Temporalily Guruless Gurukulam, part 1







Suddenly I am in Khajuraho.
The internet is slow and the Temple Porn is soft as ghee.

Already some lifetimes ago (about a week has gone by) someone said about the behaviour of a certain swamini: more Indian it can’t get. (She was leading an excursion with a group of over twenty people and on one day only she changed twice the end destination of that
day, which only by change you would hear about, to give you an example).

I was reminded of this when in my Khajuraho hotel the following happened: It said in the description that there was wifi in the rooms.
As a double check I had asked at the reception if there was indeed wifi in the room, which was confirmed.
So, at a point I tried with my phone to connect to the wifi system. It said that it needed a password.
So I walked over to the reception downstairs and asked why they had not given me the password ??
But the password is in your room Sir, the boy said with some astonishment in his voice. That I did not have found it my myself !!
Why, do you expect me to search the walls for a password?  I tried jokingly.
Well, he went with me to my room to show me the password.
And yes, it was on the last line of a full A4 page with text at the inside of the entrance door of my room. See Sir, here it is. Oh and by the way, the last two letters you have to type in small, not in capitals.
Unvoluntary I was reminded of the swamini’s behaviour and the notion that our India regular from Amsterdam labelled it with: more Indian it can’t get.
Yet the surprises keep coming.

This blog entry is intended to be on the subject of the irritation, the amazement, the astonishment, the surprise, and the wonder that was brought forth by the way the teaching was happening in the Special Retreat with swami Dayananda Saraswati and my slowly slowly understanding of what was playing in this body-mind-intellect complex known as Hans.

This retreat was organized by a ‘settlement’ in London of swami Dayananda’s Advaita Vedanta mission (if I may call it thus), especially for the people from England and open for other Europeans too. (arshavidya.org.uk/).

The retreat (January 15 to 31 2014 in the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, Anaikatti, India)
was not just special, it became very special.

Why? The swami was in hospital in Coimbatore and despite the repeated message that he for sure would show up (He himself kept saying so) he stayed in hospital and probably still is. (No news on google, only one newspaper article about his hospitalization).

Also way before the retreat there were signs of credulous optimism.
I received (and all the 60 others too I presume) this email on January 8:

Pujya Swamiji has become unwell with pneumonia and may be unable to take part in the retreat. The doctors will be unable to give a prognosis for at least another day as pneumonia is a serious matter for someone of his age and health problems (heart disease, nightly kidney dialysis and diabetes).


The retreat will now be conducted by Swamini Atmaprakashananda and other swamis, providing classes to the usual high standard. However, should his condition worsen the retreat may have to be abandoned.


You are being made aware of this in order for you to decide what you wish to do in the circumstances. You are most welcome to come to the Gurukulam and attend classes etc and thereby not waste your flight tickets at this very late stage.And on the same date,  so within 24 hours, this one followed:


Swamiji has recovered. He is well. Many prayers worked. The retreat will be held, so no bookings need be altered or cancelled.

Best wishes,

So that was a new and unexpected situation for all.
The swamini from London was giving lectures, another, elderly swamini was giving lectures, another lady was giving Sanskrit classes and a swami was giving a 40 minutes meditation every morning at 7 o’clock.

Let me begin with saying that for the whole two weeks this morning meditation made my day.
For the other things I lost appetite soon.
Now, the situation was kind of weird. Everyone had for sure come to meet (finally or again) swami Dayananda. And he would not teach, that was in fact clear from the beginning.
So the swamis and swaminis and the others that took care for the content of the retreat had to improvise.
Furthermore the group was as divers as can be: total beginners and people that felt offended when a lecture was not at least for 50 % in Sanskrit.
[This was an attempt to put in words what actually happened: after a lecture that I did not attend (after a few days I only went for the meditation) one of the Amsterdam guys said that I did had not missed anything. And he added that one of the regulars of the London swamini had complained to him that she felt that it was too low a level, it was more than half in English and it was difficult for her to follow for that reason].

So, this was a bit of background information.

Am at the point of flying back to Varanasi.

I will continue this report in a part 2.

When the subject that I write about is important for me, it tends to become rather long and not really easy.

Till you get the point.

(“For many are invited, but few are chosen.”).

Till then.

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One Response to Temporalily Guruless Gurukulam, part 1

  1. K says:

    Namaste Mr. Hans,
    Arsha Vidya Gurukulam (AVG) retreats with Pujya Swamiji were in a league of their own. Unfortunately, 2014 and 2015 saw a rapid decline of Pujya Swamiji’s health. Otherwise, he would definitely have taken at least one class each day of the retreat and made it a point to get to know each student. If you weren’t happy with that retreat, I recommend going to a retreat in Rishikesh or Saylorsburg, PA (USA). Also, I recommend listening to YouTube videos of Pujya Swami Dayanada Saraswati. There are many wonderful Swamijis and Swaminis who teach at the different AVGs. It may take a few attempts to find the Guru for you, but don’t give up based on one experience. However, I recommend AVG teachers rather an other organizations because they know their stuff, teach in many non-Indian languages and are very supportive and accessible. The clarity that comes from the authentic traditional teaching at AVG is unparalleled. Also, FYI- Avgsatsang.org is a wonderful website with transcripts of Pujya Swamiji’s satsangs. Please know that no AVG is ever “Guruless”, since Pujya Swamiji ensured that there is a traditional teacher at every Gurukulam. I pray that you find what you seek. Harihi Om!

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