Bihar Yoga Bharati Courses

One-year Diploma course

From August 2014 to May 2015, the one-year Diploma Course was conducted at Ganga Darshan. Eleven students participated. They came from Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Greece, Kurdistan and Nepal. Daily APMB classes, meditation and yoga nidra were given by Swamis Ananda Kumar, Krishnapriya, Taponidhi, Yogamaya and Yogatirtha, and sannyasis Atmarpan, Devileela, Pragyadhara, Satchidananda, Soumyashakti and Vijayashakti.

Yogic Studies (Hindi)

From February to May, the four-month Yogic Studies course was conducted at Ganga Darshan. Nine ladies and 32 men attended the course. They came from Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Nepal.

Classes were conducted by sannyasis Yogashraddha and Atmarpan; they were assisted by sannyasis Mayankeshwar and Premsagar.

Yogic Studies (English)

On 1st October 2015, the four-month Yogic Studies Course commenced. The international group of students came from 13 countries: Argentina, Bulgaria, Colombia, France, Germany, Iran, Lebanon, Lithuania, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan and the USA. The Indian students came from the 9 states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra, New Delhi, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh

Classes were conducted by swamis Krishnapriya, Maitreyi, Shivadhyanam and Yogatirtha, and sannyasis Soumyashakti and Vijayashakti.

On 24th January, the 33 students received their certificate in Jyoti Mandir. Swamiji gave an inspiring talk, thanking them for their wholehearted involvement and participation in ashram life. He then said that yoga means developing and expressing positivity, happiness and optimism in life. A certificate has only meaning if it becomes a reminder of one’s commitment to the yogic process.

What I have learnt – Impressions

The first day of karma yoga was a lot of fun, the second day was okay but by the third day we were engulfed by waves of negativity. ‘We have come here to study yoga and all we do is clean, clean, clean. These people are making us do menial jobs that we did not come for!’ Since I had committed myself to the four-month period, I battled with the negative thoughts and stuck it out. Over time I discovered that the negativity slowly disappeared and I found myself full of optimism and energy.

The role of cultural and artistic activities in the ashram helped enhance our confidence in ourselves. We sang, played music and danced with abandon in a manner that freed us from stage fright and low self-esteem. At the end of our course we were given an opportunity to showcase our talent which we offered in gratitude and appreciation for everything we had received with such abundance in the ashram and from Guruji.

The one thing that had me totally confounded was this – for some strange reason, every single thing that we disliked, avoided or felt insecure about doing was the very same activity that we would be assigned for our seva! Initially it would fill me with rage and I would wonder, ‘How do these people here know about our weaknesses and vulnerabilities.’ But slowly the fears melted away and we strode ahead with the glow of confidence lighting up our faces. I used to shun anything that involved writing but after my long stint in the Hindi editing department, that demon has been laid to rest.

I express my deep thanks to Guruji and all the ashram residents for this invaluable experience.

Jyoti Roy, Pune

What I have learnt – Impressions

I have gradually learned to accept,
not just the wonderful things about the ashram, but also
the rigid rules and schedules
that made me wonder if I was in jail at the beginning,
the irritating sevas and duties
that made my mind crazy and my mood shitty,
the stressful conditions and situations
that made me act like a mean witch, and
the frustrating miscommunications and misunderstandings
that made me whine like a baby.

I have gradually learned to accept,
not just the wonderful strengths in me, but also
my unchangeable flaws and faults
that made me embarrassed and ashamed once,
my uncontrollable thoughts and feelings
that will most likely remain out of control,
my impulsive reactions and expressions
that make me an unpleasant company at times, and
my contradicting nature that makes me ponder
the possibility of me having multi-personalities.

I have failed many times, but each time I chose to accept.
I sensed the stress decreased and tension eased.
I noticed my patience extended and tolerance expanded.

I have failed many times, but each time I chose to accept.
I felt my mind clearer and sometimes inspired.
I made my heart moved and acceptance improved.

I have failed many times, but each time I chose to accept.
I found myself smiling at nothing stupidly but sincerely.
I realized being happy and positive is in fact quite easy.

Therefore, acceptance has been my biggest learning in these four months. It will continue to be one of the greatest learning in my life for I believe it will eventually bring out the best of me.

Wan-Jung Tsai (Abby), Taiwan