<h1>Month: March 2014
18March 2014
In honour of Ammaji’s Bheemaratha Shanthi (pages 32-35), we dedicate this issue to Mother. I know that she would prefer to have all attention given to Swamiji, but for this one issue she must indulge us in our desire to put all attention onto her. In truth, however, the energies of Ammaji and Swamiji are everywhere, as one cannot exist without the other. In the Gitananda photo archives, there was a severely damaged photo of Swamiji with Ammaji. I have digitally repaired the image (page 6), although I kept the feel of it painterly, so as not to mask the fact that it has been reworked.
  • At first glance, read through the articles and the many quotes about Ammaji.
  • On a second pass, look at the images in a two-page view.
  • Look at the eyes, the direction of each gaze and where they lead you (pages 6-7).
  • Look at a mother’s playful hands (pages 12-13).
  • Consider the contrast of meaning in image and text (page 18).
  • Look at the layout for archetype shapes, especially the triangle. The power of Sri Yantra is everywhere, intersecting upward and downward triangles, representing both male and female energies. An obvious example is on page 46, the image of the lioness represents the female principle while its shape is that of the upward triangle, the male principle.
  • For the first time, included in the magazine is a quick reference guide (page 17) and glossary of a specific yoga practice (pages 19-23). In keeping with the theme of ‘Mother’, this issue focuses on pre-natal and post-natal yoga.
One of the great joys of doing research for the magazine is making new discoveries, like the beautiful sculptures by Norwegian artist Emanuel Vigeland (pages 14-15) and German artist Rudi Hirt (page 36). Enjoy this issue and keep in touch. I look forward to collaborating with you in the near future.
01March 2014

“What past merits we must have earned to have landed into Ammaji’s nest.”

During the time of training her young ones to fly, the mother-eagle nudges the eaglets out of the nest. Because they are scared they soon jump back into the nest where it is comfortable and familiar. Next, the mother-eagle removes the soft layers so that the nest is less comfortable.  The thorns are left bare and the eaglets shriek in pain when they jump back into the nest.  They do not understand yet the purpose of this perceived cruelty. The mother-eagle is steadfast in her resolve to teach her eaglets how to fly.  She proceeds to push the fledgelings off from the top of the cliff where the nest is built.  The eaglets shriek in fear but before they hit the ground, they are caught by one of their parents. This process is repeated until the eaglets start to flap their own wings, and get excited in the new found knowledge and experience that they can fly.

“Every Spring, a new batch of eaglets leaves the nest at Ananda Ashram.  They spread their wings and fly into the world – continuing to grow and glow in a wonderful yet challenging Yoga Life.”

During the training at Ananda Ashram, the student quickly understands that they are there to learn more than a bag of tricks.  The toolbox they leave with contains more than just a list of asanas and pranayamas, they leave with knowledge on how to be a better person and live a better life – a Yoga life. There is a reason why Ammaji is selective of the students she accepts into the inner sactum of Ananda Ashram and the inner circle of the Gitananda family.  Anyone she feels who could not take direction to fully appreciate the ancient knowledge of the Rishis, or who are unwilling to commit themselves fully to the challenges of the gurukula – do not enter the front door. When the student is ready, the teacher appears with wings outstretched, inviting a tender embrace, and a place with the others in a comfortable nest, where guidance and opportunities for spiritual growth awaits them.  But when the student is READY, the teacher pushes them out of the nest so that they can fly on their own.  A few lost feathers, scrapes and bruises along the way is inevitable, if not required, but if everything goes as it should, the student soars upward on the path of enlightenment. The teacher, the guru, always knows what the student needs, at any given time, whether it be gentle or not.  The intention however, is always that of ‘profound interest’ in one’s conscious evolution.

“Let all the eaglets of Ananda Ashram imbibe and transmit the knowledge and the Light that Ammaji has so generously shared.”


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