This podcast is slightly longer than the other episodes. And it’s recommended that you listen to it in its entirety, with enough time to listen to it from start to finish. And listen again. It’s a good one to keep listening to as a reminder. We hope you enjoy it.
Hello friends. Let’s talk about positioning today. We all have certain complexes in us, which we might have experienced, especially in our teenage years. Some of these complexes make it difficult for us to position ourselves in this world. Along with that point, we can also think about our connection with various types of people. Let’s take one category, Spiritual Masters. What is a Spiritual Master – person who has settled within himself, inside himself. That is a Spiritual Master. Somebody who has taken himself off his senses, mind-matter, and has established himself in his consciousness is a Master. That means he is detached from the external world. His dependencies are less, and he is very stable, because of that. Once we recognize somebody in that way we tend to connect to that person, just because the aspiration of every person who is swayed by the mind is to reach that state. And what is the sign of that state? The sign of inner stillness is silence. No judgment. No criticism. No anger, hatred, or revenge. Peace, total peace. That’s a state that you arrive at when you are deeply connected to the consciousness of a Spiritual Master.
How do people connect to a Spiritual Master? Usually as per what they are. You cannot connect to the world as per the world is, because we have our orientations. We have our inclinations. We have our disposition. Having all these orientations, inclinations, and dispositions, we will connect to the world only as per what we are. Each person connects to another and connects to the world as per what they are. They cannot connect in any other way.
People who are of emotional by nature connect to the Master with devotion – bhakti yogis, the devotional kind. People who are intellectual by nature may connect to the Master’s philosophy, what he says, the intellectual stuff – jnana yogis, the intellectual kind. People who are of ego-oriented nature connect to the Master’s personality because the ego is the skeleton of a personality. The ego gives structure to the personality. So he is more connected to the Master’s personality. Then there are people who love to serve. They are kind by nature, they want to give to the world, share with the world – karma yogis. They connect to the Master’s philanthropic aspect. There are the very rare species, the Raja Yogis, who connect to the consciousness of the Master, the stillness aspect.
So as per the orientation, people connect to the Master accordingly. A bhakti yogi, a person who is inclined devotionally will find it absurd why the other categories are not worshiping the Master. While a person who’s oriented to knowledge will find it absurd that these devotional people are worshipping the Master, a perishable body. What is there to worship? Each category will find the other absurd. This is a very important point to understand. Nothing is absurd to the person who’s oriented in that format, that pattern. We must remember that. Hence, we must not judge, because a devotional person, an emotional person, cannot understand the knowledge path at all, because that’s not his orientation. A karma yogi will find it uneasy to just connect to a Master based on the knowledge or devotion. It’s absurd for him. If you look at each category you will find that they have a distinction, they are distinct in their own thought process, inclinations, and tendencies, and we must respect them.
The rare breeds of people who connect directly to the consciousness of the Master see themselves in the Master or see the Master in themselves. There’s no need to worship. There’s no need to act in any way, there’s nothing to understand. That’s very rare, very difficult. It is not a mind thing. It’s actually a state. Very rarely people arrive at that state after going through all the other states. Those people need nothing from the Master. His presence, his state is the most important thing, they directly connect to the state of the Master, stabilize themselves, just like a spark is enough to catch fire if the wood is dry. Just a spark. And the spark is always sitting in the Master who has stabilized himself. He’s burning fire. He is a fire, which is alive. If we really, really understand all these aspects, we will never judge, we will never criticize, we will never try to discriminate based on the orientations which we cannot understand. People connect to people, based on what they are. Some people look at the Master as freedom, total freedom, because he’s independent of the world outside. He’s detached from the world outside.
Some people feel the Master as love because he gives love, without expectations; free love, unconditional love, which is very rare in the world. We all experience unconditional love from our mothers. Mothers always give unconditional love to their children. But apart from that, the world is full of conditional love. But a Master who has found himself is established in unconditional love. Some people may look at the Master as a great romantic. When you become everything, eternal romance sprouts within you. You are a romantic, you are eternally romantic. What restricts you is your mind, eager to create frames with expectations. If there are no expectations, there are no frames, then you love the world because you are everything. You see yourself in everything. There is nothing apart from you. It’s an eternal romance. Your heart is so expanded that there is nothing else possible, just romance.
Some people look at the Master and they see rigidity, strictness. This is because discipline and determination are essential to dissolve. The mind is captured always by patterns, which we have cultivated and nurtured over time. Masters become strict to certain people because he understands that discipline is essential to cross the barriers of the mind, such as prejudices, patterns, and fears. As you are, as what’s inside you, so you see the Master. But the Master is everything because he is established in himself. He has become the universe, and he’s everything. He is not just one thing. So, he caters to each person as per what they are, as per their orientation, as per their need to take the next step. What is essential is that aspect, or that guidance, or that help that which makes them or helps them to take a stride further. In conclusion, I always recommend that you need to connect to the Master, sufficiently giving yourself time to ask all the questions to yourself, and if it is too much for you, to ask the Master. Take time to understand. Take time to assimilate. Take time to know the Master before you take the plunge, but once you take the plunge stay put.
Ask yourself what your orientation is. How do you know, it’s very simple – it’s what suits you. What’s effortless for you, that is your orientation. What doesn’t suit you, you should not do. For example, a person who’s attracted to the philosophy, the knowledge of the Master, and is not attracted to the devotional side of the Master, or devotional aspect towards the Master should refrain from doing the devotional side. Because somebody else who’s devotional by nature, bhakti yogi by nature is doing it, you don’t have to do it. You connect to the master as you are which is more stable and more real. Every connection should be realistic. Otherwise, it has no longevity. It will not survive time. Your connection should be with full awareness of what you are, not what the Master is. You can only connect to another being as you are.
Understanding your orientation is extremely essential for fruitful connections, for maintaining good connections. Don’t look any further; you realize what is your orientation, what is your constitution, and if you connect accordingly, you will have a stable, real, and peaceful connection. A stable connection is extremely essential for the sake of longevity. Birds of the same feather flock together. You need to have the same frequency, or you need to identify your frequency and connect in that way, to a universal frequency so you can derive what you require out of it. No Master needs any worship. No Master ever tells anybody you should worship me. Only insecure people will tell all these things. Only insecure people will want people to worship them.
This is a perishable body. This is what you are. You have taken this body for the sake of experiences and expressions. That’s about it. All that you are doing or all that is happening in your life are experiences of various nature and expressions of what you are in this world, nothing else is happening. So, nobody who’s balanced will say, somebody should worship them. It doesn’t matter. But if somebody’s orientation needs that fulfillment, let it be. We cannot deny anybody’s experience of any kind. A true Master allows that experience to happen. A true Master just lets it flow, how they are, let them connect as they are so that there is fulfillment individually. Individual fulfillment is essential for the transition to happen in life. If fulfillments are denied, if they are suppressed, they come back with more force, which binds them further to the Earth. For liberation to happen, fulfillment is essential. A true Master allows that to happen. There will be no restriction. What is inside you, what is burning inside you, that is what has to be addressed.
A burning desire is an important thing for that person. If awareness can take care of it, fulfill it, or through higher awareness if you can diminish that fire, it’s fine. If through higher awareness also, this fire is not diminished, fulfillment is the only solution. And fulfillment must happen, it will happen at its time. A true Master allows it to happen and releases the person from that binding desire. In a nutshell, if you really understand yourself, you can connect to a Master who is stability incarnate, effectively. If you have not settled inside, if you have not understood yourself, or if you have not understood your orientation, all your connections will be temporary, faulty, and with expectations. Any connection with expectations has a duration. A connection without expectations, selfless connections, unconditional connections, will live forever.
This is food for thought for you today. Think about it. Ponder it and communicate about it.
Lots of love, this is Mohanji for you.
Transcribed by Ulla Bernholdt Proofread by Shyama Jeyaseelan
Subscribe to Mohanji Speaks daily podcast
A true teacher is simply a mirror and if he or she is also a leader, you have hit a jackpot. India is a land of such powerful leaders and today, I’m going to be speaking to one of them.
I am your host Palak and I welcome you to the very first episode of the Palak Mehta Show. Presenting our first guest- Sri Mohanji.
WHO IS MOHANJI?
A Philanthropist, humanitarian, teacher, friend, a man next door and a globally renowned Spiritual Master – Sri Mohanji.
For some, he’s been a top shipping professional in the Middle East. For others – a dear friend in need. For many – he’s been a powerful Guru. A source of positivity and inspiration for karma yogis. Mohanji has founded several charity organizations and platforms worldwide such as the Mohanji Foundation – a platform for the building of healthier societies, registered in 15+ countries. ACT Foundation, a global charity platform. Mohanji Youth Club – a platform to empower and inspire teenagers. EBC -The early birds club, encouraging one to start their day at 4 am, and the World Consciousness Alliance – a unified platform for raising the vibration of humanity. The base of his approach is purity in thoughts, words, and actions, which lead to a liberated existence. Ahimsa, unconditional love, kindness, selflessness, compassion, righteousness, and the power of gratitude are key values that he wants to see with every person. Coexistence with and selfless service towards other species and Mother Earth should be our number one priority.
Palak:Namaste, Mohanji! Thank you so much for coming on this show. We are truly blessed.
Mohanji : Thank You.
Palak: Mohanji, my first question to you is: Who is a Hindu? Can anyone be a Hindu?
Mohanji: To answer it directly, Hinduism is not a religion. It’s a way of life. Anybody can be a Hindu, provided they are natural, they are themselves, they accept themselves totally, they are totally balanced in their outlook. They look at every being as part of themselves; they belong to the world and the world belongs to them. There is no greed, there is no anxiety, fear, there is no confusion, and there is total balance. If somebody has total balance, he can be called a Hindu. I do not think that this word ‘Hindu’ existed beyond a few hundred years. I believe that the name or the word Hindu or Hinduism is coined just to denote or just to talk about a few people who live on the south side of river Sindhu and are practicing various aspects of existence as they are. My firm belief is this. Hinduism is like an ocean. It’s not a religion; it is a way of life. And it is deeply rooted in how Nature operates the balance that Nature keeps. Nature has its own balance. Every being in Nature is fully rooted by the balance of Nature.
Like that, human beings as part of Nature should also be rooted in the aspects of Nature. A true Hindu will be totally peaceful. We will not be aggressive at all. Aggressive in a sense – not that we are not self-defensive, we will defend ourselves, that’s a different story. But, a true Hindu is somebody who nourishes and nurtures. A person who would contribute to the growth of everything around him and who will not contradict. Who will not be against things. But instead, through deep acceptance and deep nurturing, you will develop yourself and you will nurture the whole life around you. This is how a true Hindu can live.
So, it does not matter which segment you are born in. But internally, you can be a Hindu when you are balanced. ‘H’ which is the Sun and ‘Indu’, the Moon, the Sun and the Moon, the heat and the cold, the male and the female in us unite perfectly – it gives us a balance. That balance makes you a Hindu.
Palak:What is so special about this land called Bharat?
Mohanji: This land has the Bharat; Bha-ra-ta; Bha – has that bhav, feeling, the various feelings, and various aspects, dimensions. Ra– is the music, the Om, the vibration, the frequency. Ta is the rhythm. All this merges here in this land. And this merging of the Bha-Ra-Ta together makes the person connect to himself. In your own body, there is Bhav: there are various feelings, various expressions, and various experiences, the room for tackling and experiencing various aspects of life. Then the rhythm, the movement of the rhythm. It’s like music. Like a medley. Each organ functions in a synchronized way, the synchronicity of functioning. And the Ta – the rhythm – basic rhythm, heartbeat. When this is all combined, we have a good healthy life. So, Bharat is the space where this aspect of existence, when everything is harmonious when all things are united – you have a good life.
Palak:Thank you so much. In that sense, isn’t Hinduism less of a religion and more of spiritual ideology?
Mohanji: There have been great Masters who totally connected to themselves and they became the Universe by focusing on themselves, finding themselves inside, and settling themselves inside. This is the place where we have seen tremendous great Masters, consistently – over every period of time, over every generation. This has helped this country, unique country, and unique space on Earth.
Palak:What is Purushartha, can you explain it in a little bit more in detail?
Mohanji: The key aspect of human existence is called Purushartha. Purushartha has four aspects: dharma, artha, kama, and moksha. Dharma is righteous living, the right way to live, righteousness. Artha is material support, including your bed, your clothes, your space or your house, or your food. Artha is a very broad thing, every material that supports your existence. Kama is the desire, the hope, the inspiration, and the tendencies. This is Kama; and Moksha – liberation. That means, while you are experiencing anything, you already know inside, that these are all temporary. Nothing stays forever. We are here on Earth like a tourist, with a duration of space of existence from birth to death.
Then we have to leave, at some point in time. So, with that full awareness, that we are existing in liberation, while we are experiencing everything, that is the right way to experience. Not through ownership and a false illusory feeling that we own these things. We cannot own land, we cannot own relationships, and we cannot own wealth forever. For some time you can be custodians of all this, but you cannot own them forever. The Earth owns us. We go away at the time of our death, which means we need to shed the body. So, this Purushartha is well dissected, well defined, and well-practiced here. This is very important. Every other place had Dharma: laws, rules, social laws, social rules and guidelines, and all those things. Artha – materials, welfare, material support, that was there. Kama – of course inclination, and desires which caused all developments. But, Moksha – the detachment aspect is defined only here. And that makes us unique, and that brings all the people to India. In search of this, how can you live detached amidst everything?
Palak: I always wondered Mohanji, is there a spiritual significance to the whole Indian attire?
Mohanji: The spiritual significance is basically what is comfortable for you in the space you exist. In a tropical climate, in a tropical place where there is humidity, much more humidity, like 90% humidity, if you have to wear a shirt and jacket, it does not suit you, because that is not suitable for the environment. So, our attires are all connected, like each segment. India has great diverse locations. Every place has its flavor, its own cuisine, its own food habits, its own climate, and attire. Everything is different. That is all based on the conditions of these places. And I think that is the right way to do it.
Palak: How about the spiritual significance of the beard? A lot of men, back in the day, in ancient India, would grow their beards and even their hair. Especially a lot of people who follow spirituality. Is there a proper scientific or spiritual reason for this?
Mohanji: In ancient times, the idea of being natural also meant that they have long hair etc. And if you are talking about the Saints and the people living in the Himalayas etc., there is no way they could go to see a barber quite easily. There were no barbers to attend to them. But most importantly, now it is scientifically proved also, when you allow your body and hair to be natural, you are more connected to your awareness. You are more aware of yourself. Awareness is fundamental that you should have. And in the practice of awareness, you should be fully aware of yourself. When you are unnatural, then slightly, in a subtle way, it disturbs that energy flow.
Palak:Mohanji, what do you think about traditional Indian art forms? Do they hold any spiritual significance?
Mohanji: I love it. I love the Indian art forms and numerous varieties. Every state has its own. And they are all rooted in Sanatana dharma, the eternal ground rules, or perpetual ground rules of Existence, means – how Nature is. We have picked them up from Nature and we have practiced them over time. Everything is harmonious. Something which creates harmony inside and outside, this is the beauty of most of our art forms. Our various deities and our various festivals, they all have this aspect, the harmony aspect. Whether people know about it or not, over a period of time everything changes. Evolution happens in everything. We may not know the real philosophy behind everything. For example, why do we worship the basil plant – Tulsi, people may not know. Tulsi plant is one of the plants which has an aura eighteen times its size, which people have said. This is in the scriptures. That is why something which has a great aura is respected. Means, a person who has great aura is a saint. He is respected. Like that, the plant is respected because of the size of its aura. Every philosophy has a deep root. There is a meaning and a method; there is a reason, proper reason. Everything is coming towards or aligning to alignment, personal alignment, harmony. So, all these festivals, all these art forms, everything are expressions of, spontaneous expressions of personal harmony. That is why I love them.
They are not just something that will break up your emotions and just make you unconscious, or to just follow something without knowing. Not that it takes you to a level of unconsciousness. Instead, it takes you to a level of full consciousness. That is liberating, right? When something you can connect to, or something connects to you, it evokes in you a level of consciousness, higher consciousness, and that is beautiful. That is why I love it. I think that there should be a lot more explanations and kind of details to be given to people so that they can start experiencing them.
Palak:India is known to gift the world with a sattvic lifestyle. How is that related to animal cruelty?
Mohanji: If your aim is for higher awareness, if your aim is liberation, if you aim to meet and merge with higher consciousness, then consumption should be disciplined. Discipline is very necessary for elevation to a higher level, not that we are not all going to be saints or going to be liberated, so any food is fine. I always say – avoid violence in thoughts, words, and actions. So that you will be feeling good, feeling peaceful. Violence breeds guilt, regrets. These are non-essential things, they just imbalance you. Avoid imbalance and be harmonious. That is your birthright. That gives you peace of mind. You can sleep peacefully.
If you cheat, steal, betray, talk bad, take revenge, character assassinate, you won’t be able to sleep peacefully, because your mind will be contaminated. Just like that, food which has violence behind it, if you consume unconsciously, the body becomes numb. And the essence of that violence enters your system. That you realize, when all faculties are focused inside. Then you realize that every small thing counts.
Palak: Mohanji, in your opinion, what do you feel, is yoga being misunderstood globally?
Mohanji: I do not think that yoga is misunderstood. Yoga has been understood now more, and the value has been understood now. I think overall the awareness of yoga is much more than before. This is what I feel whenever I travel. Not only yoga, but also vastu, and ayurveda, our great wealth. Wealth is really the wealth of knowledge, which is being accepted and appreciated in the world outside. Our understanding of the plants, Nature has a part in our existence. Then the contribution of the birds, the animals, the harmony of humans with other species. I think there is a lot more awareness of all these things in the world. Some people have come and discussed these things with me. In case if there is a misunderstanding, I think this is very temporary or in a small segment. But on a large level, I think the understanding is much more. This is what I feel.
Palak: Mohanji, has the Indian system of schooling evolved over the years?
Mohanji: The Indian concept of schooling has not grown over the years. This is my feeling. The Gurukul system was completely connected to a person’s inclinations – vasanas. A person who has a tendency, vasana towards let’s say science is taught scientific things. A person who has inclinations toward spirituality is taught that subject. If a person who has an inclination towards let’s say – martial arts or archery, or war techniques, that is what he is taught. If you look at the epics of the past, you will know how the education system happened.
The Master looked at the level of awareness of each individual, each student, and delivered accordingly. That means it was individualistic. No denial. This individualistic approach is very important. In a massive, in a kind of systematized educational system, we are creating just bricks on the wall, mediocrity. But in the Gurukul system, there cannot be mediocrity, the student learns based on what he is capable of. What his inclinations are. So, he will be happy to learn it. Learning should be a pleasure, not pressure. In the modern educational system, the main disharmony I find is that students are learning things to make money, to make a living. So, what do they learn? Most of them learn what provides them a job, which will give them a lot of money instantaneously. Meaning, as early as possible. People are only going for safe subjects. But their inclination or their attitude may be different. But, in the Gurukul system, attitude is counted very deeply. And the Master knows. Like for example, if you see how Drona used to teach his students. He decided that each one of them was taught according to his attitude, his disposition, and his caliber, what he was capable of. And it is important that he will not use it for selfish pleasures. For the sake of dharma, not adharma, that was decided. There should be a total balance inside before a martial art is taught. That means it should be only used for self-defense. Not for attacking. Not for abuse. It should not be abuse. When a person decides to use it, to show his pride or for egoistic purposes, it’s taken away because nothing is taught for egoistic display. Instead, it is taught for self-defense. This is how our system worked earlier.
It was beautiful, harmonious. A person who likes carpentry is taught carpentry; a person who likes cobbler work is taught cobbler work. Things like that. Based on what his disposition is, he is taught that. That system should come back. We should educate people based on their disposition, attitude, and also their capacity and caliber. So that everybody will be peaceful. When you have people performing life or performing their duties in life, if they are taught things that are suitable for them, they will have a balanced existence. They’ll be happy to do it. Work will be a pleasure. Now work is usually a pressure, for the sake of money. The internal harmony is missing. We must get this back. Life has to be harmonious. I believe so. If you do not like something in life and you are pressured to do it, the whole life is disturbed. And that is displayed as aberrations. People go for intoxications, strange behaviors, sometimes abnormalities in behavior, sometimes perversions. All these things are connected to disharmony.
When a person is totally harmonious, they will not display anything disharmonious in life, which means they will not display any aberrations in life. I think that we have to bring back the old system of education; where we are teaching children based on their attitude. I think some schools are doing it, but not all schools. So instead of churning out like a machine, more and more bricks on the wall, we should instead concentrate on bringing out the best of every student. That will make every student competent, confident. They will not have to compete with anybody.
Why do you have to compete with anybody? Because you are trying to find your footing somewhere. If you are satisfied and stable with your skills, then what are you competing with? You are unique. And what you are displaying with your right skills, right mechanism, or the right education? What you are displaying is the right product, the right attitude in society. When you display the right attitude in society, you are rewarded the right way.
Glory happens when you are harmonious with your tendencies, your inclinations, and you are doing things which suit you. When you do things which suit you, you are happy with it. If your activity is a pleasure for you, you will be successful; you will have glory because you love to do it. You really love to do it. When more people do things which they love to do, the world is better. This should come back. India should get this back.
Palak: How to bring peaceful societies around the globe? Do you think a Gurukul system could help?
Mohanji: I would always say, let there be harmony in every aspect of existence, and then there will be harmony in the society. Now you can see a lot of aberrations, so much of heartache. We see disturbances. The root cause of these disturbances is that people are not happy. They are doing things for a living. But they are not happy. If they are happy, they will not disturb any other soul, any other being. They will be peaceful. To bring this peacefulness we must bring harmony. And that has to go in every aspect of existence. I always believe that there should be counseling in every level, from the small class to all the way to the highest class. Whichever class people go into for education, there should be counseling. People should be able to talk, “This subject is not suitable for me, and I can’t do this.” So that you never ask a fish to climb a tree and call it a failure, because fish can’t climb trees, fish is not supposed to do that, it is supposed to swim well. So, we will give that aid and ability for people based on their disposition, their inclinations, tendencies, attitude. Then there will be a great life.
Palak:Mohanji, I follow you on twitter. And in a recent post, you mentioned that Nikola Tesla, Bob Marley and Bruce Lee are saints on their own right. That is a very unique perspective. Please shed some light on that.
Mohanji: I respect all these people, like Bob Marley and Nikola Tesla because there are certain aspects which makes you a saint. One of the key aspects is that you can have anything you like because you are resourceful, but you want nothing. Means total detachment. You can have plenty, but if you don’t need anything, you are not connected to any aspect of your existence outside of you. Instead, you are fully connected to every aspect of existence inside you, you are a saint.
You can be a musician, you can be a pilot, you can be a scientist, it does not matter, but how detached you are makes you a saint. We had a great president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, he was a saint – walking, talking saint. He was living the life of a saint. When he left his body, he just left behind the dress he used and a few pennies. That is it. He was the president of the country but he never amassed wealth. This greed for things from Earth and the greed for positions and possessions, they all make you terrestrial. But here, you can have anything you like in the world, because you are resourceful, you have talents, but you are not affected by anything, means – you don’t want anything.
When Karl Marx introduced the concept of haves and have nots, it really inspired the world. And that is how communism took birth. But there was one category of people at that time, and even now, and before that time, who could have had anything they want but they needed nothing, the great Masters. They were fully occupied with the bliss inside. They were really floating in that place, fully occupied, enjoying the bliss. They wanted nothing from this Earth. This class is the real class, totally detached from everything. Detached from everything, but enjoying everything. If something comes to them, they enjoy it.
If it does not come to them, fine. So there is no regret, there is no guilt, there is no desire, there is no ambition on that level. Just living their life, free as a bird. Complete freedom. So, a person living in total freedom without any materials, like intoxications, etc., on their own – can be considered a saint. This is real sainthood. Real sainthood is total detachment, while you have everything. Not that you don’t have it and you say, “I don’t need it”, that is different. But while you have everything, while you can have everything, but you don’t need anything, that is sainthood. That is a real saint.
Palak: Describe India in three words?
Mohanji: Bha- ra- ta.
Palak: Who is your favorite Bollywood actor?
Mohanji: Amitabh Bachchan.
Palak: You started speaking a little bit of Hindi, what is your current favourite Hindi dialogue?
Mohanji: Speaks in Hindi
Palak: Mohanji, what is your vision for India in the next 20 years?
Mohanji: Total love. Total coexistence with harmony.
Palak: What is that one thing which this pandemic has given birth to?
Palak: Alright, this is an easy one. Most of us know the answer, but we still want to hear it from you -Mountains or beaches?
Palak:If a feature film is made on the life of a saint, who would it be?
Mohanji: Swami Vivekananda.
Palak:Thank you so much, dear Mohanji, from the bottom of our hearts for taking this time. And I’m sure that our viewers have not had enough of you. We will be calling you again next time, and we were truly honored to have you.
Mohanji: Thank you so much. I wish you great success. This is your first show. I’m sure you will do very well. And there will be a great, great presence of you and your shows in the world. And the world needs it. You have the caliber, you have the talent, and you will be visible. Shine bright, the world needs light!
Palak: Thank you so much.
Mohanji: Thank you.
Palak: Thank you so much for watching. If you like this show, subscribe and share. I’ll see you next time with another very special guest.
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.
To catch more wisdom packed knowledge, you may look at social media pages flashing on the screen. Please, do share this video as widely and as much as possible. To be a part of such initiatives, please follow the pages that are being flashing on your screens.
Also, the next session is Insights, Eat Right supported by Ministry of Ayush and FSSAI. Let’s learn more insights about food, naturopathy, with the Masters at 7 pm IST. Please be with us with through these series. We shall see you in the next segment.
We leave you now with the video by our title sponsors Amway. Do watch it. It is really good.
Hello, my dear friends. How are you doing today? Welcome to another podcast. I’m happy that you are liking these podcasts, and I’m glad that you’re sharing these podcasts with your friends and also giving us some comments, suggestions, etc. I like this interaction, and I’m loving it actually.
Today, we talk about a subject which you have suggested. It’s about living consciously. Living consciously is a huge subject. It has many dimensions; multiple dimensions. It’s not easy, talking about living consciously in five minutes or ten minutes. But first and foremost, when we think about living consciously, where do we start? Simple, we start with ourselves.
What are we consisting of, what are we made of? We know there is a physical body. We know there is a mental body. We know there is an intellectual body, and we know there is an egoistic body. Then, we know there is a spirit, which is running this machinery. We also know there is a soul element, which is the source element or connected to the source; which is inspiring and energizing every other aspect. This is what we are, in a nutshell. Each has its function, the physical body, along with its senses and all the organs, which are all positioned and synchronized in a particular way, to give maximum effect for a thing called life on Earth. So, when we are living on this Earth, when we are walking this Earth, when we have life on Earth; what are we doing here, experiencing Earth in multiple dimensions, various levels. So, while we are experiencing this earth, right from childhood, if we take 80 years, which is 29,200 days, we are experiencing life at each time differently. It’s not the same. As a child, we looked at the world differently. As a young adult, we looked at the world differently, as an adult, we look at the world differently. Each stage, we are looking for experiencing this world differently. So many things are happening. But most of the time, in most of our cases, we never explored ourselves; we just mechanically, kind of unconsciously, we just experienced life, and we thought that’s it, you know, experiencing life, and that’s about it. Then we are proud to display our own character, our own particular emotions, our own constitution, all those things we are happy to display and say this is us. But we never think, what is this us. Have we ever thought like that? Hardly we do, and sometimes we read somewhere from somebody who has explored their life and spoken about some things in their life, that gives us a thought. That gives us food for thought. Then we start exploring, what are we consisting of.
I’ll give you a couple of examples. We have five different aspects of prana. We know prana, right? It is the life-breath energy, life energy. You must have heard about pranic healing etc. that’s about healing with life energy, routed or channelized in a particular way. We have prana, and this prana has five principal aspects. This is the prana which is functional prana; functional means it makes our system function properly. I am sure you must have heard about chakras; the chakras are the transmitters or the transformers or the centres where distribution happens.
We have five pranas, as stated by the scriptures in India. They are Prana, Apana, Udana, Samana and Vyana. Each has a functional role. What does prana do? Prana looks after what takes care of heart, breath and circulation; that’s the role of prana. Apana is situated in the lower part of our body and its functional role is connected to excretion, waste removal is its role, Apana. Then Udana. Udana is situated in the neck and its job is to ensure that senses, mind, memory, and all those things are functioning well. Then Samana. Samana is situated in the centre of the stomach, Manipura, and its main job is to stabilize digestion and the processing, basically the processing of the materials which we have consumed. Vyana is situated all over; so it’s more like functional energy, and it helps the circulation. It helps Nadis. So, this is our functional prana structure; Prana, Apana, Udana, Samana Vyana. And all this put together is working all the time. That is why when we consume food, it goes through the stomach, it digests and it’s excreted. All those things are energized by these pranas, but we are not aware of them, right?
Likewise, our nostrils, where the breath enters; it’s always functional, right from our birth, till our death, it’s functional. And each nostril has its time. One functions for some time, then it moves to the other. And when the right is more active, then the energy or the circulation is going to the left side of the brain. When the left side nostril is active, it goes to the right side of the brain. So, this is the way the whole system is very well synchronized. When one kidney is functioning, the other takes rest and the other kidney is functioning, this one takes rest. Like that, everything has its alternating effect and even heartbeat; it’s not like a complete continuous beating, its heartbeat. It’s one beat and then rest and then one beat, so it’s like pumping. Everything has a kind of synchronicity which is taking rest and working. So, in this mode, the system is totally balanced. And this balance is behind our health. If you have this balance, then you have health. That is why our ancient masters gave so much of importance to yoga and pranayama. Pranayama is extremely important in daily life, which is actually even depression buster. It removes depression, if you do proper pranayama every day, it will rejuvenate you; it will really make you a strong personality. Yoga gives you stability. So all these methods are given for proper stability and balance for humankind.
If you have looked in the world, the food that’s grown in certain areas are suitable for that region, like certain food does not grow in certain regions of the world. Why? Because that food which grows in that region is suitable for the people who are living there, not only people but the birds, animals, everybody; and in some places, it’s a totally different food. So, when did we start having imbalances? When we started mixing this up. Some food is not suitable in some countries, some region, some food is suitable in some region like there are cold regions, there are hot, tropical regions. There are so many different varieties on Earth. Temperature is different, the climate is different; so many things are different. And particular food grows there, it is suitable for that place. When we started mixing them, we started having problems. Likewise, we started inventing processed food. Processed foods definitely started affecting our system. Because even if there is a good flow of prana and a good function of the system, the food that we consume, sometimes is not suitable for our body especially if it is mixed with chemicals and processed. It is affecting the system. There are so many different things which have gone wrong. That is why we can say that so many diseases have increased. But in any case, if we avoid contradictory food and if we avoid the symptomatic treatment and go to the root cause of why it is happening, 80% you would know it is because of bad habits; lack of sleep, lack of food, proper food, untimely eating, all those things. In the next podcast, I will continue talking about health, so that time I will talk more about it.
Now, I would just like to say that living unconsciously is a large subject, but living consciously has to start with us. So, this was a small attempt for me to direct you to yourself. We can discuss this in more detail on how we can find ourselves, go back into ourselves, and then we can explore ourselves. So, this is the food for thought for today. I hope you liked it. If you did not like it, do let us know. If you liked it also, do let us know. Let us discuss, let us interact, and also please do spread, if you liked it to your people, and let everybody have some awareness about it if this is good enough.
Thank you very much and have a great day and a great week ahead.
Being a Yogi – is being yourself. A Yogi is an aspiration and a state. Being a Yogi truly is being exactly what you are, beyond your ego, beyond your mind, beyond your intellect, going to the core, the essence of you where you are united with every aspect of creation. There is nothing apart from you. Every being, every atom in this Universe is connected and it works in synchronicity with the whole creation of the Universe. Furthermore, a Yogi is fully tuned and attuned into this consciousness. Lord Shiva is our aspiration, a representation of the universal consciousness, always merged in the consciousness which is the basis of creation and always being impartial, neutral and at the same time fully available as the energy, the source which creates the whole structure of existence.
A Yogi is one who is connected to himself completely and a true Yogi is a true universal being. There is no selfishness. There is 100% commitment to the existence. There is no him, there is no Yogi, there is only beingness. When I say beingness, you are actually being one with the Supreme Consciousness which flows through you, into you and through you into all the beings around you. When you are absorbed into that consciousness, all the time, there is no ego, no body, no mind, you are fully integrated into the Supreme consciousness.
A Yogi is one who has gone beyond the gunas of existence. The gunas are the flavour which create a character, a constitution, something which makes you distinct from the world. Every being is a unique creation. All beings are unique. There are no two buffalos alike. There are no two beings alike. Every being is a different combination and all these combinations are important and that adds to the flavour of existence. This is not only about Earth – Earth is just one small tiny part of the whole cosmos. There are numerous, numerous locations in this universe. There are a lot of galaxies, stars, planets and satellites – quite a lot of things in this universe.
The moment you start feeling or connecting to the consciousness which is driving this whole machinery, you stop being you. You grow well beyond your limited frames and you merge into the consciousness of the society. There are numerous methods which ancient masters have codified and delivered to us, many of which are extinct. We never used them. Mostly in those days, it was only transmitted through word of mouth. It was never written. There were no scripts in print or in books. It was all written on leaves. So various things, great philosophies have already been eroded and later on various conflicts of humankind have destroyed quite a lot of substance.
Yet, what is known today as Yoga which means one who can aspire to be a Yogi by practising Yoga. Yoga is something which has survived the test of time because Yoga is nature. It can never be destroyed. Nature can never be destroyed. You may cut the trees or you may pollute the environment, but environment always restructures itself with or without human beings. So Yoga is something which has stood the test of time, this is because Yoga means being natural. A Yogi is natural. Everything amounts to being you, being natural and being one with the universal consciousness. This is a flow. This is life.
And what is life about? It is not about the paltry pleasures which we get from the outside world. Life is about being contented within and the expression of that contentment overflows from yourself into the world outside and it brightens up the world outside. That is exactly the life of a Yogi – a true Yogi. His beingness, his stature, his very existence overflows and brightens up the world outside. If each existence becomes such a glow, imagine a world full of happiness, full of glow – no competition, no anger, no jealousy, no hatred. There is no negativity of any kind. There is no comparison between people. We are all the same. Nobody is higher or lower. There is no duality. All you see is yourself in the other person. The moment you are connected to yourself in that mode, you are a true Yogi.
There is a saying,“If you consume food once a day, you are a Yogi. If you consume food twice a day, you are a Rogi i.e. a sick man. If you consume food three times a day, you are a Bhogi, i.e. a lustful person.“ There is a slight deviation to this adage. Some people say, if you eat food twice you are a Bhogi, and if you have food three times a day, you are a Rogi, a sick man. So when you are totally connected to your consciousness, when your energy flow is not wasted on paltry things outside, you won’t even need food. You will only consume what you essentially need. You won’t eat too much. You won’t eat in a kind of emotional way of eating. All our consumption, all our intake through mind, intellect, all this will be regularised so that health is maintained.
Being a Yogi is being healthy. Being healthy is a state of mind. When your mind is healthy, your body is healthy. When your body is healthy, your mind is healthy. So being a Bhogi means your are lustful in eating, which makes you sick. It takes the health away. Being a Rogi, which is a later stage, is a state where you are consuming indiscriminately not only food, but also emotions, intellect, knowledge, information, etc. When you cram all these things inside, it really chokes you. It really makes you obese. It can make you physically, emotionally, or intellectually obese. All kinds of obesity limit your movement, limit your flexibility, limit your freedom.
I wish all of you who are reading this a great state of being a Yogi. Being a Yogi is an individual path. You can do this yourself. There is no need for any external influence. You are a Yogi by birth. You are a Yogi. All you have to do is just explore it, bring it out and then start feeling it. You are a Yogi by nature.
The Gross and The Subtle, this duality will always trouble the mind. Is the way to unity is through this duality? Mohanji gives awareness to many burning minds.
Do not be disillusioned. No gross form is equal to God, if God is formless, colorless, desire less and omnipresent. Form has limitations; Form has reasons. Form has weaknesses. Forms dissolve and die. A form can indeed represent higher consciousness, which we could call an Avatar. Forms represent various degrees of awareness. But forms also represent duality. While owning and operating a form, there is alienation, there is a division, and there is a corresponding disillusionment too. Forms that represent certain aspects of the all-encompassing God are considered as deities. All forms on earth have its own constitution which is well beyond generalization, even though generalization is possible on the basic level of operation such as hunger, sex, sleep, circulation of blood etc which are the basic general rules of gross existence.
When we expect to see complete unity and diversity of GOD in gross forms, we fail to understand creation, creativity, free will and uniqueness within diversity of existence. We fail to appreciate the basic as well as the collective operating levels. We get disappointed and disillusioned. Uniqueness is the basis of creation. It is no factory product. Creation in larger sense is always hand made. Understand creation at the cellular level and then you will understand the Universe!!!
Let us make one thing clear. This body is called Mohan or in your words ‘Mohanji;. Till my last breath, this body will remain in the name of Mohanji. People may confer titles in front or back of this name. But the name will remain the same.
This body is definitely not Rama, Krishna, Shiva, Baba or Jesus. This body, existing today, is called Mohanji. Consciousness that operates or works through this body is intangible, invisible and often incomprehensible to public eyes. Never be disillusioned. We can only see what we are capable of seeing. Be Happy!!!!
All people are connected to something, some body. This connection is due to their inner compatibility with the object of their connection. One may see the reflection of their object of connection in me. That does not make me that object. There could be resemblances, character similarities, but one is certainly not the other. Be aware of that!!! No person can be another person. Even when soul takes new birth, the incarnation has different names, form and purpose. Nothing is ever the same. Time and space are different and so is purpose on earth.
Do not be disillusioned. This body is called Mohanji and it will remain so till this body dies away. Do not be affected or connected to me- imagining, thinking that this body is that of someone else. That will lead to disillusionment and disappointment.
All incarnations portrayed their unique character and constitution even like we do. Baba is Baba, Krishna is Krishna, Jesus is Jesus. These are names of bodies (certain people) of the past. Their consciousness is certainly one and their consciousness is definitely eternal hence they are eternally available. They all are one. You are one with them too. This is why you are connecting with them or their certain character aspects so effortlessly. There could be many similarities of them – their character, that you recognize in others. There could be consciousness compatibility which makes them feel that this one is that one. But it is a mirage. Do not be disillusioned.
All bodies have duration and purpose. Purpose is always time-related – on earth. Time changes matter. Requirements change on earth. Such incarnations that could handle such requirements take birth. They may have attributes from the past. But they are in a fresh body. They have fresh name and form. They have a new set of parents, language and mission. They are new. Do not be disillusioned. This body is called Mohan and will remain so.
A son may resemble the father, but he is not his father. Likewise, each incarnation is unique. Our inflexibility and non-understanding is due to our own conditioning and mental pictures, images that we have acquired and maintained. Once we become flexible and fluid clarity takes place spontaneously.
7 Billion people. 7 Billion Personalities. 7 Billion types of expressions. Do not try to change the world outside. Change the world inside. If 7 Billion does the same, the world outside will be a much better place. Tragedy lies in the fact that we are trying to change the world outside all the time, ignoring or discounting our conditioning, fears, phobias and prejudices. When we are always “against” something, we will fail to see the subtlety and beauty of existence. When we only look outside, all you see are states of duality and disparity. Unity lies within. The key to a unified existence, oneness with all beings, is kept within us. When we become unified with ourselves, we see the whole world unified with us. The “way out” lies within us.
Why do people worship Gurus – the ones who are in their physical form? Do we need to? I find it inappropriate and meaningless.
This question usually comes from a person who is in the knowledge path – Jnana Yogi. There are many paths to reach God. And Guru is the guiding light. There are many types of people too. Everyone has his or her own style and approach towards any situation. Actually speaking, no true guru or God needs anything from you, let alone worship.
Now, a person of emotional nature, who chants praises of God – usually the form that his mind gets connected to easily, melts himself or herself into that being or object of worship. These people need an object to worship. Human mind needs forms to associate with. This is fundamental. It recognizes forms and connects to forms. Human constitution uses all faculties such as body, mind and intellect to connect to the chosen form. And when the connection through faith increases, individual personality takes a back seat. The individual starts to merge with the object of worship. Non-duality happens. When oneness takes root, often the need for any of the individual faculties that the individual used for the primary connection also becomes redundant. Everything dissolves into oneness. This is the advantage of bhakti Yoga. Usually, Bhakti Yogis merge with supreme consciousness much faster than the other paths such as knowledge, sadhana (spiritual practices) and service. The tranquility and strength that they achieve through surrender cannot be fathomed by the practitioners of other types of paths.
Likewise, the elevation that knowledge gives – based on duality is not understandable to a Bhakthi Yogi too. Experiencing God using the path of knowledge is like the pole of the pole vault. The pole is only used to lift one beyond the bar. Then, the pole of knowledge is shed when the bar is crossed. Then it is just a fall into the lap of Infinity or God. But, if the Yogi holds on to the pole and refuses to let go, handicap happens in the game. He stays with his pole and cannot win God.
There is a saying “If God and Guru come together, whom to greet first?” The answer automatically happens “Guru, because he is the one who brought and guided me to God”. This is one aspect and answer to your question.
Another aspect – in Shirdi Baba’s words “My Guru was indeed powerful. But he taught me nothing. Day and night I served him and watched him. He gave me everything”. This is another aspect. There are paths where there are no explicit teachings or courses. By just a mere glance or wave of hand, Baba used to elevate people. By just being in the energy field of the powerful Guru, the disciple achieves everything. But, in those cases, the Guru would often display mediocrity and shallowness, to test the tenacity and conviction of the disciple.
In the path of courses and examination, the skill displayed is the criteria for elevation. In the case of Path of Pathlessness, ability to cling on against all odds and depth of faith and surrender is the criterion for higher elevation. When people asked Muktananda how he achieved his spiritual proves, he answered “I never asked my guru – WHY?” Total surrender and perfect obedience was the path. This is often very difficult for a Jnana yogi, one who is in the knowledge path who needs answers for every simple thing. The Gurus of the Datta Tradition, Nath tradition or simply those who follow the path of dissolution will not deliver such answers. They even shake the faith of their disciples through abnormal and even unacceptable behavior to test the mettle of the student. Jnana Yogis often scandalizes the guru and escapes, but falls deeper into the birth death cycle and disillusionment. Bhakti Yogis stay.
Now, once again, how do you know a Satguru – the true one?
There are some primary yard sticks – The most important is your destiny. It is destiny that brings you to him. And it is your destiny that makes you recognize the real one.
Second are certain signs of the Guru – does he bind you with fear or he maintains you unbound and free? If you are always kept unbound, you are at the right place. In this path, serving the guru is your choice, yet it is also your elevation.
Third is, he needs nothing from you, or he gives you back much more than he takes – if at all. He changes your basic constitution often based on conditionings and fears, to that of stillness and fearlessness.
Fourth is, when you are with him, you will know and recognize a definite change in your vibratory level, a shift in consciousness. The more you are with him; the shifted consciousness becomes yours too. These are subtle aspects one must feel and experience within.
Fifth is non conformity to any habits and mannerisms. He may behave in strange ways often unacceptable to social norms. This is because a Guru who is established in supreme consciousness operates only in the level of cosmic necessity or purpose and not of individual karma. He is only guided by purpose. He has nothing to do with social do’s and don’ts. His operating level is spontaneity, uncontaminated by thoughts. For example; Vyasa impregnated Ambika and Ambalika because the dynasty had to continue. He also impregnated the maid to bring forth an unconditional, wise man called Vidura into the court of selfish royals. Sai Baba often scolded and beat people to drive away evil lying embedded in the constitution of devotees. People, who got offended, never understood the real meaning behind the action. They left him and went away. The loss was essentially theirs. Swami Samarth used to urinate in front of people which distracted many. There are many such examples.
If the Guru is powerful, he would usually be very ordinary or will often act in strange ways. They scold people for their well-being. They need nothing from anyone. True masters would not care about their mannerisms and will have no efforts to make himself socially acceptable. Those who are totally conditioned and bound by social norms and fears will run away from them. Those who stay get all that they can carry.
So, worshipping the Guru, considering him as representing the Lord Almighty, or personification of the Lord is definitely the path of those who are inclined to Bhakti or devotional path of spirituality. Understand that all paths are suitable for someone. All paths are not suitable for everyone. So, do not judge from your level. If you do, you will only get more disillusioned. You may not understand the pleasure that a bhakti yogi derive from any acts of devotional nature. They often do not have duality. They become one with the object of their worship faster than other paths.
The knowledge path keeps duality longer than other paths because, intellect is the faculty used to digest knowledge and intellect is associated to our limited system. This constitution of ours which is tangible and that we call with a name is associated with a form. Intellect alienates and analyses. Intellect creates walls. When knowledge becomes wisdom, that means each unit of knowledge intake is digested well, and it merges into our constitution, duality slowly starts to dissolve. Oneness takes root.
Understand one thing clearly. No true gurus or god needs anything from people including worshipping their perishable physical form. But, for disciples, it is reconfirmation, confidence and it helps in maintaining their faith. This is why they do it. Every practice has its value only if it is done from the heart. If mechanically, ritualistically done, no activity will have any value.