"Development of Spirituality for World Peace" Conference, Czech Republic
On Thursday, June 5th 2003, a conference took place in Ostrava to honour the 30th anniversary of Yoga in Daily Life in Czech Republic. It was the first of four conferences that are being organized this year in this country to celebrate the tireless work of Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda.
The Conference was organized by Yoga in Daily Life Society of Ostrava, under the patronage of Czech Associaction of Yoga in Daily Life. More than 500 visitors gathered at the venue. Main participants were first welcomed by Mr Martin Filipczyk in the traditional way for this region – with bread and salt; and then treated to a beautiful performance by the folklore chorus "Slezska Ostrava", under the direction of Mgr. Jan Spisar.
Professor Rajko Dolecek, MD, a renowned physician, talked about the fact that much stress nowadays originates from watching television and using the Internet – “We have a lot of information, but we don’t know the meaning of it all. In the past, the information we received was accurate, but now that is often not the case. This causes fear and fear brings stress. Therefore, it is necessary to train our mind to distinguish that which is substantial and meaningful from the insignificant.”
Dr. Anton Pelikan, MD, a leading oncology surgeon, said that cancer is still on the rise in the Czech Republic. According to long-term forecasts, the frequency of cancer cases is expected to increase up to 50% by 2020. The success rate for cancer treatment is currently only about 50%. He reported that modern cancer treatments are now more holistic in their application and that the family has an important role.
Mrs. Jana Silerova, Bishop of the Czechoslovak Hussite Church, said that the only way forward is to develop a dialogue between Christian culture and other religions – “We are one family before one God in one world. However, dialogue is still difficult even amongst Christians themselves. The reason is fear of the "otherness" of others. If the world is to become more spiritual, we must rid ourselves of fear of those who are different from us.”
Mr. Libor Vlcek from the Silesian University described the humanitarian mission of Czech civic and state non-profit organizations – “Aid is directed not just to war victims, but also to areas affected by natural disasters. The meaning of this aid is as an expression of solidarity; consciousness of our brotherhood and unity.”
Mr. Bretislav Kozusnik, principal of the first Waldorf secondary school in the Czech Republic, said that each of us influences the state of the world – “It is important that we are aware of our role or whether we are manipulated into behaving a certain way. Graduates of the Waldorf School are aware of their life's path. The aim is to achieve freedom and human consciousness.”
Dr. Irena Durdova, PhD., representative of the Mining University – TU, said that at their school they are trying to encourage students to participate in activities that give them physical exercise. Yoga is also taught there, four classes each week for students and one class for teachers. The course content consists of basic physical, breathing and relaxation exercises.
“Dear brothers and sisters, we ourselves create our own fate and only we are responsible. Anything and everything we do comes back to us. Fate is the fruit of our past acts. Paramhans Yogananda said that each and every thought we create comes back to us sooner or later. Karma exists, whether we believe in it or not. It is easy to put karma in motion, but difficult to stop it.”
“The oldest texts in the world are the Vedas. In the Vedas there are mantras that describe yoga. Yoga In Daily Life has always supported a holistic approach to treating illnesses. If you have faith in the doctor, that he can cure you, then by that faith you help the doctor and he will help you. Similarly, the Master will liberate you only if you have faith in him.”
“Sanatan means relationship, and dharma means duty. The relationship to God was not created by any human. We can call God by many names - Paramatma, Brahma, Parabrahma, Cosmic Consciousness. First there was Cosmic Consciousness, and consciousness was hidden in it. The hidden Cosmic Consciousness has no wishes. Inside it is yet another Consciousness and that Consciousness says to itself: "I am One and now I will be many." In the endless emptiness - sunyakash – the first sound appeared – svayambhu. He himself manifested as the sound OM. In the beginning of the OM sound the individual elements appeared, one after another: fire, air, water and earth. All is unity, one resonance, one sound. Prana Shakti unites these four elements in space – Akash. If any imbalance occurs among these elements, illnesses appear. Our body, mind, memory, intellect and everything else are brought into balance by Yoga Shakti.”
“Self-realized beings know that they are one with God. We don't know it. To practise yoga means reuniting with God. The Ramayana says: meditate, pray, have compassion, be kind. When you think of something bad, it is like you are robbing yourself. The same principles that are in the Christian Ten Commandments are also in the principles of Yama and Niyama.”
“Hinduism is not as old as Yoga. All religions are branches of Yoga. Yoga can be practised by anyone, regardless of whether or not they believe in a particular religion. Therefore, I could teach yoga in totalitarian Czechoslovakia. Yoga In Daily Life was born in Czechoslovakia. The "Yoga In Daily Life" system was created with the help of my disciples, professional physiotherapists, physicians and psychologists and today it is expanding throughout the world and it is called a scientific system. Yoga In Daily Life means living by yogic principles 24 hours a day.”
“These days I am very active in the world, because the world is suffering very much. Even Gandhi was not able to separate Pakistan from India without serious problems. Since the end of World War II, 40 million people have died in civil wars. Respect, tolerance and understanding among nations is the key to peace in the world.”
“We are destroying the rivers and oceans. Our health depends on water. We have to take care of the water. If things continue to develop as they have up to now, then within 5 years there will be a great shortage of drinking water in the world.
“Modern diet has destroyed human health. The best for the body, mind and consciousness is a sattvic, meatless diet. Develop compassion. Even Jesus was a vegetarian. The teachings of every saint are good. Do not create duality; then you will be healthy, you will have a healthy family, a healthy nation, and a healthy planet.”
“Professor Rajko Dolecek said that stress is the cause of a large number of illnesses. There is no medical treatment for stress – no pill one can take. There are three possibilities of treatment: prayer, meditation, yoga – in which we are one with body, mind and consciousness.”
“If you practise competitively, then the mind is concentrated on the goal, the body is somewhere and the consciousness is somewhere else. Then the mind is spread out between the body and the goal. Yoga, however, joins the body and mind together, and consciousness returns. We are aware of our body. The way to ourselves is also the way to God, and that is Yoga In Daily Life.”
“Indians raise their children completely naturally according to the principles of the Waldorf School. Children are the culture of tomorrow – they can be modelled, but not forced. Children don't need money; they need love. They need both parents, which is not the case today. Parents who aren't capable of leading children to spirituality shouldn't have children. Yoga leads to healthy rearing of children. Every religion is good; only it's necessary to avoid falling prey to fanaticism. That is damaging to humans. That is the thinking of terrorists. It is time to embrace all religions. We have much to learn from India. All religions are at home in India.”
“The body and the mind are two. If one of them is sick, the other need not be. The wheelchair-bound could feel cheated. Even so, a person whose body is healthy can be mentally ill. Everything must be kept in balance – body, mind, and emotions. Then children will be protected from the diseases of society – drugs.”
Swamiji concluded with a short story: “One Master had many disciples. One of them was jealous of the Master and wanted to hurt him. He said to himself: “I'll ask him a question to which he won't know the answer.” He caught a small bird and hid the bird in his hand behind his back. When he asked the Master "What am I holding in my hand?" the Master answered correctly. For this eventuality, the disciple had prepared one more question, which was designed so that no matter how the Master answered, his answer would be wrong. The question was whether the bird in his hand is alive or dead. The Master said that he couldn’t answer the question, because the life of the bird is in the disciple's hands.
“We have heard many things here today. What you realize depends only on you. If you practise yoga, you will gain much. You should practise every day, because tons of theory are nothing in comparison with practice.”
“We are children of one God. Don't forget it.”
In conclusion, all the speakers received a gift from Swamiji – the book "Yoga In Daily Life – the System".