International Yoga Conference in Pune

posted Jan 16, 2011, 2:48 AM by Avadhoot Dandekar   [ updated Jan 16, 2011, 8:15 AM ]

International Yoga Conference took place in Pune city recently. World renowned Yogacharya B K S Iyengar was invited to inaugurate the event. While speaking to the media he said, "I started teaching Yoga in the Lady Ramabai Hall at Sir Parshurambhau (SP) College and other colleges in 1937 for a salary of Rs 8 per month. But after three years, I was asked to stop conducting classes as the colleges became hostile to the subject. But I am happy to inaugurate today’s international conference on Yoga at the same venue where I started off about 74 years ago". This is the reason why you left India. This country has long back forgotten the importance of Yoga and Meditation. They have just called you because you have now become an International Yoga Acharya. While stressing the importance of Yoga he said, "One of my students here was D B Deodhar. He used to perform Yoga before playing a cricket match. He went on to become one of the finest batsmen in Maharashtra". Probably this could be the reason that the Cricket Control Board of India has appointed an Australian Yoga expert to train the players. 

While talking on the uniqueness of Yoga he said, "The human body is Universal. Everyone has lungs, legs, hands and other parts, and only the mind is individual. The mind plays multiple roles and asanas help to achieve a single state of mind. Yoga is not only for meditation". Probably this is where you are wrong Sir? The ultimate purpose of Yoga is meditation. Only Asanas will not help. Yoga is not only physical but mental, psychological and spiritual. How the single state of the mind as you said above is possible without meditation? The whole purpose of Asanas is that the person is now ready to sit down silently so that he can watch his breathing, thoughts and emotions. And in the process be a pure witness. Does that mean that the thoughts and emotions will evaporate? Then he will become only a Robot. That is why in the economy and business it is expected that we need more robots. So that there is less problem for the HR people to handle their mental, emotional and psychological problems. So that the robot can be given orders and commands and it will not even think twice but just execute the orders with more accuracy and precision. They can give more productivity than the human beings of flesh and blood. No more HR problems. No pay hike, no increment, no promotion, no sick leave, etc. The Boss is very happy because the robot is obeying all the orders without any hang ups. He is also very happy because his ego is satisfied. But the problem is that we still need far more intelligent people to create robots and take care of them. Robot has not created a man. But a man has created a robot. Man and his intelligence precedes the intelligence of the robot. And the intelligence of God or existence precedes the intelligence of man. How the single state of mind as you said above is possible without going through the process of meditation? Monkeys do better postures than human beings. Does that mean they are Yogis? Body is the beginning and Buddha-hood is the goal. Contemplation is the beginning and composure is the goal. Asanas is the beginning so that Dhyan becomes possible. Yama is the beginning and Samadhi is the goal. Single state of mind as you said above means the stillness of the mind. The oneness of the being. Movement of the body through the Asanas is the beginning and stillness of the being is the goal. Movement of the mind and thoughts is the beginning and cessation of thoughts, stillness of the mind or No-Mind is the goal. Movement of emotions and churning of the heart is the beginning and attainment of emotional health or emotional wellness is the goal. If Asanas is the only thing in Yoga then Ashtang Yoga has no meaning. The other limbs and the other stages of Yoga become meaningless. Can Asana possible without Yama? Can somebody just jump on to Asana directly? Then Yama will have no meaning. Then the whole order will have no meaning. Everything will become topsy-turvy. Everything will become a chaos and disorder. Rhythm, order and symphony will have no meaning. Patanjali himself and his Ashtang Yoga will become useless. And other Yogis, Buddhas will become meaningless. Yoga ultimately pours in us the music of life. It pours in us the love of life. In the process life will become love and love will become life. 

He felt happy when he came to know that the subject of Yoga is now a degree course being offered by the University of Pune (UoP). This is really a good thing that now some Yogis and Yoga teachers will get some teaching opportunities in the University. Yoga and Mediation can become a big knowledge sharing community of yoga students and yoga teachers. Earlier during the function, UoP Vice Chancellor, R K Shevgaonkar said that after the proposal to start a degree programme in Yoga came to him, he faced a dilemma - under which faculty the course should be prepared. "It has physical and mental elements, but after studying related text, it was decided to include under the faculty of physical education", he said. How does it matter Sir? All categories are just arbitrary. All divisions are just arbitrary. The purpose of Yoga is to attain the indivisible. Scientists are not sure of their own science. They are now saying that all science that has been written so far is just childish. They wish to re-write it again from the very beginning. The ultimate goal of Yoga is Spiritual. In which category can we put this? If spirit is the whole set then we are just a sub-set. If the intelligence of the whole existence is one set then we and our intelligence is just a sub-set. If God or existence is a ocean then we are just a drop in that ocean. But there are few drops which have became far bigger than the ocean. This was a great miracle in their life. Their life became a benediction. But a very few drops. Their names can be counted on our fingers. Just a few drops here and there. Krisha, Jesus, Mohammad, Mahaveera, Patanjali, Goutam Buddha, Kabir, Nanak, Zarathustra, Lao Tzu and Osho are those few drops of that ocean who have dared to become far bigger than the ocean. There could be many Buddhas whose names could not be taken. This attainment was their ultimate realization. But all this has been possible to them only through Yoga and Meditation.