Hansaji on Paramhamsa Madhavadasji & ‘Overcoming Bad Habits’ at the Satsang, 3rd Feb 2013

The topic for the English Satsang on Sunday, 3rd February, 2013 was ‘Overcoming Bad Habits.’

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

Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra
Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra

“Today we are remembering Madhavadasji because he was the Guru of Founder Shri Yogendraji. He lived for 121 years and he roamed the whole of India 11 times and finally settled down in one place. At that time, India was going through a very bad phase when it was under the British rule. There was a lot of struggle and Mahatma Gandhi was working hard to keep the struggle on. At this time, Madhavadasji tried to revive the subject of yoga because only through yoga can man increase his inner strength and uplift himself, otherwise he remains a slave. In any case, a human is a slave of his/her own habits and thoughts. We are nothing but savages. When Madhavadasji saw this, he settled at one place by the banks of the Narmada River in Malsar where he started an Ashram. That Ashramis still there today and the work there goes on in a very simple way. Throughout the day there is chanting going on and simple food is made from farm grown vegetables.Initially the idea was to make the Institute also like an Ashram. At that time it was in the jungles but then it became a city and life changed. Anyway, in this way Madhavadasji tried to promote yoga and he found a young strong man, Yogendraji to support him. He influenced Yogendraji so much that the young man left his studies and lived in the Ashram to learn yoga personally from Madhavadasji. Both Guru and Shishya (student) used to even eat from the same plate in the Ashram. Madhavadasji had another student called Jai Jai Krishna who later took Sanyasa. No one knows where he is now. But Yogendraji decided that he will bring yoga to the common man and that is how yoga came here.

Yoga is about discipline and living an organized life. Secondly, yoga is a science of awareness where we should think about right and wrong before we do anything. – discrimination. Habits are such things that we start for pleasure and then get stuck on them. There was one boy who came to me saying he wanted to taste alcohol. I told him to first sit with those who drink alcohol and study their life. He soon found that they had started with one peg but increased to many and got addicted to it and that led to a downfall in everything in their lives. He understood this and decided not to drink.

We had one Sadhaka who was drinking, smoking, eating non-vegetarian food and was very busy with work. He started falling very sick and each problem lasted for a long time as his healing capacity had reduced. Luckily he came here and did some course here and realized that the culprit was his wrong routine and value system. So one day he just decided that he will stop smoking, drinking, alcohol, etc. He was very determined and came out strong. Now it has been 21 years and he has not touched anything. These are rare personalities and he was able to do this because he inculcated good habits – regular walk, Asanas, eating right type of food, etc. Just decision doesn’t work. Backing it up with right routine and good things is necessary.

Another man was very fond of food and every time he would decide not to overeat but would fail. Finally we explained to him that food is not the ultimate thing in life. It is just one of our biological needs. So then this person started learning the flute and enjoying classical music and slowly lost interest in food and became fit. These are the ways in which we have to take charge of our weaknesses. So somehow we have to identify our bad habits and work out how to overcome them. Start doing your duties well in life and that should become a strong motivation rather than food or anything else becoming a motivation.”

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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