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July 2020 Newsletter
Full Moon Meditation August 3rd

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"Do the following experiment for just a day or two:
Use that great power that is your inherent power-the power called love.
Learn to express yourself in such a way that you don’t hurt, injure, or harm others.
Learn to give."
- Swami Rama, The Art of Joyful Living

Photo: Swami Veda BharatiIn July, we celebrated the perennial Guru on Guru Purnima“…aspire, decide, and practice, become the flute through which the winds of Guru's Breath will sing an eternal song of Love.” – Swami Ritavan Bharati.  It was also the time of the 5th Anniversary of the mahasamadhi of Swami Veda Bharati as well as the time that Swami Ananta Bharati and Nina Johnson left their physical bodies.

The 5th Anniversary of the mahasamadhi of Swami Veda was on 14 July 2020.

"Following the example of our Beloved Swamiji - Be the generator of enlightenment for others. Begin with the Sankalpa, 'I will seek enlightenment in this very life.' When this is our sole ambition, or the soul's ambition, others will know your fragrance as the refreshing scent, the flavorful taste, the quenching thirst, the loving embrace, by which young and old-alike will be attracted, drawn to help, to serve, to learn, to model, to receive, to give. This was the way of the dharma-rulers, the virtuous guides, the saintly teachers, the sage-like parents who lived what they taught, exemplified what they expected others to model. Therefore, Swami Veda has said, 'Counselor, do not give advice - console; teacher, do not lecture – inspire; parent, do not demand or command - be a model, and live by example.' May we aspire for such generosity of the spirit for the benefit of humanity." - Swami Ritavan in a 2015 interview.

Please see the video “Message by Swami Ritavan Bharati on Swami Veda Bharati ji's 5th Anniversary of Mahasamadhi” by clicking on the title.

The anniversary was observed by sadhakas in various parts of the world. There are two videos made of online satsangs to observe this event:

Photo: Nina Johnson with Swami RamaNina Johnson “Our dear teacher and friend Nina Johnson died at 10:03 pm local time in India at the age of 95. As many of you know, she was moved to the HIHT hospital in Jolly Grant from her home in Malethi a couple of days ago and not expected to live. Yesterday, during a period in which she was feeling a bit better, she said that she didn’t want to die in the hospital but back in Malethi. It was her dying wish and they took her back to the mountains last night - six hours by car. Nina was the heart and soul of the Milwaukee, USA Center and introduced and initiated thousands of us into the Himalayan Tradition of Swami Rama. She was our dear friend and teacher and she will be missed.” - The Himalayan Yoga Meditation Society of Wisconsin on July 2, 2020. For more about Nina and also about the Milwaukee center, please see the article “Remembering Nina Johnson” in this newsletter.

Photo: Swami Veda, Swami Ananta with Swami RamaSwami Ananta Bharati “Our prayerful pause and tribute to Swami Ananta Bharati who left his body in Delhi 3rd July. Let us contemplate our Master's Commentary on the Mundaka Upanishad: ‘those attaining the final, precise wisdom expounded in Vedanta, and who, by following the path of renunciation, have purified their minds, attain freedom from all bondage, and after casting off the body, go to the realm of Brahman, the realm of highest immortality.’ (Ch3.2.6) - pictured with Gurudev, is Swami Veda and Swami Ananta Bharati 10th December 1992 at Sadhana Mandir.” -Swami Ritavan Bharati. Photo by Lyle Olson.

Questions on Spiritual Practice can be sent to the Adhyatma Samiti [spiritual committee] by clicking here.

The next Full Moon Meditation will be 3 August 2020, and you are invited to participate wherever you are.


Share Your News!

We invite you to share what is happening in their centers and your experiences, insights, and questions. With such sharing, we can learn more about one another and strengthen one another in our sadhana, becoming a true “sangha”. We welcome your articles. You can write to [email protected]

This Month's Newsletter

Please click here to view this month's Ahymsin July 2020 Newsletter in your browser or click one of the article "Read More" links below.

July Articles

Heaven, Hell, Reincarnation?

by Swami Veda

[This is an excerpt from Meditation and the Art of Dying by Pandit Usharbudh Arya, who later became Swami Veda Bharati. 1979. Pages 90 – 92.]

Does a soul after death go to heaven or hell, or does it reincarnate? On the surface it would appear to be a controversial question, but it really is not, once the definition of heaven and hell is better understood.

There is also the question about the transition period. How long does one stay in heaven, hell or in the purgatory? How long does it take for one to reincarnate? Different cultures and traditions ascribe different time periods. It should be understood that the question of such temporality is irrelevant to the soul which is not limited to our sense of time. The sense of time for different states and levels of consciousness varies. For example, we must measure our time during a dream in two ways. The time an event seemed to take during the dream is quite real while the dream lasts. Yet it is not to be measured against a clock ticking in the same room where the dreaming person lies in bed. One might be tempted to suggest that, well, of course, the time being told by the clock is real; the time experienced during sleep is merely subjective. Such an assertion is based on the unproved assumption that what is subjective is unreal, which is not the case. Are our unexpressed mental thoughts, memories, feelings unreal?

Read More : Heaven, Hell, Reincarnation?

Raja Yoga – Meditation & Samadhi

by Swami Rama

[This is an excerpt from the chapter “The Path of Raja Yoga” by Swami Rama in the book Inner Paths Compiled by the Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy, 1979. Pages 18-20.]

Some students think that without practicing the preliminary steps of raja yoga they can attain samadhi, but that is not true. No matter which mantra you have, if your technique is defective, if you do not have a philosophy of life behind it, that technique alone will make you a technologist, but not a meditator. Work with yourself gently. As you look after your body, look after your mind. Proper meditation is very useful, and raja yoga teaches that.

Once you start doing meditation, you will come to know that life consists of more than merely learning. You talk of learning. You say, “I want to learn, I want to learn.” But that is not the proper attitude. There is something higher. On the spiritual path un-learning is much more important than so-called learning. What you really need to learn is “un-learning,” but only in meditation will you discover what this means.

Read More: Raja Yoga – Meditation & Samadhi

Remembering Nina Johnson

May 5, 1925 - July 2, 2020

by Wesley Van Linda

Our dear teacher and friend Nina Johnson started the Yoga Society of Milwaukee in late 1971 at the direction of Swami Rama. Wishing to give a talk in Milwaukee, Swamiji asked his Chicago students to make a list of local Milwaukee yoga teachers. As I remember the story, those students put names on small index cards, and when Swamiji picked them up, Nina’s card fell out! They met, and he initiated Nina in July,1971. Saying that he would help her, Swamiji also suggested that she open a center.

Nina began her yoga practice in 1965 because of severe curvature of the spine. Her chiropractor suggested yoga as a way to relieve back pain. Her teacher Mrs. Ritchy taught at the local YMCA. When she retired, she asked Nina to be her successor. (Many Milwaukeeans became familiar with another of Mrs. Richy’s students, Kathleen Hitchcock, who also began teaching and produced a local TV show on yoga which aired early every morning for many years.).

I met Nina in October of 1971. I heard about Nina’s yoga class from a friend in one of my university classes. Her class was held in the parlor of a small church near the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. After class I spoke with Nina who said she recently met a yoga master named Swami Rama. She gave me two books he had written, Lectures on Yoga and the Kathopanishad. Both had been printed and published by the Himalayan Institute in India.

Read More : Remembering Nina Johnson

Guru Purnima and South India Sangha

by Ashok Shanbhag

Over the years, Guru Purnima has become an important part of our lives, and I believe most sadhakas look forward to it to pay their respects to the Guru lineage.

I was introduced to the tradition, and importantly to Swami Veda Bharati ji, in 2003 by late Shri Madhav Kamat ji, a disciple of Swami Rama.

A few students of the tradition would meet regularly at Kamat Ji’s place for a meditation session, followed by kirtans and a puja. We continued this practice for 10 years thereafter, but couldn’t carry it forward due to unavoidable reasons.

Interestingly, two years ago, I heard about the visit of Pujya Swami Ritavan Bharati to Bangalore to attend the south India gathering organised by Ms. Namita Sinha ji. It was a wonderful event marked by the presence of Swamiji, and was an experience cherished by many.

Read More : Guru Purnima South India

AHYMSIN around the Globe
Republic of China (Taiwan)

by Tinyu Chen

Ahymsin Taiwan-Love passing by along with Guru’s grace

“Long time ago, I heard that there is a small inland named Formosa, Taiwan. I wondered what that place is, so I just went there. One day I visited one famous temple in Taipei. In that Lungshan temple, many people sat on the floor and meditated; however, their postures were not correct. I would love to share, but cannot speak Chinese. So I decided to sit down as well and meditate. Half an hour later, when I opened my eyes, many people surrounded me, they could also sit straight.” Swami Veda once told the story how he first came to Taiwan, and cannot stop the smile on his face. This is how he shows his guidance to us. Not only through his teaching, but also showing how he is practicing and being.

Read More : Taiwan …

Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…

Sometimes students have written to or asked Swami Veda Bharati, Swami Ritavan Bharati, and other senior teachers in our tradition questions about practice.  This is one such “Question and Answer,” or Q&A.


Only one who has realized his true self who is free from ego and body mind breath identifications can understand and speak the truth and guide. All others are only speaking about concepts and second hand knowledge. That being the case, how can they guide others?


Randall Krause (Mokshadeva) and Stephen Parker (Stoma) have answered this question.

Read More : Dear Yoga Mentor …

Share Your News!

We invite you to share what is happening in their centers and your experiences, insights, and questions. With such sharing, we can learn more about one another and strengthen one another in our sadhana, becoming a true “sangha”. We welcome your articles. You can write to [email protected]

Other Links

Full Moon Timings

Also, Toronto "Himalayan Yoga and Meditation Society of Ontario" members meet at 9:00 pm (local).

Yours in service,  — Ahymsin Office

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