We are very happy to display the graduates of the TTC this March/April 2009. A late addition to the ashram calendar, our eighth so far at Madurai, had more than it’s fair share of auspiciousness, those that found their way here started the course very much with Gurudev’s blessings and a group trip to the birthplace of Swami Sivananda.
In one week we had the good fortune to enjoy a Mrityunjaya Homa, an eggciting easter egg hunt around the ashram and climaxing in Vishu, local New Year celebration, where all the residents were woken individually at dawn and led blindfolded to the temple for their first sight of the New Year to be one of divinity, auspiciousness, beauty and abundance.
We were very blessed to share the ashram with these Yogis. A small group, we got the opportunity to share some great experience and learn more from them than they can imagine.
Vishu is the harvest festival of Kerala, celebrated when the Sun transits into the first sign of the Indian astrological zodiac. Vishu generally falls around the 12th, 13th or 14th of April in the Gregorian calendar.
An altar of a Krishna statue or picture is decorated with auspicious articles, like fresh fruits and vegetables, flower garlands, yellow Kani Konna flowers (Cassia Fistula), nine different grains, Coconut, legumes, betel leaves, betel nuts, bananas, fresh linen, coins, lamps and a mirror.
The eldest in the family prepares the altar the previous night and leads the family members blindfolded to the Vishukkani altar so that the very first thing they see on Vishu morning is one of divinity, auspiciousness, beauty and abundance.
A day of family reunion, family members receive a gift in the form of coins and new clothes, and share a big traditional feast made by the female members of the family.
Praying that this vision of spiritual and material abundance remains with us throughout the year and is reflected in our thoughts, words and actions, we hope to share this wealth of love and happiness with all around us.
THOUGHT OF THE MONTH
Identify yourself with the all-pervading Self. Lead the life of oneness and unity.
– Sri Swami Sivananda
SIVANANDA YOGA FAQ ~~~ Frequently Asked Questions
Q 1: How does the mind differ from the Soul?
A: The mind is a special, limited particularization of the Soul-consciousness, which is unlimited and never ceases to be all-pervading. The mind is the form of the collective totality of desires, and hence, it is inert and powerless. But it appears to be conscious and powerful as the Inner Self or the Soul is reflected through it. The mind alone is the real person or the individual and it is the real doer of all actions. It is the experiencer of every condition in the universe, both objectively and subjectively. The Soul is the Absolute which is not really affected by any experience of the mind. The mind is mortal, while the Soul is immortal.
Q3: How do you train your disciples for quick spiritual success?
A: As a drastic measure to overhaul the vicious worldly Samskaras, I ask the students to drown themselves in active service for some months or years. The period of training varies according to the evolution of the students. They must know cooking, washing, and nursing of the sick. They must serve the Sadhus and the Sannyasins in every possible way. Side by side they must be able to learn all the Yogic exercises, concentration, Japa, meditation, etc. They must be able to write essays on philosophy and Yoga. They must do Kirtan and deliver lectures also. I teach them on all these points. I give them lessons in the treatment of some ordinary diseases. When I find that the students are able to control their senses and advance in concentration and meditation and when I find that they have developed all the Sattvic qualities, I send them to cool places with instructions fordeep meditation.
Important Dates for April:
03 – Rama Navami
05 – Ekadasi
09 – Full Moon (Hanuman Jayanti)
12 – Easter
13 – Tamil New
21 – Ekadasi
25 – New Moon