Lakulish Yoga and Health Retreat
Life Mission in North America His Holiness Swami Rajarshi Muni accepted me as his renunciate Sanyasi disciple in May 2002 after guiding me for 15 years in the practice of Yam-Niyam, Asan-Pranayam, the study of Yoga-related scriptures, and ultimately the passing of my diploma class. Thereafter, in June 2002, His Holiness instructed me to propagate Dadaji's message in the West. Since then I have been traveling to various countries, including the USA, Canada and Taiwan and teaching the values, principles, and practices of the sanatan (eternal) culture of India.
During this period I have been on the move, visiting various states in America, Canada and Taiwan, and living in the houses of Indians, Taiwanese, Americans, Canadians, Iranians, as well as in various monasteries, temples, motels, etc., propagating Dadaji's message. Since 2006 I have sought from Guruji the blessing of an Ashram in the USA or Canada, and I have eagerly looked for a suitable location in the course of my travels. But Guruji told me, "If you stay at only one place, how will you be able to spread Dadaji's message? After all, who knows you? And who is familiar with Life Mission in those distant lands?"
Accordingly, in order to propagate Dadaji's message I had to keep moving. At that time I thought, "Sadhu To Chalta Bhala" ("a Sadhu should always be on the move"), and I kept on moving until January 2009 when Guruji said, "Now you need to have an Ashram." I thought, "When I wanted to have an Ashram Guruji said, ‘No.' But now that I enjoy travelling and have become accustomed to moving about and I am satisfied with living in different places for short periods of time without attachment, but now Guruji now wants me to stay in one place!"
Guruji's guidance has always been auspicious for me. An Ashram provides an address for Life Mission in the West and gives me an opportunity to meditate regularly. On the other hand, short visits to houses, temples, monasteries, community halls and such such are not conducive to the discipline necessary for a spiritual life style. Conversely, an Ashram most certainly provides the controlled environment that is required for the Yogic style of life." I viewed many potential locations, but I was not happy with any of them. I was still searching for that serene and peaceful place where stressful people could come for a retreat and truly experience peace.
Coincidentally, a devotee came across an interesting web site which advertised an attractive property in North Carolina. The place was a school which had been converted into a beautiful retreat by its owner. He had purchased a property that had been an elementary school known as Sweet Gum in 1995. It took many years to convert it into a retreat with artistic decorations, a swimming pool, a hot tub, beautiful gardens and landscaping, a large kitchen cum dining area, a drawing room, two furnished apartments, and a spacious auditorium and several guest rooms.
The land covers 13.1 acres with 26,000 square feet of construction. He had completed the renovation with an artistic eye as if he had prepared it with Life Mission in mind. According to Guruji's instructions the property was transferred to Life Mission on the morning of December 11th, 2009. The previous owner signed the deed with great emotion. It seems that Dadaji inspired him to prepare a nice Ashram for Life Mission. When Guruji first saw pictures of this property he commented, "The Sweet Gum of today is the sweet dream of tomorrow." Now my responsibilities are three-fold: updating and maintaining the Ashram; arranging the programs; and conducting the classes.
I consider myself to be fortunate to be an instrument in this divine campaign. I do not have the capacity to run such a large organization in the West, but I have faith and the divine power of Guruji behind me, which will make everything possible. Up until now I have just been moving with devotion and things were happening. Thus, as Guruji has said, "If you move your hands and legs with devotion without any expectation, things will happen." Now devotees are coming enthusiastically to help me. We want to make the retreat an ideal spiritual place where the real practice is followed and God's presence is felt.
Thus, one temple is to be constructed. This ashram will serve as the international center of Life Mission in the West. There has been substantial material progress in the West. But this has only served to provide material comforts and pleasures of the senses. Obviously missing from this success has been its profound failure to provide mental calm and peace. This beautiful and tranquil complex is designed to provide mental calmness to millions of stressed people. A variety of programs will be available here, including a health retreat, Yoga classes, teacher training, Bhagwat Saptah (a week of meditative devotion to God), bhajan sandhya (evenings devotional chanting), yagnas (fire ceremonies), festival celebrations, youth camps, discourses on Indian philosophies, etc. To accomplish this we require a team of devoted persons. I am confident that Guruji and Dadaji will send persons of required caliber to us as and when required. We are receiving inquiries from enthusiastic people, making us confident of fulfilling our mission. Those who extend their support will definitely have Dadaji's blessings and earn religious merits.