|AHYMSIN NEWSLETTER, ISSUE - March 2019|
Vision for the Next Three Years, Part 1
by Swami Ritavan Bharati
[This is a transcript of a talk given by Swami Ritavan on 2nd March 2019 during the 2019 Sangha Gathering at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama.]
A very good morning, (phone rings) the nada, the sound comes in many forms. The question is are we listening or do we react into speech. To simply say, what is most dominant on those waves of your mind? So, it will be no doubt coloured with those emotions that you have had building up following those pathways of the habit patterns, but we as meditators have listened to that subtler nāda, that vibrates, that sings within us. So, we are not reactors to the situations around us, we are actors with an intention and that is the beauty of all of us as meditators.
Today, I am introducing the theme of the vision of AHYMSIN. AHYMSIN, ‘A’ Association, ‘H’ Himalayan, ‘Y’ Yoga, Meditation, Societies, meaning all of us. This is a society. Each of you are the society, for that social network of the internal and external merge of the spiritual and the worldly are that in which you integrate, and, in that way, the society begins with each and every one of you. So, if we then think of this as the future, no doubt we must be present in the now, and in this moment that leads to the next moment, we carry that fullness that beauty. That intrinsic seeking of that understanding for a purposeful life. In this way, each of you are AHYMSIN and each of you are the future.
I look out at Ilaria [Sarri] and Antonella [Panzani] representing our Italian Society, a very old one established by Swami Rama himself.
Along the way, Helen [Choe] has developed the most expansive and most beautiful way in which she has trained yoga teachers, and they have the entire country practicing yoga. Hansa Helen is known as the Mother of Yoga in Korea. She gave birth to this movement, to this understanding, to this flow of grace. Swamiji so much loved to go to Korea. He loved even lying on the mats that are heated. He loved the food. He loved when they danced in their native costumes.
So, each of you are bringing your culture. Each of you are bringing your unique traditions into a flow of a spiritual, a spiritualisation of life as culture, as society, as family and as the atman, radiating through each and every one of those.
Again, when we think of future, we think how will we be helped, how will our sadhana progress, how and in what way and through what means, will this treasure house give us what we need. Treasure house meaning five thousand lectures of just Swami Veda himself, many hundreds of lectures by Swami Rama. By 1975, we had collected one hundred and fifty cassette tapes of lectures by Swami Rama in Minneapolis. He was coming so often, doing retreats with us, and beginning to plant the seed. So many resources and we are hoping to get these into the ways and means that will educate, not only us that still listen on a tape recorder or put in a CD to listen, but we have the smart phones that always will carry a message. So, in whatever way, through YouTube or the WeTube, we will be united. Let us know that efforts are being made, but more important these need to be physically translated into your own languages.
We have twenty-six countries represented among all of us today, here. Twenty-six. And though we say there is mother tongue, somehow, Mother has many tongues, so each of these languages will need to be the expression of the language for those that you serve. Beginning with yourself, to continue building the repertoire of this understanding, this knowledge base.
Now where will we focus? Again, we come back to the tradition. A Śrī Vidyā tradition, Mother Divine tradition. A tradition that is based on the Yoga Sutras, a tradition that is based in the Tantras. All sixty-five of them for the sixty-fifth is the Mother, the Śrī Vidyā tradition. So, we will continue to promote and develop and, in that way, meditate on the subtleties of these teachings.
We have greetings from Bettina Bäumer, who many of you know as a Shaivism expert. She has just left Varanasi. She has a little kuṭīya [Ed: cottage / retreat] in the forests here, where she meditates, but she said to give all the sangha members her greeting, her love. And we hope to have her back soon. We are making plans for next year now. We also have nearby Dr. Frawley. Dr. Frawley too has been here and has given many talks. An author of so many books. Again, a way by which the tradition among us and among those that share in that knowledge and who have been touched by Swami Veda want to give, want to serve.
And so I hope this sentiment grows within, even more so than what all of you have given. That we expand our capacity. Capacity to what? Swamiji only gave this short little succinct message; let every person feel loved.
To the leaders he said that; don’t just conduct a meeting, be lovable in your collaborations.
To the teachers: don’t just teach a class; when those students leave, have they now felt something by which they will leave that class feeling loved.
So, we have everything, and, in that sense, we are so fulfilled, yet we constantly pursue that which is a seeking. So, we honour the fullness, we honour the seeking and, in that way, grow. The seeking is to fulfil your karma. Each of us understands the roles that we have, the duties that we perform, so we seek to fulfil.
And in that way nourish others. But also, in your meditations recognise the fullness.
As I touched on last night, the very fullness that is peace, śama, the very fullness by way of the iccha shakti in that dama, that sense of living a purposeful life and in that way you will take control of your life. That is your responsibility. Titikṣā that inner strength, uparati, moving up, moving forward, seeing the next horizon, that śraddhā, faith, is so core to a belief that I am on the path that I am destined for. This is my destiny. And yet there are interests, there is one path. Yet there are dabblings and other practices, there is one anchor to your spiritual life. Realise that and have faith in that. So, the entire life matures now, as vairagya, nonattachment, svāhā each and every moment with that exhalation. Each and every moment with that prayer of ‘May I offer myself for the benefit of others, and in that way loving’.
These are the tools of our faith and our practice. And also honouring your societies and cultures and your religions to the degree that they too speak to the fabric of your personality by your upbringing, by your interest. We live in a harmonious way, without the separations, for all streams will come into the main river that flow to our ocean of life as samadhi, as moksha.
Some of our members and many others that you know have left the body within the past year. They have received their destiny of moksha by way of their samadhi, by way of their departure, they have fulfilled that dharma for this life, and we can remember them with respect, we can remember them with gratitude that they have served, they have smiled and they have left. What more can each of us expect of our own selves? So, though our expectations somewhat get elevated, simply be who you are with full sincerity and truthfulness.
Other than our international network, we are establishing more and more inroads into our own mother country of India. So beautiful to see these little groups now forming in Bangalore and Mysore and in Mumbai and Pune, some in Chandigarh. A number of ways in which we continue to expand in the very home of yoga. It is almost becoming so commercialised that the Ministry of Yoga now in India thinks this is the next best thing to attract tourists, will say ‘We are the birth place of yoga; you should come’, but who gave the Beatles the message they should come 1968? Was it the ministry department? So, we are all called at the times we are to set foot in the sacred land and to live, to return to a sacred land for this mother earth is our sacred land.
Now here in Sadhaka Grama, as you heard Vijay [Dhasmana] say yesterday, there is a sense when you enter an ashram that it is a special place. The people are committed for a special reason, call it spiritual or simply self enhancement for those that are in the business world as Vijay in that sense was speaking to. He uses this lecture to not only inform the students of the university, Swami Rama Himalayan University, but he takes this message in a course called ‘The Art of Joyful Living’ that they give to doctors, health professionals around the country. So, we understand how an ashram is so near and dear to the spiritual traditions that have gone on for millennia. Jesus himself gathered his disciples. Jesus himself established that which became what is now known as the mystical body and in that society, in that organisation, the tradition carries on. So here now at Sadhaka Grama, we are focusing as the international headquarters for AHYMSIN, it is more like your home so we don’t want to make it so institutionalised. It should be a caring place, a beautiful place, and I think you are feeling that as you have been here over these past days.
Many of you that are teachers are coming to serve; sometimes for a couple of weeks or a month, but I’m needing teachers here, to supplement the base teachers. Our Geeta, Adhikari, Ram Prakash the core of our teaching, for many many sadhakas, students, that are coming as guests. Yet also we need the mature teachers that you are to bring your decades of experience, so we can provide some, let us say, additional levels of teaching.
Also, we need the initiators here. Now, I am also in Swamiji’s footsteps of trying to visit the various centres so when I am not here, people are still coming, people are still seeking the initiation as they have been prepared, as they have now been qualified as adhikarin. So, we need the initiators. Fortunately, Yoong spent three months here recently in this year and in that way served in so many beautiful ways.
So, you will continue to have the travelling teachers coming into your region, to your centres. You will continue to have support of publications as well as audios that will come in various forms. You will continue to have a strong base here to come back to, to refresh, to rejuvenate.
It takes your faith and it takes much effort.
As you have seen, it is a large campus, and now after twenty years there are many needs that the physical environment has to which we are now addressing and to which we want to develop even more. We shouldn’t brag that it is a five-star ashram, but at the same time we want to maintain the intimacy and the calibre of the beauty that Swami Veda so wanted, for he himself, as well as his master Swami Rama, appreciated the aesthetics of beauty. In this way, I will now ask Rabindra [Sahu] to come forward to give a little more detail, let’s say, to the way in which Sadhaka Grama will proceed with the future.
Knowing this, knowing your individual communities that will also need support that will also need teachers, we will continue to work together, share together, train those teachers, expand our initiator base and prepare persons to enter the stream, a living stream of our tradition, for we say, from the source.