Daaji: Namaste sir.
Deepak Chopra: Daaji, it is a great honour to be with you and celebrate World Peace Day. I was thinking, as I was getting online to speak with you, of the basic Yamas and Niyamas that are the basis of all of our yogic tradition. And if you look at the Yamas in order, it all starts with ahimsa. Ahimsa is the first Yama, which means to be established in non-violence.
The great sage Patanjali says that when we are firmly established in peace-consciousness ourselves, then all beings around us cease to feel hostility. So you are actually to do nothing but be peaceful yourself, and bring the presence of peace wherever you go. If you do that, then people around you will feel peaceful, not by what you say, not even by what you do, but just by your presence.
That is the great gift of Patanjali, when he says the first lesson of Yoga is to start with ahimsa. Then you start with satya. Satya is truth. When you have satya added to ahimsa, you automatically have asteya. Asteya means you don’t covet anything, because you are totally fulfilled within yourself. And from that experience of asteya, nonstealing, non-covetousness, nonjealousy, comes what Patanjali calls aparigraha, which means detachment from the fruits of action, which ultimately leads to the best use of your energy, your vital energy, your vital force.
And so, on World Peace Day, I think it is very appropriate for us to celebrate the great yogic traditions of India that also talk about the Niyamas – cleanliness, shaucha; fulfilment that comes from self-study or swadhyaya; and the effulgence that comes from the radiation of peace and ultimately results in what we call the oneness with our Source.
So Yoga is that tradition, and everything that we are doing in this world is the opposite of Yoga. We are coming from the fragmented mind, from the ego mind, which makes us look at ourselves as separate beings, and looks at the world also as separate, when we are one with it. As you know, one of the greatest Mahavakyas is “Tattvamasi” – whatever I see, I see pure consciousness; whatever I see, I see the Divine; whatever I see, I see the Infinite. It doesn’t matter what it is; it could be a cup of coffee that is the modified expression of the Infinite.
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The Ber Tree
V. RAMAKANTHA, Ph.D., is a former Indian Forest Service officer and member of the Green Initiative at the international Heartfulness Center, Kanha Shanti Vanam, India. Having spent most of his working life living in forests and jungles, in tune with the natural world, he shares his knowledge about some of the amazing medicinal plants of India, in this case the Ber Tree.
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YOGA & PEACE
DEEPAK CHOPRA speaks with DAAJI about the role Yoga has to play in bringing about world peace. This is an excerpt from their conversation broadcast on International Day of Peace, September 21, 2020. That documentary is available at https://heartfulness.org/en/international-day-of-peace/.
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