Online Resources for the Covid-19 Time

With the social distancing now in place because of Covid-19, we would like to share some online resources. There may be more of which we are unaware. You can contact us by clicking on the AHYMSIN Office contact regarding sources not mentioned or updated information.

Announcement for Covid-19

Swami Ritavan Bharati, Spiritual Guide of AHYMSIN, has made an “Announcement for Covid-19” which includes a “Spiritual Action Plan for the Sangha.” Please read this by clicking on “Announcement for Covid-19.” Within this article, you will find links to the Saumyā-Tārā mantra and the Mrityunjaya mantra; the links will take you to articles about the mantras as well as to audio sound files.

Full Moon Meditation

You are invited to sit in meditation for an hour wherever you are. Total beginners and longtime practitioners, non-initiates and initiates are welcome. For more information, please click on Full Moon Meditation.

Self-Study Readings, Recordings and Videos of Swami Rama and Swami Veda Bharati

Swami Veda Bharati advised many who asked for guidance to use this list. Please click on Standard Reading List.

Two Minute Meditation

Swami Veda Bharati suggested going every 2-3 hours into a state of inner silence (meditative state) for just 2 minutes. Click here for more information.

Questions on Spiritual Practice

Questions on Spiritual Practice can be sent to the Adhyatma Samiti, or Spiritual Committee, by clicking here.

AHYMSIN Newsletter

You can subscribe to the AHYMSIN Newsletter by clicking here.

AHYMSIN YouTube Channel

The AHYMSIN YouTube Channel is https://www.youtube.com/user/ahymsin

Swami Veda Bharati on YouTube and in other Videos

Listings of some videos can be seen by clicking here.

Swami Rama’s Channel on YouTube

Please click here to see a listing.

Sadhana Mandir

New Online Learning option available –  a study guide to “Meditation and Its Practice” by Swami Rama: https://sadhanamandir.org/wordpress/online-learning/ 

Online Satsangs offered by Affiliate Center in Canada

Himalayan Yoga Meditation Center Calgary is offering online Satsangs with Pandit Dabral. The best listing of these is on their Facebook page. Their website also has a contact page. These classes are in English.

Online Classes and Resources by Affiliate Center in Germany

Online classes from Himalaya Institut Deutschland, an affiliate center. These classes are in German. https://www.himalaya-institut.de/

Online Classes offered in Greece

Himalayan Yoga Meditation of Hellas
www.himalayanyoga.gr  
Started on the 21 of March, through Skype.
Every Tuesday and Thursday from 20.00 to 21.30, Joints and Glands and Hatha Yoga,
Every Thursday from 21.30 to 22.30, Pranayama and Meditation
Every Saturday from 18:00 to 19.00, Children Stories from the East, narration and discussion
Every Saturday from 20.00 to 22.00, Parents, discussions about the present situation and preparation for seva (“hugging mothers” for orphan babies, and “food for everybody” project, in co-operation with the Municipality of Chalandri, Athens).
These classes are in Greek.

Online Classes offered by Affiliate Center in Hungary

Himalája i Jóga Tradícióis offering free online classes. Please click here for more information. These classes are in Hungarian. They also have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/himalajaijoga/ 

Offerings by Centers in Italy

From Himalayan Yoga Institute Italia: “Every Wednesday in May • We meditate together in our own homes. From 21.00 to 21.30.” Please click here for more information. They also have a link on their website to “Articles and Readings” which are articles by Swami Rama and Swami Veda Bharati which have been translated into Italian.

From Spazio Shanti: “yoga and meditation lessons in which you can participate by connecting from a computer, tablet or mobile phone.” These classes are in Italian. Please see https://www.spazioshanti.org/

From Associazione Himalayan Center Padova: “We offer online yoga and meditation lessons and ayurveda workshops”. Please see in our Facebook page: Associazione Himalayan Center @himalayancenterpadova. For more information you can visite our website: https://himalayancenterpadova.it/

Classes and events offered by Affiliate Centers in the USA

These classes are in English.

The Meditation Center in Minneapolis is offering online sessions and are publicizing them in their newsletter. If you are not on their mailing list and would like to be, please go to their Contact Page. If you scroll down on the page, you will find “SIGN UP TO RECEIVE UPDATES ON CLASSES AND EVENTS!” and a space to enter your email address and then click subscribe. They also have a Facebook page. In addition, The Meditation Center has placed videos of some of their Zoom classes on Vimeo.

From the Himalayan Yoga Meditation Center in Illinois: “WE ARE WORKING TO OFFER OUR YOGA, MEDITATION CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS VIA REMOTE CONNECTION OPTIONS. As we add classes that you can attend remotely, those classes will indicate the method of connection in their description” For more information, please visit their website: https://hymcillinois.com/

From Himalayan Yoga & Meditation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin: We are offering some Zoom classes. For more informaton, please visit their website https://himalayanyogamilwaukee.org/ 

Online Classes in Japan

For information about online classes in Japan: ahymsin.jp@gmail.com Website: https://sites.google.com/site/ahymsinjapan/home

Himalayan Yoga Meditation Society Hong Kong

The Himalayan Yoga Meditation Society Hong Kong has some videos on their YouTube channel featuring Swami Veda Bharati.

Himalayan Yoga Meditation Society Ludhiana (India)

Himalayan Yoga Meditation Society Ludhiana (India) has a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LudhianaYoga/ 

AHYMSIN Korea

Under the guidance of Hansaji (Helen Choe), AHYMSIN Korea also shares teachings of the tradition through web community (http://cafe.daum.net/TTPinKorea ). Most Materials are written form, which are translated into Korean. There is also the Facebook page for AHYMSIN, Korea.

Offerings in Republic of China (Taiwan)

AHYMSIN Taiwan has some videos with Swami Veda Bharati on their YouTube channel. They also offer online classes, which are announced on their 2 Facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/ahymsin.taiwan/ and https://www.facebook.com/groups/AHYMSIN.TAIWAN/ 

Himalayan Insky Yoga offers online and in person classes. Please see the website http://inskyyoga.blogspot.tw/ and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/inskyoga 

AHYMSIN Thailand

ahymsinthailand has a number of vidoes on their YouTube channel.

Ahymsinthailand Himalayanyoga has a number of videos on their Facebook page. These videos include videos with Swami Veda Bharati, Swami Ritavan Bharati, Stephen Parker (Stoma), Ashutosh Sharma, Shi Hong, John Sellinger, Swami Nityamuktananda.

Yogadocent

Yogadocent has 3 videos on their YouTube channel – 1 each with Swami Ritavan Bharati, Stephen Parker (Stoma), and Ashutosh Sharma.

Digital Pilgrim

John Sellinger, a former Gurukulam student and international teacher, has established Digital Pilgrim which features videos and audios in our tradition. There is a website, a Facebook page, and a YouTube Channel.

 

Prayers and Succour for Current Global Uncertainties

My very dear souls

My prostrations to the Divine Master.

Some of us are witnessing for the first time in this lifetime what a pandemic is and what is currently being spread by the Corona virus.

A century ago, in 1918, the world experienced the Spanish influenza (H1N1) pandemic where it was estimated that 25% to 30% of the world population became infected with this virus. Then years later, we heard of the H2N2 Asian flu, the H3N2 Hong Kong flu and more recently, the H1N1 swine flu ten years ago. Sometime about 50 years ago we were told of the HIV virus which continues to exist.

What does this mean for all of us? And for those of us in the Himalayan Tradition?

There have been many advisories issued by the countries affected by this contagion. These advisories and notifications carry practically the same messages about social distancing, no handshakes, self-quarantine, observing cleanliness like washing the hands thoroughly with antiseptics or detergents, wearing a mask, not touching our faces etc.

We are experiencing for first time ‘lockdowns’ and ‘price gouging’, ‘panic buying’, trajectories in the corona virus curves, and ‘tissue and toilet paper crisis’; and we are hearing of many other new alien terminologies.

Voluntary or self-isolation or self-quarantine is probably the only action very familiar to many of us in the Tradition in pursuit of sadhana and tapasya.

The practices advocated and advised by the governments and various immigration and health authorities are there to be followed and these are extremely important in any environment including the ashram.

As ordinary mortals, we must observe and take the necessary precautions strictly to look after ourselves. More so, as a consideration and compassion for the other souls that love and live within our environment.

Our Master Swami Rama educates us that ‘our body is a temple and it’s our duty to worship the Divinity that resides within’. Hence, it’s our sacred duty to protect our body through our efforts and Their Grace from any illness and mishaps.

Of course, the Tradition will provide the extra shield through the vibrations of our mantras. Our Himalayan Tradition – the Bharati Lineage exemplifies Divine Knowledge and Love. We must all earn this privilege explicitly through our actions.

In the case of this corona virus pandemic which is inclined to be a long haul, we must observe and practice strictly the basic tenets and principles of preventive hygiene. These practices are nothing short of us being selfless. Selfless means by being totally caring for the others around us. Spacing ourselves adequately in the meditation hall and avoiding crowds especially in the food hall. Taking our food in our own rooms is an option. Not hugging but observing mental salutations and many other ways of showing that we care for our brothers and sisters.

Selfishness is when our manas prompts us that we are immune to these diseases. Some may feel that they have attained higher spiritual boundaries, but there are many who are within the circle who are aspirants in this spiritual path.

As long as we are in an environment where there are other souls around us, we must ensure that we observe the basics of preventive hygiene. There are no two ways about this.

Let us all in our own uniqueness pray for the welfare of mankind wherever they may be; for those medical and healthcare personnel and the support staff; for those who are in the essential services who are maintaining law and order, those in the water and food industry; the sewage industry, the cleaners, and for all those who are on call and in sacrifice, in various capacities of the different occupations.

And let us all extend our prayers to those who are at risk to this disease and let us also pray for those who are already exposed to this suffering and its affliction.

May all our prayers be heard by the Almighty Universal Divine Mother and may these prayers be permitted by Her to resonate wherever there is a need to help anyone and everyone.

May our Tradition give us the strength to collectively and as individuals bear the suffering of mankind and to provide succour to those who need this love in these tumultuous times.

May the prayers of the Most Holy sages and seers of the past present and future in the highest peaks of the Himalayas continue to vibrate into every microcosm of the earth and help ease our sufferings in this era of Kali Yuga.

May our prayers be to thank these Most Venerable Enlightened Beings wholeheartedly for Their prayers which has been helping this earth and all that live in Her ever since.

And may we all pray that the pandemic is not protracted and that the aftereffects of the pandemic including the world economy is not severely damaged especially so that the poor and the destitute have enough sustenance and shelter.

May each of us as representative souls of the Tradition do our part to alleviate the current crisis through our prayers and actions.

May the Master and the Lineage protect each one that requires deliverance.

Aum Guruve Namaha

Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti

In Service of Gurudev

Mohan Swami


Editor’s Note:

Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Mohan Swami, a disciple of Swami Rama, is the President of both AHYMSIN and Dhyana Mandiram Trust (DMT).

2019 Spiritual Festival

Each summer during the 40 days that precede Guru Purnima, students in the Himalayan tradition are invited to participate in the 40-Day Spiritual Festival, to expand and refine their sadhanas.

This year the 40-Day Festival will begin on 7th June and will end on 16th July, which is Guru Purnima.1

It is a time to contemplate (and talk with others about) the ways you can participate.

“We are all here for a purpose; it is an on-going spiritual process. We are all here for spiritual liberation and serving that mission. For that purpose we are purifying ourselves of our pride and ego. For these reasons we train ourselves in constant self-observation: to see oneself, to hear oneself to develop this internal dialogue. I have used one criterion for all my thoughts, my words, and my actions: ‘Is this conducive to spiritual liberation?'”– Swami Veda

The many presentations,2 sacred ceremonies and scriptural contemplations3 in recent years have pointed to the main focus of this year’s Spiritual Festival, which is the japa of the Saumya-Tara Mantra and the celebration of the Divine Mother in the universe and in ourselves. The Saumya-Tara Mantra was given to us in past years by Swami Veda, and now again, in 2019 by Swami Ritavan to bring loving peace to the collective mind-field: “Saumya-Tara Mantra can be a means for expiation and purification and lead to pacification, a peace that is necessary now and at all times.”

At the 2019 Sangha Gathering (February 25 to March 5, 2019) at SRSG, Swami Ritavan guided the AHYMSIN Sangha into the Saumya-Tara Mantra practice for the next three years. Please see Three Year Mantra Practice, 2019 to 2022 and follow the many links which are included.

The Saumya-Tara Mantra practice is especially propitious, as it reconnects us with Swami Veda’s love for this mantra and the immersion in the energies of the Divine Feminine, as when Swamiji first introduced Saumya Mantra to the Himalayan community in 1999 when he further expanded it in 2012 4 by joining it to it to the Tara Mantra, and when he prescribed this mantra for the Spiritual Festival in 2014.

In February of 2002 Swami Veda spoke these words:

“The swift, yet soft current in the middle of the river is that of Soma – in the whole universe all that brings peacefulness. In the common spoken languages of India we often refer to a person who is very Saumya person. That gentleness shows on his or her face. That gentleness and softness is exuded from his body and from his voice. Such a one does not need to make an effort to ascend, to rise. Such a one simply floats like water filling all the holes and making everything even. Wherever there is disharmony such a one’s presence creates harmony. Where there is strife, such a one’s speech, glance, thought establishes symphony. We seek to be such for in these times there is enough of the exhibition of fire in the world. If each one of us – even one single one of us – becomes a Saumya person, his very presence on this planet can bring about a mildness in the flames of fire….
If you want to know what a Saumya feature is like, [remember] the face of your mother when she was suckling you on her breast and looking down at you. That was a Saumya face. Pray that your face may be seen like that face by all living beings – not only by your family and friends and neighbors and your co-nationals, but all human beings and all living beings. [Let them seek you out]…as hungry children come and crowd around their mother….
So each time you utter the word “Saumya,” let that quality of personality be invoked in you so that slowly, slowly, gradually you may become the source of Saumya forces flowing swiftly, softly. Gently like a breeze made fragrant by flowers . . . [may] others who pass by you smell that fragrance and may their minds become Saumya….
The great divine Mother’s presence has to be invoked and invited to dwell in your body, speech, mind, eyes, even more intensely manifesting…a clear presence at all times. “Saumya, Saumyatara.” Each time we recite these words let these qualities, let these attributes be invoked in you and may the mother who is ever Saumya – suckling all her children, the entire universe after universe – may she descend and dwell in you and look out to the world through your eyes. Saumya, Saumyatara. Hari Om. Hari Om. Hari OM.”
(from “Saumya, Yajna and Yajmin” by Swami Veda on February 10, 2002)

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1 As Swami Ritavan has written, “Celebrating Guru Purnima is a joy beyond words, a deep stillness that echoes a wholeness and holiness. A wholeness that provides the answers to our pursuits, our yearnings and reveals a purpose for life. To live and to love with a heart unconditioned by conflict, and a mind, unified beyond division.”

2 “Sangha Practice for the Next 3 Years” by Swami Ritavan
“Advancing Guidance in Yoga Sadhana” by Swami Ritavan
“Saumya Mantra Explanations”

3 SAUNDARYA LAHARI, VERSE 3 by Shankaracharya

avidyānāṁ antas-timira-mihirod dvīpana-karī
jaḍānāṁ chaitanya-stabaka-makaranda-śhruti sṛtiḥ
daridrāṇāṁ chintā-maṇi-guṇanikā janma-jaladhau
nimagnānāṁ daṁṣṭrā mura-ripu varāhasya bhavatī.

Thou art the sun that dispels the darkness of the ignorant;
to the unknowing Thou art a spiritual flower overflowing with honey;
to the needy Thou art the gem which bestows one’s heart’s desires;
and to those who are drowned in the ocean of births and deaths,
Thou art the Rescuer.

SAUNDARYA LAHARI, VERSE 27 by Shankaracharya

japo jalpaḥ śhilpam sakalam api mudrā virachanam
gatiḥ prādakśhiṇya-kramaṇam aśhan ādyāhuti-vidhiḥ
praṇāmas-saṃveśhas-sukham akhilam ātmārpaṇa-daśhā
saparyā-paryāyas tava bhavatu yan me vilasitam

“Oh, Supreme Divine Mother,
Whatever action of mine, may it be intended for and dedicated to Your worship:
may my speech become recitation of Your name as prayer (japa),
may all my actions become gestures of Your worship (mudras),
may all my movements become a circumambulation around Your form (pradakshina),
may all my food and drink become offerings to You as oblations to divine fire (havan),
may all my resting and sleep become prostrations to You (pranam)
may all my worldly pleasures and enjoyments be transformed into acts of devotion to you (seva),
(May “I” become “Thine” and “Thou” become “mine”, O Mother.”)

4The installation of the Tara Shrine took place on March 31st & April 1st, 2012. To appreciate the profundity of this event and its relationship to the Saumya-Tara Mantra, please read the article “The Birth of The Lady of Compassion at SRSG.”

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In addition to the practice of Saumya-Tara Mantra, during these 40 days students can choose to intensify their yoga sadhanas and/or make beneficial changes in their lifestyles, in a variety of other ways. Please review what Swami Veda’s suggestions and teachings have been in previous years, including Sadhana in Applied Spirituality and the practice given by Swami Veda on 9th March 2013 for “your next five years and for the rest of your life.”

Prepare a study and practice plan for yourself. If there are instabilities in our lives, they exist, Swami Veda said, not because our circumstances are unstable, but because our minds are unstable. Stable minds, he said, are like soft, gentle ripples in the calm lake which can stabilize all external circumstances.

Some possible undertakings for the 40-day Spiritual Festival:

1. Increasing one’s practice of meditation and japa.
2. Expanding some other aspect of one’s daily yoga practice with subtle relaxations or pranayamas.
3. Studying an inspiring book and applying a principle or practice in it.
4. Implementing an element of yoga, such as a particular Yama or Niyama. “These Yamas and Niyamas are the sure means of advancing spiritually. When your mind is clarified, purified, by the constant application and implementation of these principles, you’ll find that your problems will become less and less overwhelming.” (Swami Veda Bharati)
5. Cultivating positive aspects of mind through such practices as the Four Right Attitudes (brahma-viharas – friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked) or pleasant-mindedness (chitta-prasadana – clarity and purification of mind, making the mind pleasant and clear).
6. Making lifestyle changes so to honor the natural environment – reducing clutter, consuming less, planting trees, simplifying one’s way of living.
7. Making healthier choices in one’s daily schedule in terms of diet and nutrition, sleep and exercise habits and punctuality of meditations.
8. Refining one’s personal relationships with family, friends and co-workers.

In reviewing the guidelines and making your own commitments, please keep in mind your own capacity. Success with a series of smaller goals will lead to greater purification and capacity for next year. Assess your own capacity and do not try to push to complete “on time.” Accommodate for your family responsibilities.

Some further suggestions from Swami Veda for stabilizing the spiritual mind-field include:

1. Let your selfless service increase, whether by one percent or five percent or whatever. Increase the time and energy you spend in SELFLESS service of others. That is the first concrete action you can begin with.
2. Refine your personal practices including concentrating more on exhalations. This will help you achieve 2:1 ratio of breathing without physical effort.
3. Review: Read Mind Field: The Playground of Gods . And Marks of Spiritual Progress.
4. Keep your regular meditation time. In addition to that, you may sit at other times in the day. Do not forget to take 2 minutes, 3 minutes breaks, for breath-awareness many, many times in the day.

A group of spiritually-oriented people, thus stabilized, can become part of a larger, stabilized mind-field called a sangha. We are all part of a global network of spirituality in the Tradition, and we can continue to harmonize the mind-field of our community, through our own self-transformation, so that its mission work will be successful.

“We all dream,” Swami Veda has said, “of the possibility of living in a peaceful world. This aspiration can be realized only if we first provide to our very soul, the self, atman, a peaceful home in the mind inside which it lives. That is the essence of our spiritual journey; that is yoga; that is meditation; that is peace in the family, which, then, extends to becoming world peace. We need to keep a diligent vigil, to keep this mind pure and peaceful and clean, to make it progress towards becoming the environment suitable for an enlightened soul. There needs to be sense of continuous progress in us so the world may progress towards peace.”

Lokas samastas sukhino bhavantu
“May the whole world attain peace and harmony.”

“May we weave the fabric of spirituality in our lives,
and within our spiritual family – AHYMSIN” (Swami Ritavan)

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Stabilizing the Spiritual Mindfield
Additional Spiritual Festival Guidelines

Prayash-chitta and Chitta Prasadana: through Self-Examination & Meditation

Self-Examination, Sadhana Practice, Meditation & Mantra Japa

• Maintain mindfulness and an attitude of self-examination throughout the day. Observe thoughts and emotions asking oneself, “What transgressions did I commit?”
• Where there was fearful or aggressive thoughts/words/actions ask, “What was it in me that evoked that response and reaction?”
• “What right thing that should have done have I omitted?” – replacing such negativity with kindness and compassion. (Refer to Swami Veda’s Yoga Sutra commentary of I:33 on Chitta prasadana.)
• Do Nadi Shodhana (channel purification) 3 times a day.
• Do one to three malas of your personal mantra japa daily.
• For any thought critical of anyone, do 11 recitations of Gayatri.
• At juncture points in your day (or about every 2 hours), sit for 2 minutes, observing the flow of breath in the nostrils and repeating your personal mantra.
• Recite the Gurur Brahma Prayer and the morning and evening prayers .
• Surrender samskaras & random thoughts to the inner Guru.
• Resolve to enter into non-self-centered meditation.
Om Tat Sat Brahmarpanam Astu – dedicate prayers to the enlightenment and happiness of others.
• Your last formal thought at night should be the Gurur Brahma prayer and entry into meditative mode as you fall asleep. Your sleep will become a meditation. Awaken with a Yoga Nidra practice or simply breath awareness in bed before rising.
• Participate in Full Moon Meditations . “The full moon meditations are an opportunity for us to come together in connecting with the universal mind-field bringing unity, harmony, peace and love. Go into your silence; exhale-release, inhale-accept, forgive & fulfil, with purified heart and mind receive the blessings of the Lineage.” – Swami Ritavan Bharati

Hatha Yoga

• A practice of hatha yoga to purify the body, breath and mind. Consider undertaking a practice of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) during these 40 days. Please refer to the section in Swami Veda’s Philosophy of Hatha Yoga in which he writes about asana as worship. Do Joints & Glands Exercises. Use whatever asana practice you undertake as a way to strengthen your link with the lineage through whom all blessings flow.

Meals

• If possible do not eat alone. Take a small portion of food and give it to a companion or co-worker. If it is embarrassing and not socially acceptable, then surrender the first portion to the Great Prana of the Universe.
• Recite Grace.
• Eat 5 mouthfuls less than enough to fill the stomach at each meal.
• Eat no solid food after 9:00 p.m. A glass of liquid may be taken at night. Special health and medical situations are exempt. Total fasting is not suggested.
• Try to avoid eating meat or fish during the month although you may serve it to your family.

To further deepen your practice

• Consider taking a vow of one month’s celibacy, but only with the happy consent of your spouse.
• Keep a personal journal on subtle violence in personal life, e.g. an unjustified sharp tone of speech, or in using objects obtained by violence and disregard for the rights of other living beings.
• Dedicate 10 percent of your month’s income plus one dollar to a charity of your choice, in addition to your usual commitments. Through this ancient Western and Eastern tradition of tithing, one learns the way of giving sacrifice joyfully.
• Look for ways to reduce your possessions, acquisitions and energy consumption at least 10%.
• Conquer anger, laziness and selfish thoughts.
• Vow to give special love to your family and reach out to others, beyond your blocks and fears.
• Experiment with a practice of silence (see Swami Veda’s booklet Silence for more about silence). This could be through observing your speech in daily life to see if you are using more words than necessary, speaking louder than necessary and if your tone and voice evokes a positive response in the listener. You could undertake to practice a half day of silence or a longer period. “Silence should not merely be an absence of speech. If it is merely an abstinence from speech it can even be emotionally and spiritually damaging. Unless one has filled oneself within there is no silence. Fill yourself with meditation. Fill yourself with contemplation. Fill yourself with your mantra…” – Swami Veda Bharati
• Take a one or two-day, or longer, personal retreat.

Further Observances

On Guru Purnima day you may decide to undertake further observances of self-purification for next year.

Do please proceed, and may the Guru Spirit
thereby be pleased and confer its grace upon all of us.

Om Sham

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2019 Breath and Pranayama Intensive Workshop

Dates:

3 – 8 November 2019

Programme description:

This is a chance to come and immerse yourself in an intensive practice of Pranayama. This retreat will include the foundations and deepening of the subtleties of breathing and pranayama practices, as they are taught in the Himalayan Tradition. You will learn and practice different techniques; diaphragmatic breathing, complete breath, kapalabati, bhastrika, brahmari, ujjayi and nadi shodhanam in a systematic manner, at beginning and more advanced levels. This seminar can be attended while remaining in silence to deepen your own personal inner journey.

 

Faculty:

Carol Crenshaw: Carol is the co-founder of Inner Peace Yoga Center in Indianapolis and co-director emeritus of the Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy of New York City. She has been practicing yoga and meditation for over 40 years and holds a Master’s degree in Eastern Studies/Comparative Psychology/Holistic Health from the University of Scranton. She is certified to teach Hatha Yoga and Meditation from the Himalayan Institute Teacher’s Association and is an E-RYT Yoga Alliance instructor, and an IAYT Certified Yoga Therapist. She has taught yoga practices since 1983 in the U.S.A., India, and Italy. She served as a yoga therapist, biofeedback trainer, and wellness counsellor both at the Center for Holistic Medicine in New York City and at the Himalayan Institute headquarters in Honesdale, PA, where she also served as a senior teacher. Carol  is a Certified EFT INT practitioner who specializes in weight loss, a consulting hypnotist and certified NLP practitioner. Carol wrote several articles for Yoga International magazine, is a contributing author for The Clinical EFT Handbook, and co-author of EFT for Meditation.

Charles Crenshaw: Charles is the co-founder of Inner Peace Yoga Center in Indianapolis and co-director emeritus of the Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy of New York City. He has been practicing meditation and yoga since 1974. He holds a Master’s degree in Eastern Studies/Comparative Psychology/Holistic Health from the University of Scranton. During his tenure in New York, Charles worked on the staff of the Center for Holistic Medicine as a teacher, counsellor, yoga therapist, and biofeedback trainer. He is also an ordained Interfaith Minister from the New Seminary, New York City, where he specialized in spiritual counselling, and served on the lecture faculty for two years. Charles holds a certificate of training for Alcohol & Substance Abuse counselling from the New School for Social Research in New York City. He also served on the staff of the Himalayan Institute Charitable Hospital (Jolly Grant, Dehra Dun, India) as a yoga therapist and researcher investigating the benefits of yoga on health. Charles has served as a senior teacher and seminar coordinator at the Himalayan Institute’s national headquarters in Honesdale, PA. He is an E-RYT Yoga Alliance instructor, and has studied eclectically worldwide. He is a Certified Yoga Therapist through the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Charles is a Certified EFT INT practitioner (Contributing author for The Clinical EFT Handbook), a Certified Consulting Hypnotist, and Master NLP practitioner. He is author of The Pathless Path: God, Grace, Guru. Co-author of EFT for Meditation.

Pre-requisites:

Beginners and advanced practitioners are all welcome and will be guided according to their level.

Location:

Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG) in Rishikesh, India

Contact:

ahymsin@ahymsin.org

Three Year Mantra Practice, 2019 to 2022

Swami Ritavan Bharati guided the AHYMSIN Sangha into a new mantra practice for the next 3 years during the 2019 Sangha Gathering, which was held February 25 – March 5, 2019, at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG).

The mantra is the Saumyā mantra combined with a Tārā mantra. The first 2 lines of the mantra are the Saumyā mantra, and the third line is the Tārā mantra.

सौम्या सौम्यतराशेष सौम्येभ्यस्त्वतिसुन्दरी ।
परापराणां परमा त्वमेव परमेश्वरी ॥
तारे तुत्तारे तुरे स्वाहा.

saumyā saumyatarāśeṣa saumyebhyas tvati sundarī ,
parāparāṇāṁ paramā tvameva parameśvarī.
tāre tut tāre ture svāhā.

Phonetic Pronunciation Guideline:

“A” is pronounced as in “mama” “papa” “la” “baba” “ha”
“AU” is pronounced as the “au’s” in “saurkraut” or like in “cow” or “house”
“E” is pronounced like “ay” (long A) as in “day” or better yet “grey”
śeṣā = shay-sha
saumyebhyas = saum-yay-bhyas
eva = ay-va
parameśvarī = param-aysh-va-ree
“I” is pronounced like “ee’ (long E)
“U” is prnounced like “oo” (long U), as in “loon” “raccoon” “moon” “noon”
sundari = soon-da-ree
The V is actually a combination of a V and a W, (VW), the way Russians would pronounce the V in “vodka,” or the way the French pronounce the V in “vois.”
An “ā” is held longer than an “a”.
Both the “ś” and the “ṣ” are given a “sh” sound.

Akhaṇḍa-maṇḍalākāram Mantra

Swami Ritavan has also requested that sadhakas do a few repetitions of Akhaṇḍa-maṇḍalākāram Mantra at beginning and/or end of the Saumyā- Tārā recitations.

Audio Pronunciation Files:

Pandit Priyadarshan (Pierre Lefebvre) has provided the audio pronunciation files, which can be downloaded by clicking on them. Included in the download are the Saumya-Tara mantra (in slow, medium, and normal speed) and the Akhanda-mandalakaram mantra (in slow, medium, and normal speeds).

You can download the audio mantra pronunciation files by clicking on the titles:

Saumya-Tara Mantra
Guru Mantra (Akhanda-mandalakaram Mantra)

For More Information

For more information about the three year practice, please see the AHYMSIN March 2019 newsletter. Please read these articles in this newsletter for more information about the three year practice:

“Sangha Practice for the Next 3 Years” by Swami Ritavan
“Advancing Guidance in Yoga Sadhana” by Swami Ritavan
“Saumya Mantra Explanations”
“The Importance of the AHYMSIN Community Saumya Practice” by Swami Ritavan

Diksha Mantra

This mantra practice does not take the place of your diksha mantra.

If you have not received mantra initiation, you may want to consider doing so.

Questions on Spiritual Practice

Questions on spiritual practice can be sent to the Adhyatma Samiti, or Spiritual Committee, by clicking here.

AHYMSIN Executive Committee for 2019 – 2022

On March 2, 2019, an election of the AHYMSIN Executive Committee and Office Bearers was held at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG). The elected/appointed members of the full Executive Committee and Office Bearers for 2019 – 2022 are:

Spiritual Guide: Swami Ritavan Bharati
President: Dr. Mohan Swami
Senior Vice President: Shi Hong
Vice Presidents: Mayanne Krech and Dowlat Budhram
General Secretary: Sadhana Mishra
Assistant Secretaries: Tinyu Chen and Rajini Prakash
Treasurer: Narendra Pushkarna
Executive Committee:
Dr. Shirin Venkataramani
Thaniya Kevalee
Debora Ghiraldelli
Shailendra Bisseswar
Pandit Priyadarshan (Pierre Lefebvre)
Randall Krause
Sunil Trikha
Dr. Tacson Fernandez
Winthrop Harewood
Representatives:
Shreedhar Kamat (DMT)
Roshan Lal Kanoda (Himalayan Institute Kanpur)
Adhikari Bhoi (SRSG)
Divya Gupta (SRSG)
John Sellinger (HYPT)
Yoong Khiang Wong (Adhyatma Samiti)
Namita Sinha (Future Leaders)

On March 3, 2019, the elected/appointed members of the Executive Committee held a meeting at the Ahymsin Office at which the Board of Directors for 2019 – 2022 was elected. The Directors are:

Dr. Mohan Swami
Shi Hong
Mayanne Krech
Dowlat Budhram
Sadhana Mishra
Narendra Pushkarna
Dr. Shirin Venkataramani
Pierre Lefebvre
Randall Krause

In addition, Swami Ritavan Bharati, the Spiritual Guide, has appointed two Senior Advisors to the Executive Committee. They are:

Dr. Stephen Parker (Stoma)
Rajah Indran

An Invitation to Return Home – AHYMSIN Sangha Gathering 2019

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.

AHYMSIN Sangha Gathering 2019

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.

We also take this opportunity to express our encouragement to participants who would like to arrive a couple of days prior to, and/or to stay beyond, the gathering to deepen their practice. There will also be special parallel workshops on Dance of Transformation, and Self-Regulation and Biofeedback from March 6 – 9, 2019.

Registration for the gathering will open (only for initiates) from August 15 – October 31. We regret that accommodation will be limited and is subject to a first-received-first-serve basis. To know more about attending the Sangha Gathering, please write to ahymsin@ahymsin.org

We look forward to the pleasure of your divine presence at the gathering.

In service of the Guru Lineage,
AHYMSIN Office, Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama


 Editor’s Note:

For more about the 2019 Sangha Gathering that will take place at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG) 25th February – 5th March 2019, please read these three articles written by Swami Ritavan Bharati:

2019 Sangha Gathering and Preparations
2019 Sangha Gathering
Guru Purnima Letter

Swami Ritavan has written in the Guru Purnima Letter, “Please again read through the daily inspirations for the 40-day Spiritual Festival of Peace and choose your top 10; then select the three that you will commit to practice for the next six months. At that time (February 2019), we will gather for our special AHYMSIN Sangha in Rishikesh, with prayer and contemplation to discover and apply the steps of Spiritual Peace, within, and for our global family.”

More about the Spiritual Festival can be read at: Annual Festival of Spiritual Peace.

“The Perennial in the Millennium” by Swami Veda Bharati is available in Kindle from Amazon and Amazon.in. For inquiries about purchasing it in booklet form, please contact Himalayan Yoga Publications Trust (HYPT) at hyptbooks@gmail.com.

The Perennial in the Millennium,” a poem by Swami Veda Bharati can be read by clicking on the title.

“The Unifying Streams in Religion” is available as a booklet at the online bookstore of The Meditation Center. This bookstore ships nationally and internationally. It is available in Kindle at Amazon and Amazon.in

A New Cycle of Construction and Restoration at SRSG

[Editor’s Note: 

Please see: “Construction Project at SRSG” by Pandit Priyadarshan (Pierre Lefebvre) – The largest construction project at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama in more than a decade.

Please see: “Updates on Renovation at SRSG” by Rabindra Sahu.]

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!

The old dining hall and kitchen now prove inadequate for our growing family. We are rebuilding the kitchen next to the Gurukulam, and the old kitchen and dining hall are being renovated and combined into one big dining hall that may accommodate up to 200 people.

If you have been to the ashram recently, you would probably remember the long and steep gravel pathway between the Mandala office and the Knowledge Center/Dining Hall. That is now being renovated so it has a solid foundation topped with a brick pathway.

Something guests do not always notice is the risk factor with constant soil erosion behind guest cottages 22-30. A retaining wall is being built to fix the problem.

The guest toilets in the main building and next to the dining hall needed serious repairs. We are now reconstructing separate toilets for men and women at both the places. The new toilets in the main building are already fully functional, while the construction is underway for the ones near dining hall.

The global headquarters of the AHYMSIN Office at the ashram needed a new renovated office space, and we have happily moved in already.

During the monsoon season, water would often get into the Shiva Temple and the floor around the temple had sunk. Construction work is underway to strengthen that space, and also to lift Nandi Ji! Our construction contractor – Sh. Dheeraj Bhatia Ji – has been kind enough to sponsor this work himself.

The old garbage disposal unit near the STP was difficult to maintain partly because of its structure and partly because the ground was uneven. It has now been dismantled and the nearby ground has been leveled with soil filling, secured with pillars and a retaining wall up to the STP.

In line with the government requirements and to ensure the safety and security of the ashram, especially with apartment buildings coming up nearby, the ashram will soon be equipped with CCTV cameras.

The immediate plans for further repair and renovations include – renovation of the New Block Building and Sadhana Cottages to stop water leakage, with waterproof rooftops, a brick pathway from the main gate to the Mandala Office, a brick pathway between the guest cottages, a new garbage disposal unit, and the renovated bookstore with a memorabilia section dedicated to our beloved Swami Veda. [Note: Please see photos at the end of this article.]

Project Description and Cost

In order to meet these essential expenses for the maintenance of this peace enclave called Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, we need your loving support. The current cost of just maintaining the facilities at the ashram (not including all the programs, or any of the repair work) runs at approximately INR 1,800,000 (USD 26,200) per month.

You may decide to give a pledge of whatever amount per year or per quarter. Kindly get in touch with Mayanne Krech for foreign donations and Rabindra Sahu for Indian donations at ahymsin@ahymsin.org.

Yours in service of Gurudeva,
Sadhana Mishra (General Secretary, DMT and AHYMSIN), Rabindra Sahu (General Manager, SRSG)

“The dakshina (love-offering) and seva (selfless service) offered unto the Guru’s Mission, will ensure that the manifest form of this spiritual sanctuary can continue to flourish and serve in line with Swami ji’s vision, while further strengthening one’s unending connection with the Guru Parampara.” – Swami Ritavan Bharati

Footnote: Guru Dakshina / Love Offering by Swami Veda Bharati

Renovation of Old Kitchen and Dining Hall

26 June 2018 – New Kitchen

26 June 2018 New kitchen 1

17 June 2018 – Old Dining Hall Rooftop

17 June 2018 old dining hall roof top

5 July 2018 – Old Dining Hall Rooftop

5 July 2018 old dining hall roof top 1

16 July 2018 – Old Dining Hall Rooftop

16 July 2018 old dining hall roof top

Pathway from Mandala Office towards Dining Hall

20 July 2018 – New Pathway

20 July 2018 New Pathway

Retaining Wall near Guest Cottages 22-30

17 June 2018 – Retaining Wall

17 June 2018 Retaining Wall

22 June 2018 – Retaining Wall

22 June 2018 Retaining Wall

12 July 2018 – Retaining Wall

12 July 2018 Retaining Wall

 Guest Toilets in Main Building

22 May 2018 – New Toilets

22 May 2018 New toilets

21 July 2018 – New Toilets

21 July 2018 2 New toilets

Shiva Temple

22 June 2018 – Shiva Temple

22 June 2018 Shiva Temple

19 July 2018 – Shiva Temple

19 July 2018 Shiva Temple

Materials for Work

Materials for work

Saumya Mantra

(This was previously published as part of “The 2014 Annual 40-Day Spiritual Festival.”)

Saumyā Mantra
Explanation, Translation and Transliteration into English

Prepared by Dr. Stephen Parker (Stoma)

सौम्या सौम्यतरा शेष
सौम्येभ्यस्त्वतिसुन्दरी।
परापराणां परमा त्वमेव परमेश्वरी॥

saumyā saumyātarāśeṣā
saumyebhyas tvati sundari
parāparāṇāṁ paramā
tvameva parameshvarī

This mantra is addressed to the Divine Mother as Saumyā, Divine Mother as cool, gentle, moonlike peacefulness. It is used as a special mantra for the cultivation of these aspects of personality. The mantra occurs in Caṇḍī, or Devī-mahātmya, (I.62 or 71, depending on the edition) an important text in the tantric part of our tradition.

Christian Meditation Retreat in November 2017

A Christian Meditation Retreat is scheduled for November 20 – 25, 2017, at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG), Rishikesh, India. This retreat will be guided by Ma Tureeya Bharati and others. Ma Tureeya, a practicing Christian nun and the spiritual guide of Jeevan Dhara Sadhana Kutir in Rishikesh, has also taken sanyasa vows in the Himalayan Tradition with Swami Veda.

In the morning of 29th November 2007, Swami Veda Bharati gave sanyasa-diksha to Sister Tureeya, who became Ma Tureeya Bharati, in a ceremony at Sadhana Mandir. At that time, Donna Marie Anderson (who became Ma Radha Bharati) and Swami Nityamuktananda Saraswati also took vows.

Dr. Prakash Dixit reported that Ma Turiya Bharati explained that as she grew up and began to make her own reflections on life, she realized that the Indian tradition was open to Jesus, and that Jesus held the Indian tradition close to His own Heart.

Ma Tureeya said, “So, I always had a deep but may be unconscious desire to integrate the two traditions for myself and in my own person. Swami Veda Bharati aptly summed up my desire for an integration of identity in the Divine with the metaphor of the ‘mixing of the waters of the Holy Ganga and the waters of the Jordan’ in which Jesus was initiated into His earthly mission. My embracing of sannyasa, therefore, is a witness to this –‘blending’- this communion in the Spirit, the Divine Source. I now feel that I carry in my person the great and eternal truth experienced by our sages and to which Jesus witnessed by his passing through death into Life.-‘Tat tvam asi’ ‘Aham bramashmi’ or as Jesus put it for the people of his tradition ‘I and the Father are One’ or ‘The Father is in me and I am in the Father.’ ”

Contact: ahymsin@ahymsin.org