Amma’s Letter:  November 15th, 2005

Divine Yogacharini Jennifer:  Namastey!                                              

Already we are into the seventh week of the 37th Annual International Yoga Teacher Training Course, which is quite a euphemism for the experience, isn’t it?  What else could we call it, without being shut down by the authorities?  How to clean the inner latrine?  How to live with one’s own obnoxious self?  How to do the things you desperately need to do but desperately don’t want to do?  How to obey the rules when you feel like smashing them to smithereens  How to do exactly the same thing, day after day, and not get bored out of your mind?  How to sit still when you frantically want to jump up and run off forever?  Well, this is the course of instruction in all that, isn’t it?  You’re been through it, and you know it.  Those that know, know.  Those that don’t know, don’t know, as you know.  But, I know its not much better where you are now, because where you are, you are there and as you know - you don’t have problems, you are the problem.

Almost everyone is reporting regularly with their Swadhyaya reports, hanging in there by their toenails some have a slightly firmer grip and some actually and standing upright on their own two feet and few are capable of moving along the path.

The group this year, 15 in number, is excellent material.  Every year the quality of the student is getting better and better.  Perhaps, because my own personal Sadhana is becoming more refined, I am attracting better people.  Or, perhaps because we now have a wider reach through the internet and the web, a larger number of inquiries and we have a larger pool to draw from.  Perhaps there is a growing awareness of the need for a deeper experience of Reality, and the futility of materialistic pursuits.  Even the common man is able, thanks to modern technology and science, able to gratify and easily, in a manner unconceivable a century ago, his sensual desires.  The satiation of sensual (and its shadow - emotional, hormonal, chemical thrills) is just a push of a button away.  A recent Calvin cartoon (the American cartoon grows on you after a while - it features a nasty little five or six-year-old, precocious and cynical) had Calvin looking at the instructions given on the back of a package of processed food, exclaiming in a horrified tone.  It says put in micro-wave oven for six minutes - who’s got that kind of time?  Instant gratification is the name of the game.  But, nobody, except business and commercial interests, of course, gain - win at the end of that game.  The ancient, unalterable, Economic Law of Diminishing Satisfaction kicks in - and the more you get, the less it satisfies.  One discovers this to be a Universal Truth.  I remember as a teenager how we loved a song which contained this refrain.  Is that all there is?  When we get everything we want in the material world - fame, money, success, possessions...  One is still left feeling incomplete and empty.  Is that all there is, here at the top?  It is at that point that man - woman - must make a choice - either to pursue the pleasures of the emotional, ego, sensual world with greater and greater intensity, leading to perversity and disorder, or to step out of it all and look for something beyond the sensory illusive experience.  The second choice leads to spiritual evolution, the first choice to a descent into bestiality and eventual madness.  I think more and more people are making the second choice and perhaps, that is why we are attracting, more and more high quality people.

Whatever, we are enjoying our Sadhana!  Global warming is producing for us here in Pondicherry a perfect climate.  We had a spell of heavy rains for about a week, a week of intermittent rains, and now, glorious, golden sunshine and cool mornings.  Everyone is doing their best to face themselves as they are, with dignity and restraint.  After all, we are all in the same boat - struggling souls!  We are adjusting to the new little boy who has joined our family circle.  He is cute and fat, which gives him an evolutionary advantage and enables us to put up with his custom of urinating at least every fifteen minutes.  He also has a mad desire to be cuddled, talked to, held, played with and lets his displeasure at not receiving all this attention be known rather loudly, effectively and incessantly, when denied his rights.  Now, we juggle two little souls as they begin their journey to unfoldment under our protection and guidance.  What a privilege to watch the mystery of life unfolding itself beneath our eyes.

Hold tight!  I have reached page 2000 in the History of Yoga.  The final chapter “Yoga in the West in Twentieth Century” has yet to be written as well as the introduction, conclusion and index!  Still a lot!  But day by day I try to do a bit to finish the really horrendous project.  I t has been a wonderful Sadhana and has given me a bird’s eye view of the great Yogic science and art.  Ananda is extremely well, growing in spirit, with an immense work of diverse projects in hand - all Yoga based.  One project which is is enjoying very much is his work with Auroville Health Service, going to the villages daily to treat the rural people who don’t even have enough money for bus fare to go to the hospital.  He sees more than 50 patients per day but feels he makes a difference.   After the grand success of his Pranayama DVD the company has now asked him to make a DVD on Mudras which they are staring today.  On top of that, he takes the Mantra Session daily 4:30 to 6pm, gives consultation twice per week at City Center, gives the Dance and Yoga sessions for seniors at the City Centre each weekend sings and plays for programmes - the list goes on and on.  Even as I write this, I don’t know how he manages.  Devasena is busy being the mother of two with many teaching and supervision duties as well.  Nalini Devi is here as a very great Assistant Teacher for me, and Hariharan of Switzerland is back for the third time, this time bringing his new wife to get Yogatized. So I have a lot of help.

That's the Ashram news.  I hope all of you are well and flying high.  The Yogic life may be arduous but the view from the heights is splendid.  Don’t you agree?  May your Sadhana be Sukham, Satwic and Sahaja!

Affectionately yours in Yoga,


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