Jyosna in Brazil – beautiful yogic devotional song

Jyosna – is one of my good friends and sisters on the path of bliss. Seeing this made me miss her – and the moments we have shared, in Italy, Sweden, Copenhagen, Germany – singing and dancing together to the mantra „Baba Nam Kevalam”. Cultural programs at retreats often end with a special kiirtan sung to all of the directions – and when she plays, such a sweet flow of blissful energy is created that I never want it to stop. Often indeed, it would be well past midnight when she stopped and we sat to meditate.

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What is the difference between relaxation and meditation?

This evening, Didi A. Devapriya appeared for the second time, as the guest of Stefan Pusca on his show „Dialogues between the Heart and Mind” on 6TV.

The discussion covered the difference between relaxation and meditation, sacred sounds and mantra, the practicalities of beginning a practice and a brief demonstration of kiirtan with a guided meditation.

Songs of the New Dawn


The founder of Ananda Marga, Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar composed a body of poetic, devotional songs known as „Prabhat Samgiita” – Songs of the New Dawn. Each song captures a particular inner feeling in our relationship to that Supreme Entity. Some songs are full of sadness and longing, others filled with bliss, reflecting the ups and downs of the spiritual journey. Many of the songs are reflective meditations on the beauty of nature and the metaphors it evokes.

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Seven secrets of spiritual success

What does success really mean? Dada Madhuvidyananda explores the spiritual definition of success in this talk. He also reveals – that spiritual secrets are secret, not because someone is shrouding them purposefully in mystery – but rather because they are subtle. This talk is based on an ancient teaching, given in the form of a dialog between the yogi Shiva and his wife Parvati, 7000 years ago.

I first saw Dada speak when I was a very new meditator – and found his talks extremely accessible and clear. Here he introduces the first of the seven secrets. His book can be found on Amazon.uk – click here.

In January, I will be presenting a seminar on the Seven Secrets at Morningstar Center!

Didi A. Devapriya

Kaoshiiki: the most complete exercise ever

Evocative Mudras

The dance was invented in 1978 by the spiritual master Shriii Shrii Anandamurtii as a holistic exercise to develop all of the layers of the mind known as kosas, increasing their vitality and allowing the light of the soul to shine through more easily. Like most Indian classical dances, Kaoshiiki is based on mudras, which are movements that are imbued with deeper spiritual meanings. The science of mudra is based on the idea that certain positions of the body stimulate different types of feelings and thoughts.  If we walk with our shoulders rolled forward and our head down, our body will express a certain feeling of dejection, which we may begin to experience if we continue for some time. If on the other hand we stretch both arms open towards the sky, lift our face towards the sun and smile, it would be hard to continue feeling depressed – rather such movements tend to evoke a lighter feeling of freedom and joy.

Meaning of the movements

Each of the component  mudras of Kaoshiiki has a subtle spiritual meaning.  The arms raised above the head with the palms touching, for example, signifies the entire mind focusing on a single Divine point.  The bending to the sides, like the swaying of a tree in the wind, symbolizes the way to attract Divine Grace. The forward bending to touch the earth is a sign of letting go of our small ego, while the lifting of the heart as we  arch the arms backwards, represents the ability to overcome all obstacles. The final steps of the dance connect us to the continual cosmic rhythm of the universe.

Holistic dance

The dance thus becomes not only a physical exercise, but a spiritual one as well.  There are six different positive affirmations associated with the meaning of the mudras that can be repeated during the dance and are designed to help free the mind of all superiority and inferiority complexes. The movements are also coordinated with a certain special pattern of mantra that helps to further deepen the meditative effect as well as amplify the vibrational resonance on the subtler systems of our body.

23 Benefits of Kaoshiiki:

Anandamurtii claimed that the dance has a medicinal effect  and listed the following 23 benefits:
  1. It exercises all the glands and limbs from head to foot.
  2. It increases longevity.
  3. It facilitates easy childbirth.
  4. The spine will become flexible.
  5. Arthritis of the spine, neck, waist and other joints will be removed.
  6. Gout in the spine, neck, hand and waist will be healed.
  7. The mind becomes strong and sharp.
  8. Irregularities in menstruation will be cured.
  9. Glandular secretions will become regulated.
  10. Troubles in the bladder and urethra will be cured.
  11. It gives control over the limbs.
  12. It adds charm and shine to the face and skin.
  13. It removes wrinkles.
  14. It removes lethargy.
  15. It cures insomnia.
  16. It cures panic attacks.
  17. Fear complexes will be removed.
  18. Hopelessness will be cured.
  19. It helps in self-expression and develops one’s potentiality.
  20. Spinal pain, piles, hernia, hydrocele in men, nervous pain, nervous disability will be cured.
  21. It cures kidney and gall bladder troubles, gastric trouble, dyspepsia, acidity, dysentery, syphilis, gonorrheae, obesity, thinness and liver diseases.
  22. It increases the capacity to work until 75-80 years of age

Easy to practise anywhere!

While it can take some practice to master the dance at first,  as it requires a significant amount  of coordination, once learned, it is a form of exercise that can be easily practiced anywhere. No special equipment is needed, and it can be practised even in extremely confined spaces, or in wide open spaces outdoors in nature. Gradually increasing the practice time to up to 21 minutes is a very complete workout, and builds determination and willpower.

My own experience with Kaoshiiki

Personally, I have been practising at least 50 rounds of  kaoshikii daily for many years, which me takes only about 10 minutes and leaves me with a warm glow. It is one of my main forms of regular, rigorous aerobic exercise, and is a perfect complement to the slower stretching exercises of yoga asanas that I also practise daily. It keeps me in excellent shape, and even though I do not regularly participate in other types of sports, I find I can  bicycle, skate, ski or hike even with people much younger than myself with relative ease. It also helps me to control my weight, even though I love to eat well and am not a fan of dieting. When I first began this practise, I was suffering from chronic fatigue that had lingered after several bouts of mononucleosis and epstein bar syndrome as a teenager. After a few weeks of kaoshiki, I noticed a dramatic change in my vitality. A certain cloudy lethargy permanently lifted, and I felt both body and mind noticeably charged with a much more dynamic, vibrant energy. That experience got me hooked, and ever since then it is has been a regular part of my lifestyle.

Learn Kaoshiiki at Morningstar!

Kaoshiikii is one of the exercises that I teach during my yoga classes at Centrul Morningstar every Thursday.
Here is a Romanian translation of this article.
The video at the top of the article shows kaoshikii being danced all over the world!

Samgha’cchadvam – Moving together

This ancient sanskrit mantra comes from the one of the oldest scriptures of humanity, the “Rk Veda”. For thousands of years, it has been sung by yogiis before starting collective meditation in order to harmonize everyone’s mind to flow in unison towards the Divine.




Let us move together, let us dance together, let us radiate the same thought-wave, let us come to know our minds together.
Let us share our wealth generously, without differentiation, like sages of the past, so that all may enjoy the universe.
Let our hopes be united, let our hearts be inseparable. Let our minds be as one mind, so that we live in harmony and become one with the Supreme.