For the past 25 years, the Yoga in Daily Life® community from Europe, as well as participants from overseas, have been gathering in the grounds of the Economic Agricultural School in Vép, Hungary, near Szombathely, to attend the yoga seminars and retreats of Vishwaguruji Swami Maheshwarananda. Also this summer, from 29 June – 13 July 2018, hundreds of yoga students from numerous countries in Europe and overseas, have met together in a harmonious and peaceful retreat with Vishwaguruji.
People could choose to participate in yoga programs of different levels according to their abilities and interest, with programs titled 'For Good Health' focussing on the practice of asanas and pranayama for beginners and advanced practitioners; as well as spiritual Kriya techniques for mantra disciples; and a Children's Yoga group – all led by expert Yoga in Daily Life® teachers.
Vishwaguruji's welcoming address to the group:
"We are in a beautiful park; we are in the forest; we are in the lap of Mother Nature. Every year we enjoy being under these beautiful trees, and I think our trees are also waiting and looking forward to our coming here. I think such good air, good prana, is rare. Nowadays, going to the beach is so restless and noisy, day and night. For the trees, birds and bees this is really a horror. We are very blessed to be here - one cannot buy such a peaceful and harmonious community in the midst of a beautiful environment. We are all here with beautiful thoughts, no one is offended or angry, no one is in stress or restless. We are supporting each other, and in our hearts we have clarity, purity, harmony, peace and love. And we have our Yoga in Daily Life; we learn yoga; we have spiritual development. The Bhagavad Gita says: 'yoga karma sukhoshalam' – Yoga will be successful through our practice and actions. This we are experiencing here in this retreat. We have spiritual sadhana (practice): mantras, asanas, pranayama, relaxation, meditation. We have an open and wide space from Brahma Loka (highest, heavenly place) till here. We are fortunate ones that in this Kali Yuga (Age of Darkness) we are here, untouched by the actions of Kali Yuga – what can we wish for more than this."
Swamiji with the group in satsang on the meadow
The retreat began with a very special celebration of Gurupurnima – the "Day of the Master" that traditionally takes place on the day of the full moon in July. In 2018, there are 13 lunar months, and therefore there are in this year also two Gurupurnima days. And when the full-moon falls on a Thursday as it did on 28 June, it is also celebrated as Gurupurnima. On this special full-moon day, it is remembered when the first rays of the sun illuminated the Earth and life began. It is also the birthday of Maharishi Ved Vyasa who scribed the holy Vedas (scriptures of knowledge). According to thousands of years tradition, on this day the disciples come to seek darshan (blessing) of their master.
Gurupurnima ceremoniesTwice a day, before noon and in the evening, the program had lectures and satsangs with Vishwaguruji. Vishwaguruji spoke on how to lead a healthy way of life, including healthy nutrition. He also spoke on spiritual topics: what is the sense of life; the Dharma (duty) of humans; and the essence of our being, Atma (divine Self) that is residing in each and every living being – equally in humans and animals. He reminded us that animals have the same feelings and fears as humans; that they also wish to live long and happy, and they also love and care for their children. Therefore, as humans, a vegetarian diet is important and imperative, in order to follow the first commandment for humanity: ahimsa paramo dharma – not to hurt and not to kill is the highest principle.
As special guests, Mahant Swami Phool Puriji and Swami Avatarpuriji from India, were cordially welcomed by the group, and shared their experiences and wisdom in the satsangs.
One week has passed already, one week still is ahead, of this inspiring and uplifting Yoga in Daily Life® retreat in the presence of Vishwaguruji, beloved spiritual master.