The 4th International Conference (17th Jan 2009)

4th_conference

 

An abridged report of The 4th International Conference on ‘Application of Yoga in Day-To-Day life”

Held on 17th January, 2009, at Lonavla in Fond Memory of Dr. M. L. GharoteOrganized by The Lonavla Yoga Institute (India)

 

The 4th International Conference on ‘Application of Yoga in Day-To-Day Life” was organized with full exuberance and high spirit on 17th January 2009 at the Whispering Woods Resort, Lonavla, Dist – Pune, India. This yearly occasion marks the loving memory of Dr. M. L. Gharote who was a stalwart in the field of modern Yoga and who revived and re-established this age-old tradition with its pristine glory while keeping its subtleties and nuances intact. This Conference was attended by a number of internationally reputed scholars, experts, teachers and students of Yoga from both India as well as aboard.

 

Inaugural Session –

The Conference was organized for one day. There was Inaugural Session held at 10.00 AM as scheduled. Dr. Manmath Manohar Gharote, The Director of The Lonavla Yoga Institute (India ) and The Organising Secretary of the 4th International Conference on ‘Application of Yoga in Day-To-Day Life” highlighted in his welcome address about the aims and objectives of the Institution and the nature of its activities. He also explained in details the motive behind the organization of the conference as well as the efforts made by the Institute in last year.

Presidential Address-

Followed by this a highly inspiring and educative lecture given by Dr. Narendra Jadhav, Vice-Chancellor, Pune University, Pune, who was the President of the event. He delivered a talk that was packed with power and full of spirit. His appreciation and clarity regarding significance of Literary Research in Traditional Yoga were more that commendable. This was evident in his stressing on the following few points that he declared with great emphasis before the august gathering. A few of these points to embolden the prospect of Revival of Traditional Yoga are as follows –

1. Declaration of an MOU between University of Pune and The Lonavla Yoga Institute (India)

2. To explore all possibilities for Joint ventures.

3. To sanction research projects in the field of yoga

4. All possible help that can be given to The Lonavla Yoga Institute (India) in promoting its pioneering work.

The audience applauded the positive and helpful approach of Dr. Narendra Jadhav and gave a big hand.

Key note Address by the Chief Guest Dr. Daya Mullins, Germany-……………………………….

In her own words………

Highly respected Dr. Manmath Gharote, honoured Vice-Chancellor and guests, lovers of Yoga

From the perspective of spirituality everything that happens is meant to teach us something, family life, professional life and so-called leisure time. At whatever aspect we look, life is divine. We discover divinity, how God manifests through body, breath and mind.

The word Yoga nowadays often appears in daily media, like books, newspapers and so on. However, it is very difficult to define Yoga in just a few words, as Yoga surely is one of the most complete and universal systems that exist. Yoga teaches that all aspects of life are connected, and only through Self-realization we can experience this connectedness and our true nature. The language and wisdom of Yoga is universal and eternal. It has been preserved in an intact form by the Rishis who explored nature and the universe through meditation and attained complete realization.

Today more and more people are practising the different paths of Yoga. They are looking for something to balance their stressful life, they need relaxation and quietness and want to live more consciously. Is that, however, the original purpose of Yoga or are those some of the positive side effects?

In order to answer these questions let us look at the ancient Yoga scriptures and towards the great Masters. One of the important and oldest texts of Yoga, the Yoga Sutras, was made by Patanjali who was one of the first to put the deep knowledge of Yoga into writing, that until then had been transmitted only orally. Patanjali is presenting us with the Astanga Yoga path with its eight limbs in precise Sutras.

Included in the Yoga Sutras are social and personal rules of conduct (advice) (Yama and Niyama), body poses (Asanas), breathing exercises (Pranayama), followed by Pratyahara, as well as the steps of concentration (Dharana), meditation (Dhyana) and finally Samadhi. The Sutras teach us to inner discriminate and to move through Avidhya with its four aspects of ignorance with the purpose to gain Nirodhah, mastery of the mind field.

Gaining Nirodhah is the most important achievement – as we so learn to set aside or coordinate what is not significant – and to enquire what really is underneath or behind the mind field. The highest attainment in Yoga is Samadhi. However,

What is Samadhi really?

Samadhi is a direct experience of unity

It is a state of being completely awake, an unending awareness. This awareness is all encompassing, a state of unlimited knowledge. And in addition to this awareness it includes that quality where the division between subject and object is completely dissolved. There is nobody who makes an experience, the observer and the observed, subject and object are melting into a unity. Any duality completely disappears like a drop that disappears into the ocean. Being one with everything. We realize the truth that in reality we are neither this body nor this mind, with which we usually identify ourselves. We are pure consciousness. In this stage the feeling of pure ecstasy, the end of all searching and suffering, is realized.

The state of Samadhi is beyond the mind

Only few people have reached this state, that in Yoga is being described as the highest form of Self-realization, in such a way that they can stay longer or permanently in it. And yet it has been reached and experienced again and again by great Yogis at all times. The state of Samadhi is beyond the reach of mind and language. To reach this level the mind has to be purified, and the nerve system needs to be prepared. Then the vessel can be so purifies as to be able to withstand the pressure of a sudden expansion of consciousness and to bear a cosmic view that is beyond the mind and reveals existence as a whole. When these conditions are fulfilled, Self-realization can happen within one tiny moment instantly. The nerve system, needs to be prepared, though.

To create these conditions is the path of Yoga – it is very practical

Here we learn to make choices that lead us into stable calmness by learning to break the false identities. The core principle leading us to stability and tranquillity is to practise with non-attachment. Through studying our attitudes, applying right effort and commitment we gain faith in our direction, energy to go there and also gain mindfulness and the memory to stay there. Through our ongoing commitment to seek the Higher, stages of wisdom and concentration are enhanced.

As we work to stabilize and clear the mind we learn ways to focus attention and to notice our attractions, aversions and fears, and we progressively train the mind for more subtle meditation. In this process we remove the veils that colour our mind by embracing them through recognition, by studying them in a non-judgemental way, and we let go of them by reducing our attachment to them. Through training our senses, through inner study and surrendering and through learning to explore and witness the process, this veil of Avidhya that prevented truth to be revealed gradually thins.

The Yamas and Niyamas help us to remove the obstacles on the path.

The Yamas, simply speaking, consist of Ahimsa – practising non-violence, Satya – acting and speaking truth, Asteya – no stealing, Bramacharya – walking in the awareness of the Divine, in the presence of God, and then Aparigraha, f.e. not to collect possessions you do not really need. The Niyamas are the self-training that we are to pursue, which indicates Saucha – the purity of body and mind, Samtosha – contentment, Tapah – training the senses and the fire of will, Svadhyaya – self study, f.e. our reflection on sacred words, and Ishwara Pranidhana – surrendering to God, also the fruits of our practice.

All these are ways of conduct serving to purify the mind and keep it purified. This is the inner foundation of any Yoga practice. Applying Asanas keeps the body healthy, strong and flexibel. As the Asanas get more and more subtle we naturally get more sensitive to the breath. By applying Pranayama we expand the breathing ability and draw Prana as well as purify and strengthen the energy channels, the Nadis, in the body to highten the life force, help us heal emotional imbalances and prepare for the expansion of consciousness. Pranayama leads us to Pratyahara, the drawing back of the Indriyas from objects of the material world.

Then those limbs called Samyama are following, which Patanjali divides into Dharana, Dhyana and, as earlier mentioned, Samadhi. At first the senses are drawn back from the outer world, then follows the one pointed concentration which, if it is strong and permanent enough, will lead to actual meditation, to a steady presence. The last step is when we let go of grasping – we or I disappear. Yoga is when the movements of the mind, the waves of the mind, are coming to a rest, there is absorption, only the essence shines forth.

In all ages people of various cultures and traditions have reached the state of Samadhi. They were of very different social standing, also their personalities were as manifold as their conditions of life. Samadhi does not mean a cessation of personality. It is the perfection of personality. In
a sense, the peculiarities of character are actually being preserved. There are sages with a quiet nature, others are rather grumbling and rough. Others again have a radiant face, are full of humour and childlike joy, and again others are part of what we call the crazy wisdom, unpredictable in every way. In many other traditions there are documentations of people who have had an ecstatic experience of becoming one with a higher principle or God. In Christian mysticism this is called Unio Mystica.

Nowadays millions of people in the West are practising Yoga, mostly meaning, however, only one part of the whole system, the practice of Asanas. They practise in order to relax and to become quiet. That actually is a real good reason to practise Yoga.

One may enter the practice of Yoga for any of the following reasons and then expand into the others naturally:

1. for fitness

2. for health and wellness – health enhancing strategies

3. for healing – a holistic approach to support healing processes

4. for spiritual development or self-realization.

As we integrate Yoga in daily life we aim to understand life better in all areas. How can one live one’s life with awareness, with compassion and in balance? How can one solve problems constructively? How can one learn to see oneself and others more clearly? Seen from this angle life is a school and we can gain understanding at every step of the way. In order to achieve this, the perception through the senses has to become clearer, that means purified, and the mind needs to become quiet and focussed.

In our yoga classes, in the formal educations and in patient education programs at the European College for Yoga and Therapy and in the Weg der Mitte Health Centers in Germany we teach the eight limbs that Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras offer us in such a way that students and patients gain access to Yoga in accordance with their motivation, their age and their health condition. We apply the teachings in such a way that people can learn to adapt Yoga in their daily life step by step.

As a foundation we apply the ethical principles in all we do. We offer Asanas and Hatha-Yoga purification techniques, deep relaxation through Yoga Nidra, concentration through for example Trataka, and we also offer an extended teaching on the effects of food and nutrition. Among the further Yoga practices we apply are Mantra recitation and chanting as well as Satsang and the study of Spiritual Scriptures. All these aspects of Yoga can enter into an integrated personal Sadhana for every motivated person to use in their daily life.

Applying self-enquiry techniques we gradually come to know ourselves and see who we are and what we are not. We thus gain understanding of what situations in daily life have confused us and are the cause of our suffering, instead of projecting them as guilt on others f.e. or neglecting and pushing these feelings away. Whatever comes to us has to do with what God wants to teach us. Here we are challenged to turn our weaknesses into strengths and to embrace, heal and transform these situations in us. Getting aware is the first step on the path to transformation.

And we can go a big step further by opening our consciousness to the whole science of Yoga, a science with different paths, the Margas: Karma Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, Bhakti Yoga as well as Jnana Yoga, Vedanta and Tantra. Here profound teachings are offered that have proven highly useful during thousands of years giving us the opportunity to discover our true nature, to go beyond our limited mind.

How would it be to reach absolute liberation (Kaivalya), the end of all suffering? A lot of people at least in the West think themselves very far from such a high state of Self-realization. If they know of this possibility at all, they think it is only meant for Yogis who are constantly living and meditating in Himalayan caves. However, this may not be true at all. God is….now!!!

The application of the precious heritage of authentic yoga in daily life is a holistic and comprehensive system, concerning bodymind consciousness and soul. It includes all main Yoga paths which have the potential to support us on our individual path towards Self-realization. It it obvious that each Marga has its own contribution and energy, all of which are important for any human being. Traditionally Karma Yoga is seen as the path of Yoga in daily life.

In our day and time, however, it is especially essential, to see these paths as a whole, meant to spiritualize the body, the feelings, the intellect, and to harmonize those aspects of our humanness with one another for the higher purpose of realization. So we are indeed both, Divine and Human.

Karma Yoga is the path of selfless way of acting, described in the Bhagavadgita. The aim is not to be lost in outer activity and not to be identified with the results of one’s actions.

Yoga with the Sat?kriyas, the purification techniques, and Asanas providing strength and flexibility, balancing the sun and the moon within us, the male and the female – the right and the left side of the body. Hatha Yoga is traditionally used to prepare the body for meditation and to clean the Nadis, the energy circuits in the body – the internal energy “rivers”. However, Hatha Yoga is misunderstood by many people in the West as to be the whole of Yoga

Raja Yoga/Kriya Yoga is called the Royal Path, the path of discipline and meditation. A whole variety of techniques are applied, according to the maturity of the disciple, special methods of inner observation in meditation or apart from it, recitation of Mantras, and individual Kriyas that transform personal structures. They can only be given at the proper time and individually designed for the need of the disciple.

Bhakti Yoga is the path of devotion, described also in the Bhagavadgita. Devotional singing plays an important part in the form of Bhajans and Kirtan. In spiritual singing repetition plays an important part as the daily mind gets bypassed and the singers slowly sink into the space of worship. Prayer is another aspect of Bhakti Yoga as well as is ritual Worship

Yoga, the path of realization through knowledge, has its origin especially in the Upanishads. Jnana Yoga removes Avidhya, ignorance, the first Klesa, and the main source of human suffering. Viveka, discrimination, is one of its main tools. The transference of knowledge by the words of the masters allows us to deeply ponder upon their true meaning and to eventually enter into the space behind the words.

Vedanta and in the highest form of Advaita-Vedanta describes the underlying unity behind all manifestations as the only truth versus the illusionary life.

is among others concerned with understanding energy in body-mind and its sublimation. Teachings here are generally not meant for the public and are often secret.

On the path of Yoga we may seek the help of Ayurveda to support balance in the body-mind system, to find out what we have too much of, what we have too little of and how we can gain balance in the Doshas. Both practices are rooted in the harmony with nature, they have been natural integrative approaches from the beginning, with a high level of benefit for the user or practitioner. It helps us to better understand who we are, where we are living, what we do and how we do it and what we need so that we can live in inner and outer harmony.

Everybody can benefit from it. Here we have to purify and refine our senses. There is no dogma. So we learn to make our life more beneficial, according to our type by understanding the Doshas and to enhance our life energy. Yoga is for everybody, also according to Hatha-Pradipika, and the Yoga practice can be applied and adapted for everybody in an optimal way.

Vivekanada-ji said: “Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy – by one, or more, or all of these – and be free.”

The science of Yoga has the intention to help people clear their constantly moving and distracted mind, to centre it and to make it become quiet. If this does not happen, the person is not able to concentrate and thus cannot deepen his or her knowledge in the respective fields of internal enquiry
and external interest. Yoga sees subjective perception as a distorted perception, that causes the patterns that shape the behaviour, and colour the self-perception of the person. It is often said that change starts in the mind and must then also be reflected as a change in behaviour and on the bodily level.

To be present is a key for us to be able to verify what we need to work on and how

Real change is based on self-study, that means we start with ourselves: observing oneself in one’s reactions, in one’s actions, emotions and thoughts. Our aim here is to develop a witness. We see it as fundamental that one learns to distinguish between bodily sensations, emotions, feelings and thoughts and while observing the thoughts to distinguish between Aklista and Klista, useful or not useful. One also explores how one feels if behaving in a certain way. In this one can discover that certain actions, certain thoughts, certain behaviour have pleasant effects. One feels better, more free and more relaxed. And with certain unpleasant effects one feels bad, upset and tense. However, it is not about feeling so-called good or feeling bad, it is about understanding this level of duality of likes and dislikes and then rising above. Patanjali reminds us to be very aware of what our actions bring about, where they come from and where they will lead us to..

Each change that Yoga wants to establish in us will be met by resistance. Allowing change and to establish it in one’s own system is the most difficult of all. Therefore it is of utmost importance to develop patience as well as perseverance. .

The pole of feeling good Patanjali calls Sukha, that of feeling uncomfortable Dukha. Sukha means free-moving, without effort and smoothly, like
a wheel turning around the hub. Dukha means suffering, pain, worry and any kind of feeling uncomfortable, the wheel not turning smoothly. Patanjali suggests to the practitioners to notice with great awareness if they move more towards Sukha or towards Dukha and then to develop strategies in themselves to avoid actions that produce Dukha and instead develop strategies that enhance Sukha.

Eventually even Sukha has to be transcended, though, as was said before – as is the case with all polarity – to gain Samadhi We receive many suggestions how to focus our awareness in daily life so that we become able to recognize and to reveal hidden mechanisms. After some time of learning how to focus one’s awareness one discovers a lot about one’s own behaviour, one’s reactions and those of the surrounding. Even if one cannot yet change one’s behaviour one notices what one does and what are the effects of one’s actions. At this point one often acts against the best of one’s knowledge and contrary to one’s better insight. If this happens again and again it feels more and more uncomfortable, one wishes to find a way out, and may then recognize a natural arising of the hunger and wish for balance.

To come into balance needs practice

The balance between body, breath and mind guarantees our bodily and mental health. If this balance is disturbed there will be disturbances on all levels of our being.

Patanjali says in YS I, 31:

By the presence of the following reactions we can understand the extent to which our mind is disturbed and distracted:

  • sorrowful mood
  • psychological despair
  • the impaired motions of the body
  • the difficulties in the rhythm of inhalation and exhalation.
  • By being attentive to these factors, it is possible to arrive at an understanding of the degree of seriousness of these obstacles: for they coexist with the distraction of the mind.

In order to feel better it may be time to start changing one’s behaviour. Then one tries out the new behaviour and starts making space for the change within one’s own system. And again this leads to consequences so that a first process of change – consciously lived through – entails further
change.

One can again and again observe the effects of practising – that means to be aware and attentive. This is what the system of Yoga aims for, no matter if the process of perceiving begins in the body, with the breath or directly in the intellectual mind. In this sense the Yoga postures in Hatha-Yoga
are tools in order to see through one’s attitude, for example to find out how to let go of tension. Hatha-Yoga as such is no end in itself. It serves to reach the aim of harmonizing body, breath and mind. Here the breath is the connecting link. It documents in the most subtle variations each tension of the mind and thus of the body. However, it also documents each letting go of these tensions. In addition, the breath is the direct connecting link to our vitality and life energy – to the Divine. As we learn to keep the focus and to centre ourselves more Prana is kept in our body, more life force!

Authentic Yoga is a path of practice that balances the extremes. It is harmonizing the energy channelled through the spine, balancing Ida and Pingala that eventually leads to the rising of energy through Sushumna, the middle channel. To be able to work with this process we have to come to understand the three Gunas:

-The moving, the dynamic force – Rajas

-The resting, the steady force – Tamas

-And the state of balance between moving and resting – the sattvic quality.

Exactly this state of Sattva is aimed for again and again. On the level of the body it means that all organs and the nervous system are coming into harmony with each other. One hardly senses a body in this sattvic state, it simply feels easy – one usually only becomes aware of the disturbances, when the body hurts, tenses up, gains or looses too much weight or other ways, where the energy seems blocked.

When emotional life is balanced, one is able to become aware of the feelings behind the emotions, moving from the reactive emotionality towards
the outer world into the true feeling that the outer reaction hides – that maybe quite different – and to express this feeling adequately.

When the mind really is in balance it holds the reins of will and the ability to let go with equal intensity, thus gaining openness and creativity as well as clear structure and alignment. A balanced breath perfectly follows the needs of the body,

feeding it with oxygen for all its metabolic processes while freeing it at the same time from accumulated toxins. Breath connects man with the source of his life force.

It needs continuous efforts on all levels, that means inner work on oneself, in order to move towards the sattvic state. When body, breath and mind are more or less in balance Prana is flowing through the levels continuously. This state of balance can be preserved neither easily nor constantly, as it is part of the nature of balance to be instable in itself, it is a dynamic equilibrium. All scientific systems that are dealing with the concept of energy and balance, insist that it is especially these small imbalances that make life pulsate. If there was a constant balance, life would come to a standstill or – as Yoga says, it would close in and disappear.

In Yoga we wish to harmonize strong polarities which otherwise would bring about tensions and lead to Dukha. Negative thoughts and anxieties
are the major cause of dysbalance in our nervous system and cause us a lot of physical disorders and suffering. As we spiritualize our daily life we wish to establish a clear mind with mental peace and positive thinking to gain a feeling of contentment as we overcome negative qualities and thoughts. In order to reach this harmonization again and again, a constant awareness is needed for everything that tends to get out of balance – as is also our daily Sadhana, a personal practice. Three things are essential to cultivate for us on our path to gain balance and harmony:

-to practice with continuous striving, Abhyasa,

-to practice with the energy of persistence, Virya,

-and to gain the ability to let go, Vairagya.

-Through these our mind eventually can reach the state of Yoga/Union.

According to YS I, 13 – 14:

“Practice is basically the correct effort required to move towards, reach and maintain the state of Yoga. It is only when the correct practice is followed for a long time, without interruptions and with a quality of positive attitude and eagerness, that it can succeed.”

Practising means for us to try out, to repeat and to learn to integrate. Practising means continuity and perseverance. Practising also means to not loose faith when obstacles occur. These obstacles can be inner obstacles, questioning if what we do is really right, or outer obstacles, for example one cannot practise because of professional demands, travelling or being sick. Everybody who is on the path will, to a more or less degree, become aware of obstacles, the Kleshas, afflictive states of mind caused by not seeing things as they are, and the Samskaras, imprints on the subconscious mind that may move to the surface and then become recognized. As long as there are Samskaras, that means the Vrttis, the wishes and thoughts moving the mind, the law of cause and effect will be experienced as valid, and without application of non-attachment here there will be no freedom possible. One will fall back into one’s main patterns/weaknesses again and again.

We therefore from the beginning encourage our students to apply self-observation in daily life, to really establish the witness that makes us able to notice these obstacles without judgement. It is an integral part of meditation to not be impressed or deviated by these obstacles, to very clearly
recognize them and then let them go. They are like a veil that lies across the mind, the heart, and colours all our impressions. Avidya, ignorance, is part of our mechanical being and is manifested all through Asmita, Raga, Dvesa und Abhinivesa. Asmita is the identification with the ego, the I-ness formed as we get incarnated. Through learning to observe Raga and Dvesa, likes or cravings and dislikes or rejection, in our daily life with non-attachment we can loosen the grip of identification with these powerful patterns. Abhinivesa is the instinct of self-preservation and fear of death that is likely to be present to some degree, however subtle, till the body finally perishes.

The path of Yoga is the path of the hero, because we have to meet these obstacles like a hero without being mislead and deviated. For the practioner, practising in such a way leads to a growing force, confidence, contentment, self-assurance and a growing self-esteem – this not to be confused with egoism and being vain.

Working holistically with Yoga means that we are building bridges between different states of consciousness, different needs and different forms of food for the different levels (food/nutrition, breath and impressions) – with the aim of reintegration and unity.

Also here one must not forget the strong power of sexuality that is pure creative force and in its essence neither good nor bad. It simply is. Depending on how we learn to cope with this powerful force, it can tear us down by letting us loose energy or build us up by allowing us to harmonize through balanced conduct. There are useful and sacred teachings in Tantra about this.

As we apply Yoga in our daily life, we learn our human responsibilities towards the world and the environment where we live. We gain a deep respect and compassion for living beings as we develop the hidden forces that are dormant in us and learn how we can utilize these forces for the benefit of the world.

As we work towards Self-realization we at the same time work for the good of others. As we gain the ability to communicate with others without
conflict, practising non-violent communication and action, we also start feeling more responsible for both our family and the society – we contribute to social and global health.

As we work to heal ourselves and to become peacemakers in our hearts, we follow the essence of non-violence (Ahimsa) and eventually rest into
the state of Advaita, non-duality. Our main commitment in Yoga is to protect all creatures in all forms and manifestations. It is essential to also be attentive to ecology and to the very fact that we are living on a planet that is an alive organism, that needs our outmost care-taking. It is necessary to introduce love, tolerance, helpfulness and understanding among nature and all humanity, all races, nations and religions. There is one God, all are creatures of one creator, all beings are part of one big family.

We transcend the denominations and unite in the Divine.

As we see God realization as the highest goal in life we are offering ourselves into a transforming process that can turn us into real human beings – humane beings. We forgive, we give, we understand ourselves and others. We come step by step to know our true nature, our divine Self.

Our soul (Purusha) is by nature free of attachment and is non-identified, connected with all. As incarnated human beings it is ours to consciously recognize our bodily and spiritual existence and not mistake the one for the other. As we become integrated beings and progressively have freed ourselves from attachment – by help of practice, teacher/Guru and grace – the soul consciousness gets manifested more and more in our human form. Finally there no longer is a division. The task is then completed.

Book releases—

On this occasion there were a number of prestigious publications from The Lonavla Yoga Institute (India) released by the hands of dignitaries, which are as follows:

Critical Edition of Selected Yogopanisad.. – Yogacudamanyupanisad, Trishikhibrahmanopanisad & Yogakundalyupanisad.

Twenty Yogopanishads along with the Commentary authored by Shri Upanishad-brahmayogin was first published in the year of 1920 by Adyar Library, Madras. Pt. A. Mahadeva Shastri, an erudite scholar from Adyar Library edited the Yogopanishads and thus rendered a great service to the aspirants of Yoga by bringing in light these Upanishads, which otherwise remained unknown.

However, this work is entirely based on a few Mss. and not critically edited. Moreover, the original texts are published in Sanskrit (in Devanagari script) which is not understandable to a larger portion of the Yoga enthusiasts and therefore they are deprived of the valuable knowledge described therein. Later on they were translated in English and published in a separate volume.

The Yogopanishads deal in a wide range of topics chiefly of Hathayoga. In most of the cases, each Yogopanishad provides exhaustive, detailed and in-depth knowledge on one specific subject. These Upanishads also give rarely available practicable guidelines on the topic or practice it deals in. Therefore, these Upanishads are a treasure house of knowledge which are certainly to be of practical use for the students of Yoga.

We have information regarding several more Mss. of Yogopanishads deposited in the Oriental Libraries and three more distinct commentaries authored by Shankarananda (1400 AD), Appayadikshitar and Narayana. In our project on Yogopanishads, we plan to consult these valuable source materials with a view to enhance the quality of the work which can be accessed by world Yoga community to derive maximum benefit.

We have an ambitious objective to critically edit and publish all the twenty Yogopanishads. However, at present we have undertaken this project to critically edit three selected Yogopanishads, namely, Yogakundalyupanishad, Yogacudamanyupanishad and Trisikha-brahmanopanishad. In its final form we have provided original text along with text of commentaries, transliteration of the main text, English translation, critical notes and footnotes with an exhaustive introduction. word index, glossary etc.

Hatharatnavali – Second Edition, ( Critical Edition)

This is an important text of Hathayoga not widely known as Hathapradipika. The salient features of the text include clear conception of Yoga, description of Astakarmas, 84 Asanas and elaboration on Mudras. It refers to old traditions and gives new information and techniques of Yoga.

Yogic Prakriya – (Marathi) –

‘Yogic Prakriya’ is a Marathi translation of English book ‘Yogic Techniques’ deals with both Patanjala Yoga as well as Hathayogic practices. Discussion on the historical perspective of Yoga as an ancient science of self-evolution as well as a system of keeping good overall health proves its practical utility. It provides an in-depth study of the subject though in much a simplified and abridged manner. Techniques of the practices of Hathayoga namely, Asanas, Pranayamas, Kriyas, Bandha-Mudras inclusive of Nadanusandhana are given which provide much needed guidance for a student of Yoga. Additionally, indications and contra-indications of Yogic practices have been extensively discussed.

Yogic Prakriyanche Margadarshan (Marathi) –

The present book Ypgic Prakriyanche Margadarshan is a Marathi translation of English book ‘Guidelines for Yogic Practices’. It is a handbook which should work as a ‘self-instructor’ to the beginners of Yoga practices. The book adequately describes many Hathayogic practices such as Asanas, Pranayamas, Bandhas, Mudras, Kriyas and Meditation to help an initiate to gain ground in the subject.Each technique of Asana, Pranayama etc. has been presented with proper sequence with a view to understand the practice in an easy and smooth manner. Moreover, principles of each group of practice have also been lucidly placed to provide sufficient conceptual clarity to a practitioner

Paper Reading Session–

The Inaugural session was followed up by a selected series of lectures delivered by long-standing experts in the field, who spoke on various topics of Yoga. The list includes Dr. H. R. Nagendra, Dr. Vijayendra Pratap and, Dr. Ulka Natu. Dr. Samprasad Vinod was chair person for this Paper reading session.

In this Paper Reading Session Dr. H. R. Nagendra, the Vice-Chancellor of the Vivekananda Kendra, Prashanti Kutiram, Bangalore, spoke on practical aspect of Yoga – how and where certain practices of yoga can he applied discreetly to derive suitable benefits. He placed that mere intellectual learning is of not much use unless the same in implemented in life. Thus an integrated approach is an answer to alleviate many of our woes. He also said that mere philosophical jugglery can not take us far. Philosophical ideals have meaning if only the same are realized in practical life.The presentation was highly informative and inspiring.

Delivering his talk during the Paper Reading Session Dr. Vijayendra Pratap gave very practical and simple suggestions of Yoga in modern day life. Modern day life offers many scope of stress. Though it would only be a wishful thinking to remove all possibilities of stress factors, it would be just challenging to face the same and resolve factors of stress by gaining integrity through regular practice of Yoga. Moreover, he strongly suggested the yoga teachers to simplify yoga sessions to give maximum benefit to larger section of the populace. He also urged the need to find proper easily understandable interpretation of certain difficult practices of Yoga such as Khechari etc. This will make the subject more appreciable by public in general as well. Dr. Vijayendra Pratap also enlightened the researchers by guiding them how to interpret the technical terms in the modern languages.

Dr. Ulka Natu delivered her paper about the ‘Application of Yoga in day-to-day life”. She offered therapeutical guidelines for those women who are unable to conceive. Certain yoga practices she found to be great benefit in such cases. She also mentioned that during the period of carrying various yoga practices, if undertaken with due caution, would be of immense benefit. She also referred to some of her research findings to prove her stand point strongly in support of her observations.

Dr. Samprasad Vinod highly appreciated the literary research work having been diligently carried out by the The Lonavla Yoga Institute (India) which he strongly feel will show the light to the people. He also said that it is only traditional knowledge of Yoga that possesses substance and significant value and that is the reason why this knowledge will sustain onslaught of time.

The Conference was attended by more than 370 delegates from India and other countries.

The List of Dignitaries who graced this auspicious occasion —

1. Dr. H. R. Nagendra, Vice Chancellor, VYASA, Bangalore, India,

2. Dr. M. V. Bhole, Ex. Joint Director for Scientific Research, Kaivalyadhama, Lonavla, India,

3. Dr. Samprasad Vinod, Director, Vinod Research Foundation, Pune, India,

4. Dr. R. V. Nisal, Director, Nisargopachar Gram Sudhar Trust, Uralikanchan, Pune.

5. Dr. G. V. Pargaonkar, Principal, B.P.C.A’S College of Physical Education, Mumbai. 6. Anna Vyavahare (Swami Satyakarmananda), Ghantali Mitra Mandal, Thane, India.

7. Dr. M. N. Palsane, Ex. Head of the Psychology Dept. Pune University, Pune.

8. Prof. Dr. Alicia Souto, Director, Centro de Eutonia y Yogaterapia, Argentina.

9. Prof. Kryzstof Stec, Poland. 10. Prof. Hiroshi Aikata, Coordinator, Thai Yoga Association, Japan. 11. Mrs. Hideko Aikata. Japan.

12. Ms. Elista, Bulgaria

13. Dr.. Sandhya Jinturkar, Special officer, Balbharati, Pune.

14. Shri. Jagannath Hegde, Past Sheriff, Mumbai

15. Dr. M. M. Gore, Kaivalyadhama, Lonavla.

16. Dr.T.K.Bera. Lonavla

17. Advocate Shri C. D. Iyer, Pune.

18. Shri. Sanjay Shete, Chief Trusty, B.P.C.A.’S College of Physical Education, Mimbai

19. Shri. H,D.,Gore, Pune.

20. Anke Clausen, Germany,

21. Bettina Becher, Germany

22. Dr. Suryakant Patil, Director,Institute of Yoga & Naturopathy,H.V.P.Mandal, Amravati

23. Dr. Arun Khodaskar, Amravati

24. Shri. Vinay Deshmukh, President, Pune Dist. Yoga Association, Pune

25. Prof. Raghav S. Ashtekar, Physical Director, S.P.College, Pune

26. Smt. Bhavani Balakrishnan, Isha Yoga Centre, Tamil Nadu

27. Shri Ramachandra R. Surve, Secretary, Shree Ambika Yoga Kutir, Mumbai.

28. Smt. Vimal Ranganekar, EX. MLA, Mumbai.

29. Dr. Nayana Nimkar, Principal, C.A.C.P.E., Pune

30. Dr. Bhagyalata Pataskar, Director, Vaidik Samshodhan Mandal, Pune.

Messages received from all over the world from the following dignitaries-

1. Dr. B.K.S. Iyengar , India

2. Margot Saidel, Director, GGF Yoga schule, Germany.

3. Mr. Kawee Kongpakdeepong, Director, Thai Yoga Association, Thailand.

4. Mario Verri, Director, Centro Purna Yoga, Italy.

5. Dr. Venkat Reddy, India.

Vote of Thanks

A Vote of Thanks was given to the scholars, associates, participants, press and TV reporters and printers sponsorers by Dr. S. B. Sakhalkar on behalf of The Lonavla Yoga Institute (India) for their direct and indirect co-operation in making the Conference a grand success. Special Thanks were given to Mrs. Deepti Roy Choudhury, Principal, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sagar Cantt, Madhya Pradesh, for her excellent anchorage of the programme. The conclusion of the Conference was spirited with a promise to meet again on such highly educative Congress of scholars and experts of international repute.