Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

SVB – Last Conversation

by Salvatore Zamibito

August 06, 2015

On May 14, 2015, at SRSG in Rishikesh, I completed 40 days of Silence under the direction of Swami Veda Bharati.

On May 15, I continued Silent practice apart from addressing unavoidable business that had built up during the 40 days.

After meditation on the 15th, Swamiji called me over for an “after action briefing” so-to-speak.

This was a relaxed communication, so He mostly wrote on His Boogie Board.

svb <writing> What was your experience?

z <speaking> The practices you assigned went smoothly. The insights and releases were easily accommodated.

svb <writing> Any difficulties?

z <speaking> No, Swamiji.

svb <writing> Good…
I watched your concentrations closely…
I am very pleased…

z <smile, nod of acknowledgement> I’m gratified and relieved…

svb <chuckling, speaking>Modified my mantra practice.

svb <writing> What are your plans?

z <speaking> With this proviso – a plan is a fantasy we take seriously.

svb <writing> Of course

z <speaking> I return for the February seminar in 2016 and undertake another 40-day Silence. Then I return and undertake a 90-day Silence for my birthday in 2017.

Svb balled His fists and bounced up and down with delight, silently mouthing “Oh GOOD!” He looked like an eight-year-old boy getting his first bicycle.

svb <writing> I will design special practices for you.

z <nodding, speaking> Thank you, Swamiji.

svb <writing> Within my physical limits.

z <nodding>

svb <writing> Do you understand?

z <speaking> Yes, Swamiji. I understand.

[I knew in that moment that He was referring to His likely departure from the physical plane.]


svb <writing> Another option you could undertake…

18 months conditional silence from your home.

z <apparently staring, slack-jawed>

svb <hand on my arm, speaking> Don’t worry. You’ll know what to do.

Silence hung between us.

svb <speaking> I want to thank you for permission to use your interpretation of the Chidambaram Mahatmayam in the second edition of Samādhi Pāda.

It’s an important contribution and enhances the work beautifully.

Also, I encourage you to continue your research into Patañjali’s life and produce the book we’ve discussed.

z <speaking> You’re welcome Swamiji. It’s a pleasure and unexpected honor. I will continue the search into Patañjali..


I want to thank you, Swamiji, for decades of wisdom, knowledge, and your  love.

Io adoro te.

We went into a Silence, He beamed a beneficent smile and I backed from His Presence realizing that this was probably our last physical conversation in this cycle. I also realized that when I left in two days, that I’d probably not see this svb body again.

On July 7, my wife, Rebecca, and I resolved that I/we would undertake the 18 month conditional Silence practice regardless of Swamiji’s long-term physical availability. I began designing the process and conditions. On July 14, as I was composing a set of brief emails to let him know what I was up to, I received news of His passing.

Swamiji’s body was consigned to the Ganga on my birthday, July 17. That day I/we commenced practice.

He said, “You’ll know what to do.” I relax in that assurance.

Progress has been mostly smooth as we sort out a life of Silence as householders in the West. I relax and relevant ideas and understandings flow through.

As I reread the dialogue, I'm struck by the fact that our last words to each other were expressions of gratitude.

How characteristic.

Happy trails, Swamiji, until we meet again…

You have granted me favors
     beyond my power to acknowledge
     and completely satisfied my wants.

I will thank you therefore as long as I live
     and when I leave this body
     these bones will murmur “Thank you” from the fire…



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