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On to the path of joy

The 12th edition of DD Kosambi Festival of Ideas concluded with a talk on ‘Leading a balanced and joyous life through yoga-meditation’ by Swami Smaranananda Giri, the vice-president of the Yogoda Satsanga Society of India. NT BUZZ gets more details

NT BUZZ

Filled with joy on his first visit to Goa, Swami Smaranananda Giri who was the speaker for the last day of the 12th edition of DD Kosambi Festival of Ideas said that he is happy on his first visit to Goa as the state is one of the most enchanting places on this planet. He then began his talk by saying that, “From joy we have come, for joy we live and that sacred joy one day shall melt again,” to which he added that in a world of duality where we experience so much pain and suffering all around us this adage may sound unrealistic, but if we only practice the procedures developed very well by ancient Rishis, then one day this will be possible.

He also informed that to have problems in life is natural, but one needs to find the root cause of their problems and remove that root cause. “The root cause of the problems is ignorance of divinity, each and every one of us is potentially divine, but we forget that divine nature and hence we face day to day challenges,” he added.

He further also addressed the point of ‘what is God?’ In explanation, he said that God is the word we have been hearing from childhood. “Did we every stop and think what is God? There are many definitions of God but to me personally is ‘God is joy’. God is not simple joy, it is ever new joy,” said Swami.

Swami further explained how mediation works as an antidote for stress. “Joy has three shades, it is physiological, psychological and spiritual” he said. He added that meditation helps in overcoming challenges faced by human beings. “When you meditate, physiologically you feel uplifted; and you feel all will be well and that inner assurance comes to you that you will be able to face whatever challenges you have.”

He explained about three different meditation techniques including the ‘pranayama’, ‘hamsa’, ‘om’ and ended the session with free breathing techniques for the audience.

Some Q&As from
the session

Q:  Is salvation achievable by mediation?

Swami:  Each one of is trying for salvation and we would like to get that ultimate freedom and mediation is the fastest way. It is the most scientific way to attain freedom. Yes, mediation leads to salvation.

Q: Difference between mediation and hypnotism?

Swami:  Hypnotism is hypnotising the mind. And why would you want to give control of your mind to someone else? You have to take control of your mind. Meditation is not hypnotism because here we are not suggesting anything to the mind.

Q: In the book ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ there are many miraculous episodes narrated. Why don’t we see people doing such miracles in today’s world?

Swami: Those days when miracles happened people did not know that; it is only when I explained in the book people came to know about it. So please do not think that miracles do not happen today, it is just that we are not aware. A person who is performing miracles does not necessarily go out and tell that I have miraculous powers.  To me personally the greatest miracle is existence of inner joy. No matter what is happening around me I can be joyful.

Q: Does mediation clash with religion?

Swami: The goal of mankind is to avoid suffering and attain joy. So one can follow any religion and still benefit with mediation.

Q: What is the technique to control our mind? Everyone knows it is meditation but the moment I sit for mediation, different thoughts pops up; so how do I control this?

Swami:  There is no magic. We need to have patience and keep trying. When you sit for mediation, it has something to do with your biological processes. Thoughts come and go but thoughts won’t disturb you as long as you have the motivation to concentrate on what you should do.

Q: Can mediation lead to curing diseases like cancer?

Swami: If you’re having a peaceful mind and inner joy, it helps to fight diseases in addition to medication. That is the reason when we start meditation we don’t ask to stop medication because meditation plus medication definitely helps.

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