Written by Geeta Iyer (USA)
During the first weekend of April 2016, a group of about 30 people met in Yogaville for a spiritual retreat with Rajayogi Mohanji.
Yogaville or Satchitananda Ashram located in rural Virginia, USA, is about a three-hour drive from Washington DC. It is a sprawling campus of breathtaking beauty and panoramic views. The James river flows as a wide curving ribbon and the green woods stretch to the horizon. This most peaceful spot was the perfect location for a much-anticipated weekend with the Master.
Participants assembled for satsang around Mohanji. His presence always induces a feeling of calm and stillness in those blessed to be around him. This was only enhanced by the peaceful panorama that was forming the backdrop through the glass wall behind where he sat. Though many may have arrived with questions and Mohanji encouraged them to ask, some people now found themselves strangely content, their minds not compelled to ask questions, or even care about needing an answer. Just being in the proximity of the Master and basking in his energy field was enough.
Mohanji led participants through Satsang, yoga and breathing processes which detoxifies on the cellular level and increases the vibratory plane. He spoke about leading and living by example, and to let our lives become the message instead of confining the spiritual experience to the few minutes or hours spent in meditation, chanting or yoga. We can practice the ‘Be Here Now’ way of living. Be 100% with actions and words. Move from moment to moment without trace of past moods. When problems arise, we can acknowledge but not dwell on them or analyzing which can create emotions. This way we can remain untouched. We reach the oneness state of awareness through experiencing yet transcending duality. When the samskaras (imprints on the mind due to deeds from previous births) are completely cleansed, there is no karma anymore and one moves to a state called ritambhara. Now no more imprints are formed and moving on further, the state of nirbeeja samadhi is attained.
The pace picked up again soon after and everyone trooped off to a lovely vegetarian dinner in the huge dining hall. There was a short satsang again in the evening since there was going to be a yoga session early next morning. Yoga was led by Devi Mohan whose attentive eye and skill guided participants through a most satisfying session, energizing and setting the pace for the day. Fast-moving it certainly turned out to be, with no room for dawdling or inertia. Participants connected with each other over meals and in between over tea, enjoying the company of the little children who had accompanied their parents to the retreat.
Satsangs were lively with plenty of laughter and humor. Regarding the effect of the breathing exercises, someone mentioned that he felt that not much oxygen was needed in the calm state thereafter. Mohanji attributed it to the mind being with vertical alignment. Another mentioned that the sounds like the wind blowing outside or people coughing, did not bother her like it did at other times, such was the stillness experienced. Yet another person said they just felt like laughing out loud for no reason – joy without cause and a taste of freedom.
Participants listened to a recording of the Shiva Kavacham in Mohanji’s voice, a most powerful and stirring rendering, that is like a protective amulet to those hearing with attention and devotion. Devi conducted the Power of Purity meditation, eagerly awaited by everyone. This is like an internal bath and Devi moved through the meditators, working on them through her touch. Some experienced warmth along their spines and vibrations in sahasrara.
The last day also began with energizing yoga. The group went for a photo session in the meadow by the pond. It was sunny and warm, amazing considering that there had been a raging storm the previous night with howling winds. The children skipped along, picking flowers. The Conscious Walk followed, a powerful dynamic meditation technique. We were instructed to be conscious of each step we took, as if kissing the ground. Being conscious of each step and the way we were taught to align our eyes was a reminder to be rooted in the present always, aligned with spine, and unconcerned with worries about the destination. Frequent practice of this technique preserves energy and the mindfulness and increase in awareness spill into daily life, greatly enhancing life experience for us.
Towards the close of the retreat came the shaktipat, the sacred touch on the forehead and the most anticipated experience of the retreat. It is a most precious gift from the Master receiving which one may experience huge shifts in consciousness and transformation in months to come. How much one receives depends on our emptiness and surrender: the emptier the cup, the more the Master is able to fill.
People left the retreat lighter and happier, more in touch with themselves and grateful for all the divine blessings.
It is important to remember that Mohanji is not bound by the physical body, and physical proximity is not a necessity in order to be connected to his consciousness. He loves unconditionally, accepting you as you are, never giving up on you.
Comments from Participants:
Kim Lindquist – “While we sat in the room listening to Mohanji speak, it seemed as if a fog had come over in the room everywhere except around an aura outlining him – the fog kind of closing in around him. She said that it was a reminder that things were really quite different than she imagined. A lot of heat and warmth felt around the spine.
My first meeting with the family of people I met in Virginia for the Mohanji weekend was perfect. Even though I had already felt Mohanji’s power after finding him through the internet, it all felt so ordinary to meet him and be in his presence at the Yogaville retreat. After Mohanji led some exercises to unify the group I felt connected. Many of the people suddenly seemed very familiar to me. When I looked into their eyes it was like looking into my own eyes. Without knowing about anyone’s personal life, I suddenly felt I had known some for a very long time. I’ll keep this short, but want to tell what happened on the way home from Virginia. My husband and I started driving toward Washington DC and got hungry. We stopped at what happened to be a smoke house. We are not vegetarian, so we ordered meat…but neither one of us could take more than the smallest taste. We sent it back and the staff insisted on letting us taste another meat dish. We could not eat it! We ended up having salads…and thinking that Mohanji must be traveling with us. Next on the adventure was our hotel. We walked up to the desk at Embassy Suites and the man behind the counter immediately said, “Is it okay if we upgrade you to a deluxe suite?” We agreed! It was nice to have the two rooms to stretch out. Again, we suspected Mohanji. But perhaps the best surprise was the treatment we got at Dulles airport. When we walked toward the security gates we saw several long lines. However, after Carl and I showed our tickets and ID cards to the attendant we were told to go to the TSA Precheck line. We walked along the roped off section and ended up at an agent who was ready for us immediately… absolutely NO WAITING! By now Carl and I were convinced that we now have a special travel companion. Thank you, Mohanji!”
Carl Lindquist – “Mohanji’s wisdom, humility and humor are welcoming, comforting and somehow very familiar. After decades of solitary searching I no longer feel quite so alone. I have accepted a spiritual teacher for the first time in my life. I love that he includes his beautiful family. While I will always have my solitary work to do I am also grateful that my wife and I now truly share something spiritual. We share our spiritual teacher; Mohanji!”
Kathy Edwards: “Mohanji expanded my World by teaching me to become Aware of my World
in the Now”.
A participant – “I had read about Mohanji and connected with his eyes in the picture. The same night I had a dream with the appearance of Shirdi Baba and traveled from another state to visit.”
Nimmy Rajkumar – “My experience was more of peace within self. I was looking for guidance and direction to make progress in my spiritual path, Mohanji’s explanation during Q & A session, helped me to clarify some of my doubts and confusion.
Morning yoga session was enjoyable adding more essence to my daily yoga.
My great experience was meditation, I would like more time spent on it, I learned some more new techniques. I am hoping to join more of Mohanji’s weekend programs. Thank you so much.”