The Himalayan sage Swami Veda, addressing a group of spiritual seekers at the Vira Bhadra temple in Rishikesh in 1994. The Swami Rama Meditation Academy, recently founded by Swami Veda, in located in its closest vicinity.
Now, your goal should be to attain enlightenment in this lifetime.
Your goal should be to attain enlightenment in this lifetime", repeats Swami Veda for emphasis, as he addresses yet another group of his students living in many different parts of the world. His students come from all walks of life, both young and old. He is equally at home while teaching in Germany, Italy, England, United States, Canada, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, or his native India.
During our lives we may get an opportunity to come across a truly remarkable personality, an encounter with whom--no matter how short--may bring about profound changes into our life and change its course forever.
Swami Veda is one of such rare personalities.
Having lectured about the philosophy and science of yoga and meditation for 60 years, now, at the age of 73, Swami Veda is concentrating on his most important task at this time: to prepare new generations of spiritual teachers to preserve and to continue the authentic teachings of the Lineage of the Himalayan Masters, as revealed and interpreted by Swami Rama of he Himalayas.
For at least 30 years, all his lectures have been recorded on tape. Immediately before a lecture, Swami Veda sits for two hours in meditation, Then, he talks in his calm, soothing voice for about 90 minutes on the various aspects of the philosophy and science of yoga. The knowledge and the insights that are revealed during his lectures, are unique and not available in any published books.
Next to his lectures, the guided meditations he occasionally gives to the long-time, dedicated students are profound spiritual experiences. But for this, one has to know how to sit properly for meditation, and be able to maintain the posture without moving for an hour or more. This takes a bit of dedication, self-discipline and practice, but it is worth the effort.
In meditation, the disturbances in one's mind eventually subside. The lake of the mind becomes calm and peaceful. No wave, no ripple, no sound, no thought. Deeper and deeper. The serenity, peace and bliss that one can find in deep meditation cannot be obtained anywhere else. And teaching meditation to serious spiritual seekers around the world -- that is what Swami Veda has been doing with great dedication and devotion, for decades.
Meditation also strengthens our intellect and gives us new insights. The first rungs of yoga--yamas and niyamas--are known to all who practice yoga. Among them, two are most important: non-hurting and truthfulness.
Of the two, says Swami Veda, non-hurting is more important. But this concept is not as narrow and shallow, as an average American would think. It does not mean do not kill or physically hurt other people". It goes much, much deeper than that. It means: Do not hurt any living being, either in thoughts, in words, or in deeds.
Meditation makes this ideal more understandable in our private lives, and after a while, we do start actually practicing this ideal of ahimsa--non-hurting". First, non-hurting in our thoughts about others. Then, non-hurting others with harsh or ill-chosen words. And then--non-hurting in deed--becomes very easy!! That is the only way in which a meaningful, lasting change for the better can be made in human society, says Swami Veda.
Eventually, through the practice of meditation, non-hurting and truthfulness, one will come to the realization that we--all the living beings--are part of the same life force, that we are all interconnected and interdependent, that the individual feeling of self" is shared by all living beings as the ever pure, ever free and eternal Self".
Then we come to realize that there is no other".
I vividly remember how Swami Veda, at one of his lectures at the teacher training in Minneapolis, gave us all two blessings and a curse:
May others be successful in all they do for you.
May you fail in what you do only for yourself.
Many of us--the old-time students of Swami Veda and Swami Rama--have heard the story that his master, Swami Rama of the Himalays used to tell: that he had two great, mysterious swamis hidden somewhere in the caves of the Himalayas, who will some day come down and bring us their great teaching and wisdom.
Could it be that our gurudev, Swami Rama has played a little trick on us, and Swami Veda is really one of them?
As the leading disciple of Swami Rama, at this time Swami Veda concentrates his efforts on the Swami Rama Meditation Academy in Rishikesh, India. It is most important to lay the foundations to raise new generations of teachers and spiritual leaders, who will keep alive and spread around the world the authentic teachings of the Lineage of the Himalayan Masters, into the 21st century and beyond, for the benefit of all.
August 31, 2006
Clarence, New York
© PROMETHEUS 113/2006
PROMETHEUS, Internet Bulletin - News, Politics, Art and Science. Nr. 113, November 2006