Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

Yes! Yes! Yes! And Yes!

by Divya (Joanne Sullivan)

Recently, Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama held a special Yoga camp just for the children. Children of all ages came. The children who live at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG) and some children of the SRSG gardening and cleaning staff attended. Many children of residents from the one-of-a-kind hospital city that Swami Rama founded, the Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust (HIHT) also came.

On the first day, one auntie phoned me to please come and meet her niece and nephew before the starting convocation.  I did so and moments later the HIHT bus pulled in, brimming with happy children. All of a sudden it felt like Swami Rama had arrived too! I could feel a particular quality present - his all-encompassing and playful joy. This summer camp all at once seemed to take on a special magic. I felt overwhelmed with joy at what was clearly an important event. I heard myself say as the children came streaming off the bus "Are you ALL Baba's kids?!" "YES!" AND "YES!" AND "YES!" came the many exuberant voices.

Such was the start of a week of yoga, Sanskrit prayers, Indian classical dance, spiritual stories, friendship and fun. David and Nuria Rodrigo worked so hard to make this happen. Pandit Harshanand taught the children the Sanskrit prayers. Most parents, Gurukulam students and other residents also rallied.  [Please read the articles in this newsletter: 50 Kids in a Memorable 4-day Program and Questions Can Save a Life.] Kudos to those who worked so tirelessly and gave so much love as if each child was their own child.

Still, though I cannot explain it, a protective hand felt at work here.

A few days later, I asked some children if they were having fun and they answered without hesitation "YES! YES! YES! YES!”

Echoes of another time. I once knew a two-year-old with a jubilant sense of mission. He was one of Swami Rama’s many young friends. At the time, a very fine person called Bev was retiring from the neighborhood clinic where my husband worked as a pediatrician. She told me that she loved her new retirement quilt. Many people had each made a patch. They were all stitched together in a quilt that was jammed with affection from those who knew her. Bev especially wanted to point out one particular patch.

 “Look at this one,” she said. It was a small square patch with just 4 straight lines made by a two-year-old.

“I asked him what it was,” Bev said. “Do you know what he said?!”

I didn’t.

“He struck 4 strong lines in the air and said emphatically ‘YES! YES! YES! AND YES!’”

This patch really exemplified Bev who was a very strong and positive woman who always made everyone feel at home. But it also reminds me of a special quality in many of the young people in the Future Leaders group formed by Swami Veda and some of the children who grew up around Swami Rama and Swami Veda.

So often adults feel that they are here to teach and train the children. While we all have an important responsibility toward the children, Swami Rama often joked with us that the children were way ahead of the adults. Swami Veda has also made his deep commitment to children very clear. No matter what the state of his frail body, when he has not one jot of strength to see one more person, he has thus far been able to find an unbreakable golden thread that carries him along for the children. Some of us have been fortunate to witness this.

A few examples. His evening visits to the new SRSG Devi Temple, where  children always eagerly awaited his arrival; the international children’s retreat of December, 2011; and last but not least, the palpable mystery of the first initiation of the small child, where the two become one in the Golden Womb. It is impossible to describe what happens at these initiations but a strong sense of divine presence permeates these events.

If you or your child have missed any of these events, no regrets. I think there will be a lot of children’s and young adults’ gatherings at SRSG and many of its worldwide sister centers.

Editor’s Note:

There are two conferences scheduled for 20th – 25th February 2013 at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama.  One is the Nurturing Spirituality in the Family Conference; please see http://www.ahymsin.org/main/index.php/India-Events/nurturing-spirituality-in-the-family.html  . Also scheduled is the Future Force Yoga Youth Conference 2013; please see http://www.ahymsin.org/docs2/News/1206Jun/01.html for more information.