February 3, 2013 Conference with Sharath in Mysore
These are my notes from this last Sunday’s conference, rough and unedited. I tried to keep up with everything that Sharath said and type exactly what he said with as little paraphrasing as possible. I type pretty quickly on the iPad and I just hope I wasn’t too distracting to people around me. There are many good pieces of wisdom here. Thanks Sharath!
Here you go:
“All eight limbs are connected with each other. When you do bad to others, when you kill something, then you yourself won’t have santosha inside, you get frustrated inside. When they do bad things it is because they don’t have control of their mind, or they are frustrated with someone or have some problems within. Santosha is more than just smiling, real santosha comes from inside, when you are satisfied happy within for whatever’s you are. Some people are always unhappy, they have everything still they are unhappy. Santosha is to enjoy your life, enjoy giving helping someone, the joy what you et by giving someone or giving seva, giving to the community, like that you shod develop santosha within you. All the yamas and niyamas are connected to eachother.
When you are true to yourself tht is Satya. First you have to be true to yourself, whatever’s action you do you should judge to yourself whether it is good or bad, like tht you should judge yourself, when you develop these things then you will be doing nice Ashtanga yoga, not just handstand, flip flops, carrying a manduka mat. That is the view of Ashtanga practitioner in the world, but it means you shod follow yamas niyamas in your daily life. Through practicing asanas your mind should change, your attitude, your mind, that is the transformation that happens within you, the change that you can see within you. Then you can consider yourself or someone else an Asthanga practitioner, not just bending your body. This practice is not just for two hours, this practice must be for the whole day, whole life. Then only there will be meaning for your practice. So if you good deep into Yama and niyamas it is all connected to each other.
Closing mantra. Chant every day at the end. We are not praying for ourself, we are praying for the whole world. Not only me, each and every living being in this whole world should be happy. Loka means even bigger than this world. Brahmanas is who prays for the world will become Brahman, those who do rituals and prays for all the living beings will become go (cow) and Brahman, cow is like second mother in India. House warming ceremony bring a cow inside the house, when the cow comes it has to come and poop inside, very auspicious. Make tirtha (liquid Prasad, made of five elements, including cow poop, cow urine), drink that. It’s a ritual, Lakshmish is doing this for people, all rituals which we do, just like our practice in the early morning, we don’t just do the postures, we first pray to th sun god, pray to the guru to give us good knowledge, jnana. Before having meal, people do some rituals, everything that you do you have to pray for what you have got. Bring good energy in the house.
Problems are everywhere but we can avoid as much as possible, we can get rid of problems there is always some coming, by doing this we have to stay humble. If we get money or fame sometimes there is no control of the mind and we forget everything, we don’t have that humbleness, so always that is the foundation, tht is Los yoga, how you behave and how you treat others, how your bhavana, your thoughts is very important, if your bhavana is not good then you will never understand yoga. Then yoga becomes only physical.
I want to go holiday, but I sleep only 4.5 to 5 hours that why you can see a dark circle. Always holiday is good, you always get refreshed, whatever work you’re doing you need a break, let it be fresh. My holiday is in the forrest.
When is a child ready to begin asana? Child is born with asana practice, just observe, they twist their body, put their both big toes in their mouth. Formally you should teach them when they are 10-12 years old, before that if they are imitating you it’s ok. Don’t teach them or don’t stop them, the body is very tender when very young you have to be very careful when they are young. Let them imitate but don’t teach them. I started when I was 7 years old doing Padmasana in the swings.
Padmasana straighten the arms in jnana Mudra to get the energy moving, total overall energy, chakras, circulates through the body is prana, inhalation exhalation is hat you do, how you get the energy through your body. When your body is steady that is how you get the energy and your mind is steady too. If the body is not straight then you can’t even breathe. You have to stabilize your body so you can stabilize your mind.
There is no harm in sitting up and trying Supta Kurmasana from sitting, rather than from the floor, especially if you don’t have help. Some people are not flexible so they have to wait for help. If the hips are not open better to cross the legs on the ground.
Pregnancy recommendations: depends on individual, each students are different, we recommend many people not to practice first three months not to practice, be careful or if you are planning to become pregnant and you have difficulty just don’t do asana for awhile, because while doing asana you generate lots of internal heat within us, when we generate so much heat within us it is very difficult to Conceive. It is not like that for all, each and every woman is different. After three months you can do normal practice without twists, just repeat a position for standing, be careful in Marichasana, Supta k, Konasana upavistah supta postures and utthita important as well as deep breathing important as it will help you when you go to labor. Some asanas are not recommended for family man or women. How many Jiva rahsis there are that am asanas there are, only isvara knows all the asanas. That is why you should have a proper teacher, not just read a book or watch a video, it has to be blessed by a guru and taught by a guru formally it should come.
Some senior students, charmila and Ana are writing a book on pregnancy. It’s really nice, my wife and mother are in the book, but not me.
Mantra is for well being, nothing to do with religion. It does not mean you become Hindu, the chants are for well being. The rituals if you follow then you take on Hindu culture, practiced privately. On the outside we are all one, but in your home you have to practice your own rituals. People who don’t have proper knowledge they keep writing nonsense. Yoga itself does not have any religion, it is self transformation, for well being, that is why we practice yoga.
In the Gita, Krishna says to Arjuna, be a yogi who follow tapas, a yogi is better than him who does his karma properly, who is a jnani, who has the book knowledge but he doesn’t have the practical experience of yoga, so a yogi is better than him, so that’s y you also become a yogi.
If you have to travel and that’s your job you have to travel, sadhana will be happening inside of you. Too much traveling means you get distracted by too many things, traveling teachers, traveling students, get confused, don’t know what is yoga. Discussion, people like to discus, different teachers say to different things and people talk to compare.
How you have changed yourself that is very important, the changes within you, that is very important. Always KPJ used to quote when students went to many teachers. Guru said: if you have two gurus one student is dead. If you have wives one husband is dead, two doctors one patient is dead. You follow one thing. If you are in India many people go to many teachers for the resume, but that is no sadhana. Sadhu man is where you devote yourself to a single guru to who you devote yourself to as your primary guru, who gives you th basic practice, the foundation of the spiritual knowledge, that will be your primary guru. When that foundation is properly established within you then you can read books. Now KPJ is not here, but when you read a book you remember what your teacher said. You advance your knowledge, become more is within you, the fundamentals of what you do should be strong, that only one guru can give. If two engineers come to build a building what will happen, disaster.
If they follow its good, I don’t expect anything.
Quesiton: so you expect teachers to count Sanskrit?
Distractions can come from anywhere, meeting people, go outside see something. Distraction can happen anywhere, how you react to those distractions that matters, some will attract you so much, you will forget everything, forget who and what you are, sometimes you will get carried away with that distraction. In India if you go to go Forrest they scare you, oh there is mohini, beautiful girl with white dress, as soon as you see her, you forget everything, the beauty of the girl will attract you so much that you will go behind her, family man sees beautiful girl, she’s a mohini, saying in kanada. Whatever distraction comes our fundamentals sadhana should be very focused, any yogi shouldn’t get carried away with anything, in anything moha, means not only love, love to everything, when we get attracted to many things, craving comes, your sadhana gets upset, that’s why many people practice for many years and then something will happen for them and en they change and their sadhana will go down suddenly because the fundamentals won’t be correct. Some people come thre or four years very deducted and then you won’t see them, they don’t practice anymore.
It’s the practice that gives me strength, my own personal practice won’t change, you kno you have to have a certain kind of mindset or else you can’t do it, not everyone can do it. I have so much passion towards that, I hardly sleep, I always think about teaching, doing the practice, it will be difficult but still I have to do it. It’s just the mindset, don’t allow your mind to think, when you have too many options then your mind will distract. Sometimes your heart can also cheat you, can be false. For example, deciding between two men/lovers. Indian and west differs, marriage is a cultural thing. Indian totally different, we never understand exactly eachother, very rare that in India divorce among older generation, time changes, too much choice. If you want to buy phone there are many different options, when you have so many options automatically you’ll get distracted.
Don’t leave your practice, your practice will help you not to get distracted, judge hat is correct what is no correct. Now you are still babying the practice, when you go deeper in the practice everything becomes secondary. Before I was married, I was married to yoga. That means its not being selfish, to make yourself stabilize s that you can be good to everything, for yourself, to others, that is why we do the practice of yoga, to stabilize the mind. Everyone does puja in the morning, bath, connect with your god, there is a superpower, a supreme soul which is controlling us, we call is different names, god, you get connected with that, you do japa, connected to the supreme soul, which makes you stabilize, that stability will come within you, that you should develop, s once you s that, chanting mantra, is so powerful, that makes you focused in one place, even japa is like that, when you do japa you won’t get distracted, sorrowness, happiness, you can do japa to any god that you are comfortable with, 15-20 minutes every day, every night, day by day, month by month there will be changes within you.
Younger generation doesn’t want to go to church, etc., nowadays there are so much distraction, connection is missing. Many people say that they don’t have time to pray.
Significance of the snake or hound Patanjali, Adisesa is Patanjali the snake, where Vishnu sleeps, in snake there are many different kinds. Vishnu is there, lord of the universe, many many galaxies. Shira Sagara = milky way galaxy, that is where Vishnu is, he is the energy, sleeps on Adisesa. Patajali took this form, if he comes in a form it’s a thousand headed snake people would get afraid and run away, so he takes the form of Purusha karum, so he appears like a god, like divine. Yoga is even older than Patanjali, when this world started, yoga started, who is the source for yoga, isvara is the first yogi.
Thank you very much, be happy.”
~R. Sharath Jois