Sivananda World News: The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashrams

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Sivananda Headquarters, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada

Om Namah Sivaya, Greetings from the Headquarters. By the closing of February we had sunshine, melting snow and warmer days. We experienced a mild but rumbling earthquake on 22nd Feb. Nature and its magnificence can never stop amazing us. We had guests pouring in for the Shivaratri festival and the programs. We had over a 100 people for the Shivaratri celebrations, starting at 8pm on Friday the 21st Feb, continuing on till 6am the next morning. The night progressed on with elaborate Pujas, amazing heartfelt chants from the staff and guests, accompanied by a very enthusiastic drum circle, progressing into some much awaited dance towards sunrise. The auspicious night was concluded with an elaborate feast at sunrise. Thanks to the Temple community, the sponsors, our neighbourhood guests, and all other guests and staff for making this a memorable night of beautiful transformation and piety.

The Shivaratri celebrations progressed into the Bhakti Yoga weekend, anchored by Hanuman Chaitanya, attended by seven participants. They were a very sincere and earnest bunch of participants. The Beginner Yoga week program soon after was kickstarted with eight participants and anchored by Swami Vairagyananda. The staff was busy with Temple decorations, helping with the Shivaratri festival preparations, regular maintenance karma yoga and interacting with the guests. Snow shovelling on building roof tops continued as well. May God’s grace and the teachers’ blessings always remain with us and guide us into being of impeccable service to the people who walk in through our doors. Om.

Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, India

Namah Sivaya to all. In February all programs – the YV, ATTC and AWC, all continued smoothly. AWC had a day out, followed by final classes and lots of studying before their exam. The students were happy to receive certificates of attendance for all of their efforts in the Sunday evening Satsang. Staff worked on digging terraces just below the Kailash building on a terraced Temple flower gardening project. Pierre and Gita continued on the travels in India after helping out with Yoga Vacation for a month or so. We will look forward to them returning next year. Mr Haridas, from Thrissur, came to the Ashram to give a beautiful performance on the santoor, accompanied by tabla. He also provided a contemplative background for the meditation portion of the Satsang. The ATTC had a fun “Kids” class with Suresh whilst Swami Sivabhaktananda conducted the Satsang at the Trivandrum Centre. A highlight was of course the celebration of Sivaratri. Chanting of Om Namah Sivaya resounded from the Rama Hall from 6 am in the morning through to 8 pm and then onwards in the colourfully lit Temple area until 4.30 am or so the next morning.

Potti Swami, Bhatt Swami and assistant priests prepared an elaborate Puja area in front of the Dakshinamoorthy shrine for a Homa and Archana to propitiate Lord Siva purification and protection. There were close to four hundred present at the beginning who were all given the opportunity to offer ghee into the fire and flowers to the Sivalingam. After the priests had completed there rituals, Suresh continued the worship with Abhishekam at the Siva Lingam from about midnight until 4 am whilst everyone continued chanting and circumambulating the shrines. Although there was sweet Prasad and herbal coffee to help the guests, students and staff through the night, the numbers came down to about 100 by the morning. After the final Puja was conducted by the Ashram priest, about 4.30 am, at the Dakshinamoorthy shrine, the main Prasad of a large variety of home made snacks and sweets were distributed to those who had overcome tamas by keeping vigil all night. We thank the Gurus for a successful celebration. May Master and Swamiji’s blessings continue to support all in their Sadhana. Om.

Link to the multiple videos and photo exhibits of the Neyyar Dam Ashram, including 360 degree views and a 90-minute Sivananda class, created for us by Google Arts & Culture. The videos can be found in the gallery. https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/sivananda-yoga-vedanta-Centres-Ashrams 

Sivananda Ashram, Netala, Uttarkashi, Himalayas, North India

Om Namo Narayanaya – Greetings from Uttar Kashi. May Swamiji and Master’s blessings be with all. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Meenakshi Ashram, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India

Om Namo Narayanaya. Namaste from Madurai. In February the Ashram had 63 TTC students gearing up for their course with Ganapathi Homa at the Temple invoking blessings of remover of obstacles to help overcome their mental hurdles, giving more clarity to their minds. They were introduced to the world of Philosophy by Swami Jnaneswariananda with its practical implications being covered in Bhagavad Gita, by Nagaraj ji. Hatha Yoga sessions by Nirmala Chaitanya began with the basic class proceeding onto how to teach the same to other students. February and TTC was accentuated by Maha Sivarathri with night long festivities of singing, dancing and merriment. The spirit of all were kept high with non stop chanting of Siva Bhajans and Prasad distribution. The celebrations concluded with final Arati at around 4’o clock in the morning. The Yoga Vacation guests also had an enjoyable time with the Ashram schedule, giving them physical and mental relaxation. With Master and Swamiji’s grace, we were very happy and grateful for this month’s guests, students and spiritual highlights. Sending prayers and regards to the Sivananda, students and staff members. Namaste. Om.

We would like to share a 2019 Madurai Ashram video. Please link here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3Rw6ZuvYJQ

Also a brand new inspiring video about the Madurai Ashram TTC courses.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySRbyPA6q9w

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch Colony, Woodburne, NY, USA

Om Namah Sivaya from the Ranch. In February we had an “Essentials of Meditation” retreat, led by Shakti. Also, we offered an uplifting Kirtan night where all staff and guests could lead a chant. Our priest Shankara Namboodri came back from India. Swami Paramananda came back from Bahamas to participate in the celebration. We had a great gathering of guests and visiting staff, to celebrate the Maha Sivaratri and enjoy a beautiful Indian feast cooked by Neeti (NY Centre manager). Swami Paramananda returned to Bahamas to continue the Upanishad study. With the blessings of Master and Swamiji all are in good spirits. Our Staff send Pranams to all! Om.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California, USA

Om Namah Sivaya. We felt great blessings from Lord Siva and the beautiful Sivaratri celebrations. Pujas were led by Swami Dharmananda and Ravi, with all guests and staff making 11 different offerings to Rudra through the night. We were joined by Shakti Rising, a kirtan group from Mt. Shasta, leading all in chants and keeping the energy high. The evening concluded with a morning feast and the watching of the sunrise. We were also happy to welcome Swami Sankarananda to the Ashram from the Divine Grace Ashram for a week of teaching and Satsang. May all feel Master and Swamiji’s blessings. Om.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Nassau, Bahamas

Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves. The Ashram held an all-night vigil for the holiday of Maha Shivaratri late February. During this auspicious event, Krishnan Namboodiri led four beautiful Pujas in honour of Siva and Parvati. Chanting filled the night, beginning with a Krishna Das concert, continuing until daybreak. With the energetic music and dedicated participation of the people in attendance, the hours passed quickly and soon enough the time came to break the night’s fast with tray upon tray of scrumptious Prasad. Leading up to the festival, Dr. Menas Kafatos taught about Kashmir Shaivism and the significance of Maha Shivaratri. These talks enhanced the understanding of this holiday to make the celebrations more meaningful. Many thanks go to everyone who contributed to the preparations and cleanup of the festival! Swamini Atmaprakashananda Saraswati joined us from England to present a six-week immersion into Vedantic study, with a focus on the Taittiriya Upanishad. Members of staff, karma yogis and some interested guests learned the wisdom of this beautiful shastra, under the warm and skillful guidance of Swaminiji. Swaminiji also presented several Satsangs exploring the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. Meanwhile, other opportunities for continued study presented themselves in the form of the Beginners’ Yoga Immersion Week and the Essentials of Yoga III course. In a series of workshops, Arjuna taught interested attendees about topics such as mantras, meditation and adapting the practices of the Ashram to a busy lifestyle. In the Essentials of Yoga III course, students learned more advanced Hatha Yoga practices from Bhargavi and philosophy from Iswara Chaitanya. The students of the Teacher Training Course continued to work hard as they near the end of their course, and we wish them well in their studies. Om.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat House, Reith or Mittersill, Tyrol, Austria

Om Namah Sivaya. In February Swami Vidyananda and Narayani left the Ashram to support the TTC and ATTC in Rudraprayag. Pushpa left for the Berlin Centre. A big group of guests came for a long weekend retreat. They enjoyed the themed yoga classes and lectures on developing more awareness with yoga. Several guests also took part in the TTC prep lecture. When we celebrated Sivaratri. The Ganesha Hall vibrated with powerful chanting. A Further Training for Yoga Teachers attracted over 50. Padmavati, from the affiliated Centre in Klosterneuburg near Vienna, joined us to share her experience on teaching gentle yoga. The 19 enthusiastic teachers learned how to adapt yoga classes to the needs of elderly and lesser abled students. Padmavati’s lectures also offered background knowledge on the physiology of aging. OM.

Sivananda Ashram Chateau du Yoga, Orleans, France

Om Namah Sivaya. In February we had two main Yoga Vacation programs. Guests came for a seven day program on how to develop strength and flexibility. We also had Family Weekend, welcoming children from 5 to 14 years olds. We were blessed with extra Karma Yogis to support the Ashram and the program. The Ashram had very high energy levels with the childrens’ program. We celebrated Sivaratri. Yagneshwara, our priest came to the Ashram and performed a very nice Temple Puja and Alangaram for the Temple Sivalingam. The staff and guests celebrated Sivaratri with three Pujas ending midnight as we were amidst the family/children program. Swami Kailasananda and three other senior Ashram left for the TTC/ATTC Rudraprayag in India. Swami Jyotirmayananda went to the Paris Centre for the Satsang. OM.

Sivananda Ashram Dà Lat, Vietnam

Om Namah Sivaya from DaLat Ashram. During February the TTC group continued steady in their study and practice and did exceptionally well. Another highlight of the month was the celebration of Sivaratri. The TTC group all participated in the first part of the celebration, with a first Puja done during the evening Satsang. Some of the group had decided to take initiation of a Siva mantra. That group took part in a special mantra initiation ceremony later that evening. Celebration of Sivaratri continued with all staff who participated in further Pujas and joyful chanting the whole night until early morning. We were happy to welcome all the staff and residents of the Ho Chi Minh City Centre who traveled up to spend just one day and night in Dalat to join the celebration. The TTC group enjoyed a second talent show, with group performances in Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Vietnamese. Mantra initiations continued early on Sunday morning, with 67 of the TTC group of 71 students taking initiation into a mantra. We continued to welcome Yoga Vacation guests who participated in daily workshops. Staff are well and inspired, in gratitude for the grace and guidance of the Masters. Staff are inspired and thankful for Guru’s blessings. Om.

Sivananda Ashram Tapaswini, Gudur, Andra Pradesh India

Om Namah Sivaya. May Master and Swamiji bless us with true devotion. May the Master’s blessings be with all! Pranams.

TTC ATTC Reports from other locations worldwide:
None this month. Return to this page each month to read submitted reports on satellite TTCs and ATTCs.

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Spiritual Calendar

MARCH 2020

06 Ekadasi
09 Full Moon
10 Holi
19 Ekadasi
24 New Moon

APRIL 2020

02 Ramanavami
04 Ekadasi
08 Full Moon (Hanuman Jayanti)
14 Vishu (Malayalam New Year)
18 Ekadasi
22 New Moon

Serenity is merely mental. – Sri Swami Sivananda

Glossary

DARSHAN – darsan(a), darshan:

seeing; vision; view; sight Darshan is used to refer to the swift meeting of a devotee with a holy person, or guru. The experience can be reciprocal. The result can be the human viewer receives a blessing.

Develop pure love. – Sri Swami Sivananda

2020-03-04T21:08:26+00:00