Kundalini Yoga with Bijay J Anand


What ails America – the disintegration of America as a nation

Bijay J Anand,

TheInheritance

I am compelled to write this piece upon my return from the US a couple of weeks ago. There were some myths that were shattered during this particular trip and some revelations that I feel that I am duty-bound to share with everyone.

America has always been known as the land where dreams came true. We associate America with inspired and inspiring people who dream the American dream and make it big, become famous, successful and thrive. In short, a land of plentitude and abundance.

This myth was shattered this time as I engaged in numerous conversations with several people about what they felt about living in America. Since I spoke with a cross section, I was able to get responses from not only native Americans but also immigrants who had migrated to the US from countries as varied as Congo, China, Columbia, Brazil, Argentina, Pakistan, India amongst others.

I came to the conclusion that most Americans are not trying to become Gordon Geckos or Rockefellers’ of the world. Most were simply fighting to SURVIVE.

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The Curse of Inheritance in India

Bijay J Anand,

TheInheritance

I have a friend in New York. When his wife of 48 years passed away, he donated his entire art collection worth millions of dollars to a museum. His son was 38 years old at that time. Married with two children, living the life of a typical American. Big outstanding mortgage payments, insurance, exorbitant schooling fees for his children… Between his wife and himself, they struggled to keep up with the stress and strain of survival.

I remember meeting his son during the handing-over ceremony of the art collection to the museum. He was calm, cool, composed and was extremely upset about the recent demise of his beloved mother. At least on the surface, it did not look at all like it bothered him that his father was bestowing millions of dollars worth of art when he, as his son, should ideally have inherited it all.

In India, a son like that would have shot his father, or worse.

That might be an overstatement or exaggeration. But certainly, in India, we assume from birth that what belongs to our parents is ours to keep.We consider it our birthright to inherit everything that our parents have toiled for. It is inconceivable to us that our parents might have dreams of their own, plans of their own or maybe want to make their own decisions as far as their money or wealth is concerned.

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Spirituality is dangerous for the economy!

Bijay J Anand,

Spirituality is dangerous for the economy!

The powers that be do everything in their power to keep you unhappy and miserable. Here’s how they do it, and why.

We are bred and conditioned to believe that success, material possessions and physical beauty are the only sources of joy available. The problem with this thought process is that there are no defined parameters set when you are inculcated into this fogged Matrix, an inculcation that happens right from the moment that you begin developing awareness as a child.

In the absence of set parameters for these (delusional) sources of happiness, what happens is that even if you do achieve success and procure material possessions, there is always more to be acquired, more to be had. You never end up with a sense of fulfillment and never feel the unrefined bliss of existence.

The tragedy of our times is that we are trained to ignore every source and outlet that there is that gives us unbridled happiness for free. Truth be told, it would be bad for economies of countries if their citizens were to become peace-loving, non-materialistic, loving and meditative spiritual beings.

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The spirituality of living an insane life

Bijay J Anand,

the_spirituality_of_living_an_insane_life_01

At the airport today morning, I met a dear friend after many years. After the usual pleasantries, he asked me what I was doing in Hyderabad. So I told him that I had taken up an acting assignment, and that I was here for a shoot. To which he said, “What? You switched your profession again? When I last met you, you were an art dealer. You went on to become a Yoga Guru, and travelled the world to teach your philosophy, and now, you’re back to acting?”

My friend was actually quite incredulous at the alacrity with which I had changed professions since we had last met.

This is not the first time I have befuddled someone with my crazy way of leading my life. It has happened on numerous occasions before, with many actually finding fault with my unplanned, uncharted career decisions.

I started my life in abject poverty, and my career began at the ripe old age of 9 when I started selling soap in Mumbai’s local trains. Around the age of 13, I started a garments business that went on to thrive. It actually showed me the meaning of financial stability and independence. I started modelling at around 17, and switched to doing television shows from the age of 22. At 27, I moved on to doing feature films, the first one being ‘Yash’, which was a major musical hit (it’s still available for viewing on YouTube). My second movie, ‘Pyar to Hona Hi Tha’, was an even bigger hit; it ran for more than 25 weeks, a real ‘big deal’ in India, also known as a Silver Jubilee.

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Why we should all do more Yoga Retreats

Bijay J Anand,


anahata_retreat_group_lisagalesloot_hires_02a

I am writing this blog on the last day of our first ever five-day YogUtsav, a festival of loving, healing and learning.

We were 40 of us in all, and what a beautiful group it was. On the last day, one of the girls spoke her mind, saying that her only apprehension before she signed up for the event was that she did not know anyone, and was concerned that she would feel lonely or isolated during the five days of the festival. In her own words, “Despite these apprehensions, I signed up, and, within the first few hours, I had made 40 new friends. I never ever felt lonely; on the other hand, I felt so loved and secure that I’ve never experienced such a bonding ever in my entire life.”

And this is one of the things we aspire to do when we design a retreat at Anahata. We want to build a beautiful community of like-minded individuals who bond over a common love for yoga, a free spirit,and hunger for knowledge. Seven retreats later, we are extremely proud to have participants who have met each other for the first time at one of our events, bonded and now continue to be best friends, irrespective of their race, religion, status or time zones.

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How Kundalini Yoga got me sucked back into acting after 17 years

Bijay J Anand,

 

 

Twenty years ago, a very prominent director from India – Ravi Chopra – walked into a meeting that was being held for the final casting of his new project, Ramayan. As soon as he walked into the room full of around 25 of his team members, even before he had sat down, he said, “put Bijay’s name down for Laxman.”

The entire room reeled in shock. For two very good reasons. First of all, how do you cast Laxman, who is Rama’s brother, BEFORE you cast Rama himself? Secondly, they had collated hundreds of options to be discussed and deliberated upon for each character, so why cast someone arbitrarily?

Ravi Chopra had a one-line answer to all of their salvos, which shut them up in a hurry, and, I quote, “are you guys mad? Have you ever, ever in your entire life seen anyone as hot-tempered and aggressive as Bijay? Now just do as I say and put his name down. End of discussion.”

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Why I don’t believe in astrology, numerology and Vastu anymore

Bijay J Anand,


Why I don’t believe in astrology, numerology, Vastu and Feng-Shui anymore

There was a time, not very long ago, when I had a team of ‘advisors’.
One was a Vastu consultant, another was a Feng-Shui expert and the third was an astrologer.

Which direction I faced when I was sitting to make important decisions, what would be the prescribed direction of the door to my house, the direction of my bed, and matters like where the money of the house should be kept – all of these decisions were made only after consulting my Feng-Shui consultant.
Interestingly, a Vastu consultant also was used for a ‘second opinion’.

And then there was the astrologer. Charts were read and re-read. Predictions were made. Prayers, poojas and havans were done to appease the right kind of planets. Charity was offered on the right days. New cars were booked only on auspicious days and then brought into the house only on other auspicious days. New business ventures were launched at auspicious times. In fact, most important life events had a correct time, one that was suggested by the astrologer.

And then Kundalini Yoga happened to me.

Overnight, my perspectives changed, and I realized one critically important aspect of life, which I would like to share with you.

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Of protein shakes and supplements (that you definitely don’t need)

Bijay J Anand,


protein shakes and supplements

At my teacher-training course for Kundalini Yoga in Rishikesh, there was a beautiful young girl. I used to observe the intensity of her practice as well as the discipline and passion that she poured into her training.

We became friends over a period of time. It was then I noticed something strange. She would carry around a ‘pillbox’ with her, which was full of, well, pills. From time to time, she would carefully open that box and retrieve six to eight of her colourful and neatly-segregated prescriptions and have them with a glass of water.

My initial thought was that this unfortunate young girl had a serious ailment, and, painful as it was, I philosophised about one of life’s bitter realities.
One day, though, I realised that the pillbox was not full of medication to cure anything. It was actually what she called her ‘goodybox’, and contained supplements of all kinds – vitamins, minerals, phosphorous, Omega 3 fatty acids…

And why would an apparently healthy, 20-something girl need so many supplements? According to her ‘dietitian’, she needed these to ensure that she got the nutrition that normal food was not able to.

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Where are you crying from? – Part Two

Bijay J Anand,


Where-are-you-crying-from-Part-Two_01

As mentioned in part one of this post, our bodies are storage vaults of accumulated pain, grief, sorrow, anger and every other negative emotion that we have the displeasure of experiencing all through our lives. Akin to cleanses that we undertake for our body (at least some of us do), we also need to periodically subject ourselves to spiritual cleanses for the health of our soul.

For those of us who decide to undertake this spiritual cleanse, it often is an intense experience. There’s a lot of healing and crying involved in this process. Crying is the process of purging the negativity and emotional pain that your body accumulates. People who don’t cry hinder this outlet, and all the negativity remains within their systems. For those who cry easily, it is a gift, one which allows them to purge their pain, anger, grief and most other emotional disturbances.

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Where are you crying from? – Part One

Bijay J Anand,

Where are you crying from - Part One_01

A detox can be of two different kinds

The Physical Detox is where you heal your body. You go on a fast, you eat healthy, drink lots of juices, get massages and generally make sure that all signs of your decadence and debauchery are washed away. By the end of such an endeavor, you feel refreshed and rejuvenated. You feel healthy, clean and well, detoxed.

The Soul Detox is one most of us don’t undertake regularly, because unfortunately, most of us don’t even know about it. A majority of us are unaware of this second, and critically more important, type of detox. The objective here is to heal the soul, clean up the aura and expand the size of our magnetic field.

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