Yoga Is A Science That Deals
With Body, Breath, Mind, Soul,
and Ultimately, The Universe Itself


                                                                                            by Swami Rama

Yoga is a Science that Deals
with Body, Breath, Mind, Soul,
and Ultimately, the Universe Itself

What does Yoga science mean to you? When people talk about Yoga they often think it has something to do with the physical being only. Yoga is a science that deals with body, breath, mind, soul, and ultimately, the universe itself. It is both practical and theoretical.

Patanjali* is not trying to teach any particular religion to you. Yoga is not a new religion, nor does it condemn any religion. Yoga does not teach that if you are Jewish, you should become Catholic, or if you are Catholic, you should become Hindu, or if you are Hindu, you should become Buddhist. All the great religions have come from one source. Religions tell people what to do and what not to do, and provide a set of rules or commandments that are not fully satisfying.

    *See the article on Patanjali, who codified, systematized, or arranged the already existing traditional Yoga practices into the 196 succinct statements of the Yoga Sutras.

Yoga science does not tell you what to do and what not to do, but teaches you how to be. Yoga science is a science of life that helps you to know the known and unknown parts of life, that helps you to liberate yourself from pains and miseries, and that helps you to attain that state which is free from pains and miseries.

How can someone living in the world practice Yoga science? If you understand the fundamental principles of Yoga science and why Yoga science should be practiced, it will become easy for you to practice. First you have to decide to search. You have to feel the necessity of finding yourself. Yes, I want to know myself. Something is missing, something I could not receive from my church, from my religion. Millions of people, both in the East and in the West, are searching for Truth and Self-realization—or as the religionists put it, God. You may go to church or temple or synagogues, but the questioning mind is still there. Sometimes orthodox religions do not satisfy your needs, so you question life. When your mind questions, it means you are not fully satisfied. Life is a question in front of you. You want to know something more, but you are using this little mind, which is like a yardstick, to measure the vast universe and its mysteries. You do not understand your religion because you do not understand yourself.

The highest of all books is the book of life. Unless you open the book of life, you will not understand the teachings of the scriptures. The scriptures say what to do and what not to do, but you have to learn how to be. All the gates to higher knowledge will be opened to you once you understand yourself. Patanjali offers something to such seekers. Patanjali says the source of knowledge is within you. The world and external knowledge can only inform you and inspire you. To evolve does not mean going toward the external world. Evolution means going back to the source. If you put ten covers around a light, what will happen to the light? The light will be as it is, but it will appear dim to you. You will not be able to see it. If you remove the covers, you will see it clearly. You can compare yourself with the light. Before you go to the source of knowledge within, you have to go through many barriers.

Yoga science does not offer any new religion; it offers a methodology. Through Yoga science you can understand yourself better on all levels, including your physical well-being, your actions, thought process, emotions, and desires. You will also understand how you are related to the world, and how to lead a successful life in the world. Yoga science creates a bridge between the internal and external conditions of life. Yoga is a way of improving yourself, a way of understanding your internal states. Whosoever you are, you have all the potentials within you. Are you aware of this? If you are aware of this, do you know how to use them? Patanjali encourages us to be aware of the potentials that we have and to learn how to use them. This practical science says to explore more and more.

The word Yoga means “unification, to unite with.” You have to unite yourself with the whole. At present you are an individual and you are experiencing miseries. The cause of misery, according to Patanjali, is ignorance. Ignorance is self-created. You can be free from that misery because it has been created by you. It’s as if you constantly slap your face and then say, God help me. It’s as though you blindfold yourself and then say, O Lord of light, of life, and love, give me light. This prayer is in vain.

You have to light your own lamp. No one will give you salvation. I am talking of enlightenment. All individuals have the responsibility to enlighten themselves. Do not think you cannot do it. You have that spark. You are fully equipped. You simply need to discipline yourself. Discipline is not a prison. It simply means practice.. 

Dr Dinesh Sharma

 Food And Mind

Mind and the senses have a very strange and paradoxical relationship. Mind thinks that if the senses get satisfied then the desires will go away or vanish for ever. But senses are quite weird. Once they taste an ‘experience’, they want to repeat it for the inherent pleasure in that, even though the pleasure is just momentary. The pleasure centers in the mind, gets addicted to ‘that’ experience and craves for repetition. Once the mind starts relenting to the craving of senses, it ends up becoming their slave rather their master, which it should be. As a result one becomes slave to the desires, to the craving of sensory pleasures.

The tongue being the sense of the taste is the most vulnerable to the temptations of all the senses. It enslaves the mind like no other sense. We all know that the primary purpose of the food is to provide nourishment and sustainability to the body but the tongue wants to experiment with different tastes. The result is apparent. The food industry is a billions dollars industry today.

For the people desiring to progress on spiritual path, disciplining the taste buds is very important. Small quantity of the balanced and nutritious food, which is simple and Satvik in nature, contributes to the austerity and quietness of the mind. Rajasik and tamasik food, even though tempting to eat, are not good for the health in the long run. Any food which creates reactions and uneasiness in the body and is hard to digest is not good for health anyway. It is not easy to do sadhana or spiritual practices if the body is sick since the whole energy gets diverted in digestion and assimilation of the food in the lower chakras.

Suggestion for the spiritual practioners is that after understanding one’s physical constitution and food capacity, one should eat just enough to sustain and avoid over eating. The food should digest easily and quickly. The food which is not easy to digest or creates conflict with one’s energy field should be avoided. For ages futile mindless debate is continuing about onion, garlic, vegetarian versus non vegetarian but the bottom line is that whatever one eats, the food servings should be small, nutritious, balanced and simple. A spiritual practioner should avoid alcohol and late meals since they obstruct the growth of sadhna. Its good to eat early since the best time for spiritual practices is early morning hour when the air and noise pollution is minimal. It would not be such a good idea to wake up with undigested food and acidity since the quality of one’s spiritual practice will be greatly affected.

One on the spiritual path needs to be aware of an important fact that when we knowingly indulge in a detrimental life style, it will severely impair our spiritual growth. The energy moves upward only when the body is healthy and vibrant with positive energy.

Majority of people are heedless to the need of disciplining food habits for the progress in spiritual journey. The tradition of fasting is related with that. But fasting without really understanding the ‘true resolve’ behind it, turns it into a superficial ritual. If whole day one’s thoughts are traveling towards food while fasting, the very purpose of fasting is defeated. While fasting many people end up eating more fruits and sweets, save grains, and become sicker. There are others who sleep and fast the whole day but wander and eat the whole night.

We have developed such routines for our convenience. The purpose of developing mental resolve and spiritual well being, for which the experienced people in almost every society innovated such exercises, stands obliterated.

Combining silence with fasting and making a mental resolve to dedicate the whole day of fasting for introspection and self realization while meditating, gives a quantum leap on the spiritual path. The word ‘Vrata’ literally means ‘sankalpa’ or resolve and not just fasting.

Legendary Sufi poet Kabeer says that the path of spiritual journey is a virtual climb, the one who reaches the top finds the fruits of divine bliss and the one who falters, falls down and gets annihilated.


Relationship With Mother Nature

 by Swami Nitya

part 3

Our relationship with Mother Nature; ( part 3)

Let me site Thich Nhat Hahn:

We have constructed a system we can’t control. It imposes itself on us, and we become its slaves and victims. We have created a society in which the rich become richer and the poor become poorer, and in which we are so caught up in our own immediate problems that we cannot afford to be aware of what is going on with the rest of the human family or our planet Earth. In my mind I see a group of chicken in a cage disputing over a few seeds of grain, unaware that in a few hours they will all be killed. (Spiritual ecology, p. 37)

People say: why look at us and our world so negative… well unless we face it, and become aware why we are in this predicament, we can’t change it.

So becoming aware is the first step… then try to change “the chicken-coop”! Or find a way to get out of it…

Chicken like any birds…want to be free. We want to be free, it’s in our nature; and we all have a natural affinity with Nature… because we are it!

Rumi (the well-known Sufi poet) says:

Sit, be still and listen

For you are drunk,

And we are at the edge of the roof!

We need to sit still, means we need to reconnect with that Space inside which is in us and around us – the Space that is the Great Cosmic Mother – in which potentially all solutions are already existing.

We need to learn to listen again… but we live drowning out all Nature, all inner wisdom, all sacred knowing….with I-pods, O Pads… etc. etc…constant noise, why… because we are afraid to hear the message of inner wisdom, which says : STOP… look around and recognise your interconnectedness, recognize your unbreakable link with all of existence….

And change … before it is too late.

 What does it mean… in practice. If we are One.. with HER, call it Nature, call it Cosmic Mother, call it  Maha-Shakti or La Pachamama or many of her thousand names.

Its relatively easy: seeing, knowing, understanding.. that we are Her, has an immediate effect on how we live.

Seeing, knowing that we are connected and dependent on all living beings and all of existence … will change immediately: how we live.

Awareness.. is the first step… then, -  living with love and respect, will follow.   But how?

Let’s start with a very simple thing: Food!

Think, if all is brought forth by the Divine Cosmic Mother, with her consciousness… then whatever is grown on earth, has her spirit. Means food is alive, it’s not just pieces of carbohydrates, protein and nutrients, it is “being”, it is sacred.

The food we eat, the food that nourishes us, seen with awareness, is seen as a gift from the earth, from the sun, from the waters, from millions of years of evolution. And it is also a gift from all the people who put hard work into producing it. When we forget  the earth and all those who contribute to our food, the food becomes ”soul-less, becomes so called matter.  Which means we can modify it (GMO) , fill  it with pesticides and chemicals… etc. and thus literally poison the food… (and this is going on in most parts of the world now!)

But food is life, it is part of an enormous web of life. You have seen the “Lion-king” the cycle of life; food is the very basic of creation. Evolution started with light particles exchanging food…

n many cultures it is recognized that food is sacrifice: the carrot sacrifices her life so you can live, so does the rice corn, so does the vegetable or animal. Everything in this universe… becomes at one point or other food for other life-forms. My body becomes food for worms and flowers…

Food is the manifest, cosmic energy behind life, for all life forms, including us. If people have no food, it means we have broken the sacred wheel of life!

If people have no water, like millions of people at present - it means we have broken the natural cycle of life, of Nature; we have broken her body!

How long can this go on? Hence in India and many indigenous societies, giving food to the hungry and water to the thirsty is dana.. is a sacred gift, and duty towards life!

But in our world today, we exploit even that! We give seeds, that only grow with pesticides, that kill and make the ground infertile…after 3 years even. We give and kill at the same time (Monsato etc.). The massive scale of this and its disastrous consequences for ourselves and future generations is immeasurable. (Much research in the the last ten years and more , have confirmed this) . Luckily  increasingly people wake up- to this and change to organic agriculture (food growing) , and cultivate , what is called by some: “grand-children friendly- agriculture” .

We forgot that food and water are sacred, sacred to Her who is the very life we live. It’s impossible to exist for us and be healthy without clean food and clean water.

We have more serious illness now than ever, have you ever noticed that illnesses like cancer, Alzheimer and other degenerative illnesses do not exist amongst indigenous tribal people… until we enter their culture and bring our poisoned food and water! (and of course air).

We literally produce food that creates hunger, poverty and illness. Our agriculture has lost its “culture” and become agri-business! Through agrichemicals and poisons.

What’s that got to do with Yoga? A lot, a) to evolve into higher spiritual beings, we have to be a healthy body.. . even physical exercises (called by some asana)  can not “make good” if we live a life that constantly poisons our body. b) if we all is interconnected, and we are one, we poison not just our bodies, but life itself! And all that:

Why? Because we have lost our connection to nature, means doing agri-business in monocultures which by the way: use ten times more energy, than they produce food. Industrial farms also use ten times as much water than bio/conventional or ecological farms.    

Nutrients that we need to stay well and healthy disappear from our farms along with farmers… and are replaced by chemicals and machines. Mother Nature herself… is driven out, by the illusion, that we can live without HER.

As a result we have Climate Change, erosion of biodiversity , depletion  and pollution of water. 

What to do: Stop… buying the food produced that way.! If the consumer doesn’t buy it, no one will make money by selling it, hence they will stop producing it.                                           

But people are not aware of the damage they do to themselves… they believe the manipulating market forces and why? Because they have forgotten that they are part of the Circle of life. We all are interconnected children in the body of the Great Cosmic Mother.

Forgetting our true nature… leaves us facing destruction and death. Sorry… but this is the truth! Many, people , scientists and wise ones from all cultures start seeing.                            

We already talked about how to reconnect to this core knowing, to be aware of the feminine principle or the Great source and Womb of all existence, which we call the Great Mother.

The answer is turning inward.. and listen to the inner wisdom.

That is meditation, the practice of meditation is a simple tool….for the journey to a new forward.

But it’s not the only tool. To kindle a new awareness… we can go and find Her in nature.  Many people in our day and age, have found ways…to reconnect with Her. Take your children into the wilderness, into the Mountains and to the sea…not in a posh holiday… but to feel to experience Her, walking in the woods, listening to the birds, learning to see and to listen again.

Whether you listen inwardly... or deeply, consciously outward in nature…one is  the way of the yogi, the other the way of the Shaman. But both learn to listen, learn to really see, really hear… HER PULSE.

To really hear .. to see is not easy, because our senses and mind have been dulled.. by technology… and simply pollution… Scientists today have it, that we can’t think clearly anymore, for the very reason that we breathe polluted air, drink polluted water and eat polluted food. We live in a fog….

Allow yourself and your family… and any people you can reach… to go into the wilderness and breathe….clean…renew…. then apply what you felt and experienced to daily life. You can do all the pranayama in the world, if the air is polluted… there is no gain… only loss!

Become aware of the One-ness we are one living organism.. all together…Gaia, Bhuvaneshvari , Her cosmic body, and we each have a function a purpose in this “organism”. Life is precious… don’t through it away.

For like a blood-cell in your body, you have a Job to do in the body of ALL.

In our time it might mean, becoming a spiritual warrior, someone who understands the Oneness and interdependence of all existence.. and because of that starts to become active… a spiritual activist if you prefer.

Someone who engages so as to bring back balance, bring back life to a dying planet. And you will say: I alone cannot change anything. Well if you change your habits…turn off your I-pods… don’t buy new mobile phones,  if you only buy healthy fresh un-manipulated food, free of pesticides -  you just might safe children’s lives….

But you become more effective still if you join others – create a wave.. that will change.. create a tsunami.. that will change and wake people out of their lethargy, their complacency… Reawaken their understanding, their respect, their love, their caring…. We are all her children… and not just we humans.. but all the species.. of which hundreds die each day!!!!because of our disrespect for Mother Nature.

What did Swami Rama say? “ Today, we cannot live in seclusion and cannot separate  ourselves from the rest of society . How is it possible to disregard the problems of our neighbours? There is no way to be happy if our fellow beings are suffering from disease and poverty.. to have concern for others is to be human.” (Call to humanity, p. 115).

However we think we are special, separate from others, separate from nature. Realise you are not separate; remember you are that Divine, original energy, the child of Consciousness…the all-knowing energy!

Being aware of that… means you are empowered to build your own destiny! You are part of humanities destiny; you are part of the world’s destiny. Use the power that you are born with, for the “Good of ALL”.

Be “the Mother of ALL”.                                                                                                                 Give, support, love…. All (for that’s HER Nature!); Love All, include All, exclude None… no separation.  Over and over Swami Rama’s says: Love all and exclude None… this is living in the light, in relationship with the Great Mother, Mother Nature, The Cosmic Mother.. for She is All.

She does not live in a temple, or a statue, or a religion, or an idea or concept…No -  She is  YOU.. don’t hide Her light…within you!                                                                                        Instead be a pure instrument in Her service… for the good of All!



29th May was the annual day of fasting without water.  This is the hottest season but millions undertook that fast.  One and a half million people took a holy dip in Ganga at Haridwar.

In these times of ISIS, Al Qaida, Taliban, 9/11 and 26/11 here is news from India. A Hindu owned company in Mumbai refused employment to a Muslim on religious grounds. All India Muslim League made a response.  They passed a resolution stating: 

  • We will follow the Gandhian method.  For every one Muslim who is refused a job on religious grounds the Muslim companies will give jobs to ten Hindus.
  • As you must know by now that 21st June is International Yoga Day as declared by the United Nations with the approval of 177 nations. 

In Delhi there is a sacred spot known as Raj Ghat where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated.  On forthcoming 21st June, Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of one and a quarter billion Indians (one-sixth of the World’s population) will perform Yoga and Pranayama in a public gathering at Raj Ghat.


Congratulations to Swami Veda Bharati for an excellent interview with DorDarshan Indian TV.  He was interviewed by Sri Prakash Pant and gave an inspiring and fascinating introduction to Yoga and Meditation in very brief but lucid language. Although he has not been in the best of health he readily agreed to do this interview and we deeply appreciate and thank him for continuing to share his deep and profound knowledge. Thanks also to all staff at the ashram who aided in the success of such a project.




Khel logo


3. Meeting for Coffee with Ammaji

by School Head - Manju Maurya, MA, B.Ed.

We’re happy to report that all our students passed their final exams in March, with 1st though 3rd place in each class ranging from 95% to 78%. Due to recent government policies, our teachers aren’t allowed to fail any children up to the 8th grade. It’s gratifying that even with this regulation, our students are still working hard to do well.

For the upcoming school year, we already have 18 new admissions and we are expecting more in July when LDA will re-open. At the moment the children are on summer holidays. It’s very hot in Dehradun and we’re glad school is closed during the month of June!

Before Mataji [Ammaji] left India, we were fortunate to get to spend some time with her. We all had coffee together and it was enjoyable.

Beni, KHEL’s General Manager, gave us the opportunity to attend an educational seminar for primary education, arranged by Dev Bhoomi Institute of Education. It was beneficial to listen to speakers who are well known in the field of education, such as the Vice Chancellor of HNBG University and the Director of Uttarakhand’s Education Department.

The stairs at the rear of LDA were repaired. The slide that the children used to play on was taken down last year because of unsafe metal pieces; we’re hoping to have it repaired or replaced soon.

Mukesh Rawat, our music and art teacher, recently resigned. Our new teacher, Shivani, has a Nursery teaching certificate and is doing a very good job. 

Because of the death of Munni Devi, we needed another cleaning person. We hired Kailash, husband of Rajeshwari, who is our remaining cleaning lady. We all miss Munni Devi and were shocked at the sudden loss of someone we had known for so long.

We all really enjoyed the trip to Lucknow and Varanasi. Thanks to Mataji and Stomy Didi for helping us with this, and thanks to Beni for arranging everything.

Silence, Shavasana Practices and Yoga-Nidra Retreat

22nd March - 5th April 2015

at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama

Rishikesh, India


Yoga Nidra
“For decades we have guided the shavasana practices and yoga-nidra in sessions where the teacher does the ‘recital’ and others listen and follow. But we have not TAUGHT the procedures.”
  • Swami Veda Bharati

The purpose of this retreat is for participants to learn the procedures.

Printouts will be given for each segment taught. Each segment will be guided separately and then students will practice that segment. There will be homework practice between lessons.

Segments will include:

  • Makarasana
  • Diaphragmatic breathing
  • Shavasana, correct position
  • Exercise without Movement
  • Relaxation by first tensing each limb then relaxing
  • Simple relaxation
  • Subtler relaxations: right side, left side, finer tissues, internal organs
  • 31 points
  • 61 points
  • 61 points with blue star
  • 61 points with blue star with one’s mantra
  • Whole body breaths: the feeling of movement, vayu, during these exercises is of pranamaya kosha.
  • 4 different patterns of whole body breaths
  • Short version of quick conscious rest
  • OM kriya
  • Whole body breaths as taught in Path of Fire and Light under Yoga-Nidra
  • Yoga-nidra proper
  • Explanations of the delta brain wave
  • How to come out of yoga-nidra




Guest Programmes at SRSG

Individual Spiritual Retreats, Silence Retreats and Group Retreats 

Foundational Instructions of the guest programmes:

          To experience some level of calm mind, relaxation, or stillness while at the ashram

          To know how to sit properly and how to meditate

          To know about the “Himalayan Tradition”: foundation, history, and basic theory etc.

          To understand the meaning of “YOGA” and “MEDITATION” fully

          To apply yoga and meditation into daily life.

          To deepen their practice

          To keep the connection via full moon meditations and/or home centers


Individual Spiritual Retreats :

Guests are offered a daily schedule of instruction in meditation, pranayama (breathing practices), relaxation, Hatha Yoga, and Yoga philosophy in accordance with their individual goals. With the welcome interview, the programme is tailored for an individual. Every guest can experience of one day silence retreat through ashram official silence day (every Thursday).


Silence Retreats :

SRSG is the perfect setting for a guided period of silence, whether for three days or for three months.

Silence is not merely an absence of speech. It is a fullness of the mind; the mind filled with the flow of energy from within. For such a silence one needs guidance, because there is a science to practicing silence that many are not aware of. A systematic series of practices is given under the guidance of Swami Veda.


Group Retreats :

The SRSG staff will also help design programs for groups to meet their specific needs. The campus can accommodate up to 100 participants.



Participants in all the programmes follow the daily ashram schedule which begins at 5:00 AM and runs until 9:30 PM. Time for reading, journaling, and reflection is always available.

Classes on the basic yoga practices are regularly scheduled as well as lecture courses for Gurukulam which guests may attend as appropriate. Guests also attend Swami Veda’s classes when he is in residence.

Video recordings of Swami Rama lecture series on topics such Yoga Sutras and Upanishads are featured on a regular basis.

Programmes are available all year; however, since Gurukulam is on holiday from June to August, no regular classes are scheduled.


Daily Ashram Schedulethat includes individual programs—classes to meet needs


04:15  Bell Ring

05:00  Morning Prayer

05:15  Joints & Glands Exercise / Asanas

07:00  Breathing Practices / Nadi-Shodhanam

07:30  Meditation

08:30  Breakfast

10:00  Class 1

11:30  Class 2

12:30  Breathing Practices / Nadi-Shodhanam

01:00  Lunch

02:00  Digestive Breathing

04:00  Tea

04:15  Hatha Yoga

05:30  Guided Relaxation

06:00 Meditation with Swami Veda

06:30  Japa & Breathing Practices

07:00  Dinner

08:00  Night program (Lecture/Satsang)

09:00  Evening Prayer


Service Opportunities

All campus residents participate in service for the Ashram. Service includes a variety of tasks from meal service and cleaning to transcribing lectures, helping with mailings and so forth. Inquire at the Mandala Office(Reception Office).



Participants live in one of 35 spacious double or triple occupancy guest cottages, each with kitchenette and bathroom with hot shower.


For Fees and other information

Please write to



AHYMSIN Introduction Video:


Dr. Manju Talekar, Managing Director of SRSG (Guest information, reservations & bookings: Silvia Baratta) (Accounts & book keeping, D.M.T. Office: Bhupendra)



Bhola Shankar Dabral, Director (Publications and bookstore: Deepti)


Chuck Linke, Director

Carolyn Hodges and Maryon Maass, HYT-TTP Office (Website) (Email)

Himalayan Yoga Tradition - Teacher Training Program:

Chuck Linke – Director

Stephanie Sulpy: US Office Manager and Treasurer (Website)   (Email)

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