By Cayla (Mangala) Allen
Journeying on yoga’s path to enlightenment, I can get in my own way and slow my progress. Yet I do not have to go far to get up to speed again. Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram offers teachings and practices for enriching, advancing and renewing spiritual progress.
Satguru Nirmalananda, spiritual head of the Ashram, guides me and other seekers at every twist and turn. Other swamis also reside and teach at the Ashram, along with the support of many yogis doing seva (karma yoga) and an incredible staff. All are extraordinarily helpful in making sure you find what you need. Swami Nirmalananda, whom we affectionately call Gurudevi, knows what I need even when I don’t. The Ashram provides my lifeline, and my lifeline is Guru’s Grace.
The Sanskrit word ashram translates to a place “that frees you from worldly weariness.” Since ancient times, an ashram is also the place where the Guru lives. You come to an ashram to step back from worldly demands and receive spiritual teachings. You dive inward to your own Divine Essence, your Self.
Because of the deep yogic practices of Gurudevi and the other residents, you notice a palpable atmosphere of peace when attending Ashram programs. The Sanskrit word for this energy is shakti. This sacred energy brought the world and everything in it into existence, says yoga, beginning with the Big Bang. Gurudevi grounds and nurtures the shakti in her Ashram, sourcing the flow that comes to us through her teachings. This transmission happens even when her teachings reach you through modern day telephone and Internet technology.
For more than 30 years, Gurudevi has extended her mystical teachings into the world, which are now online for free. Her purpose is to serve seekers of the Divine. Her teachings and practices reveal your own inherent Divinity to you, guiding you toward Self-Realization. When you are seeking enlightenment, having a teacher who has already traversed the path is imperative. She is able help you understand your experiences along the way and guide you to your next step.
The number of her programs and free services awes me. It all begins with Gurudevi. Well, she would say it all comes from her Baba, Swami Muktananda. She lived in his Ashrams in India and the US for many years. From that experience of transformation in her own Guru’s presence, she developed the Svaroopa® practices. Baba Muktananda, of course, would say it all comes from his Baba, Bhagavan Nityananda. This lineage has passed the authentic, ancient teachings from generation to generation. Each has infused the practices with their blessings.
We are fortunate to have Gurudevi guiding us through these ancient teachings now. She keeps them alive in a way we can understand them. We see how to apply them to our lives in this modern world. The practices she offers provide an experiential knowing of your innermost Self, Shiva. When you know this inside, then you look into the world and know this Self is the same in everyone and everything. This blessing is especially fortunate during the current pandemic. Gurudevi says, “I cannot treat the Coronavirus, nor help you with your increased hygiene during this time of Social Distancing. But I can help you with your anxiety and feeling of separation.”
The Freebies on our website offers decades of articles to read and audios to listen to. During this time of “staying home” for public safety, the Ashram also offers subscriptions to Online Services. They include online yoga, meditation classes and even home healing retreats via Zoom. In the Meditation Club you meditate with Gurudevi, other Ashram residents and yogis worldwide. Thus, her Ashram is a place of powerful spiritual teachings serving seekers everywhere. They support the Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram’s sacred mission:
We provide yoga and meditation programs and services,
teacher training and a vowed order.
As a conduit of Grace in an ancient yogic lineage,
we serve seekers of Self-Realization.