Dear Friends, this report on annual All-Russian Aura–Meeting 2007 represents recollections of several attendees from Moscow and Chelyabinsk. It contains photos taken by participants who kept photo-dailies. Although a lot of things were left offscreen and not included in this story. Our trust is that each of you can add something even the whole chapter into the narrative. So, let’s start…
Recollections – report on
the Firth All-Russian Aura–Meeting 2007 (ARM)
held by Nijniy Novgorod
Hello, Friends. The Firth All-Russian Aura-Conference was held in August 2007. In the report we try to describe the atmosphere of the meeting, show its spirit and provide an opportunity for participants to recall those marvelous days one more time.
A day ahead…
All participants who arrived a day ahead of the official opening of the Conference were afforded with the unique opportunity to execute site improvements as a devotion. Dima and Igor initiated preparation of the most vital part, i.e. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s portraits. Men had made benches while girls, glorious embodiments of Shakti, were decorating an area perfecting and flourishing it. Birches dressed in wonderful saris on that day. Besides, in front of Murti there was inlaid the Mother’s sign, inside which candles were lighting.
Toward evening everything was prepared for the first day of the Conference.
August 14th. The first day of the Conference
The first day was opened by the founders of the annual All-Russian Aura–Meeting, Igor Zenkin and Nina Zenkina.
We started the morning with silent meditation and singing Gayatri of Sri Aurobindo.
On that day participants came together for acquaintance that is in its own right very mysterious as everyone can share with others one’s story of spiritual development. It is a priceless opportunity for each of us to have a look at one’s own live, i.e. Yoga practice, and to realize milestones on a way of spiritual development, to catch sight of a crucial thing, with which this way ends, and what one should do to obtain it. This is a starting point for communication and unity of Souls and not only at word-level. This sense of Souls’ unity is lasting during the whole Conference and reverberates over long time later on…
After introduction part participants continued to get to know each other better. Representatives of different groups devoted to Integral yoga told about their work during the classes. There were representatives from the following groups devoted to Sri Aurobindo Integral yoga
On that day everybody was waiting for members of Savitri Center from St. Petersburg, but unfortunately due to railways problems Prasanna with a group didn’t manage to attend introduction part. Given their minor delay they were already with all of us at 15th of August.
- a group from Nijniy Novgorod (it was our host party),
- representatives of Kluev’s group,
- University and School of Integral Yoga (on-line education),
- a group from Chelyabinsk,
- Moscow Sri Aurobindo center of Integral Yoga
- a group from Orel.
There were many familiar faces around. And although there were also enough fresh faces all of us felt the spirit of camaraderie as if we were spiritual relatives.
We were becoming acquainted not only with each other but personally Svetloyar Lake introduced itself to us.
Igor Mikhaylovich gave a talk on Indo-European background of Russian population and on the history of Svetloyar Lake.
August 15th. The second day of the Conference
Darshan. Sri Aurobindo’s birthday.
Sri Aurobindo’s birthday was a very light day in all senses. When you remember it, it is completely hard to describe what was happened specifically, but you recollected the white light that existed continuously and was lighting up everything…
The morning started with joint singing of bhajans that were given as a gift to us by Maria, then after silent meditation we repeated Gayatri of Sri Aurobindo. That day was full of poetry. All who desired read aloud Savitri in English by chain during the whole day. Each of us could pick one’s favorite sonnet of Sri Aurobindo and read it for all attendees. After such an inspired start we smoothly went into a general silent meditation at midday. After a conclusion of the meditation presents from the Ashram were delivered to each of us.
In succession to this we did a general photo and everybody was invited for partaking festive Prasad prepared by servants from Krishna Temple.
During the second part of the day Prasanna who is a disciple of the New Delhi Branch of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, a hereditary pandit and a leader of St. Petersburg Center of Integral Yoga, granted us with Puja where mantras, devoted to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother as well as to a patron of all sadhu, i.e. the God Shiva, were read. The group from Orel together with Vaisnavas who were preparing wonderful meal for us during all that days, were reeling off. In the evening we all together watched a movie about the Ashram. That movie delivered a piece of spirit and taste of the Ashram during a foundation period when the Mother was presented in a physical body there. In such a manner the day, from edge to edge filled with a Presence of the most fascinating Man, a beloved Teacher and the greatest Yogi, was finished…
August 16th. The third day of the Conference
From that day there were conducted meditations on Four Aspect of the Mother: Maheshvari, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasarasvati, under the direction of Mikhail Malakhov, a leader of Moscow Sri Aurobindo Center of Integral Yoga. That morning began with the meditation on Maheshvari, a Divine Personality of the Mother, which was revealing in the surrounding space during the whole day. After the dhyana (the meditation) we all together under the auspices of Prasanna were singing mantras. It seemed like the morning meditation had not finished yet and just transformed into its dynamic form.
The 16th of August was devoted to the Mother Maheshvari who is a creator of the worlds and the Mother of Wisdom.
Her movement was shown in a report prepared by Natalia Potemkina, named “Realization of a Cosmic Consciousness by Sri Aurobindo during the period of being in Alipur prison and its reflection in Sri Aurobindo’s poetry” and in a report “Atman, Soul and Psychic being. Triple nature of Divine Soul” made by Andrew Sankov, a leader of the group from Nijniy Novgorod. As it was the Divine Mother who sagely and elegantly interlaced people’s minds and senses. The reports supplemented each other although there was no concrete agreement between speakers.
Also from that day the practice of Hatha Yoga was launched. It was conducted by Svetlana Lobanova from Nijniy Novgorod. That was a day when asanas for couples were shown. These asanas make you not only feel youself better but also more sensitively perceive your partner. The pervasive aspect of Maheshvari was revealed this way, i.e. there is nothing but United Divine consciousness.
All of this were accompanied with tasty Prasad and free and easy talks as well as strolling in the neighbor of the marvelous lake Svetloyar. It is a point to be mentioned that surrounding nature was full of energy and granted us with its tenderness and harmony.
In the evening Sergey Polyakov offered, for those who were willing, to see a video-lecture “How to think” with Shradhalu as a main presenter (a yogi from Sri Aurobindo Ashram at Pondicherry who is reading lectures in Auroville).
August 17th. The fourth day of the Conference
The morning began with the meditation on Mahakali, one of the Personalities of the Divine Mother, i.e. aspects of the Divine Energy. After that there was a lecture of Nina Zenkina “From external consciousness into direct and inmost internal” (based on Sri Aurobindo’s work “The Life Divine” and “Letters on Yoga”). Prior to a dinner everybody was looking forward the practice of Hatha Yoga (an instructor was Setlana Lobanova). At that day she showed preparatory exercises for being able to do Padmasana (Lotus Pose). Hurray! Several people were managed to do this asana at first time in their lives.
Subsequent to a fascinating dinner the book “The Life Divine” was read and commented by Andrew Sankov, a head of the group from Nijniy Novgorod.
The whole day everybody was preparing for an evening with songs, poems, dances and other performances. It is a tradition on ARM according to which sadhus show their own creative findings. It can be poems, songs, dances and any other forms of creativity and self-expression. At first only 10 sadhus were listed as volunteers. But as the evening going, a number of talented persons was growing as well. More and more people came to a master of ceremony and asked for a permission to make a scene. As a result not all who wished to act had time to do this as the Great Savitur, i.e. The Divine Sun, started to close His Eye. Then night closed in. It is a point to be improved on the next ARM…
And again Prasanna gladdened the eye while performing wonderful dances on different Mother’s Aspects.
Vaisnavas also decided to take part in our concert and danced Siksastaka of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. As a result it was a miraculous dance interaction. When music started with inspired Vaisnavas’ accordion faces of audience lit up with admiration and they joined that dance. Prasanna began to show movements of a classical Indian dance. We all were seized by this marvelous performance. It was a master-class indeed that was asking about on the previous meeting (in 2006). General dancing sent everybody, even those who just saw, into rapture.
People recited poems. Maria from Chelyabinsk, Oleg and Victor from Nijniy Novgorod sang several songs. Lyudmila and Oleg from Nijniy Novgorod made a beautiful show where some abstracts from the Mother’s “The Sunlit Path” were read out and Tibetan singing bowls created musical accompaniment. Then Orel’s people offered to do origami. It was so difficult that shook some practitioners’ convictions about their supramental mind. It is really good that Orel’s people helped all yogis with smiles. Next day they showed an impressive miracle as a result of collective efforts: it was a lovely flower created from numerous petals made by each of us. This flower was presented to Prasanna as a leader of St.-Petersburg’s group. Alexey from St.-Petersburg showed spontaneous dance and read a poem in English. Talented persons were so numerous that we hardly can list all of them here.
August 18th. The firth day of the Conference
A new day as usual started with the meditation on the Divine Mother. We were contemplating Mahalakshmi Aspect, i.e. the Great Mother of Harmony and Love. At 11-00 Hatha Yoga practice was started. That class was conducted by Ludmila Vovkolup, an instructor from Nijniy Novgorod. It was difficult series of exercises at least many off attendees concluded so… How wonderful that Ludmila with her calm and full of love voice almost as a mother followed us through all asanas. It was difficult but those who managed to wade through realized positive changes in their bodies after the practice.
A dinner was followed by free time. People were walking to a spring and communicated with each other. Such hours of informal conversations are one of the dearest things during the ARM. Many of us exchanged addresses and shared their feelings. Such a kind-hearted atmosphere is arisen from the fact that we are one big genuine spiritual family. At that day the group from St.-Petersburg left. Parting was very hearty, we could hardly let them go as we all became intimate with each other.
From 16-00 a discussion on integral yoga practice started. Zenkin Igor Mikhailovich made a report on a traditional Raja-yoga practice as well as Tantra-yoga, in particular descriptions of five pranas, subtle channels in a human body (Nadi) and methods of handling with winds (Vayu) were covered by the presenter. It kindled audience's interest. Each group told about its collective practices. People exchanged their opinions and sometimes even debated. A handbell of Drahma stopped an absorbing dispute and everybody went to have a supper in order to support their physical bodies. However after the supper the conversation was continued. Breathing exercises and asanas were shown. Finally, everybody was happy and satisfied. It looked like all questions were resolved.
August 19th. The sixth day of the Conference
A final day of the Meeting.
In the beginning there was a silence that contained all sounds inside.
It was concluded with the meditation on Mahasarasvati, a Personality of the Divine Mother. Unfortunately several participants had already left before that day. However in the air there was no perception of their absence, per contra general feeling of presence of all ARM members dominated. Each of us creates one’s own way, i.e. one’s own yoga, and by and large it is a demonstration of diversity and multiple hands of the Divine Mother Mahasarasvati, that is manifesting and supporting a process of Evolution of the Universe. Each of us is Her child who is loved by Her beyond all measure. And the Divine Mother Mahasarasvati foresees a personal way for each of us.
After the meditation Andrew Sankov conducted several kriyas (exercises) closely related to a concentration and a breath control (prana) in a body. Bandhas (energy fetters) technique was demonstrated during kriyas and also it was told about energy circulation and visualization methods of Kriya Yoga.
It was the final day of our meeting, and not far from the midday a concluding ceremony of the Firth All-Russian Aura-Meeting was started. All participants were sharing their experiences and feelings that they obtained during the Conference. Also wishes and comments concerning organization of next ARMs were expressed. These were Love and Acceptance of everybody that visualized during the concluding ceremony. For each of us the Conference was revealed as a great experience of communication with like-minded persons (attractive and excellent).
The ARM was concluded with mantras inverted to Bhagavan, i.e. the Supreme Lord, and His manifestations – Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Sadhu-Sanga, i.e. a community of yogis who are following the path of self-development. Maria with everybody song a bhajan that probably became a hymn of the whole Conference.
It was followed by the Silence…
OM HAMO BHAGAVATE.