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CONTENTS

LIKES AND DISLIKES

Sadhguru on a Starting a Liberating Process


ISHA HATHA YOGA
Part 20: Getting it Right

MAHABHARAT

Part 9: Ambas Plight

11
4

Padahastasana Bhujangasana Dhanurasana

LEAD ARTICLE
Likes and Dislikes

Sadhguru on a Starting a Liberating Process

SPECIAL FEATURE
Health Essentials

Sadhguru on Three Fundamental Aspects for Being Healthy

MAHABHARAT
Part 9: Ambas Plight

11

NEWS & EVENTS


Highlights of the First International Day of Yoga
Sixteen Years of Dhyanalinga

15

UPCOMING PROGRAMS AND EVENTS

20

ISHA RECIPE
This Month: Misal Pav

21

ZEN SPEAKS
Easier Known Than Done

23

August 2015

19

ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 3

ISHA HATHA YOGA

PART 20
Getting It Right
Padahastasana Bhujangasana
Dhanurasana
In this article, Sadhguru discusses three
common asanas and points out important
details that many yoga practitioners may not
be aware of.
Padahastasana

if you bend forward, naturally, the energies will


move upward, because the downward flow is
arrested by the tightening of the muladhara.
If you keep the feet completely together or if you
keep them apart, you will force the energies to
move downward. That way, in this posture, you
may stretch your lumbar spine, you may create
muscular strength, but you move the energies
downward. That way, instead of making life
subtler and preparing for higher possibilities, you
are making it gross. Most people will not take
care of such things unless there is a teacher who
corrects the geometry of the body in a meticulous
way. This is why it is important to find a proper
instructor if you want to learn hatha yoga.

Bhujangasana
One of the most common asanas is
bhujangasana. Bhujanga means snake or cobra.
When you want to raise your upper body like
a cobra, one important thing is your toes and
heels should be together, for the same purpose
as mentioned earlier, so that the muladhara will
tighten up and the energies will move upward,
not downward.

There are aspects of hatha yoga that millions


of people in the world may be doing wrong. For
example, when practicing something as simple
as padahastasana, which is bending forward to
bring your pada [feet] and hasta [hands] together,
you must keep your feet in such a way that your
heels are touching and your feet are forming a
V.
This is important because when you bend
forward and create this movement in the spine,
there is a tendency for the energy to move. The
question is which way it should move. In yoga,
you are always trying to move your energies
from lower dimensions of life or lower chakras
to a higher possibility. Only if you keep the heels
together, your muladhara [foundational energy at
the root of the spine] will get tightened and will
not allow downward movement of energy. Then,
4 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER

Another aspect is that, if performed wrongly, a


simple asana like this can cause injury to the
spine. When raising the upper part of the body,
though the hands are on the floor, you should
not use the arms to push yourself up or support
yourself. This is a snake posture a cobra does
not have arms to support itself. If you use your
hands or arms to push yourself up, not only could
it damage your spine, the purpose of the asana is
also not served.
August 2015

Using the muscles along the spine to raise your


upper body is what activates the energy. That
is why the big toes should be together to lock
the lower part of the body so that the energies
do not move in the wrong direction. This is a
subtle process. This is not about bending more
than somebody else. This is about activating the
energy and moving it towards your brain. The
purpose is to enhance your perception. A cobra
has an enormous sense of perception.

A Preparation for Meditation


If you want to become meditative, bhujangasana
is an important posture. Meditation is not an
act it is a quality. To acquire the quality of
meditation, you need to cultivate your body,
your mind, your emotions, and your energy to a
certain level of maturity. Meditation is like the
fragrance of a flower. The problem is people are
only interested in the flower but not the plant.
If you want flowers in your garden, you do not
think about flowers. You think about the root, the
manure, the water, and the sunlight. If instead
you think about the flower, you will only have
plastic flowers in your life, not real flowers.
Bhujangasana is a simple way of cultivating
these four dimensions of life in such a way that
meditation flowers within you.

Dhanurasana
Before you do dhanurasana, there has to be
substantial preparation. You must practice
bhujangasana and shalabhasana for a period
of time and prepare the system before you do
dhanurasana, because dhanurasana involves a
certain amount of force. If you want to apply this
force, there are a few precautions to take. One
thing is, your legs must be together. If you hold

them apart and pull, you may cause damage to


the spine.
If you keep the legs entirely together, there is
integrity to the posture, protection to the spine,
and no danger of lumbar damage. Another thing
is to clasp your hands. Clasping your hands also
creates integrity in the physical structure of the
body. Above all, it creates integrity in the energy
structure of the body and causes it to function
in an entirely different way. Just crossing your

hands or uncrossing your hands entirely changes


the way the subtler aspects of the body function.
So, the hands should be clasped and the legs
should be completely together.
Another aspect is, when you do dhanurasana,
you are on your belly. All the vital organs are
in this region. Therefore, you have to pump up
your belly and hold a certain amount of air there
continuously. Your breath should be on the
surface, and you push out and hold your belly
like a balloon to protect the internal organs.

The above mentioned asanas are part of the Yogasana program offered by Isha Hatha Yoga
teachers. For dates and details of these and other Isha Hatha Yoga programs, visit www.
ishahathayoga.com.
The Hatha Yoga Teacher Training program is an opportunity to be trained in classical hatha
yoga devised by Sadhguru. Upcoming dates: 19 July to 13 December 2016 at the Isha Yoga
Center in India. For more information, please send an email to info@ishahathayoga.com.

August 2015

ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 5

LEAD ARTICLE

Likes and Dislikes


Sadhguru on Starting a
Liberating Process

Questioner: Sadhguru, do you have any


suggestions on how to not just do our yoga
practice in the morning and then again get
caught up with things and people and situations
as we go through our day, but to keep the spiritual
process on all the time?
Sadhguru: So much has been written, said, and
done in the name of spiritual process. It is not
something that you have to import into your life
from outside. It is something that you are. You
are only exploring what is there. Having said that,
what is it that does not allow you to explore and
to know the nature of your being? It all depends
on how entangled you are with the physical and
psychological aspects of your life, as well as
with your karmic content.
Your physical framework and your psychological
framework depend on what kind of karmic
content you have. How deeply you are entrenched
in it depends on how deeply you are identified
with it. The process of identifying yourself with
something is built into your life and the social
systems everywhere in the world, in many
different ways. For example, when you were two
years of age, you may not have been very sweet,
but had your parents not believed that you were
a sweetie, they could not have changed your
diapers; they could not have taken the screaming
and the sleepless nights.
The social systems train you to create strong
likes and dislikes about so many things. Another
example as a soldier, to go and fight a war,
you must be revved up to dislike someone or
something very strongly otherwise, you would
not risk your life. When you think you are in
love with someone, you exaggerate all the good
qualities in them. When you hate someone, you
exaggerate all the bad qualities in them or invent
some. You as a person, not as a being are who
you are only because of your likes and dislikes.
It is your likes and dislikes that determine your
personality and distinguish you as a person.
Starting today, just pick one of your likes and one
of your dislikes and, over the course of the month,

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August 2015

consciously drop them. Repeat this process


every month. Your likes and dislikes are the
basis of the falsehood that you have created in
the form of your personality. If you stop clinging
to them, your personality will vanish you will
become flexible and wonderful.
If you want to hold on to your personality, you
cannot be spiritual. To be spiritual means there
is no you and me there is only life. Life is
throbbing in everything. The same life force is
in a tree, a worm, an insect, a tiger, a man, or
a woman. What kind of form it takes and what
kind of behavioral patterns it has is on one level
based on likes and dislikes.
There are fundamentals of life within you. It is in
your DNA to always want to be something more
than what you are right now. But your social
training has taught you to always establish
strong likes and dislikes. Whether you like or you
dislike something, you are limiting yourself. Here
and there maybe in a sathsang, a program,
or while doing your practices you may break
some limitations, but then you will establish
them again.
In India, there is a tradition that if you go on a
pilgrimage, you must leave one thing that you
like. Now, I am not even asking you to leave
anything. Just within yourself, delete one thing
each from your list of likes and dislikes, in the
sense that you neither like nor dislike them
anymore. You do not have to leave them or avoid
them that would in a way mean disliking them.
If you start disliking what you used to like or
liking what you used to dislike, you only change
the objects, but beyond that, nothing has really
changed. Likewise, if you start disliking the
person whom you once liked and liking another
person, nothing has changed. You are just
jumping from branch to branch like a monkey.
It is easy to dislike what you used to like. Love
and hate are related. The people whom you hate
are usually those whom you once loved, but at
some point, love turned into hatred. You cannot
August 2015

hate a random person on the street, unless you


are bigoted based on religious beliefs, racial
prejudices, or some such thing. But if you loved
someone and they did something that you did
not like, you can actively hate them.
I do not want you to convert a like into a dislike or
vice versa I want you to drop them. It will take a
whole lot of awareness to do that, but you have a
months time. Just pick one like and one dislike,
work on them, and by the end of the month, they
must be dropped. Then pick one more like and
one more dislike, and again drop them over the
course of a month.

If you want to hold on to your personality,


you cannot be spiritual. To be spiritual means
there is no you and me there is only life.

A person, a food item, a certain aspect of


yourself it can be anything. What you need
to drop is the idea of liking or disliking this
someone or something. Let us say it is a food
item whether you eat it or not is not the point.
If someone happens to serve it to you, you eat
it. Do not try to like what you dislike or dislike
what you like you would create terrible havoc
for yourself.
There is a beautiful story from Gautama Buddhas
life. When people are given monkhood even in
Isha, it is so many guidelines are provided. One
simple thing is that you eat whatever appears on
your plate without liking or disliking anything.
You joyfully eat whatever it is, because you only
eat for your nourishment, for no other reason.
You neither seek any particular item, nor do you
avoid anything.
Similarly, Gautama told his monks not to choose
their food but to eat whatever people gave them,
and not to eat non-vegetarian food. In India, if
someone was on the spiritual path, seeking the
ultimate within himself, the whole society used
to support that. Distracting or disturbing him
ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 7

in any way was considered the most heinous


of acts. Everyone knew that people who are on
this kind of path eat only vegetarian foods, and
no one would give them non-vegetarian food or
anything of that sort.
One day, two of Gautamas monks went out to
beg. It so happened, a crow accidentally dropped
a piece of meat that it was carrying, and it
landed in one of the monks bowl. Immediately,
because people always see how not to transform
themselves, they took it to Gautama, saying, You
said we should not eat non-vegetarian food. At
the same time, you said what comes into our
bowl, we must eat. Today, a piece of meat has
come into our bowl, because a crow dropped it.
What to do.
Gautama looked at the piece of meat and the
two monks. He saw it could have been very
simple. Generally, if a crow accidentally drops
something, you just have to wait a little, and the
crow will come back and pick it up after all, it

8 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER

is its food. But instead, they started a spiritual


debate about it. Had he said that if someone
puts meat into their bowl, they should not eat it
and beg for vegetarian food instead, the monks
would have started asking for whatever food they
liked. Therefore, Gautama said, Eat it in front of
me right now. All the monks were shocked. He
told them to eat whatever came into their bowl
because he thought long-term. How many more
times in the next thousand years was it going to
happen that a crow drops another piece of meat
into a monks bowl?
If you want to take real steps on the spiritual
path, this is what you need to do, because
your likes and dislikes are the fundamentals of
establishing your individuality. If you are hung
up on your individuality, there is no question of
universality. Therefore, by today evening, start
this process of dropping your likes and dislikes,
one by one. If you do that every month, within
six months time, you will see a tremendous
transformation in you.

August 2015

Health Essentials

SPECIAL
FEATURE

Sadhguru on Three Fundamental Aspects for Being Healthy


Five Sheaths of the Body
In yoga, we look at the human system as five
sheaths or layers. Every aspect of the human
system, including the mind, is seen as body,
and yoga is a technology to transform it. These
five layers of the body are called Annamaya
Kosha, Manomaya Kosha, Pranamaya Kosha,
Vignanamaya Kosha, and Anandamaya Kosha.
Anna means food. Your physical body or
Annamaya Kosha is basically the food that you
have eaten small or big is your choice, but
it is a heap of food nonetheless. As there is a
physical body that you have gathered from
outside, there is a mental body. The mind is not
in one particular part of the body every cell in
the body has its own memory and intelligence.
This mental body is known as Manomaya Kosha.
The physical body is the hardware the mental
body is the software.
Hardware and software cannot do much unless
you plug them into quality power. The third layer
of the body is called Pranamaya Kosha or energy
body. Physical body, mental body, and energy
body are all in the realm of physicality, but on
different levels of subtlety. To use an analogy
you can clearly see that a light bulb is physical.
But the light it diffuses is also physical. And the
electricity behind it is physical as well. Light bulb,
light, and electricity: all are physical but differ in
subtlety. Similarly, the physical body, the mental
body, and the energy body all are physical but
differ in subtlety.
The next layer of the body is a transitory body
that is known as Vignanamaya Kosha. It
facilitates the transition from the physical to the
non-physical. It does not ascribe to any of the
August 2015

physical qualities, but at the same time, it is not


yet completely nonphysical either. The fifth layer
is called Anandamaya Kosha, which in English
translates as bliss body. This does not mean there
is a bubble of bliss in you. We call it bliss body
because in our experience, whenever we touch it,
we become blissful. Bliss is not its nature bliss
is what it causes for us. Anandamaya Kosha is
a nonphysical dimension which is the source of
everything that is physical.
If you bring the physical body, the mental body,
and the energy body into proper alignment
and balance, you will not have any physical or
psychological ailments. I could show you hundreds
and thousands of people who have come out of
their health issues particularly chronic ailments
and psychological problems simply by creating
the necessary alignment within themselves. It is
misalignment that causes all kinds of problems.
When the body is at ease, there is no disease.
Only if you bring the rst three layers of the body
into alignment, there will be a passage and a
possibility of touching Anandamaya Kosha, where
blissfulness becomes a natural state of being. Not
blissful about something in particular simply
blissful because that is the nature of life.

Essential Tips for Food, Activity, and Rest


To create health for yourself, there are three
fundamentals that you need to take care of
food, activity, and rest.
FOOD
When it comes to food, one of the most important
aspects that you must be conscious of is how
quickly a certain type of food digests and
becomes a part of yourself. If you eat something
ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 9

If you maintain a clear gap of five to six hours


between one meal and the other without having
anything in between, cleansing will happen on
the cellular level. This cleansing on the cellular
level is most important for a healthful life. If you
are over 30 years of age, two good meals a day
will suffice one in the morning and one in the
evening.

ACTIVITY
When it comes to activity, one simple thing that
we need to consider is that our body is capable
of bending forward, bending backward, and
twisting to both sides. This much activity must
happen in some kind of form. Classical hatha
yoga is the best way to do it, and a scientific one.
If classical hatha yoga is not yet part of your life,
you must somehow make sure that every day,
you bend forward, backward, twist to both sides,
and squat so that the spinal column is stretched.
This is a must for everybody on a daily basis if
you want to keep the entire system healthy
particularly the neurological system, which will
otherwise be an issue as one ages.

There must be a minimum of three hours after


the evening meal, before you go to bed. If this
includes at least 20 to 30 minutes of light
physical activity such as simple walking, or
maybe dancing your system will largely be
healthy. If you go to bed with food still inside the
stomach, it generates a certain level of inertia in
the system. Physiologically, this inertia is like an
acceleration towards death. Death is ultimate
inertia.

REST
The volume of rest that an individual person
needs is determined by various factors. One
important factor is the type and the volume of
food that you consume. You must experiment
with different types of foods and see which ones
make you feel heavy, and which ones leave you
light and agile. If you make sure that at least 40%
of your diet consists of fresh vegetables and
fruits, there will be lightness in the body.

Another dimension is that if you go to bed with a


full stomach, it puts pressure on other organs in
the abdomen. This will also lead to various kinds
of health issues. For that reason too, it is very
important that before you go to bed, the food
you have eaten has moved out of the stomach.
As you sleep in different postures, the stomach
should not put pressure on other organs at any
point.

What the body needs is restfulness, not


necessarily sleep. It is a misunderstanding to
think that sleep is the only way to rest. Even as
you sit or stand, you can either be in a state of
restfulness, in a state of agitation, or in a state of
inertia. If you are in a lively state of restfulness,
every moment of your life, the volume of sleep
you require will decrease.

and it does not digest within three hours, it


means you have eaten food that should either
be avoided or reduced in quantity. If the food
moves out of your stomach within three hours, it
means that even if it is not the best food, it is still
something your system is able to handle.

This article is based on a talk by Sadhguru for the 5 Minutes for Health video that was
created for the International Day of Yoga 2015. Check out this and other videos on
isha.sadhguru.org/health!
10 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER

August 2015

MAHABHARAT
SERIES

PART 9

Mahabharat
Ambas Plight
Shantanu had two children with Satyavati. The
first one was known as Chitrangada; the second
one was known as Vichitraveerya. Chitrangada,
an arrogant young man, went out into the forest
one day. There was a gandharva, a being with
extraordinary skills, who came from elsewhere.
He also had the same name Chitrangada.
When this gandharva asked him who he was,
the boy proudly said, I am Chitrangada. The
gandharva laughed and said, How dare you call
yourself Chitrangada? I am Chitrangada. This is
my name. You are unfit to carry my name. You
better change it. The young prince stood up
and said, How dare you say this! My father has
named me Chitrangada and this is my name.
Lets fight it out! The gandharva insisted, There
can be only one Chitrangada. They fought, and
the boy was dead in an instant.
Now they only had one son left, Vichitraveerya.
Vichitra means strange or queer; veerya means
masculinity. So he is of a strange or queer
masculinity. We do not know if he was a eunuch
or very weak or homosexual, if he was incapable
of getting a wife or unwilling to get a wife. At
that time, getting a wife and having a child were
most important. Being a king, he had to have
sons, because otherwise, who would be next in
line to the throne? When you go into battle, you
may get killed any day. Therefore, taking a wife
and having a son at the earliest possible age was
essential, because otherwise, your whole empire
could fall apart.

August 2015

So Chitrangada was dead. Vichitraveerya was


unwilling to take a wife. Bhishma was also
unwilling to take a wife. The Kuru dynasty was
at a standstill. There was no progeny. For his
whole life, Bhishma remained the regent, taking
care of everyone and everything, without ever
being able to become the king. One day, the
king of Kashi announced the swayamvara of his
three daughters. Though the House of Kuru was
the biggest and the most respected dynasty in
the region, the king of Kashi did not send them
an invitation, because he did not want his girls
to get married to Vichitraveerya, about whose
masculinity there were rumors.
Bhishma was inflamed with rage about this
affront. He was committed to his country and
to the Kuru dynasty above his own and anyone
elses wellbeing. To correct this affront, he
went to the swayamvara. At a swayamvara,
young women were allowed to choose their own
destiny. When it was time for a princess to marry,
they would set up an event in which Kshatriyas
who thought they were eligible could participate.
The Kshatriyas were the warrior class of people.
The society was divided into four segments: the
Brahmins, the priestly class, who were to take
care of education and religion; the Kshatriyas,
the warrior class, who were to rule and protect
the nation; the Vaishyas, the class of traders,
who were to trade, store, and distribute food

ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 11

grains and other goods, and the Shudras, who


were to do the menial jobs. This segmentation of
society was done to ensure that the right kind of
breeding and training would happen.
When there were no schools, no universities,
no engineering colleges, no military academies,
the only way to train was with your father. If
your father was a carpenter, from an early age,
you learned from him how to use a hammer and
chisel. If your father was a king, you learned how
to use a sword and bow. The next generation
naturally picked up the profession of their

whose name was Salva. The svayamvara was


an opportunity for her to choose him as her
husband. Since she was the oldest one, she was
the first one to choose. A simple way of choosing
at a svayamvara was that the girl takes a garland,
looks at all the candidates, and garlands the man
she chooses to become her husband. Amba went
up to Salva and garlanded him.
Then Bhishma walked into the swayamvara.
The other warriors who were there feared him
because he was a great warrior. At the same
time, they knew he had castrated himself and
would never marry. So they taunted him, Why
has the old man come here now? Is he looking
for a bride? Does the House of Kuru not have a
warrior who can take a bride? Is that the reason
why he has come? Bhishma flew into a rage
that his clan was being ridiculed. He decided to
abduct all the three girls. A battle with the other
warriors broke out, but Bhishma defeated all of
them. Salva fought for his bride, but Bhishma
defeated and humiliated him. Then he took the
three girls by force and left.

father. Largely, for the sake of preserving skills,


they divided and sub-divided the society. It
was not the discriminatory process that it later
turned into. It was a beautiful way of preserving
knowledge and skills so that they grew. How
different communities should eat, how they
should live, what they should do to nurture their
skills and their traits all these things were set.
A very complex society evolved out of this.

Ambika and Ambalika were happy that a brave


warrior had abducted them. Amba was in tears.
On their journey to Hastinapur, which was
the capital city of the Kuru kingdom, she told
Bhishma, What have you done? I was in love
with this man, and I have already garlanded him.
He is my husband. You cannot take me by force.
He said, I already did. What I take belongs to the
Kurus. So she asked, Will you marry me? He
said, Not me. You will marry Vichitraveerya.
Vichitraveerya married Ambika and Ambalika,
but refused Amba saying, She put the garland
on someone else and gave him her heart, so I will
not marry her.

So now they were having a swayamvara where


only kings and other members of the warrior
class were allowed to participate. The young
women could choose their husbands no one
would intervene. The swayamvara was held for
three sisters Amba, Ambika, and Ambalika,
who were 18, 17, and 15 years old. Amba had
already fallen in love with the king of Shalva,

Amba asked, What am I supposed to do now?


Bhishma said, I am sorry. Go back to Salva.
She happily went back. But when she came
back, she got a shock. Salva said, I do not take
charity from anyone. I lost the battle. The old
beast defeated me, and now he is trying to give
me charity in the form of a bride. I will not take
you. Go back and marry Vichitraveerya. No, he

12 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER

August 2015

refused to marry me. Then marry Bhishma. I


am not going to take you back, because I am not
going to take charity.

you will die only you can. With this blessing


on his side, and he being the kind of warrior that
he was, no one was willing to take him on.

Refused there too, she went back to Hastinapur.


She pleaded with Bhishma, You have destroyed
my life. You took away the man I love. You
brought me here forcefully. The person whom I
am supposed to marry here refuses to marry me.
What is this nonsense? You must marry me. He
said, My allegiance is to my nation. I have given
my word that I will not marry, and thats all.
Imagine, this was 5000 years ago a princess,

Amba went to the Himalayan region and practiced


great austerities. She thought Kartikeya, the
son of Shiva, who was a great warrior, would be
one person who would be able to kill Bhishma.
Sitting upon the snow-clad peaks, she went into
a deep state of sadhana, and called for Kartikeya.
Pleased with her austerity, he appeared. When
she said, You must kill Bhishma, he replied,
My time of killing is over.

rejected everywhere. Her man did not take her


back. She had no husband. She could not go
back to her father. In absolute desolation, she
walked away, not knowing where to go.
Amba moved from despair to desperation, from
desperation to anger, from anger to rage, from
rage to thirst for revenge. She went from place
to place, saying, This man destroyed my life. Is
there any warrior who is willing to take this mans
life? No one was willing to have a fight with
Bhishma because of his prowess as a warrior.
Another aspect is, when Bhishma took the vow
never to marry and castrated himself, Shantanu
said, For what you have done for me today,
I will give you a blessing. I have done certain
tapasya. I will make all the merit and energy that
I generated through this sadhana into a blessing
for you, so that in this life, you can choose the
time of your death. No one else can decide when
August 2015

Earlier, in his quest for justice, Kartikeya had gone


down south and had slaughtered everything that
he saw as injustice. Then he came to the place
which is now known as Subramanya in Karnataka.
He washed his sword and said, Never again will
this sword see blood. He gave up violence, went
up the mountain that is today known as Kumara
Parvata, and left his body.
When she called him, he appeared in this
disembodied state and said, I have renounced
violence. I cannot kill Bhishma. But looking at
your plight and your devotion, I will give you a
blessing. He gave her a garland of lotuses and
said, Take this garland. Whoever wears this
garland will kill Bhishma. He gave her a garland
of lotus flowers that never withered.
With great hope in her heart and once again with
a garland in her hands, she walked from town
ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 13

to town, village to village, to find someone who


is willing to wear this garland and kill Bhishma.
No man wanted to even touch it. Then she went
in search of Parashurama, who was Bhishmas
teacher of arms, especially of archery. When she
prostrated herself before him and expressed her
plight, Parashurama said, Dont you worry. I will
fix this for you.
Parashurama called Bhishma. Bhishma came
and prostrated himself. Parashurama said,
Enough of your vow and this nonsense. Just
marry this woman. For the first time, Bhishma
said, You are my Guru. If you ask me to cut off
my own head, I will do it. But do not ask me to
break my vow.
Throughout the story, you will see men who take
a vow, and no matter what, they want to keep
their word. These were times when people were
striving to establish civilization. There were no
written constitutions, no written penal codes.
In such a situation, a mans word was the most
important thing. When there is no formal law, a
mans word is the only law. When someone gives
his word, he will go to extraordinary lengths to
keep it. If he breaks it, he will not be respected
and considered as worthy of anything anymore.
So Bhishma said, For you, my Guru, if you want, I
will cut off my head, but I cannot break my vow.
Parashurama was not used to disobedience. He
was super obedient. When his father asked him
to cut off the heads of his three brothers and
his mother, without a thought, he lopped off all
the four heads. Pleased with his obedience, his
father said, I will grant you a boon. What do you
want? Parashurama said, I want you to bring
my mother and my brothers back to life, and
they got their lives back.
Since that was how he grew up, disobedience
was one thing that Parashurama could not take.
When he saw Bhishma was unwilling to obey,
he went into a rage. He was a super angry man.
Earlier, when the Kshatriyas had affronted his
clan, he took a vow to kill every Kshatriya that
he saw. They say he left five ponds of blood from
14 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER

slaughtered Kshatriyas. Kshatriyas believed


later on that by taking a dip in these ponds, they
would become indomitable warriors.
Parashurama and Bhishma had a duel an
extraordinary one. Parashurama had taught
Bhishma everything that he knew. Both of them
fought bitterly for days on end. They found no
one could be the winner. Parashurama finally
threw up his hands and told Amba, You have to
find someone else to kill him.
Ambas journey with the garland continued, and
she came to Drupadas court. Drupada was the
king of Panchala, which was the second largest
empire in Bharatvarsh. She asked him to take the
garland and kill Bhishma. Drupada did not even
want to touch it or come anywhere near Amba
because by now, she had the reputation of walking
like a ghost from village to village, town to town,
thirsting for Bhishmas blood. When Drupada
refused to see her, out of total frustration, she
hung the garland that Kartikeya had given her on
one of the columns in Drupadas palace and left.
Drupada was so afraid of this garland that he did
not let anyone touch it. Every day, they lit lamps
and worshipped the garland, but otherwise, no
one wanted to have anything to do with it.
Once again desolate and depressed, Amba went
straight up to the Himalayas. She sat there in
great austerity. Slowly, her beautiful body wilted
down to skin and bones. She called for Shiva.
Shiva himself appeared. She said, You must kill
Bhishma. Shiva said, Is it not best if you get to
kill Bhishma? Then you will enjoy the revenge even
more! Suddenly, her eyes brightened. She said,
How? I am a woman, and he is a great warrior.
How can I kill him? He said, I will bless you that
in your next life, you will kill him. Then Amba said,
But in my next life, I will not remember all this, so
I will not know the sweetness of revenge. Shiva
said, Dont worry I will make sure that when
the time comes, you will remember. You will know
the sweetness of revenge for all that you have
suffered. So she left her body. And she did come
back.
August 2015

NEWS & EVENTS

Highlights of the First


International Day of
Yoga
Since the United Nations declared the 21 June as International Day of Yoga in December
last year, there has been no looking back. Millions of people observed the Yoga Day for the
first time in 192 countries worldwide. Sadhguru and Isha Foundation have been actively
involved in making this initiative the great success that it has become. So much has
happened on and around this day in so many locations around the globe that it would be
impossible to mention them all. Here we bring you some highlights of Sadhgurus and
Ishas involvement and events.
Isha Lends Its Expertise to Organize the
International Day of Yoga
From the conception stage, Isha Foundation
worked with the Ministry of AYUSH (Department
of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha
and Homoeopathy), Government of India, to plan,
organize, and execute the first International Day
of Yoga (IDY). As part of the Steering Committee,
Isha was involved in planning and executing the
IDY celebrations in India and abroad. As part
of the Expert Committee, Isha contributed to
the Common Yoga Protocol that was published
by the Government of India, and also helped to
create some of the video and print material for
the event.

a talk by Sadhguru on the Relevance of Yoga in


Modern Life on 11 May 2015. The Confederation
of Indian Industries (CII) conducted a preIDY event in Delhi with the Minister for Culture
and Tourism, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, the former
CCI President Ajay S. Shriram, and Sadhguru
discussing the topic of Why Yoga. India
Today also hosted a pre-IDY event, called Body
Rocks, where India Today anchor Rahul Kanwal
had a conversation with Sadhguru on Making
the Body Rock for You.
Yoga with Sadhguru in Bengaluru and Chennai

Yoga in Diplomacy, Business, and Media


In the run-up to the first International Day of Yoga,

the Embassy of India, Washington DC, organized


August 2015

On 20 June, Sadhguru lead a session for about


5000 people in Bengaluru. The event was
inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Karnataka,
Shri Siddaramaiah. On 21 June, Sadhguru also
conducted a session in Chennai, where about
ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 15

25,000 people participated. The Union Minister


for Urban Development, Venkaiah Naidu,
inaugurated this event.

Yoga Session with the Prime Minister


With almost 36,000 participants from 84 nations,
the yoga event with Indian Prime Minister
Narendra Modi at the Rajpath on 21 June set a
Guinness World Record for the largest yoga class
and the largest number of nationalities to take
part in a yoga class. Around 1200 Isha volunteers
from the Isha Yoga Center participated in the
event.
High on Yoga @ 35000 Feet

Isha Foundation tied up with SpiceJet for a


unique initiative called High On Yoga @ 35000
Feet. On the International Day of Yoga, UpaYoga was taught to passengers on all SpiceJet
flights. SpiceJet confirmed that they will be
offering these practices on long-haul flights in
the future as well.
Yoga at the House of Lords
On 23 June, Isha was invited by Lord Bilimoria
to the House of Lords in London to take part in
a session aimed at raising awareness of yoga in

16 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER

August 2015

the UK Parliament. UK volunteer George Khayat


shares his experience: I had the privilege of
watching some of the most politically important
people in the United Kingdom listen attentively
to a video of Sadhguru explaining the history
of yoga, and what it really means to practice it.
There was silence in the cool oak paneled room
as the fifty men and women engaged in a Chit
Shakti meditation. It was extraordinary to see
everyone remove their shoes and embrace the
simple yogic postures that they were guided
through by the teacher. There was a willingness
to try something new in the House of Lords. And
if it can happen there, then why cant it happen
across the whole country?
Yoga Demonstration in Geneva
Isha Foundation also took part in organizing the
largest yoga demonstration in Geneva, which
saw enthusiastic participation from over 650
people, including ambassadors, permanent
representatives, and other officials from various

UN bodies and other international organizations.


Yoga enthusiasts, members of the local
community, and Indians living in Geneva also
joined the event.
Isha Samskriti at Sangeet Natak Academy, Delhi

Isha Samskriti students gave a spectacular


performance at the Sangeet Natak Academy,
Delhis art and culture hub, which featured a
unique blend of Kalaripayattu, Bharatanatyam,
and yoga. The students performed before guests
of honor such as Minister of State for Culture
August 2015

and Tourism Dr. Mahesh Sharma, acclaimed


Bharatanatyam dancer Geetha Chandran, and
Odissi danseuse Sonal Mansingh.
Sadhguru at International Conference on Yoga
for Holistic Health, Delhi
Sadhguru gave the valedictory address at the
International Conference on Yoga for Holistic
Health, held in New Delhi on 21 June, and
organized by the Ministry of AYUSH at the Vigyan
Bhavan. Union Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath
Singh was the chief guest of the conference.
Ishas Upa-Yoga in 100,000 Locations across
the Globe
On its own initiative, Isha Foundation trained
35,600 teachers to offer simple Upa-Yoga
practices at 100,000 locations on six continents.
The practices were also made widely available
online, through websites, YouTube, social media,
and apps.

Simple Practices Great Impact


Representative of the experiences that many Isha
volunteers who have offered Upa-Yoga sessions
in India and around the world have made, Dhivya,
who was involved in conducting sessions in
Bengaluru, summed up the immediate and
visible impact these simple yoga practices have:
The effect that a 90-minute module has on
people is an advertisement for yoga like no other.
Just a few simple practices and people come
out genuinely touched, with not just a glimpse
of something profound but a practice that they
can sustain. To see the same experience across
diverse age groups, academic backgrounds and
social strata has in itself been a revelation. A
validation for the universal nature of humanity
and an underscore for the universal longing for
more than the daily activity of life.
ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 17

Sadhgurus
Message to Isha
Volunteers after the
International Day of
Yoga
Namaskaram,
The first International Day of Yoga happened in a wonderful way through the efforts of so many of
you. The volume and the quality of work all of you have established has set a new standard. You
have brought Ishas unique benchmark quality to the world at large. The immense effort and love
that has gone into this is closest to my heart.
35,600 teachers in 100,000 locations around the world even on board flights conducted UpaYoga classes for hundreds of thousands of people. Through your support, 25,000 people attended
the Chennai program on June 21st.
Meanwhile, ashram volunteers worked day and night to create an online buzz. Ishas social media
campaign touched at least 12 million people, the Namaskar video went viral with over 2.5 million
views and the Yoga Tools mobile app has made the Upa-Yoga practices easily available to many
more.
We also need to acknowledge the Government of India and the media who have played a huge role in
creating awareness about this day. 192 countries celebrated the occasion and India made a double
Guinness Record in Rajpath, with over 35,000 people of 84 nationalities doing yoga at a single event.
We have a lot to be proud of, but our work is not over until all the 7.2 billion people on the planet
get a taste of yoga. Let us use this International Day of Yoga as a springboard to make this into a
Yoga year. We have now entered Dakshinayana, the sadhana pada. Before the coming of the winter
solstice, make it your sadhana to use the tools offered in the form of Upa-Yoga, and ensure at least
100 more people from your end are practicing them for their wellbeing. You have the privilege of
being an active participant in raising human consciousness. May you know the joy of being a part
of this.
Love & Blessings,

18 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER

August 2015

Sixteen Years of
Dhyanalinga
It has been 16 years now since Sadhguru
completed the consecration of the Dhyanalinga
(on 24 June 1999). On Sadhguru Spot of this
day, he shared why the number 16 is of special
significance: Today marks the 16th anniversary
of the Dhyanalinga consecration. Sixteen is a
significant number in the yogic culture. When
Adiyogi transmitted his knowing, he explored and
expounded 112 ways in which a human being
can attain to his ultimate nature. But when he
saw the time it would take for his seven disciples
to grasp these 112 ways, he divided them into
seven parts. Sixteen years ago, I never imagined
I would still be around. I always planned to close
my life by 42 or 43. Here I amdisappointing
everybody.
This year again, the consecration celebrations
at the Dhyanalinga reflected the all-inclusive
nature of this unique consecrated space. For
over 12 hours, the dome resounded with music
and songs from a multitude of religious and
non-religious traditions. Throughout the day,
brahmacharis and sanyasis, ashram residents
and guests made their offerings from Aum
Namah Shivaya to Muslim chants, Christian
hymns, Gurbani kirtans, Sufi songs, and Vedic
chanting. The day culminated with a Guru Pooja
at the Dhyanalinga, which is not only a powerful
energy form but actually functions as a live Guru
for all who are willing.
An Inner Engineering teacher trainee shared the
profound impact these offerings of sound and
song had on him in a poem:

Even the birds listening


In this timeless space
An eternal chant becomes
A melody so alive infectious
Riding this sound I couldnt help
Calling back memories
From different times
Touching in deep hidden places
A birth
A river flowing Oh what a sweetness
A coming home
Drunk with a rhythm so old as time
Whirling and whirling into you
When even the birds cant escape
Let me become you

Alexander R., teacher trainee, Isha Yoga Center


August 2015

ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 19

UPCOMING PROGRAMS
AND EVENTS
Date

Program

Place

Contact

15 Aug
2015

Angamardana

Isha Place,
Jayanagar, Bangalore
India

81052 49089 / 96201 90104

Isha Place,
Jayanagar, Bangalore
India

81052 49089 / 96201 90104


bangalore@ishayoga.org

122 Aug
2015

21 Days Hatha Yoga

525 Aug
2015

Yoga Marga

Isha Yoga Center,


Velliangiri Foothills,
Coimbatore India

0422-2515464
isharejuvenation@ishafoundation.org

69 Aug
2015

Surya Kriya

Isha Place,
Jayanagar, Bangalore
India

81052 49089 / 96201 90104


bangalore@ishayoga.org

8 Aug 2015

Bhuta Shuddhi

Navarangpura,
Ahmedabad India

98797 92449
ahmedabad@ishayoga.org

812 Aug
2015

Yogasanas

Navarangpura,
Ahmedabad India

98797 92449
ahmedabad@ishayoga.org

912 Aug
2015

Surya Kriya

Navarangpura,
Ahmedabad India

98797 92449
ahmedabad@ishayoga.org

Isha Yoga Center,


Velliangiri Foothills,
Coimbatore India

94890 45164 / 0422-2515300


ieretreat@ishayoga.org

1316 Aug
2015

Inner Engineering

1516 Aug
2015

Ayur Sanjeevini

Isha Yoga Center,


Velliangiri Foothills,
Coimbatore India

0422-2515464
isharejuvenation@ishafoundation.org

1923 Aug
2015

Yogasanas

Isha Life, Mylapore,


Chennai India

83000 11000 / 044-24981185


chennai@ishayoga.org

2428 Aug
2015

Angamardana

Isha Life, Mylapore,


Chennai India

83000 11000 / 044-24981185


chennai@ishayoga.org

2730 Aug
2015

Inner Engineering
Retreat

Isha Yoga Center,


Velliangiri Foothills,
Coimbatore India

94890 45164 / 0422-2515300


ieretreat@ishayoga.org

30 Aug 2015

Bhuta Shuddhi

Isha Life, Mylapore,


Chennai India

83000 11000 / 044-24981185


chennai@ishayoga.org

Current at the time of print, however subject to change. For full program schedules and updates,
please visit our website: www.ishafoundation.org.
20 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER

August 2015

ISHA RECIPE
INGREDIENTS
For the Usal (curry):
cup moth (matki) bean sprouts
(or mung bean sprouts)
2 medium potatoes (cubed)
tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
cup chopped cabbage
10 to 12 curry leaves
1 tsp. ginger paste
1.5 tbsps. goda masala powder (recipe below)
tsp. red chili powder
1 tsp. coriander powder
1 tsp. cumin powder
1.5 tsp. seedless tamarind (soaked in cup
water)
3 tbsps. oil
Salt to taste
For the Toppings and Sides:
8 to 10 pav (soft bread rolls)
1 cup cabbage (finely chopped)
1 cup tomatoes (chopped)
2 cups savory snack mixture (like farsan or sev)
sev
1 lime (quartered)
cup coriander leaves (chopped)
cup curd/yogurt (beaten; optional)
METHOD:
Preparation of Usal:
1. Rinse the sprouts and pressure cook them
with cubed potatoes, turmeric powder, and salt.
2. Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds, then
the cumin and saut for a minute.
3. Now add the chopped cabbage and saut until
translucent, add the curry leaves and ginger
paste. Stir. Add the coriander powder, cumin
powder, red chili powder, and goda masala. Stir
and then add the drained tamarind pulp. Saut
until the raw aroma of the tamarind goes away.
4. Add the cooked and drained sprouts and
potatoes. Add 1 cup of water. Season with salt
and simmer the usal for 8 to 10 minutes on a low
flame, stirring occasionally.

August 2015

MISAL PAV

(SERVES 45)

To Serve the Misal Pav:


1. Ladle the steaming hot usal in 4 to 5 bowls.
2. Sprinkle the chopped cabbage, then the
tomatoes over the usal and garnish with the
coriander leaves.
3. Drizzle some lime juice on top and then top it
with the savory snack mixture.
4. Serve the pav bread rolls and optional curd on
the side.
Goda Masala:
1 tbsp. coriander seeds
3 tbsps. desiccated coconut
3 tbsps. sesame seeds
1 tbsp. cumin seeds
1 tbsp. black stone flower
tbsp. poppy seeds
23 dry red chilies
tsp. black pepper
5 cloves
1 inch cinnamon
1 black cardamom (only seeds)
2 green cardamoms
2 small Indian bay leaves
1 star anise (without seeds)
2 tsp. oil
Roast all the ingredients with the oil, let them
cool, and then grind them to a powder.

ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 21

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