By Shivi Verma
The Life Positive Expo in Mumbai was a smashing success with great workshops and a fabulous valedictory address, says Shivi Verma
Even as the rest of Mumbai, indeed the rest of India, reeled under the turbulence generated by the sudden demonetisation of high-currency notes, deep in the city’s iconic World Trade Centre, all was sunshine and smiles. The Life Positive Expo was on. Lost in the magic woven by expert facilitators and the bliss of spiritual knowledge, participants forgot about their currency anxiety, or the pain of waiting for long hours in queues.
Certainly, the Expo came just when the city needed a powerful shot of positivity. No wonder participants left the two-day fest almost floating in the air.
The event started with a short inaugural ceremony. Editor-in-chief Suma Varughese talked about Life Positive’s vision and mission and the significance of the 20th anniversary. The facilitators of the day, BK Chandrashekhar and Shruti Nada Poddar were then felicitated. Shruti Nada Poddar wound up the event with a short but profoundly stirring invocation, after which participants went off to their respective halls.
Nada Vibronics by Shruti Nada Poddar
Shruti Nada Poddar held a masterful class on the power of not just sound but vibrations itself, which is called Nada in Sanskrit. “Everything in the Universe is a vibration,” she asserted. And therefore nada means not just sound, but all sensory inputs including touch, sight, smell and taste, all of which are interpreted by the brain through waves that set up vibrations in the sensory organ.Nada, she said, is the relationship between potentiality and kinesis, often symbolised as the relationship between Shiva (potentiality) and Shakti (kinesis).
Starting off with some ragas sung in her powerful resonant voice, she invited participants to identify them through the images invoked. Sure enough, most were able to associate images of the morning with Raag Vibhav, of depth and meditation with Raag Dharbari and romance, enjoyment and love with Raag Yaman. Music, she affirmed, has the power to change your consciousness more quickly than anything else.
Nada also includes chanting, mudras and visualisations, all of which were included in her workshop. Participants were introduced to some pranayams such as bhastrakar and anulom vilom, both of which helped us access the pure energy of the Source and expel toxins. There was also an exercise to help us connect to the energy of the earth and sky. Palms were folded in a namaste and held at the midriff, before being raised upward as far as one could take them, and then going down on the ground into a shashtang namaskar.
Her sublime workshop also introduced the participant to aspects of Sanskrit chanting and led them through the beautiful chant: “Purnimadham purnamidham….”
She explained that most chants used three closely related notes to induce their calming and uplifting influence. Participants were also led through a wonderful session of Om chanting. The highlight of the workshop was the chanting of the beej mantras associated with each chakra, which can heal us of any ailments. Participants emerged from the session mesmerised by the beauty and profundity of the Indic tradition.
Developing mind and memory power by BK Chandrashekhar
BK Chandrashekhar is the epitome of simplicity and knowledge. Complex subjects like the human body and mind acquire a fluid-like clarity and flow when he speaks on them. And he professes that the source of this profundity, and clarity is God himself.
Comparing the human body with a computer, he explained that mind is the instrument which governed the body, and the mind itself was governed by chitta (the memory software). The memory component comprised three sections. The subconscious (active folders), unconscious (inactive folders, past-life memories) and the superconscious which is filled with divine sanskaras of peace, happiness, love, satisfaction, bliss and will power. The conscious mind mostly takes orders from the subconscious mind which is a mixture of good and bad memories. Between the mind and the chitta is the filter called intellect. When the intellect rules the mind the mind makes use of the best memories for the body’s functions. But when the mind governs the intellect people use the same old repetitive patterns of memory, which often lead to suffering.
The mind is the source of inexhaustible divine energy supply to the body, but only when it is plugged correctly. Ailments mean that the necessary biochemicals are not getting released in the body because of insufficient energy supply. Healing means supplying appropriate amount of energy from your mind. And to facilitate the exact kind of energy supply needed by the body, Dr, Chandrashekhar taught participants to use his third eye healing album. The album had colours of different frequencies. By looking long enough at them, when the embedded image becomes visible to the naked eye, the exact gland and biochemicals connected to the colour get released and a healing current goes to the patient. He also taught how to charge water and food, measure aura and enhance memory by installing images in mind. People were enthralled by the workshop.
After the workshops came the launch of the book, Mystic experiences with Himalayan Masters by Dr Sant S Dharamananda.
Later in a conversation with editor-in-chief Suma Varughese, Santji shared some of the stories that makes the book a rivetting experience.
He was the fifth of nine sons to an Arya Samaj priest in the island of Trinidad and Tobago, and life was hard. He had to milk cows and do chores before and after going to school, and his grades were poor. The teacher told his father that his son was a hopeless case. Deeply hurt, Santji ran to the cowshed of his house and falling on the haystack, began crying. As night began to fall he heard a voice tell him, “Everything will be fine, beta”. The next day while attempting his papers, he saw a yellow light moving up and down the paper and stopping at specific answers. Santii ticked those answers and passed the examination with flying colours. His name was among the top 50 scholastic students! Twenty years later when he met Swami Rama in 1987, he greeted Sant by saying, ‘So we meet again,beta.’ Instantly Santji could recognise the voice he had heard in the cow’s pen. Swami Rama became his guru from there on. Swami Rama imparted 2000-year-old mantras through which he could heal many people. These and many other mind-boggling miracles and mystical experiences are mentioned in the book. To know and enjoy more get your copies fast.
Create Your Future by Vyjayanti Tejuja and Radhika Chopra
Vyjayanti Tejuja and Radhika Chopra’s workshop gave valuable insights on how to shift your life from default mode into conscious co-creation with the Universe.
The capacity to create one’s life depends on the ability to choose (can we move from reaction to response?), emanating the right energy, being in touch with feelings, accessing one’s space of stillness, and believing that everything that happens to you is for your ultimate good. Thus instead of agonising over your present situation you recognise that it is the pathway to lead you to your preferred destination. At the same time, it is important not to draw up a plan but only to hold the destination in mind, because the Universe can craft a million ways for us to reach destination.
It is also important to determine whether you are coming from lack or abundance. The spirit or will power, and commitment, are also vital to help create consciously. Other factors include taking responsibility for one’s life, cultivating an inner connection, and integrating your goals with body, mind and soul. They also emphasised the importance of play in creating by freeing the goal of its significance, and simply having fun with it.
Many of these points were supplemented through powerful exercises. In one of them, participants were asked to go down to the base of the spine and breathe through the nose, while exhaling vigorously through the mouth (making a rushing sound). They were then to bring up an issue that overwhelmed them, in the form of a person or energy and to dialogue with it. They were also to see what gift the situation offered them, because life was benevolence. The powerful exercise offered insight to participants.
Another exercise revolved around seeing the charge held by a situation in one’s body. Once again participants were asked to go to the base of the spine and recognise the charge in a sensation in the body – a heaviness, or a constriction or block. Through the same breath exercise, followed by a series of continuous inhales and short vigorous exhales (like blowing out a candle), they were asked to breathe into the charge until it moved and left the body. This would later show up as changes in the cellular memory.
Detailed dialogue with some participants on reframing some of their personal issues helped rub home the points. All in all, a useful and insightful workshop.
The Pranic Force
It is not possible to casually rattle off words like yoga, God, spirituality, meditation before Partha Gupta. He will instantly ask you to define them and explain what they mean to you. And if you are slightly unclear he will stump you with his insights and explanations. According to him everything which we see is the union of energy with its matter. And this includes our breath, our body, plants, fruits, and any form existing on this planet. And yoga is nothing but the study of union and separation of energy and its matter. Our spirit is pure energy and when it enters a physical form it makes many things happen by using the body as its vehicle. All our will power is spiritual power. If somebody was able to become rich, it means that he had the spirit to do it. Everything begins with a thought, and the extent to which you have passion in your thought you have the power and ability to manifest your desires. Bringing the analogy of a baby, Partha said that a little baby does nothing except breathe, yet he receives everything and every care for him to survive and thrive.
Similarly, if we can breathe pure breaths like a baby, things will naturally come to us. To experience this Partha asked participants to inhale, then hold the breath, focus on the space within and then release the breath. After repeating this process six-seven times, people experienced a deep state of inner silence. “This state of inner silence is the actual you, and actual meditation,” he said. After that he taught several methods of breathing where people had to focus at several points on the bridge of their noses that corresponded with seven chakras of the body. He also enlightened people about five types of pranas controlling and regulating the body, namely, udana, prana, samana, apana and vyana. After that he imparted the technique of using mudras to direct the flow of prana to the desired part of the body to heal ailments. “Diseases means prana is not reaching the affected organ,” said Partha. After cleansing the naadis through naadi shuddhi, Partha helped the participants take their breaths to the desired part. Said a woman, “I was experiencing a headache, and throat infection, but after the processes both the problems cleared up.”
All gurus try to tell you the secrets of happiness. Life is so full of suffering that you don’t need anyone to teach you how to be unhappy. But Sri Ram Gajula is a master with a difference. In his valedictory address which brought the Expo to an end, he urged people to love the negatives of life too as a gift of from God. Excerpts from his speech:
“Positives anybody likes, smiles anybody likes. There is nothing so great about it. God is highly happy when the painful things he sends are loved. That is the best puja one can perform. By loving negatives I don’t mean that you should not try to remove them, but please love them as they exist and go. The positives exist because of negatives. Between two peaks is a valley. Without a valley two peaks cannot exist. Therefore thank God for the negatives. They make us wiser and drive us closer to God.
“The mother has special affection for the child who suffers the most. And during suffering you feel the touch of your mother’s love as she tries to remove your pain. There is great joy in that feeling. Loving your negatives is the royal road to divinity. Unless you love your negatives you cannot become happy. Because happiness alone cannot make you wise. So be unhappy when happy and happy when unhappy.
“The nature of life is dualistic, and to enjoy one aspect you need to have another. The existence of a villain is a must for the creation of a hero. Without him the hero has no opportunity to show his heroism. Thank the negatives for the growth they engendered in you and the opportunity they created in you to enjoy deeply when the pain is removed or prayers are answered. Therefore smile at you tears because they are pregnant with smiles.”
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