Yogaville Gurukulam camp
AWAY FROM HOME”
by a special correspondent
annual Gurukulam camp at Yogaville, Virginia US ended on 8th August and
the following weekend (on 14th & 15th Aug) Nitya Moothathu and Kannan
Rasiah, two of the students of Padmarani Cantu Rasiah (the resident teacher
at Yogaville FAS) had their formal Arangetram with great aplomb.
from 4th to 24th July (36 students)
camp from July 25th to August 8th (25 seniors including Bharatanaatyam
teachers and performers)
It is an exciting
festive season of six weeks for the Yogaville community. Every one looks
forward anxiously to the busy, buzzing activities of Bharatanaatyam, Bhajan
a Bhojan of course. Valli Akka and Rajee Akka, (the most affectionate
house mothers and kitchen mothers) provide the world’s best cuisines and
Larry M Gross - a lawyer who makes lasagna, enchilada and those exotic
western cuisines in the evenings are an integral part of the everlasting
memories of the true to the word ‘gurukulam’ camp at Yogaville, Virgina.
Poojyasri Swami Satchidananda‘s vision fructified by the mother head Amma
Rasiah (Rukmini Rasiah) continued for sixteen, successive successful years.
Students like Srutiranjani, Madhulika, Anuradha Murali (to name only a
few) continue coming to this Gurukulam for the past sixteen years, missing
one or two years in between. What attracts them to have this bondage with
this Yogaville Ashram - the all pervasive ‘love all serve all’ spell of
Swamijee, the Dhananjayans’ (Shantakka & Anna) charismatic art
of living, Padmarani’s (Padmakka) immaculate steps that never faults, the
dawn to dusk shining smile of Mathaajee - one wonders???
Mathaji & Padmakka
getting ready for yoga class
Students at various
age levels do not mind the hardship of practicing almost 8 to 10 hours
a day, and it becomes a matter of routine after a few days of aches and
breaks. In fact, it turns into a love of labour. At the end of the
three week session the first batch mourn, reluctant to leave the place.
The exiting performance of the last day is a festive occasion - a celebration
of the victory of hard labour - gaining of experience and knowledge in
Bharatanaatyam, classical music and yoga in a short spell of 3 weeks. For
the entire Yogaville community, it is rejuvenating retreat of a rare treat
of enlightening entertainment. This final day presentation was appreciated
by an enthralled audience, which included the parents and relatives of
phase of the summer camp started with a day’s break. Seniors included teachers
of Bharatanaatyam, professional performers and artistes who had just finished
Arangetram. They all came with the confidence of experiencing the
Midas touch from the Dhananjayans. Yogaville Fine Arts Society under
the motherly meticulous care of Amma Rasiah and fatherly strict guidance
of Swami Chidananda, works on a shoestring budget. Rukmini Rasiah,
Swami Chidananda and Padmarani are the pillars of the Fine Arts Society
and they make it happen every year, come what may be. A service oriented
venture commissioned by Swamijee has served the purpose with which Swamijee
enunciated the three ’D’ formula, discipline, devotion & dedication.
Tillana by the seniors
The entire group on the final day presentaion
in sixteen years have influenced almost a thousand students and they in
turn have inspired a million to understand the values of classical Indian
art and culture. The service of Yogaville Fine Arts society and the
Dhananjayans, is certainly an influencing factor in the Indo American cultural
relationship. And as Dhananjayan Anna quotes ‘the NRI children are no more
a brand of confused Desis, but a confirmed Desis’
Next year (2005)
Naatya Adhyayana Gurukulam camp is already scheduled for July 10th to 30th
and 1st to 14th August.
registrations get filled up by February/March.
contact by mail:
or Padmarani Canto,
VA. 23921 US