Heartfulness proposes meditation on the heart with an aim of attaining subtler levels of consciousness. The heart is not merely a pump for blood circulation – its role goes far beyond that. References in ancient Indian literature on Yoga, especially that from Sages like Patanjali,…
Nobody could have ever imagined that studying, gathering knowledge, meeting their favourite Gurus would be possible online before Corona pandemic invaded our lives. Our lives have changed and no doubt they have changed for good. We have realised that our actions, our choices are responsible for what we are going through. And we need to act and behave responsibly not only for ourselves but also for the generations to come.
Taking the Guru-shishya parampara forward, in the month of February we had some amazing sessions for yoga followers. The Episode 4 was conducted on Yoga and Mental Well-being by Maa Dr.Hansaji Yogendra, Senior President, IYA on February 7, 2021. Then on February 21, 2021, we had Episode 5 by Daaji Kamlesh D Patel, Member, Governing Council, IYA where he talked about the Freedom of Choice and what drives our choices. On the last day of the month i.e. February 28, 2021 we had Episode 6 by Swami Chidanand Saraswati, Member, Governing Council, IYA on The Karma Yoga Needed Today is the Protection and Preservation of our Planet
Online Gurukulam – an exemplary initiative by IYA is being held with AyurYoga Life (www.iya.ayuryoga.life) where you can watch the live sessions and earlier sessions well.
Yoga and Mental Well-being by Maa Dr.Hansaji Yogendra, Senior President, IYA
Well-being can be defined as a state where one experiences health, happiness, and prosperity together. It is a state where an individual is mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually satisfied and is able to find meaning to his life.
In her session Maa Hansa elaborated that in these challenging times, managing stress for mental well-being is vital for peace and leading a tension free life. Yoga makes us calm, connected, clear and centered by controlling the mind. Yoga removes the fluctuations of the mind. It brings stability of the mind until it rests in a state of total and utter tranquility, so that one experiences life as it is.
She further explained that mind is a very strong element. We are born with body. Mind, consciousness and soul. It is important to understand what should one do and how should one live. Yoga is the path. Yoga is a one-stop destination for mental well-being. If practised regularly, it connects the movement and flow of the mind and body with the rhythm and control of the breath. This enhances our focus, and physical and mental awareness.
She went on to explain 5 mantras to lead a happy and peaceful life.
Dharma means to do our action into the world. As an individual have duties to perform. First is duty towards oneself, then duty towards your family, duty towards your work, duty towards your nation and last duty towards humanity.
We should accept people as they are. No two snowflakes are alike. Everybody is unique in their own ways. We should stop expecting from others as everybody has their own point of view and a process of understanding. Expectations only lead to miseries.
Connect with Mother Nature:
World is as good as a playground. Understand that this universe is inside us. We are connected to nature. Spend some time every day with in the arms of mother nature. Go for a walk, inhale fresh air, absorb some sunlight and you will feel better.
Your Body is your Temple:
Keep your body clean and healthy. Similarly, keep your views clean and pure. What you think is what you are. Practice yoga, pranayama, meditation every day to keep yourself and your thought healthy. Eat on time, sleep on time avoid junk food, alcohol, smoking and other habits that might be bothering your body.
Manage your time so well that stress, tension and anxiety stays away from you. Be focused and this will help you finish your work in time.
Freedom of Choice by Daaji Kamlesh D Patel, Member, Governing Council, IYA
In his session, Daaji talked about the Choices. He elaborated that Choices are the decisions that we have to make between one option and other option or multiple options. And to be able to make an appropriate choice we need to be independent.
Choices should be made from the heart. You will regret the choices that are not made from heart. The choice may feel or look appropriate, but your heart will not be content. Our lives are guided by our hearts, and our hearts are constantly changing. It’s important that we still our heart, make it quiet like a pond. If you have a turbulent heart, you will never be able to make a worthwhile decision.
The choices made depends on the information we have in our cognitive minds. Cognates are genetically conditioned or transferred. These are samskaras– the impressions, habits, likes and dislikes we have accumulated in the past. But if samskaras are everything, everything is predestined, everything is already planned by the God then we all should behave like robots. There shouldn’t be any need to make choices.
Our choices depends of the philosophy that has conditioned us. This conditioning does not give us lot of freedom. Daaji explained this further with examples. Rishi Vashishta fixed a supposedly perfect marriage of Lord Rama and Mother Sita. Then why did they suffer so much?
After being abducted by the evil Ravana, and rescued by her Lord Rama her husband, Mother Sita was then humiliated by him in public. Eventually when she could not take the insult any more she decided to be exiled to the forest without her husband and finally swallowed up by Mother Earth.
Despite everything that happened, mother Sita she did not mind her sufferings or the injustice that was dealt to her. She stayed centred in her Lord. It was a tragic story. Lord Rama never remarried, always remained faithful to her, and ended his life by voluntarily walking into the Sarayu River— was it really voluntary, was he conditioned to take this step?
Daaji then explained that though we always have freedom to choose, our desires temper our decisions.
Swami Chidanand Saraswati on The Karma Yoga Needed Today is the Protection and Preservation of our Planet
Swami Chidanand Saraswati started his session by appreciating the efforts made by IYA to bring together a wonderful series of Online Gurukulam. He said, “IYA in a real sense it trying to bring all the yoga paramparas and traditions together.”
He then talked about the significance and importance of yoga. “Our ancient sages knew that yoga can bring us all together across borders. Yoga helps us discover ourselves and also bring solutions. It is important to understand that our life cannot exists without our environment. It is an illusion that we are the masters of the nature and environment. We cannot use, abuse and discard our natural resources. We are mere custodians of mother nature.”
Earth is the mother and we are her children. Our first dharma is to take care of Earth. There can be Plan A or Plan B but we only have one Planet. It won’t be incorrect to say that Planet Earth has been overburdened by our actions. The actions that are meaningless and take us away from the real purpose of our existence. Serving and preserving Mother Earth and Mother Nature is not the only path to God but the only path to life. There will be no life if we destroy our environment and pollute our mother nature. Over exploitation and over extraction is a sin. It is a green crime.
It is important for all of us to live in harmony and be selfless to live a meaningful life because only then we will be able to contribute. We all need to think beyond having more, consuming and storing.
We should not only focus on taking, but our actions should also aim towards protection and preservation of our planet. Be conscious consumers of our worlds’ sacred and finite resources through what we eat, what we buy and what we wear. We only have one planet to live. Like we take care of our homes and decorate them, we should dedicate ourselves to Planet Earth too. We must protect, preserve and serve it, ensuring that it not only survives but thrives.
Natural disasters reminds us all of the delicate balance between human being and natural world. In fact, Corona has come as an ambassador for all of us. Let us reflect from the lessons we have learnt from COVID-19. The Mother Nature has shown us that when we go inside she is able to heal and recover. She doesn’t need us. We need her. We have created this mess. It is clear that we are part of the problem and now we should be part of the solution as well.
As a self-regulatory body of Yoga organisations, IYA aims at bridging the gap between the Guru and the disciple with Online Gurukulam- Learn with Masters, a series of virtual sessions IYA Gurus. We are glad to inform that we have been receiving wonderful response from all the yoga corners. You can Register for FREE on www.iya.ayuryoga.life for forthcoming sessions.