Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi
  AHYMSIN Newsletter, Issue - Dec 2012  

Swami Veda Returns to SRSG

by Joanne Sullivan (Divya)

On the eve of All Saints’ Day, Swami Veda returned after a long wending trek eastward around the world and finally back to Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama. The full bounty of nature rose up to greet this noble being. Bougainvillea, gardenias and many varieties of flowers dripping from bowers; neem trees and amla, hibiscus and eucalyptus; butterflies and birds —from hoopoes, eagles, parrots and the shimmering sun of the turquoise-backed kingfishers —to the white egrets on the backs of water buffalo that dot the roads.

His spiritual children and grandchildren of all ages from all over India and the world stood at the front gate and at the Tara Devi Temple, eager to see him again. After a physical absence of many months, he was with us again. Many pranams and loving smiles spread their wings. This was to be his last journey for awhile. 

Like the purest child, he stood before the Mother in Her evanescent formless form of Tara Devi. There was a sense of deep awe and reverence as he offered his prayers and blessings.

Soon after, Swamiji made the rounds of the ashram. I overheard him ask Michael Smith of Minnesota “How do you like my Mother?” Those of us here like Her a lot and the Tara Temple is a favorite perch these days for seekers. It is a sacred space for meditation and prayer.

It is an important time here. In just a few months, Swamiji will take a vow of 5-year silence. We are so fortunate to have him here and to sit with him in silent meditation almost every evening. During those times, the room comes alive with a light that is impossible to describe. It is a true secret. Dr. Arya, Swami Veda in his last form, once said that the test of a secret is that no matter how many times you tell it, it remains a secret. The meditations and satsangs with him are like that. The end of each meditation is signaled by his Om a short while after his little alarm goes off. I find it amusing that this rare teacher of ancient wisdom has a little phone alarm with a few bars of jazz with wisps of birdsong,

His last lecture series given, Yoga Sutra, Pada (Part) 4, Kaivalya Pada, drew us very close. “The purpose of the course,” he said, was not to create a belief system. Rather, it was “to help us understand how the accomplished yogi –not the one who can just touch his nose to his knees…experiences the processes of [his] thoughts, actions, karmas, sorrows and delights.” Then he added “The purpose of your sitting here is to gather sattvic karma, to create these imprints on your subtle body.” The satsangs sometimes felt almost like being taken up in the lap of a caring mother.

Some of us have known this man for 40-some or nearly 60 years as is the case with our dear, revered Mrs. Pal, whom he named ashram mother in 2004. She knew him when he was a teenager, and he was already a great teacher. Next he was Dr. Arya, and finally, Swami Veda Bharati, a man who seemed to bow like bamboo. Bamboo, even in the strongest wind, does not break. It can touch the ground and spring back up without snapping.

I asked a few people who live here what Swamiji’s return meant to them. Here are a few replies:

“He’s always here.”

“The child likes to see his mother, even if she is only one room over. In terms of Presence, a teacher may be physically one room or several continents over, but the student, like a child, still yearns to see that teacher.”

Many of us are attached to seeing him.

Once as he was about to leave for many months, Swami Veda said something like “I don’t know what all the fuss is about. I never go anywhere. I am always here.” There is a saying that in love, there is no distance. One can aspire to always dwell in that flow where there is no you and no me.

Dr. Arya often quoted one translation of Kabir on love. It went something like this:

The lane of love, my friend, is very narrow. Two together cannot walk it.