Sivananda World News: The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashrams
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada
Om Namah Sivaya. In November we were blessed to celebrate Diwali with a Puja, led by Swami Vashishtananda. There was beautiful energy created by everyone joining Abhishekam, offering flower petals and lighting small candles. Many outside Karma Yogis, devotees and students joined the celebration. Warmth and unity was felt. We received a big group of guests for a weekend program who were mainly beginners and first timers. In the lecture the main focus was five principles of Yoga. Students left more refreshed and thankful. Kanti Devi gave two elevating Satsangs in which she took inspiration from Swami Vishnudevananda’s Upadesha and spoke about Swamiji’s life, his service and his teachings. There was lots of light and joy in the air and students felt grateful for this sharing. We sent lots of prayers and love to our staff member Chandrika who passed away. Om Trayambhakam was repeated for some hours in the hospital and in Krishna Temple. She left the body in a peaceful and calm way. We welcomed back Swami Rajeshwarananda and Swami Shankarananda after their stay and service in the Italy Yoga Centre and different retreats.
The First week of TTC went very well mid November. Students adapted to the rhythm of the course and were learning throughout the day with ease and in a good spirits. Marilyn Rossner visited us at the Ashram, sharing her time and lots of sweets she brought from Montreal. We held Puja for Chandrika, a staff member, who left the body earlier in November. The Priest did specific ritual with beautiful explanations and mantras to help the Soul to rise into higher levels of consciousness, into more Sattva. We were happy to serve the TTC’s, serve to each other and of course, serve our four cats of the Ashram.
May Master’s and Swamiji’s blessings guide us to Light and Peace. Om.
Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, India
Namah Sivaya to all. Greetings from Kerala. Visit www.sivananda.org.in/neyyardam/Covid-19-guidelines We look forward to welcoming you and practicing together. We continue with in person and online classes, courses & programs. Please visit www.sivananda.org.in/weekly-schedule
The weather at the beginning of November was drier so it was possible to clean some of the paths throughout the Ashram more thoroughly. The better weather seemed to attract a few more guests also. Many of the guests were staying for longer periods, finding the peaceful Ashram environment and schedule, useful for resolving internal issues with the help of the practices and philosophy. We saw energetic chanting of the Bhagavad Gita for Ekadasi with more of the staff managing to attend at least part of the two hours or so of chanting. The annual Bhagavatha Saptaha was a highlight. The final cleaning of the Rama Hall was completed, the amplifier, loud speakers and mics were prepared and the team of four arrived. Following the formal commissioning of the team for the Saptaha, a Ganapathy Homa was conducted for Satsang. Then the chanting of about 6 hours a day in Malayalam began in earnest with Lalitha Sahasranama at the beginning and Vishnu Sahasranama and the Bhagavatham arati at the end of each day. Morning Satsangs have been taking place in the Rama Hall with kirtan from the Bhagavathars and Nataraj telling stories mainly on the life of Sree Krishna. With the joyful celebration of Sree Krishna’s birth and marriage with Rukmini, plus the extra Prasad morning and evening, the staff are quite blissful. In addition, Diwali was celebrated with a mini feast and in the evening the many lamps lit in the Temple and in the Siva Hall for Satsang. It was a beautiful sight. Karma yogis Ranga, Sathya and Anjana returned the night before in time to bring sweets for Diwali. A very sweet week! May Master and Swamiji bless all with the real sweetness of life.
By mid November we offered a Ganapathy Homa to remove obstacles for teachers and students in relation to the TTC and AWC. The weather improved allowing for two lakeside Satsangs in the mornings. The students quickly got into the swing of the TTC schedule. Suresh ji leads Hatha yoga twice a day, Yashpal ji leads the chanting classes, Ravi Easwaran for Bhagavad Gita and Nataraj ji for 2 pm lectures. Nataraj also covered the meditation talks. The Satsangs included inspiring readings from Master on Life and Love. Ravi Easwaran gave brief talks on etymology and history of yoga. Kalyani’s birthday was celebrated with cake for all staff, sweets for the students and laddoos for Prasad in the evening. Karthigai Deepam was observed on the Kartighai Poornami (full moon of the Karthigai month, South Indian calendar). Small oil lamps were lit all around the Temple area and there were a few local lantern-like decorations made from coconut fronds stuck into banana tree trunk to make the occasion special. Chanting in the Temple was in the dark in order to appreciate the lamps all the more. The celebrations finished with a full line up of performances in the Saturday evening Satsang. There was poetry, readings, bird calls, songs and guitar, and three lots of impressive kalarippayattu demonstrations – one female student, then two Ashram kids and then three male students, demonstrating how it can be practiced by all and how it is very good for concentration as well as flexibility. The staff are all well and enjoying the company of more people in the Ashram.
We thank Master and Swamiji for the opportunity to serve. We wish all the Sivananda family good health and peace of mind. All of us send our Pranams. Om.
Sivananda Ashram, Netala, Uttarkashi, Himalayas, North India
Om Namo Narayanaya from Uttar Kashi. Please note we continue to offer classes, courses & programs online. Details regarding this can be found at sivananda.org.in/Online-sessions. Please like our Facebook page to stay notified about live open classes, Satsangs & other programs. Our thoughts are with you all and we pray that you keep well and positive during these challenging times. Om.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Meenakshi Ashram, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
Om Namo Narayanaya. Namaste from Madurai. We are happy to announce that we are accepting guests to the Ashram. Pre-booking via [email protected] is necessary. Terms & conditions apply. Visit https://sivananda.org.in/madurai/Covid-19-guidelines/ We look forward to welcoming you back and practicing together. We are continuing classes, courses & programs online. Please visit www.sivananda.org.in/weekly-schedule
November started with Deepavali celebrations with our students and staffs. Satsang Hall was decorated with Rangoli designs and Clay Lamps lighting up the entire hall in its full grandeur and splendour. We also had Lalitha Sahasranaama Puja on the auspicious occasion followed by fire cracker celebrations with flower pots, crackles and comets. Everyone enjoyed their hearts filling, bringing out the child in them with playfulness and cheerfulness. One more online TTC student joined us for the last week that commenced with Open Class teaching groups. Talent show was also very lively both with presentation and performances.
Mid November was pretty high on emotional quotient with goodbyes on one end and hi’s on the other. The previous TTC students left for their homes with few of them planning to come back in December. We also had new set of students joining us for the upcoming TTC. This time again we are doing the TTC simultaneously for onsite and online students. We initiated both onsite and online students who seemed very much eager to become part of the lineage of yogic teachings imparted by our Teachers for moulding brotherhood and sense of oneness amongst all.
Sending Prayers and Regards to all from our family of guests and staffs. May Master and Swamiji bless all the efforts to follow the teachings. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch Colony, Woodburne, NY, USA
Om Namah Sivaya from the Ranch. May Masters’ Blessings and Gurus Grace be with us all. Pranams from the New York mountains. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California, USA
Om Namah Sivaya. By the Grace of Master and Swamiji, the Ashram in November felt blessed with a beautiful Diwali Puja celebration in the Brahma Vidya Hall with Lakshmi Puja, performed by pandit Mani Sharma. Swami Sitaramananda offered words of the spiritual significance of Diwali. All offered flowers, mantras and light to Divine Mother, as we pray for enlightenment and peace for all. TTC week 3 is high energy with the students enthusiastically beginning their teaching groups. Swami Sitaramananda gave talks on Guru and Disciple from Bliss Divine; Swami Jnaneswariananda taught Anatomy and Physiology. We thank Dr. Fred Luskin for his excellent 2-part talk on the practice of Forgiveness, illuminating the steps to forgive and move forward with our life. We had a mix of rain and sunshine this month. The Ashram was green and beautiful. The garden project continued. Lalita helped with many sewing projects. Overall beautification around the Ashram continued.
As November progressed, following a successful hybrid TTC, the staff continued with Upanishads study with Swami Sitaramananda. This became an ongoing study now for the past few months. Swamiji continued with the weekly Satsang linking the Asia Ashram, Centers and students with the Yoga Farm Satsang. The new garden project moved forward with levelling of the earth in the beds, setting up the garden shed, erecting the two greenhouse frames and laying out retaining wall stones, becoming a beautiful garden space. Pandit Mani Sharma is keeping the Ashram energy strong with daily Pujas to the Temples and shrines with staff very dedicated to participate. Staff prepared for the Thanksgiving weekend celebrations, dedicated to Bhakti Yoga with many special guest teachers joining us.
We are grateful for this opportunity to serve. May all feel Master and Swamiji’s blessings. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Nassau, Bahamas
Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves. Please visit our Online Program page for the latest schedule. https://sivanandabahamas.org/visiting-the-Ashram/Online-program/ We look forward to continuing to add Online programs, courses and guest speakers to our calendar. https://www.sivanandabahamas.org/travel-update/
November 2021 in the Bahamas: We celebrated the Mahasamadhi and Jalasamadhi days of Swami Vishnudevananda with Pujas, Akhanda Kirtan and many Prasads! Swami Swaroopananda shared some stories from his time with Swami Vishnu. Throughout the morning and evening Satsangs, we continued to study the lives and teachings of Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda, as well as hear stories from the Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagavatam.
We celebrated Diwali with a beautiful evening Puja led by our priest, Krishnan Namboodiri. A staircase of candles was the centre piece of the Puja, adorned with murtis of Lord Rama, Sita, Hanuman, and the Devis. We chanted the Hanuman Chalisa and a hymn for Mother Lakshmi. At the end of the night, we celebrated the birthday of staff member Krishna Chaitanya with a cake and a Puja. The focus for the past three weeks was on painting the main house and offices (done by our cheerful team of Ashram dwellers), renovating the beach huts (done by workers from Nassau). We spent one morning emptying several rooms of pantry items to prepare for renovations. Much excitement was felt at the unveiling of tahini and chocolate chips, and we donated many canned goods, grains, beans, and other pantry items to the local charity Hands for Hunger to support residents in need.
We had several staff and karma yogi coming and going during November: Ganesha, Bhavani, Shambhavi, and Gauri Devi went out of the Ashram two weeks ago; last week, Gauri Devi and Bhavani returned. We welcomed new karma yogi Irina, and Swami Paramananda left for one week. We welcomed Parvati Maria for karma yoga and welcomed back Swami Prema and Kumari. We wished safe travels and look forward to seeing everyone in the Ashram again soon! Projects to prepare the Ashram for reopening on December 14th proceed apace.
May all be well and may this be an opportunity to turn inward to that which is eternal and ever-free. Om Shanti. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat House, Reith or Mittersill, Tyrol, Austria
Om Namah Sivaya. In early November the TTCs and participants of the TTCOL additional module had their advanced pranayama workshop. Most of them took mantra initiation. After the graduation the module participants left. All TTCs wrote a very good or excellent exam and also the Online TTCs passed their last exam successfully. Afterwards we had a joyful hybrid graduation and the hotel prepared a tasty pizza for the last TTC dinner. We were happy that a new group of German speaking participants arrived for the November TTC. The vacation programme “Asanas – Strength and Flexibility“ focused on strengthening body and mind for all-round health. The guests had asana workshops on meditation posture, headstand and anatomic details of the asanas. Shankara, a close student from Munich came for one week of vacation and took the guests on nice mountain walks. According to the new Covid regulation in Austria all participants of our on-site programmes have to be vaccinated or recovered now. Many online students joined three Diwali morning Pujas and the evening celebration.
Mid November the TTCs enjoyed the second week of the course and practiced hard on their headstand. We did the advanced pranayama workshop and started the anatomy lectures. Chandrika gave two fascinating online talks for TTCs and guests on Ayurveda and the scientific studies on yoga. Marilyn Rossner started a new two weekend online course “Young in Spirit – how inspiring examples shape our thoughts today” which is translated into German, Spanish, French and Lithuanian. The Austrian Government announced a new lockdown for 20 days, so that we had to continue the TTC online. Swami Gokulananda went back to Berlin. Shankara from Munich arrived to stay with us for one week.
Mittersill: On October 31st the yoga programs re-started in Mittersill, near Salzburg. Many guests arrived for the “mountain and magic” – hiking week. Despite unfavourable weather-forecasts sunshine has accompanied us through all hikes in the High Tauern. In the yoga-classes we taught the guests how they can strengthen their back and build up a healthy body-alignment. Many students also came for a personal coaching after the classes. We also were happy to welcome here a good number of TTC graduates. This brought much liveliness to the Satsangs and mantra Chanting was joyful. Many had to leave in exchange with a new group who joined for “Yoga and Vitality”. Staffs and guests were thankful for recharging at such a beautiful place.
All staff are well and send greetings to all. We pray that all remain healthy and safe. OM.
Sivananda Ashram Chateau du Yoga, Orleans, France
Om Namah Sivaya. November started on a positive note. The All Saints retreat and teacher’s course “How to Teach Yoga to Seniors” ran smoothly at the Ashram. Guests collaborated well with teachers and staff to stay attentive to the new health rules. The students were grateful to be able to spend a few days at the Ashram. Staff who had travelled to help us during this event returned to their Centres. We started a five day-course “Relaxation and Stress Reduction” with a small group of students. Most of them were new to the Ashram and day by day, their experience of Ashram life grew a touch deeper.
By mid month we started the last batch of TTC for the year. The students were of varied age groups and varied abilities but all very sincere. It was a pleasure for the staff to welcome them at the Ashram. During the days preceding arrival of TTC, a yoga vacation on “Boost your vitality and mental health” ended with a small group of guests. They enjoyed their stay and left in good spirits. Staff got busy opening and preparing rooms for the TTC students. During the TTC, we did not have yoga vacation programmes. We continued with the French online Satsang and the European International Satsang. Landscaping of the Ashram grounds, gardening, forest upkeep as well as construction continued smoothly.
Please accept this invitation to join us for the Unite for a Healthy Planet worldwide meditation – Every 1st Sunday of the month at 2PM Continental European Time, for 30 minutes. https://sivanandaorleans.org/unite-for-a-healthy-planet
The staff were full of gratitude for this opportunity to serve dynamically. OM.
Sivananda Ashram Dà Lat, Vietnam
Om Namah Sivaya from Da Lat Ashram. In November the Ashram had two special celebrations, first the Mahasamadhi day of Swami Vishnudevananda, which was marked with Akhanda Kirtan of Swamiji’s mantra in the Krishna Temple. We also celebrated Swami Sitaramananda’s birthday. Our Satsang was shifted to a later time so that we could join, via video link, the morning Satsang and early celebrations at the Yoga Farm. Staff here prepared cakes and treats, created a special video recording to send our birthday greetings, and established a new raised garden area at Swamiji’s house. Staff continued to be busy with many online courses and with day to day running of the Ashram, also preparing to receive guests again soon. Our morning Satsang continued to have many online participants. All are well and thankful for the opportunity to serve in this beautiful place.
Staff were very busy mid month, preparing to receive guests again at the Ashram for the first time since the beginning of May. All staff made the trip to the local hospital to receive their second vaccination against Covid-19. New procedures and regulations were in place to make sure the environment is as safe as possible for people to be here. We also were anticipating the start of the next TTC which was postponed in November. A group of students were ready to join us on December 6th. Though we were at the end of the rainy season, stormy weather continued, which made some of the outdoor work more challenging.
All staff are well and looking forward to the arrival of guests and the return of the opportunity to serve students directly again. We were grateful for Guru’s grace during these challenging times. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Tapaswini, Gudur, Andra Pradesh India
Om Namah Sivaya. Namaste. Praying to Masters to bless us so that we continue on this selfless path.
We continued to offer classes, courses & programs online. Details regarding this can be found at https://sivananda.org.in/online/Ashram/. Please like our Facebook page to stay notified about live open classes, Satsangs & other programs. Our thoughts are with you all and we pray that you keep well and positive during these challenging times. May Master and Swamiji bless us with true devotion and blessings be with us all! Pranams. Om.
04 New Moon
SUDDHOHAM – I am Purity
Mentally repeat the formula, “Suddhoham, Suddhoham. I am purity, I am purity”, and attain that state of pristine, matchless purity.
SHANTOHAM – I am peace. I am silence.
SATCHIDANANDOHAM – I am the pure and benevolent form. I am the true mind and the form of bliss.
NITYOHAM – I am in the present.
CHIDOHAM – I am the consciousness, I am the consciousness form. I am alive I am full of life. I am pure energy and pure consciousness.
You can not get true and lasting freedom without self discipline. – Sri Swami Sivananda