Yoga World Record… another testimony to ancient Indian wisdom

The feat of Yogaraj CP, is another testimony to the fact that Yoga helps build stamina and endurance by working on the physical, vital and mental domains, unlike other forms of exercise that work only on one aspect – the physical body.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought Yoga into greater focus by taking efforts to put an international official stamp on yoga through the declaration of 21st June as World Yoga Day. This is Raja Dharma and he should be commended for that achievement. CP Yogaraj, as a yoga practitioner did just that, commended Modi by dedicating this achievement to him.

Modern science and western world should be commended for helping us understand and appreciate through empirical evidences and experiments, various facts stated in Yogic and other ancient Indian scriptures. Several practices which were hitherto thought to be blind beliefs and ritualistic practices were proved to have sound scientific basis in the recent years. (The video in this link is only a representative sample.)

Just because we do not understand today the rationale and logic behind a cultural practice, should we shun that?

If we shun and not put that into practice how can that be preserved?

How can science, as it evolves tomorrow try to understand a non-existing practice?)

After Independence, while the Indian Scientific Community fell prey to the “pseudo-secular” dogma, and Indian community shunned various practices, western world started exploring various statements and claims of Indian scriptural truths through a sincere quest and open mind. This is true expression of scientific temper – trying to know and understand the unknown through the known with a spirit of inquiry. A facet that has to be developed by the Indian Scientific Community. The symposium on “Ancient Sciences through Sanskrit” at the recently concluded Indian Science Congress seems to be a ray of hope, a positive step in this direction.

Over centuries, as human civilization and modern man evolved, man’s understanding of the world and right ways of interacting with it is expressed, preserved and transmitted to future generations in the form of various cultures and their practices. Reasoning and science behind these practices may or may not have been stored in the scriptures of the world community at large. Isn’t it the responsibility of modern societies and scientific communities to try, explore and unravel the hidden truths behind the scriptural claims and cultural practices. One of the responsibilities of science is thus to help explore and understand one’s own culture and civilization better.

That probably is the right tribute, respect and gratitude one can express to the learned wise men of our ancient past.

Have you wondered how our ancient sages and seers understood not only the body, but also mind, energy, psyche and other aspects of our personality when the so-called ‘science’ and ‘scientific temper’ (as described in this article) did not even exist !?!?

And, when none of the modern gadgets and technological advancements existed, What was the technology, science or tool they possessed which help them make these advancements?

Would like to conclude this post with the following fact…

“It was generally believed that the earth was stationary and was the centre of the universe and all heavenly bodies revolved round the earth. But, Aryabhatta-1 held the view that the earth rotates about its axis and the stars are relatively fixed in space. The period of one rotation of earth around its axis according to Aryabhatta is 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.1 seconds. The corresponding modern value is 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.091 seconds.

– Aryabhatta – Aryabhatiya, Gitika Pada”

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The ‘So-Called-Secular’ myths surrounding Yoga

It is commendable that Rajasthan Government has made Suryanamaskar compulsory in Rajasthan Schools. Way to go for holistic development of our children. Suryanamaskar made compulsory in Rajasthan Schools.

Media and political outfits may compete with each other to woo their customer base through non-factual statements and controversial-sensational news. However, it is in the interest of the average person to make a sound judgement in accepting or rejecting such statements.

175 countries (highest in the history of UN) supported the motion to declare 21st June as World Yoga Day. What more proof is required to show that Yoga is beneficial to all irrespective of faith, caste, creed, colour, gender, etc.,? Is it not proof enough that Yoga is a secular discipline.

Surya Namaskar is literally translated as Sun Salutation. Ancient Indian way of life – termed Hinduism by British, has integrated reverence to nature into everyday life-style. I guess people will agree that Sun is secular. Science agrees that Sun is the source of life and energy on this planet. In the name of showing reverence to this life-giving source, our ancestors has developed certain body movements to energise the body as well as making it fit and flexible. Numerous experiments conducted across the world has proven that Surya Namaskar results in comprehensive benefits to the body-energy-mind-intellect complex. Anyone having all the above and wants them function at optimal levels can do surya namaskar. You need not consider sun as god to do surya namaskar.

And it is a myth that Surya Namaskar cannot be done without chanting. One may try doing, daily 6 rounds of Suryanamaskar without chanting, for four weeks and observe for themselves changes in their body-energy-mind complex.

(Shh….. it is a secret. Even without chantings, Suryanamaskar and all aspects of yoga like asanas, pranayama, meditation, etc., are beneficial to us.)

To conclude, I repeat…

Anyone who has body-mind-intellect complex and has life-force in that has the option to do yoga daily and reap its benefits.

Celebrating Matribhasha Divas – 21st Feb in Schools

In a country as diverse as India with more than two dozen commonly spoken languages and hundreds of local languages and dialects; with people spread and settled across the country where their mother tongue need not necessarily be the official language, celebrating international mothers language day in schools – Matribhasha diwas on 21st Feb is a welcome initiative.

http://cbseacademic.in/web_material/Circulars/2015/13_Matribhasha%20Diwas.pdf

This initiative if well received and implemented by the schools will provide opportunity for children to deepen their connect with their mother tongue. Mother tongue is the best way one can relate to one’s culture. It provides the most convenient medium of communication with the outer world. It also provides for uninhibited and free expression of self.

Celebrating the festival as envisaged in the circular also helps children develop respect and regard to the diverse cultures and traditions of various language speaking people in the country. This festival will also motivate children and provide an opportunity for parents to educate their children about their mother tongue.

Looking forward for the event to be well received by schools across the country. Laud the initiative by CBSE. Hope other educational boards in the country also emulate the example.

WISH YOU ALL

‘HAPPY MATRIBHASHA DIWAS’

‘INTERNATIONAL MOTHER LANGUAGE DAY’

Stop spreading nonsense in the name of Yoga

Do we want to benefit from Yogic Wisdom? or Do we want the capital houses to exploit us in the name of Yoga?

Yoga is a treasure-house of time-tested wisdom handed to us by our ancestors. It can make one’s life meaningful, happy and holistic.

Several traditions of Yoga are in practice today. About a century ago, Yoga was restricted to sages and saints in caves and forests. It was not within the reach of common man. Some people had the opportunity of getting into the depths of yoga. They were blessed with varying experiences. They were convinced that Yoga can be a great to tool to make our lives better. Based on their experience and understanding several traditions and approaches to Yoga emerged to suit varying needs of people. While some traditions focussed on one or two aspects of human personality, some like Satyananda Yoga followed a holistic approach. While some focussed primarily on research, some simply followed what is said in scriptures without going for empirical validation, rare few followed an integral approach.

With emergence of repeated empirical evidences and experiential proofs from across the world on efficacy of yoga, it started gaining popularity. It has reached a stage today where maximum countries in UN had pledged their support to declare June 21st as World Yoga Day. A proud moment in the re-emergence of a great wisdom to make the life of humanity saner, happier and peaceful.

Or is it really so?

Has Yoga become a name or buzz word to make a quick buck in the market place? Has the term Yoga lost its sanctity in the hands of capitalist houses?

No-Nonsense Only Yoga

Are the multitude of yoga trainers emerging in the market place aware of the scope and depths of yoga? Or are they simply trying to make a quick buck by learning a dozen of asanas to proclaim as yoga trainers?

Worse still is the trend to give some nonsense by adding yoga as a suffix to what they have to offer. I was shocked to read in last week-end edition of Times of India about some emerging trends.

People are trying to popularise drugs and smoking in the name of ganja yoga, spreading nudity in the name of nude yoga and what not… Not to mention about some other forms of business products emerging in the name of yoga – Power Yoga, Swimming pool Yoga, etc.,

Can we stop the spread of nonsense in the name of yoga? Probably the question should be how can we stop spreading nonsense in the name of yoga?

Regulating the spread of nonsense in the name of yoga is each one’s responsibility. It is not a service one is doing to Yoga but to themselves and their fellow beings. One has to do a basic research or study, validate the claims of yoga trainers and studios with freely available popular knowledge, exhibit caution and restraint from getting attracted and lured to marketing gimmicks.

Yoga is a valuable science that can make our lives better and let that be so…

Happy YOGA Life…

It’s Now Official – 21st June – World Yoga Day

175 Countries endorsing

June 21 as World Yoga Day

in an international forum

is a testimony to the below facts.

  • Yoga is a science.
  • It’s beneficial for all irrespective of the caste, creed, gender, faith, nationality, etc.,
  • Every individual in the global community need to adapt and integrate it into their lifestyle.
Yoga - Reaching The Heights

Yoga – Reaching The Heights

We Welcome The World Community to embrace Yoga and Be Happy

We Can Care

We Can Care

Let’s join hands with

Cancer Survivors

to bring smiles into the lives of 

Cancer Patients

Need to Indianise Education – Why & How? (2/2)

While there is an urgent need to Indianise education and revive the lost glory of this country, careful steps are to be taken to take all people along and be successful. Unreasonable resistance and intentions has to be dealt with severely and appropriately without affecting the objective. Two primary approaches help in the process…

A Common Platform for people to discuss, debate and evolve a Truly Indian Education System:

The new government under the leadership of Narendra Modi, which has come to power on the plank of “India First” is reported to have decided upon forming a commission on education reforms. We hope this commission will work to include traditional Indian wisdom, values and methodologies into our education system.

Several organisations, more prominent among them like – Saraswathi Vidya Mandirs, Vivekananda Education Society, Ramakrishna Mission, Chinmaya Mission, Aurobindo Ashram, Sathya Sai Institutes, Shanti Niketan, etc., have established educational institutes across the country and are providing Indian touch to the education for decades. Symposiums held by these institutes on indianising education based on traditional values highlight challenges they face in providing complete and truly Indian education. These need to be addressed.

There are reports of a Non-Governmental Education Commission (NGEC) under the leadership of Dr Batra which would introduce education models based on Indian roots and submit a report to the government. This reportedly is a high level panel involving who’s who in the industry. Heartening to learn about the objectives of this – probably one of the most serious and mega non-government initiative to Indianise education.

Several other organisations are also working in the same direction, but at a smaller level.

Consolidating the efforts of all these organisations would well be in the direction of Modi’s inclusive governance – where people actively participate in formulating policies and governance. National symposiums on these lines involving all these organisations will provide a common platform for people to exchange ideas, discuss, debate and evolve recommendations to the governmental commission to Indianise education that will be acceptable and relevant to people from all walks of life.

Make people open to debate, experiment and experience the claims of Indian Wisdom:

When fanaticism and pseudo-secularism by political class closed doors of people to even listen to the values of Indian wisdom, people in the west experimented on the same with an open mind. Today yoga, vastu sastra, etc., is accepted by more Indians across religious beliefs because their minds have opened after the west validated the same through systematic scientific research and debate.

The same is happening with Sanskrit education. While sanskrit text and slokas are taught in the schools in europe and west, we are finding it difficult to popularise the same in Indian schools. Through scientific research people in the west have understood the applicability and suitability of sanskrit in computing technology and balanced development of a person. It is a matter of time, when people in India will realise that sanskrit as a language, its literature, slokas and mantras; has global relevance; has the potential to propel the global growth curve to the next level.

Providing platforms and environment for people from all walks of life cutting across beliefs systems to experiment, experience, discuss and debate on traditional Indian philosophy and wisdom will help them realise the value of this wisdom and embrace it. We can understand the urgent need, when people of high repute speak about reverting back to our ancient traditions. However, care has to be taken to ensure that we are not touching the raw nerve that will immediately raise the wall of resistance and prove counter-productive.

Flavouring Indian wisdom, techniques and tools without religious connotations will help people from all belief systems to look at it with an open mind, understand their relevance and applicability to all.

Dealing Vested Interest Groups

Needless to say despite sincerest of efforts, vested political interest groups may still try to thwart the attempts and they have to be dealt sternly and politically appropriate way. The country has given the Modi Government overwhelming mandate relying on his ability and proven track record to do the same. We hope he lives up to the expectations and fructify the current efforts to Indianise education.

Need to Indianise Education – Why & How? (1/2)

Every country has a culture and value system that makes it unique amid innumerable cultures across the world. While each country has to respect other’s cultures and values, it also has responsibility to protect and promote its own unique culture.

Monotony is boring; Diversity makes world beautiful and interesting

India is a representative of respect for diversity. Traditionally people from across the world turned to India for guidance and wisdom to resolve conflicts. Swami Vivekananda’s strong impact on world community starting from world’s parliament of religions is a testimony to this in recent times.

Centuries ago, when Parsis were thrown out of their country, they spread out to various countries. Some of them landed on the shores of Gujarat. The ruler of the land not only gave them space to live in but also complete freedom to follow their own cultural values and protect their individual identity. Today they have become very much Indian and grown to utmost glory in this country by imbibing the value of “respect for others while following their own”. The whole country is today proud of Tatas and their contributions.

These are just two of innumerable examples to showcase the value of Indian Culture.

How did people in this part of the world manage to preserve their culture and evolve it into a guiding force, while other great civilizations of the past disappeared?

Why did great men from various fields across the world get attracted to this? 

What is happening to this culture in the era of globalisation and what is our responsibility as inheritors of this great culture to pass on this legacy?

The uniqueness of Indian Culture is that it did not let go of the core, but adapted at the outer to cope with the changing needs reinventing itself during challenging times. It imbibed the goodness in other cultural practices while letting go of those that are proved to be non-progressive, thus making it global and time relevant.

Its values, beliefs and cultural practices are not something exclusive of, but integral to their daily life.

These have been made part of their education system and imbibed as what is described as samskaras during early formative years. Long before Maria Montessori described to the modern world the absorbant mind of a child, wise men in this part of the world knew this and used it to evolve daily practices and routines, so that the utmost important values are imbibed by the child during the early formative years.

Colonial rulers under the guidance of Macaulay understood this and destroyed this great education system so that they can establish their supremacy. Leaders like Gandhi and Patel, who have integrated these values led the way to freedom from colonial rule, but the subsequent rulers failed to free us from the colonial education system.

Freedom from colonial education system and reviving Indian education system is the answer to completely revive the glory of India and once again make India the guiding force for the rest of the world.

There has been some sporadic and some consistent efforts by certain thought leaders to revive Indian-ness in Indian education. But attempts at the Government level has been sparse, probably due to political considerations. In the past few years there have been significant attempts by various educational boards including the premier education board CBSE, to make education holistic and effective (We have discussed about this in our earlier blogs). But all these attempts did not focus on the Indian-ness aspect.

The new government has come to power with resounding majority banking on the promise of India First. There are already certain signs to add the value of Indian-ness in the Indian education system.

We will look at how this can be effectively achieved in the next part of this post…

“Ache Din” for Young India’s Education

“Ache Din” (Good days) for education sector and thus for the country is around.

If the multi-pronged approach for holistic education and skill-building continues as per the policy statements, we will be well on the way to building a stronger India. Let us take a look at some major developments in the past couple of months in this direction.

The NDA manifesto promised focus on education sector and Skilling India. After coming to power with an overwhelming majority the new Government under the dynamic leadership of Shri Narendra Modi has made several policy announcements in this direction.

Appointment of Smriti Irani for the responsibility is the first positive step. The sheer determination and conviction with which she handles her projects is a promise for the development of Human Resources in the country.

The President’s address talks about establishment of National Sports Talent Search System. This measure apart from enhancing the sports ecosystem in the country also helps build professionalism, team-spirit and enhance overall personality development among the youth. National Talent Search systems for science, mathematics, geography, etc., has been in force in the country for decades. Now sports education gets this special impetus and hope this will encourage nurture sports talent as it nurtured other talents.

Physiologically it is proven through clinical studies, that involvement of boys in sports, helps them better channelise their youth vigour in the right direction and evolve as stronger personalities. Integrating sports education with the regular academic stream will further aid the process. Sports education along with Life-SKILL education and yoga (These two are already on focus) is a wonderful combination for holistic evolution of children. Let’s hope the new establishment’s National Education Policy will do much more for furthering these steps.

Prior to the budget presentation, economy survey identified primary education and skill development as the twin challenges for our country. Addressing this challenge the Modi Government has announced SKILL INDIA Program in the budget speech. National multi-skill mission to enhance skilled labour in various sectors of the economy has multiple benefits like – enhanced employability levels of our youth, improve the GDP through efficient utilisation of the labour, enhance the quality and standard of living and propel the country into developed economy status. Effective implementation of this program is the key deciding factor in this direction.

In June, India gained permanent membership in Washington accord which provides our engineering graduates, recognition for their educational qualification in all the signatory countries. This means better employability opportunities for our graduates.

Another Good news is wide spread acceptance of the CCE pattern of assessment and evaluation introduced by CBSE. Not only are more schools opting for CBSE education due to this initiative, more state education boards are also introducing CCE pattern of evaluation. Slowly but steadily we can see all education boards – state and national boards, inching towards a common pattern of education, assessment and evaluation which is holistic and child-centric.

Truly Ache Din Aage Hain… Good Days are Ahead…

Sanskrit Education gets a fillip

While we grow, we should remember the roots. India is now returning to its core strength… its roots.

We have discussed about the importance of Sanskrit education and its future in an earlier blog. Latest step in this direction is CBSE’s initiative in sanskrit education.

Welcome to our earlier blog on Sanskrit education…

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