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December 2020 Newsletter
Full Moon Meditation December 30th

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- Swami Veda Bharati in 2007 New Year Blessing


“Learning to Use the Mantra” by Swami Rama can be read by clicking on the title.

Dianella Melani, a disciple of Swami Rama and Swami Veda Bharati, one of the "rocks" in the foundation of the Himalayan Yoga Institute of Florence in the 1980's, and one of the mentors and lead teachers in the Himalayan Tradition's Italian teacher training program, left her body on Saturday, December 5, 2020. Swami Ritavan Bharati shared the Gita verse as our constant reminder ‘...the soul can never be destroyed (diminished, changed, born, die)...’ and a personal note: “‘Thank you for coming’ Dianella into our lives and gracing us with beauty and love.” On 21 December the Florence center celebrated the Winter Solstice and Return to the Light and dedicated “this special evening to our beloved Dianella, who left her body on Saturday, December 5th to return to the Light, and we'll all be joyfully with her”

“May the ever generous Mother Night give us her stars
that burn like flames of souls in our bodies of clay.
May every darkness of human being
turn in light every night.
May She bestow upon us playful joys
of immortal kingdoms filled with light."

Swami Veda Bharati

Photo of Dianella from Stephen Parker (Stoma).


The note and the drawing/painting of flowers by Dianella Melani.

We invite you to share ways that current events have given you the opportunity for spiritual growth and understanding, for a greater understanding of the teachings and of yourself. Please send to [email protected] attn. AHYMSIN newsletter.

The next Full Moon Meditation will be 30 December 2020. You are invited to sit in meditation for an hour wherever you are, in your home or with friends. Total beginners and longtime practitioners, non-initiates and initiates are welcome. If you cannot sit for the entire hour, sit as long as you are able; as Swami Veda has said, "Let the quietness of the mind continue even after you rise...

“The full moon meditations are an opportunity for us to come together in connecting with the universal mind-field bringing unity, harmony, peace and love. Go into your silence; exhale-release, inhale-accept, forgive & fulfil, with purified heart and mind receive the blessings of the Lineage.” – Swami Ritavan Bharati

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

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 December 2020 Newsletter in your browser or click one of the article "Read More" links below.

December Articles

Subtle Body and Karma

by Swami Veda

[This is a transcript and excerpt from “The Subtle Body” (1976) by Pandit Usharbudh Arya, who later became Swami Veda Bharati. Thank you to Michael Smith for providing this.]

This principle of the subtle body is very, very closely related to the doctrine of karma because the actions that we perform are not performed with the physical body. Here you will have to change your entire world scheme. You cannot go into yoga and meditative philosophy unless you change your entire world picture. And as you go into yoga experiences, your picture changes automatically anyway, slowly it changes. You begin to find inside you what you were looking for and what you are experiencing outside - take, for example, sex. So the subtle body is the source of all your activity because all of your actions begin with the mind. And then the mind looks for things, not outside your body, it looks for things first inside. When you are searching for something, you should search right where you are, in the place closest to you.

Read More : Subtle Body and Karma …

The Treasure

by Swami Rama

[This is an excerpt from Sacred Journey, Living Purposefully and Dying Gracefully by Swami Rama, Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust, 2002. Chapter 3: “The Treasure.” Pages 15 – 17.]

It is concealed within the heart of all beings.

The treasure according to Vedanta is Atman, the Self or absolute Reality, that exists within all individuals. In the language of the Bible, Atman is the image of God, that which is identical to Brahman, pure consciousness, ultimate Reality, or however else we attempt to express with words that which is indescribable. Atman and Brahman are one, just as Jesus said, “I and my Father are one.”

“Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect,” Jesus told his disciples. Know your identity with God. You are the same but have forgotten it, is the message. So remember. Do that essential work of remembering, of getting the clutter removed so you can remember.

Read More: The Treasure …

AHYMSIN Board Meeting December 2020

Reported by Rajini Prakash

Swami Ritavan blessed the AHYMSIN Board meeting in December with a rendition of Guru Mantra and Saumya Tara Mantra.

Thereafter, Swami Ritavan addressed the meeting with the following words of blessing:

‘Blessings of the Lineage to you all. As we are drawn together in this year-ending month, we would all agree 2020 has been special; agree in the sense of bringing our minds, our compassionate hearts, to understand that sphere of influence from each of you provided for your family, loved ones, friends, and the hardship they experienced during this past year. Yet, let us be assured that sphere of influence of a meditator is one of a purity of mind, and a compassion of heart.

Read More : AHYMSIN Board Meeting

Zoom Class in January 2021

by Divya Gupta

ATMA BODHA – Knowledge of the Self

The Atma-Bodha by Adi Guru Shri Shankaracharya is a short treatise on Advaita Vedanta. In this compendium of sixty-eight verses, the seekers are taken through the journey of the Self that is described in a unique and simple style containing several similes and metaphors taken from the nature and our day-to-day life.

Shri Shankaracharya also describes the meditation technique based on the aphorism `I am Brahman,' the supreme being. According to Atma Bodha, false identification with the fleeting objects of the material world can be overcome only when knowledge of the Self or the Eternal dawns.

Begin the New Year 2021 with an intensive study about the requirements of an aspirant, the nature of this world, the five elements, evolution, the three states of experience, the influence of Maya and the superimposition of Atman. This course will thus offer much ground for self-reflection and personal growth.

Read More : Zoom Class Jan 2021 …

Bhaja Govindam and Tattva Bodha

by Berta Millas

Attending the Bhaja Govindam and Tattva Bodha satsangs for more than 3 months has been an intense and profound journey. Confronting how sincere and serious I am in this search for self-knowledge, for truth. Daily life cannot be separate from the constant tune into that higher purpose. Understanding the qualities of a true seeker to inquiry into truth, to inquire into what we are not is essential. During these satsangs we have been challenged with contemplative practices to find ways to interact and implement the teachings of the scriptures in our daily life. Expanding awareness in all our actions which arise from a thought form, acknowledging its hidden motivations, attitude while performing them and towards the results, choosing to respond rather than react, becoming lighter and lighter. These two texts contained for me in a few key Sanskrit words keep echoing in my mind like a map, pointing out the way when lost in selfish desires and false identifications, remaining that higher purpose, remaining who we truly are.

Read More : Bhaja Govindam & Tattva Bodha …


Bhaja Govindam

by Akash Chauhan

Some self-reflections and contemplations of a practitioner based on the study of the text [Editor’s note: Akash Chauhan attended the Bhaja Govindam online study with Rabindra Sahu. A translation of the 12 verses is to be found in the Editor’s note at the end of this article.]

Verse 1:

There is a desire to flaunt my knowledge and skills, in fact at times I read books so that I can show how cool I am instead of taking action on the information gained from them. I shall refrain from that. I will learn things but will not give others many suggestions on what to do and what not as I myself have much to work upon. Meditation will be my anchor practice and will take precedence over any other activity. I must however figure out a way to be more consistent with the practice without getting disheartened.

Along with this I will start doing my work as the service, reflecting the same through my language.

Read More : Bhaja Govindam …

In Praise of Thanksgiving

©Randall Krause December 2020

This year, 2020, has been out of the ordinary. It seems that dharma—virtue—is at a low ebb in the world at this time. Disease, political upheaval, public lies, cruelty, violence, and economic distress have been at a high. Yet, in the midst of this calamitous time, in November 2020, came the North American Thanksgiving holiday.

Several years ago, Swami Veda Bharati wrote about the Thanksgiving holiday, saying,

“Once a year in November, everyone thanks everyone, friends to friends, relatives, parents to children, children to parents, spouses, and any others that one can think of. Thanks for all that one has received in life and through the year. Some friends are invariably invited to evening dinner at one’s home. This, too, needs to be adopted worldwide, except for the killing of the poor turkey bird to eat for the occasion. Do think of ways of popularizing these sacred days worldwide…”

One might wonder why Swami Veda suggested popularizing Thanksgiving around the world. Could it be that this holiday provides some way to navigate challenging times like these?

Read More : Thanksgiving …

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.


Kindly help me. Fear has made me not able to do my work. It has caused fatigue and tiredness. It's been a few years like this. This anxiety has been very debilitating.


Lalita Arya (Ammaji), Michael Smith, and Carolyn Hume have responded to 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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