domingo, 12 de octubre de 2014
sábado, 9 de agosto de 2014
Generally each individual’s life is directly or indirectly or indirectly influenced by the activity of Shani. But it predominates in certain birth charts. In other words it can be called the chief planet of the birth chart. Such a person is then called “Shani Pradhan Jataka” or Saturn-dominated individual.
Noted Astrologer Sri H. N. Katve according to him when Saturn is favourably placed in the birth chart of the individual; his personal, familial and social attributes are enhanced. Such individuals plan and actively participate in programmes of social and economic change, which would contribute to public welfare. They have self-confidence without being over arrogant. They are interested in deep study of difficult subjects. Book publishing, spread of knowledge, helping others, detachment, love of justice, self respect, hard work, discipline, founding of institutions, following own decisions.
Stubborn persistence and bearing a grudge are the characteristics which become manifest. Such native excel in knowledge of subjects, which are supernatural or metaphysical. They wish well for their country and the entire world. They diligently fulfil their work and ceaselessly follow their goal against all odds, without caring for public opinion, if they are convinced of the rightness of their beliefs. That is why people take their advice and suggestions very seriously and confer rights on them. Because of their secretive nature the love or intention of such natives is not known easily. They have few friends. They are interested in legal intricacies and political activeness predominates. Such a placement of Saturn also causes Dattak Yoga or chances of adoption.
When Saturn is unfavourably placed in the birth chart then the native manifests unexpected and unpalatable tendencies. Jealousy, over spending, harsh speech, addiction to vices, lustfulness, unrestrained behaviour, licentious conduct, laziness, lack of activeness, untrustworthiness, arrogance, dishonesty, disloyalty, misappropriation of others’ wealth are the symptoms which predominate. Profession in medicine suits them. if they gain power and position they prove extremely cruel, wicked and unbridled rulers. Obviously the adverse influence of Saturn overcomes and frustrates the entire personality.
Shani in Puranic contexts: —
Numerous references are available in ancient Indian texts explicating the unique and multifarious characteristics of Saturn or Shanideva. These references enunciate directly and symbolically the might of this planet. To fully reveal the character of Saturn a perusal of these ancient texts is absolutely necessary. They delineate how, right from Incarnations of God to might emperors were affected by Saturn’s potent energy.
(1) The Birth Lore: —
When Parabrahama created ‘Aadidevtrayi’ (the primal Divine Trinity of Brahama, Vishnu and Shiva), it was Lord Shiva who took the heavier responsibility of annihilation of the of the creation according to its conduct was a difficult task. To help him in this stupendous work he brought into being associate Ganas. About this time itself Chhaya gave birth to the nine sons of Bhaskara, the Sun God. Among these nine sons, Shani and Yama displayed amazingly fearsome potentiality, therefore, Shiva the Destroyer accepted them in his ministration. He bestowed on Shani the suthority to punish according to Karma or conduct. Yama was appointed for Death. This ancient account furnishes several deep hints concerning Shani’s activities as well as underlines the importance of worshipping Shiva in placing Shani.
2)Shani and Sun: —
Saturn tops the list of Surya’s nine sons in fierceness. The dark complexioned Yamuna is Saturn’s sister and Yama, the controller of death is his younger brother. Saturn’s harshness is also caused by his strange family. According to ancient myths Surya, the Sun God, allocated a separate ‘loka’ to each of his progeny on attaining maturity. But Saturn, who was by nature evil and greedy, was not satisfied with reigning over only one Loka. He made a plan to invade all the other Lokas. Surya was extremely pained by this maldesign of Saturn. But his sane counsel had no effect on Saturn’s evil intention. Eventually Surya appealed to Lord Shiva. Ever ready to deliver his devotee from fear Lord Shiva appeared and warned the impudent Saturn. When Saturn ignored him a battle ensued between the two. Saturn vanquished all the Ganas of Lord Shiva along with Nandy and Veerbhadra with his amazing valour. On seeing the destruction of his army Shiva was outraged and he opened his third eye. Saturn also targeted him with his eye’s deadly vision. The whole of Saturn ‘Loka’ was engulfed in an unparalleled light born of the two might sights. An enraged Shiva then struck Saturn with his trident. Saturn could not withstand its blow and fell unconscious. Seeing his son in this state, Surya was overcome with grief. He prayed Shiva to spare Shani’s life. Easy to please Shiva eliminated all the troubles of Saturn. After this Saturn accepted Shiva’s omnipotence and sought forgiveness from him. Impressed by the fighting skill of valiant Saturn Lord Shiva admitted him in his service and appointed him the executor of punishment.
(3) Shani and Harishchandra: — A scion of Raghukul, King Harishchandra is ever remembered for his truthfulness and generosity. He always enjoyed the blessings of devine powers. Despite this he could not escape Saturs’s devastating influence.
To test Harishchandra’s truthfulness, Indra, the king of Deities, called on Sage Vishwamitra, who sought Saturn’s co-operation to harass Harishchandra with endless troubles. Harishchandra was known the worldover for his popularity. Yet his life was assailed with terrible tragedies because of Shani’s adverseness. His kingdom was lost. He had to sell his son, his wife and even himself to pay the amount of Dakshina. He suffered under the influence of Shani bit Rohit, the son of king Harishchandra who was working as a chandal’s servant at the cremation ground ask her pay the tax for cremation. When shaivya tried to tear a portion of her sari to pay the tax Vishwamitra and Shani appeared. It was the climax of Harishchandra’s trial. Vishwamitra restored his kingdom. When the king came to know of Saturn’s predominant role in his tragic predicament, he cursed Shani that those individuals who abided by religious laws and had a pious conduct, shall not be affected by Saturn’s evil influence. This episode highlights the trouble-causing role of Saturn.
The whole is familiar with the ideal life history of Maryada Purushottam Shri Rama. Saturn caused terrible upheavals in his blameless life. His stay in the forests and all the other subsequent happenings were doings of Saturn, it is believed.
(4) Shani and Pipplad Muni: —
This ancient lore explains the reason of saturn’s slow movement. Pippalad Muni lost his father when he was only a child. Saturn had tormented his father terribly when he was passing his life as a sage on the banks of the river Yamuna. He died of ceaseless attacks of poverty and disease. Pippalad’s mother regarded Saturn as the sole cause of her husband’s death.
When Pippalad came of age he came to know of these facts from his mother. He was terribly angry with Saturn, the killer of his father, and started looking for him. All of a sudden he saw Saturn on a Peepal tree. He aimed his Brahma-danda, which he had acquired through the power of his penance, at Shani. The Brahmadanda followed and tortured Saturn throughout the three Lokas. Finally it broke both his legs. Anguished Saturn prayed to Lord Shiva fervently. Shiva appeared and enlightened the sage that Saturn was only following the laws of creation. It is not possible to overcome the movement of time, so Saturn was not to be blamed for Pippalad’s father’s death.
Pippalad forgave Saturn. He said that reciting of this story and worshipping Pippaleshwar Lord Shiva would help avoid troubles caused by Saturn. Because of his legs being broken by Brahmadanda Shani’s natural speed was hindered and he came to be known as the slow mover.
(5) Shani and Shri Hanuman:
The happenings delineated in this ancient lore speak of not only Saturn and Shri Hanuman but also of the tragic fate of Ravana, the king of Rakshasa.
The entire cosmos trembled in the face of Ravana's invincible might. He was well versed in all the Veda-Vedanga, was an unparalleled warrior, owner of unlimited wealth and conqueror of the three Lokas. He was also and expert of all the overt and occult disciplines of knowledge, of astrology, limitless power of spirituality and fine application of Tantra. Ravana could suspend the motion of constellations and planets. But even he had to suffer punishment for having slighted Saturn.
Considering Saturn and Mahakal, the greatest impediments in his quest for immortality, Ravana invaded Shani-loka. Both Saturn and Mahakal put up a tremendous defensive fight but Ravana had the boon from Brahma that, excepting man, monkey, and bear, he would not be vanquished by anybody else. He badly wounded Saturn with the trident given to him by Lord Shiva, and tying with Brahmapasha, hanged him upside down in Lanka’s prison house. Mahakal was also imprisoned and kept immobile near Saturn. Both of them, who were co-operators in the operations of creation invoked their master Lord Shiva, who appeared before them and told them that even they were not free from the laws of Brahma. He assured them that after some time they would be freed on the arrival of Shri Hanuman.
When Hanuman set Lanka to fire, he was surprised to see that despite burning, the city was not turning black. Then he noticed the hanging Saturn who was lamenting his bad luck. He introduced himself to hanuman and told him how Ravana had nailed his might with his power of Yoga. If he were freed, he would turn the golden Lanka to ashes. When Hanuman freed Saturn he cast his evil eye on Lanka which instantly became black as ash. Then he requested Hanuman how he could repay him. Hanuman told him that he should not torment his devotees in future. Likewise Hanuman also freed Mahakal.
Later on Ravana had to suffer the retaliatory anger of Shani. He was destroyed with all his family.
(6) Saturn's downcast glance:
The secret of Saturn’s downcast glance and its cruelty is hidden in the curse given by his wife. Saturn was deeply devoted to Lord Krishna right form his childhood. Day and night he worshipped Krishna. When Saturn reached maturity his father Surya married him to the strong charactered, and accomplished daughter of Chitraratha. Once having had her ritual bath after the menstruation period she went to Saturn, desiring a son. But Saturn was engrossed in meditation. He did not even look up to her. Her desire was unfulfilled. She was hurt and cursed him that in future his eyes would always remain downcast and whomsoever he wood look at, would be destroyed. Although she was repentant later on when her anger subsided, yet the curse had taken effect. Since then Saturn’s glance became downcast forever.
domingo, 27 de julio de 2014
Blessed Self, Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves, We are glad to announce that the Subramanya/Ayyappa Temple is celebrating it's 21st anniversary. It was Swamiji's wish to build the Temple to facilitate a peaceful and harmonious gathering place for everyone. In the past 20 years the Temple has provided the much needed service for the Indian and Sri Lankan community. The public and devotees show gratitude for Swamiji's vision and mission. The Subramanya/Ayyappa Temple will be celebrating with many of Swamiji's close devotees coming from around the World. The ceremonies will be conducted between 5th until 9th of July. All are welcome. We thank you all for your continued support and encouragement. May Master and Swamiji's blessings be with us always. This month the GURUGRAM continues the Raja Yoga series, reviewing Swami Vishnudevananda’s Instructions on Meditation Series, with excerpts from book The Sivananda Companion to Meditation (2003). Pranams to all. If you are established in Ahimsa (Non-Violence), you have attained all virtues. - Sri Swami Sivananda ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ SIVANANDA YOGA FAQ ~~~ Frequently Asked Questions ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Q 1: What are the methods to develop unruffled serenity and mental composure under all conditions of life ? Is absolute serenity possible of attainment? A: By all means, consider yourself as dead to the world or the world as dead to you. Develop Atma Vichar Sakti. Identify not with the mind, senses and intellect or with any of the other modifications of the mind. Always be engaging yourself in the thought of the Divine. Have no thought of yourself or the surrounding world. Be absolutely indifferent to yourself, as you ought to be towards the surroundings, the various daily happenings and the worldly repercussions. Knowledge of the Self, when once attained, absolves one of all mental disruptions and psychic derangements. Where there is firm-grounded knowledge of the Self in the spiritual seeker, where there is the consciousness in him that "all indeed is Brahman, Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma" and that he is none other than that Supreme Brahman, and where he understands that all happenings-- good, bad or mixed-- are but passing phases on the screen of the world, there can never be any ill-balanced mental life. It is the mind that is the sole cause for bondage or Moksha. The mind is the substratum behind pleasure or pain, happiness or misery, success or defeat. Rise above the pairs of opposites by resorting to a Guru and his instructions. Study the lives of saints who underwent various trials and the books by realized souls. Develop the spirit of true surrender wherein you have no thought of body or bodily needs or self-protection even in the slightest degree and wherein you forget the idea of life and death altogether. Serenity is merely mental. Therefore, cultivate mental equipoise by gaining spiritual knowledge.. Q 2: Why does God not speak to me? What is the obstacle? A: The self-surrender is not complete. There are still subtle Moha, subtle desires and egoism. The Indriyas are still powerful and outgoing. These are the obstacles. When these are removed, you can hear the shrill, sweet, inner voice of God. Impure souls mistake the voice of the impure mind for the voice of God. Q 3: How can a married man practice Brahmacharya? Is it possible especially when the couple are young? A: To live and enjoy Grihastha life, with one's own wife during the Ritu period subject to the imposed restrictions of the Sastras is itself Brahmacharya. Sastras say that the married man should not indulge in sense-satisfaction as and when his senses prompt him to do so. He should subject himself to the various restrictions imposed even on the enjoyment of sense life. For details in this respect, study my book, "Advice to Women". One who observes these Sastraic injunctions and leads a happy, well-regulated life is a perfect Brahmachari, though technically a Grihastha. Whatever be the natural ebullient impulses of the couple, and however young they be, it is quite possible to observe Brahmacharya on the above lines. Brahmacharya for a Grihastha does not mean absolute abstention from enjoying the conjugal life; but means a well-disciplined, self-restrained, Dharmic life. The value of social work is purely subjective. It is not that one makes a great reformer or a saviour of mankind, but that there is the offering of the ego as a sacrifice at the altar of Universal Love resulting in purity of mind, which is the basis of all spiritual progress. - Sri Swami Sivananda Previous FAQs at http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/faq/faq.html ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ HATHA YOGA TIP ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ CHAKRASANA - THE WHEEL - All levels, with variations Beginner position: Lie on your back with knees bent and parallel although keep the knees apart. The feet are about hip width apart, and the feet flat on the mat. The feet are close to the body, hold the ankles. Take a deep breath and continue breathing deeply and rhythmically. Inhale and push up the hips as high as you can, while keeping head, shoulders and feet on the mat. Hold for a couple of deep rhythmical breaths and then lower the hips slowly with control back to the mat. Relax on your back with bent knees, hugging knees to chest. Intermediate position: To take the asana to the next level, bend the arms backward and place palms of your hands on the mat next to your ears with fingers facing shoulders. It is important not to have the hands far from the head and shoulders. Keep the feet flat on the mat with bent knees. Inhale, lift hips and push on the hands to lift the head. Gently place the top of the head on the floor. Elbows are pointing backward and arms are bent. Hands remain where they are. Either remain here for a few breaths before lowering head and neck and then hips back on mat or rest briefly here and go to full pose. Full pose: On another inhalation, straighten the arms to lift the body up. The head is now lifted up. Look toward the mat. Extend legs as much as possible so body is in arched wheel shape. The feet are parallel and flat on the mat. If difficult to straighten arms to come into full pose, you can balance on the toes and then straighten arms, then lower heels. To come out of pose, bend arms, release head and neck carefully back on the mat then hips. Hold wheel pose only long enough that you have strength to come out of the pose carefully, lowering neck gently to mat. BENEFITS: Increases the muscle strength and flexibility of the back, arms and legs in this dynamic backbend. Increases sense of balance. In full pose stimulates all the energy Centres. “He who practices this asana will have perfect control of his body.” (Sivananda) Empty yourself of you egoism; then the Divine will fill your heart to the brim. - Swami Sivananda This yoga asana is from the Sivananda Publication - “The SIvananda Companion to Yoga”. The SIvananda Yoga Centre 2000. Other yoga tips at http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/asana/101tips.html ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ YOGA SANSKRIT GLOSSARY ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PADMASANA: Padma means Lotus. When the Asana is demonstrated, it presents the appearance of a Lotus, hence the name Padmasana. Amongst the four poses prescribed for Japa and Dhyana, Padmasana comes foremost. It is the best Asana for contemplation. Padmasana is suitable for lean persons and for youths as well. TECHNIQUE Sit on the ground by spreading the legs forward. Then place the right foot on the left thigh and the left foot on the right thigh. Place the hands on the knee-joints. You can make a finger-lock and keep the locked hands over the left ankle. This is very convenient for some persons. Or you can place the left hand over the left knee and then place the right hand over the right knee with the palm facing upwards and the index-finger touching the middle portion of the thumb (Chinmudra). VARIATIONS I. Ardha-Padmasana II. Virasana III. Parvatasana (Mountain Pose) IV. Samasana (Equal Pose): V. Karmukasana: VI. Utthita Padmasana Equip yourself with these means: Hear. Reflect. Meditate. Then alone can you have integral experience/Self-realization. - Swami Sivananda Complete glossary can be found at: http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/glossary/glossary.html ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ BHAGAVAD GITA QUOTE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Chapter XII: The Yoga of Devotion XII.6. YE TU SARVAANI KARMAANI MAYI SANNYASYA MATPARAAH; ANANYENAIVA YOGENA MAAM DHYAAYANTA UPAASATE. (Krishna speaking to Arjuna) But to those who worship Me, renouncing all actions in Me, regarding Me as the supreme goal, meditating on Me with single-minded Yoga, XII.7. TESHAAMAHAM SAMUDDHARTAA MRITYUSAMSAARASAAGARAAT; BHAVAAMI NACHIRAAT PAARTHA MAYYAAVESHITACHETASAAM. To those whose minds are set on Me, O Arjuna, verily I become ere long the saviour out of the ocean of the mortal Samsara! A pure heart is necessary to know the Will of God. - Sri Swami Sivananda ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ RAJA YOGA ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Swami Vishnudevananda Instructions on Meditation Series Swami Vishnu-devananda would say that it is not possible to teach someone how to meditate, any more than it is possible to teach them how to sleep. Sleep overtakes us only when we detach our mind from its concerns. Meditation also cannot be forced, but unlike sleep, it is a conscious state. We need a degree of willpower to remain in the state of heightened awareness that occurs when we meditate. However, at the same time we need to relax, letting go of all expectations and desires. This subtle balance between the effort needed to sustain concentration on the one side and detachment from all distractions on the other is the art of meditation. We learn to focus the mind without struggle, yet maintain enough control to avoid a drift into reverie. To attain this state of relaxed awareness we need to prepare ourselves, and there are several steps that will help us. It is important to reiterate that meditation is a process, and as such, takes time. Be gentle and patient with your mind; do not expect miracles. The more care and attention you give to the preparation, the more positive the results. Here are the basic guidelines for the beginner: 6 - THE MIND For your meditation practice to succeed, it is important to transform the suffering and negativity of the mind by welcoming heightened awareness, broad vision, joy, and contentment into your life. The degree to which you are successful in your practice will be in direct proportion to your commitment to this goal. There must be an earnest desire to refrain from “sleeping with open eyes”, as Swami Vishnu-devananda would say. Our minds love ease; we love to be on holiday, doing what we want when we want, with no sense of responsibility. We feel free with all options in our life possible. However, these options remain only potentialities, mere dreams, and without effort nothing in our lives changes. For real change to occur we need to understand that commitment is not a limitation of freedom, but, on the contrary, an assertion of the freedom to choose the direction in which we want our lives to go. Meditation allows us to see things as they are, without the masking veil of our likes and dislikes, without fear or hope. Start every meditation session asserting this willingness to face reality without escaping into imagination. It is not easy to do this, and initially you may try to take refuge in familiar defence strategies. But be patient, and over a period of time, gently coax the mind away from these destructive thought patterns. Gradually you will grow aware that you need to stop escaping into distraction whenever difficulties arise. Detachment from hopes and fears protects against suffering. By making the commitment to your wellbeing at each and every practice session, by gently commanding the mind to be quiet for a specific length of time, by focusing only on the present moment, your life will be immeasurably enhanced. “Be gentle and patient with your mind; do not expect miracles. The more care and attention you give to the preparation, the more positive the results’. Face north or east to take advantage of favorable magnetic vibrations.” - Sw. Vishnudevananda This rich series continues for next few months. Next month... choosing a point of concentration, followed by choosing an object of concentration, then giving space to the mind, followed by disassociating from the mind. Then there is pure thought, and Samadhi to conclude. Excerpts from The Sivananda Companion to Meditation (2003) - The Sivananda Yoga Centre; Gaia Books, New York. With the wings of Love and Wisdom, fly to the immortal abode of Brahman. - Sri Swami Sivananda ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ VEGETARIAN CUISINE - from 'The Yoga Cook Book' - a collection of recipes from the Sivananda Yoga Centres ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ BANANA NUT TART A wholesome oven baked pie crust with a delicious fruit and nut filling cooked on stove top. The pie is chilled until set in refrigerator. Serves 8. Ingredients for PIECRUST: 2 ½ cups rolled oats 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour 1 tablespoon honey or date syrup 2/3 cup oil 2 1/3 cups sunflower seeds Water for mixing Ingredients for FILLING 1 ¼ cups cashew nuts 5 ounces pitted dates 4 ½ cups water 2 tablespoons arrowroot 1 teaspoon grated orange zest 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 bananas, plus slices for decoration 1 ¾ cups chopped walnuts Directions: Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch loose-bottomed round tart pan or springform pan. To make the piecrust: Mix all the ingredients together, adding a little water to bind them. Spread the mixture in the greased pan, using your hand to spread the mix and press evenly around the bottom and side of the pan. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden. Leave the pie shell to cool completely before removing from the pan. To make the filling: Put all the ingredients, except for the bananas and chopped walnuts, in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a pan and cook over low heat until thick. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Slice the bananas into the pie shell. Pour the cooled filling on top and decorate with banana slices and the chopped nuts. Chill until set. Source: The Yoga Cookbook. Vegetarian Food for Body and Mind. Recipes from the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres. 1999. Previous recipes can be found at: http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/diet/recipes.html Things are dear, because the Self is mirrored in them. - Sri Swami Sivananda ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ SPIRITUAL CALENDAR ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ JULY 2014 08 - Ekadasi 05 - Kaavadi Flag Hoisting 09 - Subramanya/Ayyappa Temple 21st Anniversary 10 - Krishna Temple 12th Anniversary 12 - Guru Purnima (Full Moon) 14 - Masters Mahasamadhi 20 - Kaavadi Festival 22 - Ekadasi 26 - New Moon The Love you bear to anything is an aspect of the Love that you bear to Brahman. - Sri Swami Sivananda ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ UPCOMING TTC, ATTC and Sadhana Intensive Courses ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2014 Jul 06 - Aug 04/14 ATTC - English Woodbourne, NY, USA www.sivananda.org/ranch Jul 06 - Aug 03/14 TTC - English Netala, Uttar Kashi, North India www.sivananda.org/uttarkashi Jul 26 - Aug 24/14 ATTC - English, Deutsch Reith, Tyrol, Austria www.sivananda.org/tyrol/en Jul 27 - Aug 24/14 TTC - Français Orleans, France www.sivananda.org/orleans Aug 03 - Aug 17/14 Sadhana Intensive - English, Deutsch, Français, Espaňol Orleans, France www.sivananda.org/orleans Aug 03 - Aug 31/14 ATTC - English, Français Val Morin, QC, Canada www.sivananda.org/camp Aug 10 - Sep 07/14 TTC - English Netala, Uttar Kashi, North India www.sivananda.org/uttarkashi Aug 18 - Sep 14/14 TTC - Español, Portuguese En Aluenda, Zaragoza, Spain www.sivananda.org/madrid Aug 30 - Sep 28/14 TTC - English, Deutsch Reith, Tyrol, Austria www.sivananda.org/tyrol/en Aug 30 - Sep 28/14 TTC - English London, England www.sivananda.org/london/teachers_training_UK.html Sep 06 - Oct 05/14 ATTC - English, Polski, Lietuvos, Русский Ustka, Baltic Sea, Poland http://www.sivananda.eu/en/yoga-teacher-training/teachers-training-course/ttc-venues/osteuropa.html#c2509 Sep 07 - Oct 05/14 TTC - English Woodbourne, NY, USA www.sivananda.org/ranch See full list of international courses and events: http://www.sivananda.org/ttc/schedule.html http://www.sivananda.org/programs/international/index.html Sacrifice is truly the sacrifice of egoism. Realize the Self or Atman. You will then realize that Life is a waking dream. - Sri Swami Sivananda ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ SIVANANDA WORLD NEWS - JUNE 2014 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashrams: Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, Sivananda Headquarters, Val Morin, Quebec, Canada Om Namah Sivaya from the Yoga Camp! Early June saw a bright and sunshine-y start at the Ashram. Excepting one day of rain, the weather was clear and warm each day, with the camp in higher and higher spirits as each day passes! There was a great energy at the Ashram, with Satsangs becoming increasingly filled with prana and bhakti. It was also a very full and busy time for staff, with everyone involved in multiple consuming projects. Swami Sankarananda and Juan have been working on building a stall at the Subramanya temple. Gauri Devi led a guest programme this time on permaculture and gardening, which participants found engaging and inspiring. We had another lively group of elementary school children visit from Montreal, our last group of children until Kids Camp next month. Most of the children had never been outside the metropolis of Montreal, and the teachers were surprised at how much more peaceful and freer they were Ashram. We also took part in two stirring Pujas. The first involved the transport of our divinities to their “summer” homes outside as we all chanted OM Namo Narayanaya: Ganesha to the Ganesha fountain, Krishna to the Krishna tree, and Subramanya and Ganesha to the Masters’ Platform. The second Puja was truly extraordinary, a Mariamman Puja up at the Mariamman temple. The temple grounds were teeming with Ashram guests and devotees visiting from all over Canada. Our guests, most of whom were participating in a Puja for the first time, found the elaborate ceremony quite beautiful and inspirational with the offerings of coins to and bathing of Mariamman. We had a lovely group of about 40 guests, some new to the Ashram, some returning for the second or third time, and many arriving to take part in either Sadhana Intensive or the Juice Fasting and Detoxification courses. The juice fasting course, led by Suzanne Cliche, has several participants, and will undergo a rigorous and thorough (and probably exhausting!) cleansing over two weeks. After an inauguration Sunday evening that felt both peaceful and exciting, the Sadhana Intensive course officially began, with 12 eager and sincere participants. Leading the course is Prahlada, whom staff is extremely happy to have (back) for the whole summer! Also arriving at the camp was Sushila from the Montreal Centre, who will be assisting and participating in Suzanne’s juice fasting course. By mid-June our last week of spring was a full and resplendent one, very peaceful considering all of the lively activity at the camp. The Juice Fasting and Detoxification programme continued, with the no-longer-hungry fasters gradually breaking their fast before eating their first full meal. An intensely emotional experience for some, nearly all the fasters felt fantastic at the end of the programme, with recommendations to all try in the future. Also continuing was the Sadhana Intensive course with an intimate graduation ceremony. The end to the course participants found bittersweet, but left with a serene clarity and renewed prana. The Mariamman festival at the temple concluded with a traditional Pongala. Drawing devotees from hundreds of kilometres away, the temple grounds were teeming with people all day, with nearly a hundred different families coming to celebrate! The music could be heard all the way down the hill to the Ashram, with bucketloads of delicious food and dozens of varieties of pongala. After nine days of festivities, the day concluded with Mariamman’s last procession, various offerings, and symbolic ceremonies. It was a beautiful day of great peace and joy. Other projects at the Ashram continued smoothly. The temple depanneur is now up and running; staff have been working on repairing the deck at the Peace Plane museum; and the swimming pool has been cleaned with a fresh coat of beautiful turquoise paint and is now ready for swimming! One week-end brought about 50 guests to the camp, a gentle warm-up for the approaching whirlwind of TTC and Kids Camp! Guests enjoyed a week-end meditation-themed programme, an ever-expanding menu at the Health Hut, and shopping at the boutique that recently received a great supply of wonderful new books, T-shirts, pottery, pants, and beautiful meditation shawls. The time concluded with a gorgeously exuberant Satsang, with our guests spiritedly joining in a particularly beautiful set of Sunday Prayers. We welcomed a couple of new temporary staff: Michael, from Germany and Esteban, a young man from nearby Val-David; we were also blessed to have Sankara with us for a week-end. Leaving the Ashram was a grateful and ever-peaceful Vasudeva, who will be travelling around Canada before returning to the Dominican Republic. Staff are in good health and spirits, and send wishes that the Masters’ richest blessings be with us all. Salutations to the worldwide family, from the Sivananda Headquarters. http://www.sivananda.org/camp/ Sivananda Ashram Chateau du Yoga, Orleans, France Om Namah Sivaya. At the beginning of the month we offered “Yoga and nature walks” to our guests taking them on several longer outing, with the assistance of the local hiking association. We went to explore the surrounding, saw many beautiful sights and went on nice paths for hiking and we learnt many of the hidden secrets of the forest. The guests enjoyed the outings a lot. Our priest Yagneswara led a very nice Krishna murti Puja before leaving on his European tour. Swami Bhagavatananda went to Norway with one of the Paris teachers to give a programme there over a weekend. Swami Kailasananda gave a “Meditation Experience” Certificate Course to a nice group of very sincere students with most of them taking mantra initiation. Sita from the affiliated Centre in Hamburg came and taught a weekend of further training for Sivananda Teachers: “Body Alignment in the Asanas”. Then we hosted a most inspiring time with the “TTC Refresher Course” for a week. Highlight was the special programme with Swami Durgananda, Swami Sivadasananda, Swami Kailasananda, Swami Rajeshwarananda, Swami Bhagavatananda and Swami Keshavananda,. Swami Durgananda gave most inspiring lectures about the universal teaching of Master Sivananda and about “Sadhana to uplift one’s ethical values”. “How to teach” workshops with various Swamis and with Sita from the Hamburg Sivananda Centre included valuable hints for the teachers. It was a sight to watch 150 people participating on the big lawn in front of the Chateau. The weather was fully cooperative - it never rained. Sant Venugopal Goswami came with his musicians to give two very uplifting Satsangs. During one evening Satsang we saw the upanishadic play by Swami Sivananda of Gautama and Nachiketas, including many beautiful kirtans. The Hanuman Temple inauguration by our two priests was another highlight. Pranams to all. OM. http://www.sivananda.org/orleans Sivananda Dhanwanthari Ashram, Neyyar Dam, Kerala, India Om Namo Narayanaya. Early June saw a small Yoga Vacation group. They were focused with many interesting points coming up in the daily 2 pm lectures. Panchakarma Detoxification Programme started with 4 participants. The cool and tranquil monsoon weather this is an ideal time for such treatment. We are happy to have Swami Rajeswariananda back after her stay in Madurai. She returned along with Swami Swaroopananda and his brother Ram ji from Sivananda Seva Ashram, Divine Life Society in Madurai. Swamiji is staying here for 5 days for ayurvedic treatment after suffering a stroke one year ago. It is interesting to hear Swamiji recounting his memories of Swami Sivananda from his stay at Sivananda Ashram in 1962. Radha has returned to USA. We thank her for her sincere service and the ayurvedic massages that were appreciated by the female staff. Staff are well and keeping up their sadhana. By mid-June a new YV group started with mostly beginners. Lectures and Satsangs are being led by Raviji from Trivandrum Centre. Guests are enjoying the programme and often volunteer for bajan chanting in Satsangs. Friday night Puja in the temple was a beautiful and authentic experience for the new guests. Everyone enjoyed Saturday night talent show; it created a warm sharing atmosphere which brought people closer together. Teachers asana correction group continues in the evenings with Rajesh ji. Nataraj ji and Kalyani ji set off to Japan for 2 week programme including Tokyo Centre third anniversary. Pranams to all Sivananda Staff. http://www.sivananda.org/neyyardam Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Grass Valley, California, USA Om Namo Narayanaya. Early June saw the 3rd week of TTC students as they received their mantra initiation with most of the group taking part. The group is very inspired and the Ashram is brimming with high energy; all have taken to their spiritual names quickly. Group teaching has begun along with the kriyas practice. TTC have enjoyed morning walk to Durga Temple with Satsang with Swami Sitaramananda; Dr. Marc Halpern (Dr. Siva) of the California College of Ayurveda gave a wonderful talk on Ayurveda; and a very special Bharat Natyam dance performance with Anuradha Prabhushankar, a longtime devotee of the Ashram. By mid-June we welcomed Swami Brahmananda, who is visiting from Nassau, and Swami Jnaneshwariananda, newly arrived from Italy to be staff at the Yoga Farm, as well as Swami Omkarananda who came from Los Angeles for a week program on Gaia Shanti Yoga with Rev. Joe Mitchel. We have at present 8 swamis at the Yoga Farm. The Sadhana Intensive course with 10 students is under way at the Yoga Farm, being taught by Swami Pranavananda and Ananta ch. We are blessed to have Swami Swaroopananda visiting, who has given two special Questions and Answers on sadhana to the students and teachers. Swami Swaroopananda inspired us with stories of Swamiji training him in teaching Sadhana Intensive. The students were happy to have some inspirational Satsangs with Swami Sitaramananda as well. The Ashram was a full house of guests with the Beginner Weekend taught by Swami Dharmananda, and the Ayurveda Massage Retreat with Gita Devi. We are all doing well here in Vrindavan by Guru's Grace. Om Namo Narayanaya to all the Sivananda family. http://www.sivananda.org/farm Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Meenakshi Ashram, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India Om Namo Narayanaya. Pranams and Prem from Meenakshi Ashram. After a storm comes not only calm but also some renewals! All the ruins that the rainstorm brought in are getting back into shape; remains are cleared, roofs are getting thatched and above all the age old mango tree in the neighborhood which caused the damage to Shanti Nivas, is removed. In addition to gross repairs few unpretentious inclusions too brought in some sparks. New bulletin boards are mounted in needed locations displaying needed instructions, a black board in the dining hut is exhibiting the daily cuisine in native language and a small wall clock runs beside the timer bell. Sometimes such modest things can be our best friends at work. A significant step is taken in this time to dishearten the monkeys. A basic bamboo box encasing henceforth should hopefully solve the annoyance of tipped bins and spilt garbage a sight commonly caught at Meenakshi Ashram. Some of our staff made a quick trip to Neyyar Dam and Trivandrum to join the marriage celebration of Mr.Mamallan's daughter and also utilized the opportunity to glance through Dhanwantari Ashram and the city Centre. The yoga vacation course is as well going on smoothly. The Temple construction is on its way to glory and we are eagerly awaiting its completion. It is during these months of the year that seems best suitable for the yoga vacation program mostly because of the tranquility that comes from the close connection experienced only when in a small group in addition to the rustic beauty of this place. This time the yoga vacation guests are an equal mix up of Indians and Westerns and is interesting to see their enthusiastic interactions and chats of views all chiefly Centreed around the cultural contrast and the upbringing style the two groups has experienced from their respective worlds. The Mahakali Temple arena is soon on its way to completion after its new Cuddapah stone floor. The popular Black Limestone, quarried at Cuddapah district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, is unique in being quite hard and is the best stone one can rely on for natural and beautiful flooring. A team of skilled flooring experts from Rajasthan, a north Indian state, has camped in the Ashram working fast and hard on the ground. This being the last phase of its renovation we are quite excited to see the face lifted Kali abode. Our priest Sajith is on his way to Gangotri for his sadhana and our wishes follow him all through his yatra. We are happy to welcome Rajesh back, who will be continuing the priestly services in Temple. At the dawn of a Sunday few of our staffs took a long walk plus short bus trip to Azhagarkoil, an unassuming village famed all through the state for its Vishnu temple with an interesting history behind its origin and existence. The temple is located against the back drop of a rocky green hillock which secretly owns a water spring uphill. It was also heartwarming to know that the temple welcomes all devotees irrespective of race, boundaries and nationality. Sometimes simple trips such as this leave us with a feeling of fulfilment and an experience unforgettable. May Master and Guru be with us all. Peace and Pranams to the Sivananda family. www.sivananda.org/madurai Sivananda Ashram, Netala, Uttarkashi, Himalayas, North India Om Namo Narayanaya. May Master and Guru be with us all. Pranams to all. Om. http://www.sivananda.org/uttarkashi Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch Colony, Woodbourne, NY, USA Greetings from the Yoga Ranch! Early June saw the TTC's entering into their second week, adjusting nicely to the routine and teachings. Staff have been busy in the annual garden and maintaining the grounds. Lalita Devi returned for the season to help run the wellness Centre and assist in the TTC, teaching Anatomy. Durga Leela joined us to lead a Yoga of Recovery weekend retreat and the Yoga of Recovery certification course. Our guest speaker this weekend was Dhira Chaitanya, giving discourses on the Bhagaved Gita during the weekend Satsangs. The high season is upon us and the energy is quite high. By mid-June it was a busy time of TTC for both the students and staff. We started with the Kriyas and then giving the students a study night and staff a karma yoga night. The gardens and grounds are bursting with projects, and the karma yoga night gave us a chance to complete some of them. We had a kirtan night for the TTC’s, giving them the opportunity to lead chants during the evening Satsang. Thursday was a bonfire and with over 23 countries that are represented at the Ashram right now, we shared folk songs from our native countries around the fire. The weekend started with a program on Vastu Shastra presented by Olga Mandodari (Narayani). In her charming and enthusiastic manner, she lead the Friday night Satsang and taught a weekend program to the guests. We had Atmarama Dasa join us for a lovely concert, invoking Bhakti in the attendees. And to conclude the incredible weekend, Rabbi Zoe Zack, a local Rabbi with the gift of inspiration, was here to lead the evening Satsang and share the Jewish tradition through music and song. It was truly a time that can be summed up "Unity in Diversity". Pranams to All! The Ashram staff were consistently busy with guests and tending the grounds. Staff sends Pranams to all! May the Gurus' blessings of be with us. http://www.sivananda.org/ranch Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Nassau, Bahamas Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves. In early June we had the pleasure hosting Aira Guevara (Rukmini), who provided multiple lectures and workshops on Yoga and Aromatherapy, and how we can use both practices in unison towards relieving stress, anxiety and depression. This was followed by a lecture and workshop by chiropractor Dr. Michael Pyfrom, who spoke specifically on the spine and how it pertains to yoga. Finally, Maria Fernanda Tresslar (Parvati) has recently arrived at the Ashram. Parvati will be conducting a four-day workshop on how we can use the Sivananda asanas as a portal to healing body, mind and spirit. We have been busy preparing the grounds for the summer season, as all of our 100+ tents are to be washed and then stored for the next several months. Planning for next season has begun, as we are busy preparing the schedule of future guests, constructing new Ashram infrastructure, and will be unveiling a newly designed website in the near future. By mid-June Maria Fernanda Tresslar continued her workshop on The Power of Asanas. Parvati helped us to further explore the benefits of the asana practice. Ram Vakkalanka was our feature guest and conducted lectures and workshops entitled Sounds of Sanskrit: Sanskrit for Beginners. Ram explained that as asana practice is the yoga for the physical body, pranayama is the yoga of breath, Sanskrit is the yoga of speech. We had the pleasure of learning many aspects of Sanskrit including spoken Sanskrit, the pronunciation of mantras and asanas, along with some beautiful stories on the origin of Sanskrit. Swami Brahamananda left for California this time for a short respite at the Yoga Farm. Staff are well and send lots of Prem. Pranams to all! http://www.sivananda.org/nassau Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat House, Reith/Kitzbühel Tyrol, Austria Om Namah Sivaya. At the beginning of the month the Yoga teachers’ training course continued into its second week with great interest from the students for philosophy. A nice group of guests arrived for the long week end with a variety of special programmes. Sri Venugopal Goswami presented sublime yogic wisdom accompanied by his excellent musicians. All were immerged into a serene introspection. Swami Durganandas presence gave great upliftment for all present. Swami Sivadasanandas special workshops were well attended and gave new inspiration for ones own asana practice. Swamiji also gave a series of lectures on the Yoga Sutras. Many staff and karmayogis came to join the programme and gave good support. Dr. Kamlesh arrived as well and gave an inspirational power point presentation on Ayurveda and an insightfull explanation of the five elements. For the Whitsun Retreat Swami Durgananda returned to the Retreat House and gave a series of sublime lectures on the theme Peace of Mind is happiness. The topics of the lectures were Aiming high - the many goals of yoga, Integral training of body and mind and Conquest of death. We learned much about the subtle workings of the mind and received solid encouragement and inspiration to be steady in sadhana and spiritual pursuit. Swami Sivadasananda gave beautiful Satsangs and asana classes to the TTCs. Sita, director of the affiliated Sivananda Centre in Hamburg, taught much appreciated asana classes to the yoga vacation guests. The last week of TTC went fast with advanced pranayama, last teachings groups and a peaceful mantra initiation. The weather being exceptionally nice allowed for some silent walks, one with a yogic mint lemonade at the end. The TTC ended with all students passing successfully. All left in high spirits and with a promise to return soon. After the departure of the TTC the yoga halls, the bed rooms and kitchen were deep cleaned and brought back to normal. Already the following weekend a well attended June Retreat took place were the guests were invited to take time for mental and physical cleansing on the outdoor asana platform combined with silent walks in the full blossomed nature around. Padmavati, a senior Sivananda Yoga Teacher and a midwife came from Berlin to conduct the further training for Yoga Teachers for Yoga during pregnancy. 12 open minded TTC graduates were happy to receive the yoga teachings combined with the deep practical experience springing from a 25 year long dedication to midwifery. All left happy. Another highlight of the month is the Certificate Course on Nonviolent Communication based on the studies and teachings of Marshal Rosenberg. Deborah Bellamy, personally trained by Mr Rosenberg, will be conducting the course and we expect to have an uplifting last weekend of the month. OM. http://www.sivananda.org/tyrol TTC Reports at locations other than Ashrams: No reports this month on satellite TTCs. The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres: Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Bangkok, Thailand Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves. Om Namo Narayanaya! Om Namah Sivaya! Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Zentrum, Berlin, Germany Om Namah Sivaya. At the beginning of the month Vedic Astrologer Stephen Quong was our guest in Berlin and he gave very informative and interesting lectures. Yoga courses and classes were running nicely, several Yoga 1 courses started as well as higher courses. A good and inspired group is participating in the meditation course this month. The weekend course on thought power, taking place for the first time in Berlin was also successful. Some bank holidays made weeks shorter, we used the time for different maintenance projects around the house. Main project for the month was the reconstruction of the asana platform. Dedicated Karma Yogis worked on it intensively, now it is ready - and waiting for the summer to come. Savitri, our resident for one month left, as planned at the beginning of June, fully inspired. OM. http://www.sivananda.org/berlin Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Buenos Aires, Argentina, South America Om Namah Sivaya. Early June saw Swami Premananda going to Guayaquil (Ecuador) to participate in an international event of Yoga. One Saturday we had a workshop on Sirshasana. We welcomed Swami Premananda back from Ecuador, where he gave some lectures on yoga, and Swami Dayananda back from Neuquen Centre. Saturday: The first one about Yoga and Stress and the other one was a cooking workshop on Indian sweets. One new beginner course started while other two are still running. All the other activities continued as usual. By mid-June we had a very good attendance of student to all activities. The Centre maintenance projects have started. Some roof repairs were made so far, and now the main yoga hall is being painted. We had a workshop on Yoga and Stress. We are preparing everything for the next TTC in Colombia.Prem & Om to all. http://www.sivananda.org/baires Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chennai, India Om Namah Sivaya to all Blessed Selves from the Chennai Centre. Early June saw the latest episode of the veganism workshop series, titled “Conscious Food Choices for Healthy Living” conducted once again by Dr Saravanan Ramachandran (Health Advisor, SHARAN) in collaboration with FIAPO (a collective of animal protection organizations in India; www.fiapo.org), Vegania (www.veganianation.com) and SHARAN (www.sharan-india.org). The workshop explained to the students and other attendees and about the benefits of the whole food, plant-based diet and the dangers of consuming animal protein. It was well received by the students and several have cited it for the reason for taking charge of their health in their own hands and converting to a healthier plant based diet from a grossly meat based or lacto-vegetarian one. We are happy that the students are getting so much benefit from these workshops and we intend do several more over the coming months to create an even wider impact on the health of this lovely city and its peaceful inhabitants. There was a screening of a new documentary too towards the end of the programme which appreciated by one and all.The sun is relentlessly spreading its warmth and shine, albeit a little bit too much. However, this time we had a much-needed surprise pre-monsoon shower which provided respite from the sweltering heat and helped bring down the soaring mercury levels substantially, providing relief and comfort. We are expecting a new staff member while we bade an official farewell to another member, Jobish Sarath, who has been with us for over an year now. He will be continuing his sadhana in the Himalayas after leaving from here and we wish his all the very best in all his life’s endeavours. Apart from that, the staff members are all happy and continue their sadhana and becoming more aware about the benefits of the plant-based diet and converting to the healthier lifestyle by choosing better options and making sustainable and positive choices. We were all invited to a senior student’s exciting 25th marriage anniversary event over the weekend and all of us relished the sumptuous feast and a much-needed outing with all our hearts. At mid-June we wish you all a very happy belated World Yoga Day (21st June 2014). The previous week was so full of fun and laughter and lots of energy at the Chennai Centre. We started the evening beginners batch on Monday and on Saturday mornings we organised a very special workshop, 108 Sun Salutations, on the occasion of the World Yoga Day. It was a real success and loads of energetic students and teachers turned up early in the morning and several of them even managed to complete all the 108 rounds of Surya Namaskars. We served natural and organic, prepared in the Centre itself, cooling drinks to all the participants during the workshop and after the workshop all the participants were given a sumptuous and hearty delicious, on the house, vegan breakfast, south-Indian style. Everyone was delighted with the event (it was 100% free including the breakfast and drinks as well) and we are planning to make it a monthly affair now because the response for the first one was so positive. We started around sunrise on the terrace of the Centre where everybody could see the sea and breathe in fresh oxygen from the environment into their lungs. Fortunately the wind was blowing fast enough to dry up the sweat of the practitioners quickly and keep them cool, although later the sun started shining a little too bright and we had had to shift to the hall downstairs. Nevertheless, this was one event that the participants will never forget. Some of them did complain of a little body pain afterwards but had the biggest smile on their faces! Rest is all fine and the staff have been busy planning several events for the month of July, the details of which we are posting regularly on the website and other social media outlets. Our facebook page also recently crossed the 1,000 likes mark and we are not going to stop here. There is a lot more to come yet at the Chennai Centre. May the spirit of Swami Ji guide us forever. All the staff send Pranams to the Sivananda family. Blessings to all! http://www.sivananda.org/madras Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chicago, USA Om Namah Sivaya from Chicago. Early June saw a few new courses: Yoga 1, Yoga 2, and Positive Thinking. By the grace of the Gurus, courses, classes, and Satsang are going well. One Saturday evening we had a kirtan night, something we are very happy to offer every month now. Inspired by New York Centre's call-for-volunteers email, we sent an appeal too and have gotten a good response, so we are meeting some new karma yogis and are grateful for more help and feeling of community around the Centre. Staff are well and send their pranams By the grace of the Gurus all continues well. Pranams to all. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi from the Centre in Chicago. http://www.sivananda.org/chicago Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DÀ LAT Centre, Dà Lat, Vietnam Om Namah Sivaya. Early June we started 2 yoga for beginner courses. During the whole time, the Centre was very high spirited with the karma yoga (selfless service) of making new beds by recycled pallets with the help of students and karma yogis. One weekend, we have Satsang showing Swami Vishnudevananda video - In the Name of Peace, which was inspiring for all students and Staffs. By mid-June all classes are running very well. Centre have a lot of positive energy of making new beds and decorate Centre. All is well in Dalat. We feel a lot of blessings from Guru. Om. Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DWARKA Centre, Delhi, India Om Namah Sivaya. Early June started with new beginners’ course at 6am with good numbers of students. All our classes, course, workshops are going very well. Weekend finished with kids classes, meditation course and Satsang on Sundays attended by our regular karma yogi, teacher and staff. By mid-June Otherwise all the activities continued smoothly. Satsangs were joined by staff and students. Pranams to all. Om Shanti. http://www.sivananda.org/dwarka Sivananda Yoga Vedanta NATARAJA Centre, Delhi, India Om Namo Narayanaya. Early June saw the Centre buzzing with energy, as we started the yearly kids’ camp with 16 eager yogis and yoginis. Manju Sharmaji is teaching the daily class, assisted by a few karma yogis, and a beautiful programme has been organized including pottery and other activities. We also started a Yoga 1 Beginner Course with 15 new students taught by Amit. Mani Chaitanya led Sunday Satsang and many regular students joined for a peaceful end of the week gathering. With temperatures up to 47 °C. By mid-June all continued at the Centre, despite the heat, and started a new Yoga 1 Beginner Course with 12 students taught by Amit. Sunday Satsang was led by Mani Chaitanya. We said goodbye to Emily, and welcomed Uma Krishna back to Delhi for some weeks. Also Praveen returned to Delhi for some time. All staff are well and send their pranams. All staff are well and send their pranams. Om Namah Sivaya from Delhi! We send our prayers to all. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all. Om Namo Narayanaya! http://www.sivananda.org/delhi Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Geneva, Switzerland Om Namah Sivaya. On the weekends we had a Raja Yoga-workshop, a beginners’ intensive course 1 and 2 and a TTC-preparation with very motivated students. The Yoga-classes at the United Nations Organization which were taught in temporary locations for more than one year moved back to the original place which is a big relief for the students and the staff. Saraswati Chaitanya returned from the Madrid Centre in good spirits after supporting the special programme and Swami Mangalananda left for the retreat near Vilnius over a long weekend. The fall brochure was sent to the graphic designer. Another focus was the painting of the main asana hall on a weekend which looks fresh and sattvig now. Highlight of the month was the Ayurveda programme with Dr Kamlesh. The lecture on Ayurveda as well as the cooking course were very well attended and brought a lot of prana and new students to the Centre. Many Karma Yogis supported the event and the sattvig and tasty meal was enjoyed by everyone. OM. http://www.sivananda.org/geneva Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Om Namah Sivaya. Early June we started 2 Yoga beginner courses and the Yoga for change course with full attendant. During one weekend, Ganga taught the workshop of Yoga Asana Balancing workshop to shared how by practice Yoga balancing postures we can improve our concentration and be more Centre in life. The students was enjoy it very much. Our weekend movie night's activities keep inspiring the resident and students with different Spiritual movies. All staff are blessed with the grace of Gurus and Divine Mothers. By mid-June the summer brought lots of rain to cool down the weather of the city. Lots of students went away for the summer vacation making the number of students for open classes go down a bit. The courses are still running well such as Yoga 1, Yoga 2, and Yoga for change. We welcomed a new staff from Spain, Parvati, newly graduated from Madurai to be staff for few month at the Hochiminh Centre and to continue her study and service. Staff are in high spirits and happy to be blessed by the Divine Mother. All the staff were happy, with the Guru's blessings. We send Pranams to all the Sivananda family. Om Tat Sat. Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, London, England Om Namah Sivaya. Early June the London Centre was transformed into a city Ashram and we had the first week of the TTC with 19 students. We were happy to welcome Swami Kailasananda for the first days of the course and Swami Vasudevananda for the first two weeks of course teaching. Swami Kailasananda’s visit brought inspiration and encouragement to staff and the teachers and close students who joined for 3 much appreciated Satsangs and an advanced asana class. The main lectures are shared by Swami Jyotirmayananda and Swami Vasudevananda. The asana classes are shared by Swami Anantananda, Swami Vasudevananda and Nadapriya. The Gita is given by Swami Anantananda. Stephen Quong also arrived for a special programme of lectures and workshops on vedic astrology. The Centre is really beaming with activities with the regular classes running parallel to the TTC. It is inspiring to have Swami Kailasananda and Swami Vasudevananda here and all the karma yogis and new residents. By mid-June TTC students entered their third week and are doing well, most of their lectures were this time dedicated to the study of anatomy and physiology taught by Omkari from the affiliated Sivananda Centre in Florence, Italy. We were happy to welcome Swami Gopalananda who came to strengthen the TTC teaching team for the upcoming weeks. We had inspiring Satsangs, classes and lectures, and also silent walks along the Thames with meditation in the park. Angela Hope-Murray gave 2 lectures on Ayurveda and an Ayurvedic cooking workshop, her programme was well received by TTCs and Centre students. The TTCs started to teach and did very well. The summer holidays are approaching and with several teachers being in Orleans for the TTC refresher, regular class attendance was quiet this time. Om Namo Narayananya Salutations to all! Om. http://www.sivananda.org/london Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Los Angeles, CA, USA Om Namo Narayanaya! In early June we were delighted to welcome Swami Swaroopananda and Swami Sitaramananda to the Centre. They were accompanied by Swami Premaswaroopananda, Rukmini, Jnaneswari and Ishwari from Bahamas Ashram. Swami Sitaramananda led meditation and chanting and Swami Swaroopananda answered questions, giving answers to all the unasked questions in his full response to the first question about styles of meditation. His message was to focus on purifying the mind with karma yoga and then 'proper' meditation will be a natural result. He made many references to the teachings on karma yoga from Bhagavad Gita. He also answered questions about cancer, addiction, compassion and the atman. We had a full house and everyone was delighted with the evening's sharing. All stayed to share soup afterwards. We thank Swami Swaroopananda and his team for his visit which was much appreciated. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all. Pranams. http://www.sivananda.org/la Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madrid, Spain Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves. OM. http://www.sivananda.org/madrid Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madurai, India Om Namah Sivaya. Early June saw the Centre full of activities. We started Yoga 1 on Mondays with sufficient no of students. At the same day we also started a Meditation course and got finished taught by Yashpal. Weekends finished with Kriya workshops and Sunday Satsang was attended with some of our students. With the grace of god and gurus everything going well in the Centre By mid-June we started a new yoga beginners course with sufficient no. We started a kids classes after finishing kids camp. And also we welcomed Sandhya from Neyyar Dam to help us in the Centre with teaching and other activities. Our courses and classes are going smoothly by the grace of gurus and gods. The weekend energetic Satsang saw a good no of participants from outsiders. Staffs send their pranams to all Sivananda family members. Sunday Satsangs saw a good number of participants. Everything went well with the grace of our God & Satgurus. Pranams from the Temple city Madurai to each and everybody in the Sivananda family. Om Shanti. http://www.sivananda.org/madurai Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Milano, Italy Om Namah Sivaya from all staff in Northern Italy. Pranams to all. http://www.sivananda.org/milano Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montevideo, Uruguay, South America Om Namah Sivaya. Early June saw a nice time with a good number of students. All of them always interested in Hatha Yoga classes. Unfortunately we did not have students for the courses and workshops. Even so we are still working for the next ones. We are also working for the next TTC that is going to be held in Colombia. By the Masters grace, came a new secretary so as to help us. We have every confidence that she can stay for a long time. By mid-June classes continued as usual. Little by little pregnant class is having more participants. On Friday the 20th we started the last Beginners Course of this month. Thanks to the Masters we had a good number of students. Om and Pranams to everyone in the Sivananda Family from the staff at Montevideo. http://www.sivananda.org/montevideo Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Om Namah Sivaya. Early June saw a new karma yogi. Jeff will stay with us to help with he renovations. His construction experience is being put to great use. We finished painting the kitchen and Sushila's bedroom and are almost ready to do the reception/boutique area. Guess what colour? Yellow! A Yoga 1 beginner course was wrapped up and we look forward to seeing the students continue with Yoga 2. Satsangs continue to maintain strong numbers. Bhagirathi hosted a restorative workshop which received a lot of positive feedback from the students in attendance. Kam Thye Chow was kind enough to donate many instruments to us while trying to make space in his home. Now almost everyone will have a drum during Satsang! We continue with our sadhana and look forward to the time ahead. By mid-June the vibrations at the Centre have light with the weather and season welcoming new students. Classes and courses continue to run well, a workshop on deep relation was held on a Sunday, the 14 students who attended the workshop had renewed energy after. Sankara and Jeff continued with the renovations, the reception area is starting to shape up well, with final touches needed to now be completed. The students are pleased to see the new area. One weekend Sankara and Jeff went to the Ashram to support renovations there, while the Centre was closed for the Quebec holidays. We are thankful to Master and Swami ji for their continued inspiration and presence. Pranams to all the Sivananda family. http://www.sivananda.org/montreal Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Munich, Germany Om Namah Sivaya. One of the special courses was the course of “Yoga for the heart” in which students learn a very gentle approach to Asanas and Pranayama. We also started a course “Yoga and Stress Management”. On a Saturday we had one of our regular TTC preparation days. We are looking forward to the special program “Expansion in the Asana” with Prema. OM. http://www.sivananda.org/munich Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Neuquen, Patagonia, Argentina Om Namah Sivaya! In early June we said goodbye to Swami Dayananda who came back to Buenos Aires, and welcome Ishwara as staff. All activities continued as usual. By mid-June the workshops on shiatsu massage given by Ananda, and stress control given by Ishwara had good attendance. Still the attendance to regular classes need to improve. Together with the local staff we are planning a Karma Yoga Day, which will start with a talk on Karma Yoga and Swami Vishnu Devananda's life. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all during 2014. www.sivananda.org/neuquen Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, New York, USA Om Namah Sivaya! Early June saw a busy time at the Centre with many different projects in progress. We welcomed Sundaram, staff from the Yoga Farm, he is helping in many ways including a major clear up of our garden. We also cleared the front garden area where construction has been going on, adding some spring planting to brighten things up. Many New York karma yogis have joined us in our efforts. We placed new classes on our schedule to increase the time that the Centre is open, we are now open on Sunday mornings and later in the evening. We held an Open house which was quite well attended. Work continues on implementing our new website and online registration system. Mahadev Chaitanya and staff from the Yoga Ranch. Mahadev Chaitanya taught and advanced yoga class, then all joined for a lively Satsang. We have welcomed two new staff, Ishwari, who has been doing service in the Bahamas, and Mukti Devi (from France/Portugal), who has been at the Ranch, we are very happy to have them join in our efforts here. By mid-June All staff are well and sending their pranams. The staff are sending their pranams. Om Namah Sivaya from all the staff here at the NYC Centre. May the Gurus' blessings of be with us all. http://www.sivananda.org/ny Centre de Yoga Sivananda Vedanta, Paris, France Om Namah Sivaya. Uplifting month at the Centre, the music of the rain and the sunshine were present bringing calmness, light and clean air. We had a powerful akhanda chanting of Om Namo Narayanaya chanting for the celebration of the peace day. There was an Open house on the 14th and in spite of the transportation strikes we had almost 200 visitors for the day. Swami Gopalananda went to Orleans for a little more than a week to help with the guest programme and also one week to London to support the TTC. Many special guests and yogis passed by on their way to the different programmes in Europe and to the TTC Refresher in Orleans. The last week of the month was very inspiring with the visit of Brahmachari Sankar who gave a course on the Katha Upanishad, the cheerful and luminous presence of Swami Kailasananda who gave a beautiful programme, the visit of Doctor Kamlesh for an Ayurvedic nutrition programme and the visit of Prema for a hatha yoga programme. OM. http://www.sivananda.org/paris Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Porto Alegre, Brasil, South America Om Namah Sivaya from Brasil. In early June Ivana arrived - a new Staff from Argentina, she will stay for 2 months. We also started to paint inside the Centre so it is very nice to have someone else to help. We decided to keep the predominant yellow with a little change. We finished a beginners course with 5 students interested in keep the practice. We also are decided in do a marketing at Brazil yoga jornal. By mid-June we painted some walls here with students that like practice some karma yoga. We also finished a beginner’s course. Pranams, from all the staff at Porto Alegre Centre. http://www.sivananda.org/portoalegre Centro Yoga Vedanta Sivananda, Rome, Italy Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed selves, from the Centre in Roma. Early June there was a a holiday in Italy and was the third day of the retreat. Swami Jnaneswariananda and another students from Milan stayed at the Centre on their way to Milan. We started a Raja Yoga Course and Yoga 4. We are happy to see that students very interested in bringing their practice to a higher level. The staff are fine. May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with all. Om & Prem. www.sivananda.org/rome Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, San Francisco, California, USA Om Namo Narayanaya, Blessed Selves. Pranams to all from San Francisco Centre. http://www.sivananda.org/sanfrancisco Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tel Aviv, Israel Om Namah Sivaya from the Tel Aviv Centre. In early June we had a most inspiring time in the Tel-Aviv Centre. Shankara Chaitanya returned from a long month of absence, helping in the TTC in the Yoga Retreat. Everybody were excited to welcome him back, and to have his suporitve energy back in the Centre. We celebrated Shavout holiday with a grand feast and the traditional vigil night. 40 students joined the event and 10 stayed with us all night long till dawn. We celebrated Swami Swaroopananda's birthday with a beautiful Puja to which many devotees came. We've created a beautiful birthday-video card in which devotees from all over Israel greeted Swamiji, thanked him and wished him a happy birthday. A new Advanced Meditation course started with 10 participants. By mid-June we started 3 new courses with nice numbers. Pranava started a new Yoga 3 with 22 students and on the same day Bhargavi started a new Meditation course with 13 participants. A new Yoga 2 started with 12. We've started preparations for the upcoming visit of Swami Swaroopananda and Swami Prema to Israel. A full renovation project for the Centre is scheduled. Blessings and Peace to all of the Sivananda Family from the Tel Aviv Centre. http://www.sivananda.org/telaviv Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tokyo, Japan Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves. By mid-June Nataraj, Kalyani and Sandeep arrived from India for programmes around Japan as well as at the Tokyo Centre. They joined the staff and karma yogis in the continued work on new wooden altars for the yoga halls and other shelving in the office area. Those that were ready were mounted as required on the walls by a professional carpenter. Bright and early Vani devi left with the staff from India for the first of the classes and Satsangs at Yunogo in Okayama prefecture in West Japan; there were 16 and 15 students respectively for class and Satsang which were held in the Studio next door to last year’s Japan TTC venue, Katsuragi. The group moved on to Himeji prefecture to the studio of Sita Rumika where class, talk and Satsang were held for 16 and 20 students respectively. Sita’s parents kindly provided traditional accommodation and wonderful home cooking whilst there. We also thank Sita for transporting us around during those two days. After a journey of several trains and finally a cable car and bus, the retreat venue of Henjoko-in at Koyasan in the Wakayama prefecture was reached. This is one of 120 monasteries in a ring of eight hills, where Master Kukai established a Centre for the Shingon Buddhist approach. This leans quite considerably on ancient Indian beliefs and the practices of meditation are not dissimilar to our own. The retreat from mid Friday to mid Sunday consisted of classes with Sandeep, Nataraj and Vani devi, Satsang with Nataraj and talks on Bhakti with Kalyani and Nataraj. It also included attending the Gongyo of the monastery (their morning chanting service), a drawing Buddha session and a walk on a Saturday and Sunday to two other monasteries with big temples. These were the Kongobuji temple and the Okunoin monastery and temple with the largest cemetery in Japan and also 400 year old towering Cedar trees. The tour was completed with a packed class of 20 at a yoga studio in a busy shopping mall in Kyoto; this and comfortable accommodation were arranged by Maitreyi, a graduate from Japan 2013 TTC. Whilst the retreat was taking place the Centre was closed for 3 days so that Shambu could participate. We look forward to future yoga tours and retreats; many are interested to have more experience of the more spiritual SYVC approach to yoga. May Master and Swamiji bless us to be able to provide this. May the blessings of Master and Swamiji be with all. Pranams. www.sivananda.jp Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Om Namah Sivaya. Early June started with a new Y1. Open classes were filling up with the summer special pass students, most were old students renewing their practice. A few new students too who were taking advantage of the special price for 3 months. Satsangs continue to be very strong both morning and evening. The weather was very bright and warm, bringing warm smiles on every one. We had a few students coming to help us with the gardening. We had to do some new planting as the perennial plants had died due to the harsh winter. We hope to have the plants blooming soon. The highlight was the retreat that we conducted outside Toronto. Durairaj worked very hard to arrange carpool and room allocation. Lisa and Katikeya did all the food shopping and hopped in to car to run the kitchen. It was the biggest retreat we conducted ever with 55 students in attendance. It was very successful retreat with Prahlada leading them with Maheswari and few other teachers. , A few students and teachers gave very positive feedback. We even had inquiries about the next retreat in the fall. Janaki and Anantya re working on the new brochure for the next season, we hope to have some interesting workshops in the next season. Prahlada left to Camp to start Sadhana Intensive straight from the retreat. All left with most of them showing interest to come to Yoga Camp in the summer months. By mid-June Dr Sonal cooking workshop was very successful. Janaki had an excellent workshop on Chakras. The student no's continue to be at good levels, we did see a few old students coming back to renew their practice. New registrations are not very much, as the weather has turned around and all want to be out in the sun as much as possible. We are getting ready some posters and will put them out in the surrounding areas. We had 2 Birthdays in the Centre Kanti and Durairaj. We had a few cakes and a Japanese Lunch cooked by Saraswati and Bhakti. Pranams to all. Om. www.sivananda.org/toronto Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala, India Om Namah Sivaya. By mid-June we bid farewell to Sandeep who is joining the Tokyo Centre for a couple weeks to help out with their retreat and teach classes. We wish him, Nataraj and Kalyani safe travels and a wonderful trip. Our Beginner's are in their second week of classes and are progressing rather well. Despite the rains we have had a good turn out of students for our morning and evening open classes. We are also pleased that the work related to the mosquito net installation on the roof-top has finished, much to the relief of the staff and students that have classes there. We offered a beautiful Lalitha Sahasranaama Puja giving offerings and thanks to the Divine Mother for our well-being and prosperity followed by prasad. We held a headstand workshop with a modest turn out of students. Sunday evening we had a special Satsang that we shared live online with our Sivananda family from Italy, USA, Taiwan, Thailand and Lebanon to name a few countries. This time technology brought our family closer together and we hope that we will be able to include our global family in the chanting next time. Students and our global guests enjoyed the chanting and aarti. All staff are well and send their pranams. Pranams to the Sivananda family worldwide. www.sivananda.org/trivandrum Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vienna, Austria Om Namah Sivaya. In June we again had several attractive activities: a special course started on Mantras - power source of the Yogis, there was an Introduction into Thought Power, a successful seminar on Yoga Lifestyle, a TTC prep day and we had open house also. Swami Shyamananda visited us from the Ashram in Orleans and stayed for a whole week. He gave Satsangs, Yoga classes and helped in the Centre. Many students and teachers remembered him from his time in Vienna and received him cordially. Stephen Quong also was here for a special program on Vedic Astrology. He gave three evening lectures. Especially the introductory lecture in Satsang attracted many students. Three Centre teachers left for the TTC Refresher in Orleans. We are looking forward to seeing them back soon with fresh inspiration..! OM. www.sivananda.org/vienna Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vilnuis, Lithuania Om Namah Sivaya. Early June saw a 6 day retreat which was in a new place just 40km from Vilnius. Owners of the place were open minded, attended lectures and Satsangs. We had a nice sunny weather. Mostly people came from Vilnius, but also from the other countries: Russia, Latvia and even Croatia. We had only 3 novices who joined general classes at once. Besides all Yoga actvities students enjoyed the excursion to the very special energy place and museum, sauna and swimming in the lake, silent walks, sport game. Swami Mangalananda gave inspiring Satsangs, asana classes and talks. Swami Vairagyananda gave the Satsangs and very nice inspiring kirtan workshop and asana class. Durgadevi gave the Satsangs. We had lectures and Satsangs on Yoga, Meditation, Bhakti, Prana, Positive Thinking, Will Power, Masters, Service etc. Our close yoga teacher Bharata inspired everyone with well prepared Ayurveda cooking workshop. Food cooked by our close karma yogi Soumya and few teachers was excellent. Parvati as usual was sweetening the life and nicely taking care of the students, boutique and karma yogis. All enjoyed the retreat and new place, many wants to come back on July retreat. Yoga Centre at the same time was taken care by close teachers. We started planning of our next retreat which will take place at the end of July. We have already quite few inscriptions from students from Lithuania, Latvia and Russia. Ishwara Chaitanya came back from serving in Madrid. By mid-June good Yoga 1 course started with 8 students. Headstand workshop with a small group of participants took place as well and students learned step by step practice. We had lots of students for the workshop Concentration and Meditation. Students were quiet interested in topic. They learned about how to meditate, about Gunas and functioning of the mind. We practiced some concentration exercises and classical meditation, chanted peace mantra. Students left well inspired and got some homework till next workshop to happen. Midsummer Day in Lithuania is the day-off, so many of our students took opportunity to have a longer weekend to go out of the town. Planning of brochure is well in progress. Staff are well and inspired. Sending Prem to All. OM. www.sivananda.org/vilnius You cannot practice Ahimsa (Non-Violence) without practicing Truth. - Sri Swami Sivananda