Editor's Message
  
Dear Readers,

Heartiest Greetings on the first 'International Day of Yoga'.  The global celebrations of Yoga Day are a testimony to the priceless benefits of this ancient Vedic science, which is a pride of Indian heritage.  On this occasion, 'Sumiran' brings to you two insightful articles on the 'Spiritual art of good health'.  We first explore the spiritual perspective on diseases and then delve deeper into the true meaning of 'Yog'.  Yoga is a widely used word, yet its true meaning is not known to many.  Through the 'Panchkosh model' we will understand the   different sheaths of human body and their relation with good health.

In Maharajji's article, we will explore the meaning of grace which the Guru causelessly bestows on his devotees.  Further, in the spirit of healthy living, do practice our recommended asanas and pranayama that will help relieve stress.  Lastly, don't miss any of the latest updates on 'International Day of Yoga' celebrations, JKYog programs, and Bal-Mukund activities from different cities in India & USA.

Best Wishes,
Editor's Desk
editor@jkyog.org
 
In This Issue

 

संयोगो योग इत्युक्तो जीवात्मा परमात्मनोः||  

(गरुड़ पुराण)

   
saṅyogo yog ityukto jīvātmā paramātmanoḥ  
(Garu Purāa)
 

"The Union of the soul with the Supreme is called Yog."  

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These articles are excerpts from Swamiji's lecture at SCB Medical College, Bhubaneshwar.   Swamiji has systematically revealed the spiritual art of healthy living as stated in the Vedas.  Vedas are a treasure house of sublime knowledge for enriching all aspects of human life - mental, physical, and spiritual.  Through a sincere practice of these concepts anyone can experience good health and peace of mind.

You can also find details of Swamiji's 'Free Yoga, Mediation & Spiritual Talks' programs conducted in USA:

The spiritual perspective on diseases 
Disease causes us pain, suffering and misery which is against out nature so we wish to remove this pain and suffering.  This is where the noble profession of medical science comes, which endeavors to remove disease.  However, in the intelligent scheme of things disease also has a meaning, it has a place.  The Supreme creator has created disease for some reason.  If he wished, he could have easily upgraded this body so that it could be free of disease. Like a dog eats from the street, that dog never has diarrhea and dysentery. Its body has been designed such. And the pig eats from the sewage, pig does not fall sick; it does not have to visit the medical college and hospitals.  Why? Its body has been designed such.

So the possibilities for this body, if desired, were immense. Look at an eagle, it flies three miles up in the air but it's got such a powerful vision that even though it is high up in the air, it is able to observe below if a body has some movement. "This body is dead; I can go and eat it."  Look at the power that exists in the eye of an eagle. Similar to that is the power in the nose of a dog.  When there is a theft somewhere, the police bring a dog, and they take the dog in front and follow behind.  If you were to ask the policeman, "You are a human, why are you walking behind this dog?" The policeman says, "What this dog can do, I cannot do". So, that same divine intellect that has created the body of a dog and an eagle, has created disease in this human form for some reason.  That is the philosophy of disease. Disease is a fact of life.
 

janma-mṛityu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣhānudarśhanam (Bhagavad Gita 13.9)

 
Shree Krishna says, "Arjun, birth, diseases, old age, and death are facts of life. You can never avoid them."  Disease is a part of that great design of the creator. What is He trying to say through disease?

Disease is only the symptom. The problem is something else.  For example if you put your hand into the fire; your hand will burn and you will experience the pain; the burning is the problem, the pain is not the problem.  The pain is a signal that something is wrong. Pull your hand out.  If you did not experience that sensation of pain, you would leave your hand in the fire and it would continue burning without you knowing it.

So, disease is an indication that you are doing something wrong that you should not have been doing.  This is the signal from that Supreme intellect who has designed this entire creation.

These diseases are of two kinds according to the Vedas.  First are doshaj, the second are karmaj.  What are karmaj diseases?  These are coming from our actions in past lives; we committed sins in the past life, they have to be accounted for. Not a single action will go unnoticed.  So the Supreme Creator keeps an account, which is called sanchit karma. And at the time of our birth, He takes one part of that sanchit karma out and says, "This is result of your karmas you have to bear in this life." This is called prarabdh or destiny.
 
So some diseases come through destiny - children are born blind.  A child who is born blind says, "What did I do that I am born blind?"  The child has not done anything, but it is karmaj, coming from the child's past destiny. So those karmaj diseases, no doctor can cure.  That is why, the famous medical statement, "I treat, He cures."  The doctor says, "I can only treat, the cure is in His hands." And the second kind of diseases is doshaj.  What are doshaj diseases?  Those come because of our wrong behaviour in this life.  Wrong things we eat, wrong things we do, it's the cause of disease.  Somebody has spoiled his or her diet, eats too much of sugar and gets diabetes. They come to doctors and say, "Please cure my diabetes". Why did you eat wrong things? The doctor can do his duty to cure the diabetes, but the problem was the wrong eating habit. 

Now the problem is, if somebody is sick, how do they know whether the sickness is karmaj or doshaj?  Whether it was written in their destiny or it's because of their wrong aachar, vichar, ahar, vyvhar?

We can never know, we can only guess.  Only the Supreme Creator who keeps an account of the karmas can know. Let us say that somebody has a sickness. He thinks, "Anything sick must be in my destiny, why treat it?" He does not act.  It is possible that it was not in his destiny. If he had treated it, h  e would have got cured.  That is why for us human beings, the instruction is given that when you act, don't bring destiny to your mind because you don't know what it is. Act as if it depends upon you, but when you get the results, keep the idea of destiny.  "May be it was in my destiny." Don't bring anxiety in the mind.

So in this way, we will put our best effort and if it does not work, we will not allow tension to overcome our minds.  That is why the profession of Medical Science endeavors to treat patients.  That is, we must do our duty, endeavor to the best of our ability. 

Understanding 'Yog' through the 'Panchkosh Model' 


As I was saying, these doshaj diseases can come due to wrong aachran.  Not only that, now look at the beauty of it, they can come through wrong thinking processes as well.  If in our mind we have harboured negative thoughts, thoughts of hatred, fear, anxiety, envy, tension, or attachment, this negative thought process can also result in physical disease.  Now this is one of the frontiers of medical science, where they are studying the mind body connection; what we think also has an impact upon our body.

For example a person is totally healthy. He reaches the age of 58 and he retires from government service according to the rules. After retirement, his health suddenly deteriorates. So the scientists conducted a research on why health immediately deteriorated upon retirement.  And they found out that it has to do with the mind. Until he was working, that man thought that "I am productive to society, I am contributing to society" and the moment the government retired him, his mental psychology changed to "I am no longer a contributing member of the society.  There is nothing I can produce for society, my job is only to sit and rot." 

Medical scientists are working in this direction today; in the late 20th century and the earlier 21st century. The amazing thing is that this is already mentioned in our Vedic Scriptures, which were written 5,000 years ago.  There is a Scripture called the Yog Vashisht, in this, Bhagwan Ram while touring Ayodhya found vyadhi or disease.  Seeing vyadhi in the Ayodhyawasis, He was moved to pity and He came back and asked His Guru, Maharishi Vashisht, "Gurudev, what is the cause for vyadhi?"

Maharishi Vashisht gave an extremely illuminating answer. He said, "Ram, vyadhi begins in the mind." First we harbour negative thoughts, debilitating thoughts, deleterious thoughts. When our thinking process goes awry, the manomaya kosh gets disturbed. The Vedas talk of the panchkosh model, in other words, the 5 sheaths within the body.  So there is one manomaya kosh or the mental sheath. He says, "Ram disease begins with the mind. When negative thoughts are harboured in the mind, it disturbs the manomaya kosh". 

Such a penetrating and illuminating answer was given thousands of years ago when modern medical science did not exist.  Then he said, "Then that disturbance is passed from the manomaya kosh to the pranamaya kosh." The life air sheath gets disturbed and that disturbance in the pranamaya kosh manifests in the annamaya kosh or the gross body in a variety of forms as disease.

Now imagine how deep the analysis has gone.  We all in India have observed the phenomenal success that Baba Ram Dev has achieved through his Yogic System.  Now what he has done is he has focused on the pranamaya kosh and he endeavored to develop these habits among people to exercise to purify, to energize the pranamaya kosh for achieving good health.  However, the Vedic research does not stop, at the pranamaya kosh. It goes beyond that.  This disturbance in the first place comes from the manomaya kosh or the mental thought processes.

The question that is arises is, "What is fashioning our thinking process? Why is somebody's thinking going in the positive direction, somebody's thinking is going in the negative direction?"

Look at the beauty of the Vedas once again.  They say even beyond the manomaya kosh is the vignanamaya kosh - the intellect. It is your intellect which is guiding the mind.  It is the intellect which is harboring values. If someone values money, then the mind goes in that direction.  In our Indian tradition, there was Charvak, what were the values of Charvak? He says there is nothing after death, there was nothing before death.  There is no soul, no parlok.  Nothing that you have to worry about, this life is all that is.  As long as you live, eat, drink, and be merry.  

So, if that is his value, what do you expect his thoughts will be?  How to get gratification for the senses, because the value is such the thoughts will be accordingly.  And then there was Mahatma Gandhi whose values were satyameva jayate - victory will come from satya. So this was his value system, and his thoughts were in that direction and they were so strong and intense that on the basis of non-violence, he won freedom for our country. And then there are the great Saints whose value systems are even more different. Like Kabirji says, "Kabira sab jag nirdhana..."  He says, "Oh Kabir, everyone in this world is poor, if there is anyone rich, it is that person who has got love for God." 

Now when this is the value of Kabirji's thoughts, then naturally his thoughts are always in that direction, in the direction of love, in the direction of God.

So our values are deciding the flow of our thoughts, and these values are ultimately the decision of our intellect.  What the intellect has decided, the mind goes in that direction.

So if we wish to purify the mind, the panchkosh model says that we will have to illumine the intellect with true knowledge. The Gayatri Mantra has a very simple and straight forward meaning, the word meaning of the Gayatri Mantra is "That Lord who is illuminating the three worlds, let him illumine my intellect with proper knowledge."  Now in one prayer that person has asked for everything because if the intellect gets properly illumined, automatically one's life will go in the direction of welfare. And if intellect has got harmful knowledge, incomplete knowledge, naturally the mind cannot be controlled in the way it could be. So that is why to further give proper full health to people, we must first give them that enlightenment in the intellect.

The final stage of the panchkosh model says, "Ultimately, what is it that decides your values?"  What is the last sheath? Anandamaya sheath. All of us are looking for happiness.  This is the basic nature of all living beings.  So, wherever the intellect decides there is happiness, that becomes the goal.  Somebody's intellect decided that happiness is in God and the entire striving of his personality is for God.  Somebody's intellect has decided happiness is in social prestige and his entire endeavor is how to become MLA, MP, and Minister.  So our search for happiness is the motivating force for this intellect. Why does this desire for happiness exist? The Vedas say, "That Supreme Creator, that Supreme Intellect, that Supreme Designer who manifested this whole world is an ocean of bliss and you are a tiny fragment of that ocean of bliss. Since you are His fragment, because you are a part of the ocean of bliss, within you is this desire for happiness.  Understand this one point and everything will fall into place.

The hand is a part of the body.  What is the function of this hand? The function is to serve the body - washing the body, taking food and putting it in the mouth, etc. In doing this, the hand's requirements are automatically fulfilled.  Whatever it needs, the body supplies to the hand. The hand does not need to separately fulfil its requirement.  Hand only serves the whole, the source and its requirement is automatically fulfilled.

Now if the hand does not accept this relationship, if the hand says, "Why should I serve this body all the time? Forty or sixty years have gone by, and all I do is serve the body; cut me out."  The moment you cut the hand from the body, what is the value of this hand?  It's only a lump of flesh.  The self-interest of the hand was in serving the body. Similarly, if our intellect can understand that "I am a tiny part of God and my self-interest is to serve God," if our intellect can decide this, our self-interest will automatically be met. All that our soul is hankering for, the divine bliss, the anand, that divine knowledge, that divine love, we will get it all. In our relationship with God, everything will fall into place.  This is called Yog.

This word Yog has spread around the world.  I travel to many countries, in Eastern Asia, America, Europe, West Indies, etc. In every city of every country of the world, Yoga schools have started. The health craze has made the westerners flock to Yoga.  So everybody wants to learn Yoga.  And then they say this Yoga has come from India. They should also understand these other aspects of Indian philosophy.  What has got spread, this word 'Yoga' does not exist in the Vedic scriptures.  The Vedas talk of Yog.  Yoga is an aberration of the Sanskrit word Yog.  What is Yog?  The word exists in every Indian language.  Yog means union, to join.  So here the Yog means union of the individual soul with the Supreme Goal.

Yogasanas increase the flexibility of your annamaya kosh and through the twisting and turning, the expanding and contracting, you increase the blood flow to every cell in the body, so naturally it improves your health.  But then Vedas say for pranamaya kosh you do pranayama. Through this pranayama, you will draw all the pranic energy available in this atmosphere and absorb it within you. You will remove blockages in the flow of vital energy in your body. But beyond that you have to treat the mind also. 

So for the mind, you learn meditation. What will this meditation do?  It will purify the mind, you engage the mind in the divine, in that Supreme Divinity, who is all pure. The mind will become pure, all the negative thoughts will start falling away, and then you purify the intellect through divine knowledge.  This is the spiritual art of good health.

News & Updates


International Yoga Day at Samarpan - JKYoga & Naturopathy Hospital
International Yoga day was celebrated at Samarpan- Jagadguru Kripalu Yoga and Naturopathy Hospital and Research Center in Banara, Cuttack. Honorable Justice Bira Kishore Mishra, Chairperson of Odisha Human Rights Commission graced the event as Chief Guest. Delegates from Delhi- Mr. Shiv Kumar Sharma, Mr. Atul Ray, Senior Educationist Dr. Geeta Kumar and Mr. Anil Kumar were also present in the program. Similarly, Dr. PP Mohanty, Physiotherapist, SV NIRTAR Hospital, Ulatpur (Cuttack) and Senior Journalist (The Samaj) Mr. Satya Ray were Guests of Honour.
See pictures

International Yoga Day at Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas
Radha Krishna Temple's first yoga festival was a huge success. Despite the rain, starting from the first early 7 am session to the end the tent was overfilled with eager participants who had an amazing morning nourishing body, mind and soul. Young and old alike with varying levels of experience came to experience the relaxing and restorative sessions covering topics from healthy back care, tuning up neck and shoulders, improving circulation, etc., as well as some guided meditations and subtle body relaxation. The enthusiasm and positive energy of both the numerous volunteers and participants combined with the high quality instruction made it quite an uplifting and blissful event. See pictures.

Yoga, Meditation and Lecture Programs 
Swamiji conducted yoga, meditation classes and also delivered enlightening discourses at Getzville, Queens, Middletown, Morrisville cities. See pictures

Morning walk with Swamiji 

Wherever Swamiji travels, there is one thing that all the devotees look forward to - accompanying Swamiji for a morning walk. So this time again, devotees from Connecticut joined Swamiji for a morning walk amidst lush green trees. See pictures.
 
NDRF celebrates Yoga day with Samarpan
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Samarpan- Jagadguru Kripalu Yoga and Naturopathy Hospital and Research Center celebrated International Yoga Day by conducting a Yoga camp at NDRF premises on 21 June, 2015.
See pictures 

Featured Video

JKYog brings to you 'Srimad Bhagavat Mahapuran' lecture series in English by Swami Mukundananda .  

 

Visit youtube.com/JagadguruKripaluYog  to watch the lecture series.  Also, if you haven't subscribed to the channel yet, click on the SUBSCRIBE button to get an email alert every time a new video is uploaded on the channel.

Up-coming Events 2015

June 27th to July 3rd   

 Albany, NY  

 July 25th to July 31st

 Frisco, TX

July 18th to July 24th

Centennial, CO

  Aug 15th to Aug 21st

  Allen, TX

Up-coming Retreats 2015

July 10th to 12th

Mount Laurel, NJ

 Sept 5th to 7th

  Dallas, TX

For details, click here

Causeless Grace

by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj 

 

The word grace actually means "causeless grace and mercy" that is showered or bestowed upon someone without expecting anything in return.      

 

For example, when a child is born the mother serves the child in every possible way.  She talks to the child, takes care of all the child's need and expects nothing in return.  In fact, the child is unable to do anything on its own.  Thus, whatever a mother does for her child can be termed as grace.  However, in reality this is not true grace at all, nevertheless, this example does serve to some small extent in explaining the meaning of the word 'grace'.

 

Actually, the true meaning of grace is related to the soul, not the body.  A mother can only take care of the body of her child, not its soul.  Thus taking care of the body is no way related to grace.  Grace means "gracing the soul" with God's divine love.

 

The Bhagavatam says:

yasyāhamanugṛihṇāmi hariṣhye taddhanaṁ śhanaiḥ (Bhagavatam 10.88.8) 

"The one upon whom I wish to shower my grace, I deprive him of all his wealth."

 

Thus, granting material possessions is not grace; blessing a soul with God's love is grace.  Who can bless us with divine love?  There are two such personalities.  One is God himself and the other is God-realized soul.  However, we cannot see or experience God with our material senses.   

 

A God-realized soul (a Saint) is approachable and moreover, he possesses the same powers as God, because God bestows everything he possesses upon his devotee (Saint).   In this way, God and Saint, being equal or one and the same, are both kripalu (merciful) by nature and possess unlimited divine treasure; therefore they can grace fallen souls with their love.

 

There is no personality that can even think of showering divine grace as long as they remain under the bondage of Maya.  Why?  A soul under the control of Maya cannot grace anyone as he does not possess divine love; how will he possibly give it to someone else?   Secondly, unless someone is graced by God, he cannot even dream of gracing others.   All souls under Maya cannot even understand the meaning of the word grace or grace of God , what to speak of helping else.
sabai bhikhārī jagat ke, jetik nātedār |
divya prem ānand ke, tum ika sāhookār ||

"All worldly relations are beggars, begging for love from each other.  O my Master! My All-in-All only you possess this treasure of divine love."


Thus, God and his devotees (Saint) are helpless to do anything else but shower grace upon suffering souls.
Yoga for Stress Relief 
 
Stress, fear, anxiety - if we start counting all these instances in life when we experienced these emotions, we may just lose count! The problem starts when this fear becomes persistent and so intimidating as to start interfering with our everyday life. Then it becomes an anxiety disorder, a state of excessive uneasiness, worry, or fear of the unknown, which needs to be treated, and this is where yoga can help.

  

Practicing yoga is not only an effective stress reliever, but also a way to ease symptoms of anxiety and depression.. By transferring focus and attention to the body and breath, yoga can help to temper anxiety while also releasing physical tension.  Regular yoga practice can help you stay calm and relaxed in daily life and can also give you the strength to face events as they come without getting restless.

Yoga practice ideally includes the complete package of asanas (body postures), pranayamas (breathing techniques), meditation, all of which has helped several recover anxiety from  and face life with new positivity and strength.  The following yoga poses and pranayama can be practiced together to help alleviate stress and anxiety.
 
 
Marjari Asan (Cat Stretch Pose)



 

Procedure:  Sit in Vajrasan. Inhale (Radhey); lifting your buttocks off the floor, stand on the knees.  Now with an exhalation (Krishna), slowly lean forward.  Then, place both hands on the floor, in the line of shoulders, with the fingers facing forward. Ensure your arms and thighs remain straight and the hands aligned with the knees. Inhale (Radhey) while depressing (arching) the back and raise the head to look up at the ceiling.  As you exhale (Krishna), raise the spine upward to make it concave; simultaneously pull the stomach muscles in and also bring the chin downward to the chest. This is one round; try it for up to 5-10 rounds.  Eventually, come to Shithil Dandasan and relax.

Shashankasan (The Moon Pose)



Procedure: Sit down with your legs outstretched and joined together in front; keeping the back erect, place your palms on the floor behind the buttocks, with the fingers pointing backward, i.e. Dandasan.  Slowly come into Vajrasan and rest your palms on the thighs.  Inhale (Radhey); raise your arms up above the head; straighten the trunk, head, and arms; turn the palms forward.  Now, while exhaling (Krishna), gently lean forward from the hips until the hands and forehead reach the floor.  Slightly flex your elbows and let them rest on the floor so that the whole body rests completely. Be in this posture for as long as possible with slow and even breathing.  Ultimately, come back to the base position.

Contraindication: People with high blood pressure and slipped-disc should not do this asan.

Kapalbhati Pranayam

Kapalbhati pranayam is most effective in Vajrasan. However, if you cannot conveniently adopt that posture, you may sit in any other meditative posture. 
Procedure:  Sit in any meditative pose, with the spine and head erect. Relax your shoulders.  Bring your hands to Brahma Mudra, i.e. clench your fists and place them side-by-side above the navel. The little finger side of the hands should be toward the navel. The folded fingers of both hands should be adjacent to each other.  First inhale (Radhey) slowly and then exhale (Krishna) forcefully by contracting your abdomen.  Allow the abdominal muscles to relax; thereby, the breath will naturally flow into the lungs. In this pranayam, effort is not used for inhalation; it occurs naturally.

Kapalbhati, it is important to note that the breathing should be performed with the use of the stomach; there should not be any use of the chest and the shoulders.  While practicing this, one should be aware of the contraction and especially, the relaxing expansion of the abdominal muscles to allow the air in.  This completes one cycle; practice 60 cycles. This makes one chakra. In the beginning you may get tired after 10 to 15 cycles. Over a few weeks, you will be able to reach one chakra.  With a regular practice, you can go up to five chakras, with short breaks in between.

Timing: The exhalation is done in 1/4th of a second. The inhalation is done in 3/4th of a second.  So, one cycle of Kapalbhati Pranayam is completed in one second. In this way, one chakra takes 60 seconds.  Beginners may find this strenuous. In that case, they may complete one cycle of Kapalbhati in two or three seconds.

Contraindications: People with high blood pressure, heart problems, spinal problems, epilepsy, hernia, gastric ulcer, slipped-disc, and cervical spondylitis should not do this pranayam. It is also prohibited during menstrual periods and advanced stages of pregnancy.

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 Swamiji's visit at Bal-Mukund CT center

Swamiji visited the Bal-Mukund center in Cromwell, CT on Sunday, June 14th.  Bal-Mukund's of CT were excited to welcome Swamiji and present their learning from Bal-Mukund session. The performance was a great combination of sloka recitation, bhajan, dance, surya namaskar demonstration and presentation on India. Swamiji enjoyed the complete performance and was very happy to see the extent of knowledge gained in these kids through the Bal-Mukund session.  Kids were super excited when Swamiji mentioned that they had put together a "top class performance'.  

 

Swamiji addressed the Bal-Mukunds and explained to them the difference between Shreyas and Preyas. He mentioned that Shreyas was the right thing to do and Preyas was the pleasurable thing to do. He taught them the need for having a strong foundation in order to lead a successful life. He also mentioned that it is very important for them to focus and do hard work in order to be prosperous in future.  

 

Bal-Mukunds thanked Swamiji for designing the Bal-Mukund program and for being a spark in igniting the flame of ethics and moral values in their lives.  

 

Bhog Recipe

Apple Blueberry Crisp

  Ingredients:  
  • 4 cups sliced peeled tart apples
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour       
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Topping:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup cold butter, cubed
  • Vanilla ice cream

 Directions:  

  • In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Transfer to a 9-in. square baking dish coated with cooking spray. For topping, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly; sprinkle over fruit.
  • Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until topping is golden brown and fruit is tender. Serve warm with ice cream. Yield: 8 servings.
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