AHYMSIN: A Decade of Loving Transformation: 2023-2033

AHYMSIN: A Decade of Loving Transformation: 2023-2033

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Our Beloved Swami Veda Bharati’s
90th Birthday Celebration

~ AHYMSIN Office

Our beloved Swami Veda Bharati’s 90th Birthday (24 March 2023) comes as a moment of loving remembrance and marks the beginning of a new era for all of Swamiji’s devotees, initiates and students. Swami Ritavan Bharati has named this new era as the ‘Decade of Loving Transformation: 2023-2033’, until Swamiji’s centenary birthday celebration in 2033, which would be marked by a large gathering at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG) ashram.

We gather here at SRSG and around the globe, in solemn remembrance and in joyous celebration, recalling the teachings of the lineage through our Gurudeva and through the life of our beloved Swamiji.

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We all cherish and embrace the loving sentiments Swamiji shared saying: "Tonight you filled me with such love. Everything that you have given me tonight, I will keep it filled inside me. But I have one desire yet unfulfilled. If you really wish to honor me, wish to love me, do two things for me. This, I am saying to my students. First, love each other. You all love this Swami, but you don’t love each other. If you want to love me, love each other. Secondly, make yourself adhikarin so that the knowledge coming down from thousands of years of tradition can be passed on and can continue. And the third condition, if you want to love me, meditate. That is our true relationship. Silent love is the best love in the universe. And my master, Swami Rama said ‘Love is the Lord of All.’ And today you have shown that love. But I would be happy when you show that love to each other. I thank you all, thank you all from the depth of my heart. God bless you."

On this 90th Birthday anniversary tribute, an initiate shared the following sentiments of gratitude and aspiration to live through the example of Swami Veda's life -

Beloved Swamiji

So gently you stole into our lives, like a whisper upon a breeze. And before we knew it, you were in our hearts. Perhaps, you were always there, and we did not know.

In asking where your eternal seat is, is to place limitations upon your Self, beloved Guru. Yet, the heart longs to know just as it yearns for a brief glimpse of that smile that lit up a thousand suns and let us bask in the warmth. Everyday thoughts of you course through the mind, wondering what would have been had we more years of your loving, physical presence. Now and then, a message from you un-veils giving a deeper meaning like a precious gift. One turns again and again to those precious few moments with you upon this Earth, gone all too soon, and wonders with awe at the grace bestowed. Will i ever understand the extent of your presence, your meaning in our life, of your many gifts, of your total acceptance of our human frailty? Passing on from this life, will i qualify to rest at your lotus feet?

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Invitation to the
Decade of Loving Transformation

~ Swami Ritavan Bharati

Our dear Swamiji has often told us, “One must run one’s life by a spiritual plan.” Swami Ritavan now invites all to engage in listening to the inner call of the Self during our ‘Decade of Loving Transformation’. Swami Ritavan has described the process and purpose of Transition and Transformation, and has lovingly offered the below message to all the AHYMSIN sadhakas world-wide.

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Swami Rama has said in “Sadhana, the Path to Enlightenment”, that when a person is on the path of self-transformation (Sadhana), she/he comes in touch with the higher potentials within. Throughout life, the lessons one has learned are a process of refining the personality. This preparation through discipline and practice awakens the inner urge of moksha-enlightenment. The signals for these life-transitions and transformations come in many forms.

For all the students, initiates, and devotees of this great Lineage, who are in the student (Brahmacharya) or householder (Grhastha) stage of their life:

Prepare a spiritual plan for your life. As Swami Veda has said, “Examine your life, examine your choices in life. Plan your spiritual life as you plan your worldly life. You plan for your finances; you plan for your business; you plan for what kind of house you will buy; you plan for what kind of car you will buy; you plan for what kind school you will send your kids to; you plan what kind of clothes you will buy for Christmas or Diwali; [now] plan for your spiritual life.” Plan in your own way, in a very practical way, what you can do out of compassion to purify yourself. You have duties and you have needs for financial earnings.

As Swamiji has said, “During [this] time what can you do spiritually? How much time you can spend? When will you go to a silence retreat? When will you go to an ashram? Which day of the week you will keep half a day of silence? Which particular day of the week you will keep more intensive meditation, will put aside if you are sitting only half an hour maybe on that day of the week you will sit for two hours? Normally that day is either Thursday or a Sunday or full moon day and the day of the new moon or the first day of the lunar fortnight.”

Think about what spiritual texts you want to study in the next 10 years. Which mantras you will have done how many times in the next 10 years. Plan how much japa you will finish in these 10 years. Plan for how you can increase the time you sit for your daily meditation. Take it seriously.

Swamiji has emphasized again and again, the importance of creating a personal spiritual plan, - “The spiritual plan means study, japa, or spiritual practices, silence, reduction of sensuous involvements, calculating them, controlling them. Swami Rama always spoke of four fountains of life. Mastering the sensuality, not abandoning it but mastering it so it will be in your control. Mastering sleep. These are all part of your spiritual plan and the most difficult, emotional purification. Hard job. Your angers, your impatience, your jealously, your vengefulness, your criticizing others, your getting upset all the time over small things. So, which one of your weaknesses you will take in hand and start really observing and controlling them? Some of these carry on all the way through life but at least start on the short term. Include that in your journaling, in your self-analysis.”

For the senior members of AHYMSIN Global Family, those who have been blessed with mantra initiation a long time ago, are getting ready for their aging years…:

Swami Veda has very lovingly guided us, “Plan for when you retire. There is no end to worldly involvements. If you live to be a hundred, you will still be worrying about how you are babysitting your great grandchildren. Enough, done. Serve them, help them, guide them but don’t be so attached. So, what you will do, what spiritual work you will do on yourself.”

To begin this decade of Transitions and Transformation, you may commit to purpose-filled living and request to receive a vow of Vanaprastha for a period of 1,3,5 years or a lifetime period. Please share your contemplations remembering the source of your question can be found within. Share a paragraph of your renunciation-diary with us so that we can share the inspiration as a way of nurturing the call of your inner-self now in your aging years of life.

Your entries on sadhana and life transformations serve a purpose for internal dialogue, reflection, and introspection and can be used to measure one's progress on the spiritual path during this decade-long aspiration and sankalpa. Plan now for what spiritual improvements you will make in the next 10 years. If you need help, we can help. Our goal is to help one in making decisions that form a life-plan and take the next step and enter their stage of life with purpose. Over these coming years, you will be inspired to make choices and decisions with regard to non-attachment, aparigraha, renunciation, and other ways of spiritual progress.

Send your emails to: SwamiRitavanBharati@gmail.com and they will be replied to and if selected for sharing, added to our Decade of Loving Transformation Blog.

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Birthday Blessings
by Swami Veda Bharati

~ 2005

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I have been given the good fortune in this incarnation to have three birthdays in a year. Yes, this day (24th March) identifies the birth day of this body. But when you receive yoga-diksha, the real yoga-diksha, you are led through dying and rebirthing. That body doesn’t exist anymore and then you are reborn. This is a secret among the yogis. You were body-bound, outward identified, now you have become inward. Your senses ordinarily flow outwards, from the moment of yoga-diksha, there is a “pull” and your senses develop the inclination of an inward flow. You operate in the world but you remain an “insider”. So that is the real death and birth of a yogi. Death is not unconscious, death is a conscious process. And the yoga-diksha is a rebirth, so this is one of my birthday celebrations.

The third birthday is on the day this one received the diksha of sannyasa. On that day, one too does shradha to one’s self. One celebrates his own funeral and purifies the 7 generations of his family heritage through that act. So I am happy that I can have three birthdays to celebrate. Everybody gets one birthday remembering the birth of the body. In this body, with the time given, one uses their life situations, and relationships within a lifespan to pay off whatever karmas, karmic debts that we owe. And if you keep this goal in mind, the day all the karmic debts are paid off, that day renounce. By renouncing your desires, you are free. Whatever desire you seek to fulfil, you become attached to their results, to the fruits. Then it becomes a karma, then it binds you, then it ties you. Whatever desires i have had, my Master has fulfilled them. It’s just unending grace of the Master presented to me. Yet, if a yogi or a sannyasin becomes attached to the enjoyment of that desire then fresh karma begins again. So I watch myself and question, “Am I getting attached to this desire, or grasping this fulfillment I am receiving.” The moment I see a sign of attachment I do “something” inside me.

Along with attachment to the fruits of desires, there develops pride. It is a culture in India, a tradition in the sense that one learns to make ones self small. Keep yourself small and you will become big. So my blessing would be, may you know how to make yourself small. I wrote a poem at one time in which I sent a blessing. May Guru grant you a meditation shawl under which everyone shelters. I pray that my shawl be so extensive like that of my Master, to shelter everyone who seeks freedom from their attachments, pride, greed, and fears.

Now Feel the flow and the touch of the breath in the nostrils.

Breathing-out and breathing-in with your mantra with no breaks between the breaths. Observe how mind, mantra and the breath are flowing as a single stream of awareness. Let your entire mind becomes an even flowing stream, and without breaking the flow of the stream gently open your eyes. May God and Gurudev bless you all.

~ 2008

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It was beautiful. Someone whom I have known from the age of 7, I’d never thought in those years of 1956-57 that we will be meeting here. Such a touching occasion for me. The whole history from that country where I was serving Guyana to this day here in Rishikesh. And tonight, Hungarian song-hymn sung to the tabla rhythms in Rishikesh. What can be a better demonstration of a world culture. And here we are creating this world culture so beautifully expressed. Those things make me blush.

I’ll share one secret with you. When I first moved to India, I said to my mind. This is too much. I can’t take it. Such reverence, every composition you have presented tonight. I surrender to my Guru. It’s his. Long, long, long ago, 2~3 years after I first met him in 1969, 1970-71, in a little yellow house in Minneapolis, in the USA, he said to me, ‘Teri sari ichayein puri karunga.’ I fulfill all your desires. I didn’t even know what my desires were.

And I missed those days and those countries, the flow of Ganga, the singing of Gita Govinda in Sanskrit. And today, by Guru’s grace and really by Guru’s grace and truly only by Guru’s grace, all that is present here, Ganga is flowing. I can go and have the darshan of Mother Ganga any day I want. And “Gita Govinda” is sung and my beloved disciple Jyoti and her students, and their coming up give us hope for the future that this song and dance tradition, this culture-tradition will continue. And when they did the prakriti puja, offering, as worship and appreciation to Nature, I cried. You may not understand the symbols of the hands and the facial gestures. But my heart cried, overfilled with joy. You filled me with such love.

But I have one desire yet unfulfilled. If you really wish to honor me, wish to love me, do two things for me. This, I am saying to my students. First, love each other. All those here at SRSG, you love this Swami, but you don’t love each other. If you want to love me, love each other. Secondly, make yourself adhikarin so that the knowledge coming down from thousands of years of tradition can be passed on and can continue.

Everything that you have given me tonight, I will keep it filled inside me. Allow me to take this occasion to thank all those who have played a role in creating whatever I have been. The sacrifices that they have made so I could reach where I’ve reached, yet, still short of my goal. I give them my appreciation. I thank you.

And the third condition, if you want to love me, meditate. That is our true relationship. Silent love is the best love in the universe. And my master, Swami Rama said “Love is the Lord of All.” And today you have shown that love. But I would be happy when you show that love to each other. That I want to see here.

I thank you all, thank you all from the depth of my heart.

God bless you.

~ 2009

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…just this tremendous amount of love everywhere from people I did not know. And I’ve found that God has made a very, very loving world, and my prayer for you is that you find your world to be the same, and my prayer for myself is that whether someone throws roses at me or throws mud at me, I should remain the same and there should be no change in the level of my love. That’s my prayer for myself, and for you, may you find the world to be as full of love as beautiful as that I have found in traveling around to strange places, new places. Everywhere may you find the same.

I don’t know, thanks is not enough. Songs from Greece and poems from Italy and from Holland and from Surinam and something I had composed sixty years ago has been sung for me today. One thing has been in my life. Whichever country, whichever society, whichever group of people I am with, it feels to me that they are my people. Whichever country I am in, I feel this is my country and this is my language. Their literature is my literature, and their customs are my customs, and their philosophers are philosophers of my lineage. So, I’ve enjoyed sitting at the spot where Plato’s academy is in Athens, the ruins of that. When I was sitting there, I felt I was making an ancient connection just as I feel in the temples of the Himalayas.

I wish you all, there is nothing else I can give you in response to what you have given me, I wish you all, wish for you all, always a very beautiful and loving world. God bless you.

~ 2010

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Dear Million-string Harp,
Each day the sun is born a new
Each soul has a new dawn upon waking from sleep
Each mind is born to new realities every moment
Each turning of the atom is an infinite span in which
your consciousness has taken births as many times as
your atoms have turned in all bodies of all your incarnations – and mine.

All this truth came bubbling, gurgling, spilling, streaming, flooding my heart and mind as I received your ‘happy birthday’ wishes for me.
Each time a Lily withers, drops, mingles with dust and is re-born, all the leaves of the forests all sing to her a ‘happy birthday’ ——–so have you, a beautiful phenomenon of Nature, sung to me.

And all the Ashramites gathered in my meditation room upstairs reciting ‘tryambakam…amrtaat’ ‘tryambakam…amrtaat’ ‘tryambakam…amrtaat’
and the fruits I shared around to all afterwards
were fruits that all my friends’ wishes have borne for me in the 77 years and nine months of the current body.

Would that I could remember here in my autumn the names of all those en-formed amities I have been loved by in these 28375 days, but I will remember yours fondly
because you have reminded me of Lilies’ recurrent re-births, adding beauty to my heart and mind and balm to whatever might ever ail me.

May each day, too, be a happy birthday to you in which ever new melodies of the music of wisdom are born again and again — in you who are one of the harps angels hold to their bosoms and play the Vedic hymns on into the rishi ears.

May you celebrate your own birthdays with you hearing you who are eternal and uncountable melody-lilies.

Swami Veda Bharati
Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama
Rishikesh
24th March 2010

Yours in service, AHYMSIN Office

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