7 responses to “Founding Member Feature: Sri Nivas”

  1. Jules

    Wow SN! I’ve never seen the photo of the farmhouse in 1981. It’s inspiring to see what can be accomplished, thank you for everything you’ve built, fixed, repaired, restored and revived. Thank you for bringing your steady presence to the Centre!

  2. Amaresh

    Wow, didn’t know the farmhouse looked so bad and the people so good back then!! It would be great if someone could identify the other people in the pictures. Good work SN.

    1. Usha Rautenbach

      Hello Amaresh. I can do a bit of identification for you.
      I love that 1981 photograph of the Centre for its portrait of the daft door halfway up the wall on the left; that was the door to the first schoolroom occupied by the salt spring Centre School in September 1983; now Room 108, but so transformed you’d never know if you hadn’t been there day in day out. The pic is taken by Raghunath, and requires some identification, because the tanned karma yogi leaning out the upstairs window (cleaning it) is Janaki Polden, his wife. The outhouse was designed and built by Raghunath, and was neither octagonal nor hexagonal but pentagonal. He was building a triangular treehouse for his twins, Jaya and Hamsa, not long after…

      In the photograph of the Beautiful Young People gathered around Babaji, the person up the tree looking down on Babaji is AD (Anand Das). The seated people from left to right are: RD taking notes (Ravi Das, who was publishing our first yoga magazines and books when I first arrived in Vancouver 1978; absent from the pic are Aparna his wife, and Manju his little daughter, around the same age as Sudarsan and Sharada’s eldest, Daya), and on the other side of Babaji, reading what he is writing, is Mayana Williamson’s sister (Manjurika? a ‘senior moment’ is unsettling my certainty suddenly); on the right in front of SN is Kalpana (yes, our Kalpana Tabachnick, of Yoga Teacher Training skill, not-yet-married to AD-up-the-tree; now married to Divakar).

      In the 1984 photograph of the greenhouse being built, from left to right are Anuradha, possibly holding in her right hand a pink feather duster, and who-knows-what in her left hand, but looking ritualistic as should be expected; then standing, on SN’s right, karma-yoga-in-charge Vidyasagar, called Video-Sugar by the school children not-for-no-reason; and on SN’s left, I think it’s the person who used to come from France, with the French name that is escaping me, but Sharada could tell you all about him, I haven’t seen him for years. The person in the white touque may be Sanatan – he was certainly there; but who might be under the cowboy hat I don’t remember, unless it’s Satyanand, who was also there, and who is now Dancing Bear (Marc Suess, Maya and Piet’s dad).

      I hope that helps, and I hope someone can clarify the name of Mayana’s sister! My apologies, Usha

  3. Peter (Ashoka)

    What a great look back on the centre, from the ground up… a wonderful transformation. Loving all the new features on the website and in the news letters too.


  4. Cameron Coutts

    What a beaut story, a nicer man you will ever meet & an inspirational example of Karma Yoga.
    Shine on Sri Nivas

  5. Kishori

    Hi there Amaresh – the people in the top photo to the left of Babaji is Baba Narindra Dass, Anand Dass is in the tree, the woman peeking around the tree writing is Pratibha, then SN, the woman to the immediate right of Babaji is Kalpana Tabachnick, then Mandira (Mayana’s sister), then with her back to the camer is Ratna Dass from Santa Cruz. I believe this picture was taken in 1976 at Kalmalka Lake in the Okanagan – Camp Hatikva. In the lower photo, Anuradha is sitting – then VidyaSagar, SN, then Swarup (can’t remember his english name but he was a diamond salesman with AD), the guy behind Babaji is Rahunath Polden. Amazing eh?

  6. Zozumina

    Did your Babaji ever teach at an ashram /private residence on Joy Rd, near Occidental CA??
    Is that too esoteric??

    I remember meeting an amazing person at my neighbors house in probably 1973 or 74. I had no idea what yoga was..Or who he was supposed to be…I knew my neighbors who were very West Indian in their approach to life and interior decor and I was re-upholstering the entire inside of their Volkswagon Bus in WHITE BURLAP !! How pure is THAT!!…. anyway, this person “Babaji” just blew me away in the two minutes I was in the room with him!!!

    Was it Babaji???

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