The Kundalini Yoga sangat has existed in Russia for several years. Since 2010 it has been supporting a volunteer collaborative project with the Karabanovsky Children’s Home. The idea of starting this kind of seva came at Winter Solstice Sadhana “by the will of God”. The founder of the project, Akaljit Kaur (Dorina Alekseeva), tells the story: “One morning after Sadhana I stayed to drink tea and discuss the subject with one girl. Both of us were willing to do something like that.” Later on the girls organized a collection of New Year’s gifts, went to the Children’s Home, got acquainted with the children, and have been visiting them monthly ever since.
According to Akaljit Kaur, there were many people willing to help. Everyone responded to the call. She says: “We started with giving material support to the Home. But later on we realized that additional help was needed in the areas of communication, socialization, education, and entertainment. Now we are focused on work with teenagers.” The volunteers are planning a psychological training for the girls in the near future. A psychologist will teach them how to assess themselves realistically. The volunteers have noticed that many of the girls are lacking self-awareness – an authentic sense of themselves. They are given compliments for superficial things; they get anything they want because people feel pity for them.
Akaljit Kaur goes on to say: “[Working with these children] is a very deep experience for myself and I have realized its value in the course of time. You do not only give your energy, but get something subtle in return, which brings you to a new spiritual level. You know, there is energy at the heart center. If you turn it downward, you‘ll feel sorrow and become degraded, but if you direct it upward, you will acquire compassion, and that is a lofty experience.”
There is another inspiring seva project in our sangat. The Federation of Kundalini Yoga Teachers does not yet have its own Gurdwara space; therefore we have to rent it. One of the yogis, who is a Managing Director and Founder of a Moscow company, came forward and offered to pay all the monthly expenses for the House of the Guru. He asked to remain anonymous. It is his blessing to do this as a seva. He tells his story: “I made this decision after my trip to India, when I saw with my own eyes how the system works. Any time you come, pray, eat and give as much as you can. It is so simple. I don’t have any special feelings about this. I just do what I regard as true. But there is satisfaction, maybe gratification that all my actions in this world contain a part of goodness. We have to make decisions every day, especially in business. People’s lives and projects depend upon these decisions. It is always a pressure. And it is difficult to resist this pressure without faith and God.”
He believes that in order to begin such seva, a person should feel this need within himself. He stresses: “If you do it mechanically, just because you have to do it or because everybody else does it, then, I think, it will bring no changes. It is important to do what you believe in fully, not to betray it. No matter what it is.” The Gurdwara space in Moscow is gradually developing and expanding. We have been building from the ground up. By Guru’s Grace the Siri Guru Granth Sahib has appeared. We have moved to a new light space, where more opportunities to serve other people and to spread Yogi Bhajan’s teachings will appear. Thanks to modest and anonymous help from sevadars such as the ones we have interviewed, miracles do come true.