New Age - Swami of Suryayog
"We cannot imagine a life without Surya. He controls the seasons and the passage of day and night. He is the source of all life. He is the true Nishkamakarmi, casting his rays upon all without discrimination. He is above all petty differences of caste, creed, sex, tribe, religion, language and nationality. He is our protector, our grandfather!"
This passionate ode to the sun comes from Acharya Jowel K. Gopinath, known as Surya Swami among his followers. Young and slim with a benign face, the Swami is busy introducing a new spiritual exercise or technique called Suryayog.
Sun worship is not new to India. The Gayatri mantra, one of the most seminal of all mantras, is a fervent salutation to the sun and the Surya Namaskar is a perfect morning exercise. Acharya Satyanand, in his book Surya Chikatsa, talks about color therapy, which is the use of sunrays after all. He divides the use of colors into three groups, each with a principal colour: Orange in the first, green in the second and indigo in the third.
Orange imparts heat and can cure one of cold and phlegmatic illnesses, and remove the torpidity of liver, and digestive organs. Green is cold in temperament, fortifies the muscles and keeps the brain cool and strong. It helps in removing rheumatic and related disorders. Blue or indigo is cool and can eliminate diseases arising out of excessive bile (pitta), as well as a host of other diseases.
The therapy Acharya Jowel offers is rather different. In the six months that he has been in Mumbai, the method has had many takers including doctors, scientists from BARC, society matrons and seekers.
One winter evening, a group of us are sitting at the Juhu beach in Mumbai. The sun has set, but that does not prevent the Acharya from waxing eloquently on the theory behind Suryayog, even as a cool wind blows and foam-flecked waves dance upon the beach. The actual practice is for the next morning.
Says he: "Suryayog is a blend of yoga, nada or sound from nature, rishi reiki and the Buddha mind." If this sounds incomprehensible, he clarifies. The exercise is conducted outdoors, between 6.30 a.m. and 7.15 a.m. and the idea is to invoke the sun`s energy through a series of exercises. These include gazing naked-eyed at the sun, chanting, deep breathing, a few yogic postures, bowing down to nature.
He teaches us the Aalphaa Mudra formed by placing the ring finger in the middle of the thumb, keeping the other three fingers erect. He introduces us to the Sheetli Pranayam: The middle finger touches the base of the thumb. The ring finger and the thumb are used to seal the nostrils. The in-breaths are drawn through the furled tongue and the out-breaths by one nostril alternately. We are taught to open our chakras, to invoke the energy of the earth and sun, and to acknowledge all realized masters.
The outcome by all accounts is remarkable. Says Suman Bembey, a housewife and recent practitioner of Suryayog: "Right from the beginning when the Swami was teaching theory, my husband and I started experiencing the magnetic power in our hands. We have done many courses, but we never felt or saw anything. With him, many of us have received a darshan of God." Mrs Bembey continues: "Within one month of doing the exercises, I was healed of a longstanding sinus problem. And my elder daughter`s sleep problem was solved. My younger daughter`s concentration powers were poor but there has been a remarkable improvement in her studies after doing the course."
Says the Swami: "Through Suryayog, your mind naturally begins to concentrate, which is the aim of all spiritual processes. The sun`s rays collide with our thoughts and create silence. The mind is too powerful to be managed by ordinary human consciousness. The photons from the solar system help to control the mind."
Dr Yamuna, a well-known aura reader who is now a disciple of the Swami, recalls her trying experience when her assistant duped her of her equipment. Filled with anger and resentment, the negativity interfered with her clairvoyance and gave her severe leg pain. Suryayog healed her of the pain as well as the negativity. Even her eyesight, she reveals, has improved through the practice.
The Acharya claims that Suryayog helps us activate our ESP, such as telepathy. Radiation from computers and cellphones can be combated by this technique. Says he: "Suryayog strengthens the mind, enabling it to withstand all things. It can even resolve terrorism by bringing clarity to the mind. Suryayog is a natural tonic from Surya." He adds that if Suryayog is practised during the monsoons, the sun will peep out!
For the Swami, the practice of Suryayog is a manifestation of the worship of nature. "Surrender to nature. She is your real guru," he says repeatedly. Like J. Krishnamurti, he abjures the practice of enforced meditation, which he deems artificial. "Don`t control the mind. Be friendly with it. Come back to Nature. She will lift you like a baby to the highest realms of meditation, to the Buddha mind."
His regard for nature makes him environmentally vigilant. He says: "Big dams, indiscriminate use of plastics, overuse of pollutants, skyscrapers, bore wells, are examples of violence against nature. Man who turns to subdue and chain nature will ultimately get more and more enchained and diminished."
Originally from Kerala, the Swami embarked on a 20-year spiritual search, including a stint in the Himalayas. It is here that he put together his techniques. The final synthesis occurred when a swami in Gujarat told him: "Surya will guide you."
The Swami conducts his classes free of charge, and has taught at, among other places, a beggar home and several schools. He believes: "There is only one way, one path to God and that is through unconditional love. Like Surya has. Suryayog helps us to be one with nature, our real guru. Surrender to nature and she will take care of you."
"Our aim is universal harmony, brotherhood and peace through the practise of this scientific technique which is above all religious dogmas. I have Hindus, Muslims and Christians as disciples," he concludes. So determined is the Swami to purge his method of all religious implications that he calls his organisation Aalphaa, and takes pains to explain the scientific basis for all things. If at times he runs the risk of being incomprehensible ("80x10 to the power of 6 cycles/sec is the electromagnetic radiation of energy in the human body"), well, that`s a risk he is willing to run.
The Swami sees himself spearheading a movement with a three-fold mission. One is the transmission of spiritual knowledge, the other is the formation of the Aalphaa Global Youth Foundation, which will undertake environmental projects such as cleansing the Ganga, preventing deforestation, removing unwanted plastics as well as other social welfare measures, and the third would be the creation of the Aalphaa Family, which would concern itself with the media, the arts, even in exports and education.
With the power of the sun behind him, who`s to say how far he will rise!
Subject: Surya Yog - 6 July 2008
It would be helpful if the Swamiji describes in minute detail how a newcomer can perform Surya Yog. That will be more helpful. He must also explain whether the human eyes can be damaged by constantly looking at the Suns harmful rays.
by: Ramesh Parida
Subject: suryayog - 16 June 2008
good to know about surya joval and suryayog.thanku.
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