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Dear Readers,
With Navaratri, the grand festival of Devi, coming up at the beginning of October,
this edition of Isha Forest Flower has a special focus on the feminine aspects of
existence. In the article Devi and Mahishasura Slaying the Beast Sadhguru
explains the deeper meaning behind the imagery of the Goddess slaying the Asura
who is traditionally depicted as being half-buffalo, half-man. Moving from ancient
lore to contemporary discourse, we have Kenyan TV personality Julie Gichuru in an
engaging and witty conversation with Sadhguru on The Future of the Feminine.
The article on Isha Gramotsavam 2016 showcases our initiatives to revive the
spirit of the rural population and also provide women and girls a platform to
experience the joy and empowerment that sports and games can bring. How to
Make Marriage Work, however, is of course, a burning topic for women and men
alike, which Sadhguru addresses in his uniquely incisive way. In response to
the perplexed question by an aspirant Isha Hatha Yoga teacher, Why All These
Instructions in Yoga, Sadhguru lays open their origins as well as their deeper
purpose in this months Lead Article. This topic in a way ties in with the article
Struggling with Grace, in which Sadhguru gives invaluable pointers on how to
approach obstacles on the path.
Also in this issue: Born for Revenge on why and how Draupadi and
Drishtadhyumna came to life; Glorious Kailash with Sadhguru sharing his
fascination with Kailash; and last but not least traditional recipes for this festive
season a Rasayana that gives you the necessary energy in times of partial
fasting during Navaratri and a Leghiam that eases digestion while feasting
on Deepavali. Whichever way you are planning to celebrate the festival, as
Sadhguru says in his message: This Deepavali, may there be light within you.

The Editorial Team

Contact the Editorial Team:

IshaForest Flower,Isha Yoga Center, Velliangiri Foothills,IshanaVihar Post,Coimbatore 641114
For subscription inquiries, please contact our Subscription Office:
(044) 45011137, 96770 16700 subscriptions.FF@ishafoundation.org
To change your mailing address online, visit: www.ishafoundation.org/ForestFlower

October 2016



Why All These Instructions in Yoga?



Born for Revenge


The Future of the Feminine
Julie Gichuru in Conversation with Sadhguru

Why All These Instructions in Yoga?

Struggling with Grace

Sadhguru on Trials on the Spiritual Path

Devi and Mahishasura Slaying the Beast


Sadhguru on a Symbol of Human Evolution

How to Make Marriage Work
Excerpted from Sadhguru Spot

Part 23: Born for Revenge



Isha Gramotsavam 2016
Play for Life


Glorious Kailash


My Arrow and My Bow
Poem by an Isha Teacher Trainee



Isha Yoga Program Highlights


This Month: Rasayana / Injinjeera Leghiam


The Weeping Lady


October 2016



The Future of the Feminine

Julie Gichuru in Conversation with Sadhguru
During his first official Africa visit in June 2016, Sadhguru met up with Kenyan journalist and news
anchor Julie Gichuru for an In Conversation with the Mystic event titled Future of the Feminine.
Here is an excerpt of their stimulating discussion.
Sadhguru chants Sanskrit chant Jananam
Julie Gichuru: For those of us who dont
understand what did you sing?
Sadhguru: Its a chant that in some way describes
the human condition. It says birth is a pleasure.
You can see it in the face of newbornsthere
is a pleasure in being alive. But death is
compassion. We are glad that we can all die one
day. Right now, if I mention that, it may cause
a lot of anxiety in people, but the compassion
of life is that everyone passes. Just imagine if,
because you did not do life well enough, they
detained you! That wouldnt be good.
And the next part of the chant means... We have
come here, we will go to many places, we will do
many things in life. But as far as our physical self,
the body, is concerned, it goes straight towards
the grave. Or in other words, time is ticking away
all the time. Whether you live great or lousy,
whatever you do time is ticking away. As Im
speaking, we are one minute closer to death.
Only because human beings are not conscious
of their mortal nature, they can invest their time
in so many things that dont really mean a thing

to them. If they were conscious that they are

mortal and that time is ticking away, they would
do only what really matters. If all of us did only
what truly matters to every one of us, this world
would be a fantastic place.
Julie Gichuru: Thats so powerful. I am stunned
by the reality of it, especially when we look at
society and the fact that so many people are
unconscious. But I want to bring us to the main
topic of this conversation, which is the future of
the feminine.
Sadhguru: Theyve ruled the past. Theyre ruling
the present. Theyll rule the future. [Laughter]
Julie Gichuru: The women! Let me start with a
deep question. I think I embody two different
cultures. My fathers family was from Kashmir.
My mothers family is Kenyan African. I grew up
in a family where, when a girl said something
at the table, no one noticed it. If five minutes
later, one of your brothers said the same thing,
everyone said, Oh, what an intelligent thing!
How many ladies went through that growing up?
I see hands. And you are wondering, Am I not
present? Whats going on? What is the problem
with our society and our culture? Why do we hold
October 2016

women down so much?

Sadhguru: Instead of looking at men and women
as if they were two separate species they
are not if we address life in the sense of the
feminine and the masculine, we must understand
that the feminine will only have a significant role
to play and find respect and regard only if we
structure our society in a balanced way. But we
have structured our societies in such a way today
that economics is the most important thing in
our lives. Today, if you speak about someone as
a big man, it does not mean he has a big brain
or a huge heart it means he has a big pocket. In
other words, our entire consciousness is ruled by
economics. By placing such great importance on
economics, we are glorifying and complicating
the survival process like never before.
We have to make certain arrangements for our
survival, wellbeing, comfort, and convenience.
But these arrangements are rising sky-high.
When economics is the driving force, the role of
the feminine will inevitably be diminished. Only
when in our lives and our societies, there is equal
significance to art, music, love, aesthetics, and
other subtler aspects of life, then the feminine will
have an equal role. The way society is structured
today, women can succeed in the world today
only if they are like men. There is no other way to
succeed than becoming masculine because the
focus of human societies has shifted from the
subtleties of life to the crudeness of economics.
Wherever you go today, the topic of conversation
is economy. Can you beat it? Earlier, at least they
were talking about the weather. [Laughter]
Julie Gichuru: So its a no-win situation.
Sadhguru: Women may win, but the feminine
will lose out unless we restructure our
societies, giving equal significance to all
the subtler aspects of life, where naturally,
important. Our priorities have to change.
Julie Gichuru: Yeah, and we have to start with
everyone, but Ill come to that later. Back to the
family, and to gender. If you look at many of our
societies in Africa, Asia, and all over the world,
October 2016

we do see a high prevalence of gender violence.

For instance, fighting ills such as female genital
mutilation and trying to re-educate people is a
huge issue in our homes. How do we bring up
young men who respect and love women, and
how do we bring up young women who are
confident and demand love and respect?
Sadhguru: Its very important that in childhood,
the homes manage this well, because if they
do not pick up these things at an early age,
later, it will be very difficult. I think it is already
changing, in many ways. At least in India, it is
very common today that girls are doing better
than boys in educational institutions. And a
whole lot of parents choose to have girls rather
than boys. Theres an ulterior motive in this
because if you have a girl, you just have to take
care of her till she is maybe eighteen to twentyfive. With a boy, you dont know he may sit at
your table forever. Parents want to be done with
the Project Children at some point.
So, things are changing. It is just that the violence
within the families is unfortunate. Once again, I
would say it is not essentially against women.
Right now, there is a lot of violence against
children, irrespective of their gender. They will
beat up anyone who is a little weaker than them.
This is because society is essentially focused on
the identification with the physical body. When
that is the case and you have a stronger body
than someone else, naturally you will think you
can do things with them.
This is why spiritual process is important,
because it means your experience of life touches
a dimension beyond physical nature. Once
your identification shifts to something beyond
your physicality, then your physical dominance
is not of any significance to you anymore.
Consequently, you will not try to manifest it in
the world. Because people are so identified with
the body, they try to dominate physically, which
those who are at the receiving end experience as
violence. But the one who is doing it thinks it is
his right because he is bigger.



Why All These Instructions in Yoga?

Questioner: Namaskaram, Sadhguru. Im in the
Hatha Yoga teacher training. Here, we are looking
at every detail, including how to sit properly, how
and what to eat, and even how to breathe. Where
is the line between making yourself joyful and
making yourself miserable by trying to follow
these new rules and regulations?
Sadhguru: First of all, these are no new rules and
regulations. They are definitely not regulations.
Maybe we can call them rules that is one way
of looking at it. In this part of the world, there
have never been teachings. And God cannot give
commandments to Indians, because they will
argue. They will ask too many questions. When
we were on the Kailash yatra, one of the Indian
participants came up with a very complicated
question. I said, See, this is an Indian problem.
You are thinking of how to come up with a
more complicated question. A Chinese lady
concurred, Yeah! I work for the United Nations,
and Ive always been wondering why only
Indians ask questions. We have a long tradition
of questioning everything.
God sent his messenger and his son to other
places, so people could claim that whatever rules
they have were given by God, and no one dared
to question that. Here, God himself came, and he
even carefully selected whom to speak to. In spite

of that, there were endless questions. You know

how many questions Arjuna asked Krishna.1 It
was not possible for Krishna to give Arjuna a
commandment. He kept trying to convince him,
but Arjuna was full of questions. Here, we refer to
that which governs life as the dharma. Gautama
the Buddha referred to it as dhamma. Dharma
means law not a teaching, philosophy, belief
system, or religion. Unfortunately, today people
commonly misunderstand dharma as religion,
but dharma means law.
There are manmade laws that regulate different
aspects of society and the world, so that it
functions smoothly, to whatever extent possible.
For instance, in India, you are supposed to drive
on the left side of the street. This is not the
ultimate truth but an agreement that was made
for the traffic to run smoothly. Another thing is
the vehicles were built for that. Similarly, there
are many laws and arrangements that regulate
society, so that we do not collide with each
other. But even before there were societies and
manmade laws, life happened smoothly, and it

Refers to the Bhagavad Gita, the famous dialogue

between Arjuna and Krishna

October 2016

For that to happen, there must be some

fundamental laws governing it. To give an
example if you walk into the jungle, you may not
be able to figure out its laws, but the jungle has
existed for millions of years. For it to last so long
without annihilating itself or all the creatures
annihilating each other, there must be some laws
governing it. In this culture, people paid attention
to what these laws are that govern the universe,
our inner nature, and the process of creation.
And people figured this out not by imagination,
not by belief, but by sheer observation of various
dimensions of life.
How to sit is not something I invented. The
human body is made in a certain way. The way
Nandi sits in front of Dhyanalinga is the right
way for a bull. But you have come as a human
being, so the geometry of your body is different.
All physical things and physical aspects of life
have a geometric basis. If you understand the
geometry of a physical thing whether it is a
human body, a bull, or even a mechanical item
you will know how to use it to its optimum.

issue. It is just that if you put the wrong fuel into

the system, you cannot expect efficiency.
Efficiency is not just about doing one particular
thing well. Once you have come as a human
being, you have come with an intelligence to
do whatever is needed out of you, and above
all, to access the full depth and dimension of
being human. To bring human life to its fruition,
to bring human life to utilize the possibility of
doing a wide variety of things, above all to bring
human life to that level of sensitivity where you
can experience every dimension of being human.
If this does not happen; if your diet, your posture,
or your mindset does not allow this to happen,
I would say this is an inefficient life. Doing the
right things is not about morality, a ticket to
heaven, or social approval. Doing the right things
is about producing maximum results in ones
life. And different people approach it in different
ways. But ultimately, unless you find out by what
laws life is governed, you will not be as efficient
as you could be.

Every other creature on the planet figured out

the geometry of their body and uses it to the
fullest extent. Only human beings do not do that,
because they are paying attention to everything
except themselves. So the instructions in
Isha Hatha Yoga are not new rules. If you pay
attention to the geometry of your body, you
will sit and stand in a particular way so that
your body functions with minimum energy and
maximum impact. The efficiency of physical
existence depends on your understanding of the
geometry. In other words, you are moving from
social imitation to awareness.

At first glance, falsehood seems to produce

results too. It once happened. On the road, two
cars crashed into each other. One was a driven
by a doctor, the other by a lawyer. After the crash,
they crawled out of the cars. The lawyer pulled
out a bottle of whiskey from his car and said,
This needs celebration. We had a major crash
and both of us are not injured. Come on! He
handed over the bottle. The doctor was a little
shaken by the accident, so he took a big long
swig and gave the bottle back to the lawyer. The
lawyer put it back in the car. The doctor asked,
Are you not drinking? The lawyer said, After
the police are gone.

If we remove all the furniture, you will discover

the geometry of your body. The same applies
to food. The human system is designed for a
certain type of food. But in pursuit of survival, or
because of cultural influences, people may have
eaten all kind of things. Originally, if someone
ate a slab of meat in certain parts of the world, it
was for survival, not by choice. Maybe they could
not grow anything there, or they did not know
agriculture. Only later, it became a choice, or you
could say part of their culture. If it is a question
of survival, it is perfectly fine. It is not a moral

Sometimes, tricks do work. But if you do these

kinds of things on a regular basis, then others
will know what to do, and life will know what to do
with you. If you are not in alignment with the laws
that govern life, you will invariably get mauled
by the process of life. For most people, no great
disasters have happened in life. The outside
may have been kind to them, but in the end, life
is crushing them from inside. This happens for
no other reason than lack of alignment with
the laws that govern life. Consequently, there is
friction. Because of friction within yourself, there

October 2016


is pain and suffering, anxiety, tension, stress,

misery, madness call it what you want. The
amount of friction determines how long your face
will become over time. If there is no friction, your
face will be smiling.
These laws are as old as human existence. From
the beginning, human life has been governed by
them, and not only that human life has been
created out of these laws. It is because of these
laws that this body and this brain took this shape.
All the possibilities that human beings have
opened up because of a certain framework of
laws that nature functions by. Since it functioned
the way it did, you became a human being. Had it
functioned in another way, maybe you would have
come as a bull or a tree.


If you pay attention and understand as to how

the human system shaped itself and why, if you
follow and are in tune with these laws, your system
will function with the least amount of friction. If
there is no friction, you will not be miserable or
stressed out. You will not manufacture suffering
on a daily basis. If you do not know how to align
your system, at least you must lubricate it with
Grace. Even if you have a beautiful machine,
without the necessary lubricants, it will make
ugly noises. This is where Grace comes in. Your
machine is still not properly aligned, but Grace
will make it free from friction.

For dates and details of Isha Hatha Yoga

programs, visit www.ishahathayoga.com.

October 2016


Struggling with Grace

Sadhguru on Trials on the Spiritual Path

Questioner: I have been doing the practices for

some time now. Initially, everything was fine, but
then, there have been some outside disturbances,
especially from the family. I dont know how to
face all this. I keep up the practices, but I feel I
need Grace in my life. Please help.
Sadhguru: One dimension of the spiritual process
is to put your life on fast-forward. You want to
accelerate the process of evolution. Once you
put it on fast-forward, your joy, your pain, your
suffering everything becomes more intense.
With certain spiritual practices, you are setting
your energies in a certain direction. When you are
doing your kriya1, you are setting your energies
on the path of the ultimate. Once you do that, it
is very important that your body, your mind, and
your emotions cooperate and align themselves
to it. If your energies are going in one direction
while your body, mind, and emotions are going in
other directions, there will be struggle.
When you come and sit with me, I assume that
you want to grow, that you want to go all the
way. Once we direct your energies towards the
ultimate, it is up to you to align your body, mind,
emotions everything in the same direction. If
you do, you will travel joyfully. If you do not, you
will still travel and move ahead, but hollering and
crying. Do not entangle your mind and emotions
with little things. This does not mean you have to
October 2016

leave your family or whatever other arrangements

you have made in life. Family, street, ashram,
mountain, forest, city live wherever it is
suitable and conducive for you. Your spirituality
has nothing to do with where you live.
If your pain, joy, and whatever else you experience
become intense, it is not because there is no
Grace. The spiritual process is on. That is the
Grace. Grace does not mean treating you like a
sweetie pie all the time. Grace means constantly
hurrying you up, not letting you settle anywhere.
If we were just looking for solace, then all this
would not be necessary. We would just tell you
pretty lies, like God will take care of you, and
everything will be okay the kind of things they
have been telling you in almost every religion,
every community, for a very long time. Havent
you heard enough of these stories?
So, just stick to your practice. How to align
your mind and emotions in the same direction:
we spend so much time to teach you a simple
practice just to orient your mind, emotions, and
body in the same direction as your energies.
Your energies are always on the path of the
ultimate, but with the spiritual practices, we have
Yogic practices (such as Shakti Chalana Kriya and
Shambhavi Mahamudra) that work on the level of
ones energies


hastened the process. With the natural process

of evolution, it was going slowly. Now it is going
Even when your process of evolution was going
slowly, there was suffering, but you did not feel it
that much because you were traveling at a snails
pace. Now that you are moving fast, if one wheel
turns another way, it will cause more trouble. It
is like with your car only if all four wheels are
in one direction, will it run smoothly. If one wheel
goes in another direction, there will be friction.
That is all that is happening right now. If that is
happening, one simple thing that you can do is
go to one of the Inner Engineering programs and
sit in the back, absolutely alert, simply listening
to everything, and taking it in. This will put your
mind and emotions back on track.

Once in a way, your mind gets entangled with

something. The car is moving, but you put your
hand out and hold on to the branch of a tree.
Something has to tear either the branch will
break, or your arm will tear off, or the car will spin.
Some friction will happen. Everyone perceives
and tries to use what is given to them in their
own way. Do not base your perception of what
you receive on what is convenient to you. You do
not enter a spiritual path for convenience. You
come and get into this because you want to open
up a greater possibility of life. If convenience is
what you are looking for, you should join a sports
club or a social club. Sit with me only if you really
want to grow. Align your mind and emotions with
the basic energies your experience of life will
be beautiful.

Devi and Mahishasura

Slaying the Beast
Sadhguru on a Symbol of Human Evolution

Participant: Namaskaram, Sadhguru. Could you

please explain what Mahishasura in front of Linga
Bhairavi symbolizes?
Sadhguru: The imagery of Mahishasura1 indicates
the bestial nature in a man. Because of the
evolutionary process, elements of the qualities
of an amoeba, an earthworm, a grasshopper, a
buffalo, and every kind of beast that developed
in the course of evolution, are still in you. These
Mythological character who, according to the tradition,
was half man, half buffalo


are all compulsive tendencies. Even modern

neurology recognizes that one part of your brain is
reptilian. In the evolutionary process, the reptilian
brain represents the stage of development that is
dominated by the instinct.
After human beings started walking upright and the
human spine became erect, over the reptilian brain,
the flower of the cerebral cortex evolved. This is
what makes you human. This is what enables you
to think about the universality of existence and
that everything is one. This is what allows you to
be a scientist or a spiritual seeker. But if you go
October 2016

back to the reptilian brain, all you have are instincts

of survival.
The human efforts of education, spiritual process,
and meditation are to move away from the reptilian
brain to the cerebral cortex, which is a more recent
evolution and gives you a more inclusive approach
to life. If you function out of your reptilian brain,
fixing boundaries will be all you know. Whenever
you have problems with people around you, it
is fundamentally always about the boundaries
between you and them, or between what is yours
and theirs. If you function only from one aspect of
your brain, you can get by, but you will not utilize
your full potential.
The yogic system has methods to, in a way, open up
the reptilian brain so that it starts communicating
with the cerebral cortex and both function as one
brain. There are studies which show that this can
be achieved with certain meditation practices. The
flower should open up. That is why in the yogic
culture, there is the imagery of lotus flowers to
symbolize the chakras in the human system, with
the biggest flower representing the Sahasrara at
the top of the head.
If the cerebral flower opens up, human intelligence
starts functioning in a unifying, inclusive way.
Inclusiveness is not a philosophy. Inclusiveness
is the nature of existence. No other creature
is able to realize this. They are all busy fixing
boundaries. A dog is peeing all over the place
not because of urinary problems but to establish
his kingdom. Human beings are doing the same
thing in different ways. They, too, are fixing
their boundaries and, if possible, pushing them
a little bit.
The symbolism of Mahishasura at Linga Bhairavi
is that the beast has been killed and put down. This
means you become a big flower. We are approaching
a special time for Devi now Navaratri, which
literally means nine nights. These nine nights
are counted from the day after new moon day or
Amavasya. The first nine days of the lunar cycle
are considered feminine. The ninth day is called
Navami. One and a half days around full moon are
a neutral time. The remaining eighteen days are
masculine in nature. The feminine phase of the
month is about Devi. That is why, in the tradition,
October 2016

up to Navami, all worship is dedicated to Devi.

Each of these twelve nine-day periods in a year is
dedicated to a different Devi. The Navaratri that is
coming up at the beginning of October is dedicated
to Devi Sharada.2 It is considered most important
because Sharada is the goddess of learning.
Among the various things that a human being
can do, this tradition sees learning as the most
important thing. Other creatures can run faster
than us; they are stronger than us; they can do
many things that we cannot do but they cannot
learn like us.
This is the pride of being human, that you can
learn just about anything if you are willing. For
this Navaratri, prepare by learning something new.
And either you open up your reptilian brain, or
Devi will put you down. Another dimension of the
symbolism is that the masculine, by its own nature,
lives instinctively. That means the reptilian brain is
like a tight fist. When the feminine comes in, it can
open up. When it opens up, the masculine or the
beastly nature falls at her feet. The symbolism of
Devi and Mahishasura is just that because she
rose to full power, the bestiality is brought down.

Name for Saraswati



How to Make
Marriage Work
Excerpted from Sadhguru Spot of
10 August 2016

One of the questions that I am asked frequently is

how to choose the right person for companionship
and marriage. Trying to find the perfect partner
is expecting the impossible. One reason why
marriage can be tumultuous is because you have
to share so many things in this relationship. The
issue is neither marriage, nor is it about a man
and a woman, husband and wife. In any situation
where you are forced to share a lot with other
people, you will face similar problems.
In a marriage or cohabitation, you usually have
to share the same space, the same everything.
Consequently, every day, you are treading on
each others toes in one way or the other. In other
relationships, if someone is overstepping the
boundaries, you can create a distance. Here, you
do not have a choice. The greater the overlap, the
greater the possibility of friction.
There are many couples who are living beautifully
together, who are profoundly in love, and who are
fantastic companions to each other. At the same
time, this relationship can assume the ugliest
forms. One contributing factor is that generally,
no one gets to know the ugly things that are
happening behind closed doors. If someone on
the street steps on your feet, you will react in
a different way, because everyone is watching.
But in this relationship, no one is watching, so
anything can happen.
What is needed to make a marriage successful
is not the perfect person there is no perfect
person on the planet. What you need is absolute
integrity. Whether someone is watching or not,

you should act in the same way. Who you are

should not change depending upon where and
with whom you are. Once you have established
your way of being, interacting with another
person can be a joy. Another aspect is that if you
try to extract something out of each other, and
you or the other person does not get what he or
she wants, there will be constant conflict.
You as an individual have to evaluate if this is
just a passing interest, or if there it is a strong
need to have someone by your side. Not everyone
has to get hitched, nor does everyone have to
live alone. This is something that individuals
have to look at for themselves. You should only
get married if there is such a strong need in you
that without a companion, you cannot live, and
you believe marriage will be a stepping stone for
your wellbeing.

What you need is absolute integrity.

There is nothing wrong with getting married. But

if you get married without you having the need to
do so, then it is a crime, because you will cause
misery to yourself and at least one other person.
We would advise everyone to get married if the
human race was in danger of disappearing, but
the human population is exploding. If you do
not reproduce, you do humanity a great service.
Leaving that aside, the important thing is this
October 2016

not everyone needs to get married.

When someone asked Gautama the Buddha,
Should I have a companion? he said, Its better
to walk alone than to walk with a fool. I am not
that cruel. I am saying: if you find a similar fool,
then something can be worked out. But based
on your need not because of what society is
saying, not because others are getting married,
not because you worry about being alone.
What is your intention for your companion? It
should not be something like, If Im getting
lost, let me have another person who gets lost
with me. Companionship or marriage does not
solve existential problems. It just takes care of
some of your needs. If you have strong physical,
emotional, or psychological needs, then you
should look for a companion. You should not get
married for social and financial reasons alone.

Another point to remember is that you get married

because you need support. This support may be
physical, emotional, psychological, social, or
financial whatever it may be, you do not get
married out of charity for the other person. You
get married because you need certain things.
If the other person is willing to provide them to
you, and you live in gratitude, then there will not
be too much friction.
Do not look for the ideal man or the ideal
woman there is none. If you understand that it
is your needs that make you seek a companion,
find someone who is reasonably compatible with
you. If you accept, respect, love, include, care for,
and take responsibility for each other, it can be
a beautiful relationship.
Love & Grace,




Born for Revenge

Drona swore revenge for the humiliation Drupada

had inflicted on him. For this purpose, he
acquired the astras1 from Parashurama, came to
Hastinapura, and started training the Kauravas
and the Pandavas in various martial arts. When
they achieved a certain level of competence and
were eager to make some kind of offering to their
guru, the first thing that Drona asked for was that
they capture Drupada and bring him to Drona. For
no other reason, the Kaurava and the Pandava
princes went and attacked Kampilya, the capital of
the Panchala kingdom.
October 2016

The Kaurava brothers went on attack with

great fervor, while the Pandavas stayed back
and watched. Drupadas army was completely
unprepared. They did not understand why these
guys were suddenly coming and attacking the city,
for no apparent reason. When they realized they
were being attacked, the common citizenry came
out of their homes with kitchen knives, ladles,
sticks, and whatever else they could lay their hands
on. They fought the Kauravas and beat them back.
Defeated by common people, the Kaurava brothers
returned in shame. Then Drona said to Arjuna, It is

wanted to hide it. She did not want anyone to know

that she was a girl. Seeing her plight, Stunakarna,
a yaksha in the forest, helped her. He said, I will
give you manhood, and using his magical powers
he made her into a man. He says, This will see you
through in social situations. In real terms, you are
still a woman.

you who has to offer the guru dakshina. You must

get Drupada.
Bhima and Arjuna went, quietly slipped into the
city, captured Drupada, tied him up, took him with
them, and laid him at Dronas feet. The moment
Drupada looked at Drona, he knew Drona was the
one who got these young boys to capture him, a
great warrior, and throw him at Dronas feet as a
prisoner. Then Drona said, Now we cannot talk
about sharing, because we are not equals. You
are lying before me as a slave. I received you as a
gift from my boys. I can do whatever I please. But I
have been your friend I will spare your life.

Drupadas only purpose of life was to somehow

bring Drona to shame and the Kuru clan down. He
looked for someone who could perform a yagna
for him that would give him children who would be
capable of defeating Drona and the Kuru clan. He
got Yaja and Upayaja, two well-known tantrics of
the time, to perform a Putrakarma Yagna for him.
Drupada prayed, I want a son who will kill Drona,
and a daughter who will divide the Kuru House.
After an elaborate yagna, they extracted a young
man and a young woman from the fire.

For a Kshatriya, the worst thing that you can do is

defeat him and spare his life. That is what Drona
wanted. He knew that telling Drupada that he would
spare his life was the worst thing to happen to him,
even more so since it came from a Brahmana. He
continued saying, Half of your kingdom is mine.
As a friend, I will give you the other half. Go and rule
the other half one part of the kingdom is mine.
Burning with shame, rage, and hatred, Drupada
went back to the other half of his kingdom, unable
to face his citizenry after this great humiliation.
That was not something that people could accept.
He was raging.

These two, Drishtadhyumna and Draupadi,

were not born out of the union of a man and a
woman they were born of fire. They came to
life with the single purpose of revenge. From
the outset, Drupada kept telling them their only
purpose of life was to take revenge on Drona and
the Kuru clan. That means while the Kuru clan was
struggling among themselves, a formidable enemy
was growing in their neighborhood.

He prayed to Shiva and said, I want a child who will

take revenge, because once he had lost a battle
with someone, he had lost the right to call him for
a duel. A child was born, but it was a girl. Drupada
could not believe it. He asked Shiva, I wanted a
child to take revenge. But now I got a girl. How will
this girl take revenge? From day one, he started
dressing her up like a boy. He did not want people
to know that she was a girl. He pretended that she
was a boy and started training her as if she was a
boy. This girl was the reincarnation of Amba, who
was now known as Shikhandi.
Drupada not only wanted to take revenge on
Drona but on the whole Kuru clan, because
these boys were the ones who captured him. He
wanted to kill them all, and the pillar of the Kuru
clan was Bhishma. He knew that if he knocked
down Bhishma, the whole clan would collapse. At
the age of fourteen, Shikhandi disappeared. They
were distraught and looked for her everywhere, but
they could not find her. She went into the forest to
train by herself, because she had come of age and

Drupada wanted his daughter to get married to the

greatest archer and warrior, so that they could take
revenge. He looked for a suitable candidate but did
not find anyone who could beat Drona. But then he
came to hear of all the battles Krishna had fought
successfully. Seventeen times, Jarasandha and his
army attacked Mathura. Though the Yadava army
was only one tenth of Jarasandhas army, Krishna
and Balarama beat them back every time with guile
and valor.
For the eighteenth attack, Jarasandha gathered a
few other kings from the northwest, in the present
region of Afghanistan. They came with their armies
and surrounded Mathura from all directions. When
Krishna saw that an overwhelming military force
surrounded Mathura and would annihilate the
Yadavas if they stayed and tried to fight them back,
he convinced the whole population to leave Mathura

Supernatural Weapons
October 2016

and travel thirteen hundred kilometers down to

Dwaraka in Gujarat. Hundreds of people died on
this exodus through the desert of Rajasthan.
Originally, they had planned to build a new city,
but when they came to Dwaraka, they found a
well-built city on a small island. Krishna felt that
this island city was strategically the best location
for them. The city was ruled by King Revata. King
Revata had a daughter whose name was Revati.
Revata and Revati belonged to Sat Yuga, when
human beings were much bigger in their physical
stature. He went to Devaloka to ask for the boon
that a great deva, to be born as a Kshatriya, would
marry his daughter.
There was a big time difference between Bhuloka,
which is planet Earth, and Devaloka, the realm of the
devas. Because this one-day visit of Devaloka was
a million years on the planet, when he came back to
the Earth, many yugas had rolled by. Human beings
had become much smaller in stature. Revata was
in despair because there was no man on the planet
who was big and tall enough for his daughter. Then
Krishna and Balarama came. Balarama was of
immense size, but Revati was even taller.
Being a farmer, even when he fought battles,
Balarama used his plough as a weapon. He pulled
Revati down with his plough, and with Krishnas
help, she shrank to the regular size of a human
of the time. In a strategic alliance, Krishna got
Balarama married to Revati, and they occupied
Dwaraka. The Yadavas moved into Dwaraka, and
Krishna effortlessly seized the surrounding small
kingdoms. Wherever conquest was needed, he
conquered them. Wherever he could include them
through a strategic marriage, he married a princess
to establish peace.
In those days, family relations were most important,
and strategic marriages were sometimes the only
way to make peace with an opponent. If you give
your daughter in marriage to someone, you cannot
wage a war against him anymore. Krishna also
abducted Rukmini, and defeated her elder brother
Rukmi, who was a great warrior, and Shishupala,
who was known as the Bull of Chedi. Krishna had
even shamed Jarasandha once in a duel. Because
of all these feats, his valor and skill as a warrior
became widely recognized.

Drupada thought Krishna was the best man for

his daughter. He sent word to Krishna, asking
him to marry her. Krishna tried to dodge it, but the
problem was, had he flatly refused, it would have
been an affront, and Drupada would have called for
battle. But since he did not want to marry Draupadi,
Krishna extricated himself out of the situation in a
very artful way, saying, I am just a cowherd. How
can I marry Draupadi? She is a queen.
Krishna married many other queens, but Draupadi
stood out. The scripture describes her as the
most beautiful woman on the planet, though she
had a dark, velvety complexion. It also says that
when a woman is this beautiful, invariably, she will
cause problems. Invariably, people will fight over
her. Countries will be divided; brothers will fight;
bad things will happen. Krishna tried to convince
Drupada to arrange a swayamvara.
At first, Drupada objected, saying that he did not
see any warriors who were sufficiently capable. But
Krishna said, A fiery woman like Draupadi should
make her own choice. You should not choose for
her. He suggested setting up a swayamvara with a
contest, and Draupadi could choose whoever won.
Krishnas guru, Sandipani himself, devised the
competition. They created a matsya yantra, which
was a simple machine with a wooden fish on the
top that was revolving. There was a pool of oil next
to it.
The archer was supposed to hit the eye of the fish,
only looking at the reflection of it in the oil. The one
who hit the mark would get a chance to marry the
princess, if she chooses him. After much debate
with Krishna, Drupada agreed to this idea and
announced the swayamvara.
To be continued

October 2016



Isha Gramotsavam 2016

Play for Life

Under the scorching South Indian sun, the

CODISSIA grounds in Coimbatore were abuzz with
activity. A long-awaited full-day event was about to
be launched: Isha Gramotsavam. As Sadhguru has
stated, the spirit of sports, dance, and celebration
had been suppressed in India over the last two
hundred years due to colonization and poverty.
Now that the country is recovering economically, it
is time to reinstate the playfulness of the sporting
spirit and undertake a revival of the folk arts.
The day started with games and performances
dispersed throughout the immense ground,
attended by many thousands of people from
all over Tamil Nadu. A delightful array of stalls
offered everything from information about the
many activities and projects of Isha to crafts and
mouth-watering Indian street food. One attendee
of the event wrote: As I hopped from stall to
stall, and visited the many happenings spread
across the CODISSIA grounds, the intensity of
this huge community brought together begun
to sink in. The atmosphere was warm and
earthy the emotions tangible and sweet.
Around 4 p.m. in the afternoon, Sadhguru arrived
with the chief guests Shri Rajyavardhan Singh
Rathore1 and Dr. Kiran Bedi2 to attend the two last
matches of the year. Sadhguru served the first ball,
alongside Rajyavardhan Rathore and Kiran Bedi.

The enthusiasm was high. Although encouraging

different teams, people were chanting and dancing
in the stadium. Shri Rathore would say later on:
Sports is one of the fastest ways of making new
friends. [...] It breaks all caste, creed and religion
barriers and connects people.
As the womens finale came to an end, both teams
were applauding, hugging each other, their faces
intensely joyful. It was a touching sight, beautifully
bringing forth the events inclusive approach. Kiran
Bedi expressed her great appreciation of the efforts
of Isha Foundation in organizing Gramotsavam
successfully for 12 years.

People who play with the necessary intensity

can transcend the limitations of who they are.
This is what sports offer to you.

Union Minister of State for Information and

Broadcasting veteran competitive shooter and the
first sportsperson in independent India to win individual
Silver at the Olympics

Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, Indias first

woman IPS Officer, and former tennis player

October 2016

I am planning to introduce this initiative in

Puducherry too, she said, adding, This will create
a Swasth (healthy) Bharath, and with the Prime
Ministers vision of Swachh Bharat, we will attain
a Swachh Swasth Bharath.
On the Sadhguru Spot Play for Life, Sadhguru
explained the importance of sports in the growth
of individuals:It is intensity which allows a human
being to stretch beyond the limits. The entire
spiritual process is about somehow transcending
your limitations to experience a dimension that you
did not know till now. [...] People who play with the
necessary intensity can transcend the limitations
of who they are. This is what sports offer to you.
[...] This is a fundamental principle that everyone
should know, in any sphere of life: You can only
be successful if you want to win. But if you lose, it
should be alright with you.
Sports empower individuals and transform
communities, reviving spirit and pride in individuals
and the villages. Isha Gramotsavam featured 880
teams and 10,386 players, of which 1,500 were
women. It is part of a larger vision that of a more
inclusive society and world, where people become
sources of transformation for those around them.
It reflects how the spirit of rural India may have
been at some point, and how Isha is shaping it
to be now in our times, with a committed group
of people working together for one goal: to play
for life.
Isha Gramotsavam, a yearly event
organized by Isha, now in its twelfth round,
showcases the essence of rural village
life in Tamil Nadu through an elaborate
display of rural games, art, drama, dance,
music, and food specialties. The event
features the final rounds of a state-wide
inter-village sports tournament. The
festival is part of Action for Rural
Rejuvenation (ARR), a social outreach
program under the aegis of Isha
Foundation that provides a comprehensive
approach to improved health, livelihood,
and community revitalization.

October 2016


The north face of Kailash

Trek to Kailash


Glorious Kailash
For the eleventh year now, Isha Sacred Walks took devotees to Kailash and Manasarovar, allowing them
to make a journey of a lifetime through a landscape that seems almost out of this world, and to get a
taste of the immense mystical dimension that Kailash represents.
On the Sadhguru Spot of 24 August 2016, the Master summed up his ever growing fascination with
the magnificent Kailash: The five-day trek in Nepal, helicopter rides through most breathtaking terrain
around Annapurna peak, and more all this fades away in the glorious presence of Kailash. The hardship,
sore muscles, harsh weather, and insufferable toilets all this seems like nothing once we behold the
incredible form of Kailash. At Darshan mispronounced as Darchen here after the downhill trek, all
of us are in a bit of a daze. May all know the experience of being dazzled by this glorious form. My
fascination for this form only seems to grow by the year. Leaves me incredulous and drenched in what I
value most.

October 2016

Sharing Experiences
My Arrow and My Bow
Poem by an Isha Teacher Trainee

October 2016







69 Oct

Inner Engineering

Isha Yoga Center,

Velliangiri Foothills,
Coimbatore India

94890 45164 / 0422-2515300


9 Oct 2016

Bhuta Shuddhi

Hebbal, Bangalore India

80951 63111 / 98454 66655


1316 Oct

Inner Engineering

Isha Yoga Center,

Velliangiri Foothills,
Coimbatore India

94890 45164 / 0422-2515300


1416 Oct

Surya Kriya

The Delhi Center, Mehrauli,

Delhi India

96500 92102 / 96500 92103


1521 Oct

Joint and
Disorders Treatment

Isha Yoga Center,

Velliangiri Foothills,
Coimbatore India


1722 Oct


The Delhi Center, Mehrauli,

Delhi India

96500 92102 / 96500 92103


1922 Oct

Inner Engineering

Isha Yoga Center,

Velliangiri Foothills,
Coimbatore India

9489045164 / 0422-2515300

2023 Oct

Bhava Spandana with


Isha Institute of Inner-sciences,

McMinnville, TN USA

+1(931) 668-1900

22 Oct 2016

Bhuta Shuddhi

The Delhi Center, Mehrauli,

Delhi India

96500 92102 / 96500 92103


2223 Oct

Surya Kriya

Juhu, Mumbai India

98929 51309

2228 Oct

Ayur Sampoorna

Isha Yoga Center,

Velliangiri Foothills,
Coimbatore India


2930 Oct

Ayur Sanjeevini

Isha Yoga Center,

Velliangiri Foothills,
Coimbatore India


31 Oct
3 Nov 2016

Bhava Spandana

Isha Yoga Center,

Velliangiri Foothills,
Coimbatore India

83000 93555 / 0422-2515300


31 Oct
5 Nov 2016


The Delhi Center, Mehrauli,

Delhi India

96500 92102 / 96500 92103


Current at the time of print, however subject to change. For full program schedules and updates, please visit our
website: www.ishafoundation.org.

October 2016


7 to 8 medium-sized bananas (ripe; local
1 cups fresh coconut (grated)
1 pinch cardamom powder
5 tbsps. jaggery / brown sugar (powdered)
1 tsp. ghee (plus a little extra ghee to roast
the almonds)
3 tbsps. honey
1 tbsp. almonds
1 tbsp. raisins
A few strands of saffron (optional)

1. Peel the bananas and chop them into -inch
cubes. Transfer into a bowl. Add the jaggery.
2. Put the grated coconut, cup of warm water,
and cardamom powder in a mixer, and grind to a
smooth paste. Strain in a cheesecloth or a fine
sieve and extract the coconut milk in a bowl.
3. Add coconut extract to the banana and jaggery.
Add ghee and honey. Mix well.
4. Soak the almonds and peel them. Sliver them,
and lightly roast them in a little ghee.
5. Just before serving, garnish with raisins and
roasted almond slivers.
6. Optional: Soak a few saffron strands in milk and
crush in a mortar and pestle. Add it to the mixture.
Note: This is a traditional item from Karnataka.
It is an ideal naivedyam/offering to the Devi for

October 2016

Injinjeera Leghiam
cup fresh ginger (peeled, washed,
and dried well)
cup jaggery
2 tsps. cumin (jeera) powder
1 tsp. coriander seed (dhania) powder
2 tsps. ghee
cup honey

1. Pound or grind the ginger thoroughly in a mixer.
Add jaggery and spice powders and grind to a
2. Cook in a kadai or deep pan on medium heat and
stir until it becomes a thick paste. After removing it
from the heat, add ghee.
3. When cooled to room temperature, add honey
and mix thoroughly.
Note: Injinjeera Leghiam is traditionally prepared
for the festival of Deepavali. When rich food is on
the menu, this leghiam aids digestion and prevents
stomach problems.

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October 2016

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October 2016


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Tree that bears fruit

gives not of itself
but only sweetens the bounty
of the all giving earth.
The fruit seller
brings it to your doorstep.
The ultimate fruit
an offering not a transaction.


October 2016