December 11, 2009 by Swami Saradananda
Perhaps this holiday season is the perfect time to begin to integrate “aparigraha” into your daily life. Patanjali’s fifth “yama” (ethical principles of relating to the world around you) is usually translated as non-greed or detachment to material objects. Aparigraha can also be viewed as going against the principles of western consumerism. It connotes the ability to be happy without excessive possessions, i.e. living simply without a surplus of possessions, sharing what you have, not judging others by their material possessions, and not believing that what you own is tantamount to who you are.
"Simple living and high thinking".
~ Swami Sivananda
Before you get caught up in the social whirl of the holiday season, remind yourself that the purpose of yoga practice is to free yourself from the bonds of your mind. Why not begin to integrate the practice of aparigraha into your daily life by living more simply. You might also be interested in the Yoga Sutra e-course that I’ve developed – if so, see the right-hand panel.
Maybe you could try celebrating this season with a “Buy Nothing ChrismaHanuKwanzakah” - or delight your friends and family with gifts that try to make the world a better place. Help communities and individuals in developing countries to receive the essentials they need to change their lives. Your gifts will be much appreciated both here and by families around the world.
ActionAid's Gifts in Action: www.giftsinaction.org.uk
World Vision Alternative Gifts: www.greatgifts.org
Global Giving Circle: www.globalgivingcircle.org
Or my own favourite charity: www.GangaPremHospice.org
I’ll be in India; mid-Dec to mid-Feb.
My thoughts and prayers are with you for a joyous holiday season – and a new year filled with sublime learning experiences.
With best wishes, Swami Saradananda
"When you are free of greed, you gain the understanding of the purpose of life".
~ Patanjali, Yoga Sutra 2.39
September 1, 2009 by Swami Saradananda
Loving greetings and welcome back from summer.
I’ve had an unusually high number of people asking me where and when I’m going to be teaching in London. If you can have a look at the calendar, you’ll notice that I’ve got some satsangs planned and a 2-month course at the College of Psychic Studies. My schedule for this autumn is especially limited as I have several writing projects in progress + I’m trying to get ready for the Shakti-Siva pilgrimage to South India.
If you are interested in studying with me, I would suggest that you book yourself onto the Yoga Sutra e-course.
I hope to spend most of November in New York. Please contact me if you would like to arrange some programmes – either in New York or nearby.
This year’s pilgrimage is already fully booked, but I’m starting to organize a retreat in South India for next year.