Integral Yoga® Magazine, Issue No. 163  The Book of Knowledge
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The Book of Knowledge

Wherever you see humility, there is understanding. Really, there is no limit to understanding and learning. In the Hindu faith Saraswati, the Goddess of Wisdom, is always shown with a book in her hand. If she herself is still continuously learning, where is the limit? If you want to know, ‘ask and it shall be given.’ All of nature is a book of knowledge. Draw silent lessons from all around you.

God bless you. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.”    Sri Swami Satchidananda

(Photo: Swami Satchidananda at the Integral Yoga Institute of New York on West End Ave., late-1960s.)

In the mid-1980s, Swami Satchidananda was interviewed by Meenakshi Angel Honig, one of his students, in Santa Barbara, California. Meenakshi asks him a series of questions about Integral Yoga and the practices of Integral Yoga, including Hatha, pranayama, and meditation. This interview was to serve as an introduction to an Integral Yoga Hatha six-week course that Meenakshi was teaching. It's a wonderful opportunity to hear the rationale behind the methods and inspiration that comprise the Integral Yoga system, from the founder of this system!

Summer in the Northern Hemisphere is over, which means the days will soon get darker and our energy will start to plummet. The thing is, it doesn’t necessarily have to go that way yet again this winter. We may be able to salvage some of that summer feeling through spiritual work. I used to suffer in the winter, which is why I almost always go somewhere warm when the weather gets cold. Still, last year I spent the winter months in Canada doing my Yoga teacher training. I ate vegan food, hung out with people I love, and did a whole lot of Yoga. I fared well and didn’t suffer the usual winter blues I had in the past. When I used to spend all my winters in Canada, I didn’t really help myself at all. My habits made the exhaustion and depression exponentially worse than it needed to be. I would be fine until about November, and then it would hit me—total exhaustion no matter how long I slept for. I had such low energy that by 3 p.m., I couldn’t keep my head up. I knew I should exercise after I finished work, but walking out of the building and into the dark just increased my exhaustion.... I think back on those autumn and winter months now and wish I had known more about the benefits of Yoga and meditation.  MORE

Swami Sarvaananda is a monastic disciple of Sri Swami Satchidananda and the first board certified Hindu chaplain in the United States. Initiated as a monk and an Integral Yoga minister in 1977, she became a chaplain in 2001.
Integral Yoga Magazine: How did you meet Gurudev and why did you decide to become a swami?
Swami Sarvaananda: When I was 28, I first saw Swami Satchidananda. I was attending a public program and there was a teenage boy seated in the audience who was visibly disturbed and agitated. When Gurudev walked into the hall, the boy suddenly became so peaceful. I saw the power of the Holy Spirit in action that day (how I described it to my Protestant friends), and I knew I wanted more of that. I had to get past the “guru” issue as many westerners do. But, I knew I wanted to find peace within and I looked around until I saw the person who had the most peace and was the happiest person—even when things weren't going so well. And that is what I found in Swami Satchidananda. He said that you don’t have to pray outside to God, you could just be very quiet and feel God within. That was a major change in philosophy for me, and I knew right away that was for me. I had to get myself ready to hear, feel and do it myself.  MORE

Each month, Swami Ramananda (president of the Integral Yoga Institute of San Francisco, and a senior monastic student of Sri Swami Satchidananda) offers a specific teaching of the month for students and which we share in Integral Yoga Magazine. In the month of September, the teaching was: "Recovering Our Natural Joy." In this video, Ramanandaji gives a short summary of this teaching. Read this "Teaching of the Month," in its entirety, here.

Recently, the Light Of Truth Universal Shrine (LOTUS) was featured on Nevada's "Our Community Now" website.
    Tucked away in Buckingham, an hour from Charlottesville, is an architectural and spiritual triumph: the LOTUS. At the heart of a community called "Yogaville," the temple was commissioned by founder and spiritual leader, Sri Swami Satchidananda, the same swami who kicked off the festivities at Woodstock! About a month ago, I stumbled upon Yogaville and the LOTUS temple on the interwebs. I couldn't believe that I'd lived in Virginia for 28 years and never once heard of it. After reading about it and looking at all the pictures, I knew I had to SEE it to believe it. I called their marketing guy up, told him I wanted to write this article, and made the four-hour trek from the DMV to Yogaville. Yogaville, or Satchidananda Ashram, was founded in 1980 by Sri Swami Satchidananda, whose primary goal was "interfaith understanding as a vehicle to world peace." To him, "interfaith" meant that there are many paths (faiths) that all lead to one truth—God in all different shapes and forms and names.  MORE

Nalanie Chellaram (director of Integral Yoga Gibraltar & Sotogrande, Spain) has a new video series that focuses on the chakras, koshas, and emotions, according to Yoga. She delves deep into the subject and, as always, relates these teachings in ways that have practical applications in daily life and in one's Yoga practice.

Swami Sarvaananda Featured in New Book:
Hindu Approaches to Spiritual Care

Integral Yoga's Swami Sarvaananda (the first Hindu chaplain in America: see article this issue) was asked to contribute a chapter to a new book on spiritual care. The book illustrates how spiritual care is practiced in a variety of different contexts such as healthcare, detention and higher education, as well as settings that may not have formal chaplaincy arrangements. The book explores the theological and metaphysical roots of Hindu chaplaincy and puts forward the case for Hindu chaplaincy as a valuable spiritual practice. Made up of some 30 essays by chaplains, scholars and other important voices in the field, Hindu Approaches to Spiritual Care provides spiritual caregivers with a comprehensive theoretical and practical approach to the relationship of Hinduism and chaplaincy. Congratulations Swami Sarvaananda!

For a long time the myth (or was it urban legend?) persisted that there was a white deer that frequented the Yogaville grounds. From time to time, residents and visitors would talk in hushed tones about seeing it, but now the deer (unlike Bigfoot) has been captured on video, by longtime Yogaville resident Rev. Prakash Shakti Capen. She explains: "This video is horribly blurry because I had to zoom from a distance, but I can’t resist sharing this glimpse of our local white deer and friends grazing on a neighbor’s lawn. (It looks unreal until she moves.) Sightings of her are usually very brief and way too fast for me to get my phone in position, but on this day she and her band were relaxed and taking their time." Thank you for sharing this!
Inspiring Meme of the Week
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