Yogis Mark 50th Anniversary of The Beatles in India with Special Meditation at Maharishi Mahesh Yogiji’s Ashram

RISHIKESH- Yogacharyas and participants of the 29th annual International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh took part in a special meditation at Maharishi Mahesh Yogiji’s Ashram, just steps away from Parmarth Niketan.

2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the time when the world-famous band The Beatles stayed at Maharishiji’s ashram in Rishikesh, where they wrote nearly fifty songs that soon became some of their biggest hits. On this anniversary, many celebrations have been planned with the devotees of Maharishiji to remember and celebrate His life and teachings.

Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji led the participants from 94 countries by foot on a walking pilgrimage to Maharishiji ashram where there was sacred chanting and divine meditation. Honorable Minister of AYUSH and Minister of Forests, Shri Harak Singh Rawatji joined the special event.

Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji said, “Maharishi always emphasized the power and vital importance of meditation. I often share meditation is the best medication for all agitation. Today, the world needs more meditation. Meditation brings equanimity, harmony, love and peace to our lives. Meditation gives you the inner connection. In the age of internet, we also more than ever need our inner net to stay grounded and balanced. Internet grants us the fastest speed but our inner net grants us the direction.”

He added, “When the Beatles came to India their whole journey became from the grief to grace. After having divine darshan of Maharishiji their whole life was filled with grace. That inspiration and transformation is what they shared through their songs which touched millions. Today, let us take this song of peace, love, oneness and yoga, here from the banks of Mother Ganga, from the lap of the Himalayas, in our hearts back with us to our countries and transform our communities.”

Earlier in the day, the spiritual lectures series was graced today by Sri Prem Babaji, renowned leader from Brazil and founder of Awaken Love who spoke on the Yoga of Love, and renowned scientist and environmental activist Dr. Vandana Shiva speaking on the Yoga of Action.

Dr Vandana Shiva shared in her inspiring speech which got a standing ovation at the end with yogis from around the world giving their thunderous applause to her inspiring thoughts, “There is a simple way of living and that simplicity is the Yoga of the Earth, Yoga of love and the Yoga of action. Each time you think the problems are so big and I am too small, I take inspiration from the seed which is so small but changes everything. Each of us is a seed for another future. A future of love, oneness, healing and interconnectedness- a future of Yoga. “

Sri Prem Babaji said, “This moment requires for the union and reunion of the human family. It is coming together with the people first of people who understand the importance of transformation, and who are able to put their gifts and talents together for such transformation. The principles of yoga, the niyamas and yamas, the 8 limbs are key to ending the cycle of violence in the world, violence toward ourselves and toward others, and to tapping into the experience of love.”

In the evening, a very special Global Music and Dance program brought together the cultures of the world. Performances included Russian musician Denis Kucherov, traditional Bharatanatyam and Gujarati folk dance with Bharat Barai of Gujarat, and dance and song showcases from around the world, ranging from the UK to Mongolia and more. The event was a true celebration of the spirit of the International Yoga Festival, which this year has brought together nearly 2000 participants from 94 nations around the world.

Other Divine Activities during Fifth Day of International Yoga Festival

On the fifth day of International Yoga Festival, 4am Kundalini sadhana was led by Gurushabd Singh, an American Sikh and disciple of Yogi Bhajan. Other early morning classes included Traditional Hatha Yoga with Sadhvi Abha Saraswati of Parmarth Niketan, Odaka Yoga with Roberto Milletti of Italy, MetaFlow with Bhavini Kalan of South Africa, and Japanese Traditional Mantra with Japanese musicians Setsuo Miyashita, Gumi, Keigo Tanaka, and Momoko Nagano.

Mohan Bhandari, a yogacharya from Rishikesh who is now living in China, taught Yogi Yoga, and Radhika Nagrath led Sunrise Sun Salutations along the banks of Ganga. Yogrishi Vishvketu of Rishikesh led a Holistic Yogic Journey through the Five Khoshas, reminding his students, “Yoga is not a workout, it’s a work in…Your true nature is blissful, expandable, fearless and playful.”

Post-breakfast, morning asana classes continued with Tantra Yoga with Saul David Raye of the UK, Shakti Yoga with Laura Plumb of California, Jivamukti Yoga with Jules Febre of New York, and a Sanskrit Mantra Workshop focusing on the mantra Asato Ma with Joanna Faso. A class entitled Uncovering the Mystery of the Psoas was taught by Francesca Cassia. Francesca is Co-Founder of Odaka Yoga. Students call her the “Queen of Psoas”. She has been teaching yoga and running teacher trainings for over 20 years.

A special Indian Classical Dance workshop was also taught by Bharat Barai of Gujarat and Akshay Patel of Nityavali, who travel the world teaching Bharatanatyam.

After lunch in the garden of Parmarth, special talks took place throughout the IYF. Dr. Vandana Shiva gave an inspiring talk on the yoga of action to protect our future, and Shubhvilas Das gave a divine talk on the inner meaning of the Hanuman Chalisa. Dr. Andrea Paige of Bali gave a talk on fasting, Tommy Rosen of California spoke on recovering from addiction through yoga, and Dr. Anjana Bhagat spoke on aromatherapy to balance energy centers. Satya Hinduja created an Alchemic Sound Experience for yoga participants at the Sacred Sound Stage.

Quotes from Presenters & Participants

Jules Febre: “The International Yoga Festival takes seriously the collective power for change that contemporary yogis possess when they come together. IYF does not just ride the wave but is integral in enhancing the momentum as yoga moves forward changing the world for the better.”

Francesca Cassia: “Coming back to The IYF, always opens our hearts and our souls. It makes us ponder about the miracle of life and the power of transforming our life into a living blessing. Here on the banks of Mother Ganga we soak in the sacred source of our souls and we create, all together, a better world.”