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Special Jubilee Issue of Yoga Life September 2018


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Special issue of Yoga Life reporting on the Golden and Silver Jubilee Celebrations of Ananda Ashram and YOGNAT held at Pondicherry, India on 5 August 2018
2018 at Pondicherry

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Special Jubilee Issue of Yoga Life September 2018

  1. 1. YOGA LIFE September2018Vol.49No.09
  3. 3. Vol. 49 September 2018 No.09 CONTENTS CONTENTS INTE RNATIONAL MONTHLY Om Ganapathaye! The official publication of Yoga Jivana Satsangha (International); Yoga Life Foundation; Vishwa Yoga Samaj (Worldwide Yoga Congress); Sri Kambliswamy Madalayam and Ananda Ashram, Thattanchavady, Pondicherry - 605 009, India; SPARC (The Society for the Preservation of Ancient Rishi Culture); ICYER (International Centre for Yoga Education and Research); Published from City Office: Yoganjali Natyalayam, 25, II Cross, Iyyanar Nagar, Pondicherry-13; Office Correspondence to ICYER: 16-A, Mettu Street, Chinnamudaliarchavady, Kottakuppam (Via. Pondicherry) - 605 104, Tamil Nadu, India. Note: Due to doubling and tripling of postage costs, no issues of Yoga Life will be sent on the month the membership expires. To know expiry date see the date in the address label on front envelope. Phone: +91-0413-2622902, +91-0413-2241561. E-mail:,; Website: Editor and Publisher : Smt. A.B. Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani Artist and Cartoonist: Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani Printers : Shakthi Offset Printers, Pakkamudayanpet Main Road, Lawspet, Pondicherry - 605 008, S. INDIA. YOGA LIFE SUBSCRIPTION RATE: India (Inland) – One Year: Rs.400/-; Three Years: Rs.1000/- FORTY-NINE YEARS IN THE PROPAGATION OF CLASSICAL RISHICULTURE ASHTANGA YOGA The fiftieth year of Swamiji’s work in India was in keeping with his magnificent presence! An Atomic Bomb (Atmik Bomb) was detonated and the explosions will be felt from here to eternity! Or, so it seems! The “gigantic feast” was ignited on August 5th , but was a culmination of five decades of work! Like a brilliant fireworks display, the event lifted up into the Akash – minds and hearts of thousands – re-igniting their sense of wonder Adbhuta! We exclaimed along with Parvathi to her Lord and Master, “O Lord Siva”! What is thy reality! “What is this wonder filled universe!” Yes! What is this! How may we enter it fully, beyond time and space, name and description! Life is a Zen Koan, which shocks the mind to stillness. Nothing remains for us to do but “keep going” – or as Swamiji exhorted us day and night – Din! Din! Din! Do it now! Do it now! Do it now! Or as he also constantly reminded us, “Doing is the key to being” or another favorite technique of his was “keeping everyone so busy, they did not have time to think!” That is also a “Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodha” for us. No ego – dreams please! Realize – become real to the here and now. So with the big kick start on August 5th , of our 50th year of continuous work-play – Lila the ball starts rolling again. After making effort, the Ashram is “letting go of effort” for a few weeks. Now the calendar is marked with additional events in this land mark year: 1. Commencing of 50th Annual International Yoga Teachers Training course on October 2nd – 2018. 2. Annual Full Length Bharatanatyam Dance Drama on October 21st – 2018. 3. Pondicherry, Yoga Asana Competition Championship November 17–18, 2018. 4. Annual Guru Pujas, for Swamiji and Sri Kambaliswamy - December 2018 – January 2019. 5. Some significant new construction work at Sri Kambaliswamy Madam…. It goes on and on and on… Let the Drums roll! We march to the Guru’s rhythm! (which is as fast as it can go in third speed). Editorial — Life Is A Juggling, A Picture Show! ................................. 2 By Yogacharini Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani Indian Culture Comes Alive Through A Truly Spectacular Cultural Extravaganza! ................ 3 By Yogacharya Dr.Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani Frankly Speaking .................................................... 15 By Yogamaharishi Dr.Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj Yama and Niyama ................................................... 22 Evolutionary Quirks, Yama / Niyama and the Brain of Man Santhosam or Patience: The Best of Qualities ......................................... 26
  4. 4. Editorial By Yogacharini Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 2 Life Is A Juggling, A Picture Show! The lights are dimmed, the sound system turned off, the stage is empty! Did it ever happen? Was it real? Where did it go, this juggling show… the constantly changing mosaic of movements, colours and sounds, weaving a magic spell, a web of Maya through which the soul could enter inner spaces! It was easy to get lost in this Leela – this maze of sensory – emotional – mental patterns which pointed to the existence of Something else! Something greater! Something brighter! Something more real! ....than the mundane moments! Yes! Collectively, hundreds of us Rasikas – viewers – lovers of the sublime creative arts and spiritual concepts (perhaps we were in the thousands) could not tear our eyes – ears – even nose – head, feet – away from that magic rectangle and the things going on there from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm non-stop on August 5th , 2018. Magic! Yes that was magic! Old hurts were healed, old anxieties eased, old rifts breached in that ethereal space-time – spectrum! Yes! There is a God – He/She/It is everywhere! Even in you and me! That Truth becomes True, at least in those moments, in that time and space. We ride on waves of the exuberance and joy of hundreds of young children, their parents, grandparents… what a lift! Fifty years is a long time from a human perspective. It is not even a blink of an eye to the Cosmic Being! Our human life has only the meaning we give it, and this “landmark”, this “milestone” gave perspective to the decades which have passed – a thousand or more souls gathering on the crescent moon smile of shared remembrance – yes – we are all in this together! We are humans in the “same boat” crossing the tremulous ocean of Samskara. On the shore lies the promise of Moksha, freedom from the bindings and turnings! We are lifted up … we are thrown down… still we go on and on… spicing our consciousness with these thrilling festivals which are the product-fruit of decades of work and dedication to manifestation of Sat–Chit– Anandam. The Grand Festival of Dance, Music and Yoga which marked our 50th Anniversary Celebrations of Ananda Ashram and 25th Anniversary Celebrations of Yoganjali Natyalayam on August 5th – 2018, gathered us in a collective exuberance where all the “good things” of human life were abundantly and generously shared! August 5th , 2018 in Puducherry, India – I hope you could feel the precious vibrations we poured into the world process, vibrations which we pray, every single one of the 7.6 billion souls on the planet felt and which infused each and everyone with hope, energy and skill to work hard in this long evolutionary struggle to reach the higher realms of consciousness.
  5. 5. BY YOGACHARYA DR. ANANDA BALAYOGI BHAVANANI YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 3 Every year after the spectacular Annual Day of Yoganjali Natyalayam and concurrent anniversary celebrations of Ananda Ashram, there is a general feeling that “This year’s annual day was the best one ever!” I have wondered whether this is a mere loss of objectivity due to the closeness of the recent event or whether it is an actuality. This year however was for sure, the “Best Ever Celebrations” till date! The Reality of this Unreal Universe dictates that change is eternal, and that it is the only constant. If so, we have only two options: either to grow and evolve or to decay and die. If Yoga is conscious evolution, if it is the living of a life of mindfulness, if it is the art and science of spiritual growth; then, our every activity becomes one of positivity. Hence it is but in the scheme of the universal law (the Dharma Rai), that with each passing year, we become better than we were the year before. This same Cosmic Law tells us that each generation should surpass the previous one in its humanity and that when we live in tune with Dharma, this is the way life unfolds. Swamiji and Ammaji have planted the seeds of Yoga and our beloved Indian Culture very deeply in Pondicherry and their pioneering efforts have bourne fruit, manifesting in a Conscious and Beautiful Goodness (Satyam Shivam Sundaram) that did not exist before. The youth and children of Pondicherry are blessed to be born in this Punya Bhumi. To be a part of Yoganjali Natyalayam is considered their greatest blessing by so many of them. To understand the potential of each child and enable them to actualise it in a loving and supportive environment is the prime objective of YOGNAT whose motto is to make “The Ordinary Child, Extraordinary and the Extraordinary Child, Great!” INDIAN CULTURE COMES ALIVE THROUGH A TRULY SPECTACULAR CULTURAL EXTRAVAGANZA! A Report on the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Ananda Ashram in Pondicherry and the Silver Jubilee of its Cultural Wing Yoganjali Natyalayam on Sunday, 5th August 2018. *********** By Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani
  6. 6. BY YOGACHARYA DR. ANANDA BALAYOGI BHAVANANI YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 4 More than 12 hours of non-stop music, dance, chanting and Yogasanas by more than 400 participants, a team of dedicated musicians, hundreds of alumni members and a dozen support staffers, created a joyful and colourful experience of the cultural vibrancy of Pondicherry. Ammaji, the Living Siddha of Pondicherry with her benevolent, loving and eagle eyed direction enabled the whole event to be on track throughout while Dr Ananda and his team kept the hectic pace going from start to finish. The faculty members, student-teachers, staff members and students all worked as a team along with the unstinting cooperation of our parents who expressed their dedication to Bharatiya Samskrithi (Indian culture) through thought, word and deed. A special feature of the Jubilee Celebrations was the highly popular Holistic Medical Camp at the festival site organised by Yogachemmal Dr R Balaji and directed by Dr MR Vidhya, Chief Consultant Physician & Diabetologist Medical Director MVR Medical Center & MVR Poly Clinic. This medical camp for the first time in Pondicherry brought together the modern allopathic medical specialities of general medicine, diabetology, orthopaedics and obstetrics & gynaecology with AYUSH specialities of Siddha, Yoga & Naturopathy under one roof. Everyone appreciated Dr MR Vidhya and her well trained and efficient team who ran a well coordinated event benefiting many that day. Consultations were offered by Dr M Malayalathan, Consultant Orthopaedic & Spine Surgeon and Dr. Shabnam Khan, Consultant Gynaec, Laparoscopic Surgeon & Fertility Specialist. Efficient and affordable laboratory services were offered for a minimal cost by the Lister Labs, Pondicherry. The AYUSH aspects were covered by the team from CYTER of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Pondicherry AYUSH Department and theTHE NATIONAL ENGLISH NEWSPAPER THE HINDU GAVE GOOD COVERAGE
  8. 8. BY YOGACHARYA DR. ANANDA BALAYOGI BHAVANANI YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 6 Centre for Yogic Sciences of AVMC&RC. Dr B Rajalakshmi Shaktivel of Pondicherry AYUSH Department offered Siddha consultations while Dr Vasundhara covered the Yoga & Naturopathy angle. Yoga therapy was given by Sri Artchudane, Smt Mariangela, Smt Vithiyalakshmi, Sri Dhanush and Selvi Ghayatri. Counselling services were also provided for de-addiction by the team from Mother Care Foundation. The event started sharp at 10am with the lighting of the tradition lamp (Kuththuvilakku) by Ammaji, eminent guests, alumni and faculty members with Aarthi performed by Master Anandraj Bhavanani and accompanied by the resonating chant of Mantras by Dr Ananda and Yogacharini Smt. Devasena Bhavanani. The chanting of Ganeshapancharatnam and Ramashtakam was led by Selvi Dhivya Priya Bhavanani with the children astounding the audience with their clear diction and flawless rendition of these classics composed by Bhagavadpada Sri Adhi Shankara. Carnatic vocal selections from numerous composers in different languages were then presented by music students under direction of Nada Yoga Shironmani Smt. Jyothirmayi Shastri and her team of music teachers including Sri Veeramuni and Smt Indumathy Bhanuchander. Selvi J Sankari on the violin and Selvan S Anirudh on the mridungam gave admirable support. In the pre-lunch session an invigorating panel discussion on “YOGNAT: Enabling Self Transformation and Empowerment of the Individual” was moderated by Dr Vanaja Vaithianathan, Founder Medical Director & Ophthalmic Surgeon of Jothi Eye Care Centre with members of the YOGNAT family including current students, parents and alumni sharing special life transforming experiences at YOGNAT. This was a very lively session and many beautiful moments were shared TEAM WORK BUILDS TRUST AND COOPERATION
  10. 10. BY YOGACHARYA DR. ANANDA BALAYOGI BHAVANANI YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 8 by the members who all reiterated the w o n d e r f u l journey they have had t h r o u g h YOGNAT thanks to the p i o n e e r i n g efforts of Swamiji and Ammaji. This spirit of transformation a n d empowerment of womanhood was also later reflected in a s p e c t a c u l a r Group Yoga Demonstration by 25 ladies representing the 25 years of YOGNAT. Each and every member of the audience was deeply moved by the brilliant coordination and artistry of the demonstration that showcased Yoga Shakti, or the Woman Power of Yoga! The demonstration was conceptualized by Yogachemmal Lalitha Shanmugam and her direction of the show was well appreciated. The Banner Dance of YOGNAT is always a special attraction as it gives the audience a chance to witness the amazing Yogasana skill of the children and the magnificent teamwork that comes into play. This year, Ammaji divided the banner dance into three sections of several teams and each section-team vied with the other to do better than their best. It is always heartening to see such amazing abilities of these young children and this type of healthy group activity enables them to grow in so many ways. The excellent psychosocial development of our children over the past many decades may be attributed to such golden opportunities that enable them to learn and understand strengths and weaknesses of each member while building up to their team’s best ever performance. The efforts of Yogachemmal E Gajendiran, PUBLIC GAVE OVER-WHELMING RESPONSE TO EVENTS
  11. 11. BY YOGACHARYA DR. ANANDA BALAYOGI BHAVANANI YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 9 Yogacharini Devasena Bhavanani, Yogachemmal Dr. Balaji, Yogachemmal Chandrasekar and the teaching team of Smt Sridevi Jayakumar, Smt Tamilselvi Mohan, Smt M V Jayalakshmi, need a special mention as they led numerous practice sessions in the proceeding weeks enabling the kids to do their best. The boys led by Anandraj also gave a scintillating performance when their turn came to showcase their amazing agility and gravity-defying abilities in front of the Chief Minister and eminent Guests of Honour. A special feature this year was the addition of Basic Bharat Natyam Adous (patterns of movements) into the Asana tableaus. Senior dance students wove lovely dance sequences into the Asana tableau. Movements Juxtaposing in stillness was a visual treat. The dance performances were an amalgam of items drawn from the traditional Bharatanatyam repertoire such as Kauthwam, Mallari, Keerthanam, Padam, Thillana etc as well as many Bhakti-filled compositions and energetic folk dances. The small ones made us all proud with their flawless and cute movements while the seniors took the cake with their spellbinding professional standard performances. There were compositions describing the stories of Lord Shiva, Krishna, Shakti, Muruga and the great Tamil culture. All dance teachers had made efforts to present their classes well while Ammaji deputed senior students to each class for hands-on training in managing the young ones, thus adding value to the overall presentations. The highlight of the dance section was the performance of Saint Thiyagaraja’s timeless Pancharatnam “Jagathanandakaraka” by the seniors and this 40 minute composition literally took everyone’s’ breath away in its spectacular melodic, rhythmic and emotionally surcharged presentation. Such long, intricate items elicit a trance-like, meditative state in both audience and performers. Senior student Selvi I Krishnaveni as the student-teacher in charge of the dance performances did an amazing job of coordinating all the groups and their practices. Her efforts bore fruit in the excellent teamwork and formations presented by all the dancers. Smt. Devasena’s lovely singing complemented the efforts of Dr Ananda and the musical team of KalaimamaniSHOWCASING SKILL AND WILL AND CREATING UNIQUE BEAUTY
  12. 12. BY YOGACHARYA DR. ANANDA BALAYOGI BHAVANANI YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 1 0 J a g a t h e e s a n , Talamamani Prasanna, Selvi J Sankari and Sri Janarthanan made sure that no stone was left unturned in making the event a grand musical success. The excellent performances of the children must be credited to the special efforts of the dance teachers led by Smt. Devasena and comprising of the dynamic team of Yogachemmal Smt Kanimozhi Sethiskumaran, Smt R Sri Valli, Selvi P Bhuvaneswari, with inputs from Smt Lalitha Shanmugam. The senior dancers were coordinated and guided by Selvi I Krishnaveni with the support of the senior dance students trio of Selvi S Sowmiya (Devasena Shanmugam), Selvi S Vidhyashankari and Selvi I Balasundari. One of the highlights that was much anticipated was the screening of YOGNAT & Me: A documentary short film by Selvi Krishnaveni Ilanthirayan, Sri Tathagata Mitra, and team, tracing the journey and impact of YOGNAT through the past 25 years. The 25 minute film brought together myriad experiences and feelings expressed by alumni, teachers and students of YOGNAT and truly captured the spirit of YOGNAT leaving everyone wanting more! The YOGNAT Annual Awards were bagged by those who had proved their mettle over the year and Best Student Award 2018 was received by Selvi K Swathi while Best Family Award 2018 went to Yogachemmal G Dayanidy, Smt Reena and family (Deganand & Hasini). The Michael Danckwerts Yoga Scholarship was bestowed upon I Mrinali Akshita and P Saranya, the Shri Vijaya Bhaskar Music Scholarship Award to S Narchelvi and R Akshaya and the latest addition to Annual Awards of Yognat, the Sally Stevens Performing Arts Scholarship went to M Gomathi and P Kavya. The CHIEF GUEST of the event was the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Puducherry Thiru V NARAYANASAMY Avl. who released the 280 Paged Commemorative Souvenir and appreciated the work of the Ananda Ashram. ALL TAMIL PAPERS IN PONDICHERRY REGION REPORTED THE JUBILEE
  13. 13. BY YOGACHARYA DR. ANANDA BALAYOGI BHAVANANI YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 1 1 The souvenir was compiled and edited by Yogacharya Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani and Yogachemmal G Dayanidy, under the benevolent guidance of Ammaji, Yogacharini Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani. Efforts towards this were supported by the Jubilee Editorial Team comprising of Yogachemmal C Shanmugam, Yogachemmal Lalitha Shanmugam, Yogachemmal Dr Meena Ramanathan, Yogachemmal E Gajendiran, Yogachemmal Reena D Joseph, Yogachemmal Dr R Balaji, Selvi I Krishnaveni, and Selvi I Balasundari. Ammaji was felicitated on the occasion of her completing 75 years of Yogic living in this incarnation, and everyone of the nearly 1000 member audience present sang a birthday song in her honour with 75 resounding claps ringing through the air of the packed auditorium. “She is truly a ling legend of Yoga and one of the greatest Women of Yoga in modern times. We are indeed fortunate to live in the same time frame as her in Pondicherry”, said Sri N Ardhanari, the eminent Gandhian. The Pondicherry Chief Minister Thiru V.Narayanasamy Avl. also gave away the Shironmani Awards to eminent awardees and prizes to meritorious students. Selvi Dhivya Priya Bhavanani was given the Appointment Certificate as Deputy Director of YOGNAT and thus emulates her father who was appointed also as Chairman of ICYER at the age of 15 years. The Hon’ble MLA Orleanpet Thiru R Siva Avl. and the Puducherry Special Representative in Delhi Thiru John Kumar Avl. felicitated the occasion. Yogini Satyaprem Gibson from Australia represented the International Yoga Teachers Association and the Australian Yoga Therapy Association and offered tributes on the occasion. Muthamilmamani Kalaimamani Pulavar I Pattabiraman Avl., and Sri N Ardhanari Avl., the senior guiding lights of YOGNAT blessed the YOGNAT family on the momentous occasion. During the celebrations, Yoga Jivana Satsangha’s S H I R O N M A N I AWARDS were bestowed upon eminent personalities in gratitude for their noble service for the society. The title award EVEN THE SMALL CHILDREN WERE EAGER TO SHOW THEIR ABILITIES!
  14. 14. BY YOGACHARYA DR. ANANDA BALAYOGI BHAVANANI YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 1 2 of Acharya Ratna Shironmani was given to Prof Madanmohan, Director, Centre for Yogic Sciences, AVMC & RC, Pondicherry and Prof TM Srinivasan, Honorary Senior Professor, S-VYASA Yoga University, Bangalore in recognition of their selfless service and visionary leadership for the cause of world society through the field of science, Yoga and holistic health. Seva Ratna Shironmani awardees included Sri C Dhandapani @ Raja Avl. of the Sri GC Dhandapani Electricals, Pondicherry; Sri Navin N Daswani Ji, CEO of Super Audio Madras Pvt Ltd and Ms V Usha Avl., Senior Advocate of Puducherry in recognition of their notable service for the cause of society through excellence in their chosen fields. Karma Yoga Shironmani was awarded to Yogachemmal C. Shanmugam, General Manager, Yoganjali Natyalayam; Yogachemmal E. Gajendiran Senior Yoga Teacher, Yoganjali Natyalayam and Yogacharini Shobana Devi of Gitananda Yoga, Czech Republic in recognition of their service for the cause of spirituality through Gitananda Yoga. Kalaratna Shironmani was awarded to Sri Shanmugavel, Proprietor, Photo Xpress in recognition of his notable service for the cause of society through excellence in the field of photography, film making and artistic manifestation of spirituality. The Senior Boys, who are all now into their professional life and many leading a family life, decided to come together after some years to perform an Alumni Yogasana Demonstration Tableau. These spectacular athletic tableaus towards the end of the event was surely a showstopper. Magnificent team work and coordination as well as dynamic agility, strength and balance was showcased by the young men who turned the wheels of time back to recreate the excellence they had consistently displayed over the past two decades. Sri M Swarooparamanan and Sri M Siddhathan, brothers who have been long time students at YOGNAT, also gave a spectacular Acroyoga demonstration that blew everyone’s mind. The event was felicitated by Thiru V Sivashanmugam Avl. the Former Director Pondicherry Tourism Department who had been instrumental in the conduct of the First International Yoga Festival in 1993 and also was the Chief Guest for the inauguration of YOGNAT in March 1993. Kalaimamani SV Jagatheesan of the Saradha Kala Mandir who has been associated with Ananda Ashram for more than four decades was present and supported the event through his musical acumen. Arrangements for the Jubilee Celebrations were coordinated by Yogachemmal C Shanmugam and Yogachemmal Lalitha Shanmugam who managed the press, publicity, reception, venue, hospitality and overall coordination of the day-long event. Excellent makeup and costumes were taken care of by Yogachemmal Smt Kanimozhi
  15. 15. BY YOGACHARYA DR. ANANDA BALAYOGI BHAVANANI YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 1 3 Sethiskumaran, Smt R Sri Valli, Selvi P Bhuvaneswari, Smt V Sarulatha with support from Maniyan Tailors, Rajendiran Tailors, and Kalaimathi Costumes. The day long events were carried forward by a dynamic team of volunteers comprising of Yogachemmal R Chandrasekar, Sri Siva S, Sri Swarooparamanan, Sri Siddharthan, Sri Sriram, Sri G Surendiran, Yogasadhaka Kiaan Gupta, Thiru S Sendil Coumar, Thiru G Ramalingam, Selvi Yuvarani and others. The Sound and Light Arrangements were courtesy of Dandapani Electricals and Puducherry Municipality Staff; Photos by Thiru S Velu, Photo Express; Video by Thiru G Sasi Kumar, NDS 24x7 and the Souvenir printing by Thiru J Selvakumar, Sarguru Printographs. A special mention must be made of the dedicated Yogacharini Shobana who came all the way from the Czech Republic to help Ammaji during the celebrations and brought with her loads of commemorative goodies in the form of memorabilia for all participants. Hundreds of these lovely colourful gifts of badges, key chains, hair clips and mirrors with the Jubilee Celebration image of Swamiji imprinted on them were happily lapped up by both children and adults who heartily appreciated these small, yet very significant gestures of true love for the Guru Parampara. When you can do your work with love, passion and motivation producing happiness not only for yourself but for others too – then you are truly blessed in your life! We at YOGNAT are tremendously blessed by our Gurus, for, we are ever busy doing stuff that we love and enjoy. This also gives us the chance to constantly evolve ourselves on the path to liberation, the goal of human existence. “Work is worship” said our illustrious Guru Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj and he makes sure we are busy worshiping the Divine a lot for he keeps us ever busy with newer plans every day. We at YOGNAT are truly blessed to be Sishyas of such a visionary founder and are constantly motivated towards excellence by our dynamic director and Guru, Puduvai Shakti, Ammaji, Kalaimamani Yogacharini Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani. E-copy of the Jubilee Commemorative Souvenir released on the occasion by the Chief Minister of Puducherry Sri V Narayanasamy Ji is available for download from SlideShare (Yogacharya Bhavanani) while the short film can be viewed on the Yognat2001 YouTube channel...... THE LESS YOU WORRY ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE THINK, THE LESS COMPLICATED YOUR LIFE BECOMES – BUDDHA.
  16. 16. BY YOGACHARYA DR. ANANDA BALAYOGI BHAVANANI YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 1 4 Comings and goings! Yogacharini Shobana made a flying visit to the Ashram from July 31st to August 7th to bring a huge load of momentos, she and her students from Czech Republic prepared so lovingly for the 50th / 25th Jubilee Celebration as well as to assist Amma. She departed the night of August 7th just as the death of Thiru. Karunanidhi Avl., elder Scion of Dravidian politics and several times Chief Minister of Tamilnadu left his body at the age of 93. It was a tense atmosphere that night and we debated seriously whether to let her take the chance for the 120Km journey to the airport – but she had a safe journey. God protects the good! Here is Shobana’s report – <Editor’s Note> I reached home safely before midnight last night. Mahesh picked me up at the airport in Vienna. Hopefully the taxi driver Santosh came back safely too. It was very interesting as for the first time in twelve years traveling to Ananda Ashram that night was a road just with few cars....our ride was so smooth and this taxi driver was the best one till now. Very confident, silent and fully focused on driving without using the phone etc. Kiaan was great support, he helped me to be packed fast. With understanding he did everything what was necessary for fast departure. As I reached the airport there were screens showing the present situations in the streets of Tamil Nadu, especially there where the death body of Chief Minister was, so crowded and wild. You Amma were so right and as it is said the ignorance was bliss for me that night. Thank You very much for great time with you. Wonderful experiences of grand event which was like experience of higher realms of Lokhas coming like the blessings for all of us down here in Kali Yuga. So much your work was there behind, to see all the perfect details as you think on everything to avoid the miseries. Everything goes so smoothly, it was such a blessing for us that descending of divine Lokha could occur (of all our memento), I could see just a part of the hard work of You both which is so inspiring and admirable. I am very grateful also to the Czech post office that could not guarantee to me the delivery in the right time of the momentoes! That doubt gave me the idea of coming to be present in person! What a surprise when I came home yesterday and Mahesh gave to me 4 new letters coming from Ammaji by the post office. You are so fast Ammaji beyond the time and space :). Thank You very much for great time with you... — Shobana. GRAND 50TH JUBILEE CELEBRATION ON AUGUST 5TH 2018 Beautifully done! Thanks! A beautifully done program with love and care. We both (my wife and me) enjoyed it in its entirety. You have dedicated your life for this and it is a wonderful achievement. Our pranams to Ammji for her help and support; so many people look up to her for the service she has done to the entire Pondy society. Thanks and may all elders bless you and your family. T M Srinivasan, Ph.D., Prof, Yoga & Physical Sciences, S-VYASA Yoga University
  21. 21. BY YOGAMAHARISHI DR. SWAMI GITANANDA GIRI GURU MAHARAJ YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 1 5 Q.: In one of our conversations you told me you were in your last human body. How can you really be sure? A.: I know my statement must be very strange to any person who feels that they are passing through life in just a few spans of years and in one single physical body. Yoga and science agree that the real nature of man plus his total components always existed, exist now, and always shall exit. We are just simply changing from energy to various body forms and back to energy again. When we are in bodies, we pass through all physiological stages of life from the lowest in nature to the Yogi, the crown on the wheel of evolution. Without boasting, I feel that I have gone through or am being put through the experiences of many lifetimes in my present three-quarters of a century in the same but continually changed physical body. There is a point where one realizes that life experiences when the lesson is learned releases the life force for different “energy duty” in the universe. In Yoga we teach evolution is measured in cycles. That Hindu Science is called Yantra which can be consulted in these matters. It would appear that my observation is also proven out by these calculations. Otherwise, I am as certain that this is the last human experience for me, as I am sure of anything else. Q.: Rishi Patni Meenakshi Devi has advised that it will take some nine years of study of various aspects of Yoga to complete the understanding of the Six Month In-Resident Yoga Course which you give. I have wasted six years searching for reality in Yoga and I would like not to waste more years. I am not interested in special powers, but would like to develop more stamina, kindness, love etc. Can you further enlighten me? A.: Although I am the author of my Correspondence Course in Yoga I very often find myself “learning from me” when I re-read my own books and Yoga Correspondence Course lessons. Most of my students tell me that in review of the first four basic courses, (Later combined into one Volume containing 52 Lessons) that they discovered new material or that somehow the material had escaped them originally and after they plunged into another phase of Yoga they understood it. I think that you will find that you will be drawn to read other material or that material By Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj Frankly Speaking This series of questions and answers were compiled over decades from 1970 to 1993. They have all been printed in a hard cover book – Frankly Speaking and were published in Yoga Life – Editor’s note.
  22. 22. FRANKLY SPEAKING YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 1 6 will simply “drop into your hands” and “people will come your way” who will help you in your ongoing study and evolution. These is no end of books now in the West on Hinduism, its Singlisms etc… and Vedanta. Having an intellectual appreciation of Vedanta is also valuable in your ongoing study of Yoga. Don’t be afraid to set “Yoga goals” for yourself. Set short periods of time like six months to attain to a particular personality development or the correction of a personality defect. Be intense and committed to your Yoga Sadhana. Look back every once in a while and see the real growth which you are making. Keep a diary and record “milestones” and achievements along the path. If you see clearly where you have been, then it is easier to figure out where you are now, and where you must go, A written record of development is a must in a sincere Yoga Sadhana. When Meenakshi referred to “nine years”, she meant nine years of work at least was necessary to master and understand the techniques and ideas promulgated in this particular systematic approach. Certain qualities of personality, such as openness of mind and heart, peacefulness, satisfaction, control, stamina, health etc, develop quickly along the way, as a natural day-by-day consequence of these practices. You should feel your intelligence being stimulated and sharpened, and your sensitivity to all of life being refined, in a day by day development. This is a slow, steady process of growth sometimes as difficult to see as the growth of a tree. Q.: My husband is an exchange school teacher and very intellectual. He does only twenty minutes of Yoga every morning from Rachael Carr’s book Yoga for All Ages. It gives him greater flexibility, but no suppleness. What techniques would you advise an over-conscious and intellectual man to, number one, relax him and number two, give him more energy? A.: If one has only a short period of time each day for their physical Yoga, then I recommend that they do the Hathats and Hathenas from my book Breath of Life which is also contained in the early lessons of my Correspondence Course in Yoga. I guarantee you that there are no movements linked with breath so dynamic as this group of movements. Postures without deep breathing do not produce relaxation or energy, just the opposite. Try becoming your husband’s teacher of this small group of spectacular Yoga movements. You will find splendid results. Q.: One of my pupils is an elderly lady of 70 years old who has had a disability since eleven years of age. She suffers from migraine headaches. I intend to take her as a private pupil. Can you help? A.: By all means, do help anyone who is looking for that help. A private session would be the best. Dharmika Asana, the Devotional Pose, and variations of same
  23. 23. BY YOGAMAHARISHI DR. SWAMI GITANANDA GIRI GURU MAHARAJ YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 1 7 are a sure way to get rid of migraine headaches. If you rub a thumb pressure point in the centre of each hand for about 20 seconds in a clock-wise motion, then flop both hands as through you were drying out a wet towel you will see the magic relief of most headaches which are termed “pressure headaches”. Teach your patient some deep relaxation techniques to relieve tension headaches. I am sure your patient–student will gain tremendously from your mutual association. Q.: I hope you will forgive my putting some embarrassing question to you. Some people in England who love you and admire you think that you have fallen from the Yogic path by your marriage to Rishi Pathi Meenakshi Devi and the raising of Ananda as your successor. I have been told that the one’s spiritual successor should be a disciple and not one’s own flesh. A.: Meenakshi and I have faced this question ten thousand times over the past 15 years and many times pages of Yoga Life have been given over to our answer. First, I do not find it embarrassing as we have a real “Yoga union” in our family. We are not householders but Ashramites, and living in the style of our ancient Vedic Rishis, who incidentally were all married and had families. The lineage of most great Yogis was first carried on within the family itself. It was only in the time of the popularity of Buddhism that Yogis took to the stricter Buddhist concept of celibacy. But, many Yoga sects still do not follow the Buddhist and neo-Buddhist line. My two principle Gurus, both Sannyassins, were married and had families. I am a Dharmaka Sannyassin and not interested in setting up a household, but continue the tradition of a Yogic spiritual family as in Vedic times. This is not only to remind you that Yoga has always been principally for the householder. A Sanyassin taking to Yoga is perhaps the anamoly. The highest Guru Yogeswar is Lord Shiva Himself with consort Yogapatni Parvathi and their Yoga family of Lord Subramaniya and Lord Ganesha. Just a month ago, the High Court of Madras upheld the will of a great South Indian Siddha Yogi who made his son his successor. I would like to point out that the famous Ragavendra Swamiji anointed a son as his successor. Indeed, I would like the Yoga Union of Meenakshi and I to produce that “Yoga child” to take my place and revolutionerize Yoga. We have had our detractors on this point. Sannyass is the renunciation of the small for the large, the incomplete for the complete, the individual for the universe! It is the acceptance of spirituality rather than individuality. For those who love us, and respect us, who have had doubts on this point, surely the past 15 years of our Yoga work radiates the discipline of Sannyass which is not as physical as they have made it. Not many parents could proudly point to a son who appears on the threshold of not only talking over my duties, but literally succeeding me in this long classical line of Yoga. He may also become a Sannyass,
  24. 24. FRANKLY SPEAKING YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 1 8 even marry, as long as the woman he brings into that Yoga marriage is a Yogini, and they build up an Ashram. (This was written in 1983 – Ed’s Note). Q.: Sometimes, when I see myself clearly, with all my faults, I feel depressed. What can I do at that time? A.: When one enters the Yoga Life, one must above all make the attempt to see oneself clearly. Indeed, this is one of the Niyamas called Swadhyaya, or Self Study. No one is perfect or he would be a realized soul. To be human is to err, to paraphrase a famous saying. We must learn to love even our faults, for they can also teach us something. If we lovingly examine our own self with kindness and compassion, rather than reacting violently and negatively to what we consider our “flaws”, we will find even the study of our own weaknesses interesting for what they reveal about ourselves and human nature in general. We must learn to “observe ourselves” objectively, as though we were watching a cinema show, without attachment, with dispassion. If we can observe ourselves without judging ourselves, without identifying with ourselves, without justifying ourselves, we will find our real nature unfolding before our very eyes. We cannot “solve” our problems. But the practice of Yoga techniques will help us “dis-solve” the problems. We never “correct” our flaws. Rather, we “out-grow” them. Life carries us around our problems. We learn to become detached from our own “self image”. This image ceases to be important. As the Real Self in us grows in light and power, the small self withers and fades away. Then, negative narcissism disappears. There are many Yoga techniques which are especially good for those persons who are prone to depression. The practice of Mula Bandha, Ashwini Mudra, and all the Mudras are just a few which are considered. The Bhujangini Mudra is considered amongst the “psychic elevators” that is, techniques which tend to “lighten the emotions”. You should practice Hang Sah Kriya regularly and do the Eka Dasi Pranayama quarterly to “clean out” old festering traumas in the nervous system. Even if you don’t feel cheerful, pretend! “Mocking is catching”, as my father used to say… if you pretend something long enough, it will become real! Happiness produces more happiness. Misery produces more misery. Greedy people become greedier. Somehow you must break the chain reaction of depression. Yoga thinking, Yoga living, Yoga feeling, Yoga practice, good thinking is the way to break the negative chain! Q.: Although I do a Yoga practice each morning at 4 am. I go to my work at 6:30 am. I am unable to get in time for an evening practice of Asanas and also prepare my evening meal etc. Otherwise, I cannot sleep until midnight or later. Can you advise me about an evening practice or is the two hours I get in the morning enough?
  25. 25. BY YOGAMAHARISHI DR. SWAMI GITANANDA GIRI GURU MAHARAJ YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 1 9 A.: You are indeed fortunate to be disciplined enough to get up at 4 am. Before you leave for work at 6:30 am you put in time at your Yoga Sadhana. I understand your perplexity about an evening programme, especially when you have to prepare your own meals. I would therefore assume that you could get in time only after 9pm. The early morning hours are the best time for Asanas, Kriyas, Pranayama, etc. so I would like to suggest to you, except on the weekends when you may have time to work in a second practice that you do a relaxation session of half an hour or a little more sometime in the early evening, so as not to interrupt an early evening meal and early going to bed. I don’t think that it is necessary to have a heavy Yoga session late in the day. Yoga Asanas are for the early hours of the day and you are availing of that time. In the evening re-read your Yoga lessons, study philosophical, religious and other uplifting materials and quiet your mind so that you can have a deep healthful sleep. Four hours sleep may not be enough. Others need eight hours of sleep. You will have to judge that for yourself. Whenever you have the opportunity, take more time, but do not force yourself so that you are missing meals, or going without sleep. Such practices may be a Tapas when indicated, but otherwise, may not be conducive to your general health. Q.: How much sleep does a human need? A.: This is a difficult question to answer because the need for sleep differs from person to person and continent to continent as does the amount of food from individual to individual. The purpose of sleep, still an enigma to science, is obviously to rejuvenate and re-build tired and worn-out cells of the body. This happens only at a particular level of body tonus induced by dreamless sleep. “tension–sleep” is the order of the day and many people sleep fitfully, waking up in the morning no more relaxed, sometimes even more tense than when they went to bed. Such sleep is of little value. Generally speaking, a minimum of six hours sleep is necessary for an adult with two to four more hours for a child or growing teenager. Along with good diet, sleep, the conquest of anxiety, and the control of the sexual drive are said to be the pre-requisites of a spiritual life in Yoga and Vedanta. It is perhaps more important to consider how and where you sleep than how long you sleep. A refreshing sleep in a comfortable environment with plenty of fresh air and no horrible noise or disturbing sounds are extremely important. Preparing oneself for sleep, a wash or a bath, clean bed clothing, pleasant surroundings are a prerequisite. Some people go out of their way to play appropriate music, light incense, have indirect lighting, read a pleasurable passage from some favorite literature or have a short meditation before bedtime. Certainly all of these things are conducive to good sleep. Deep, even breathing while lying in bed calms the mind.
  26. 26. FRANKLY SPEAKING YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 2 0 Q.: Can one get too much sleep? Sometimes, if I sleep more than my normal allotted time, I feel more “loggy and tired” than if I had slept less. A.: Many people oversleep, which is as problem making as overeating. It becomes a habit that is hard to cure. Certain modern life styles allow for an extra hour or two of sleep which would be better spent in awake, aware activity and especially in various types of Yoga body relaxations and meditations, such as Aloma-Viloma, Anu- Loma Viloma, Marmanasthanam Kriya, Kaya Kriys, Yoga Nidraa etc. Scientific experiments on sleep deprivation have shown that subjects deprived of sleep for a long period of time do not have to make up the time hour by hour, but after a lengthy sleep awake refreshed with no need for replacing the time lost. There appears to be little or no body damage by a lack of sleep over short period of time but psychological stress does develop with people who believe sleep to be a necessity. Inadequate breathers are always sleepy and a toxic system produces tiredness that is often mistaken for “sleepiness” and a need for sleep. When this is true, the system needs to be de-toxifiied. Sleep may, in fact, compound the problems. When abnormally over tired, try sipping some cool, fresh water, in case it is a matter of simple dehydration creating the fatigue and tiredness, and do some Pranayama, especially Mukha Bhastrika, Nasarga Bhastrika and Nasarga Mukha Bhastrika and bring up your blood oxygen level. Often a good shower or washing of the hair will chase away fatigue as well. Twenty minutes of Savitri Pranayama, the Rhythmic Breath, is equal to the anabolic or re-building, healing effect of eight hours restful sleep. The technique of Yoga Nidraa could go a long way towards bringing awareness of the negative psychological reasons for abnormal desire for sleep. Sleep is nature’s wonder cure but it is also one of the major psychological escapes for modern man. Q.: After some of the more difficult, strenuous Asanas, Kriyas and Mudras, I feel a muscular or body tiredness afterwards. My heart beat and breath rate is also very fast. Would you explain this? A.: Whenever doing some of the strenuous Yoga activity, you are disturbing toxic water matter which is otherwise settled in various organs of the body and particularly the musculature. In the case of body organs, this may be the sudden release of lactic acid. This lactic acid causes the feeling of lassitude, tiredness, even muscular soreness. To get rid of this state, the lactic acid must be converted into lactose, a kind of blood sugar, and burned up. Hence the more rapid heartbeat and rapid breath necessary for this work. One would actually aid this conversion if the breath were deeper and controlled, such as in Nasarga Bhastrika. The special technique I teach as Nasarga Mukha Bhastrika is of great value for those suffering
  27. 27. BY YOGAMAHARISHI DR. SWAMI GITANANDA GIRI GURU MAHARAJ YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 2 1 from joint pains, rheumatism or arthritis systems. One should also consider a cleansing diet with plenty of raw fruits and vegetables, augmented by plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit juices and accompanied by flushing the system with fresh, clean drinking water. Take it easy on the flexion and stretching postures of Yoga, being sure to ventilate with Pranayama before and after such stretches. The early morning is the time for this style of Yoga practice. Though more difficult to stretch in the early morning, it has more benefit body wise than doing practices late in the day. Much stiffness among Yoga enthusiasts is caused by doing Asanas late in the day. No one should ever forget the three most important words in the English language: I AM SORRY! When these words are uttered with sincerity, at least “part payment” is made of one’s Karmic debt which accumulates from one’s mistakes. When an error is admitted into consciousness, one can make a sincere resolve not to make the same mistake again. It was heartening to see in this world of victims and excuse – mongers, that a leading “Mover and Shaker” of the global community, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook, took responsibility for massive data leaks from his organization. He made this flat statement which radiated with Yogic truth. “It was my mistake, and I am sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.” This was Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to the US Congress when a Congressional inquiry was being made, How many so-called Yogis in the world today have the courage to “Face Up” to their own mis-doings? FACE-UP - is the motto behind all true evolutionary advances. “I am wrong! I take responsibility for my-own mistakes I will cultivate the will and skill to change! I am sorry! If we can do this, we can be promoted as the CEO of our own Corporation-cum-Incarnation! FACE UP! THREE IMPORTANT WORDS RIVERS NEVER GO REVERSE. SO TRY TO LIVE LIKE A RIVER. FORGET PAST AND FOCUS ON FUTURE. GOD HELPS ONLY PEOPLE WHO WORK HARD. THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR HARD WORK. – A.P.J. ABDUL KALAM
  28. 28. YAMA AND NIYAMA – EVOLUTIONARY QUIRKS, YAMA/NIYAMA AND THE BRAIN OF MAN YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 2 2 Interestingly enough a modern psychologist-philosopher, Ken Keyes in his book Road Map To Lifelong Happiness has come to similar conclusions using different terms and taking another route. Ken Keyes argues that in the long course of evolution, the “old brain” and the “new brain” developed over vastly different periods of time. Thus, he postulates, there is an essential “lack of communication” between the “old” (reptilian-mammalian) brain and the “new” (conscious neo-cortex) parts of the brain. This is because the “old brain” developed over the course of 60 to 375 million years and hence is “powerful”, well-set in its ways. Its habitual responses to environmental survival challenges are strong and automatic: “kill or be killed.” Whereas the new brain is the “new boy on the block.” This lack of communication between the two brains has produced what Ken Keyes calls the “five quirks” which he postulates cause most of the problems one faces in life. Ken Keyes analyses these quirks as follows: 1. The “Object Quirk”: The animal brain sees objects only in a very vague, hazy, general sense and not in a specific sense. It views objects and classifies them as to how they may fulfill its needs or in what way they may threaten its safety. Thus, it confuses different people and things. It sees everything generally as friend or foe, provider of food or as a sexual possibility. It does not need to see any object with specified characteristics. For example, it does not choose a mate on personal charm or elevated character but simply as a means to gratify sex drives. Other objects – other creatures – are important only as means to satisfy basic needs. 2. The “Time Quirk”: Keyes says the “old brain” has no time sense. It does not perceive past or future. It lives only in the present moment. It “eats or is eaten”. There is no sense of tomorrow or yesterday. Everything is immediate, now and urgent. Every experience is in “the Eternal Now.” 3. The “Unsafe Stranger Quirk”: The “old brain” views all strangers with suspicion. The “unknown stranger” is a possible threat to survival or a competitor for resources. Any creature “different” from oneself and one’s species is a potential threat. 4. The “Unchanging Entity Quirk”: To the “old brain” incapable of perceiving subtleties, everything remains the same – a tree is always a tree. It does not perceive the various Yama And Niyama EVOLUTIONARY QUIRKS, YAMA / NIYAMA AND THE BRAIN OF MAN .......Continuation from the August 2018 Yoga Life issue.
  29. 29. YAMA AND NIYAMA – EVOLUTIONARY QUIRKS, YAMA/NIYAMA AND THE BRAIN OF MAN YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 2 3 changes, which all things pass through. It sees all things as “unchanging”. The perception of the subtleties of change are not necessary for survival. 5. The “Adaptable Memory Quirk”: The animal does not need memory. The only memory necessary is what enables it to survive. Hence, what it remembers can be “adjusted” to whatever best helps it to survive. There is no objective truth. The only “truth” to the animal brain is “survival of the fittest.” What Keyes is trying to point out is that the way in which animals and reptiles perceive the world is a much dimmer, less precise, less clear, survival-oriented perception totally geared to survival, less than that available to the conscious mind. The “old Brain” is fuelled by emotional responses. The basic motivating emotion is fear. The other important drives- sex, survival instinct, herd mentality, dominance, power struggles, nurturing and being nurtured – are all tied to the organism’s basic need to survive at all costs and its fear of death or extinction. For example the “Object Quirk” manifests in human experiences when a person in the past was abused by a red-haired woman and hence in future, always has a dislike for red-haired women. The “old brain” cannot see the possibility that all red-haired women will not abuse it. The “Time Quirk” manifests itself in human behavior in this manner: when one experiences unhappiness, one feels one is “always unhappy”. This may cause one to perceive another person as “always angry”, even through the person may only be angry at that moment. Witness how many husband-wife or parent-child quarrels begin with the words: “you always do this…” The “Unsafe Stranger Quirk” is evidenced in the suspicion that people feel when a foreigner enters their circle, or someone of a different religion or different race or a different culture, etc. comes into their social circle. There is an instinctual fear, even though that person may be perfectly harmless. The “Unchanging Entity Quirk” manifests when people cannot see that those around them are constantly changing, that they are not what they were yesterday. A thief may have reformed himself, but others may always perceive him as a thief. The husband may have overcome his bad habit, but the wife cannot see him anew. The “Adjustable Memory Quirk” occurs when people deliberately or unconsciously “re-arrange” their memories to support or justify their emotions or desires. For example a couple who wish to divorce may “adjust their memories” to “remember only the “bad times” or the “bad characteristics” of their partners.
  30. 30. YAMA AND NIYAMA – EVOLUTIONARY QUIRKS, YAMA/NIYAMA AND THE BRAIN OF MAN YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 2 4 Man’s close relations with the animal and reptilian kingdom have found their way even into common expressions. Reptiles are cold blooded. They do not experience emotions. This is why few people like to have reptiles as pets. Reptiles sense threats from predators and act – fighting or fleeing. They sense a possible prey to dine upon, and attack. But they do not feel fear. They do not nurture their young. They re-act only on the level of the survival instinct according to the characteristic responses of their particular species. They do not possess individuality, but rather, exist in a generality. This is why it is often said of a person who has done something particularly cruel, he/she is “cold blooded” or the murder was committed in “cold blood”, or he/she is “a snake in the grass”. The reptilian complex – associated with the brain stem, has its own efficiency. It regulates respiration: it digests food, it makes the heart beat, and it enables us to react swiftly to real or imagined threats. But it does not feel fear. The mammalian brain, younger by several hundred million years to the reptilian, has well developed emotions. Fear, love, hatred, jealousy, rage are part of its workings. Desires motivate behavior of mammalian: desire to nurture or be nurtured; desire for sex, desire for power, desire for domination or submission, desire to protect one’s own territory. The herd instinct with all its emotional power plays are very much mammalian instincts. “Faithful as a dog”, “brave as a lion” (lion-hearted), “cunning as a fox”, “strong as an elephant” are common expressions of the character traits of various animals. The fierce protective maternal instinct guards its young, rage crupts when another encroaches on its territory. Love of animals is well known, as is the male’s jealousy of anyone who dares to encroach his sexual domain. Animals die in battles over territorial dominance. These are all emotions and desires which rage in the animal brain. At that level of evolution, all these drives are necessary to keep the genetic flow moving from one generation of the organism to the next. Survival tactics: nature’s way of ensuring that “life goes on” by providing an autonomic motivating power. Animals are prisoners of their genes. They are incarnated into a conditioned, stimulus/response programming and they have no choice, but to follow their instincts. Man, the new being, the first “conscious organism” has the power of choice. He or she may now act and choose, rather than react. The human has the power to think, to recall past situations and compare them to the present reality. Man has the power of reason which frees him from the instinctive responses to challenge which is the mode of behavior of the reptilian and mammalian kingdom. But the power of the unconscious emotions and instincts rising from the “old brain” in a kind
  31. 31. YAMA AND NIYAMA – EVOLUTIONARY QUIRKS, YAMA/NIYAMA AND THE BRAIN OF MAN YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 2 5 of “evolutionary lag” sometimes overpowers the “rational brain” and causes “the new being” to react in an “irrational manner.” Man as a social, conscious being has lifted himself from the jungle environment with its moment to moment dangers and constant life and death challenges. He no longer faces threat to his very survival on a constant basis. His life is relatively secure on the physical level (barring wars and other unusual circumstance). Yet, his “old brain” is hard wired to react as though every threat (physical or psychological) is a life and death matter. Hence even psychological challenges or innocuous frictions trigger off “old brain” extreme responses especially on the emotional level. Many old desires and instincts still exists in a subtle level – sexual rivalry, power struggles, territorial conflicts – the only difference being that the “animal in us” now wears a coat and tie and stands on two legs. These concepts may be elaborated. At present it is enough to simply point out that often in human relationship and in other situation, the old animal and reptilian autonomic responses and reactions cloud the “human” or conscious perception. The “old brain” reacts out of conditioning. It is heavily “loaded” with emotions which are part of the mammalian complex, and hence “unconscious.” The “new brain” has the power “to act” after considering the reality of the present situation, and using discrimination, rationality and deliberation to choose consciously its actions in any given circumstances. (To be continued.....) GET OUT OF YOUR BOX AND LIVE!
  32. 32. SANTHOSAM OR PATIENCE: THE BEST OF QUALITIES YOGA LIFE VOL.49 NO.09, SEPTEMBER 2018 PONDICHERRY, INDIA 2 6 Patience: the ability to wait until the Divine gives us what we need! Waiting is also meditating. This “Mantra” was given me several decades ago in New Delhi, when I stood with an eminent Sanyasin outside our guest house waiting for an errant driver who was very late to take us to an important meeting with the Minister of Health. The quality of patience is extolled in our scriptures over and over. It is called Santhosam in Patanjali’s Code Of Conduct and is vital for spiritual advancement. It is the second Niyama, or restraint. In this sense it implies the patience to be content with what is. Pride comes from education, riches and one’s family. Of these three sources of pride, it is pride in one’s family connections that is the most difficult to get rid of. This is seen in the case of Devayani, the daughter of Asura Guru Sukracharya and her companion Sharmishtha, the daughter of Asura king Vrishaparva. Once after the teenage girls had finished frolicking and bathing in the river, Sharmishtha by mistake put on Devayani’s clothes, Devayani insulted her and called Sharmishtha a mere serving girl. Sharmishtha then boasted about her royal lineage. When Sukracharya learned what had happened, he counseled his daughter Devayani on the need for patience. His speech to her is excellent guidance for all on the evolutionary path to higher consciousness. He said “You should not have insulted Sharmishtha”. Only a person who has some kind of complex will have discriminatory thoughts about fellow human beings. All this talk of master and servant, educated and uneducated, is wrong. A person who has contentment will never say the kind of things you said to Sharmishtha. You must be content with what you have. A person, who makes comparisons of what he has with what others have, begins to feel discontentment, and that leads to anger. Patience is a great virtue. If others gossip about you, tell tales about you, or abuse you, you must remain calm. If you remain calm, then you are like a charioteer who is in total control of the horses. Shed your anger just as a serpent sheds its skin. A man who never gets angry is superior to a man who performs Yagas. Anger results in many losses. If a man loses his temper, then his wife, children and friends will keep away from him. He loses the results of Yagas, of the Daana he has given, and the fruits of penance. He can never be a sage. Therefore, when elders find youngsters quarrelling, it is their duty to put an end to the fight.” SANTHOSAM OR PATIENCE: THE BEST OF QUALITIES