Invocation

Obeisance To The Luminous All Pervasive Self, Permeating Existence And
Non-existence, Manifesting Within And Without. May That Self Lead Us From Ignorance To Knowledge From Untruth To Truth.

Tribute

One Thousand And Eight Prostrations To The Divine Lotus Feet Of
Mata Amritanandamayi Devi,
For It Is By Her Will And Blessings That All Of This Is Possible.
For The Highest Of Teachings From A True Living Saint And Satguru Go To

WWW.AMRITAPURI.ORG

I Would Like To Offer My Deepest Respect And Obeisance To

The Brighu Rishi and Agasthya Rishi Paramparai Of
Yogashiromani Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri,
Yogacharini Yogamani Pudavai Kalaimamani Smt. Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani,
Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani
Of The International Center For Yoga Education And Research At
Ananda Ashram, Pondicherry India.

It Is Because Of Their “Profound Interest” That We Are Empowered
To Offer These Profound And Powerful Teachings
We Are Simply The Offspring Of Their Divine Unconditional Love.

For More Information On
Gitananada Rishiculture Ashtanga Yoga

Go To
WWW.ICYER.COM


 

Mata Amritanandamaya Devi

There are no words to express the divinity that flows from this greatest of living saints. A fully enlightened Satguru Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (also known lovingly as Ammachi and Amma referring to the Divine Mother) continually pours love and compassion unto this world and all of her children. Emulating the path of Seva (selfless service) she is a constant river of selflessness. It is through her Divine inspiration and grace that we are empowered to offer our Yoga in the spirit of Seva.
Amma

On the morning of the 27th of September 1953, in a small poor fishing village, Parayakadavu in the Quilon district of Kerala, a baby girl was born. Her parents gave her the name Sudhamani. She came into this world not in tears as babies usually do, but with a beaming smile on her face, as if prophesying the joy and bliss she was to bring to the world.

Sudhamani spent the years of her childhood and teens immersed in intense spiritual practices in order to present a living example for the world. Even as a small child, she could often be found absorbed in deep meditation, totally oblivious of her surroundings. By the age of five, she had already begun composing devotional songs laden with deep mystical insight.

Another quality that was clearly manifest in Sudhamani from this tender age was her love and compassion toward her fellow human beings. Though only a child, Sudhamani did whatever she could to ease the suffering of her elderly neighbors. She washed their clothes, bathed them and even brought them food and clothing from her own home. This habit of giving away things from her family's house landed her in deep trouble. However, no amount physical abuse or punishment could stop the expression of her inborn compassion. She later said, "An unbroken stream of Love flows from me towards all beings in the cosmos. That is my inborn nature."

'Amma' as she is known all over the world today, has inspired and started innumerable humanitarian services. She has earned international recognition for her outstanding contributions to the world community. She is recognized as an extraordinary spiritual leader by the United Nations and by people all over the world.

Though Amma makes no claims herself, those who watch her closely notice that she is the greatest example of her teaching. Her disciples and believers imbibe her teachings by just watching her.

For the past 30 years Amma has dedicated her life to the uplifting of suffering humanity through the simplest of gestures – an embrace. In this intimate manner Amma had blessed and consoled more than 21 million people throughout the world.

When someone asked Amma why she receives every person who comes to her in a loving embrace Amma replied, "If you ask the river, 'why do you flow?' what can it say?"

Amma spends most of her waking hours receiving the distressed and all who come to her for comfort, day after day without a break.

Once a press reporter asked Amma how was it possible for her to embrace each and every one in the same loving way, even if they were diseased or unpleasant. Amma replied, “ When a bee hovers over a garden of varied flowers, what it beholds is not the difference between the flowers but the honey within them. Similarly Amma sees the same Supreme Self in each and every one."

As Dr. Jane Goodall, while presenting Amma with the 2002 Gandhi-King Award for Non-violence said, "She stands here in front of us. God's love in a human body."
Mission

The greatest miracle that takes place in her presence occurs in the hearts of those who come to her – the gentle, gradual awakening of love, compassion and selflessness, an awakening of one’s own inherent divinity.

Amma always says that the purpose of human birth is to realize the Self or in other words, "to realize who we really are". This goal lies in the heart of all her institutions. Through the example of her own life of tireless service to humanity, Amma inspires her children to walk towards the goal of self-realization by serving the poor and the needy. She has inspired many humanitarian activities that have drawn the attention of the world community. In recent years, Amma has addressed the Parliament of World’s Religions in Chicago, the United Nations in New York and the Global Peace Initiative of Women religious and Spiritual Leaders, conducted at the UN in Geneva, where she gave speeches on the present day social problems and their solutions. It was there that Amma was awarded with the 2002 Gandhi-King award for Non-violence.

Amma has never sought to convert anyone. Her's is not a sectarian mission. But Amma has always stressed that along with a new home, a pension, an operation or a meal, the beneficiaries of her Humanitarian activities receive a compassionate smile and a kind word from those who serve them. In this way those who give, those who receive, and those who look on--all are transformed by the selfless love and sense of universal kinship, blossoming in an experience of essential unity—the oneness in the Self.

Message

When asked to which religion she belongs, she says, "My religion is love and service."

"Love is the foundation of a happy life. Knowingly or unknowingly we are forgetting this truth" she says. Amma on several occasions has said that it is important not only to feel love but also to express it. "After all, love is our true nature. When we do not express love in our words and actions it is like honey hidden in a rock." she says, "It is of no use to anyone. This mutual sharing and expressing of love should begin at home between married couples and between parents and children. Only then will there be peace and harmony at home and in the society."

Once when someone asked Amma as to whom she would term as a true disciple, Amma said that, "One whose legs rush to offer help, whose lips utter comforting words of love and whose eyes shed tears of compassion on hearing the cry of the distressed, such a person I would call a true disciple."
*(Paraphrased from the ammachi.org website)

It is only through her service and love that we are empowered to offer our service and love; we offer our selves to her lotus feet that through her example we may be lifted to know our true "Selves".

For the highest of teachings from a true living Saint and Satguru visit www.amritapuri.org or www.ammachi.org

 


 

 

Yogashiromani Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri

Swamiji was the Governor-General for Yoga (1992-1995) in the World development Parliament (Vishwa UnnayanSamsad) founded by Baghwan Viashnacharya Krishna Kisore Das with headquarters in West Bengal, India.World Yoga Conference held at the Asian Village, New Delhi in December 1986. The Vishwa Unnayan Samsad at New Delhi honoured him in 1992 with the title Father of Modern Yoga Science.

Yogamaharishi Dr Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj was born on July 24, 1907, in Maharajganj, Bihar,northern India,to an Irish mother and a Sindhi father. His father, Sukraj Bhavanani, was a High court Advocate in thePatna High Court and an extensive landowner. His mother Leelavathi was converted to Hinduism throughthe Arya Samaj rites. The Yogamaharishi received hisearly schooling at home from his mother. Tragically,his mother died when he was but eight years of age.When he was 12, his Guru, the great Siddha and Tantric Master, Yogamaharishi Swami Kanakananda Brighu, (Ram Gopal Majumdhar AKA the sleepless saint of Paramahansa Yoganandas Autobiography of a Yogi) entered his life. For six years, hestudied in the Guru Kula of his Master, imbibing not only the traditional education, but also the greatmystic sciences of Yoga, Tantra and Yantra. Swamiji often remarked that everything he taught and preached and knew about Yoga, he learned only from his Masterduring that intensive training. When he was sixteen years of age, his Guru sent him to England to study medicine. After receiving his medical degree, he entered the British Royal Navy to serve as a doctor on board several ships during World War II. He was injured during the war, and used the time recuperating to further his medical education. He migrated to Canada and set up his practice there, also establishing Yoga schools and centres wherever he lived. Pujya Swamiji was one of the pioneers to introduce Yoga to the Western mind in the early 1950s. He was also instrumental in hosting many visiting YogaGurus and Swamijis at his centre in Vancouver. In addition to his busy medical practice, he traveled widely lecturing and teaching. He worked several years for the US Atomic Energy Commission in the United States and also took up assignments for the World Health Organisation in South America. He returned to settle permanently in India in 1967 and established his Ananda Ashram in Pondicherry. He set up the Ananda Ashram in Lawspet, Pondicherry in 1972. In 1975 Srila Shri Shankaragiri Swamigal appointed Dr Swami Gitananda Giri as Madathiapathy of Sri Kambali Swamy Madam in 1975, which was then a dilapidated Samadhi site of around five acres in Thattanchavady near the Lawspet Ashram. Yogamaharishi Dr Swami Gitananda Giri undertook the renovation of the ancient Samadhi site with great enthusiasm and built what was acclaimed as the Shanti Niketan of South India and An ideal Guru Kula on the Madam lands. Thus Swamiji who was the representative of the North Indian Brighu lineage alsobecame a representative of the Saiva Siddantha Yoga Tradition of South India. The lineage of Kambaliswamy is said to go back to the Rishi Agasthya himself.Gurus of the Kambaliswamy Madam tradition include Srila Sri Kambaliswamigal, Srila Sri Ambalavana Swamigal, Srila Sri Manikka Swamigal, Srila SriShanmuga Swamigal, Srila Sri Velu Swamigal, Srila Sri Subramaniya Swamigal, Srila Sri Shankaragiri Swamigal, Srila Shri Gitananda Giri Swamigal and at present by Yogacharya Dr Ananda Balayogi Giri.In his day Srila Shri Kambliswamigal, a Digambari Siddha, was termed The King of Ashtanga Yoga over the Whole Earth, we are thus indebted to him for transmitting the pure essences of Ashtanga Yoga through an unbroken line of living teachers. He obtained his Samadhi 126 years ago (from Dec 1999) in the Tamil year Sri Mugha on the Amavasai day of Marghazhi month after living 504 years . Every year without fail there have been grand Guru Pujas performed on this day by the successors to this line of the Paramparai.

Dr. Swami Gitananda was often called The Father of Modern Scientific Yoga. He was also acclaimed as one of the five leading exponents of Ashtanga Yoga in the twentieth century and one of the pioneers in making Yoga understandable to the Western mind. His total command over the English language and his wide worldly experience gave him a unique and cosmopolitan approach. This made the ancient wisdomaccessible to those conditioned by the twentieth century, materialistic life style. Pujya Swamiji propagated this body of Yogic knowledge, which he termed "RISHICULTURE ASHTANGA YOGA” as per the recommendation of this Guru Swami Kanakananda Brighu. Pujya Swamiji became an active fighter for Hindu rights and leader of the Hindu community in addition to his many other numerous duties. He served as vice president of the All India Association of Maths and Ashrams under the president ship of Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal the present Shankaracharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Petam. From 1968 until his Samadhi on December 29, 1993. He also edited from 1970, an international English monthly Yoga journal YOGA LIFE. He wrote twenty-five books on the subjects of Yoga and made ten world tours and morethan twenty All India tours. He was the Chief Guest for innumerable Yoga, Medical and Scientific Conferences, Seminars and meetings held all over Indiaand was in great demand as a speaker because of his immense and charismatic vitality. Known as the Lion of Pondicherry he was a great example of an ancient YogaRishi (Seer).

Manifesting a constant river of Siddhis and Riddhis Swamijis students were often amazed at how light he was for a large man and the fact that he never left footprints in the sand. Swamijis knowledge of everything due to his access to the Akashic records combined with his tough love made him the archetypical guru to his students. His true benevolence was related to empowering his students through the propagation of Yoga practices and the Yogic lifestyle of the ancient Rishis. Majestic in bearing and manner, with luxurious flowing beard and hair, and a magnificent, booming, powerful voice, Swamijis dynamic personality captured the hearts of people wherever he went. Pujya Swamiji was Patron and President of hundreds of Yoga and scientific organizations world wide. Notably he was Patron of the Indian Academy of Yoga with headquarters at the famous Banaras Hindu University. This is an organization of eminent Yogis, professional men, scientists and doctors interested in Yoga. He was President of Vishwa Yoga Samaj, a world wideorganization of Yogis, and Vice President of the All India Association of Madathiapathis. He was also the Governor-General for Yoga (1992-1995) in the World Development Parliament (Vishwa Unnayan Samsad) with headquarters in West Bengal, India. He trained tens of thousands of students in Rishiculture Ashtanga (Gitananda) Yoga. His Yogashiromani Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri

Swamiji was the Governor-General for Yoga (1992-1995) in the World development Parliament (Vishwa UnnayanSamsad) founded by Baghwan Viashnacharya Krishna Kisore Das with headquarters in West Bengal, India.World Yoga Conference held at the Asian Village, New Delhi in December 1986. The Vishwa Unnayan Samsad at New Delhi honoured him in 1992 with the title Father of Modern Yoga Science.

Yogamaharishi Dr Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj was born on July 24, 1907, in Maharajganj, Bihar,northern India,to an Irish mother and a Sindhi father. His father, Sukraj Bhavanani, was a High court Advocate in thePatna High Court and an extensive landowner. His mother Leelavathi was converted to Hinduism throughthe Arya Samaj rites. The Yogamaharishi received hisearly schooling at home from his mother. Tragically,his mother died when he was but eight years of age.When he was 12, his Guru, the great Siddha and Tantric Master, Yogamaharishi Swami Kanakananda Brighu, (Ram Gopal Majumdhar AKA the sleepless saint of Paramahansa Yoganandas Autobiography of a Yogi) entered his life. For six years, hestudied in the Guru Kula of his Master, imbibing not only the traditional education, but also the greatmystic sciences of Yoga, Tantra and Yantra. Swamiji often remarked that everything he taught and preached and knew about Yoga, he learned only from his Masterduring that intensive training. When he was sixteen years of age, his Guru sent him to England to study medicine. After receiving his medical degree, he entered the British Royal Navy to serve as a doctor on board several ships during World War II. He was injured during the war, and used the time recuperating to further his medical education. He migrated to Canada and set up his practice there, also establishing Yoga schools and centres wherever he lived. Pujya Swamiji was one of the pioneers to introduce Yoga to the Western mind in the early 1950s. He was also instrumental in hosting many visiting YogaGurus and Swamijis at his centre in Vancouver. In addition to his busy medical practice, he traveled widely lecturing and teaching. He worked several years for the US Atomic Energy Commission in the United States and also took up assignments for the World Health Organisation in South America. He returned to settle permanently in India in 1967 and established his Ananda Ashram in Pondicherry. He set up the Ananda Ashram in Lawspet, Pondicherry in 1972. In 1975 Srila Shri Shankaragiri Swamigal appointed Dr Swami Gitananda Giri as Madathiapathy of Sri Kambali Swamy Madam in 1975, which was then a dilapidated Samadhi site of around five acres in Thattanchavady near the Lawspet Ashram. Yogamaharishi Dr Swami Gitananda Giri undertook the renovation of the ancient Samadhi site with great enthusiasm and built what was acclaimed as the Shanti Niketan of South India and An ideal Guru Kula on the Madam lands. Thus Swamiji who was the representative of the North Indian Brighu lineage alsobecame a representative of the Saiva Siddantha Yoga Tradition of South India. The lineage of Kambaliswamy is said to go back to the Rishi Agasthya himself.Gurus of the Kambaliswamy Madam tradition include Srila Sri Kambaliswamigal, Srila Sri Ambalavana Swamigal, Srila Sri Manikka Swamigal, Srila SriShanmuga Swamigal, Srila Sri Velu Swamigal, Srila Sri Subramaniya Swamigal, Srila Sri Shankaragiri Swamigal, Srila Shri Gitananda Giri Swamigal and at present by Yogacharya Dr Ananda Balayogi Giri.In his day Srila Shri Kambliswamigal, a Digambari Siddha, was termed The King of Ashtanga Yoga over the Whole Earth, we are thus indebted to him for transmitting the pure essences of Ashtanga Yoga through an unbroken line of living teachers. He obtained his Samadhi 126 years ago (from Dec 1999) in the Tamil year Sri Mugha on the Amavasai day of Marghazhi month after living 504 years . Every year without fail there have been grand Guru Pujas performed on this day by the successors to this line of the Paramparai.

Dr. Swami Gitananda was often called The Father of Modern Scientific Yoga. He was also acclaimed as one of the five leading exponents of Ashtanga Yoga in the twentieth century and one of the pioneers in making Yoga understandable to the Western mind. His total command over the English language and his wide worldly experience gave him a unique and cosmopolitan approach. This made the ancient wisdomaccessible to those conditioned by the twentieth century, materialistic life style. Pujya Swamiji propagated this body of Yogic knowledge, which he termed "RISHICULTURE ASHTANGA YOGA” as per the recommendation of this Guru Swami Kanakananda Brighu. Pujya Swamiji became an active fighter for Hindu rights and leader of the Hindu community in addition to his many other numerous duties. He served as vice president of the All India Association of Maths and Ashrams under the president ship of Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal the present Shankaracharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Petam. From 1968 until his Samadhi on December 29, 1993. He also edited from 1970, an international English monthly Yoga journal YOGA LIFE. He wrote twenty-five books on the subjects of Yoga and made ten world tours and morethan twenty All India tours. He was the Chief Guest for innumerable Yoga, Medical and Scientific Conferences, Seminars and meetings held all over Indiaand was in great demand as a speaker because of his immense and charismatic vitality. Known as the Lion of Pondicherry he was a great example of an ancient YogaRishi (Seer).

Manifesting a constant river of Siddhis and Riddhis Swamijis students were often amazed at how light he was for a large man and the fact that he never left footprints in the sand. Swamijis knowledge of everything due to his access to the Akashic records combined with his tough love made him the archetypical guru to his students. His true benevolence was related to empowering his students through the propagation of Yoga practices and the Yogic lifestyle of the ancient Rishis. Majestic in bearing and manner, with luxurious flowing beard and hair, and a magnificent, booming, powerful voice, Swamijis dynamic personality captured the hearts of people wherever he went. Pujya Swamiji was Patron and President of hundreds of Yoga and scientific organizations world wide. Notably he was Patron of the Indian Academy of Yoga with headquarters at the famous Banaras Hindu University. This is an organization of eminent Yogis, professional men, scientists and doctors interested in Yoga. He was President of Vishwa Yoga Samaj, a world wideorganization of Yogis, and Vice President of the All India Association of Madathiapathis. He was also the Governor-General for Yoga (1992-1995) in the World Development Parliament (Vishwa Unnayan Samsad) with headquarters in West Bengal, India. He trained tens of thousands of students in Rishiculture Ashtanga (Gitananda) Yoga. His students have established more than 135 centres of Yoga in 30 countries around the world. He received many honors in his lifetime. He was chosen by the Ministry of Health, Government of India, New Delhi, as a Governing Body Member of the prestigious Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy in March 1986and he held this post till his Mahasamadhi in 1993. He was awarded YOGA SHIROMANI by the then President of India Sri Zail Singh at the World Yoga Conference held at the Asian Village, New Delhi in December 1986. The Vishwa Unnayan Samsad at New Delhi honoured him in 1992 with the title Father of Modern Yoga Science. Pujya Swamiji had himself organised five World Conferences in Pondicherry, attended by hundreds of professional persons and Yogis from all over the world. He sponsored the First Ever International Yoga Asana Competition in Pondicherry in 1989. Since that time an International Yoga Competition has been held each year in various places in South America, India and Europe. He was one of the driving forces behind Yoga Sports. In this regard he is considered the Founding Father of the Yoga Sport Movement. Due to his inspiration and support, the Government of Pondicherry instituted an annual International Yoga Festival from January 1993 in Pondicherry, which features lectures by eminent speakers, Yoga Asana Competitions, and Yogic cultural programmes etc. Due to his influence, the Government of Pondicherry has also instituted Yoga teaching in all Government schools from 1997. Pujya Swamiji collaborated with many films makers in making educational films on Yoga, including the famous film MUDRA by Rajiv Mehrotra. He also was the guiding spirit behind the immensely popular television series YOGA FOR YOUTH, directed by Yogacharini Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani which has been broadcast for several years from 1989 over Doordarshan, Indias national television network. Swamiji was a great scientist and researcher and presented more than thirty papers on his scientific research into Yoga at various conferences throughout India. He collaborated with scientists from leading institutes throughout the country including AIIMS in New Delhi, NIMHANS in Bangalore, DIPAS (Indian Defense Institute) in New Delhi and JIPMER in Pondicherry.

Swamiji with BKS Iyengar and Yogacharya Ananda Bhavanani

Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri founded three institutions in Pondicherry, India to propagate the teachings of Rishiculture Ashtanga (Gitananda) Yoga. His ten of thousands of students worldwide have established more than 135 Centres of Rishi Culture Ashtanga (Gitananda) Yoga in thirty countries. All these centres propagate the classical Ashtanga Yoga taught to the Yogamaharishi by his own Guru Yogamaharishi Swami Kanakananda Brighu. Swami Kanakananda (Ram Gopal Mujumdhar) belonged to a Paramparai that traced their lineage back to the great Rishi Brighu. Swami Vivedishananda and Swami Purnanada Brighu (the 16th century Tantric mystic and poet made famous for his tantric texts by sir John Woodroof AKA Arthur Avalon) were the Guru and Paramguru of Swami Kanakananda. This classical Yoga System, passed down through generations of Bengali Tantric Gurus, was given a modern and scientific shape and expression through the medical background and cosmopolitan experience of Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri. It was his medical and scientific background combined with his thourough traditional training in the Gurukula of his Yoga Master the Mahant of the Brighu order, Srila Sri Kanakananda also known as the Sleepless Saint, that produced a modern mind set grounded in traditional thought and values. Today Rishiculture ”Gitananda” Ashtanga Yoga is alive and flourishing under the direction of his chief disciple and the Ashram Acharya, Kalaimamani Yogacharini Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani and Yogacharya Dr. Ananda BalayogiBhavanani, his son and successor who is also a medical doctor.

Yogamaharishi Dr Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj attained his Mahasamadhi consciously on the auspicious time of Arudra Darshan on Wednesday, December 29, 1993 at 2.20 a.m., that time of year when the normally fierce Rudra Shiva may be viewed in his most benevolent aspect light rain fell. He was placed into Samadhi called the Ananda Mandala by his son and successor, Yogacharya Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani with all honors due to a Madathiapathy of his status in Sri Kambaliswamy Madam at Thattanchavady, Pondicherry on noon Thursday, December 30, 1993. As the top of his Samadhi was seaed tight, a light rain again fell. A lingam was specially carved from the stone from the holy mountain of Arunachala at Thiruvannamalai and was installed on his Samadhi for his Moksha Deepam on 11th January 1994 which on that year was also the 120th Arudhana for the great Yoga Siddha Srila Shri Kambliswamigal His Samadhi has become a famous pilgrimage place for all those seekingthe blessings of this great modern Yogamaharishi, who embodied so well the spirit of the ancient Hindu sages in a modern twentieth century body and mind. Yogamaharishi Dr Swami Gitananda Giri, a great Bhakta and devotee of his Paramparai Guru Srila Shri Kambliswamigal, left is body in the most auspicious year of Sri Mugha. In the Tamil calendar, every 60 years the names of the years repeat themselves and it was 1993 that was the year of Sri Mugha. This was also the name of the year in which Srila Shri Kambliswamigal took Samadhi. Hence this year was an especially auspicious year for all devotees in every sense, thus Yogamaharishi Dr Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj joined with his Guru at the most perfect and opportune moment. Swamiji entered his body on a full moon day on Guru purnima (Ved Vyasa Purnima). He also left his body on a full moon day of the most auspicious month of the year, Margazhi (Dec-Jan).

The Following is excerpt is from Swami Anandakapila Saraswati who describes here his experience with Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri.

"One night I wandered into a lecture hall for an advertised function by a Swami I had never heard of. The lecturer turned out to be the most charismatic person I had ever met and was to become my first Guru. What really shocked me is that the 'Swami' began his lecture with some Sanskrit and a Mantra - perfectly normal for Swami's, as I later discovered - but this was different!

The glass of water on the speaker's podium began to vibrate within seconds of Swami Gitananda's chant. I watched transfixed, rather like a hypnotized rabbit caught in car lights, as the tumbler trembled and bubbles began to rise in the water! Any moment I expected an explosion - shades of Caruso! The good Swami did not notice this event and finished the Mantric invocation just as I anticipated the goblet shattering in a wet shower of fragments. He went on nonchalantly as if nothing had occurred and indeed I believe he didn't even notice. The container of liquid settled down and became as free of agitation as a meditating Yogi!

Many years later I was to visit my beloved Swamiji in South India just months before his transition (1993). After Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri's Mahasamadhi, his wife, Meenakshi Devi, wrote in a memorial volume:

"On Sundays when we performed the elaborate Guru Pujas for the Samadhi Lingam of Sri Kambliswamigal, the brass flower plate I was holding would shake with the immense vibrations produced by Poojya Swamiji's Mantras."

Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri had the most magical command of psychic mantra and he could produce phenomena by chanting Sanskrit that I have never witnessed anywhere in the world. I was very fortunate to have him as my Guru when I was young and he was in his forties. When he was much older he seldom demonstrated his power with mantra.
He would induce profound psychic states in members of the Satsang group through chanting Shakti mantras. One of the most spectacular events I witnessed occurred about 1957 at the Yoga Jivana Center in Vancouver, Canada.
Swamijii had a lovely German disciple he named Rajinda and one night at Satsang he chanted some special mantras with the result that Rajinda went deeply into trance and her body became so rigid that Swamiji picked her up by one hand under her neck while her feet stayed on the floor. He released his hold on the back of her neck when her body was raised about forty-five degrees off the floor and she appeared to remain suspended by the feet, oscillating a few degrees back and forth with every intonation he made. This defiance of gravity went on for several more minutes before he lowered her to the floor.
The shock of witnessing such things and being in his presence when he chose to demonstrate such power is hardly comprehensible or even imaginable, to those who have not experienced it. I stopped trying to communicate the magic of such moments because most Westerners dismiss such an account as a lie at worst, or an illusion, at best Swamiji had little tolerance for those who, in a less "politically correct" time, would qualify as 'cretins' (now diplomatically termed "Iodine Challenged!" as the director of Ananda Ashram, Yogacharini Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani, would say.)

He was still capable of mischievously demonstrating right up to the early 1980s. In a New Age World besoughted with 'channelling' the following account by an American disciple of his, Yogacharya Raju Dev, who studied at the Pondicherry Indian Ashram with him in the 1980s is amusing.But one evening stands out in my mind above all others. We had a student in the Ashram at the time who fancied herself a psychic and had made a reputation in her home city for being able to lead people into past life experiences.Swamijii, who of course had no tolerance for this kind of psychological hucksterism, decided that enough was enough and announced one afternoon that the evening Satsangha would be devoted to a "Yogic Séance" where we would explore the past lives of some of the Ashram members.
As his first volunteer he brought a young American girl up to the front of the room and after chanting several mantras started asking her if she could remember anything of her former life as a Chinese fighter pilot being shot down in a dogfight with the Japanese over the East China Sea.When she said she couldn't, the voice of someone, certainly not Swamiji, suddenly erupted from his body in fluent Mandarin. It was so startling it sent chills up my spine and a young student sitting next to me was so frightened she couldn't stop shaking until much later in the evening!"
Extracted from the Memorial Volume: "Tribute To A Great Guru" 1995, published by ICYER, Kottakuppam, Tamil Nadu, India

The understatement of my life would be to say, "Swamiji taught me a few things about Shakti Mantras". The first time I mastered an anesthetic mantra and skewered myself he gazed at me for a moment and muttered: "I knew you could do it! You have all the qualifications: no sense - no pain!"

Swamiji's ultimate message for me is summed up by his comment:

"To destroy is easy. To create, to construct is heroic. There is only one secret in this Universe. And that is... THERE IS NO SECRET!."”
 


Puduvai Kalaimamani Yagamani Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani
Acharya Ananda Ashram Pondicherry India


Yogacharya Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani
Mahant of Paramparai

 

 




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From the first time that I met Daniel he has been a guide and teacher in my life. In putting to words how he has benefited my life, well, words can't describe my gratitude. I have experienced love, caring, and deep passion from him throughout these years. This unwavering devotion to others and their lives, health, and spiritual evolution has impacted me greatly, allowing me to see the greatness of all that I am. Through him I have learned timeless wisdom, experiencing shifts in perception that have allowed me to create new and greater realities for myself throughout the years. With him I have personally benefited from a powerful healing experience that was both miraculous and profound. Through this experience and many others I have understood how much he has and is willing to give. Through his service, I and humanity will benefit beyond measure. Thank you Daniel AKA Yogacharya Gowrishankarananda for the impact you have and are continuing to have on my Life. I am deeply grateful for the ongoing guidance, love, and compassion you show me.

… Lars Gustafsson Founder, The BodyMind Institute

 
I have attended approximately 20 yoga classes with Yogacharya Gowrishankarananda since June of last year. Meeting Shankaraji and attending his classes have been timely and life changing. I have been an active and athletic woman for most of my life but something was always missing. I truly craved an activity that incorporated the mind, body and spirit in an intelligent, challenging and peaceful way. Ji’s yoga teachings have perfectly achieved this, unlike any other yoga or athletic endeavor that I have tried. Each class challenges me to balance and discipline my mind as well as my body. I am so happy to have found a physical activity that works in harmony with my physical body, I never feel like I have to force my body or try to make it do something it doesn't want to do. After each class I have a peaceful, balanced, awakened energy that I rarely experience with any other practice or activity. As well, I often leave class with spiritual principles to ponder during the following week. This is a great practice for those who are athletically experienced, spiritually evolved, or someone who is a newcomer to a mind/body practice.

Shankaraji is a respectful, positive, thoughtful and encouraging mentor. I would highly recommend this class/experience to everyone and every age.

… Lisa Anderson

 
Daniel has the capacity to facilitate transformation from a perspective of awareness that is innate to the soul and speaks to the very heart of our yearning, truth and limitless nature. In my uncertainty and pain I reclaimed my ability to trust and surrender to the wisdom of my heart through a yogic practice that became as second nature to breathing consciously in and out.

…Katharina Knodel

 
“The practical education that I received through my Yogic lessons and coaching with Daniel Ross (Yogacharya Gowrishankarananda Giri) has transformed my life. It has allowed me to obtain, through the Yogic practices, concepts, and coaching support, a level of inner contentment that I previously though un-obtainable, as well as the skills needed, direction, and focus towards the love I feel in service and support of others. I am exceedingly grateful for his service and support in facilitating my higher awareness, skillful living, and inner peace.”
 
…Tyler Vaughan (Yoga Shikshaka Devadas)

 

While I could write volumes on what I have learned through Yoga and how it has affected my life I feel compelled to express my sincerest and heartfelt gratitude for the profound life changing lessons of the Yamas and Niyamas. For me the most valuable teaching Yogacharya Gowrishankarananda has imparted to me is that of SATYA- truthfulness. He has continually exemplified this teaching to me through his own conduct; when he says he is going to do something, he follows through on it! This is the yogic value that I have struggled with the most throughout my life-time. Being honest with others requires that one first be honest with themselves. It takes courage to live out your personal truths because you will inevitably be challenged by others to do otherwise. Since I've begun my yoga practice with Shankaraji, I have gained a profound awareness of just how untruthfully I have been living. He has been incredibly supportive during my healing process of 'cleaning up' the discrepancies between the intentions I declare and the actions I actually follow through with. He has been a patient listener and unconditionally compassionate in the advice he has shared with me. As a result I am now re-aligning my thoughts, speech and actions with my inner truths, and am working towards restoring my sense of integrity and self-respect. Namaste.

… Michelle Ancelin


I would like to express my thanks to Yogacharya Gowrishankarananda whom I respectfully refer to as Shankaraji and sometimes just Ji, for introducing and encouraging me to pursue the discipline of Yoga. Over the 15+ years I have known Ji, he has always had something captivating and intriguing to say regarding health, philosophy, human potential achievement, the pursuit of excellence, Yoga and self mastery.

As an expert in the field of mind, body, and spirit connections, I looked to to Ji "solve" my many years of pain that had crept up on my through the over-use of computers, poor posture, and lack of regular flexibility exercises. During my years as an amateur baseball player, I was quite flexible and pain-free. However, like many males who have come before me, as the years went by, I found myself working longer and more stressful hours in the pursuit of financial excellence while neglecting my physical well-being. Over time, my body had tightened up, rebelled, and finally screamed in pain as the repetitive stresses of today's modern technological wonder, the personal computer, began to take its toll on my body. Neck pain, mid- and lower-back pain, and hand pain, has made daily work activities nearly intolerable at times. As I acknowledged the need for therapeutic help of some kind, I sought out chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, and physiotherapy professionals in search of a "cure". Well, thousands of dollars and three years later, I realized that "treatment" was not the answer. Shankaraji helped me to realize that the "cure" comes from within and by eliminating the aggravating factors (self-defeating habits) that manifest themselves in pain.

My first healing experience with Ji came with a procedure I recall that could best be described as energetic or facilitated healing. As the facilitator, he focused in on my energy channels and proceeded to remove the blocks to optimum energy flow thereby allowing circulation and function to return to normal. "Hocus Pocus, hulla ballu, fruitcake, nutcase stuff, right? Whatever!" were my immediate thoughts. However, my entrepreneurial open-mindedness said, “OK, give it try. It couldn't hurt.” Well, as I left his place after the one hour “treatment” and began walking to my car, I felt myself leaning and staggering to one side, almost as if I were drunk! Weird, thought I, as I pondered the experience and whether or not it was a valid procedure or just a hoax. The next day Shankaraji asked my how my neck was feeling. Keep in mind that he never touched me at all during the treatment! Well, my neck pain had disappeared in a matter of minutes and the feeling of leaning to one side was actually my body walking straighter for the first time in ages.

The pain later returned in a few days as I renewed my old routine and began to doubt that true healing had taken place. I later learned that, deep down, I was not mentally ready to release the issues and the pain that held me captive. Had Shankaraji not soon left for his international travels to learn more mastery in Yoga, I would no doubt have continued with more sessions to eliminate the pain permanently. Fast forward two years later…

Shankaraji and I find ourselves working in the same health club teaching others about health. How fortunate for me! Ji involved me in a private Classical Yoga class were I began my final pursuit to eliminate the pain that continued to haunt me. As part of the level 2 class, students were encouraged to pursue a 28-day routine known as Sadhana where, for 30 minutes each night, we did the same series of exercises to build discipline, focus, and a more flexible body. At the end of each routine, we have a final relaxation phase, it was during that phase I enjoyed the most profound experience of my life! As I tilted my head to the right and then to the left, I sensed what felt like a live cockroach under my skin suddenly move downwards into my upper shoulder area and disappear into my body. I was positive that a blood clot had been the culprit and it had finally been dislodged only to move to my heart in the next 30 seconds. As I waited to die of this blood clot in the coming moments, I realized that what I held felt was actually a knotted muscle bulge in my lower-right neck muscle, which had aggravated me for nearly two years, suddenly un-kink and disappear! That was on day 8 of the routine and, 6 weeks later, as I write this letter, I am pleased to say that it has never returned. What a relief!!!!!!

Although I have other aches and pains that have yet to totally disappear, my range of motion and flexibility and far beyond where most males, and some females are at half my age. All this from only two months of Yoga!! I intend to continue these practices for the rest of my life and I encourage others to follow me in my journey. Finally, to you, Shankaraji. Thank you for your wisdom, guidance, leadership and encouragement in facilitating me to heal myself rather than relying on external treatments and practitioners to provide me temporary pain relief, and at great monetary expense. Although alternative medicine and holistic treatments are far and away better choices than western traditional medicine involving drugs and surgical intervention, I now know why the practice of Yoga has survived for over 7000 years. I encourage everyone, starting at as early an age as possible, to pursue the discipline of Yoga as a means of preventative maintenance from the modern ills and stresses we find opposing our health. The concepts, techniques, and disciplines learned on your journey will help you to master your life in all areas, from physical to financial to relational well-being. When all is said and done, we only have our health. Why not enjoy it to its fullest, without pain, and with the vitality we all deserve.

Yours truly, in thanks for your service,

…Jim Steele.

 
The S.E.L.F. Coaching Intensive Course provides insight into our own potential and facilitating that potential in others. In my own personal journey of enlightenment, I find that I am continually learning and growing. One lesson I have learned is that healing oneself is key in facilitating that in others. Happiness comes from authenticity and authenticity comes from simply being exactly who you are without thinking about it - simply being and loving in that moment.

Who you really are, your TRUE SELF, comes from your HEART & SOUL and is ETERNAL, PERFECT and BEAUTIFUL.

DON'T THINK, JUST BE!!
…Shezi K