Yoga and Tantra are all part of the
ancient life-disciplines that have been practiced in India for centuries.
They find mention in the scriptures of the Vedas and Upanishads. Yoga is the
science of the union with the Divine, with Truth Tantra is the most direct
method of controlling the energy that creates the ultimate union with truth.
father of Yoga, Patanjali, described eight areas of Yoga and Yogic practices
as : the natural regulation of the nervous system, discipline; cleansing;
postures; concentration; contemplation; the awakening of awareness; and the
state of perfect equilibrium. Yogic excrcises have both preventive and
curative value. They bring man to the natural state of tranquility, which is
equilibrium yogic practices help to bring natural order and balance to the
neurohormones and the metabolism and improve the endocrine system and thus
fortify one against stress. Yogic practices for the treatment of stress and
stress-related disorders (such as hypertension, diabetes, asthama, and
obesity) are remarkably effective.
1.. Purification of thoughts and emotions:
To prevent internal disturbances from extraneous thoughts and sentiments
arising during meditation one needs to practice purifications such as Five
Yamas , Five Niyamas , four Brahma- viharas, The antidotes to disturbing
thoughts, & ethical behaviour. Another aspect of purification is the
conquest of the vikshepas, nine disturbances in the path of concentration :
sickness, mental, laziness, doubt, lack of enthusiasm, sloth, craving for
sense-pleasure, false perception, despair caused by failure to concentrate
and unsteadiness in concentration, and their five accompaniments : grief,
despondency, trembling of the body and irregular breathing.
The practice of smrty-upa-sthana (buddhist sati-patthana) takes many forms,
the details of which are taught In personal instruction. The asanas coupled
with full awareness of the states of the body, breath and mind in a detailed
methodology. In fact a major component in the practice of postures is
self-awareness, a deep self-observation, in all states of body, breath and
especially the mind.
3.. Breath Awareness
starts as part of mindfulness and becomes specialised as the very first step
in the practice of meditation. Here, it is essential to learn diaphragmatic
breathing that is slow, smooth, without jerks and without a break between
the breaths. The practice of breath awareness branches off into many other
modes of meditative experience. For Example : Nadi-shodhana, Pratyahara,
Kundalini breathing, Sa-garbha pranayama.
This is not simply a mechanical recitation of a randomly- chosen mantra.
The science of mantra is based on an understading of sound vibrations which
are primarily centered in the various stations of the kundalini And cannot
be grasped without initiation. The ultimate purpose of japa is to go into
Practices serve as ways of entering one's own subtle body. The interior
exercises are detailed and complex and go far beyond mere relaxations. They
may be practised at the levels of annamaya kosha, pranamaya kosha, or
manomaya kosha in a logical progression. The last of these in shavasana is,
as stated above, Yoga-nidra at several different levels.
Dharana or concentrations and pra-vrttis or resultant experiences. A
proficient preceptor in the Himalayan tradition is trained in various
methods of concentrations i.e. various focal points in the physical body,
the chakra points, the tattvas & Vijnana-bhairava Tantra teaches a
hundred different ways in which an altered state of consciousness may be
triggered, and the enumerates nearly thirteen hundred dharanas.
Dhayana or meditation. All the methods described above are integral parts
of the approach to meditation, but meditation proper begins at the level of
The Holy Snan The culmination :
Kartik Purnima, the day of ritual oblation , is also the closing day of the
world's most colourful festivals. Bathing begins at dawn. There is quite a
scramble for getting a place on the bathing ghats. The famed waters of the
Pushkar Lake wash away the sins of a lifetime. Fifty-two ghats bind the
lake. During the days of the mela, the otherwise tranquil lake is engulfed
with religious fervor. Thousands of devotees collect to take a dip, sadhus
descend from the Himalayas and people pray for salvation to the sound of
verses from the Holy Scriptures, which fill the air.The place simply teems
with the devotees and the holy men or sages in various garbs who come to the
temple (Jagat Pita Shri Brahma Mandir) to pray and take a holy dip in the
sacred waters of the Pushkar Lake. Apart from the religious rituals and
festivities, people participate in a number of cultural and sporting events.
"It is believed that for five days every year, all the gods visit
Pushkar and bless the devout. This accounts for the unbelievable number of
devotees who flock to the lake to wash away their sins."
The Brahma Temple
The Brahma Temple is an important pilgrim centre for the Hindus. It is
located in the Pushkar valley which lies beyond Nagaparvat and Anasagar
lake. The most famous temple in Pushkar, this is the only temple dedicated
to Lord Brahma ( the creator of the universe according to Hindu mythology)
in the entire country.
The other temples located in Pushkar are; Savitri Temple, Rangji Temple,
Warah Temple, Apteshwar Temple.
and competitions are organized. Camels lope across the sands sometimes
throwing their riders on to the vast sands, amidst cheers and jeers from
thousands of spectators. An interesting event is the camel beauty contest,
where they are adorned and paraded. The camels preen before the crowds,
enjoying every moment of the attention they get. Dance music and colorful
shops spring up during this fair. Also on sale are mouth-watering
traditional delicacies. Colorfully attired village folk enhance the fun of
the occasion. A host of cultural event against the backdrop of this pretty
setting is also organized including attractive puppet shows. Cattle auction
and camel races are also a part of the festivities.
The main market area in Pushkar has narrow lanes where small shops sell all
types of souvenirs to be taken back home. One can purchase costume, jewelry,
and embroidered fabrics, such as wall hangings and groovy shoulder bags.
On the roadside, stalls of all kinds are set up to sell a cornucopia of
items. Almost every household is engaged in setting them up as the locals
try to capitalize on the massive influx of people. It is impossible to drive
around because of the large crowds. Either you hire a camel or you walk. In
this aspect, it is truly a rural bazaar.