The story behind the Avasar Organisation begins with how the Yugal Bhajan Kutir Ashram, came to be built. In 1979 the founder of the Ashram, Torbjörn Fjällström, travelled to the northern part of India to visit the little village of Radha Kund. He had set out to find a special book, a grammatical book of the Sanskrit language. The book could only be found in Radha Kund and it was titled Hari-nāmāmṛta-vyākaraṇam, written by the author Srī Jīva Gosvāmi. In the beginning of the 1960’s, Torbjörn had become interested in Indian culture and religion, and more specifically the so called Vedic Philosophy. He started to study Sanskrit, which then led him to search for this particular book of grammatics. Several years later, in the end of the 1990’s, Torbjörn decided that he wanted to build an Ashram. An Ashram can be compared to a type of monastery, where people are welcome to join and dedicate their life to the practice of bhakti-yoga and meditation. The Ashram of Radha Kund was also built with an additional purpose, to providing the elderly Bahtkas (people who have dedicated their lives to their beliefs) a place to go where they could feel welcome to live out the rest of their lives without expenses, in stillness and in peace.
During one of Torbjörns early visits to Radha Kund, he met a boy named Shivdas Sinha. Shivdas spoke mostly Hindi, but by trying to communicate with the western pilgrims who from time to time journeyed through his village, he had started to pick up bits and pieces of the english language. As Torbjörn continuously returned to the village of Radha Kund and always made sure that he and Shivdas would meet, they became friends. In the end of the 1990’s, when Torbjörn decided to build the Ashram, he asked Shivdas for help. He suggested that they would built it together, which meant that Shivdas and his family were offered the opportunity of building themselves a home. This opportunity then led to Shivdas continuing to learn english, to get an education and become an english teacher.
Today, Shivdas is 48 years old and still lives in the Ashram that he and Torbjörn built, with the help of Shvidas family (among others who also contributed). Together with his wife Vibha and four children, Ishan, Kishan, Lalih och Gopal, he runs the business of the Yugal Bhajan Kutir Ashram as his livelihood. Since 2008 the Ashram became available for visitors of different kind, although mostly pilgrims from all over the world. This created an opportunity for the rest of the members of the Sinha family to learn english in order to speak to the guests of the Ashram. Today all members of the family are speak fluent english.
The opportunity to learn english and to practice bhakti, was the opportunity that led Shivdas and his family to where they are today. Since January 2019, Shivdas is running the Avasar Organisation’s education project in Radha Kund with us, Hanna Söderlund and Alexandra Axelsson. We believe that with one opportunity, follows more opportunities. We want the children of Radha Kund to have this – regardless of their circumstances.