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Ramchandra Das - Fondateur du SAYM

Ramchandra Das

The Innitial years

Ramchandra was born in a stable on January 3, 1963

Etable de naissance de Ramchandra

Etable de naissance de Ramchandra – Sirseni – Gulmi

A Cowshed!… Difficult not to immediately make the link with the little Jesus we celebrate at Christmas time!
A pre-destination? … A sign of spiritual universality beyond beliefs?
In any case, it is for us Westerners bathed in Christianity a funny wink of fate.

Ramchandra is the eldest of a peasant family living in Purkot, Gulmi district, in western Nepal.
It is a very mountainous region, a real patchwork of terraced crops and earth houses, between 1400 and 2300 m above sea level. It is dominated by peaks at 3000 m, not very far from Dhaulagiri, the highest mountain of the Himalayas entirely in Nepal (8167 m), which can be seen in the distance when you climb on the ridges above the villages.

There, in this lost corner of Nepal, a very poor and often very hard life is given to him to live. He is the oldest of 5 brothers and sisters. At the birth of his last brother, he just turned 12 years old, and then decides to secretly leave his family and his country in the hope of finding a job and a future: it will make one mouth less to feed for his parents.

On foot, following some 18-20 year olds, he walks for 4 days, 14 hours a day, to Butwal where he discovers electricity and the train … which makes a terrible noise! And it is in the process of reaching India, always in the company of the young people who took him with them.

Paradise on Earth

Ramchandra, Shiva et Parvati

Ramchandra, Shiva et Parvati au sommet de Madane

He had to live on the streets a few times, he spent many months in various families working, going from experience to experience more or less happy. Then he finds himself again on the street, 4 days without eating.
He begs Parvati to give him some food.

A few minutes after his prayer, an old lady in a white dress approaches him with some good things to eat. She said to him, « Eat this food well … and there will be a jeep coming. » They will ask you to go with them. You have to go with them! « 

Hungry, he pounces on the food before turning to the old lady to thank her … but she’s gone … and he doesn’t even see her on the way, either one way or the other.
It almost disappeared.
Has he been busy devouring so long?
Did this woman really come?

Then comes the jeep with soldiers asking him if he wants to be a soldier.
Seeing this opportunity, the opportunity to learn to shoot and to be able to defend cows from tiger attacks, (as had happened several times in his youth), he agreed to become a soldier.

This new life seems to him to be heaven on earth: he can eat every day, several times a day, full of good things like he has never had, can wash himself with soap and learn various things.

Return to the Source

After a few years, his regiment was transferred to Calcutta (Varanasi), near a Shiva temple where he met a monk who told him that a Brahmin should read, learn, and do austerities. He must study Life, texts, Masters… and not be a simple soldier!

Ramchandra comes from a Brahmin family.
He reads a verse from the Ramayana of Valmiki.

He then realizes that he does not like military service and arms and ends up leaving the army to start, at 16, a life of a sadhu, pilgrim monk, which will last 6 years.

He learns Sanskrit and English, meditation and many practices, makes vows of silence, makes many austerities and advance, with different masters, in the discovery of knowledge transmitted for millennia on the realities and illusions of life.

The Mother and Sri Aurobindo

Ramchandra en méditation

Ramchandra en méditation – Ashram de Katmandou – octobre 2017

He suddenly discovers the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo and of Mother through a book. Feeling the nectar of life in these writings, he immediately leaves for Pondicherry and settles, very shortly after, in the ashram where he will live for 12 years.

He became the servant of Champaklal, who was himself the personal servant of Sri Aurobindo and Mother for more than 50 years.

After 3 intense years in his service, Champaklal died in his arms during a stay in Bombay (Mumbai). This period of 3 years is, he says, for him, the golden age of his life.

He returns to Pondicherry, but affected by this departure beyond the shores of life, he decides to step back and travel to India. He goes to the sources of the Ganges, and suddenly has the idea of ​​returning to Nepal … to see his mother and his family!

Return to Nepal

After almost 2 decades, in January 1993, at 30, he returned to Nepal.

He is seized by the misery of children, malnourished, dirty, dragging on the roads … and so many!
What shocked him the most? the snot that drools from the noses of so many children!

He decided to create an ashram to publicize the integral yoga and the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo and Mother, of French origin, who is at the origin of the creation of Auroville. He founded, with 7 other Nepalese, the Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir … then he returned to Pondicherry where he thought he would live while returning from time to time to Kathmandu to develop and guide the ashram, bring money and transmit the teachings.

But it doesn’t go the way he wants: after 2 months of absence, he finds the dirty and inactive ashram, his money is wasted.
 » Never mind! I’m going back to Pondicherry »
But in him, it’s not the same anymore.
Her soul is not happy.

After intense questioning, he decides to follow until the end of the way which will indicate to him his master and friend Nirodda, one of the twelve close disciples of Sri Aurobindo… “you never know, sometimes that he tells me to stay, that my place is really here. « 
In his heart, this is what he would like: to stay at the ashram, with his spiritual family, where he feels so happy … but Life calls him to return to Nepal, and the voice of his master does not only confirm it: « you have nothing to do here. Go back to Nepal! « 

The Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir

He decides to come to the aid of all these children encountered on the roads of his return, feeling deep down the need to serve his people and his country.

Ashram de Katmandou

Ashram de Katmandou – Octobre 2017

With his few savings, on April 24, 1993, abandoning the first ashram project, he bought a small earth house on the heights of Kathmandu, without water, electricity and toilets. This is where the first ashram will develop in order to realize the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and Mother.

He begins to take with him children, orphans or from very poor families, to offer them an education.
They are 3, 4 or 5 years old.
During the day, he leaves to work in Kathmandu, leaving them some school work to do. Then he gives them lessons from his return from work, until the evening.

He buys a cow, makes incense with them, builds toilets attached to the house.

After a year, there are 20 … then 40 of them living in the little house. They go to school outside, in front of the house.

Since then, he has devoted himself completely to this work, guiding many children and adults to regain the dignity of being and living.

In his eyes, it is not useful to run away from the world to have spiritual experiences: he wants all his peers to have a deep experience and shows them the way, convinced that a quantum leap will result in the evolution of humanity.

A life at the service of the Mother… and of her children

Déjeuner des enfants

Déjeuner des enfants – Ashram de Katmandou

Swami Ramchandra Das is a real karmayogi.

The practice of karma-yoga is one of the 4 traditional ways of yoga: selfless action yoga. It is based on the detachment from the fruits of the action… on the fact of desiring neither praise nor reward for what has been accomplished.

The karmayogi acts in an impartial and impersonal manner, without ego: he has no personal interest and has rejected any sense of possessiveness. Satisfied with what falls to him without having sought it, having crossed dualities, envying no one, equal in failure and success, he is not chained even when he acts.

« If you want to work properly, you have to keep in mind two main principles:
first, deep respect for the work undertaken; second, complete indifference to its fruits. « 
Swami Brahmananda

In addition to detachment from the outcome of the actions undertaken, the karma yogi does not consider itself the author of the action. It acts as an instrument in the work and relies on the Power that is behind us, or above us, instead of doing everything by mental effort.

An example and an inspiration for all
For those who have met him, Ramchandra inspires respect, so great is the Gift of himself, and so much he radiates kindness!

All the children call him « Mama ».

The mighty force that emanates from his confidence and wisdom is a spontaneous encouragement to improve and move towards the best of oneself.
His testimony, and his Faith in raising the mountains, is a wonderful source of inspiration.

He makes you want to follow him and give, give and give again … his life and his heart, without counting, without restraint, and without fear.

« I never planned anything. It all comes…
So I start, I do … and it comes!
It’s like that!
With the Divine, EVERYTHING is possible. « 

Ramchandra - Karma Yoga - Gulmi

Ramchandra – Karma Yoga à Gulmi – Novembre 2019

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© Abel Millot — © Les Enfants de Ram — © Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir — © Auronepal Travel & Trek — Janvier 2020