The tranquil premises of Jagadguru Kripalu University, Banara, Cuttack, beamed with devotional fervor in the last week of December, 2022, on the occasion of the 7 day annual Bhakti Yog Sadhna Shivir held every year between 25th-31st December. The theme for this year was Patanjali Yoga Sutra. Devotees hailed from all over India and from the US, to actively participate in this nectarine experience of bhakti.

The activities of the retreat began everyday from 5:30 am and continued till 9:30 pm with breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner breaks. The daily schedule included daylong sadhana with morning and evening arati, divya vachanamrit and divya upadesh (wisdom nuggets from Maharajji), soulful kirtans, parikrama and mehfil with Swamiji and the star attraction of each day, Swamiji’s erudite lectures served in a platter of selfless bhakti. 

Devotees were blessed with the opportunity to soak in devotional sentiments with exciting sevas like Tika and Rakhi by Swamij, Maharajji’s Abhishek with panchamrit, garlanding Maharajji, offering special Maha Dawat to Maharajji, Bal Gopal’s tel-malish(seasonal seva of oil massage) and Mahaarati during Maharajji’s shobha yatra. The Rath Yatra was an enchanting one. Swamiji inaugurated the deity of Maharajji on the Rath and it was followed by a long procession of professional folk dancers, singers and devotees who walked and danced around the campus from the sadhana hall to the University site. The Mehfil gave an opportunity to both online and offline participants to express their devotion and gratitude to Hari and Guru as they presented song, dance and poetry on spiritual themes. The parikrama with Swamiji was the most exciting part of each day with devotees engaging in Harinam Sankirtan to the accompaniment of drums and music. Swamiji sang and danced gracefully and motivated the crowd to follow suit in devotional ecstasy. He seemed to be distributing garlands of divine love among all seekers who immersed themselves in divine bliss, forgetting worldly entanglements.

Swamiji’s lecture series was especially enlightening. He elaborated on the first section  of Patanjali Yoga Sutra, the Samadhi Pad. Patanjali Yoga Sutra is heavily referred to by Advaitis—followers of non-dualistic philosophies as well as by Ashtanga yogis but the perspective of Bhakti presented by Swamiji was unique and left devotees spellbound. Those who heard Swamiji on the Yoga Sutras for the first time, were astounded while his older devotees were filled with spiritual bliss to receive such an enriching interpretation of the Sutras. 

Swamiji began with the premise that sage Patanjali was the pioneer of mind management. He explained how Patanjali emphasized on the importance of disciplining the mind (anushasan), in order to achieve the ultimate objective of unity with God(yog). The practical need for self-disciplining was also given. According to the sutras, when the mind is murky, one can’t distinguish between the mind,body and soul and one mistakenly thinks that he/she is upset when, in reality, it is only the mind that is upset, not one’s consciousness. One can see the reality only through self discipline and purification of the mind(nirodh). Swamiji took devotees through a systematic approach of the purification of the mind by identifying, from the Sutras, the root cause of attachment, desire, anger, greed, lust and suffering and also gave practical solutions to combat these mental illnesses. He also guided the audience about how to bring the right thought to the intellect and revise the thought so that one can form positive habits. 

Swamiji delved deep into the philosophy of perception, understanding and self realization by pointing out ways in which human beings misconstrue things due to the wrong knowledge that they have fed to their intellect. He also gave detailed steps of attaining success in self-realization and eventually, Yog or union with God. 

​Swamiji’s august presence and involvement with devotees at various levels through different activities in the retreat has indeed elevated them to unprecedented spiritual heights.

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  • मानव देह का महत्त्व

मानव देह का महत्त्व

November 15th, 2022|0 Comments

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