Sadhak Experiences


Learning to face the challenges of life

Dr. Samprasad Vinod is known by different names to different people. For the most, he is ‘Baba’, but for me he is ‘Sir’. I always address him as ‘Sir’.

I knew him since my childhood because of my father, but rarely talked to him directly. This has changed now, as for the last three years now, I have been regularly practicing yoga sadhana at Shanti Mandir and came to know him better. Shanti Mandir is a serene place where many yoga sadhakas come and practice yoga. Yoga as mistakenly perceived, is not only meant for your physical flexibility and fitness but also for the holistic health. In fact, it is a gross devaluation of yoga that we see nowadays as a majority of the people practice it as some kind of physical exercise.

At Shanti Mandir, the way yoga is taught is very unique – here the focus is mainly on mind body integration, effortlessness and the spiritual dimension of yoga. Sir and the other instructors give personal attention to each sadhaka, and different aasanas are taught to an individual according to his or her own pace and capacity. No props are used while teaching aasanas and everyone is taught to stay in their comfort zone while doing any posture. Sadhakas are taught to do any aasana slowly and experience mind body integration. I found this way of practising yoga very interesting.

I was doing my Bachelors of Computer Science three years ago. It was a tough course and we were required to master many difficult subjects. As and when the exam dates came closer, I used to become panic stricken. At home, the situation was grave - my mother was critically ill and therefore I was battling on both the fronts. Added to that, my father and elder brother were abroad, and thus all of a sudden the youngest in the family had to shoulder a major responsibility for which she was not ready. I used to shiver with fear and would cry endlessly. When my mother realised that things were getting out of hand she suggested me to talk to Sir. I took an appointment and went to see him. After meeting him, I was convinced that my problem related to exam pressure was not a grave one. I also realized that like me every living being has to face this life’s exam some time or the other. He told me to learn yoga sadhana and devote at least an hour a day to practice it. He also over time convinced me to accept the realities of life and not to run away from them. He talked to me about the benefits of yoga sadhana in day-to-day living.

As per our discussion, I learned yoga sadhana. I learned to do shavasana and then study. Whenever I felt depressed, I used to call Sir and talk to him. He always found time for me no matter how busy he was. Whenever possible, I also used to study at Shanti Mandir. It made me feel confident. During those times, I have had many discussions with Sir. He always used to tell me “be focused on your efforts instead of on the outcome”. This is one of the many things that I learned about life from him. I fared well in all my exams in spite of the pressure and the tough situation. I learned to live with the pressure and face it as it is.

Now, when I look back, I feel that I was so fortunate to have Sir as a guide in those challenging times. When you talk to him, you feel that there is a solution to any problem in life. His way of talking is very soothing and pleasant. The hard times would have had a drastic effect on my young and vulnerable mind then, but Sir guided me through the turbulent phase in life.

Thank you Sir!

Deeper Understanding

A strong recommendation from my mother to get relief from my ill health brought me to Dr Vinod. I learned yoga for three months, found relief and then discontinued. But I became a sincere and regular sadhak since the time I started attending Atmabodh Sadhana at Shanti Mandir, and then it has continued till date, obviously because I am happy. My understanding of various concepts of yoga and spirituality is deepening, and I am finding it very interesting.

I used to be a short tempered person, but have mellowed down considerably over the years, and my co-workers and family members have also told me so. Now I can see the other’s point of view and then I just do not feel the anger or sometimes when I get angry, my anger subsides, before getting expressed.

I have gradually started to look at my children as individuals with their own mind and not as the ones whom I should preach. I try to understand and relate with them. My emphasis on children scoring well in academics is reducing and I try that my children take efforts to understand things for themselves.  I now take a broader view that schooling is a preparatory stage for them to become capable and good adults.

My spouse is also on this spiritual path and therefore able to understand my spiritual inclination and cooperates.

I learn different perspectives and experiences of different sadhaks during Atmabodh Sadhana. Without the contribution from other sadhak’s my understanding  would have remained narrow and superficial. 
A Living Temple of Peace & God
I still remember that hot day in the summer of 1993. The Pune supplement of ‘The Times of India’ used to be in light green colour then. A feature on Maharshi Vinod Research Foundation (MVRF) which was celebrating its tenth birthday attracted my attention.
I was in my early thirties and full of vigour. In my young days, I was a good sportsman who had played and enjoyed games like cricket, tennis and table tennis. However, of late, I was suffering from acute joint pains in my shoulders and knees and on many occasions, I found it impossible to raise my hands sideways. The medical diagnosis was gloomy and the prognosis was a cause of a great anxiety. Something needed to be done quickly before it was too late.
Today twenty-four years later, when I look back, I realize that at that time, the core of my being wanted to acquire a spiritual dimension, and it was his way of guiding/ driving me on the path to Shantimandir.
Maharshi Vinod has defined three facets of spiritual dimension - inwardness, transcendence and discrimination.
Inside each one of us, there is a treasure trove of peace and happiness, so why run outside to seek our pleasures.
Our sensory organs can be fooled sometimes. A pin dipped in water appears to be bent although it is straight. A spiritually and worldly wise person knows this limitation of sensory organs and mind to distort the truth and therefore he has got tremendous yearning to know the hidden reality behind the gross physical appearances. The word ‘transcendental’ means ‘beyond mind’. 
Lastly, to live in this world happily we have to understand our beliefs and examine our values and dogmas. Have we really understood that everything around and within us is ever changing and therefore it is a mistake to look for permanence in this impermanent world?  Am I mistaking misery for happiness? Does that ‘I’ about which I am so fond of really exist? The answers to these questions won’t come from a text book but from our own experiential understanding honed on the fine sense of discrimination.
The motto of MVRF is ‘Yoga for Health & Health for Spiritual Wealth’. When every day, in Shantimandir, I see sadhakas like me fully engrossed in their sadhana, I feel we all have turned into living embodiments of peace & Shantimandir into a living temple of peace and God.
Knowing with Shanti Mandir

As a doctor I was always in a mindset that I am Superintelligent, very honest, obedient, best caretaker of my family, friends and society and last but not the list super human being...

I always used to think that what I say and act was the highest possible way of efforts any super human can do. Above characters were only belonging to mine till I came to Shantimandir in 2008 and met baba (Dr Samprasad Vinod).

Even though laced with such a fantastic characters whether I was happy or living  life fully in the areas where i was slogging and giving my 110% best .....

THE ANSWER WAS NO, till I started doing dhyanmaya yogasan( swanand sahayog sadhana) from 2011.

Over the period of time, I started understanding the meaning of all above characters like honesty, obedience, best care taker etc, as my journey has been started towards my unlimited self with the help of Aatmbodh sadhana.

From bottom of my heart I can tell you that I am happy and I am fulfilling all dimensions of my life in a very easy and effortless manner in a wonderful way than what I was doing and thinking before.

I am fortunate!

Learning yoga under Yogi Dr. S. Vinod's guidance has been a beautiful journey of self exploration for me. I joined about twelve years back as his disciple, to explore the deeper aspects of yoga described by Swami Vivekanand from a living Guru. I was also suffering from a chronic physical problem, and somewhere I knew that the relief lay in Yoga practice. The physical problems are now manageable and matter less for me, while the inner journey interests me more. Over the years I have become more gentle with people and myself and become firm in certain beliefs. Now I can clearly see that yoga leading to spirituality is a scientific and wonderful way to a satisfying life. Though yoga is an individual practise, learning its finer points can be interesting and easy with a group of sadhaks, as in Atmabodh sadhana. 

I have experienced that Swananad Sahayog Sadhana (S3 model originated by Dr Vinod) is a very effective yoga practice for professional groups. People feel loving connection with each other when they practise S3 properly. 
It took quite some time to loosen myself from the strong grip of analytical intellect. At present I am learning sensing the world with 'feeling' and using intellect when needed. Regular Yoga sadhana is helping me at every walk of life - my profession, my relationships with spouse and children and my social life. Regular personal guidance from our Guruji has made this journey  possible and enjoyable for me! I express deepest gratitude for Him from my heart!

Amazing journey
I came to know about Shanti Mandir in 2010 through my close friend. When I started practising yoga at Shanti Mandir, it resulted in real transformation in me.
The Sadhana developed “Playfulness” and “Friendliness” approach to my day to day life.
Earlier I used get tense at times on small things. Due to this I faced anxiety and restlessness.
After my regular sadhana I began to understand the situation and handle it very well.
Sadhana helps to give proper response to a situation rather than reaction.
It keeps me balanced in ups and downs in my life.
It is really helping me in my journey to understand myself.
I am also part of Atmabodh Sadhana group.
In this group we try to understand various concepts of sadhana in perspective with our lives.
Baba encourages us in developing our own understanding through regular sadhana.
Baba also emphasises on self-learning through our own experiences. He guides us in resolving and exploring the solutions to different problems and questions.
I think this is really amazing journey and I am really thankful to be part of Shanti Mandir.
Yog sadhana - Most Effective Way for Peaceful Living

My husband, who is close disciple of Baba, introduced me to Shanti Mandir.

I am working in the software company where due to various responsibilities I was feeling highly stressed. It was during 2007. My professional responsibilities were affecting my sleep as well as my health. At that time my husband told me about Shavasan Dhyana. I practiced that for some time. After that I also did three months Yog Sadhana at Shanti Mandir.

However, my real Yog Sadhana started when I went into depressed state of mind due to a very unfortunate and painful incidence in the family of my close friend. After that incidence for nearly two months I hardly slept during the night. I tried homeopathy as well as allopathic medicines.  Allopathic Doctor gave me tablets for having sound sleep which hardly had any effect on my sleep.  I am working woman hence it affected my health tremendously.

At this point of time I started my Yog Sadhana once again. I started from Shavasan Dhyana and slowly I found that, I am able to sleep during the night without sleeping tablets. After this experience I started practicing Yoga Sadhana regularly.

Over a period of time, Yog Sadhana became integral part of my life. I am part of Atmabodh Sadhana Group as well. During weekly Saturday sessions of Atmabodh Sadhana, Baba is helping us to improve our understanding about Sadhana. All Sadhaks discuss on various aspects of Sadhana and different topics related to it.

I could see and say that, regular Sadhana has changed my personal as well as professional life miraculously.  My approach towards various problems has changed tremendously.

Now I can’t imagine how I was dealing with the problems of my life before coming to Shanti Mandir.

Shanti-Mandir brought real transformation
When you go through some serious troubles in your life, you realize your limitations to solve the unending list of problems. You want to transform yourself by reading various life teaching books, try acquiring new skills and also try relaxing somehow. You end up finding that all these techniques are not good enough. They appear to change you for brief amount of time but soon lose the sheen and you are back to square one.
This was exactly happening to me in late 2005. As per suggestion of my friend, I decided to understand and practice meditation. I was truly fortunate to find out about Shanti-Mandir. The method of Dr. Samprasad Vinod who I fondly call ‘Baba’, was completely open for all kinds of questions. I realized that he was actually encouraging everyone to ask their own questions and get the clarifications. The whole focus was on ‘experiential understanding’.
As I went on practicing the ‘Abhijaat Yogsadhana’ on a regular basis, I realized that slowly the transformation was sinking in. It was result of my own ‘experiential understanding’. The focus was turning inward and with Baba’s help I was able to understand how my own narrow perspective is creating or enlarging the problems. With widening of perspective, everything started appearing differently and I could do things with much more relaxation and at the same time with much more interest and dedication. This was quite amazing and surprising.
For me, ‘Atmabodh Sadhana’ opened a new window towards ‘Adhyatma’ and a way to connect to my own life experiences, which I never thought existed. Here I met many sincere sadhaks. Sharing our understandings with each other further widened my understanding. Slowly, I understood how every bit and piece of ‘Abhijaat Yogasadhana’ and ‘Atmabodh Sadhana’ are beautifully gelled together to transform a sadhak to understand the higher truth.
Needless to mention that I am forever in debt of Shanti-Mandir and Baba.