Sahaja Yoga – An ancient practice enticing modern seekers worldwide
- by Lavanya Rao
Today the crossover of physical yoga. Somehow, history has always been evident of such unbalanced 'seeastern culture and western trends has made nations more interdependent, and turning our world into a smaller global village. An African household enjoys Chinese green tea while an American female is practicing e-saw' effect of cultural exchange, but only in terms of commercial commodities. And amid the shimmer and glitter of this modern lifestyle and the added fast rhythms of complex lives people are easily driven to extremes, falling into mental problems; overall loosing grip of their lives and joy. Alas, in the chase to learn cultural imitations, we have lost the essence to earn their actual significance. This boredom, frustration, stress and instability of our lives is further replaced with few more materialistic gains, bargain sales and insecure relationships.
While the western American lifestyle has already created time and space for hatha yoga, herbal cosmetics, south asian fusion music, cuisine, fashion and even human intelligence in their daily external lives; the evolution of Sahaja Yoga, (yet another gift of ancient eastern heritage) might eventually succeed in creating inner balance in their fast, yet nerve-wrecking lives. This ancient art / science has been located in many scriptures and is believed to have been practiced thousands of years ago by saints and gurus. The word 'sahaja' mean 'spontaneous' or 'born within'. Sahaja Yoga is a spiritual accent of an inner energy that which is believed to be present in every human from birth. This form of meditation has been found in ancient eastern literature and religions of the world. This potential energy that is incorporated is called Kundilini, which is maternal in nature. The main course of Sahaja yoga is to awaken this dormant energy for one's spiritual accent. And the process to awaken Kundalini energy is called 'self-realization'. Once a person receives his or her 'self-realization', he/she is eventually able to recognize and utilize the inner power to escalate their spiritual journey. The quote that 'inner happiness lies within us', feeds aptly to Sahaja yoga's process.
Sahaja has grown in more than 80 countries around the world, including India where thousands receive their realization every year. The entire process of attaining self -realization has been possible due to extensive research and works of its founder Shri H H Nirmala Devi, fondly known as mother to many. The most attractive perk of Sahaja Yoga is that this meditation is offered free of cost globally. As Shri Nirmalaji humbly states in one of her speeches, "We do not pay the flowers for their fragrance neither do we pay the air for breathing. This energy is present in everyone, protects us from within like a mother; to awaken this power within is every human seeker's fundamental right."
So what is the hidden mission of Sahaja Yoga? Simple. Sahaja Yoga has grown faster on a single, yet simple platform around the world with its members wanting to create an environment of balanced world; a world where people enjoy love, peace and inner joy as if they are part of one single family. Although their mission might sound too good for the real world, Sahaja has practically set proven examples where people have left drugs overnight. One astounding example is of Jackie Zamora who was raised in Brooklyn, New York. "I would always drink to numb my problems, but in reality, I was just killing myself day by day. Anyway, I was told about Shri Mataji and I just walked inside this theatre in NY. That one special day, she opened my eyes and told me to jump into the ocean of peace. That night when I walked out of the theatre feeling as light as a feather, the rain was coming down and there I looked up and said; ' Let the rain fall down because I am free at last.' I've been practising SY for over 2 years and I have not touch alcohol ever since. So if you ask me what Sahaja Yoga means to me, it means my life. My greatest desire is for the world to experience this wonderful feeling that can happen so spontaneously and without any cost. So if you are feeling like you need someone to hold your hand, just jump into the ocean and see for yourself ."
Few years ago, in a health conference held in National Institute of Health in Maryland, Shri Nirmala Devi demonstrated the positive effects of Sahaja Yoga meditation to cure stress adaptation disorder, cancer, AIDS, substance abuse, etc. The cure depends on a simple hypothesis that only by knowing all about the 'self' can the person retain good health and live in harmony with nature and people. It has been proven that even a 10-15 minute of regular Sahaja meditation permits people to discover the power of 'vibrations' provided from within and this further allows the person to nurture his or her inner instabilities and become a full balanced person – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Vibrations are tingling sensations felt in various parts of bodies that guide the person.
"Sahaja Yoga has helped me get over childhood asthma, find higher attention levels and inner peace. I am a better man for Sahaja Yoga. It helps us unite with people of all nationalities, gender, race and social class. It is a global unifying force" states Shamik Ghosh, who has been practicing Sahaja past 4 years. Sangram, a student of George Washington University states his ideology, "Sahaja life has given me a lot of friends, peace of mind, satisfaction in confiding in what I believe in, especially in abstinence, decency, humility and the fact that one doesn't need to try something dangerous or harmful to be on a "high". It has fulfilled all my desires without having to desire anything at all. I am living a life filled with fun, great friends along with being peaceful and happy from within.'
Sahaja Yoga has grown beyond religion, caste, race and nationality. In a nutshell, it is bent upon creating a universal platform for people away from all misleading rituals and fanatical misinterpretations lead by false leaders of many religions. The techniques of Sahaja Yoga have found application and have gotten real results in traditional science, medicine, agriculture, education, art, and business. Todd Schumacher, a Media student shares, "Sahaja Yoga is about living in a heightened state of awareness that allows me to be more balanced and to not allow all the distractions that come with modern life take my attention away from who I truly am. Everybody in the world needs to further their self-realization so that human beings can continue to evolve into peaceful beings.
"So, what lures people to Sahaja Yoga? "Everyone wants to be healthy and free from doctor's visit. So natural creativity and good health compelled me to come to Sahaj-yoga and for me it worked from day one as its naturally built-in within us. Anyone can do it freely and no strings attached" says Prasad Salunkhe, an IT professional based in VA.
With demonstration of Sahaja Yoga, the sahaja yogis have been able to integrate ancient wisdom with modern science to expand the understanding and awareness of the subtleties of the nervous system. For the discovery of this subtle energy within human body and its utility for human development, Shri Nimala Devi has been nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize and has been honored by the US Congress and the UN. She has received numerous honors and awards in recognition of her contribution to peace, health, and well being of humankind in over 86 nations.
The power to provide prevention before cure has always lured people into seeking newer solutions to our existing problems. The idea of bringing a global peace merely through a medium of meditation might sound as an overstretched idea to a layman, however, stories of Jackie, Todd and others who share such real life transforming experiences cannot be ignored.
To sum up in the wise words of young 24 year old Sangram, "I think everybody today is seeking a more peaceful life and wants a comfortable and joyful existence. After realization, it becomes clear that one cannot be joyful or comfortable with his surroundings unless he/she is peaceful within. Sahaja Yoga gives one, the ability to love and enjoy everything around oneself without actually being attached to it. And that, I think is the most important thing in life."
Sahaja Yoga International is offering free meditation workshop at the Star Plus India Mela being held on March 26th, 27th 2005 at Maryland Soccerplex, Germantown MD.
For more information on Sahaja Yoga log onto www.sahajayoga.com or www.dcsahajayoga.org.