With Raga Svara I come to the question of étranger or xenos. I am unable to take on the role of a subservient host. Hospitality is an act of giving and receiving, a game if you will. The rules and codes must be adhered to. However, it always remains a struggle. It is never a transaction
While all our services are priced, value truly remains outside of economic rationality. To bring economics in the giving and receiving tarnishes the sanctity of the “act”. Hospitality perhaps has no place in contemporary society, making it even more valuable. It is beyond and even against economic rationality. And our hospitality remains out of economic rationality making it a matter of cultural value.
Now at Raga, the dominant aesthetic, in Bourdieu’s terms, is a combination of ease and asceticism i.e., self-imposed austerity, restraint, reserve and quietude, which are affirmed in that absolute manifestation of excellence, relaxation in tension.
We are not service providers, no unilateral flow of goods or services, no subservience. The guest, the student, the étranger partakes in the ritual of giving and receiving. In the act of crossing boundaries (of entering our sacred space), and thresholds between ours and yours, between self and the other, between private and the public, between inside and outside. These dichotomies overlap but never exactly match each other’s territory.
As Derrida said:
Hospitality is ethics, is the condition of humanity – for ethos is place: Hospitality is culture itself and not simply one ethic amongst others. Insofar as it has to do with the ethos, that is, the residence, one’s home, the familiar place of dwelling, inasmuch as it is a manner of being there, the manner in which we relate to ourselves and to others, to others as our own or as foreigners, ethics is hospitality; ethics is so thoroughly coextensive with the experience of hospitality.
L’hospitalité, c’est la culture même et ce n’est pas une éthique parmi d’autres. En tant qu’elle touche à l’éthos, à savoir à la demeure, au chez soi, au lieu du séjour familier autant qu’à la manière de se rapporter à soi et aux autres, aux autres comme aux siens ou comme à des étrangers, l’éthique est hospitalité, elle est de part en part co-extensive à l’expérience de l’hospitalité, de quelque façon qu’on l’ouvre ou la limite.
- Mohit Patel
Physiotherapy at Raga Svara is an important facility to maximise and maintain your physical strength, function, mobility and overall well-being. Through rigorous planning and assisted exercise regimen, chirminc pain and dysfunction can be addressed. Therapies like Short-wave diathermy, Traction, Ultrasound Therapy, Interferential Therapy, Nerve Stimulation, Myofascial Mobilisation, and exercise can help people at any stage of life.
Our campus is beautiful in all six seasons: Vasant (Spring), Grishma (Summer), Varsha (Monsoon), Sharad (Autumn), Hemant (Pre-winter) and Shishir (Winter). Our trees, plants and foliage have different characters in each season and one can experience the beauty of nature in all its diversity throughout the year. Temperatures in peak summer (May and June) can get uncomfortable in outdoor areas, but all indoor areas are centrally air-conditioned for your comfort.
We do not encourage bringing kids below 12 years of age to the retreat. Peace and introspection are key to experiencing Raga Svara in its fullness. However, we understand that sometimes there are unavoidable circumstances in which you may have to bring a toddler with you. In case you decide to bring a child with you, please note the following:
Our campus is very thoughtfully designed with ecology at the centre. There are many garden spaces, outdoor spaces, fruit orchards, vegetable gardens and much more on the campus to experience and explore. It is difficult to describe our campus experience. The only way to understand our campus is to be here.View Gallery
It is easy to believe that Raga Svara is a "business" and that it is different from Northstar or RKU, which are our learning institutions. But that would be an error. If anything, Raga is an even more potent form of learning. Raga is about bringing back the prime mover of transformation within one's self, which so often is not the case in formal learning.
Raga is, in Gasset's terms, a "salvation". The "theme" or more aptly the "melody " of the Raga is to be placed in direct relation with the "elementary currents of the spirit"; with the pre-eminent concerns of humans: love, belonging, peace, purpose.
The core element of our approach is to provide therapeutic relief to the malaise of the body and mind. Ancient Indian wisdom and therapeutic practices of Ayurveda and Yoga are fully realized within our “home”. Co-existence of traditional approaches and modern systems is not only possible but essential to move towards a broader conception of health and wellness. Our goal is not to stop at therapy but rather move towards Eudaimonia, a sense of flourishing, Kalyanam, moving from relief of suffering to the cultivation of positive emotional and mental states.
For the longest time, we have struggled with putting a price to our offerings. It is almost a debasement. Rationally, I should not be thinking of it that way. However, I have excelled at the art of losing money. If my fate is to be a mediocre maker of ventures, so be it. In the present scheme of things, our offerings have to be priced. Our home needs to run, bills need to be paid, staff needs to be paid, et al. Having been to some of the most expensive retreats in the world, I do not say it lightly that Raga is one of India's best retreats in all respects.
And so it is only natural that the Talavia Family will be contributing a major share of the cost of retreat at Raga for all Ragis. All guests will pay less than half of the true price structure.
While it is natural in the sequence of steps that led to the conception of Raga, it is not natural in the current world of business. There are no immediate incentives to underwrite transformation of others. But our family has a history of doing such monstrous long term thinking. In the long run, if more people are better educated and healthier in all respects, we are all better off. This is still not a wholly utilitarian step. Being a Raagi is an end in itself. We have no ulterior motive of improving the society through you. If that happens, we would be happy.
Building Raga Svara has cost a fortune, not just in terms of material resources. It has drained us all of our last drop of creativity and brute force of will. But Raga it self will renew us. And if it has to be our salvation, will it first be our annihilation? Who knows:
Remembering Siddhartha's wise words to Kamala: I think, I fast, I wait.
- Mohit Patel
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