More on Aaravindha Himadra
(a response from a long-term student to a criticism,
and see here for another response in a similar vein)

This is from someone who has been around since the beginning of Sambodha, when there were only a few dozen people who knew Aaravindha.

First, right from the beginning people could tell that there was something different about Aaravindha. He wasn't just good looking or loving or knowledgable (being able to answer pretty much *any* question in detail!), no, you could also feel the room and the atmosphere and your own consciousness change when he went into Saumedhika. It was and still is so increadibly powerful!

So especially in the beginning, everyone wanted to be as close to him and to have as much time with him as possible. Up to the point where little competitions emerged. That was when some people who wanted to be close but felt they weren't as close as some of the others started to call those others "inner circle". Well, that's just human nature, isn't it? It was still minor compared to the love we felt for each other, so really, it is nothing to worry about. We don't have a special inner circle, we only have about 120 people who have learned everything to be fully qualified Sambodha teachers and those can be seen as the core of Sambodha.

Now, I don't want to reveal the details about what happened that lead to the "report" above out of respect for the people involved. However, the issue is a purely personal issue between that person and Aaravindha. She did and said something that hurt some people, and that had nothing to do with Sambodha or the community. But she didn't get what she wanted, so she got really angry. It lasted for a couple of years, and eventually Aaravindha said that he doesn't want to be her teacher anymore. That's when that person lost all her scruples and simply wanted to take revenge. She began to do everything she could to try to destroy Sambodha and write bad things about Aaravindha on the internet. She doesn't hate the community or the meditations, it's just that she doesn't see any other way to hurt Aaravindha.

But this is not meant to be criticizing of that person; it is a completely understandable reaction. Imagine you found the most beautiful place with the best friends and family you always wanted, and you are just in love and bliss. And then you make a decision that causes you to lose that. The normal reaction is to prove that what you had was nothing special and to make it bad, and/or to fight against it, trying to destroy it so that others cannot have it either--otherwise you would not be able to live with yourself and that decision. Like what this person wrote, saying it was nothing special: "Looking back now, I think ... instead of realizing that it was my own heart opening". Of course it was her own heart, but in addition, an open heart wants to give the love away and become even more open. That's *so much* easier if you have a community of dear friends who are open to receive and are happy to give at the same time. So it is usually both, one's own heart and the heart of the group. If it was any other way, people would be in bliss everywhere, independent of the environment. But usually people are triggered by other people's shortcomings and then we have all those emotions flying around. For some lovely reason, this doesn't seem to happen much in the Sambodha community.

About the seminars Aaravindha teaches. Those "Intensives" are mostly 12 days long and Aaravindha pretty much talks and answers questions non-stop from 9am to 9pm--except during the meditation. So you pay about 125 EUR per day, which is close to the minimum amount spiritual teachers anywhere charge. And for that you get something you won't experience anywhere else on the planet. Compare that to TM, for instance: $1000 for 4 sessions of instruction. So that is why very few people ever complain about the money.

For me, Aaravindha is the best friend I could ever have imagined. And the community has become my true family, even if I don't meet them regularly. So, when you are done reading about Sambodha and Aaravindha, just get to know the community in person, their love, and Aaravindha himself. Then make a decision if it is the right place for you. Don't just let fear and a few angry people blind you, let love be your guide and voice.
 
~ anon ~

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