Amma’s Letter:  September 22nd, 2007

Divine People:  Namastey!               

Today we have just received the glad news that Ananda’s Swiss and Italian visas have come through.  This means that his European Trip is now quite clearly settled and we just have to get the small details hammered out.  He will be sponsored by Swami Yogananda of Savona again but his air fare is being paid by the Milano Yoga Festival where he will be one of the Featured Speakers.  Leena Elo and the Gitananda Yoga Society of Berlin is sponsoring his trip to Berlin and he will have a programme at the Indian Embassy there.  Hariharan is taking him to Switzerland so this time he will have a three-nation experience all in good hands.  Sabrina Griefo, a student of Arunanath as well as ICYER, has worked hard to make good arrangements for Ananda and we applaud her effort.  Arunanath and Swami Yogananda Along with the Savona Gitananda Yoga Family of Ma Uma Shakti, Hamsananda, Leelavathi and Priya will also be at Milano.  It would be great if the Gitananda Yoga people could make strong showing there.  It is time we showed the strength of numbers, if we are to keep our place on the Yoga map and keep Swamiji’s light shining as one of the stars of the 20th century Yoga movement.  I am realizing more and more how necessary it is that we all get together (Satsangha).  It is so easy to forget and so difficult to remember to remember.  When we meet together, speak together, practice Yoga together we remember our essential purpose and are reminded of the high and noble thoughts which Swamiji has bequeathed to us, which are indeed, his legacy to us.  We must be like good servants, who use this legacy to increase its scope and power, and not squander it or fritter it away.  When we meet each other we can strengthen our resolve in this Satsangha.  This is Swamiji’s 100th Jayanthi year and I would like to encourage everyone to contribute to its significance by making a great effort to participate in Yoga activities of all kinds, but especially those connected to the Ashram.   We will be holding a special “Centenary Year Yantra Course” February 4th to 18th 2008 and would like a wonderful turn out. There will be many special events.  Swami Ananda Kapila of Australia should be present to conduct the course with his usual verve and humour and we will emphasize the Mantra Laya and Shat Mudra as the Sadhana, as well as special meditation sessions.

I realize more and more how the six month course is (as Nova Scheidt, once said so perceptively) the initiation to the Paramparai.  The lamp is lit during those six months, but when one departs, the winds of the world are so strong, the lamp may easily be blown out!  The six months is often a slog as the mud of the sub-consciousness is tough and slow to plow through.  But the return journey to the Ashram is sweet and easy by comparison and it is during the return to the ashram after the six month course that one realizes that Sadhana can be sattwic, Sahaj and Sukham, (Pure, Natural and Easy).  The Ashram experience in the six month course often resembles a Karma Yoga latrine duty.  It is always good but not always pleasant!  but when one returns the second time, one often finds “the good is also pleasant”.  That is the sweet fruit of sincere Sadhana.  As I grow older, I cherish the return of the seniors, because they give me so much love, sincere Sadhana.  As I grow older, I cherish the return of the seniors, because they give me so much love, joy and support and we do have fun together, because we have already been through the mill and that is now behind us.

I hope that future times see more and more seniors returning more and more often.  Travel is so easy and cheap these days.  There is really no excuse not to come back!  I assure you, Ashram food becomes better and better with each passing year as a nice bonus.  You are welcome to drop in any time.  I especially encourage return for the special events, like the Yantra course this year.

As a small parting gift, I would like to share a contemplative essay I had written recently to one of my favorite people on the planet.  Rajudev of California, USA.  Many of the sentiments expressed also apply to all of our close members of our world Yoga Family.

I feel you have always kept yourself well connected to us.  It is quite a remarkable thing, in a way, to be able to feel a closeness that transcends time and space.  I assume this means we are traveling at about the same pace in our inner journey  as well as moving towards the same destination.  This enables us on occasion to glance over our shoulder and wave at each other every once in a while. But those simple waves are so significant and heart warming.  I thought about these things yesterday when I was moving through the streets of Pondy on my scooter.  I passed an old Indian man, Bhramin, as he walked on the road.  He gave me a big Namaskar, a big smile and this sent rippling through the air between us a lovely charge of psychic energy.  We have been waving at each other for nearly forty years.  We never stop to talk.  What do we have to say to each other?  He was proprietor of a small hardware store where I used to purchase locks long ago.  He had a spiritual bent and appreciated our work.  For two decades I only have seen him on the street, and we wave in passing and it means a lot to me.  It would lose its flavor if we stopped to talk about the weather or other mundane things.  This wave just means we are on the same wave length and it is a nice comfortable feeling.  We are growing old together, at the same time, in the same place.  Well, dear people, we are on that same wave length.  You live out your life in your own place amusing all around you with your antics, and I on the other side of the globe, no doubt a similar source of amusement to the many who surround me.  In this, isn’t there a great beauty?  We don’t have to spoil it with mundane interaction, just knowing that we both exist and have shared important experiences together gives a warmth, does it not?

I know you enliven all who come into your orbit.  This is for sure and it is the best work.  Just do the daily work with joy, skill and enthusiasm.  This is my sole Sadhana (with a bit of huffing and puffing and twisting and turning thrown in for flavor).  Some general stuff below to read with a hot coffee.

May all be wise enough to be happy and at their ease!  May all be clever enough to be joyful and live in safety!  May the good be also the pleasant and may our Sadhana be Sattwic, Sahaj and Sukham.

Affectionately yours in Yoga


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