Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Stop the Blame Game!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Yoga - The Holistic Practice!

As we approach the world Yoga day on 21st June 2015, here is an excerpt from my Co-Authored book on Yoga, which I am sure will dispel quite a few misconceptions about the practice!

Yoga is one of the most ancient cultural heritages of India. The word yoga in Sanskrit means "to unite” and so yoga can be said to mean a unitive discipline. In this sense it is an exercise in moral and mental cultivation that generates good health (arogya), contributes to longevity (chirayu), and the total intrinsic discipline culminates into positive and perennial happiness and peace. In its spiritual sense, it is the process by which the uniqueness of the individual soul and the Supreme Soul is realized by the Yogi. It is the union of all aspects of an individual: body, mind and soul

Yoga is an all-encompassing way of life, a science of self-culture and mental discipline that ensures the purgation of the ignoble in man and brings forth what is most noble in him. It is relevant to all people irrespective of their caste, creed, sex, and religion. Yoga is for all. Yoga is universal. It is not a sectarian affair. The practice of Yoga is not conflicting to any religion. It is purely spiritual and universal. It does not contradict anyone's sincere faith. It can be beneficial to all - the good and the bad, the sick and the healthy, the believer and the non-believer, the literate and the ignorant, the young and the old. 

There are too many misconceptions confusing the science of Yoga. People perceive it to be some kind of black or white magic, sorcery, physical or mental wickedness through which miraculous feats can be performed. For some it is an extremely dangerous practice, which should be limited to only those who have renounced the world. 

The real meaning of Yoga: Yogash chita vritti nirodha
Yoga is the termination of mental fragmentation.

Yoga: Oneness, yoga. Chitta: mind. Vritti: wave, the action of rolling, modification, way of being. Nirodha: cessation.
All about Yoga is said in the four words Yogah,Chitta, Vritti, nirodha. The four words of the second sutra define the “discipline” in a practical way. But then one should know their meaning and mostly what they signal to us. Chitta is the mind field, which is the ocean of perception and reflection. Even deep sleep is included in that world of perception, or cognitive activity. 

The meaning of vritti exceeds what we normally mean by thought. The idea of something rolling, of a wave in motion, is the first meaning. It is a more basic procedure than the solitary conscious thinking. We can say mental activity of form of consciousness, and that’s how we will translate it most of the time.

The word nirodha carries in itself the complete core of spiritual understanding, the full grace dawning on the open soul. It is the cessation, the silence. But what is silence? Silence imposed by thought —“what we often designate by the word “control”— is not silence”, It is an effort, a struggle, and uneasiness: in other words, it is still a troublesome thought: there is still someone looking after a goal. On the contrary, the discipline of yoga is the cessation of something that has hardly ceased until now and which we evoke by the expression chitta vritti.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Elementary Living!

‘Simplicity is no longer a convention, it is an invention’

As soon as I read this, it sat deeply within me. So true I thought. We now live in a world that is getting more and more complicated and in the midst of information overload on how we can make it even more so!

In every dire situation, there is the proverbial silver lining and that became the case with the family and me. We discovered the components of elementary living!

Though the awareness drifted in the fringes of my own consciousness, it never was mainstream. So what’s this elementary living? I call it living in balance with the elements of nature, that is Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Ether or space! Do we have a balance of these in our day-to-day living? Do we use the tremendous healing properties that these elements have to bring a sense of sanity in the mad rush that we are all in?

Do we use the element of air, our very own life force in accordance to the need for ourselves? Remember, life force is the only thing that we carry with ourselves everywhere we go! Are we even aware of our breath or have we taken it for granted? To balance Air, we need to cleanse and energize ourselves. Cleansing can be through the various Pranayama techniques and the Breath Energy Technique to energize.

Fire is that element which defies gravity! Think about it! It is so light! Fire meditation helps burn and lighten burdens of every day life, it has the power to cleanse deep. Just observing this element burn instills warmth and power, so very essential in today’s world!

Water is the universal cleanser! Do we cleanse ourselves with this divine element as a healing component or do we use it automatic, without giving it a deeper thought? Having a bath twice everyday is mandatory in this polluted environment, both emotional pollution as well as the physical pollution. It can wash away the negative energy that we build around and within us during the course of the day!

Mother Earth is the provider of our energy through food, and how we have abused her is beyond imagination! Research now shows that the topsoil in our country is way beyond repair because of the rampant and un-regulated use of pesticides. We are also victims of the junk food, fast food culture that has percolated so deep down that it is no longer occasional food but daily diet! How balanced is our diet? Do we ‘eat to live, or live to eat?’ Are we the victims of the corporations that are making their millions at our cost?  Rampant spread of deadly diseases is proof enough of the poisoning that has happened in our environment by the elites.

Space is that element that is necessary to balance all others! Renewal practices like Yoga, Meditation, and Prayer are necessary to survive in this rat race! We binge renew on weekends, which does more harm than good! What is your daily renewal practice?

Our living being the planet earth or giai is the universal possessor and provider of all five without discrimination! Should we not be grateful?

Think about it! As Sherlock Holmes famously said, ‘elementary my dear Watson’!

Ask yourself, ‘How elementary is my living’?

A friend once asked me, what is the use? Do you want to live longer by doing all this? My internal reply was, ‘Add life to years, not years to life’!