Holistic FAQs

Can everyone energise Chakras?

Yes, just start search within.

Derived from Sanskrit, the term Chakra means ‘wheel’. In Hindu, tantric/yogic traditions and other belief systems are energy points or nodes in the subtle body. They are the meeting points of the subtle (non-physical) energy channels called nadiis through which the life force (prana) (non-physical) or vital energy (non-physical) travels.

The chakras are formed at the junction of three connected energy shafts that ascend the spine, one on each side of the central channel, the Shushumna. The two lesser channels of energy – the Pingala on the right and Ida on the left, run parallel to the spinal cord. Chakras both take up and collect prana (life force energy) and transform and pass on energy. Our material bodies could not exist without them for they serve as gateways for the flow of energy and life into our physical bodies.

There exist seven most important chakras— Root or Base Chakra, Spleen Chakra, Solar Plexus Chakra, Heart Chakra, Throat Chakra, Brow or third eye Chakra, Crown Chakra.

Each chakra has a number of specific qualities that correspond to the refinement of energy from the base-level material-self identity, located at the first chakras, up to the higher vibration spirit-level awareness of being at our crown. These energetic centers represent our highest level of integration split, prism like, into a spectrum of colours. The lower chakras are associated with fundamental emotions and needs, for the energy here vibrates at a lower frequency and is therefore denser in nature. The finer energies of the upper chakras correspond to our higher mental and spiritual aspirations and faculties.

The openness and flow of energy through our chakras determines our state of health and balance. Knowledge of our more subtle energy system empowers us to maintain balance and harmony on the physical, mental and spiritual level. All meditation and yoga systems seek to balance out the energy of the chakras by purifying the lower energies and guiding them upwards. Through the use of grounding, creating “internal space,” and living consciously with an awareness of how we acquire and spend our energy we become capable of balancing our life force with our mental, physical and spiritual selves.

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Can Fasting do miracles?

Fasting is a natural practice done to promote healing, to fortify the body and soul, not to tear them down. In the animal kingdom it happens on an instinctual level. It is natural biological action as eating all day is unnatural. Break from the intake of food allows for a rebalancing within the body, and within our psyche, affecting also our sense of connection to the world of spirit. Yogic practices, including that of fasting, date back thousands of years.

Fasting is the simplest way to give the entire body system a time to re-cleanse and rejuvenate. In medical terms, the word ‘fasting’ can be defined as “voluntary abstinence from consuming food for varying lengths of time. In its simplest form, fasting is abstaining from all food and drink except water and sometimes even water. The history of fasting can’t have a beginning point because there’s no reason to think that early man did not fast in the normal course of his existence; every other animal, even today, will fast during times of stress or illness, and sometimes even at the slightest uneasiness. It is a natural tendency for the organism, whether human or animal, to seek rest, balance, and to conserve energy at critical times.

Early religious and spiritual groups used fasting as a part of ceremonies and rites–most often during spring and fall equinoxes. Today, every major religion practices fasting for various spiritual benefit.

Besides, fasting has its own relevance in all religions. As per our Hindu scriptures fasting helps create a harmonious relationship between the body and the soul. Hindus believe the denying physical needs are necessary for spiritual gains while Muslims observe fasting during the month of Ramzan considering fasting of utmost importance. Christians believe that fasting helps them to deepen their relationship with God. They also believe that fasting aware them about their spiritual self. Jain religion strongly emphasizes on fasting to purify souls, improve morality, spiritual power, increase knowledge and strengthen relationships.

All medical systems in the world accept and acknowledge the therapeutic benefits of fasting. In our country along with scientific value fasting has been of religious value too and political as well. Christianity, Judaism, Gnosticism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, South and North American Indian traditions–all utilize fasting in one form or another, whether for purification, spiritual vision, penance, mourning or sacrifice. Many faiths prescribe regular fasting to prevent or break the habits of gluttony. In the U.S., the groups most noted for continuing fasting traditions are Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, Lutherns and Jews.

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Can Music heal?

Music is a human phenomenon. It’s the only sensory experience that can activate all areas of the brain at the same time SIMULTANEOUSLY!

Music Therapy is the clinical use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. Music Therapy is useful because music triggers whole brain processes and functioning which directly affect one’s cognitive, emotional, and physical functions and abilities.

In the therapy music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. After assessing the strengths and needs of every patient, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, clients’ abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives.

It helps in promoting wellness, managing stress, alleviation of pain, expression of feelings, memory enhancement, improvement of communication, promoting physical rehabilitation and improving socialisation and quality of life. Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people’s motivation to become engaged in their treatment, providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings.

Music Therapy is useful because music triggers whole brain processes and functioning which directly affect one’s cognitive, emotional, and physical functions and abilities. Everyone has the ability to respond to music and sound so a variety of approaches are used. Fundamental to all is the development of a therapeutic relationship between the client and the therapist. Each usually play an active role in each session with clients being encouraged to use a range of instruments including their own voice. This allows them to explore the world of sound and to create a musical language of their own.

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How Asanas are beneficial to everyone ?

The word is derived from the Sanskrit asanam, “a sitting posture.” Asanas range from simple, relaxing poses which can be held by people at all levels of ability to complex postures which push the limits of the practitioner’s body. Typically, a yoga session involves running through a series of asanas and holding them for varying periods of time. They could potentially be held for long periods of time to focus the mind and body, promoting health, stillness, flow of energy and inward reflection.

In the 2nd Century before Christ, Patanjali wrote down the principles of Yoga practice in the Yoga Sutras (aphorisms). He named only the meditation posture Asana and the physical postures he termed Yoga Vyayam. However, in common usage the dynamic Yoga exercises also became known as Asanas.

Traditional asanas are only one part of the practice of yoga, which is a religious practice in India. They are designed to stretch and internally massage the entire body, with twisting, bending, and holding accompanied by periods of relaxation. Many people find that integrating a few asanas into their daily stretching routine is quite beneficial; common asanas include back bends, stretches of the legs and arms, and standing poses to promote good posture and balance.

Many asanas were derived from the natural movements and positions of animals and carry the names of animals such as “cat”, “deer”, “tiger”, “hare”, etc. These postures make use of examples from nature on how to help oneself. Asanas have a far-reaching effect upon body and mind. The animals instinctively used these movements and positions because of their natural benefits. These effects are attained through the practice of the asanas. For example: Marjari (The Cat) for stretching the body and the spine, Bhujangasana (The Cobra) for the release of aggression and emotions, and Shashankasana (The Hare) for relaxation. The headstand (Shirshasana) and Lotus (Padmasana), are regarded as the supreme or royal Asanas.

Asanas are beneficial for the muscles, joints, cardiovascular system, nervous system and lymphatic system, as well as the mind, psyche and Chakras (energy centres). They are psychosomatic exercises, which strengthen and balance the entire nervous system and harmonise and stabilise the practitioner’s state of mind. The effects of these exercises are a sense of contentment, clarity of mind, relaxation and a feeling of inner freedom and peace.

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How do Naturopathy works?

Naturopathy is a system of working towards the cure of diseases without using medicines. It is a system of treatment and healthcare that supports the body’s innate ability to heal itself through nutrition, exercise and life-style advice. An ancient and traditional science which integrates the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of our natural constitution, it possesses the capacity to prevent and in some cases also cure the disease. It is a holistic system which believes that good health is not the same as the absence of disease and that promoting a general state of wellbeing through dietary principles, lifestyle, exercise and other techniques is an effective way to manage our physiological systems.

It brings us closer to nature by integrating the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of body. Nature is the best doctor. It is an ancient science which aims at teaching people the art of healthy living by changing their daily routine and habits. Naturopathy may be beneficial for a wide range of acute or chronic conditions as well as a general practice for living well. It draws on a wide range of therapeutic disciplines – known as “modalities” – and may help to avoid surgery and excessive medication.

Naturopathy advises on homemade remedies. It gives cure from what to eat and drink, and stresses on fasting and remodelling our lifestyle. It uses five elements of nature Akash, Vayu, Agni, Prithvi and Jal as therapies together with applied yoga and meditation.

Naturopathy is completely in tune with traditional ways of living, prayer and meditation. Preventive health measures like regular fasts, the concept of getting up early and sleeping early, exercising in the morning, eating home cooked food, culture of massages and shatkarmas are part of Indian lifestyle. Naturopathy is part of the culture.

The reasons and remedies of all diseases are the same; ailments develop due to the presence of intoxicants which are removed. The intoxicants cause diseases, not bacteria and viruses which simply feed off them. And the last, nature itself is the best ‘doctor’, the patient is cured, not the ailment. All levels of the body are treated simultaneously and holistically in Naturopathy.

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How does Aromatherapy work?

Aromatherapy is the practice of using the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being. The inhaled aroma from these essential oils is widely believed to stimulate brain function. Essential oils can also be absorbed through the skin, where they travel through the bloodstream and can promote whole-body healing. A form of alternative medicine, aromatherapy is used for a variety of applications, including pain relief, mood enhancement and increased cognitive function.

There are a wide number of essential oils available, each with its own healing properties. Essential oils are taken from a plant’s flowers, leaves, stalks, bark, rind, or roots. The oils are mixed with another substance (such as oil, alcohol, or lotion) and then put on the skin, sprayed in the air, or inhaled. You can also massage the oils into the skin or pour them into bath water. Aromatherapy as used today originated in Europe and has been practiced there since the early 1900s.

Practitioners of aromatherapy believe that fragrances in the oils stimulate nerves in the nose. Those nerves send impulses to the part of the brain that controls memory and emotion. Depending on the type of oil, the result on the body may be calming or stimulating. The oils are thought to interact with the body’s hormones and enzymes to cause changes in blood pressure, pulse, and other body functions. Another theory suggests that the fragrance of certain oils may stimulate the body to produce pain-fighting substances.

Aromatherapy may promote relaxation and help relieve stress. It has also been used to help treat a wide range of physical and mental conditions, including burns, infections, depression, insomnia, and high blood pressure.

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How Mantras effect ?

Mantra is the combination of two, Man— to repeat (manana) and tra— the power of trana. They are sacred utterance, numinous sound, or a syllable, word, phonemes, or group of words believed by some to have psychological and spiritual power.

The use, structure, function, importance and types of mantras vary according to the school and philosophy of Hinduism and of Buddhism. Mantras serve a central role in the tantric school of Hinduism. In this school, mantras are considered equivalent to deities, a sacred formula and deeply personal ritual, and considered to be effective only after initiation. However, in other schools of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism or Sikhism, this is not so.

Mantras come in many forms, including (verses from Rigveda for example) and sāman (musical chants from the Sāmaveda for example). They are typically melodic, mathematically structured meters, resonant with numinous qualities. At its simplest, the word Om serves as a mantra. In more sophisticated forms, they are melodic phrases with spiritual interpretations such as human longing for truth, reality, light, immortality, peace, love, knowledge and action. In other forms, they are literally meaningless, yet musically uplifting and spiritually meaningful.

A mantra is a thought manifest in, or encapsulated by, a sacred utterance that possesses profound spiritual significance. Sound holds a key place in Hindu thought. Mantras are sacred syllables that encapsulate particular forms of cosmic power (shakti).

In Hinduism, a mantra is sacred and spiritually beneficial. By chanting a mantra repeatedly with love and devotion a person can become spiritually illumined. He develops a pure mind which enables him to see God. Each mantra has a presiding deity over it who is supposed to be giving the results of chanting of mantra (mantra phala). Mantra means which has to be repeated and understood.

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How many Smritis are there ?

Smriti literally “that which is remembered,” refers to a specific body of Hindu religious scripture, and is a codified component of Hindu customary law. Smriti also denotes non-Sruti texts and is generally seen as secondary in authority to Sruti— the Vedas or Revelations. Smriti also denotes tradition in the sense that it portrays the traditions of the rules on dharma, especially those of lawful virtuous persons.

With regards to Hindu law, scholars have commonly translated Smriti as “tradition”. Although Smriti is also considered a written source; it differs from Sruti in that Smriti does not have divine origins. In a sense, Smriti consists of the memories of wisdom that sages have passed on to their disciples. These memories consist of traditions. It is these memories that make up the second source of dharma and consequently have been recorded to become a written source; commentaries such as Laws of Manu, for example. The Smriti texts have become a binding of “sacred literature” which includes the six Vedangas, the Ithihasas: the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, as well as, the Puranas. It is within all of these works that the rules of dharma remain and are passed down. However, Smriti is still only considered a second authority after Sruti and becomes relevant only when Sruti provides no answer.

There are two important sides of SmritiSmriti as Tradition and Smriti as Texts. Smriti as Tradition consists of Smriti as memories. It is from these memories that the rules of dharma are preserved and passed down. Conversely, Smriti as Texts refers to the notion of Traditional Texts. These consist of mostly the dharmasastras and are described as literature which has been “inspired by the smriti”.

Smriti speaks of secular matters – science, law, history, agriculture, etc. – as well as spiritual lore, ranging from day-to-day rules and regulations to super conscious outpourings. The smritis were a system of oral teaching, passing from one generation of recipients to the succeeding generation.

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How one can define his living as Holistic ?

Holistic living is the art of living in balance with ourselves and our environment. Understanding and respecting that all things are interconnected is at the heart of a holistic lifestyle. It is a non-medical philosophy of well-being that considers the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of life as closely interconnected and balanced. It offers a way to balance your life in all areas to achieve a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lifestyle. It is about taking responsibility for our actions and choices in the knowledge that these choices have consequences for all living things on the planet.

Holistic living is about living a balanced life spiritually, socially, physically, emotionally, mentally, financially. It is a more universal approach to regular health care. It includes all of the unlimited resources available to each of us. It is defined as viewing one’s self from a whole perspective and focusing our health care needs on the mind, body and spirit connection. It also includes accepting personal responsibility, health education, using preventive care and all modalities of care available such as surgery, western medicine, chemotherapy, nutrition, rehabilitation, hypnosis, acupuncture, psychotherapy, bodywork, energy work, and spiritual healing to mention a few.

One major theme of Holistic Living is that we are ultimately responsibility for our own health. It is only when we take personal responsibility that we can truly begin to be healed. Each one of us is so unique that no one treatment, medication or technique is going to work for us all. Our beliefs, values and attitudes affect our health and must be a part of the cure.

Since ultimately we cannot be completely healthy until we achieve balance in our life, with others and in our environment, then perhaps the true definition of Holistic Living is achieving BALANCE.

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How Sudarshan Kriya is performed ?

Su’ means proper, ‘darshan’ means vision, and ‘Kriya’ is a purifying practice. The Sudarshan Kriya is therefore a purifying practice, whereby one receives a proper vision of one’s true self. According to Art of Living Guru Sri Sri Ravishankar ,it is a powerful yet simple rhythmic breathing technique that incorporates specific natural rhythms of the breath, harmonizing the body, mind and emotions. The technique eliminates stress, fatigue and negative emotions such as anger, frustration and depression, leaving the mind calm, focused and the body energized, completely relaxed.

Similarly, there are biological rhythms of the body, mind and emotions corresponding to those found in Nature. When stress or illness distorts these biological rhythms, we experience discomfort, discontent, and feel upset and unhappy. Sudarshan Kriya harmonizes these rhythms of the body, mind and emotions with those of Nature. Being in sync, we experience better health and joy which in turn brings harmony in our activities and relationships.

The kriya facilitates physical, mental, emotional and social well-being with better immunity, increased stamina and sustained high-energy levels. It elevates the prana by flushing out more than 90 per cent toxins and accumulated stress, everyday. Every cell becomes fully oxygenated and flooded with new life, bringing a sense of joy in the moment. It flushes our anger, anxiety and worry; leaving the mind completely relaxed and energized. It also plays a major role in bringing about a healthy lifestyle. It improves the overall quality of life.

Sudarshan Kriya reduces the imbalance in mind-body, stress. Discontentment vanishes and mind works like a password for relaxation. It makes a shift in attitude and makes you feel positive. It as well has remarkable therapeutic benefits. Simple, yet powerful, breathing practice has the advantage over many forms of treatment because it is free from negative side-effects.

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How Upanishads help to mankind?

The term Upanishad literally means, ‘sitting down near’ or ‘sitting close to’, and implies listening closely to the mystic doctrines of a guru or a spiritual teacher, who has cognized the fundamental truths of the universe. It points to a period in time when groups of pupils sat near the teacher and learnt from him the secret teachings in the quietude of forest ‘ashrams’ or hermitages. In another sense of the term, Upanishad means brahma-knowledge by which ignorance is annihilated. Some other possible meanings of the compound word Upanishad are placing side by side (equivalence or correlation), a near approach (to the Absolute Being), secret wisdom or even sitting near the enlightened.

The Upanishads more clearly set forth the prime Vedic doctrines like self-realisation, yoga and meditation, karma and reincarnation, which were hidden or kept veiled under the symbols of the older mystery religion. The older Upanishads are usually affixed to a particularly Veda, through a Brahmana or Aranyaka. The Upanishads became prevalent some centuries before the time of Krishna and Buddha.

The Upanishads form the core of Indian philosophy. They are an amazing collection of writings from original oral transmissions. It is here that we find all the fundamental teachings that are central to Hinduism — the concepts of ‘karma‘ (action), ‘samsara‘ (reincarnation), ‘moksha ‘ (nirvana), the ‘ atman ‘ (soul), and the ‘Brahman‘ (Absolute Almighty). They also set forth the prime Vedic doctrines of self-realisation, yoga and meditation. The Upanishads are summits of thought on mankind and the universe, designed to push human ideas to their very limit and beyond. They give us both spiritual vision and philosophical argument, and it is by a strictly personal effort that one can reach the truth.

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How YOGA is an integral science?

The term ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’. It leads to the union of individual consciousness with that of the Universal Consciousness, indicating a perfect harmony between the mind and body, Man and Nature. Aiming at self-realisation, it helps in overcome all kinds of sufferings which lead to ‘the state of liberation’.

One of the oldest sciences traces its origin in India is useful for preserving and maintaining one’s physical and mental health and for ‘spiritual evolution’. The Indian sage Patanjali is believed to have collated the practice of yoga into the Yoga Sutra an estimated 2,000 years ago. The Sutra is a collection of 195 statements that serves as a philosophical guidebook for most of the yoga that is practiced today. It also outlines eight limbs of yoga: the yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyani (meditation), and samadhi (absorption). As we explore these eight limbs, we begin by refining our behaviour in the outer world, and then we focus inwardly until we reach samadhi (liberation, enlightenment).

Basic humane values are the very identity of Yoga Sadhana. Yoga is the most perfect lifestyle module as it is comprehensive and holistic in its nature. Yogic principles of lifestyle help to strengthen and develop positive health enabling us to withstand stress better. This Yogic “health insurance” has achieved by normalising the perception of stress, optimising the reaction to it and by releasing the pent-up stress effectively through the practice of various Yogic practices. Yoga is a holistic and integral science of life dealing with physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health of an individual and society.

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How Yoga Nidra helps us to awaken ?

Yoga Nidra means Yogic Sleep. It is a state of conscious deep sleep. In Yoga Nidra, you leave the Waking state, go past the Dreaming state, and go to Deep Sleep, yet remain awake. While it is a state that is very relaxing, it is also used by Yogis to purify the Samskaras, the deep impressions that are the driving force behind Karma.

It is a powerful technique from the Tantra Yoga tradition. It is both a name of a state and of a practice which creates an altered state of consciousness allowing the practitioner to relax and heal their being, expand their faculty of imagination, enter the realm of subconscious and super conscious, effectively manifest seemingly magical changes in their life, certain karmic debris in their life clear (if you believe in Karma) and assist in reaching a state called by some enlightenment.

Yoga Nidra, although Tantric in origin can be classified as a part of the Raja Yoga system’s Eight Limbs of Yoga, the well-known codification system of the Yogic practices by Patanjali. In fact no less than three of the eight limbs of yoga can be seen in this practice— Pranayama, Dharana, Pratyharya.

There are three traditional aspects of Yogic Sleep— A systematic method of inducing complete mental, physical and emotional relaxation while maintaining awareness at deeper levels; a way to manifest any desire (physical, mental or spiritual); a method of altering karma and finding Moksha (Liberation).

On the most basic level, Yoga Nidra relaxes, rejuvenates and renews the physical body. It also empowers you to eliminate unconscious obstructions and energetic blocks that prevent you from living your life to the fullest. Through regular practice, Yoga Nidra enables you to effortlessly realize your intentions and achieve an integrated state in which your body moves towards self-healing. Yoga Nidra works by immersing your brain in the healing rhythms of the alpha state. Here, you simultaneously access the power of the logical left brain and the intuitive, insightful right brain, and align you sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems to restore the body and mind to homeostasis. This is a state of oneness, where you tap into creative powers beyond the ego-mind and have access to healing on a physical, mental and emotional plane.

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Is Hatha Yoga a tantric practice?

Tantra is a part of a sadhana. Hath Yoga is a term used for Yoga techniques. While hatha means ‘willful’ or ‘forceful’, its division into the two ha meaning “sun” and tha meaning “moon” refers to the balance of masculine aspects—active, hot, sun—and feminine aspects—receptive, cool, moon—within all of us.

Hatha yoga are a set of physical exercises (known as asanas or postures), and sequences of asanas, designed to align your skin, muscles, and bones. The postures are also designed to open the many channels of the body, especially the main channel, the spine—so that energy can flow freely. It is a path toward creating balance and uniting opposites. In our physical bodies, we develop a balance of strength and flexibility. We also learn to balance our effort and surrender in each pose. Hatha Yoga refers to the practice of bringing harmony to the two main energies in the human body – the energy of the moon and the energy of the sun.

Considered to be a powerful tool for self-transformation, it asks us to bring our attention to our breath, which helps us to still the fluctuations of the mind and be more present in the unfolding of each moment. It is the most widely practiced form of yoga in the world. Hatha Yoga uses postures and conscious breathing in combination with mental focus to develop awareness, strength and flexibility, and relaxation. Through proper alignment and mindful actions of the body, it brings balance, strength, and a sense of well-being to the practitioner.

It restores balance between the mind and intellect, then one’s consciousness begins to awaken. The result is a discovery of inner peace, inner contentment and mental clarity. The purpose of life becomes clearer as you will begin understanding creation. Your existence will be complemented with the feeling of spirituality, divinity and of clarity.

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Is Patanjali the avatar of Adishesha?

According to mythology ,Maharishi Patanjali was the avatar of Adi Shesha – the Infinite Cosmic Serpent upon whom Lord Vishnu rests. He is considered to be the compiler of the Yoga Sutras.According to some researchers the author of a commentary on Panini’s Ashtadhyayi, known as Mahabhasya is also Patanjali. He is also supposed to be the writer of a work on the ancient Indian medicine system, Ayurveda.

The great sage and master, Patanjali was the founder and father of Yoga. He was considered to be a fully self-realized avatar, who had mastered the mind, the body, its senses, and even this physical world. He was also a profound knower of knowledge which made him an amazing philosopher and teacher of how to master your life.

Patanjali codified, or compiled in a systematic way, the art and science of Yoga in the Yoga Sutras. The Yoga Sutras succinctly outlines the art and science of Yoga for Self-Realization. Nothing new was created with the Yoga Sutras, but rather the ancient practices were summarized in an extremely organized and terse way. While the Yoga Sutra itself is ancient, archaeological evidence and other texts suggest that the methods described in the Yoga Sutras were being practiced as early as 3000 BCE. Oral tradition states that the date may be even earlier.

Yoga Sutras are the foundation and essential training manual for mastering the mind and achieving oneness with the universe. Incidentally, when one does master the mind is the acquisition of Siddhi powers from the awakening of one’s Kundalini. Patanjali warns us to be aware of this phenomenon, since the final aim and goal of one’s spiritual awakening is to liberate you from the cage of matter, while your mind is actually the highest form of matter.

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Is Reiki a religious practice?

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by ‘laying on hands’ and is based on the idea that an unseen ‘life force energy’ flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s ‘life force energy’ is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.

A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you. Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing. Many have reported miraculous results.

Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady and always creates a beneficial effect. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.

While Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion. It has no dogma, and there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use Reiki. In fact, Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not. Because Reiki comes from God, many people find that using Reiki puts them more in touch with the experience of their religion rather than having only an intellectual concept of it.

While Reiki is not a religion, it is still important to live and act in a way that promotes harmony with others. Mikao Usui, the founder of the Reiki system of natural healing, recommended that one practice certain simple ethical ideals to promote peace and harmony, which are nearly universal across all cultures.

Reiki combines the Japanese and Chinese word-characters of “rei” (spiritual or supernatural) and “ki” (vital energy). The latter is the same ki or qi in qigong and other Eastern practices.

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May I have a quick intro to AYURVEDA ?

Ayurveda is the complete science of life of Indian origin. Evolved from the combination of two Sanskrit words “Ayuh”—life and “veda”—knowledge, Ayurveda, the Science of Life, is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Tracing it roots in India, Ayurveda originated 5000 years ago. One of the oldest forms of healthcare systems, it is based on the premise that the universe is made up of five elements: air, fire, water, earth and ether. These elements are represented in humans by three “doshas“, or energies: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. When any of the doshas accumulate in the body beyond the desirable limit, the body loses its balance. Every individual has a distinct balance, and our health and well-being depend on getting a right balance of the three doshas (“tridoshas“). Ayurveda suggests specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines to help individuals reduce the excess dosha.

The fundamental concept of Ayurveda, alternative medicine, is to maintain health. Ayurveda does not look at the disease. It looks at the individual’s vulnerability. A system of Hindu traditional medicine, it is a discipline of the upaveda or “auxiliary knowledge” in Vedic tradition. Ayurvedic practices include the use of herbal medicines, mineral or metal supplementation (rasa shastra), surgical techniques, opium, and application of oil by massages.

Practices derived from Ayurvedic traditions are a type of alternative medicine. The origins of Ayurveda are also found in the Atharvaveda, which contains 114 hymns and incantations described as magical cures for disease. There are also various legendary accounts of the origin of Ayurveda, e.g., that it was received by Dhanvantari (or Divodasa) from Brahma.

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What are Vedas?

The Vedas are the ancient scriptures or revelation (Shruti) of the Hindu teachings. They manifest the Divine Word in human speech. They reflect into human language the language of the Gods, the Divine powers that have created us and which rule over us. The Vedas are considered the earliest literary record of Indo-Aryan civilization, and the most sacred books of India. They contain spiritual knowledge encompassing all aspects of our life. Vedic literature with its philosophical maxims has stood the test of time and is the highest religious authority for all sections of Hindus in particular and for mankind in general.

Veda means wisdom, knowledge or vision, and it manifests the language of the gods in human speech. The laws of the Vedas regulate the social, legal, domestic and religious customs of the Hindus to the present day. All the obligatory duties of the Hindus at birth, marriage, death etc. owe their allegiance to the Vedic ritual. They draw forth the thought of successive generation of thinkers, and so contain within it the different strata of thought.

There are four Vedas, each consisting of four parts. The primary portion is the mantra or hymn section (samhita). To this are appended ritualistic teachings (brahmana) and theological sections (aranyaka). Finally, philosophical sections (upanishads) are included. The hymn sections are the oldest. The others were added at a later date and each explains some aspect of the hymns or follows one line of interpreting them.

There are four Vedas, the Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda. The Vedas are the primary texts of Hinduism. They also had a vast influence on Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. Traditionally the text of the Vedas was coeval with the universe. Scholars have determined that the Rig Veda, the oldest of the four Vedas, was composed about 1500 B.C., and codified about 600 B.C. It is unknown when it was finally committed to writing, but this probably was at some point after 300 B.C.

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What is actual Tantra?

The word tantra is derived from the combination of two words ‘tattva’ and ‘mantra’. Tattva means the science of cosmic principles, while mantra refers to the science of mystic sound and vibrations. Tantra, therefore, is the application of cosmic sciences with a view to attain spiritual ascendancy. In another sense, tantra also means the scripture by which the light of knowledge is spread: Tanyate vistaryate jnanam anemna iti tantram.

There are essentially two schools of Indian scriptures – Agama and Nigama. Agamas are those which are revelations while Nigama are the traditions. Tantra is an Agama and hence it is called srutishakhavisesah, which means it is a branch of the Vedas.

The Sanskrit word tantra means the warp of a loom or the strands of a braid. Like the strings of a warp, the tantra practices serve as a structure for intertwining the sutra themes to weave a tapestry of enlightenment. Moreover, it combines physical, verbal, and mental expressions of each practice, which braid together creating a holistic path of development. Because one cannot integrate and practice simultaneously all the sutra themes without previously training in each individually, tantra practice is extremely advanced.

The root of the word tantra means to stretch or to continue without a break. Tantra molds the power of creation and ego into skillful means cutting through delusion, requires careful preparation. It is a path of tremendous power.

Tantra (a Sanskrit word which means “woven together”) is a term loosely applied to several divergent and even contradictory schools of Hindu yoga in which the union of male and female is worshipped either in principle or in human practice. It has also come to be applied to sex-based religious practices developed in some religious cults.

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What is difference between Spirituality and Religion?

Spirituality means something different to everyone. It is not a practice rather a certain way of being. Spirituality can be called a process of personal transformation, either in accordance with traditional religious ideals, or, increasingly, oriented on subjective experience and psychological growth independently of any specific religious context. In a more general sense, it may refer to almost any kind of meaningful activity or blissful experience. When your rationale is immature, it doubts everything. When your rationale matures, it sees everything in a completely different light.

While spirituality may incorporate elements of religion, it is generally a broader concept. In a narrow sense, it concerns itself with matters of the spirit. Spiritual matters are those involving humankind’s ultimate nature not merely as material biological organisms but as beings with a unique relationship to that which is beyond both time and material existence. As such the spiritual has traditionally been contrasted with the material, the temporal and the worldly. A perceived sense of connection forms a central defining characteristic of spirituality — connection to a metaphysical reality greater than oneself, which may include an emotional experience of religious awe and reverence, or such states as satori or Nirvana.

Equally important, spirituality relates to matters of sanity and of psychological health. Spirituality is the personal, subjective dimension of religion, particularly that which pertains to liberation or salvation. Spirituality may involve perceiving or wishing to perceive life as more important (“higher”), more complex or more integrated with one’s world view; as contrasted with the merely sensual.

Many spiritual traditions, accordingly, share a common spiritual theme: the “path”, “work”, practice, or tradition of perceiving and internalizing one’s “true” nature and relationship to the rest of existence (God, creation (the universe), or life), and of becoming free of the lesser egoic self (or ego) in favour of being more fully one’s “true” “Self”.

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What is Herbal Therapy ?

Herbal Therapy uses herbs to treat the underlying causes of disease. Instead of looking at the signs and symptoms and then treating the disease, a holistic approach is adopted by taking into consideration a complete picture from lifestyle to physical stressor.

Herbal Therapy is basically about understanding how different herbs work with the body to restore balance and health. The term herb refers to a plant used for medicinal purposes. The medicinal benefits of herbs have been known for centuries. The healing properties of herbs have not changed through the centuries – what was a healing herb a few hundred years ago is still a healing herb today.

Herbs are also used in many traditions as a preventative action to boost immune function and promote general wellbeing before any disease occurs. Unlike conventional medicine, herbalists use the ‘whole’ herb or plant rather than isolating and breaking down chemical compounds and then synthesizing them. This is because the plant, being a part of Nature, is said to represent perfect balance; healing requires the natural combination of elements in the plant or herb, not just a single chemical within it.

Herbs have prana or life-force energy in all their active ingredients. Because they are recognizable by the body’s intelligence, they are assimilated more easily and help the body to activate cells, build tissues, cleanse the system and offer direct aid to sick body parts and organs.

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What is Kundalini ?

Kundalini is a Sanskrit word meaning either “coiled up” or “coiling like a snake.” The caduceus symbol of coiling snakes is thought to be an ancient symbolic representation of Kundalini physiology. The concept of Kundalini comes from yogic philosophy of ancient India and refers to the mothering intelligence behind yogic awakening and spiritual maturation. It might be regarded by yogis as a sort of deity, hence the occasional capitalization of the term.

Within a western frame of understanding it is often associated with the practice of contemplative or religious practices that might induce an altered state of consciousness, either brought about spontaneously, through a type of yoga, through psychedelic drugs, or through a near-death experience.

According to the yogic tradition Kundalini is curled up in the back part of the root chakra in three and one-half turns around the sacrum. Yogic phenomenology states that kundalini awakening is associated with the appearance of bio-energetic phenomena that are said to be experienced somatically by the yogi.

This appearance is also referred to as “pranic awakening”. Prana is interpreted as the vital, life-sustaining force in the body. Uplifted, or intensified life-energy is called pranotthana and is supposed to originate from an apparent reservoir of subtle bio-energy at the base of the spine. This energy is also interpreted as a vibrational phenomena that initiates a period, or a process of vibrational spiritual development.

Kundalini awakening results in deep meditation, enlightenment and bliss. This awakening involves the Kundalini physically moving up the central channel to reside within the Sahasrara Chakra at the top of the head. This movement of Kundalini is felt by the presence of a cool or, in the case of imbalance, a warm breeze across the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet. Many systems of yoga focus on the awakening of Kundalini through meditation, pranayama breathing, the practice of asana and chanting of mantras. In physical terms, one commonly reports the Kundalini experience to be a feeling of electric current running along the spine.

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What is Meditation ?

The word meditation is derived from two Latin words: meditari (to think, to dwell upon, to exercise the mind) and mederi (to heal). Its Sanskrit derivation ‘medha‘ means wisdom.

Meditation is a precise technique for resting the mind and attaining a state of consciousness that is totally different from the normal waking state. It is the means for fathoming all the levels of ourselves and finally experiencing the center of consciousness within. Meditation is not a part of any religion; it is a science, which means that the process of meditation follows a particular order, has definite principles, and produces results that can be verified. Meditation, or dhyana in Sanskrit, is the seventh step in ashtanga yoga.

Meditation is the unceasing flow of one thought about God or the Atman. It is completely shutting out worldly thoughts and thinking only about God. In meditation, the mind is clear, relaxed, and inwardly focused. It requires an inner state that is still and one-pointed so that the mind becomes silent. When the mind is silent and no longer distracts you, meditation deepens.

Meditation is not a technique but a way of life. It means ‘a cessation of the thought process’. It describes a state of consciousness, when the mind is free of scattered thoughts and various patterns. The observer (one who is doing meditation) realizes that all the activity of the mind is reduced to one.

Traditionally, the classical yoga texts, describe that to attain true states of meditation one must go through several stages. After the necessary preparation of personal and social code, physical position, breath control, and relaxation comes the more advanced stages of concentration, contemplation, and then ultimately absorption. But that does not mean that one must perfect any one stage before moving onto the next. The Integral yoga approach is simultaneous application of a little of all stages together.

With regular practice of a balanced series of techniques, the energy of the body and mind can be liberated and the quality of consciousness can be expanded.

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What is Panchkarma?

Panchkarma means “five actions” or “five treatments” and is a procedure to thoroughly cleanse the body of toxic materials that accumulate due to disease and/or poor nutrition. It is as well called Panchkarma Chikitsaw. It helps the body re-achieve balance and longevity. This age-old science of purifying the body is an ancient branch of Ayurveda.

It is a treatment that consists of five different natural ways, or PanchakarmaNasya, Vaman, Virechana, Vasthi and Raktha Moksha, which are used to eliminate all the toxic elements from the body and mind. This medical system emphasizes the holistic approach where the whole person body, mind and soul should be considered and not just the affected part.

Ayurveda is based on Panchabhutha and Tridosha theories. Panchkarma is the process which gets to the root cause of the problem and corrects the essential balance of Tridosha in body. It is not only good for alleviating disease, but is also a useful tool in maintaining excellent health. Panchkarma chikitsa clean the body, improve the digestion and to improve the metabolic processes. It aids in resisting diseases, arrest premature ageing and retain youthfulness for a long time.

Panchakarma is the cornerstone to Ayurvedic management of disease, The Treatment in Ayurveda consists of two main types— Shaman Chikitsa, used to subdue the vitiated doshas, due to which any ailments may be produced. It is administered by using various medicinal herbo-mineral preparations. However, if the Doshas are vitiated beyond a particular level, they give rise to various endotoxins, which have a tendency to be accumulated in the minute channels. These are beyond the level of pacification and hence need to be eliminated or removed from the body. In such cases, the second type of treatment, which is Shodhan Chikitsa or cleansing therapy, is indicated. Since it consists of the five types of main therapies, it is known as the Panchakarma Chikitsa.

The treatment is mainly carried out using powders, tablets, decoctions, medicated oils etc. prepared from natural herbs, plants and minerals, massages and enemas etc.

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What is Past Life Regression therapy?

Past life regression is a therapeutic technique for accessing and re-experiencing your past lives directly. A branch of hypnotherapy, past life regression therapy has grown over the last 50 years to be an important addition to the healing arts.

It is used to discover the cause of fears, repeated dreams, undesired tendencies – interpreting them, knowing them well, and finally getting them out forever. Through exploring past lives somebody easily realizes why repeatedly enters abusive or negative relationships, has certain obsessive behaviour, was born on certain place, belong within a certain family, has chosen such and such goals in life, etc. People resolve certain problems by understanding their past existences. Our former lives history remains in our memories, we can go back to any former existence time as we wish. Past lives regression could be called an imagination exercise.

It is a holistic therapy that works with the body, mind, emotions and spirit. It is based on the principles of cause and effect (karma) and the theory that your reactions and the way you respond to problems are based in the past. The technique takes you back to a time before birth in this lifetime to discover the root causes of problems you may be experiencing in the present and heal them. This may include relationship issues, chronic illnesses, phobias, addictions, sexual dysfunction, inexplicable attraction or aversion to someone, recurring nightmares, fear of death, etc. It can be very helpful in speeding up the healing process as one understands and feels on a much deeper level the source of one’s problems. This technique is also valuable and enjoyable for self-discovery if you are feeling problem free!

It helps you to develop your full potential, unlock hidden talents, and create more compassion and love for yourself and others. It can reveal your life purpose and reason for incarnating, and help you to overcome the fear of death.

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What is Pranayama ?

Pranayama is the conscious and deliberate control and regulation of the breath (Prana means breath, ayam means to control, to regulate). With each breath we absorb not only oxygen, but also Prana. Prana is cosmic energy, the power in the Universe that creates, preserves and changes. It is the basic element of life and consciousness. Prana is also found in food, therefore it is very important to have a healthy and wholesome diet.

The conscious guidance of Prana in the body gives rise to an increase in vitality, physical detoxification and improved immunity, as well as the attainment of inner peace, relaxation and mental clarity.

Pranayama is powerful breathing technique that ensures healthy body and calm mind. Regular practice of various types of pranayama improves breathing pattern, purifies blood, boosts resistance power and gives physical strength. It is the perfect control of the life-currents through control of breath, and is the process by which we understand the secret of prana and manipulate it.

Pranayama has three components: the external breath, the internal breath and the steady state in between the two. When the breath is expired, it is rechaka, the first kind of pranayama. When the breath is drawn in, it is the second, termed pooraka. When the breath is suspended, it is the third kind, called kumbhaka, or retention of breath. In the practice of pranayama, rechaka, pooraka and kumbhaka, are controlled and regulated by space, time and number.

Kumbhaka increases the life-span of an individual. It augments the inner spiritual force, vigour and vitality. If you retain the breath for one minute, this one minute is added to your span of life. By taking the breath to the brahmarandhra, the fontanelle at the top of the head (said to be the connecting point between the spirit and the body) and keeping it there, the yogi can defeat the lord of death, Yama, and conquer death.

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What is Sankhya Darshana ?

Samkhya is one of the six schools of classical Indian philosophy. Regarded as one of the oldest philosophical systems in India, Sage Kapila is traditionally considered as the founder of the Samkhya school. Sāṃkhya is said to be one of the oldest metaphysical worldviews and philosophies of salvation. The word Sankhya means count, and Sāṃkhya is called so because it describes the world in an enumerative way. Twenty five principles are enlisted in Sāṃkhya. In an alternate and more elaborate version, these principles along with their attributes are enlisted as sixty principles. For this reason Sāṃkhya is also called Ṣaṣṭhi Tantra (meaning the philosophy of sixty principles).

Samkhya was one of the six orthodox systems (astika) of Hindu philosophy. Samkhya is an enumerationist philosophy that is strongly dualist. Samkhya philosophy regards the universe as consisting of two realities: Purusha (consciousness) and Prakriti (phenomenal realm of matter). They are the experiencer and the experienced. Prakriti further bifurcates into animate and inanimate realms. On the other hand, Purusha separates out into countless Jivas or individual units of consciousness as souls which fuse into the mind and body of the animate branch of Prakriti.

Like the other darśanas, Sāṃkhya has a concept of bondage (bandha) and liberation (mokṣa). The lack of discriminative knowledge between Puruṣa (self or pure consciousness) and prakṛti (nature or primal principle underlying matter), is the source of binding (bandha). Gaining the discriminative knowledge and identification with Puruṣa is the source of liberation (mokṣa), which is the culmination of evolution. Binding and liberation are for prakṛti, and not really for Puruṣa. They are only superimposed on the Puruṣa, because of prakṛti-Puruṣa association. The world is not only apparent, but real.

Puruṣa is asaṃga-cidrūpa, the eternally conscious having no real association. He is the abode of knowledge, but in the liberated state the Puruṣa’s attribute is neither jaḍa (insentient/inert) nor ānaṃda (bliss). Sāṃkhya affirms multiplicity of Self/Puruṣa.

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What is Sun Yoga?

Sun Yoga is a form of yoga that leads you towards self-realisation through your physical body. Our signature flow is built on the meditative flow of the breath and components of Hatha yoga, mantra, relaxation and meditation. At Sun Yoga, wherever you are in your practice, you will experience a connection between yourself and the flow of Nature.

Also called as Surya yoga, it is the highest yoga and the fastest path to union. It includes adoration, wisdom, power as well as purity, activity and dedication, light and the sacred fire of Divine love. Practicing sun yoga establishes a link between yourself and the power that governs and gives life to the whole Universe: the sun.

The solar plexus (located behind the navel, which is the central point of the human body) is connected with the Sun. The body (through the physical movement), the mind (though the solar plexus) and the spirit (through the chants) get a boost from the practice of Sun yoga.

It is a set of 12 postures and should preferably be practices at the time of sunrise. It improves blood, maintains health, and helps one remain disease-free. It is really good for the heart, liver, intestine, stomach, chest, throat, legs. From head to toe, every part of the body is greatly benefitted. It revitalizes the body and refreshes the mind, making us ready to take on all tasks of the day. If done in the afternoon, it energizes the body instantly and if done at dusk, it helps you unwind. When done at a fast pace, Surya Yoga is an excellent cardiovascular workout and a good way to lose weight. It as well calms the mind, helps improves concentration, boosts endurance power and reduces the feeling of anxiety and restlessness, especially during exams. It is the best workout for muscles and improves flexibility in spine and in limbs.

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What is the goal of Hydrotherapy?

Hydrotherapy is the use of water in the treatment of different conditions, including arthritis and related rheumatic complaints. Hydrotherapy differs from swimming because it involves special exercises that you do in a warm-water pool. The water temperature is usually 33–36ºC, which is warmer than a typical swimming pool. Hydrotherapy, or water therapy, is the application of water to initiate cure. All three forms of water (liquid, steam, ice) can be used therapeutically. Hydrotherapy tends to be different to aquarobics, which can be quite strenuous, as it’s generally more focused on slow, controlled movements and relaxation.

The goals of hydrotherapy are to improve the circulation and quality of blood. This is important because blood delivers nutrients to and removes wastes from tissues and organs. If circulation is poor or slow, healing nutrients cannot be delivered and toxins cannot be removed, which causes degeneration of the tissues and organs. By improving the quality of blood, more nutrients are available for cells to use and toxins are managed more efficiently. General therapeutic uses of hydrotherapy include pain and swelling of injuries, fever, elimination of toxins, antispasmodic, constipation and improved immune function.

Alternating hot and cold (contrast hydrotherapy) is a common hydrotherapy treatment. The hot application expands blood vessels, filling them with blood, and the cold application constricts the blood vessels, forcing the blood to move on to other parts of the body. Hot and cold can be applied to any part of the body that is inflamed, congested, or injured. Treatment normally consists of applying a hot cloth for 3 minutes then a cold cloth for 30 seconds, alternating 3 times in a row. The treatment can be done several times a day.

The amount of time the hot and cold is applied may vary (e.g., 5 minutes hot, 1 minute cold) as long as the cold application is of shorter duration than the hot. It is also important to end the treatment with the cold application. The hot application should be pleasantly hot.

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What is the principle of Vipassana ?

The word vipassana can be divided into two. Passana means seeing, i.e., perceiving. The prefix vi has several meanings, one of which is through. Vipassana– insight literally cuts through the curtain of delusion in the mind. Vi can also function as the English prefix dis, suggesting discernment— a kind of seeing that perceives individual components separately. The idea of separation is relevant here, for insight works like a mental scalpel, differentiating conventional truth from ultimate reality. Lastly, “vi” can function as an intensive, in which case vipassana means intense, deep or powerful seeing. It is an immediate insight experienced before one’s eyes, having nothing to do with reasoning or thinking.

Vipassana makes us see things as they really are. It is one of our most ancient techniques of meditation. It was taught in India more than 2500 years ago as a universal remedy for universal ills, i.e., an Art of Living. This non-sectarian technique aims for the total eradication of mental impurities and the resultant highest happiness of full liberation.

Vipassana is a way of self-transformation through self-observation. It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that continuously interconnect and condition the life of the mind. It is this observation-based, self-exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion.

The scientific laws that operate one’s thoughts, feelings, judgements and sensations become clear. Through direct experience, the nature of how one grows or regresses, how one produces suffering or frees oneself from suffering is understood. Life becomes characterized by increased awareness, non-delusion, self-control and peace.

It is a rational method for purifying the mind of the mental factors that cause distress and pain. This simple technique does not invoke the help of a god, spirit or any other external power, but relies on our own efforts. Vipassana is an insight that cuts through conventional perception to perceive mind and matter as they actually are: impermanent, unsatisfactory, and impersonal. Insight meditation gradually purifies the mind, eliminating all forms of attachment. As attachment is cut away, desire and delusion are gradually diluted.

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What is Transcendental Meditation ?

Transcendental Meditation (TM) refers to a specific form of mantra meditation called the Transcendental Meditation technique. TM is said to bring the practitioner to a special state of consciousness often characterized as enlightenment or bliss. The method involves entertaining a mantra. It is the purest, simplest, and most effective form of meditation the world has known. It is the pure technique of transcending – settling to the simplest, most powerful state of awareness – untainted by any mind control or thought process.

This one simple technique allows you to go beyond thinking and contact the deep, transcendental source of all your energy, creativity and intelligence, dissolving stress and enriching mind, body, emotions and relationships. It produces a coherent state of restful alertness – a state of true inner peace, for your mind and also your body. Deep within your mind is a peaceful field of pure consciousness, your own awareness awake to its own most settled state. Transcendental Meditation allows you to experience this – effortlessly.

It eliminates the effects of stress internally and physiologically. When practised regularly, this results in a more balanced outlook, more energy and motivation and a deeper appreciation of one’s surroundings. It is a simple, natural technique. This form of meditation allows your body to settle into a state of profound rest and relaxation and your mind to achieve a state of inner peace, without needing to use concentration or effort.

Transcendental Meditation is an effortless technique that allows your mind to settle inward, beyond thinking, to experience pure awareness—the most silent and peaceful level of the mind, your innermost self. It doesn’t require clearing your mind of thoughts or concentrating. It’s so effortless that within just a few minutes anyone can transcend or go beyond worries and agitation.

During the TM technique, the mind and body gain deep, restorative rest—much deeper than ordinary relaxation. The healing rest gained during the technique allows emotional, mental and physical stress to wash away—improving overall health, well-being and behaviour.

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What is Tridosha theory ?

The doshas are biological energies found throughout the human body and mind. They govern all physical and mental processes and provide every living being with an individual blueprint for health and fulfillment. The doshas derive from the Five Elements and their related properties. Vata is composed of Space and Air, Pitta of Fire and Water, and Kapha of Earth and Water.

The doshas are dynamic energies that constantly change in response to our actions, thoughts, emotions, the foods we eat, the seasons, and any other sensory inputs that feed our mind and body. When we live into the fulfilment of our individual natures, we naturally make lifestyle and dietary decisions that foster balance within our doshas. When we live against our intrinsic natures, we support unhealthy patterns that lead to physical and mental imbalances.

If the proportion of doshas in your current state is close to your birth constitution, then your health will be vibrant. A divergence between these states, however, indicates a state of imbalance. Vikruti is the term used to describe this imbalanced deviation away from prakruti.

Primarily, there exist doshic states— balanced, increased and decreased. Balanced— all three doshas are present in their natural proportions, also referred to as equilibrium; increased— a particular dosha is present in a greater-than-normal proportion i.e. aggravated or excess state; decreased— a particular dosha is present in a less-than-normal proportion; also referred to as a reduced or depleted state.

Of the three states, the increased or aggravated state leads to the greatest number of imbalances. Such imbalances can arise from any number of influences, including following a dosha-aggravating diet or, more generally, carrying too much stress in life. You can initiate a restoration of balance, however, when you begin to understand both your unique constitutional make-up and how to harmonize your internal environment and its needs with the external world.

Vata

Derived from the elements of Space and Air, Vata can be translated as ‘wind’ or ‘that which moves things. ’ It is the energy of movement and the force governing all biological activity. It is often called the King of the Doshas, since it governs the body’s greater life force and influences other doshasPitta and Kapha.

Just as the wind in balance provides movement and expression to the natural world, the balanced Vata individual is active, creative, and gifted with a natural ability to express and communicate. When the wind in a Vata type rages like a hurricane, negative qualities quickly overshadow these positive attributes. Common signs of Vata imbalance include anxiety and bodily disorders related to dryness, such as dry skin and constipation.

The qualities of Vata are dry, rough, light, cold, subtle, and mobile. A Vata individual will display physical and mental characteristics that reflect these qualities in both a balanced and an imbalanced state. The main locations of Vata in the body are the colon, thighs, bones, joints, ears, skin, brain, and nerve tissues. Physiologically, Vata governs anything related to movement, activities of nervous system and the elimination process— breathing, talking, nerve impulses, movements in the muscles and tissues, circulation, assimilation of food, elimination, urination, and menstruation. It as well governs communication, creativity, flexibility, and quickness of thought.

If Vata dosha predominates, movement and change are characteristic of your nature. You will tend to always be on the go, with an energetic and creative mind. As long as Vata is in balance, you will be lively and enthusiastic, with a lean body. You will be thin, have a light frame and will have excellent agility. You will love excitement and new experiences. As early as anger will engulf you, forgiveness will come as easily too. But if your Vatas are unbalanced, you will be prone to worry and anxiousness and might suffer insomnia.

 

Pitta

 

Pitta derives from the elements of Fire and Water and translates as “that which cooks.” It is the energy of digestion and metabolism in the body that functions through carrier substances such as organic acids, hormones, enzymes, and bile. While Pitta is most closely related to the element of Fire, it is the liquid nature of these substances that accounts for the element of Water in Pitta’s make-up.

The qualities of Pitta are oily, sharp, hot, light, moving, liquid, and acidic. A Pitta individual will display physical and mental characteristics that reflect these qualities in both a balanced and imbalanced state.

The main locations of Pitta in the body are the small intestine, stomach, liver, spleen, pancreas, blood, eyes, and sweat. Physiologically, Pitta provides the body with heat and energy through the breakdown of complex food molecules. It governs all processes related to conversion and transformation throughout the mind and body. Psychologically, Pitta governs joy, courage, willpower, anger, jealousy, and mental perception. It also provides the radiant light of the intellect.

When a person has a tendency to “overheat,” excess Pitta is usually the culprit. Just as a campfire may turn into a forest fire without proper care, the internal fire of the mind and body must be kept in check. The balanced Pitta individual is blessed with a joyful disposition, a sharp intellect, and tremendous courage and drive. As the fire of the mind and body becomes unruly, however, the laughing Pitta quickly becomes the yelling Pitta. Anger, rage, and ego replace Pitta’s positive attributes, leaving an individual who is bitter with life and overbearing towards others. Pitta imbalances commonly manifest in the body as infection, inflammation, rashes, ulcers, heartburn, and fever.

Pitta governs all heat, metabolism and transformation in the mind and body. It controls how we digest foods, how we metabolize our sensory perceptions, and how we discriminate between right and wrong. It as well governs the important digestive Agnis or fires of the body.

 

Kapha

Kapha derives from the elements of Earth and Water and translates as ‘that which sticks’. It is the energy of building and lubrication that provides the body with physical form, structure, and the smooth functioning of all its parts. Kapha can be thought of as the essential cement, glue, and lubrication of the body in one.

The qualities of Kapha are moist, cold, heavy, dull, soft, sticky, and static. A Kapha individual will display physical and mental characteristics that reflect these qualities in both a balanced and imbalanced state.

The main locations of Kapha in the body are the chest, throat, lungs, head, lymph, fatty tissue, connective tissue, ligaments, and tendons. Physiologically, Kapha moistens food, gives bulk to our tissues, lubricates joints, stores energy, and relates to cool bodily fluids such as water, mucous, and lymph. Psychologically, Kapha governs love, patience, forgiveness, greed, attachment, and mental inertia. With its earthly makeup, Kapha grounds Vata and Pitta and helps offset imbalances related to these doshas.

Just as a nourishing rainstorm may turn into a rampant flood, the fluids of the body may flood the bodily tissues, contributing to a heavy dampness that weighs down the body and clouds the mind. This dense, cold, and swampy environment becomes the breeding ground for a number of bodily disorders such as obesity, sinus congestion, and anything related to mucous. Mentally, the loving and calm disposition of the Kapha individual may transform into lethargy, attachment, and depression.

Kapha governs the structure of the body and lubrication in the mind and body. It is the principle that holds the cells together and forms the muscle, fat, bone, and sinew. The primary function of Kapha is protection. It controls weight, growth, lubrication for the joints and lungs, and formation of all the seven tissues — nutritive fluids, blood, fat, muscles, bones, marrow and reproductive tissues.

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What is Vedanta Darshan ?

Vedanta is one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy. A closer look at the word Vedanta is revealing: Vedanta is a combination of two words: Veda which means knowledge and anta which means “the end of” or “the goal of.” In this context the goal of knowledge isn’t intellectual—the limited knowledge we acquire by reading books. Knowledge here means the knowledge of God as well as the knowledge of our own divine nature. Vedanta, then, is the search for Self-knowledge as well as the search for God.

Vedanta is the most prominent and philosophically advanced of the orthodox schools and the term Vedanta may also be used to refer to Indian philosophy more generally. There are at least ten schools of Vedanta of which Advaita Vedanta, Vishishtadvaita, Achintya-Bheda-Abheda and Dvaita are the best known.

The three fundamental Vedanta texts are: the Upanishads (the most favoured being the longer and older ones such as the Brihadaranyaka, the Chandogya, the Taittiriya, and the Katha); the Brahma-sutras (also called Vedanta-sutras), which are very brief, even one-word interpretations of the doctrine of the Upanishads; and the famous poetic dialogue, the Bhagavadgita (“Song of the Lord”), which, because of its immense popularity, was drawn upon for support of the doctrines found in the Upanishads.

Vedanta is one of the world’s most ancient religious philosophies and one of its broadest. Based on the Vedas, the sacred scriptures of India, Vedanta affirms the oneness of existence, the divinity of the soul, and the harmony of religions. Vedanta is the philosophical foundation of Hinduism; but while Hinduism includes aspects of Indian culture, Vedanta is universal in its application and is equally relevant to all countries, all cultures, and all religious backgrounds.

Vedanta establishes that God is infinite existence, infinite consciousness, and infinite bliss. Most importantly, God dwells within our own hearts as the divine Self or Atman. The Atman is never born nor will it ever die. It as well asserts that the goal of human life is to realize and manifest our divinity. Not only is this possible, it is inevitable. Our real nature is divine; God-realization is our birthright. Sooner or later, we will all manifest our divinity—either in this or in future lives—for the greatest truth of our existence is our own divine nature.

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What is Zen?

The word Zen is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the Middle Chinese word Chán, which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna. It can be further translated as “absorption” or “meditative state. A school of Mahayana Buddhism, Zen developed in China during the 6th century. From China, Zen spread south to Vietnam, northeast to Korea and east to Japan. Central to Zen is the practice of dhyana or meditation.

The teachings of Zen include various sources of Mahāyāna thought, especially Yogācāra, the Tathāgatagarbha Sutras and Huayan, with their emphasis on Buddha-nature, totality, and the Bodhisattva-ideal. The Prajñāpāramitā literature and, to a lesser extent, Madhyamaka have also been influential.

Zen emphasizes rigorous meditation-practice, insight into Buddha-nature, and the personal expression of this insight in daily life, especially for the benefit of others. As such, it deemphasizes mere knowledge of sutras and doctrine and favours direct understanding through zazen or zen meditation and interaction with an accomplished teacher.

That is, it is a way of vigilance and self-discovery which is practiced while sitting on a cushion. It is the experience of living from moment to moment, in the here and now. Zazen is an attitude of spiritual awakening, which when practiced, can become the source from which all the actions of daily life flow- eating, sleeping, breathing, walking, working, talking, thinking, and so on.

Zen Buddhism is not a theory, an idea, or a piece of knowledge. It is not a belief, a dogma, or a religion; but rather, it is a practical experience. We cannot intellectually grasp Zen, because human intelligence and wisdom is too limited- the dojo (the hall where Zazen is practiced) is different from the university.

Zen is not a moral teaching, and as it is without dogma, it does not require one to believe in anything. A true spiritual path does not tell people what to believe in, rather it shows them how to think; or, in the case of Zen- what not to think.

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Who can go through Sannyasa?

Sannyasa is the life stage of renunciation within the Hindu philosophy of four age-based life stages known as ashrams, with the first three being Brahmacharya (bachelor student), Grihastha (householder) and Vanaprastha (forest dweller, retired). Sannyasa is traditionally conceptualized for men or women in late years of their life, but young Brahmacharis have had the choice to skip householder and retirement stage, renounce worldly and materialistic pursuits and dedicate their lives to spiritual pursuits (moksha).

Sannyasa is a form of asceticism, is marked by renunciation of material desires and prejudices, represented by a state of disinterest and detachment from material life, and has the purpose of spending one’s life in peaceful, love-inspired, simple spiritual life.

The meaning of sannyasa is sacrificing oneself for the sake of something. Sannyasa means dedication; it does not mean renunciation. In the dictionary, the meaning of sannyasa is not tyaga, renunciation; it means samarpan, surrender. It means trust. Nyasa means to place yourself in a trust. If you allocate a certain amount of your money to help the poor, you have placed it in trust; it has been dedicated.

One does not take sannyasa for the sake of attaining God. The aim of sannyasa is not moksha. The only aim of sannyasa is seva, selfless service. Sannyasa is such a life in which one cannot be a slave to circumstances.

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Why Gita is the song of the spirit ?

The Bhagavad Gita (The Song of the Spirit), the divine communion of truth-realisation between man and his Creator are the teachings of Spirit through the soul which should be sung unceasingly. Gita is a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The Gita is set in a narrative framework of a dialogue between Pandava prince Arjuna and his guide and charioteer Krishna. Facing the duty as a warrior to fight the Dharma Yudhha or righteous war between Pandavas and Kauravas, Arjuna is counselled by Krishna to “fulfill his Kshatriya (warrior) duty as a warrior and establishing Dharma. In this appeal to kshatriya dharma (chivalry) is “a dialogue between diverging attitudes concerning and methods toward the attainment of liberation (moksha)”.

The Bhagavad Gita presents a synthesis of the Brahmanical concept of Dharma, theistic bhakti, the yogic ideals of moksha through jnana, bhakti, karma, and Raja Yoga (spoken of in the 6th chapter) and Samkhya philosophy.

The entire knowledge of the cosmos is packed into the Gita. Supremely profound, yet couched in revelatory language of solacing beauty and simplicity, the Gita has been understood and applied on all levels of human endeavour and spiritual striving—sheltering a vast spectrum of human beings with their disparate natures and needs. Wherever one is on the way back to God, the Gita will shed its light on that segment of the journey.

The timeless message of the Bhagavad Gita does not refer only to one historical battle, but to the cosmic conflict between good and evil: life as a series of battles between Spirit and matter, soul and body, life and death, knowledge and ignorance, health and disease, changelessness and transitoriness, self-control and temptations, discrimination and the blind sense-mind.

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