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Below is a copy of an appeal for donations
for relief fund for victims of the tsunami
in India. This is a good way for you to make
tax deductible donations and be assured that
your money is being used properly.
"Learn to be spiritual in your daily life by
doing selfless action." Swami Rama
We are appealing to you for help for the
Tsunami victims in India. We are collecting
donations for the Prime Minister Relief Fund
of India which will go for aid to the needy
areas in India.
Any contribution you can make will help
provide some relief for the survivors of
this terrible calamity.
Your donations are tax deductible. Please
make your donation payable to Swami Rama
Foundation of the USA, Inc., and mail it
to the address below. Include a note that
your contribution is for the Tsunami victims.
We will collect the funds and send them to
Thanking you for your help.
Swami Rama Foundation of the USA, Inc.
Swami Rama Foundation of the USA, Inc.
2410 N. Farwell Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53211
In your meditation today....
May your body be still and comfortable....
May your head, neck and trunk be aligned....
May your breath be smooth, slow, serene, and with no pauses....
May the flow of thoughts in your mind not disturb you....
May your meditation today bring you peace, happiness and bliss....
May you have a meditative, joy-filled year....
Abraham Maslow introduced a model of developmental psychology that
has become extremely well known not only in the field of psychology,
but also in management and other human sciences. It describes five
developmental stages, which are based on what Maslow calls human
needs. Thus, his model is known as Maslow's Needs Hierarchy.
These stages of Maslow's Needs Hierarchy and their comparison to Yoga
Psychology are being presented in a new article as a way of
explaining the nature of Yoga as a process of developmental self-
awareness or unfoldment, which reaches still higher levels of human
development or experience.
Here is a link to the new article, entitled,
Maslow's Needs Hierarchy and Yoga Psychology
I hope that you enjoy the article and find it useful.
In loving service,
Spiritual practice without non-attachment
is like trying to fly a kite with a chain.
Worldly attainment is
a process of addition.
Spiritual attainment is
a process of subtraction.
May your meditations today bring
you peace, happiness, and bliss.
In response to the high demand from the many who wish to have a more
direct route to enlightenment, but have little time available or
inner commitment to actually doing any practices of meditation or
contemplation, Enlightenment is now available Online!!!
Click here for Enlightenment Online:
Be sure to View your Enlightenment Cart!
In loving service,
ps: I hope you have a good sense of humor. :)
Some pictures and graphics have been added to the website writings on
the first few sutras of the Yoga Sutras (1.1-1.4). This is the
section that deals with the question, "What is yoga?" Now that the
whole of the Yoga Sutras is online in the site, I'm going back
through and trying to "polish" some of the sections with text,
pictures, and graphics. I hope you find this helps to clarify some of
the principles and practices.
Here's the link to the Yoga Sutras 1.1-1.4:
In loving service,
ROTATING CIRCLES ILLUSION:
Below is a link to a graphic that you simply must see! It is an
illusion that has 18 circles, which APPEAR to be moving, although
they actually are not. There is no computerised special effect
causing this. It is completely an illusion of the mind. Notice what
happens when you focus your attention on one of the tiny black
circles that are in the middle of those 18 big circles. All of the
motion will STOP!
The same principle happens with meditation (which is not to suggest
that you should start meditating on these circles). Whatever the
object on which you personally meditate (body, breath, mantra,
visualized image, etc.), a similar phenomenon happens. Your sustained
one-pointedness has a stabilizing effect on the mind, and those
troublesome streams of thoughts will become still. For those who
complain of a noisty mind during "meditation," this is a real key.
YOGA SUTRAS ON ONE-POINTEDNESS:
These sutras on one-pointedness might be useful:
Here's an online Trataka / Gazing practice:
(This link also has audio of Soham Mantra)
And a list of some other online practices:
In loving service,
Don't just do something -- sit there!!!
Meditate... Meditate... Meditate...
The Rao family in Illiois, USA deeply regrets to
inform you that Dr. Hanumanth S. Rao; more recently
known as "Swami Brahmananda Bharathi" left his body on
the 23rd hour and 40th minute of the 20th of March
Although much of that day, he was in a stuporous state
of being, his last moment was highlighted with an
amazing re-gaining of consciousness only to utter the
words "RAM, RAM" prior to his last breath.
His immediate family was loving him and was caring for
him constantly at his side, in adition to catering to
his every last need since his arrival back to the USA.
His presence, love, and wisdom will forever be missed
by us all.
GOD bless us all,
The Rao family.
[Note from Swami J: Swami Brahmananda Bharati is a student of Swami
Any sentence that starts with "I want..."
is a false identity expressing itself.
May your sentences be wise and loving.
A guiding affirmation:
Asatoma Sat Gamaya
Tamasoma Jyotir Gamaya
Mrityorma Anritam Gamaya
Lead me from the unreal to the Real
Lead me from the darkness to the Light
Lead me from the temporary to the Eternal
From the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
Unreal = untruth; only relatively real; that which is merely manifest
out of something else, such as the pot manifesting out of the clay;
the aspects of ourselves that are really false identities appearing
to be who we are
Real = truth; that unchanging reality, like the clay, out of which
everything else manifests; the true Self, the core of our being
Darkness = the darkness of ignorance, of not seeing either the world
or ourselves clearly; stemming from the process of ignoring, which is
inherent in ignorance
Light = the light of knowledge, of seeing clearly the true spiritual
nature of things and ourselves
Temporary = that which is mortal, subject to death, decay, and
decomposition; our surface identities
Eternal = that which is not subject to death, decay, or
decomposition; the immortal core of our being
We live in two realities at the same time. One is within the field of
ordinary human consciousness; the other is in the unconscious and
even beyond. Only that which is nonexistent, temporal, transitory,
and changeable is conceived by the mind. But that which is self-
existent cannot be grasped or known by the mind. It will always exist
because it is self-existent, absolute, and unchangeable reality. That
which is existent is called sat, and that which is nonexistent is
called asat--the real and the unreal. The wise seers are aware of
these two realities and say that that which is not self-existent
(here called nonexistent for it is insubstantial) cannot exist in all
times.... The aspirant should understand that in principle there are
two distinct realities, the eternal and the transitory. He should
practice the habit of not identifying himself with the ever-changing
objects of the world. Such identification deprives one of awareness
of his essential nature as Atman, pure consciousness. The center of
consciousness, the source of wisdom, happiness, and bliss, is
indestructible. It is the only existence, and is imperishable.
Perennial Psychology of the Bhagavad Gita
The most important question to ask yourself is, “What do I want?” It means
asking this at the highest level of your desires. There may be many things you
want in the external world, but here you want to have a key principle that you,
yourself are seeking at the deepest level of the inner chamber of your heart. It
needs to be your word, not just that of somebody else, something that was read
in some book, or is popular in the culture. If you say you want enlightenment,
Self-realization, or to know God, when that word or phrase does not really
excite you personally, deeply, then it will not serve you at all. You will just
be parroting something you feel you are supposed to be wanting, even though you
really don’t. Choose a keyword for yourself, some word or phrase that really
captures the spirit of what you are longing for. It’s probably hidden deep in
the inner world, underneath all of the seemingly countless other desires and
words that have been programmed in as acceptable, proper desires. It’s a longing
that has been there a long time, a very long time. It was probably there in
early childhood. It was with you in adolescence. It is still there. But what do
you call it? What is that single word or phrase that draws you back to that felt
longing. Just by having that word or phrase drift through your mind field, that
deep memory is no longer latent, but stirs in wakefulness with a passion in the
heart. There is a certainty about the purpose of life that suddenly emerges with
clarity. Find that keyword that works for you and never, ever let it go. Write
it on little notes around your house; maybe even on your arm, under your shirt.
Be innovative in the ways you constantly remind yourself of this one keyword
that captures the highest level of what you want out of life. It is your word,
your phrase. It may contain the many other lesser ways of saying the goal of
life, or the steps along the way, but this one, this keyword or phrase pulls
you, draws you to the stance where you know who you are and you know where you
are going. How to get there will emerge, on its own, through effort, and
remembering your own keyword that captures the highest answer to the question,
“What do I want?”
In loving service,
Excerpted from the article on karma:
The word Karma literally means action. It may appear that Karma is
happening to us, as if some outside force is causing good things or
bad things to come to us. However, it is really our own inner
conditionings and processes that are leading us to experience outer
effects or consequences in relation to our own actions.
The law of Karma is a universal process, whereby causes lead to
effects. This is something that all of us are already familiar with,
whether or not we use the word Karma to describe it. Newton's third
law of motion, that every action leads to a reaction, is an
application of the law of Karma. Whether we are talking about physics
or daily life in the world, it is extremely useful to understand the
law and process of Karma so that we may regulate or direct the
process. We can soften the impact of the playing out of our past
Karmas, and can choose our own future Karma if we are willing to put
in the effort to learn how to do it.
When journeying through the process of Karma, it can start to feel a
bit heavy with all the explanations and inner explorations. The best
companion on this journey through Karma is to remember that we are
trying to experience that Bliss, Joy, or Absolute Truth, which is
beyond, behind, or underneath all of the Karma. By remembering that
the goal is Joy, Bliss, or Absolute, we (and the mind) will have a
focal point and a context for all of the efforts put into sadhana
(spiritual practices). Above all else, seek that Joy or Bliss.
To understand the meaning of Karma, and to reduce it's control, one
needs to understand another term, and that is Samskara. Karma
literally means actions, and those actions come from the deep
impressions of habit that are called Samskaras. Our actions and
speech bring us experiences or consequences in the world. Those, in
turn, lead to further creation of deep impressions (Samskaras) in the
basement of the mind. Later, those latent impressions come to life
and create still further experiences. If we want the higher insights
and freedoms, we need to deal with both our actions and these habits.
The most important principle to understand about Karma is the
principle of the Samskara, those deep impressions. It is those deep
impressions or seed habit patterns, which are at the root of ALL of
our Karmas, whether we think of that Karma as good or bad. There are
two general things we need to do in relation to those Samskaras:
1) External: Allow some Samskaras to wisely play out externally in
our life, in ways that allow us to become free from them recycling
into more and more loops of habitual actions. (See Archery article)
2) Internal: Let go of other Samskaras internally by attenuating the
colorings of attractions, aversions, and fears through the processes
meditation, contemplation, and prayer.
To purify or attenuate the Samskaras while one is doing actions in
the world is the yoga known as Karma yoga. This involves being aware
or mindful of our actions and speech, and seeing their sources in
emotions and the subtler processes of the mind. Karma Yoga also
involves doing our actions in ways, which are of benefit to others
(service or seva), freeing ourselves from the cycles of feeding
The subtler, finer colorings of Samskaras are systematically
encountered, weakened, reduced, eliminated and transcended through
the process of meditation. This is outlined in greater detail in the
Yoga Sutras, including the first 25 Sutras of Chapter 2.
To experience the Eternal Self beyond the many forms, one needs to
experientially understand the cycling process of the inner
instruments that drives Karma (actions). This cycling process between
actions and the deep impressions also is affected by the inner
thinking process, the emotions, primitive urges, and the ignorance
called Avidya. All of these are infused with or operated by the pure
consciousness, which is at the core of our being. (These are
described in the article.)
By observing this process in one's own inner laboratory of Yoga
Meditation, the effects of deep impressions (Samskaras) can be
reduced, and thus, Karma regulated. This process of attenuating
Samskaras and Karma increasingly allows attention to shift to the
viewing point of Witness of it all.
The cycle of actions (Karma):
...arises from a mostly unconscious thought process,
...that is inspired by the inner passions of "I-am-ness"
...and specific desires ("I want..."),
...that is filtered through layers of deep impressions (Samskaras),
...that are inspired by primitive urges
...that first arise with the individuation of the wave from the ocean
Complete article on karma:
Excerpted from this article:
While some critics of Yoga say that it is not compatible with
Christianity, there is already tremendous diversity of opinions and
practices within the Christian religion, which serves a broad variety
of people. The World Christian Encyclopedia (pub. 2001) is quoted as
estimating that there are over 28,000 Christian denominations (later
updated to 33,830 and 39,000 according to different sources). The
World Christian Database says that over 9,000 denominations are
represented in its database (2004). Another Christian resource on
Internet says that the number of Christian denominations has
increased to over 35,500 from approximately 1900 denominations that
existed a hundred years ago.
If there is room for tens of thousands of denominations within
Christianity, surely there is plenty of room for Yoga to be practiced
by its adherents who choose to do so.
For more info:
Excerpted from the approximately 7 page article:
Below are seven skills to cultivate for Meditation.
It is the skill we want to learn, not merely techniques
(though the techniques are quite useful). For example,
we want to gain the ability to directly relax the
body, smoothen the breath, and quiet the mind in a
moment, with no technique needed to do it.
1. How to relax the body:
2. How to sit in a comfortable, steady, straight posture:
3. How to make your breathing process serene:
4. How to witness objects traveling in the train of mind:
5. How to inspect the quality of thoughts:
6. How to promote the thoughts that are helpful:
7. How to not allow yourself to be disturbed in any situation:
For further explanations of the seven skills:
Excerpted from the approximately 4 page article:
Food and the four primitive urges: In Yoga, the desire for sustenance
is one of the four primitive urges for food, sleep, sex, and self-
preservation. Wise regulation of food and the other basic drives is
an important part of a foundation for meditation.
Food is for cells, not "me": This one principle alone will go a long
way towards developing a frame of mind conducive to good diet. It can
seem that food is for someone called "me," and that I want this or
that, or that I need this or that. It is estimated that there are 10-
50 trillion (10-50 million million) cells in the human body. The
nutrients contained in food are for them. The food is not being taken
in for the benefit of our personality identity. Maintaining a
constant, though gentle awareness that, "Food is for cells, not me"
will keep diet decisions in proper perspective.
Change "I want" to "It wants": When we say, "I want this or that
food," who is it that is making this statement? Even if we accept
that food is for cells (above), we are still stuck with the fact that
somebody inside is wanting to eat that food. Who is that? It is the
thought pattern, the desire itself that is wanting to express itself
through food consumption. This principle relates not only to food,
but to all of the inner wants, wishes, desires, attractions or
aversions. But here, we are talking about food. By recognizing that
the desire itself, or "It" is wanting to eat or be fed, then we have
another useful principle to keep in mind at all times. So, we see two
companion principles, in that food is for the cells, and the desire
stands alone, as its own motivator.
For more info on Diet and Meditation:
The article below is from:
For more info on Open Source Yoga Unity:
Yoga Lawyers Attain Enlightenment
The lawyers who got all twisted up over ownership rights to a series
of yoga positions can relax: They have a settlement, avoiding an
Open Source Yoga Unity, a nonprofit collective of yoga teachers, had
sued well-known practitioner Bikram Choudhury after Choudhury sent
cease-and-desist letters to yoga studios that he believes were
ripping off his intellectual property.
Choudhury is the most recognizable proponent of so-called "hot" yoga,
also known as Bikram yoga. He has registered a copyright for a
sequence of 26 asanas, or poses, to be performed in a heated room.
(Most yoga is unheated.)
Choudhury says other teachers have stolen his techniques and wants
them to stop using his name and his sequence unless he gives
Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero led settlement talks Tuesday. The
details are confidential, according to Michael Page of Keker & Van
Nest, who represented Open Source.
"We have reached a mutually satisfactory resolution and we look
forward to working together in the future to continue bringing the
benefits of yoga to the world," Page said.
Susan Hollander, a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips who
represents Choudhury, said she was pleased with the settlement.
The case appeared headed for trial last month, when U.S. District
Judge Phyllis Hamilton ruled on summary judgment motions. Although it
was a mixed ruling, Hamilton leaned in favor of Choudhury, saying
Open Source had not provided persuasive authority that a compilation
of yoga asanas cannot be protected under the copyright laws in the
same manner as other compilations.
The case is Open Source Yoga Unity v. Bikram Choudhury, 03-3182.
From the book:
Sacred Journey: Living Purposefully and Dying Gracefully
by Swami Rama
Published for the Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust
by Lotus Press
In the effort to understand life and approach death meaningfully,
vairagya [non-attachment] and abhyasa [practices] are the
responsibility of the seeker. When these two are truly undertaken,
another help follows. That help comes in the form of guru and grace,
each linked to the other, each so beautiful and comforting, each so
powerful. Unfortunately, each is so frequently misunderstood.
Western culture, which has increasingly welcomed and embraced
traditions from the East in the last thirty years, has too often
understood guru to mean simply a teacher. In the West guru is
frequently considered to be merely someone who is trained in
philosophy, meditation, and hatha yoga. From this point of view, the
guru is expected to share this knowledge with the students, training
them in scriptures and various spiritual disciplines. While the
western student may become dependent on the teacher and have high
expectations about what the teacher should do on behalf of the
student, the guru is nonetheless viewed as a teacher only.
In ancient times students received formal education in guru-kulas.
The students lived with their guru from an early age and were given
not only instruction on an intellectual level, but also were guided
in spiritual development and in the maintenance of physical health.
The guru had a very close relationship with the students and knew
their habits and level of inner strength.
In today's life there is no spiritual environment in which a seeker
can fully concentrate on learning the language of silence in order to
find inner fulfillment. It is very difficult for the student not to
be distracted by the temptations of the external world. Modern
education focuses on memorizing facts of the external world, and
ignores the growth and development of the inner being. The guru-kula
system of ancient times is not practical in today's world, but a more
holistic approach to education can be adopted. Such an approach
emphasizes spiritual growth along with the development of the
intellectual aspects of the mind, and also includes guidance in how
to maintain the fitness and health of the physical body. In the
eastern tradition guru is much more than a teacher. He or she
represents the special energy that is guiding individuals toward
their fulfillment as human beings, toward perfection. Grace is the
impulse of that energy.
The word guru is a compound of two words, gu and ru. Gu means
darkness and ru means light. That which dispels the darkness of
ignorance is called guru. The energy and action of removing darkness
are guru. Guru is not a person, it is a force driven by grace.
To put this another way, there is an intelligent momentum that
pervades the universe that is moving all human beings toward the
perfection we call God. Guru is that intelligence. Everyone's
receptivity to that intelligence varies. It depends on preparation,
which includes the development of vairagya or nonattachment, and
abhyasa or practice. In other words, guru is always there, but the
student may not be ready to receive what the guru has to offer. When
the student is prepared, the guru always arrives to help the student
do what is necessary to progress in removing the veil of ignorance.
It is said that when the wick and oil are properly prepared, the
master lights the lamp.
Guru is not a person, but guru can be represented in a person. One
who has developed his or her own spiritual awareness to a very high
level can guide others, and is considered to be guru. Only one who is
finely attuned to the inner guide can inspire the awakening of the
inner guide in another. Guru is not a physical being. If a guru
begins thinking this power is her or his own, then they are no longer
a guide. The guru is a tradition, a stream of knowledge.
In India guru is a sacred word that is used with reverence and is
always associated with the highest wisdom. The guru is unique in a
person's life. The relationship between disciple and guru is like no
other relationship. It is said that guru is not mother, father, son,
or daughter. The guru is not a friend in any conventional sense. It
also is sometimes said that the guru is father, mother, son,
daughter, and friend all in one; the guru is sun and moon, sky and
earth to the disciple.
The truth is that the relationship of guru to disciple is
indescribable. The relationship extends to the realm beyond the
world, transcends death, and stretches far beyond the limited karmic
bonds associated with family and friends. A mother and father help
sustain the body of their child, and nurture and guide the child
through the formative years of life to adulthood. Guru sustains,
nurtures, and guides a soul through lifetimes to ultimate liberation.
The relationship with the guru is based on the purest form of
unconditional love. There is complete openness with the guru. The
disciple should hold nothing back from the guru. This is why in the
tradition, a student goes to the guru and offers a bundle of sticks
to burn. The bundle symbolizes that everything the disciple has is
offered unconditionally to the guru. Everything is offered to the
guru so the guru can do the work of shaping the student spiritually.
The disciple comes with full faith and entrusts his whole life to the
guru. The guru takes that life and chops it and burns what is not
necessary, and then carefully carves what remains into something
In this chopping and burning, the guru is merciless. The guru's job
is not to hold hands with the disciple and wipe away tears, but to
cut into pieces the disciple's ego and all that stands between the
disciple and freedom. The guru does not allow dependence. If the
disciple becomes too dependent on the guru, the guru pushes the
disciple away, insisting on independence. It is a remarkable
expression of the deepest love.
To be on a spiritual path with a guru is not an easy thing. It is not
pleasant. The guru tests the disciples, puts them in the most
difficult situations, and creates obstacles for them. All the tests,
difficulties, and obstacles are meant to train and expand the
consciousness of the disciple.
That is the sole work of the guru. The guru wants nothing from the
disciple. Guru is that force moving a soul toward enlightenment. The
guru's actions are from pure compassion. As the sun shines and lives
far above, the guru gives spiritual love and remains unattached.
Guru is a channel for spiritual knowledge. Jesus repeatedly reminded
his disciples of this. "I have not spoken of myself, but the Father
which sent me." The Father is that stream of pure knowledge. Jesus,
as an enlightened being, was attuned to that knowledge.
No human being can ever become a guru. Guru is not a human
experience, or, better said, guru is not a sensory experience. It is
a divine experience to be a guru. A human being allows herself or
himself to be used as a channel for receiving and transmitting by the
power of powers. Then it happens. Then guru manifests. To do that, a
human being must learn to be selfless, must learn to love. Real love
expects nothing. That is how genuine gurus live. Selfless love is the
basis of their enlightenment, and the basis of their roles as
channels of knowledge.
Guru is not the goal. Anyone who establishes himself as a guru to be
worshipped, is not a guru. Christ, Buddha, and other great persons
did not set up any such example. Guru is like a boat for crossing the
river. It is important to have a good boat and it is very dangerous
to have a boat that is leaking. The boat brings you across the river.
When the river is crossed the boat is no longer necessary. You don't
hang onto the boat after completing the journey, and you certainly
don't worship the boat.
Many times students come to the guru with a preconceived idea of what
the guru should be like. They come with expectations of what the guru
is there to do for them. Perhaps the students think the guru should
give them much attention, or make decisions for them, or take on
troubles they have created for themselves. Sometimes the students
think the guru should behave in a certain way. When these
expectations and preconceived images are not met, the student becomes
upset and may even leave the guru.
This is not the proper way to approach a teacher. A student should
not be filled with expectations and preconceived images, but with a
burning desire to learn, and with firm determination. Then there will
be no difficulty. The guru and the disciple can then do their work
The spiritual seeker should not worry about who the guru is, or what
the guru will do. The seeker's first concern is getting prepared,
organizing her or his life and thoughts in a spiritually healthy way,
and then working toward a way of life that simplifies and purifies.
At the right time the master will be there.
Once the guru has arrived, the methods and behavior of the guru
should not be the disciple's concern. The disciple's work is to act
on the instructions and teachings of the master, and at the same
time, work toward more and more selflessness, and surrender of the
ego. It is the ego that is the principle barrier to enlightenment.
A spiritual master's ways of teaching are many and sometimes
mysterious. To one student the guru may show much attention, spending
much time with a student, even doting on a particular student.
Another student may be utterly ignored by the master. It doesn't
matter. Each student is getting a teaching, and because of the
insight of the master, just the right teaching at the right time. The
guru is not in a student's life to give the student what the student
thinks she wants, but rather to give what is needed to progress
Jesus' parable of the prodigal son illustrates this. Briefly retold,
a man had two sons. One day one son asked for all the property and
wealth that would come in his inheritance. Then he went away and
lived a wild, sensory life of rich foods, drink, gambling, and women.
When all of that wealth was spent, the son returned. The father ran
to his son when he saw him, and hugged and kissed him. He gave him
expensive clothes to wear and ordered a feast to be held.
Meanwhile, the other son had remained all this time with his father,
working for him and beside him, always respectful and devoted. When
the devoted son saw all the attention given to the wayward and
reckless son, he asked his father how this could be.
"I've been here all these years with you, always serving you, obeying
every commandment, and you've never so much as given me a goat to
throw a party for my friends. Now my brother returns after
squandering all that wealth and living a wild life, and you treat him
like a king and make a grand celebration for him."
The father's response was essentially that the wayward son needed
this attention at this time, and the devoted son did not. Each son
was given what was right for his spiritual growth at the right time.
The guru does not operate from what seems fair, or outwardly
appropriate. He is not constrained to such cultural amenities. He can
seem harsh, even brutal. He will put students in situations that make
no sense, or are very uncomfortable. He will say things that won't
make any sense for months. He will ask things of students that
students think are impossible. Everything the guru is doing is for
the growth of the student. The student need only have faith in that
The guru also teaches without words or actions. As the disciple
learns to surrender and move the ego out of the way, and grows more
selfless, the ability to learn intuitively from the guru grows. The
student learns in the cave of silence. It is like tuning into the
guru's frequency or plugging into that stream of knowledge. The guru
is always working from there. The disciple's role is to gradually
learn to also work from that place. The disciple learns this by doing
all duties with love, by being nonattached, and by surrendering. The
disciple should always be striving to purify and prepare for more and
greater knowledge. Then God will say, "I want to enter this living
temple that you are." Remove the impurities and you will find that
the one who wants to know reality is the source of reality.
There is also the activity of grace. Grace is the impulse or the
impetus of the energy to dispel darkness. There is the grace of the
scriptures, from the wisdom that has passed down from others. There
is the grace of the teacher, who imparts that wisdom and helps bring
it to life in the student. There is the grace of God, or pure
consciousness, that is alive and ever present in everyone's life.
Integral to these three graces is the grace of oneself, having the
will to undertake a purposeful journey in life, to do the spiritual
work of life, and to prepare oneself.
How do we get this grace? It comes of its own when a seeker has made
maximum effort. When all efforts have been made, and all efforts have
been exhausted, then grace comes.
A Sanskrit word for grace is shaktipata. Shakti means energy, and
pata means bestowing. Shaktipata means "bestowing the energy" or
lighting the lamp. Sometimes shaktipata is translated as "descent of
power." A power comes from above, of its own, to a vessel that is
cleaned, purified, and is prepared to receive it. When the
instructions from the guru have been completed, the seeker has become
strong in selflessness and surrender, and the samskaras have been
burned, grace comes.
In my own life, since I was a small child I was raised and guided by
my master. I had done all that he asked of me. Grace had not come and
I grew frustrated. So one day I went to my master and said, "You have
not done shaktipata for me. That means either you don't have shakti
or you don't intend to do it."
I told him, "For so long now I have been closing my eyes in
meditation and I end up with nothing but a headache. My time has been
wasted and I find little joy in life."
He didn't say anything, so in my exasperation I continued talking.
"I worked hard and sincerely," I said to him. "You said it would take
fourteen years, but this is my seventeenth year of practice. Whatever
you have asked me to do I have done. But today you give me shaktipata
or I will commit suicide."
Finally he said to me, "Are you sure? Are you really following all
the practices I have taught you? Is this the fruit of my teaching,
that you are committing suicide?"
Then he waited a moment and said, "When do you want to commit
"Right now," I said. "I am talking to you before I commit suicide.
You are no longer my master now. I have given up everything. I am of
no use to the world, I am of no use to you."
I got up to go to the Ganges, which was near, and was prepared to
My master said, "You know how to swim, so when you jump in the
Ganges, naturally you will start swimming. You'd better find some way
so that you will start drowning and not come up. Perhaps you should
tie some weight to yourself."
"What has happened to you?" I asked him. "You used to love me so
I went to the Ganges and with a rope I tied some big rocks to myself.
When I was ready to jump, my master came and called, "Wait. Sit here
for one minute. I will give you what you want."
I did not know if he meant it, but I thought I could wait at least a
minute. I sat in my meditation posture and my master came and touched
me on the forehead. I remained in that position for nine hours and
did not have a single worldly thought. The experience was
indescribable. When I returned to normal consciousness I thought no
time had passed.
"Sir," I said to my master, "please forgive me."
With that touch my life was transformed. I lost fear and selfishness.
I started understanding life properly. I wondered if this experience
came about because of my effort or my master's.
His answer was simply, "Grace."
"A human being," he explained, "should make all possible sincere
efforts. When he has become exhausted and cries out in despair, in
the highest state of devotional emotion, he will attain ecstasy. That
is the grace of God. Grace is the fruit that you receive from your
faithful and sincere efforts."
Grace is only possible with a disciple who has gone through a long
period of discipline, austerity, and spiritual practices. When a
student has done these practices and followed the teacher's
instructions with all faithfulness, truthfulness, and sincerity, then
the subtlest obstacle is removed by the master. The experience of
enlightenment comes from the sincere effort of both master and
disciple. When you have done your duties skillfully and
wholeheartedly, you reap the fruits gracefully. Grace dawns when
action ends. Shaktipata is the grace of God transmitted through the
Guru is the disciple's guide through life, through the mysterious
terrain of the spiritual heart, and into and beyond the realm of
Excerpted from the approximately 14 page description of What is Yoga,
the comments on Yoga Sutras 1.1-1.4. This section is on Five States
FIVE STATES OF MIND: In describing this sutra (1.1), the sage Vyasa
names five states of mind, of which the one-pointed (ekagra) (1.32)
state of mind is the desired state of mind for the practice of Yoga.
These five states of mind range from the severely troubled mind to
the completely mastered mind. (These five are also described in the
five states section of the Witnessing article.)
KNOW WHERE YOU ARE: It is very useful to be aware of these stages,
both in the moment, and as a general day-to-day level at which one is
functioning. It reveals the depth of practice that one might be able
to currently practice. Some aspect of yoga meditation applies to
every human being, though we need to be mindful of which is most
fitting and effective for a person with this or that state of mind.
TWO OF THE STATES ARE DESIREABLE: Of the five states of mind
(described below in more detail), the later two (one-pointed and
mastered) are most desirable for the deeper practice of yoga
meditation. For most people, our minds are usually in one of the
first three states (disturbed, dull, or distracted). To deal with the
troubled mind and the lethargic mind is progress, leading one to a
merely distracted mind, from where one can more easily work on
training the mind in one-pointedness.
STABILIZE THE MIND IN ONE-POINTEDNESS: By knowing this, we can deal
with our minds so as to gradually stabilize the mind in the fourth
state, the state of one-pointedness (Note that this use of the phrase
fourth state is different from that used in relation to the fourth
state of turiya). This is the state of mind which prepares us for the
fifth state, in which there is mastery of mind. (The first two states
might also be dominant or intense enough that they manifest as what
psychologists call mental illness.)
KNOWING WHERE YOUR MIND IS NOW TELLS YOU HOW TO GET WHERE YOU'RE
1. KSHIPTA/DISTURBED: The ksihipta mind is disturbed, restless,
troubled, wandering. This is the least desirable of the states of
mind, in which the mind is troubled. It might be severely disturbed,
moderately disturbed, or mildly disturbed. It might be worried,
troubled, or chaotic. It is not merely the distracted mind
(Vikshipta), but has the additional feature of a more intense,
negative, emotional involvement.
2. MUDHA/DULL: The mudha mind is stupefied, dull, heavy, forgetful.
With this state of mind, there is less of a running here and there of
the thought process. It is a dull or sleepy state, somewhat like one
experiences when depressed, though we are not here intending to mean
only clinical depression. It is that heavy frame of mind we can get
into, when we want to do nothing, to be lethargic, to be a couch
The Mudha mind is barely beyond the Kshipta, disturbed mind, only in
that the active disturbance has settled down, and the mind might be
somewhat more easily trained from this place. Gradually the mind can
be taught to be a little bit steady in a positive way, only
occasionally distracted, which is the Vikshipta state. Then the mind
can move on in training to the Ekagra and Nirodhah states.
3. VIKSHIPTA/DISTRACTED: The vikshipta mind is distracted,
occasionally steady or focused. This is the state of mind often
reported by students of meditation when they are wide awake and
alert, neither noticeably disturbed nor dull and lethargic. Yet, in
this state of mind, one's attention is easily drawn here and there.
This is the monkey mind or noisy mind that people often talk about as
disturbing meditation. The mind can concentrate for short periods of
time, and is then distracted into some attraction or aversion. Then,
the mind is brought back, only to again be distracted.
The Vikshipta mind in daily life can concentrate on this or that
project, though it might wander here and there, or be pulled off
course by some other person or outside influence, or by a rising
memory. This Vikshipta mind is the stance one wants to attain through
the foundation yoga practices, so that one can then pursue the one-
pointedness of Ekagra, and the mastery that comes with the state of
4. EKAGRA/ONE-POINTED: The ekagra mind is one-pointed, focused,
concentrated (Yoga Sutra 1.32). When the mind has attained the
ability to be one-pointed, the real practice of Yoga meditation
begins. It means that one can focus on tasks at hand in daily life,
practicing karma yoga, the yoga of action, by being mindful of the
mental process and consciously serving others. When the mind is one-
pointed, other internal and external activities are simply not a
THE ABILITY TO FOCUS ATTENTION IS THE PRIMARY SKILL FOR MEDITATION
The person with a one-pointed mind just carries on with the matters
at hand, undisturbed, unaffected, and uninvolved with those other
stimuli. It is important to note that this is meant in a positive
way, not the negative way of not attending to other people or other
internal priorities. The one-pointed mind is fully present in the
moment and able to attend to people, thoughts, and emotions at will.
The one-pointed mind is able to do the practices of concentration and
meditation, leading one onward towards samadhi. This ability to focus
attention is a primary skill that the student wants to develop for
meditation and samadhi.
5. NIRODHAH/MASTERED: The nirodhah mind is highly mastered,
controlled, regulated, restrained (Yoga Sutra 1.2). It is very
difficult for one to capture the meaning of the Nirodhah state of
mind by reading written descriptions. The real understanding of this
state of mind comes only through practices of meditation and
contemplation. When the word Nirodhah is translated as controlled,
regulated, or restrained, it can easily be misunderstood to mean
suppression of thoughts and emotions.
To suppress thoughts and emotions is not healthy and this is not what
is meant here. Rather, it has to do with that natural process when
the mind is one-pointed and becomes progressively more still as
meditation deepens. It is not that the thought patterns are not
there, or are suppressed, but that attention moves inward, or beyond
the stream of inner impressions. In that deep stillness, there is a
mastery over the process of mind. It is that mastery that is meant by
In the second sutra of the Yoga Sutras (the sutra below), Yoga is
defined as "Yogash Chitta Vritti Nirodhah," which is roughly
translated as "Yoga is the control [nirodhah] of the thought patterns
of the mind field." Thus, this Nirodhah state of mind is the goal and
definition of Yoga. It is the doorway by which we go beyond the mind.
For more info on the Five States of Mind:
Excerpted from the approximately 19 page article on
Modern Yoga versus Ancient Yoga:
Tell a big enough lie often enough and people will believe it:
"Yoga is a moneymaking technique."
SEMINARS ON MAKING MONEY WITH YOGA: As if calling Yoga a fitness program,
physical therapy or medical treatment were not enough, it has also become common
to promote Yoga seminars and books in the name of Yoga being a money making
technique. The promoters sometimes don't openly say that it is for money, but
instead use the terms like prosperity, success, abundance or affluence. This is
not talking about teachers making money by teaching classes; that is an entirely
different matter. This is talking about intentionally using the subtle methods
and powers of Yoga to cause monetary wealth to come your way. Fruits naturally
come to practitioners as a byproduct of Yoga, but to teach seminars on how to
direct your conviction and practices into producing financial wealth is a very
REFRAME OF ATTACHMENT, HEDONISM, AND GREED: It doesn't take a great deal of
reflection to see that these are reframes of attachment, hedonism or greed,
which have generally been seen as obstacles to attenuate, rather than goals to
be attained. It is sometimes said that teachers must meet students where they
are. This is the epitome of that process, whereby greedy teachers provide well
packaged and marketed seminars to the greedy students. In this way, the seekers
receive a form of pseudo-validation for their inner longings of external
pleasure. To suggest here that Yoga has nothing to do with moneymaking
propositions is not to say that people should live in poverty. It is simply a
matter of confusing goals and methods. Yoga is not a moneymaking technique, and
any use of Yoga for such a purpose is a distortion of Yoga.
For more information on Modern Yoga versus Ancient Yoga:
Converging the Highest of Yoga, Vedanta, and Tantra
Dates: Fri, Jun 24 - Sun, Jun 26
Location: The Yoga Room, Niceville, Florida
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: This is a 3-Day Intensive on the convergence point
(bindu) of the highest principles and practices of Raja Yoga, Advaita
Vedanta, and Samaya (Internal) Tantra (Sri Vidya). It also involves
the convergence point of Meditation, Contemplation, Prayer, and
Mantra. We will also explore how this convergence point is part of
the mystical, esoteric aspect of most religions. By understanding the
convergence point of these practices, all of the other practices of
Yoga and Meditation (Karma, Hatha, Bhakti, Jnana, Kundalini, Laya and
Kriya Yogas) can be done in the context of being support structures
or preparation for the higher practices, experiences, and
revelations. There will be both explanations and experiential
practices in each of the five sessions, including that of guru
chakra, the center for the shakti diksha (initiation) that opens the
conduit to the teacher or guru within, as well as for the direct,
internal transmissions of wisdom and experience given by the
WHO IT'S FOR: These teachings and trainings on this highest
perspective are for those people who insist on reading the last page
of a book first. Such people are not satisfied with incomplete
representations of Yoga and Meditation, such as those limited to
physical fitness, stress management, or medical treatment. They want
to see the big picture of beginning, intermediate, and advanced
meditation with a clear vision of the path and the means of attaining
the final goal.
A new Newsletter has been created on the activities of Abhyasa Ashram
in Florida USA. Most of the announcements are of a local nature,
though may be of occassional interest to others, particularly if you
ever travel to this area. I am sending this annnouncement (the one
you are now reading) out to all of the Practical Reminders Newsletter
recipients because the list has gotten so large that I am not able to
identify which email addresses are local and which are not.
This newsletter replaces the previous activities newsletter, which
was discontinued some time ago. Unless you have subscribed to this
new newsletter in the past month, and have received announcements of
activities during this time, you are NOT on the new mailing list.
The easiest way to SUBSCRIBE is to send a blank email to this address:
If you are not sure whether or not you are subscribed, you can do it
again because you cannot accidentally receive two newsletters at the
same email address.
There is more general information on the two newsletters on the
SwamiJ.com website at this page:
There is also a Calendar page on the website:
Thanks for your interest.
In loving service,
Excerpted from the summary page on Beginning, Intermediate, and
The phrases Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced are being used here
solely because we are all familiar with this language. There is no
intent here to categorize, classify, or label people by the use of
these terms. Rather, it should allow you to easily see the universal
process of meditation more clearly. You might also find it useful in
observing your progress. The six subcategories below are very broad,
applying to virtually any system of meditation. This outline attempts
to capture the entire process of meditation, from beginning to the
height of enlightenment. By understanding this general process, it is
much easier to learn and do the practices themselves.
BEGINNING: In the Beginning stages of practice, you think that you
are meditating, while you are actually still learning methods. This
is a pleasant time of learning, as benefits start to come from
1) FOUNDATION, LIFESTYLE, MEDITATION IN ACTION: Successfully
practicing meditation requires having a well balanced lifestyle and a
basic degree of self awareness, as can be cultivated in daily life.
In this foundation stage, you cultivate practices and attitudes such
as non-harming, lovingness, compassion, and acceptance. Primitive
urges for food, sleep, sex, and self-preservation are seen and wisely
regulated. Balanced lifestyle and meditation in action brings
stability of mind.
2) ESTABLISHING THE PRACTICE OF MEDITATION: Building upon that solid
foundation, you can more easily learn the actual practices of
meditation, while these first two stages are somewhat done together.
You establish a regular time and place for meditation each day,
develop your sitting posture, and learn to work with and train the
senses, body, breath, and mind. Individual techniques are learned and
repeated over and over, coordinating them systematically.
INTERMEDIATE: In the Intermediate stages, you have a pretty good
grasp of the process of meditation. The practices already learned are
being improved upon, and new practices are being integrated with them.
3) STABILIZING AND REFINING YOUR PRACTICES: During this important
phase, determination is developed to stay with the practices, gently
learning and growing. It is a time for gaining proficiency in the
methods already learned. New methods or alterations of existing
methods are learned and integrated into the practices. You are
beginning to get a feel for the nature of the whole process of
meditation, and how to integrate other practices such as
contemplation, prayer, and mantra.
4) TRAINING AND CALMING THE CONSCIOUS MIND: Here, you can easily calm
the conscious mind. The days of the "noisy" mind are behind you. You
can easily regulate your breath, balance the energies, and find peace
of mind. The process of meditation is clear, as you spend your time
practicing rather than learning methods. Many people stop here, as if
this calmness is the goal of meditation. Actually, it is the
prerequisite for true meditation leading to subtler direct experience.
ADVANCED: In the Advanced stages, you have a solid foundation in
understanding the process of meditation, as well as practicing
meditation. You now explore and transcend the subtler aspects of your
5) EXPLORING AND PURIFYING THE UNCONSCIUS MIND: Now you are ready to
explore the normally unexamined inner world. The deep unconscious
that might have previously been avoided is now invited to come
forward for introspection. Principles such as the four functions of
mind (manas, chitta, ahamkara, and buddhi) are seen quite clearly.
The inner process speeds up as more and more of the deep impressions
driving karma are seen, examined, and weakened in the depths of
6) GOING THROUGH AND BEYOND THE MIND: After accepting the unconscious
material, you leave behind memories, pictures, and words. You examine
and explore the inner instruments themselves, such as the subtle
energies and elements, which are the very building blocks of
ourselves as individuals. Gradually, you move past even these,
traveling into and through even the subtlest channel of light and
sound, to the absolute reality of who you really are as pure being or
For a copy of the summary page:
Excerpted from the approximately 14 page discussion of the first four
sutras of the Yoga Sutras, the section we have entitled "What is
BEING PREPARED TO START: To sincerely begin the pursuit of Self-
realization is a most significant step in life, when the highest goal
of life is taken on as number one on your list of things to do. The
first word of the Yoga Sutras is atha, which means now (1.1). This
particular word for now implies a preparedness in arriving at this
auspicious stage of desire and commitment towards Self-realization,
the highest goal of Yoga.
DEFINITION OF YOGA: The first four sutras define Yoga, with that
definition being expanded upon in the other sutras. In a systematic
process of meditation, you gradually move your attention inward,
through all the levels of your being, gaining mastery along the way
(1.2). Eventually you come to rest in your true nature, which is
beyond all of those levels (1.3). This action and the realization of
this center of consciousness, is the meaning of Yoga.
THE TRUE SELF SHINES THROUGH: The true Self, which has been there all
along, naturally comes shining through (1.3). The rest of the time,
we are so entangled with our false identities that we literally do
not see that this misidentification has happened (1.4). It is the
reason that sometimes it is said that we are asleep, and that we need
to awaken. That awakening to the Self is the meaning of Yoga.
LIKE A MIRROR: Consciousness looks outward, through the intellect,
through the mind, and then through the senses and body. It sees a
reflection, like a mirror. It sees reality, a world, a self-identity,
which it falsely thinks to be "me" or "mine." Through the forgetting
power of avidya or ignorance (2.5), pure consciousness says, "I am
this or that!" This is not all bad, for it gives the opportunity for
the joy of awakening, through a journey called Yoga, returning to the
wholeness that was never really divided in the first place.
YOGA AND SANKHYA PHILOSOPHIES: The process of realization through
Yoga rests on the discovery of pure consciousness (purusha) as
separate from all the many false identities, which are considered to
be evolutes of primal matter (prakriti). These principles of purusha
and prakriti are part of the philosophical system known as Sankhya.
YOGA IS SAMADHI: Both ancient and modern sages, including Vyasa, the
most noteworthy commentator on the Yoga Sutra, flatly declare that
Yoga is samadhi, the high state of perfected concentration or
complete absorption of attention (3.3). Yoga means union, literally,
to yoke, from the root yuj, which means to join or to integrate. It
means to bring together the aspects of ourselves that were never
divided in the first place. It means to attain direct experience of
the core of that preexisting holistic being who we truly are at the
deepest level, and that is attained through samadhi.
YOGA IS NOT: Yoga is not merely physical fitness, stress management,
medical treatment, or a means of manifesting money, although
authentic Yoga is definitely beneficial to many aspects of life (See
Modern Yoga versus Ancient Yoga).
YOGA SUTRA 1.1 Now, after having done prior preparation through life
and other practices, the study and practice of Yoga begins.
(atha yoga anushasanam)
ATHA= now, at this auspicious moment; implying the transition to this
practice and pursuit, after prior preparation; implying a blessing at
this moment of transition
YOGA= of yoga, union; literally, to yoke, from the root yuj, which
means to join or to integrate; same as the absorption in samadhi
ANU= within, or following tradition; implies being subsequent to
something else, in this case, the prior preparation
SHASANAM = instruction, discipline, training, teaching, exposition,
explanation; Shas implies the imparting of teaching that happens
along with discipline
YOGA COMES AFTER PREPARATION: This introductory sutra suggests that
after our many actions in life, and whatever preparatory practices we
might have performed, now, we are finally ready to pursue the depths
of self-exploration, the journey directly to the center of
consciousness, Atman, or Self, our eternal and True identity.
DISCIPLINE AND LEARNING: To practice Yoga requires cultivating
discipline and following a systematic method of learning
(anushasanam). This has more to do with the quality or conviction in
one's practices than it has to do with the quantity. This is
described in greater detail in sutras 1.21 and 1.22.
For more information from the 14 pages on Yoga Sutras 1.1-1.4:
Yoga teacher training has hit a new low that is so unbelievable that
this has got to be a bad joke. But, sadly, it is not a joke. These
people really mean it. Below is a press release that has just come
out on June 5, 2005, describing an online "Yoga Certification"
program for $49.99. The title of their web page says, "Become an
ExpertRating Certified Yoga Instructor." The text on this page
includes, "With ExpertRating you get certified quickly online"
and "Buy the Yoga Certification $49.99"
Friends, if you have never read the article I've put on my website
entitled "Modern Yoga versus Ancient Yoga," please do so. It will
share with you some very sad, but painfully true realities about the
state of Yoga today. Here's a link to the article:
How bad can it get? How much distortion of Yoga is acceptable? We
each must decide, in our own practices and our own actions in the
world. May we all choose wisely and lovingly, and with conviction.
In loving service,
Here is a link to the press release:
Here is a link to their website, as is included in the press release:
HERE IS THE PRESS RELEASE OF THE ONLINE
YOGA TEACHER CERTIFICATION FOR $49.99:
ExpertRating Launches the Online Yoga Certification for $49.99
ExpertRating, a leader in online testing and certification has
launched the Yoga certification for $49.99 making it accessible to
thousands of budding fitness instructors at an affordable price.
ExpertRating has certifed over 200,000 individuals in over 100 skills
in 50 countries worldwide and hopes to capture a substantial part of
the fast growing Yoga training market. The certification fee of
$49.99 includes an indepth courseware and over 70 pictures of various
(PRWEB) June 5, 2005 -- ExpertRating, a leader in online testing and
certification has launched the Yoga Certification for $49.99 making
it accessible to thousands of budding Yoga instructors at an
affordable price. ExpertRating has certifed 200,000 individuals in
over 100 skills in 50 countries worldwide and hopes to capture a
substantial part of the fast growing Yoga training market. The
certification fee of $49.99 includes an indepth courseware and over
70 pictures of various exercises.
Expertrating Certified professionals also get an online transcript
that they can use to display their test score on the internet. The
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics say that
employment of recreation and fitness workers is expected to grow
faster than the average for all occupations through 2012, as an
increasing number of people spend more time and money on recreation,
fitness, and leisure services. The ExpertRating Yoga Certification
covers topics such as Fitness theory, Yoga theory and Exercise
prescriptions and programs for several popular Yoga asanas, as well
as information on how to run a Yoga Instructor business. The
courseware also covers over 70 important exercise routines along with
instructions to avoid injury. The process of getting yourself
certified is very simple.
All you have to do is buy the ExpertRating Yoga Certification for
$49.99. Log in to your ExpertRating account using your password. Go
through the Yoga Instructor Certification courseware (which could
take you from 1 week to a month depending upon how hard you work) and
take the certification exam at your convenience. You can take the
exam within 1 year of buying the certification. The result of the
exam appears as soon as it is completed, and your certificate is
mailed immediately. The exam is based upon the courseware that is
provided along with the certification.
If you have gone through the courseware properly you should not have
a problem clearing the exam. The exam consists of multiple choice
questions from all chapters of the courseware. This course is more
than sufficient to kickstart your career as a Yoga Instructor. Incase
you fail the exam, you can buy a retake for $10. No there is
currently no renewal fee.
Clarion Call to Editors and Journalists Reporting on Yoga
Clarion Call to Editors and Journalists Reporting on Yoga
In the name of balanced and fair reporting, there is a great need for
editors and journalists to research and report on the spiritual focus
of Yoga, not merely the physical, which is a minor, though useful
part of authentic Yoga.
(PRWEB) June 7, 2005 -- The underlying presumption of almost all
articles on Yoga is the view that Yoga is a physical exercise
program, stress management method, or medical treatment. It seems
that virtually none of the articles, aside from specialty
publications, focus on the more authentic truth that Yoga is a means
of spiritual awakening or realization. Articles are needed that first
address the spiritual perspective, and then mention the physical as a
minor alternative, complement, or preparation.
The codes of ethics of many journalism associations and organizations
stress the importance of fair reporting, including avoiding
distortions due to either emphasis or omission. It is the emphasis of
reporting on Yoga as a physical process, and the omission of Yoga in
its deeper, truer aspects that tend to make these articles ethically
Two additional types of reporting are needed. One would be articles
describing the original and true nature of Yoga, which may not even
include most of the physical postures. The other would be articles on
how it has happened that Yoga has become so significantly distorted
in recent years. To report from these two perspectives would go a
long way in balancing all of the reporting that reflects the false
premise that Yoga is about physical fitness.
If you are an editor, journalist, or reporter, won't you please
help to balance the reporting to the public about the true nature of
Yoga. If you can find people to interview about Yoga as physical
fitness, then you can also find people to interview about Yoga in its
more authentic form.
The article "Modern Yoga Versus Ancient Yoga" by Swami
Jnaneshvara Bharati provides an overview that may serve as background
information, or a starting point for the journalist willing to
further research and report on these topics. The article is online
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
NEW DELHI: India's more than 4,000 year-old yoga traditions may
witness some high-octane trade disputes sometime from now, business
daily Economic Times has reported.
The Union government is building its muscles to bust the market
monopolies on yoga that Western practitioners have been securing
through copyrights, trademarks and patents. Yoga is a flourishing $27
billion-a-year business in the U.S.
To start with, the government is making a digital database of 1,500
yoga postures and their therapeutic properties that can be used to
overthrow the 134 patents on yoga accessories, 150 yoga-related
copyrights and 2,315 yoga trademarks the U.S. Patent Office has
granted so far, sources said.
This database, comprising body-cleansing practices, breathing
exercises, yoga symbols called mudras, postures and special practices
such as floating in water, will be digitally documented in five major
international languages so that it can be shared with prominent
patent offices around the world, the report said.
This is to prevent the grant of trademarks, copyrights and patents on
yoga in the future. The database would also help avoid costly
litigation to reverse the rights already granted. To reverse them,
India has to move the World Intellectual Property Organization
The National Institute of Science Communication and Information
Resources (NISCIR), under the science and technology ministry is
developing this nearly ten million page digital database for the
Department of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Sidha and
Homoeopathy under the health ministry.
Many of these rights have been secured by non-resident Indians like
Bikram Chowdhury, who used a copyright on his book in which he
described his sequence of yoga postures to prevent others from
teaching them, although the postures themselves were not under any
form of protection.
He got protection for a sequence of 26 postures called `asanas' to be
performed at a particular atmospheric temperature. While the postures
are straight out of India's tradition, the temperature requirement,
the ambience and accessories such as the mat spread on the floor are
his own, as justifications for the protection, an official source
The government now fears that someone may get market monopoly for the
Buddhist way of meditation called `vipassana' and transcendental
meditation taught by UP-based Maharshi Vedic University. There is
another problem the government is facing now, with no easy solution
in sight. "There are instances where people have been registering
yoga-related domain names only for selling them later at a huge
profit," the official said, the report added.
A new newsletter has been created, which deals entirely with the Yoga
Sutras. The newsletter will sequentially move through the Yoga
Sutras, focusing on their practical application in meditation.
Included are word for word translations from Sanskrit into English,
and links to descriptions on www.SwamiJ.com, where there are graphics
that further help with learning.
Subscription info is below. I hope that you enjoy this new
newsletter. Please share this info with others who may be interested,
but without spamming anybody.
In loving service,
TWO SAMPLES: Two newsletters have already been created so that you
can see what they will be like. Click here, and then click on the two
NEWSLETTER HOME PAGE: Here is the Yahoo home page of the Yoga Sutras
RSS/XLS FEED: If you click on the Newsletter home page link above,
you will be able to get RSS/XLS feed. I don't know how this works,
but I'm telling you this for those of you who do.
TO SUBSCRIBE: The easiest way to subscribe is to send a blank email
(You can also subscribe through Join this Group on the Yahoo home
page of the newsletter, if you already have a Yahoo ID.)
TO UNSUBSCRIBE: It's always easy to unsubscribe by sending a blank
email to the address, which is supplied with each newsletter:
Just address an email to Yoga-Meditation@yahoogroups.com
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