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  The Yoga Life
    Yoga Life Society's

September/October 2007

In This Issue
A Quote from Sri Swami Satchidananda Maharaj
Summer Satsang with Sri Guruji
Experiencing Yogaville
Discerning the Truth
Upcoming Satsangs with Sri Guruji
To schedule a satsang with Guruji or discuss potential program ideas, please contact Narani Lisa Lorelli, Guruji's Personal Assistant, at
YLS Quick Links
Seva Mandir "Temple of Service"
To add someone to the prayer list please contact
Be sure to check out the current issue of Ascent Magazine.  Sri Guruji is featured in the article entitled
"Visions of Yoga".
To subscribe to Ascent Magazine go to


Meditation Teacher Training
with Sri Guruji Reverend Jaganath Carerra
3 March - 5 May, 2008
Integral Yoga Institute,
Fairlawn, NJ
For further information and to register, please call
Celebrate New Year's Eve with Sri Guruji at
Naturally Yoga,
Glen Rock, NJ
31st December, 2007
Stay tuned for further details.
Join Guruji
The YLS Sangha at the
2007 Omega
"Being Yoga Conference
...learn to live your yoga"
2-5 November, 2007
Harbor Beach Marriott
Resort & Spa
Ft. lauderdale, FL.
For more information and to register please visit or
call 1-800-944-1001
GurudevA Quote from
Sri Swami Satchidanandaji Maharaj

"Meditation is to calm the mind, bring the mind together. If you are already restful, peaceful, why do you need meditation? Meditation is a sort of medication. The same way, when you feel the disturbance in the mind, then you try to calm down the mind, and that's why you practice meditation. So don't get  disappointed that you couldn't meditate right away. Nothing is achieved overnight. When did you learn to walk or run? From the beginning? No. When you were a baby, you couldn't even stand up, you couldn't even crawl. Then you gradually learned to crawl, and walk, and run. Meditation is also like that."

AutumnSummer Satsang with Sri Guruji
Sunday, 15 July, 2007
- Karuna Lynne Elson

Guruji met with 8 dedicated students of yoga at Good Sports for a special Satsang on July 15th.  Here are some highlights of the talk:


Question:  How do I choose between my desire to learn and grow in yoga and my responsibilities to my home and family?


In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna asks how he, a warrior, could be successful as a spiritual seeker since he's not a renunciate (a monk).  Krishna told Arjuna to do his duty without selfish attachment to the outcome, and to dedicate all of his actions to the Divine. This is a vital lesson for all seekers, Guruji explained. Furthermore, Guruji said, true sannyas (renunciation) is not running from the world and its responsibilities, but the renunciation of selfishness. Anyone who renounces selfishness, dedicates all actions to God, guru, or humanity, and lives for the sake of others, achieves the highest spiritual states.


Guruji broadened the topic by speaking on two mind-sets we should cultivate if we wish to be successful in spiritual life.  In doing this, we don't necessarily have to change our lifestyle, but we may have to change our attitude.



When making decisions on what to do, think about what is the right thing - what brings the greatest harmony - for you and others in the long run, rather than making decisions based on what is the harder, easier, or what you feel like doing.  Reflect on what is useful for your spiritual growth. In other words, consider what will make you more peaceful, clear, one-pointed, and compassionate.


If two choices seem equally important, then look back at the past and analyze it for patterns that have benefited you and others. 


What if the person you are trying to serve is never fully satisfied, and yet you know it is important for you to serve them anyway? 


Over time, very gently and gradually educate them to what you are doing in the name of yoga and service.  At the same time, be a good example of yoga in action. Let them see the beauty of yoga in your words and actions. Make a stand only when necessary; when your values have been, or are in danger of being compromised. 


On the practical side, find out how much others are expecting of you and how much time will fulfill their need. Then, gently, but clearly explain what you are able to do.  If they are resistant to your doing yoga and resent the time it takes from them, remind them that your purpose in doing yoga is to give them a better you, and that practicing yoga helps you to take away selfishness from your love.


Your worldly duties never require you to damage your own spiritual well-being. That is not good service, and it isn't really healthy sacrifice. It's just damaging to your peace and well-being.  Take a lesson from your own heart which pumps blood to itself first so that it can send blood throughout the body. If you lose yourself, if you ignore what nourishes you too much, everyone who loves you and everyone whom you serve will suffer. There's a difference between activities that damage and activities that may cause discomfort, but no damage.


Of course, you also learn about yourself and yoga through service to others and that is part of your yoga practice. In fact, such service is an essential foundation of the yoga life.



It is not a sin to miss a yoga event, even Guru Poornima.  You are not punished.  But, it is a missed opportunity.


One of the worst things in community life is to compare yourself to others.  Everybody doesn't get the same medicine from the doctor.  If you're not getting acknowledged by the Guru, think about your motivations for doing what you do in the first place.  Is it really service in the name of the Guru or for a pat on the head - especially in front of others?


Gurudev Satchidananda said, "The householder path, is a higher path than monkhood, if you find the right partner. It is more natural and, in a way, you have a guru living in the house with you."



Usually we try to escape or avoid suffering.  Instead we should embrace suffering as a friend, always there to teach.  Suffering shows us what our limitations are. God comes to us in all forms, even suffering. 


Sometimes, living a spiritual life is like living in a paradox.  You can face two choices both of which carry good arguments for choosing them. It is not easy to choose. Try placing both options on a mental scale. Try to see which one will bring the most benefit at this time. Next time it may be different. And, you could be wrong. That's okay, too. Learn from your mistake. Stay flexible, and keep selfless service and spiritual growth in mind. That's why it is said that yoga is the middle path. 


Yoga life is often about sitting between two options or choices without forcing a solution.  Many times, the best approach is to stay in the middle and float there, maintaining focus and waiting for the right time for things to resolve.  Situations don't always resolve when you want them to. Be patient and flexible, and have faith.



The guru's teachings are like mother's milk.  We need to swallow it to be nourished and grow strong.  Many come to hear the teachings just to feel good in the moment. That's fine, but it is not enough. To really grow, we must live the teachings; apply them.  It is about what happens after Satsang.


Let us remind ourselves everyday:

I am a child of God.  Self-realization is my birthright, and as such, I know that unshakable Peace is my true nature and one day I will fully experience the Divine in me.  Until that day, I shall respect myself as a sincere seeker, stick to my values and path, and be ready to accept whatever God chooses for me.

AutumnExperiencing Yogaville With Sri Guruji
10-13 August, 2007
- Shraddha Castellano 

On August 10, 2007, I traveled by train, with my two friends, Karuna and Padma, to the sacred space of Satchidananda Ashram in Yogaville.  Yogaville is set in the beautiful mountains of Virginia, full of wildlife, peace, and beauty.  There we met with our Beloved Guruji and five other members of the Sangha for a blessed weekend of learning, meditation, laughter, and connection.

After settling into our dorm style rooms, we explored the grounds and got familiar with the layout of this vast Ashram.  That evening we had an awe-inspiring opportunity to visit Chidambaram which is the Shrine of Sri Gurudev Swami Satchidananda.  This is where Gurudev Satchidananda's body is interred.  We entered with Sri Guruji, His good friend Paraman, and Paraman's wife, Lakshmi.  There was an electricity in this space, an awesome feeling of something so divine and sacred.  We bowed in silence on the altar for some time and then meditated in the close space.  The divinity of this experience set the tone for the rest of the trip.  From there, we traveled up to Nataraj Shrine at Kailash which overlooks Chidambaram and the LOTUS Shrine.  The LOTUS Shrine, was built as a dedication to the Light of all faiths and to world peace.  It is the only Shrine of it's kind in that it includes altars of all faiths known and yet unknown.  As we stood in the dark at the lookout of Nataraj Shrine, the LOTUS Shrine shown with the brilliance of the lighting around it.  It was powerful and very beautiful.  In the days that followed, we were able to visit the ground floor of the LOTUS called the All Faiths Hall.  This area included displays of scriptures, pictures, and other sacred pieces from the various faiths.  Each day, at noon, we had the absolute blessing of meditating in the upper level of the Shrine, sitting around the main altar.  I loved this time.  At noon, the bells sounded and people came from all over the Ashram for the noon meditation.  It was so powerful to meditate there, together as a group, yet alone in my own spirit, visiting deep within myself.  It was so special to be there with Sri Guruji and the rest of the Sangha.

Over the course of the weekend, our group had the opportunity to have intimate discussions with Sri Guruji, learning so much about this place that had been his home for many years.  It was wonderful to learn about Sri Gurudev Swami Satchidananda and his incredible impact on the individuals that helped to grow the Ashram as well as his impact on the world.  It helped me to understand the spiritual growth space of my Beloved Guruji.  I feel so thankful for the opportunity to continue my study under this magnificent lineage.

With Sri Guruji, we visited wonderful places of learning including the Guru Bhavan, a place where many artifacts of Sri Gurudev's life are encased for viewing including gifts from many people who loved him dearly.  We drove up to the original Ashram building where we were treated to a breath-taking view of the valley below and the LOTUS Shrine.  I could have stayed there forever!  There was a 10 day silent retreat going on and some of the participants were sitting in the lookout area, enjoying the beautiful day and the silence.  The silence only deepened its impact.

AutumnWe also had an opportunity to sit and talk with Swami Karunananda, a long-time friend of Guruji's and a deeply spiritual woman who had made a choice of renunciation and has given her life to the work of God.  She was remarkable!!  Her life story hit a place deep in my soul.  She encouraged me to be as still as possible in order to hear where my life journey will need to go.  The meeting with Swami Karunananda had a profound impact.

Finally, we got to visit the organic garden area where we saw people working with the earth (and a cute little dog).  That resonated with me, gardening and growing has always called me.  At the organic farm, we saw the Lotus garden which was in full bloom!! It was splendid!  The little dog, Bijou, pulled his mother to the Lotus garden and went for a swim.  She said he loved to play with the frogs there.

There are so many other wonderful things we did like shopping at Distribution with a wonderful 40% discount, dinner with Paraman and Lakshmi, the wonderful Satsang on Saturday night (with beautiful Kirtan), hiking through the beautiful (and challenging) trails, and laughing and connecting to one another.  Interwoven in all of this were wonderful opportunities to sit with Sri Guruji, to listen and learn, to laugh, to get feedback about ourselves, to grow.  This trip, in all that it was, will live in my heart and soul and will surely have an impact on the direction of my continued life journey.                                               

Autumn"Discerning the Truth"
Satsang at Yogaville
12 August, 2007
- Damian Boscardin

When you're seeking for your Truth, don't rely just on your feelings but on moral and ethical principles. It can be tricky to trust feelings when you are out of balance because your feelings may well be polluted by selfishness. For example, smokers light up when they get the urge or feeling to do so, when their bodies ask for more nicotine. Their feeling, as strong as it can be, doesn't lead them to a beneficial act. Feelings can also be short-sighted. Something that seems so good can turn out to be something terrible, and something that seems so terrible could turn out to be the best that ever happened to you. Don't bend to a feeling right away, be persistence in the following of those truthful principals, such as the yamas and niyamas of Yoga or the Ten Commandments. If your feeling is in alignment with the principles, then, fine, follow them.


Therefore, when it comes to uncovering your own True Self, follow the spiritual principles of whatever path you are on, and make your life as balanced and harmonious as possible. That way, the mind retains its peace. It will always be calm and steady, and your True Nature is inevitably experienced as your very existence. 

Upcoming Satsangs with Sri Guruji



The Transforming Power of Yoga

Friday, 14 September, 8pm-10pm

Freehold Yoga Center, (732)462-Yoga
--- Suggested Donation $15


The Divine Madness of the Yoga Life

Friday, 28 September, 9:15am-10:45pm

Integral Yoga Institute of Fairlawn, (201)796-7585
--- Suggested Donation $12


An Indepth Study of the Bhagavad Gita

Wednesdays, 3, 10, 17 & 24 October, 6:30pm-9:30pm

To Register, Please Call:

Integral Yoga Institute of Fairlawn, (201)796-7585

--- Individual Class Fee $25, $80 for the Entire Series

Healing Dynamics of Yoga

...a weekend retreat

Guest Speakers include Rev. Jaganath Carrera, Swami Ramananda, Margabandhu Martarano and Jayadeva Mandelkorn

Friday, 5 October thru Sunday, 7 October

Mt. Paul Retreat Center

Oakridge, New Jersey

For additional information and to register please call:

Integral Yoga Institute of Fairlawn, (201)796-7585
Cost: $350 - includes accommodations,

all programs and vegetarian meals


Finding the Joy and Sweetness of the Yoga Life

Friday, 12 October, 8pm-10pm

Freehold Yoga Center, (732)462-Yoga 
--- Suggested Donation $15


Encounters with the Eternal:

The Bhagavad Gita for Today

Sunday, 14 October, 10:00am-12:00pm

Integral Yoga of Princeton, (609)851-1721

--- Suggested Donation $15
The Thoughts That Can Change Your Life

Friday, 26 October, 8pm-9:30pm

Integral Yoga Institute of Fairlawn, (201)796-7585
--- Suggested Donation $12


For more information on programs and the Yoga Life Society,

YLS LogoYLS Mission Statement
The Yoga Life Society functions under the guidance of Reverend Jaganath Carrera, who is its founder and spiritual head. Based on the Integral Yoga teachings of Sri Swami Satchidananda Maharaj, it exists to foster the study and practice of the branches of Yoga, and to share these teachings with anyone seeking health, happiness, and peace.

Sri Guruji Reverend Jaganath Carrera

Reverend Jaganath, called Guruji by his students, is the founder-director of the Yoga Life Society and author of Inside the Yoga Sutras: A Comprehensive Sourcebook for the Study and Practice of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.

He has been teaching all facets of Yoga since 1973 at universities, prisons, Yoga centers and interfaith programs both here and abroad.

He was a principle instructor of both Hatha and Raja Yoga for the Integral Yoga Teacher Training Certification Programs for over twenty years and established the Integral Yoga Ministry. He also co- developed the Integral Yoga Meditation and Raja Yoga Teacher Training Certification programs.

Guruji served for eight years as chief administrator of Satchidananda Ashram -Yogaville and founded the Integral Yoga Institute of New Brunswick, NJ.

Guruji in prayer
OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
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