Hearts That Had Overflown Over a period of 80 years, Sat Tal Christian Ashram has benefited many. Those who attend the Ashram Sessions are asked to give Feedback during the Overflowing of the Heart Session. Read what some of the satisfied Ashramites have said about the ashram and its events! "While I was a student in St. John’s college, Palayamkottai, I won a prize for a scripture exam in 1978. The prize was a book titled “The Way"— authored by Dr. E. Stanley Jones. In the Introduction to the book, I was amazed to read about the existence of a Christian Ashram in Sat Tal, and the founder of the Ashram was an associate of Mahatma Gandhi. From that day onwards I had the desire in my heart to visit Sat Tal Christian Ashram. After my formal education in the college was over in 1984, I was busy with the Corporate World to make a promising career and I could say that the desire was almost forgotten. As God had given me a mandate to work for peace between India and Pakistan, I resigned from my job as Human Resources Head of the Pallavaram factory of ALSTOM n.v., to begin work on peace initiates. In my endeavor to bring sustainable peace in the South Asia, I felt religious harmony needed to be built in India first; and the book by Dr Stanley Jones – Christ at the Round Table – came in handy. This book kindled the dormant burning desire in my heart, and the flames of desire could not remain buried under the ashes of excuses. When I saw the advertisements in few Christian magazines about the Sat Tal Ashram event, I was so excited because I was not only getting a chance to attend the Summer Session-2010, but also to witness the Sathabhishekam (80th Anniversary) of the Sat Tal Christian Ashram. My participation in this event is not just an accomplishment of a project that was pending for 32 years. This event also gave me an opportunity to listen to the 96 years YOUNG Bro. D P Titus, who had witnessed the metamorphosis of Sat Tal Christian Ashram. In addition, I had an opportunity to associate myself with Dr E Stanley Jones family, as Dr Anne Mathews-younes had come to the ashram to witness the 80th Anniversary Celebrations. Daily schedule consisted of a trek to Panna Lake for Vespers, as well as to the St John’s Chapel on Sundays. During afternoons we used to trek to the near by places like Kohinoor, Water Falls, and to the Butterfly Museum. All these treks in addition to climbing up and down several times to my Cottage (Dewane Aam) was a great boon, as my tummy became almost flat. I am sure by participating in the Sat Tal events every year one could keep one’s body fit – an annual overhauling. Participating in the Ecumenical Holy Communion was really a great blessing. My gratitude is due to Acharya John Biswas for allowing me to share my testimony on May 20, 2010 during the fellowship hour and more particularly for requesting me to share the Word of God during the Vespers on May 27, 2010. My heart overflowed on 28th May 2010 and the result is this exclusive website for Sat Tal Christian Ashram. It is just a beginning and I am sure that I will be able to contribute more and more with my lecture series to promote Vasudevakudumbagam (Kingdom of God) during the Ashram events." Dr & Rev. Ravikumar Stephen JDr & Rev. Ravikumar Stephen J (2010) Management Consultant, Peace Evangelist and Founder, Peace Coalition of Christians of South Asia & Ashram Movement of the Christians (www.ashramchristians.net) "Early on May morning in 1909, two of us got off the train in Kathgodam – one was a young teacher from the Women’s College at Lucknow, the other myself, a teenager at the end of her freshman year. ………………………. Since then my family and I have been to Sat Tal many times. I particularly recall 1945 for three things: One was that our boys were now old enough to enjoy hikes to Bhim Tal and Naini Tal with their father. Once they went as far as Ramnagar. Another interesting thing that Summer was a short series of talks about the birds and animals of Sat Tal. This was given by the Rev. T C Badley who described a very great grey and white owl that habited a tree in the woods; also the cuckoo which we could never see but only hear in the distance; the quarrelsome couple of birds who were never tired of contradicting on another with “kaifal pakka”, and the “kaifal kachcha”. But the pheasant (or chikor) really took the price. He was said to say the Hindu, “Sita Ram jasrat, and to the Nuslim in praise of Allah, “Suhan teri qudrat”. We heard the little barking deer at night, and one year, when we were living at the Chalet, we ever heard a tiger (or was it a leopard?) growling high up on the hill behind us. The other highlight of that year was the wedding of Miss Collins and Rev. Barney Thomson. The little church, St John’s, was beautifully decorated with the mauve orchids that grow round about, and the bride’s bouquet was a magnolia blossoms from Naini Tal. There was a reception at the Ashram and I think that the dinner was at Anand Bhavan. The groom and his best-man, Rev. Townsley , came to our house to dress. There was a sensation that evening when Mr Maurice Hakim’s sister and Mr Townsley announced their engagement. .... , the Sat Tal Ashram has been a source of spiritual inspiration and fellowship and fellowship to many earnest-minded wayfarers. May it continue to grow from strength to strength in humble service as we continue to proclaim that “'he Lord is Risen' and 'Jesus is Lord'." Ms S Ahnad ShahMrs Ahmad Shah Women Activist and Wife of Pro. E Ahmed Shah (Prof. Ahmad Shah was a former Member of the Legislative Council of the United Province [local government formed after the Simon Commission in the 30s] of the British India. "I first heard about the Sat Tal Ashram in November 1935 when I met Bro. E Stanley Jones in the Albert Hall, College Street, Calcutta. I was then 24 years of age and under the training as a marine engineer. ……………….. I was converted in that meeting hall and jpoined a group which studied the gospels regularly. Another member of this group was C T Venugopal, a Brahmin convert, who had been converted through the ministry of Bro. Jones one year before. I visited Sat Tal for the first time in May 1949 and enjoyed the fellowship of the Ashram. At that time, I was serving in the Calcutta Port as Assistant Mechanical Engineer. I visited the Ashram again in 1959 with my wife Bijoli and three sons, Amar, Ranjit, and Dipak, and again in 1965 with my wife and our two elder children, Jyoti Prakash and Anjali, who were in college. I came alone in 1967 and 1974. I met Bro. Stanley in Calcutta also several times. What drew us again to the Ashram? It was loving fellowship and warmth that we found there. I was appointed “Pharaoh” twice by Bro. Stanley. My answer to him was, ‘It will be done”. This saying was taken up by Bro. Stanley and painted on a poster in the dinning hall." Rev. Lalit Mohan KunduRev. Lalit Kundu Former Executive Engineer & Dy. Chief Mechanical Engineer, Calcutta Port and Former Presbyter in charge of St Paul’s Cathedral, Calcutta & St Andrew’s Church, Darjeeling "My happy memories go back to 1945 when I attended the first S.C.M. camp at Sat Tal. In 1951 summer I had the privilege to enjoy the fellowship of Dr E Stanley Jones, Dr Augustine Ralla Ram, Prof. S K Rudra and many others. Since the Union of Churches in 1970 we have several enjoyable Pastor’s Conference and Youth Camp in the Ashram. Sat Tal has witnessed great spiritual events. … For North India it has been a great place of Retreat. My only regret has been SAT TAL HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO HAVE A RESIDENT COMMUNITY of the type traditionally associated with Indian Ashrams. Let us hope that more people will make Sat Tal their spiritual power house for the Country." The Rt Rev. Din Dayal Former Moderator & Bishop, Church of North India, Allahabad "From my college days I have been to Sat Tal Ashram and have always felt down to it. Its natural beauty, its quiet, and the fellowship of those who yearn for the Christian Fellowship always undergirded me spiritually and physically. It is for the reason that year after year we have returned to that place because from the din of the World we retire into the quiet of that sanctuary to hear and reflect what God through His spirit will speak to us. Likewise it has provided for us spiritual succor and strength." Bishop Joseph R LanceBishop Joseph R Lance "We used to visit the Sat Tal Ashram often during the years 1972 to 1974. We were introduced to the Ashram by our friend and colleague Mr Harmut Henke. Mr Henke was a volunteer with the German Peace Corps. He told us that the Ashram was a very beautiful place and that we would we would meet very interesting people from all over the world. ….. I still remember fondly when Mr Henke introduced us to Miss Albertson, Mr Swynenberg, Sister Lulu and other interesting people. We were overwhelmed by the cordiality of the Ashram people. On another occasion we had our first experience of the Himalayan monsoon. ….. The whole day was busy with meeting interesting people. There was a French lady who showed her kind of: “East meets West”, synthesis of dance accompanied by “Om” sound, the music having been composed by her. Then there was a young man from Australia who played the guitar. There was also a young girl from New Zealand, a young German who had come from Kathmandu and an American Hindu lady who lived in Benaras as an ascetic for seven years. We were too engrossed in enjoying all these people that we gave no thought to the impending whether. At 9.00 p.m we started off for Henke’s Cottage which is about a kilometer away. We did not get any farther than the Ashram Dispensary when it started to pour. We thought that it would be let up in a short while but of course it did not. To our dismay we saw the Ashram guests were retiring for the night and it began to look as though we were going to have to spend a long and wet night on the dispensary verandah. We ran back to the Ashram as fast as we could where Miss Albertson found a place for us to sleep at night. As we fell into a well deserved sleep, we could still hear the rain pounding on the roof. We were particularly thankful to God for the Ashram that night." Dr Dipak Mukherjee Professor of Civil Engineering, Pantnagar University Ms Natasha Mukherjee House # I/3/12, Phool Bagh, G.B. Pant Univ. Pantnagar - 263 145 Nainital District, Uttarakhant "…….. It was my privilege to have the fellowship with Dr E Stanley Jones for many years and to present at several sessions of the Sat Tal Ashram. Situated in the heart of the Kumaon hills among the foothills of the Himalayas, far from the din and hustle of the cities, Sat Tal with its beautiful lakes provide a heaven of rest for who are tossed about in the hurry of modern life. The true spirit of ancient Ashram life finds expression in the peace and serenity among the tall pine trees and by the side of the cool lakes. It soothes the soul and lifts one’s thoughts to the things that are above where Christ reigns in His risen power. The main topic of study and meditations in the Ashram has been the Christ’s message of the Kingdom of God. Christ the matchless Guru is at the heart of all. With this members belonging to different denominations meet together in brotherly love and fellowship. The spirit of freedom and love which permeates everything in the Ashram helps to unite people from all classes, races, and religion. At the same time, Christ’s saving power through His redeeming love has always been highlighted without any reservations. This has helped many to find new life through commitment to Christ. They have also found solutions to their baffling problems. Many have looked forward from year to year to share the rich fellowship at Sat Tal." The Most Rev. Dr Alexander Mar ThomaBishop Aexeander Mar Thoma Former Metropolitan Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar "Sat Tal Ashram is unique kin the sense that it is international in its setting and purpose and abundant scope for meditative and freedom of expression of individuals who have a longing to bring out their potential or latent spiritual resources. It is perhaps one of the few Christian Ashrams in India which has transcended the denominational barriers of the Indian Church and freed men of their narrow doctrinal fetters." Dr Raja SavarirayanDr Raja Savarirayan Former Medical Officer Chistukula Ashram & Hospital, Tirupattur & Courtallam (http://www.ashramchristians.net/christian_ashrams/christu-kula_ashram) "Among the thousands who have been personally benefited through Dr E Stanley Jones and the Sat Tal Ashram, I am also one. Here, through the genius of a man who was in constant conversation with the God-Man, concepts that appeared to be irreconcilable – the individual and the community, the Word and deed, the contemplative and the practical, proclamation and dialog, servant and leader – were in one masterful stroke reconciled meaningfully. The result has always been healing to any individual who came with an Open Heart. And they who came with closed heart realized that that was the basic reason they could not leave with overflowing hearts. This is the key to India’s heart and, in my very limited knowledge, I would also say it is the key to the heart of the world." Rev. & Dr Samuel T KamalesonDR Sam Kamalesan Founding Member, Friends Missionary Prayer Band, India & Former Vice President - World Vision International "Mrs Sundaram and I have attended the Sat Tal Ashram many times. We often remember Dr Stanley Jones and many of the activities of the Ashram. Both of us have been blessed by the fellowship of the Ashramites, the discussions in the meetings the sharing of spiritual experiences and the devotional period by the lake side in the evenings. The work period was also a help. I often made use of this experience many times in my work. I am happy that the Sat Tal Ashram continues to serve the spiritual, mental and physical needs of the people who claim it. Sat Tal is very special experience for people who live in the plains of India with an entirely different climate and landscape." Bishop Gabriel & Rajabai Sundaram Hyderabad "I love Sat Tal because I can feel as though I am sitting at the feet of my GURU as I stroll in the woods or meditate at the lakeside or while simply gazing in the skies. I am also feel the warmth of the LOVE from my CHRIST through fellowship with his SHISYAS from all part of my motherland." Mr Francis Joseph (1978) "Government employment had been a hurdle in my visiting the Sat Tal Ashram in the past.; but when I retired from government services in March 1979, I availed myself of the very first opportunity to fulfill my long-standing ambition to participate in the Ashram’s Summer Program. …. The Sat Tal Ashram is purposely located far from populated localities so that the Ashramites may spend time far from worldly affairs but nearer to God. The Ashram is surrounded by green thick pine forest and beautiful shining lakes. It is a calm place where one can indeed have fellowship with God." Mr E S Peters Delhi (1979) "The Sat Tal Ashram upholds the sanctity of Ashram life in the mids of this modern materialistic world. ….. The Sat Tal Ashram has been fulfilling the spiritual needs of all people whether from the East or from the West. …. For me, Sat Tal Ashram is a POWER SATION, where we spiritually run-down people are re-charged with spiritual power." Rev. R S VermaAcharya R S Verma Founder, Yoga Darshana Adhyatmik Ashram, Lucknow (http://www.ashramchristians.net/christian_ashrams/yoga_darshana_adhyatmik_ashram) (Views were expressed by him, when he was in Rae Bareli in 1980, before be became a Resident Acharya of the Sat Tal Christian Ashram.) "Being born in a Mission Campus, I observed that every person who attended Sattal Ashram was given much respect similar to that for a Muslim who visits Mecca and a Hindu who completes Tirthyatra. I attended Sattal Ashram for the first time in May 2007 for summer session. I might have heard several sermons on Kingdom of God from the church pulpits. But it was the in-depth and heart-touching experience of learning about Kingdom of God at Sattal Ashram. As I personally studied it deeper and deeper, more truth about Kingdom of God was revealed to me. The atmosphere at Sattal Ashram is very conducive for in-depth understanding of Kingdom of God and also the Word of God. Outside interference is minimum - No TV or Mobile connectivity. Ashram becomes a small village of ashramites who are praising and worshipping God almighty. My children and wife too enjoyed staying at Sattal Ashram. I recollect how Dr Anand and all others helped my mother when she experienced breathlessness, due to the heavy wind that created a temporary vacuum in the mountain pass during my second visit in 2009. My family and I have decided that whenever possible, we will attend Sattal Ashram sessions. It is truly an adorable place, like a heaven on earth, a miniature of Kingdom of God, a place with right type of atmosphere away from all the world’s worries. As the Psalmist says in Psalm 23: 3-4, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Mr Sanjeev T CalebSanjeev T Caleb (2007 / 2009) Mumbai "I participated in the Summer (English) Session 2010. This was my first visit any of the ashrams of this kind. The morning devotion of the Gospel of St John's was of spiritually nourishing, in addition to bringing-in a disciple in our life-style. How could I forget the morning, when I woke-up very early, as one insect had entered into one my ears! The loving care showered by the doctor-volunteer and the other ashramites, made me to realize how empathetic they were all to me. The lion share of running the ashram events was vested with the Students from the Seminaries. They filled the air with their songs. It is worth mentioning how Mr Anish composed the boat song in an hour. They were very creative in turning wooden bench into a rowing boat of Kerala. How could one forget the energetic voice (Jesus Is Lord) Mr Sujan! I still long to meet Mr Sudarson, who used to call me: 'My daughter'. Given a chance, I would like to have Sat Tal Ashram my permanent home." Ms Hema (2010) "I first had the privilege of listening about Sattal Christian Ashram, during 1982, as Bro. D P Titus, then Acharya of Sat Tal Christian Ashram came to SIBS Bangarapet, where I was a seminary student. His talk inspired me to visit Sattal Ashram; which became a reality only during the Summer of 1987, when I visited Sattal for a Youth leadership Conference. With the first visit itself, I had developed an unique attachment to this great Ashram. There after I conducted five Youth Camps, from 1987 up to 1991. (In Each Youth Camp we had about 85-90 youth who eagerly participated. Many dedicated their lives to Christ and about 15-16 of them Youth are in the full time ministry today.) Later on (according to His divine provision) I was asked by Acharya D P Titus, to be one of the resource persons for the Summer Sessions. I was also inducted as a board member of SCA. From then onwards, my family and me were visiting Sattal Ashram several times every year. After much prayers & considerations I dedicated myself to this noble ministry in the year 2009 as a Resident Acharya of this ashram. It is indeed a real place of God's anointment for any one, who comes here to seek His face & is willing to follow Him faithfully. Sattal Ashram has contributed so much in the lives of our family, which, I can not describe in words. I am sure this historic Ashram continue to be a spiritual mile stone in the lives of many pthers in the coming years. Jesus is Lord." (John 17:3, Heb.11:6) Rev. & Dr John R BiswasAcharya Biswas Resident Acharya Sat Tal Christian Ashram (Views were expressed by him, in July 2011) How Can Ashramites Help Us? Most of the views posted above were collated from the Golden Jubilee Souvenir. Hence the webmaster solicits your feedback. Kindly email the "Overflowing of Your Heart" along with your picture, so that it could be posted in this website. We need your Participation Please contact the Webmaster: Webmaster Attention: Visitors to this Web-page The views expressed above could be one of your relatives or friends. If their pictures are not posted that is due to non-availability of the same. You could send us a copy of the picture, so that that could be published by the side of their name.Please contact the Webmaster: Webmaster