Bharathi Yoga Dhama Fund
Sanskrit School Fund Reaps High Spiritual Returns
Investment manager Bruce Mitchell feels his Bharathi Yoga Dhama Endowment Fund at HHE has yielded strong spiritual returns. The fund supports a school for Sanskrit in Mysore, India. Centered on preserving the ancient language, the school also strives to make the 50-acre campus a place where its students can experience an ideal Hindu lifestyle.
The schools' founder, Dr. K. L. Shankaranarayana Jois, made a strong impression on Mitchell when they first met near Mitchell's Colorado home in 2002: "He was so obviously from a higher plane that I and my family wanted to be around him as much as possible." In 2004, Mitchell, his wife and two of his three children traveled to Mysore to visit Dr. Jois, and saw the newly purchased grounds for the school. The facilities consisted of a single cowshed.
"During our visits since, it has been amazing to see the progress," Mitchell reports. He travels back to Bhrathi Yoga Dhama once a year. "Now there are a dozen buildings, including dormitories, teachers' and visitors' quarters, a library, methane and solar pumps for water, an amphitheater and lush gardens." Even the original cowshed has been reinvented, becoming a care and breeding facility for a rare species of Indian cows.
Dr. Jois, who holds a Ph.D in yoga, is a retired professor of Sanskrit at the Sanskrit College of Mysore. He has a degree in ayurveda and is a hereditary Vedic astrologer. In the seven years since the Mitchell family's first visit, Dr. Jois has added to the school's core Sanskrit program instruction in yoga, the ideal life, astrology, vaastu, health, moral education, sacred vegetation, environment and other classes. He plans to publish un-translated Sanskrit texts in Sanskrit and Kannada (the dialect of Karnataka state).
Dr. Jois also offers retreats, open to Westerners, with the next scheduled for 2012. Past retreat topics have included "An Ideal Life," "Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha," and "Applying Ayurvedic Principles to Daily Living." Those interested may contact Mitchell at 303-985-5650 or email@example.com.
"I feel it is important that we continue to train young people in the yogic arts," Mitchell explains. "Due to increasing technology, young people in India are being drawn to Western lifestyles. Now these young folks are able to be around a living saint and absorb his essential teaching: that the primary purpose of a human existence is to realize the Self. Several students have gone on to become monks or swamis."
Mitchell can quantify the returns his HHE fund has yielded in terms of new construction, new programs and numbers of people served. But he most values spiritual returns. "Starting the fund represented a fairly significant investment for us, but one which we felt was very worthwhile. I encourage any readers to fully support institutions or causes they feel add to the spiritual evolution of human beings."
More information about the school can be found on their website, bharathiyogadhama.com.
To learn how you can support the Bharathi Yoga Dhama Endowment Fund through a will, life insurance or other planned gifts, contact Sannyasin Shanmuganathaswami at 808-822-3012 extension 244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Donate to this endowment (fund #82) at www.hheonline.org.
Hindu Heritage Endowment is a publicly supported, charitable organization recognized as tax exempt by the IRS on April 22, 1994. Employer ID 99-0308924. Founded by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, its philanthropic mission is to provide secure, professionally managed financial support for institutions and religious leaders of all lineages of Sanatana Dharma.
Halbert/Hargrove, Investment Counsel; Sonoda & Isara, LLP, CPA. HHE is a member of the Council on Foundations, an association of more than 2,000 foundations which interprets relevant law and management and investment principles, and of the National Committee on Planned Giving, the voice and professional resource for the gift planning community.
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