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Volume 6 / Issue 01 Jan 2018

Profoundly alone
Blessed with keenness
of attention, life happened
in abundance. Smallest happenings
were immense, as after all
an Atom could be a Cosmos. All
a game of perception. As my
many lives unfolded, life
pitched up to be a torrent.
Rich and Vivid but no Small
or Big. All was thrown at me.
Flowers and Filth. Offered
sweetest of Love and Devotion
and vilest of treachery and abuse.
Regarded by the Reputed and
Rubbished by the Rascals. All
that can be and cannot be
has been mine but untouched am I.

Alone, as even Shiva has abandoned


me from being a companion
As even He has become One with
Me to leave me Profoundly Alone.
EDITORIAL

Dear Readers,

Happy New Year!

Fresh possibilities and a flurry of activity surely await us. Before you dive in, read
an excerpt from a Sadhguru Spot, “The Power of Stillness” where Sadhguru speaks
about making your activity “an expression of your stillness.” When it comes to
Dhyanalinga, sometimes the stillness becomes like an inaccessible wall. Our
Musings article “Nada Aradhana – Cracking the Wall of Energy” explains how an
offering of sounds helps you to be receptive.

Even as a new year is born, our series on chakras comes to a close with the Lead
Article “Sahasrar – Inebriation and Ecstasy.” Many Isha Brahmacharis experience
their path as a new birth – read some of their poetry in the Sharing Experiences
section. As we forge ahead into new frontiers, learning from the past is vital as
Sadhguru explains in “Epics – A Lively Form of History”, a recent conversation with
Kavitha Kalvakuntla, Member of Parliament. Our Mahabharat epic series continues,
with Vidura not mincing words as he spars with his king.

It’s difficult to keep up with Sadhguru’s whirlwind of engagements, but catch up in


the News & Events section where we cover the INSIGHT program, Isha Gramotsavam
and the Rally for Rivers, which continues to flow. And check out the spicy “Mushroom
Salna” recipe – it will definitely warm you up this winter!

The Editorial Team

Contact the Editorial Team:


Isha Forest Flower, Isha Yoga Center, Velliangiri Foothills, IshanaVihar Post, Coimbatore – 641114
forestflower@ishafoundation.org

For subscription inquiries, please contact our Subscription Office:


(044) 48611137, 96770 16700 – subscriptions.FF@ishafoundation.org
To change your mailing address online, visit: www.ishafoundation.org/ForestFlower

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CONTENTS
LEAD ARTICLE MAHABHARAT

Sahasrar – Inebriation and Ecstasy 07 Part 38: Vidura Puts His Foot Down 10
IN CONVERSATION WITH THE MYSTIC
Epics – A Lively Form of History 04
Kavitha Kalvakuntla in Conversation with Sadhguru

LEAD ARTICLE
Sahasrar – Inebriation and Ecstasy 07

MUSINGS
Nada Aradhana – Cracking the Wall of Energy 09

MAHABHARAT
Part 38: Vidura Puts His Foot Down 10

NEWS & EVENTS


INSIGHT 2017 / Hopping Around Southern India / Isha Gramotsavam 11
Ignites in Andhra / Rally for Rivers is Still On

SHARING EXPERIENCES
Embrace
His Womb 14
Poems by Isha Brahmacharis

SADHGURU SPOT
The Power of Stillness 15

UPCOMING PROGRAMS & EVENTS


Yaksha and Mahashivaratri 2018
Isha Yoga – Program Highlights 18

ISHA RECIPES
Mushroom Salna 21

ZEN SPEAKS
The Lost Student 23

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IN CONVERSATION
WITH THE MYSTIC

Epics – A Lively Form of History


In this excerpt of “In Conversation with the Mystic”, Kavitha Kalvakuntla, Member of Parliament from
Telangana, probes Sadhguru about magic, men’s perspectives towards women, and the role of epic
stories in molding this perspective. In the course of his response, Sadhguru speaks about logic versus
magic, our ideas of success and their impact upon femininity, and the importance of learning from the
past.
Sadhguru: Namaskaram. Now, what is most people’s idea of magic? If I
pull out a pigeon from my pocket right now,
Kavitha: Namaskaram, Sadhguru ji. Thank you would you think it is magic? I can do this for you.
so much for being here in Hyderabad. You will have a bird, and I’ll have a shitty pocket!
[Laughter] That’s all that happens.
Welcome to Telangana, sir. Welcome to the
youngest and most happening state of the Kavitha: Well, I was really hoping that you could
country. We are very proud. Sadhguru ji, I’ve do something so wonderful and magical that all
watched many of your interviews, did a little bit of the men in this world would forever be changed
homework before I came here, but anyway I will about their perspective towards women.
definitely start from a basic question, which not [Applause].
only me but many people would probably want to
understand. When you say you are a mystic, can Sadhguru: This is why the government has
you also do some magic? [Laughter] funded the ISRO project of Mars so that we can
live on two separate planets! I think if I can say
Sadhguru: The greatest problem that humanity is a few words, taking the risk of being among
facing and suffering is that they are so absolutely so many ladies and saying these things. Yes,
involved and enamored and overwhelmed with unfortunately, there have been long periods of
their own psychological drama that they are exploitation of women across the world and
completely missing the magic of creation that is even in this country. But there was a time, when
happening everywhere. The psychological drama, in this country, women were not exploited by any
your own thought and emotion has become so means. They lived fabulous lives. You just look
big; and the physiological drama, your own body, back and see. For example – we don’t have a full
takes a certain amount of space. In this drama, picture but whatever the remnants of stories like
the entire existence has gone somewhere else. Ramayana or Mahabharat – do you see women
If you paid enough attention, every day there is going around in veils? Do you see women
magic all over the place. See, mud has become hiding? No. The queen sat on the king’s lap in
flower. The filth has become fragrance. Is this public. You see Shiva sitting, and Parvati sitting
not magic? Every day, everywhere it is happening. on his lap. But you must understand, we have
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faced a little over a thousand years of invasions. because this is a gross world. You will bring
When invasions happen, they not only go for marketplace into your mind and into your home.
your gold; they also go for your wives and your This is happening in the Western societies. When
daughters, first. So, putting them behind, hiding they’re getting married itself, they are making
them somewhere, in granaries, among sacks of a contract – “When we get divorced, who gets
grain, became a normal thing. When a thousand what?” How much ugliness do you want in your
years of continuous invasions happen, the risk of life? How can two people be woven into one
keeping your woman out became a very wrong if you are making calculations like this? So,
thing to do. Unfortunately, that is still continuing. don’t take the marketplace home. This is what
will happen if you make your standard of life
I think we will break through in the next coming purely economic.
generation. I think we already are in a big
way. We are only the second generation after Kavitha: Agreed. Since you’ve mentioned
Independence. Don’t be in too much of a rush Mahabharat, Ramayan and all these scriptures…
and make this one species into two. Homo
sapiens is a single species. Unfortunately, in Sadhguru: If I can correct that – we should not
reaction to the past exploitations, we are trying misunderstand what is a scripture and what is a
to create two species. This is not going to work very organic way of writing our history. An epic is
well, either for men or for women in future. It’s a historical document written in a lively form so
very important the changes that we make in our that it is relevant to you all the time. Right now, the
society are not in reaction to the wrong things Western way of writing history is like this, “This
that have happened in the past. What is the right king came. He killed so many people. He did this.
thing we want in future? We must focus on that He did that. He died. And next one came. He did
consciously, rather than simply reacting. this. He did that. He died.” What are you going to
do with this? If a thousand years ago, somebody
Kavitha: So, what Sadhguru ji is basically lived or died, what does it matter to you? But,
saying is there is no magic. It’s only logic to when you read Ramayan or Mahabharat, these
work towards… are live stories that you can relate to even today.
So, this genuinely learning from the past. The
Sadhguru: No, no, no, there is magic also. The basis of being human is that we can learn from
logic that we are employing is very rudimentary. somebody else’s experience. All the nonsense
This is the significance of this culture, where need not happen to us. Maybe it happened 5,000
we took logic to a point where it became an years ago, but we can still correct our lives by
access to the mystical and the magical. We looking at what happened to them.
have not seen it as logic versus magic. We saw
that a stable, logical foundation is a must for Kavitha: When you have been learning from
continued, sustained magic to happen in our the Ramayan and Mahabharat and many more
life. Otherwise, your magic will just be a flash in stories for generations, how do we expect the
the pan. It will not continue. If your logic is well current Indian men to not treat his wife like Sita
established and you take it to a certain height, or Draupadi? You know, he can simply go and bet
then you can make your life magical every her somewhere. He can simply leave her in the
moment. For this to happen, you should not think forest because somebody says something. How
with the fundamental logic about who is a man, do you unlearn these things that we have learned
who is a woman. Both of us are here because a all our life? How do you hit the refresh button
man and woman came together. Or do you still and start all over again by looking at a woman
believe in the magic that somebody dropped you as a respectable figure? How do we teach this to
from heaven? our children?

First of all, grading everything by economic Sadhguru: Let me put this in the right perspective.
standards is a serious mistake. If “How much The man [Rama] walked all the way, fought a
can you earn? How much can you provide?” is battle, burned down a city to get back his wife.
the only standard of wellbeing, then believe me, That’s not a small thing.
you may have women in the world, but you will
kill the feminine totally. Today, if you want to be Kavitha: But, then he again gave her an agni-
successful in the world, a woman should act like pariksha1. He didn’t trust his wife.
a man. This is slavery of the worst kind. It’s very
important we have feminine in equal proportions Sadhguru: Ah, but we are taking these words
as masculinity to make this world and our lives literally. Agni-pariksha did not mean somebody
beautiful. Our idea of success has become so
rudimentary – “How much money have you got?” 1
Lit. a fire test. A test of chastity that Rama set up for
If you do this, you will kill the feminine totally Sita.
January 2018 ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 5
has to enter the fire. It meant she was put through are saying that Rama walked all the way from
some tests – of course, because he was the king. Ayodhya to Sri Lanka. Is it practical or is it just a
Everybody is looking at him as an idol. How you story?” Then I asked the same question, “You are
behave, what you do, is very important because a young girl right now. You’ll grow up and find a
the entire nation’s life depends on you. So, Rama man. Do you want that kind of a man who, if you
was setting an example in those days. Sita was get lost, no matter what, he will follow you and
pregnant, his sons were inside. For a king, his find you, or do you want a man who will find local
sons are important. In spite of that he sends her solutions for himself because it’s not practical?”
to the jungle because otherwise, there would be Even this little girl knows what kind of man she
disruption in the country. Are you seeing this as wants. [Laughter]. To misunderstand any event,
a negative thing? I think we need such Prime you are always free, but to understand it, is your
Ministers and leaders in this country, that no business, isn’t it? And, today making judgments
matter what, for the wellbeing of the nation, they on life that happened 5000-6000 years ago, from
will do what is needed. [Applause] our standards here, is completely off.

Kavitha: Agreed, a leader has to sacrifice, no Kavitha: Yes, that is the problem. So we don’t
doubt. We will go to any length to sacrifice and have to literally take the message from all these
send a message to the people. But this particular epics, but move on.
message is taken so literally by other people that
they treat their wives like that. How relevant is Sadhguru: That’s why I corrected that. It’s not a
it to take an example from the leader he is and scripture. It is only a historical document. It is for
follow that, even adapt it to the modern times... us to learn, not for us to misinterpret.

Sadhguru: Today, if we send you to a forest, To be continued


that’s called a safari holiday [Laughter]. I think
this is being taken very literally. When I was in
Nellore, I was speaking to a large group of over
7000 school students. This little fourteen year
old girl stands up and asks, “Sadhguru, they

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January 2018
LEAD ARTICLE

Sahasrar – Inebriation and Ecstasy


In this last installment of our series on the seven chakras, Sadhguru enters the realm of Sahasrar, where
inebriation and ecstasy abound. He explains why it is not a place for one to inhabit, its connection
to Adiyogi and the crescent moon, and how people often touched this dimension in southern
Indian temples.

A Place to Get Lost floating around in ecstasy not good? It is great,


but you cannot work and manifest something in
When we use the word “path”, it means a that condition. That condition is like inebriation.
demarcated way, an established way. If there has It is wonderful and existentially fantastic, but in
to be demarcation, you need a physical space. terms of human activity, it is not great because
Sahasrar is not a physical space. It has a presence you cannot be functional in those states. Even if
in the geography of the body, but it does not you are functional, you are not very effective. It is
represent a physical space. Because of this, there a fuzzy world between physical and non-physical.
is no path of Sahasrar as such in the tradition.
So, the less we say about Sahasrar the better,
One dramatic example of someone who was into because right now we are on a mission – we cannot
Sahasrar would probably be of Ramakrishna afford fuzziness. Here and there, we party a bit –
Paramahamsa. Ramakrishna, who was a bit too we have our Bhava Spandanas and satsangs, but
much into Sahasrar, would not have lasted long then we want to be focused on what we need to do.
because that is not a space where one can hold on That will not be possible if everyone is in Sahasrar.
to the physical body and exist. And if everyone starts inhabiting there, they will not
be here for long, they will be gone.
As ecstatic and fantastic as it is, it is not a living
space, it is a “going” space. Once in a way, you You may have heard about Shiva being in ecstatic
can touch it and be back. When someone stays states, where he is inaccessible and unavailable.
there for too long, things will happen – the body Someone who is so focused and intense is suddenly
will not hold. You may have heard of Totapuri all oozy-woozy and not available. That is because
taking a piece of glass and cutting Ramakrishna’s these are “Sahasrar times”, when even someone
agna to bring him down to clarity and knowing, as intense and focused as him is too drunk and
rather than simply floating around in ecstasy. Is inebriated for action. Of all divine entities, Shiva is
January 2018 ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 7
the most athletic. That means he signifies action, A Tinge of Ecstasy in Temples
but even he gets woozy sometimes because he is
in Sahasrar. So it is not a path. You go to Sahasrar When we create a certain form – not all lingas but
because you want to get lost, not because you most of them – if they have been done properly,
want to find yourself. When you feel like getting there is a tinge of ecstasy. If you do not bring
lost – Sahasrar. When you feel like finding yourself, this tinge of ecstasy into your own form and also
you need to be on some path. Is there a tradition of the forms that are consecrated, then there is no
getting lost? Yes there is, but you cannot make a inspiration. When I say there is no inspiration,
form out of it. people cannot come under the influence of a
form – they will keep thinking only about what
Adiyogi, the Moon and Amrita they want.

In India, there is a symbolism of amrita coming out This happens in many well-consecrated temples
of the ocean, Shiva drank up the poison part of it in India. People go there with the intent of praying
and everyone else wanted to drink the amrita, or and asking for all kinds of stupid things, but when
the elixir of life, and make themselves immortal. they go there, they forget these damn things and
Essentially, amrita is immortality, in the sense simply stand. This happens because of the tinge
that your experience of life rises beyond physical. of ecstasy.
When your experience of life rises beyond the
physical, you are obviously immortal in some The shadow of a consecrated form – when I
way. Immortality does not mean we will have to say shadow, don’t take it literally as light and
endure you forever, it means that we don’t have to shadow – in some way, the energy shadow of the
endure you at all because your physical nature is form will naturally be there on the floor. If we mark
almost gone. that out, people can walk that. I think it is only in
southern India that people are still actively aware
To put it in terms of chakras, it is Sahasrar. What of the third day moon. Soma means the moon or an
you see as a third day moon [crescent after the intoxicating form. Soma Rekha means they trace
new moon] is a drip of this. Three drops of amrita the path of the third day moon.
dripped out of Shiva’s Sahasrar and everyone
is trying to access it. He is wearing the moon as The reason why people are conscious of this only
an ornament. in the South I think is because of Agastya Muni. He
got a little too chatty with people and told them too
This is important. He is wearing it as an ornament many things!
on his head. That means there is a tinge of ecstasy
always, but he is not immersed in it. Sometimes he Out of his love for them, he told them that there are
goes into it but otherwise, there is always a tinge places where if you touch them, there is ecstasy.
of ecstasy. So people made a tradition out of that and they
want to walk that.
If this tinge of ecstasy is not there, one cannot
sit. One can simply sit here without any need to This is very much there in the southern temples –
do anything outside, without the need to pursue parts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu
pleasure or fulfillment because there is a tinge of and Kerala. These are the only places where people
ecstasy. That means you are mildly buzzed out. If are aware of it – maybe not individually aware, but
you are fully immersed in it and drunk, then you will in the tradition it is there.
be useless. When I say useless, I mean in terms of
the world, not in terms of life. In terms of life, that is I don’t think people would have discovered this by
also okay. But in terms of activity in the world, you themselves. Someone must have spoken about it.
could become incapacitated. But with a tinge of We could blame Agastya for this or maybe some
ecstasy, you can be into endless slavery – you can other yogi spoke about it because the one who
do any amount of things and still feel that you have creates the form will not generally speak about it
done nothing because there is a tinge of ecstasy. because he does not want all the other aspects of
It is like people who get a little drunk – they dance the form to go waste. It is like serving food and a
and dance and dance till their legs fall off because sweet to a child. He may just eat the sweet. This
there is a tinge of ecstasy. They would not be able is why in India, we serve sweets only at the end
to do that at other times. of the meal. In the beginning they will serve a half
spoon of sweet payasam, just to taste so that you
So you can either dance or work or do anything eat well, hoping that they will serve payasam in the
without any sense of burdensomeness because end again!
there is a tinge of ecstasy. Adiyogi is representative
of this, that always, there is a tinge of ecstasy. You have to eat all the other food which is
nourishing and in the end, they will serve payasam
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again but by then your stomach is so full, you can’t fantastic but a bit too fantastic and you may move
eat too much sweet! from reality to “Lala Land.” You may be a little
lala – wonderful for you – but it needs to be rooted
Similarly, if you just show people where that tinge in this world because there are things to be done
of ecstasy is, people may start walking just that here too.
and miss out on everything else. As I said, if you
are well established and there is a tinge of ecstasy,
it is fantastic. But if you only seek that, it is still

Nada Aradhana – Cracking the


MUSINGS
Wall of Energy
Questioner: Can you say something about a state of offering a human being is most receptive.
the significance of participating in the Nada
Aradhanas1 each day; either singing or playing the Always in the Indian way of life – it doesn’t matter
bowls, drumming or just simply being there and how poor you are, or if your children have not eaten
meditating… for ten days – if you go to the temple you must
offer something. This is not because God wants
Sadhguru: One important reason why we started to eat your banana or coconut. If you don’t have
this process which we call as Nada Aradhana is bananas or coconuts, you are supposed to at
because the energy of Dhyanalinga can become least offer a leaf. The idea is that you go with an
like a solid wall. Now that many of you are having intention of offering. You go as an offering. When
a dip in the Theerthakund and then entering the you go as an offering, you are most receptive to
Dhyanalinga space, I am sure some of you, if you what is available there.
are sensitive to it, must have felt that it hits you,
almost like a physical thing. Because the field of
energy that gathers around the Linga is so intense,
it can be like a strong wall. It can become so the field of energy that gathers around
intense that for those who penetrate through it, it
will be wonderful; others will sit in the space but
the Linga is so intense, it can be like a
will sit outside the energy simply because of its strong wall.
intensity. If it was of a weaker intensity then a lot
more people could enter.

So twice a day, we are sort of cracking this wall So the times of Nada Aradhana are the most
by using certain sounds – sometimes melodious receptive for people because they are a time
sounds, sometimes discordant sounds! The of an offering. For those of you who are unable
melody of the music that they produce is only to experience Dhyanalinga for what it is, if you
socially relevant for the people who are sitting there. are struggling with it, the best time for you to be
But the purpose of making the sounds is fulfilled there is definitely Nada Aradhana time. One thing
even if they are discordant, because the idea is is because we are loosening the surrounding
to disturb something there which is manifesting structure in a certain way. Another is that it is a
itself into something very intense – almost like time of offering, which is the most receptive state
a solidified presence – so that it becomes a little to be in.
more accessible to all the people who enter. Twice
a day, we are shaking it up a little. You could just If you are in the ashram and you don’t have any
do it with a few shouts and or even make noises important work on your hand, I would say you must
with some kitchen utensils, if you do it intensely be there at that time. Otherwise, you are missing
enough. It may not serve the social purpose, but something very precious.
the spiritual purpose is being served. However, we
want to make use of this as an offering, because in
1
An offering of sound that happens twice a day in
Dhyanalinga.
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MAHABHARAT PART 38
SERIES

What has happened so far: The Pandavas begin


Mahabharat
their twelve years of exile in the forest. Duryodhana
and Karna plan to make use of this opportunity Vidura Puts His
to hunt them down when they are unarmed. They
seek Dhritarashtra’s permission, while Vidura
dissuades him.
Foot Down
Vidura went a mile longer than he normally did with term of life. Otherwise, your sons will be dead the
Dhritarashtra. Right from Dhritarashtra’s childhood, moment the Pandavas come back.”
Vidura had been an able support for him. So, being
his brother and having been his wisdom all his life, Dhritarashtra got sick of this – not that he had to
Vidura could talk to him in a way that no one else get sick of anything as he had always been sick
could. Vidura told him, “This is unbecoming of us. one way or the other. He said, “I have had enough
Already the house is so full of sin that I cannot of you. If Pandu’s sons mean so much more to you
even eat in this place. But now going after them in than my own, go! I have no use for you.”
the forest and trying to hunt them down, as these
boys intend to do, is simply out of question. This Vidura said, “That is the best thing you could have
cannot be allowed. I am telling you, your boys will done for me.” He bowed down and he left. He made
not keep quiet. They will go on doing something. arrangements for his wife and Kunti who were
living in the house and left joyfully for the forest,
“Do one thing: call the Pandavas back and give where he met the Pandavas. Vidura hugged all of
them their half of the kingdom. Ask them to forget them and they all wept. After all the emotion was
everything and go. Because the five Pandavas are done, they asked him why he was here. Vidura said,
sons of devas. They are hugely equipped and a “I have come to stay with you. It is over for me in
majority of the kings sympathize with them. Above Hastinapur. I could not leave my brother myself, but
all, Krishna is with them. If we fight a battle, it is now my brother asked me to go so I am now free.
sure death for all of us. Don’t have illusions about At last I am happy that I am free from the sinful
this. Believe me, whatever it may look like right now, alignment of things that were happening there.”
when it really comes to battle, Arjuna will stand up The Pandavas were very happy. They had always
like a god and defeat everyone. It is best you call respected Vidura. He was the only one who stood
them tomorrow and give them back the kingdom.” up and said something right in the court that day
when things were going utterly wrong.
Dhritarashtra listened to all this and said, “Are you
never tired of praising the Pandavas? I can clearly But Dhritarashtra could not exist without Vidura
see you are prejudiced in favor of Pandu’s sons because right from his childhood, every day, day
against mine. How can I ask my son to give back in and day out, Vidura had been his companion,
what he has won? He has won it according to the wisdom, eyes, ears – everything. Suddenly
Dharma, he has won it in the dice game.” Dhritarashtra felt so lost. So just after two days,
he sent messengers to Vidura and said, “Please, if
Vidura replied, “You know very well that the dice you are gone I will die. I will stop eating and I will
are loaded. You know very well Shakuni is a cheat, kill myself.” After much pleading, Vidura went back
and you know very well Yudhishthira does not have to the palace again.
a clue how to play a dice game. Knowing all this,
you allowed the game to happen, and now you are When he went back, he insisted that they must call
talking about Dharma. Don’t utter that word.” off the hunt. Dhritarashtra called Duryodhana and
said “There is not going to be a hunt.” Duryodhana
“The day you sanctioned the wax palace and its and Karna pleaded heavily that they are just going
burning, you lost all your credibility. If you want to for fun and not for anything else, but he said, “You
revive anything for yourself, your children and for cannot go for a hunt. And if you go for a hunt, you
the Kuru lineage, just call them back. Give them will have to go in the opposite direction.” But they
their portion, let your boys have your portion, let were not interested in hunting there – they wanted
them live in peace. And we can somehow take to hunt here.
some kind of commitment from the Pandavas
that they will never wage a war against us. That
will leave us in safety – your boys will live their full
To be continued
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January 2018
NEWS AND
EVENTS

INSIGHT – The DNA of Success 2017


The sixth edition of INSIGHT kicked off on November 23 with over 230 business leaders from across
the world flocking to the Isha Yoga Center. A unique program for entrepreneurs, INSIGHT is conducted
annually by the Isha Leadership Academy that explores the science of scaling up one’s business as well
oneself.

This year featured Key Resource Leaders Dr. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (Chairperson and MD, Biocon Ltd),
and Hemant Kanoria (Chairman and MD, Srei Infrastructure Finance Ltd) along with Sadhguru as the
Program Leader. Participants gleaned valuable insights from their life stories and those of other resource
leaders, all while immersed in the vibrant and colorful Rajasthani attire, décor, musical ambience – in
celebration of the Marwaris, one of India’s most successful business communities.

Day 1: Sadhguru – Shailendra Mehta –


Ameera Shah

At the welcome session, Sadhguru set the tone for facilitator B.S. Nagesh (Founder of TRRAIN and
the program, “This time, we thought we will look Non-Executive Vice Chairman of Shoppers Stop
at the traditional practices which made this nation Ltd) then invited resource leaders to the mike to
into such a vibrant enterprise that everybody in the share their inspirational stories of scaling up. In
world wanted to come here.” Later, the Faculty Chair the evening session, Ameera Shah (Promoter and
Dr. Shailendra Mehta (President and Director of MD, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd) earned a standing
MICA, Ahmedabad) drew upon his Marwari heritage ovation after her eloquent speech describing the
to present how ancient traditional practices can risks, rewards and battles of her entrepreneurial
be applied to contemporary commerce. Program journey as a woman.

Dr. Shailendra Mehta Ameera Shah

January 2018 ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 11


Hemant Kanoria A. S. Kiran Kumar

Day 2: Hemant Kanoria – A.S. Kiran Kumar – Sanjay Jain

The second day began with an invigorating yoga session and ended with a guided meditation both led
by Sadhguru. In between, the participants were also treated to some personal success stories. Hemant
Kanoria’s story revealed how every business challenge can be used for both business and personal
growth. Sanjay Jain (Chief Innovation Officer, CIIE) spoke about the rolling out of the Aadhar Card (a
unique ID card issued to residents of India), a tremendous national achievement in which he played a
key role. A.S. Kiran Kumar (Chairman, Indian Space Research Organization) transfixed the audience with
ISRO’s odyssey to Mars and future plans in outer space.

Day 3: Sadhguru – Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Sadhguru Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw Vellayan Subbiah

On the climactic third day, Sadhguru took the helm. He spoke about how a leader is one who can take his or
her followers to a place where they could not go by themselves. In response to questions about how Isha
functions as an organization, Sadhguru said that it functions instead as an organism – where each part
knows what it has to do to keep the organism going. The afternoon session saw Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw,
the “doyen of Indian biotechnology industry” detail her remarkable trajectory from humble beginnings as
trained brewmaster to spearheading a $4billion business.

12 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER


January 2018
Event Highlights

Hopping Around South India


Nov 20-21: Sadhguru had a conversation with
students at Ramaiah Institute of Technology
on “Youth and Truth”, and also inaugurated the
Ramaiah Indic Specialty Ayurveda Restoration
Hospital in Bengaluru, the first of its kind in India.
Nov 22: The Golden Jubilee Year of the Convention of Company Secretaries in Trivandrum saw Sadhguru
giving the Special Address and releasing the “Code for Charity Governance” – to standardize the governing
methods of charity companies in India. The Hon’ble CM of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan was the Chief Guest.

Nov 26: In Conversation with the Mystic with Kavitha Kalvakuntla in Hyderabad. Read an excerpt of their
talk on Page 4.

Isha Gramotsavam Ignites in Andhra

Nov 27: A grand Isha Gramotsavam culmination took place for the first time in Visakhapatnam, Andhra
Pradesh, organized in collaboration with the state government, in partnership with UNICEF. 148 teams
and 999 players had participated in the volleyball and throwball tournament. Later in the evening, popular
actress Rakul Preet Singh engaged Sadhguru in a conversation, exploring inner dimensions and outward
manifestations.

Rally for Rivers is Still On


Nov 28: The Hon’ble CM of Chhattisgarh Dr. Raman
Singh met with Sadhguru in Raipur and signed an
MoU with Isha for river revitalization work.

Nov 30: CEO of Niti Aayog, Amitabh Kant had a


conversation with Sadhguru at the PacRim YPO
Retreat in Delhi, attended by 60 successful young
businessmen in Delhi.

Dec 1: Sadhguru addressed the staff of Niti Aayog


on water conservation and river revitalization
in Delhi.

January 2018 ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 13


SHARING
EXPERIENCES

“When a child is born, for a few people a great


many things are already determined; but for most
people very little is determined – everything else is
wide open. So being physically born is not of much
consequence. The day we come out of our mothers’
wombs is only a birth of a possibility. Biology just
delivers you as an animal; it is you who can make
yourself into a full-blown human being, or a divine
possibility. When a person is willing to die the way
he is and be born once again within himself, when
he is willing to make his birth a conscious process
not just a biological process, when the necessary
awareness arises in a human being that he kills
the animal within himself and allows the divine
to flower – that is when the birth becomes really
significant.” -Sadhguru

Many on the path of brahmacharya experience it


as a new birth. Here are a couple of poems by Isha Embrace
brahmacharis that convey that experience.
The vastness that surrounds
Did embrace me
“i” dropped those few moments
Only vastness remained
For having lived all this way
my life is made
To have been born
And born again in His Grace
To be in His Embrace
His Womb

When I was in my mother’s womb,


I was not born out.
When I was born,
I was not in her womb anymore.
Here I am
Born once again, yet
still living in His womb, 
Living in His womb,
Living in His love.

14 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER


January 2018
SADHGURU
SPOT

The Power of Stillness


In this excerpt from a Sadhguru Spot, Sadhguru writes about his favorite locations to set up yoga centers,
vibrant rock beds, endless possibilities of engineering, the basis of success, beneficial forces of nature,
and a practice we can do in order to experience the silent power of stillness.

There are situations in our lives that we can do and heart.” Definitely Isha Yoga Center is growing
something about. Then there are situations in that way in the world – it is growing in the minds
our lives that are just consequential. Only if we and hearts of people. Not geographical spots but
handle those dimensions of our life where we can human beings should become centers of yoga. In
do something well, the consequential dimension this context, this is an important month because
of our life will be good. If we do not handle the particularly in the Northern Hemisphere, a certain
sadhana, which means the action part of our life, inertia is setting in, in nature, and in the way energy
properly, our life will not be of much consequence. functions.
This does not mean one should aspire to leave a
footprint on the planet. Those who were trying to This phase is important for Shiva because he is
leave footprints, if they did, it becomes obvious known for his dancing, but more significantly for
that they could never fly. It is not about leaving his stillness. This is a phase that supports that
footprints. stillness. There is perfection in our existence
only when we know how to be absolutely still.
Wherever I go, people ask me, “Sadhguru, will you Otherwise, you dance, you sing, all this is nice –
set up an Isha Yoga Center here?” I am telling but how long? Any activity is bound by time. Only
them, “I am not a real estate person. My real estate in stillness, time has no impact on you. There are
is in the minds and hearts of people. We wish to various ways to look at why this is so. Shiva means
establish a yoga center in everyone’s mind, body, that which is not, which means it is eternally still
January 2018 ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 15
– Sadashiva. Initially, you can bring this stillness become like that within themselves.
into you by being immobile. Later on, you can be
in a flurry of activity and still be absolutely still. This is what Bharat means, first of all. For ages,
Your activity will be an expression of your stillness, people who had an inner longing turned east, simply
not of your compulsiveness. Everything you do will because many great beings left a web of energy
come from this stillness. here. To establish something so fabulous has taken
thousands of years and beings of great proportion
and depth. To make something fabulous, whether
it is a space or a human being, takes a whole lot
of work. To make it filthy takes just a day. Now is
There is perfection in our existence the very last phase of Dakshinayana, this means
the very last phase of the sadhana pada. This is a
only when we know how to be time of the year to strive without results. One who
absolutely still. is wise will understand that one dimension of our
life needs striving – another dimension of our life
is a consequence. If we want a great consequence,
the striving has to be equally profound.
You must bring this stillness into your family, into
your home. Everything that grows in a space of This is not about being rewarded for something
stillness, including your children, will be of a different that you do. This is the nature of this machine that
quality altogether. Stillness and exuberance are we call creation. I call creation a machine because
the nature of existence. This is the nature of yoga, it produces unfailingly. The solar system is a
the nature of creation, and the nature of what we machine as well. It has been working so perfectly
refer to as Shiva – still but tremendously vibrant. and efficiently for thousands of years that you may
In some sense, even modern science is beginning forget it is a machine. The sun rises every day,
to recognize that the most dynamic dimension of so you don’t bother to look up and watch if it is
creation seems to be nothingness. It is possible coming up this morning or not. I still do, because I
for every human being to become like this that am skeptical about everything. You must also look
after you sat somewhere, the place will exhibit an out. If you learn to be on a certain level observant of
exuberant form of stillness. what is happening around you, you will not only be
observant with the outside but with the interiority
Many years ago, I was teaching programs in small too. If you understand that the entire cosmos is a
towns and villages of Tamil Nadu. These were kind of machine, you will realize your own system
wonderful times, as I dealt with people who had is also a machine. How well a machine functions
a certain level of innocence and fire within them. depends on how well it is kept.
We came to a place called Velayuthampalayam.
People said, “You must come to the temple on the Keeping it well is not just about fitness – that
hill.” I told them, “There is no bald hill in Tamil Nadu is only one aspect of it. Keeping it well for it to
– every hill has a little temple. Let’s leave it.” Then perform at a very high level needs evolution. What
one day, they told me there is a cave where some does evolution mean? On ancient excavation
Jina or Jain saints stayed, about two thousand
five hundred years ago. Now I got interested.
Considering the time period, they could have been
direct disciples of Mahavir.
This is the nature of yoga, the nature
We climbed up the hill and came to a place where of creation, and the nature of what
a narrow walkway led to a cave. The local king
provided them with beds that were carved out of we refer to as Shiva – still but
the rock, in the form of a flat space and a small tremendously vibrant.
pillow made of rock. I sat on one of these beds, and
even after centuries, it was as alive as if they had
been there the day before. The place was not well-
kept – the local youth used it to hang out and drink. sites, archeologists are often looking for pieces of
It was littered with broken bottles and garbage, pottery. Imagine the first time people dug up the
and the rocks were covered with the initials of earth and made pots out of it. For the first time, they
who was in love with whom. We cleaned up the had something they could store water in and carry
place and decided to spend the night there. It was it home. How fantastic it must have been! A simple
a phenomenal night out there – that was the kind pot transformed people’s lives. It must have been a
of footprint they had left. They had no intention milestone in the development of human societies.
of leaving a footprint, but wherever they sat and Today, we are digging the same soil and make a
stood, it naturally happened, because they had
16 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER
January 2018
spaceship out of it. With the same resource, we levels. One who is reasonably evolved as a human
can do so many things today. This is the evolution being should start working on the outside. One
of engineering. Similarly, with the same resource, a who is not should start working on the inside. This
human being can do so many things. machine should evolve to function in a way that
other people think is magical.

The important thing is the evolution of the machine.


This machine must evolve to a point where it is no
If while doing the same activity, you
more a cog in the larger machine – it is the machine.
only use fifty percent of the words you What we refer to as Shiva is not another part in the
normally use, you will see stillness will machine – it is the source of the machine. It is the
settle in. source of existence. This is the evolution that a
yogi is striving for – not to become a little more
polished part but to go deeper and deeper into the
machine until one day, this is the very source of the
Sadhana and yoga are about evolving the machine. This period of inertia on the planet is very
engineering of what we can do with this human good – you can become still, effortlessly.
system. That is why we have named our basic
program Inner Engineering. The human system is If you want to bring stillness into your life, be
a machine. Inner Engineering means to evolve a conscious to utter only fifty percent of the words
human being to a much higher level of functioning. you normally utter in a day. This is vak shuddhi.
You can engineer yourself to a place where you Purity of utterance will happen. This is not for
function like the source of creation. When you say someone else’s sake. For yourself, it is very
“Shiva,” you won’t have to look up. When you say important what is coming out of your mouth. This
“Shiva,” naturally your eyes will close, because is like an emission test. If while doing the same
it is all here. That is how far a human being can activity, you only use fifty percent of the words you
go. Instead of being a creature, you can become normally use, you will see stillness will settle in.
the source of creation. But without devotion and This is conscious silence. Becoming totally silent
sadhana, it doesn’t happen. should happen in a different way – with appropriate
sadhana. Simply holding back all words and not
If you look at the lives of people who are successful doing anything will not lead to silence, because the
in the world – whether it is as a business man, a noise that otherwise would have come out will go
musician, an artist, or something else – they were up in the head. You may know that by experience.
not just lucky. They put in an enormous amount
of work to make this happen. When everyone else Consciously frame your sentences to say what you
was sleeping, they were up and doing something. want to say with fifty percent of the words that you
When everyone else was settling for simple normally use, but the same level of activity.
pleasures, they were working. If you think you work
hard but nothing is happening, then the creature Love & Grace,
that you are needs to evolve. Evolution is on all

January 2018 ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 17


UPCOMING PROGRAMS AND EVENTS

A Night with the Divine


13 February 2018
6 p.m. to 6 a.m. | Isha Yoga Center

Wisdom • Meditation • Bliss


With Sadhguru

“Mahashivaratri is of great significance for all those who aspire for the Ultimate.
May this night become an exuberant awakening for you.” - Sadhguru

This year, Sadhguru has opened up new opportunities for one to experience and become receptive
to the tremendous spiritual possibilities of this night.

Rudraksh Prasadam: Receive a rudraksh bead that has adorned Adiyogi for the last one year. This
can be kept in one’s shrine at home and worn on auspicious days.

Adiyogi Pradakshina: Be initiated into the process of pradakshina (circumambulation of a powerful


energy source) to imbibe the Grace of Adiyogi.

Bhairavi Maha Yatra: Be part of this vibrant and grand procession as the Linga Bhairavi Utsav
Murti journeys to the Adiyogi and graces the nightlong festival.

• Midnight Meditation • Maha Annadanam • Musical Performances

Daler Mehndi Sean Roldan & Special Guest Performance by


Friends Sonu Nigam

For seating passes: mahashivarathri@ishafoundation.org


Live Webstream: isha.sadhguru.org/MSR

83000 83111
18 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER
January 2018
YAKSHA
An Exuberance of Music and Dance

February 10-12, 2018


(preceding Mahashivaratri)
Isha Yoga Center

In an endeavor to preserve and promote the uniqueness, purity and diversity of the country’s
performing arts, Isha Foundation annually hosts Yaksha, a three-day festival of culture, music,
and dance with performances by renowned artistes.

Featuring

February 10th February 11th February 12th


Rakesh Chaurasia Vidushi Shruti Sadolikar Katkar Chitraveena N Ravikiran
Hindustani Flute Hindustani Vocal Carnatic Chitra Veena

SADHANA

The Mahashivaratri Sadhana is a preparation for Mahashivaratri – a night of tremendous


possibilities. Anyone eight years of age and above can do the sadhana. The sadhana can be of
varying durations. You can do the sadhana for 40, 21, 14, 7 or 3 consecutive days leading up to
Mahashivaratri, 13 February 2018. It includes chants, Shiva Namaskar, and the observance of certain
guidelines. The culmination is on Mahashivaratri – optionally at the Isha Yoga Center or at home.

For more details, guidelines, and to learn Shiva Namaskar as well as the chants,
please visit the website: isha.sadhguru.org/MSR

January 2018 ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 19


Date Program Place Contact

Isha Life Health Solutions


044-28885333 / 83000 45333
3 & 30 Jan 2018 Weight Loss Program (opp. Spencer Plaza),
programs@ishalife.org
Chennai – India

Isha Institute of Inner-


In the Lap of the Master +1-931-298-9667
6–7 Jan 2018 sciences, McMinnville,
(with Sadhguru) ilm@ishausa.org
TN – USA

Joint and Musculoskeletal Isha Life Health Solutions


044-28885333 / 83000 45333
8 & 22 Jan 2018 Disorders Treatment (opp. Spencer Plaza),
programs@ishalife.org
Program Chennai – India

Isha Institute of Inner-


+1-931-668-1900
11–14 Jan 2018 Shoonya Program sciences, McMinnville,
shoonya@ishausa.org
TN – USA

Live in a Consecrated Space Isha Yoga Center,


94890 45136
16 Jan 2018 – Yantra Ceremony with Velliangiri Foothills,
yantra@lingabhairavi.org
Sadhguru  Coimbatore – India

Isha Institute of Inner-


18–21, 25–28 +1-931-229-0709
Bhava Spandana sciences, McMinnville, TN
Jan 2018 bspregistration@ishausa.org
– USA

Isha Yoga Center,


0422-2515464
19–21 Jan 2018 Ayur Rasayana Velliangiri Foothills,
isharejuvenation@ishafoundation.org
Coimbatore – India

Isha Yoga Center,


10–12 Feb 2018 Yaksha Velliangiri Foothills, 83000 83111
Coimbatore – India

Isha Yoga Center,


13 Feb 2018 Mahashivaratri Velliangiri Foothills, 83000 83111
Coimbatore – India

Isha Yoga Center,


83000 93555 / 83000 83111
20–27 Feb 2018 Samyama (Tamil) Velliangiri Foothills,
iycprograms@ishayoga.org
Coimbatore – India

Isha Yoga Center,


94890 45164
22–25 Feb 2018 Inner Engineering Retreat Velliangiri Foothills,
ieretreat@ishafoundation.org
Coimbatore – India
Isha Institute of Inner-
7–14 Apr 2018 Samyama (English) sciences, McMinnville, samyama@ishausa.org
TN – USA

Current at the time of print, however subject to change. For full program schedules and updates, please visit our
website: www.ishayoga.org.

20 | ISHA FOREST FLOWER


January 2018
ISHA RECIPE

MUSHROOM SALNA

INGREDIENTS

» 4 Tomatos (cut into small pieces)


» 1 medium-size Potato (cut into cubes)
» 8-10 Button mushrooms (cut into quarters)
» 1 Drumstick (cut into 1 inch pieces)
» 3 tsp Red chili powder
» 1 tsp heaped Coriander seed powder
» ½ tsp Turmeric powder
» ½ tsp Ginger paste
» Salt as needed
METHOD
» Grind the grated coconut, fennel seeds,
cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, poppy seeds,
FOR THE PASTE fried gram, and bay leaf to a paste, adding a
little water. Keep aside.
» 1 cup heaped Coconut (grated)
» Heat 5 tbsp of sesame oil in a vessel. Add the
» 1 tsp Fennel seeds mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the
» ½ inch Cinnamon stick fennel seeds, and 4 curry leaves.
» 2 Cloves » Add the ginger paste. Sauté for a few seconds.
» 2 Cardamoms » Add the cut tomatoes. Add the turmeric
» 1 tsp Poppy seeds powder and a little salt. Sauté till the tomatoes
turn mushy.
» 1 Tbsp Fried gram
» 1 Bay leaf » Add the mushrooms and sauté till well cooked.
» Add the red chili powder and coriander seed
powder and sauté for a few minutes.
FOR THE TEMPERING » Add two cups of water along with the potatos
and drumsticks. Cook till done.
» ½ tsp Mustard seeds
» Add the ground paste and bring to a boil.
» 7 Curry leaves
» ½ tsp Fennel seeds » Separately, heat 2 tsp sesame oil. Add the red
chilis and the remaining curry leaves and sauté
» 2 Red chilis for a few seconds. Add this tempering to the
» 6 Tbsp Sesame seed oil dish.
» Serve hot with idlis or chapattis. (Serves 4-5).

January 2018 ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 21


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January 2018
ZEN SPEAKS

Courtesy: Zen Speaks


Courtesy Zen Speaks

Published by: B. RAJESH CHANDER on behalf of ISHA FOUNDATION


Published from 117/50, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai – 600 004, TAMILNADU

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January 2018 ISHA FOREST FLOWER | 23


January 2018

January 2018
A Body of water that
invigorates life can be a lake
so sacred or just a slice of fruit.
Many ways of the life giving water

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