Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi
Association of Himalayan Yoga Meditation Societies International
Two minute meditations

Brahmi Juice

by Sopa Tamachotipong

A little but most special thing between Swami Veda Bharati and me is Brahmi (Indian pennywort) Juice, with which Thais are very familiar.  During the summer, cold Brahmi Juice is an extremely refreshing drink.  One of the finest qualities of Brahmi is its healing property for internal contusion.

In 2006 when a group of Thai students organized the first official workshop for Swami Veda Bharati (he was still relatively healthy), I had a chance to have dinner with him.  He started the conversation with a light topic, recalling his experience with a herbal juice several years ago during his first few visits to Thailand.  He described the leaf of such herb for which he did not know the Thai name, but Indian people call it Brahmi.  When he said that Brahmi provided excellent nutrition for the brain, I immediately knew he was talking about “Bai Bua Bok” as I had worked in the areas of nutrition and indigenous food.   

Swamiji was very impressed with the wisdom of Thai people for making wonderful and delicious drink out of Brahmi.  As a young boy, he liked to pick Brahmi leaf and eat them fresh.  Then, he gently switched the discussion to yoga and meditation to satisfy our desires to gain the ancient wisdom from him.   I did not think anyone present at the dinner remember the story about Brahmi. 

For me, that conversation was like a blessing from him because I had suffered from sleep disorder, which slowed my brain function.   After that dinner, I began taking Brahmi everyday (in small quantity) together with medication prescribed by the doctor, which helped me to regain the normal brain function.

Five years later (2011), I visited Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG) in Rishikesh, India, to participate in a Yoga Nidra workshop. Swamiji’s assistant, Meiwan told me that he would like me to make Brahmi drink for him.   I was so happy to find that plenty of such herbs were growing along flower gardens in the Ashram.  So I collected a handful of Brahmi leaves and prepared the juice for him.  Swamiji was delighted, “I had been asking for Brahmi juice for long time from other Thais, but no one knew about it.  Now, you got it”.   He then asked his cook, Surendra, to learn the recipe from me.

In 2013 when he was preparing to enter a 5-year silence vow, I had another chance to serve him Brahmi juice.  I was so fortunate to have few opportunities to do something for him, who was very much loved as respected by students the world over.  

Although he has attained Mahasamadhi, I always remember him every time I see Brahmi and his instruction to me “relax your forehead and remember your mantra” would appear in my mind.

These days, one of my daily activities is to work on small vegetable farm in my own house.  And I also grow Brahmi (Bai Bua Bok).

With great respect to my teacher, Swami Veda Bharati

Sopa Tamachotipong

Ahymsin Thailand

Finally I would like to thank my dear brother, Thaniya Kevalee, who kindly translated this article in English.



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