Nepal government recently made yoga compulsory for college children during a bid to market a healthy lifestyle, as per media reports. The course is going to be implemented within the school curriculum from the upcoming academic sessions and can be timely revised if needed.
Nepal’s Ministry of Education, Science and technology has completed designing courses on yoga for grades ninth to twelfth. alongside that, through an integrated approach, certain concepts about Yoga are going to be incorporated in other compulsory subjects like English and Nepali as per reports of the international media. the topic will have credits almost like other subjects. the topic is going to be taught under a three-year diploma program under the Council for Technical Education. Meanwhile, the curriculum for the three-year vocational course on ‘Technical School Leaving Certificate in Yoga, Ayurveda, and Naturopathy’ has also been designed.
While in conversation a global media, Krishna Prashad Kapri, joint secretary at the ministry of education, science and technology said, that the scholars will have a choice to choose from yoga, Ayurveda, and natural medicine as an optional subject at the varsity level. Ministry spokesman, Deepak Sharma said that the course is integrated with the varsity curriculum to market a healthy lifestyle. Kapri also said that the courses will help students study Yoga and its importance. The course also will instill moral values in students and help them maintain their psychological state. He further revealed that besides being helpful within the treatment of varied ailments, Yoga, Ayurveda, and naturopathy also will be helpful for further research.
The Gayatri mantra is considered one of the most universal of all mantras, it is also considered as one of the top 3 most supreme mantra (Maha Mantra), invoking the universal Brahman as the principle of knowledge and the illumination of the primordial Sun. The mantra is extracted from the 10th verse of Hymn 62 in Book III of the Rig Veda.
Oh parmatma, the Protector, the basis of all life, Who is self-existent, Who is free from all pains and Whose contact frees the soul from all troubles, Who pervades the Universe and sustains all, the Creator and Energizer of the whole Universe, the Giver of happiness, Who is worthy of acceptance, the most excellent, Who is Pure and the Purifier of all, let us embrace that very parmatma, so that He may direct our mental faculties in the right direction. Let us meditate on that excellent glory of the divine Light (Vivifier, Sun). May he stimulate our understandings (knowledge, intellectual illumination).
(A quick note of caution, The Gayatri Mantra, honoring the sun, is from Rig Veda. One must never chant it after sunset. Also, singing it in just any tune as devotional singers are doing nowadays is an absolute no- no. )
The Four Parts of the Gayatri Mantra
Aum Bhur Bhuvah Swah (ॐ भूर्भुव: स्व:)
1. AUM (ॐ) the Supreme name of parmatma. A full explanation of this has been given in a related article.
BHUR BHUVAH SWAH. These three words collectively are known as the “Mahavyahriti”. They express the nature of parmatma, and demonstrate his inherent qualities.
2. BHUR (भूर्) Firstly, the word Bhur implies existence. parmatma is self-existent and independent of all. He is eternal and unchanging. Without beginning and without end, parmatma exists as a continuous, permanent, constant entity. Secondly, the word Bhur can also mean the Earth, on which we are born and sustained. parmatma is the provider of all, and it is through His divine will that we our blessed with all that we require to maintain us through our lives. Finally, Bhur signifies Prana, or life (literally, breath). parmatma is That which gives life to all. Whilst He is independent of all, all are dependent on Him. It is parmatma who has given us life, parmatma who maintains us throughout our lives, and parmatma alone who has the ability to take away our life, when He so chooses. The only permanent entity, all others are subject to His own will
3. BHUVAH (भुव:) Bhuvah describes the absolute Consciousness of parmatma. parmatma is self-Conscious as well as being Conscious of all else, and thus is able to control and govern the Universe. Also, the word Bhuvah relates to God’s relationship with the celestial world. It denotes parmatma greatness – greater than the sky and space, He is boundless and unlimited. Finally, Bhuvah is also indicative of parmatma role as the remover of all pain and sufferings (Apaana). We see pain and sorrow all around us. However, through supplication to parmatma, we can be freed from that pain and hardship. parmatma Himself is devoid of any pain. Though He is Conscious of all, and is thus aware of pain, it does not affect Him. It is our own ignorance that makes us susceptible to the effects of Maya, or illusion, which causes us to feel pain. Through true devotion to parmatma, we can be freed from the clutches of Maya, and thus be rid of pain and sorrow.
4. SWAH (स्व:) Swah indicates the all-pervading nature of parmatma. He is omnipresent and pervades the entire multi-formed Universe. Without Form Himself, He is able to manifest Himself through the medium of the physical world, and is thus present in each and every physical entity. In this way, parmatma is able to interact with the Universe created by Him, and thus sustain and control it, ensuring its smooth and proper running and function. Also, Swah symbolizes parmatma bliss. All but God experience pain, suffering and sorrow. Devoid of all such things, parmatma alone is able to experience supreme bliss. Happiness as experienced by humans is temporary, a transient state of mental satisfaction, which soon dissolves back into the mire of worldly troubles. Perfect, and without any form of deficiency, parmatma alone experiences true bliss, permanent and unaffected by worldly pains and woes. One who realizes parmatma is able to join in this bliss, and thus God is able to impart true happiness to those who establish oneness with that Supreme Divinity.
5. TAT (तत् s.1) Literally, this word means “that”, being used in Sanskrit to denote the third person. It is also mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita by Sri Krishna Himself, where He implies the selfless nature of the word. Being used in the third person, the word has implicit in it an idea of selflessness. Sri Krishna uses it to imply the selfless nature of charity (charity, or a gift, being used as an analogy for worship, in the form of action, implying that action should be preformed without regard to its fruits, but simply out of devotion and sense of duty, or Dharma). Tat then is used here in the Gayatri Mantra to indicate that the worshipper is referring to [that] parmatma, and that the praise being offered to parmatma in the prayer is purely directed towards Him, without thought of gaining any personal benefit from that praise.
6. SA-VI-TUR (सवितुर् s.2-4) Savita, from which Savitur is derived, is another name of parmatma, this being the reason that the Gayatri Mantra is often known as the Savitri Mantra. The implication of Savita is of parmatma status as the fountain, the source of all things. It is through His Divine Grace that the Universe exists, and so this word sums up the Mahavyahriti, by describing parmatma ability to create the Universe and sustain it, as well as, at the right time, bring about its dissolution. Savita is also indicative of parmatma gift to mankind. Humans also have, in limited amount, the power, or shakti, of Savita. This shakti acts as an impetus in humans, and brings about the requirement for them to do something. They cannot sit idle, and are constantly searching for something to do. This is what is commonly known as the “creative urge”. It is through this shakti that mankind has created art, and it is through this shakti also that scientific advances are made. The gift of Savita also gives creatures the ability of procreation. Hence, Savita can be thought of as meaning Father (or Mother) also.
Finally, it is the power of Savita that enables mankind to distinguish right from wrong, and vice from virtue. Through this ability, we are able to in some part direct our own selves, and thus, Savita imparts to us a certain self-guiding ability. Thus, by using this word in the mantra, we demonstrate that we are making efforts ourselves also, since parmatma will not help us unless we are willing to help ourselves.
7. VA-RE-NY-AM (वरेण्यं s.5-8) Varenyam signifies our acceptance of parmatma, and can be translated as meaning “Who is worthy”. Ever ready to obtain all the material riches of the world, more often than not, they are a disappointment once they have been achieved. parmatma however is the one who, once realized and achieved, has the ability to truly satisfy. We therefore accept Him as the Highest reality, and it is to Him that we dedicate our efforts. Varenyam can also be interpreted as signifying one who is eligible. We have chosen Him to be our Leader and our Guide. We place our all into His hands, and accept Him regardless of anything else. We place no conditions on this acceptance, as it is all out of sheer devotion.
This triplet is a further description of the attributes and qualities of parmatma – His functional and instrumental qualities, rather than intrinsic qualities – and through those qualities, His relationship to us.
8. BHAR-GO (भर्गो s.1,2) Bhargo is taken to signify the Glorious Light that is parmatma love and power. It indicates His complete purity – being absolutely pure Himself, God also has the ability to purify those that come into contact with Him. Thus, Bhargo is indicative of parmatma power to purify, and to destroy all sins and afflictions. In the same way as a metal ore placed into a fire will yield the pure metal, by merging with parmatma, by realizing His Divine Form and establishing unity and oneness with Him, we can cleanse ourselves and be made pure by His Grace. Though the soul, being itself Divine in nature, possesses that Light, it lacks luster, having been made impure by the sins and vices, which are a result of the darkness of Maya. By removing the veil of Maya, and cleansing our soul, parmatma can enable the soul to realize its true, Divine self, and thus purify it.
9. DE-VAS-YA (देवस्य s.3-5) The word Deva, from which this word is derived, has been translated by different people in many different ways. It is generally thought of as meaning simply “parmatma”. However, its meaning is more complex than that. Deva, which forms the root of the words “Devata” and “Devi”, means “quality” or “attribute”, and can be thought of as another word for “Guna”. Thus, the various forms of parmatma are given this name, as each of those forms is related to a specific quality and function (for example, Brahma has the quality of Creation, Kamadeva has the quality of love, etc.). Also, Deva is thus used to describe anyone who is considered to possess a special quality.
Since Deva is symbolic of the individual qualities of parmatma, the word demonstrates the inherent oneness of those different Forms, and thus the use of this word can be taken as describing the fundamental unity of parmatma. Thus we see that here, we reaffirm that central belief in the Hindu Dharma that “Ekam sat viprah bahudah vadanti” (Truth, or parmatma, is one, but wise men call Him/It by different names).
Thus, Deva is indicative of the various multifaceted entity that is the absolute Personality of parmatma. It describes in one word all the functions, roles and different attributes of parmatma, and symbolizes therefore his absolutely essential nature – without parmatma, nothing can exist.
10. DHI-MA-HI (धीमहि s.6-8) Meaning to meditate and focus our mind on parmatma. Meditation on parmatma implies that we remove all other thoughts from our mind, since thoughts of the world render our mind impure, and thus we are unable to conceptualize the absolute purity of parmatma. We must be able to concentrate, and direct our mental energies towards the task in hand – which is communion with parmatma.
Goddess Gayatri DHIYO YO NAH PRACHODAYAT (धीयो यो न: प्रचोदयात्)
Prayer is carried out for four main reasons:
to praise and glorify parmatma; to thank parmatma; to ask forgiveness from parmatma; or to make a request from parmatma. Having carried out the other three parts (praise of His greatness, thanks for His generosity in Creation and maintaining us through our lives, and forgiveness by demonstrating our awareness of our own impurity, which we have realized is present and must be cleansed through contact with parmatma), this part is now our request from parmatma. Since our soul is the Light of Life within us, and that acts on our body via the medium of the brain, we ask parmatma to make this contact pure and righteous. The soul is of course inherently pure, being itself Divine in nature. The body is under the complete control of the mind. The link is the mind, which is affected not only by the soul, but also the outside world. We ask in these four words that parmatma help us to improve our intellect, and guide it towards what is right.
11. DHI-YO (धीयो s.1,2) Sanskrit for “intellect”, this is the essence of this part of the Gayatri Mantra. Having firmly set parmatma in our hearts, we now must try to emphasize His presence and influence on our mind and intellect. Material prosperity holds no true meaning for the person who is truly devoted to God. Pain and suffering are of no consequence to him as, touched by parmatma, he is imbued with parmatma own Divine Bliss, and all worldly sorrows pale to nothingness in comparison. However, still the individual must live in the world. Thus, it is important that the person’s intellect remains focussed on serving parmatma, and that it is able, through the medium of the body, to serve parmatma to the best of its ability.
Physical objects can be obtained very easily, if one is intelligent enough to know how to go about it. Intellect however cannot be obtained, but must be there from the very first. It is by use of this intellect, in fact, that one is able to cultivate all other qualities (building of wealth, “success” in life (in material terms), physical fitness, etc.) Thus, intellect is the key to all else in life, and as such, it is the most important possession. We ask parmatma in the Gayatri Mantra to gift us with the highest intellect, and to help us by showing us the way to use that intellect.
12. YO (यो s.3) Meaning “Who” or “That”, Yo signifies yet again that it is not to anyone else that we direct these prayers, but to parmatma alone. Only parmatma is worthy of the highest adoration, only parmatma is perfect and free from all defects. It is That parmatma to Whom we offer these prayers.
13. NAH (न: s.4) Nah means “Ours”, and signifies the selflessness of the request we make of parmatma in this part of the Gayatri Mantra. We offer this prayer, and make the request of parmatma, not simply for ourselves, but for the whole of humanity. We seek the uplift of the whole of society. Hindu philosophy has since the beginning recognized the concept of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” – “The whole world is one big family”. Thus, we pray not only for ourselves, but for each and every member of that great family, that we may all benefit from the greatness and generosity of the All-loving parmatma.
14. PRA-CHO-DA-YAT (प्रचोदयात् s.5-8) Prachodayat, the final word of the Gayatri Mantra, rounds off the whole mantra, and completes the request we make of parmatma in this final part. This word is a request from parmatma, in which we ask Him for Guidance, and Inspiration. We ask that, by showing us His Divine and Glorious Light (cf. BHARGO), He remove the darkness of Maya from our paths, that we are able to see the way, and in this manner, we ask Him to direct our energies in the right way, guiding us through the chaos of this world, to find sanctuary in the tranquility and peace of parmatma Himself, the root of all Happiness, and the source of true Bliss.
There are numerous benefits of chanting Gayatri mantra. Thus, here are some of the positive effects of chanting Gayatri Mantra. It increases learning power. It increases concentration. It brings prosperity. It gives people eternal power. It is very useful for peace. It is the first step to go to the way of the spiritual road. It is correlated with God. It strengthens the mind and improves the health condition. It improves the rhythmic pattern of breathing. It keeps our hearts healthy. It protects the devotee from all the dangers and guides towards the Divine by intuition. It improves our family life.
The story of the goddess Kali is told in the Devi Mahatmya of the Markandeya Purana. She is an incarnation of the goddess Durga. For those who don’t know, Durga was created from the combined powers of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva in order to defeat the demon Mahishasura. But she is generally viewed be the consort of Shiva, because she is considered an incarnation of Shiva’s wife Parvati. (Or if you’re a follower of the Shakta sect, then you’d view Durga to be a manifestation of the same Adi Parashakti of which Shiva’s wives Shakti and Parvati were both incarnations.)
In any case, the story of Kali happened after Durga’s victory over Mahishasura. Once the demons Shumba and Nishumba defeated the gods in battle and took over the three worlds, so the gods went to mount Kailash to ask Durga for help. After they said a prayer to Durga, Shiva’s wife Parvati came by, and out of her body came a form of Durga known as Ambika or Kaushiki. During Ambika’s battle with the Shumba and Nishumbha’s Asura army, she was confronted by a pair of Asura generals named Chanda and Munda. To defeat them, Ambika created Kali out of her forehead, as described in this chapter of the Devi Mahatmya of the Markandeya Purana:
Thereupon Ambika became terribly angry with those foes, and her anger her countenance then became dark as ink. Out from the surface of her forehead, fierce with frown, issued suddenly Kali of terrible countenance, armed with a sword and noose. Bearing the strange skull-topped staff, decorated with a garland of skulls, clad in a tiger’s skin, very appalling owing to her emaciated flesh, with gaping mouth, fearful with her tongue lolling out, having deep-sunk reddish eyes and filling the regions of the sky with her roars, and falling upon impetuously and slaughtering the great asuras in that army, she devoured those hosts of the foes of the devas. Kali defeated Chanda and Munda and brought Ambika their heads, for which she is known as Chamunda or Chamundeshwari. And she was instrumental in helping Ambika defeat Shumbha and Nishumbha and restore rule of the three worlds to Indra and the gods.
Mother Kali is the consort of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is the silent aspect of the Transcendental Reality, and Mother Kali is the dynamic aspect of the Transcendental Reality. Truth is complete when it is both dynamic and silent. Truth is complete when the dynamic aspect and the silent aspect function together.
In the Upanishads it says: “That is far and at the same time, that is near. That moves and that moves not. That is within and that is without. It moves and it moves not.” When Kali is performing her role, reality is moving. When Shiva is performing, reality is silent. When they perform together, that moves and that moves not. With our human consciousness, when we try to see the Truth, it is far, very far. But with our divine consciousness, when we try to see the Truth, it is all near; it is right in front of our nose.
The current times we live in as per Sanatan dharma:- The Brahma Vaivarta Purana (related to Rathantara kalpa) mentions a ten thousand-year period, starting from the traditional dating of the Kali Yuga epoch, during which bhakti yogis will be present. Lord Krishna foretold that Kali Yuga will be full of extreme hardships for people with ideals and values.
In the Brahma-vaivarta Purana has words spoken by Lord Krishna to Mother Ganga just before the beginning of Kali yuga (the age of quarrel and strife). Kali yuga began approximately five thousand years ago, and it has a duration of 432,000 years, leaving us with 427,000 years till the end of the present age. Within this 432,000 year period, there is a period of 10,000 years that will be a golden age. That golden age is being described below by Lord Sri Krishna. Predicted in Brahma-vaivarta Purana 4.129. The fourth part of the Brahma-vaivarta is called Kṛṣṇa-janma-khanda. Chapter 129 is called Golokarohanam, because it describes how Krishna returns to His abode. This specific dialogue is between Lord Krishna and Mother Ganga. Verse 49 is a question by Ganga, verses 50–60 are Lord Sri Krishna’s answer.
This text is taken from the Brahma-vaivarta Purana
kaler daSa-sahasraaNi madbhaktaaH saMti bhu-tale ekavarNaa bhaviSyaMti madbhakteSu gateSu ca “For 10,000 years of Kali such devotees of Mine will be present on earth. After the departure of My devotees there will be only one varna, Outcaste.”
The above is supported in 4.90.32–33:
kalau dasa-sahasrAni haris tiSThati medinI devAnAM pratimA pUjyA sAstrANi ca purANakam “(Sri Krisna said:) Lord Hari will stay on this earth for the first ten-thousand years of Kali-yuga. Till then gods will be worshipped and the Puranas and scriptures will also be present.”
The great Vaishnava Saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu exhorted, “Krishna Nama Sankirtan” i.e. the constant chanting of the Lord’s name is the supreme healer in this age. It destroys sins and purifies the hearts through Bhakti ensures universal peace.
ॐ नमः शिवाय ॐ विष्णवे नमः ॐ नमः भगवते वासुदेवाय ॐ श्री महा कालीकायाई नमः
A “mantra” Sanskrit: मंत्र is a sacrosanct expression, a numinous sound, a syllable, word or phonemes, or gathering of words in Sanskrit accepted by experts to have mental and profound forces. A mantra could conceivably have syntactic structure or exacting significance. The Sanskrit word mantra-(likewise n. mantram) comprises of the root man-“to think” (additionally in manas “mind”) and the postfix – tra, assigning apparatuses or instruments, thus a strict interpretation would be “instrument of thought”
The utilization, structure, capacity, significance, and sorts of mantras change as per the school and theory of Hinduism and of Buddhism. Mantras serve a focal part in tantra. In this school, mantras are thought to be a hallowed recipe and a profoundly individual custom, viable simply after start.
Mantras come in many structures, including ṛc (verses from the Rigveda for instance) and sāman (melodic serenades from the Sāmaveda for instance). They are normally melodic, numerically organized meters, accepted to be thunderous with numinous qualities. At its most straightforward, the word ॐ (Aum, Om) fills in as a mantra. In more modern structures, mantras are melodic expressions with otherworldly elucidations, for example, a human yearning for truth, reality, light, everlasting status, peace, love, information, and activity.
Mantra japa is a practice of repetitively uttering the same mantra for an auspicious number of times, the most popular being 108, and sometimes just 5, 10, 28 or 1008. Japa is found in personal prayer or meditative efforts of some Hindus, as well during formal puja (group prayers). Japa is assisted by malas (bead necklaces) containing 108 beads and a head bead (sometimes referred to as the ‘meru’, or ‘guru’ bead); the devotee using his/her fingers to count each bead as he/she repeats the chosen mantra. Having reached 108 repetitions, if he/she wishes to continue another cycle of mantras, the devotee turns the mala around without crossing the head bead and repeats the cycle. Japa-yajna is claimed to be most effective if the mantra is repeated silently in the mind (manasah).
Notable Hindu mantras
Guru Mantra – Om Namah Shivay ॐ नमः शिवाय Its translation is “salutations (namas) to Shiva”, preceded by the mystical syllable “Om”. The syllable “ya” at the end of the mantra denotes an offering. Thus the mantra Om Namah Sivaya actually means “I offer to Siva a respectful invocation of His Name”, and not merely “I respectfully invoke His Name”. Om Namah Shivaya mantra is sung by devotees in prayers and recited by yogis in meditation. It is associated with qualities of prayer, divine-love, grace, truth, and blissfulness.
Traditionally, it is accepted to be a powerful healing mantra beneficial for all physical and mental ailments. Soulful recitation of this mantra brings peace to the heart and joy to the [Ātman] or Soul. Sages consider that the recitation of these syllables is sound therapy for the body and nectar for the soul [Ātman]. The nature of the mantra is the calling upon the higher self; it is the calling upon Shiva, the destroyer deity, to aid in the death (destruction of ego) and rebirth achieved during meditation. This goes generally for mantras and chants to different gods, which are different aspects of the higher self.
Gayatri Mantra The Gayatri mantra is considered one of the most universal of all Hindu mantras, invoking the universal Brahman as the principle of knowledge and the illumination of the primordial Sun. The mantra is extracted from the 10th verse of Hymn 62 in Book III of the Rig Veda. ॐ भूर्भुवस्व: | तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यम् | भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि | धियो यो न: प्रचोदयात् Oṁ Bhūrbhuvaswaha Tatsaviturvarenyam bhargo devasya dhīmahi dhiyo yo naḥa prachodayāt, “Let us meditate on that excellent glory of the divine Light (Vivifier, Sun). May he stimulate our understandings (knowledge, intellectual illumination).
Pavamana mantra असतोमा सद्गमय । तमसोमा ज्योतिर् गमय । मृत्योर्मामृतं गमय ॥ asato mā sad gamaya, tamaso mā jyotir gamaya, mṛtyor māmṛtaṃ gamaya. (Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad 1.3.28) “from the unreal lead me to the real, from the dark lead me to the light, from death lead me to immortality.
When Ādi Śhaṅkaracharya was eight years old and wandering on the banks of the River Narmada, he saw Govindapada who asked him, “Who are you?” The boy responded with these stanzas, which are known as “Ātma Ṣhaṭakam”. It describes Adi Shankaracharya’s philosophy of Advaita Vedanta in short. Read it with an open mind, it may change the way you look at the world as it did with me when I first read it a few years back.
मनोबुद्धयहंकार चित्तानि नाहं न च श्रोत्रजिव्हे न च घ्राणनेत्रे । न च व्योम भूमिर्न तेजो न वायुः चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ।। 1 ।।
“I am not the mind, nor intellect, nor ego, nor the reflections of inner self (citta). I am not the five senses. I am beyond that. I am not the ether, nor the earth, nor the fire, nor the wind (the five elements). I am That eternal knowing and bliss, I am Shiva- love and pure consciousness.
न च प्राणसंज्ञो न वै पंचवायुः, न वा सप्तधातुः न वा पञ्चकोशः । न वाक्पाणिपादौ न चोपस्थपायु, चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ।। 2 ।।
2) Neither can I be termed as energy (prāṇa), nor five types of breath (vāyus), nor the seven material essences, nor the five sheaths(pañca-kośa). Neither am I the organ of Speech, nor the organs for Holding ( Hand ), Movement ( Feet ) or Excretion. I am indeed, That eternal knowing and bliss, the auspicious Shiva- love and pure consciousness.
न मे द्वेषरागौ न मे लोभमोहौ, मदो नैव मे नैव मात्सर्यभावः । न धर्मो न चार्थो न कामो न मोक्षः, चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ।। 3 ।।
3) I have no hatred or dislike, nor affiliation or liking, nor greed, nor delusion, nor pride or haughtiness, nor feelings of envy or jealousy. I have no duty (dharma), nor any money, nor any desire (kāma), nor even liberation (mokṣa). I am That eternal knowing and bliss, I am Shiva- love and pure consciousness.
न पुण्यं न पापं न सौख्यं न दुःखं, न मन्त्रो न तीर्थो न वेदा न यज्ञ । अहं भोजनं नैव भोज्यं न भोक्ता, चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ।। 4 ।।
4) I have neither merit (virtue), nor demerit (vice). I do not commit sins or good deeds, nor have happiness or sorrow, pain or pleasure. I do not need mantras, holy places, scriptures (Vedas), rituals or sacrifices (yajñas). I am none of the triad of the observer or one who experiences, the process of observing or experiencing, or any object being observed or experienced. I am indeed, That eternal knowing and bliss, I am Shiva- love and pure consciousness.
न मे मृत्युशंका न मे जातिभेदः, पिता नैव मे नैव माता न जन्मः । न बन्धुर्न मित्रं गुरूर्नैव शिष्यः, चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ।। 5 ।।
5) I do not have fear of death, as I do not have death. I have no separation from my true self, no doubt about my existence, nor have I discrimination on the basis of birth. I have no father or mother, nor did I have a birth. I am not the relative, nor the friend, nor the guru, nor the disciple. I am That eternal knowing and bliss, I am Shiva- love and pure consciousness.
अहं निर्विकल्पो निराकार रूपो, विभुत्वाच सर्वत्र सर्वेन्द्रियाणाम् । न चासङत नैव मुक्तिर्न मेयः, चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ।। 6 ।।
6) I am all pervasive. I am without any attributes, and without any form. I have neither attachment to the world, nor to liberation (mukti). I have no wishes for anything becaI am everything, everywhere, every time, always in equilibrium. I am That eternal knowing and bliss, I am Shiva- love and pure consciousness.
This blog by a western practionar of yoga and fond lover of Mother India (Jack Blaylock) who aims to bring to light the vast difference between the debauched, heretic, and disrespectful Western “yoga” and real genuine Indian yoga.
The very aims of these two schools are completely in opposite directions. One celebrates the sensual, the other teaches ways to cease identifying with Maya. Many self-proclaimed yogis today post articles comparing Western Yoga to India Yoga and in most cases, these articles do more harm than good to understanding real yoga, because it gives the impression that the similarities are much more than they really are. That should not be surprising, many Indians under 30 nowadays don’t even believe in reincarnation, and are ignorant about their own great spiritual traditions. The author of this should read the Gita, “Autobiography of a Yogi”, “Raja Yoga” by Vivekananda, and of course Patanjali yoga sutras, etc, etc.
Let’s talk about the celebrated BKS Iyengar. He was a very successful businessman who gave his Western customers what they expected to find: stretching exercises mostly, with a little pranayama thrown in. Iyengar’s teacher, Krishnamacharya, seems very much to have been a liar (yes! Jack went there, TOUCHE) who fabricated a story about rediscovering an ancient document chock full of unknown postures. No one has ever seen that document, which they called the “Yoga Korunta”. On top of that, Patabi Joise (Krishnamacharya’s other famous disciple) intimated to some of his closest disciples this document never actually existed. There is some interesting evidence though, that Krishnamacarya’s so-called “ancient, lost asanas” were actually inspired by a textbook of British gymnastics that is still in the library of the palace of Mysore.
Try reading the great Yoga Texts: The Hatha Yoga Pradipika,
The Gerhana Samhita, and others. There are almost no postures in them. Stretching exercises were never a crucial part of Yoga and still are not, for the vast majority of Yogis of India even today. Most of them can’t even touch their toes, never could, and don’t particularly care to. 150 years ago, just like today, the vast majority of Yogis in India did not do many asanas (postures) at all, and many of them do absolutely none. Be brave, read the great Yogis of India’s works, teachings, commentaries, and see right through these two “yogi” businessmen of Iyengar and Joise and help the West stop capitalizing on the tradition of another culture by misrepresenting it. Krishnamacharya, Joise, and Iyengar made up the claim that mastering all those other asanas were necessary in order to sit in padmasana well for long periods of time. Clever marketing that. It made them millions. I have no problem with making big money teaching stretching exercises. But you cannot find their claims supported in ANY of the great Yoga texts.
If you wander around India and meet the Yogis who are not trying to make money off the Western spiritual seeker, you’ll find that they generally agree with all that has been written. If you don’t know where to start, I’ll post again, and suggest some places. I’ve spent many many months in India, on many different trips, doing exactly that.
Parting advice for the yoga practitioners across the globe, go and meet members of Shankara’s Order of Swamis. You know, the organization of Swamis with its 10 branches, with countless lineages, that has been around for many hundreds of years now. These monks are the real torch bearers of Yoga in India today. They’ll tell you if hearing all this from a Westerner doesn’t do it for you. I have yet to meet a Western Yoga teacher who even knows this organization exists…
“Yogis say that long hair draws more energy to the brain. They describe the body as an inverted tree of which the spine is the trunk, the nervous system the branches, and the hair the roots. This is why many yogis let their hair grow long.”
You may meditate on this interesting explanation by Yogananda: “The hair is more on the head because that is where the seat of energy is.
“Some yogis do not cut their hair but keep it long, to draw from the ether a greater quantity of cosmic rays. The reason for Samson’s having lost his superhuman strength when his hair was shorn by Delilah may well be that he had practiced certain yogic exercises that transform one’s hair into sensitive antennae to draw cosmic energy from the ether.”
Yoga is definitely not what you want it to be, there is a specific prescribed path with rules and observances and various other guidelines. Yoga is a big part of Sanatan Dharm (what the west and modern people call the Hindu religion). There is a whole branch of dedicating oneself to God, called bhakti and it’s an integral part of yoga without which yoga just cant be yoga. Another 2nd important branch of yoga which is called karma yoga is based upon the morals and guidelines laid down in manu Shastra (read it). Then it’s Gyan/jnan yoga which is based upon all the holy books like Ved – Upanishad – Ramayan – Mahabharat – Holy Shrimad Bhagavad Gita.
Asans just make you healthy so that you can pursue the other higher goals of yoga- which is to connect to Bhagavan Vishnu Narayan Ji or Bhagavan Shiv Ji. Just by changing the perception about Yoga and view in its true essence, that Bhagavan Shiv Ji is considered as the giver of yoga to this world and later Bhagavan Krishna summarised the knowledge of yoga in the holy Shrimad Bhagavad Gita should end all disputes regarding this. But time and time again someone comes and tries to take this validation more like a factual statement out, take religion out of yoga and you’re left with an exercise regiment which is closer to gymnastics.
Most yogis become yogis to connect with Bhagavan Shiv Ji or Bhagavan Vishnu Narayan Ji (not the western and modern Instagram self-proclaimed yogis) Everything you do in yoga has the purpose to connect the human to the soul and then connect the soul to shiv consciousness, and the end goal is to liberate yourself and become free from the cycle of birth and rebirth.
Again we emphasize that the whole knowledge of yoga has been given to the world first by Bhavan Shiv Ji and then later summarized by Bhagavan Krishan Ji should end any doubt, this is why a yogi is given initiation by a guru and has to complete a mentorship program of 12 years which starts at Mauni Amavasya at Mahakumbh and not some 200 or 300 or 500-hour teacher training program. Yoga itself is a much larger term that can only be formulated with a combination of various elements and branches, asanas or Pranayam itself is not yoga, and yoga is not just asanas and Pranayam only. When you want to talk about your commercial interests what you should do, is mention asanas only because that would not come under religious or other guidelines.
“Cultural appropriation is a term that defines the adoption of a minority’s culture by the dominant culture. The dominant culture takes the minority’s culture, or a part of it, and makes it seem menial, without any of the significance that it was supposed to have.
Even though many people think that adopting aspects of another culture can be thought of as “sharing,” that doesn’t justify not respecting what that object means in the actual culture it was stolen from. And the reason it is so frustrating is that the dominant culture does not have to suffer any racism because of it. The argument that people are just “honoring” them is ridiculous because, at one time in history, the natives were considered filth and slaves as the hero of England douchelord Winston Churchill said.
Trying to adopt the Indian culture while not understanding the significance of that culture is wrong. It is important to think twice before wearing garments and practicing traditions of another culture; it is necessary to understand that these items can really mean something to the people of that culture and this must be respected and followed.” – Fatima Farha
When Swami Vivekananda, the man credited with bringing yoga to the West, said that all the mud on the bottom of the Indian Ocean could not balance the filth that had been thrown at India, it was not an exaggeration. In order to justify their colonization of India, the British employed racist and orientalist narratives that created a social, cultural, political, and religious hierarchy with European Christians on top, and Indian ‘heathens’ at the bottom. Years of political, cultural, and religious humiliation, and yet, what a day we live in, defending myself from a colonial hangover and clutches is called arrogance and judgment and ego…
Please spread the right and complete knowledge OM NAMAH SHIVAY
MahaShivratri, it is one of the holiest days for the universe. Maha Shivaratri is a Hindu festival celebrated annually in honour of the god Shiva. There is a Shivaratri in every luni-solar month of the Hindu calendar, on the month’s 13th night /14th day, but once a year in late winter (February/March) and before the arrival of spring, marks Maha Shivaratri which means “the Great Night of Shiva”. It is a major festival in Hinduism, but one that is solemn and marks a remembrance of “overcoming darkness and ignorance” in life and the world. It is observed by remembering Shiva and chanting prayers,Vrat (fasting), doing Yoga and meditating on ethics and virtues such as self-restraint, Satya (honesty), Ahimsa (non injury to others), forgiveness and the discovery of Shiva. The ardent devotees keep awake all night. Others visit one of the Shiva temples or go on pilgrimage to Jyotirlingams. This is an ancient Hindu festival whose origin date is unknown.
Bhagvan Shiv ji besides being the god to whom other gods pray to is also seen as the first yogi or ādiyogi and the first guru or ādiguru. Many thousand years ago, on the banks of lake Kantisarovar in the Himalayas, ādiyogi poured his profound knowledge into the legendary saptrishis also known as cosmic saptarishis or “seven sages”. These sages carried this powerful message of Yoga to different parts of the world including Asia, the Middle East, Africa and North and South America.
As time passed by, many yugas came and passed by, knowledge diluted and in some cases was lost. Evenually Bhagvan Krishna came and gave a perfected translation in his sermon to arjun which was narrated by Sanjay to Bhagvan Ved Vyas and passed to us in the form of the holy Shrimad Bhagvad Gita which explains every deep aspect of oga holistically, therefore Bhagvan Krishna came to be known as Yogeshwar.
We have to fast, no solid foods only water. The ardent devotees keep awake all night. You could also chant OM NAMAH SHIVAY all night with fasting and breaking the fast in the next morning (Tuesday) with fruits and milk or water. Give yourself to Mahadev, your unconditional love to Mahadev and Surrender to the creator and dissolver of this universe and become a part of source.
This is the concept of neti or reduction or elimination. People complaining of back ache are accumulating too much stress in their backs. They do not have any idea of how to free this stress.
Neti is adishankaras favorite buzzword, It means to reduce or eliminate. Not only in terms of diet or intermittent fasting affecting physical body it also defines the mind that can silence the bad thoughts and go towards the pure thought or silence or nothingness or shiva neti neti neti . not this not that., towards the pure truth. Neti means elimination not accumulation. we have to learn what this means in the sadhana. Discover thy self.
The glory of Shiva is beyond the beginning, the middle and the end of time. Since the time of the Vedas, Shiva temples became famous and the delightful glory of Shiva came into existence as “jyotirlingas” (symbols or “marks” of Divine light) and have been worshipped.
The meaning of the entire worship of Shiva and the essence of the Shiva Purana is that in all living and non-living entities, Ishwara is present as the all-pervading spirit in soul form and that the Infinite power of God is One. He is formless and is beyond all forms.
The form of the Shiva lingam is the light of millions of suns in a natural state. Since time immemorial, both in India and around the world, the worship of Shiva has been performed.
Bhagwan Sri Rama who lived over 1.75 million years ago established many Shiva lingams and worshipped Lord Shiva.
In Egypt, where one of their ancient deities was named “Isis”, Shiva was also worshipped on the banks of the River Nile. The Mesopotamian peoples also worshipped Shiva as Ishwara.
The Indian sages spent years in the forest doing severe austerities to increase their knowledge and brilliance to integrate the grace of Parameshwara and become enlightened beings. On the sacred day of Maha Shivaratri, Shiva’s brilliance comes into existence as infinite brightness. And devotees fast the entire day and stay awake the entire night of Shivaratri worshipping Lord Shiva, their bad karma is abolished and they gain knowledge and salvation.