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Radha's Life of Service XVl

December 24, 2008 by Lightwaves

In her ongoing research into Swami Radha’s life and work, Swami Durgananda turns up evidence of her involvement & engagement with the local community.  Swami Radha enthusiastically invited community members to come to the Ashram for everything from baby blessings to dance lessons.

Looking through the archives for pictures and information about Swami Radha’s Life of Service I have wondered how she could do so much traveling and still keep touch with the Ashram. But she always made space not only for the Ashram but also for the local community. I recall her mentioning that when they finished the lower level of Siva Hall she invited people from the community to come for the showing of a film. When Many Mansions, her house, was finished she invited local friends to join the Ashram residents for a party and refreshments.

We have some photos from 1970 of Swami Radha in the prayer room with a gathering of parents from the local community and their babies for a little ceremony of blessing the little ones. She had some special water from the Jordan River that she brought back from a trip she had taken to the Middle East years before and I think she used this special water for the blessing. There is also a pictureof a mother and father with their child having a blessing by Swami Radha in the prayer room.

The Ashram continues Swami Radha’s tradition of baby blessings. Recently there have been two baby blessings in the Temple of Divine Light.

Bill Fraser, who originally showed Swami Radha the ashram property, became a good friend of Swami Radha’s. When the Frasers found out that she taught Indian dancing they asked her if she would teach their daughters some dances. She was delighted and even got out some of her dance costumes and adjusted them to fit their sizes. She sometimes played a drum to help them keep the rhythm.

Swami Radha’s connection with the local community expanded over the years and developed into the teen program. She started it for the local teens, offering it to them free. The teen program now draws teenagers from the local community, across Canada and the United States.

These are only a few examples of how Swami Radha maintained a connection with the local community while traveling and putting the Ashram on the map.

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