Amma’s Letter:  May 5th, 2007

Divine Self:  Namastey!                                                                                      

Well!  My desk is clear and clean!  You can actually see the bottom!  The impossible has been made possible.  I am caught up on my correspondence!  Almost!  YOGA LIFE is ahead of schedule.  My big (apparently, it will be my life work) History of Yoga is lumbering along (in the first of three 1000 paged volumes) towards its final printing.  Our daily schedule of course is busy as ever - but since it is summer time, the evenings are free (except Saturdays, and Sundays at the City Centre)  Come June, we will have to begin the night work again in preparation for the mammoth Annual Day programme on July 7th - When we have to put 500 students on stage!  May is hot (I enclose an essay below to share hot thoughts with you) but the nights and mornings are blissfully cool.  I have some time and energy to reflect and write and reach out in the best way.  I know to our World Yoga Family - with a few loving thoughts and letters!  Of course, everyone remains connected through YOGA LIFE but these letters are a bit more between the lines glimpses of the under-belly of our Ship of State (of Being!).

The grandchildren are a marvel!  They are fountains of youth, fountains of joy, fountains of learning!  I recommend to everyone that you become a grand parent - even if you have to adopt a grandchild!  Of course as any serious Yogi/Yogini knows - attachment brings fear!  What in the world - literally - does the future hold for them!  Sraddha - Faith - in the Supreme Will - is the only remedy - so - being a grand parent also means the cultivation of Sraddha!

More or less, I try to live each day the best I can - with as much harmony, peace, smoothness and grace as circumstances permit!  Just - wake up and answer the calls of the day’s duties!  Fortunately for me, most of my duties are very pleasant!

We are enjoying the pleasure of the rebuilt City Centre - my aim is to keep it simple and uncluttered!  Our main hall is spacious and airy, with marble floors, so the 100 kids who have joined us for the May intensive (four hours daily of Sanskrit chanting, Yoga and Dance) are comfortable even in the heat!  This is my chance to get to know the kids better.  During October-March the six month course takes my energy and attention.

My summer Sadhana is more geared to Mantra, Puja, meditative sitting and Pranayama I enjoy this!  The mind does stabilize much deeper.  Growth is slow, but steady.  I hope by the time I am 75, I will achieve a true Samabhava - equal mindedness - in all circumstances, Samadhi is the Will of Guru/God, not my will and I no longer long for it.  When I deserve that Cosmic Consciousness, it will dawn of its own accord just as the sun rises in the morning independent of my will.  My job is just to keep working, keep walking, keep awake!  The journey is indeed the destination, and the journey is such a fascinating one!

Santosham is a key virtue - contentment.  Not wishing to have something, other than what I have, but rather, to accept as a great gift all that I do have!  Santhosam creates a quiet mind - a quiet mind naturally one - points itself wherever it is directed - and that one-pointedness becomes Yoga Oneness. 

Le me share a few “meditations on heat” with you  Tapas is heat - transforming power.  And our South Indian heat in summer is something very special.

It’s a good thing that we are not butter, or we would all be little more than messy puddles of goo as our hot South Indian Summer lumbers its way past April into May!  May month is perhaps no hotter than April, but heat accumulates and like being in an oven, after some time the flesh begins to bake!  Well!  The tropics have always been notoriously hot, so that is ‘No News”, but the NEWS is that this is a NEW HEAT!  It is the heat felt by lack of ozone cover, absence of cooling life-restoring trees on roads and sidewalks, petrol fumes, and the pure chemical heating of the blood from pollutants!  We are lucky beyond belief, however to live by the ocean.  In early morning and late night, those sea breezes smell of Samadhi.  A few nights ago meditating on the roof in my hut, I felt my body disappear in the breeze - literally, atomized!  All the atoms merged with that coolness and I was ‘disappeared’.  How lovely that all was!  Well!  All in all I prefer like Robert Frost, the great American poet, heat to cold.  Frost wrote in a poem (which I memorized as a teenager and have never forgotten)


Some Say the World

Will End in Fire

Some Say in Ice.

From what I’ve tasted

Of Desire

I Side with Those

Who Favour Fire

But I Think I Know

Enough of Hate

To Know that Ice

Is Also Great

And Will Suffice!

Dhivya and Anandraj escape a lot of heat by running naked in the Ashram and spending a lot of time with their Dad playing with water in the bathroom!  The heat is one reason I took up an invitation on April 18th/19th from the Tamil Nadu Government, Education Department, to undertake a six hour journey south to a hill station near Salem called Kalvarayam Hills.  Not well known and certainly not a tourist spot, nevertheless it is about 2000 feet above sea level in the Nilgiris range of mountains.  It is a trial town which has been much uplifted by Danish missionaries who established a good educational system there.  The Government wanted me to teach Yoga to 200 physical education instructors who were on a refresher course there.

Since I was given VIP status, they sent a brand new Sumo Van which was well air conditioned to transport me there.  With such good travel arrangements, I decided to take the family (sounds like a mafia term doesn’t it!)  Family in this case means Devasena, Dhivya, Anandraj, Lalitha, Sowmiya, Vidya and Kokila.  Off we went, winding up the hills, so Dhivya could understand what a mountain range means.  It was wonderful thrilling vistas all the way, with a water fall, thrown in for good measure.  A terrific geography lesson for Dhivya who was thrilled to no end.

Once there, we were delighted to see our accommodation - a big forest House to ourselves, with all modern facilities, extensive grounds, and terrific views of the mountain ranges.  We were treated like much loved VIP’s from start to finish and enjoyed great hospitality.  Dawn over the mountains the next day was great and Yoga Classes for 200 at 6am!  Lots of fun and games to show the teachers how to teach kids higher things in a jovial manner!  Great response!  English Mudra - Mantra teaching to impart spiritual truths painlessly!  Our kids demonstrated Asanas, Dhivya found a play ground even at that altitude!  At about 1pm, it was time to depart, back to the plains, winding down the same way we came up!  The only strange note:  expecting it to be freezing cold, I had packed every sweater and blanket in the Ashram for the trip, but the weather was so moderate, we did not need any of it!

All in all, a great experience!  Ananda has arrived just two days earlier from Italy!  All his adventures will be well detailed in June YOGA LIFE.  Enough to say the Gitananda Ashram Yoga Family in Savona took brilliantly beautiful care of him on his first time out.  Ananda’s talents were well utilized in every sense and his consciousness expanded by the visit!

I felt it was good we (the family) were out of the Ashram for a few days after his return, to give him some quiet time to digest all his experiences!  Actually, all the timing was perfect.  He arrived on April 15h a day before his birthday.  We held a small get together that evening at Mukti (near ICYER) and close people got a chance to hear his adventures.  April 16 - his actual birthday - we had a dance progamme for INTEGRA on the roof garden-cum-swimming pool terrace five stories up of Annamalai Hotel in Central Pondy.  So about 30 of our dance - Yoga students, their families plus Nalini, Deepika (Sally of Wales) and Shobana (Magda of Czech Republic) could share the great party atmosphere that night as Ananda turned 35 years of age!

I took two days off in Mahabalipuram to undertake a marathon session in bringing to a close parts of the first volume (1000 pages) of my History of Yoga, and succeeded.  It starts to look as though the book will come soon together.

Now, we have begun today our May Yoga and Dance Intensive Session at the City Centre with 100 kids enrolled for four hours daily of classes in Sanskrit Slokham, Yoga and Dance for the month of May.  The Summer - rolls by - on its hot butter feet - and we have to fly or fry!  And so, we fly because walking slowly on the hot earth of April - May weather in South India - does Fry the Feet!

Life rambles by - as interestingly as it can be!  Maya is magic!  We live and we move and we breathe - and this great mystery just envelops us all in its hypnotic caress!  May you be cheerful!  And well!

Much love to all!  Be of good cheer and good will!

Affectionately yours in Yoga,


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