Heartwarming Stories for the Cold Winter
Shifting, moving, and repurposing… These people are not talking about changing places of residence. Here, Isha meditators pour out their hearts about different incidences that touched them deeply and in many cases, left them changed forever.
A Massive Shift Within
- Deepak, Samyama Volunteer, Cochin
I have always heard Sadhguru say that when you are in the ashram, whatever is needed for your growth will happen - physically, mentally and am sure it must be happening at the energy level too.
I am the kind of person who would go to any length to avoid doing heavy physical work, but as Sadhguru would have it, my name was called out first in the team for “food shifting” meaning shifting huge heavy vessels containing food for the nearly 800+ participants and 100+ volunteers during the Samyama program...
Frankly by the end of the day, my body was broken, and I was left hoping that my activity would be changed. But, to my disappointment then, I realised that I would be in it for all 8 days.
The second day was also a bit of a drag, but from the third day onwards in my experience, the work just became so effortless. Silence was of prime importance during the program, which meant all of us had to do everything from washing vessels to keeping plates to keeping tumblers with no sound!!! This made the food shifting job even more difficult since we had to take so much weight without moving fast. We had to be rather slow and gentle, even if the huge vessels contained hot food, due to which the vessel, in turn, would become too hot to handle!!
But I learnt to deal with this also. I am thin and puny – from where I got the strength to do all this heavy shifting is beyond my understanding.
On the eve of the Samyama closing day, during a volunteers’ meet, I wasn’t surprised to hear that many others shared that they were allotted activity that they didn’t like. But over the course of a few days, their willingness grew so much, leaving them much more capable and free within. All experienced heightened awareness through activity.
By the end of 8 days, we were a bunch of nearly 130 - all shining, willing, intense and gentle beings at the same time. I guess this is what Sadhguru meant when he said we should become like cool fire.
So how did all this benefit me or what change has it brought in my life? Ever since the volunteering, I have just been 100% ON!! Not a dull moment.100% willing and dong what needs to be done with as much intensity as possible!
Hoping to climb further and am sure to do so with His Grace.
Shivanga Sadhana – Receiving Bhiksha
-Sharing from a Shivanga
One of the days, after I finished my evening sadhana, I went for my first round of begging. I started to beg from the watchmen, the house help, the people on the road who I see every day and smile at without knowing even their names. Then I reached some small huts on the roadside.
There are three families who live in these humble huts and we greet each other every day with a typical gesture of hand on our chest and slight bow of our heads. As I knocked on their makeshift door for bhiksha, a lady came out and gave me rice as bhiksha, people from other huts also joined in and put some money in my outstretched bhiksha patra.
When I went for the next round they were all standing there with folded hands, crying. The lady who gave me rice, even hugged my wife who was walking a few steps behind me, and cried... I realised what it meant to her and them.
They were overwhelmed that I was willing to come to them as a nobody, as a beggar, a bhikshuk. They immediately understood that I was on a pilgrimage and irrespective of how little they have in terms of material wealth, they gave in a beautiful, graceful and pure way.
I walked the rest of the rounds with tears in my eyes and grace in my heart. A million Pranams to Sadhguru.
A Subtle Global Shift
One of the Isha Yoga teachers from Lebanon shares an unusual experience at the Lebanon airport that reveals in some way a subtle shift in human consciousness After the Kailash yatra, I travelled back to Lebanon. As I was joyfully trotting ahead after finishing the security check at the airport, I heard someone calling me back. I turned back to see that it was a special security officer (known as a commando in India) who was smiling curiously and making hand gestures indicating me to come back. Though I became a bit nervous within, his smile was inviting, and I gently walked back to him wondering what he was calling me for.
He pointed at the photo of Sadhguru on my back pack (ID photo from Kailash Yatra), and passionately asked, to my utter surprise, “I know this man, or have seen someone like him. He does Yoga, right?” I said yes and introduced Sadhguru with pride and told him many other things Isha does. He seemed touched and enquired if there were any books written by Sadhguru available in Arabic, or if there was a center in Lebanon that he could visit and know more about Sadhguru!
It may seem an ordinary incident, but it isn’t! He was most likely a Muslim, and he took the risk of talking to me about something unofficial while he was on duty; such was his longing for something more in his life. Special security officers are rarely seen indulging in social talk while on duty.
Rally for Rivers Reaches Assam
The actions of Shri. Jaydeep, his friends and well-wishers signify the true success of Rally for Rivers. As published in the Assam Tribune - BONGAIGAON, Nov 1, 2017
Inspired by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’s river campaign, Jaydeep Chakravarty, a nature activist here, has embarked on a mission to revive the Tunia rivulet, which passes through over 50 villages of Bongaigaon district, in the greater interest of the local people.
Over 500 of Jaydeep’s friends and well-wishers have already joined the “Save Tunia Campaign” launched by him. Jaydeep has also opened a Facebook account to spread awareness about the rivulet and posted folklore and background information relating to Tunia. On November 4, this campaign will get a formal shape and enlist greater participation of the local people, Jaydeep informed. The campaign will seek out to reach school and college students, and an initiative will be taken up to collect 10,000 signatures in support of the campaign.
“Our campaign is not against any person, institution, government or department. We need active cooperation of the people from different walks of life; we want to revive the rivulet for our socio-economic interests,” added Jaydeep.
Girl from a Dysfunctional Family Tops the School – An Isha Vidhya Student Story
– Kavita, Isha Vidhya student
Since a young age, Kavita has been cooking and taking care of her younger sister while her mother works beyond her physical capacity as a coolie, sells circus tickets until midnight, and does many other menial jobs to provide three meals for her children. Kavita’s father is an alcoholic without a steady job and was often abusive towards her mother.
The principal of Isha Vidhya, who had known her mother before marriage, met Kavita’s mother accidently one day. Seeing her pathetic situation, she immediately admitted her children to Isha Vidhya – a turning point in Kavita’s life. Kavita topped the school, and now studies in the best residential school in the district on a 100% scholarship. She hopes to become a doctor.
“If Isha Vidhya wasn’t there, my daughter would not even have reached the 10th standard. By now, she’d be working as a coolie in a village. Her teachers took care of her like their own daughter. They even shared their breakfast with her every day because I was unable to provide it. I never imagined a school like this. I am forever grateful to Sadhguru and Isha Vidhya.” – Kavita’s mother
Isha Foundation – An Organization that Functions like an Organism
– Shounak Mukherjee, Yoga Veera
I am a professional actor working in Kolkata and I was at Isha for 10 days last year during Mahashivaratri volunteering. My first assignment was to help compile data to make the passes required by various departments for the Mahashivaratri program. Every department was sending me information on their activity. I was so amazed at how many different types of activities were happening around Mahashivaratri. None were aware of each other, but yet all were so connected with each other and working together.
In the outside world, people plan a lot and want to do things to perfection, but the moment it doesn’t happen the way they want, they freak out.
Here, people may look quite unprepared in comparison, but really they are prepared for anything that may happen. They will never freak out, no matter what comes their way. People outside have confusion of a different type.
Here, there may be total confusion, yet people seem to know exactly what needs to be done, and all the parts just come together. It all works together like the parts of a larger organism. Everybody is in their own sphere simply doing their best.
Mahashivratri Glimpses Made me Visit a Serene Place Called Isha Yoga Center
– Esha Sawhney, Brisbane, Australia
A couple of years ago, while living in Brisbane, my husband started watching Sadhguru videos on Youtube. Spirituality never interested me, but curious to find out more, I too sampled a few videos. I will be honest; I heard myself say, "His words make sense."
I came across the Mahashivratri glimpses from previous years. It was so powerful that I felt tears rolling down my face. That is when I realised that there is something in me which I never saw or felt. It was so beautiful. Both my husband and I attended the free Isha Upa-Yoga and Isha Kriya programs in Brisbane and soon were initiated into the powerful Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya in Sydney. We had made up our mind to go to the Ashram for Mahashivratri in 2017. To our delight, we came to know that Sadhguru would be conducting a consecration ceremony of the Yogeshwar Linga. Wow! To be in Sadhguru’s presence was something that we had not thought would happen this early in our spiritual journey.
My husband suggested that we should go for three weeks and do some sightseeing in South India. We also decided to do the Mahashivratri sadhana. I wasn’t too sure of taking up this sadhana, yet agreed. The thought of missing my regular breakfast was scary! Eager as we were, we signed up to become Yoga Veeras.
Our stay at the Isha Yoga Center was both exciting yet laced with a bit of anxiety. Exciting because by listening to Sadhguru and doing my practices in the vibrant spaces of Isha Yoga Center, it brought subtle yet noticeable changes within myself. I was a bit anxious if I would be able to sustain this. But to my surprise, I did not come across a time when I wanted to be away from this place. I sensed something larger which kept me engaged to be in this place.
During the stay, I was confronted with a big problem, that of waking up very early in the morning. As everyone around me woke up at 4:30 am, inevitably I had to wake up early too. As the days went by, waking up early became natural and made me realise that this is the best time for spiritual practices. Each day was engulfed with joy within me and around me. I was never aware of the limitations which I had. I slept on the floor, walked barefoot, volunteered or just sat and looked within myself. I didn’t crave for junk food which I normally love. And yes, the sadhana had a tremendous impact on my system, I felt so light, something I never had experienced before.
My husband reminded me in the third week about our plan to go sight-seeing in South India. I knew I would have to leave soon but at the same time I did not want to. We decided to stay on for some more time. Isha Yoga Center has something for which my words will fall short if I tried to describe it. Now I realise why Sadhguru talks about the importance of being in consecrated spaces.
When I eventually left, all of a sudden some other world was there to deal with. But slowly and gradually I understood that it is one's inner self which determines the outside environment.
The Consecration of Yogeshwar Linga has put me at ease and I feel much more inclusive rather than being attached. During the consecration process, we did some chanting and during that chant process, I felt something getting released from my body. Every chant was so powerful that the world vanished for a few moments. Though it was momentary, the stillness and joyousness that I felt, just cannot be compared to anything.
Through Mahashivratri glimpses I was inclined to Isha Yoga Center and my experience of actually being there on that grand night is indescribable. When Sadhguru made us chant “Aum Namah Shivaya,” it was just spectacular. When I opened my eyes, I wondered whether I had slept or got so engrossed in meditation because after I opened my eyes I did not know when the chant got over. The music was playing and I could not understand what it was. I heard and watched documentaries that a state of mind exists where one feels so calm and peaceful in meditation, but never knew it can be so beautifully experienced. In the middle of night, I danced, meditated and kept my back straight which is the main essence of this night. Any group I joined at the celebration, I felt inclusive. The whole night was full of light, love and laughter.
My practices have improved and life is so much better. To who else can I give credit for this life-changing experience but to my Guru.