Hansaji on “Aparigraha” at the Satsang, 2nd June 2013

The topic for the Hindi Satsang on Sunday, 2nd June, 2013 was ‘Aparigraha.’ (Non-covetousness).

Following is the transcript of the speech made by Smt. Hansaji Yogendra on the topic.

Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra
Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra

Listen to the Audio:

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“Today we are celebrating Mother Sita Devi’s birth anniversary. I would like to share some instances from her own life. After marriage, Founder Shri Yogendraji hardly had any money. He had already started a yoga institute and was busy with the Institute’s work. Mother too learnt slowly and joined him in his work. In those days, she owned only three Saris. As jewelry she had only a Mangalsutra in the neck, a pair of earrings and a bangle for her hand. She used to be content with that and was dedicated to the work at the Institute. She never cared about how many clothes she had or what she would wear at a wedding or occasion, in any case she was not involved much in socializing as the language here was different. She was Kannada speaking and she had married a Gujarati. So she lived life happily even with few things.

She was a very simple person. Slowly she learnt to speak English and Gujarati and began interacting with people. She learnt yoga from Shri Yogendraji and the first duty she took up was to take care of her own health and that of her family. Even if she would get one sneeze in the morning, she would immediately go get ginder and Tulsi (Holy Basil), boil them in water and drink it, take steam inhalation twice or thrice a day, do Jalneti, Kapalabhati and massage. All this as a preventive to cold at the sign of the first symptom. She has never suffered from a cold because she used to take such meticulous care of herself. “Prevention is better than cure” was her motto. She knew what to do if suffering from gas or pain in the knees.

Once around the age of 78 or 79, she started getting pain in the knees and called Dr. Shetty (a Sadhaka). Dr. Shetty told her that these things happen at old age and it is nothing to worry. She shouted ‘What is old age? Who is old?’ So Dr. Shetty understood not to give her the example of old age and to just provide the solution.

She had a very strong mind and used it to maintain her health. Once our whole family had gone to Kodaikanal and she fell down there. She was very enthusiastic about seeing new places, tasting new things, trying everything. This personality developed later on in her life. We were going to a lake and since she had fallen and hurt her hip, she would not have been able to come, but she was adamant and asked to be carried there. She insisted on sitting in the boat and going there. However, we all decided to not to go and gave her company, which she liked.

She regularly used hot water bag, did (Yogendra) Pranayama IV, practiced a few simple Asanas etc. to maintain health. The prevention that we talk about in yoga was diligently followed by her. In old age, probably the tendency to collect things in small quantities was there. I told her that living in a city like Mumbai, where we can get all that we need, there was no need to collect. I started removing some of the things she collected and she never noticed. The room used to remain neat and empty.

The point is that the less we have the more easy the management becomes, may it be the house, clothes or even relationships. If we try to do too much, we cannot manage and then our state becomes bad. I have seen that those families who socialize too much, like going to parties, weddings, birthdays, etc. are very unhealthy as their routines and food habits are irregular.

Everything has its place but we must exercise moderation and use only how much we require to remain healthy. My own mother is here with us. Mothers’ lives are always filled with hardships. Our father’s business was not going well and he took all her jewelry to sell, but she never said a word and lived a contented life. In those days, jewelry was kept as investment, not for show and fashion. She is 86 but is so healthy and can do Padmasana so easily. So importance was given to these things rather than buying clothes and hoarding things. Looking for happiness in material things is the wrong attitude.

Firstly, do what is required to stay healthy and keep the mind peaceful. Life is full of uncertainties. Do not delve too much into uncertainty. Certainty is in spirituality and so one must try to put in more efforts in that direction. Remove the things that you haven’t used for a year and follow the policy of Aparigraha. What we learn from Mother Sita Devi and my mother’s life is that they focussed on health and so lived a balanced life. We should also strive to live this way.”
– Smt. Hansaji J. Yogendra


Satsang is an open meeting held every Sunday from 9:30 to 10:30 am at The Yoga Institute, Santacruz East, Mumbai. It involves an interesting presentation to the public, made by the students of the Teacher Training Course. Each week, a new presentation of a Yogic concept is made in a simple way through skits and decoration for the general public, followed by a short speech from our Gurus, Dr. Jayadeva and Smt. Hansaji Yogendra.
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