Visits and retreats to India

Pilgrimage to India 2019

Hari Om our beloved Swamiji and Dharmaji

Ah I just adore you both and I love you so much Kamalaji. Thank you for bringing us the gift of yoga and the cherished gift of you.

We have just returned to the hotel and I wanted to send this message on behalf of the group, to let you both know that we are safe and that we all had the most spiritually awakening, connected and magnetic time. It was omnipresent and we each bathed in bliss every single day and in our own way. I do believe it has brought us closer to our own truth. I know we will be processing for a while and have many questions for you! However, we are filled to the brim with gratitude and admiration. We feel so blessed in which we are and your presence was with us every single step of the journey.

We created the most energizing presence at both the ashrams and the t-shirts were a hit! Most importantly- we felt you with us and the ashrams missed you. We got strict instructions from Swami Satsangiji and Swami Shankarananda that you must email them and update them on your recovery. They were also adamant that you receive your Prasad in which we cannot wait to give it to you. Swami Satsangiji sends her highest healing light to you.

At Rikhia we did lots of seva for the programme and specifically worked with the traffic of the village folk. We received a true understanding of what this festival is about and the Rikhia model overall. We are all so inspired to bring our learnings into South Africa and help our community. We placed your name and healing sankalpa at the Havan where the Mahamrityunjaya mantra is repeated throughout the day and night for 3 months. We continued to send you healing and strength everyday and kept you in our hearts.

We have many highlights from our Rikhia ashram experience in which I am sure each of us would love to share with you personally. One of the biggest however, that needs to be recognized and acknowledged with such grace is that we each received Diksha from Swami Satsangiji. Spiritual name and mantra was granted to our group alongside Jignasu for me which was all given during this auspicious occasion in which only a few of us were chosen from all the applicants. We were blessed by the Divine. What powerful names our group of yogis have received and I am sure they will connect with you further on this.

Another highlight of our Rhikiapeeth stay was that Swamiji Niranjanji made a surprise visit for the last two days of the festival and gave us the most incredible Satsang. Swamiji spoke of Bhakti Yoga – meaning love, what spiritual love is, living our dharma and connecting to Swami Sivanandas ‘ities’ and that of Divine Life. We can all say that it felt as if he was speaking to us personally and we felt like he was looking at each of us in the eyes of who we truly are. We are humbled by his presence and his soul.

Overall Rikhia was an energetic and exciting  experience and indeed we all encountered Bhakti yoga in its truest form, from seva to appreciating chai tea visits, to barber shops to the amazing happy land we indulged in. Laughter was in the air and continues to be. It was magnificent and we look so forward to expanding on these stories.

We then moved forth to Munger, wow what an adventurous ride to this special ashram. This ashram was different and refreshing – a true ashram experience. There was a sense of ease and flow which made us all feel at home. There is this pristine, ordered way of events yet an authentic kindness and care from the yogis around us.

Before I jump into all our wonderful gifts of the stay in this ashram, the most profound and god-sent experiences was that of having a private Satsang with Swamiji Niranjanji. It was the most exceptional experience where we were sitting with the Greek group and had the front seats only about a meter in front of him, his African Grey parrot and his two German Shepard’s. What a site to behold!

Swamiji publicly acknowledged us with such kindness and sent his heartfelt love to you in which he sent a special Prasad for you and he has received your letters as well. It was an honour to live this experience for your soul as well as ours.

Swamiji Niranjanji answered questions from the crowd in which he used the most amazing analogies to make concepts simple combined with the companions of humour and straightforwardness, which was received with devotion and interest. He spoke to questions about pure love, ego, God and spirituality, living initiation and our true nature. It has been such an honour to be your disciples Kamalaji as we have learnt so much from you and you have paved the way for us to have open hearts to all we feel and you have helped grow our knowledge and understanding which I believe made this Satsang even more special for each of us.

A big take away from the Satsang was his personal connection with us and he mentioned sincerely that he would like to visit South Africa again and how much he loved his trip there with you. Wow, this would be incredible and like you always say, “what will be- will be.” We left on such a blessed note and this was such a huge gift. Thank you for working your magic in South Africa for us!

On a more general note, another exciting gift was that of hot water to bath with! Firstly we stayed in the main building which in itself is a rare gift which I know we owe to you- Kamalaji! Secondly, the rooms were spacious and we had our own bathrooms and thirdly, it felt very relaxed and calm after the busy and fruitful experience at Rikhia. It rained for the most part of our stay, in which in itself was a purification indeed. We enjoyed investigating and ordering our publications and books in which I am sure most of us have a wonderful start to our very own Satyananda  library!

We loved exploring the impressive home of Swamiji Niranjanji and we had the privilege of walking around the born from a vision ‘Chhaya Samadhi.’ Swami Yoga Tirtha took us for a small tour around the grounds where we learnt more about Swamijis home such as the amphitheater and 5-D cinema.

On Saturday we watched an informative movie on the Satyananda lineage and in the evening we had the honour of being in Swamijis home and participating in the Mahamrityunjaya Havan and of course your name and Sankalpa were given to this space of healing. Swami Sivamurti sends her love and looks so forward to seeing you again alongside many swamis such as Swami Sivadhara who has given us a note for you and Swami Yoga Tirtha who all send their best wishes and healing prayers. It is evident that you hold huge amounts of respect in both these ashrams which was necessary to appreciate and observe as your disciples.

We did lots of reading, resting and experienced the pure ashram life which was a delight! What a magnificent encounter with our spiritual world and having a glimpse of what we are truly capable of, is beautiful. Overall, what I feel that we can truly be grateful for after being in Munger ashram is that the stories and experiences that you have humbly shared with us, we can connect to. We could see this part of your home from your eyes and that in itself is a once in a lifetime experience.

We really have used every opportunity to make this experience one to remember in which you have inspired us. The logistics and preparation that you and Rens did with such care and detail showed and made this journey flow with ease and light. We are so grateful for all your guidance and we feel so refreshed and ready for the next trip in the future! Wow!

So here we are at the LaLiT hotel, decompressing and downloading all the material we have received consciously and unconsciously from the ashrams. We are enjoying treating ourselves and basking in timelessness.

Tomorrow we head off on our adventure in Calcutta where we will be going to many sites, walking the streets and experiencing Mother Theresa’s  Centre. We have been abundantly blessed throughout this entire trip and there is no doubt in our minds that you are with us every step of the way.

We love you so much and we are so grateful for you and what you give us and have given us. We would love to connect as a group when we have returned and settled in, in the New Year. Perhaps we can connect in January before the school starts or when everyone has returned from holiday so that we can take you for tea and cake at Teddy’s and chat about our multifaceted experiences.

Thank you for your divine grace. We love you both and we cannot wait to see you in Johannesburg! Thank you, thank you, thank you our Swamiji Kamalaji 🙏🏻

Hari Om Tat Sat ♥️

Jignasu Jivananda

The Group at Rikhiapeeth Ashram with Swami Shivamurti

Visits and retreats to India 2014


The Silver Lining Jubilee

-25 years-

An invitation


Namo Narayan,

It is with great joy and happiness we announce that from September 2014 to December 2015, Rikhiapeeth will be celebrating the “Silver Lining Jubilee” of Sri Swamiji’s arrival in Rikhia. This is not the silver jubilee of an institution, but the celebration and commemoration of a vision, an inspiration and a divine mandate which was revealed to Sri Swamiji 25 years ago as the dawn of a new mission unfolded before him.

Sri Swamiji’s life was a life of dedication and selflessness. He lived a life totally and completely dedicated to the upliftment of humankind. When he came to Rikhia, on the 23rd September 1989, for seclusion, austerities and higher sadhana, his yearning to help others rapidly triggered an unimaginable chain reaction. A desolate, abandoned village, lacking even the most basic facilities and amenities for survival, has become a prosperous and flourishing hub of endless possibilities. This miraculous transformation came through the grace and sankalpa of Sri Swamiji, who immortalised Swami Sivananda’s teachings of Serve, Love and Give at Rikhia, as a dedication to his guru.

This Silver Lining Jubilee is our humble tribute to Pujya Gurudev, where his teachings and inspirations will be shared with one and all, in the presence of Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati and Swami Satyasangananda Saraswati, who will guide and direct the proceedings. All are welcome to participate in the activities and become part of Sri Swamiji’s sankalpa. Through Sri Swamiji’s teachings we offer this ‘silver lining’ as a ray of hope to illumine the horizon of a brighter future.
Namo Narayan.

Swami Suryaprakash Saraswati


Silver Linging Jubilee


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Visits and retreats to India 2013 

Time for expansion and transformation through Sat Chandi Maha Yajna and Yoga Poornima receiving Divine grace in your life. You are all welcome to accompany Swami Kamalavidya on these very auspicious occasions.


Bihar School of Yoga’s Golden Jubilee and World Yoga convention 2013

Program details:

 Wednesday the 23rd of October 2013 through to Sunday the 27th of October 2013


The 50th anniversary of the Bihar School of Yoga will be commemorated in 2013, culminating with the celebration of the World Yoga Convention from 23rd to 27th October 2013 in Munger.

It is a rare opportunity of a coming together of inspirational scientists, yoga masters and spiritual leaders to share their knowledge with the masses at the heart of the celebration.

The Bihar School of Yoga’s was launched 1963 and will be commemorated in this event.  Swami Niranjananada Sarswati, the spiritual successor of Sri Swami Satyananda, will be heading the proceedings and will be sharing with us the next stage of vision in the progress of spiritual awareness.

For further information on the above event:

bihar school of yoga

Swami Kamalavidya arriving at the Ashram gates in 2011

The Sat Chandi Maha Yajna/Sita Kalyanam- Rikhiapeeth 2013

Program details:

 Sat Chandi Mahajayna/Sita Kalyanam                               03rd – 07th December 2013

Yoga Poornima                                                                        13th – 17th December 2013


Sat Chandi Mahajayna/Sita Kalyanam

03rd – 07th December 2013

The Sat Chandi Maha Yajna festivities attract thousands of people from all parts of the world. The multitudes of people, the profundity of the sacred rituals, the participation of people from so many different nationalities, religions, diverse classes, colours and creeds, the enrapturing melodies and mantras all blend perfectly with each other, with a common interest to serve, give and receive. The spiritual presence of Sri Swami Satyananda and physical presence Swami Niranjanananda and Swami Satsangananda add the final touch to this event by giving it a spiritual vibrancy. Apart from attracting thousands of people the Yajna (fire ceremony) also attracts the Divine forces to grace the occasion. Yajna deals with that hidden part of you that you do not know. It is a pure experience beyond words– transformation takes place.  Fire ceremonies are performed by Pandits (high priests) from Varanasi. Their very presence pours life into the Yajna which makes it very powerful! This Yajna is an act of pure devotion, universal love and compassion to remind us of the Divine who gave us life.  Ingredients offered into the fire are all pure and from Mother Nature herself.

Swami Satyananda says The fire’ (quoted in his invitation to Sat Chandi Maha Yajna 2004): “What Moses saw was no ordinary fire, the Cosmic light born out of the divine vibration. An experience which Tantra developed through the ritual of Yajna, highlighting how an exoteric act can become an uplifting esoteric experience. The Yajna being held at Rikhiapeeth is a celebration of man’s first awakening. If that had not happened we may still be living in the dark ages in caves and treetops like savages.”


Yoga Poornima

13th – 17th December 2013

Yoga Poornima is the celebration of yoga. It is a tribute to Swami Satyananda Saraswati whose birth fell on this moon at midnight during the month of Marga Sheersha in the year 1923 at Almora. Swami Satyananda has spread yoga from shore to shore as per the mandate of his Guru Swami Sivananda Saraswati. These five days of celebration culminate on the full moon night of his birth 85 years ago. It is a dedication to Swami Satyananda who has inspired countless lives through the path of yoga. In honour of the first Yogi, Lord Siva, known as Mrityunjaya, is Swami Satyananda Ishta Devata, we chant the powerful Maha Mrityunjaya mantra to remove all ills and difficulties of every kind during the Yoga Poornima.

“Yajna is the cure, the remedy, which all lovers of the environment have been searching for. Yajna purifies the akashic atmosphere. All those who believe that the environment must be purified of greenhouse gases and toxic emissions must practice Yajna. Not only on the scale that we practice at the Sat Chandi Mahayajna, but also on an individual scale, sitting at home, wherever one lives. It will work wonders.” – Swami Satyananda Saraswati, 2000

Swami Kamalavidya has been attending the Rajasooya Yajna at Paramahamsa’s Alakh Bara at Rikhiapeeth, Jarkhand, India for the past 17 years. Students of the School have all been contributing a percentage of their yoga fees which goes towards the Sivananda Math (charitable organization) which Swami Kamalavidya personally donates on behalf of us all.  This is a time of giving, contributing and uplifting the lives of others. Swami Kamalavidya feels inspired each time she visits. We spread this light to our local abused ‘Childline’ children in South Africa in troubled times – it is an esoteric act.

Swami Satyananda said “Two thirds of the human population is impoverished”. He mentioned Africa, South East Asia and other countries too.” He also said, it is important that the “other third of humanity shares the responsibility. If not, two thirds will increase, and will become insecure and the other third will be in danger. Therefore, the “two thirds of humanity must know that they have their well-wishers among us, that there are some people that think about them. Millions of families in this world whose children do not have two square meals a day —— these are children not adults! “

You are most welcome to join Swami Kamalavidya (Director of The South African School of yoga), on her annual trip to participate in these programs, at the Akara (Sri Swamiji’s home), where nobody leaves empty – on all levels.

With these two celebrations Sat Chandi Maha Yajna and Yoga Poornima we have the blessings of both the cosmic mother and father.

Namo Narayan.


Highlights are the Kanyas (young girls) that Swami calls Balsundaris- beautiful children that run the Festival with their uplifting voices singing kirtan for the full duration of the five days.