Adhyathma Vatika
Gyan Ratna Gurukul
Maha Mrityunjaya Mandir
Raju
 

We are unworthy servants, we have only done our duty. (Luke 17:10)

INTRODUCTION TO ADHYATHMA VATIKA:

"Adhyathma Vatika" is a platform to develop contextualized methodology.

The "Adhyathma Vatika" initiative has been primarily taken up by followers of Abhishikth Prabhu Shri Yesuji. Yesu-Bhakths practice their faith in Lord Shri Jesus in the Indian Hindu Cultural Context, which among other things enables them to be prepared for Hindu-Christian Dialogue. It is desirable to have a free flow of communication between the Hindu and Christian community. In order to reinforce communal harmony and to provide best possible personal choices, it is necessary to enter into silent observation, dialogue, and discourse on Hindu and Christian spirituality. We enter into silent observation (internal Dialogue), external Hindu-Christian dialogue and formal Christocentric discourse with the hope that one day a personal dialogue between the participants and God would be established.

OBJECTIVE/PURPOSE:

The purpose of "Adhyathma Vatika" is to provide a platform for Hindu-Christian Dialogue at a personal interaction level, group level or via mass media. This platform would impart a deeper understanding of the religious, social and political issues related to Hinduism and Christianity, create communal harmony and provide best personal choices through genuine friendships, mutual interaction, study, research, social service and open cordial thought provoking discussions.

THREE LEVELS OF DIALOGUE

We encourage three levels of Dialogue: Silent Observation (Internal Dialogue), External Hindu-Christian Dialogue and Formal Contextualized Christocentric Discourse.

We encourage Christians to enter into Silent Observation (Internal Dialogue) with the Hindus, by visiting Hindu Temples, places of worship and Hindu discourses. At the same time we encourage Hindus to enter into Silent Observation (Internal Dialogue) with the Christians by visiting Christocentric Satsangs and Christian places of worship.

We encourage developing positive and reciprocal communication between Hindus and Christians, by bringing together a small group of people from both communities. We attempt to provide a stage and a format to conduct small group discussions between Hindus and Christians. In seems that Interfaith Dialogue has only been initiated and attended only by the liberals of various communities. We specifically encourage the conservatives from various groups to come in and give their honest perspectives as they see it.

We encourage followers of Jesus to practice their faith in the Indian Cultural Context, by participating in Contextualized Christocentric Satsangs. In this format both the Hindus and Christians are exposed to formal biblical discourse.

METHODOLOGY:

1) Silent Observation (Internal Dialogue): We encourage members of each community to enter into Silent Observation (Internal Dialogue) with the other community by visiting places of worship and attending formal discourses. It is good to do this at a certain rhythmic frequency over a period of time. A daily, weekly or monthly schedule is encouraged.

2) External Hindu-Christian Dialogue:

  • Small groups of approximately 10 Hindus and 10 Christians could meet at a time.
  • Small group format is encouraged.
  • The sitting arrangement should be such that a cordial interaction among differing opinions is facilitated.
  • A facilitator from each side would give a formal presentation (30 minutes each) on a pre-decided topic of interest, which would be followed by question & answer session (30 minutes) and a group discussion (30 minutes).
  • A facilitator should be practicing the faith being presented. The participants may or may not be practicing any faith.
  • We encourage presenting the Hindu and Christian view on topics of interests to either communities.
  • There could be varying degrees of differences of opinions. We encourage listening to both the point of views.
  • During the course of several of these discussion sessions, we want the participants to arrive at a personal choice either to accept or reject or be agnostic towards or continue to think on the views that are expressed.
  • We enter into a Hindu-Christian dialogue with the hope that one day a personal dialogue between the participants and God would be established.
  • We encourage Hindus and Christians develop deep and sincere family friendships in spite of the possible differences of opinion.
  • Personal interactions are encouraged as it would also allow the participants to see how religious, social and political ideas are expressed in real life.
  • This forum is not to understand Christianity in isolation or Hinduism in isolation, but rather a comparative study of both.
  • The anticipated end-result is communal harmony and best possible personal choices.
  • The participants are encouraged to be tolerant towards the views of others. Be genuinely friendly. Provide information and references for important issues. During the general discussion the participants are free to present their views bluntly; also they should be gentle and cordial in all communication.

3) Formal Contextualized Christocentric Discourse: As this group was initiated and continues to be directed by Yesu-Bhakths, we encourage contextualized Christocentric Satsangs, where formal discourses (Yesu-Katha) can be presented in a story format. We encourage a weekly rhythm for Satsangs.

LIMITATIONS:

Because this group was initiated and continues to be directed by Yesu-Bhakths, Adhyathma Vatika promotes only Christocentric Satsangs at the above mentioned level of "Formal Contextualized Christocentric Discourse". However, the "External Hindu-Christian Dialogue" mentioned above is not a platform where any form of worship service, either Christian or Hindu, would take place.

RESOURCES FOR THE ORGANIZATION:

Our primary resources are spiritual. Also, for all our physical needs, we look to God to provide for our needs.

ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS:

Adhyathma Vatika and development of Contextualized format

God has graciously given opportunities to for anil yesudas to develop and perform several rituals like daily Aarti, weekly Satsangs, weekly Mandir, Kirtans, Shastrartha, Weddings, Funerals, Naamkarans (Naming ceremony), Upanayana (Coming of age ceremony), Graha-Pravesh (House warming ceremony), in a contextualized manner.

Adhyathma Vatika and Kalamazoo Hindu Temple MI

On behalf of Adhyathma Vatika, anil yesudas has conducted regular "Christocentric Satsangs" in the Kalamazoo Hindu Temple, from 2004 to 2009. It was the primary place that he could formally rethink and develop his practice of biblical faith in the Indian Hindu Cultural Context. Much of the "Contextualized Christocentric Satsang" format was developed while attending the Kalamazoo Hindu Temple. Since then anil yesudas has developed several formats for "Contextualized Satsangs".

Adhyathma Vatika and Vivekanand Monastery Ganges MI

On behalf of Adhyathma Vatika, anil yesudas has conducted regular weekly "Christocentric Satsangs" in Vivekananda Monastry, from 2008 to 2010. Apart from Kalamazoo Hindu temple, this was the secondary place that he could formally rethink and develop his practice of faith in Jesus in the Indian Hindu Cultural Context.

Adhyathma Vatika and South Asian Friendship Center

From 2007 to 2019, on behalf of Adhyathma Vatika, anil yesudas has partnered with the "South Asian Friendship Center, Chicago" and jointly started "Christocentric Satsangs", every Thursdays from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Over a period of time, several Yesu-Bhakths who were informally trained and regularly participated and lead this Satsang. There were several others who joined in for shorter periods of time. Shri Vinod Isaac has been especially helpful and active in media related issues.

The "Sadbhavana Satsang" on Thursday mornings, as a partnership between Adhyathma Vatika and SAFC, has been an informal school, where those interested to practice faith in Christ in the Indian Hindu Cultural Context, have come and learned. We encourage Yesu-Bhakths to start their own Satsangs, based on the format followed at the "Sadbhavana Satsang". It is a joy that a few of them have followed the strikingly similar format of the "Sadbhavana Satsang" developed by anil yesudas on the Adhyathma Vatika platform.

Adhyathma Vatika has partnered with the "South Asian Friendship Center" to conduct "Jap" to learn "Christocentric Sanskrit Chants". anil yesudas leads the "Jap" and several have attended regularly to learn the contextualized format.

By the Grace of God, since July 2011, together with a few followers of Lord Shri Jesus, we started a weekly gathering, in a home setting, every Sunday morning, for Communion service. This small autonomous group is called "Maha Mritunjaya Mandir" (Temple of the Great Victor over Death). For the very first year it met at Abhishek and Jessica Kumar's residence, the second year we met at anil yesudas' residence. From July 2013 to Oct 2019, it met at SAFC. This autonomous group now continues to meet every week via the efforts of GRG.

In January of 2012, we started a monthly gathering, called Kirtan (Kirtan is a form of Indian style "Call and Response" singing), that meets every last Saturday, at the South Asian Friendship Center. This is still continuing at SAFC.

In September 2012, we started a daily worship service at the anil yesudas residence, called "Aarti Nirankari" (Aarti is a Hindu term for worship, Nirankari denotes "Transcendent God"). "Aarti Nirankari" was conducted at the anil yesudas residence every day, except Sundays, from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM. Later the "Aarti Nirankari" shifted to SAFC in June 2013, which met daily at 9:30 AM till Oct 2019.

From Feb 2016 to Oct 2019, we started a monthly gathering, called Shastrartha (it is a form of contextualized study of scripture in a participatory manner), that met every first Saturday, at the South Asian Friendship Center.

Adhyathma Vatika and Akhand Paath
Every year, "Akhand Paath", is a one day contextualized event, of public reading of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, in its entirety, from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM, about 50 people take part in 5-15 minutes readings, and about a 120 people come in and go throughout the day. In the past, anil yesudas initiated and convened "Akhand Paath", in Michigan, for three years at the Kalamazoo Hindu Temple (Between 2006 and 2009). From 2007 to 2019, he has also initiated and convened "Akhand Paath" in the Chicago region, at SAFC. anil plans to continue to convene Akhand Paath on the GRG platform.

Adhyathma Vatika and residential gatherings

From time to time, as the opportunity arises, we gather for small "Contextualized Christocentric Devotions" at the homes of our friends who show an interest in Lord Shri Jesus.

Adhyathma Vatika and Interfaith Forums

On behalf of Adhyathma Vatika, anil yesudas initiated "Chicago Interfaith Forum" from 2007 to 2010, which met every first Saturday of the month in Rogers Park, Chicago.

On behalf of Adhyathma Vatika, anil yesudas initiated "Kalamazoo Interfaith Forum" from 2008 to 2011, which met every second Sunday of the month at the Sikh Gurudwara in Kalamazoo.

BOARD MEMBERS OF ADHYATHMA VATIKA:

anil yesudas
6057 N. Whipple Street
Chicago, IL 60659
773-580-6510 (Cell)
anil.yesudas@yahoo.com

Shaji Matthews
CHICAGO, IL

Jai Kurian
MICHIGAN

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