Bindu - Gateway to Himalayan Wisdom
This website is for people who hunger for a real connection with the core of life, who want more joy and less stress and are ready to be the conscious designer of their destiny rather than victim of circumstances.
In this website you’ll find:
- The wisdom, philosophy, lifestyle and practices of the Himalayan Yoga Meditation Tradition;
- A calendar listing opportunities to connect with teachers in the Himalayan Yoga Meditation Tradition;
- News from the Tradition.
One of the greatest adepts, teachers, writers, and humanitarians of the 20th century, Swami Rama (1925-1996) is the founder of the Himalayan Institute. Born in Northern India, he was raised from early childhood by the Himalayan sage, Bengali Baba. Under the guidance of his master, he traveled from monastery to monastery and studied with a variety of Himalayan saints and sages, including his grandmaster who was living in a remote region of Tibet. In addition to this intense spiritual training, Swami Rama received higher education in both India and Europe. From 1949 to 1952, he held the prestigious position of Shankaracharya of Karvirpitham in South India. Thereafter, he returned to his master to receive further training at his cave monastery, and finally in 1969, came to the United States where he founded the Himalayan Institute. His best known work, Living With the Himalayan Masters, reveals the many facets of this singular adept and demonstrates his embodiment of the living tradition of the East.
"Be truthful, be kind, be nice, be gentle – in my childhood I learned those lofty ideals by heart. But I did not know how to practice them, for they are merely words that we use to console ourselves and others.
So my master said, 'You should learn ‘no’ – that is, do not lie, do not do that which is not to be done, do not think that which is not helpful.”
- Swami Rama in Inspired Thoughts of Swami Rama
We invite you to deepen your practice with a visit to Swami Rama Sadhaka (SRSG) Grama in Rishikesh, India. SRSG offers individual and group spiritual retreats in the form of the ongoing guest programmes and also special events. The special events for 2015 are listed below. Please refer to the Event Calendars for further details.
4th - 11th October, Initiate Program with Raghavendra Adiga
13th - 23rd October, Navaratra, Devi-Puja with akhanda recitation of Lalitasahasra-nama (Thousand Names of Divine Mother)
15th – 27th October, Yoga and Martial Arts with Swami Tat Sat Bharati
1st – 7th November, Breath & Prana Intensive with Marilou Hermens and others
8th – 22nd November, Himalayan Yoga Tradition (HYT) Teacher Training Retreat
22nd - 31st December, 2015 Yoga Youth and Children's Retreat, A Family Retreat
Special Events are also scheduled for 2016 including Non-Initiate Programs in January and August, Mauni Amavasya and silence retreats in February, the 2016 Sangha Gathering in February, Initiate Programs in April and October, HYT-TTP Retreats in March and November, Chariot of Sadhana Retreat in March, Navaratra in April and October, Guru Purnima Retreat in July, Anniversary of Swami Veda's Mahasamadhi on 14 July, Breath Seminar in November, Anniversary of Swami Rama's Mahasamadhi on 13 November, Children's and Family Retreat in December, and more….
The following is an excerpt from Conscious Living by Swami Rama. Chapter Seven: Love and Relationships.
"Love will completely transform you, for love alone has that power, even death does not have the power to transform you. So if you love, then there is only love, there is no space for you.
At present you have likes and dislikes; but with love, there is a sense of equality, you love all, you can never hate anyone. There is that underlying understanding that I will love all and exclude none.
You are free. It is a joy that leads to bliss. There is so much expansion of your mind that anything that is hidden, that is unconscious, comes forward as a part of the conscious mind."
Thou hast made me known to friends whom I knew not.
Swami Veda Bharati
©Lalita Arya 2015
Swami Veda loved languages. He knew so many I cannot count and among them is the sweet lilt of Bangla. He loved Tagore’s poems and this quote from Tagore’s Gitanjali was one of his favorites. It was recited in English and sung in the original Bangla at the commemoration observances of his Mahasamadhi at the SRSG ashram in Rishikesh by one of his beloved students.
This poem fully illustrates the kind of life he lived, and seems most suitable for the occasion to celebrate his life with the world he created. He was given seats in homes not his own, not as an invited guest, but as an honored and loving teacher. He traveled far and wide into unknown lands and found kinship among strangers.
He treasured the old and found it still abiding in the new. He had that ability to go back into time, pull out the relevant from the archaic and adapt it to contemporary life. His family saw this in everything he did – his three daughters, his son, their spouses, their mother, and four grand daughters. Sometimes he went so far back we would sit agape, listening, lost in time and space as he explained some little verse or answered an innocent childish question. It was strange to me to read in his booklet Song of Yoga – quote – Today is tomorrow’s yesterday – and have my young 5year old granddaughter who had arrived with her family for the Mahasamadhi rites say to me – We traveled yesterday and went to tomorrow to get here today.
Before taking sanyaasa he had already adopted a larger family than his own, prompting a few old family friends to say to his children after his Mahasamadhi – Thank you for sharing your father with us. This was the swami he was that he could live the rules of ‘Svaahaa’ - this is no more mine - and still make others feel they belonged to him.
When I was asked to write an obituary ‘from your point of view’ I wondered, what can I write that others have not said, wept and written already? We are always caught in the dilemma of sorting the feelings, experiences, laughter, tears and of course the joy of the company of one who took vows of renunciation but who before adopting such a path was also a son, brother, uncle, spouse, father and grandfather. My daughter was concerned that I write only what is appropriate for websites relevant to a swami. What parts of that life should we deny, what do we affirm? He thought, spoke and lived spirituality, which a lot of people think of as separate from actual life. He however tried to merge that spirituality into actual living. Sometimes that was very challenging to all who knew him.
I have hesitated in the past to bring those brahmacharya/grihasta (student/householder) portions of his life to the fore, but since they were part of his psyche how can we deny these roles that helped make him the person he eventually became, enhancing the monkhood he later adopted? The qualities of such experiences made for a more complete person, trained in life’s work to continue to develop and understand that world that had always been his friend and given him a home when he left his own – a home in strange lands, a welcome in the hearts of strangers who became his students, his friends and his aides in his world wide tours of yoga practices, meditation sessions and countless lectures.
Much has already been said about his admirable scholarly achievements that were the manifestations of his desire to teach and share the knowledge of the Vedas. He was so well qualified that after his sanyaasa ceremony when Baba announced that his new name was to be Veda Bharati I was not at all surprised. He could quote the Vedas backwards and forwards from a very young age, he sang, recited and taught us not only from the scriptural treasures but from all the Sanskrit literature that was his life., his love. To him this literature, those Vedas, weren’t dry, esoteric texts. As my son said, he took delight in learning, and I think he took delight in sharing, too.
He had reached such a state of Samadhi in this life that it was bliss to sit in meditation with him. Even in ill health he did not like refusing requests for meditation. He had full faith and belief in the One who gave him this life so that his Purpose would be successful. He had found friends in the homes of strangers for he knew of the ‘one in the play of the many’.
As the poem he loved concludes –
‘When one knows thee, then alien there is none, then no door is shut. Oh, grant me my prayer that I may never lose the bliss of the touch of the one in the play of the many.’
May his teachings inspire us to find that One in the many.
May we work harmoniously together to continue in the accomplishment of his life’s desire to spread Compassion, Truth and Love.
July 26th, 2015
Table of Contents:
- To That Guru
- Guru Purnima Message by Swami Rama
- Guru Purnima 2015 for AHYMSIN Sangha by Swami Ritavan Bharati
- Swami Veda Lecture Given in April 2015
- Gayatri Yajna By Jay Prakash Bahuguna
- Mahasamadhi Satsang by Jagadananda Das
- The Silent Teacher by Judith Wermuth-Atkinson
- Eulogy for Swami Veda Bharati by Randall Krause
- In Memory of Swami Veda Bharati by Nandini
- Impermanence by Daniel Hertz
- August Open House for Hym-LA’s New Home
- International Yoga Day Part 1
- International Yoga Day Part 2
- 2015 Events and Beyond
- Full Moon Meditation Dates
This coming Friday is Guru Purnima, the full moon dedicated to the Guru, the day on which those in the Yoga Tradition celebrate and pay homage to Guru.
The word Guru refers to both the Inner-Guide, and to a person who has become one with the Inner-Guide.
This is a recording of Swami Veda's talk on Guru Purnima in 2012. It is in English with subtitles in Italian.