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JKY e-Magazine, Issue No. 7                                            January 2010

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In This Issue
Gems of Wisdom - Shree Maharajji
Upcoming Events
Current News
Stay Connected
Who Am I - Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj
Secrets of Spiritual Sadhana - Swami Mukundananda
Ask Swamiji
Trivia Time
Jagadguru Kripalu Yog


Most dearest and beloved Shree Krishna is yours, do not believe Him to be even a little bit far from you. He is waiting with His arms open wide to embrace you. He is very pleased when He sees your tears for Him. This is not just a feeling, but the truth. He is always observing every thought of yours at every moment, but your tears are most dear to Him.
Krishna means 'One who attracts'.  Through His beauty, Grace, sweetness, merciful nature and loving ways, the sweet Lord has the power to attract even the coldest heart, and lighten even the heaviest of minds.  He showers Divine love on all, without giving any thought to whether or not the recipient is worthy of the gift.
Never think about practicing devotion tomorrow.  Do not delay it.  Do not procrastinate practicing devotion. It may be billions of years before you get this human life again.  Start today or rather now.  Death is certain and it will occur any moment.  Do not wait for old age.  Shree Krishna is an ocean of Divine love.  Surrender completely with your mind just once, He is there to embrace you.
Attach the mind to Shree Krishna by loving Him in every possible way.  As Master, Friend, Child and Beloved, Krishna fulfills the mind's desire to form different relationships.  Let the mischievous mind become a bee for the lotus feet of the all-attractive Krishna and rest there, inebriated with the ever-new nectar, which flows in abundance.
If you have Krishna and nothing else, you have everything.  If you have everything but not Krishna, you have nothing at all.  Krishna is your greatest wealth.  No one can steal this wealth from you, nor can anyone rob you of it.
Names of God should always be chanted with devotion.  While it is true that chanting of the holy name is the only possible means of God-realization in this age, it is also true that chanting leads to God-realization only when combined with love for God.
Tears are an absolutely essential part of Sadhana.  Saint Kabir says, "No one can reach his Divine beloved without shedding tears for Him."  By shedding tears for God & Guru, we wash our sins away.  Then, God & Guru, for whom tears are shed, enters the heart and makes it pure.

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Upcoming Events


Swamiji's Gujarat Tour 2010

28th - 29th Jan

29th - 30th Jan

30th - 31st Jan

31st Jan - 9th Feb
10th -11th Feb


11th - 12th Feb


12th - 13th Feb
 Current News


Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj visited Berhampur ashram in Orissa for a day on the 19th of Jan.  In the evening, he graced more than 50,000 devoted souls with an enlightening speech on the greatness of bhakti.

Shree Maharajji also visited Cuttack ashram on 25th Jan. Thousands of devotees gathered to have his darshan.


Swamiji delivered a lecture on the topic, "Spirituality for Managers" at his alma mater IIM Kolkata, on 26th Dec '09, during the Silver Jubilee Reunion of his batch.


Swamiji successfully completed his five day program in Rairangpur, Orissa on the 31st of Dec '09.

On the last day of the program, a 'Nagar Parikrama' was organized.  Hundreds of enthusiastic devotees participated, dancing and singing through the procession.


Swamiji welcomed 2010 with the devotees of Rairangpur, Orissa.  A special spiritual picnic was arranged on New Year's Day. Devotees were treated to joyous kirtans and exclusive time with Swamiji. 


Swamiji completed his 5 day lecture series in Cuttack ashram between the 5th and 9th of January, 2010.


On the last day (10th Dec.), a special picnic was organized at the large and expansive garden at Cuttack ashram.


A Special program (lokarpana) was held at the Jagadguru Kripalu University site on 10th Jan, under the gracious presence of Swamiji and Shree Gajapati Maharaj of Puri, who is considered a "walking deity" by the people of Orissa.
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Welcome to the
 Jagadguru Kripalu Yog
Who Am I ?
by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj


The entire world seeks to answer two questions.  The first one is, "What do we all want?" and the second, "How will we attain it?"  All the knowledge in the world, right from the worldly to the Vedic, attempt to answer these two questions. "What do we want and how do we attain it?"  How surprising it is that in countless lives, we have not been able to answer them. The day we find the answer, our relationship with this material world will come to an end.  With that, our wandering in the 8.4 million life-forms, the five sorrows - joy and suffering, love and hatred, fear of death, ignorance, ego (pride) and the five sheaths of maya will also come to an end. 
Let us take up the first question.  What is it that we want?  It is a very simple question and can only be answered when we understand who we are.  We use the pronouns I, we, you.  What is this 'I' that we refer to?  Once we understand the true 'I', we will automatically understand what 'I' want.
What is this 'I'?  You have two things in your possession - one of them is conscious and the other is not.  The body, the sense organs, the mind and the intellect are insentient - devoid of consciousness.  You may disagree and say that they are conscious.  After all, your hands and feet do move, the eyes see and the ears listen.  Every sense organ is working.  The mind thinks and the intellect takes decisions.  All of these appear to be conscious.
You can say that a chair or a table is not conscious.  This statement is true.  But, how can you say that the body, mind and intellect are not?  Furthermore, if you stick a pin at your body, you experience pain, don't you? Yes! Well then, how can that which is not conscious, experience pain?  So, understand that the sense organs, the mind and the intellect, are all included within the body.  We are two - the body and the soul. We sometimes say, "My body is old; my body is ill; my body is fat; my body is thin."  We say 'My'.  'My' means, 'that which belongs to me'.  This means that the body is 'mine', and that 'I' am not the body.  Moreover, we observe our body daily, and we feel that it is conscious.  After the entity referred to as 'I' has left the body, do you call the body conscious or non-conscious?  That body starts decomposing in 24 hours.

ghar ke kahahiṁ vegi hī kāṛho,  bhut bhae kou khaihaiṁ
jā din man pachhi uṛi jaihaiṁ

What does this mean?  It means that there is an 'I' within the body.  When this 'I' leaves, the body loses its consciousness. In other words, it is the 'I' that keeps the body conscious.  The body itself is not conscious.  The entity called 'I' is responsible for keeping the body alive.  When the 'I' leaves, the body returns to its original form.  The original form of the body is that it is a puppet made of five gross elements.
The Vedas, Shastras and Saints have given a name to the entity referred to as 'I'.  They call it 'Soul'.  Soul means that which is alive and which keeps others alive as well.  The soul has two functions - It remains alive by itself, and keeps others alive.  It is conscious, and as long as it remains within the body, it keeps the entire body conscious.
Let us now understand the characteristics of the soul.  Scriptures talk about two types of characteristics; svaroop and tatastha (marginal) characteristics. Svaroop means the natural characteristic of the soul.  The soul is conscious; it is a power of God.
At the same time, the Darshan Shastra as well as the Kenopanishad  point out that the entity called 'I' is beyond the intellect, and as such, it cannot be understood by the intellect. The 'I' is beyond the grasp of the senses, the mind and the intellect since these are material and non-conscious.

yo buddheḥ paratastu saḥ

The Gita says the same.  We will have to rely on the Vedas and the Shastras to understand what the soul is all about.  The scriptures say that the soul is a power of God.  How many powers does God have?  They are all unlimited.  However, we can divide these countless powers of God into three.

viṣhṇubhaktiḥ parā proktā kṣhetraj˝ākhyā tathā parā
avidyā karmasaṅj˝ānyā tṛitīyā śhaktiriṣhyate

Ved-Vyas says in Vishnu Puran that God has three main powers.  The first is para shakti, the second is kshetrajna shakti (tatastha or marginal) and the third is called maya. Para shakti is God's own personal power.  It is also called as svaroop shakti or yogmaya shakti. God's marginal power (tatashta) refers to the individual soul.   God's external power is called avidya, i.e. maya.  What function does avidya perform?  It creates the world.  Maya includes God's power 'maya' as well as the world.  So, there are three powers - yogmaya, maya and the individual soul.
The individual soul is a fraction of God.  It is the marginal power of God (tatastha shakti).  What is the marginal characteristic of the soul?  It is an eternal servant of God.

jīver svaroop haya kṛiṣhṇer nitya dās

Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says, "The soul's true nature is God's servitude". The Puranas, Shastras and God-realized saints say the same thing. The Vedas, the Shastras and the saints, say that there is a difference as well as a 'non-difference' between God and the individual soul.  It is a very unique relationship indeed.

God is conscious, and so are we.  From this point of view, we are equal to God.  But there are differences between God and the individual soul. God is unlimited consciousness and we possess limited consciousness.  In other words, God's consciousness pervades everything, and our consciousness pervades only our own body.  The soul pervades a small body; that of an ant, and it pervades a big body, that of an elephant.  There is no body bigger than that.  So, God is omnipresent; He is unlimited consciousness, and the individual soul is so small, so subtle that -

sukṣhmatāṁ parākāṣhṭāṁ prāptojīvaḥ

How small is the soul?  The very definition of the soul is that it is the smallest.
Every Veda and Shastra says that the soul is so small that there is nothing smaller.  Thus, God is unlimited consciousness and the soul is minute consciousness.  This is a very big difference indeed.  Let us look at the second difference.  God is the controller; the individual soul is controlled.  In other words, God is the governor, and the individual soul is governed by Him.  The soul is controlled by God at all times.  The consciousness which is within the individual soul has been provided by God. The individual soul is always connected to God.

To be continued in the next issue
Secrets of Spiritual Sadhana
by Swami Mukundananda


Continuing from the last month...

These are the next lines of the series "Sadhana Karu Pyare".

naam guṇ līlādi kīrtan sāth meṁ karu pyāre
dhyān hī hai sādhanā kā prāṇ jīvan pyāre
dhyān binu sab sādhanāhai prāṇbinu tanu pyāre

In the preceding lines, Shree Kripaluji Maharaj has explained about meditating on God and the importance of applying our mind.  He repeats this message again in the new verse.  Why is that?  From a historical and literary perspective, the repetition of a particular phrase or word of advice is considered a flaw.
But a God-realized Saint does not give much importance to rules of literature.  He gives prime importance to the upliftment of individual souls.  That is why Shree Maharajji has repeated this line for the benefit of the sadhaks.  Because, he knows that once said, people will not listen to it carefully.  If it is repeated again and again, the message will penetrate the mind slowly and gradually.  He knows very well that all individual souls are under the influence of maya, and nobody is like Arjun, who heard to Shree Krishna's advice just once and said:

naṣhṭo mohaḥ smṛitirlabdhvā
"My ignorance has been destroyed, and with Your Grace, I have gained true knowledge." So, a Guru repeats the advice again and again.  When you are in Mangarh for the sadhana program, you will always hear Shree Maharajji saying - 'Practice Roop-dhyan'. He knows that all devotees will listen to the Guru. Yet, they soon forget and Maharajji reminds them constantly.  The sadhak forgets the message and Shree Maharajji reminds him again.  The Guru never gets tired or sad that his words are not being followed even though he is repeating it.  He is ready to repeat the advice a thousand times.
We have to remember that Shree Maharajji's philosophy is a few notches higher than the philosophies of other saints.  At the same time, it does not mean these saints are wrong. They revealed and preached their philosophy according to the time, situation and circumstances surrounding them.  All the spiritual masters have mentioned about the need for meditation or dhyan.
Let us hear what saints have to say. "Just chant and remember the name of God".

sāṁketyaṁ parihāsyaṁ vā stobhaṁhelanamevavā vaikunṭhanāmagrahaṇaṁ śheṣhāgaharaṁviduḥ

The Bhagawat says: "Chant God's name unintentionally, or in humor or chant His name in anger. Just chant the name of God and its benefits will surely reach you".
Adi Jagadguru Shankaracharya, the premier acharya of the path of knowledge, gyan marg, says in his commentary on Vishu Sahasranam,

śhraddhā bhaktyorbhāvopi bhagavannām saṁkīrtan samastaṁ duritaṁ nāśhayati ityuktaṁ

"Just chant the name of God without any faith or devotion".
Tulsidaas has also said:

bhāv kubhāv anakh ālassahu
nām japat maṅgal diśhi daśhahuṁ
"Remember the name of God with feelings or without any feelings, yet, you will be blessed in every possible way".  Surprisingly, nobody has questioned these words saying, "We have chanted the name of God, but why have we not received any benefit?" For instance, Aristotle, the noted Greek philosopher from 300 BC, wrote that men have more teeth than women.  This statement was not verified for a thousand years. His words were accepted as the truth.  It was later discovered that Aristotle had committed a blunder.

In the same vein, Kripaluji Maharaj questions, "You have been chanting your friend Ramgopal's name, but you have not become a God-realized person!"
Some saints use the example of Ajamil.  They say, "He attained Divine abode by chanting 'Narayan', his son's name.  You should also chant the name of God and reach Him."  Saints also use another example - that of Saint Valmiki or Ratnakar as he was known before he became a saint.  He never chanted 'Ram Ram' as he could only say 'Mara Mara'.

ulṭā nām japat jag jānā
vālmīki bhaye brahma samānā
Now, if someone could attain God by merely saying 'Mara Mara', then what about the one who says 'Ram Ram'?
Using these two real life examples, many saints have preached that one should chant the name of God at all times.  Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj clarifies the real motive behind this message. Saints advise us to chant the name of God (with or without feelings), so that sadhaks can earnestly begin their spiritual journey in some form or the other.  It is like planting a seed.  If a Guru strictly instructs a beginner to apply his mind first and then chant the name of God, the aspirant may not be able to do so.  He may even discontinue his spiritual quest since his mind is not tuned towards God fully.  Hence, to encourage and protect the sadhak's aspirations, saints advise to start chanting irrespective of the feelings inside.
Another example we can consider is when parents bring their child to pay respects to a saint. They say "Son, bow down and prostrate in front of Swamiji." The child starts to wonder, "Who is this Swamiji and why should I do pranaam?" The youngster does not understand the importance of this act and refuses.  The parent forces the child to bow down and offer pranaams, against his wishes.  When the child grows older, he will understand the significance and meaning of offering pranaam to a Swami.  Hence, in the preliminary stages, physical action is taught, and its importance is learnt with the passage of time.
Similarly, saints have taught and encouraged people to practice bhajans with the earnest hope that they will progress to the next level.  The secret behind this is revealed by Kripaluji Maharaj.  He clarifies that, when Ajamil's example is used by saints, it does not mean that he just chanted 'Narayan' and attained Divine abode.
Before he became a saint, Ajamil was a highly capable personality. But he had strayed from his path of sadhana and turned away from God.  He later realized his mistakes and practiced bhakti in Haridwar (holy town in North India) for a year.
gaṅgādvār mupeyāya tyaktasarvānubandhan
It is only after practicing devotion with complete absorption of the mind in God that he became a God-realized Saint.  He did not reach his goal merely by chanting 'Narayan'.
Shree Maharajji again clarifies the essence of the message given by saints when they refer to Saint Valmiki or Ratnakar.  He chanted 'Mara Mara' because he was instructed by his Guru, Saint Narad who is the primordial acharya of bhakti. Naradji told him to chant 'Mara Mara' till he returns.  Ratnakar surrendered his mind and intellect to his Guru, and did exactly as his Guru wished.  He never questioned, "Guruji, when will you come back? What if you never return and I keep repeating 'Mara Mara'? When will I have the vision of God?" No.  He never questioned his Guru.  He had complete faith in his Guru's words and surrendered his mind to him.
Thousands of years passed; termites built a mound over his body.  He was completely covered in it and hence he got the name Valmiki, which means 'termite' in Sanskrit. With the Grace of his Guru, Ratnakar had a vision of God and became a God-realized Saint whom we all recognize by the name Valmiki.  So, it is our misunderstanding that by just saying 'Mara Mara', one can attain God. 
The simple truth is that, wherever we attach our mind, we will attain that object. Jad Bharat, a paramahans, was reborn as a deer in his next life because of his deep affection for a fawn in his ashram.  It is a false assumption that we could loath our lives away, and at the time of death, just chant 'Ram Ram' to attain God's Divine abode.  The main question is - Did we chant God's name with our mind involved in it? Did we remember God in our heart and feel His presence?  This is the reason Shree Kripaluji Maharaj lays emphasis on meditating with the mind, and reminds us that the very life and essence of sadhana is 'Roop-dhyan'.


Bal-Mukund Showcase

Bal-Mukund welcomes all contributions of creative works from children in different areas including poetry, moral stories, art work, etc. Their work may be show cased on the JKYog website.


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Last date for entries
31st January 2010
Welcome to our special section, 'Yog for Youth', a unique character building program aimed at today's young generation.
You must have heard the word 'Yoga' many times before.  You may have seen it on TV or heard your friend talking about it or you could have seen someone practice one of those twisting postures.

What is 'Yoga'?
Some of you may think it is a set of physical exercises to strengthen your body.  You might also believe that yoga involves living and meditating in the forest for years.  People also think that yoga involves performing miracles, such as walking on water or sitting next to a burning fire for many months and so on.
Is this really Yoga?  Do you want to know what yoga actually is?
Most of us are familiar with the word yoga, but have you ever heard of "yog"?  The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word 'yog' which means, 'to join'.  Hence, the correct word to be used is yog and not yoga.
Now, what is to be joined with whom?  True yog is the union of an individual soul with the Universal Soul, God.  Yog describes a way of leading an ideal life.  By practicing yog sincerely, we can develop and enhance the health of our body, mind and soul.  As we learn and practice yog, we will gain more knowledge about the soul, the world and God.

You can ask, "Why should we join the soul with God?"
To answer this question, we must understand our goal in life.   What is our goal? Why are we born as humans?  The Vedas and all the holy scriptures say, "Our goal in life is to unite with God".  But, we have all forgotten this important truth.  That is the reason we see and hear so many bad events all around the world.  We see many people getting angry, jealous, greedy and violent.
Even we kids get angry, don't we? If the teacher scolds us for not completing our homework, we get annoyed or sad.  If our parents ask us to stop play and study, we get angry.  Sometimes, we fight with our friends for silly reasons and hurt them.  There are times we cannot control our anger.  Some youngsters start fighting and hit each other.

Dear friends, the problem is with a weak mind.  A weak mind commits a lot of mistakes and easily falls prey to bad things like anger, jealousy and greed.  Yog teaches us how to strengthen our mind and control our anger, greed, jealousy and all other bad things.  With yog, we can be happy and smiling all time.  It also gives us a lot of confidence to face challenges at school, home and play.

By practicing the various asans (physical exercises), we can become supremely fit and excel in all games.  We will not fall sick easily, and can protect our body from many of the ailments and diseases that affect humans. Yog will help us increase concentration which is of great help in our studies.  Better concentration means we can study well and for long hours.  This in turn will give us better grades at school!
So, Yog can really help us kids grow strong in our mind and body.

ask swamiji logo
Question: Swamiji, we have heard that what we attain after death is based on our thoughts right before death.  In such a case, what will he, who has slipped into the state of coma before death, attain? 


yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaranbhāvaṁ tyajatyante kalevaraṁ
taṁ tamevaiti kaunteya sadā tadbhāvabhāvitaḥ

In the Bhagavad Geeta, Shree Krishna says, "Whatever one remembers at the time of leaving his body, he shall attain it after death".  That is the spiritual principle that you have referred to in your question.  But do you have an idea of the magnitude of the pain that one experiences while dying?  It is said that the pain is as severe as 2000 scorpions stinging at the same time.  Such pain is well beyond the tolerance limit of all ordinary mortals, and so before death arrives, everyone slips into a state of coma.

This state of coma comes when the mind and intellect cannot tolerate the pain that they are perceiving through the body.  For example, if someone is being thrashed by hooligans, each time he is beaten, he screams, "Do not hit me!"  However, after being beaten for the tenth time, he stops screaming.  What has happened?  The person who was being beaten has fainted.  The pain was so intense that his mind and intellect could not tolerate it any further, and they slipped into  a state of unconsciousness.  This tolerance limit is not the same for everyone.  Someone would faint on the fifth blow, and another would faint by the fiftieth blow.  But once the tolerance limit is crossed, without exception everyone falls unconscious.   
Now, the pain of death is many times more severe than most people's limit of tolerance, and so it is certain that the state of coma will come before death.   Then how can anyone hope to remember God at that moment?   The Saint Tuslidas writes:

janam janam muni yatan karāhiṁ ant rām kahi āvat nāhīṁ

"Sages endeavour for many lifetimes, and yet they cannot take Shree Ram's name at the moment of  death."  When they slip into the state of coma before death, how will they remember the name of God, or any other name for that matter?  Only a person who leaves his body at will or voluntarily, can remember the name of God at the time of death.  These are the God-realized Saints, who have attained God in their lifetime itself, and hence have transcended the bodily platform.
When Shree Krishna says that whatever we contemplate upon at the time of death, that is what we will attain in next lives, He is referring to the thoughts before entering the state of coma.  Even at that time, the pain will be so intense that the mind will refuse to be guided by the intellect, and it will naturally wander in the direction where it has been habituated to go throughout  its life.  So, if people think that they will love the world for their entire life, and while dying they could remember God and attain Him, they are in for a surprise.  Our thoughts at the time of death are not guided by the intellect.  They are guided by the mental habits that we have cultivated throughout life. 

There could also be cases of sudden death, where a person had no opportunity to think of anything before falling unconscious.  There could be instances where one slips into coma for reasons other than mere physical pain.  In such cases, God will not be so whimsical as to ignore the person's lifelong actions and merely reward or punish in accordance with the last conscious thought.  Shree Krishna has stated elsewhere that our future in this life and the next is decided by our actions.  The spiritual laws are very intricate.  They are often simply stated to make them comprehensible to us.   However, in God's governance there are often various laws that are taken into account to various extents.  So we must not get confused if the simple principles do not fit into every situation that we can think of.

Swamiji answers selected questions related to Yog, Spirituality and Philosophy every month on our e-Magazine.

Trivia Time

Sanskrit is the first and the oldest language in the world.  It is called as the Dev Vani or the language of the celestial gods. It was not created by linguists or scholars, but first revealed by Lord Shiv (source: 1st verse of Panini grammar).  Vedic grammar and the Nirukt (special book of words) were also revealed.
All the Hindu scriptures like the Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Shastras, Ramayan, Bhagavad Gita and Bhagwatam were written (revealed in true terms) in Sanskrit.  Many classical plays, dramas and poetry were written in Sanskrit by eminent scholars and poets of India.

Sanskrit as a language is perfect in every form.  It has not evolved or undergone changes (unlike any other language of the world). Its alphabet, vowel system and pronunciation have remained intact since the time it was revealed.  There has been no 'sound shift' or additions made to the grammar with respect to the formation of words.  The modulation and creation of words have been originally the same, in an absolutely perfect state since the beginning, as they are today.
Sanskrit has a 52 letter alphabetic system.  The words are formed of a root word called dhatu.  Sanskrit grammar has 10 tenses. They all have 3 separate formations of words for the 3 persons (first, second and third person).  Further, it is classified as singular, plural and multiple.   In this fashion there are 90 forms (conjugations) of each verb! Is it not astonishing!

Sanskrit has an elaborate but precise system of composing, phrasing, sentence formation and coining any number of words as required. There is a dedicated dictionary of root words, prefixes and suffixes.  The style of writing and poetry formation is also part of Sanskrit literature.
There are 3 styles of Sanskrit, the Vedas (sanhita), the Upanishads and the Puranas.  Their literature has its own style, but this distinction does not indicate any qualitative difference between them.
In Sanskrit, there are readymade single words for all kinds of uses and situations.  Sanskrit grammar has the capability of creating any number of new words for a new situation, concept or thing!
Thousands of years ago, Sanskrit was the spoken language in India.  As timed passed on, localized forms of Sanskrit started to appear.  During the time of Gautam Buddha (circa 1800 BC), a new language called Pali was developed in North India. It  borrowed heavily from Sanskrit grammar and was phonetically close to Sanskrit words.  All of Buddhist literature is in Pali script.

Hindi (or Devnagri) is also heavily based on Sanskrit and started to be used around 12 AD in northern parts of India.  Today, Hindi is the most commonly spoken language in India.  All the modern Indian languages have evolved from Sanskrit, including the Dravidian family of languages.
Jagadguru Kripalu Yog

Kati Chakrasan


Stand-up straight. Keep a distance of about 1.5 to 2 feet between the legs. Raise your hands in front, up to the level of your shoulders, palms facing each other.  Let the distance between your hands be the same as the width of your shoulders. Inhale (Radhey) deeply in this position.  Now, Exhale (Shyam) and twist your body to the right, as much as possible.  Inhale (Radhey) while returning to the centre. Repeat on either side 5 times each.
It tones your abdomen, back and buttocks. It relaxes your body after a long day's work. It is the third asan for Shankhaprakshalan.