AHYMSIN newsletter, Issue - November 2011  

Catch Them Young!

by Dr. Vishala

It was the book, Living with the Himalayan Masters, which fell into our hands two years ago. A few teachers who read it discovered the disciple, Raghavendra Adiga, a next door neighbor! That was the day that started the quiet transformation at Maruthi International School, Tumkur, India. The slogan of the school, Local roots- Global vision, had to be reinterpreted by the Management for a better understanding, in a new direction. The Head of the Institution along with a few more teachers were initiated by Raghavendra. The proof of pudding had to be experienced! They all turned out to be sincere in practicing what was taught in the Himalayan Tradition.

They were inspired to teach the children of classes 4, 5, 6 and 7 to relearn diaphragmatic breathing. Mr. Raghavendra was requested to be at the pranayama session every day at school to guide the children. He willingly agreed.

The regular practice is slowly bringing about a noticeable, positive change in the children’s health, their concentration levels in the class room and their interest in discussions about spiritual development.

Then, it was listening to Swami Veda Bharati in Bangalore.

Three teachers were fortunate enough to be accommodated for the Yoga Nidra workshop in February.

It was a soul elevating experience for them.

On Raghavendra’s suggestion, the teachers requested an exclusive Yoga and Meditation workshop for the school children at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, Rishikesh. We got an immediate consent from Ms. Silvia. Twenty five children from classes 5,6,7,8, 9and 10, along with six teachers and a doctor parent attended the six day work shop at the Ashram in September- October 2011.

The induction to the Himalayan Tradition was very apt, starting with a visit to the Shiva temple. Shankaracharya’s presence and the reverence for the Buddha and Mother Mary could be felt by all present. And then, the Master and the Meditation hall, it was awe inspiring, both for the young and the grownups. 

The teachers who accompanied were surprised to observe how quickly the discipline of the Dining Hall was spontaneously imbibed and the peace at the Dining hall was enjoyed by their young students. It was hard to believe that it happened without any punishment, which is normal, back at the school! How was it possible- has been a big question mark for the teachers!

The mornings would start with the prayer, followed by yogasanas. “Meditation and meditation and meditation……. We did not miss any thing from home!” was the exclamation of many participants on their return.

Their visit to Sadhana Mandir on river Ganga and the Himalayan Hospital gave them a glimpse of the quiet but vibrant world of the Master and the Guru. Getting into the meditative mood was effortless.

As a gesture of gratitude to the Guru, every one joined the other to clean up the Meditation Hall which took a couple of hours. The children had to be just told to do it and they jumped at the tools!

It was a pleasant surprise for the participating children when two young ladies interacted with them and had a painting session on the lawn, amidst Nature.

It was time to say a big THANK YOU to the disciples of Swami Rama and Swami Veda Bharati.
Back at school, the group that participated is addressed as ‘Ashram Group’, with jealous mixed affection!
And every participant is aware of the fact that he/she was the fortunate one. The doctor parent went home commenting, “But for the school, I would have never known such a wonderful place as the Sadhaka Grama”!
The Ashram life that the children experienced for those six days has left a very positive impression on the young minds, which is sure to last their life. They now know of a serene place, which can be revisited any day in future, for a ‘Spiritual Retreat’. The purpose of the visit was very well served.

What was experienced at the Sadhaka Grama is held close to their hearts as something out of this world.

Editor's Note:

Dr. Vishala, PhD, M.Ed, B.Sc, Diploma in Early Childhood education, University of Auckland, New Zealand. Vishala is the Academic Head and is the architect of the 'Learning Program' at The Little Crest. The Little Crest's program has been modeled on the lines of New Zealand's Early Childhood Education with appropriate adaptation for the Indian environment. Vishala has won the national award in India for 'Innovative teaching practices' awarded by NCERT, Delhi three times, state award for 'Innovative teaching practices in English' from DSERT and the Best teacher of Tumkur District by the Dept. of Education, Karnataka.

Raghavendra Adiga is a mantra initiator and a member of the AHYMSIN Adhyatma Samiti, or Spiritual Committee.  He is also the center leader of the Himalayan Centre for Yoga Meditation, Tumkur, Karnataka, India.