Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

Dr. Mohan Swami´s Address to the Sangha

By Dr. Mohan Swami

[This is a transcription taken from Dr. Mohan Swami´s address to the AHYMSIN global sangha during the Sangha Gathering in Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama February 2016. Dr Mohan Swami is the president of AHYMSIN - Ed].

Good evening.

Thank you very much for the introduction. I’m quite averse to this kind of situation where I’m pushed to the front, and asked to make speeches – especially after somebody makes a lengthy introduction like this.

Thank you anyway.

I was born into a family of Swamis – not like Swami Ritavan – because that’s my surname, and it is very commonly mistaken that I am a Swami by birth. Yes, I’m a bit more senior than Swamiji [Swami Ritavan] because I was born as a Swami, but that’s the name given to me by my parents.

Thank you so much for allowing me to speak today.

Om Guruve Namah! Prostrations to the Guru!

AHYMSIN was initiated and created by our beloved Swamiji [Swami Veda Bharati] and shortly after that the Dhyana Mandiram Trust (DMT) was formed as a medium to work together and alongside AHYMSIN for various reasons.

Now why did Swamiji start this organization? Why was he to undergo the struggles and challenges? It’s not easy to set up establishments in India – especially trusts and not-for-profit organizations. Because once you set it up, it has to be sustainable through a funding mechanism.

Why did he have to go through these challenges to create such institutions as DMT and AHYMSIN?

His efforts, of course, helped to link all his initiates and some of his Guru-Bhais (Guru-brothers) also together into one big family which has become global now. We are all stakeholders of this institution. All of us, all of you, and those who are not here, we are the stakeholders of this; there are no other stakeholders. If you talk about a business, you have shareholders, you have directors, you have others. But here we are all the shareholders of this institution, created by Swamiji, for us! It is his legacy to all of us. So as stakeholders it is our duty to ensure that this institution succeeds and Swamiji’s mission is fulfilled.

I know all of you have come from various parts of the world today. I apologize for not being able to be here from the beginning of the Sangha. It’s a bit odd.

I have two very faithful friends. One is a Golden retriever, and one is a Siberian husky. They are both about 9½ to 10 years old ; and the elder one, the golden retriever was sick. She was a very close friend of mine. Her name was Tapasya. She was very ill the day I was supposed to leave for India. I had to stay back. Of course, two days later she attained moksha, hence I could arrive here only yesterday.

If you know Golden retrievers, they are very different; they are very faithful and they are like humans. They look at you and they understand. So I had to be there when she was leaving - and when the doctor was giving an injection to put her to sleep, I could see the tears in her eyes, gently rolling down - her eyes. It was very sad. That is one part of it.

You are here from different parts of the world and you are travelers. Technically, we are all travelers. And the ultimate goal of all of us as travelers – we are traveling in this world now – is to seek. So we are all seekers as well. Therefore we are all travelers and seekers for knowledge. Knowledge of the ultimate truth as taught by the Himalayan Masters.

Swamiji often emphasized that we are teaching the Tradition of the Himalayan Masters according to Swami Rama. He emphasized this very many times. Why? Because there are many teachings and he felt that the teachings of Swami Rama were what we all needed to know. Swamiji [Swami Veda] himself had many facets. I knew him from 1990.They were – sometimes childlike, innocent; sometimes he could get a bit annoyed; sometimes he spoke with tongue in cheek – but most of what caught my eye was that he was a disciplinarian and a very strict one. Most of all he was a true disciple of the Master. He desired to spread the message and teachings of his Gurudev in his very own special way. All of you know and have interacted with Swamiji and some of you have interacted with Gurudev as well. They were in some ways poles apart but yet they were one and the same if you look at it from a spiritual angle.

In the past initiates could look up to Swamiji being there. They could email him and meet him and talk to him. Last year when I met him for the very last time in his apartment upstairs a couple of months before he left the body he said, “Mohanji, my body cannot take this any longer. I have to leave.”

“But when are you coming back?” he asked me. And I noticed for the very first time that he was sad.

Swamiji was observing silence. So when I say “he spoke,” it was through [writing on a computer] screen. I replied and then he wrote through the screen. Sometimes - I would talk loudly – unintentionally, thinking that he could not hear, but actually – no. I had this tendency because someone is putting [things on] a screen for us to read and I speak very loudly.

He never joked during this particular visit. There was no talk of anything that could make me even smile. It was very somber. And he too did not smile or laugh like he used to during all my previous meetings. And I knew that this was going to be my last visit seeing him in the body. Something told me that. And I knew that when I walked out the door as he was not the same… I was sad the day that I left.

Anyway, seven months on, now Swamiji lives in the mind and body of all of us – all of us; because he has touched all of us and he lives through all of us. I can see him through all of you. Therefore it is our duty to fulfill his work and his mission – and also to complete some of his unfulfilled work. He had wanted to complete some of the other work like manuscripts etc. and I think it’s our duty to complete it for him. Those of us who can - we should.

Swami Ritavan Bharati is his anointed successor. There is no doubt about it. It is inscribed and enshrined - in Swamiji’s will. Swamiji’s work will continue through the guidance and leadership of Swami Ritavan. Swami Ritavan works selflessly – and all of us must to help Swami Ritavan to accomplish. It’s our spiritual duty to fulfill Swamiji’s wishes – to ensure the success of AHYMSIN. All of you must do this. It’s not a request. I think – it’s more a spiritual request to all of you today because all of you are his initiates.

We have in the leadership a new team with Mr. Shi Hong and his board. And this morning all of us have pledged to work alongside Swami Ritavan. We made a pledge unanimously. And as President, I want this pledge to be honored so that there’s no doubt in anybody’s mind that he [Swami Ritavan] is the successor to Swami Veda Bharati.

I want it to be clear that Swami Ritavan needs your support, needs all your help – and please do it as though Swamiji himself is here. And he is the torchbearer of the Guru parampara. The Guru parampara  as all of you know is the Lineage.

Swamiji (Swami Ritavan), you have absorbed so many of the qualities of Swamiji, his sattvic qualities as well as some of his nature. And I know that AHYMSIN will spread its wings far and wide through you.

Shi Hong and his team have the support of all of you. And all of you will work hard to ensure that AHYMSIN will consolidate its position as a world class spiritual organization. We need to do this sooner than later. It would make Swamiji proud of us that we can make AHYMSIN a very exclusive global spiritual organization. He has planted the seeds; we just need to water them and also ensure that we put the fertilizer on – just like the spiritual garden that was inaugurated earlier today at SRSG.

I also feel that AHYMSIN as an organization needs to change with the times. Spirituality itself faces many challenges in this modern world. Most of us have our own internal challenges. How do we balance our worlds – the material world with the spiritual world? How do we balance the family with the spiritual world, and so many other questions. There is no single answer for all of this but I think through AHYMSIN some of these answers can be obtained. I think the various committees and the leadership should ensure that the initiates have a channel to get their answers. We must be able to make available this facility for them. Through this mechanism the global leaders can then communicate freely with the committees and the leadership. Even the branches all over the world can then communicate freely with each other. I believe that is very essential.

As initiates and part of the bigger family you are also free to give any ideas to the leadership and committees. I think we are very receptive to criticism and advice. We are very open to this.

If you feel there are some good ideas and proposals for any change to make us a better organization please feel free to tell us. If you are unable to speak to us, you can write to us. Shi Hong is agreeable to work on this - and shall be the point person for this.

The idea is to try to link all the branches and each individual initiate through the electronic media as well as spiritual networking. Are the Generation Y here yet? They will come. They are different. They are unlike us. Not all of you here are in my age group. But it’s changing. In fact the whole world is undergoing changes now. We have to therefore adapt with the times.

I’m going to digress a little bit. I’ve been asked to talk about spirituality. I usually do not give talks about spirituality but this evening I am going to venture into this area. This is also because the person who did the introduction gave you the impression that I am more a businessman. I am not! I am a truly a very spiritual person in and out. Business is a hobby.

We all know that the Vedas are the most ancient scriptures known to mankind. Previously there were no texts; knowledge was imparted orally by the teacher to the students and then it just got carried on in this manner. The seers and the sages used to receive knowledge. But how did they receive this knowledge? There were no books for them to read and they received this knowledge through an inner vision directly from the source – through the source from intuition. How did they do it? They received it through contemplation and deep meditation. These were the ways they received this direct knowledge called para.

This evening we walked through the garden that Swamiji planned for in SRSG; it was meant to be a garden for contemplation.

This direct knowledge comes from intuition which is the center of consciousness – shruti. They call it shruti in Sanskrit. The sages and the seers through shruti heard from their innermost voices. This information I read from the book, Enlightenment Without God, Mandukya Upanishad, by Gurudev (Swami Rama).  I want you all to read this book because it gives a lot of information. Through this I received my answers on how to balance the material and the spiritual world.

The word “upanishad” in Sanskrit means “to come, sit, and listen to the sages.” But “listen” to whom? In those days it meant to listen to those souls who were enlightened and realized. To obtain the full benefit of these texts and their profound messages and even the subtle meanings of the Upanishads we must have a very pure mind.

How do we attain this? Again, Gurudev emphasizes on discipline. “Practice, practice, practice – do your sadhana in a systematic way” he says. He also mentions frequently that the Upanishads - are the most profound of all the texts. The Mandukya Upanishad itself is very important in our context.  There is reference to Sage Gaudapada who was the Grand Master of Adi Shankaracharya (our first master). His translations or transcripts are called karikas.

It talks about the waking, dreaming and sleeping states of the mind including the fourth state or turiya.

In fact after reading this book I changed the name of one of my companies to Turiya. In Malaysia everyone asked me, “What is Turiya?” I am sure you know the meaning – it means “pure consciousness.” It’s the state that the sages and seers reached – for them to become enlightened and give us these teachings which we read today. And this is what that leads seekers even today to reach the Absolute Reality or the Truth called Brahman.

The Mandukya Upanishad talks of the relationship between the waking, dreaming, and sleeping states through the relationship of the word OM. “OM” as is spelled as A-U-M. The “A” is the waking state; the “U” is the dreaming state and the sleeping state is the “M.” And in this book Gurudev makes comparison to a building.

Imagine you are on the ground floor – which is the waking state. Then you go to the second floor - it is the dreaming state. When you proceed to the third floor which is the top floor of the building - it is the sleeping state. But each time you go higher you see a larger and wider landscape. From the ground floor you do not see very much. When you reach the roof which is turiya - the fourth state or pure consciousness the whole landscape and the entire building is witnessed. That is what it leads to. Now why I am saying all this is because through these various stages of waking, dreaming, sleeping – you can reach the state of turiya. And you can then learn along the way how to balance your life properly and yet reach the highest states of mind.

I first met Gurudev on the 1st September 1990 after reading the book, “Living with the Himalayan Masters” twice on the same day. I thought that he was unaware that I was coming.

I told myself, “I’m going to renounce,” and left for Rishikesh. I had never been to this part of India. I studied in the south of India, in Manipal, and I thought it was going to be hot or rainy.

When I arrived here at about two in the morning it was cold. I had only a T-shirt and some jeans. In Rishikesh there were so many – like hundreds of ashrams – everywhere. And I thought, “How will I look for his ashram? And I had only his book and his picture with me. I asked everyone I met where his ashram was showing His picture is in the book. Here there and everywhere I searched through about half of Rishikesh. At the end I was so tired. I stopped at a tea stall which was along Virbadhra Road.  I enquired “Do you know this Swami?” The stall owner said, “Go down this road and you might find some ashrams there.” I drank a cup of tea and went on.  It was raining and I was drenched because in those days – the car windows you would open manually and then the rain will pour inside and then you’d close it back hurriedly. I drove down the road slowly and a few minutes later I noticed “Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science”. I became overjoyed.

But I had a language issue because the Gurkha who was guarding the gate could not understand what I was saying. And he said “Nahi! Nahi! Nahi!” (“no, no, no”) and I could not go inside.  “Swamiji, no, is not here.”

He called for the Manager who came to the entrance of the ashram. I showed him my passport and said, “I am coming from Malaysia. Can I stay for a day?” Of course, the first thing he saw in the passport was “Mohan Swami,” and that saved me. He said, “Swamiji, come in” — He must have thought ‘what kind of Swamiji is this - in jeans and a tee-shirt’. He was very respectful and I was given one of the small cottages near the entrance.  He enquired whether I have eaten. I said, “No,” and he brought me some soup to drink and a bucket of hot water to bathe.  “Tomorrow you will have to leave because we really do not know when Swamiji is returning from USA. When he is here then you come back.”

An hour later I saw a car coming into the ashram. All along I was looking dejectedly out the window, and I was actually thinking, “How do I go back to Malaysia. I do not know when he is coming. And if he comes, I do not know what he is going to do.” I was a bit anxious about the whole visit.

And then he gets out of the car and I see him just like the picture in the book wearing a robe and about six foot four. I rushed out of my room to him and prostrated at his feet. “Gurudev” – that was my very first word to him as he lifted me up and said, “Beta” (‘son’, बेटा pronounced ‘bay-ta’) you have come.” And of course I was in awe.

He started asking me some things about me. And I said, “Yes,” and “No.” And I realized, “How does he know all these things about me?”  He said, - “Just go and have a dip in the Ganges and come and get initiated.” And I asked , “Where is the Ganges?” I did not know that the river was right next to the Ashram. Moments later I went to the Ganges and it was cold, freezing. I dipped myself fully and dripping wet headed to the building

There was Mr. Roshan Lal standing at the entrance. He is one of those who assisted Gurudev at Sadhana Mandir those days.  He spoke in Hindi seemingly annoyed because I was dripping wet and walking upstairs to Gurudev’s room. Whatever he said to me, it meant “Go out.”

I was trying to argue: “Please, Gurudev said to take a dip and then come straightaway” He, of course, was in no mood understandably to listen to what I said. Gurudev must have heard the commotion as I heard, “Allow him to come up.” So I walked up. That was when I really met him.

When I told Gurudev “I am going to renounce.” He said, “No.”

I asked, “Why? I have come to renounce.”

I had this ego those days. Here I am coming to renounce and Gurudev said, “No”.

“You’re not ready.” He continued, “If you wish to use my robe, I will give it to you but that doesn’t make you a swami.” I pleaded “Okay but what do I do now?”

I spent two hours with him and by that time I was all dry. He told me about my relationship with him and why he brought me back. He said, “We are going to build this hospital. I brought you back. Do you know that we knew each other before?” I replied, “No.” He prodded, “Think harder. Think harder.” Soon some memories returned.

He told me, “I’ll teach you a path which is more difficult than renouncing.”

I asked, “What is that path? “He spoke, “I want you live in this world and yet be above it.”

I said, “Yes Gurudev, but how do I do that?” He again said, “Are you saying you are a swami?”

I said, “No, not in that sense, but I am trying to be one.”

“No, you be a swami in the mind. You don’t need these clothes,” he said, “because I want you to be a swami without these robes. Go into business. We need money for the hospital. I cannot go into business because I’m already in the robes.”

Then he continued, “You don’t use the robes but do business. We need money here for the hospital. That is the wish of my Master. And then when you are ready, I’ll make you a Swami.” I said, “Okay.” meekly. There was a bit of a compromise there. And then, of course, one thing led to another, and … we'll know soon.

And two days later I met Swami Veda.

Let me just wind up by saying “I hope all of you had a very good stay here. And you are most welcome to come back anytime – like in the Upanishads: “Come hither, sit, listen”.

You have got sages here to teach you too. Come here. This is your place, your home. And if there is anything I can do as a person my email is always available; you can contact me. And I hope to see all of you more often. And if we do not see each then at least we can interact through email.

I take this opportunity also to thank the management of Sadhaka Gram for organizing this gathering very well — it has gone on very, very smoothly. Thanks also to all those who are involved and the committees, and to Swamiji (SRB) for all the guidance which he has given to the committees and all else here.

My last line again is to request you humbly – please work together with Swamiji. Let there be no divisions. Everyone here is the same. Swamiji is Swami Veda’s successor and we have to see him as the one who will continue to guide this mission for us.

Swamiji, on behalf of the committee, we pledge our allegiance as well as our support for all that you are doing for the mission. Thank you! Thank you — all of you.


Photo by Jay Prakash Bahuguna



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