The Life Of Sri Ramakrishna: God Realization

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

175 years ago, in February of 1836, a boy was born who would later come to be known as Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Who was Ramakrishna and how is his life connected with ours? To get some idea of Ramakrishna let us look at what Mahatma Gandhi said of him: “His life enables us to see God face to face.” Ramakrishna indeed was a great yogi and a giant spiritual figure. He has had a huge influence in shaping modern thought and modern life and his influence continues to this day. Ramakrishna’s life had three distinct phases and the first phase began in Gaya before his birth.

Gaya is a city situated in Eastern India and has many sites regarded as holy both by Buddhists and Hindus. Buddha is said to have gained enlightenment at a site called Bodh Gaya about 8 miles from Gaya. In 1835, one Mr. Khudiram was on a pilgrimage to Gaya. One night he had a strange vision that foretold that a son would be born to him who would attain great spiritual heights. About the same time his wife also had a similar vision. Both husband and wife were overjoyed at the possibility of having a child with great spiritual potential. In about 9 months his wife gave birth to a baby boy whom Khudiram gave the name Gadadhar in memory of the vision he had at Gaya.

True to the vision, Gadadhar grew into a restless child with strong spiritual inclination. Once when he was about 6 years old an event happened that foretold how his life would unfold. This is how he later recounted the incident; “I was walking along a narrow path separating paddy fields, eating some puffed rice from a basket that I was carrying. Looking up at the sky I saw a beautiful somber thundercloud. As it spread rapidly enveloping the whole sky, a flock of snow-white cranes flew overhead across. It represented such a beautiful contrast that my mind wandered to far-off regions. Lost to outward sense, I fell down, and the puff rice scattered in all directions. Some people found me and carried me home in their arms. This was the first time I completely lost consciousness in ecstasy.” From then on Gadadhar slowly came to the realization that his mission in life was realization of God. Consequently he started ignoring school and spending more time with spiritual people and studying scripture. His older brother was concerned about this and one day pulled him aside. Gadadhar replied, “Brother, what shall I do with a mere bread-winning education? I would rather acquire that wisdom which will illuminate my heart and quench my spiritual quest forever.” Continue reading

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92 Year Old Yoga Master: Yoga Is The Dance Of Life Within!

Tao Porchon-Lynch, going strong at 93, is one of the oldest living active yoga teachers. She has been practicing yoga for over 70 years and has been teaching yoga for more than 45 years. She has taught yoga to students in India, France, and the US.

Having studied with Indra Devi, Sri Aurobindo, and BKS Iyengar, Tao is uniquely qualified to teach yoga. She has trained and certified hundreds of yoga instructors since founding the Westchester Institute of Yoga in 1982.

Before she took up teaching yoga, Tao was an actress in England, France, and the USA in the 1940’s and the 1950’s. In the 60’s and 70’s she wrote screenplays and made documentaries. Her life in India encompasses many historic events. There aren’t many people still alive who witnessed first hand some of the events Tao has. She made several documentaries in India including, “To Light A Candle” about the 100 year old philanthropist, Dr. Welthy Fisher. This documentary highlighted the work done by Dr. Fisher in the field of education and literacy in India in the 50’s.

Tao’s reminiscences of her work in India will be highlighted in a forthcoming book.

You can find more about Tao here.

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4 Years Of Vertigo Disappear!

Hot Yoga4 years ago I got into a car accident. Since that day, despite going to numerous physician specialists in Boston, I’ve had back/neck pain & suffered from vertigo & headaches.

After just 3 classes at Yoga Passion, my headaches & vertigo disappeared. After 6 classes I no longer have neck or back pain. My posture has improved & I haven’t felt this great in years!

Jo Ellen Saugus, MA

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The Healing Power Of Spiritual Surrender

Darren Main

Darren Main

I was born on January 20, 1971 to two wonderful parents.

My mother, Kathy, was a housewife, and my father, John, was a heavy equipment operator and a farmer. My parents were a bit odd, but then again, whose parents aren’t. In spite of the baby fat and mom’s bad haircuts, I had a great childhood.
My mother was religious and would attend church every day. Fortunately, my brother, sister and I were only required to go on Sundays. I know you may find this surprising, but the Catholic Church dispenses guilt like candy on Halloween and like a sack full of empty calories, I gobbled that shame down willingly. In spite of that, I am very grateful that I had some spiritual structure in my early life even if it meant a lot of shame to work through in the out years.

My mother has always been the backbone of my life. Although her religious beliefs were strong, she never failed to show me gentleness, compassion and unconditional love. To this day I still call her if I have a “tummy ache.”

My father is agnostic. The farm was his “God,” and I could tell that it brought him the same peace that my mother’s faith brought her. He would spend most of his free time on the farm, and on weekends and summer vacations, so would I. My father is one of the most stubborn, old-fashioned people I know, but he has a strength and integrity that I strive to model in my life. In many ways he is my moral compass. Whenever I find myself facing a difficult challenge, I ask myself what my father would do. It never fails to bring me the clarity I need. Continue reading

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Infertility, Stress, and Yoga

Stork Delivering Baby

Once we reached our third anniversary, my husband and I decided to start trying to conceive. We wanted to start our family while we were still relatively young. But we had no idea what kind of journey we were about to embark on. Six months off birth control, without using any protection, and still no baby in sight. We were getting frustrated. I had been healthy all my life and every female member of my family was able to get pregnant without even trying. Why was I having so many problems? We decided to head to the fertility doctor to make sure that neither one of us had any serious issues that would prevent pregnancy. Everything checked out just fine and we were back at square one.

I began doing research, tons and tons of reading on any and all topics related to fertility. After a while my eyes seemed to open, a light bulb turned on. I realized that stress was likely the cause of my inability to conceive. All the stress I was putting on myself and my husband to make a baby, in addition to all the normal stresses of my job and life in general, it was just too much for my body to bear. It was a difficult idea to come to terms with, but once I got over myself and threw a little pity party, I was ready to do everything in my power to get rid of this unnecessary stress.

My research on stress reduction techniques lead me to explore yoga more in depth. I had participated in various yoga classes through my gym throughout my young adult life, but was never very serious about it and quit as soon as life became too “busy”. But every article and personal account I read further confirmed in my mind that I needed to start doing yoga regularly. So I began my search for the perfect yoga studio. I contacted numerous instructors in my city and nearby towns, and I was able to narrow down my options. Continue reading

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