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Guru Purnima Celebration in South India

by Namita Sinha

In April 2018 the very first sangha gathering of Himalayan Yoga Tradition initiates was held in Bangalore. Most participants, who came from different parts of south India, met each other for the first time, though they have been in the tradition for many years. Some long time disciples of Gurudeva Swami Rama and many who had met Swami Veda during his Bangalore visits and in Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG), Rishikesh. The group felt the need to meet regularly, to create a sangha of kalyana mitras where we can share our practices and experiences in the tradition.

A small group met for the first satsang on occasion of International Yoga Day in June 2018. We practiced some hatha, meditated and shared our experience of practices. Swami Veda’s message on International Yoga Day along with the theme of 40 days Annual Spiritual Festival renewed our energies to practice.

For spiritual seekers, Guru Purnima holds a very special place – the day when we celebrate the divine magnet that holds us all together and guides us on the path. This year it was on 27th July, 2018. Friday was also a lunar eclipse. It being a weekday with many people working and other restrictions due to the eclipse, we were unsure of how many people could join the program. It seemed pure grace when despite heavy rains that day more than twice the expected number of people joined in the satsang; some even travelled for over an hour.

The satsang was graciously hosted by Ashok Shanbhag ji and his very kind family. Ashok ji’s elegant and beautiful mother and Shri Bharat Bhushan ji, the two senior most people, opened the satsang with lighting of the lamp. We offered Guru Vandana with akhanda-mandalākāram mantra followed by guided meditation. People were still settling in as we began meditation; however, in few minutes there was stillness and silence as everyone listened to Swami Rama’s voice guiding the meditation. After the meditation the silence lingered on as there were calm faces with gentle smiles.

The video of Swami Rama – The Himalayan Master was shown as nearly half of the group was new to the tradition. Bharat Bhushan ji also shared with the group the story of how Swami Veda (then Dr.Usharbudh Arya) met Swami Rama in USA and his experiences with both Swami Rama and Swami Veda Bharati in early 1980s and how their teachings had deep influence on him.

Our very generous host Ashok Shanbhag ji said, “The satsang held on the 27th of July, 2018, was a pleasant experience. We all shared a sense of togetherness which created a peaceful atmosphere. Often in his lectures, Swami ji would iterate that instead of self centred meditation, practice meditation centered in self. I feel that meditating with a group gives us the opportunity to freshen our minds.”

Among the attendees were also Sreekanteshwar and Meena whose family of four (with two children) received an initiation from Swami Ritavan Bharati during sangha gathering in Bangalore in April 2018.
Meena Sreekanteshwar said, “I sincerely and immensely want to thank each and everyone involved in organising the program so well. Also, we need to enhance our capacity for receiving more grace from the Guru lineage for growth and purity in all walks of life and thus enhancing life which is complete and worth living.”

The evening culminated with Ashok ji chanting the Shiva Sankalpa Sukta hymn as everyone joined in and we renewed our intention to keep coming together as a sangha, to serve the mission of our beloved Swami Veda.



The Himalayan Tradition of Yoga Meditation

Purification of Thoughts     Dhyana    Mindfulness
Japa     Dharana     Shavasana
Breath Awareness     Qualified Preceptor
Guru Disciple Relationship     Unbroken Lineage
Yoga Nidra     Silence Retreats     Full Moon Meditation

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