My Experience with a Dancing Girl


(Excerpt from Living with Himalayan Master's)

My master often told me, “This whole world is a theatre of learning. You should not depend on me alone to teach you, but should learn from everything.” One time he instructed me: “Now, my boy, go to Darjeeling. Outside the city there is a stream and on the bank of that stream is a cremation ground. No matter what happens, for forty-one days you should do a particular sadhana [spiritual practice] which I am going to teach you. No matter how much your mind attempts to dissuade you from completing the sadhana, you should not leave that place.” I said, “Very well.”

Many people are afraid of staying at such a place. They have funny notions. But it didn’t bother me. I went there and lived in a small thatched hut, where I made a fire for cooking. I was going to the University in those days and it was summer vacation. I thought, “It’s very good for me to spend my vacation in sadhana.”

I followed the practices he had assigned to me for thirty-nine days and nothing happened. Then some powerful thoughts came into my mind: “What a foolish thing you are doing, wasting your time in a lonely place, cut off from the world. You are wasting the best period of your youth.”

My master had said, “Remember, on the forty-first day you will definitely find some symptoms of improvement within yourself. Don’t give up before that. Don’t be swayed by the suggestions of your mind—no temptations.”

I had said, “I promise,” but on the thirty-ninth day my mind advanced reason after reason against this thing I was doing. I thought, “What difference can two more days possibly make? You have not experienced anything after thirty-nine days. You promised your friends that you would write to them, and you haven’t written a single letter. You are living among the dead! What type of teaching is this? Why should your master have you do this? He can’t be a good teacher.” So I decided to leave.

I poured a bucketful of water on the fire and I destroyed the small thatched hut. It was a cold night, so I wrapped myself in a woolen shawl and walked toward the city. I was going down the main street when I heard some musical instruments being played. There was a woman singing and dancing. The theme of the music was “There is very little oil in the vessel of life, and the night is vast.” She repeated the phrase again and again. That stopped me. The sound of the tabla drums seemed to call to me: “Dhik, dhik! Fie on thee, fie on thee! What have you done?”

I felt so dejected. I thought, “Why don’t I complete the final two days? If I go to my teacher, he will say, ‘You have not completed your practice. You are expecting fruit before the plant has matured.’ So I turned back and continued my sadhana for the remaining two days. On the forty-first day, the fruit of the practice appeared just as he had predicted.

I then walked back to the city once again and went to the house of the singer. She was a beautiful and famous dancing girl. She was considered to be a prostitute. When she saw a young swami coming toward her house she called out, “Stop, don’t come here! You are at the wrong place! Such a place as this is not for you!” But I kept right on. She closed her door and told a servant, a large and powerful man with big moustaches, not to let me in. He commanded, “Stop, young swami! This is the wrong place for you!”

I said, “No. I want to see her. She is like my mother. She has helped me and I am grateful to her. Had she not alerted me with her song, I would not have completed my practices. I would have failed and I would have condemned myself and felt guilty the rest of my life.” When she heard this, she opened her door and I said, “Really, you are like a mother to me.”

I told her what had happened and we talked for some time. She had heard of my master. When I got up to go, she said, “I promise to live like your mother from now on. I will prove that I can be not only mother to you but to many others as well. Now I am inspired.”

The next day she left for Varanasi, the seat of learning in India, where she lived on a boat on the Ganges. In the evening she would go ashore and chant on the sand. Thousands of people used to join her. She wrote on her houseboat, “Don’t mistake me for a sadhu. I was a prostitute. Please do not touch my feet.” She never looked directly at anyone’s face and never talked to anyone. If someone wanted to talk to her she would only say, “Sit down with me and chant God’s name.” If you asked, “How are you?” she would chant, “Rama.” If you asked, “Do you need anything? Can I get you something?” she would respond, “Rama,” nothing else.

One day before a huge crowd of five or six thousand people she announced, “I am leaving early in the morning. Please throw this body in the water, where it will be used by the fishes.” And then she kept silence. The next day she cast off her body.

When awakening comes we can completely transform our personalities, throwing off the past. Some of the greatest sages of the world had been very bad—like Saul who later became St. Paul. Suddenly the day of awakening came for Saul on the way to Damascus, and his personality was transformed. Valmiki, the author of the Ramayana, one of the ancient epics of India, had a similar experience. Don’t condemn yourself. No matter how bad or how small you think you have been, you have a chance to transform your whole personality. A true seeker can always realize the reality and attain freedom from all bondage and miseries. In just one second you can enlighten yourself.

- Swami Rama

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Annual New Year Camp Highlights


Guruji’s Session:

Authentic knowledge can be gained only through Direct Experience. How you can have that direct experience and, of what, is the question? At present, your Consciousness which is locked up in the body needs to be freed so that it expands and stabilize in its true nature. When we say direct experience, it is the experience of this Consciousness in you in its full  potency.

To attain Direct Experience Self–discipline, Self–study and more importantly Self–surrender is required. Self–surrender alone can lead you to Self-expansion and to merge with the Divinity within you. When you surrender, you allow the Divinity to work through you. Therefore, in this camp, we are going to focus on what is self-surrender and how it can be attained.

¨ Morning & Evening lectures on Pranidhana by Guruji with practice sessions

Jyothi Ma’s Session:

Based on techniques as contained in Sri Vidya Tradition:

¨ Mandala meditation based on Soundaryalahari text of Adi Shankaracharya
¨ Chanting of chosen slokas - contemplate on its meaning and feeling - Japa to get the direct experience of divine mother.
¨ Learn to draw the related yantra and meditate on it to directly experience its latent energy.
¨ Understanding the subtle relationship between mandala – mantra – yantra.

DHAARANA an essential requirement for meditation would be imparted. Vijnaana Bhairava an ancient text of Tantra provides 112 types of Dhaarana techniques for any individual disposition!

¨ Intensive practice to enhance the power of Dhaarana for deeper meditative states


Camp fee for 5 day’s - Rs.2000. You need to kindly do your own transportation arrangement to reach the Ashram. Request you to confirm your participation by writing to on or before 31st October 2012 so that arrangement for stay & food can be made accordingly at the Ashram for you.  

Let us together build beautiful and harmonious families. Come and join us in this endeavour.

With yogic fragrance,
Jyothi & Pattabhiram

For regular info & updates on Sadhana Sangama, please visit 

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Reaction to Response

Practicing mediation and pondering over the sutras of Patanjali, would give you a base where when you react to the external world, it would not be a ‘reaction’; it would be a response. You would slowly shift from reacting to responding. That is the zone of non-stress. That way, you would not create stress around you. So, slowly, people would recognize you, people would respect you, because the base you are operating is Truth, nothing else.

I want you to understand yoga practically, applying it to your own life, and experimenting it on every aspect of your life. Thus, finding the truth from your own point of view. Yoga is a way of life. Each and every minute, you have to experience the touch of divinity that is within you. If you want to experience that, you must live in ‘chitta vritti nirodha’. If somebody does something to you, when you get into some uneasy situations, don’t react immediately. Observe, from where the reaction is coming; what is it that is forcing you to act in a particular way? Is it because you are hurt? Is the hurt because of your ‘conditioned’ mind? Is the reaction coming from your authority? Is it because you are frustrated?

There is nothing wrong in reacting. But react after understanding the source. If you know that you are reacting because of your hurt, realize what this hurt is. That is the beginning of a new life. Otherwise, it wouldn’t help you in bringing harmony in your relationship. The same reaction would come back to you in some form or the other, today or tomorrow.

In the service of Parampara,
Sri Pattabhiram

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