we have just received this EYE WITNESS REPORT from Malethi, India about
the opening of the SWAMI RAMA vocational institute.
Last year, Swami Hari told us about the ambitious project, which was
given to him years ago by Swami Rama. The first part of the institute
opened a couple of weeks ago for the first group of students.
Shortly, Swami Hari will be visiting the US again to publicize this
institure, and we like to ask you to support this very worthwhile
project according to your possibilities.
Sent by Swami Jaidev Bharati and Ma Devi from India:
The cardboard sign was waving frantically as we walked past the
inspection guards at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi.
A tall, slender Indian with a broad grin was flashing the printed words
"Swami Jaidev and Ma Devi" back and forth to catch our sleepy attention.
He introduced himself as Pradeep, whom we found to be chauffeur
extraordinaire, and whisked us off to a small apartment where we managed to rest for four hours. Promptly at 5:00 AM we rose, ate a piece of toast and a quick cup of tea and headed north to the new state of Uttarranchal.
After six hours through heavy truck traffic and winding, roller coaster
hills we stepped out of the auto into warmer temperatures, about a 30
degree increase from the Twin Cities. There facing us was the man
himself with his irrepressible smileSwami Hariharananda, the Laughing
Here we were at the Guest House of Malethi, the great project inspired
by Gurudev Swami Rama for the mountain people of the Garhwal Himalayas.
We met the staff and faculty, the supporters and workers, those faithful men and women who gathered with Swami Hari over many months to compose this unbelievable enterprise.
We were especially keen to notice the dynamism of the group, their
friendly interplay, their expectations for the immediate future as well
as the practical, everyday running of this mammoth placeSRIVERMthe
Swami Rama Institute of Vocational Education and Research.
And the people cameabout 2000 of them, from Dehradun, Rishikesh, New
Delhi, Kampur, and all the mountain cities and villages. By car and bus
and foot, some walking twenty miles to attend the grand inauguration on
the bright, sunny day of April 13.
Up at the main entryway, U.P.Singh, retired Chief Financial Minister of
the Government of India, cut the ribbon to open the new vocational
college to one and all. Swami Hari garlanded the statue of Gurudev,
while Swami Ananda and Swami Jaidev lit the flame before the master in
the beautiful meditation room above.
We all inspected the school herbal section established by Dr. Vinod and
Mrs. Kusum Upadhyay where students will learn the cultivation and
processing of herbal plants into ayurvedic remedies.
We saw the computer room filled with up to date equipment for universal
We learned about the woodworking, cooking, catering, food processing,
medical lab technology, and hotel management programs being set up.
It was a joy to see all the work completed and the wonderful future
The group next went to the huge tent set up on the spacious sports
fields and were inspired as the administration was thanked and praised,
garlanded with flowers, and showered with gifts. Each major contributor, from college professor to business officer to medical personnel, both men and women, joined that day to launch a Himalayan first.
Some time earlier, Devi had come up with a secret surprise to help with
the construction bills. We compiled and edited Swami Haris lectures
given in the West and Yes International published them, together with
photos of the saint, in a little book titled The Laughing Swami. The
books were now presented to Swami Hari and given to each of the faculty
When Swami Jaidev was asked to talk, he spoke of his refreshed surprise
of all before him. He said he could not help but recognize that here in
the vast hills of Malethi all these efforts actually built a new 'Field
of Dreams for the Indian people.
We continued the celebration into the early evening with food and dance, laughter and warm greetings. No doubt the Gods of the Kumbha Melas were envious!
Swami Ramas forest monk outdid himself.
And why not?
1. U.P. Singh cut the ribbon in the new college as Swami Hari, Dr.
Mittal, and Dr. Upadhyay look on.
2. Swami Hari garlands the bust of Swami Rama inside the main hall.
3. Swami Ananda and Swami Jaidev light the lamp in the meditation room
as Mrs. Upadhyay assists.
4. Mr. Ashwani bows before Gurudev as V.J. Dhasmana, Dr. Rajiv Uttam,
Mrs. Upadhyay, Swami Ananda, Swami Jaidev, and local people stop to
meditate in the powerful room.
5. The spiritual teachers smile together: Swami Ananda, Swami Hari,
Swami Jaidev, Ma Devi.