Tag Archives: India

The path of the Orthodox tradition

We have all been rocked in our childhood by the journey of Ulysses and the twelve labours of Hercules…

The journey of Odysseus symbolizes the quest for self, the twelve steps have an initiatory value as the twelve labours of Hercules represent the quest for the ‘self’ to the ‘self’ through the obstacles encountered on the path toward oneself. It is through these myths that man realizes himself. It is a YOGA.

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 The path of the Orthodox tradition

 Making emptiness, finding absence, in order to find Presence… meeting heaven in Earth. In the Orthodox tradition, it is experience that matters, it is by the sensorial and emotional feeling that meeting occurs and not through a theory or a religious ideology.

“To see oneself in someone else and in the loved”.
Father Georges
 

Tradition, is a “charismatic” experience, it’s meaning is the one of the word communion; it is not just a historical memory of the words.

All Orthodox churches claim according to the tradition of a foundation dating back to the first century of our era.

As the Hindu tradition is faithful to the Veda, the tradition of the Orthodox churches is faithful to the Gospel, to the teaching of the Apostles, to faith, to prayer, to the Tradition. This ‘Tradition’ relies on witnesses, called here Fathers of the Church, Fathers of the desert, and instructors of monastic life because their asceticism and spiritual lives are eminently doctrinal. They are like the Rishi (s) in ancient India with all the strength brought from ascetic experience and from the experience of the divine gained through prayer.

They are the ones who, as the Yogi, embody, make live and flourish from generation to generation, the path, the road, in their own lives and transmit all there strength.

The vocation of the desert passes through Mount Sinai, Mount Athos and the monasteries of the Meteors.

  • Mount Sinai (Moses mountain) houses the Monastery St. Catherine of Sinai, also called Monastery of the Transfiguration, which attracts many pilgrims. To go to the Summit of Mount Sinai, take Siket Sayidna Musa, which enters the ravine behind the monastery “the route the 3750 steps of penance”.
  • Mount Athos (the Holy Mountain) brings together twenty monasteries which support about 2 000 Orthodox monks and other searchers of truth in a mountain landscape also called “Christian Tibet”.

To stay on Mount Athos: it is necessary to obtain a permit (the famous “diamonitirion”). To get it, make a demand addressed to the Office in Thessaloniki pilgrims, “Grafio Proskikiton 109 rue Egnatia – 54622 Thessaloniki Greece”. Give your desired date to visit Mount Athos. You can write, send a fax (00 30 2310 222424), email (pilgrimsbureau@c-lab.gr), or call (00 30 2310 252578). The easiest is to telephone.

The Manager speaks French, English and Greek; he will give you all the useful information for obtaining the “diamonitirion”. Supporting documents can be sent by mail. You can request a renewal for a period of 4 to 8 days at Karyes, the administrative capital of Mount Athos (offices at the top of the stairs, on the right of the church)

  • The monasteries of the Meteors or the monasteries hanging from the sky (Μετέωρα Μοναστήρια). Athanase the Great is the founder of the Monastery of Transfiguration or Monastery of the Great Meteor. Today only six monasteries are still active.

Kyrie Eleison

The prayer of the heart is intended to be repeated continuously, without distraction of the mind, like a mantra. It is the keystone of the spiritual practice of the Church of the East, which leads to mystical union with God

” Man is similar to a tree:”
body work represents the leaves,
while the guard of the inside is the fruit.
Yet the Scriptures say:
Every tree that does not produce good fruit
will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
It is therefore manifest that our efforts must look at the fruit,
i.e. the guard of the mind; we nevertheless
need the cover, and the finery of the leaves: it is the body work. ”
Apophtegmes, Agathon, 8″

This will be the teaching of the masters of hesychasm: they will never cease to recommend first and foremost to be attentive to oneself, to enter one’s heart; or, in the words of Saint Jean Climaque, «to aspire to circumscribe the intangible (spirit) in the body “, instead of letting it (the intangible) disperse outside. This is what we call Pratyahara and Dhāraṇā in the asceticism of yoga.

But to the practice of the invocation, we must add some more external conditions:

The first – the retreat into solitude and silence, far from all worldly fuss.

The second – to life in retirement, hesychast tradition added later the practice of a determined body posture and some control of the respiration. This is what we call Āsana and Prāṇāyāma in Yoga.

”One should not think, Christian brothers, that only priests and monks have a duty to pray continually and not the laity. No, no, All Christians have in common the duty to be always in prayer. »
Gregory Palamas

In the philosophy and basic practice, there is virtually no difference between an ascetic Hindu and the approach to God in the Orthodox way. It is through the asceticism of the body, the respiratory control and control of the mind through the repetition of a mantra that we succeed in the Ultimate.

To go further:

  • Petite philocalie de la prière du cœur, Éditions du Seuil (1 novembre 1979) ISBN-10 : 2020053489
  • Philocalie des Pères Neptiques T.A1, Bellefontaine59 (1 décembre 2004) ISBN-10 : 2855899753

You can read the excellent article by Jacques Vigne, titled “ Non-dualité et Mystique Chrétienne,” Vedanta and hesychasm, published in Question de n° 99 et 100 (1995).. This text is a study on Christianity and Hinduism, especially the hesychasm, i.e. the mystique of the Fathers of the desert, and of the Vedanta.

 

Radisson Blue Resort Temple Bay

Take the time it will take you to know yourself. Just by knowing yourself, you will travel

Gilles Vigneault

Radisson Blue Resort Temple Bay
57, Covelong Road
603104 Mahābalipuram, Inde
Tamil Nadu, India

Price : $ 200-300 per night : 17 000 to 26 000 Rs.

Very good location, at the entrance of Mahabalipuram.
Very quiet & very clean, rooms with balconies, suites, apartments, etc.

This is a luxury hotel where you will be considered like a royal host. The setting is beautiful, but totally impersonal.

 

Features :  

Mini golf and free Wi – Fi access.
Limousine service and valet parking are just some of the luxury installations at your disposal throughout your stay.

The Blue Radisson Resort Temple Bay, very recently renovated, offers a club for children and adolescents, room service 24 hours / 24 and a children’s pool. There is an on-site day spa and a golf course.

A gigantic swimming pool… (I’ve never seen a pool as large in my life…)

Two restaurants, etc. …

Radison chambre

Equipped to ensure a pleasant stay, the rooms of the Radisson have a private terrace, a minibar and slippers. The individual bathrooms include bathrobes, shower and hairdryer.

Radison Hotel restau

  • Internet, Wi-Fi
  • Laundry
  • All the services of a big luxury hotel
  • Friendly and smiling staff

Sri Murugan Guest House

Must you go? Stay? If you can stay, stay;
Leave, if you have to. One runs, and the other crouches
to cheat the vigilant and disastrous enemy, time!

Le voyage
Charles Baudelaire  – Les fleurs du mal (1861)

Sri Murugan Guest House, anciennement Balaji Guest House
Price : 600 Rs par jour (if it remains at least 15 days)
9, Ottaivadai Street (see the Map)
Mahãbalipuram – 603 104 Tamil Nadu
Téléphone : 0091 – 441 14 – 242 849

The Sri Murugan Guest House, is a new small hotel. Some rooms are quite large. Very clean and quiet, but the Interior rooms are a bit dark.

At the top, on the terrace of the hotel, is the “Restaurant Siesta”, which serves an inventive westernized Indian cuisine, a bit expensive for the quantity…

Sri Murugan Guest House resto

On the left ground floor of the building, is the wonderful shop owned by our friend Véronique “Akka Creation”. She animates an association / workshop, where she teaches Indian women how to sew, make clothes etc (a little more 33 people), the manufactured products are sold in this shop, to make lovely gifts. Akka in the Tamil language, means “big sister”. With cloths and fabrics from Jaipur, Madras and Pondicherry, Akka creates, cuts and sews clothes, bags, and patchworks using the wonderful colours of India. May also be ordered on their website (fast delivery in well adapted packaging)

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http://www.alittlemarket.com/boutique/akkacreation-83815.html

The “Pongal”, Arul or with “Tourism Office”…

In Mahābalipuram, you will have the choice between two possibilities to participate in this wonderful celebration, Pongal, one of the most colourful in South India.

Indeed, during your session of Ashtanga Yoga in the month of January you may participate in this rich in colours and music event.

  • The Tourism Office organizes each year for these festivities of Pongal, a visit to a traditional village some km from Mahābalipuram (singing, dancing, puja, etc.).
Pongal in Arul familly

Pongal in Arul familly

  • If you prefer, you can live this event in a traditional Indian family in a small village 4 km from Mahābalipuram, one of our Indian friends “Arul” invites the participants to the session of Ashtanga Yoga to share the Puja ceremony and share the typical Pongal meal.

The origins of the Ashtanga Yoga Institute in de Brussels

Jean Claude, dig the foundations of the Matrimandir, Auroville, India

After coming back from India where Jean Claude taught Yoga to Vinobha Bhave and to Indira Gandhi at Paunar Ashram, dig with a Peruvian friend the beginning of the foundations of the Matrimondir in Auroville

the adventure of transmitting yoga starts in September 1973 at “La Maison de la Culture de Rouen” (France).

Success is immediate, there are several classes everyday in different places, at Mt St Aignan University, at St Claire’s church etc. …. Jean Claude transmits either Iyengar’s technique or Pattabhi Jois’s technique. The workshops take place at the “Château d’Ernement sur Buchy”, where he was living.

Still in Rouen, in 1974, he founds the C.R.Y. (Centre Rouennais de Yoga) with   Dr. Louis Creyx, 264 students follow the morning or evening classes.

 

He then founds the “Centre Padma” in Elbeuf in 1979 to host residential training workshops. Many workshops are held in France, Italy, Switzerland, Holland etc. …. Since then, Jean Claude exclusively teaches “Yoga Korunta” (Ashtanga Yoga as transmitted by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois) .

Many seminar take place, in the South of France, in the Community of the Ark, founded by Lanza Del Vasto.

Life changes ……. Jean Claude meets Anne and goes to live in Brussels in 1987. He teaches at the “Maison Américaine”, chaussée de Charleroi, then rue des Glaïeuls, Uccle, in 1988. More space becoming necessary, the Ashtanga Yoga Institute moves to rue Jules Lejeune, Ixelles from 1989 until 2003. Finally, with the help of his friend an architect Simon de Wrangel, the Ashtanga Yoga Institute moves into it’s own premises 610 Chaussée d’Alsemberg in Uccle, with a yoga room that follows the explanations given by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.

“The ideal Yoga room must be well ventilated. Do not open all the windows, only those on a same side that are situated high up. The floor must be perfectly flat, the room very clean, on the ground floor (not above nor below because it is not good for the breathing), in a quiet place, far from the surrounding noise and far from people involved in an activity other than yoga.”

The Ashtanga Yoga Institute’s reputation spreads; daily lessons, workshops and seminars are given in Belgium, Greece on the Island of Andros and in Athens,and in India in Mahabalipuram.

 

The Ashtanga Yoga Institute’s aim is to transmit “Yoga Korunta” (better known as Ashtanga Yoga) as it was taught by Shri K. Pattabhi Jois during his life-time, at the « Ashtanga Yoga Resarch Institute » in Mysore (South India).

Today, a lovely team participates in the evolution of the Institute. Below is what is offered :

  • Daily classes (except during the Christmas holidays which is the only time the Institute closes)
  • Introduction class to Yoga
  • Beginners class
  • First series class
  • Second series class
  • Third series class
  • Intensive mornings (3 hours class)
  • Teacher training in Ashtanga Yoga in Brussels, Greece and India
  • Ashtanga Yoga sessions in beautiful places:
    • In Greece:
      • Athens
      • Andros Island
    • In India
      • Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, South India
  • Events :
    • Concerts of traditional Indian music
    • Indian and Ayurveda cooking lessons

Om Shanti

Bijni curry (Eggplants)

Ingredients :

  • 6 small eggplants
  • 3 onions
  • 3 tomatoes (small)
  • Curry leaves
  • Mustard seeds
  • Chilli powder
  • Turmeric
  • Oil (Sunflower says Raji)

Preparation :

  1. Cut the eggplants into elongated pieces and wash them
  2. Slice onions
  3. Heat oil in frying pad and add in order:
  • Mustard seeds
  • Curry leaves
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplants
  • Chilli powder
  • Turmeric

Guide of “Savoir vivre for a European in India”.

Hello

Saying “hello” seems to be the simplest thing

Unless your interlocutor takes the initiative, never shake hands, it is considered to be impolite, like an impure act. Greet people saying “Namaste” joining your two hands in front of your chest. It is the equivalent to “Hello” in Europe.

Kissing each other is not done in public, it is considered as very disrespectful and impolite.

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Couples :

The modest side of Indian couples will surprise you. They never kiss in public nor do they show each other any sign of affection. So keep you marks of affection discrete. You can only touch your wife!

On the street, a man can touch another man but never a woman.
A woman can touch another woman but not a man.
A man does not speak to a woman if she is alone. If she is accompanied, it is allowed.
A woman does not speak to a man if she is alone. If she is accompanied, it is allowed.

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In a restaurant :

If you eat in a restaurant with Indian friends, do not be offended if one of them gets up and goes to eat at another table when the food is served (some vegetarians are not allowed to eat and share a table with a non-vegetarian… because of their religious doctrine)

In India, people eat with their fingers, only those of the right hand, the left hand is considered to be impure.

In a family :

If a family invites you, you can give them some sweets, cakes etc.… above all don’t offer your help, it is considered to be ungracious.

Even if the meal is delicious, which it will be; avoid drowning them with compliments on the meal.

Don’t say the children are good-looking; our Indian friends think that it brings the evil eye.

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On the train :

If a person is asleep lying in the corridor, it is better to wake him up than to step over him, it is a sign of respect.

On the bus :

Normally a man does not sit next to a woman, the contrary is also true, except if you are married.

Photos of India (Ashtanga Yoga workshop in India Mahābalipuram)

South India and Photos

A journey to India is at the same time an inner journey, intimate and dazzling and an outside journey during which each moment may offer a discovery, a deep encounter.

For photographers, India is a real paradise, one of the best spots for those who like colorful pictures full of emotion.

To take photos in certain places you will have to pay a tax for your camera or video camera (more expensive) but then you will be free to catch a beautiful ray of light, to make the best of each magnificent place. India is an unbelievably visual country, where anything can become a subject for a photo.

Often people spontaneously ask to be photographed, they nearly always say yes, if asked. 

Other complementary information :

  • Journey information, airplane, and transfer
  • Visa
  • Finding a hotel in Mahābalipuram
  • Indian cooking
  • Information: Health in India

Information ‘health’ in India, Ashtanga Yoga Workshop in India (Mahābalipuram)

Health

An informed yogini being worth (at least) two, you will be able to leave safely with a light heart and a joyful soul and enjoy your stay in South India, a discovery full of fragrances, colours, sounds…

No vaccine is mandatory for the Indian subcontinent (this of course, does not exempt the traveller from keeping his vaccines up to date).

If you have an on-going treatment, don’t forget your medication. You can take a basic first aid kit with you, containing bandages, plaster, analgesics, anti-diarrheal, laxatives, medicines for treating colds and soar throats, vitamin C. Be careful of the sun and the heat, that cause insolation and dehydration. There are many chemists in India where you can find what is necessary.

If you intend to travel in India, malaria being in constant evolution, get information on it’s prophylaxis depending on the regions you want to visit.

How to protect yourself from mosquito bites, vectors of chikungunya

Individual protection needs chemical and concrete means.
From 5.45 pm onwards, wear long clothes and protect your feet and ankles.
It is recommended to impregnate your clothes with a repulsive spray. Some repulses can be put directly on the skin. Be sure to put them on regularly (every 4 or 5 hours depending on the product). For new-born babies and babies under three months, find a mosquito net specially made for cradles, if possible impregnated with an anti-mosquito repulsive, it is the only method that is efficient.

On the spot, you will find anti-mosquito products in the form of sprays or creams, as well as sun creams.

 

The water

  • Always drink bottled water and make sure the stopper is sealed
  • Drink hot drinks like “tchai”

For the others illnesses

In Mahabalipuram, there are several Doctors who practice occidental medicine and, since last year, there is also an Ayurveda Doctor. There is also a small hospital “Suradeep Hospital” situated 15 Thirukumam Street, and 20 km away on the road to Chennai, there is a big ultra-modern hospital (to be preferred).

Turista (diarrheal)

It is caught usually due to the water or food containing relatively common bacteria. A little advice and some good medicine in a travel pharmacy will be very useful. Prevention remains the best method.

  • The first reaction is to drink clean, lightly salted bottle water, sealed at the neck to avoid dehydration.
  • Charcoal capsules
  • If inefficient take “Imodium”, if it does not work then take an antibiotic such as “Fluroquinolones”

If an infection occurs when you get home

The most usual cases are:

  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Skin infections
  • Fever or flu-like symptoms

In all cases, if the symptoms last or get worse, don’t forget to tell your Doctor that you were in Asia.

For this subject, you can consult the following websites :

  • Tropical Medicine Institute “Prince Leopold”
  • Question-Santé
  • “Santé Voyage” with as bonus health information by country
  • “A.S. Adventure”. Several shops in Belgium of which several in Brussels
  • traveling-doctors.com

Other complementary information :

  • Travel information « flight » et « transfer »
  • The « Visa »
  • Finding a « hotel » in Mahābalipuram
  • « Indian cooking»
  • « Photos » India
  • Dressing advice

Jean Claude Garnier

Jean Claude Garnier was born on 10 March 1948 at Rouen in Normandy, France. Seriously ill during his childhood, he discovered yoga by reading Indra Devi’s book; she was the first American to study yoga with Sri Krishnamacharya. He was then 14 years old.

Krishnamacharya & Desikachar & Indra Devi

Krishnamacharya, Desikachar & Indra Devi

He followed his path with the companions of the “Communauté de l’Arche”, founded by Lanza Del Vasto, the first Christian disciple of Mahatma Gandhi. He was 20 when, on their recommendation, he met Jean-Paul Boudon (Satyananda Bihar School) and B.K.S. Iyengar.

At the beginning of his first two-year trip to India, while digging wells and improving land for agriculture, he met Vinoba Bhave, Gandhi’s successor. He studied yoga with Swami Gitanandha in Pondicherry and then stayed for a time at Sri Aurobindo’s ashram where he met “The Mother”.

Jean Claude, digging the foundations of the Matrimandir, Auroville, India

He came back to France in 1972, and lived for a few months in Father Dechanet’s hermitage. In 1973 he started his first yoga classes in Rouen. At the same time, he pursued his yoga teacher training with Denise and André Van Lysebeth in Switzerland.

He then studied with Jean-Bernard Rishi who at that time was one of Pattabhi Jois’s students. He met BKS Iyengar through Noël Perrez and was so impressed that he went to Puna to study with him for several years.

On a trip in South India in 1978 he met Sri Pattabhi Jois who became his Master. He studied with him every year until 1998.

To better understand anatomy and the locomotor system, Jean Claude decided to learn general and cranial osteopathy. He then began psycho-corporal psychotherapy in accordance with W. Reich’s theories, and followed several courses to become a psychotherapist.

JC en1973 en Eka Pada Shrisasana

JC en1973 en Eka Pada Shrisasana

He then learned energetic osteopathy, acupuncture and dietetics. He has been a vegetarian for 47 years.

Jean Claude enjoys combining all his knowledge and experience. He divides his time between teaching yoga – in Brussels, at the Institute he has lovingly created in Uccle, and in France, Greece and India – and giving treatment in energetic, general and cranial osteopathy, and acupuncture.

The yoga teaching he gives is faithful to the Yoga Korunta transmitted by Sri Pattabhi Jois at the “Asthanga Research Institute” in Mysore.

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois