage may continue into next generations and meditation may become a family-centered experience”, as Swami Veda Bharati put it.
We are members in the spiritual body of the Gurus. Their life-force, their grace flows through us. Our own minds grow in this grace only when we remember that in all our work we are serving as members, as organs, of that Spirit. - Swami Veda Bharati
As constituents of this Sangha, this body of the Guru, we aspire to come together regularly for the pursuit of our spiritual goals, to take stock of our progress, as well as chart the way ahead to prepare ourselves for a deeper commitment to our sadhana, and to the Mission.
Swami Ritavan Bharati extends his personal invitation to all members of the Guru family to gather at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama between February 25 - March 5, 2019, to immerse ourselves into the triad of ‘Love, Serve, Remember’ which Swami Rama enjoined and the principles given to us by our beloved Swami Veda through his writing on “Perennial in the Millennium”.
There will be special lectures, group discussions, and workshops, on “Love, Serve, Remember, Perennial in the Millennium, and Unifying Streams in Religion”. There will be advanced classes on Hatha yoga, Pranayama, Contemplative Walking, and Guided Meditations led by Swami Ritavan and other senior teachers during the gathering.
Swami Ritavan will guide the AHYMSIN Sangha into the next set of practices for the next 3 years, in preparation for the 2022 Kumbha Mela.
We would also have the AHYMSIN executive committee elections at the same time.
The 9-day Sangha Gathering will be shared in the following manner:
• February 25 - 27, 2019: The theme of Love
• February 28 - March 2, 2019: The theme of Serve
• March 3 - 5, 2019: The theme of Remember. March 4 is also the Mahashivaratri and there will be all-night celebrations on that day.
Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama has been said to be the heart center of our beloved Swami Veda Bharati-ji, and embodies his vision for a spiritual home to which our Guru brothers and sisters could return for their sadhana, with their families and children. It has been nearly two decades since it was first realized in brick and mortar.
The buildings, though old, are imbued with stories of every meditation with Swami Ji, of all the Gurukulam lectures, of every teacher in training, of Ma Tara and Sadhakeshwar Mahadeva, of Mother Mary and the Buddha Himself, of joy and laughter, of stillness and silence, and resonate with Swamiji’s voice and the mantras which continue to be strengthened each day.
While the intangibles remain ever fresh, the limitations of matter mean that the old buildings are in need of some repairs now, and as they are being renovated, the ashram looks almost as though it has been temporarily converted into a construction site!
[This letter was published in the July 2018 edition of the AHYMSIN Newsletter.]
Dear Initiates and Students,
30 years ago [in 1988] we were reminded of the purpose of life. Each of us can reflect on how life has unfolded, karmic debts paid, dharma fulfilled. And now set the course with renewed intention, sankalpa, living each day with that awakened spirit, and finding joy in a life well-lived and well-loved.