Notes on Sudharshan Kriya Yoga (SKY)

Way back in 2006  I have learned Sudharshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) as a part of my Art-of-living course. Years might have passed by, but SKY stayed on with me as a ‘capsule’ given immense benefits. This post is about benefits I have experienced with SKY.

SKY is a rhythmic breathing mechanism taught as a part of Art of living course. Typically it takes about 20-30 minutes to do this breathing exercise, it is highly advised to do it after performing certain Yoga asanas. The philosophy is to first stabilize the body using asanas and then move on to perform SKY for working at breath level. This is also called as ‘short kriya’ which is typically done at individual level. In case of weekly art-of-living follow-ups a ‘long-kriya’ is performed which takes about 45 minutes of time.

Typically in our daily lives many challenges are caused because of external issues (tension, anger, disappointment etc…) which immediately alters breathing. When inhale-exhale cycle becomes shorter, lesser oxygen is taken inside, which aggravates negative emotions. Most of us would have observed when we are in the state of emotions, it tend to continue for longer time mainly because of our breathing pattern. The idea is alter breathing rhythm with long deep breath which will create positive impact thereby altering our emotional. This is what in nut-shell happens by performing SKY. There is definitely a spiritual dimension to it, which will be shared as a separate blog post.

Coming to its benefits:

  • Immediate alteration in emotional levels by switching into positive state.  I have performed kriya is peak negative emotional conditions (ex: workplace crisis) and felt immediate benefit by coming out of it and operate with higher emotional state
  • For some specific diseases/issues I have found immediate relief. For example, in case of minor head ache, stomach problem or back/neck pain, by doing SKY has provided immediate healing effect by making me normally operate
  • Because of the mental & physical benefits mentioned above, individuals tend to be in much positive state of mind with higher optimism and action orientation when faced with real life challenges. This sustained benefits come over a period of time which is more experiential
  • Some of my family members had serious breathing issues (ex: Wheezing), who could see significant impact in overall immunity and attacks have come down drastically. However it also depends on the individual how regularly he/she is performing it.
  • There is no specific equipment or location required to perform SKY. As long as there is relatively quite place is available, once can perform this without any difficulty. There are many occasions I have done it in my workplace ( sick room) and during travel (trains)

Ever since I have learnt SKY, I have not 100% regular in doing it on a daily basis. Definitely I have been fairly regular and benefits have been immensely higher.  Especially, after taking up long distance running, Yoga asanas and SKY is acting as an excellent combination!

Book review: A search in secret India

Author: Paul Brunton

Price: 450 INR

Understanding spiritual history of India is not all that easy. It traces back more than 3500 years in time and most of the contemporary interpretations exist in deteriorated form. The current state of affair is so pathetic — sometimes makes one feel spirituality is worthless. At the same time, developing deeper connection with spirituality is very critical in order to achieve harmony within. Especially in the current materialistic environment, human beings have become more cynical, thereby closing all doors of self realization. In the current setup spirituality needs to be approached from a western, critical perspective where it can be learnt by applying logic. The book ‘A search in secret India’ is one such spiritual account written by a westerner with an analytical approach. For present day Indians it provides a simple, logical but very insightful journey into spirituality.

The book starts with the author Paul Brunton, a British embarks on a journey to India in 1930s. His interest was kindled by his Indian friend living in England, who provides him certain insights into simple living by embracing spirituality as a way of life. Upon driven by this spiritual quest he reaches Mumbai. This book covers his experiences and memoirs about India and his search for spiritual Guru. Even though this book comes under non-fiction category, Brunton’s story telling style might make certain chapters boring. After landing in Mumbai (erstwhile Bombay), he first meets an magician from Egypt near the lodge he was put-up. The magician plays certain tricks thereby demonstrating his ability to make certain things vanish and come back again. This leaves Brunton with some amusement but he was not able to understand or feel anything spiritual about it.

Followed by Mumbai he continues to travel towards South. On his way he meets many holy men, some genuine and some are fake. He also sees people who can perform actions that can’t be explained by physics, like turning a seed into a plant in a minute and people who are not affected by poison. Of the former he discovers to be a mere magical trick while the later remains unexplained, attributed to Yogic power. In Adayar, Chennai (erstwhile Madras state) he meets up with a young yogi, who was able to provide certain analytical perspective of Yoga. The ‘anchorite of the Adayar river’, what Brunton calls this young Yogi performs certain breathing practices, thereby he could demonstrate Brunton the ability to control heart beat, bring down the pulse, remain in solace for hours together. Then he goes on explaining the inner workings of Yoga, which starts from understanding inner meaning of breath. According to this Yogi, the life of human beings is not controlled by the years they live but the number of breaths one takes. Upon learning certain breathing techniques, explained in ancient Yogic texts, one can reduce the number of breaths compared with time, thereby increasing lifespan. Many of the mystic Yogis living in Himalayas are able to master this technique and live for many hundred years. The Yogi goes on saying that how important it is for human beings to repose and take control of their breath.

There is been quite some amount of research happening about certain species living in extremely cold continents like Antarctica and how they are able survive and live longer. The study showed that the fishes in Antarctica activate a seasonal switch in ecological strategy – going from one that maximizes feeding and growth in summer to another that minimizes the energetic cost of living during the long, Antarctic winter. The research demonstrates that at least some fish species can enter a dormant state, similar to hibernation that is not temperature driven and presumably provides seasonal energetic benefits. Scientists already know that Antarctic fish have very low metabolic rates and blood ‘antifreeze’ proteins that allow them to live in near-freezing waters. This study demonstrates that Antarctic fish – which already live in the ‘slow lane’ with extremely low rates of growth, metabolism and swimming activity – can in fact further depress these metabolic processes in winter. The Yogic methods place human beings into a similar hibernation state by controlling their breath.

With the help of Adayar yogi, Brunton comes across another sage near Chennai who never speaks. By locking himself into a small room the sage remains in ‘Samadhi’ (the ultimate state where a human being in completely connected with the bigger universe outside) for days together with hardly eating anything. His eyes remain frozen for hours together without even blinking, which leave Brunton with strange experience. After waiting for hours together, the sage comes to normal stage and communicates with others by writing. Followed by Chennai, Brunton travel further south and gets an opportunity to meet the spiritual guru Shankaracharya. Based on his instruction, he further goes to Thiruvannamalai, where he meets Ramana Maharishi. Initially the Maharishi hardly gives him an opportunity to meet and never talks. After many attempts he was able to interact with him. The Maharishi urges him to start connecting with the spiritual plane by asking the question “Who am I?” to himself. This leaves Brunton with surprise, happiness and fulfillment. In the later chapters he explains about some other magicians and prophets he had met in Southern India.

This book is a very good read for anybody, who wants to start understanding India in a deeper sense. It also helps the reader to start thinking about spirituality in a step by step manner.

Landmark Forum – Part III

Please read my previous posts about Landmark Forum (Part I and Part II) before reading this one.

In the past few weeks, I have been getting multiple comments for my posts about Landmark forum. Here is the summary of those comments:

  1. The landmark forum provides spiritual dimension to an individual. It helps the attendees to lead a peaceful life with full of self-expression. Why are you commenting on it?
  2. Today’s world is filled with misery, where people are selling anything and everything. If we can tolerate a phone-call from a credit card salesperson, why not a spiritual/self development course like Landmark forum, Art-of-living etc?

I think the commentors didn’t completely understand the point I was trying to convey. It is not my intention to criticize these organizations or courses and say they are of no use. My take is to learn, understand and internalize them and practice in real life. Also understand that ‘transformation’ is a journey, rather than an instant capsule to fix every other problem in life. Many problems in life are caused when individuals are not equipped with proper thought process to handle them. No doubt! These courses provide excellent tools but what is the use if an individual it not using them, but end up preaching it by becoming a salesperson? Here are the two classic examples I have recently come across.

Case 1: An ISKCON devotee

Recently I met a fresher, who just got into the IT industry after finishing his post graduation. Upon talking with him I learned that he is a devotee of ISKCON. We discussed many things about purpose of life, origin of birth and death, religion, philosophy, spirituality, spiritual practices, yoga and Indian way of living. We exchanged wonderful thoughts for close to two hours before the discussion took a different turn. This 23 year old all of a sudden started saying ‘Krishna is the ultimate god and nothing is more superior to him’. He went on criticizing other Yogic methods and spiritual gurus by saying they have not come in a proper generation (in his words — ‘guru parampara’) and don’t have rights to teach spiritual practices to anyone. Followed by that, he started pitching about ISKCON and compelling me to come for weekly meetings etc.

Case 2: An Art of living devotee

In another occasion, I met colleague of mine in one of the company meetings. Some time back I got introduced to him in one of the art-of-living classes. He immediately started of saying ‘so-and-so’ new course is happening, which can transform my life completely. In spite of me not showing interest, he went on saying the glory of the course, how good the teacher is, how quickly one can bring change in his life etc.

This is exactly what I mean by salesman mentality. First of all I don’t see how an individual organization is the superior than others. As mentioned in my previous post, I respect them for the reasons they are created. That doesn’t mean that every other thing in the world is shit. Second, I am not sure how the so called ‘transformation’ can happen in few days or hours of attending a course, satsang or a bhajans. Every other spiritual method, ideology, socio-political movement has taken years to bring in changes.

Gandhi might have got his ‘call’ when he was thrown out of the train in Pietermaritzburg, but it took 22 years of belief, hard work, commitment, visionary leadership to make the civil rights movement in South Africa as a success. He never told his ideology is the best and started selling/forcing on others. Paramahamsa Yogananda, one of the great spiritual gurus took 17 years to attain transformation in his spiritual journey by meeting his guru Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri. It took 35 years for Varghese Kurien to envision, think and build ‘Amul — the taste of India’. It took years for these great people to transform themselves and people around them.

According to me transformation is a journey when an individual embarks with a great vision. It is neither one-minute-magic nor selling an ideology. It is about understanding self, becoming a magnet and making others becoming followers. It is always good to take up a self-development course (like Landmark) or getting associated with an organization (Art-of-living, ISKCON etc…) but don’t make is as a sales pitch or think only their ideology/organization is the best in the world.

Landmark Forum – Part II

I understood quite a lot of things by observing people who attend landmark forum. Primarily the educated, upper-middle class, urban population attend this and they don’t have any clue of what life is all about. The materialistic life style has taken toll totally, which makes them live a miserable life with wrong perceptions, notions and beliefs. Suddenly they realize that the situation it out of control and start thinking about ‘one-stop’ solution for all their problems.

They look for one ‘thread’ on which they can hang on for rest of their life and forget their worries. The start identifying the thread by attending course like: Landmark forum, Art of living, Ramdev yoga and then getting associated with them. Other examples include: Kanchi ashram,ISKCON, Saibaba ashram, Aurobindo ahsram, Amritanandamayi etc. In a way all these organizations and courses teach almost the same universal values like: humility, responsibility, community service, treating everybody equal, selflessness, service etc.

In my point of view, its absolutely fine to learn any of these courses. But the problems starts when people go overboard and start indulging themselves. This indulgence turns into addiction after some time and they become mobile sales person for the organization they are associated with. They start forcing their friends, families and relatives to sign up and promise that all their problems will be solved in a jiffy. When such communities becomes bigger in size it results in scandals, murders and controversies.I don’t want to take up any specific examples here as everyone of us has come across some or the other experiences.

Here are my conclusions:

  1. No course, religion or ashram is bad. Everything is created with a good purpose of making things better for humans.
  2. It is also OK to get associated with any of these ‘threads’ and learn their courses. But becoming sales person is really dangerous
  3. No course can bring in ‘transformation’ overnight. It takes years of focus, commitment, dedication and perceverence to even get a feel of real self transformation. For normal human beings it is better to learn a course and start implementing the techniques in real lives.
  4. Forcing others to take up any course or join a group is not correct.

Landmark forum – Part I

It’s been 6 months since I attended Landmark Forum in Bangalore. For people who don’t know what this is all about please check out this link. I have mixed opinions about the course. Let me share my first set of thoughts about this course.

Let me explain the course structure first. It’s basically a three day plus one evening course primarily focused on personal transformation. Each day starts about 9 AM in the morning (sharp) and goes on till 11 PM in the night, with grueling sessions. Each day has only very few break in between, that too at odd timings (11 AM, 3 PM and 7 PM). A well trained ‘forum leader’ will be leading the course for about 400 participants. He has a pre-defined courseware and speaks non-stop for all the three days. These leaders are extremely smart people and ruthless in expressing their viewpoints. The landmark education forum has internal methods of identifying, coaching and grooming these leaders.

Coming to the course contents, it’s completely a westernized therapy session. They give a different perspective of life, more from the psychological point of view. The forum leader will encourage participants to come and share problems they face in relationships, career and life. He will listen to those problems and provides different perspective about solving those problems. In between these conversations the leader keeps on giving certain gyan about: parenting, purpose of life, holistic living, relationships, human behaviors etc. I found these sessions totally boring and couldn’t get anything at all from them. I felt more annoyed when people cry in public about their personal problems and their inability to solve them. This is what happens on the first two days.

On the third day of the forum, I found pretty interesting things. The leader started discussion certain topics (question like ‘Who am I?’), which slowly dwells into a philosophy. When I questioned the leader about its interference with philosophy (especially Indian way of thinking), he totally diverted the discussion and forced me to sit down. He went on expressing some of the points in a very forceful manner in loud voice. Finally he ended up with some of the concepts from Zen Buddhism.

When such philosophical thoughts are conveyed in forceful manner (this is what I call western therapy), people feel all they have discovered something great. They feel they are free and get whatever they want. This is what defined as ‘transformation’ by the Landmark education people. Apart from that they give a whole new terminologies like ‘racket’, ‘break-through’, ‘possibility’, ‘break-down’, ‘interpretation’ etc. Thus the third day of the course comes to an end.

The evening session resumes after two days, where each participants are asked to bring at least three guests. These guests can be friends, family members or relatives. When the evening session stats, the nasty sales pitch of the Landmark forum takes the centre stage. The forum leader literally forces all the participants to take up the ‘advanced’ course. There are many so called ‘volunteers’ who do excellent job in brainwashing the guests to sign up for the ‘basic’ course. I took my wife and some close friends on the evening session but felt totally humiliated when they started the sales pitch. I didn’t expect this at all!

After the course (sales pitch session) gets over, the participants are asked to take up ‘Landmark forum in action’ lecture series. I was so pissed off with their evening session that I just stopped going in that direction. Also it’s quite interesting to see the way the course is marketed. People who are weak minded, immature or lived a miserable life in the past become ‘volunteers’ of this forum after achieving ‘transformation’. These volunteers become mobile marketing/sales people for the organization and they go ahead and force all of their friends and family members to take up the course. I do see some value of courses like this but can’t even think of becoming a sales person for them.

Let me write more about Landmark Forum in the next blog post!

Yoga part II : Personal experiences

Its been two years I have been practicing Yoga. Typically I spend about 45 minutes which includes about 20 asanas followed by some pranayama breathing techniques. In this post I am sharing some of my personal experiences.

Its completely ‘Experiential’

The first point I learned about Yoga is — its completely experiential. No matter how many books, articles, blogs anyone read, it just can’t even come closer to the real experience one gets while performing Yoga. Its hard for anyone to believe this as we are more used the traditional way of learning (reading/writing/sharing). For example, if somebody some information about a book, I will at least get 20% of what he is trying to say. The 20% can be “quantified” because the knowledge a book provides itself finite. In case of yoga, the paradigm is totally different as the performer is connecting to infinite knowledge within himself. I know I am sounding abstract and confused — thats what I call it ‘experiential’.

Out of the body experience

When continuously performing yoga over a period, I feel ‘out of body’ experience for a brief period of time. During this short duration I experienced the following:

  1. Breathing pattern comes into a particular rhythm
  2. The body becomes extremely light and feel as if I am a thread
  3. A very light amount of vibration/current throughout the body
  4. I could see myself as an external person and watch myself
These experiences are very much ‘personal’.I don’t want to give a philosophical or scientific explanation at this point in time (more on this later).

Feeling the ‘oneness’

In my engineering days I have learned about Finite Automaton (FA) as a part of the computational theory. Basically the FA is a state machine consists of a finite number of states. On a state when a particular symbol acts, it transitions to a different state. This finite automaton is the basic model for computers and the brain also works in a similar model. According to my perception, I imagine brain as a Finite automata with 10 to the power of 15 states. When any external evenets (stimuli) occur on the brain, it moves to a different state by reacting. By doing yoga, it prepares us to react ‘better’ to these stimulis. This better reaction is seen in the forms of reduced stress, better concentration a nd higher energy. When I am in that ‘better’ state, I feel complete ‘oneness’ with the environment.

Learnings do happen internally

It is general view that we can only learn/perceive things though our five sensual organs. As a yoga practitioner I can definitely say, learnings do happen internally apart from the sensual organs. When an individual is connecting to his inner self tremendous learnings happens. This is mainly because one connects with the infinite world of inner imagination which normally we don’t get oppurtunity to explore. I work as a firmware development engineer and couple of times I found solutions during my yoga session. I could really see the exact line in my C code and where exactly it needs to be fixed. Its hard to believe but trust me — it happens!

BOOK REVIEW: Give me back my guitar

Author: Potharaju Ravindra

Price: 160 INR

About a year back I read the book ‘Success Vs Joy’ by Geeth Sethi. Two things stand out about this book; its simple language and the overwhelming effect it has on an individual’s thought process. Built along similar lines is the book ‘Give me back my guitar’. In this book author Ravi talks about mind control, inspiration and energy management. The joy of reading and re-reading such books is in the inspiration and support that they provide by telling you just three words: Follow your dream. And just as success vs. joy, give me back my guitar is also blessed with the use of simple and unambiguous language which makes it a pleasure to read.

The first thing about the book that interested me was the title itself — What is this topic all about? Who is going to give the guitar to whom? But, when I started reading the book I found that the book is all the nursery parables that we have all read and enjoyed being modified to suit the present scenario. Sounds different? read on!

Basically the title is derived from the story The ant and grasshopper ,where the ant works all summer by gathering food and the grasshopper ‘wastes’ time by playing the guitar. When its winter the grasshopper struggles to find food and learns the importance of working hard. But when he tries to work hard like his ant friends, he gets frustrated. This is mainly because the grasshopper really enjoys playing his guitar. Now — What if the grasshopper gets a chance to do the work he ‘enjoys’ as well as ‘earn’ his food? What about converting the ‘wastage of time’ (as perceived by others) to a revenue generating task? Sounds interesting? In fact this is the crux of the book. It re-iterates the importance of choosing joy compared to success. As a matter of fact the latter is the by-product of the former.

Apart from this, the book talks about five other popular parables with a modern moral- known fable- unknown interpretation. The author urges us to ‘Enjoy, Adopt and Practice’ the ancient Indian wisdom by reading this book. It appears that the intention of the author is not to motivate but to make the reader think on each of the messages conveyed. This is typically recommended for folks who are bored with the grueling corporate life style – those who in their rush do not have time to stop and smell the roses.

As the book is targeted for wide range of readers, the author has written the book in both conversational and message style. I am not sure how it will be taken, as this style may not be liked by everybody. Also there are some stories in the ‘Epilogue’ which it not related to the main topic. On the cosmetic side, the author has given three email IDs for communication which can be reduced to one.

In conclusion, if you want a book to kindle your thought process this is for you. For more details about the book visit: http://givemebackmyguitar.com/

An article about ‘Yoga and Meditation’

Very recently Mr. Bhattathiri left his article as a comment to one of my blogs. The article titled ‘American justice department upheld Indian yoga and meditation’ briefly talks about the background and scientific aspects of Yoga. As per his request I am publishing the article below. I am planning to write a separate article on yoga with more in-depth details. Stay tuned!

Let me bow to Indian Maharishi Patanjali with folded hands, who helped in removing the impurities of the mind through his writings on Yoga, impurities of speech through his writings on grammar, and impurities of body through his writings on Ayurveda.

The American justice dept have recently approved the power of yoga and meditation via a recent judgment in the American court. “Man Who Slapped Wife Sentenced to Yoga, its Anger Management, Says Judge.” First there was house arrest. Now there’s yoga. A judge ordered a man convicted of slapping his wife to take a yoga class as part of his one-year probation. “It’s part of anger management,” County Criminal Court at Law Judge Larry Standley said of the ancient Hindu philosophy of exercise and well-being. “For people who are into it, it really calms them down.” Standley, a former prosecutor, said the case of James Lee Cross was unique. Cross, a 53-year-old car salesman from Tomball, explained that his wife was struggling with a substance abuse problem and that he struck her on New Year’s Eve during an argument about her drinking. “He was trying to get a hold of her because she has a problem,” Standley said after the court hearing. “I thought this would help him realize that he only has control over himself.” The sentence came as a surprise to Cross, which was told to enroll in a class and report back to Standley on his progress. “I’m not very familiar with it,” Cross said of yoga. “From what I understand, it may help in a couple ways, not only as far as mentally settling, but maybe a little weight loss.” Darla Magee, an instructor at Yoga Body Houston in River Oaks, said she would recommend that Cross take a basic yoga class emphasizing breathing and including a variety of postures — forward bends, back bends and twists. “Yoga can help us to get rid of many emotional issues we might have,” she said. “It’s a spiritual cleanse.” Prosecutor Lincoln Goodwin agreed to a sentence of probation without jail time because Cross had no significant criminal history.

Yoga which is one of the greatest Indian contributions to the world has got vast potential in all fields. In Tihar jail India Yoga is experimented among the inmates and found successful. Their criminal mentality is changed. This study aimed at investigating the effect of Vipassana Meditation (VM) on Quality of Life (QOL), Subjective Well-Being (SWB), and Criminal Propensity (CP) among inmates of Tihar Jail, Delhi. To this effect the following hypotheses were formulated:

  1. There will be a significant positive effect of VM on the QOL of inmates of Tihar jail.
  2. VM will have a positive and significant effect on SWB of inmates.
  3. Criminal propensity (CP) of inmates will decrease significantly after attending the VM course.
  4. There will be significant difference in SWB and CP of experimental (Vipassana) group and control (non-Vipassana) group.
  5. Male and female inmates will differ significantly in SWB and CP, as a result of VM.
In the famous “Time” magazine the importance meditation and yoga, an ancient Indian system, is high-lighted that the ancient mind- and spirit-enhancing art is becoming increasingly popular and gaining medical legitimacy. It is a multi billion dollar business in US. In many Universities it is accepted as subject and included in the Syllabus. In the latest famous book “Inspire! What Great Leaders Do” written by Mr. Lance Secretan recently published by John Wiley and sons, the benefit of meditation is elaborately described for good corporate governance. By practicing transcendental meditation, or TM, many people have got relief from back pain, neck pain, and depression. The mind calms and quiets. What thoughts you have during meditation become clearer, more focused. Anger, anxiety and worries give way to a peace. In the world exorbitant medical expenses one can definitely make use of meditation. Maharshi Mahesh Yogi and Sri Ravi Shankar are popularizing this. The Iyengar Yoga institute in US is famous. In Bhagavad-Gita Lord Krishna has inspired Arjuna to rise from his depression by preaching Gita in the battlefield and to rise from the depression to do his duties. In Holy Gita we can see, being hidden by the cosmic overview of any institution beset with myriad problems, not the least of which is its lack of moral probity, there is a groundswell of educated people seeking answers to deeply personal but universally asked questions. Chie Executives taking lessons from yoga, meditation and learning how to deal with human resources equations in an enlightened manner. Individuals from every walk of life can get ideas of how to be better human beings, more balanced and less stressed out.

Medical studies continue to show regular meditation working magic in reducing blood pressure and stress-related illnesses, including heart disease. Brain images show that regular meditation helps calm the most active sensory-assaulted parts of the brain. The ancient Hindu sage Patanjali who had mastered the secrets of the human mind has written a book “Yoga sutra”. In this book we can see how super powers can be achieved by meditation. It has both cosmic relevance and cosmic resonance. In spite of its universal appeal, for most people total control of mind remains an elusive goal and daunting task. From time immemorial, there have been many attempts throughout the world to unlock the mysteries of the mind and to achieve total control over it through a variety of techniques. One of the most powerful of these techniques is meditation. Many spiritual leaders, sages, saints, and holy people such as Buddha, Sri Ramakrishna, Madam Sarada Devi, and Swami Vivekananda have practiced this. One of the ways to control physiological reactions to psychological stimuli is meditation, Yoga, Zen Buddhism etc. The scientists take Transcendental Meditation (TM) as the uniform technique, and base their observations on the study of the subjects engaged in this form of meditation. In summing up the results the scientists have come to conclusion that the effect of meditation is a “wakeful, hypo-metabolic state”.

They have found that:

  1. Yogis could slow both heart rate and rate of respiration.
  2. Yogis could slow the rate of metabolism as confirmed by decreased oxygen consumption and carbon-di-oxide output.
  3. Electro-Encephalon-Gram (EEG – recording of brain activity) in Yogis showed changes of calmness in the form of “alpha rhythm” during both eyes closed and eyes open recordings.
  4. Their skin resistance to electric stimulation was increased (indicating increased tolerance to external stimuli). Our usual ‘defense-alarm’ reaction to emotional and physical stress is in the form of “fright, flight, and fight” mediated through over-secretion of certain neuro-transmitters and neuro-modulators, namely adrenaline and dopamine by way of stimulation of sympathetic nervous system.

Under the influence of these chemicals and hormones, we reflexively become panicky or aggressive, our blood pressure rises. Thus stress and anxiety is the end result if we allow our natural age-old sympathetic reactions to act and to come to surface. We try to run away, become fearful, or fight the situation. But today these ‘defense-alarm’ reactions have no place in our lives. Rather, they should be replaced by more calm and serene reactions of equanimity and fearlessness. The need is to just ‘face the brute, and it will go away’. Such desirable reactions of non-aggression and peaceful attitude are generated by Yoga and meditation. EEG Studies on Yogis and The Zen Meditations: Yogis practicing Raja-Yoga claim that during the state of Samadhi they are oblivious to the internal and external stimuli, and they enjoy a calm ecstasy during that state. A study was undertaken to record the electrical activity of their brain during this state by means of a regular and useful test known as electroencephalography EEG. Physiological and experimental studies have demonstrated that the basis of conscious state of brain, among other things, is due to activation of “reticular system” in the brain-stem in response to internal and external stimuli.

These stimuli bring about various changes during sleeping and wakeful states of the organism and these can be studied by EEG. The study was carried out on four subjects during the state of concentration and meditation. Effects of external stimuli, like a loud gong, strong light, thermal simulation, and vibrations were studied. The results were compiled and analyzed. It was observed that two Yogis could keep their hands immersed in extremely cold water for about 50 minutes (raised pain threshold). During state of meditation, all of them showed persistent “alpha activity” in their EEG with increased amplitude wave pattern, both during ‘eyes closed’ and ‘eyes open’ recording. It was observed that these alpha activities could not be blocked by various sensory stimuli during meditation. It was also observed that those, who had well-marked “alpha activity” in their resting EEG showed greater aptitude and zeal for maintaining the practice of Yoga. Similar observations and results were obtained when EEGs were recorded in persons adept in Zen Meditative technique.

Vedic power generation

In my blog titled ‘Am I proud to be an Indian?’ I briefly touched upon Indian’s glorious past and the abundant knowledge in Vedas and Upanishads. Having said that it is very difficult to interpret Vedas and understand the real meaning. This is mainly because the language of Sanskrit is much more complex than any other languages and each word conveys many meanings. But my simple question was ‘If we have so much of knowledge and intellectual wealth, why can’t we use them for welfare of human beings?’. To my surprise, recently I found one classic example for this. Before getting into the details let me give some background information.


One of my very close friends is working for an IT company in Bangalore and couple of months back they celebrated ‘technology day’ in their organization. They invited Mr. Satish Chandra (who has supposedly demonstrated power generation using Vedic methods) for a guest lecture. I also got to know from my friend that he has proved that the output energy generated is more than input energy. How come it is possible? All I know is output energy can be less than or equal to input energy and the efficiency of any system cannot be more than 100%. It was surprised and got curious to know more about that. Couple of weeks back we visited Mr. Sathish Chandra’s institute and got a chance to interact with him for four hours. He explained his work in detail and gave a demo of his power generation prototype. Boy! It was really awesome.


Basically the Vedas (which are written in Sanskrit) can be deciphered in three ways. They are Adhyatmika (for general public), Adidaivika (rahasya or secret) and Adibhouthika. The first two methods are already interpreted by many Sanskrit scholars but nobody has attempted the third method. Mr. Sathish Chandra has successfully interpreted them using the third method and using one of his interpretations he has come up with a prototype for electricity generation.


Now let us quickly revise the fundamentals of electricity generation. The fundamental law says, when a magnetic flux is cut by mechanical motion, electricity gets generated. If you take the example of simple dynamo, it will have two magnets (North and South) where the magnetic field is created. When a mechanical rotor is rotated in between the magnets the electricity gets generated. Since there would be some energy losses the efficiently is less than 100%.


Mr. Sathish Chandra has deciphered the ‘purusha-sooktha’ (which are part of Vedas) using the Adibhouthika method. It is very difficult to interpret in that method and he has done it by doing very deep meditation. Let me take an example and explain how it works. (Please not that I am not getting into word by word interpretation).

The first shlokha of purusha-sooktha reads as follows:


Sahasra sirsha purusha: | sahasraksha: sahasrapaa |
Sa bhUmim vishvato vRtvA | atyatishTad daSAngulam ||

If it is deciphered normally, we get the following meaning:

With Thousands of heads, Thousands of eyes, and Thousands of feet, he (the supreme god) moves, as all of creation verily is he uncountable. He is beyond the grasp of the hands of men.

Now let us see how Mr. Satish Chandra has deciphered:

Out of the ten directions, in 8 directions excluding earth and sky and by firmly installing 8 gadgets (alternators) on the circumference of a circle, which contains numerous positive and negative charges, such that each one will face their own charges i.e. positive to positive and negative to negative and by rotating a runner like earth in a cylindrical way (in the centre) in between them will generate energy.

Based on his interpretation, he has come up with a prototype (see the first picture below) where he has used four magnets (static alternators) and one motor (runner) in the centre. The common runner and the static alternators are mechanically isolated from each other and are magnetically coupled. Just by rotating the common runner all the static alternators generate power independently. The common runner may be rotated by means of a diesel engine or water turbine or steam turbine or an electrical motor. For the prototype model he has used a 126 Watts of motor. Using this he is able to drive power of 303 Watts power for 12 chimney bulbs and 8 tube-lights (See the second picture below).

I was really excited to see the bulbs glowing in the prototype model. Mr.Satish Chandra claims that using his model electricity can be generated at 50 paise per unit. He is been struggling to justify his idea to the scientist community of India. After struggling for more than twenty years in committed reading, deep meditation he was able to decipher the sukthas. Recently he got about 10 million dollar funding from Tesla University and he is planning to file a joint patent for his innovation and take it forward.

At the personal end Mr. Sathish Chandra holds a bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering from Malnad engineering college and post graduation degree from IISc Bangalore. In the year 1981 he was posted in Orissa state electricity board, where he understood the need for generating low cost electricity for India. This passion drove him to read all ancient texts co-relate it with modern science and innovated this new method. He was also able to explain the ‘deepamalika raga’ using which tansen was able to lit lamps in during Akbar’s period. I was not able to understand much because he was using too many terminologies. He claims ‘On implementing this research work will not only sound an everlasting answer to the power crisis of the world but also spread the pride of Mother India to its Zenith’.

In the end my mind started asking more questions. How this prototype can be productized? Is it a scalable solution? What are the intricacies of using this in homes and rural areas? If the output is greater then input, whatever I studied in Science is wrong? If our Vedas are so superior in knowledge why no-one has ever made an attempt to interpret them in the past thousand years? I am sure that I will not get an answer in the near future but I would any day appreciate the passion of Mr.Satish Chandra and his persistent effort to do something for the country. Whatever may be the outcome, his in-depth knowledge, passion for India, humbleness and philanthropic thinking is really amazing!

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The Art of living

Last week was very special for me as I got an opportunity to attend the ‘Art of living part –I’ course. Last year I attended the ‘Sri Sri Yoga’ course organized by the same organization and you can find more details on my blog titled ‘Yoga – An integrated solution’. In this blog I am going to share my experiences and learning from the AOL course.

Before getting into the course details, let me give some background information. Dr.Stephen covey in his ‘seven habits of highly effective people’ talks about four important dimensions for human development. They are physical, mental, spiritual and emotional (social) dimensions. He had arrived at these dimensions based on his thirty years of research in the human development, psychology and character building. In order to have an ‘inclusive’ growth, human beings need to develop themselves in all four dimensions. In his book Dr. Covey strongly advocates for having a strong character in order to be effective. This character centric growth will result in ‘effective’ human beings, who are happy, fulfilled and they are the ones who make significant contributions to the society they live.

In the ‘art-of-living’ course I got an opportunity to explore all four dimensions. Basically it is a six day course spanning about twenty hours and consists of yoga, breathing techniques, meditation and loads of activities. The learning mainly happens through various activities which is more of ‘learning-by-doing’ way. In all the above mentioned techniques controlling and focusing the breath is a very important aspect. The breathing is an important activity, because it differentiates between the living and non-living beings. By focusing on breath, more amount of oxygen (or ‘prana’) is filled inside the body which results in more amount of positive energy in the body. This result in a stress free, relaxed, focused and fulfilled life.

The highlight of the course is ‘sudharshan kriya yoga (SKY)’, which is invented Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of art of living foundation. The SKY is a special breathing technique, which is all about breathing in different rhythms. There is quiet some amount of medical research done on SKY and it is scientifically proven that is helps to cure lots of diseases in a natural way. I am yet to read the technical papers on SKY and they are available in the URL: http://www.artofliving.org/ under the ‘research’ tab. I won’t say much about SKY because it needs to be ‘experienced’ rather than writing about it. But I would say it’s really worth experiencing it and I am sure it is going to have a profound impact. I also got a chance to visit the art of living international centre at Kanakpura road and it’s really a serene, green and beautiful place (see the picture below).

I was able to see lots of foreign nationals living in the ashram, which once again proves the intellectual wealth our country has. The western world has built un-measurable amount of materialistic wealth in terms of infrastructure, scientific innovations, multi national corporations and strong economies. At the same time the western way of living cannot answer questions like ‘What is the purpose of life?’ ‘What is the reason behind human beings existence?’ ‘How to attain perpetual happiness?’ ‘What is consciousness?’ At the same time as far as individuals are concerned, everyone needs a happy fulfilled life which the materialistic wealth cannot provide beyond certain extent. So it is very vital for us to think beyond materialism and find a true purpose of life. Courses like ‘art of living’ helps to find that ultimate purpose and goal of life.

Overall this course has given excellent experience for me. I would strongly suggest readers to go through this course and experience the SKY.