Ravi Ravindra

Keynote Speaker

Ravi has been a professor in the departments of Physics, Philosophy and Religion at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada. He has authored many books, including Science and the Sacred, The Yoga of the Christ, The Wisdom of Patañjali’s Yoga Sutras and The Bhagavad Gita: A Guide to Navigating the Battle of Life. More details at his website www.ravindra.ca

Workshop: Main Morning Workshop  10.00 – 13.00 (Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday)

Language: English (avec traduction en français)

The Heart and Purpose of Yoga

The teaching of yoga is a science par excellence for a radical inner transformation of a searcher who is called to undertake the relevant practices with the ultimate aim of finding their unity with the Mysterious ONE that has created the entire cosmos.

We will focus on the heart and purpose of yoga as expressed in the two classical texts The Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita. In order to understand the subtle teaching of yoga it is helpful to impartially and deeply study the relationship between the individualised prakriti in myself, represented by my body and mind, and the individualised Purusha, represented by the particle of Divinity or the Breath of God that is keeping me alive. Then I need to study the importance of and the difficulty in fulfilling the whole purpose of prakriti, which according to Patañjali in the Yoga Sutras is to serve Purusha. The call is to be free of the ego-self, which is wholly occupied with me-my-mine, in order to be able to carry out the Divine will. We will explore the obstacles encountered by all searchers and the practices necessary  in order to overcome them.

The God incarnate Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita says that no action can be right until the actor is right; and that in order to be the right actor and to fulfill their responsibility (dharma), a searcher needs to undertake the discipline of yoga. But the discipline of yoga cannot be practised without engaging in yajña (sacrifice).

We will explore what the right actor is according to Krishna and the various forms of yoga taught by Him. The main yoga that Krishna teaches in the Bhagavdad Gita is buddhi yoga, the yoga of awareness. Awareness is the mechanism of transformation and gradually a searcher moves from reaction to response, from loving Krishna to being loved by Krishna and towards becoming an instrument of Krishna’s will.