Thoughts on Vanaprastha

by Pandit Tejomaya

4 February, 2017, Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada

On 14 January, 2017 I began the life of a forest dweller as Pandit Dabral skillfully and elegantly guided me though the Vanaprastha ceremony in the name of the Guru lineage. The room was beautifully decorated with colourful saris and marigolds and warmed by the physical presence of many friends, but I was struck by the nearly overwhelming experience of the lineage, mind-beings present in subtle form. From Panditji’s first words of invocation at the altar to Shri Swami Rama, it was that support, beyond time and space, that ancient and knowing subtle intelligence which encouraged me to offer myself to the fire and light of the forest life. Words cannot capture that wordless experience.

Some of my friends have asked why I would take such a step and I try to give a simple answer, but the answer within me is actually “How could I not?”. From the age of nine, I have felt a strong desire to be a monk, to know God, and after many of years of searching, opening and closing doors, wearing different robes, I arrived at the Guru Lineage - ready. Slowly, over these searching years, my desires have returned to the clarity of my nine year old mind so that now, when I sit before the Guru, it is this piercing single desire to become one with God that fills my being. How could I not turn inward?

For me there will be one more step, that is clear, but for now, I live within the forest of the Self. It is quiet here, it is beautiful here, the yamas take only subtle effort now, the niyamas flow more gracefully, and I know I am only on the edge of the forest. If it should please the Guru, I will go deeper.

Editor’s Note:

More pictures of Pandit Tejomaya’s Vanaprastha ceremony may be seen at https://www.flickr.com/photos/gabriolaisland/sets/72157675398552404
Videos of the ceremony (in 2 parts) can be seen at these links

Pandit Tejomaya is centre leader of Yoga Sadhana Mandir on Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada. Website: http://yogasadhanamandir.ca/

Pandit Hari Shankar Dabral is the Spiritual Director of The Himalayan Yoga Meditation Centre (HYMC) in Calgary, Canada. Website: http://www.himalayanmeditation.com/



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