Celebrations and Reflections

Recently the institute celebrated its 41st annual day. The program was conducted over 2 days, the first of which was a couple of talks and the second day was a few reminisces of students and cultural programs by students. There were some international students too who performed a dance and played music which was good fun. The children’s batch put up some wonderful performances and for a bit I was a little low thinking that I do not have any such talents to express myself. Then I figured, writing is my form of expression. It may not be art worthy but it’s a joy to put pen to paper or type.
I like to think of the cultural programs organised by the institute at different functions as a way of exploring all facets of a full human life. The joy of expression and the tapasya required in learning and performing classical dance and music.
One of Guriji’s long standing students gave a
talk on Samkhya philosophy and he used its principles to explain a few sutras. There’s a well organized post by a fellow blogger on the tattvas so I’m just going to link it here. I was wondering where to get started with putting my notes in a coherent manner and coincidentally saw this post. I suppose it is no coincidence really.

The two lines that stood out amongst many others were as below.
“How can there be love if you don’t know?
How can there be gratitude if you don’t know?”
The speaker was a student of Guruji for close to 40 years and his humility was touching. There is something in his eyes, just like in a lot of old students, a certain luminosity that makes you feel as though they see you. The lines he quoted made complete sense. Not that I know everything or even anything at all but in whatever little way yoga has touched my life, I can understand the feeling behind those two sentences.
Studying the Sutras and other literature and letting asana practice work with my mind has started to shift a few old patterns of behavior. I feel more love and gratitude and there is a certain level of vulnerability I can let myself feel. Maybe a glimpse of the one prana that flows through everyone. I feel upset when I separate myself and that’s where I have to remind myself of Maitri, Karuna, Mudita and Upeksha. Without experiencing the gifts of yoga, I was largely ignorant of the sense of bhakti and shraddha. I think they are but love and gratitude distilled.
Speaking of prana, lately I have been drawn to watching my breath at random times during the day. Not trying to change it or anything but just a spontaneous drawing from within to pay attention to it. It got me thinking about the practice of pranayama. I don’t do that yet since the logic of getting a base with asana makes sense. And the thought of eventually having to take some time out to fit that in makes me wonder how on earth I will manage all of the stuff. As of today, I am not able to do a full fledged asana practice at home everyday! But I am going beyond myself. That’s all much later. For now, its week 4 of the Preliminary course book.

Off to class in a bit. I wonder what we will learn today.

Hari Om

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