Vol. 6.11, 14 March 2014
Holi Mahotsav 2014
Sydney Rath Yatra
We welcome everyone to join our 12th anniversary celebration of Holi Mahotsav at Darling Harbour on 22 – 23 March 2014.
Holi Mahotsav, this beautiful festival of colours, friendship and harmony was introduced in Sydney by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Australia eleven years ago. Since the beginning we celebrated it in the most prominent location constantly visited by people from every community: Darling Harbour. Darling Harbour was our obvious choice as it is a place where flow of people never stops. We have always made it free for everyone to join the festivities.
The event is a mixture of culture, spirituality and entertainment. The music and dance performances will start on Saturday (22 March 2014) morning and will continue till Sunday (23 March 2014) evening.
Saturday spiritual day becomes the stage of yoga, prayers, and meditation activities, Sacred Holi Fire ceremony which is believed to drive away evil from the society.
There will be a large street procession from Hyde Park North going through Sydney CBD streets and culminating into Tumbalong Park. The procession will include Rath Yatra (hand pulled Chariot). Assemble time is 12:30pm and procession commences at 1:30pm.
On Sunday, 23 March 2014 the traditional ancient practice of colour throwing/playing colours for adults will take place in the designated area.
The cultural performances include aboriginal performances and tribal belly dances, together with many Indian and other international dance and music groups. Holi Mahotsav also presents several art exhibitions to support upcoming and visiting international artists.
It has always been a pleasure to see such a mix of cultures coming together under one banner to experience the ability of people to unite and transcend boundaries of race, caste, culture, age and gender; or simply having rejoiced the array of cultural performances.
Entry to the Event is FREE.
Date and Time: Saturday 22 & Sunday 23 March 2014: 11:00am - 7:00pm
Venue: Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW
Contact for More Info: Ph: 1300 BHAVAN (),
Essay Competition 2014 Open
Topics; on Relevance of Mahatma Gandhi Today Essay topics:
1. Social Responsibility OR, 2. World Peace OR, 3. Environment OR 4. Non-Violence in Action OR, 5. Human Rights
Entries close on 15 June 2014. Prizes will be presented on 2 October 2014 or thereabout.
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This is an important technique of Pratyahar which is the fifth stage in Ashtanga Yoga. It will take the practitioner to the highest condition of development in the spiritual path and no further techniques of Yoga practice will be necessary for him. He will thereafter enjoy realisation of the Supreme Spirit.
As mentioned before, Pratyahar has the purpose of controlling the senses from their wayward and outward travel and turning them inward in order to channelise all the faculties in man towards contemplation of the Self. Without this no one can achieve anything worthwhile in Yoga.
Generally man is able to utilise only ten per cent of his energy. Control over the senses will give a hundred per cent use of the forces available in him and channelise them all to the search of the spirit. Our Yogis have given much careful thought to this important aspect of utilisation.
The non-use of the 90 per cent occurs because it is dissipated in and through the senses of sight, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching for temporary and worthless pleasure. If the senses can be arrested and dissipation of vital energy prevented, man can develop tremendously in all ways—physically, mentally, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. He can then realise the noble purpose of his life and also be of great benefit to the community in which he lives. Pratyahar comes in here.
Yoni Mudra is the best among the techniques designed for effective Pratyahar. It results in relaxation, centralisation of thoughts, inward search for the spirit, dissociation of the mind from the outside world and visualisation of the Supreme. Thus, it frees the practitioner from the grip of the earthly ties and enables his onward and upward march in the Yogic path.
Yoni Mudra practice is to be attempted only after the beginner in Yoga has had ample and sound experience of the many other practices, meditative and therapeutic asanas, pranayamas and kriyas, and has gained sufficient physical ability and power of endurance and the patience for continuing in the Yoga path for ever. If he does not qualify himself well, the practice of Yoni Mudra may not give him the wonderful benefits it is capable of conferring. Many, many months of regular practice of the other techniques, spending hours every day, is required before one can consider himself qualified. Then the practice of Yoni Mudra will produce wonderful effects soon, sometimes in a few minutes!
The practitioner is advised to perform Kapala Bhati and the Pranayamas first. That will condition him well and produce the right attitude to derive the maximum benefit from Yoni Mudra. He is to salute his spiritual teacher in humility, inwardly. He should also pray to his Ishtadaiva, favourite God or Goddess. A meditative pose is recommended. Ardha Padmasana is to be preferred to all others.
1. Close the ears with the thumbs of the respective hands.
2. Keep the eyelids over the eyes with index fingers.
3. Close partially the nostrils with the middle fingers.
4. Close the mouth well with the joint help of the ring finger and the small one.
5. The arms are to be kept at the level of the shoulder plates.
6. The spine should be kept erect.
7. The head is to be held straight up.
8. The chest should be thrust forward.
9. The abdomen should be under control.
1. All the attention of the practitioner should be on the Yoni Mudra.
2. The eyeballs should not be pressed by the index fingers. The lids are to be held lightly, preferably from below.
3. The nostrils are not to be closed tightly, preventing flow of air in and out completely. It should be possible for the practitioner to breathe, slowly and softly; then only he will be able to continue in the Mudra for long in comfort. If this is not observed, he will suffocate and be forced to give up the Mudra.
4. If pain is felt at the elbows of the hands by holding them on level with the shoulders, there is no harm in allowing the elbows to come down a little.
Duration of Mudra:
5 minutes in the beginning, to be increased gradually to even 30 minutes.
1. Turns the mind inward.
2. Develops concentration power of the mind.
3. Gives inner strength and removes fear.
4. Calms the emotions.
5. Total psychosomatic development is effected
6. Practitioner gets a feeling of satisfaction and happiness and has a wonderful experience as never before.
7. All frustration and depression is removed.
8. Cheerfulness resulting from the practice lasts for many hours.
9. The eyes get a refreshingly cool feeling.
10. The practitioner feels so happy after completing the Mudra that he does not like to talk for some time after it, because he is so engrossed in enjoying his experience mentally.
Reference: Yoga for Students by Yogacharya Hansraj Yadav, Bhavan’s Book University
Mahatma Gandhi Says:
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
Bhavan Australia supports the following organisations :
(Action against Domestic Violence)
Bhavan's Membership Program
New Members: Jeyendran Swarlaya (Life Member - $1500)
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Australia will be issuing Membership Cards to all the Members. We are organizing special discounts/promotions offered by various organisations including Dance and Music Schools, Yoga Centers, etc.
All members will be able to avail the following benefits on production of the Membership Card:
- 15% Discount on all Bhavan Australia's Ticketed Events.
- A Membership Card to all Bhavan Australia Members to avail special discounts at events supported by Bhavan Australia, where applicable.