The Yoga Bharati Family was very fortunate to be graced by the presence of Swami Bodhananda in the week of Nov 29 to December 11. These 2 weeks were an awakening for those who were fortunate to be able to attend the programs. It was as if Swamiji’s deep knowledge cut through the veil of ignorance that clouded us, and his will power and intellect pulled us out of our limited selves and helped us experience our expanded and capable selves. Many of us survived on the fuel of his presence, and for once our habits and other obstacles which impede even our daily practice seemed to fall away as if by divine intervention. Our energies flowed harmoniously and we were able to revel in the satsangh of like minded people and his presence.
The week began with meditation sessions on Nov 29th. There were 4 days of meditation sessions in this week. These set the tone and preparation of more advanced sadhana in the coming week.
This was then followed by a discourse on Patanjali Yoga Sutras for 2 days on the weekend. He expounded on the sutras and did not just explain the etymological meaning but helped us understand the practicality of the sutras as they applied to day to day life. His understanding of the richness and complexities of life mixed with his sharp wit really helped us absorb the meaning so as to be able to apply it on a moment to moment basis.
This was followed by 5 days of meditation sessions where he further gave us suggestions to experience the deeper meaning of the Patanjali yoga sutras. The sessions beckoned us to imbibe and live the higher ideals of fearlessness, compassion, devotion. The series of sessions took us a step of ladders so that we can get a taste of our higher selves and experience supreme contentment. This was then followed by Brahma Sutras. The session began with prostrations to prepare us for the rich and deeper meaning of the Brahma Sutras. This was a session not to just be informed but to experience the transformation that these words intend to provide. As was highlighted by Swamiji the first step of attaining the higher knowledge was shravana then manana and nidhidyasana. We were fortunate to be able to listen to the master who could unlock these sutras for us. He prepared us for the knowledge and intends to expound on these sutras further when he visits us next year.
His vist was also marked by satasnghs in the evening for two weeks. These were hosted by devotees in their homes and each home was packed. People who came later had difficulty finding space. He took us through a birds eye view of all the shlokas in the Ishavasya Upanishad.
Swami Bodhananda Saraswati is highly respected in India and America as an accomplished teacher of Vedanta and Meditation. Swamiji is on the Board of Directors of Yoga Bharati. Presently, Swami Bodhananda is the Spiritual Founder and Director of 11 organizations and ashrams under the umbrella of the Sambodh Foundation, New Delhi, India; the Bodhananda Research Foundation for Management and Leadership Studies, Trivandrum, Kerala, India; and The Sambodh Society, Inc., his American organization.
Swami Bodhananda is the author of several books: Meditation: The Awakening of Inner Powers, The Gita & Management, Self Unfoldment in An Interactive World, a monograph titled, "Rishi Vision", etc. Swamiji's recorded talks on Upanishads such as Taittiriya Upanishad, recorded in April 2001, during a spring-time Himalayan retreat in the Sattal region of Utteranchal, India (formerly part of Uttar Pradesh) are available. please visit: www.sambodh.com