It was a big day for Nikki bonsai Garden when His Holiness Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swami of Avadhoota Datta Peetham, Mysore paid us a visit on the 1st of November. Swamiji’s interest in Bonsai is well known and he himself is a collector of Bonsais. You do nor find many in the spiritual world who develop and pursue a hobby like that. His Kishkinta Moolika Garden is a magical spot of greenery in his Ashram at Mysore.
I met Swamiji just before the inauguration of his Kishkinta Moolika Garden. He was on a quest to collect Bonsais, not just from India, but from all over the world and I am happy to say that a few of my oldest Bonsais also found their way into his collection. This gave me a chance to interact with Swamiji and since then I have been following him and have keenly taken interest in the growth of his garden.
Swami Ganapathy Sachchidananda has for long evinced keen interest in visiting out garden and finally this has come true. He spent a considerable time at the garden, getting to know all the plants and keenly studying them. His passion for the art of bonsai was hard to miss.
Swamiji’s research into the art of bonsai and his thoughts and ideas on the same, which he has expressed through various talks, has inspired me to look at bonsai from a different angle. He has raised in me a consciousness which sees bonsai as a spiritual tradition and hence, my work on bonsai as something divine. This is very much akin to our culture of elevating higher art forms and traditions like dance, yoga, music etc. to a spiritual level. When the practicing of the art becomes Sadhana, it helps the practitioner evolve into a higher spiritual being. This same effect can be achieved by turning one’s passion for bonsai into a Sadhana and working accordingly. I am grateful to Swamiji whose devoted work with his Kishkinta Moolika Garden has inspired me to make bonsai a part of my spiritual Sadhana. Beyond being a hobby, the art of bonsai has been my source of relaxation and a form of meditation which gives me immense peace of mind.
I should also mention that Swamiji’s involvement in bonsai has brought about a sea-change in the position of Indian bonsai o the world map, and more importantly, the attitude of people towards what was once falsely considered a rich man’s art.
Swamiji is currently organizing the Bonsai International Convention at Mysore. This immense event would have stayed a mere dream, but for Swamiji’s involvement. It gives a chance to all bonsai artists in India to showcase their art to a global audience, meet and interact with other artists and glean valuable knowledge. The event is being organized in association with the Indo-Japanese Association and the founders of its Bonsai Study Group, Jyothi and Nikhunj Parekh, eminent Bonsai masters.
It has indeed been a pleasure and honor that Swamiji visited Nikki Bonsai Garden. We hope our association with him will grow in strength in the days to come.