Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

Jal Samadhi

by Dr. Mohan Swami and Swami Ritavan Bharati

"You are the architect of your destiny.  Death and birth are merely two events of life. You have forgotten your essential nature, and that is the cause of your suffering. When you become aware of this, you are liberated."
Quote from Living with the Himalayan Masters by Swami Rama (P. 435)

(Also, please see the entire Chapter X111 which is devoted to this theme of Mastery over Life and Death.)

Upon the relinquishment of his mortal coil, the body of Swami Veda Bharati was disposed of through the Vedic system of Jal Samadhi on Friday July 17, 2015, at the Neela Dhara Ganga, Haridwar where highly respected Swamis are given this exalted final rite.

According to the ancient tradition there are three main procedures for the disposal of persons who have taken Maha Samadhi: Bhu Samadhi (burial in earth), Agni Samadhi (cremation) or Jal Samadhi (river water immersion). While Swamis are occasionally cremated, burial and water immersion are considered by many Orders of Swamis to be a sign of great respect.

Swamiji was conferred the title of Mahamandeleshwar of the Niranjani Akhada in 1999. In keeping with their tradition after receiving this elevated position, Swamiji had in his last will and testament directed that his body be given the Jal Samadhi.  Though he later wrote that in the event of any regulations being imposed by the authorities to prevent any pollution of the Ganges, he may be cremated. Our key leadership in consultation with the heads of the Akhada deliberated this at length. The Akhada does not provide for cremation, but has an alternate option of burial.  According to his Will, Swamiji did not mention Bhu-samadhi, which meant that the Trustees of DMT [Dhyana Mandiram Trust] had only one other choice.  Swamiji was also firm that DMT continues the relationship with the Akhada. Thus, in keeping with the wishes of Swamiji, his monastic order, the Niranjani Akhada, showed their respect for his status as a Maha Mandaleshwar by performing his last rites (antyesti) in the form of Jal Samadhi.

With Jal Samadhi, his body was placed in padmasana (lotus posture), and enclosed in a sandalwood box with slits. Stones were then placed in the box, and while Vedic mantras were chanted, the box was released and fully submerged sinking to the river bottom. When such holy beings, their bodies dense with mantras, are submerged, these vibrations become a part of the water. The participants and many observers of these sacred rites performed for Swami Veda Bharati, no doubt felt such vibrations that filled earth (bhu), sky (bhuvah) and heaven (svaha).

It is our belief that the Guru’s love continues to remain abound for his flock even after such a spiritual guide leaves his body. Swamiji lives on in our hearts and our collective mind. His mission continues through the unconditional love he showered on one and all. Through his vibrant personality, he touched us in special ways while in the body, and he will continue to do so now from the subtle plane.

Gurudev Swami Rama said:

‘The mystery of love will only be known when we leave this world’.

‘The Guru is the disciples’ Guide through life, through the mysterious terrain of the spiritual heart, and into and beyond the realm of death’.  May you follow your soul's calling to return to your source - Atma-tattva-avalokanam.



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