Swamiji in Croatia 2003
During 22 and 26 of May 2003 Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda visited Croatia where he held many different programs: several public lectures (in Zagreb, Rijeka and Cakovec), international yoga seminar in Umag and many satsangs with disciples. Swamiji's visit received great media and public attention and culminated with the public lecture in Zagreb's Dome Of Sports. With 2500 visitors it was the largest audience in Europe ever to be present at one of Swamiji’s programs.
The public lecture in Zagreb took place on Thursday, 22 of May 2003, in the Dome of Sports. Around 2500 visitors attended the event, to hear Swamiji’s talk about "Sustainable Human Development". It was the largest audience in Europe ever to be present listening to Swamiji’s words and we congratulate the Croatian organisers for their great work to make this possible. Much media attention and publicity preceded the event. For the last three months, the system "Yoga in Daily Life" has been presented every morning from 7.30 – 8.00am on Croatian television. In the week before the program, interviews with Swamiji were broadcast on various national and local radio and television stations. In the streets of Zagreb several "Jumbo" posters (5.5m x 3.5m) were put out, showing a huge picture of Swamiji. On the day of the lecture itself Swamiji gave a live 15 minutes interview on the national television Morning Program.
About 150 VIPs were present on this historical evening, among them the Croatian Minister of Ecology, Professors of Science and Indiology, and representatives of several radio and television stations.
After a short introduction, Swamiji began his lecture. He was very precise, sharing much practical and theoretical knowledge. He spoke about the balancing principle of Yoga in the whole of Creation – balancing the body and mind and their functions, such as speech, emotions, memory, etc. He explained Yoga in relation to the beginning of the universe and said that the dharma (nature or duty) of the human is to develop higher consciousness.
"At the end of our life we should merge into the Higher Consciousness. The biggest tragedy in a human life is when you die without Self-Realisation. Shankaracharya said: 'The answer to all questions is – know thyself.'"
"Love unites, ignorance divides. When you develop cosmic qualities you become one with the Comic Consciousness. Love, pray, meditate, help, be kind, be good – this are the principles of Yoga in Daily Life!"
"MANO MATRA JAGAT – it is the mind which creates the outer world!"
Swamiji spoke also about breath and prana and gave a beautiful illustration: "When we are born we take in the first breath, like the first wave in the ocean. At the time of death we breathe out and no longer breathe in, this is the last wave of the ocean, on the opposite shore. In between there are many, many waves. Through breathing we are connected with the Cosmic Mother – and this is a real miracle." Through control of breath with Pranayama we can find help in cases of insomnia, high blood pressure, fear, nervousness etc. Yoga is prevention as well as therapy.
Swamiji then offered some practical Yoga techniques to the audience, explaining that these exercises can prevent the incidence of cancer in 85% of cases, if practised daily: AGNISAR KRIYA and NAULI KRIYA. Due to two big video screens all were able to see the wonderful demonstration of both techniques by one of Croatian disciples.
Later on a group of demonstrators presented the 20-position's sequence of KHATU PRANAM – it was beautiful to watch and to hear Swamiji's explanations. He recommended it particularly for those suffering from tiredness, fatigue, sluggishness and low immune resistance.
After this we all practised 10 rounds of UJJAYI PRANAYAMA, which Swamiji especially recommended in connection with high blood pressure and depression.
Finally Swamiji led us through the technique of "Self-Inquiry Meditation", which relaxed us all very much.
At the end of his lecture Swamiji told the story of a disciple who came with a small bird in his hands, expecting to trick the Master. But the Master realised his intentions and said, "It is in your hands if the bird will live or die – the life of the bird depends on your hands!"
And Swamiji pointed out, "In the same way, the sustainable development of humanity depends on YOU, what YOU are doing or not doing!". With these words Swamiji concluded his lecture and was greeted and honoured with an immense applause from the crowd.