Birth in the Dharma

In conjunction with our occasional Mundamala feature, “And Mother Claps Her Hands,” which introduces the sangha to newly initiated members, this new offering “Birth in the Dharma,” celebrates the arrival of souls born into the SRV sangha.  The strengthening of the householder ashrama through the practice of dharma and its various sadhanas in this age is crucial for the highest good of the world.  Otherwise, where will exceptional souls who strive to “pick up the thread of their yoga,” as well as those who consciously return to the world to help beings awaken from the sleep of ignorance, go for dharmic parents?  Thus, we welcome the souls born into our sangha, and strive to support parents in raising their children in the dharma.


Our sangha brother Adrisya Durai and wife Vidya welcomed Deepak last July 1st. Adrisya is a long time student of Babaji’s from Chennai, India.  He has visited our San Francisco and Hawaii centers while working in the U.S. At the request of Adrisya, Vidya and the grandparents, Babaji was asked to name the child.


Anuraga, our sangha brother in Portland, Oregon, is the happy first-time Grandpa of Cascara Maryan Alderaen, born to his daughter Emily and her husband Ryan Alderaen.  Emily lived in the first SRV ashram, Shogren House, for two years while in high school. She received the pre-initiation name of Chandravali from Babaji and currently teaches hatha yoga using the name Chandravali Yoga.



There is an ancient story about a Hindu queen* who so desired that her children attain liberation in this life that she raised them in the dharma from birth.  She would rock them to sleep chanting the mahavakya, Tat twam asi, Tat twam asi (That thou art).  Her first three children became monks, and the fourth was taken away to learn the art of kingship while he was still very young.  Before he left, she gave him a slip of paper and told him to read it when he came of age.  On it was written, “God alone is true, all else is false.  You are the birthless and deathless Atman.”  It is said he renounced the world.

As householders, we must renounce within, in the mind, as Sri Ramakrishna has taught.  Sri Krishna described the yogi (and yogini) as one who moves about the world, its objects and situations, with the mind and senses controlled.  This neutralizes the karmas we bring with us in this birth and prevents the creation of new ones. Let us teach our children from birth that they are the birthless, deathless Self within, adjusting the practical teachings of dharma and discrimination (viveka) to suit their comprehension as they grow.  Below, a “nursery rhyme” for children born in the dharma:

Tat twam asi, Tat twam asi
My child you are the Atman so free!
Tat twam asi, Tat twam asi
As Atman you are ever free
The Atman is in you and me!

Tat twam asi, Tat twam asi
Your true Self isn’t a body that grows
Tat twam asi, Tat twam asi
Hands and feet, fingers and toes –
The Atman never comes or goes!

*Retold from Swami Vivekananda’s mention in Inspired Talks, page 186.