Name of the Programme:
prepared and broadcasted with cooperation of
the Committee on Public and Regional
Connections of Moscow Government
Interview taken by Kim Kukholev From Sis.Sudha, Bro.Vijay, Sis.Yelena Dorofeeva, Sis.Nadejda Ganikovskaia, Sis.Irina Lemberg, Bro. Boris Martynov.
Sis.Sudha. This festival is called Dipavali, it means a festival of light. This is a memorial of that time when the light of the soul is ignited and everywhere there is light. This is a time which we call the beneficial confluence age when the light of the soul should be ignited. This becomes possible when a soul is connected to the Supreme Soul.
Corr. Now I would like to make acquaintance with some of the students. What is your occupation? How you came to this University?
Bro.Boris Martynov. I am economist by profession and now I am a businessman.
Sis.Irina Lemberg. I am an engineer in electronics and I came to know about this University from my friends. Many of them were interested in spirituality, in yoga. Sometimes we discussed among ourselves where some of us were learning and what benefit they were getting. This way I came to know about this University, listened the preliminary course here and with pleasure continue my study here for the last eight years.
Corr. Here you study yoga also?
Sis.Irina Lemberg. Yes, yoga is one of the main subjects in this University. Besides this, there is the subject of spiritual knowledge, imbibing divine virtues and many other things.
Corr. As we began to talk about yoga, I'd like to ask what is actually yoga? Some people think this is penance, some think this is just praying.
Bro.Vijay. Word "yoga" is an ancient word, it means relationships. We take birth on the earth and we begin to form relationships with the surroundings, with people, elements of nature. As we progress further, we develop relationships with our activity, business, etc. All this is included in understanding the system of yoga. Here we teach not hath-yoga but we teach understanding our relationships with people, with oneself, how to be in harmony with oneself and the surroundings.
Corr. When they show yogis in some popular TV programmes they show how yogis are lying on metal nails, lifting cars bearing any blows, starving, etc. etc.
Sis.Sudha. Such yoga is not taught in this University. We teach Raja-yoga. Raja-yoga means way of life when the soul becomes a master over itself, its mind, its thoughts, emotions, when it can remove a negative thought and create a positive thought, when the soul can get rid of bad habits and obtain good qualities in order to help the self and help others also. This is a very natural practice which can be done by any person whether he is a businessman, a doctor, an engineer, or a student, whether he is an old person or a young person, everyone can do such a practice during his activities. This does not require any special pose or rosary or mantra.
Corr. Do you also learn yoga?
Sis.Nadejda Ganikovskaia. I am a student of this University and I am studying here with great happiness already for ten years. Once on my way to the office I saw a note about course of lectures on Raja-yoga. I listened to that course and since that time I have not missed even one day and can't imagine my life without this University.
Corr. Except studying yoga what else you are doing here?
Sis.Nadejda Ganikovskaia. This education is not only a part of my life, for me this is essence of life, beauty of life and life itself. Except studying yoga, here we receive knowledge which practically helps us in our life, in our professional activity, in relationships with people. My professional work as an editor has become more accurate, I have more concentration, my relationships with other people have become harmonious, negativity is removed, because here I receive knowledge about universal laws and about how by breaking them I bring sorrow and suffering to myself and to others. When I learn to follow these laws, I help myself and also form harmonious relationships with others.
Corr. Yekaterina, you are also shining and, as I see, you feel yourself happy being here in this building.
Sis.Yekaterina Chlenova. Yes, I am very happy in this building and in this University, but my way of coming here was quite different from other students. I came pushed by feeling of protest. I am a bachelor of biological science and I had some kind of arrogance thinking that some people came from India to teach us Russians. I came to the University to find out that what are they teaching. That is why I listened very attentively from the very beginning in order to find some mistakes, to catch some inaccuracy in this knowledge. Sister Sudha was giving us a preliminary course and I was listening very attentively. To my surprise I not only did not find any mistakes but more than that I began to understand many things, clarified many questions on which earlier I did not have answers. For example, what is consciousness and where it comes from? Our organism consists of matter but where our intellect is born, where our memory is formed, what is our character? When a person is tired he begins to make mistakes. In the same way, we the living beings in these bodies begin to make mistakes at the level of matter. This is why diseases develop. And our scientists (I am also a doctor, oncologist) study diseases even on sub-molecular level without understanding what stands behind it. Having studied everything and having invented high-class medicines, we can't understand why the number of diseases still continues to grow. Now I know the answer and I am happy.
Corr. Many people in our society are now turning to spirituality, to God, but I think after coming here a person has to betray some confession or some faith, or I am not right?
Bro.Boris Martynov. Before I never asked myself a question whether I believe in God or whether I understand God. I lived as all soviet people at that time, I was a member of the Communist Party for 19 years, I came through Komsomol, I worked abroad, in my life there were many situations like every person brought up in soviet time had. And absolutely unexpectedly for myself I came to God. I came to God through Raja-yoga because basis of Raja-yoga is to learn to be a master of oneself through constant remembrance of God.
Sis.Nadejda Ganikovskaia. I remember that when I came to the University, all my friends were asking me: Why you went into some eastern religion, betrayed the orthodox faith, our culture. I think every student of this University sooner or later face this question. In fact the knowledge I am getting here is not a religion, this is universal knowledge, knowledge for people of the whole world. How do you think, if here I am taught to awake my personal dignity, self-respect, to become a master of my emotions, negative qualities, which religion it is? Is it eastern religion, orthodox religion or is it human world culture? I love all - which religion it is? And such like in every aspect.
Corr. Except this festival of Deepawali, festival of lights, what other Indian festivals do you know and celebrate here?
Sis.Yelena Dorofeeva. Raksha Bandhan is a festival of purity, purity in our thoughts, words, actions. Purity is the main principal of existence for every living being if he really understands how valuable and justified should be his life.
Sis. Yekaterina Chlenova. There is one more wonderful festival, that of Shiv Jayanti. This is the birthday of God, can you imagine? The birthday of God. We go to our Spiritual Father for His birthday to that place where He takes birth. And He takes birth in India.
Bro.Boris Martynov. And children's birthday takes place on that very day.
Corr. Still, what is the most bright Indian festival which is celebrated here as well?
Sis.Sudha. As soon as we become a student of this University all our life becomes a festival, every day is like a festival. But India is a land of festivals, many many festivals are celebrated there. Here we also celebrate Dipavali, one more festival is Holi. Holi means past is past, we must forget the past, remove all dirty old habits and develop new ones. Holi also means to be pure. We also celebrate it as festival of different colours. One more is Shiv Jayanti. This is a festival when we understand that God come onto the earth and gives His children their introduction and His own introduction. Another festival which is celebrated here Dashehera, the burning of Devil, Satan. It is not some being, it exists inside. Vices: anger, greed, arrogance, jealousy, all this is that Satan which has to be burnt. When we burn it, then the soul becomes free from all sorrows and sufferings. Everyone has his own weaknesses. These weaknesses bring a person sorrow. Not that some other person gives him sorrow, no, his own defects and weaknesses give him sorrow. When the soul gets rid of defects, it becomes free from sorrow.
Corr. In this University, whose efforts are more: of the teachers, our respectful friends from India, or your aspiration?
Sis.Nadejda Ganikovskaia. We met each other. For a long time living here in Russia we were like dry cracked ground waiting for water to return to life. And when the University came here we all came running and clung to the source, we understood that this was the only source which could revive our life. It was mutual meeting and we can't stay without each other.
Corr. You mean to say that you have found the place where you can unburden your heart, to hide yourself from day to day life, uplift the self from our spiritual poverty?
Sis.Irina Lemberg. First of all I think we are not at all spiritually poor, we just do not know our potential, we do not know what is hidden inside us. And of course here we do not hide from anybody, on the contrary we try to share with people everything we are getting here, we participate in different programmes. We call it spiritual service. We participate in exhibitions, hold conferences, do many other things so that everything we are getting here could reach other people and everyone could take benefit from it.
Corr. Are you always in such a philosophical mood?
Bro.Boris. I had all those defects which are considered to be common for worldly people, I smoked and took alcohol, used bad words. I came to the University and now having understood the system of education in this University, having understood what actually the University was giving, I follow this path for ten years, but I think I only touched the source of this knowledge. It is a great art to get the ability to be a master of oneself and to pass this skill to the world where we live all together, we do not live in isolation from this world, I think, this is a very great benefit of that what the University gives. In this time people speak much about unity, that unity we have in soviet time should be restored. Now it exists only at a level of conception, but it would be nice to return to unity, happiness, joy. The University brings all this into life, into action. Now the branches of the University functioning in the republics of the former USSR and as well as in Moscow are bringing benefit, good, truth, understanding of this truth to the people.
Corr. In all other centers of your University scattered all over the world curricula and the quota of students are the same?
Sis.Sudha. Mainly the same. Depending on the number of students in the centre, big or small programmes are organised. Only last year after eight years for the first time we could organise a conference here, although we new how to do it, but students were not ready to organise such a big programme. If the capacities, potentials grow more and more then we organise programme at a very large scale. But study itself goes everywhere in the same way. And students who are coming also are almost the same. The only difference that in one country there can be more wealthy students, in other country less wealthy, but this is not important. Among the students, there are businessmen, artists, teachers, managers, administrators, judges, etc.
Corr. What is the age of your oldest student and of your youngest student?
Sis.Sudha. The oldest one is the Vice-president of the University, now she is 84 years old. She is not only a teacher, not only administrator, but at the same time she learns every day. The youngest among students are 6-7 years old.
Corr. Do the Hindus, those who came here from India, come to you?
Sis.Sudha. We have a very good connections with Indian embassy, the former ambassador visited two or three of our programmes, we also visit some celebrations every year. The Chief of Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Center was present at our 10th anniversary celebration. The same is with many others. But the Hindus are not regular students as yet, they come as friend and as guests.
Corr. Thank you.
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