Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

Celebration in Pune!

Celebration at the Swami Rama Himalayan Yoga and Meditation Center Pune, India – 2015. Three sadhakas – Dr. Shirin Venkat, Manasi Vaidya, and Richa Bhansali - share their experiences of this celebration.

Shirin Venkat:

Jai Gurudev! Over 100 young mothers-to-be had attended the yoga and meditation classes at the Swami Rama Himalayan Yoga and Meditation Centre Pune since June 2012; spontaneously a decision was taken to celebrate this event. A desire is but to arise and its fulfillment is already becoming manifest has been the experience of this ‘na cheez’ (no thing) when the inspiration comes from the source - Beloved Gurudev. So when it was decided that we would get together as many of the little ones and young parents as possible and have a picnic, it just happened!

Mr. Kishan Jhunjhunwala, the father-in-law of Aarti, one of the girls, had often invited me to visit his farm house to enjoy its serene atmosphere and again reiterated it when we met quite accidentally at lunch! It was immediately accepted and a date was fixed with a small request that many of my daughters and their children would come too! Most generously Mr. Kishan Jhunjhunwala not only accepted but warmly welcomed.

Quickly the newly smart phone savvy Dr. Shirin created a Whatsapp group and sent off emails to all the girls, got Varsha the dear secretary to call and so many of the girls readily accepted to come with family for the picnic. As often happens though, some had to drop out because of one reason or another.

The drive itself was so relaxing as it was on a lovely Sunday morning and the city was not all on the road. The farm house perched on top of the little hillock overlooking one of the largest lakes around Pune was a sight to behold. So well equipped for cooking with fresh vegetables – tomatoes to be picked, spinach and parsley, basil of multiple types going through the garden itself was educative. Superb tea and juices on arrival refreshed one and all. The little ones ran around and connected with their doctor grandma and grandpa (Dr. Venkat- Pediatrician) as if they knew them from before.

The Ashram mealtime prayer was recited and the sumptuous meal that followed will remain in memory for a long time, with each of the families bringing their choicest cuisine homemade and delicious. Aarti Jhunjhunwala , Shachi Munot , Jullia Gluschenko, Shweta Dalmiya, Richa Agarwal, Saniya Dere, Maansi Vaidya, Divya Navalkha, with their little ones and the young fathers all came made the farm house an even happier place that morning.

And little ones with their dear Daddys were all there to make it a charming meet of the Swami Rama family.

Come siesta time and slowly the homeward journey began all reached home by tea time reminiscing about the day and wondering when to do it again!

Manasi Vaidya:

Last Sunday was a Sunday like no other! Instead of our usual lazy Sunday morning lie in, followed by much aimless dawdling over tea and the newspapers, last Sunday saw us up at the crack of dawn (no mean feat with a preschooler and a baby in tow!) and rushing for...a picnic! Rubbing our bleary eyes we reached the point where our motley crew of picnickers was to assemble, to be greeted by the always effervescent and smiling Dr. Shirin Venkat, dressed in a vibrant shade of orange and radiating excitement. All traces of sleep immediately vanished, the 'picnic mode' kicked in and we set off towards the venue where all the fun was slated to happen; a quaint little farmhouse in Mulshi!

About an hour and an extremely peaceful and tranquil drive later we were at our destination. Yes, I did just say it was an extremely peaceful and tranquil drive, and no I hadn't left the children behind! It was just that the presence of Dr. (Mr.) Venkat in our car- who also happens to be our family's paediatrician- seemed to have a super calming effect on my six year old Miss Chatterbox and fifteen month old 'I Will Climb All Over Mama in the car' toddler and they both sat ramrod still all through the drive! So it was one very happy Mama who arrived at the picnic spot!

Set amid rolling hills and with a picturesque view of the Mulshi Lake, our picnic venue seemed like the perfect place to celebrate. And a celebratory event it certainly was, for we were there to raise a toast to Dr. Shirin Venkat's prenatal yoga and meditation classes and the milestone achievement of a hundred girls having completed the class. In fact, it wasn't so long ago that we ourselves were attending class with our burgeoning baby bumps, and it was a wonderful feeling to see that those cute baby bumps had now transformed into even cuter babies who were running around all over the place! As our babies bonded over an assortment of toys which some very wise mums had had the foresight to bring along (I wasn't one of them!), the mothers met old friends and made new ones; all of us bound by the beautiful meditation experience we had all had the opportunity to go through with Dr Shirin. Relaxing over some amazing lemon grass tea, with our kids playing all around us while our kind hosts the Jhunjhunwalas ensured we were comfortable; it was wonderful to relive memories of the class with Dr. Shirin and all the other families. The morning went by in a happy haze of chai, conversations, impromptu tours of the lovely kitchen garden at the farmhouse and, of course, the company of all our lovely children. Before we knew it, it was time for lunch and we were soon tucking into a sumptuous and eclectic spread of everything from chhole and pav bhaji to pizzas (heated up in the farmhouse's very own wood fired oven, no less!).

All too soon it was time to head back, but with memories of a day well spent in wonderful company and blissful surroundings. On our way back, Dr. Venkat was not with us, but tired out by the day's activities both my kids slept right through the drive home! I certainly was one very happy Mama that day! “It must be the mediation effect!” marveled my husband, looking at our peacefully sleeping children (both kids asleep at the same time is a rare occurrence in our home!). It certainly was as relaxing and enjoyable as actually going for one of Dr. Shirin's classes, in addition to being one of the most fun Sundays we'd spent in a long time! Here's to many more such celebrations with Dr Shirin; we are all truly blessed to have her in our lives.

Richa Bhansali:

One beautiful thought, and the thought put into action, here we are celebrating 100 students of meditation class.

It was a beautiful occasion planned by Dr. Shirin Venkat to have us all get together with our families to celebrate. A great opportunity for us to meet and bond along with our little ones who had only met through the womb, but here in fact were actually running around and playing catch right in front of us.

A gorgeous little farmhouse with a breathtaking view was not only apt but complemented the occasion just perfectly. Delicious food cooked up by all the mommies and the daddies and the rest were relishing it. 

This was a beautiful moment and I am glad we all were present for it, and it was wonderful to be with Dr. Shirin Venkat and have the meditation family together.

Editor’s Note:

Dr. Shirin Venkat is a practicing Gynaecologist and Obstetrician and is a member of the AHYMSIN Executive Committee.

For more about the Pune Center, we invite you to read (click on title):



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