Yogis from 96 Nations Pledge for a Swachh Bharat and Swachh and Shanti World
RISHIKESH- On the sixth day of International Yoga Festival, Parmarth Niketan Ashram was awash today in a sea of colour and a flood of languages as people from 96 countries united for a Swachhta and Shanti Sankalp.
The participants also formed an enormous peace symbol in the back yoga garden and pledged to be torchbearers of peace. As Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, director of the Festival, emphasized, “The very first yama given by Patanjali is ahimsa, non-violence. To be true yogis, not just acrobats or exercisers, you must begin with a foundation of ahimsa.”
Other Divine Activities During Sixth Day of International Yoga Festival
The spiritual lecture series today was a conversation on “Science Meets Spirituality – The Power of Yoga to Transform Your Cells to Your Self” with Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati and Bruce Lipton Ph.D., an internationally renowned scientist and best-selling author. The conversation bridged science and spirituality to help everyone understand that we are not victims of our genes, our physical bodies or our situations.
Sadhvi Bhagawatiji shared her story of coming from a world of academia, a world of science into the spiritual world. She said “Science is great if the subject is something within the purview of science’s tools. If it can be weighed , measured, seen in a telescope or microscope, then science can give us answers. But if the subject is beyond these tools, science does not have the answer, only spirituality does. Also the truth of science keeps changing as science’s tools keep changing and improving. The truth of science used to be that the earth was flat and everything revolved around it. As the tools got better the truth changed — now we know the earth is round and actually we revolve around it. In spirituality though the Truth is eternal, universal and not dependent on time, place or tools.”
Dr. Bruce Lipton said: “We are not victims of our genes. We are victims only of our mental programming. If we can free ourselves from the negative, fear based, sabotaging mental programming through yoga and meditation, we can create heaven on earth in our own lives and every day can be a honeymoon. “
The morning, 4am Kundalini sadhana was led by Gurushabd Singh of USA, followed by other early morning classes including Kundalini Yoga with Kia Miller of USA, Vinyasa with Katie B Happy of USA, and Sukshma Yoga with Nandini Tripathi of Parmarth Niketan. Saul David Raye of the UK led a class focused on Hridaya Shakti, and Dayna Seraye of USA led a class focused on the Heart of Hanuman. Ana Forrest of USA and Jose Calarco of Australia led Forrest Yoga, a style of Yoga which brings together Music, Philosophy, First Peoples (native people of USA, Australia, etc.), Prayer, Poetry & Shamanism, bringing many new avenues of healing for modern yogis.
As the run rose over the banks of the River Ganga, participants were enchanted by soothing, melodious mantra chanting by Anandra George of Hawaii, USA.
Later in the morning, world-famous Kundalini Yoga teacher Gurmukh Kaur of USA led Kundalini Yoga, Tommy Rosen of USA led a separate Kundalini Yoga class, Brian Siddharth Ingle of Ireland taught Somatic Yoga, and Jules Febre led Pranayama and Meditation. Swami Uttamananda led the Sanskrit Mantra Workshop, which focused on the inner meaning of Aum and Om Namah Shivaya. Anand Mehrotra led a class in Sattva Yoga, reminding the participants, “You are the chosen one, life has chosen you, not by an accident. Your existence is not an accident or fluke. It is part of the grand design. Love is always loving you. You are this love, you are that love, know this and rest as such. Awaken your inner potential and radiate it out to liberate all.”
Following lunch, Dr. Anjana Bhagat led an introductory chakra meditation with essential oils, Daphne Tse of USA led chanting for the soul, Swamini Adityananda Saraswati of Parmarth Niketan taught a class on spiritual dream boarding to chart our course for a divine tomorrow, Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasenaji led a Buddhist meditation, and Katie Fisher of USA led a chanting session focusing on vibrational frequencies for health.
A special talk was held with renowned American motivational author and speaker Brandon Bays, who spoke about what she refers to as “The Journey.” The powerful teachings of The Journey were born from Brandon’s own direct experience of healing from a large tumor in just 6 ½ weeks – without drugs or surgery. The Journey allows us to get to the root cause of our limitations and the shut downs that prevent us from living life to the full – and that can even make us ill. It allows us to let go of the past and the emotional blocks that hold us back. As a result we experience healing and transformation at a cellular level.
In the later afternoon, intense asana classes included Yuvaa Yoga with Yuva Dayalan, beginner level for health and longevity with Simon Borg-Olivier of Australia, Lotus Flow Vinyasa with Deborah Langely of Australia/New York, and a musical workshop entitled “The Rhythm of Life” with Tabla Maestro Pankaj Suhash. Yogi Amandeep Singh of Singapore taught a Kundalini Yoga class.
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji led a beautiful satsang followed by a meditation entitled “Ganga Flow Meditation: Let Go, Expand, and Connect in the Presence of Truth.”
Following the day’s classes, all of the yogacharyas and yoga participants gathered in the garden of Parmarth Niketan for a celebratory group photo, followed by the water blessing ceremony.
After Divine Ganga Aarti and dinner, the yogis were treated with an exuberant cultural song, dance and theatre performance by the Parmarth Rishikumars.
Quotes from Presenters & Participants
Anand Mehrotra: “Having taught all over the World, IYF is the most diverse, life-altering festival. The energy of Rishikesh, the Ganga, and Parmarth Niketan Ashram truly transforms people. It is a great joy to witness the incredible shift in people’s lives when they come to this event.”
Yogi Amandeep Singh: “The highest gift a seeker can receive is Sadhu Sang Ganga Kee Tarang – the company of a sadhu and a dip in the waves of Ganga. Maa Ganga clears the past, and a sadhu clears your future. This is all you need!”
Katie B Happy: ““The International Yoga Festival is my journey home! It’s a place where I feel Ganga cleanse me. The people I meet are relationships I have for life. I am so grateful to journey from California every year for this sacred event. Thank you Swamiji!”
Simon Borg-Olivier: “I am thrilled to be invited to this festival as i have seen it online previously and believe it to be the most genuine yoga festival in the world today.”