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October Seminars in Greece

by Sofia Foteina

Here are a few words about the seminars of Pandit Priyadarshan and Meena Bhatt in Athens, Greece, from the 11th to the 14th of October 2018.

Himalayan Yoga and Philosophy Seminar, by Pandit Priyadarshan, on the 12-14 of October 2018.

It was a detailed overview of what is yoga, what is the difference with hatha yoga, what is ashtanga yoga and raja yoga and that yoga starts with ahimsa (non-violence). The seminar was advancing through questions by Panditji that made us think about the possible answer. What people admired more was the huge knowledge coming out of a young and friendly teacher, who, for that reason he became a Pandit by Swami Veda Bharati and a Yoga Acharya (a teacher who prepares yoga teachers). His way of teaching was simple and spoken in everyday language, with practical examples. And hatha yoga sessions were relaxing and “turning us within”.

We also had some time visiting the Acropolis and more ancient Greek temples. But one of the most touching moments was when we visited a group of people cooking (lentils and bread was the dish of the day) and then distributing food to the homeless people sleeping on benches at Piraeus Port.

Indian Recipes and Cooking by Meena Bhatt on the 11th of October.

It was a surprise for all of us to hear the phone ringing so many times by people who wanted to apply for Indian Cooking, by Meena Bhatt. The participants were really touched by the “sweet” presence of Meena, and the discretely loving couple. Panditji helped with his presence and ayurvedic explanations about the combinations of ingredients.

We all appreciated Indian recipes. The food was really very tasty. Red beans (Rajma), cauliflower with potatoes (Aloo gobhi), chutney, and a sweet. Great cook, dear Meena! One of the ladies who was present that evening has a restaurant-patisserie and was very enthusiastic about the result of your cooking.


After eating what we cooked, we had a satsang and enjoyed Pandit Priyadarshan tell stories from ancient India. Nobody moved from their seat, at the end of the meeting. Nobody wanted to leave.

This is a transcript of one of the stories that Pandit Priyadarshan told:

“There is a story. The sage, the great sage. He did so much tapasya, austerities, meditation, been in a cave for 50 years. So in these 50 years of meditation and practice, yoga practice, he didn’t’ go out of this cave for 50 years. And he attained great, great powers. So when he finished his practice, attained his power, he went out of his cave.

As he was walking out of his cave, a bird passed by and dropped on his head. So he became very angry, so he looked and said, ‘I am a great yogi, a great sage. I did 50 years of meditation. I have attained great power. Who is that bird? Who does he think he is for dropping on my head?’ So he got very angry and he looked at the bird and wished that the bird would turn into ashes and the bird really turned into ashes and dropped like that. Just dropped on the floor.

So he thought ‘Wow. I’m good. With the power of my mind, I can turn a bird into ashes. My yoga practice really works. For the last 50 years. Really I have achieved something. I can turn things into ashes.’ So, at that time, yogis were not earning money, they were living on begging alms, so they were going from house to house in the villages to beg for alms. So the great yogi, the great sage, went from house to house, you know, for begging. ‘Please give me some food. I am a great yogi. Please give me some food. I am a great yogi.’

So after many, many houses, he came to a house, and he knocked. ‘I am a great yogi with 50 years of practice in the cave.’ So he asked for the lady of the house to ‘please open and give me some food.’ So the lady on the other house, the other side of the door, said, ‘I am busy. Wait a little bit.’ So he got upset, said, ‘Who does this woman think she is? I am a great yogi. How can she ask me to wait?’ So he knocked on the door again. ‘Open the door. I am a great yogi. Give me some food.’ She said, “Wait. I am busy.’ So he got more upset, so he knocked again and again and again and again. And the woman on the other side gave the same reply, ‘Wait. Wait for your turn. I am busy. When I a finished, I will go and open.’

So he had to wait at the door and the more he was waiting the more he was upset. The woman inside, she was feeding her children. She was feeding her family. So when she finished, she went to the door, she opened. And the yogi was ready to burst in anger, ‘Who do you think you are to make me wait like that? I am a great yogi. You don’t know my power.’

And the woman replied, ‘I am not a little bird in the forest that you can turn into ashes.’ She said, ‘The practice that you did for the last 50 years in the cave, my practice was at home serving my children. And the power you got in your cave alone, I got greater powers doing my service with love.’

So it’s about: in relationship, what can we cultivate? Not alone in a cave. And it’s not about trying to gain power for ourselves. It’s about trying to give service.”

Note: A video taken during the satsang can be seen on Facebook by clicking here.

Editor’s Note:

For more information about the Athens center, please visit the website: cafecole.gr



The Himalayan Tradition of Yoga Meditation

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Breath Awareness     Qualified Preceptor
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