Shlloka: Namaste to all the viewers joining us from all across the world. Amway presents International Day of Yoga, 20, powered by Ozone Organic AdvantAge. I am Shlloka, your host for today evening and I also have with me my co-host, Nidhi Kumar. We also acknowledge our event producers Union, Red Carpet Entertainers supported by Ministry of Ayush, ISH Rights Foundation, International Naturopathy Organization Titli Jaipur, and powered by Ozone Organic AdvantAge . Our distribution partners and co-host, The Nehru center, The High Commission of India, Mystics of India, Sadhguru and Green Dream Foundation and Spiritual TV. And together we’d like to fervently welcome all of you on International day of Yoga.
Yoga means union. Yoga or the yogic way of living since time immemorial has been entrenched in every facet of our lives. So, in our part of the culture, marriage was not just seen as marriages, but yoga. Careers or job, weren’t just seen as that, but yoga. Children, bearing a child, raising them wasn’t just that, but yoga.
So, why was yoga such an integral part of our lives? Today, lets re-examine some of the lost dimensions of yoga. We have with us individuals who are experts of yoga and the yogic way of living. From devoting their lives to being in yoga, to helping others achieve the very same. It is with great love and reverence I’d like to welcome the panelists for today. Nidhiji, can you please do the honor?
Nidhi: Mohanji, a globally renowned humanitarian, who has dedicated his life towards the earth and service to all beings with a conviction that the world should be a better place because we have lived here. Namaste Mohanji. Welcome! Acharya Sri Punrik Goswami ji, who would be joining us in a while, the young and highly famed bhakti yogi and vedic scholar who has been delivering eloquent discourses from the age of seven years. This Oxford alumnus has garnered millions of devotees all over the world.
Pandit Vama Deva Shastri, Dr David Frawley, and an author of about 40 books. He has contributed extensively towards vedas, vedanta, yoga, ayurveda, and vedic astrology. Welcome to the program, Sir!
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati ji, a PhD from Stanford. She is a renowned spiritual leader living in Parmarth Niketan ashram for 24 years, engaged in many spiritual and humanitarian programs. Dear guests, it is such a pleasure, privilege and honor to have you here with us today. Thank you for joining us once again.
And to all the viewers, as you watch, we would request you to share this video, so the maximum people can be benefitted from this.
My first question to you, Dr Frawley: Where does it all begin, if you can briefly take us through the genealogy and the genesis of yoga through the centuries? Who better than you?
David Frawley: Yes, yoga is our own deepest self. All life is yoga. Yoga originates with the creation of the universe itself, yoga is the teaching, the practice, the application of the wisdom of the cosmic mind and deeper intelligence. Yoga is at the root of world’s civilizations. It is the root of Indian civilization, and it is found at the very origins of Indian civilization, in the Vedas, the great mantras of the Rishis, and it is there even archaeologically we know, we discovered the origins of yoga in the ancient ruins, Harappan Culture, Vedic Culture, Saraswati River; much work is being done in those particular areas.
The Rishis of the Vedas were great yogis; the mantras of the Vedas, like Gayatri are great inspirations to yoga. Yoga then developed through the Vedas, into the Upanishads where we have the yogic practices of self-inquiry, inner knowing, self -realization, explained with great clarity. Yoga then manifests in the personal form of Sri Krishna, the Yoga Avatara, in the Bhagavad Gita and also Mahabharata. Yoga also then takes its compilation in the Yoga Sutras of the Patanjali sometime later. It is, however, pervading all the dharmic traditions and teachings. Then yoga develops through yoga shastras, yoga Upanishads, various branches of yoga: samkhya yoga, shaivite yoga, vaisnava yoga; in many different forms, all the knowledge, devotion, practice, karma, everything. Then over time, yoga spread, of course, with all the dharmic traditions throughout Asia, throughout the world.
We had then even at later times the great Nath yogis, the siddha yoga, the hatha yoga, and then we had the great Swami Vivekananda who shared this great yoga tradition globally starting in 1893 in Chicago. The global renaissance of yoga coming to the present day with great yogis from India travelling all over the world, sharing the wisdom of yoga and becoming the gurus and teachers of many millions, from the leaders of the society to the common people. Then, we have yoga as part of India’s independence movement; its cultural renaissance; great yogis like Sri Aurobindo, behind that movement. We’ve also had this global movement of yoga, international yoga day, and we have yoga practice by millions throughout the world, starting with the basic asana practices extending to pranayama, mantra, meditation, and yoga is taking us forward into another century. Yoga is taking us forward into new planetary age for humanity and it is essential that we bring this yoga tradition forward. Particularly today we have so much conflict, unhappiness, suffering in the world. Also, of course, we have this pandemic going on. Yoga can connect us to the inner wealth springs of prana, to our deeper harmony with the environment. The yoga of ecology can connect us to world peace, unity, and allow us to use our technology in the best possible way for the evolution of consciousness, intelligence, wellbeing, harmony in humanity, rather than just simply the technology for the outer development. So, lets welcome a new age of yoga for the 21st century and International Yoga Day, as the day of the year that connects us to that aspiration. Hari Om!
Nidhi: Thank you so much.
Shlloka: Sadhviji, my question to you is: What is yoga, and what is not yoga? When we talk about yoga in contemporary times, we mostly see glamorous images of people, celebrities, models and different kinds of poses. It is even happening at the competitive levels. It is happening at the stage and national level championships. People are getting medals for being the best at yoga. So, yoga has largely been perceived as performance, as a sporting activity, as a recreational activity, or at best –a health activity. So, we see a new style of yoga erupting every day, whether it is aerobics yoga, power yoga, aerial hot yoga, there is even beer and puppy yoga. People are using all kinds of inversions, props, heaps to be in yoga. So my question to you Sadhvi ji is: What is the correct kind of yoga to pursue and what do you make of this kind of evolution, modernization, reinvention, or if I may even say- distortion?
Sadhvi ji: So, as you mentioned in your very beginning introduction, and as Vama Dev ji said so beautifully: yoga is union on the deepest, highest, and the most full and complete level. When we look at the scriptures, that we commonly talk about as scriptures of yoga, there isn’t a mention there, you look at for example, in Bhagavad Gita, and there is nothing in the Bhagavad Gita that says, that done with a straight leg is yoga, that done with the bent leg is not yoga, or turning to the right is yoga, and turning to the left is not yoga. Yoga is that which unites, and yoga is that out of union, so that’s the science, the art, the expression of yoga. In the Bhagavad Gita, in fact, Lord Krishna speaks about so much – seven hundred verses of yoga, but it’s… what is it. Its bhakti, devotion, love, its gyan yoga, wisdom, knowledge, its karma yoga, the way that we act moving toward union, as well as the way that we act when we are rooted in union. There is no mention in all of the seven hundred verses of a particular posture being the right posture for yoga or not. In fact, the only mention even of asana, actually is that upon which we sit in the Gita. When we realize that core fullness of yog, we realize that it’s not about, “Oh, if it is done at this temperature, it’s yoga, or if it is done at that temperature, it’s not, or if we do it vertically, it is, horizontally it’s not.”
All of this fighting these days, all of this, sadly, separation in the name of yoga, this tragic irony in the name of union. How many different, separate lineages we have? Beautiful, no problem, as long as they recognize they’re part of a cohesive whole. But nonetheless, what you mentioned is so true: so many different lineages are saying, “This is right. That’s not right. This is the best; that’s not.’’ Even in what sage Patanjali discusses, He explained so beautifully: Sthira sukham asanam.’’-That which is stable, joyful, that is asana. Again, not that which has ropes or doesn’t have ropes, has a prop, doesn’t have a prop. It’s never been about that.
And yeah, you are right, today there’s so many different types of yoga. Almost everyday, somebody sends some kind of funny thing from online of you know, yoga in this way, or yoga in that way. But for me on a personal level, I‘ve got such a deep faith in yoga, in the science, the art, the practice, the depth, the fullness of yoga, that whatever way you enter it, you get caught up in that stream. And so, even if you enter it because you’ve got back pain or knee pain, or you enter it because you wanna lose some weight or lower your cholesterol, don’t worry! The river of yoga is so powerful. It’s gonna sweep you up. I know so many people who have entered yoga because of some physical reason, and suddenly find themselves chanting, find themselves reading scriptures, find themselves introspecting deeply on the nature of the self. So, I am not worried about yoga competitions. We all realize, of course, that it’s not a competition in the fullness of yoga. You can’t have a competition of meditation or samadhi. We are looking at asanas. Maybe we’re looking at pranayama, maximum. But mostly we are looking at asanas; we are looking at strength and flexibility in the body. And that’s ok. Yes, you are right. It would be better termed physical fitness, better termed exercise, sometimes better termed acrobatics. But, if through this, we are bringing people into the river of yoga, I am ok with that. Because that river is gonna give them the fullness, regardless of how they enter into it.
Shlloka: So true, I think it is a beautiuful perspective, Sadhviji. Mohanji, my question for you: You know, when we talk about the experiential dimension of yoga, yoga is essentially an experiential reality. You know, yoga is union. One can’t do union, one has to be in union. Similarly, one can’t do yoga, one has to be in yoga. So, one can’t really philosophize, intellectualize, reinvent, read about yoga, you have to be in yoga to experience it. This experiential dimension of yoga has unfortunately completely eroded in today’s day and age. So, if you can talk a little bit about the experiential side of yoga?
Mohanji: Thank you. As Dr Frawley and Sadhviji have already explained, the dimensions can never be explained. Yoga has huge, numerous dimensions. The sanskar of Bharat, the tradition of Bharat – all the Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Shrutis, Smritis, all put together is yoga. Means, summing up everything together is yoga. Like, if you crush everything and make a juice, it’s one sentence: Tat twam asi! You are that! So, yoga is bringing you to yourself. It’s a reminder. And, as you have asked, the experiential side, We have distinctly two sides which is practical for every day.
One is the pratiti side-means, we versus what we see or what we interact with, meaning something outside of us. Second is the anubhuti side – that means what is always being experienced as you; you the experiencer. So, end of the day, whatever we do, it is for experience sake, and there are only two aspects of existence. If you sum it up, one is experience, one is expression. What you express is what you are. You cannot express anything more than that, or anything beyond. But, what you experience is also as per your vasana, your inclinations and tendencies, which are inbuilt. And like that, we have instinct; instinct cannot be avoided in life because this is inbuilt. Then, inclinations and tendencies, plus desires. All these put together, this is the complex character of human existence, or this is how human beings exist.
So, in any activity- there’s an activity and awareness. They are two distinct things. When awareness is very high, activity is not significant. When we are extremely active, awareness eclipses by itself or it eclipses awareness. So, we have to be very clear and very aware. These are all guidelines for connecting to ourselves. The whole systems are to remind us who we are, and to connect us to ourselves, to be aware. So, that is why yoga is not experience, it’s not blind activity. When we go mechanically on activity, we lose awareness. And that’s the whole thing about life: extreme awareness. When both stabilizes, we become Buddha. So, to attain that state, we have to cut down on activity. If we cannot cut down on activities, what we have to do is to be aware of that activity. So, that is the experiential side. That means you detach from the activities and be aware that it is happening through you, not that you are doing. So, doingness to beingness, slowly it happens.
So, the gross aspect, physical body, then the subtle aspect, immediate subtle aspect which is the mind, intellect, ego aspect, and then the ati sukshma, the beyond the subtle, which is the activating aspect, which is consciousness and soul. So, to arrive there, you’ve got to transcend all this. Once you’ve transcended all these, you reach a state of absolute peace. We call it extreme Samadhi state, (and samadhi has also has been dissected). But, samadhi state, and that’s the state which is very natural for us. So, yoga means being natural. Yoga means being aware. And, yoga means being you.
Nidhi: How lovely. Dr Frawley, another question for you: All of yoga is one. But there are different paths to achieve it.
Shlloka: We have Pundrik ji joining us. (Sri Pundrik Goswami ji is joining the conversation).
Sri Pundrik Goswami Ji: Namaskar to everybody. I’m sorry (speaking in Hindi)
Nidhi: Thank you for joining us. You come from the bhakti tradition: bhakti, aarti, praying, chanting, and going to temples is considered religion, not yoga. Which it actually is? Bhakti yoga is often confused with religiosity. If you can explain the bhakti way of yog and why it is a yogic process?
(speaking in Hindi)
(The connection with the Pundrik ji ended)
Nidhi: So, Dr Frawley, the goal of yoga is one. But there are different paths to achieve it. What are these different types of yoga and how do we know which yoga is the meant for me, or my sister, or my friend, or my family or my brother?
Dr Frawley: Yes. Well, today when people talk about different types of yoga, they mean different styles of asanas. So, that’s only at the level of exercise, health and outer aspects of yoga. When we talk about the different forms of yoga, different branches of yoga, traditionally we mean the gyana yoga-yoga of knowledge, bhakti yoga-yoga of devotion, karma yoga-yoga of action; other special yogas-raja yoga, hatha yoga, prana yoga, nada yoga, laya yoga, mantra yoga, we can go on and on with these. But the first few are the most important. Gyana yoga: yoga of knowledge. All yogas are about knowing ourselves, but there are those who more specifically follow a path of self-inquiry, self-study, deeper meditation. Largely, they are Advaitic, or non-dualistic, or vedantic path, like Ramana Maharshi, or all the great gurus, Adi Shankara and all of that. There are few other types as well. Bhakti yoga: there are so many forms of bhakti or devotion; so many deities, Ishta Devatas, you can take your pick…Rama, Krishna, Shiva, Ganesha, Hanuman…so many forms of Devis: Sundari, Kali, Lakshmi, Saraswati… So, that richness of devotion, I think is also there in the yoga tradition and in an unparalleled way. It gives quite different sampradayas, lineages, relative Vaishnavism, shaivism, all the shakti traditions, so many… So, you have the choices there. Karma yoga: actions, service, helping others, leading a dharmic life, ayurvedic lifestyle. There is many seva you can do. Specifically, in Hatha yoga traditions, there are different aspects of kundalini yoga, tantric yoga, tantra, mantra, yantra, raja yoga – change of consciousness, yoga sutra, samkhya yoga. There are so many yoga gurus, it’s not just the question of the teachings. There are great gurus you can connect to today, living gurus today, traditions going back for centuries, sampradayas, some going back thousands of years, other sampradayas can be modern, Ramakrishna, Vedanta, you have Swami Narayan, you have Sadhguruji, you have Sri Sri, you have Parmarth-so many. So, you choose them by following your heart, following your wisdom, searching within, exploring yoga, sharing yoga, being involved with yoga sanghas, visiting temples, visiting ashrams. And you will definitely find your way if you open your inner being, study the teachings, do the mantras. Take one step forward every day in some way to increase your practice of yoga, and that will eventually connect you to all the teachers and teachings you need. But be consistent, follow a path, give it your full attention. Your goal of life and yoga will take you beyond life and death. Hari Om!
Shlloka: Sadhviji, my next question to you is the benefits of yoga. Fortunately, the physical healing and therapeutic aspects of yoga has gotten so much attention. People would like to maintain and get into the yoga path to lose weight, get fit, you know cure their back ache, diabetes, depression these days. Given that, there are many health and therapeutic benefits of yoga, but is it just that? What is the real benefit, main objective of yoga?
Sadhvi ji: So, yoga as we have been saying is union. Yoga is that which unites us with the truth of who we are and so the benefit of that cannot be overstated. That is actually the purpose of our life. In our human birth with the consciousness that it’s believed only humans have, we have that ability to actually attain the state of moksha, of freedom, of divine oneness, of truth, of Union. And so, the benefit of yoga is actually the benefit of attaining the highest purpose of your life. Dealing with a back ache, or a knee problem, or losing some weight is certainly wonderful, because we also have a body and of course the nuances of body and the pain that it experiences, the difficulties it experiences, the ailments it may experience, they impact our awareness. But to relegate yoga as some sort of just physical healthcare system is to deprive ourselves of the possibilities, the benefits of actually a system through which our highest goal in this world is attained.
Yoga, through all of the different systems, even if we just look at the yoke of Patanjali, if we just look even at the eight limbs of yoga, the benefits even just within those eight limbs span every aspect of my life: from how I interact in the world, from my relationships in the world, my relationship with myself, to my relationships with others, to my physical health, to my mental health, to the calmness and stillness of the mind, to the opportunity of touching that state of pure awareness, of pure consciousness into the experience of oneness, love in the heart, not love of just one separate being over here and another separate being over there, but the love that through Dhyan, and then Samadhi, in which the lover, the beloved and the love become One. The meditator, the object of meditation and the act of meditation become One. And so, the benefits are on every level, from the most physical to the mental, the psychological, to the deepest, deepest spiritual benefits. You know, these days lastly, these days as we are suffering from so much, ranging from depression and anxiety, suicides, addictions, to problems in our society, whether it’s rising rates of divorce, whether it’s communal violence, whether it’s problems between nations, between cultures, between races, between religions, war, terrorism, whether it’s that which is happening with our environment, destruction, climate change. The core of all of these is this myth of separation, and so yoga as that which actually brings us the truth of Union, is actually the antidote to everything that ails us on every level today. So, the benefits are as infinite as the union to which we dive and bathe.
Nidhi: How beautiful. Very well explained. It’s kind of therapeutic hearing this. Mohanji, (I would like to know from you now) liberation, self -realization, enlightenment, samadhi, maha samadhi, what do they mean? Where do these feature in yoga and how can they be attained?
I’m asking all enlightened people, please enlighten us.
Shlloka: Mohanji’s mic is muted.
Nidhi: Mohanji you have to unmute your mic.
Mohanji: Yes, sure. Can you hear me?
That’s a very huge subject. In fact, I will try to bring it as simple as possible. Self-realization is nothing but realizing what is already sitting in you. It’s not anything from outside, so outside is only guidance. But, at some point in time, in the depth of silence, you realize what exactly is running your show, what is the only peaceful aspect of yourself or the only real aspect of yourself. Body is a shell and all the other faculties are just for experiencing existence. So, when at some point in time you realize that there is an atma tattva, the principle called soul which is running the show, that realization stabilizes at some point. First, it’s just an information. Somebody tells you, some books tell you, but that’s not your experience. When that becomes your experience, we call it enlightenment, self-realization. So that’s already sitting and everybody have the same ways of reaching. I mean, like Dr. Frawley just explained, there’re so many different paths to reach the same spot, same position. And we have to reach there some time, some point in time. So, this is that.
And samadhi has been explained in a very detailed way by Vivekananda as well. I usually like Vivekananda because he’s extremely practical. You know, no beating around the bush. I like direct stuff. So, he said there is savitarka samadhi and nirvitarka Samadhi. You have a desire, it needs fulfillment, you are in peace for some time. Then, it goes to savichara samadhi and nirvichara samadhi. That means you have a thought and the thought is also compelling, but thoughts are there. You see, even in nirvitarka samadhi you have a desire, but at some point in time you don’t need fulfillment, which means desire stands alone. And then it shifts to vichara, the thought. The thoughts happen, but the thoughts are not sufficiently powerful for activating a fulfillment. Then, it comes to a state where mind becomes still, because the thoughts are not enough, they do not have enough power to bring you forth. It usually says after nirvichara samadhi… (Nirvichara samdhi is nothing but a state where there are no activities in the mind), then you cannot go back, that’s what they say. That’s like a threshold. Then comes savikalpa samadhi: still you have an experience of the body. You might remember or you are reminded there is a body and there is an experience of the body, there is an experience of the identities. That means in a minimal state, the mind exists. Ego, which is the seat of the ownership of activity almost dies. Then, intellect which is analysis, almost extinct, but you are still aware of your existence. Then it comes to another state where you are not even aware of your body. Then, there is only one state, total dissolution. That is nirbija samadhi, not even the seed exists. That means you are totally dissolved. So, this is the states of samadhi.
Now, Mahasamadhi is a conscious exiting with consciousness or conscious exit of your body. That means you are already established in a state of complete dissolution, and then it’s just a matter of time you exit from the top and then you’re still there. That means there is no death. It’s only expansion. By the time you have become immortal, you have stabilized yourself, nothing outside. So, this is what I am saying. There is a world outside all the time, and when we interact with the world we are producing an identification, identity. That completely collapses. The outside world remains outside. Outside world is about places, people and materials. That has no value. And inside, you are fully occupied inside. That means, you have settled down inside on the reality. And when you settle down inside on the reality, you become one unit. That means, mind, intellect, ego, and body are in alignment. You are all completely settled inside. That’s the only place to settle down actually. All the external settlings are all just illusions, you know. For some time, to keep the body, no problem. But internally, when you settle down completely, and then the external world… Well, you can operate in any way you like, but then you are not that. That always comes, and any of the things outside stays outside, you are not carrying it home. So, in this level you are liberated at existence. While living, you are liberated. While leaving, you are definitely liberated. So, this is in nutshell the whole thing, because within this time I cannot explain more.
Nidhi: But very well put. Lovely words of wisdom. To all of you who’s joining in now, We are on ‘Amway presents International Day of Yoga’. Please do share this video as you watch, so that maximum people can be benefited. Amway’s International Day of Yoga powered by Ozone.
(Nidhu talking to Pundrik ji in Hindi) Pundrik ji, a common misnomer is that bhakti, aarti, chanting, going to the temples is considered religion by a lot of people, not yog. Bhakti yoga is also confused with religiosity. If you can explain the bhakti way of yoga and why it is the yogic process? (in Hindi)
Sri Pundrik Goswami: Namaskar. I am very sorry. So much technical problems. I’m in Vrindavan. So, lovely to see you Sadhviji, and Dr David also, so good to see you. And, I am worshiper of Mohan, so also good to see Mohanji. Nidhi ji and Shlloka ji thanks for inviting me again. (in Hindi about all the problems not getting solved) because Mohanji was talking about Samadhi, and when you reach to the state of Samadhi, definitely all the problems automatically are solved. As we were talking about the yoga, of course, one needs to understand that you consist of four aspects. When we say ‘you’ or ‘I’, there are four things there. Similarly, if you drive a car, car has a physical body, it has an engine, it has a driver, and then it also has a fuel. The four things are extremely required. If one of them is not there, you cannot drive the car. Even if you have a nice limousine, but then if doesn’t have a fuel, you just cannot go ahead. If you have a sporty body of a car, but the engine is of only, I would say of Maruti 800, nothing would happen. So, similarly the whole concept consists of four things. One is your physical body. Second, engine, is your mind. Driver is your intellect, and the fuel is your soul. So, I would say inclining all the fours, all the four aspects of life, this is what is considered to be as yoga. Putting them into one line, physical… Yoga, it doesn’t happen on the body, it happens through the body I would say. It starts through your body, but then, I would say, joining it and inclining your mind, then intellect, and then connecting it to the soul, and then ultimately to the supreme soul.
As you were talking about bhakti yoga, so, aarti or going to the temple… Definitely, in Bhagavad Gita, Krishna beautifully explained the whole chapter of bhakti yoga. And there are many explanations of bhakti yoga existing. It’s mostly, I would say, the most powerful aspect in your identity is your mind. Of course, all three are always changing. Body is always changing, your mind is also changing, and your intellect is also changing as soon as your experiences change. But your Atman, your soul, is always permanent and it is the same, it is the oneness state. But in those external parts, the mind is the most powerful. If you see the whole world now, it’s a game of mind. We are talking about mental health. Mind is the most powerful. Arjuna also says, ‘’Chanchalam hi manah Krishna pramaathi balavad dridham’’ (‘’For the mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, O Krishna, and to subdue it, I think, is more difficult than controlling the wind.’’), and I so agree with that. That mana is so chanchal (turbulent). It is so Chanchal (turbulent). Even after gaining so much intellect, sometime your mind plays around with you.
So, devotion, bhakti yoga, devotion… If you just look at this word ‘devotion’, it consists of another beautiful word which we call as ‘emotions’. So, mind is full of emotions, when you play around with your emotions, and through some external aspects, when you connect your mind to the supreme soul externally, that’s how some bhakti yoga practices are happening. If you do aarti, through that aarti, through that mechanism, if you are connecting to your soul, and then, supreme soul, that aarti would become a yoga. Even if you are doing a specific asan, but you are not connected to that source, that asan will not be a yoga. It would just be an asan. So, yoga is similarly the connection, union, as Sadhvi ji said. I could just hear two, three words (I don’t know what everybody was saying), but as she beautifully said, Patanjali says, ,,yoganu sasanam’’, discipline. In bhakti yoga, there are so many disciplines. (yoga chithavratti Nirodaha) Patanjali also talks about it. So, bhakti yoga similarly says, ‘Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru mam evaisyasi satyam te pratijane priyo si me’ (‘’Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.’’- translation). Shri Krishna in Bhagavad, who is a Yogeshwara, who beautifully explained that through your mind, concentrate your mind, or offer your mind to me: ‘man mana bhava mad bhakto / mad yaji mam namaskuru’ (Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, offer obeisances and worship Me), because mind can control your intellect very easily. It is possible, but it is a little difficult for your intellect to control the mind. So, if you are interested in that field of yoga, then of course, bhakti yoga is for you.
Then, there are nine aspects of those bhakti yoga. Dr. Frawley was explaining about the different parts, but majorly there are, we call it, nine bhaktis. So, there are: sravaṇam, keerthanam, smaraṇam, paada sevanam, archanam, vandanam, daasyam, sakhyam, and atma nivedanam. These are the nine aspects of bhakti yogas.
So, it starts through listening, because ears are something which goes deep into you. You know, ear doesn’t know how to express. Your eyes know how to express also and how to take things inside. There are two ways when you look into the eyes. There are always two ways, you breathe in and breath out. Even mouth can sometime vomit or speak, and also mouth can also eat. But ear is one sense which doesn’t know how to express. That’s why in bhakti yoga sravanam, hearing or listening to who are the real bhakti yogi or the intellectuals, or the enlightened soul, that’s how the process starts. And I thank to this whole program because people are hearing. That’s the first thing: hearing about yoga, sravanam. So, we have an example of Parikshit, he is a king Parikshit who just heard and achieved that stage. He was able to bring his prana through all the chakras and could deliver himself to brahmarandhra.
Then, keerthanam. For keerthanam we have shukadeva, for smaranam we have prahalad. So there are different examples of all these aspects of bhakti. So, doing aarti or doing darshan is somehow one of the aspect of these nine parts of bhakti.
Nidhi: Awesome. (talking in Hindi)
Yoga sadhana is the only way to get liberated, Pundrik ji?
Sri Pundrik Goswami: Sorry, I cannot hear it properly.
Nidhi: Yoga sadhana is that the only way to get liberated?
Sri Pundrik Goswami: I would say, you don’t have to connect to words, personally my experiences sadhana (In Hindi) the one who is practicing , and yoga is a union. So, person who is practicing union. This is what is yoga sadhana.
Nidhi: I would like to ask this, Pundrik ji (in Hindi _ when someone is 100% devoted, people do something with utmost devotion) So, does that also means shedding the body, (in Hindi) cooking with all your heart, painting, writing… Is that also some kind of a yog or union if you do that with devotion, or is it different from sadhana?
Sri Pundrik Goswami: No, it isn’t. In bhakti yoga, everything can become sadhana. That’s why we cook so much and offer it to the God. We have ‘Chappan Bhog’, there is so much cooking happening here. You can cook and if you’re just connected to that supreme soul, so if you do it from the deepest core of your heart and not just for yourself. Devotion also means not just doing it for yourself. If you just have a bigger perspective, you are joining everybody with you and then ultimately to that supreme soul, you want to make somebody else happy, so that selfless attitude comes to you. That’s how bhakti starts. We have Surdas, Tulsidas, we have these kind of singers in bhakti yoga . So, the music is such a great medium in bhakti yoga. We have so much music.
(talk in Hindi)
Shlloka: Mohanji, my question to you is: You know, yoga changes the way of your being, because it is challenging our tendencies, challenging our karmic structure on the physical, mental, emotional, on the energy planes. So, when this unshackling or transcendence of karmic structure happens, the sense of self begins to loosen up. What I call as myself, my likes and dislikes, they begin to disintegrate or dismantle. So, if you can talk about karma and the role of yoga in overcoming karma?
Mohanji: The thrust of karma or the karmic path, as Pundrik ji also just explained right now… whatever is born must die. So, the whole span of life is defined by the flow of karma, in the linear way. But also, we should understand that there is a transition and transcendence also. Like Yoga Vasishta has said that there are parallel realities. Like when somebody asked Ramana Maharshi, “If I die now, in two years time, will I take a birth?” He said, “For sure. You can take a birth, but probably, by that time you will be seventy years old.” So that means, there are so many things happening parallelly and at the same time, the time and the space as we perceive it, in a linear way, has only relevance in this level where we look, means how we see or how we perceive. But, the existence is much more dimensional. That is why Maha Vishnu told the person who was meditating, “You don’t even understand illusion, then how would you understand the truth?” So illusion itself is so vast because time and space are interchangeable and expandable, contractible. So, we are existing in a large realm.
So, in the linear way, it’s very simple, you have a desire and you ask for fulfillment. Then, how do you come out of it? Because the moment you have a desire and you ask for fulfillment, then another desire comes, then another fulfillment. This is like a big trap. It’s an ego trap because we never get satisfied. We are always in a trap. Then what comes next is pretension, that we pretend to be happy. But are we really happy? The happiness happens only when we have nothing to do with the world outside. When we are so contented with the world inside and everything (that) happens outside becomes our expression, whether we like it or not, and that’s exactly what happens every day. But, the desires do not just get extinct like that; one leads to the other. But at some point in time awareness rises over it. Like Pundrik ji now just talked about bhakti yoga, when your focus is on a supreme entity like Lord Krishna or Shiva, when your full focus is on something which is very, very different in dimension, then automatically an expansion happens inside. That way detachment takes place automatically.
When I was practicing, I used to come to Himalayas very often and I thought that’s what’s going to help me. At one point in time, this question came, “You’re going to a place where there is peace, but you’re not taking it home. Peace stays there, but you are going away and then you are back to square one.” That was like a blow on my face. I was actually wasting my time looking for something in a place or in a particular situation. That’s the only time when I started looking at what exactly is silence. Like a wave, sound is coming out of silence and it goes back to silence. Silence is more permanent than sounds. I was in the world of sounds and then at some point in time I realized that that’s temporary, and then I started focusing on the silence. It takes time and these external things always pull you back. Because that’s habitual. You are habituated to the things outside. People, places, relationships, possessions, and positions, they are all taking you outside all the time. But at some point in time, you realize, “Oh, that’s not giving me permanent happiness.” But there is somebody who’s also happy when there is nothing outside at the time of sleep. When you wake up, you feel happy. And I had no gadgets, I had nothing outside to make me happy. So, this was a very clear feeling for me, or expression, or inspiration for me to stabilize inside. Then, after that, you become a magnet, means alignment happens automatically.
So, to sum it up, what I am saying is: no shortcut. Because we have created patterns over lifetimes. Sitting here now, we are a bundle of patterns and these patterns won’t just go away, and we won’t allow them to go away. You know, we are very, very reluctant to leave them, because they are binding us and we bind them. It’s mutual. Like what happens now, there’s corona situation. So many people, as Sadhviji said, went into depression, went into suicidal feelings, why? Because of the over-dependency on things outside. But this was a God given chance to connect within. You can’t go anywhere and you can’t have all those usual stuff. That time, what would you do? God gave you a chance to really, really go deep inside, and explore, and connect to the silence within. Once that happens, all the other things fall off, because then the illusions completely move. Otherwise, we are always in a kind of linear world and focused on our own pleasures, and we think that this is gonna be giving us happiness, and we are still not satisfied. So, in this time, awareness is the key. You’ve got to be aware that what are you, how you are and connect deep within all the time. Just be aware. Activity is not the solution here. Awareness is the solution. Even while you are active, be aware. Like yesterday, there was a call from America and they asked, “Can you give me something short and sweet to do?” I said, “Just be aware of your talk. Just be aware what you are speaking and what you are acting. This is yoga for you.” So, they said, “That’s all? That is very simple” I said, “Not very simple. It’s not easy to follow, because automatically unconsciousness takes over.” If we just connect to ourselves, we achieve a lot.
Nidhi: Very rightly put, Mohanji. Profound words, those as usual. Dr. Frawley, you are also a vedic astrologer. Stars and planets may have an impact on regular individuals. When we talk of yogis or individuals who practice yoga, they are transcending their karma, their impressions and their tendencies. From what I know since remote ages, astrologers or jyotish never looked at the birth charts of yogis because they knew that it was their path of challenging tendencies of karma. So, does astrology impact yogis or a person with a yogic way of life?
Dr Frawley: Yes. In fact, we find that many great yogis used astrology and were astrologers; Paramahansa Yogananda and his guru. I even found recently some of the astrological teachings coming out of Sri Aurobindo. And jyotish is a vedanga. It’s an integral part of the vedic system, and it’s employed at all the ashrams and it has several levels of application. Even beyond any personal karma, it’s used for timing of all the rituals, all the festivals, Krishna Janmashtami, Rama Navami, all these things. What are the favorable times going on? We live in an ocean of celestial influences that are dispensed through the stars and that affect us on a daily basis. We have our panchanga for looking at that. We cannot avoid that any more than we can avoid the weather or anything else.
But there is also our personal jyotish. Essentially, we as human beings are composed of these or connected to these three things: the body, mind and consciousness. They have all their different depths and layers. Body and mind are connected to karma and products of time. We live in time and space.
Consciousness, Paramatma is beyond all karma. If you want to go transcend your karma, you can do it at any moment. Just move into that Paramatma state. Not so easy to do, because the karmas are there working on the body and the mind at every moment. If we do moment by moment awareness, which is real astrology and real yoga, then we also move beyond time and space. Now, each one of us has a birth chart, this kundali that shows us… It’s essentially, I call it a kind of the DNA of the soul. It is showing your karma. It is showing your samsakaras, in each particular life. And in that regard, each individual is different. We have our different moments of time or different dashas or planetary periods, our transits, our potentials. It’s very important to understand that, just as we need to understand how our DNA works and each one of us is different. Also, as we say doshas, gunas, karmas, but karmas being the most important. So, not everyone is going to be a sannyasin, not everyone is going to be an artist. Different yogas will be there for different people, different Ishta Devatas, relative to the charts and all of that. So, we have to honor the jyotish, and we have to see what the jyotish provides. All the great Gurus would use the jyotish as helping to understand the adhikara or the potential of the student, and the favorability of the time for certain sadhanas. Some people have their dharmic periods: fifth house, 5th Lord later on in life, or they go to Ketu in the 12th house later on in life, or earlier on in life; we can see those things. We have to understand how our karma is ripening, and the jyotish helps us do that. But jyotish helps us understand dharma, artha, kama, and moksha. Moksha of course transcends all of that, but we also have to deal with dharma, artha and karma.
We also have a mundane astrology where we look at what is going on in the world. There’s been this very powerful Kala Sarpa Yoga, with Ketu near the galactic center and Rahu on the other point, that has been bringing about a lot of strong collective karma (that) is going on for humanity. We also look at the yugadi chart for that particular purpose, so we can understand a lot about what’s going on in the world. Different individuals, different countries will be affected differently. But we have individual karma and collective karma, so it’s very important to understand your birth chart, or have it read properly, so you can understand your karmic potentials in life.
At the same time, recognize your inner self is beyond karma, but getting to that inner self, you have to move through karma. You have to transcend karma. Karma yoga is a great way to transcend karma. All yoga is a way to transcend karma. Purusha is beyond karma, but unless we do the nirodha of the mind, we are in the karmas of the mind, which connects us to the karmas of the body. If we dis-identify with the mind, which is the real practice of yoga, move into that inner awareness, we become everything, we become all time and space. As Upanishads said, the entire universe dwells within you; the dahara akasha, the small space within the heart, the guha. You can go there. You go there in deep sleep, but we need to go there consciously, wakefully, moment by moment. Yes, we can transcend karma, but body and mind will continue to work in the field of karma. Humanity will be in the field of karma. We have to understand how that karma works and know how to transcend it, and optimize it in various ways to improve the collective karma and also to help everyone transcend karma.
(Niddhi speaks in Hindi)
Shlloka: Sadhvi ji, if you can tell us about the eight limbs of yoga as done by Patanjali, and I ask this because many participants come to us saying that, you know, we want to learn yoga. They feel that yoga is something just for physical well-being, like we discussed. When you look at peace of mind or stress, it is meditation. And you, in one of your videos, gave a very beautiful analogy on how you can’t start the construction from the third floor, you have to start from ground zero, or even under. So, how to do dhyana or meditation if all the steps below aren’t met because one has to create the right conditions for dhyana to happen. If you could tell us about that?
Sadhviji: Absolutely. The foundation of yog is yam and niyam. Without yam and niyam, we can’t move on. You can be as flexible, as strong, as acrobatic as you want, but if you haven’t actually brought yam and niyam into your life and are really living that, then it’s not a yog; what you are doing. Then it’s just an exercise. Then it’s just acrobatics.
The foundation of a yogic path is yam, which I’ll speak about in a minute, but I wanted just to mention even before I start talking about it, that they’re not hierarchical. We think sometimes that we’re moving through the eight limbs as though we were going from being a male clerk to being the CEO of a company, al though we were getting higher and higher, and leaving behind the lower levels. By the time you become the CEO of a company or the president of a company, you’re no longer delivering the mail, you’re no longer washing the windows. But as we enter the higher aspects of the eight limbs, we’re not letting go of the foundation. So, it’s not dhyan or samadhi minus ahimsa and satya. It’s not that somehow, I’ve done that, been there, accomplished that. If my life isn’t infused with, filled with, rooted in every minute and every moment in yam and niyam, then whatever else I do, regardless of what I’m doing with my body and my muscles, or my breath, it isn’t yoga.
And, as you said so beautifully, that we speak about all the time: yeah, you can’t start building a building on the third floor, but also you don’t stop at the third floor. And so, we also have the opposite difficulty which is that a lot of people get to us and they think that is as high as I need to go, or maybe they bring a little bit of pranayama and they think that’s as high as I need to go. But it’s really important that they realize that just as it can’t be over if it’s not rooted in non-violence, in truthfulness, and non-stealing, and non-hoarding, and all of the yam and niyam. In the same way, if I am not moving toward samadhi, if whatever I’m doing with my body, with my muscles, with my bones, with my breath, if it’s not being done with the awareness that I’m heading into ultimate union, then again I’m not allowing myself to really benefit from the fullness of yoga.
But let’s go back for just a moment because I want to circle back to yam and niyam. Because today, so many of the speakers, we’ve all been speaking about that which is afflicting us today, from corona to environmental destruction, to depression, to suicide, to war, to violence, all of that. Yam and niyam give us a way of living that is both essential to a yogic life, you could think of it as sort of the ten commandments of a dharmic life, the ten commandments of a yogic life, but it also forms really the foundation for having peaceful societies. You know, I do a lot of work with the United Nations and one of the things that I share so frequently there is that even though, yes, yoga has come out of Sanatana Dharma, has come out of this religious tradition, the teachings of a yoga actually are those that if we embodied them, and I don’t even mean all of the depth philosophy I mean even just simply, yam and niyam, you actually would achieve every one of the sustainable development goals. Billions of dollars are spent all across the world trying to figure out how to ease global hunger, how to deal with our world hunger shortage, our global hunger shortage, and how to deal with our global land shortage, our global water shortage. When really what we are suffering from most at the core is a global consciousness shortage. And if we literally adopt it, just for the beginning, if we said, okay, ahimsa, satya, astey, aparigraha… Even just the first four, even forget brahmachariya for a moment, forget all of the niyam for the moment, if we just took the first four of the yam, we literally could address all 30 of our goals. We literally could address all 17 of the UN sustainable development goals, all of the indicators of all of them, all of the dozens of goals that we have in this nation. So many of our countries have… I mean, wherever we are looking at lists of goals, every one of them could be addressed just by beginning to embrace these eight limbs of yoga. And that for me, moving through the world is so core. And then yes, should you feel inclined, inspired to accept that extraordinary invitation that the universe has given us to wake up, to actually fulfill purpose of our life by knowing ourselves, by knowing God, by experiencing samadhi, fantastic. Keep going, but even if you own goal is just to be a bit of an asset here on planet earth, just to make a bit of a difference, in the lives of people around you; you literally could do that just in the first few of the yamas given to us by Patanjali.
Nidhi: How beautiful was that.
(talking in Hindi addressing Pundrikji and Mohanji)
(addressing Mohanji) Happiness because of external situations is transient and fragmented (in Hindi…what are we teaching our sons?) How we are indoctrinating our children about good education, careers, job, wealth is going to make them happy and all of it. Once they achieve them that does not seem to be the answer. (in Hindi – What would you like to say)
Mohanji: Well, talking about education, we can talk a lot. Actually, we are creating bricks on the wall, right? Most of the education system is creating mediocrity. We are not learning about ourselves. We are learning a skill for the world, to handle the world. So, that actually detaches a person from themselves. This is the main problem with today’s education.
And, I fully agree with Sadhviji who just said that adding value to the society; this is the fundamental of Mohanji Foundation as well. If that is not done, life is not worth it. How do you add value? You can only give what you have. Share what you have. Maybe you have time to share, maybe you have skills to share, maybe you have love to share. What you have in abundance, that is what you share. That’s the richness which we must cultivate in children today.
Now, this COVID situation has taught us one important thing. Most of the things which people are dependent on in this world became not essential. So, this was actually a reminder, including travelling, including going to malls and shopping blindly; all those things became non-essential. So, this was a real big reminder of our actual cause of happiness or the boundaries. This is a very good time to restart, reinvent ourselves and to bring this awareness to the people, which we are doing actually in our own way. But the main thing we say is that, what can you deliver to the world today? What can you give to this world today? Within your own capacities, within your own boundaries, and just do that, so that you do not fall into the levels of depression, the denials. (the so called denials, we don’t need them but still many people are depressed) And also the social situation has actually changed. Two people living in a house who do not like to see each other are forced to live and see each other. Big calamity, bomb blast in the houses, you know. (laughs) So, those kinds of situations where you have got to build a purpose, a purpose which is much higher in nature, and it should be based on what we give to this world.
And when we are fully settled in ourselves, we become like bright lights, huge magnets. And that’s the brightness we give to this world. Our consistency and integrity are the right message for the world. Not what we talk, but what we are. That is our message. So, people are not stupid, you know. They know what we talk about, people are very intelligent. (So, our integrity and consistency.) And we should believe in what we say, or we should live by example, lead by example. That is the right message today. I believe that, I hope that this was the question, right Nidhi ji?
Nidhi: Yes, yes, absolutely. You have answered it so beautifully.
Mohanji: Because sometimes I deviate from the question, you know.
Nidhi: No, no, bang on, you were spot on, Sir. I would like Pundrikji to add to this.
(Nidhi talking in Hindi with Sri Pundrik Goswami.)
Sri Pundrik Goswami: (talks in Hindi)
There are four aspects of life, which we call dharma, artha, kama and moksha, as Dr. David was also talking about these four Purusharthas. So, an education should be there to avail you, and give you education about all these four aspects. (speaks in Hindi).
As the things were happening, whatever the text books have been given… There is so much to manage in this country. I would say this is only… I am the second generation born in free India. My grandfather was also born in a dependent India. There is so much to do. Education is the first thing, I would say. (talks in Hindi) Of course, there are many institutions, and even our two daughters are also going to the school. So, I could see that there are, from last few years fortunately, I could see that some entry of yoga is there. Still, on the level of, I would say, physical exercise. But there are some institutions who are promoting at least Surya Namaskar, and since then this yoga day has come up, this awareness is much more spread out. But I would say, of course, foundation (Talking in Hindi)
Similarly, I would say, yoga should be presented in a such a way that if we ask all the students before their examinations, if we ask them to do bit of a meditation, so I think they are much more expressing in what they want to write. So, similarly very, very simply, I would say.(talking in Hindi)
Just like, if we pray in the morning… Every school has their prayers. So, before coming to an examination, it’s just one small thing (that) can be added, maybe by few institutions. I tried. I tried to do it. I told few institutions and they are trying to practice that. When they call their students, especially six standard or eight standard, and when they ask them to start their examination, before that, they ask them to do a bit of a meditation, just to calm their head and just to be easy whatever they can, they would like to express. There’s so much pressure there, and then the things become a little easy I would say with that. So, these are simple things which… Just like these, if we inculcate some of these practices with our regular education, then (in Hindi. They will develop the taste for it) then definitely it can take you to the unlimited levels, and I would say to dharana, and then to samadhi of course, and to other states beyond your body.
Nidhi: ..and break karma. I would like to thank you Sadhvi ji. I just got a message that you have to leave. (Talking in Hindi) Any last thing you’d like to say before leaving, please do that. We would be honored once again, on this IDY celebration. Thank you so much once again for joining us.
Sadhvi Ji: It’s been really a beautiful joy and a beautiful honor and I am so sorry I have to get off. But we are actually hosting an international yoga day event that’s starting in just a few minutes, so the tech team has to switch everything over.
But, lastly I wanted to say it was so beautiful listening to how Pundrik ji was talking about the importance of education, because that really is what we need today. Too much of our education, both in the families, as well as in the schools, is rooted on fitting children into our mold. It is rooted in actually minimizing and squashing their own blossoming of self. I think that if we can bring the teachings of yog into a system of education, in which children are really being given the awareness that who they are is divine. It’s not about who they are is their number in the class, or is the grade they got in the exam. That their worthiness is not rooted in what ranking they have, but actually that their worthiness is rooted in the fact that they are divine. And yes, of course, they must study sincerely and do the best they can, but not because it determines who they are, so that we don’t end up with children who move through the world believing that they are the grades they get, or they are how much they make, or they are their position, or they are their career. And really bring about a system with youth of connecting them to themselves, to their heart, connecting them to love and truth, such that out of that soil, they actually blossom with courage to really become tools in the hands of the divine. That’s gonna give them skills that I think are so much more important than all of the math, and science, and whatever we’re trying to drill into their brains. If we actually just give them the courage to actually channel the flow of the divine through them, they’re gonna bring about a today and a tomorrow of light, of oneness, of love, of truth, and of sustainability.
So, thank you so much for what you are doing in education, and thank you so much to all of you. And so much love and deep, deep respects to all of you. And a beautiful happy International Yoga Day.
Nidhi: Thank you so much for joining us, Sadhvi ji. So privileged. Next question to Dr. Frawley.
Shlloka: This is an extension on the topic, on children and yoga. The ego loves rationalization. You know, it loves intellectualization, being loved, recognized, respected. Everyone is power-hungry. They want to get into the civil services, they want to get into niche professions, because it is about power, it is about recognition. And this is so unfortunate because we live in a knowledge economy which is fostering precisely this. There is no cultivation of intuition. There is no cultivation of insight. Everything is so logic and intellect driven. So, in our country, children are lured into studying subjects like the sciences, or the engineering, because of these reasons. Even in the utilitarian world outside, these become very lucrative. However, our traditional sciences like ayurveda, siddha, classical yoga, dance, martial arts, they’re considered to be fringe careers in society and are unfortunately dying a slow death. So, if you can talk about the importance of these fields to the parents who are watching this episode today?
David Frawley: Namaste. Yes. I want to bring up a kind of a more integral point. I do have to leave shortly also, I have a program with the Saudi Arabia Yoga Day. But the important thing I would like to bring up for education is the most important thing in education for children is developing the power of attention, Dharana Shakti, power of attention, awareness. We have created the society where we’re cultivating millisecond awareness, where the mind is constantly distracted and disturbed. We need to have that attention and that’s what yoga teaches us. Unless we have a power of attention, it’s like your mind, your body has no muscular power. The mind has no muscular power. You can’t hold an idea, you can’t learn anything. You can’t understand anything deeply. So, we must teach children to cultivate that flame of attention, that deeper agni, the buddhi. It’s not just a question of information. It’s not just a question of being exposed to things. It is a question of cultivating an inner ability, a receptivity that goes beyond mere words, names, forms, numbers, tests, that allows us to be present, that allows us to give full attention to what we do. If we can give full attention to what we do, then we can succeed in everything. Then, we can learn everything. So let us bring that yogic dimension of not simply meditation, but concentration or enough focus, one-pointed mind. And then, if the whole society has that, the world will be transformed.
So, thank you again for inviting me to this wonderful event. I was most pleased with the level of discussion by all these speakers. Very deep secrets of yoga are there, so let us share that with everyone. Let us take this message forward through International Yoga Day to all the communities, to the children, and to every aspect of life. That all life be yoga, all life be sadhana. Let us be aware of yoga at every moment as our unity with all. Hari Om.
Nidhi: Thank you so much many times for joining us Dr. Frawley. Honored, indebted to you for your presence and for teaching us that every adversity is indeed a stepping stone. Thank you so much for joining us. Namaste.
Shlloka: Nidhi ji, we are almost out of time. I think we have to wind up.
Nidhi: Yes. In 60 sec I would like to ask you, Pundrik ji, and to you Mohanji, (talks in Hindi)
(Pundrikji talks in Hindi)
(Nidhi talks to Mohanji in Hindi about how will the next yoga day be celebrated and his vision)
Mohanji: First of all, I agree with Pundrik ji, so I am not repeating it. I think one of the best thing happened to India – Bharat is Yoga Day. Yoga Day is a very, very substantial thing and it’s very, very important for our stability. And also, like that the other things like vastu, ayurveda, and all the other things as well. But, yoga has actually a big significance for the future. From this point, where we are standing towards future, two things are very important. One is the extreme flexibility, because we have no idea what’s coming ahead, you know. Even if you are the greatest of astrologer, but sometimes you do not know what’s there. Because this kind of a scenario nobody expected. So we are forced to be flexible. So, flexibility is number one, and self-acceptance is another. That means, we should not blame ourselves, we should not blame the society. This is collective consciousness which has created this pandemic all over the world. All the people are indoors. I mean they are all feeling the same thing, stifling times. So, this time self-acceptance is very important. Accept yourself with all the weaknesses, strengths and stuff. Plus, accept the society and how it moves. Just remain flexible. That is why yoga, flexibility; it all has got great relevance. And thank you for inviting me, before I go. Thank you for arranging this program.
Nidhi: Thank you so much for your wisdom and your insights, all. We were literally overwhelmed today to have such pearls of wisdom. Our deepest and warmest gratitude goes out to all of you, to our partners Amway for making this session IN Yoga at IDY 20 see the light of day.
Our special shoutout to Union and Red Carpet Entertainers, Nehru center, The High Commission of India, Ministry of Ayush, FSSAI, ISH Rights Foundation. This program was powered by Ozone Organic AdvantAge and by the INO. Thank you so much for supporting us.
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Thank you. Namaste.
Transcribed by Nada Rakovic
Proofread by Maja Otovich and Rekha Murali