Appreciation and Good Words

Appreciation and Good Words from Guru Mr Nilesh Singbal and Guru Dr Charudatta Pingale of India when visited One Earth Yoga & Meditation Retreat Centre, Ciawi-Bogor, Indonesia (30 December 2023)


By the grace of Sachchidananda Parabrahman (Dr) Athavale, we (Sadguru Nilesh Singbal, Sadguru [Dr] Charudatta Pingale, and Mr Shriram Luktuke) visited Jakarta/Bogor    and Bali in Indonesia from 28.11.2023 to 6.12.2023. Swami Anand Krishna arranged our accommodation and visits to major sites there. This is a short account of our experiences at            Bogor in Indonesia, One Earth Yoga and Meditation Retreat Centre in Bogor, and Anand Ashram in Ubud, Bali.


Introduction to Swami Anand Krishna: Swami Anand Krishna is a Sindhi born in Indonesia. He is a pioneer in Spiritual Humanism and Interfaith Harmony in Indonesia. He is also a prolific author with several titles to his name. Swami Anand Krishna showed us around his Ashram in Jakarta. He would sit with us during breakfast & meals and lovingly interact with us.


1. We were welcomed with enthusiasm and humility by a seeker from Swami Anand    Krishna’s    Ashram,    at    Jakarta    airport: ‘The seeker from Swami Anand Krishna’s Ashram, travelled for two and a half hours to pick us He                 has      been   performing    spiritual   practice   under   the guidance of Swami Anand Krishna for over 20 years. He is a householder, and yet one with Ashram life. He had to wait for another couple of hours due to a delay in our immigration procedure. But when we met him, he humbly welcomed us with folded hands. There was no sign of tiredness on his face or irritation at having to wait.                         We experienced       servitor attitude in him. We had to travel for two and a half hours to reach Swami Anand Krishna’s Ashram. Sensing our tiredness, he stopped for a coffee break en route to the Ashram.


2.  Swami Anand Krishna’s Ideal Ashram at Jakarta (Ciawi-Bogor)

 He dropped us off at Swami Anand Krishna’s Ashram in Jakarta (Bogor) at midnight. We were welcomed with good accommodation & food there. It was a spiritual experience that ‘Sachchidananda Parabrahman       (Dr)   At havale takes good care of His seekers and Saints even when they are abroad’.


2A. Perceiving the qualities of alertness, humility, obedience, love, the emotion of servitude, bhav unto the Guru, in the Ashram seekers: I realised that all the seekers in Swami Anand Krishna’s Ashram have the good qualities of a seeker. I perceived alertness, humility, obedience, love, the emotion of servitude and devotion unto the Guru in them. They tried to ensure that as visitors to their Guru’s Ashram, nothing was left wanting and that the seva was performed as expected by their Guru. We would like to share a few examples here – Once, it was raining and we were in the room. While we were contemplating how to leave, a seeker brought umbrellas and placed them outside the room. The seeker who coordinated with us would unfailingly send messages to Mr Shriram Luktuke and inform him about satsangs, meal timings, etc.


2B. The behaviour of seekers in the Ashram exudes a good combination of discipline and love: The behaviour of seekers in the Ashram exudes a good combination of discipline and love. The seekers there try to maintain cleanliness and orderliness in the Ashram. They follow the timings of Agnihotra. I realised that their efforts to maintain good conduct, speak politely and be respectful were to ensure the environment in the Ashram remains spiritually pure. We were provided with special vegetarian food. Our residence was arranged in rooms which had good access to the network all the time.


2C. Seekers of the Ashram display seeker qualities even when they are outside the Ashram: Ashram seekers accompanied us in their vehicle on outings and showed us some of the major sites there. Even when the seekers were away from the Ashram, the following qualities were obvious

– not wasting time, completing sevas related to us attentively and perfectly, humbly asking us what would make us feel comfortable without assuming that we know everything and acting accordingly, placing water bottles for us in the vehicle, etc.


Swami Anand Krishna’s Divine mission of ‘inculcating seekership in seekers and guiding them on the spiritual path by embracing Sanatan values’


1. Perceiving virtues like ‘desire for good conduct, devotion unto Dharma, spiritual development and bhav unto the Guru’ in Swami

Anand Krishna’s Ashram seekers as a result of Sanatan values and the Guru’s grace: Swami Anand Krishna’s seekers have seekership qualities and          bhav.   Indonesia    is   a   muslim-majority    country,   meaning,    the environment there is not conducive to spiritual practice. Despite this, Swami Anand Krishna has been carrying out the Divine mission of inculcating seekership in the seekers and guiding them to perform spiritual practice by embracing Sanatan (Eternal) values. Most of his seekers are from other faiths while only 5to 10%are Hindus. We had the spiritual experience that the teaching of Sanatan values and the Guru’s grace have generated ‘a desire for good conduct, devotion unto Dharma,

spiritual development and bhav unto the Guru’ among the Indonesians. The  definition    of   the   word   Hindu   is   (From Shabdakalpadruma, meaning: One who renounces that which is condemnable [censurable, culpable] is a Hindu). With the Guru’s grace, I got to see examples of this meaning of Hindu in Indonesia.


2.   Swami Anand Krishna, who has an inner longing for seekers to learn and become spiritually empowered: While we were in the Ashram in Jakarta, Swami Anand Krishna would ask us to guide his seekers in the satsang. He would play the role of an interpreter and translate our speech for the attending seekers. During different satsangs over three days, he spoke very little and accorded us the opportunity to speak. This simple gesture gave us a glimpse into his expansive perspective of embracing learning from all and not limiting the self to what is known. He would tell us to share whatever we wished to share with the seekers. We perceived Swami Anand Krishna’s inner longing for seekers to learn and become spiritually empowered. During the satsangs, he would introduce all his seekers to us while also sharing more information about certain seekers.


3. Swami Anand Krishna’s principled nature: During a satsang in the Ashram, a guest praised a young seeker. Swami Anand Krishna clearly said, “That seeker does not  deserve any praise. I love him, alright; but

despite being given many opportunities, he commits serious mistakes which have seriously hampered an important task.” He shared some of the seeker’s personality defects. This made the other seekers in the satsang introspect.

Swami Anand Krishna tries to purify the seekers at a spiritual level through the Personality Defect Removal process. While we were in the Ashram, we had the spiritual experience that Sachchidananda Parabrahma (Dr) Athavale’s grace is working everywhere for us.


4. Swami Anand Krishna has undertaken the mission of upholding Sanatan Traditions and moulding seekers even in the face of adversity: Swami Anand Krishna candidly shared the process of moulding seekers. ‘Indonesia is largely made of adherents of different religions. Hence, it is difficult to attract people to Sanatan values and spirituality. It is difficult to even call the Ashram an Ashram. Therefore, some of the spiritually curious are brought together by giving them opportunities such as service according to their skills, asking them to sing their favourite hymns, singing songs, etc. After creating an interest in them and teaching them Sanatan values, yoga, etc. in satsangs, they are moulded into seekers’.

These efforts landed him in prison for one and a half years. During that period he translated the Shrimadbhagwadgeeta into English. Even after his release, he has persisted with the mission of cultivating Sanatan traditions in the regional adverse conditions. A few seekers moulded through this process and many other youths are dedicatedly serving this mission. Some seekers have been practising spirituality and seva for the past decade or two. All of them harbour plenty of bhav about Swami Anand Krishna.


5. Generating a spiritual environment in the Ashram: Both Ashrams in Bali and Jakarta have been beautifully decorated with various idols, flowering plants, fountains, stones, These decorations give the premises the look and feel of an Ashram. The Ashram premises also house a temple, a library of texts written by Swami Anand Krishna and other Saints, exhibits on different cultures, as well as small and medium-sized Idols of Deities. The Ashram also has stone carvings depicting scenes from Ramayan and the Mahabharat. The Bali Ashram has preserved the notebooks and other writings of Swami Anand Krishna from his time in captivity. The Ashram premises, as well as the rooms, have boards with instructive and motivational Guruvachans (Guru’s sayings) in English. These boards serve to make visitors aware of Sanatan values and spiritual goals.


6. Principled approach to anointing a spiritual successor: Swami Anand Krishna appointed a disciple, Archana Maa, as his spiritual (Archana Maa has since renounced her body). Swami Anand Krishna’s sattvik family consists of his wife, son and daughter-in-law; but he set an example by being principled while anointing a deserving disciple (and not a family member) as his spiritual successor.


7. Prayers and Gratitude: By the grace of Sachchidananda Parabrahman (Dr) Athavale we got an opportunity to visit Indonesia. We realised that it is our immense fortune that we were born in India and Gurudev came into our lives. Gurudev’s grace gave us eternal knowledge, as well as a conducive atmosphere, to practice spirituality and abide by Words fall short to express our gratitude. We pray at His Holy feet ‘to grant us the energy, wisdom, Chaitanya and spiritual strength to spread the knowledge given by Him across the world’, and express our deepest gratitude.’

– (Sadguru) Mr Nilesh Singbal and (Sadguru) Dr Charudatta Pingale (30.12.2023)



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