Alakananda Ma's 2014 Graduation

Honoured guests, faculty, staff, graduates and students, each of you in your own way a part of our Alandi family,

Today’s graduation is a story of patience, persistence, obstacles overcome and lives turned around. For the first time, we present to you candidates who have lived through a major disaster together—the Boulder Flood Disaster, which turned our lives and our ashram upside down.

Ancient stories from many traditions speak of the journey of becoming a healer as one of dismemberment and renewal. We are made anew as wounded healers for a troubled world. Today’s candidates have lived such a story, both individually and collectively.

Emily is the youngest person ever to complete our practitioner program. She came to us at the tender age of twenty after her chosen career as an opera singer—and her college education—came to an abrupt end because of a serious vocal injury. She has ben guided to remake her life as a healer and Ayurvedic practitioner. Despite being stranded and then evacuated during the floods and living for some time in a hotel provided by FEMA, she persevered with the programme. Emily shows great promise and we hope she will be able to advance her studies to the higher levels attained by today’s Bishagwara candidates.
Heather is the first active parent to graduate our complete four-year programme. In addition, Heather served as pharmacy director, making many improvements and developments in our pharmacy. She has put her editorial skills to work in the creation of our pulse manual—a monumental task.

Nellie has devoted herself to her studies at Alandi for five years in order to attain the level of Bishagwara. Her independent studies in India have further enhanced her knowledge and skills, as she remakes her career and her life as a mature graduate of Ayurveda. And Paula has really been here for the long haul, studying at Alandi for six years, first as a part time student and later taking the plunge to go full time, while serving as our procurement officer. In so doing she has fulfilled her lifelong ambition to be an excellently trained advanced Ayurvedic practitioner.

Time, patience and persistence in the face of great difficulties have brought our candidates to the level of excellence and depth of knowledge they have attained today.

If you want your dream to be
Build it slow and surely
Small beginnings greater ends
Heartfelt work grows purely.

If you want to live life free
Take your time go slowly.
Do few things but do them well
Simple joys are holy.

Day by day
Stone by stone
Build your secret slowly.
Day by day
You’ll grow too
You’ll know heaven’s glory
.

There is an English proverb, "a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor." Our candidates have lived through raging floodwaters—may they be profoundly skilled healers. As it states in the Bible, those who God loves He disciplines.

The great Jewish teacher, the Baal Shem Tov, taught that in every affliction, a holy spark of godliness is present. He says, “All the sufferings a person experiences, May the Merciful one spare us, reflect the needs of the Shechina, the divine Presence dwelling among us. God sends us suffering so we will pray for the needs of the Shechina. One must awaken boundless love for God and thus unite the Holy One, blessed be He and the Shechina in perfect harmony. Then all suffering and adversity will automatically disappear.”

And in Surah Inshirah of the Quran we hear words of great comfort, “Have We not opened your heart? And removed from you the burden, which weighed you down down, and exalted your reputation? Then, surely with hardship comes ease; surely, with hardship comes ease. So when you have finished the task at hand, still strive hard, and turn all your attention to God.

The ease that comes with hardship is the ease of humility and surrender. If we feel very important and expect certain treatment, certain outcomes, we are sure to be disappointed. Our capacity for humility and surrender is what can bring us the ease we seek in our lives. As Thomas a Kempis writes in the Imitation of Christ,
If You will that darkness be my lot, blessed be Your Name. If it be light, again blessed be Your Name. If You stoop to comfort me, blessed be Your Name; and if You wish to try me, ever blessed be Your Name.

As our own Raghudas Maharaj of Alandi said, “there are many yogic powers or siddhis. But the greatest power of all is the power to take whatever comes.

And, in the words of the great teacher Upasani Maharj, the greatest of all mantras is "let it be, as it is."

Let It Be

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted, there is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be.
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
There will be an answer, let it be.
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
There will be an answer, let it be.

And when the night is cloudy there is still a light that shines on me
Shine until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me
There will be no sorrow, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
There will be no sorrow, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

(THE BEATLES)

Photos of the 2014 Graduation

About Alandi School of Ayurveda

Our mission as a gurukula faculty is to combine the best of new paradigm medical education with the best of the ancient gurukula contemplative pedagogy. We seek to empower our students by placing in their hands the tools needed to garner and evaluate knowledge and information and by cultivating the seeds of stillness, altruism and compassionate service in their hearts. Honoring the multiple gifts brought by our students’ diversity of learning and experience, we see our students as both teachers and learners. We encourage the creation of a community of sharing and support on all levels.