Category Archives: Fundraiser

Meditate with a Master Every Sunday 

Join Gurudevi Nirmalananda for her Swami Sunday meditation program.  She supports you in the process of learning to live in the recognition of your own Divinity. With her as your teacher, the inner process is deep and easy.   

Our traditional satsang format prepares you for a deep and easy meditation. Gurudevi includes chanting, sutras and teachings from the ancient tradition as well as meditation instruction. Know your own Self better by the end of the morning. 

Attending Swami Sunday is the fast track to Self-Realization. In an hour-and-a-half, I am transmuted: every cell, realigned. — Madelyn J. 

Celebrating Grace & Generosity

By Ellen (Lajja) Mitchell, President

SVA Board of Directors

It is hard to believe that our fall fundraiser, themed Guru’s Grace, is coming to an end.  However, the Grace is still flowing. It continues to flow every day, everywhere and in everyone.  Grace is always there for us.

I greatly appreciate your generous support of our Ashram’s mission through donating to the River of Teaching, the River of Freebies, and/or the River of Community.  Swami Samvidaananda wrote, “It’s a tricky balance between taking care of your needs, your family’s needs, taking care of your future, and giving some away.  The good works in the world won’t happen if you don’t support them.”  (June 2015 Contemplation)

I feel such gratitude to all of you who give and support our Ashram. Donations make up a significant portion of the funds that support Gurudevi’s teachings.  They reach seekers far and wide, through programs, satsangs and free podcasts, other Freebies and more.

I hope that Board member articles over the past few weeks have helped you contemplate the Grace in your life.  Can you feel the Grace flowing?  I hope that you were able to give in gratitude for all that you have received.

Your Ashram donation, in any amount that fits your budget, is a great benefit to the world.  Even when you don’t expect a benefit for yourself, it comes to you as well.  In his great poem Mukteshwari, Swami Muktananda writes:

Give freely, as God gives.

If after giving, you forget about it,

Then that gift grows fully. (verse 145)

May your gift grow fully as you deepen into yourself.

How Deep Will You Step into the River of Grace?

By Ruth (Rama) Brooke

We are in the home stretch of our River of Grace fall fundraiser.  Stories abound on how easy it is to access Guru’s Grace.  Lately, I’ve spoken with many Svaroopis on this topic.  Whether they’ve dipped their toes, or are in up to their knees, or are fully immersed in the river of Grace, they’re in the flow!  The stories take different forms, but the effect is the same — uplifting, transformative.  Gurudevi describes:

My ability to serve you is like a tributary of a great river.  I am the riverbed.  That flow of Grace comes from my Guru, and I am a wide-open channel for that flow.  So are you.

So is our Ashram, our teachers, and our whole community.  We are all part of the network of tributaries through which the river of Grace flows.  This network needs support.  With it, we’ll continue to receive, give and keep these Grace bestowing teachings alive.  Financial support of the Ashram is crucial to our Svaroopa® community, especially in these challenging times.  Please join me in contributing to the River of Grace fundraiser.  

Guru’s Grace is so reliable.  It’s like the sun, always there, shining and providing warmth even when behind the clouds.  At times, I forget to look for Grace at work in my life.  Or I’m blocking it so I can’t see it.  Yet Guru’s Grace is always there.  It’s a matter of opening my aperture (Disciple’s Grace).  

Then I step back to receive a more expansive perspective (Guru’s Grace).  For it to manifest in my heart and life, I need only call out to the Guru to ask for Grace.  It is undeniably reliable.  It is the gift of having received Shaktipat — Guru’s Grace.  What a blessing!

I am filled with gratitude, and it motivates me to give back.  Thus, I participate in the ever-flowing exchange of Guru’s Grace and Disciple’s Grace.  In this season of giving, Disciple’s Grace takes the form of dakshina, yoga’s practice of financial giving.  

Money is energy, as Gurudevi has said, and dakshina is a divine energy exchange.  Through dakshina we shine the light of Consciousness into our finances.  And as the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi, promises, in giving we shall receive.  So I contemplate, and ask you to contemplate:  How deep will you step into the flow of Grace?

Donate today on our website.  You can call us at (610) 644-7555.  Or you can send your check to Svaroopa Vidya Ashram, 116 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335. Thank You!

It’s Never Too Late

By Carolyn (Karuna) Beaver, Yogaratna 

SVA Board Member 

Along with our calendar year, our Ashram’s fall fundraiser is coming to an end.  In the words of poet Maya Angelou, as long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good!  It’s never too late to be lifted and carried by the Grace flowing through the Svaroopa® practices.  Donating to the Ashram and being carried by the river of Grace are mutually inclusive activities. 

You know how good it feels to do some good!  You know how good it feels to be the recipient of some good!  When your heart and your pocketbook open, it’s uplifting.  And when you receive, it’s uplifting.  In the moment that I donate to the Ashram’s fall and spring fundraisers something is set free within me.  When I bask in the warmth of my Guru’s Grace, something is set free within me.  What a win-win. 

It’s not about how much you give or receive.  It is the acts of giving and receiving themselves that put you in the river of Grace.  Grace flows through the Svaroopa® practices and through their creator, Gurudevi Nirmalananda.   

But Grace is even greater than the Guru.  It’s everywhere, and it finds you when you need it.  It’s Grace that has led you to the Svaroopa® practices.  The Guru’s teachings are designed just for you.  Take them to heart.  Trust that Grace is available.  Gurudevi says, “The Guru always gives the full flow of grace.  The differences come from the capacity of the receiver.”   

Guru’s Grace is like the sun. It never stops shining, even when you cannot see it. You can feel with warmth of Guru’s Grace at any time, you just have to be open to it.  Free your heart and mind to donate today to support the gift that keeps on giving to you and to so many others. 

Your financial contribution of any amount helps support the source of the teachings.  When you support yoga and meditation teacher training, you keep the river flowing.  When you support Gurudevi’s free teachings ― online and in person — you keep the river flowing.  When you support the administrative and physical structure of the Ashram, you keep the river flowing.  

As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good.  Please consider a year-end donation to your Ashram. 

Donate today on our website.  You can call us at (610) 644-7555.  Or you can send your check to Svaroopa Vidya Ashram, 116 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335. Thank You!

Tuning into Guru’s Grace

By Julia (Chintamani) Wallis

Guru’s Grace is unconditional and always available.  I could never even imagine asking for as much as it gives me.  But you do have to tune in to it.  Different yoga practices work on your ability to dive inside and allow Grace in.  As Gurudevi says, “The key is your receptivity.”  

One of yoga’s most important practices is dakshina — selfless financial giving.  Like devotion to Guru’s Grace, dakshina comes from a deeper place within.  It’s a sweet surrender that flows from your heart.  This gift keeps Gurudevi’s River of Grace flowing to you.  You can help others be led to the river as well.  Please join me in donating to our fundraiser, titled Guru’s Grace.

It’s not about how much you give.  It is the act of giving itself that puts you in the River of Grace.  A contribution of any amount helps support the source of the teachings.  You support our yoga and meditation programs.  Your donation also supports the administrative and physical structure of the Ashram.  You keep the river flowing.

My practice of dakshina started with supporting Gurudevi’s free teachings.  A few years into my Svaroopa® journey, I got married and started a family.  As I had young children, I wasn’t able to leave them and attend teacher trainings or other programs.  Instead, I discovered I could listen to Gurudevi’s discourses that were, and still are, available online.  I would do my mothering and listen to the discourses.  I could stay in the flow both by listening to the discourses and by financially supporting her teachings.

Guru’s Grace always supports and guides me.  Often, when I’m looking for an answer to a problem or a question, the response arises from within.  I can tell it’s not coming from my mind but rather from a deeper knowing.  This often happens when my students ask me questions.  Sometimes my reaction is a small-s thought:  “I really don’t know the answer, I can’t help you here.”  Then I settle; I become a riverbed that fills up with the flow of Guru’s Grace.  In that moment of settling, the answer just pours into my awareness. 

Such is the power of Guru’s Grace!  It makes a difference in your life.  Consider for yourself, how is it that you recognize when Grace is coming your way?  And please join me in expressing gratitude for Guru’s Grace by donating to the Ashram.

Donate today on our website.  You can call us at (610) 644-7555.  Or you can send your check to Svaroopa Vidya Ashram, 116 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown PA 19335. Thank You!

Gratitude, Giving and Sweet Surrender

By Barbara (Girijananda) Hess

SVA Board Member

I love that Thanksgiving begins our holiday season with a reminder to give thanks.  Giving thanks shifts me inside.  I experience a timeless gratitude that melts my heart.  When I surrender into the moment, great gratitude bubbles up.  I am most grateful for Gurudevi.  She has given me my Self.  How can I give thanks for this eternal gift?

One way I give thanks is through dakshina — yoga’s ancient practice of selfless financial giving.  I am so grateful to give to our Ashram’s fall campaign in gratitude for Gurudevi.  And I’m grateful for the organization through which her Grace-full teachings flow.  Please join me during this Thanksgiving season in supporting her and the Ashram, who offer so much.  This path offers fulfillment of life’s full potential, Self-Realization. 

From my first Svaroopa® yoga class, I knew I received more than just a “yoga class.”  Then in my first immersion, Kundalini rose quite boldly.  I sensed a recognition the instant I laid eyes on Gurudevi.  How could I not support one who instantly gave me so much?  I began monthly donations.  I continue monthly giving, increasing it over time.  I also put aside money for the annual spring and fall fundraisers. 

You may be like me, not really understanding the full gift of our Svaroopa® Sciences initially.  No worries.  Gurudevi never tires of serving, offering programs, guiding and sometimes blasting us through our blind spots.  Gurudevi reveals an inspiring capacity for giving thanks and gratitude.  She serves her Baba 100% every day.  She knows the power of deeply offering.  During Thanksgiving season, she gives us this opportunity too. 

I never tire of giving her support.  It is an honor to offer dakshina to one who gives so much.  I also see it as a necessity.  I want others to receive what she gives so freely to us.  Our giving keeps these teachings accessible.  It keeps the doors of the Ashram open to everyone.  Every story of others’ upliftment makes me even more dedicated to dakshina and seva, selfless service.

I recently taught a meditation series.  A few weeks later, I saw one of the attendees.  She rushed up to me and pressed some money in my hand.  She said, “This meditation and the mantra saved my life.  Please take this gift for your teachings.”  I thanked her and told her I would gladly send it to the Ashram.  What she received opened her in such a way she could not resist giving back.  That is the flow of Grace running through this lineage.  Dakshina supports everything that Gurudevi does and offers. 

So many of us have received the gift of Guru’s Grace — even if we’ve never met Gurudevi in person.  The Grace of the Svaroopa® lineage flows through the teachings, and all the teachers whom Gurudevi has trained.  It even flows online.

Gurudevi says, “My ability to serve is like a tributary of a great river.  I am the riverbed.  That flow of Grace comes from my Guru, and I am a wide-open channel for that flow.”

I am incredibly grateful for Shaktipat, the ultimate gift from my Guru, Swami Nirmalananda.  I am equally grateful to her Guru, Swami Muktananda, and to his Guru, Bhagawan Nityananda as well as to all the great beings in this lineage.  It has carried this great gift and these sacred teachings forward.  Thus, over time, they have reached us. These Masters have dedicated their life to Self-Realization.

With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives.  It’s Grace that has led you to the Svaroopa®practices.  The Guru’s teachings are designed just for you.  Take them to heart.  Express the gratitude in your heart.  How has our River of Grace supported you?  Join me in giving to allow many more to join us in the River of Grace.  We have so many opportunities for reflection and gratitude on this day when Americans celebrate Thanksgiving.  A wonderful day to offer your dakshina of gratitude to the Ashram!

Donate today on our website.  You can call us at (610) 644-7555.  Or you can send your check to Svaroopa Vidya Ashram, 116 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335. Thank You!

Ever Flowing — Ever Generous

Beth (Bhanumati) Cunningham 

I am not my mind.  I am not my body.  I get it.  I really do.  But wait!  If I’m not my mind or my body — who’s this person in the mirror?  With Grace, answers to such questions flow in, almost as soon as I ask.  I hear Gurudevi’s voice: “This person is an expression of the Self, like a ripple of water.  So what kind of expression is that going to be?  You get to choose.” 

I made a list.  One of the first things I wrote was “generous.”  I stopped.  I actually am generous, I realized.  Wow, I am generous!  That is not something I could have said before coming to Svaroopa® yoga.  What was mine, was mine.  What was yours was mine too, if I could get it.  Dakshina changed that for me — and so much more.  This is why I invite you to join me in donating to the Ashram’s fall campaign.  Financial support of the teachings is transformative.   

When I first learned about dakshina, I had all sorts of resistance.  I told myself I didn’t have it to give, which was true.  I wasn’t exactly making ends meet at the time.  Still, yoga had proven me wrong before, so I got creative.  I started putting any change I found on the street on my puja.  When the next campaign came around, I took that change and multiplied it by ten.  Then I donated that amount, plus the found change, to Master Yoga.  I think my first donation was $32.32.  It was the bargain of a lifetime.  What I gained in return was truly priceless.  That small gesture opened a sluice of Guru’s Grace in me that has become a river.  Not just any river — a Divine River — deep and wide.  A River of Grace that flows through me from my Guru.   

Guru’s Grace is ever flowing — ever  I just need to be open to it.  Giving what I can to the Ashram keeps me open in a very tangible way.  I feel the Grace flowing, and I see the results in my life.  I can now be generous in ways I didn’t even know possible before.  Time, energy, space, attention, consideration, security — I seem to have an abundance of it all.  It’s all so easy because it comes from Guru’s Grace.  I just stay in the flow. 

Donate today on our website.  You can call us at (610) 644-7555.  Or you can send your check to Svaroopa Vidya Ashram, 116 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335. Thank You! 

Happy Birthday to Gurudevi 

By Lynn (Gurupremananda) Cattafi 
SVA Board Member 

NEW! Video link added!

Today is a most auspicious day.  November 15th is the day our dear Gurudevi Nirmalananda was born into this world.  What birthday gift can you possibly give her?  That’s easy.  Simply support her work in the world.  Our annual fall fundraiser is in full swing.  Happy birthday, Gurudevi!  I’m sending you birthday wishes by supporting your work, and the work of the Ashram.  Please join me in offering your financial support to Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram today. 

How will Gurudevi, a fully enlightened yoga master, celebrate her birthday?  By serving you, of course! Today, as every day, she will allow the full power of this ancient lineage to flow. Through her, it flows directly to you.  This is the river of Grace, Guru’s Grace. It’s the energy of your own enlightenment.  

She ignites this energy for you. Then she gives you the Svaroopa® yoga tools and practices.  They allow your light to grow, and shine brighter and brighter. In other words, she gives you YOU, the most sacred gift!  

In 2017, Gurudevi gave me a new Sanskrit yoga name, Gurupremananda. It’s not a title. It describes the gift that Gurudevi gives.  Ananda means bliss.  Prema is divine love, unconditional and pure. Guru is the source of Grace, the energy of enlightenment.  So Gurupremananda means the bliss of the love of Guru. 

Guru’s Grace is the support of my life. I know and experience that Guru’s Grace manifests as pure and unconditional love. This Grace is the force of destruction and reconstruction, rebuilding me from the inside out. It’s like the remodeling work we do on our 150-year-old Ashram building known as Lokananda.

Guru’s Grace ushers in loving demolition of what is no longer working inside.  Guru’s Grace replaces it with shining new awareness and peace.  The process can sometimes be challenging, but it’s transformational.  This is Grace at work.  This is Guru. 

Devotion to Guru’s Grace means being devoted to your own spiritual path and your own Self-Realization.  Her Grace keeps me steadfast in yoga, meditation and life.  Gurudevi advises looking for the Guru in the depths of our own hearts.  Yes, Guru is there, ever supporting and working on me and on you.  But today we get to celebrate also having her loving presence here in a body.  We get to be in relationship with her, to name and honor her as Guru.  It is so priceless.  Please join me in celebrating her birthday. 

Donate today on our website.  You can call us at (610) 644-7555.  Or you can send your check to Svaroopa Vidya Ashram, 116 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335.  Thank You! 

Let Grace In

By Rosemary (Rudrani) Nogue

I am grateful for Guru’s Grace.  This is why I give dakshina (financial support).  It is a powerful practice that increases my capacity to receive Guru’s Grace.  I always donate to our Ashram’s semiannual fundraisers.  They are opportunities to reciprocate and express devotion.  

Donating is a valuable, concrete way to express gratitude for all I receive.  My life would be so different without my Guru — Swami Nirmalananda — and the Grace that flows through her.

Years ago, I became aware of a tangible inner upliftment when teaching Svaroopa® yoga.  I didn’t have a name for it then.  Before teaching, I would internally ask her, whom we lovingly call Gurudevi, for support.  What I now recognize as Grace arose inside and still does.  It allows me to teach from a place of deeper awareness.  At the beginning of group meditations, I offer arati and a chant to our lineage.  I settle deeper inside.  

Of course, Guru’s Grace is always available to me, not just when I’m teaching.  Grace supports me touching into Self in day-to-day life.  Yet I must do my part to be receptive to this Grace that is always flowing.  I choose to increase my capacity, so I have space to let Grace in.  

I offer devotional arati to Gurudevi and our lineage morning and evening.  I immerse myself in beautiful Ashram practices and programs.  Daily, I partake of mantra repetition, meditation, and chanting.  I zoom into Swami Sunday with Gurudevi and our swamis.  I regularly enroll in Gurudevi’s Shaktipat Retreats.  I use her many Freebies offered online.  The more I open to Grace in my life, the more I am empowered.  My capacity to receive more Grace expands.

When I am in the flow of Guru’s Grace, life is easier even when challenges occur.  I am clearer because my mind is quieter.  I am present.  When I am in the flow of Guru’s Grace, I am more my true Self.  Grace is an integral part of my life.  Gurudevi serves as a riverbed for Grace to flow through.  The flow finds me when I am receptive to letting it in.

Grace is always flowing.  When you are receptive, you let it in.  Offering a financial gift nourishes your capacity to receive Guru’s Grace.  Your donation also nourishes the Svaroopa® organization, which provides Gurudevi’s teachings and free offerings to you.  Guru’s Grace opens your heart and mind so you can experience your Self.  

Please donate with an open heart and mind, so your heart and mind open even more.  The act of donating, in any amount, gives you an inner upliftment that builds on itself.  I offer my deep gratitude to you for considering this invitation!

Donate today on our website.  You can call us at (610) 644-7555.  Or you can send your check to Svaroopa Vidya Ashram, 116 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335.  Thank You!

The River of Grace 

By TC (Tattvananda) Richards

SVA Board Member

I invite you to join me in donating to our Ashram.  Together, we support the river of Grace flowing from the Ashram out into the world.  Grace is available everywhere.  Yet Guru’s Grace is unique.  Supercharged by the Masters of our lineage, Guru’s Grace bestows light, bliss and Self-Realization.  Guru’s Grace is a Divine Force.  A donation to our Ashram supports Guru’s Grace.

When my mind thinks I can’t do something, Guru’s Grace moves me through that resistance.  Guru’s Grace shows me I am more than my mind thinks I am.  When I practice disciple’s Grace, while fully open to Guru’s Grace, everything is so easy.  All things are possible.  No matter where I am or what state I am in, Guru’s Grace delivers more than I can imagine.  I am so grateful for the Grace of my beloved Satguru Swami Nirmalananda. 

Lovingly called Gurudevi, she is a Shaktipat Guru.  While she bestows her Grace upon us formally in Shaktipat, she oozes this Grace every second of the day.  Guru’s Grace flows from her like a powerful waterfall.  When I sit at her feet, I feel the power of Guru’s Grace.  Hearing her voice on the Meditation Club call or a Japa Club call, I am washed by her Grace.  The river of Grace that flows from this powerhouse of a source reaches far and wide.  There is no place it cannot reach.  All we need to do is be open to accept it.

Our Svaroopa® lineage is filled with this Grace, which flows through the teachings and all the teachers whom Gurudevi has trained.  It even flows online.  While Grace flows through the Guru, it is even greater than the Guru.  It’s everywhere and it finds you when you need it.

Therefore, I invite you to join me in supporting these teachings by supporting the Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram.  It is an opportunity to feel that river of Grace more fully.  Feel the Grace!  Let it flow right through you.  Donate today.  Then, sit with Grace and feel it flow.

Donate today on our website.  You can call us at (610) 644-7555.  Or you can send your check to Svaroopa Vidya Ashram, 116 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335. Thank You!