Yoga Conference

Gita Conference 2015 Report

- Ashwini Surpur

Gita Conference was organized in Sunnyvale temple by Satya Kalra (Path to Anandam) and group on July 20th, 2015. As Yoga Bharati representatives, Anil Surpur (President and my husband) and I were given VIP seating.  I was positively surprised at the wonderful set of people they had on the dias. Every bit of what was spoken on the stage was bringing thrill to the audience. The hall was packed and people did not move although it was way past lunch time. The speeches were wisdom filled and everyone was great there. 
Anil and I went to give a short 3 hour visit and we ended up staying all day.

  • Tulsi Gabbard gave an awesome talk quoting (in English) verses from different chapters and her own application of them into her life. She inspired everyone with her passion on Gita.
  • UC Berkeley Sanskrit Prof. Robert Goldman's Sanskrit was as if we Indian's spoke with no western accent. The Bhagavad Gita shlokas he quoted with stellar Sanskrit mesmerized the audience.
  • Swami Chidananda Saraswati - what to say? His voice and his shloka and the ending Shantih, Shantih, Shantih put me into samadhi so to say. It was as if time had stopped. Never before was I immersed in such a one-pointedness. His discourse kept people laughing and admiring and also a flow of knowledge of Ganga into the audience.
  • Swami Radhanath of ISCKON sung the song of Gita in a way I had never heard before. It was like Opera with a low pitch. I think he is a Jewish swami who has done enormous seva in India. His knowledge of Gita was amazing - every bit of it was fantastic.
  • Sadhvi Bhagavati Saraswati was also amazing in her tid-bits as MC. Unfortunately she took too long between every speaker that added to the delay. But her words were also very sweet and wisdom filled.
  • Shankaracharya (Bhanpura) also gave a very touching message on Gita. 

The youth! What to talk of them. Three youth - Varija 23 (daughter of Govindaji of Samskrita Bharati), Pushan 21, the college graduate who studied Sanskrit because he wanted to learn Gita in its original language and Keertana, the Monta Vista High school senior were the panelists. I was wondering how these little souls could talk on Gita so profoundly. Every one in the audience were dumbstruck at the way they conducted the youth panel.
Saumitraji of HSS - His down-to-earth style could not hide his wisdom, it was too evident! 

Saumitraji of HSS

On Karma Yoga - What is the motivation to work if we gave up the results of the work? What motivates a Karma Yogi? Saumitraji said, at least for him - Shloka 3:20 - lokasangrahamevapi sampasyankartumarhasi
Everyone should have one thing to revere or worship. What I have (Swami Vivekananda also had this) is Samashti Devata --> The viraat swarupa of Lord where one became many millions. He is a HSS pracharak - a non-saffron Sanyasi who goes from home to home, city to city, country to country for HSS work. He said when he surrendered, he found someone coming and helping him in his worst situations, in unknown countries, and unknown societies also. 
Karma yoga is a journey of Training --> transforming --> transcending

Desh Deshpande - A Philanthropist and Entrepreneur - Keynote speaker
Spoke on Enlightened entrepreneurs 

  • Dharma means - to pick and choose a problem that is bigger than yourself
  • Things that are under control and that which cannot be controlled
  • Leave those that cannot be controlled
  • Such enlightened entrepreneurs  don't get agitated and don't agitate others
  • Moderate the ups and downs in the business.
  • Dilemma - should we be tough negotiator or polite ? always exist in life at all levels
  • BE Naive and optimistic
  • Naive why? Only naive think they can take anything and do it. Only they believe every problem can be solved

MOST IMPORTANT Message of Gita I got - Get up in the morning and get excited about the day - Gita style of living

My experience the very next day with the message 'Get up and get excited was very interesting'. I was extremely tired the next morning and I had to go to yoga class with a 5 hour sleep (in a row for the third day) and I was so miserable and tired that the entire morning was dragging my feet. At one point around 10am, I felt a deep sense of demotivation due to the deep fatigue with a pile of work still ahead of me. Suddenly I remembered Desh's speech and within 5 mins, I was up and about the I don't know how it all melted away and I was good for the entire day. 

CSE Kriya Yoga Congress Report

Mar 11th 2013

Yoga Bharati at CSE Kriya Yoga Congress

Yoga Bharati, Bay Area members attended Kriya Yoga Congress organized by Center for Spiritual Enlightment (CSE) in Holiday Inn, San Jose on March 8-10th 2013. Center for Spiritual Enlightment is a San Jose based organization that carries the lineage of Babaji, Lahari Mahashaya, Sri.Yukteshwar and Paramahamsa Yogananda. Representatives of six organizations were invited as special guests for their banquet dinner. Among them were: Br Prabodh Chaitanya and Sri Rao of Chinmaya Mission, Swami Prasannatmananda of Vedanta Society, Berkeley, Tanvi and Mihir Meghani of Hindu American Foundation (HAF) and Ashwini and Anil Surpur from Yoga Bharati and Rev. Masao Tsuruta of Seicho No Ie, the Truth of Life movement who translated the books of Mr.Roy Eugene Davis into Japanese. Yoga Bharati offered greetings to CSE and to Mr. Roy Eugene Davis, Minister of Center for Spiritual Awareness, Pheonix and the direct disciple of Paramahamsa Yogananada on his 82nd Birthday.

The detailed report follows.

Anil Surpur and Ashwini Surpur at Kriya Yoga Congress Yoga Bharati

Yoga Bharati members attended sessions on all three days and also their Sunday Services where they celebrated Maha Shiva Ratri and sungs chantings on Shiva.

The Meditation workshop by Mr. Roy Eugene Davis on Friday started with a small silence meditation followed by Mr. Davis’s lecture on the fundamentals of meditation derived from Patanjali Yoga Sutras. He also talked about his experiences with his master Paramahamsa Yogananda and his method of teaching, his wisdom, etc. Mr. Davis being an avid meditator and the direct disciple of Paramahamsa Yogananada, has immense knowledge on vedantic concepts, especially Patanjali Yoga sutras and he gave a beautiful account of his own meditation experience covering his master Yogananada’s teachings. His session was full of humor and we enjoyed it.

Ayurveda – This was a session by Cythia Ambika Copple of Mount Madonna Center. She covered the basis of Ayurvedic concepts – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. She gave a practical session where she gave a questionnaire and asked the audience to answer them and discuss with their neighbors about their body type.

Phil Goldberg expounded on how Indian Spirituality influenced the west. Many of Yoga Bharati members have read his book American Veda, which is a compendium of all the wonderful yogis who visited from India, influencing the culture of America. In the evening session, Dr. Christopher Chapple talked eloquently about Patanjali Yoga Sutras covering many concepts of yoga. His amazing depth of knowledge on the subject was evident from his lecture.

On Saturday, we attended the devotional session by Swami Nirvanananda and the entire audience was enthralled by the wonderful chantings of OM Namah Shivaya, and other devotional chantings. This was followed by Meditaton workshop by Mr. Roy Euegne Davis who covered some more concepts and his lineage and the master’s wisdom.

Banquet dinner: This was a perfectly organized and flawlessly executed event and we were in the most joyous and ecstasy state – time and again in the program. The Banquet was well attended by 500 to 600 people from CSE and other orgs.

The program began with the chanting of OM and prayer followed by a salad appetizer. The beautiful poem read by Patricia (Kavita) sung the glory of the Vedantic wisdom of her master lineage – Babji, Lahari Mahashaya, Sri Yukteshwar, Paramahamsa Yogananda and the current successor – Mr. Roy Eugene Davis

White Birds fly over the river Ganges, At Sunrise, dolphins ride the waters, Maharaj Babji appears on the illumined path…. Walks along the beach at the merging of the rivers…..calls for the holy sounds of OM to form the holy science of divine oneness; place the holy text on the spotless table of your mind…. the tinkling of the cowbells….the lotus blossom that stands honorable above the mud…one day the child of your heart will arrive…. Paramahamsa – the supreme white swan across the seas….Roy Eugene Davis – the boy rides across the magnetic fields of his country towards his master and steps into his place in the holy lineage….offer nourishment for all who want to enter the center of their spiritual awareness….. Remember the forgotten language of the original sound – the pure vibration of OM that contains all breath, the word that contains all words…. articulate the ancient and profound words – Do what you know you should do.

The band team of CSE sang wonderful songs that reflected the vedantic views, the advaita concepts, the song that were pure manifestations of love and bhakti – sung in acapella fashion, in the chorus, in a festive style and in the slow and easy flowing bhakti style. The audience was in a pure bliss and multiple standing ovations were given to the team.

This was followed by dinner and then a session of greetings by various friendly organizations. All the delegates gave wishes to CSE and their good work. They specially wished Roy Eugene Davis on his Birthday. Rev. O’Brian gifted a gold plated Shri Yantra to Mr.Davis. It was a beautiful piece of art that everyone got to see and enjoy.

Below is YB’s greeting message given on behalf of Yoga Bharati.

On behalf of Yoga Bharati and Sri N.V. Raghuram, Spiritual founder and Chairman of Yoga Bharati, Our special greetings on the mahasamadhi anniversaries of Paramahansa Yogananda, Sri Yukteswar and the 82nd birth anniversary of Mr.Roy Eugene Davis – the direct disciple of Paramahamsa Yogananda.

It is indeed a wonderful occasion to celebrate the message of yoga that has inspired millions of Americans, especially when we are also celebrating Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary – the man who brought yoga to the west.

We commend Mr. Davis for his dedication to yoga for more than 50 years. Our special wishes to the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment and Center for Spiritual Awareness who have been tirelessly working to spread global health and peace through yoga.