Day 3 of the 31st Annual International Yoga Festival
Satsang with HH Pujya Mooji, Visits of Pujya Swami Avdeshanand Giriji and Hon’ble Ambassador of Georgia Highlight the 3rd Day of the International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan
3 MARCH 2020 RISHIKESH INDIA: Day 3 of this year’s hugely-successful 31st Annual International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan began with Kundalini Sadhana with Gurushabd Singh Khalsa, Sufi Love Meditation with Mert Güler, Vinyasa – Living Your Authentic Self: How to Show Up in Self Love with Katie B. Happyy, Ganga Yoga with Ganga Nandini, Sunrise Nāda Yoga on the Ghaṭ with Anandra George, the second installment of Yoga of the Mind / Markers for The Passion Test with Janet Attwood, Soul Sweat with Dana Flynn, Touch: A Universal Human Language with Dr. Eden Goldman Rasa Yoga: Chakra of Compassion – Backbends, Pranayama, & Chanting with Sianna Sherman, Magnetism & Radiance with Kia Miller, and The Homeopathics of Sound with Joseph Schmidlin. The Festival expanded on the third day to welcome over 1400 participants from 73 countries.
Joining one of the morning sessions was the Hon’ble Ambassador of Georgia to India and Bangladesh Mr Archil Dzuliashvli who had come in for a two day visit to the Festival. Having come in the previous afternoon for meeting with Pujya Swamiji, experience of the Festival and the divine Ganga Aarti ceremony he was deeply touched by his visit and shared, “It is a great privilege for me to be come here to Parmarth Niketan, this is my second time and every time I come here I feel such a divine connection and peace. My friends, we may be coming from many different countries, different faiths, different traditions but what unites us is Mother Nature. Mother Nature unites us to do good deeds, live consciously and make this world a better place for all beings.”
Participants and presenters were in high spirits and in anticipation of HH Pujya Mooji’s inspirational and motivational pre-lunch satsang as part of the Festival’s Spiritual Lecture Series, seeing hundreds of people pouring in to listen intently, where the revered Spiritual Teacher engaged those gathered in thought-provoking and insightful dialogue.
(1/2) Always a treasured guest at #IYF, addressing his Satsang with an inimitable blend of wisdom, warmth and wit, Pujya @moojiji , we welcome him back to #IYF2020 with open arms! 🤗 pic.twitter.com/8mpxa8AjvF
— Int’l Yoga Festival (@IntlYogaFest) March 3, 2020
Mooji began by leading a beautiful meditation on finding the true self within, on the experience of total awareness, and expansive stillness. He emphasized that freedom is possible right now! He also responded to a question from a participant who shared that on the holy banks of Mother Ganga, by her Grace, he had experienced that divine oneness. Mooji shared that this land is so sacred and special and so very conducive to spiritual awakening.
His presence and love have the #power that lifts us effortlessly into an experience of the higher Self, even from a single encounter. He lovingly guided us to the direct experience of #truth by his profound words in his #satsang.✨🌹@moojiji @ParmarthNiketan pic.twitter.com/H2AthfyNK4
— Int’l Yoga Festival (@IntlYogaFest) March 3, 2020
Sadhvi Bhagawati shared, “Along with excellent and international expertise of the teachers and presenters at the International Yoga Festival, ultimately, Parmarth Niketan’s aim and goal is to create the awareness of global oneness– the true union amongst people from all over the world. This is why the presence of our Spiritual Leaders are a crucial component of the Festival as they guide us to our inner awakening and enlightenment and give us the experience of the true union of one’s self to the Divine.” She expressed her deep appreciation and gratitude for Pujya Mooji for blessing the Festival again this year guiding the participants and presenters with this wisdom.
Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, President of Parmarth Niketan and Pujya Mooji joined together for lunch with Pujya Sadhvi Bhagawatiji, Director of the International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan, Bharat Mitraji, Founder of the Uplift Connect and Organic India and others. Pujya Swamiji warmly welcomed Mooji and cordially invited him to the Kumbh Mela of 2021 in Haridwar for a Clean and Green Kumbh – Mela with a Message. He reminded Mooji of their time together in the Ardh Kumbh in 2016 rallying together with devotees from across the world for protecting and preserving our sacred Rivers and Mother Earth. Pujya Swamiji invited him to grace next year’s Maha Kumbh as well.
During the previous night’s Ganga Aarti Pujya Swami Avdeshanand Giriji blessed the Festival Participants by sharing, “I am truly very happy to be here today and welcome you to this sacred land, especially my gratitude, love and good wishes to Pujya Swamiji Maharaj and Pujya Sadhvi Bhagawatiji for their tremendous efforts. My blessings and love are always with you.”
When sharing his perceptions of this extraordinary gathering of yoga practitioners, Gurushabd Singh Khalso, co-founder of Golden Bridge Yoga with his wife Gurmukh, shared: “There are many places that we travel on this planet teaching, and there is no place like Rishikesh at the foothills of the Himalayas, where the Ganga comes out of the mountains into the flats of India. It’s a place where yoga is alive. It is alive from so many centuries and millennia of people meditating and doing yoga here.”
Katie B. Happyy, international yoga instructor and certified conflict resolution mediator, also shared: “A lot of what I get out of the festival and continue to come back to is learning from a wide array of swamis, sages and people that are masters of their craft, something I would never get exposure to just in my own city, state or country. There are over 50 countries represented and hundreds of people here to meet and explore together. There is a teacher in everything, and every part that I experience opens up a sensory part of me that I didn’t know was possible. It’s like I’ve never had this moment before and because it’s so brand new and fresh I’m feeling all the feels and everything comes alive for me! Get ready to flow and have fun!”
Best-selling author and motivational speaker Janet Attwood, meanwhile, said: “The moment I stepped onto the grounds of Parmarth Niketan I felt that I was home. The sweetness, the love, the kindness, you could feel it in the air everywhere. All of the hundreds of hours of preparations that had gone on for how many weeks, no one knows, to make sure that each and every one of us that attended this one of a kind life-changing festival felt like they were in one great big family.”
And, Kia Miller, world-renowned Yogini and filmmaker, stated that: “Whenever I come to Rishikesh it feels like coming home. It feels important to me as a yoga student and teacher to come here to the source of the teachings, and to be in this unified field in an environment that is conducive to the exploration of what it means to be a conscious human being on this planet.”
Afternoon classes ran the gamut from an uplifting Indian Classical Dance Workshop with Nrityavali, more Detoxification in the Modern Toxic World discussion and demonstration from Dr. Alejandro Junger, a beautiful Kirtan and Bhakti Workshop featuring the brilliant voices of the Kirtaniyas, Gumi’s Breath of Love: Indian Flute Raga Sound Healing, Yoga for the Spine with Mohan Bhandari and a Spiritual Dream Boarding session entitled Charting Your Course for a Divine Tomorrow with Swamini Adityananda Saraswati to ways to Release Tension and Find Bliss with Tommy Rosen, OBSTACLE! Asmita in the Modern Context with Stewart Gilchrist, Yogrishi Vishvketu’s BEE Harmony – Hatha-Raja Yoga practice and Rāga & Tāla: An Introduction to North Indian Music with Waka on the Sacred Sound Stage.
Completing the full schedule of beautiful and elevating events on this third day were our Sacred Havan and Ganga Aarti on the Ganga Ghat, plus a tuneful Kirtan Family Hour that allowed all participants to chant their hearts open in an open mic format with our beloved family of international musicians in our intimate Sacred Sound Stage. Closing out the day was a spectacular display of Indian Classical Dance with Nrityavali Dance of Gujarat – a crowd favorite!
With so much already presented…so many practices enhanced and lives already transformed, there are still four fantastic days of the Festival left, and they begin tomorrow at dawn!