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Yogas Chitta Vritti Nirodha
Stopping unnecessary thought-waves in the mind is yoga
This four-word definition of yoga comes from many Holy Books of yoga, including Patanjali Yoga Sutra. Seekers must strive to achieve that state of mind which is free from unnecessary fluctuations,
It is said in the Holy Books of yoga that there are three main reasons which hide the Truth of life: 1) Mala, impurities and imbalances in the body and mind; 2) Vikshepa, disturbances in mind and 3) Avarana, a curtain of ignorance.
If you look closely, all the above three reasons are related to the mind. A lack of discipline in mind is one of the main reasons for imbalances in the body and mind. The disturbances in mind occur because the mind has not been trained properly. A curtain of ignorance exists because the mind is not really interested in comprehending the Truth. It is more interested in the fulfillment of its selfish desires.
For the past thirty years, I have been asked one question the most, both from beginners and advanced practitioners, which is how to make the mind quieter and calmer? Most yoga practitioners, even after many years of sincere practices, struggle with it.
Dealing with the mind can be very complicated, but it can also be simple if you have the proper understanding and right tools.
Introducing ‘ SAMATAVAM’ Course
I am pleased to offer this course for those who would like to learn to take care of their minds. During the past twenty years, I have developed many well-received yoga courses, but I have never felt that any of those courses is a must for everyone.
With SAMATAVAM, I do.
Whether your aspirations are worldly, spiritual, or both, their meaningful fulfillment depends on the state of your mind. The SAMATAVAM course teaches you the skills for developing a calmer, balanced, and more focused mind.
I will be offering the online version of SAMATAVAM course on June 18 – 22.
If interested, please follow this link for more information.
Commercialization of Spirituality
The popularity and commercialization of spirituality on a large scale are recent phenomenons. When I was growing up in India, yoga was taught free of charge. Yoga then was not popular. There were no yoga studios in my city. A couple of yoga teachers that we knew held weekly yoga in classes in their houses. Once my mother offered some money to a yoga teacher for teaching me. In a very humble way, he said he would incur a sin if he took money for teaching yoga.
When I came to Canada in 1973, that’s when I first saw a poster of yoga classes for a fee. It was also then when I first came to learn about TM. They were charging a hefty fee for a three-hour meditation course. Though it was against my beliefs, I still paid for yoga classes, and also learned TM, an experience I will share another day.
Since then, I have witnessed the growing popularity of yogic practices and people’s readiness to pay for them. A reasonable fee for spirituality can be justified as some organizations, like the Art of Living Foundation, use that money for humanitarian projects. Many sincere yoga teachers teach yoga full time for a higher cause but also earn an income for their livelihood. When yoga classes are offered free, the majority of the students don’t value them, and they don’t develop sincerity. So, for the above-stated reasons and to cover overhead expenses, a fee for spirituality is acceptable, provided that it doesn’t become a business, and admission is not denied to those sincere students who genuinely can’t afford to pay.
Unfortunately, the wide-spread commercialization of spirituality has its consequences. Primarily, it gives rise to fraud, fake gurus, and corrupt organizations. Sad but true, because of the innocent faith of millions of people, fake gurus become very popular, influential, and they flourish, which further encourages the rise of more fake gurus.
Another consequence of the over-commercialization of spirituality is that it affects people’s shradha (faith and more). Walking on the path without shradha is an endless struggle. It is like trying to grow a tree without water. I will talk about shradha another day.
Ever since I became a full-time yoga teacher, I have strived not to let my teaching grow into a business in which money becomes more important than people and spirituality. I will continue to strive for that. I pledge to my yoga students that any money that I may earn over and above my basic needs, I will use it to support charities and the service work which I plan to do in Vrindavan. Spirituality is a Divine gift to me which I must not misuse.