A silent revolution
In January 2020, YOGRISHI SWAMI RAMDEV visited Kanha Shanti Vanam to celebrate 75 years of the Heartfulness organizations, along with Daaji and 100,000 practitioners from around the world. Here, ELIZABETH DENLEY interviews him about what he is doing for youth in the field of education.
Q: Namaste Swamiji Maharaj. I am delighted to interview you today. With education in mind, what would you like to offer young people, and what does Yoga have to offer the youth of today?
YSR: The youth today have three main challenges:
To maintain a fit body, without which we cannot fully achieve all that we set out to do. Our body has to support us. A fit body doesn’t just mean a healthy body, it means improving our physical capacity to its fullest.
The second challenge for youth is to work very hard on the development of their mind and emotions, and ensure they are going in the right direction. This can be accomplished through Ashtanga Yoga and Heartfulness practices.
Ashtanga Yoga doesn’t only promote a fit body, but through its eight steps it also promotes regulation of the senses, the brain, our emotions, actions, total behavior and character – essentially our entire life cycle is affected. We stand to gain all-rounded development through Ashtanga Yoga, so that our thoughts and our nature will be transformed.
There are so many obstacles in life which have to be surmounted to bring about inclusive and sustainable growth. In economics and politics we use two terms very often – overall and balanced growth which is permanent, inclusive, sustainable, non-violent, and full of justice, for our overall development. This can be realized through Ashtanga Yoga and the Heartfulness system, by fully regulating our body, mind, thoughts, emotions, and our very nature.
Life is like a seed: there are two types of seeds, bad ones and good ones. The bad ones must be squashed, and the good ones must be allowed to blossom. This is what we mean by purification.
Q: Tell us about your education syllabus. What are you offering the youth of India with this syllabus?
YSR: We have developed the syllabus for students up to Year 12. It includes different levels of Yoga practice, and we already have government accreditation. Behind the development of this syllabus is a single goal – that the culture of Yoga is imbibed by children in childhood and in a way that they can relate to, including physical activity. There’s some confusion that Yoga is only about physical activity, but what is Yoga? Doing each and every action of our life, whatever it is, with purity, with perfection – this is Yoga. Meditation is different. Everything is not meditation, but there is meditation in everything – in your studies, your actions and thoughts, in everything you do. So, there is meditativeness in everything. But to meditate is different – it is that which you do by yourself. There is Yoga related to meditation, which is a solitary practice, and Yoga related to conducting your daily life immersed in a meditative state.
Q: So you also include the character work of Yama and Niyama.
YSR: Yes, they are included. Ashtanga Yoga is not merely one thing, not only exercise, not only meditation, not only breathing exercises, not only spiritual things. In Ashtanga Yoga the eight steps are complete Yoga practice. This is what we want to highlight.
For students’ internal development, Yoga is absolutely crucial.
Finally, I would like to say that here, with the Heartfulness practices, there is a silent revolution happening – a revolution that will influence the spiritual life of the individual, of the country and of the whole world. This is a massive work in progress for this century.
With the Heartfulness practices, there is a silent revolution happening
– a revolution that will influence the spiritual life of the individual,
of the country and of the whole world.
This is a massive work in progress for this century.
Interviewed by ELIZABETH DENLEY
March 23, 2020
March 17, 2020
March 17, 2020