Sivananda World News: The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashrams
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada
Om Namah Sivaya. In early August we welcomed many kids and teenagers with their parents for Family Week program at the Ashram. Families very much enjoyed a trip with canoes and different walks and games in nature. The Bonfire Satsang was culminating experience for this lively and joyous family retreat. We had several other events taking place at the Ashram. We had an inauguration ceremony for the Advanced Teacher Training Course. This course is taken mainly by students from Canada and also two students from Germany. We had a beautiful ceremony and Puja dedicated to Lord Ayappa. The procession with statue started their way from Subramanya Temple to the main grounds of the Ashram and Samadhi estate, next to Swami Vishnudevananda’s house. An elevating Puja was performed by our priest Harish, supported by many chants of devotees from India and Sri Lanka. Finally the priest and devotees together with a statue of Ayyappa were immersed into the river nearby. The festival concluded with offering of prasads to all who were present plus bringing back the statue to the Temple. Staff are well and looking forward to serving in the ATTC as well as different Yoga Vacation programs.
By mid August the Ashram had an amazing week with a very nice big group of guests coming for the Ayurveda Retreat, led by Sonal Bhatt. ATTC continued very well with usual lectures, classes and pranayama. Krishna Jayanti took place in the Krishna Temple, led by Swami Vasishtanandaji. It was a very elevating Puja. Lord Krishna was decorated beautifully with many fresh garlands. A swing was placed right next to Krishna on which baby Krishna was put and everyone could swing it gently. Swami Vasishtananda told many stories about the birth of Krishna and many past times. At the end everyone enjoyed delicious prasads prepared by the staff. One Sunday the ATTC students and staff went to the Montreal Centre to have a Satsang and asana class. It was an elevating event for all. Everyone returned to the Ashram with uplifted hearts and minds. We welcomed Saraswati, Nalini and Yukiko from Toronto Centre. The Staff are well and inspired.
Staff send love and peace to all and everyone. May Blessing of our Teachers be always upon us all. OM and Prem.
Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, India
Om Namah Sivaya to all. Greetings from Kerala, India. In August the Ashram began with a beautiful Ganapathy Homa for the start of the Sadhana Mandalam which was also the start of a new Yoga Vacation batch. The Sadhana Mandalam students settled into their new schedule. They had 5 am morning pranayama with Suresh ji as well as morning and evening asana practice. At 12 noon and 2 pm they had sessions with Swami Janardhanananda studying sections of Swamiji’s Meditation and Mantras and Master’s Sadhana. In the evenings the group attended the Temple Bhagavad Gita and Lalita Sahasranama chanting. The Satsangs were particularly joyful as so many are familiar with the chanting and truly inspiring for the new Yoga Vacationers. We were happy to welcome Satya back after a few months’ leave. We also welcomed Srinivas as a new staff. The rain was very heavy in early August, preventing the silent walk from taking place on Wednesdays. When it became drier, a Kaliparra hill walk took place. Although this was appreciated, some guests did get wet from a short shower before reaching the top. The staff and many of the Sadhana Mandalam students attended the Guru Puja in the Rama Hall instead. It was inspiring to have so many together all taking turns with the Abhishekam and the flower offering.
In mid August we offered a Ganapathy Homa for the start of the TTC. We were happy to see Swami Gayatriananda attending after a couple of weeks of her not feeling so well. The TTC students have settled into the pace of their schedule quite well. Unfortunately, two left the course, one with an aggravated prior injury and one as he wasn’t so interested in studying but more in practising. A highlight of August was Krishna Janmashtami. The Sadhana Mandalam students took turns at chanting in the Rama Hall from 12 noon onwards and also gave support in the kitchen which was very busy making lots of different prasads. With so many guests and students, the evening Puja and celebration took place in the more spacious open area just behind the Krishna Temple in relatively dry weather. With close to two hundred people in the Ashram, the evening was very lively with lots of Krishna bhajans, mantra chanting and some ‘dancing’ in order to keep going to midnight. Aji Shanti plus two other priests prepared the kalasam pots with water, flowers, cloth and mudras and mantras, for the Abhishekam of Sri Krishna at which time everyone joyfully circumambulated the shrine. Close to one hundred were still up for receiving the blessings of the Aarati and prasad. Despite the late night, a group of guests and TTC students still went for an enjoyable trip to Kanya Kumari, Suchindram, the Siva Temple at the waterfalls and the Kesavapuram Temple. The Sadhana Mandalam students had a day out at the Trivandrum Centre for a change of scenery. With the guest number reaching an August record of 78, we thank Master and Swamiji and Sri Krishna for their blessings.
We thank Master and Swamiji for these opportunities to learn, serve and grow. We pray for peace for all. May all be blessed. All of us send our Pranams. Om.
Sivananda Ashram, Netala, Uttarkashi, Himalayas, North India
Om Namo Narayanaya from Uttar Kashi. Namaste. In early August the Ashram saw the second week of TTC finishing. The students and staffs were all doing well. They had their Kriya session of internal cleansing which was practiced and appreciated by all. They moved onto the third week with the starting of teaching groups, the students foraying into teaching with lots of enthusiasm. This teaching is what gives them the opportunity to learn more from their own experience which would help refine them as best teachers. We also had Sudarsana Homam, creating and imbibing lots of positivity to bless everyone with all the events of life.
By mid August the TTC sailed on smoothly with teachings and practice of Advanced Pranayama with review of every subject on Thursday. The final exam saw all the students “getting paid” for their 4 week long hard work and dedication with all of them graduating as Sivananda Teachers. The legacy of teachings would next need to be spread amongst other people by them to fulfill the vision of our Masters and Gurus. All the TTC graduates and teaching staffs left the day after exam.
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. Early August saw had the commencement of yet another Yoga Vacation program with few staying back from the previous week and few more joining. The group was getting on well with the sattvic schedule – a much welcome change from their otherwise rajasic schedule of outside life. We also had a group of 300 students coming for their value added camp from TVS Matriculation school, a name to reckon with in the field of education. These trips were aimed to help instill values of focus, concentration and discipline in students at a very young age. We bade good bye to Ramya who had been a staff for the past nearly 3 months and thanked her for all the help at the Ashram. She said she would be returning soon as she was able to find her peace and happiness during her Karma Yoga journey.
Mid August was greatly eventful with a couple of celebrations and 4 groups visiting the Ashram with a good number of people. We started with Independence Day celebrations complete with sweet dessert, payasam served to the guests. Two different groups of 150 students each visited from TVS school with their own bunch of day long activities at the Vishnu Hall. A group of 18 guests mostly from Malaysia and some from Singapore came to join Yoga Vacation for 3 days enroute their travel to different spiritual Ashrams. They were a really nice group of people always smiling and diligently attending all the activities even though they were tired from the travel. One the rain played spoilsport and we had to shift the location of Krishna Jayanti celebrations from Temple to library on a very short notice. However the event was really cherished and made memorable with the Puja, Chanting and Ashram made sweets and snacks. Another group arrived to the Ashram, this time 250 teachers from TVS school for their day long training program which started with a hour long Yoga Session. Talent Show was full of performances especially from the Malaysian group with their indigenous songs and dance forms.
May all of us be guided well by the blessings and grace of our Masters and Gurus. We send Prayers and Regards to all from our family of guests, students and staffs. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch Colony, Woodburne, NY, USA
Om Namah Sivaya from the Ranch. By the Grace of Gurus and the sustained effort of the staff, karma yogis and teachers, the 20 TTC students continued to plod on following all the classes including the kriyas and started the group teaching. During August the hot and humid weather was challenging. Students expressed the feeling of awe mixed with overwhelm as they received eye-opening knowledge about how to navigate our complex human existence, our body and mind, our purpose, our choices and options. They bonded and produced a heartfelt varied talent show with skit, Bharata Natyam dance, songs and gifts of poetry, quantum physics and participatory spiritual game play. The 4 weekly Pujas at the 4 Temples of Siva, Durga, Krishna and Kailas hall carried on apace, contributing to the warm and joyful energy. Yoga Vacation guests continued with their stay parallel to TTC. The Ashram prepared for the last 2 weeks of August fully booked. Swami Jnaneswariananda arrived from the Yoga Farm to teach Anatomy and Physiology and led Satsangs for 2 weeks.
By mid August the TTC students had a wonderful final week, keeping focused on their studies and teaching groups. The special teachers are Fred Luskin on Forgiveness and Durga Leela on Yoga to counteract addiction. The Krishna Janmastami celebrations were uplifting for all as we had Puja at the Krishna Temple in the afternoon and Puja workshop and celebration that evening. Srinivasan spoke on Krishna’s birth and life and Swami Sitaramananda led the joyful Puja workshop to celebrate Janmastami but also to mark the successful ending of TTC. TTC graduation was very heartfelt with encouraging words from the teachers and staff, while the students each shared their testimonies. This TTC group became very close, supporting each other through the ups and downs. The TTC feast was marked with a beautiful double rainbow. Prema, a SYHET yoga teacher in training, taught the Yoga for Chronic Pain and the Yoga for Anxiety courses, introducing the 5 Points of Yoga to guests with techniques specific to these conditions. Following the TTC, Swami Sitaramananda, Swami Adiparashaktiananda, and MahaLakshmi returned to the Yoga Farm after nearly 2 months service at the Yoga Ranch.
We thank Master and Swamiji for the blessing of opportunities to share the teachings and to help wider circles find good health and peace of mind. May Masters’ Blessings and Gurus Grace be with us all. Pranams from the rolling mountains of New York State. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California, USA
Om Namah Sivaya. In early August the Ashram staff had Sadhana week, focusing on their practice and karma yoga. It was a small group. We bade fond goodbyes to AtmaShakti Chaitanya after 2 months visit from Japan, now returning to Shojiko Retreat Centre. Saraswati, staff from the Vietnam Ashram in Dalat, arrived to the Ashram. The International Satsang talk with Swami Sitaramananda was on Teachings from Divine Stories, sharing many sweet stories to bring Divine Grace to daily life.
Mid August the Yoga Farm was blessed to welcome back Swami Sitaramananda, Swami Adiparashaktiananda, and MahaLakshmi back to the Yoga Farm after nearly two months at the Yoga Ranch. Hot, dry weather continued at the Ashram mid month. Staff took an outing to Donner Lake (near Lake Tahoe) to cool off and have a picnic. The garden was flourishing and the staff were able to eat most of their vegetables from the garden. Swami Sitaramananda led the International Satsang on the topic of Karma and Disease with students joining online from Asia and the 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. August 2022 in the Bahamas: We happily welcomed five new karma yogis, one of whom joined following the July TTC: Padma, Padmini, Sita, Alejandra, and Narayani Sigalit. There were also many “goodbyes”: Swami Swaroopanandaji – along with Swami Prema, Swami Shambhudevananda, Rukmini Chaitanya, Jnaneshwari Chaitanya, and Kumari – left for Israel. They will return in a few months. The July TTC graduates returned to their homes to bring the teachings of Yoga and Vedanta to their communities. Finally, we bade farewell to our priest, Krishnan Namboodiri, who left for India until the end of September, and to Lalita, who returned to the United States for several weeks. True to the summer atmosphere at the Ashram, the karma yogis and staff wore many hats throughout the day – teaching yoga classes, preparing the meals, packing down the tent huts for the season… The guests were engaged with the daily YVP workshops and Satsangs, and there was much rejoicing throughout the Ashram when the mask requirement was repealed. Ashram dwellers and visitors alike spent the day feeling the fresh breeze on their smiling faces and the evening’s kirtan had a particularly jubilant air. Online, the students continue to be enthusiastic about their courses and the free webinars bring topics such as Vedanta, the Bhagavad Gita and Hatha Yoga to many attendees.
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 August Sri Venugopal Goswami and the three musicians from India arrived for the special program “Eastern Wisdom Melodies”. It was wonderfully inspiring to hear the uplifting readings from the Shrimad Bhagavatam and the divine chants accompanied by the excellent musicians. The TTCs were very attentive in the lectures and classes and diligently doing their karma yoga. A good number of guests joined the Yoga Vacation program. They had a series of noon lectures on “Teachings on Yoga and Spirituality” and a short Satsang in the evening. Two early morning walks and the daily snacks on the Ganesha platform were appreciated by all.
By mid August we all enjoyed the last part of the program with Sri Venugopal Goswami. Our special guests travelled to Madrid. Three participants for the TTC Online presential module arrived. The TTCs had the kriya workshop and a very energetic and joyful talent show in the evening. A large group of students arrived for the further education course “Expansion in the Asana” with Prema. A special highlight was the Krishna Jayanti celebration with Akhanda Kirtan and beautiful Krishna stories.
May Master and Swamiji bless all the efforts to follow the teachings. We send greetings to all and pray that all remain healthy and safe. OM.
Sivananda Ashram Chateau du Yoga, Orleans, France
Om Namah Sivaya. In August we completed the ceremonies for the Temple anniversary on the 8th of August. The TTC students started their second week of the programme. After the fifth day of their programme, a few COVID cases appeared but those students were immediately accommodated remotely on the Ashram. During the isolation period, they continued to follow classes online and had access to all the necessities. The students recovered efficiently and expressed much gratitude for the comfortable isolation. A group of guests arrived for the Bhakti week. They had kirtan workshops with Rukmini, asana classes and silent walks. Visiting staff taught the asana classes for the inspired guests.
By mid August the TTC students went into their third week of the programme. They did well and were in good spirits. The guest programme “Bhakti week” attended two conferences with Swami Kailasananda. There was a grand Krishna Jayanti Puja in the Temple. The guests and TTCs participated enthusiastically for the Puja, some even dressing up for the occasion.
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The staff were full of gratitude for this opportunity to serve. OM.
Sivananda Ashram Dà Lat, Vietnam
Om Namah Sivaya from Da Lat Ashram. In early August the Ashram saw the TTC group continuing their steady practice and study through the third week of the course. Onsite teachers have been joined by Swami Sitaramananda teaching online from the Yoga Ranch. We were happy to welcome tea-master Co Amba to lead a tea ceremony. All students wore traditional Vietnamese dress for the special occasion, which included a concert of meditation songs by the Ashram staff. We took advantage of dry weather to take a walk into the forest on the mountain above the Ashram. Students were happy to have the opportunity for more exercise and to spend time in the pure energy of the forest. The group entertained us all with a very creative talent show. All staff at the Ashram were well and inspired by the opportunity to support the course. The Ashram continued to be closed to other guests until the completion of the TTC.
By mid August we said farewell to the last of the TTC students. Some of the group stayed for some extra days to help as Karma Yogis. Staff took some time to relax for the day, then jumped straight back into action to prepare for the upcoming visit of Yoga Vacation guests. Two groups arrived, 45 guests in one group, all teachers and managers from different locations of FPT Technical University in Vietnam. Then we were joined by a second group of 45, this time all were students of SYHET graduate, Jyoti. To facilitate social distancing and because of the difference in level of the groups we held two separate Satsangs morning and evening, one for each group. Dry weather meant that both groups were able to enjoy an early morning sunrise walk. Twice a day Yoga classes were offered at three different levels. The groups both left satisfied and many of them inspired by their introduction to a Yoga lifestyle. We also celebrated Krishna Janmashjtami with a special Puja, storytelling and chanting.
The staff are well and inspired to serve. We were grateful for Guru’s grace during these challenging times. Om.
Sivananda Ashram Tapaswini, Gudur, Andra Pradesh India
Om Namah Sivaya. Namaste. In August, by Master’s blessings, all was pleasant here. The Ashram staff continued the garden work and extended the area a little. It had been raining here hence the temperatures quite pleasant. We had 3 guests. TTC promotions continued. We contacted and mailed the list of interested candidates, a couple of them enquired further. We looked forward to accepting a few registrations.
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 Vijaya Dasami
If you exist, God also exists. – Sri Swami Sivananda
MAHATMYA – greatness; glorious acts; of glories
The Devi-Mahatmya which, in a majestic poetry in Sanskrit, describes the Epic of the march of the human soul to its destination, The realization of this freedom is the dramatic aspect of the great worship of the Divine Mother during the nine days of Navaratri.
The Gītā Māhātmyam sings the divine glories of Śrīmad Bhagavad. This verse is recited at the conclusion of the daily reading of the Bhagavad Gita.
Worldly life is Apurna (incomplete). It is finite, imperfect, limited. It is full of weaknesses, pains, sorrows, disease. – Sri Swami Sivananda