What is Sahaja Yoga?
Sitting quietly, doing nothing, stilling the mind, and calming the body have never been the Western way. For centuries, meditation and yoga (union) were regarded by Western civilizations as Eastern practices of little practical benefit.
But over the last several decades, the increasing speed and pressures of modern living have been matched by an increasing need for ways to cope with them. Medical science is now proving what a growing number of people in the West have discovered for themselves: that the experience of true meditation has measurable beneficial effects on all levels of our being, and brings forth distinctive and positive side effects. During meditation, there develops a conscious awareness of the subtle energy that is in-built in all human beings, existing within us all, and a spontaneous connection with the inner mechanism by which it is governed. This integration cannot be forced through exercises, chanting, or mantras. It happens as a natural awakening, in just the same way that the body grows and maintains itself, with no conscious effort on our part.
The last few years have seen the evolution of a process whereby this inner integration can take place in ordinary people everywhere, irrespective of age, occupation, race, color, and creed. It is not a theory or a concept that has to be worked at. Sahaja Yoga is a real experience, an actual physical reality verifiable in one's own central nervous system, which leads to spontaneous improvements in one's well-being and relationship with the world. This includes numerous examples of overcoming addictions (such as alcohol and drugs), diseases (such as cancer and heart disease), and other disorders such as stress, depression, and tension.
Sahaja Yoga Meditation is a non-intrusive, self-regulated approach to addressing a great need within society. The meditation technique, which is basis of the spiritual path, is easily learned by the average person. There is growing acceptance within society of the positive role Sahaja Yoga Meditation can play in the reduction of stress, leading to an enhancement of the individual’s physical and psychological well being, and an improvement in the sense of balance, equanimity and self control.
Who can Practise Sahaja Yoga?
Everyone can. There is no restriction of caste, creed, religion, nationality, age, or sex.
Benefits of Meditation
People who meditate regularly often find that they become healthier and calmer, with an improved outlook on life. Regular meditation and the mental peace that it gives us can improve our understanding of our psychological, physical and spiritual being. It also helps us understand others so that we become more compassionate and positive towards the people around us.Scientific research done (with illnesses such as asthma, epilepsy and high blood pressure) both overseas and in Australia has proven that Sahaja Yoga is effective in improving physical and psychological wellbeing.
What is Yoga?
Yoga literally means union or connection. The traditional purpose of all yoga techniques is to give us a connection with the inner peace and silence that exists deep within each of us. This is why meditation is actually the essence of all yoga teachings. Only recently have people begun marketing yoga as physical exercise alone. Sahaja means effortless or spontaneous. Sahaja Yoga meditation gives us the ability to use the power already within us to effortlessly and spontaneously achieve a peaceful state of balance, well-being and self knowledge.The Sahaja Yoga meditation technique encourages us to develop a new awareness of ourselves so that we can grow and evolve toward becoming truly balanced, peaceful and compassionate for the benefit of ourselves and others.
Sahaja Yoga is Absolutely Free
There is no charge for Sahaja Yoga. It is a non-profit, grass roots organisation and costs nothing for the individual to learn.Sahaja Yoga is, in fact, taught in over 80 countries around the world- always free of charge. It has been taught this way for almost thirty years.
The Aims of Sahaja Yoga – a Grass Roots Collective
The aim of Sahaja Yoga is to give as many people as possible the opportunity to try the technique regardless of their cast, religion, social position or economic status. It is then up to the individual to decide if it suits them and whether or not they would like to practice it regularly to experience its benefits.Sahaja Yoga is an authentic means of personal and spiritual growth. As each individual becomes more peaceful so too will our society as a whole.
Freedom of Choice
Just as a tree cannot be forced to grow it is not possible to make someone meditate. This is why freedom of choice and personal freedom are essential for the practice of Sahaja Yoga meditation.
Sahaja Yoga is a Personal Journey Towards Self-Mastery
Sahaja Yoga emphasises the importance of each of us becoming our own master and teacher. Sahaja Yoga meditation gives us the capacity to gauge our own progress and adjust our practices accordingly so that we can guide our own development. For this reason there is no official form of membership or subscription. Just as there is no formal organisation there is also no hierarchy of authority or power structure. There are local co-ordinators who administer the day to day mundane activities of Sahaja Yoga in each country. They can help you to get in touch with other Sahaja yoga practitioners in your local area.
Contribute to Improving Our Society
Sahaja Yoga meditation does not require us to go to any form of extreme behaviour. In fact, the aim of this meditation technique is to help us become normal, balanced, productive and responsible members of society.As each individual becomes more balanced, peaceful and compassionate, society as a whole will also benefit and improve.
Meditation is the Essence of Religion
All of the major religions have taught something valuable to humanity. The experience of Sahaja Yoga improves our understanding and respect for all the religions and their founders as they are part of the one tree of life. Meditation and the inner peace that it gives us is actually the essence of all these religions.
A Personal Experiment
Sahaja yoga does not require us to believe anything that cannot be proven with our own experience. There is no blind faith or dogma. The best approach is to treat it like a personal experiment- make an honest attempt at meditation for, say, one or two weeks and see for yourself whether or not it gives you any benefit.
Who is Shri Mataji
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi is the founder of Sahaja Yoga, which she established in 1970. Since then she has given thousands of lectures, and has taught millions how to practice the technique.Shri Mataji was born to Christian parents in 1923, into one of India’s most reputed royal families. She studied medicine until she became a student activist in Gandhi’s Free India movement, during which time she was imprisoned and tortured by the British.In 1949 she married Sir C.P. Srivastava, a very distinguished diplomat who later came to serve as Secretary General of the UN International Maritime Organization for a record term of 16 years. Sir C.P. Srivastava is himself distinguished not only as India’s most decorated civil servant but also as the first Indian to be knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to the United Nations.Shri Mataji has lived a very normal family life, and has children, grand-children, and even great grand-children. Shri Mataji is the highest advocate of morality and the importance of the family.
Nobel Prize Nominee
Shri Mataji has been widely acclaimed around the world for her selfless efforts towards social improvement and world peace. She has initiated a number of organisations for community service, including The International Hospital and Cancer Research Centre in Mumbai (Bombay) India; a charity house for poor people in Delhi; a drug rehabilitation centre in Italy, and others.
She has received many commendations:
1986: Declared Personality of the Year by the Italian Government.
1989: The 1989 UN Peace Medal.
1993: Appointed as Honorary Member of the Presidium of the PetrovskaAcademy of Art and Science. In the history of the Academy, only 12 people have ever been granted this honour, Einstein being one of them.
1993: The Ayatollah Medi Rouhani of Iran, a prominent proponent of religious moderation, and one of the four Ayatolla has who lead the Shi’ite Muslim faith, has called for a convocation of a World Congress of religious leaders aiming at the creation of a charter for peace based on Shri Mataji’s teachings.
1998: Recipient of the Unity award for international understanding by Unity International Foundation
1995: Shri Mataji has been an honoured speaker at many high level forums such as the United Nations, where she spoke on ways of achieving peace, and the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, which was attended by a select group of prominent women of the world.