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EDITORIAL

Dear Readers,
Corruption takes various forms and can be found in many areas of life and
human activity. Naturally, this begs the question about the state of affairs in the
field of spirituality. Read our Lead Article Integrity in Every Activity to find out
Sadhgurus view and approach to corruption. Cunning of different kinds is what
an array of characters display in this months part of our Mahabharat series: Of
Ploy, Humiliation, and Revenge.
In response to the question Were Other Cultures Aware of Shiva? Sadhguru
based his answer on the definition of Shiva as that which is not or a dimension
beyond the physical. In the article of the same title, he shares his observations
on the awareness of this dimension in different parts of the world and illustrates
this with a couple of interesting examples from his own travels.
In an excerpt from Sadhguru Spot, the Master calls attention to the immense
possibilities that Vayu The Element of Air presents, how it functions within
the human system, and how we can activate and benefit from it. In our Isha
Hatha Yoga series, Sadhguru explains the fundamental purpose and effect of
the twenty-one asanas that are taught in Ishas foundational Yogasana program,
and how all the eighty-four classical asanas can be classified into two basic
categories.
In Life before Birth, Sadhguru tackles the sensitive matters of miscarriage and
abortion, along with the question of whether we choose our parents. If we want
to do something for the wellbeing of our ancestors and others who are no more,
the upcoming Mahalaya Amavasya on 30 September presents an opportunity in
the form of the Kalabhairava Shanti at Linga Bhairavi.
Also in this issue: Free Hugs for All? on physical touch as a greeting ritual;
Sadhgurus answer to the question How Do Other Creatures Perceive Life?,
accompanied by some beautiful images of the fauna at the Isha Yoga Center;
and lastly a Barley Veggie Salad recipe that allows you to easily whip up a
great, wholesome, single-dish meal. Enjoy!

The Editorial Team
Contact the Editorial Team:
IshaForest Flower,Isha Yoga Center, Velliangiri Foothills,IshanaVihar Post,Coimbatore 641114
forestflower@ishafoundation.org
For subscription inquiries, please contact our Subscription Office:
(044) 45011137, 96770 16700 subscriptions.FF@ishafoundation.org
To change your mailing address online, visit: www.ishafoundation.org/ForestFlower
2 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER

September 2016

CONTENTS
LEAD ARTICLE

Integrity in Every Activity

MAHABHARAT

07

The Kauravas Find a New Ally

MAHABHARAT
Part 22: Of Ploy, Humiliation, and Revenge

04
4

LEAD ARTICLE
Integrity in Every Activity
Sadhguru on Keeping the Spiritual Process Corruption-Free

ISHA HATHA YOGA


Part 31: Why a Set of Twenty-One Yogasanas?

MUSINGS
Free Hugs for All?
Sadhguru on Touchy-Feely-Ness

10

Were Other Cultures Aware of Shiva?


Life before Birth

11

Sadhguru on Choosing Ones Parents, Miscarriage, and Abortion

12
13

How Do Other Creatures Perceive Life?


SHARING EXPERIENCES
When You Live Every Day
Poem by an Isha Meditator

13

SADHGURU SPOT
Vayu The Element of Air
Excerpted from Sadhguru Spot

16

NEWS & EVENTS


ISHA LIFE Health Solutions
Opening in Chennai on 1 September 2016

18

Kalabhairava Shanti
Annual Death Ritual at Linga Bhairavi

19

UPCOMING PROGRAMS & EVENTS


Isha Yoga Program Highlights

20

ISHA RECIPE
This Month: Barley Veggie Salad

21

ZEN SPEAKS
Vow Of Silence

23

September 2016

ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 3

MAHABHARAT
SERIES

PART 22

Mahabharat

Of Ploy, Humiliation, and Revenge


What has happened so far: Shakuni came up with
a plan to get rid of the Pandavas. The Kauravas
set up a palace in Kashi for the Pandavas, which
was made of highly combustible material, and
Dhritarashtra suggested that the Pandavas go
there for their spiritual pursuit. The ve brothers
and their mother Kunti went to stay in this
palace. Vidura sent them a concealed warning,
and someone to dig a tunnel for them to secretly
escape from the palace.

town came and mourned the presumed death of


the Pandavas. In Hastinapur, Dritharashtra acted
out grief. Duryodhana pretended not to eat for
three days, but he ate in private.
Everyone went into mourning, and big prayer
meetings were held. The Pandavas and Kunti had
done everything to make it look like an accidental
re. The Kauravas and their allies did not know
that their adversaries were still alive. The burnt
bodies of the Nishada woman and her sons made
it look like the Pandavas and Kunti had died.
When Kanakan, the tunnel digger, saw the charred
bodies of the Nishada woman and her ve sons,
he wondered if Kunti and her sons would ever be
absolved of this crime. Kuntis cold calculation was
that if they did not nd dead bodies, the Kauravas
would know they escaped and hunt them down. So
she had to leave six dead bodies, and she had no
qualms about doing that.

Kunti made friends with a Nishada1 woman who


had ve sons, invited them often to the palace,
fed them well, and took care of them. One fateful
night, she spiked the drinks of the guests the
Nishadha woman, her ve sons, and a spy whom
the Kauravas had sent. Once the guests were put
to sleep, the Pandavas and their mother escaped
through the tunnel, and set re to the palace.
The spy, the tribal woman, and her ve sons were
burnt to death. Vidura had sent people who helped
the Pandavas escape. There is an incredible
description in the Mahabharat that says, They
got into a boat where a veiled accomplice was
waiting. Bhima was looking for the oars, but there
were none. The accomplice handled a few levers,
and the boat started humming quietly and moving
upstream. They were amazed. They did not know
if this was real or if they were already dead.
A boat that hums and goes upstream without oars
sounds like a description of a motorboat. We do not
know if they imagined this, if they really had one, if
they imported one from elsewhere, or if someone
had such a forward-looking vision that they could
see that after ve thousand years, someone will
build a motor boat. Anyway they went upstream
and then deep into the jungle. When the palace
burnt down and they secretly escaped, the whole
4 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER

They covered their tracks and retreated into the


jungle. Many things happened there. One important
event was that one day, a rakshasa, a wild, maneating beast of a man, saw the ve brothers and
their mother, and wanted to eat them. But instead
of that, Bhima killed him in a big ght, and the
rakshasas sister, Hidimbi, fell in love with Bhima.
She was a forest creature. Bhima civilized her a
little bit, trimmed her hair and gave her a waxing,
made her look attractive, fell in love with her, and
wanted to marry her. He lusted after her but felt a
little guilty because his elder brother was not yet
married.
Yudhishtira absolved him. He said, Yes, the

A hill tribe
September 2016

convention says the elder brother should marry


rst, but the heart follows no convention, and we
bow down to that. You can marry Hidimbi. No one
else wanted to have anything to do with her. Hidimbi
stayed with Bhima for a year and bore a child who
was completely bald at birth and had a head like
a pot or ghatam. They called him Ghatotkacha,
which means pot-headed and hairless. He was a
huge baby. Later on, he was very useful in battle,
because he became a great warrior of enormous
strength. Kunti saw that Bhima was getting too
domesticated. She knew if he continued to live
with his wife, the brothers would separate at some
point. If the brothers separated, they would never
get the kingdom. So she came up with a stricture:
You cannot live with this rakshasa woman she
is not an Arya. And she took Bhima and his four
brothers from the forest to a small town called
Ekachakra.
When the Pandavas and Kunti were staying
in Ekachakra, a man-eating rakshasa named
Bakasura established himself near the town. He
started ravaging the city. He picked up people,
animals, and whatever came his way, and ate them
all up. Then the town council made a deal with
him, that once a week, they will send a cartload of
food, and two bullocks and a man along with it. So
he had the food and the man as a dessert. It was
agreed upon that in turn, the man-eater would not
attack the town anymore and spare the rest of the
people. Within the town, they made an arrangement
that every week, one family had to cook a cartload
of food, and had to send two bulls and a man
from their family. But Bakasuras appetite was
insatiable. Bhima volunteered to go to him. In a
erce ght, he defeated and killed Bakasura.
When Bakasura was dead and almost a year had
passed since the palace of resin burnt down, the
Pandavas knew that they had to come out from
their hiding place. Since they were presumed dead,
someone could easily kill them without anyone
suspecting anything, so they had to plan their
return very cautiously. Once, they were in the forest
and came near a lake. They wanted to drink water
from it, but there was the gandharva Ankaraparna
who claimed he owned the lake. Knowing that
Arjuna was a great archer, he challenged him to
a duel, saying, You have to duel with me before
you drink water from my lake. After a erce duel,
the gandharva was defeated and fell unconscious.
September 2016

Arjuna, according to his dharma as a warrior, had to


put him to death, because leaving a man defeated
was considered putting him to shame.
A Kshatriya usually did not want to live on after
being defeated he would rather die. Arjuna got
ready to behead him. Then Ankaraparnas wife,
Kumbinashi, came and begged Arjuna, He is not
a Kshatriya. He has no problem with continuing to
live after being defeated. As his wife, I am begging
you, please spare his life because his dharma is not
yours, nor is your dharma his. So he need not be
killed. Arjuna spared his life. When the Gandharva
returned to consciousness, out of gratitude,
he offered many gifts to Arjuna, including one
hundred horses and other things that a Kshatriya
values. And he told them one hundred stories of
wisdom. Out of these stories, we will pick one that
is particularly signicant for the Pandavas and
their future.
Ankaraparna narrates the story of Shakti, the
son of the legendary sage Vashishta, who plays
an important role in the Ramayan. Shakti was
travelling through the forest and at some point
came to a stream with a narrow bridge. When he
was just about to get onto the bridge, he saw a king
named Kalmasapada had already entered it from
the other side. One of them had to make way. The
king said to Shakti, I came here rst. Make way for
me! Shakti, who was full of pride about who his
father was, said, You make way! I am a Brahman
I am higher than you. And he cursed Kalmasapada
to become a rakshasa. The king turned into a maneating rakshasa and devoured Shakti on the spot.
Vashishta was despondent about having lost his
son, particularly because it was he, Vashishta,
who had empowered him with the ability to give
boons and curses. Shakti gave the wrong curse
to the wrong man, and as a result, got eaten up
himself. Shaktis son, Parashara, grew up under
the tutelage of his grandfather, Vashishta. When
he came to know about what had happened to his
father, the young boy wanted to take revenge. He
planned to perform a yagna2 that would destroy
all the man-eating tribes in the land. Vashishta
urged him to drop this idea: Your father cursed
2

Sacrificial fire

ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 5

someone, and that curse ate him up. If you are


trying to take revenge now, it will lead to an endless
spiral of revenge. Do not pursue the rakshasa
pursue what is valuable to you. Parashara took
his advice and became a great sage and the father
of Vyasa, who plays an important role in the whole
story of Mahabharat. Ankaraparna told this story to
the Pandavas because he saw the rage and hatred
in their hearts.
They got deceived many times, in many different
ways. Above all, several attempts were made upon
their lives, and this most recent, particularly blatant
one was aimed at all ve of them, including their
mother. They were raging for revenge. After telling
them this story, Ankaraparna concluded by giving
them the following advice: Dont waste your time
and energy on revenge. You can be kings. So rst
get yourself a priest, then get a wife, then get land,
build your own city, and be kings. Dont pursue
revenge. After hearing this story, they became a
little more cautious about taking revenge, but it did
not leave their hearts. First, they looked for a priest.
They went to Dhaumya, Devala Munis younger
brother, who lived in a nearby ashram, and asked
him to become their family priest.
In Dwapara Yuga, it was very important to have
a family priest, because powerful yagnas needed
to be performed for every occasion. They found
a competent and effective priest in Dhaumya,
who was always by their side from that moment
onwards. Then the Pandavas heard that King
Drupada of Panchala had called for a swayamvara,
which means a princess would choose her husband
from an assembly of suitors. As a young boy,
Drupada had studied along with Drona under the
tutelage of the sage Bharadwaja, Dronas father.
Drupada and Drona became close friends. One day,
when they were thirteen years of age, Drupada and
Drona promised each other, Whatever wealth we
gather, whatever we achieve in our lives we will
share it with each other.
After the years of training were over, Drupada went
back to Panchala to become the king. Drona went
out to make his own life and got married to Kripi,
Kripacharyas sister. They had a son whose name
was Ashwatthama. He was called Ashwatthama
because when he was born, he laughed like a
horse. Ashwa means a horse so he was the one

6 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER

who laughed or expressed himself like a horse. In


those pastoral societies, milk was almost like the
staple food. But Ashwatthamas family was so
poor, having neither land nor cows, that this young
boy had never even seen milk. Once when he went
to town, he saw other boys drinking milk and asked
them what it was. They realized he had never
seen milk before. So they mixed some rice dough
in water and gave it to Ashwathama. He drank it
happily, thinking that it was milk.
The other boys made fun of him, because he did
not even know what milk was. When Drona came
to know about this incident, he became very angry
and desperate. Then he remembered that his friend
Drupada, who was a great king now, had promised
him that he would share everything with him. He
went to Drupadas court and said, You remember
the promise we made each other. You must give
me one half of your kingdom. Many years had
passed since that promise.

Dont waste your time and energy on revenge.

Drupada looked at Drona and said, You are a poor


Brahmin. You are incensed because of the insult
that happened to your son. I will give you a cow.
Take it and go. If you want more, I will give you two.
But how can you as a Brahmin come up to me and
ask me for half of my kingdom? Drona said, I am
asking for half of your empire, not for a cow. I do not
want your charity. I have come here because we are
friends. Then Drupada said, Friendship happens
between equals. An emperor and a beggar cannot
be friends. You can only take charity. If you want,
take the cow otherwise leave. Burning with rage,
Drona left, and swore revenge.
To be continued

September 2016

LEAD ARTICLE

Integrity in Every Activity


Sadhguru on Keeping the Spiritual Process Corruption-Free
Questioner: Namaskaram, Sadhguru. There is
widespread corruption in our social environment.
How to make sure that an organization that
grows as rapidly as Isha does not fall prey to
corruption?
Sadhguru: Corruption can occur in so many
ways not just about money. For me, it is already
corruption, if, let us say, you are supposed to be
here at 6:15, but you sneak in at 6:16 and sit
in the front. This is how particular I am about
this matter. In Isha, we are clamping down on
corruption most drastically. Even with people
who have been here for many years, and for whom
I otherwise have immense regard and respect,
just the smallest act of nepotism or favoritism,
and we pull them down to square one. Some
of them understand that it is a good lesson for
them. Those who do not understand will leave. It
has always been our way to consciously keep the
organization slim and effective. The fundamental
reason is to ensure that the spiritual movement
does not become corrupt.
There was a time when, if someone on the
spiritual path spoke or did something, even if
people did not quite understand it, still they had
the necessary trust to look at it with absolute
openness, because integrity and spiritual process
were synonymous. Unfortunately, in recent
September 2016

times, many spiritual leaders and organizations


have earned the reputation that today, if you
say, Im spiritual, people think you need to be
investigated. In this context, meeting spiritual
leaders from across the country has been a
real eye-opener for me. There are a few truly
wonderful people. But the majority is absolutely
innocent of integrity, and this lack of integrity
perpetuates itself among their followers. Their
idea of spirituality is to be slimy and slippery,
and they misuse the theories of maya and karma
to justify their acts of corruption.
The word spiritual is used too loosely today, for
all kinds of things, which I think is a shame. For
ages, spirituality meant people looked East, to
India. We must reestablish India as the spiritual
gateway that it used to be. Nowhere else on
the planet have people spent as much time and
focus to look at the inner mechanisms of human
beings as we have done here. It is not just the
popular expressions of spirituality that you
commonly see, but rather a spiritual process in
a multitude of hues, colors, and forms. Beautiful
ways, horrendous ways; socially acceptable
ways, socially unacceptable ways; pleasant
ways, unpleasant ways every kind. Nowhere
else have so many ways in which human
beings can evolve been explored in this depth
and dimension.
ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 7

If we want to put the spiritual process back on


the pedestal where it belongs, where people
can look up to it, trust it, and embrace it, we
have to enforce integrity. I have been constantly
stressing on integrity with people who live in the
ashram and others who are actively involved
with us. If we do not enforce integrity now, we
will not leave a legacy that is worthwhile for
future generations to cherish. This is the most
important work that needs to happen right now.
We are working hard upon maintaining integrity.
Here and there, some corruption may crop up,
which means it requires constant weeding. If you
think that what we have to offer is valuable, it
is your and everyones business to see to it that
there is no corruption here. It is your business to
see that if there is a line, you stand in line. It is
your business not to take advantage of people
around you. That is the atmosphere you have to
establish and maintain. Integrity is not only an

8 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER

individual quality it is also about establishing


an atmosphere of integrity.
If you really value the spiritual process as
something that can transform your life and
those of future generations, it is your business
to ensure there is integrity in every activity,
wherever it happens. Anything concerned with
Isha and the spiritual process must be one
hundred percent straight. I never wanted to start
an organization. I thought I will consecrate the
Dhyanalinga and disappear. Here I am with you,
managing all kinds of things, punishing people
for acts of corruption this is really not my way.
But I know that unless we establish absolute
integrity, we will not create anything worthwhile.

September 2016

ISHA HATHA YOGA

Part 31:

Why a Set of Twenty-One Yogasanas?


Questioner: Pranam, Sadhguru. For the basic
Yogasana program that is taught in Isha Hatha
Yoga, you have chosen twenty-one out of the
altogether eighty-four classical asanas. Why did
you choose these particular ones?
Sadhguru: They teach you a series of twentyone asanas because if you start drinking, you
always start with a quarter. Right now, you may
think yoga is painful, but it can actually be highly
intoxicating. Therefore, we start with a quarter.
The full set of eighty-four would be too much to
start with. Among the asanas, there are some
that are preparatory in nature, which means
they are part of the sadhana pada. And there
are others that are tools for transformation,
and as such part of the kaivalya pada. There
are times of the year that correspond to these
two padas. The first quarter of the asanas are
geared towards preparing the system. Suppose
we want to infuse you with an enormous amount
of energy, your system should be ready for that.
One simple way of looking at this is there is
a physical body, a karmic or mental body, and
an energy body. To use an analogy, though it is
not a perfect one, you could think of these three
bodies as castings that are one inside the other.
Suppose we boost your energy body in big way,
which we eventually want to do if the other two
bodies do not give way, something will break.
So the first step is to make the body conducive,
which can be approached in different ways. One
September 2016

simple way is to practice Bhuta Shuddhi. The


five elements are always transacting, across the
boundaries of the body. At least with the air that
you breathe, you can feel it.
This constant transaction happens on all levels.
You can also see it in the way the outside
temperature can change the temperature of your
body. That means there is a transaction of the
fire element. When it comes to the food and water
that you consume, there is a transaction on the
level of the earth element and the water element.
This transaction not only happens to the extent
that you are able to notice but in a much more
fundamental way. The elemental dimension of
who you are does not respect the boundaries
that you have drawn.
The boundaries of what you consider as you
are purely physiological and psychological in
nature. On the elemental level, there are no
boundaries. Yoga means to erase the boundaries
of you as an individual. Because oneness is the
way life is, and we want to know life the way it
is. The idea of a division between you and me
is imaginary. As air is moving all over the place,
so is everything else in different ways. The
quantum of elements in you varies from day to
day. Transaction happens all the time.
A lot of the eighty-four asanas are aimed towards
enhancing your energies. Before you boost
your energy in a big way, a certain amount of
ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 9

preparation, expansion, and transparence needs


to happen to ensure the body and the mind will
be able to take it. Boosting your energies without
sufficiently preparing your body and your mind
would be like putting more air into a balloon
than it can hold. The first series will wear the
boundaries of your body and mind thin, so that
you become increasingly conscious that the
idea of this is me that is you exists only for

practical purposes. On a more fundamental level,


there is no absolute boundary between this
and that.

For dates and details of Isha Hatha Yoga programs,


visit www.ishahathayoga.com.

MUSINGS

Free Hugs for All?


Sadhguru on Touchy-Feely-Ness
Questioner: In the Indian culture, physical contact
and touching is less common than in the US for
example. What are your views on hugs or physical
contact, especially with people outside the family?
Sadhguru: People want to express their emotions,
and there are a whole lot of people who need that
expression of emotion from others. If you are from
an Indian background, this is generally not seen as
necessary because most of us are over pampered
at home, so we do not ask for it outside. I think it
is not a question of culture but of individual need.
An embrace is a way of including another person
as a part of you. Let that happen spontaneously.
When you truly feel like it and you hug someone, it
10 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER

is wonderful. But there is no need for it to become


a social norm, where every time you see people,
you have to hug them. Then the beauty of it is lost.
Hugging or touching everyone you see is definitely
not a good thing to do. Especially if you want to
organize your energies in a certain way, being
in physical contact with lots of people every
day is not supportive. But if it comes as a deep
expression of how you feel about others, it is a
beautiful act.

September 2016

Sadhguru in Konya, Turkey

Sadhguru in Delphi, Greece

Questioner: Why do other cultures not speak


about Shiva?
Sadhguru: In most other cultures, the moment
you got enlightened, you got slaughtered. But
there was no enlightened being who did not
talk about Shiva, in the sense of a boundless
dimension, or something beyond physical
nature. The only difference is they may have
expressed it in the language and the symbolism
of their region. Here, we had an atmosphere to
create a scientifically structured language that
represents an entire system of sounds. One of
the greatest things that human beings have
done in these thousands of years of civilization
is that every culture has developed an elaborate
language to express a wide variety of aspects
and things.
In this culture, we did not attach too much
significance to the meaning, but we attached
enormous significance to the reverberations
that we generate. Meaning exists only in human
minds sound exists in the universe. Because
of this, we evolved language in such a way that
it is first of all about sound you can attach
meanings to it later. So we arrived at the right
kinds of sounds, and we described everything the
way it is. But in every culture, there are instances
where they talk about similar things.
Because of very aggressive ways of spreading
religion around the world in the last thousand
or thousand five hundred years, most of the
great cultures of the past, like the ancient
Mesopotamian civilization, the Central Asian
civilizations, and the North African civilizations,
have disappeared. Because of that, it is not
September 2016

Were Other
Cultures
Aware of Shiva?

very visible anymore, but if you look deeper into


history, it was everywhere. For example in Konya,
Turkey, the place where Rumi lived the last part
of his life and died, there is a mausoleum with his
remains. When I went there once, I saw a large
linga lying outside.
It was damaged at one end, but still alive at
the other end after maybe two thousand
five hundred or three thousand years. Another
example is Delphi, Greece, which was known as
the Navel of the Earth because a manipuraka1
linga was established there. It was consecrated
about four thousand two hundred years ago.
Now the linga got moved to the museum. It used
to have a mercury core. When really bad things
happened there, the mercury dissipated. That
is why there is a hole through the linga today.
This will not happen in your lifetime, but if it so
happens in the future that the people living here
and managing the Isha Yoga Center are doing
things fundamentally wrong, then all the mercury
lingas will melt away. This is a kind of safeguard,
to ensure that people will know that this is not
the place to go anymore. Right now, this is the
place to go.
So, in some way, mystical sciences used to be
present in every culture. But in the last thousand
five hundred years, they were largely lost in other
parts of the world.

One of the seven main energy centers within the


human system, located just below the naval
1

ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 11

Life before Birth


Sadhguru on Choosing Ones Parents,
Miscarriage, and Abortion

Questioner: Namaskaram Sadhguru. I think you


have said that we choose our parents, and Im
wondering how miscarriage and abortion plays
in, in this context.
Sadhguru: About choosing our parents in this
culture, we can even choose our god, you know.
Actually, everywhere it is a choice people have
forgotten that. This happened in Tennessee on
a Sunday morning. Two young brothers were
waiting in the kitchen. Their mother was making
pancakes. Both of them were fighting over who
should get the first one. The mother thought this
was a good time to teach them a moral lesson.
She said, If it was Jesus, he would have offered
the first pancake to the other and he would have
said, I shall wait for my turn. One of the boys
looked at the other and said, You be Jesus!
Everything in existence is happening by choice.
The question is only, is it a conscious choice or
an unconscious one? To give an example if
a bee is approaching a particular flower, it is a
choice, but not a conscious one. The bee is acting
compulsively. Similarly, you unconsciously
chose your parents.
When one life is drawn to another, it could be
either a conscious or an unconscious choice.
Once we become human, we have the possibility
to make every choice in our lives a conscious
process. Now that you are already born, you
cannot consciously choose your parents
anymore, but you can become conscious
of the unconscious choices that you made.
The significance of that is that you come to a
profound experiential understanding that these
things are not God-given. You made this choice
with eyes closed. Had you done it with eyes
open, maybe you would have done it differently.
But because the choice was made with eyes
closed, it happened the way it did. Our parents
nourished us, we grew up, we are immensely
grateful to them, and that is about it. If you take
it beyond that, it is like going through life with
your umbilical cord still connected. That means
12 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER

you are not going beyond your biological limits.


About miscarriages and abortions because
we attach so much emotion to our biology,
we make it a bigger issue than it actually is.
In the production line, some mistakes and
disruptions happen sometimes accidentally,
sometimes intentionally. It is just a disruption
in the production line either by accident or by
intent. This production line of living beings has
been working continuously for million years.
There have been small disruptions, and for
some creatures like the dinosaurs, it broke, but
generally, it has been working most efficiently.
Do not make a big deal out of a small disruption.
Whether it is miscarriage, abortion, or even
death on the larger scale of existence, it is
just a small disruption. Because you attach such
significance to your biological presence, you
think these are big events they are not.

Whether it is miscarriage, abortion, or even


death on the larger scale of existence, it is
just a small disruption.

In the journey of your being, dropping of a body,


taking on another body, having a miscarriage,
and again going for it is not such a big thing. On
a physiological or biological level it is on an
existential level, it is not. Only if you are super
identified with your biology, it becomes a big
thing. We value life when it is here. When it is
gone, it is gone. This is not to philosophize this
is the fact of life. If the body breaks, the being
will go. And the body can break for a thousand
reasons. Similarly, when the body is being
formed in the mothers womb, it can break for
many reasons. Do not make it too big an issue.

September 2016

How Do Other Creatures Perceive Life?


Questioner: If plants and animals could express themselves like we can, what would they think
about us right now?
Sadhguru: You wouldnt want to know. [Laughter] They feel pain, suffering, everything but
fortunately for them, the memory of most other creatures is not as vivid as ours. Because of this,
like some of these New Age teachers are saying, they are more in the moment. You actually cannot
be anywhere else. What these people mean is, do not think about the past and the future, which is
the way most creatures are. Animals are busy with the present. Only human beings use the memory
of their experiences in life and project it to create something, because human life is not about
adaptation it is about creating what we want. So, other creatures do not think much of you I am
just joking. They do not think much about you.

Impressions of Nature at the Isha Yoga Center

Sharing Experiences
When You Live Everyday
Poem by an Isha Meditator
When you live every day like it is the last day of your life
When a few days old clarity becomes a joke
The space within where nothing matters, and without where
everything should and does
From involvement to entanglement to wanting-to-cross.
Patching leakages
Making space
In He pours.
Too much to bear
I break and brake
September 2016

ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 13

The Hand
So obvious
Me still braking
When I dont know how to cross my barriers
When all I can do is just wait and wait
Although in jitters,
Hand not enough,
Grace lifts me up
To brightness.
Taken.
My devotion not mine.
My trust not mine.
Built by Him,
Ready all over again by Grace,
Him still there,
I move from trading time for money
To time for life.
Looking back,
Every conversation is Him
Everyone becomes Shambho
In awe
Of the resistance that builds up moment-to-moment
To willingness I switch,
In openness, things fall in place,
In openness, I am in contact again
And game for life.
Memory seems harmless
Until it becomes a killer imagination.
Beyond mind that He is,
There is really nothing to do
But to just be.
In awe
Of how people can be in different extremes.
Wishing people the best
Makes me realize every time that I should be at my best.
With the seat of experience within,
No time to judge,
Just longing to grow.
The longing also you and yours,
Shambho!!
You are my only hope.

-Aparna Iyer, Isha volunteer, Coimbatore

14 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER

September 2016

SADHGURU SPOT

Vayu The
Element of Air
Excerpted from Sadhguru Spot of
3 August 2016

In the yogic tradition, we refer to air as vayu,


which not just means air as a mixture of nitrogen,
oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other gases, but as
a dimension of movement. Among the five basic
elements earth, fire, water, air, and ether
which make us and everything in the universe, air
is the most accessible and relatively the easiest
element to gain reasonable mastery over. Hence,
a large number of yogic practices are structured
around vayu or air, though in the composition of
the body, air makes up only a small percentage.
Most of the yogic practices that involve an
element of breathing are aimed towards vayu or
prana vayu. Vayu is the element prana vayu
is one of the pancha pranas. We are in a womb
of prana, which is the atmospheric bubble.
This larger prana breaks down into eighty-four
pranas. Out of these, five pranas can cover the
day-to-day requirements of most human beings.

The area between the navel and the pit of the


throat is the main activity zone of prana.

These pancha pranas are sufficient to keep your


body and mind well, and yourself spiritually alive.
Another ten are needed for someone who is
into occult practices. The remaining pranas are
generally too subtle to explore and experience.
The prana vayu is an inward movement between
September 2016

the pit of the throat and the navel. At least sixty


percent of the process of Shakti Chalana Kriya
that we teach is aimed towards prana vayu. We
focus on this element because the quality of the
air that we breathe and how we breathe largely
determines peoples surface experience of life.
I would say almost ninety-nine percent of the
people today are only concerned about how
to navigate their way through the world in a
reasonably pleasant and successful manner.
There are very few who seek to become
perceptive to another dimension of life. In this
context, vayu and prana vayu become most
significant, because a certain level of mastery
over prana instantly enhances the sharpness of
the intellect. That means the practice of Shakti
Chalana Kriya can leave you a little smarter. Your
emotions get a little more stable, organized, and
sweet. And you can do some physical activity
better than you used to. For most people, these
three aspects are all they want in life.
ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 15

The impact of the air that we breathe is very


immediate. You can go without food for eight
to ten days without causing damage to the
system. You can go without water for up to
three-and-a-half days without causing damage
to the system. But most people can go without
air for only three-and-a-half to five minutes.
With some practice, you can stay without air
for longer periods, but this involves a little bit of
cheating. If you manage to keep your metabolic
activity very low, you do not need to breathe
through your nostrils but you breathe through
your skin. As there is perspiration, there is also
respiration, or movement of air through the skin.
If you substantially activate the prana vayu, you
can survive for a longer period of time without
breathing through your nostrils.

Yogic practices that focus on vayu give


instant results especially on the level of
your mind and emotions.

In this context, the Shakti Chalana Kriya is a


phenomenal practice. We have taught it to a few
million people over the years. If all of them had
kept it up and grown with it, the world would
have changed by now. Growing with it means
if your practice was initially only forty minutes,
over time, you extend it to one-and-a-half to
two hours. If, let us say, at least one hundred
thousand people were doing Shakti Chalana
Kriya the way it should be done, it would already
change the atmosphere in the world.

eat food within an hour and a half, or a


maximum of four hours after cooking.

So, what can we do with air? We can pollute it. We


can purify it. Above all, we can use air as a force
of transformation in our lives. There is a certain
immediacy about air or vayu, which makes it very
responsive and gives it the ability to transform
or to bring about changes very quickly. And of all
the elements, wind is the one that can generate
16 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER

maximum force. That is true both in the outside


atmosphere and within the human system. If you
learn to activate it, it will make you phenomenally
strong not necessarily in terms of muscular
strength but in terms of life. A certain amount
of sadhana is needed to activate the prana
vayu. The standard is that generally, if you do
1,008 days of Shakti Chalana Kriya without a
break, then your prana reaches a certain level of
activity. The sheer energy that you carry will set
you apart.
You will seem to have a limitless amount of energy.
There is no such thing as limitless energy, though
only in other peoples perception, it appears
like that. If your prana vayu is really active, you
will be able to manage your time well. Life is a
combination of time and energy. If you keep your
energy or the prana vayu very intense, you will
seem to have more time. Activity will happen out
of the effervescence of your energy, not out of
effort. If you keep up the Shakti Chalana Kriya,
your ability to be active will increase immensely.

The idea of taking charge of the element of


air is to bring about health and an instant
sense of wellbeing.

Today, an increasing number of people need to


take longer breaks from their work, in the sense
of sabbaticals and the like. This need arises
when you do not manage your prana vayu well,
and there are many reasons to it. One thing is if
you eat food that generates gas or air in the lower
belly, below the navel or manipuraka, it disturbs
the movement of air or vayu from the navel to
the pit of the throat. The area between the navel
and the pit of the throat is the main activity zone
of prana. When you eat bad food and have gas,
you will experience a great lack of energy in the
system, because the prana vayu will not function
well. You have gotten the air in the wrong place.
It should move between the navel and the pit of
the throat in this area, it is powerful.
If the prana vayu moves below the navel, the
effervescence in life is gone. The body feels like a
sack of potatoes. By the way potatoes literally
September 2016

cause inertia in the system because they lower


the prana vayu. And of course, any food that
is moving towards putrefaction has the same
effect. This includes food that you buy in the
supermarket, which is stored for long periods of
time, and has no pranic value. Even if it is not yet
beyond the expiration date, it is slowly moving
towards putrefaction. In the yogic culture, one
important aspect of managing the prana vayu
is to eat food within an hour and a half, or a
maximum of four hours after cooking. Certain
substances must be eaten even more quickly,
or else they will create gas in the system. Once
there is gas in your system, you cannot master
your prana vayu.

Vayu or air is the best dimension to work with


for part-time yogis, because it is relatively
easy to master.

Not only yogic practices even the way you keep


yourself, the way you breathe, walk, sit, and stand
can help you gain a certain amount of control over
prana vayu. Every human being has some control
over the five elements otherwise, you would not
be alive. For life to move to a higher possibility,
having mastery over the elements is important.
Vayu or air is the best dimension to work with
for part-time yogis, because it is relatively easy
to master. Yogic practices that focus on vayu
give instant results especially on the level
of your mind and emotions. By increasing the
prana vayu, you can solve mental problems. The
mind will get much more organized. But even
if you master the element of air, your karmic
mill will still keep rolling. Generally, it will move
even faster than before, because it has a clear
run now. That means your karma is getting
worked out faster but you may have a more
eventful life.

the element of air, the element of fire will partially


come along with it. A lot of people lack fire, which
is a big problem in life. They may do things, but
nothing will come out of it. Once the fire is on, you
are much better than the way you were. Though
fire only makes up a small percentage of the
human system, in many ways, it is everything.
It also gets you closer to the subtle element
of ether.

The process of activating vayu is an


important step in ones growth.

Vayu has a great influence on all the day-today things that people aspire for. The process
of activating vayu is an important step in ones
growth. Vayu-based practices can bring you a
higher level of intellectual capability, energy, and
effectiveness in the world.
Love & Grace,

The idea of taking charge of the element of air


is to bring about health and an instant sense of
wellbeing. If you activate vayu and it reaches a
certain peak, naturally agni or the fire element
will follow to some extent maybe to twentyfive to thirty percent. If you have mastery over
September 2016

ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 17

NEWS & EVENTS

Allopathy Ayurveda Siddha Yoga

ISHA LIFE Health


Solutions

Opening in Chennai on 1 September 2016


On 1 September 2016, the rst Isha LIFE Health
Solutions clinic will open in Chennai. With a novel,
integrated approach, the center will offer the best
of different health systems to optimize treatment
outcomes for the patient.
What is the current crux of healthcare in today?
The delivery of healthcare in India, and in fact
most of the world, is fragmented between various
systems of medicine modern or allopathic
medicine, Ayurveda, Siddha, and so on. Since the
practitioners of these different systems do not
collaborate with each other and the patient may
not be aware of what system is best suited to treat
a particular condition, treatment outcomes are
often not satisfying.
What are the strengths of the different health
systems?
Allopathy:
Objective diagnosis
Acute management of symptoms
Ayurveda/Siddha:
Constitutional treatment based on accurate
nadi pariksha (pulse diagnosis) for correction
of aberrations (doshas) in chronic and recurrent
conditions
Yoga and Dietetics:
Lifestyle changes for sustained wellbeing

What does Isha LIFE Health Solutions offer?


In a unique approach, Isha LIFE Health Solutions
offers integrative health solutions that utilize the
strengths of different health systems in such a way
that they complement each other and produce the
best treatment outcomes. Based on this principle,
Isha Arogya Research Foundation is setting up
Isha LIFE Health Solutions clinics across India,
beginning in Chennai.
Who should seek integrated health solutions?
Patients, especially those with chronic lifestyle
disorders, who are:
Taking treatment but nding no relief especially
with pain-related conditions such as lower back
pain, joint pain, migraine, neck pain, etc.
Taking treatment, nding some relief, but suffering
side effects especially with conditions such
as diabetes and obesity, hormonal disorders,
gynecological disorders, neurological disorders
like Parkinsons disease, depression, anxiety,
stress disorders, etc.
Taking treatment, nding relief, experiencing
no side effects, but realize that their disease
continues unabated, since even missing one
or two doses of medicine causes recurrence of
symptoms especially with conditions such as
hypertension, cardiac diseases, skin conditions,
allergies, psoriasis, etc.
Those who wish to avoid the above pitfalls
Where can one nd Isha LIFE Health Solutions?
Isha LIFE Health Solutions is opening its rst
Center at #2, Clubhouse Road, Chennai 600 002
(opp. TAJ Club House, near Spencer Plaza mall),
just off Mount Road (Anna Salai), in a four-story,
14,500 sq. ft. building.
Where can one nd Isha LIFE Health Solutions?
Isha LIFE Health Solutions is opening its rst
Center at #2, Clubhouse Road, Chennai 600 002
(opp. TAJ Club House, near Spencer Plaza mall),
just off Mount Road (Anna Salai), in a four-story,
14,500 sq. ft. building.
What can one expect at Isha LIFE
Health Solutions?
The Isha LIFE Health Solutions center offers
a completely stress-free healing experience that

18 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER

September 2016

can be sustained through diet and lifestyle changes


for your entire life. The center offers:

Fully stocked
Pharmacy*

Joint consultation with highly qualied Allopathy


(MD/MRCP) and Ayurveda/Siddha (MD) doctors

*Free home delivery

Diet consultation and guidance by an expert


dietician and prescribed foods at our Organic
Health Store*
Yoga consultation (including free introduction to
Yoga) with dedicated Isha Hatha Yoga teachers
offering customized modules as per individual
needs and abilities
Dedicated patient advisor throughout for roundthe-clock support

Allopathy,

Ayurveda,

Siddha

How to make an appointment?


Isha LIFE Health Solutions is open
appointments from 1 September 2016.

for

Call +91 44-71645333, Call/WhatsApp to


+91 83000 45333 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. or
leave a missed call and your call will be returned.
For Isha meditators, their families and referrals,
doctor consultation is free as an initial offering,
until further notice.

Full-service diagnostic support with home


collection of blood samples

Kalabhairava Shanti
Annual Death Ritual at Linga Bhairavi

On Mahalaya Amavasya 30 September 2016

Kalabhairava Shanti is a process established by


Sadhguru to create wellbeing for the deceased. This
process is conducted every year on the auspicious
new moon night of Mahalaya Amavasya at Linga
Bhairavi. It is specically designed for departed
family members and loved ones, ancestors, and
the wellbeing of the family. In Indian culture, death
rituals were carefully crafted to not only facilitate
the smooth transition of a being from one stage of
life to another, but also to bring about their spiritual
evolution.

the scanned photograph(s) of your departed


relative(s) or ancestor(s), along with their dates
of birth and death. If the exact date of birth is
not available, at least the birth year should be
given.If the year is also not available, then the
names of their parents (both father and mother)
will sufce.

For the Kalabhairava Shanti, a photograph of


the deceased is required, along with the date of
birth and death. If you are unable to attend the
process in person, you can send an email with

For more details, please call 83000 83111, send


an email to info@lingabhairavi.org, or ll out the
online inquiry form: lingabhairavi.org/enquiry

September 2016

It is also possible to register in advance, so that the


annual Kalabhairava Shanti process on Mahalaya
Amavasya will be done for the next 10 years.

ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 19

UPCOMING PROGRAMS AND EVENTS

Date

Program

Place

Contact

511 Sep
2016

Ayur Sampoorna

Isha Yoga Center,


Velliangiri Foothills,
Coimbatore India

0422-2515464 / 94890 45084


isharejuvenation@
ishafoundation.org

1114 Sep
2016

Inner Engineering
Retreat

Isha Yoga Center,


Velliangiri Foothills,
Coimbatore India

94890 45164 / 0422-2515300


ieretreat@ishayoga.org

1216 Sep
2016

Diabetes Management
Program

Isha Yoga Center,


Velliangiri Foothills,
Coimbatore India

0422-2515464 / 94890 45084


isharejuvenation@
ishafoundation.org

14 Sep
5 Oct 2016

21-Day Hatha Yoga


Program

Isha Place, Jayanagar,


Bangalore India

80951 63111 / 99720 09177


bangalore@ishayoga.org

1518 Sep
2016

Inner Engineering
Retreat (Isha Life)

Isha Life, Mylapore,


Chennai India

94442 30403
chennai.retreat@ishayoga.org

1518 Sep
2016

Inner Engineering
Retreat (Isha Life)

The Delhi Center,


Andheria Mor,
Delhi India

98100 69160 / 98108 07460


delhi@ishayoga.org

1618 Sep
2016

Guru Pooja Training

Alpa Bachat Sanskrutik Bhavan,


Pune India

77559 94389 / 95455 27773


pune@ishayoga.org

1719 Sep
2016

Ayur Rasayana

Isha Yoga Center,


Velliangiri Foothills,
Coimbatore India

0422-2515464 / 94890 45084


isharejuvenation@
ishafoundation.org

2225 Sep
2016

Inner Engineering
Retreat

Isha Yoga Center,


Velliangiri Foothills,
Coimbatore India

94890 45164 / 0422-2515300


ieretreat@ishayoga.org

22 Sep
12 Oct 2016

Yoga Marga

Isha Yoga Center,


Velliangiri Foothills,
Coimbatore India

0422-2515464 / 94890 45084


isharejuvenation@
ishafoundation.org

29 Sep
2 Oct 2016

Inner Engineering
Retreat

Isha Yoga Center,


Velliangiri Foothills,
Coimbatore India

9489045164 / 0422-2515300
ieretreat@ishafoundation.org

29 Sep 2016

Pancha Bhuta
Aradhana

Isha Yoga Center,


Velliangiri Foothills,
Coimbatore India

94878 95878 / 0422-2515425


pba@ishafoundation.org

30 Sep 2016

Kalabhairava Shanti

Isha Yoga Center,


Velliangiri Foothills,
Coimbatore India

83000 83111
info@lingabhairavi.org

2023 Oct
2016

Bhava Spandana with


Sadhguru

Isha Institute of Inner-sciences,


McMinnville, TN USA

+1 931-668-1900
registration@ishausa.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

September 2016

ISHA RECIPE

BARLEY VEGGIE SALAD


Barley Veggie Salad
(Serves 5 to 6)

INGREDIENTS
250 g pearl barley
150 g black chickpeas (kala chana)
2 tomatoes diced
2 capsicums diced
cup black olives sliced
cup walnuts crushed
1 medium Zucchini diced

610 fresh basil leaves roughly chopped/torn


1-2 lemons (juice)
1 tsp. honey
Salt to taste (approx. 1 Tbsp., plus a pinch for
cooking)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsps. olive oil

METHOD
1. Soak the chickpeas overnight or for at least
8 hours.
2. Drain, discard the water, and cook in pressure
cooker with substantial water and a pinch of
salt.
3. In a medium saucepan, cook the barley with
a barley-to-water ratio of 1:3. Bring barley and
water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Reduce
heat and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally,

September 2016

for about 15 to 20 minutes. When most of the


water is absorbed, you can remove the pan
from the heat, cover, and allow to stand for an
additional 10 minutes. Then fluff the barley with
a fork.
4. Add barley, chickpeas, tomatoes, capsicum,
zucchini, olives, and walnuts to a large serving
bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive
oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper, and basil.
Pour dressing over salad and stir to combine.
Can be served warm or chilled.

ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 21

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ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 23

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A childs dream to capture


It is not just about a picture
Capture you wish to, all that
You can see and can not.
24 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER

September 2016