Dear Teacher, Dear Director,
I really wanted to send you this letter in personal handwriting, but writing a hundred or more letters would be time consuming. If I do not hear from you, you may expect to receive a personally handwritten one from me in the near future.
In 2007 I will complete 60 years of non-stop travel and teaching.
Many teachers have been teaching for the past 32 years.
From some of these senior teachers, we hear : we are getting on in years; to whom to pass on the Center? How to continue the spirit that Gurudeva Swami Rama infused in us?
Those who are not still brisk and young also wonder how to go into greater depth. "We do not have time to go study in the Rishikesh Ashram for further deepening".
With a deep sharing of these concern, I have embarked on the LAST PROJECT OF MY LIFE. With my limited capacities (for ten thousand Swami Vedas put in a blender will not one Swami Rama make), with everyone's help, I am starting the 'Swami Rama Dhyana Gurukulam'-- 'Swami Rama Institute of Meditation' at the new Sadhaka Grama Campus in Rishikesh.
VERY BRIEFLY, please get your friends and students together, and SPONSOR a student to study and train with me for 3-5 (or 10 !) years at the Gurukulam.
They will learn the ins and outs of meditation, the language, texts, histories of the meditation traditions of the world. I will help link their minds to the Lineage and to the Rishis. Then, I will return them to you with the understanding that the purpose of their training has been to help with the work of your Center (and if you have no Center, just to continue the teaching)
We are starting the teaching on October 5th this year with the help of the faculty who will be working under my direction. We do, however, plan to continue to accept new students for a little while yet, even after October 5, 2003.
The teaching has continued under the direction of our Gurudeva for the last 33 years in the West. Can we ensure its continuity--WITH ITS ORIGINAL SPIRITUAL EMPHASIS--for the next 50 years ?
Please do not ask me : how much would it cost? What do you think can make the project self-sustaining? In this I can use the advice of those, right within this family, who are experienced in these matters.
Would I hear soon from you, or do you need me to send a handwritten letter?
Servant of the servants of the Masters
For continued news and inspiration : www.swamiveda.org and www.bindu.org
P.S. How many are participating in the Spiritual Purification Festival 2003 from your area? Please inform the Meditation Center : firstname.lastname@example.org
If it has not begun in your area, it is not too late to start. Do remember Guru-purnima is on 13th July. It can start even then.
Virpur Khurd, P.O. Pashulok
Spiritual Guide : Swami Veda Bharati
Disciple of Swami Rama of the Himalayas
For continued news and inspiration : www.swamiveda.org and www.bindu.org
these websites contain regularly updated news, inspiration and information.
Please encourage all your associates and students to visit daily.
Swami Rama Dhyana Gurukulam--Swami Rama Institute of Meditation-- in Rishikesh, will begin teaching FULL TIME courses in various aspects of meditation from October 5, 2003.
It has the following purposes.
(1) At the age of 70 the spiritual guide feels the necessity to pass on his knowledge and skills to a batch of sanyasin (and some non-sanyasin) teachers in one-year, two-year, three-year, five-year and ten-year courses of study, discipline and spiritual practices. This consists of
(a) Teaching and demonstrating (by personal experience) the relationships, connections and sequences of all of thousands of techniques and methods in meditation that are known to the Tradition (and to the spiritual guide),
(b) Teaching the history of meditation, its theory and practice, in all world cultures and religions and preparing the guides who would teach in various languages and from all different systems of philosophies in a scientific manner,
(c) Guiding the study of the texts like the Upanishads, not as books of philosophy but, as works received in meditative states and serving as guides to meditative practices and systems.
(2) Preserving, editing, translating and publishing the previously unpublished yoga manuscripts.
(3) Preserving the 3,500 hours of audiotapes, 500 CDs of the spiritual guide's courses given over the last 33 years, transcribing them ( that will be 40,000 pages), editing and publishing; this is work that will go on long after the spiritual guide's death.
The above areas of knowledge are recognized as unique to the present spiritual guide. For example in Buddhist countries he gives only Buddhist mantras, and to the Parsees of Mumbai he gives Avestan (Zoroastrian) mantras, an area of knowledge no other swami has. His commentary on the Yoga-sutras is now recognized by scholars as uniquely comprehensive and most authentic.
The present spiritual guide feels an urgency to establish this Institute to complete the above work as much as possible within his remaining life time, and to get it organized for the future.
With numerous schools and institutions teaching spiritual philosophy as well as the practices of yoga and meditation, what is the necessity for establishing another institution ? The brief answers to such a question are :
(1) The systems and texts of spiritual philosophy have their origin in the profound meditative states of the ancient sages. The context and content of these can only be understood from within such meditative states, and not as mere statements of philosophy to be propounded. For example the well known lecturers on Vedanta do not guide the seekers into the systems of nididhyasana (Vedantic meditation). Those guiding the seekers at this Ashram begin with the methods of nididhyasana and teach the texts within that context. The Ashram specializes in teaching yoga as well as the works of Swami Rama and other great yogis purely as a meditative experience.
(2) The forms of religion are being propagated widely, but spirituality beyond religion is a systematic path. This Ashram teaches the 'Hindu', Buddhist, Christian, Mazdayasnian (Zarathushtrian) and other texts from within the meditative states, and gives their profound spiritual explanations. For example the Vedas, Upanishads, Sankhya, the Bhagavad-gita and so forth are taught as sources of meditative practices.
(3) There is no other Ashram dedicated exclusively to the preservation of unpublished Yoga works. Our research guides have sound academic training in the field, enhanced by a depth achieved within their personal meditation. The spiritual guide of the Ashram himself is also a capable research guide with highest degrees from European universities, in addition to his well known genius in the ancient learning.
(4) The spiritual guide of the Ashram has access to 17 languages and histories and literatures of philosophical, spiritual and meditative systems worldwide. He teaches meditation in Italian in Italy, in Spanish in Spain--and so forth. In Buddhist countries he gives only Buddhist mantras, to the Christians the systems in hesychasm, and to the Mazdayasnians he gives Zarathushtrian mantras--and so forth. It is essential that his capabilities be passed on to the next generation of spiritual guides and teachers.
(5) In the past 56 years of non-stop travelling and lecturing, the spiritual guide of the Ashram has gained the experience of working and serving in different cultures and speaking to the people within the context of their own backgrounds, in their terminology. It is, again, essential that his experience be passed on to those who would bring the message of the Himalayan tradition to the world.
(6) The spiritual guide of the Ashram has 3,500 hours of recorded audiocassettes of courses on all areas of spiritual knowledge, e.g. meditation practices, history of spiritual philosophies, text interpretations, applications to daily life and to psychological concerns--and so forth. When completed, the transcripts of the audiocassettes alone will constitute nearly 40,000 (forty thousand !!) pages. These need to be edited and published. The same applies to numerous CDs and other forms of recordings.
In Teaching and Literary Work
A hundred teachers are teaching the system of yoga meditation in different parts of the world including Africa, SE and East Asia, Europe, North and South America.
Half a dozen teachers and lecturers of very high qualifications, specialised in hatha-yoga, Sanskrit, philosophical systems and practices of meditation travel to different centres from time to time.
3,500 hours of audiocassettes and 500 CD's are in the archives containing highly informative, as well as inspiring courses teaching the history, texts, and methods of meditation, including interpretations of the Vedas, Bible, Avesta, Buddhist Texts and so forth.
Approximately 7,000 pages have been transcribed from the above audio-visual archives.
The spiritual guide has published 12 books and 25 booklets. Many of the booklets have been translated into Spanish, Italian, German, French, Korean, Chinese etc. and some translations are yet awaiting publication. For the lack of marketing avenues, all this material is sitting and waiting.
SRSG Publications, the publications branch of the Ashram, now has a number CDs available in general marketing.
6,000 pages of previously unpublished manuscripts on yoga have been collected in the form of photocopies and microfilms. These are being catalogued and edited, slowly for the lack of larger research staff, under the direction of a profound scholar who has retired from teaching Sanskrit and Indian philosophy at the University of London, and is now dedicating her time to the Ashram.
Students from 30 countries attend the instruction and meditation guidance offered at the Ashram.
An 8-acre site was acquired in 1998 in Rishikesh, approximately 500 metres from Ganga, very close to the ancient Virbhadra temple. The site was planned by specialist devotees in Holland. In February 2000 the foundation stone was laid, and the following construction was completed by February 2001 :
33 self-contained cottages
Yagya-shala (place of sacred Vedic Fire) which energises the entire site
Meditation Hall seating 200 meditators
Main building with space for offices, Bookstore, Communication Center, Library and Research Center
Under construction (to be completed by August 31, 2003) are :
Junior staff quarters and senior staff quarters
Knowledge Centre and Common kitchen
Accommodations for brahmacharis and sanyasins, and other future teachers, to be taught and trained to teach worldwide
Everyone of the spiritual guide's associates feels that his knowledge, experience and inspiration need to be preserved, and that he should be stationed in one place, the Ashram, and concentrate his energies in order to
complete his writings,
give spiritual guidance to serious seekers, and
dive yet deeper into his own meditations.
MY LAST DREAM FOR THIS LIFE, by Swami Veda
SWAMI RAMA INSTITUTE OF MEDITATION
Copyright 2003 West-Art, Prometheus 88/2003