Humans are wrought with struggle and conflict, stress and anxiety, confusion and chaos. At the core of Utsav is a holistic approach to alleviate these - ranging from yoga to meditation, from counselling to therapies, from workshops to adventure trips. The fundamental hypothesis at Utsav is that the whole existence is in a constant state of celebration, in resonance with the “Anahat” sound of “Aum”
Utsav understands that humans are made up of neither the body alone, nor the mind and its patterns. Nor are humans, spiritual entities alone. Therefore, an integrated approach is necessary for the complete well being of humans, that which does not divide and differentiate but deals in an integrated, holistic way. Utsav is assimilative and comprehensive, open to all sorts of individuals with their unique hues and flavours.
Music, poetry, dance, painting and all sorts of art forms give nourishment to the heart and hence these hold a vital place at Utsav. To evolve out of the present chaotic state that we humans find ourselves in, it is important to make Yoga and meditation, an integral part of our lives. Yoga and meditation together nurture our roots and unless our roots get the necessary nourishment, we will find it difficult to fly high in the skies of bliss and ecstasy. Beyond food and nutrition for the body, we need food for the heart and for the soul too!
Holistic development is the need of the hour for us humans. Let us truly understand the significance of the word “holistic”. Holistic means “being dealt in totality”. Not talking of parts and segments, but speaking of totality or integration. Human beings are not compartmentalized and hence, a new approach to life is needed which looks at human beings as an integrated whole and deals with them in that spirit.
We have to be taken care of as an integrated spirit. Earth, water, air, fire and space are all essential to us. Reasoning is important to us and so are the feelings. Music is important to us, theatre is important to us. Body and its needs cannot be overlooked. Sex is a powerful energy and hence is the power of Tantra.
Science and technology have unleashed a revolution but survival is not what we are looking for. Technology can facilitate beautifully, but greater are the flights of imagination and spirit. Nothing has to be left out if we are to arrive to a point of “union through celebration and union in celebration”
Create tools and knowledge for holistic wellbeing in the world by combining Yoga, spiritual science, music, arts, healing and celebration of life.
Utsav understands and advocates meditation as the most scientific way of coming out of the miseries and sorrows of life. Meditation is a systematic approach to deliver peace, contentment and to lead one into a state of Utsav (Celebration).
Hence this special section on meditation. Meditation is a word getting highly popular in recent times and still remains a very misunderstood word. And therefore, we seek to make an attempt to explain what the term exactly means!
To discuss it further, we need to understand that we have two distinct levels of existence. These two levels of existence are doing and being. When we use the term Human being, we are essentially referring to this second level of being. When we are constantly engaged in an activity including both the physical and the mental activities, we refer to it as the state of doing!
All human transactions that happen are an outcome of this state of doing. And the entire human misery, all our troubles and anxieties as well as all our fun and festivity are an emergence of how we behave and do in the outside world! The trouble is, doing has become such a perpetual thing that we have somewhere forgotten completely how to rest and just be. That is, we have totally forgotten what it means to relax and let go in the true spirit of these words. Even in the most restful activity of the entire day i.e. sleep, we are engaged in a constant mental activity and that stops us from rejuvenating and recharging. This creates a deep stress and distress inside and we are deprived of our entire peace and a sense of well being.
Meditation is the device to connect with this state of simply being, when we are not doing anything but celebrating ourselves for our existence! Such a state of restfulness has become a far cry and hence various modes and methods of meditation have become too imperative for us!
Meditation, the word is often confused as concentration, but the fact is that even concentrating is a part of doing, the only difference being : in concentrating we focus all our energies to a single point, a step that is necessary to finally achieve the state of non doing or restfulness.
Utsav is committed to deliver to its patrons the latest methodologies and techniques necessary to regain this state of well being that we have lost and are continuously losing in a blind rush of non stop activity.
To understand the deeper significance of meditation please refer to the next section that details this science in a deeper perspective!
To begin with, we would like you to understand the following excerpt from Chhandogya Upanishad:
“Fetch me from thence a fruit of the Nyagrodh tree” said the great sage Uddalaka to his son."
“Here is one sir” said Svetketu to his father."
“What do you see there?”
“Infinitesimally small seeds”
“What do you see?”
“Nothing, absolutely nothing”
The father said, “ My son, that subtle essence which you do not perceive there, of that very essence exists in this great nyagrodh tree.
Believe it, my son, that there is a subtle essence.
In that all things have existence. That is the truth. That is the self. And that, Svetketu, that art thou- tatvamasi, Svetketu.”
This fundamental state yoga calls “PARA”, the beyond or the transcendental. That which Uddalaka in the above dialogue says the subtle essence of everything and in which everything abides.
Para is beyond all manifestation, pashyanti is the seed, madhyama is the tree, vaikhari is the fruition.
PashyantiBeyond discrete classification
Yoga calls this next layer “PASHYANTI” which means “looking back”. In this layer there is no verbalization but only the vision or seeing and hence we call it “pashyanti”. And beyond these three is our fundamental state out of which everything visible or invisible arises.
MadhyamaMental level of thought
This layer of feeling, yoga calls “MADHYAMA”, the middle layer. Before one speaks, one has a feeling to speak, the instinct to speak. The words have not formed but the thought has formed. But even before this thought is something more and that is the thought in the seed form, the energy of thought. Stirring in that seed form is something which can be perceived only in an utmost alert state.
Yoga(in the ultimate sense of the word) divides a human consciousness into four layers and it is very important for us to understand these layers. Normally we perceive things through the words. This yoga calls the most superficial layer, the fruit(the fruit of anyagrodh tree) and names it “VAIKHARI”. These layer is connected to and expressed in speech.All conversations and expressions pertain to “vaikhari” and the word literally means fruition. But before we speak to someone, there is something behind, the feeling (the thought) which expresses itself into the words.
We at UTSAV YOGA believe that if WE continue to live at the stage of Vaikhari or fruition, human beings and the outside world shall always be a split thing. For the world to be united, it has to come to the point of ‘Para’, the universal beyond and for this to happen, we have to adopt various methods and techniques which acquaint us with the different layers of our existence.
What is the necessity to slowly move to the state of “Para”? Only at the level of Para, can we come to the point of connectedness with all that exists. The world, wrought with conflicts, tensions and anxieties is so due to the tremendous alienation that has been caused by the power of thought. Thought was necessary, thinking was necessary, but not to the limit where it becomes detrimental and devastating.
We would first have to move to the seed (pashyanti) through the art and science of meditation and then peep beyond into the ONE (para). Without the ONE asserting itself, there cannot be the real UTSAV or the celebration and UTSAV YOGA shall remain a utopian dream. We want to make it a reality and hence we recognize and would like to spread the importance of meditation!
Let us sum up, refresh and recap what we are trying to convey and what is it that underlines the core mission of Utsav.
- We have emphasized the science of meditation (culmination point of all Yoga) as being extremely relevant in the present times. What is so peculiar is that wellness, which essentially means a blissful, celebrative state of being, is evolving into a major focus and acquiring the shape of an industry. To understand this, we should recall and appreciate that in the last few centuries, a revolution has taken place in science and technology to the extent that for the first time in history, the whole planet has unified and become one. The earth has truly become a global village now. One can communicate with another individual across the globe, however distant, by a small flick of a finger.
- However, in this tremendous race for external development and conveniences, human beings have also compromised on their peace, comfort and integrity. We are whizzing through with our lives, and in this mad race one, often forgets the very purpose of one’s existence, the very purpose of life.
- Everything is redefining itself. The society has changed, relationships have changed. Communication being what it is, there is a rapid intermingling of societies and cultures. Fashion travels across the world. The wheel is rapidly revolving and is bound to result in dizziness.
- Humans want to catch hold of some centre when the wheel rotates that rapidly. One cannot be comfortable at the circumference. And therefore spirituality is becoming a revolution. Spiritual Masters (famous or ordinary) are becoming a common phenomena. Religions are gradually being recognized as outdated and the entire value systems are changing. Spirituality and science are coming closer. The advent of quantum physics is reaffirming the age-old hypotheses of ancient wise ones. Humans are coming closer to other humans irrespective of all labels. This is another side of the coin. On one hand, there is chaos and turmoil and meaningless conflicts and on the other hand, with almost equal intensity, we see humans evolving into a unified species.
- This is undoubtedly, a great turning point and human well-being is of utmost importance at the moment.
- With so much language and expression around, we are finally starting to understand the importance of SILENCE. With all praise for the modern infrastructure around, we are also observing the tremendous harm that we have caused to nature and ecology; and we are now longing to go back to the basics, we are aching to see the lush green forests and the mountains, we get nostalgic at the sight of abundant rivers and oceans.
- We are connected to the earth, the gravity binds us but the sky lures us, beckons to us to take unimaginable flights of love and ecstacy, to surpass our limited and minimalistic boundaries, and to grow beyond the apparent horizons.
We seek your blessings and cooperation to grow further, you can explore options to get Involved with us in building this movement.