Amma’s Letter:  July 1st, 2005

Divine Self:  Namastey!                                                                                   

The third month of our hot season is drawing to a conclusion, the twelfth year anniversary celebrations of Yoganjali Natyalayam were concluded on June 26th and little Dhivya Priya Bhavanani (or Diya Peea Banani as she calls herself) completes two years of life in her adorable, pure sweet little body on June 21, 2005.  It has been a busy, busy time as usual, but I have tried to intensify my communication with the world Yoga family, sending out several general letters just to keep in touch.  When October crawls over the horizon, all my attention will focus on the new batch of eaglets hatching on October 2, 2005.  We will also have a new baby in the Ashram by that time, so the atmosphere will be humming with new life.  We will be beginning the renovation of Yoganjali Natyalayam building the first week of July.  I hope to make the structure as elegant as the instruction.  I have never been a builder and have preferred to hide behind a fairly scruffy camouflage, as a kind of self protection, much as the drab female peacock hides behind the colorful plumes of the flamboyant male.  But the times, they are changing.  Now, it is relatively easy to build (actually not that easy) but being in an eight cycle the executive in me says upgrade.  Ananda belongs to the modern generation of computers and emails, and though he is not a fanatic, he does believe in keeping a good infrastructure.  Also, many of our students are getting older and as we age, we do appreciate a few more simple comforts and efficiency such as attached baths.  I have been happy with our new rooms and so have all the students who have come.  Our other more simple tiled roof rooms on the roof have also been much appreciated for the sunny, airy ambience and antique furniture.

You will be following our general news in YOGA LIFE.  I try to keep my personal Sadhana steady with simple Asanas, Pranayamas and in-turning and quiet sitting.  As the American doctor put it, “I find meditation is concentrating more and more on less and less.  Less is obviously more in the inner world.  Thus, I find the excesses of the current Yoga World to be puzzling.  More extreme Asanas, more beautifully toned bodies, more centres, more land, more students, more books, more influence... does it ever stop this more-ness?  It seems to me to be more-an-ic (moronic).  Recently I wrote a student that Yoga techniques are necessary to Sadhana - they sharpen us to the point (Bindu).  So, in one sense, our practices are like pencil sharpeners (Isn’t that a good metaphor?)  We are the pencils and what we write is our life story and the Yoga techniques enables us to write that story legibly, beautifully, clearly and elegantly.

Every once in a while, a strange feeling of unreality hits me - more strongly than usual.  Especially, when I read the newspapers and see the kind of things that the world takes seriously - the movies, the books, the merchandizing, the business.  I wonder how people can be motivated by desire to have those things and experience?  I putter down the cluttered roads of Pondy, on my 15 year old Kinetic Honda, feeling a slight undercurrent of guilt at polluting the earth by my presence - emitting smoke, eating food which destroys resources by its elaborate packaging, even my addiction to two daily newspapers knowing lovely trees die because of me.  The concept of human progress is such an illusion.  Surely our ancient Rishis - who lived simple lives in the forests - were far more progressive than we who perform our Yoga practices in a comfortable, electrified Ashram.  Less and less of the material world becomes more and more of the spiritual world.  I do not doubt that spiritual life is compatible with complexity and the mega-marketing and mega-management of the modern Yoga world.  I do receive several glossy commercial Yoga magazines from USA, England, and Australia.  After reading them, and seeing the glamorous photos, I feel slightly nauseous.  I don’ know why.  Just, unsettled, as if my stomach cannot digest the idea of packaged Yoga, though it is so very attractive and enticing and exciting - much like Sita’s Golden Deer.  In my consciousness, everything is just simplifying itself to the point where the most profound Yoga Kriya  I am practicing is ‘silly games’ with Dhivya, whose little innocence is fresh from the Cosmic Ocean of Satchidananda!

It looks as though about fifteen souls will gather again together this year to undergo all the trials by water, trials by Asana, trials by relationship, trials by restraint and confinement that Ashram living entails.  I think we will have another good group.  Nalini will be there to help me, as well as Hariharan.  Of course Ananda is a main pillar.  Another little soul will appear on the stage of our lives sometimes in September.  As the Russians say, the bun is in the oven.  Devasena is in good health and carrying on all her work in her busy life. Ananda is working at the Auroville Health Centre part time, visiting villages to give primary treatment.  His own private medical practice is also expanding  quite a bit.  He is working on releasing the latest edition of Swamiji’s book on Mudras as well as a collection of essays by myself and a book on Pranayama.  His DVD on Pranayama came out brilliantly well.  He is working on one more  The Chennai company was so pleased with his work, they now want him to produce a CED on Mudras.  He has a desire to accomplish which is quite normal at his age.  The History of Yoga is in its penultimate chapter now, I have to reorganize all the chapters and proof read all 2000 pages several more times.  I hope to have the bulk of the work done by October.  We will start reconstructing the City Centre at the end of June.  So all this unreality is quite real on an every day basis.  Sometimes the unreal body feels really tired - sometimes all the unreal activity seems very real.  Yet, yesterday is truly a dream - the future is a rainbow in the sky.  The present me - right - now - writing to you and your present, will be sometime in the future, as you sit reading this, hopefully with a nice biscuit and hot drink, to keep you company.

Recently while reading an article on Sadhu Vaswani, an Indian holy man from Sindh, I came across his delightful exposition of the concept of zero.  First he remarked to someone who praised him, “I am not a hero.  I am only a zero”.  then he thought for a moment.  “But I am not an English zero, which is a circle still encompassing space.  I am the Sindhi zero (nuktha) which is just a point, a dot, without any space at all.”  I loved his concept.  I have felt like that for years.  When I kept asking, as per the age old spiritual practice, Koham?  (Who am I?) I finally came up with only one legitimate answer - I am a Bindu.  Bindu is an ancient, esoteric concept central to Hindu mysticism and Yoga.  It literally means a point, a dot.  It has many esoteric meanings.  It can also mean an egg, or the semen of a man, or any starting point.  It can be stretched to mean a seed, that which has the capacity to expand into something great.  I feel I am just a Bindu, an observation point, a locus in time and space which views the world from a particular perspective.  Not much!  Just a little point in space around which some stuff (including mind stuff) has accumulated.   Every once in a while, the little Bindu shakes itself, like a dog after being given a bath, and some of the stuff comes off.  I visualize Samadhi as the bursting of that Bindu, so that consciousness instead of being one-pointed, becomes All-Pointed.  Well, that is a nice verbal construct, but the experience of it is yet to come.

Our days are over - busy, but one of the major events of our summers was successfully concluded on June 26th when we put 300 children on stage before more than 1000 people in a grand extravaganza of Bharat Natyam, Carnatic Music and Yoga Asanas.  The programme began at 3pm and ended officially at 11pm.  Only love kept it going.  You will read about it in YOGA LIFE and can share it through photos.  It takes tremendous preparation - since many children are quite young.  The two days before are 12-hour marathon practice sessions. But what a learning experience it is for all.  Our children grow greatly in all projects and events filter across the screen of our consciousness.  We are blessed that our work is that which we love to do.  Swamiji often said, “Blessed is he who has found his work.  May he seek no other blessing.”  He was, of course, right on, as usual.  We are blessed and we know it.  May you also be blessed, forever and a day.  Much love to you, fellow traveler on the path.  May your life be a sweet dream and may your Sadhana be Sattwic, Sahaja and Sukham.

Affectionately yours in Yoga,

Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani

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