Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

When the Student Is Ready, Guru Appears

by Sarojini Bissessur-Asgarally

It is the Guru’s (Swami Veda) instruction that lead me to the path to HYT and today I strongly believe that I did not choose the Himalayan Tradition by a game of chance. I truly experienced this maxim of the sages: when the student is ready, the Guru appears. Now I really understand the deep meaning of the sentence of Swamiji when he answered to my first e-mail correspondence: This is all the game of samskaras. I have no doubt that I was bound to meet him and be in the tradition and consequently to HYT. Planned from previous birth? May be.

May I share one of my many small insights or an incident prior to my meeting with Guru?

On 20 May 2007, I hosted a dinner at home to welcome a very special friend, the great Indian ghazal singer, late Jagjit Sing. On that evening, my friend Suzanne offered me the book Living with the Himalayan Masters. She had known Swami Rama very well. Afterwards, while reading the book, I yelled out: I have been searching for such a guru since 30 years!!  But he was no more in the body, and I was so disappointed. A few months after, I accompanied Suzanne to a prayer during 5 days (Durga Puja) where she was to introduce me to a young Guru who impressed her with his great powers. After meeting the guru, I was not convinced. But something very strange happened during the five days, after the prayers: during the chanting of Aarti in the praise of the deity Maa Durga, there was this sentence “…. Jai Durgé Khappar wali, téré hi guna gayé Bharati, Mayaa hum sab utaarein téri aarti…” and exactly at the chanting of this specific word Bharati I was getting a terrible blow of current in my back, exactly in region of my spine between the Anahata chakra, travelling upward to Vishishuddhi chakra till my whole neck and body was thrilled. I was so surprised, and I told Suzanne how strange I was feeling. Every time same thing was happening and I was trying to guess what was happening to me and why?  And I found no answer. It was a powerful blow of current I was enduring every time the word Bharati was being chanted. Now when I look back, I see the clear insight of my connection to my Guru of Bharati lineage and whom I met three years later in 2010. Swami ji one day told that the connection was established when he came to Mauritius in 1969 when I was kid of 10 years.

It was a slow progression towards my goal to meet the Guru lineage. It started even one year before receiving Living with Himalayan Masters. In 2006, I was in France and I chose one book from the shelf of my friend Shakti - The Himalayan Masters, A Living Tradition by Pandit R. Tigunait. I read it in the aeroplane. Back in Mauritius I was casually trying to follow by myself the relaxation of 31 points by reading from the book at page 162. As suggested in the book about a mantra, I was trying to adopt this mantra: “Om mane padmé hum” by myself inspired from the writings of Eknath Easwaran whose books I was used to read.

However, when time came, I met Swami Veda Bharati in March 2010, and I was initiated in the tradition. And he immediately instructed me to follow the TTP program on spot. I had no choice than to follow the Guru’s adesh (order) though I was not prepared for that. The Guru knew what he was doing.

I did not go through the conventional way to HYT, which is doing the first year course of TTP and then go through initiation if qualified. All happened the other way round and so quickly that I was myself taken aback. I just wanted to get the knowledge of meditation and deepen my sadhana with the help of Guru as if he could do some magic for me. No sooner than I met the Guru, than he initiated me to the Tradition, the next day and he pushed into the big sea for meditation with the teachers of TTP and the mentor as lifebelt to guide me to swim. It is amazingly wonderful and today I take great pleasure to learn through a proper channel of the HYT. I get the opportunity to learn Yoga Sadhana firstly through the retreats of TTP at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG), then at home through personal practice and continued study with the backup treasures concealed in the books of Swami Rama and Swami Veda; and at the same time to deepen my knowledge to acquire some level of spirituality which was my initial goal for meeting the Guru. I feel I am blessed to be in the Tradition.

To be a student in the HYT is a blessing as one gets the opportunity to learn at the retreats and get knowledge of the Gurus through the guidance of the teachers with great experience. After the retreats, the student, that is myself, I get the opportunity to continue my studies with the help of the books and other materials under the guidance of a mentor. I am well empowered by HYT with the help of the latest technologies like the websites, blogs and other materials made available.

As student, I have be a good disciple with disciplines to receive all the knowledge and strengthen my being with my own personal practice experiences to become a perfect medium so that I can be able to share the knowledge of the gurus with people. The student, including myself, not only has to learn and practice the techniques but he/she has to incorporate the learning that he/she has acquired in his own every-day life. I as a student should live with awareness and with the inspirations of the philosophy of life that I have acquired from the wisdom of yoga science.

I think it is the blessing and the will of the Guru that bestows the adhikara upon the student when he/she has acquired the experiential knowledge through the retreats and through the personal practice in his/her everyday life. Of course the student must have a strong will to share the knowledge with others.

I am linked with the lineage, and it is my duty to share the knowledge and wisdom of the great tradition with people to help them get out of some ignorance and help them alleviate their self-created miseries. It is out of compassion that I would like to teach, because we can never have a true vision of man if we do not have love for humanity. It is the noble function of love to understand limitations and transcend them. I believe that we must look at man as human beings not as machines. At the same time, it gives me an opportunity to learn further from the experience of teaching which makes me feel that I am being useful.
One of the traditional reasons for teaching is to keep the flow of the wisdom of the great Rishis through the Guru-sheeshya parampara to remove to some extent the veil of ignorance of the people and make them aware of the Truth which they can attain in this life.

In today’s world of so much uncertainties created by man where hatred, conflict and wars are killing thousands of human beings, where natural disasters, economic/social/moral crisis are making people feel more and more insecure, it is very crucial to show the way of sharing and understanding through the wisdom of yoga meditation in view of restoring harmony, love and peace among people for their own well-being. Humanity is suffering from the ego-born differences. Yoga science is a path through which we can bring harmony in human life.

To be a teacher within the HYT is firstly to be a perfect medium to transmit the knowledge of the great sages of the parampara. The teacher has to acquire the experiential knowledge of yoga science and incorporate the basic techniques and disciplines into his own life so that he can transmit the knowledge to others with conviction. The teacher has to keep in mind that he/she is not a Guru as he/she has not a self-realisation or enlightenment. It is the Guru who teaches through the teacher.  He is bound to remain in the decorum of the tradition.

For my first experience of teaching practice, I was quite worried because I always thought that I should learn more, I should master the techniques of Hatha Yoga and then I will be able to teach. But as I had to teach according to the assignments, I was somehow hesitant, and I prepared notes in case I would need to refresh my memory which I took with me. In the class, I silently paid homage to Guru parampara. Then I welcomed the students, and I started with an introduction to the Himalayan Tradition Then I asked the students to lie down in Makarasana for centering. At this point, I was a bit hesitant for approximately one minute because I was thinking that maybe I would not have enough time as I had to free the hall in one hour and at the same time I did not want to consult the notes because I felt it would disrupt the class flow. Then without thinking further, I just started teaching with the centering in Makarasana, and afterwards the flow just came so naturally and so beautifully that I forgot that I had any notebook in my bag. I took one hour fifteen minutes, and I ended in time with 10 minutes of meditation. I think without the presence of the Guru lineage, the teaching would not have been what it was. All the students felt so good at the end of the session. For me, the presence of Guru Lineage in my teaching practice is indescribable.  

I understand that I may have the adhikara to teach because I have learnt and practiced with confidence the basic techniques of yoga sadhana and I have incorporated the use of these techniques and its fundamentals in my own personal life. The use of the basic techniques in my daily life gives me confidence in myself, and when I teach the same thing to others, I do it with conviction without having recourse to prepared notes. Being aware of all the benefits I derive from the yoga science in my personal life, I have a strong desire to share the knowledge with others. By the teaching, I’ve got more confidence in myself. I feel the knowledge sometimes unfolds while teaching. I feel peaceful when I see a glow in the students’ face after the yoga session and when they say that they feel serene and happy. I thank the Guru Lineage who has chosen me as a medium to transmit their knowledge of the yoga science to others. I surrender to the Guru Parampara every time with - Om tat sat brahmaarpanamastu.

Editor's note: 

Sarojini Bissessur-Asgarally is a student in HYT-TTP (Himalayan Yoga Tradition – Teacher Training Program), and is from Mauritius.

For more about the HYT-TTP (Himalayan Yoga Tradition – Teacher Training Program), we invite you to visit their website at http://www.himalayanyogatradition.com/. The next teacher training retreat at SRSG is scheduled for 9th – 22nd November 2014.

Immediately before this retreat, there will be a Breath & Prana Intensive Seminar, 2nd - 8th November 2014 at SRSG; please see http://ahymsin.org/main/ashram/breath-prana-intensive-seminar-2nd-8th-november-2014.html



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