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Guidelines for 3 Year Practice

by Swami Ritavan Bharati

[This is a transcript of the session on 4 March 2019 at the 2019 Sangha Gathering at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama in Rishikesh, India.]

Swami Ritavan Bharati:

Sarva maṅgala māṅgalye śive sarvārtha sādhike,
śaraṇye tryambake gauri nārāyaṇ namo’stu te.

Gurur brahma gurur viṣṇur gurur devo maheśvaraḥ,
guruḥ sākṣāt paraṁ brahma tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ.

Ity-uktā sā tadā devi gambhīrāntaḥ smitā jagau,
durgā bhagavatī bhadrā yayedam dhāryate jagat.

By way of Mother Divine’s grace for each and every one and the Guru’s blessings, the Ityukta [mantra] continues to be now our mission. When we have understood that mantra we become the listeners. Again it is a verse from the Caṇḍī. It simply says thus the Divine Mother spoke, but it doesn’t say what she says. So this is the way by which we are training our higher faculties and in that way serving the Mission.

As you review in your mind this past week, the core of the yajna, some celebrate it as spectators appreciating the beauty, appreciating the sentiments that poured forth; some let those sentiments go deeper and experienced that unique devotional quality of bhava, that deep bhavana began to mature. For those of the meditative way of listening through the mantra, the mantra spoke, in the very process of that word became more and more subtle. Even today you could hardly even recite as the pandits recited the mantra for they had elevated or made more subtle that spoken word that merges into the mental word. That mental word again through your deep meditations matures into the pure light, the pure inspiration, that slowly guides you to the saintly revelation, so however you participated in the havan it is more than form, it is more than ritual. Each form has the three layers of meaning, the bhautika, the devaka and the atmika are all forces each having a layer or level of consciousness as a reality. For the bhautika simply all that is a physical form and substance.  The devika of the more internal flows of that consciousness, and the atmika, the deepest layers, all very clear levels of reality that you are aware of as you deepen your meditative lifestyle to the point that that atman is maintained as a presence each and every day, each and every action, each and every word until the very thought patterns are no longer simply the waves of the conscious mind, the vrittis. By way of memory, smriti, by way of nidra, finding those deeper sources of the awakening states of the deeper levels by which you listen, by which that listening becomes the thought patterns of your daily life, and in this way we say you are in tune, you are in harmony, you are in unity, and that is your samadhi state, that is the most natural way. And if, if you take on the resolve as we have had for Swamiji’s message to us, the message of the life and the life style of the satya yuga, that natural state of mind, the samadhi mind, will be the level of mind that you operate on.

So simply now at this point go back to the verses and contemplate and come back to your meditation each and every day to renew, go back to the well and drink. Be nourished for the day will be filled with challenges. How would a satya yuga participant live that life, whether it is behind a computer or in many other jobs, all of which are simply the culture, the profession, the matrix that we find each in, ourselves in, understanding by way of our karmic debt and by way of our dharmic debt, that we maintain that satya, the truth.

So the yajna was to give you this momentum, this aspiration, and remember it is beyond the ritual. Please, please, know that these divine forces are as much alive as you would look on the ground and see others and understand the entire lifespan of that person. These layers of the divine forces are fulfilling their debts at their bodiless level, and thus we have called them, and through the Pandits, through the Pandits, by way of the Pandits, we now have received the blessing, the fruits of the yajna. Yet on behalf of all of you I simply bundle it all up and have given it to the lotus feet of the Guru so I am sorry you can’t claim. I know you sat many hours, I know you said the mantra many times, thank you for your contribution.  But no doubt Guru’s grace will be more and more abundant than you can ever imagine, so not to worry.

Please take this love back to your families, back to your associations in the work place with friends, back to your communities, that they can be grounded in your peaceful mind to which you say what is one peaceful mind. It is like a magnet, and though the forces may not give you name and fame nor abundance of the prosperous, you will be able to feel that gift by which through your life you are giving back, though this brings to a conclusion a very important part of the reason for which we are here, the yajna, the prayer of the Saumya, moonlike mind, a dedication to the Mother Divine and to Guru’s feet.

We will continue with the theme of our day and the Grace of our day with the Shivaratri as I introduced this morning.

Om Namaḥ Śivāya, Om Namaḥ Śivāya, Om Namaḥ Śivāya, Śivoham Śivoham Śivoham.

One way in which Sarasvati has come back to us is by way of knowledge, by way of those expressions of knowledge. Again upon coming you received in your little bag the video, some booklets, Swamiji’s gift. Yet we have other gifts and we will continue to expand these gifts to humanity by way of video, audio, by way of a written book, and so we are very pleased to fulfil one of Swami Veda’s requests. Bring my teachings. He never really said my teachings; he always said Gurudeva’s teachings, Swami Rama’s teachings, for he did not claim any teaching that he simply owned, all came through him, and he is simply passing that on as a debt to the lineage by way now of each of us. Thus the written materials, we will today release the lectures as edited books now of Swamiji, Swami Veda, in the Chinese language, in the Korean language, even in the English language. We have a special book, by a special and devoted sadhaka that has matured now and because he is so creative, he couldn’t just write a nice 2-3 hundred page book. He wrote a thousand-page book. I will ask him, if he is here, to say a few words. In the meantime, though I would like to first bring John [Sellinger] forward to introduce the books that we have as well as Shi Hong to provide the books that we have in the Asian languages.


I am going to announce a few of the culminations of publication projects which we are happy to release today.

Shi Hong has had a team which has been working very hard to translate some of Swami Veda’s works so in a moment he will announce those things.

Today we had intended to release our beautiful second volume of the series on silence, and I am told that the book coming from the printer is half way between here and Haridwar (laughter), so being Shivaratri there is a lot of traffic, so it is in a traffic jam. I hope very much it will arrive in time for anyone who is leaving tomorrow to pick up a copy, so please check this afternoon in the bookstore, and if it has not arrived yet this afternoon, please, please, please check tomorrow morning first thing; it will be there. So please take a copy with you before you go. This is the second in the series on silence by Swami Veda. The first one was titled, many of you I think have a copy. If you don’t have a copy please take that, I will just hold that up, that is the first volume.

Silence, the Illuminated Mind, that is the first volume that we released about a year ago. That is the book on the subject of the symbolic, philosophical, spiritual significance of silence itself. All lectures transcribed and very lovingly edited from Swami Veda.

The second volume which is coming out is Silence, Light beyond Mind. It is a book about the practice of silence and how to approach the practice of silence and deepen it. It contains many meditations into silence and lot of practical advice given by Swami Veda to disciples over years and years and years of guidance.

If you don’t have the first volume, please get it from the book store, and the second one is coming soon so take one home with you.

Anyone who hasn’t received a conference bag for the Sangha Gathering, they are available from the AHYMSIN Office so you can find Pierre [Lefebvre] or Divya [Gupta] in the AHYMSIN Office. It contains several booklets that are on themes prominent to the Sangha Gathering, contains a video collection of Swami Veda and audio collection of Swami Veda, and the shawl which goes with the bag. Anyone who has not received these please speak with Pierre or Divya in the AHYMSIN Office.

Shi Hong:

It is very becoming that Swami Veda’s new book Silence Two is released today. Before Swamiji finally walked into the Meditation Hall, it was like 30 minutes, and I was standing at the door looking this way, and it was silence, and it was a beautiful view. Everybody was in a meditative mode, and I think it is so very becoming that we have this book on Silence when we are all practising that already.

Today we would also like to briefly mention that Swami Veda’s wishes that his writings and also Swami Rama’s writings be translated, especially he emphasised the Asian languages. It is probably that the Europeans can read English, but the Asians probably have more problem reading the language first hand, so we set out to do the translations of Swami Veda’s work, and so far we have done ten and there are four more coming, and I am also very pleased to let you know that our sisters in Korea, they have so far translated six books of the lineage in the Korean language and they are all here. What we are particularly proud cannot hear this sentence……

We are truly proud that we released three books of Yoga Sutra. These are three chapters of Yoga Sutra in Chinese language. This was not based on Swami Veda’s thick telephone book style of Yoga Sutra. This was based on his lectures in 2006 and 2007. More accessible and, of course, much easier to translate. So we have translated those three chapters, and at the end of each book we have a CD of Swami Veda’s recitation of yoga sutras in Sanskrit language.  So that is a real treasure.

How many languages did Swami Veda speak with various fluency, 17, but in one of his languages, he said he could not speak the most important 3 languages of this civilization and he said he felt deprived. This was Swami Veda, he felt deprived. Which are those three languages.  Chinese, Tamil, Greek. So even Swami Veda can sometimes run out of languages to express, so we are here to fill that gap. Of course, he could have learnt Chinese Mandarin, but he decided after one night he tried with a tutor to try to guided meditation in Mandarin and tutor was teaching him but then he couldn’t manage because the language has so many variation of tones, and Swami Veda has trouble with intonation of this particular language, not the fault of the teacher who taught him. Not me.

But we are here. These are the books of our love and devotion to the lineage, to our teachers and also to our readers. Of course we are not promoting books, unless you want to read Chinese and Korean. No, we are not promoting books.  What we are hopefully promoting is sadhana in doing the work, spreading the teaching. If you can translate Swamiji’s book, his lectures in a foreign language, please try. The person who is going to benefit the most is the translator. Really, really it is a sadhana, and the person who does the translation will benefit the most by far.

What if your language is English and you don’t know another foreign language? Yes, please do the transcription. The first time I did the transcription for a Buddhist Master 120, 60 minute cassettes, of his lecture on one Buddhism sutra. It took me about 7 months. After I had done that, I really came to learn that I know a thing or two about that particular sutra. All these others, yes, I have read it, but gone. So even if your only language is limited to the English language, please consider doing the transcription and do the editing. It is a tremendous way to benefit yourself, and if you are interested and want to do that, please report yourself to John.

Swamiji’s vision was to publish one book a month, of Swami Veda’s work, and we are kind of behind. We are lacking the resources. Primarily it is the people, it is the people. So please do consider doing that sadhana, and you will benefit and your lineage will benefit, and this will be a very good offering to the Gurus. Thank you.

Swami Ritavan:

Also we should mention that for the Italians that are here, you have been doing those for decades, so again thank you and the Hungarians, within 15 years they have done 30 books. So they are very ambitious. 

I would like to call Pawan [Misha] to introduce his book:

Pawan Mishra:

Just listening to Swamiji and just being here in this gathering I feel one thing that has not been written in this book. I must run to the press and edit, but I will tell that at the end.

Right now just a simple introduction. This book is known as Living Hanuman. [Possible publishing date: 19 May 2019] Most of us here have heard about Hanuman, the Monkey God? Not monkey God, God as a monkey, God disguised as a monkey, and he is not also so disguised, our mind which is called the monkey mind. Hanuman represents the monkey mind and when it is surrendered with all humility and flow at the lotus feet of his Guru, this monkey mind, this monkey becomes a monk with a key. That is the journey from human to Hanuman.

I have written here Living Hanuman, is a journey from the self to the Self and this is the self of Hanuman. From the self to the Self the journey is not always in a straight line, sometimes not even in the right direction, but it is a journey nevertheless, and I am tracing this journey to a very famous hymn called the Hanuman Calisa. It is a hymn of 40 verses written about 500 years ago and most of the billion plus Hindus who follow Hanuman chant it, at least once a day or once a year or whenever, but at least they have heard it and little children like yourself, have you heard of Hanuman Calisa? Pawan asks a young girl sitting in front, in Hindi. The girl replies yes. The little children know about Hanuman Calisa, and this book went for editing to one of my friends, and her 11-year-old daughter, she picked up this fat book, and she found it interesting, so I felt I have done my job if an 11-year-old can pick up a thousand-page monkey book like this.

This is a book offered at the lotus feet of Swami Veda, Swami Rama, and the whole Guru Tradition. Hanuman also stands for, or represents or is a synonym of our breath.  The breath that you are always supposed to be aware of. This whole book, you could replace Hanuman with breath, and it would read the same. So it is a book about our breath, awareness on the breath, practice of the breath, so the entire teaching of our Tradition is set inside this book. You will enjoy – there are sections about unifying different streams of world religion with the thread of breath. You will find that interesting, and in my book you will find quotes in Korean, in Chinese, in that script, in Hebrew. I have put it in there so a little effort to at least somebody who understands only Korean will at least get one line written in Korean.

One thing that I think I must include in this book which is not yet is about our mantra. Saumya saumyatarasesha…..you all have heard this.  Swami Veda’s description, explanation on this mantra says there is a mystic syllable missing or left like that which is saumya saumyatara ashesha, sesha is how it is written, but Swamiji says ashesha, remainderless, that without a remainder, that without a residue.  We can talk a lot about it but just to understand what happens.



The Himalayan Tradition of Yoga Meditation

Purification of Thoughts     Dhyana    Mindfulness
Japa     Dharana     Shavasana
Breath Awareness     Qualified Preceptor
Guru Disciple Relationship     Unbroken Lineage
Yoga Nidra     Silence Retreats     Full Moon Meditation

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