…..'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'…..

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menory Lane - a mini series Part 4

Continuing the extracts from pre-blog newsletters from Sandeepany Sadhanalaya.

(Prior to this was the news of a relapse in Rheumatoid Arthritis - had the condition since childhood and well managed, but…)


The old “Arthur” is still hanging around so my climbs to the temple have been curtailed for the time being. Am also sitting right at the back of the hall for classes so that can get up and stretch when I need to. Rather frustrating, but can only do what the body will allow.... which is very annoying for a vedantin who is trying to move beyond the myth of body-mind-intellect!!!

Whilst I missed a bit of the Ram Navami celebrations, I was able to attend the cultural program in the evening. We are such a bunch of talent I tell you! This is Lamp (from Melbourne – not actually on the course, but staying here six months doing seva) who is a wonderful dancer. I took mainly video, but did snap this last scene of the Ramayana vignette; the wardrobe folk have to be congratulated most, making a great deal out of practically nothing. Tremendous effort.
Then we had the inaugaral Kalaateet festival of young Indian musical talent. It was held in our open air auditorium and for the entire weekend we were blessed with great sounds, good food and fresh company. This was organised by the Naada Bindu team and we again had the pleasure of meeting with Prabodini-ji and Himanshu-ji as well as Ramaa-ji, who is the dance principal. I enjoyed all on offer, but was particularly impressed by a young tabla player – female; tradition holds this to be an instrument of men so it was good to see.

Next came Vishu (etc.) new year for Punjab, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Another excuse for a feast on banana leaves cooked under the guidance of Samvid-ji and a cultural show in the evening. This time we had South Indian tale of Siva and Parvati (very excitingly danced) for part and a Punjabi family mela for the other.... baley baley baley!!

Recently three of my fellow brahmacharinis decided that they would make application for having refrigerators in their rooms (here in CV –in the hostels they would definitely not be permitted); I had been not intending to succumb, but as am now having to be rather more careful with diet (for RA reasons, not gut), I also applied. Permission was a little reluctantly given; the idea of this course is to live as simply as possible on what is made available to us and in principle I have every reason to consider that appropriate, so it pains me rather that my body is governing this decision. However, as Samvid-ji said, health must come first here for the idea is to complete two years and re-enter the world – there is no the expectation of tapas and transcendence. 

So am now the slightly bemused owner of a pricey little unit gurgling away quietly to itself in the bathroom nook. Our meals are always tasty and filling, but are almost totally based on potato and tomato which are two of the main aggravants for RA. I had been ignoring the increasing stiffness but the recent flare-up and ongoing trouble has meant that for the past three weeks have avoided everything bar the breakfasts and rotis from lunch.

I make soup or have the rotis with curd and cucumber, mungs sprouted daily, heaps of fruit, dates, oats and nuts. General health has improved, just need the bones to agree! I am so lucky to have an Acharya who absolutely understands the 'boney' situation! The spiking pain has brought a few tears I am ashamed to report – but am coming to terms with the resurgence and will overcome it as have done so many times before. A contributing factor has to be the aging process itself and have also concluded that there is a spiritual element, in that sadhana challenges of patience and acceptance are being largely tested as well as assessing the deeper vasanas. 

Anyway, am still not hauling this bag of bones up the big hill to mandir so missing morning chanting. In the evening there is a car ride available, so most evenings can attend satsang at least. Am okay in class as long as it doesn't extend too far beyond an hour, for sitting longer than that results in increased stiffness and soreness.

YAM xx `


  1. Recognise d one of the melb Chyks.

  2. Good to read it all again, even though it is saved at this end. Just in case you lost yours. Take care. Yes I do agree, trying to go beyond, but the body limitation.

  3. Hari Om
    Here's to a good weekend for both of us then! xx

  4. Yam, am finding time to read these quickly but not to comment much, but just had to say how interesting I find them. So sorry to hear that you have RA and hope it's now back under control. I have a friend with it and know how painful it can be.

  5. Hari Om - with visitors and trips to plan I am honoured that you made time for a comment at all - thank you!!

    the RA is a life-long 'friend' and unfortunately has restricted me here rather more than would have wished. But one just moves along... after all it doesn't affect the brain.

    Menopolyxinaemia though - another deal altogether there. Sigh. xx


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