Monday, March 23, 2020

Interview with Swami Brahmdev of Aurovalley Ashram Rishidwar

Interview with Swami Brahmdev

While I was staying at Aurovalley Ashram, an ashram near Rishikesh, I asked the founder, Swami Brahmdev, if he would give me a few minutes for an interview. I wanted to ask him a few questions about the ashram and about yoga. Luckily he said yes.

Swamiji asked me then to wait for him at the library the next morning, at 10 am.

The day of the interview 

He was a bit busy the next day so we started the interview only twenty minutes before the satsang at 11:30 am.

I decided to keep the interview short cause I didn't want to interrupt the satsang, and I didn't want the guests to enter the library while I was doing the recording. But I wished I had asked more questions about yoga.

I noticed Swamiji didn't care so much to talk about the ashram, but as soon as I asked about yoga he brightened up and became more enthusiastic. Perhaps you might notice the same in the video.

Aurovalley Ashram

I wrote in detail about the ashram and about my experience staying at the ashram in my previous blog.

In this new blog, I simply want to include the video interview with Swami Brahmdev and the transcript of that interview for those who prefer reading.

In the first half of the video, I talk about my experience at the ashram. That's a sort of summary of my previous blog.

You can skip that if you wish, but even if you read my previous blog I would still suggest you watch the whole video. You'll get to see different shots around the ashram that you didn't see before.

This was actually the first time that I share my experience at an ashram in a vlog.

I have written many blogs about all the ashrams I've visited during my yoga journey, more than fifteen so far, but this is the first time I do a vlog about one. So it's really exciting.

The interview starts at 05:25.

Interview with Swami Brahmdev of Aurovalley Ashram Rishidwar

The video includes English and Spanish subtitles. You need to activate them by clicking/tapping on the "cc" on your YouTube video player. You might need to go to settings to choose your preferred language.

05:33 What is Aurovalley Ashram?
06:14 Why Sri Aurobindo and the Mother?
07:40 Why is the Mother more present at the ashram via quotes and photos?
08:20 Why do some of the buildings at the ashram have a circular shape?
08:47 What is the purpose of that large green ball in the center of the meditation hall?
09:52 Can you tell us a bit about the new building that is in construction at the moment?
11:41 Can you briefly talk about the meaning of Yoga?
14:33 What is the best way to attain this transformation through yoga?

Below you can find the transcript of the interview.

1. What is Aurovalley Ashram?

This is Sri Aurobindo ashram, and the name is Aurovalley Ashram Rishikesh.

We also use the word Rishidwar because it is in between two cities. Haridwar and Rishikesh.

So this is the Mother's place.

The purpose of this ashram is to learn how to make our life more conscious, more meaningful and to fulfill the purpose of our existence.

2. Why Sri Aurobindo and the Mother?

Because Sri Aurobindo and the mother, they give a new hope for the humanity, for this planet, for this Earth.

They give something very new. A vision

They said that the new world has born and some new forces, now they are manifesting, they are active for the transformation of life.

And there are possibilities that now life on Earth will be more spiritual, more divinized, with much better possibilities, with better consciousness.

And they give one new speed to the process of evolution.

With the Mother and Sri Aurobindo's teachings, they accelerate the speed of the process of evolution of consciousness.

Sri Aurobindo Yoga, Sri Aurobindo's teachings, they are not repeating
the old traditions, cultures, philosophies. It is something new.

So it is not a repetition of any old things. It is completely a new adventure, a new journey of consciousness.

3. Why is the Mother more present at the ashram via quotes and photos?

Mother and Sri Aurobindo, they are not two. They are two-in-one.

Either if you love the mother, either you speak of Sri Aurobindo, it is the same thing.

They said, “We are two in different bodies, but the same consciousness in two different bodies.”

Without him, she does not exist and without her he is unmanifested.

4.  Why do some of the buildings at the ashram have a circular shape?

Actually, the universe is round. The whole creation, if you see, is round and in the round there is no beginning and no end. It is eternal, immortal.

So the round gives a feeling of immortality.

5.   What is the purpose of that large green ball in the center of the meditation hall?

We have in our meditation place, it is a relics place of Sri Aurobindo, we've put this green ball, crystal ball. It represents the universe.

And green is a very natural color. It helps to concentrate. It has a very strong vibration, a healing power when we sit near. So it helps to connect us with our Self, it helps us to heal ourselves.

It helps us when we concentrate, to grow our meditative attitude. It help us to meditate, to go more deep inward and it gives peace, harmony, joy, bliss. Very powerful vibrations are there.

And it is a piece of beauty.

6.   Can you tell us a bit about the new building that is in construction at the moment?

We are working on this new project. It is a children University and Mother's concept of children is that all below the 100 year of age are all children. So this university is for all almost.

The idea of the university is to make the experiment on prenatal education. It is our very old ancient knowledge which had disappeared. And we have the intuition that Mother wants to work on this subject. Mother has also spoken lots on this.

So this is first one department, one block.

Then, nowadays there is a very much search for a yoga knowledge, yoga education.

So we are going to start here all kind of yogic formations, yogic knowledge, and we are thinking that maybe we will teach also
Ayurveda, naturopathy.

And some people are interested for certificate courses, so that kind of things we also will start, where people can learn and they can practice in their life.

Sometimes we have big groups here, big camps. So all the possibilities are there to organize big gatherings, big programs, big functions which can help humanity to grow more in consciousness.

7.   Can you briefly talk about the meaning of Yoga?

Yoga is an attitude of life. It's a yogic attitude, and yoga means that when one have that conscious clarity about life then one can live this life much better.

Sri Aurobindo's concept of yoga is, “All our life is a yoga. All life is yoga”

Consciously or unconsciously, we are all, the whole nature is in yoga.

So yoga is not a one very limited concept. But yoga has many different branches.

Some people give importance to the physical consciousness, so they do many (physical) yoga practices.

Some people give importance to the mental levels, so they use Raja yoga, hatha yoga.

Some people give more importance to the emotional part, so they do bhakti yoga.

There are so many various kinds or different branches to understand the concept of yoga.

But yoga means that when one, more and more wants to open towards that something to whom we call divine.

So yoga actually is a very beautiful idea, very beautiful concept, that how can one live this life for the divine only.

Yoga means when one starts feeling, thinking that this life belongs to the divine and one should live for the divine only.

And that is the real purpose of yoga. That one should open and be receptive for that divinity and more and more involve that divinity in the life, and divinize our life, and make this planet a place of harmony, a place of divine life, and make this planet a paradise.

We have that potential and with the help of yogic attitude, with the help of yoga growth, with the help of growth of consciousness, we can solve all the human problems. And that is the period now.

We have already tried many many methods to solve our problems but still the
problems are there.

So the solution to all human problems is Yoga.

Yoga means growth in consciousness. When one can live with better consciousness then one can solve all the problems of life.

So that is the concept of yoga.

8.   What is the best way to attain this transformation through yoga?

The best way is that one should at least aspire for it. First step is that one should open up, desire or aspire and be receptive for that.

When one starts feeling strongly, ardently start feeling to live for that. Once you start aspiring, your process starts

Before you go

I hope you enjoyed learning about Aurovalley Ashram and getting to know Swami Brahmdev via this interview. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Don't forget to visit Aurovalley Ashram: a Beautiful and Quiet Ashram for Meditation to find more about my experience at the ashram, the exact location of the ashram and the contact details.

You can also visit Guide to the Best Ashrams in India: My Personal Experience to discover all the ashrams that I have personally visited in India.

To know what clothes to wear and what items to bring for your yoga adventure to India make sure you visit my detailed India packing list for yogis.

If you find this article helpful don't hesitate to give it a like and to share it with your friends. Thanks for your support.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful video Marco. Interestingly Swamiji's robe is not orange or red but white... I guess that is so Annoying and Mother's tradition...?