I recently was honored with a very special visitor. His Holiness, Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda—known as Swamiji—came over to do an interview. Swamiji has traveled around the world 35 times to help spread world peace to as many people as he can through his practice of Yoga in Daily Life. This a holistic system for the body, mind, consciousness and soul, based on ancient teaching of yoga and adapted for today. Swamiji says through practice you can regain your physical, psychic, social and spiritual health and achieve self-realization and God-realization.
Swamiji has addressed people in many countries, dignitaries at the UN, and me! ?
It takes a lot for me to be in awe of someone. But when Swamiji entered my place, with an entourage of people from around the world, it felt like the energy suddenly changed. My doorman felt the same way. Bearded, in long orange robes, Swamiji’s presence brought calm. His smile radiated out. I felt very happy. Originally from India, he’s spent most of his time in other countries. I asked him to explain how his system of yoga creates inner peace:
“Yoga is a part of discipline, a science of body, mind and consciousness. Practitioners of Yoga in Daily Life harmonize their body, mind, and consciousness. The yoga exercises are psychosomatic movements. They’re not a sport. They influence our body and psychic, and beautify our intellect. It gives you inner peace and contentment.”
Swamiji’s system, Yoga in Daily Life is designed with ancient wisdom for modern life. It’s a scientific system that has many, many steps so that you can baby step, step by step, gradually, to come forward. The first aim in Yoga in Daily Life to achieve is physical, mental, social, and spiritual health. So it’s a lot more than most of us associate with yoga. Yoga in Daily Life is a lifestyle, not that different from what how I encourage people to live. It’s practiced around the world in more than 35,000 different locations.
I was confused, since there are different yoga disciplines. I asked Swamiji if he thinks they all bring the same kind of inner peace or have some taken a different direction. He answered:
“Yoga is yoga. Many are practicing yoga only on the physical level—to be relaxed and have good health through this practice with good energy. Yoga in Daily Life is a completely holistic system. Every kind of yoga brings goodwill, to give the people something good.”
Swamiji says that when you practice Yoga in Daily Life, the first thing it gives you is good health. When you have that, your mind is automatically calm and relaxed. Then you realize that within you there is peace. He adds, “Within you is the fountain of the joy and the immortal soul. Leave out the ego and live the divine life. Inner contentment creates harmonious vibration and peace, and that will affect all.” Another way for the Law of Attraction to be in action. He encourages us all to see the world with positive thinking. When life isn’t positive, avoid reinforcing it by saying things like, “oh my God, what terrible things.” He strongly advises trying to accept life as it is.
Swamiji exudes love, I mean really exudes it with passion and compassion. I asked him how important he feels it is to love yourself. He says: “You have to learn to love yourself. It means to understand ‘who am I?’ ‘How am I?’ Ask yourself:
*‘Am I a good person or a negative person?’
* ‘What have I done which people don’t like and how can I change myself so that my behavior and my being doesn’t distance others.’
“Then your love will radiate outside. There’s a difference between self-respect and ego. Self-respect means that first you learn that loving yourself means to behave properly, dress properly, clean properly, speak properly. For example, if you wear makeup, you are not putting it on for yourself. You think that whoever will look at you will feel happy and good that you’re not disturbing them. So, love thyself to love all. You love yourself to keep your body healthy so that you can love others. You love yourself to keep your heart positive so that you can help others feel positive. You learn about your heart so that you can open your heart to others. That’s what I call the inner peace.“
Many of us are always on the run. I asked Swamiji how we can integrate yoga into our routines to reduce stress. His outlook is very interesting, since his system isn’t just about yoga movements; it’s more a lifestyle that you practice. He explains:
“Yoga in Daily Life is not just about the physical exercise or only sitting down to meditate. You go, you move, you behave according to the yogi principles. So when you walk, you walk full of awareness. If you are walking and someone is coming in front of you, it’s doesn’t cost you money to move a little bit to the side of the road. When you go on the bus and a handicapped or disabled person gets on, it doesn’t cost money if you stand up and let them sit down. If you eat something, eat it with love and decide you’ll only eat what your body needs. Even in a crowd where people smell, think about the beauty of the people and how nice it is to be close to so many humans. And that you won’t be there for long.”
Yoga in Daily Life is seeing the world through the eyes of kindness and tolerance and practicing it with everyone you encounter. It’s living on a spiritual level at all times and being conscious of how your actions and reactions affect others. Swamiji says it’s an everyday life, 24 hours practices. He’s traveled the world for the last 40 years with 3 aims. He says they are:
“1. To awaken the consciousness in people to lead a healthy way of life, to be healthy while practicing the divine science of yoga, and eating vegetarian, balanced and organic, healthy food.
2. To awake the consciousness in the people that we are not alone on this planet. Besides the humans, there are many other creatures, mountains, lakes, vegetation, desert, rivers and oceans, We should learn to live in harmony with our surrounding nature.
3. To awaken the consciousness in the people that we are all children of one God. There’s no need to fight. God gave equally to everyone. There’s only one reason for us—humanity. With these 3 aims I started my journey and have traveled around the world 35 times.”
I asked Swamiji what he’d you say to someone who says he or she doesn’t know how to be spiritual? He says:
“The belief does not change the reality. The reality is the realty. Even if you don’t believe, within you things are changing always. You are facing good and bad. But if you will accept the spiritual energy, life will be easier for you. I suggest you read more spiritual books. Not only one kind of direction or faith but open up your heart and view to the whole world. The readings and meeting spiritual persons and going to spiritual gatherings will awake in your consciousness the longing to drink that water. You will search for a drinking fountain and you will find it.”
Swamiji is very concerned about all the restlessness and fighting against religions, companies, neighbors, partners, etc. on the planet. That’s why he feels it’s very urgent to realize that love will awake our inner peace, which will go to world peace if you practice Yoga in Daily Life. It’s a comprehensive system—mind, body and spirit. This spiritual man just cares about people finding peace in themselves that can radiate out to others and create a more peaceful world.
Swamiji’s book, Yoga in Daily Life—the System, is quite big, with beautiful illustrations and detailed instructions for following his system. When he left, I had to hug him. I can still feel the light of his presence when I see the photo of us together. He continues his journey around the world to do what he can to nurture world peace. I asked him for some final words for you:
“All dear readers, brothers and sisters, we have not seen us maybe, but in this way, I wish you very, very good health; a happy, harmonious and long life; love and mutual understanding in your family and your society. And spiritual development for God realization. With this dear brothers and sisters, I bless you in the name of the almighty. Ohm Shante Shante, Shante.”
I feel VERY blessed to have been in Swamiji‘s presence.