[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 article was previously published in the June 2018 edition of the AHYMSIN Newletter.]
When we look to the future, we see the opportunities for change, for growth, for embracing a loving heart and a smiling mind. During these 40 days of spiritual peace, we deepen our commitment and accept our practices as discovery - a tapas of peace. We deepen our relationship with the source of inner light and knowledge through remembering our spiritual heritage, our guides, our inspirations of the past reborn in this deep innate desire for freedom, self-understanding and joy.
[The video “Interview with Swami Ritavan Bharati” can be watched on YouTube. This is a transcript from the video. The video was recorded and edited by Lo, whom Tinyu Chen brought to Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama in March 2018. This article has previously been published in the AHYMSIN Newsletter, April 2018. The 2019 Sangha Gathering is scheduled for 25th February - 5th March, 2019, at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG).]
When we look to the future, we look at how can we create opportunities for students to deepen their practice or to become familiar with, to be introduced to practices that they may feel that now they are ready for, now they would like to understand themselves through such unique ways of these prayers, contemplations, meditation, yoga practices, so we’re coming together with a special gathering next year.
We are honoring Swami Veda in the sense of his beautiful little book, booklet, that he created for the United Nations presentation some years ago. Also for the Parliament of World Religions he gave a talk. He gave a theme that was simply called “The Perennial in the Millennium” for it was the change of the millennium. And he took these sentiments of how would one want to create a beautiful future, a peaceful future. Not only for oneself or one’s family or even among a community, but for the whole world. So he presented this at the United Nations. He presented these beautiful tools of insight and guidance for humanity if they so choose.