I have been cycling all around in Bangalore on my khatara-pyaara second-hand over-priced cycle. Its been an elating experience to own such a perfect means of transport. The best part is that it can keep up with my energy level. I love when we criss-cross our way through the jammed traffic. On a cycle, you don't stop.. you figure new paths out. Have been missing on such a heavy dose of everyday happiness all these years. Its now that I realize :
Cycling is a joy unparalleled. :)
p.s : Not putting much effort in my posts. On a mission to cultivate the habit of being prolific. Will soon merge the two. p.s: song of the day : Wo Sikandar he doston kehlata hai :D p.s: because i love aamir ;)
I joined Bharat Thakur's Artistic Yoga classes three weeks back. It was just by accident that I dropped at the center, and I am glad it happened. I have been practicing yoga on and off since my teenage, and have attended quite a few workshops at various spiritual or otherwise centers. Bharat Thakur's Yoga class made me fall in love with Yoga. I had never experienced such close connection with my physical self before. I guess it had more to do with the perfection with which each posture was being taught. On later research I found out that 'Bharat Thakur' had actually spent most years of his childhood in the Himalayas under the guidance of his guru Bhramchari Sukhdev, who taught him yoga and other life essentials. He later did his M.Phil in physiotherapy. The classes are expensive but worth every penny. I will be continuing the classes as long as I am in Bangalore. I now wish to be a yoga practitioner for life. Now this is a very ambitious statement, and will require a lot of self discipline. But then that's the challenge. I found his entire story online, most of which Atul, my yoga teacher at the center, narrated me.. but he missed out on some very fascinating facts. Here is it, his awe inspiring story:
He's a painter, a published writer, a trained classical singer, a Ranji Trophy cricketer, a cook and a successful businessman. Yet, he claims he is only a yoga teacher. Unwind's very own Bharat Thakur has one mission in life — to take yoga to the world.
A good part of the 34 years of his life were spent in the Himalayas, under the supervision of his guru Bhramchari Sukhdev, a retired IFS officer who had renounced worldly pleasures. Born into a prestigious Bihari family, Thakur says he has never used his family background to push his success.
"My parents were childless for a long time. On a pilgrimage, they met my guru, Bhramchari Sukhdev, who told them they would have four children — two sons and two daughters — but that they would have to give up their eldest son [me] in his service. From being childless to being the parents of four was appealing and they agreed.
"Sukhdev told them to return home and said he would come when the child was 4 years old. As agreed, he arrived around the time of my fourth birthday and I came away with him."
"Well, at that age, curiosity is a powerful attraction and I, like any other 4-year-old, was very curious. I had just witnessed my paternal grandfather passing away and wanted to know about death. Sukhdev promised to show me."
More in mind
Sukhdev took Thakur to Hardwar on the foothills of Himalayas but soon abandoned him. The 4-year-old Thakur went from ashram to ashram in search of his guru for the next two years, doing menial jobs to feed himself.
But Thakur insists it's not all an Oliver Twist-like tale. "It sounds very inhumane when put this way," he says. "But my guru had a plan. Moreover, I was never alone. A sadhu [ascetic] would always be around to take care of me. From them I learnt various survival techniques, such as keeping warm in winter without proper clothes, controlling hunger, etc. Just as he had suddenly disappeared, Sukhdev reappeared after two years and said I was now ready to go to the mountains with him."
Thus began Thakur's mysticism-filled education. "With my three companions, two boys and a girl, I received lessons in yoga, tantra, mantra, Ayurveda and various religions — Buddhism, Jainism and Sufism — not just from my guru but other teachers as well. Often, we meditated for 17-20 hours."
But a child is a child. Didn't you feel tempted?
"Of course we did. In fact, there was one young guru who would tempt us with luxuries such as cooked food. He would conjure up various goodies for us and we would be thoroughly impressed.
"So we asked our guru to teach us how he did that. That was the beginning of our tantra lessons, which were given to us by Swami Aghorananda."
The more he relates his story, the more it sounds like a Hindi-film plot.
After 12 years of rigorous meditation and yoga, his guru abandoned him once again. "We had a massive misunderstanding, which I later came to know was created by him, and he disowned me and told me to return. He just handed me a piece of paper with an address, which was that of my maternal grandmother, who was taking care of my siblings as my parents had died. However, when I reached ‘home', they refused to believe who I was and again I found myself on the streets. But I was never alone. A Christian priest took me in and taught me to write English though I could speak English and my grammar was fine."
Under the tutelage of this priest, Thakur completed his matriculation. Then he received his Bachelor of Science in physical education from Laxmibai National Institute of Physical Education, in Gwalior. He was working as a physical trainer at the prestigious Scindia School in Gwalior when he was summoned by his guru.
"I was also doing my MPhil, a research degree, when he told me he was leaving the mortal world and wanted to choose an heir from his four disciples. Vivek, the most diligent of us four, we felt, would be his obvious choice. As we sat in final meditation, guruji pulled me aside and told me he was choosing me. Shock is an understatement. I refused to accept it as I wasn't ready for it. I was 23 years old and this was a huge responsibility. He just told me to sit down and put his foot on my back. For the next 17 hours or so, I felt as if 20,000 volts of electricity passed through my body. What he was doing was ‘vajra pat'. He was passing on his powers to me. My intellect and logic were reduced to nothing, yet everything became clear to me. I felt a different kind of power but he told me to keep it under control. He sent me down to Hardwar to test me for the next two days. I realised I could use my powers even without knowing it. That's when he called me back and beat me up — all my life I had been his favourite wash board because I questioned too much — for losing control. Even years later, after he had died, he would come back to me in my dreams to control and guide me.
"With this, began my journey as a yoga guru."
Feeling his mission was being stifled as a small-town schoolteacher, he left for New Delhi. He had also finished his research degree but jobs were elusive.
"No one would hire me and said I was too qualified. So I put my MPhil away and with just my matriculation certificate, secured a job as an acupuncturist in a health club. It became more of a clinic.
"That's when the suspicious owner of the club approached me and I told her about my degree. She made me manager of all her health centres. By now I was living comfortably.
"But my guru returned to remind me of my purpose. I resigned and became a door-to-door yoga teacher. At this time, I met Shailaja Tahiliani, the wife of Indian designer Tarun Tahiliani, who suggested I open a yoga centre.
"I had the good fortune of meeting Indian industrialist Russi Modi through another famous businessman whom I treated for multiple sclerosis. Modi told me I was a loser. And I thought: ‘What rubbish! I was making a decent packet to meet all my needs.' Moreover, I believed what people told me, that, I was the best yoga teacher in the world. I was naïve enough to believe people praised me because they loved me. Modi told me they were holding me back by pampering me.
"Around this time, I met Nandan, a graphic designer from the US, at one of my tapasya meditation classes in Bangalore. He wanted a change and I was looking for someone who could be my partner. He became my disciple and within a year, he was teaching yoga with me. More money started flowing in.
"Once again, my guru appeared and told me to expand my operations. Today I have about 300 teachers in different parts of India, Russia, Malaysia and Dubai. This is how Artistic Yoga came into being. With time, more and more educated people joined us. With them came ideas. We diversified into films, fashion designing and other businesses.
"Yet, I rarely participate in the running of these. My business is only to heal the world — physically and mentally — through yoga," Thakur says.
Happy Yoga ! :)
p.s : Bharat Thakur is married to Bhumika Chawla. :)
p.s : I saw quite a few of his videos, I found him very genuine.
p.s : If I ever have a chance to meet him, I would ask him if he could be my guru.
p.s : yoga of the day : Kunjal Kriya - excellent to relieve acidity, indigestion, gas, bloating and also brings a healthy glow to the skin.
You know what ! I have this overly conscious conscience. Even as I sit here to frame this post.. I am feeling guilty of being unjust to all the awesome life experiences I have not penned down. This is also one reason I am not able to blog frequently, because when I am drafting one emotion/event, the guilt of not having given importance to more worthy emotions/events keeps distracting me. There have been abundant moments of adrenaline rush, of amazing life experiences, of joys I found in simplest things and love I discovered in dearest ones that deserve due attention here. But I am pulled in here almost always when I am broken.. This is being so selfish you know ! Human beings are inherently selfish I guess. Sometimes I think we as a civilization have made rules for ourselves, but if we did chose to go by living freely we did be more dangerous than the beasts. Anyway, back to the point. So what tragedy brought me back here today ? Its having failed in love I never fell for in the first place. Its been two months since the chapter closed and life's been pretty awesome even after that.. thanks to the resilience developed over the past years.. This was the very first time I ever said someone a "yes". I had full faith, that I may go wrong somewhere but he never will.. after all he had been so genuine all along the way. Also to mention, if I hadn't had that much faith in him (which was developed over a period of one year, enough to convince that it was not blind faith) I would have never said him a "yes". In the period of six months I had given him all the attention I could to make him feel special, that it was as strong from my side as it was from his.. and I strongly felt that I have been so lucky to find a person as genuine as him. We never ever ran into a conflict but I guess I was overly optimistic ( I always am..). It was so easy for him to give it up all. When signs of parting were cropping up, I felt more sorry for him than myself... I could not sleep for days.. picturing what pain he would be going through... I was determined to make love win. I had planned that I would go against my principle of "never going against your parents" if need be.. but to my surprise.. it was so much easier for him. In the last days all he said was, " we have lived beautiful moments together, trust me I would never find a girl better than you..!!.." Hahahaha.. Thanks for the consolation prize indeed ! When did love reduce to such a thing though?! I could see no determination in him of making it happen. Finally I realized that I had made a fool out of myself by taking every possible step I could possibly take. But I still kept thinking that life isn't fair and I am not in his shoes to understand what he might be going through. Its been two months since the chapter closed. I broke down in tears for the first time today.. Something really went wrong.. you know! I did not deserve such a betrayal. Its not loosing the person that is hurting... Its loosing faith in love, sacrifice and commitment.. that is scaring.. All that being said.. a heart might be bruised, but it will recover and become capable of seeing beauty of life once more. It's happened before, it will happen again..