Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

Can I Have Samadhi?

By Shi Hong

This was the theme Swami Veda had laid down for the 2016 Sangha Gathering, only months before he left his body. With hindsight, the theme felt almost like a hint of what was to come.

In the weeks ensuing his maha-samadhi, there had been a question in my mind: will people still want to come without Swami Veda? It turned out we didn't have to wait long for an answer. Groups and individuals had begun to stream in since October, filling up Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG). By the time of the Sangha Gathering in late February, the ashram was completely full. It was so full that at the end of the gathering, we were reminded to vacate our cottages by 10 am in the morning to allow time for cleaning and the immediate check-in by the next batch of visitors.

Six days of the gathering went by swiftly. The organization, the logistics, the facilities, the food were all carefully arranged and executed impeccably. There are too many to be individually named here who worked tirelessly and selflessly to make the event complete and successful. Our sincere thanks to each and every one of them!

Yes, Swami Veda had left his body, yet so many of us felt his presence while at SRSG. He has passed on the leadership in the physical form of Swami Ritavan. It is by witnessing the smooth transition that my understanding and faith in the unbroken tradition is deepened.

As a side-event, an election was held during the gathering following which the office bearers and an extended Executive Committee of Ahymsin were announced:

Election Results

Spiritual Guide: Swami Ritavan Bharati
President: Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Mohan Swami
Senior Vice President: Shi Hong
Vice Presidents: Pandit Stoma (Dr. Stephen Parker), Mayanne Krech
General Secretary: Sadhana Mishra
Assistant Secretaries: Tinyu Chen, Rajini Prakash
Treasurer: Narendra Pushkarna

Executive Committee Members

  • Anil Saigal
  • Pandit Bhola Shankar Dabral
  • Brian Stenquist
  • John Sellinger
  • Dr. Manju Talekar
  • Mariella Silva
  • Pandit Priyadarshan (Pierre Lefebvre)
  • Rabindra Sahu
  • Randall Krause
  • Shreedhar Kamat
  • Sowaran Singh
  • Sunil Trikha
  • Dr. Tacson Fernandez
  • Winthrop Harewood

Representatives from various constituencies

  • Roshan Lal Kanodia/Vijay Singh for Himalayan Institute Kanpur
  • Yoong Khiang Wong for Spiritual Committee
  • Datuk Rajah Indran for Education
  • Pandit Bhola Shankar Dabral for DMT
  • Manju Talekar for SRSG Residents
  • Rabindra Sahu for Future Leaders

The office bearers and executive committee members have elected among themselves the

Directors of Board who are:

  • Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Mohan Swami (with Shi Hong as his alternative)
  • Sadhana Mishra
  • Pandit Bhola Shankar Dabral
  • Mayanne Krech
  • Pandit Priyadarshan (Pierre Lefebvre)
  • Rabindra Sahu
  • Randall Krause

Here we are reminded of a remark that Swami Veda made in the previous elections at Sangha Gatherings: "whether you are on a committee or not, you are committed." The elections and appointments are mere conveniences. Whoever has the desire to serve are invited to join the extended committee. In Swami Veda's own words again:

“Thus, in our organizational family no one holds 'authority', 'power' or 'position' in itself. All of us only serve and teach and in doing so must practice humility at all times. 'Authority' and 'position' or 'title' are only conveniences to facilitate the work in a legal world.”

Ahymsin, our sangha, exists for the benefit of each and every of its members in his or her pursuit of spiritual development and ultimate liberation. To ensure the continuity of the sangha, Swami Veda wrote that little orange book titled Sadhana in Applied Spirituality in 2013 before going into silence. We are expected to observe the principles laid down in this book to continue the relationship within the spiritual family. He wrote in the introduction letter of the book:

“It is by neglecting these principles, after this self is silenced by meditation or by death, that divisions could occur and our service to the ancient Mission or the Gurus would suffer. It is to prevent such occurrence that the attached compositions are presented to you.

Sadhana of sitting down with eyes closed is easy to undertake. The sadhana of applying yamas, niyamas and chitta-prasadanam in daily practical life is a more difficult one.”

During the Sangha Gathering, there was one line written on the bulletin board of the Meditation Hall which really touched me:

We are all here for spiritual liberation and serving the mission is part of that.   ~Swami Veda

So, “Can I have Samadhi?”

Swami Ritavan addressed it in his lecture: It's up to you!


Editor’s Note:

Sadhana in Applied Spirituality by Swami Veda Bharati can be read at this link: http://ahymsin.org/main/swami-veda-bharati/sadhana-in-applied-spirituality.html

More pictures of the 2016 Sangha Gathering, which was held 21 – 26 February 2016 at SRSG can be seen at this link: http://www.ahymsin.org/docs2/News/1603/03.html

More about the 2016 Sangha Gathering can be read in this newsletter in the article “Sangha Gathering 2016” by Joanne Sullivan (Divya).

Photos by Jay Prakash Bahuguna.



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