• Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

    International Yoga Day

    by Divya Gupta

    The International Yoga Day celebration at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG) began with lamp lighting and chanting of the traditional mantras by the ashram priest Pandit Deepak, while remembering and honoring the Guru spirit. Sakshi Nakoti and Aditi Nakoti, our MCs for the occasion, dressed in beautiful sarees, opened the program with a short silent meditation.

    The program began with Dr. Prakash Dixit sharing about the “History and Objectives of the International Yoga Day”. He talked of how happy Swami Veda Bharati was when the International Yoga Day was announced and celebrated for the first time 2 years ago. He said that yoga is union and that it empowers us to know ourselves. If we can recognize ourselves, all our problems in the world will be solved. Yoga is a science. If you practice, you will surely be able to see the results in your life.

    We need to remind ourselves of the aim of celebrating a yoga day—it teaches us to live in complete harmony and enables to be more responsible in our day-to-day interactions. Swami Veda used to say that those political leaders who are not at peace within could not propagate world peace. If we practice yoga, we become peaceful within and in turn, the world around us becomes more peaceful.

    Dr. Dixit’s highly informative and motivating speech was followed by a yoga practicum by our prized teacher—Ramprakash Ji. The meditation hall was filled with the enchanting vibrations of OM, as he began his class. He explained the importance of ha-tha yoga within the context of meditation. He led a short session of ha-tha yoga and pranayama practice, followed by a short guided relaxation and meditation.

    The participants enjoyed the class and we could see so many happy faces all around. The MCs joked about how the ha-tha class may have increased everyone’s appetite, and the guests were then offered a short refreshments break with cooling chaach (buttermilk). This was followed by a beautiful talk by Rabindra Sahu on the topic of “Practical Applications of Yoga in Daily Life.”

    Rabindra shared that he feels with all the hype around "yoga", "yoga" is not spreading, "asana" is. Majority of people go to a "yoga class" to practice some asanas and walk out saying, “I have done my yoga.” That is not yoga. Yoga is a way of life, a culture, a sadhana.

    We practice yoga to suit our own needs. We are not practicing yoga to experience the aspirations of Yoga, which reflects in the AHYMSIN logo—“Yogah Samadhih". Those people who practice yoga to experience the goals set by yoga are known as yoga sadhakas.

    When we start incorporating the principles of yoga as indicated in the yamas and niyamas in our daily life, then yoga becomes a part of our lifestyle which is reflected in our behaviors and interactions.

    He reminded all to read Swami Veda Bharati Ji's book Sadhana in Applied Spirituality. He emphasized that yoga must be seen in terms of how it can become useful in the long run of life, not just as an hour long asana practice every day. He reminded us about the practical aspects of the major paths of yoga. When we perform our actions with patience and endurance and our behavior reflects these qualities then we are doing karma yoga. Practice of jnana yoga is when we use our common sense and are practical in life. We are the practitioners of bhakti yoga when we are not carried away by our emotions.

    He concluded his talk by encouraging all of us to include yamas and niyamas as aspects in our personal sadhana.

    Being reminded of the importance of the ultimate goals of yoga, it seemed like the perfect time to listen to Swami Veda talk about what yoga and meditation truly is. We watched his interview with the DD News (one of the leading Hindi news channels in India) from 2015, where he pointed out how yoga is not a religion and he cautioned against celebrating the International Yoga Day as an “India Day”. The video can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_N9SGtAYJJw

    During the entire duration of the video, the Meditation Hall was filled with unprecedented stillness and silence, which continued through the following 20-minute guided meditation. The silence and stillness in the meditation hall seemed like Swami Ji was guiding the meditation not through a recording, but through his presence.

    In the evening, the ashram residents and teachers gathered to reaffirm their commitment to their own sadhana and the vision and mission of SRSG and AHYMSIN, led by Rabindra Sahu. He talked about the AHYSMIN Logo—Yogah Samadhih—and emphasized the importance of creating awareness about Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama as “The” ashram to visit, if one is seeking to practice yoga for its highest aspiration.
    We completed the International Yoga Day celebration with a new enthusiasm and determination to serve towards Swami Ji’s Mission.

    Photos by Jay Prakash Bahuguna.

    Editor’s Note:

    To read “Message for International Yoga Day, June 21” by Swami Veda Bharati, please use this link: http://ahymsin.org/main/swami-veda-bharati/message-for-international-yoga-day-june-21.html. There is also a link to an audio file of Swami’s message that can be downloaded. The written message first appears in English, followed by translations into Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Thai.



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