Monday, March 25, 2013

Swami Brahmavidananda

Friend, Colleague, Mentor, Guide

He has been there in my life from my school days …. In the boxing ring; in boy scouts; in Tai Chi classes;  in Ramayana Class; in Teenagers’ Group;  in Saandeepany Gurukula;  at Rishikesh (Berry Cottage;  Andhra Ashram; Dayananda Ashram;  Kailas Ashram; Dashnaami Ashram; Tarananda Ashram, Tapovan Kuti); at Chaar Dham Yatras; at Monthly Satsangs (Colaba, Worli, Sion, Chembur, Vashi); at Gerry’s Classes (Dawn Club workshops) ;  at Jnana Yagnas (Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Coimbatore,  Kumbhakonam, Ernakulam, Trichur); Spiritual Camps (Lonavla, Matheran) ;  and probably a few more that I have lost track of.

He has been my memory outsourcing, reminding me about long forgotten experiences we have had with Pujya Swami Dayananda, Swami Tarananda, Swami Chinmayananda and others, in Bombay, Rishikesh and elsewhere.
He has been my critic and guide in polishing my skills in writing, speaking, and organising. Some of my workshop skills I picked up were the effects of his challenge to me to prove myself. If been a competent teacher, a good writer, successful motivator, able counsellor, and great networker, I owe a great deal to this wonderful friend, philosopher and guide.

In recent years, we both have grown as teachers and branched away from many common activities of earlier days. However he has always made it a point to keep in touch, dropping in at my place to meet my parents and others at home, and updating me frequently about AVG activities and meets including the Acharya Sabha. 

He has routinely recommended my name to corporates and institutes as a soft skill specialist and spiritual teacher. I remember the days after our Saandeepany Course when he took pains to share the Brahma Sutra notes with me and others in our teenagers group that included among others Dr Geeta (Brahmaprakashananda), Dr Hema, Kalyan, Revathi, etc. My understanding of Vedanta has been sharpened by the many discussions between us and at common forums, spiritual camps, etc.

While I may not have followed his tracks in taking on the robes of Sanyasa, I owe a great deal to him for keeping me committed to learning Vedanta, and helping me resolve many doubts about complex Vedantic truths. Words have no capacity to express my gratitude to this one person other than my teacher to whom I owe so much. All I can do is pray for your long life and good health to enable him to guide many more people towards light and freedom. Happy 60, Swamiji.

- Uday Acharya
(written on the occasion of Swamiji's Shashtyabdhi Poorti function was held at Matunga on Sunday 24th March 2013)

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