Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

Guru Purnima and Mahasamadhi

by Divya Gupta

July is the month of Guru Purnima and Swami Veda’s Mahasamadhi. This year people from across the globe gathered to express their love and pay homage to both Swami Rama and Swami Veda. We honor the Guru Lineage through the various pujas, mantras, and yajnas, while renewing our commitment to our own spiritual journeys. In turn, we seek the blessings of the Guru Lineage to continue to guide us on our path.

The energy at the ashram is exalted.

The countdown of the 40-Day Annual Spiritual Festival online exaggerated the anticipation for the Guru Purnima celebrations. Swami Veda had started the 40-Day Annual Spiritual Festival, culminating on the Guru Purnima Day, almost 4 decades ago at The Meditation Center in Minneapolis. The festival is celebrated and observed by the worldwide AHYMSIN Sangha.

Swami Ritavan encouraged us to undertake special practices for these 40-days. The 40-Day reflections on social media acted as nice reminders, whenever we slipped a little bit from the given practices. The “Reflection of the Day” for the 40th day, i.e., Guru Purnima was “Surrender samskaras and the fruits of your practice to the inner Guru” which remains on the notice board, outside the Meditation Hall as a gentle reminder for our daily practice and life.

The Guru Purnima celebration at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG) was marked by invoking the guidance of the Guru Spirit through fire offering of “Akhanda mandalakaram Mantra” and 24 hours non-stop recitations of the Guru-Gita by the pundits for 9 days. Guru Purnima celebrations also took place at Sadhana Mandir.

Many sadhakas recited the text with great reverence.

Special classes were organized as part of the Guru Purnima retreat covering topics like the “Science of Yoga” and “Sadhana in Daily Life”. The morning lectures were insightful in many ways and were attended by all enthusiastically.

Our evenings were just as profound, as we watched videos of Swami Veda’s lectures from the 2013 Sangha Gathering. He constantly reminds us to become sadhakas. He teaches about the various stations in meditative progress and the marks of spiritual progress. These videos are special for many reasons—we had much to reflect and contemplate upon, we laughed as he cracks up the many jokes, and our eyes welled up as we are reminded of his eternal love and patience.

The evening meditations were charged with a very special silence and stillness, as we sat together in the Initiation Room upstairs. Every Thursday, we had a 4-hour long akhanda japa of the Gayatri Mantra or one’s personal Guru Mantra in the Initiation Room.

We celebrated Guru Purnima in the presence of Swami Ritavan Bharati, Swami Prashant Bharati, and Swami Tattvananda Bharati. Swami Ritavan reminded us, “Guru Purnima is the most important day in the life of a Sadhaka, a Disciple. We make the resolves for the next year’s practice and in that sense; it is almost like a new year, a birthday, a new birth.”

On the day of Guru Purnima, we had the Purnahuti for the ongoing yajna of the Akhanda mandalakaram Mantra and completion of the 9-Day akhanda patha of the Guru-Gita, apart from the Guru-Puja.
For the Mahasamadhi Celebrations, we had a 5 day Guru-Gayatri Yajna at both the ashrams from July 10-14. We listened to the audio lectures of Swami Veda Bharati on the “Guru-Disciple Relationship” and shared our loving memories of him.

Life with Swami Veda

In loving remembrance of our beloved Swami Veda, people from his worldwide family got together every night from July 10-14 to share their experiences with Swami Ji. Many beautiful stories were shared; many were inspiring us to commit ourselves to sadhana and service; many were so heart touching that people’s eyes were wet. Every night we looked forward to hearing more stories about Swami Ji. We all strongly felt Swami Ji’s presence, even if he is not in his physical body.

Such a sharing offers us a tiny glimpse into the “person” we called Swami Veda. He was a sage, a teacher, a guide, a mother, a father, and much more to all of us. Even though he called himself “his guru’s disciple,” many of us see him as our Guru and no different from H.H. Swami Rama of the Himalayas. Indeed, Swami Ji was truly an embodiment of Love. He was Love personified. We felt engulfed in his eternal love.

Mahasamadhi Day Celebrations

The Mahasamadhi Celebrations were organized at the Sadhana Mandir this year. It was indeed special to have the Mahasamadhi celebrations at our Gurudev, Swami Rama’s Ashram, where Swami Veda lived for nearly two decades. People spoke highly of Swami Ji’s unparalleled devotion towards his Guru; it felt fitting to have his Shraddhanjali at his Guru’s Ashram.

Dr. Vijay Dhasmana, Swami Ritavan Bharati, Swami Prayag Giri, Dr. Prakash Keshaviah, and Dr. Prakash Dixit paidtheir shraddhanjali to Swami Veda by remembering and sharing his teachings with everyone.

The re-edited versions of the two books – Life beyond Knowledge and Time: Tributes for Swami Veda Bharati and Swami Rama: Majestic Master, Mysterious Mystic were also released by the Himalayan Yoga Publications Trust on the sacred occasion.

Life beyond Knowledge and Time: Tributes for Swami Veda Bharati is a collection of stories and beautiful photographs of Swami Veda during all stages of his life, from his very youth as Pandit Usharbudh Arya all the way to his Mahasamadhi in SRSG in 2015. This book is a tribute to and celebration of the life of Swami Veda Bharati.

Swami Rama: Majestic Master, Mysterious Mystic is a collection of stories of H.H. Swami Rama gathered by Swami Veda Bharati himself over several years. The narrators of the stories are from diverse countries, cultures, and ages.

This was followed by the Purnahuti of the Guru-Gayatri yajna. All those present offered their silent prayers and love to Swami Rama and Swami Veda in the form of the fragrant, vibrant rose petals.

We had a special lunch (bhandara) on both the occasions at the Sadhana Mandir. 51 sadhus were fed in remembrance of Swami Ji. In the evening, we had a beautiful kirtan and watched a small documentary on the life of Swami Veda Bharati prepared by the Veda Youth (youth wing of AHYMSIN established by Swami Veda). Namita Sinha from Bangalore led the project. Everyone in the audience felt emotional during the documentary and we shall always keep Namita’s gift to her Guru and all of us close to our hearts.

One of many meanings of “Guru” is the one who has gravitation, around whom one feels pulled. When one is pulled towards their guru, one suddenly feels that he/she is being pulled inwards, not outwards. The closer we come to our guru, the closer we come to our self.

Photos by Jay Prakash Bahuguna.

Editor’s Notes:

To read “Guru-Disciple Relationship” by Swami Veda Bharati, please use this link: http://bindu.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=132:guru-disciple-relationship&catid=7&Itemid=125

In 2018:

  • 8th July - 16th July, Mahasamadhi Anniversary Retreat at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, Rishikesh, India. The 14th of July will be the 3rd anniversary of Swami Veda Bharati's Mahasamadhi. 
  • 17th - 27th July, Guru Purnima Retreat at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, Rishikesh.
  • 27th July, Guru Purnima and Full Moon Meditation



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