Sadhna (spirituality) | Seva (service) | Sahajta (Naturality)
Samagra means ‘Wholeness First’, ‘Integrated’ and ‘Inclusive’. Samagra is both a place (nest) and a movement (wings), with its foundational principles based on the concept of Naturality, or Sahajata. Naturality or Sahajta is ‘Living according to our Nature, walking our own path.’ It is finding a state of harmony within and with the world and nature around us.
Samagra, India is based in the city of Dehradun, Uttarakhand, a place of great beauty and spiritual significance. The source of the rivers Ganga and Yamuna flow from here, and it is home to some of the mightiest snow covered peaks in the Himalayas.
Programs for Women and Children
Education and income-generating activities have been Samagra’s primary focus. Several income-generating programs have been established for marginalized women. In addition, the development of an after-school tutoring program for underprivileged children has attracted many young students in recent years. An innovative educational initiative, which uses music and meditation to stimulate both mind and spirit, is currently underway. This new program will offer a well-rounded education to children in need. Recently, Samagra has begun identifying particularly talented children living in poverty. The goal is to help these children find positions at better schools in the area and later on, to help them acquire a professional qualification at a university or technical college. For more details please visit: www.insamagra.blogspot.com
Program for International Students
A program for international visitors is also an integral part of Samagra’s work. Through the Student International Health Initiative (SIHI) program at McMaster University, Hamilton, students have been visiting this area for the past 10 years. Using an approach of appreciative inquiry, students explore a radically different cultural milieu. This fosters a process of self-reflection, promoting greater awareness about the world and their place within it.
Pilgrimages – An Adventure of Body, Mind and Soul
The Himalayas (abode of snow) are the highest mountains on earth. For thousands of years they have nourished the spiritual culture of India. On the fertile shores of the river Ganga as well as on the slopes and in the deep valleys of the Himalayas, lie many small villages and towns. Each has its own unique customs, dances, folklore and architecture. A journey through these sacred places gives one the opportunity to participate in the culture and traditions of the Indian people and to explore a path to liberation through Yoga, Meditation and dialogue. A journey through the Himalayas is an inner journey, an invitation to experience the sacred and an opportunity for transformation. It is pilgrimage. For the past four years, Samagra has organized pilgrimages to this special place for small groups from Canada. The pilgrims have a rich experience– they visit sacred sites, explore the magnificent Himalayan environment, and study the work of local NGOs. They also attend a meditation retreat in the sacred town of Rishikesh.
School of Naturality
Home for integrative, experiential and interactive teachings of Naturality (natural spirituality) or Sahajta
Why a school of Naturality in Rishikesh India?
Amongst the ancient cultures and civilizations of the world, India’s is the only one alive and more or less intact. Its core is spiritual. The focus of Indian spirituality has always been on liberation, mukti, moksha and nirvana. For the Indian people, life without Moksha or liberation is incomplete. Of the four pillars of life, Arth (wealth), Kaam (fulfillment of desires), Dharma (doing one’s duties) and Moksha (liberation), Moksha is the final step that integrates the other three into a harmonious whole. In the same way life goes through the four stages of Brahamcharya (learner), Griashtha (householder), Vanprastha (explorer) and Sanyasa (striving for liberation). Sanyasa is the final step and it completes the other three.
Indian spiritual culture is not a religion but rather a way of life. Each person is free to choose their own path, prophet, teacher and practice among the many that are available. One can even create an entirely new approach to spirituality. Because of the continuity of Indian culture and its emphasis on spirituality India is the richest treasure house of the spiritual wealth in the world. People come to India from all over the world in search of the sacred. Ironically, India doesn’t have a center or school for comprehensive spiritual learning. Many ashrams and spiritual centers are either based on the teachings of a particular Guru, sect or are too traditional or academic to be of interest to seekers with a modern education based on science.
Spiritual learning is education. Like any other education it must be free of unnecessary authority, mysticism, superstition and supernaturalism. This has already occurred with Ayurveda and Indian classical music traditions. This is also achievable in spirituality if the Guru-Shishya (disciple) tradition can be replaced by a more democratic teacher-student relationship. This would allow spiritual teachings to become available to everyone through dialogue and rather than dogma. Rishikesh, a town in the province of Uttarakhand, is situated on the banks of the river Ganga. It is the gateway to the spectacular Himalayas where countless spiritual seekers have wandered and meditated, seeking liberation. With its many monasteries, ashrams, temples and visiting pilgrims, Rishikesh has become a modern Banaras or Kashi. The Rishikesh school of Naturality will be connected to a voluntary social program for the underprivileged people of Uttarakhand. This will add the essential element of Karma Yoga (yoga of action). When Sadhna (spirituality) and Seva (voluntary work) come together, Samagrata (wholeness) is born and one experiences Sahajta or Naturality.