Following the time-honored tradition of establishing sanctuaries for spiritual aspirants, the Himalayan Institute maintains a meditation hall, the Sri Vidya Shrine. The name means “auspicious wisdom” and refers to a particular aspect of yoga practice and philosophy favored by the long lineage of teachers and sages of the Himalayan Tradition. Upon entering the shrine we silently offer the following prayer to connect ourselves with the inner divinity:
Seated at the door of our hearts, Oh Inner Light, you are Adi-guru, the teacher of all previous teachers. Guide me. Guide my conscience. Help me contain your light. Gurunam gurave namah.
The space that now serves as our meditation hall was originally the living quarters of Swami Rama, the founder of the Himalayan Institute. Inside the shrine you will see an image of Swamiji on the wall, and a reproduction of the only known photo of Swamiji’s master hanging above a sacred stone on a simple wooden pedestal. Pandit Tigunait, the current lineage holder in the Himalayan Tradition, brought the stone back from a pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash in western Tibet, the ancestral home of the Himalayan sages.
The wooden pedestal was built by a local artisan using wood from the forests surrounding the Institute. This altar is a focal point for concentration, providing a reminder of the wisdom and joy that lie within reach in each of our hearts. Invocations and prayers are recited daily in the Sri Vidya Shrine at 6:00a.m. and 9:30p.m.
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