Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Swami Shilananda
SINNAR, OCTOBER 13, 2010: October 10, 2010 was a good outing to Sanjivan Ashram, Sinnar. Five young people, eight MPh brothers from Divyadaan, Bro Rickson and I set out from Don Bosco Parish at around 0715 - by rick and bus to Nashik Road Bus Station. Amol and Gloria joined us there, while the Holy Cross Youth proceeded on bikes. We met up at Sinnar Bus Station, and walked the three kilometers to the ashram, which is hidden in a clump of trees on the right of the Nashik bypass - the road from Sinnar to Gothi. No board and no publicity, so one has to know where to go.
We reached the ashram by 09.30. Swami was busy with some friends of his from Kalyan. We had snacks, and then Swamiji joined us, answering questions, telling us about his sixty two years in India (he arrived in 1948, went for a home visit only in 1983, spent some fourteen years in his ashram at Panchavati, behind the Sundarnarayan Temple, and then, in 1987, came to Sinnar to set up Sanjivan Ashram at its present location).
The first house to be built was the two rooms where he now lives and works. Later on the temple and the other house were built (in 1990), and finally the other two rooms were built.
It was amazing to see the photos of the early days: not a tree in sight, not even grass. And now: it's beautiful. Great contribution to the ecology. Swami does not believe in cutting the grass. The villagers keep telling him, but he says it's the hair of the earth: just as our hair is given to keep our brains cool, so is the grass given to keep the earth cool.
Unfortunately there is very little water in the pond. Most of it seeps away, since it is on the upper part of a gentle slope towards the road. And no sign of the ghorpad.
Mass was celebrated at 11.30, followed by games, and lunch, and then it was time to move back to Nashik. Five youths from Devlali turned up during mass.

The gospel lent itself to the day: living in a spirit of thanksgiving, making life Eucharistic. We gave thanks for the great beauty of the earth, the trees, the grass, the water, the fresh air, the amazing silence when there is absence of traffic noise... for Swamiji's extraordinary life of witness and courage and joy and even humor...

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