Monday, July 10, 2006


Today’s Vocabulary Words:

Shala = yoga studio

Saucha = cleanliness

Samskara = subliminal impressions."veil of illusion". karmic impressions from previous lifetimes

Kundalini = “coiled one” cosmic energy, that lies dormant in a coiled form in the muladhara chakra at the base of the spine. this extremely subtle force, also described as the supreme goddess, is awakened and begins to purify the entire being.

Pratyahara = ("withdrawal"): sensory inhibition, the fifth limb of Patanjali's eightfold yoga path

Pranayama = breath control, the fourth limb of Patanjali's eigthfold path

Maya = Fear-driven illusion or false belief

Asana = yoga poses


(NOTE: Children were running around, screaming, playing with loud toys, dancing, etc. and I have trouble understanding Guruji anyway, so I only heard bits and pieces. In other words, I missed more than I caught. Also, flashbulbs were popping throughout, since this is the only time photos are allowed in the shala).

First off, a man was in the middle of asking, “Guruji, what is your definition of a dumb question?” when his cell phone started ringing. Oops. Guruji made him come closer (“COME HERE!”) and his answer went something like, “….Samskara, samskara, samskara…. 100 years possible…. mind control… nine holes controlling…”

Then the man asked, “What is Mula Bandha” (aka Kegel muscle). “Anus control…practice, practice, practice…. battling enemies is gone…. You take practice, practice, practice.”

Someone asked, “What if Kundalni is awakened?” All I caught was, “Inside practice, outside practice…. Don’t think bad…. Maya. Pranayama…. You don’t take practice, no use.”

The next question was about self-practice at home, vs. with a teacher. “Once it is perfect you can do. If once teaching, your practice is gone.” This last was met with laughter. Then Sharath clarified: “You should follow only one method.” And then Guruji continueded, “One Guru you take. One guru your health is very good. Two gurus your health is very bad.” At this point I turned to Jammu (it was loud in there anyway) and said, “One wife taking.” And sure enough, Guruji said something like, “One wife good, Two wife bad.” A bit later Sharath said, regarding teachers, that a piece of paper means nothing. “Experience. Learning. Philosophy” are far more important. “First of all you have to be student 10 years.”

Since I was not up to having the whole room turn around and stare at me, Jammu asked Guruji to talk about saucha (funny; afterwards two people came up to me and said, “Good question.” Apparently the odor problem isn’t limited to the front row). Guruji said it means body inside, outside clean. Thinking God. Pranayama. Clean. Sharath added, “Saucha means you have to think good, both of self and others.” One suspects they too knew who was really asking the question.

Someone asked Guruji what he eats. “Very small….. Milk everyday….Two litres.” Sharath added, “No spicy food. Food affects your mind also. Non-veg is not good.” Guruji picked up the ball. “Fruits… you first eating… God has given food. God is in here (points to stomach). God is eating.” Sharath said, “In our caste we don’t eat others’ food. They touch it and we don’t eat it.”

Not sure how we got to the next subject, but Sharath said, “Getting rid of maya (magic) very difficult. Only way to get rid of it is by thinking good.”

Someone asked what to do about pain when practicing. The only thing I caught was Guruji: “No problem…. Inhale/exhale, asana you take.”

It ended with Guruji’s usual, “Thank you! Thank you!” followed by the scramble for feet and photo-ops.

1 comment:

  1. Be careful please.

    From the BBC:

    There have been at least six blasts on commuter trains in the Indian financial capital, Mumbai (Bombay), police say.

    It is not yet clear what caused the blasts, which occurred during evening rush hour in the suburbs on the busy Western Railway.

    Police told the BBC more than 20 people were wounded in one blast and four or five of these blasts had occurred on local trains.

    There have been a number of bomb attacks in Mumbai in recent years.

    The first blast went off at approximately 1830 local time.

    Police said the explosions took place at Borivili, Khar, Jogeshwari, Matunga and Meera Road areas.

    Some Indian news channels have been showing pictures of walking wounded.

    Mumbai and the capital Delhi have been put on high alert.