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Monday, November 06, 2006

Pancha kosha 2 - Basics of Yoga Therapy


Initially, modern science investigated the human being at a purely physical level. Much later, scientists began to realize that humans are not only the physical body but they also have minds, referred to as psyche, and that there is a deep connection between this psyche and the physical being, called psychosomatic. But even in present day, some extreme scientists do not accept the presence of consciousness. While the modern scientist grapples with the concept of consciousness, long ago, Indian philosophers investigated the human being through five personality levels: subtleties varying from the gross level, such as the physical personality which they called the Annamaya Kosa, to the subtlest level of humans’ true nature of bliss.
Although bliss, or happiness, is our inherent nature, as we grow up, we tend to move further away from our inherent nature. As children, we are born blissful, as is evidenced through the mere observation of a newborn and children of all ages. As we become older, we have strayed away from our true nature at every personality level, as clarified by the table below:

Away from nature

In the Sanskrit language, Health is known as ‘swastha’ which is the combination of two separate words ‘swa’ and ‘stha’, or self and being, respectively. The literal translation defines health as being in self or being in our natural state. The state of sickness is called ‘aswastha’ which means being away from our nature. It is not just being away from our true nature for a moment, but rather, for long periods of time. If we are away from our true nature repeatedly, it becomes pathological, as described in texts such as Yoga Vasista.
The essential feature of us at the Anandamaya Kosa, or bliss or consciousness level, is a deep inner harmony. The universe’s nature is to be in harmony as it is the essential nature of creation itself. For example, when we examine a plant, there is great harmony between the roots in the soil and the flowers and foliage growing towards the sky. Take the case of the fruit, the bitter seeds, the sweet fruit, and the bitter skin are all born together and grow together into fullness in total harmony. The skin does not disturb the seed; the fruit does not disturb the seed; they live in total harmony with each other. That harmony is the health of the fruit and of manifestation. They are not in competition with each other. When I think of what is the essential Godliness, or the force of sustenance, in the creation it is this harmony. Thus, this harmony is the spiritual health and wellbeing of any creature in nature.
Often we think of harmony between two like substances, such as a glass of water mixes harmoniously with another glass of water. But look at the fruit, the bitter seed and the sweet fruit, both are born together and grow together in perfect harmony. True harmony is the harmony between two things opposite or diverse in nature.

-to be continued

NV Raghuram

Pranayama Session with Sri NN Raghuramji

Dear all,
Sri NV Raghuramji's Pranayama session at shimizu community Center, translation by Mr Hiroshi Nagasawa can be watched in the below link:
Click here to watch the video

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Pictures from Japan Tour Program

Dear all,
Below please find a few pictures of Sri NV Raghuram in his extended Japan tour program. to review all pictures, please visit Amrit's photo album.

Father and son - Sri NV Raghuramji and Amruth at Yonago Garden Museum

Sri NV Raghuramji at Shimzu Comunity Center

Sri NV Raghuramji with Shizuoka Gita Group

Sri NV Raghuramji at Koba Yoga Deva.

Sri NV Raghuramji at Kagoshima Noikura Clinic

Sri NV Raghuramji at Hiroshima Center

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Finding Inner Peace: Yoga Techniques (3)

A RADIO TALK on "Yoga Research" by Sri NV Raghuram for local NPR, WUWM, Milwaukee/USA can be listened to at
Date: October 5, 2006
Program name: Lake Effect

Everyone else is second level and third level seekers of spirituality or freedom. Therefore others must ask another question, “How do we detach and practice slowness? How do we obtain a calm state of mind?” The great Arjuna belongs to this category. That is why he asks Krishna the question, “Krishna, you ask me to calm the mind, but it is so difficult. I can stop the vayu but to control the mind is very difficult.”
We must face that it is difficult to calm the mind. For that purpose, we sit down peacefully, quietly wanting to control the mind. In two minutes, our legs start hurting. Now we need to change our position as we try to continue to calm our mind. But now the new posture begins causing pain. Your body does not cooperate with you. After you take care of all those things and so you sit down again to calm the mind and suddenly you feel hungry. You want a small cookie or something. But you just had a meal so how could you feel hungry? So you strongly tell yourself, “ I am not going to listen to my stomach. Let me calm my mind.” You want to be very serious about this, but the mind is very tricky. Once you decide that you do not want to think about the body, your body begins to create hurdles for you such as pain or an itch. The body is coming in the way of a peaceful mind. Hence, you need to do something to the body so that the body will help you calm down the mind, such as physical yoga techniques. In order to keep the mind calm, the body needs to relax. The physical level is not the only level at which we have disturbances within our personality. For example, we have disturbances in our prana which we will discuss at a later time.

All of these disturbances that are at every level of our personality begin to percolate deep within us and begin to effect our pathology and becomes the cause for sickness in us. When we remove these disturbances, we regain health. This is how we work in yoga therapy. In a future topic we will discuss sickness from the point of view of yoga and how yoga can help alleviate the sickness.

Another important aspect of these disturbances, which we today call stress, is how they develop from our mind. There are so many disturbances in the mind so if we need to find a solution for the stress, a technique to control the mind. The affects of this stress limits our potential. For example, when we are agitated, our memory is lessened and our creativity is diminished. In this sense, every walk of life needs peace of mind. Now the question is how do we apply that in our various personality levels? Because we are not only the body, but also the mind, we are often times identified with intellect and other times emotion.

So we come to the important questions of “what am I? Who am I? What is this thing “I”? This is a very important philosophical question. Our whole life passes without ever knowing what “I” is. We use the word “I” so frequently and so easily- “I am happy, I am sad, I am angry, I am depressed, I am old, I am young.” We use the word “I” so freely but do we know what this “I” is? Another fundamental question is what is the use of knowing what “I” is?

When we delve into the inquiry of “I” we begin to see a beautiful definition of yoga. In the next topic we will take up this question of “I”. This inquiry will help us within yoga. When we investigate “I” and find yoga, we will explore integral yoga. That is why this practice is called “integrated yoga practice,” and what we refer to as IAYT- Integrated Approach of Yoga Therapy.


Sri Raghuramji is in Japan. Please visit to review his tour program.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Finding Inner Peace: Yoga Techniques (2)

Raghuramji's Japan tour program started. Please visit to review it.

One such story is found in the scriptures. Shuka is a youth who was involved in the regular life of gossiping and playing. One day, his father, Vyasa called him and said, “Now you are 14 and grown up so you need to develop responsibility and learn knowledge.” The son asked what for? The father replied that we should all study scriptures so that we do spiritual Sadhana. Through this we will come to know that our nature is bliss and we are not the body and all things attached to it.”

Shuka asked his father, “What did you say? My nature is bliss and I am not this body and its attachments?” His father replied with a simple, “Yes.” So the son further questioned, “How do we know this?” The father replied, “We know that we are free with no mother, no father, no birth, and no death. We know this through introspection, or an inner journey.”

Shuka, talking to himself, said, “is that so….” And he started walking as if he was nobody. When the father looked at the sudden transformation of his son, he did not take it too seriously immediately. But he quickly realized that something happened to his son. He could not believe the effect of his words on his son! He followed his son asking him, “My son, what has happened to you? Why are you going? Where are you going?” But Shuka transformed the minute he heard that he has no father or mother, because he is not the body but the soul. The Soul does not take birth nor does it die; it has nowhere to go but is everywhere; and he is peace himself because the Soul is peace.

Shuka kept walking and the father was following and shouting behind him, “Oh my son, where are you going? Talk to me, dear son.” But there is no son; he has already dissolved. There is no longer, Shuka, the son of Vyasa. There is only a soul in the form of Shuka; he has lost even the identity with his name so he does not respond.

As Shuka kept walking, he began passing through a place where there was a pond meant for the ladies of the village to bathe and play. Since it is exclusively for ladies, no male members are permitted to go there. They did not mind running around the pond without caring about being covered or not.

Shuka passed that way and they did not care that a youthful man went by. However when his father ran behind him, shouting, “My dear son!...,” the women ran into the water of the pond to cover their modesty. Vyasa was surprised at their reaction on that occasion and could not contain his curiosity. He asked them why they did not mind when Shuka, a young man came through. But when he, being over 70 years old and like a grandfather, came through, they covered themselves. They replied to him, “Shuka was like a child who does not have any attachment with his body so there is no feeling of a man’s presences and in his passing we could feel the presence of a pure soul. They further added, “Where as the very fact that you are shouting and saying ‘my son, my son’ we can see how much attachment you have with the body, because the son belongs to the body as he is born to the body.” Only body attachment brings about the sex consciousness that is the reason they have to hide their bodies. Soul with attachment looses its purity whereas a person like Shuka is so pure in his heart that all it required was for him to hear once that he is a pure soul and he is at peace for him to internalize and establish his own peace. People such as Shuka do not need to do anything when hearing reality is all that they need.

-to be continued.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sri NV Raghuramji's Japan Tour Program / November 2006

October 5th Thursday / 1pm- 4pm Karma Yoga in Noikura Clinic
October 6th Friday / 1pm - 4pm Karma Yoga JYN, Fukuoka
October 7th Saturday / 10am - 1pm Karma Yoga JYN, Hiroshima
October 7th Saturday / 4pm - 7pm Karma Yoga JYN, Yonago
October 9th Monday / 10am - 1pm Yoga therapy JYN, Osaka
October 9th Monday / 4pm to 7pm Karma Yoga Kobe Yoga Square
October 10th Tuesday / 10am to 1pm Karma Yoga Atsuka Jinguu – eiryuukaku
October 11th Wednesday & 12th Thursday / Free Days
October 13th Friday, 14th Saturday / Free Days
October 15th Sunday Karma Yoga JYN, Tokyo
October 16th Monday Karma Yoga Otaku Sangyou plaza
October 17th Tuesday / Free day
October 18th Wednesday 10am - 1pm Karma Yoga Sjata ashrama
October 19th Thursday 10am - 1pm Karma Yoga Shimin Center
October 20th Friday 10am to 1pm Karma Yoga Iwate aiina
October 21th Saturday 10am to 1pm Karma Yoga Fukushima terusa

Monday, September 25, 2006

Finding Inner Peace: Yoga Techniques (1)

The definition and purpose of yoga is to calm the mind to create inner harmony; yoga is peace. Although yoga is often associated with the body, the purpose of yoga is more intrinsically related to the mind. Yoga is practiced to create peace of mind.

However, a state of calmness and peace is our natural state. Essentially, anything we do takes us out of our natural state of being. We are the masters of our mind and body, so there is no need to do anything in order to attain a state of peace, including the practice of yoga. So then why do we need to do all these practices to obtain our original state of peace?

Being is our natural state and doing is an unnatural state, like a dream. We have incorrectly identified ourselves with doing rather than being. With that being the case, how can ‘doing’ something now assist us in ‘being.’

To further understand how doing assists in being, let us explore the example of detergent. Detergent is used to take stains and dirt off of fabric. However, detergent itself is a type of dirt/stain. The advantage of this ‘dirt’ is that it takes away all the other dirt and then dissolves itself without damaging it. In the same way, yoga practice can remove the obstacles that keep us from being and assist us in going back to our natural state.

As we continue to stay busy by our constant state of ‘doing,’ we become tied down by all of our responsibilities, forgetting our natural state. The following story told by Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati, a great spiritual scholar and teacher, further exemplifies this concept.

In the deserts of Rajasthan, a caravan with several camels was moving from one place to another. The caravan stopped at a water hole for the night. Everybody was relaxing and the person in charge of the camels came to the head of the group and pleaded, “Sir, I have made a grave mistake.” The Master asked, “What happened?” “I forgot to pick up some of the ropes to tie the camels with.” The master reprimanded him for his negligence, but then said, “OK, we shall arrange for new ones tomorrow. But for today, just tie them without ropes.”

“But, sir, how do I tie them without ropes?” he asked. The master replied, “You know there are no ropes but the camels do not! So, they think that you are tying them as you normally do. So go to them and pretend to tie them up.” The fellow could not believe it but the master went with him and in front of every camel, he acted as though he was tying the rope. As the camel saw the action of being tied, he settled down on the ground.

The next morning the camel person came running out to the master and said, “I think there is something wrong with the camels! They didn’t get up when I went to them and tried to take them away. They must have some type of health problems.”

The master asked him, “Did you untie them?” The fellow was confused, “But, we didn’t tie them.” The master explained that the camels thought they were tied, so that notion needs to be removed. The master went to the camels and pretended to untie them and the camels jumped to their feet!

Like the tied camels, we live in an illusion of being busy and having to do so much. We have to perform some practices to come out of this illusion.

It would be nice if we could just hear that we must keep our minds peaceful and it magically happens, but for most of us, we must practice techniques to make us peaceful. Unless we are “Uttama Sadhakas”, or pure seekers, we must practice yoga to return to a state of being. Uttama Sadhakas are the few people who, when they hear that they have to keep their minds at peace, they are not attached to anything and can remain this way forever.

- to be continued...



Monday, September 11, 2006

Pictures from Speaker on Campus Seminars and Hindu Sangam 2006 Report

Dear all,
Below you may see a few pictures from Speaker on Campus (SoC) seminar series, that are continuing in USA. As you know, Sri Raghuramji was nominated as Speaker on Campus by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh.

To overview the upcoming seminars, please visit the following link:

Message from Anil Surpur/Yoga Bharati Member /

As many of you know, Yoga Bharati had the responsibility of co-ordinating Yoga Sangam (yoga track) in Hindu Sangam 2006 on Sept 9th at De Anza College, Cupertino, CA. The other parallel tracks were Dharma, Ayurveda, Yuva, Samskrit, Kala Sangams. See for details.

The response to Yoga track was very good. I guess, close to 500 people visited our track. Some people commented that the venue setup was very good. Yoga Bharati had a booth and the response in the booth was also very good.

Our beloved Guruji Sri N.V.Raghuram ji delivered key note speech "Yoga in today's troubled world"

I am told that there was a press conference after the parallel tracks. Sri N.V.Raghuramji represented Yoga track. There were many questions centered around Yoga, I believe. We had great media coverage as well especially laughter yoga.

See the report in SJMS below.

Thanks to all the volunteers of YB and other organization who have worked hard in making this event grand success.

Following is Yoga sangam article which is forwarded to Media committee for publications.

Yoga Sangam Press Release
As a part of grand Hindu Sangam event, Yoga Sangam was a parallel track to present Yoga philosophy from different organizations.Close to 500 people attended the sessions. The track was sponsored by Yoga Bharati and co-sponsored by Vasantha Yoga.
Yoga Sangam was inaugurated with a Yogic dance by Sangita Das and her students of 7 to 9 years old. The dance was in tune with melodious shloka and Om chanting showing various yogasanas (postures) done to utmost perfection. This was followed by lighting of lamp by Sri Ram Malik - trustee of Fremont temple and other dignitaries. The guest speakers of the session were Sri. N.V Raghuram – founder and beloved guruji of Yoga Bharati and international coordinator of VYASA, Bangalore, Sri Mahendra – a popular Yoga teacher, Dr. Naras Bhat – accomplished cardiologist, Sri. Ravi Pathak - senior teacher of Art of Living, Smt. Vasanthi Bhat –renowned Yoga teacher and Ms. Robin Pollard – leader of Laughter Yoga. Yogabharti volunteer, Sri. Venkat Reddy introduced the guests.
Sri. Mahendra demonstrated pranayama and Yoga kriyas such as Nauli Kriya, Agnisara, and Sutraneti involving the participants. Dr. Naras Bhat presented how pranayama can help reduce stress due to time pressure management using bio-feedback mechanism. Sri. Ravi Pathak conducted an Art of Living style of pranayama and meditation session. Smt. Vasanthi Bhat demonstrated a series of Asanas and relaxation techniques involving a group of children, adults and senior citizens including an 85 year old yoga student.
Sri. N.V Raghuram gave his keynote speech on how Yoga can help in today's troubled world. He covered both positive and negative aspects of the world at individual, social, corporate, political, dharmic as well as inner aspect of our mind. He talked about Vedanta concept of personality (Panchakosha) at physical, life-force, mental, intellectual and bliss level. Sri N V Raghuram stressed upon the fact that external peace and harmony can be brought in only when there is internal peace and happiness within an individual. He concluded his speech with the message that Yoga is a way of life and is needed at the individual level to bring harmony and peace at the universal level.
The last session was Laughter Yoga by Ms. Robin Pollard. She presented different laughter techniques which can help in reducing stress.
Smt. Savita Joshi and Smt. Vani Gangu conducted the entire program with their interactive and humorous tit-bits including yoga quiz in between and gave gifts (yoga books) to the winners. Free CDs containing Yoga talks and articles from yoga experts were distributed to participants.
The program concluded with a vote of thanks by Sri Sharat Joshi.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hats off for Steve Irvin

Below you may find the message from Amrit Ram, Sri Raghuramji's son about Steve Irvin, mostly known as crocodile hunter. Amrit is a nature lover, like steve and is his good friend. Now he is conducting yoga-therapy classes in a hospital in Japan.

I was in the hospital the other day by chance and the BBC news was going on. although the entire script is translated i could make out by the report that there was some news about Steve. immediately i logged onto the BBC web page and was staring at the news headline for almost a minute unable to believe myself!! as you said it was the biggest shock and i am still recovering from it.
the name Steve Irvin instill in a person the idea of this half dressed active heavily accented Australian who will will pretty much run after anything and jump on it and bring ti to the camera. with the same easy as he probably would pick up his morning coffee.
if you would probably switch to a channel where his program is playing and watch long enough you would be sure to find the one of the most dangerous reptiles or animals or any such stuff.
since his taking over of a small zoo in southern Australia from his father bob Irvin, he has transformed it to a phenomenal extent making it one of the conservation hot spots for any wildlife. i have had the good fortune of corresponding with this great individual about a year ago when i was starting my work as a n animal conservationist in the Hyderabad. i told him about my correspondence with another person called Mr kumar pillai who is the curator of the Singapore zoo and he had suggested that i work in very close contact with him as the curator was a very efficient person. a little while after that Steve Irvin had suggested to kumar pillai that the illegally trans located sea turtles from India to Singapore could be relocated back to India in the hands of animal rescue and rehabilitation society a small organisation that was started by a few friends and me in Hyderabad. after about four months of this suggestion and Mr Kumar pillai receiving the the project proposal from Hyderabad, we in India received the first consignment on about 200 sea turtles. they are presently back into the bay of Bengal leading a happy protected life THANKS TO the efforts and commitment of great should such as Steve.
it has taken me a complete two days to conjure the courage to write something about him witihout breaking down in tears. i think more than Australia losing one citizen or a group of conservationists losing a member, mother earth who is consistently becoming stronger by the help of the children has lost one child! i am sure the there are going to be millions of more efforts in Steve`s name to keep Gaea (mother earth) growing and getting stronger.
with hope

amrit ram

Sri Raghuramji as Speaker on Campus / Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh

Dear all,

Sri Raghuramji is selected as a lecturer on Indian culture in the project "Speaker on Campus" by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh.

About Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh:
Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh is a socio-cultural, non-profit organization. HSS through its weekly shakhas (branches in Sanskrit) conducts activities for children - BALA (popularly known as Balagokulam), Youth - YUVA, and adults - TARUN. These activities are filled with fun and are enlightening.
More information in:

Shri. Raghuramji and Shri. Raviji would be covering 12 Universities in 7 mid western states in next 2 weeks. Below is the special project of MW-Yuva vibhag for SGBC.

Sep. 5 Tuesday Purdue University
Sep. 6 Wednesday Illinois Wesleyan University
Sep. 7 Thursday University of Illinois at Chicago
Sep. 8 Friday Illinois Institute of Technology
Sep. 12 Tuesday University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Sep. 13 Wednesday University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Sep. 14 Thursday Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
Sep. 14 Thursday Cleveland State University
Sep. 14 Thursday Case Western Reserve University
Sep. 16 Saturday University of Nebraska at Omaha
Sep. 17 Sunday University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Sep. 18 Monday The University of Iowa


Sunday, September 03, 2006

MSRT - Mahamrityunjaya Chanting

Dear All,
As you know, Sri Raghuramji visited Istanbul, Turkey, in his Spring Tour Program.

Click to see the pictures.

In the below link, we have uploaded the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra Chanting from MSRT (Mind Sound Resonance Technique) Workshop which is conducted in Istanbul, Turkey.

Click to listen to the mantra chanting

With love.

Raghuramji's US tour program started. Please visit to review it.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Pictures from Ganesha Festival

Please visit to see Sri Raghuramji's tour program in September-October 2006.

Saturday, 26th of August was the festival of the goddess Parvati or popularly known as Gauri. This is the mother of the elephant god Ganesh. On this day women dress like goddesses and it is very spiritual and joyful atmosphere and the next day was the festival of elephant god Lord Ganesh. There was so much of festive mood in our center, below you may find a few photographs to have a glimpse of it.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Question about enlightenment

Question: In Srimad Bhagavatam it says – ‘From nothing never comes a something, nor from something ever proceeds a nothing. And there is no difficulty whatever in removing what does not exist in nature’… It’s so funny, because then all should be enlightened. All these people on this Earth should be enlightened but it is not so, so it cannot be as simple as it says here. If this world is unreal and it’s so simple to move from unreal to real then, why are there so many people that are unrealized, that are in this consiousness.

It looks very simple, it’s not that simple. Not because it is not simple, but because people are not interested in that. See, you know people, they would like to have the path of least resistance. They don’t want to change, so let it go on. It’s fine. So this is basically how the whole mankind is. That is why Upanishads says –‘Only once in a while there will be somebody, a crazy fellow, who’d just like to come out of this routine. He does not want to go on the beaten path, he tries to fly and he sees that he has wings, and he can fly. All the others also have wings, but they say ‘Our feet are there, so let us walk’. So that’s what they do. They don’t, never attempted to fly. Not only that, but if someone attempts to fly, they say ‘Why don’t you walk, everybody’s walking, why don’t you walk’. So they go by majority, majority’s the safety path. You say, all right- that’s the democracy principle. Democracy can only bring about averages. It cannot produce the extraordinary. Extraordinary is only produced by crazy people!


Friday, August 18, 2006

KWA hospital Griesbach/Germany signing MOU

Dear All,

KWA hospital in Griesbach/Germany has signed a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) on 17th of August, 2006 in Bangalore/India.

KWA has been the first hospital, that has been benefitting from Yoga Therapy outside of India.

Dr. Garner and Sri Raghuramji signing the contract

Sri Raghuramji, Dr. Garner and Dr. Nagendraji

Dr. Garner examining the MOU details...

We wish a productive partnership between these two institutions.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Questions about subconsciousness

Question: I have a doubt regarding -Sub consciousness. Sir, in psychology they say that subconscious carries the impressions of daily experiences, whether it carries the impressions after we leave the body?
Answer: It depends on how much we are attached with our daily experiences that we take those impressions into subconscious levels.

Question: You told that udana vayu carries the impressions after we leave the body. Can we correlate these concepts?
Answer: Yes, indeed this is the same. The impressions are carried in udana vayu in various layers, some are not so deep and some are very deep impressions.

Question: In yoga vashishtha -By Leela story what exactly vashishtha is trying to say?
Answer: Can you put it in much more specific so that I can answer what Vasista is trying to say to Leela


Special Note: VYASA web page is redesigned. You may see the changes by visiting

Friday, August 11, 2006

Mantra "Sahanavavatu" -part 5-

Aum Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi

Hence, the last sentence translates to ‘peace, peace, peace.’ This peace is often translated as peace from the past, peace in the present, and peace for the future.

What is peace from the past? Basically it refers to our memories of the past. Past has already passed, but what remains from the past is our memory. When we review our memories we often have thoughts like, ‘this person is bad, this person cheated me, this person hurt me, etc’. This is all the content of our memory – full of violence, not peace. Hence we need to remove all such thoughts in order to consciously keep the memory good to promote peace. Let us forget those things that are bad and remember those that give us peace.

In this moment, let us do everything in peace. That is the second step. We eat for peace, we learn for peace, and every activity we perform is for the sake of peace. Our interaction with people has to give us and others peace. This is peace in the present.

The third peace is peace in the future. All of our planning we do now is for the future. Our activities are the seeds we sow not only for us but for future generations. We may not think of it so deeply but we should realize that with our selfishness, greed and jealousy, we may be sowing the seeds of violence in the future. This mantra reminds us that all such planning are not for any other purpose but for peace.

So peace is the path and the goal. When peace envelopes everything, it is the definition of Aum.

This is the full meaning of the mantra. We are not praying for anything or asking for any favors; it is simply a peace chant. In nature there is always peace, but as human beings we lose peace and destroy it. To preserve the peace of creation, man has immense responsibility. We have forgotten that responsibility. With this mantra we are trying to remember what we are doing and trying to achieve in yoga. We are on a journey where knowledge is nourishment. Let us be conscious that whatever we learn should become energy that we pass on to others without any ego. It is a reminder for us, our duty, and our mission. We are not praying for anything so it is not directed at any particular God. Hence, we start class everyday with this mantra to remind us of the journey we are creating.

Additional feature of this mantra is that it is said in dual number. In English language it is the same way in many other languages we have singular and plural number only. But in Sanskrit there are singular, plural and in between there is another number called dual number. This mantra is given in dual number. This is to indicate that the mantra is chanted between student and teacher and the relationship between student and the teacher is very intimate and one to one. It is always that way tat the student has a very sincere question and the teacher only addresses to student in total oneness in communication. It also does not mean that there were not many students with each teacher. Though there were many students the relationship between student and the teacher is always one to one. This is indicated in Upanishad that it is like a conduit where one end is the student and other end is the teacher. The flow between them is the knowledge and it is flowing from teacher to the student like the perennial river, called Saraswati. It is the gradient which facilitates the flow and neither the teacher gives and nor the student takes. Humble approach of the student can only create such gradient and flow happens if the teacher thinks he is one, such a teacher will then cease to be a spiritual teacher. In the Indian philosophy there is no other relationship is as intimate and as important as the relationship between teacher and the student. They are two sides of the same coin.

Let us try to maintain these ideas in all our classes where we attend and later on while we give the practices to others.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mantra "Sahanavavatu" -part 4-

Tejaswi Naava dheeta Visvishavahai

The sun has trillions of calories of energy. If the sun is not radiating that energy, what is the use of the sun? The sun’s usefulness does not lie in having the energy, but in radiating the energy as to energize others. Similarly, my energy should be able to make others energetic. I should be able to help others, so my energy should manifest outside, and that manifestation is called radiation.

For example, suppose I have a lot of energy and I can run extremely fast. If I am walking down a quiet road and hear a girl helplessly cry because she is in trouble and run the other way with all of my energy. What is the use of this energy? I should go and help the girl.

True energy in our hands is that energy which does not harm others, which does not become our ego but helps others. That is the idea of radiation. In that way, let this knowledge become strength and let this strength come out to help others.

With this energy and kindness we bestow on others, we begin to obtain compliments from others. These compliments start becoming my ego. The moment that I become egoistic and arrogant, I begin to develop hatred. In fact, one of the root causes for hatred is ego of knowledge. As we get more and more of an ego, we begin wanting others to sub-serve us. When people do not do as expected of them, we begin to dislike them, either because their knowledge is different from ours or they possess more knowledge than us.

Hence, we cannot let our knowledge become ego. How can we say that any knowledge belongs to us? We are not the creators or the inventors of this knowledge. Knowledge is passed on and on; it does not belong to anyone. Someone has given us knowledge and we pass it on. Hence, we have no reason to become egoistic of the knowledge. It is similar to being a tea pot. We put in the tea leaves, the hot water, and the spices. When we pour, tea pours out of the teapot. How ignorant is it if the teapot thinks that it is giving the tea? It is the same of knowledge. Someone else has given us the knowledge and we are like a tea pot. There are many kinds of ego; money, beauty, etc. However, of all the egos, the most difficult to overcome is the ego of knowledge. Within the various types of knowledge ego, the most difficult thing to come out is the ego of the knowledge of philosophy, yoga, and spirituality is the most difficult ego to come out of. Hence, we must be very careful with this type of ego.

We previously discussed the story of Drona replying to his son, Aswatthama, when the son asked Drona, ‘Why are you not teaching me the special knowledge which you are teaching Arjuna?’ Drona questions him, ‘Are you asking this question as my son or as my student?’ Aswatthama wonders, ‘What is the difference?’ Drona replies, ‘My dear child, it makes much difference. The conversation between a father and a son is very different from that of a student and teacher. Their relationships are completely different.’ Although Aswatthama realizes that, he still has his doubt and says, ‘I am both, your student and your son. I suppose I can ask in any way. Suppose I am asking as your son. As a son, I have the right to your possessions, correct? Don’t you think you should give me the knowledge before you give it to others? Do you not love me?’ Drona replies with tears in his eyes, ‘My dear child, I love you immensely, and there is nothing on this Earth that I am in love with as much as I love you. The moment I hear you are not there, my breath will come to a halt at once. But you should understand that you have the right to all my riches in this world except my knowledge. It is so, because this knowledge does not belong to me. On the other hand, I belong to the knowledge. Therefore, I cannot give this knowledge to anybody because of my relationship to them; I must give it to the deserving student.’ From this conversation, it is clear that we belong to the knowledge and knowledge does not belong to us. Hence, we must be humble to the knowledge.

There is a great teacher of philosophy in India who was a teacher of Vivekananda. His name is Ramakrishna. Each word he spoke was an extraordinary piece of wisdom. Every lecture he gave was compiled into a book called ‘Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.’ Gospel means ‘god’s words spoken from direct experience.’ Each word in that Gospel is amazing knowledge. Even with all that knowledge, he is humble. He ends the book by saying ‘as long as I live, so long I learn.’ Meaning that even with all the knowledge he possesses, he still has much to learn. Hence, it is important to become yoga students without ego. Once you do not have an ego and consciously let it go, then you will see the whole journey is one of peace.


-to be continued...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Mantra "Sahanavavatu" -part 3-

...Sahaveryam Karavavahai...

As we proceed to the next step of the mantra, we question, what is the nourishment for? For example, when you take in food, the food is nourishing and provides energy for your daily activities. Through the intake of food, a person should become more energetic. If he does not, then it is better not to take that food as it is not truly nourishing.

If the food itself makes us energetic, knowledge should make us much more energetic. Knowledge is that which makes you energetic for life, especially when you feel depressed and that life has no meaning. Knowledge should become your crutch and help you come out of depression. You should feel that you can also live life by giving you a positive outlook. It provides a new lease on life. That is the proper kind of knowledge and is the product of proper nourishment for the mind and soul.

This is why the next sutra says, ‘may we become energetic and let our activities become energetic.’ Such misuse of spiritual knowledge is exemplified in two extreme examples.

In the 1970s, there was a spiritual retreat in New York, NY, conducted by a leader named Jim Johns. He conducted a 10 day retreat where he spoke of spiritual knowledge. Nearly 1000 people assembled for these ten intense days of learning and they were convinced that life is so useless that they committed suicide together.

Similarly, in 1996, in Waco, TX there were a group of spiritual people who’s leader, David, gave them the message that at the end of their retreat, they should burn themselves to death.

Are either of these two, truly spiritual knowledge? Knowledge which makes one feel that life is so useless that they should commit suicide is not truly spiritual knowledge. Life is something positive; hence, ‘Sahaveeryam Karavahai.’

Thus far this mantra has paralleled the life of a human in that if they eat well and become nourished and perform some exercises, they will be energetic. He has all the necessary energy to run and perform well athletically, but what is this energy used for? If the person understands that he has all this energy but then says, “I do not want to lift,” then what is the use of this energy?


-to be continued...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Mantra "Sahanavavatu" -part 2-

…Sahanau bunaktu…

Although we have protected the plant, we quickly realize that is not sufficient for its growth and prosperity into a tree. We have to enable its survival by providing adequate manure, water, and sunlight, so that it will grow. Hence, the second step is ‘to nourish.’ Nourishment has to be fully understood in the context of the mantra. Often we associate nourishment with external objects, such as the printed label on boxed food which indicates the amount of nourishment each serving provides. But the nourishment does not depend on the food that you give and its contents. The food may actually be very nourishing, but if it is not properly digested by the consumer, it will fail in its attempt to nourish. A food which is not digested properly is nothing more than a poison. A small plant needs some water no doubt but if you flood the plant with too much water and manure, the plant will drown and die. Similarly, if a small child is given highly nutritious food that is indigestible, how will s/he benefit? We have to give the child food that s/he can digest. Similarly, on our yogic path, the knowledge may be abundant but how we absorb and digest this knowledge is what determines our spiritual growth.

I am reminded of such an example when I visited a dear friend in Los Angeles, CA. My friend was excited to see me and she asked me, “Raghu, are you teaching any workshops now?” I said, “Yes, I am conducting a workshop for the next three days.” And she indicated that she would like to attend. She further added, “It is so nice that we recently had another series of lectures by another teacher. A great scholar from India came and gave a series of talks for one month on the Ishavasya Upanishad. We had a feast of those lectures and now you have come so that we can further discuss other Upanishads. We are so lucky!”

I asked, “A series of talks on the Ishavasya Upanishads? It must have been wonderful.” She replied, “Yes. They were wonderful.” So, I continued, “If he has conducted these lectures for one full month, there must be so much important information that you have taken away from the lectures. Can you share some of the important aspects of the lecture, so that I, too, may learn?”

She replied, “The Upanishads are a very tough subject. Everything that I heard went just over my head, but the talks were wonderful!”

How can knowledge that went above your head be wonderful? The Upanishads may be wonderful and nourishing, but how you present the information is as important as the information itself. So nourishment is not in the external object, but in the interplay of the presentation of knowledge and how we relate to it. If it can change my understanding, my intellect, then it is nourishing.

Swami Vivekananda was explaining some philosophical things once to his brother disciple, Abhedananda, who was also a great scholar. Swami adbhutananda, also known as Latoo, another brother disciple who is a total illiterate who was also listening to it sitting by his side said to Swami Vivekananda, “my dear brother can you please explain these things in simple language so that I can understand?” Swamiji replied, “my dear Latoo, please don’t worry about it this is some thing you can’t understand.” Latoo said to himself but loud, “Ok, if your knowledge is useful only to those who know and not for one who does not know then I don’t worry about it. Please go ahead”. Immediately Swami Vivekananda realized his mistake and apologetically told him, sorry dear brother, let me explain it in such a way that you can understand.” Therefore knowledge has to be presented in such simple way that an ignorant can understand it.

That is why in the mantra we say ‘may we both be nourished.’ This basically means that when we sit to learn this knowledge, let us not simply proceed, because we have to learn. Much like when we eat something that is indigestible, you may become sick; when you have knowledge that is not used; it becomes misused or is a burden on us.


-to be continued...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Mantra "Sahanavavatu" -part 1-

Aum Sahanavavatu saha nau bhunaktu saha veeryam karavavahai
Tejaswi nava dheeta visvishavahai
Aum Shanti, Shanti, Shantihih

- Mantra from ‘Bhrugu Valli of Taittariya Upanishad” of the Krishna Yajur Veda

Although many mistakenly call this short, yet powerful, mantra a prayer, it is not one, because we do not actually pray for anything in it. In Sanskrit it is properly known as a ‘shanti mantra,’ or a peace chant.

There are five steps in this peace chant:
1. Sahanaavavatu means may we both be protected. The emphasis of this first word is protection.
2. Sahanau bunaktu means may we both be nourished. The emphasis continues to bunaktu, or nourishment.
3. Sahaveryam Karavavahai means may our activity become energetic. The key here is energy.
4. Tejaswi Naava dheeta mastu means let there be radiance.
5. Maa Vid Vishavahai means let there not be hatred.

When the mantra is translated the five major steps that are outlined are protection, nourishment, energy, radiance, and no hatred. Although these ideas fit well next to each other, it is difficult to see how they are truly integrated. Let us examine this integration and applicability to our lives through the example of the journey of a tree from a seed.

Aum Sahanaavatu

In every seed a tree is safely concealed, so every seed has a potential tree. As long as the tree is inside the seed, it is very safe. The tree resides in the seed, along with its fruits, in an unmanifested manner. As long as the tree is inside this seed, it is of no use. So, the tree must manifest its inner potential. This is what Swami Vivekananda expresses as the purpose of yoga in the epoch statement, “Each soul is potentially divine and the goal (of life) is to manifest divinity by controlling nature internal and external. When a tree starts its journey within the seed, it is imperative for the tree to have the proper direction and discipline.

Although every seed has a tree, how many seeds actually produce the trees? In most cases, the journey of the tree ends without any external manifestation. This is the law of life. Many seeds do not even get to the field, some do not get into the soil, and yet others are crushed. Very few have the fortune of making the journey possible, so they need to be taken care of.

When the tree starts its journey from the seed and the tree is very small, there are many dangers: an animal can eat away at the sapling or a person can step on it. It was safe when it was inside the seed but as it begins sprouting out, there are all kinds of difficulties awaiting it. Now the manifestation of the tree has begun externally. When we see small plant as such, we try to protect it by putting a fence around it. Hence, the first step in the journey is to protect the tree. First the seed provides this protection and then we do. This is parallel to the beginning of the journey of yoga and philosophy. In the beginning we are interested in learning about yoga and philosophy. Once we begin to manifest this internal desire into an external practice, we begin facing the hurdles and difficulties of nurturing such a new desire. We run into discouraging situations and obstacles on our path that require us to protect this desire and practice as it manifests. If somebody wants to sincerely learn something, we should not discourage the education, but, rather, encourage it. This is the first idea of the mantra, ‘may we (our interest) be protected.’


to be continued...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

More Questions on Vegetarianism

Question: "Who said a large brain indicated the highest manifestation of consciousness?
Answer: I dont know about the relation of brain size with highest manifestation of consciousness!

Question: This so called developed consciousness is presently guaranteeing the death of the planet and race perhaps within 100 years. No bodies of Moksha then!
Answer: It appears the friend is angry with human race! I can appreciate his concern and I think it is not sufficient to have higher freedom but we also have to have wisdom not to use this freedom for destructive purposes. So let us try to educate people about the need of other creation otherwise man is the most sensitive creature and he will be gone and other creatures will survive.

Question: An animal may be all the soul needs to become realised for 'Love is 'God' and 'God' is Love' and an animal has no developed ego to interfere with the free flow of Sakti. Firstly it is not proven that Jesus ate meat. The greek word in the gospels translates as food not meat. Secondly even today in some places like Scotland, meat can mean any kind of food, vegetarian or not. The particular Essenes whom Jesus was associated neither ate meat or drank alcohol. With regard to Vivekananda and Ramakrishna, I don't know whether they ate meat or not, Ammachi also ate fish when she was younger at least. I don't know whether any of these people were Jivanmuktas or not as I am not one, but if one is a Mukta it matters not what one eats, for Who is doing the eating? And what is eating?. However for the rest of us, vegetarianism represents a developed vijnanamayakosa to some extent and the feeling of Daya, without which there is no Moksha"
Answer: Good ideas Compassion and respecting fellow creatures are our very nature and threfore when we are under the influence of these things we feel very comfortable and it is not coming from outside. I dont even want to put moksha as an attaction for vegetarianism.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Question about Vegetarianism

I read the blog and have some opinion on the same. Who said a large brain indicated the highest manifestation of consciousness? This so called developed consciousness is presently guaranteeing the death of the planet and race perhaps within 100 years. No bodies of Moksha then! An animal may be all the soul needs to become realised for 'Love is 'God' and 'God' is Love' and an animal has no developed ego to interfere with the free flow of Sakti.
Firstly it is not proven that Jesus ate meat. The greek word in the gospels translates as food not meat. Secondly even today in some places like Scotland, meat can mean any kind of food, vegetarian or not. The particular Essenes whom Jesus was associated neither ate meat or drank alcohol.
With regard to Vivekananda and Ramakrishna, I don't know whether they ate meat or not, Ammachi also ate fish when she was younger at least. I don't know whether any of these people were Jivanmuktas or not as I am not one, but if one is a Mukta it matters not what one eats, for Who is doing the eating? And what is eating?.
However for the rest of us, vegetarianism represents a developed vijnanamayakosa to some extent and the feeling of Daya, without which there is no Moksha IMHO.........ONS...Tony.

Manifested consciousness is the expression of freedom. It doe s not mean tha tit will do ony do good. It has a freedm to do both good and bad. It is the inorance coupled with freedom brings about destruction and wisdom with freedom brings about good for oneself and for others. Man can be both. Fortunately even thought there are many who are bad the good out nember them so the world is suviviving and progressing. To believe that man brings about distruction of mankind is being negative and not having faith in man. That is not spiritual. So let us assume man will realize and save teh world with honor and dignity.
Eating meat or not eating meat is not going to decide ultimately whether some one does not attain moksha or atttains. I only gave the logic behind being vegetarian from various angles which alos included the idea of consciousness. Ammachi was eating fish Vivekananda used to eat meat. But they were at that level where they immensely respected teh consciousness. Ther are several strict vegetarians but have no respect for consciousness. I like the former.

I also don't think vegetarianism represents developed vijnanamaya kosa too.


Special Note:
Light a candle for mumbai victims !!

Dearest Ones,
Please visit the following link and light an e-candle for the Mumbai Victims. For every candle lit - CNN-IBN channel is giving 1 Rupee to the victims. Please distribute this link to as many people as possible.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Pictures from Turkey and North Cyprus Visits

Dear All,
Raghuramji's short Turkey and Cyprus visit will be completed tomorrow.
We are adding a few pictures to give you a glimpse of his short trip...

We conducted MSRT (Mind Sound Resonance Technique) in Pranaki Yoga Center in Istanbul. There were so many attendants that it was not possibble to put them all in one picture...

Our traditional guru party was more colorful than ever, as we also celebrated Raghuramji's 58th birthday. The energy (!!!) of the hall was so high that taking a proper photo was hard... The birthday cake was the first-ever-made egg-free brownie with wild strawberries and vanilla cream, so the ones that would like to try this delicious recipe, please contact

As Anatolia is the land of the oldest communities, it was impossible not to visit Catalhoyuk exhibition (more information on Here you see Raghuramji to put his hand print on the walls like the ones in prehistoric ages.

Well, not only prehistoric community exhibitions were there, but also the Exhibition of the world renowned scupture artist Rodin was there... It was hard to skip! (more information on

Then we continued our journey in North Cyprus, where we had two public seminars and a yoga class. Above you see Raghuramji with our host (certified yoga instructor from Scotland), Sibel Irmak in her yoga center Yoga Yama in Kyrenia/Cyprus.

In our spare time we visited Kyrenia Castle and also made a boat trip. Still the main focus was yoga philosophy and we could hardly enjoy the view, as we were busy talking philosophy..

Everybody needed so much clarification and there were so many questions that were hard to cover in this trip. The discussions were going on even on lunch time...

We are happy to say that we found great enthesuaism to yoga and a very warm hospitality in North Cyprus. Our new family decided to take YICC in November 06 in Bangalore so we hope you will be meeting them soon there!


Monday, July 24, 2006

Questions About Existence

Question 1. We experience the state of consciousness-waking, dream, sleeping in
mind-manomaya kosha.

Answer: They do not belong to Manamaya kosa. Manomaya kosa belongs to these states. They are your experiences or the experiences consciousness goes
through. Not only these but we also have the experience of Fourth state but we don't normally recognize that state.

Question 1 cont'd: But,some internal researchers like-Ramana maharshi etc said that-they experienced presence of god in the heart.What is true sir?Whether I am wrong?thinking like this?

Answer cont'd: Internal researches said that all of us have even the fourth state of experience and in the transition when we are at heart level we have such experience of divinity. Soon we bring about the intellect to evaluate and
judge and in this process we loose that experience. People like Ramana are so pure that they do not corrupt it. what else is there around other than god! But in order to feel that you need pure heart. Pure heart is that experience it is not that you purify the heart and then some thing comes is not true.

You are suchitra and in your name is the quality of purity. statements of persons like Ramana are your inspiration!!

Question 2.How we can correlate Akasha and states of consciousness?
Answer: Akasha according to Indian thinking is that state of being where all these states are possible for us to freely transit from one state to another state. If only we don't have attachment then the transition becomes smooth and no burden.



Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Question on Shakti Power

Why is it that the female is called the shakti/power Aspekt of creation? When i look at men and women than it is obvious that man have more physical power than women. All the hard work which has to be done like building roads etc. is being done by men. Most of the intellektual , philosophical, scientifical research work is being all done mainly by men. All civilisation and culture of the world all great artists, musicians, painters, inventors, discoverers of the history were men. Nearly all the great work in the world has been made by man.Even in the spiritual field Buddha, Jesus, Shankaracharya, Vivekananda all were men. Of course all borne by women. But this becoming a child itself is even not something which the women is doing
actively by will but it is much more happening to her. The bringing up and caring for the child is no doubt a hughe work to do, but there also one has not to do something so altively but it is more something where one has to be patient and be constantly there for the child. Not so much of something activily energetically doing something.
But also Vivekananda was emphasizing the important role of women with the shakti aspekt of his work. And also giving great importance to Sarada Devi though all the teachings he got from Ramakrishna and not from her.
When the female Aspekt should have the force Aspekt then women should go round the globe and teach spirituality and do the great work. I don't understand this at all. Can you pleas give me a hint? yours

The creation is surviving not because of strength but because of Harmony you se the grass plant not only survives but smiles with satisfaction. You see it in the big jungle it is most insignificant but it will also bring about a small flower insignificant though. Nobody is there to recognize no body fears it has absolutely no strength next moment there is no guarantee that it will survive but still you see the fullness in it.This is prakriti or the feminine aspect which we call as Shakti. Shakti is wrongly translated into Power or interpreted as power which gives the concept according to modern science. This quality which brings about harmony is the feminine shakti which can be there in man or women. we all have both these aspects Where the shakti aspect finds its expression eloquently there you can see the harmony aspect. the strength aspect is the masculine are very true when you say that women's activity is not done actively. The harmonizing aspect requires great patience and sacrifice. A child is growing inn the womb for nine months requres such an immence patience. When people say woman does sacrifice literally means that women does not place herself in doing. Woman only allows it to happen She silently carries the whole happening patiently. man can give energy but can not have the patience. Whether it is Jesus or Vivekananda or Ramakrishna and all the saints they have seen or experienced the energy which is tremendous in themselves. that is the reason they could realize the importance of harmony which is necessary for it to be useful to mankind a strength with no sense of harmony is destructive.
a strength which pays profuse respects to harmony can create divinity out of the world!
That is the reason I am always disturbed when people emphasize that yoga and peace of mind will give power because power with out the humility can become biggest ego and can be destructive.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Humor on lighter side reg

Sravana means listening and it is a spiritual sadhana! we think it is easy but it is very difficult! in lighter way let me quote some incidences I am sure you all may have similar experiences!
it is just to show how much we only listen to what we are already stuck in our minds. especially to convince some one that yoga is for total personality and not just postures it is so difficult!
in one of the yoga teachers program I gave several hours of talk on various paths of yoga where in I mentioned that yoga Asanas is one step in Patanjali's astanga yoga which is also a part of rajayoga. apart from that we have karma yoga, jnana yoga and Bhakti yoga. I explained in detail about several yoga streams and finally when I concluded my talk on Bhakti yoga one of the participants asked me, Raghuramji, do you do same set of asanas you taught us for Bhakti yoga also!
while giving a talk in India I said yoga is part of our culture and great saints have carried the torch of yoga over centuries people like Patanjali gave these principles of raja yoga Meerabai and Tyagarajas have carried us from centuries the ideas of bhakti yoga.....
after listening to all this one person was telling his friend which I over heard See, Raghuram says even Meerabai and Tyagaraja were practicing asanas!
I gave a two hours of talk in one place in my recent trip to USA telling that yoga is not just physical and even when our body moves it is not because it is just physical but there is life force called prana which is actually causing this movement and I also explained I thought very clearly that we have a hospital where several chronic ailments especially several psychological and psychosomatic ailments with the help of yoga techniques and correcting the mind and creating inner harmony and I also made them to do one hour of pranayama and meditation and told the audience that yoga is broad category and under that are all these techniques. After the whole class is over everybody was walking out of the hall there was a young couple both attended the whole session and the man brought his wife and personally told me that they have enjoyed and proudly introduced me to his wife saying, "See, Raghuram said they have a orthopedic center in Bangalore hundred fifty bed orthopedic center". I was shocked but happy he did not introduced that we run a "human carpentry center".

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Suryanamaskara Philosophy video

Dear All,

To watch the Suryanamaskar Philosophy from Sri Raghuramji, please click on the following link:

Suryanamaskara Video

With love...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Question on different comprehensions of yoga

I would like to ask a question about the image of yoga. Because I notice that we are now going through some kind of yoga-mania, and everyone has to say something about yoga. But I’ve noticed that yoga is most positioned like something, like an escape from this chaotic and exhausting world, people leave this world and they go and sit for meditation, this is the image.
On the other hand, yoga’s also like a medicine to be much more successful human doing, like you say in your talks.
How do you look, feel about all this?

That’s a very beautiful way you presented the question. Yes, yoga has taken multi-forms, expressions. People are doing anything in the name of yoga. That’s the reason why there is one good thing and one bad thing.
The good thing about this is- at least people started recognizing and learning about yoga. If not today, another two years, three years. They would like to inquire into what are the texts which talk about yoga, where the ideas of yoga come from. So you start investigating into it, and the moment you start investigating into it, you will come to the right understanding about yoga. A little bit of inquiry tells us what is right, what is wrong. So I have no doubt- let the whole world take yoga and everybody start looking at what exactly is the idea of yoga, where is it coming from, and they will come to the right understanding.
The bad thing about this is that we who have taken to yoga, let us investigate into it and see that logically the texts which give us yoga, the concepts that talk about yoga, you can easily get the right information, what exactly yoga is all about. So that way, people are running away from the work. People are trying to become meditative and this and that, they would like to run away from the work, people have a fear that people takes me away from the work. Yoga does not take you away from your useful work. Yoga brings about an awareness- one of the most important contributions of yoga is to bring about awareness, and the moment you develop awareness you start inquiring into whether what you are doing is useful or not. See.
Like a simple thing is gossip- like two four? Persons are gossiping. They get annoyed by how the time flies. Why? Because you don’t have the awareness. But the moment you become aware then you start thinking ‘hey, I can do much better work than spending time in gossip’. The awareness brings about the correctness. So this is how basically, people who are spending their time otherwise in the not useful means, the moment that they do yoga, their awareness brings them back into rightness. In fact it is said- if you are telling a lie, if you are aware, you cannot tell a lie. If you are doing harm, if you are hurting somebody, if you just become aware you cannot hurt somebody, once you become conscious of it. So this awareness will put you in the right path. So the people who are otherwise spending their time in wasteful ways, they start saying that why this man, this woman, is withdrawing from the group? Yes, it’s important that we need to withdraw from the group, because we should show that this is something much better than all of the things that we are doing. You know, how much time, money, things like that, we are wasting?
Once I happened to go to Las Vegas. And it is a place where I had a habit of getting up early morning at 4:30 – 5:00, and 5:00 Las Vegas goes to sleep. Whereas I got up and came outside, I was going for long walks, it is a beautiful city. And after long walk I come back around 8:00 I found that in one of those casinos there were coin machines, and there were two elderly women sitting there and putting the coins and pulling the lever. I was so surprised- they were 80 years and sitting there and putting the coins. So I said let me develop an interesting conversation with them. I went to those ladies and said ‘good morning’.
They said ‘yes good morning, how are you doing?’
and I said ‘you know, we have a saying in India that ‘early morning luck is very good luck. So it seems that you are trying your early morning luck’.
Then she said, ‘ah well, no luck, no nothing. We were not getting sleep, that’s why we came out. And you ask us making money? No, nothing. We are killing time’.
I said ‘you know, they give you this time, the medical community is doing so much research, spending millions of dollars, so much research to see that your age is extended by ½ hour, half a month, half a year. They are very happy, proud of it, you know? And that research, spent money, and all the research that has given you that time, and you are killing that time? What is the use of doing all that research?’
This is what happens. We are unnecessarily killing our time in so many other things whereas the moment you start doing yoga, I’m sure that your time will be usefully spent. But once again, when the time is usefully spent does not mean that you have to increase your productivity. You know that productivity, material progress, has an inherent defect in it. The inherent defect is- we think that the happiness is there in the object outside. The object gives me happiness, more money gives me happiness, better production gives me happiness, my profits which touch millions of dollars give me happiness. Closely watch, is it really giving you happiness. No. We are completely hypnotized into that idea. Whereas, happiness is our nature. I don’t say that you do not produce, you produce wonderful. But produce so that more and more people will be happy, not because that your happiness will increase. So basically, we should never get into the paradigm that the objects give me happiness. If that is going to give me happiness- look at what happened to your grandfathers... Were they not happy? They did not have all these things. They never knew computers. They were so very happy because neither computers were there, nor computer viruses!
When we did not have all these riches, we were happy. Objects are not contributing to our happiness, but objects are giving us some conveniences. Just making life a little more easier. When we used to use a lamp, now we just switch a light on, that’s all. It’s a little bit more convenient but not an addition to happiness. If you are like that, then you do not go unnecessary fighting and struggling and stress.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Question on creating karmas

Regarding hte Karma Yoga article: "I guess it really depends on the person, and what they percieve as bad/good etc. But what if someone truly believe they are doing a good will, when actually they are doing the total opposite... Do you think they get the same karma back as to a person who's intent is the same as theirs.. yet released in a more darker way?."

The idea is very simple. the karma we are talking about is the physical activity like putting hand in fire. even if you do not know fire burns the moment you put hand in fire it burns. same way some one who is thinking that he is doing good may not know he is doing bad instead of good. In any case the bad fruit will be there. this is even without his own knowledge. how are we guarenteed that we are now doing all activites with full awareness. we are not sure. but we have the freedom within us to be disturbed or not. Therefore we need not be disturbed by them. but situations can be same for one who did it wilfully or the person doing out of ignorance. the later has atleast a choice to learn from his mistakes but the former does not even have that!
That is why we say a person who goes wrong ways with knowedge will go to deeper darkness. his knowledge can come in his way.


Raghu Ram

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Questions on Universal Inteligence

Dear Raghuram,
Thank you for all the articles you are writing for us to help us on the spiritual path.

Question: How can you say that there is something like a Knowledge substance. The flower creates itself out of the elements like earth sun etc. And you say that there is a knowledge doing this. But it may be also said that the flower (and everything else)exists just because of the properties of matter. As soon we take away the matter there is no flower and knowledge is also not there. The knowledge which creates the flower only exists in connection with matter. If matter is not there knowledge can also not be there.

Answer: Creation essentially has two aspects or substances. one is the material cause and the other is the intelligence cause. the latter I called as knowledge substance which is normally referred to as property of the material or element. In this regard there is a slight difference in thinking which is material is the property of the knowledge or intelligence and not the other way round. At element level there is intelligence which begets the material like the wetting intelligence be gets water burning intelligence begets fire etc. And again the flower intelligence with the help of such elements or the intelligences and with their rightful combination will bring out flower. Same way in a human being it is the intelligence body which is subtle begets the physical body which is the gross.

question: Even if there is just a slight change in the properties of matter the flower will not come. For instance if you heat the seeds above a certain temperature the seeds cannot create a plant anymore. There is no knowledge which can even overcome the smallest changes in matter. So where is the knowledge independent from matter?

Answer: at the seed level the intelligence is limited only to the degree that if the conditions are suitable within that range they will be able to give manifestation to their intelligence and flower flowers. but the moment you alter the conditions beyond certain limits then they fail. their intelligence is in one sense extraordinary as to look at a the intelligence present in the seed within given a lump of clay moisture and such conditions it can bring out a plant and nice flowers which we can not do in a laboratory. But suddenly if he conditions change they can not have the freedom like if it snows they can not move into safer place! This is their limitations. their knowledge is fixed having lesser degree of freedom. where as at human level there is so much freedom.

question: Even when one says it is not expressed but it is there. How can we say that it is there when we don´t perceive it apart from matter? When it is perceivable only in matter it is matter itself.

Answer: This is the argument of materialists or existentialists say that there is nothing like intelligence. even if it is there it is nothing but the aspect of the matter. This argument extended further like the way intelligence is part of the matter even the intention and intuition also do not exist. or even if they exist they exist as part of the matter and not independent. And finally the soul also does not exist. With that view two dangers are there. One is that when we are physically there we are there and there is nothing beyond. Then there is no place for charity, compassion etc as superior values If I have material advantage I do if not I don't. there is nothing like moral and immoral. Second thing is how do you explain the experiences of people who meditate and have outer body experiences and the experience of body apartness etc.

Question: And when it is not percievable apart from matter it is not there at all.

Answer: There are therefore two strong positions in the world One is matter based Universe and the other is the consciousness based universe. In the later position since the consciousness is the prior position instrumentation which is nothing but the matter will not be able to prove the presence of consciousness or intelligence so perception by any external means is not possible but it is only experiential.

I hope I have answered your questions. In my assessment they are very deep and thoughtful questions!
Raghu Ram

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Benefit of Jala Neti

I have been advising this to people all the time since thirty years I am happy this is becoming popular. When I started I did not have any one to guide me so i used to do it very crude way We did not even had netipots those days, but i got such benifit when i was twelve years, I gave upusing thenasal drops which i used to use every hour before. I used to carry the dropper to the school !

The readers wrote:

I hear that Kaiser suggests sinus irrigation for persistent or frequent colds; many western doctors not only recommend it but also sell "netty pots" and "smelling salts"in a package for $15-20. East-West has fancy sets for higher prices. My husband's allergies have improved drastically and I have got rid of my headaches due to jalaneti. Prevoiusly if I caught a cold in winter, I'd sniffle and cough all winter. Last year I did NOT catch a cold throughout winter. This year after the whole family had two bouts of cold and my husband had a particularly nasty one after a business trip, I developed a mild cold. At work people are still suffering but I have managed to steer clear. It has become my daily habit and recently in the middle of a stinking headache, I did jalaneti (had not done that morning due to a hurried schedule so did after coming home) and my headache lightened tremendously. A short rest, with my eyes covered, completely eliminated my headache. Please try this out and see the effects. I feel that I see more clearly after having started this practise.


A couple more people sent their testimonies.... (I should start practising shirshasana and sarvangasana also)
Yes, I have tried it before and can attest to its benefits as well. The other option is to try sutra-neti (using a catheter) if you are a bit queasy with
water going up your nose.

Regular practice of shirshasana and sarvangasana also builds immense immunity to colds and helps with quick recovery from colds as well (if you still manage to catch it).


Yea, it worked successfully for my in-laws too.. My Brother-in-law who also had sinus problems before used it and is very much satisfied with the results.. with the success my mother-in-law had, she gave some to her colleagues and they were very happy as well..
it looks as an effective and simple solution (though never used myself yet :) )


Last year I threw away at least $200 worth of cold/sinus meds. We have saved a tremendous amount of money in cold medicines and nasal drops, saline solution that Mukul (Mike) used few times a day; not to mention, I haven't missed a single day of work due to sickness, Mike has missed much fewer days and the biggest benefit is not feeling miserable and vanquished by common cold, flu and general bad health. The world is so much more enjoyable when one is healthy!!


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Question about Vijnanamaya Kosa experience

Question: 'what happens actually at the level of vigyanamaya kosha level in deep relaxation technique', when we go out of body conciousnes?

Answer: In deep relaxation we are fully aware of the changes happening and we consciously and with friendly suggestions go to deeper relaxation.So in DRT the Vijnanamayakosa is fully operative and if we start recognizing that it is not that we are relaxing but we are actually going to our nature called relaxation which will enable us to trascend from the physical personality level and go to Pranamaya level of functioning. Again further Vijnanamaya does not leave its presence and helps us to recognize that we can slow the breath and ease our involvement in Pranamaya and transcend to subtler level called Mnomaya and from there to Vijnanamaya. After recognizing that bliss or harmony is our nature we can go beyond and identify with anandamaya kosa. All this is possible only if Vijnana is objective or Sakshi. In good DRT therefore you becoem sakshi.


Monday, June 26, 2006

Spirituality, mind-body medicine plays valid role in health, healing

-An article from Gurav Kale-

The concept of spirituality to study quality of life and health is not new, but has returned to the scene during recent years and has gone through an evolutionary process. Recently, most of the advanced hospitals have begun to incorporate spirituality with health to encourage patients in the faith aspect while they are hospitalized.
Spirituality and health in real meaning, is to look beyond the physical body. In ancient systems of body meditation, mind and soul were seen as interconnected and inseparable, and if one part of the whole system was stimulated, it affected the other parts as well.
MSU's initiative toward studying the effect of spirituality on cancer patients and validating the results can assure the use of holistic medicine in healing patients.
A recent study at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson center in coordination with Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana research foundation in Bangalore, India, showed that involving the practice of yoga during breast cancer treatment actually helped in improving the quality of life of the patients. Lorenzo Cohen, associate professor and director of the Integrative Medicine Program at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, said, "Cancer and its treatments are associated with considerable distress, impaired quality of life and reduced physical function. This is true for women with breast cancer who receive multi-modality treatment over an extended period of time." The study showed significant increase in general health, physical function and enhanced quality of life of the participants.
Yoga is generally referred to as the union of the individual atma, or soul, with paramatma, or the universal soul. This translates to a union with the divine by integration of body, mind and spirit. Ayurveda — a Sanskrit term for knowledge of life — is a healing side of yoga, and yoga is a spiritual tradition from which Ayurveda emerged. It is based on the view that the elements, forces and principles that comprise all of nature, holding it together and making it function are also seen in human beings.
Through yoga one prepares the body and mind for self-realization or union with the divine, and through Ayurveda one supports the spiritual journey by maintaining body and mind in a state of balance and well-being.
According to Ayurveda, each person has a constitution that determines the basic physiology and personality. This constitution is an inherent balance of three doshas — a unique mix of three mind-body principles, which creates our specific mental and physical characteristics — which are vata (motion), pitta (metabolism) and kapha (cohesiveness).
The basic theory of mind-body medicine is to treat the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual states of human beings in such a way that there is a balance between them. According to Daniel Goleman and Joel Gurin, mind-body medicine is "an approach that sees the mind — our thoughts and emotions — as having a central impact on the body's health."
The therapies of mind-body medicine include relaxation training, meditation, hypnosis, psychotherapy, guided imagery and prayer. Ayurveda provides an integrated approach in preventing and treating illness through lifestyle involvement and natural therapies. In Ayurveda, the mind, or consciousness, and the body not only influence each other, but also have to work together in overcoming a disease.
Another idea of mind-body medicine is prevention of disease by helping patients realize the healing potential in themselves by empowering them with the use of those therapies. The practice of yoga along with Ayurvedic therapies has been noted in ancient Ayurvedic texts and found to be beneficial in treating diseases or conditions such as hypertension, bronchial asthma, anxiety and depression, neurosis, gastrointestinal disorders, headache and insomnia.
Also, Ayurveda contributed a specialized and elaborate system of massage therapies like acupressure therapy. Martial arts, such as qi gong, tai chi and karate, were adopted and practiced in Chinese monasteries for centuries and also originate from Ayurvedic traditions.
Ayurveda is not only getting popular in medical establishments, but also in cosmetology institutes. Aveda Institutes headquarters in Blaine, Minn., took inspiration from Ayurveda in manufacturing of skin care, cosmetics, perfume and hair-care products, and trains students in cosmetology. Aveda's spa framework is based on the foundation of elemental nature philosophy from ancient wisdom of Ayurveda.
The United Nations health agency aims to bring traditional or alternative medicines, including Ayurveda, for research into their effectiveness and safety by promoting their proper use and regulation and by helping countries integrate them into their health-care services. The combination of integrative medicines, including mind-body therapies, with mainstream biomedical therapies in one practice that can offer added value to existing systems.

Gurav Kale is an MSU packaging graduate student. Reach him at

Please visit for more information.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

VEGETARIANISM -4- Energy Release and Epilog

Energy Release on Eating:

Now coming to the concept of energy, the vegetarian food gives us energy immediately, due to the simple cell structure. Animals take a long time digesting and releasing energy, but it can release energy for a sustained period of time. That is probably the reason why most of the people who are at the intellectual and heart level, would always eat vegetarian food, whereas people who are warriors, whose activities include hard work like protecting the country without knowing how long the gap between meals will be, eat non-vegetarian food. So the Kshatriya community would eat non-vegetarian food. This was not taboo for them. Vivekananda was born in a half-Kshatriya family and this cast used to always eat meat. Similarly, people near the coastal areas where fish was available in abundance would eat fish, including Brahmins. The Brahmins outside of the coastal regions and the Vaishyas are intellectuals who eat regularly and, thus, are vegetarian. This is how the food habit of the Indian subcontinent has formed.

Is egg a non-vegetarian food?

One thing that can resolve eating or not eating eggs is that God naturally provided the process of life in the womb, but in the breast he provided food in the form of milk, When the child is born he drinks the milk of the mother; we drink the milk of the cow. Whereas, the egg grows itself in a womb and we know for sure that the egg or the womb is the place meant for procreation or which is meant for creating another living being. So, the vegetarians do not eat egg because it is the product from the womb and not from the mammary gland which is meant for producing milk. So milk is food, whereas eggs are not meant to be food.


To summarize the discussion thus far, it is essential to respect the consciousness, and thus be vegetarian. In areas where vegetables were not available, people would eat non-vegetarian food. Because non-vegetarian food also gives us longer sustenance without food, warriors and long distance travelers would eat meat, while the common intellectual trading person would not. In vegetarianism, it is not a cultural background, but historically, eating non-vegetarian food was a primitive form of eating and when society became more civilized, vegetarian food became primary. So vegetarianism is essentially and culturally an evolved society. Added to all of these discussions are now the medical studies and research which are indicating that the source of many ailments lie in a non-vegetarian diet.