AHYMSIN around the Globe
by Dr. Shirin Venkatramani
Swami Rama Yoga and Meditation Center Pune
What is most predictable about life is that it is unpredictable, sounds paradoxical but true, like saying that the most constant is change!
So, early in the lockdown period when Dr. Leela George, my classmate who resides in Bangalaru, asked me if we could do online classes on pranayama, which she had had a glimpse of at our class reunion, I readily agreed. Just one week into the sessions and Dr. Neela Desai joined us and then we had a class going what with my school classmate Dr. Rashmi Madan, my dear husband Dr. Venkat, and our loving neighbors Smt. Pratibha and Shri Harish Mehta. Then one day Smt. Vinita Mohoni, who is also an initiate in our tradition and used to regularly attend our classes, asked could we start them online? I said we were already doing it and she joined.
The Bhagavad Gita classes were halted as I had travelled, and then the lockdown started. Then Durgeshwari, our ardent initiate and one who is doing level one TTP, asked if we could restart online, so we had that going with Smt. Suhasini Mishra, Smt. Sunita Lalwani, and our dear Smt. Sarita Khetan and the above group all joining together.
This could only be Gurudev working. We were never so sincere earlier as we are now! Our practice has enormously benefitted me, and I’m delighted to see it has been working for us all. Attached are the impressions of the participants. We would like to continue as long as we can.
At the pranayama class after practice we listen to Swami Veda’s guided meditation for beginning meditation and follow it.
In the Bhagavad Gita class we follow Swami Rama’s book Perennial Psychology of the Bhagavad Gita and Eknath Easwaran as well as some of Shirin’s insights. We also have question answer sessions and take home messages. All in all a very enriching experience for me.
Jai Gurudev! My humble pranams and grateful offering. Would just like to add Pune does not have a centre (by definition) as such; these are activities He inspires and conducts.
Below are attached the experience of the participants.
It is always a pleasure to be associated with Shirin. I am grateful to her for introducing me to the magic of spiritual awakening at SRSG Ashram at Rishikesh. So joining her virtual class on Pranayama and meditation was a natural progression. It is an amazing experience to learn various techniques of Pranayama with scientific explanation. The tradition of Himalayan Yoga & Meditation technique is so very well explained and followed by her. I am sure all of us in the group are benefitted by the positive vibes that this Pranayama and focused meditation that Shirin guides us to... along with few light moments. - Dr. Neela Desai
I am enjoying Pranayama. But meditation I am learning. May be one day I will learn properly & enjoy. - Shri. Harish Mehta
Himalayan yoga is helping a lot, especially meditation. My mind is set so well when I hear Guru’s words in the starting, and then when i meditate with my guru mantra i feel deeply relaxed and satisfied. i am thankful to Shirin(my teacher)who has made me understand this Himalayan yoga. - Smt. Pratibha Mehta
Himalayan yoga and meditation is unique and doing it online is a great experience and of immense benefit what with a leader like Shirin and a willing group. - Dr. V Venkatramani
First I must thank Shirin for introducing me to this wonderful Himalayan yoga.
The pranayama is very refreshing, relaxing, It gives a real feel good feeling in the end. It gets your mind in control and focused. I learned what diaphragmatic breathing is.
Meditation is just fantastic. Taught me how to meditate and concentrate on one thing, my Lord and Saviour. No thoughts of outside world, only my God and me. The chanting of the Guru has mesmerised me and sent me into a different world. All in all I always feel wonderful after the session more calm and receptive to all. Thank you. Thank you, Shirin, for introducing me to this Himalayan Yoga. God bless you. - Dr. Leela Mani George
This class that Shirin has started has clear instruction on correct technique of pranayama .It is also carefully tailored around any person not able to do the particular pranayama because of health reasons. So one feels no pressure. Meditation is a personal journey and has to come to you. Shirin is so emotionally committed and infects us with enthusiasm. We have a great camaraderie in the group which brings very good vibes to our practice. Three cheers to Shirin. - Dr. Rashmi Madan.
Bhagavad Gita Class.
I think everyone evolves, and a time comes when they are ready to absorb the learning in Geeta. I tried, but just reading never really gives you the deep nuances. I wanted to but didn’t get the opportunity. Shirin had aai to teach her, and she has been a keen spiritual seeker. So when i realized she is discussing the Geeta, i felt God heard my deep desire and answered my prayers. So I joined this group. We are trying to absorb the essence slowly. It’s a good experience. For a beginner at Geeta, I felt it was a good experience to learn with Shirin making the class vivacious adding her experiences besides giving the explanation of Swami Rama and Eknathji. Also giving us something to think about so that my understanding can become more clear.During my last visit to Rishikesh and my talks with my mentor, I remember telling him that I had never read the Bhagavad Geeta and he told me that you will at some point in your life, and very soon this happened. Yet again l am humbled by this experience as l believe it has come to me as divine grace. - Smt. Durgeshwari Balachander
We lived in Aundh in the late '90s .....and there was this Aji who used to attend Geeta classes or discussions, and she said young people should read it too. I wasn't able to answer her at that time.....but I now think that one requires a certain level of maturity which comes with age to try and understand. I am not talking about the evolved souls.....who are far and few..... - Smt. Suhasini
Through my years Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Geeta are household day to day topics. Now with Shirin, especially with the varied explanations of a shloka and her questions with homework make me self study and understand the length and the depth, leaving me in wonder and with more to understand. - Smt. Sarita Khetan
My experience with 'Geeta' is very recent and very superficial, I must say. However, I do consider myself as 'Jigyasu', or third type of person, and I'm sincerely looking for the clarity of thoughts and understanding this mammoth creation of the Divine scripture. Understanding the essence of 'Geeta' is not easy....Admiring the dedication of Shirin. - Dr. Neela Desai.
Have joined the Geeta class recently, and am enjoying it. I have read the Geeta as explained by Sri Parmahansa Yogananda and feel he has given a really profound in depth understanding of the scripture. But hearing the commentaries by Swami Rama and Eknath as explained by Shirinji is interesting to hear and I feel really Blessed to listen to them. A very satisfying experience. - Smt. Sunita Raj Lalwani.
Enjoying group reading of Geeta with Shirin's inputs and enthusiasm. Experiential understanding will be the day I'm looking for. - Dr. V. Venkatramani.
I think everyone evolves, and a time comes when they are ready to absorb the learning in Geeta. I tried, but just reading never really gives you the deep nuances. I wanted to but didn’t get opportunity. Shirin had aai to teach her and she has been a keen spiritual seeker. So when i realized she is discussing Geeta, i felt God heard my deep desire and answered my prayers. So I joined this group. We are trying to absorb the essence slowly. It’s a good experience. - Dr. Rashmi Madan.
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