An abridged report of The 1st International Conference on the Revival of Traditional Yoga

Held on 17th and 18th of January, 2006, at Lonavla in Fond Memory of Dr. M. L. Gharote

Organized by The Lonavla Yoga Institute (India)

The 1st International Conference on 'Revival of Traditional Yoga' was very successfully organized at the Fariyas Holiday Resort, Lonavla, Dist - Pune, India.

The said Conference was attended by a group of internationally reputed scholars, experts, teachers and enthusiasts of Yoga from both India and aboard.

The Inaugural Session of the Conference commenced in time at 09.30 AM on 17th of January, 2006. Dr. Manmath Manohar Gharote, The Director of The Lonavla Yoga Institute (India ) and The Organising Secretary of the 1st International Conference on 'Revival of Traditional Yoga' spoke about the aims and objectives of the institution and the nature of its activities. He also explained in details the motive behind the organization of the conference.

The Conference was attended by more than 77 foreign and 300 Indian delegates. There were Inaugural Session, three Plenary Sessions, two Paper Reading Sessions (simultaneously arranged in four Halls), Panel Discussion, demonstration of Asanas (under the name of Jaladeep Asanas performed by Ghantali Mitra Mandal, Thane), and the customary Closing Session / Valedictory Function.

The Inauguration of the Conference was done by the reputed and highly respected scholar-saint Swami Veda Bharati-ji, the successor of Swami Rama of the Himalayas. Swami Veda Bharati-ji addressed the learned audience by emphasizing the universality of Yoga as a science which essentially transcends chronological time, geographical boundaries, shallow religious discrimination and all manmade sectarianism. In his Key-Note Address, Swami Veda Bharati-ji also convincingly put forth the fact that the essence of Yoga is more profound and sublime than can be fathomed by the human mind.

There was auspicious divine Blessings given to the august audience by Bhau Maharaj (Gurudas Dinkar Mahadev Devlekar-ji), the Chief Guest of the function, the realized embodiment of universal brotherhood and love incarnation of the present times.

Dr. Alicia Souto, Argentina,

Alicia Souto, Argentina, was then invited to give voice to her experience as a student and associate of Dr. M. L. Gharote. She focused on the humility of Dr. Gharote, his feeling towards Swami Kuvalayanandaji and relationship that Dr. Gharote had developed with his students abroad to the extent that she learnt not only Yoga through Dr. Gharote but also Maharashtrian culture. She observed that she could speak for years on the beautiful things Dr. Gharote had spoken to them. She concluded by quoting him as saying, 'It takes time for good things to reach the general people, but then they remain with them".

Prof. Imma Schneider, Germany,
Prof. Imma from Germany also had a word of appreciation for the kind of relationship she developed with Dr. M. L. Gharote. In addition to finding him to be a very special human being, dedicated to Yoga, being wise, warm and humorous, she is convinced that he will be remembered as the protector of the purity of tradition, for his tolerance of the other traditions, kindness, patience and as an Ambassador of Yoga.

The dignitaries who graced this auspicious occasion were as follows:
a) Dr. H. R. Nagendra, India
b) Dr, M. V. Bhole, India
c) Dr. Samprasad Vinod, India
d) Dr. B. T. Chhidananda Murthy, India
e) Dr. Ishvara V. Basavaraddi, India
f) Dr. A. M. Murthy, India
g) Dr. M. Venkata Reddy, India
h) Dr. V. S. S. M. Rao, India
i) Dr. N. Sjoman, Canada
j) Prof. Dr. Alicia Souto, Argentina
k) Prof. Marcos Rojo Rodrigues, Brasil
l) Mr. Sheshadri Rao, India
m) Mr. Dilip Gaikawad, India
n) Prof. Imma Schneider,Germany
o) Prof. Hiroshi Aikata, Japan
p) Swami Satyakarmananda, India
q) Dr. Vijay Pratap, India
r) Prof. Kawee Kongpakdeepong, Thailand
s) Prof. Lucila Monti, Italy
t) Miss. Lee, Korea.

A Documentary highlighting the special contributions, achievements, and also the simple and truly Yogic style of living of Dr. M. L. Gharote was released and also shown which the enlightened audience savoured.

On this occasion there were a number of prestigious publications from The Lonavla Yoga Institute (India) released by the hands of dignitaries, which are as follows:
i) Encyclopaedia of Traditional Asanas,
ii) Siddha-siddhanta-paddhati,
iii) Kumbhaka-paddhati (Second Edition),
iv) Blended to Perfection (Letters of Swami Kuvalayananda-ji to Dr. M. L. Gharote),
v)Souvenir of the Conference,
vi)Documentary of Dr. M. L. Gharote (Smarananjali or Reminiscences),
vii) Audio CD - Yoga and Music of Mantras, the same was devoted to Dr. M. L. Gharote-prepared by Mrs.Sandhya Jinturkar, Pune.

This was followed up by the Plenary Session addressed by Dr. H. R. Nagendra, the Vice-Chancellor of the Vivekananda Kendra, Prashanti Kutiram, Bangalore. Dr. Nagenrda produced a host of scientific evidence to prove the efficacy of various Yogic practices in resolving many modern day disorders most of which are psycho-somatic. The presentation was highly informative and inspiring.

Delivering his talk during the Plenary Session Dr. M. V. Bhole dealt on the importance of reading between the lines while consulting the original texts on Hathayoga which are written in the ancient language of Sanskrit.

In the afternoon of 17th January, 2006, four Paper Reading Sessions were simultaneously held wherein 22 scholarly Research Papers were presented by the experts of Yoga and other allied disciplines.

In the morning of 18th January, 2006, four Paper Reading Sessions were conducted simultaneously. There were 40 Research Papers presented during these Sessions.

The topics covered in these Paper Reading Sessions are broadly classified as follows:
a) Traditional Research in Yoga,
b) Scientific Research in Yoga,
c) Allied Pathies and Yoga,
d) Physical Education and Yoga.

Topic: Strategy for Revival of Traditional Yoga

In the afternoon session of 18th January, 2006 an open discussion on the above noted topic was held which was chaired by Dr. Vijayendra Pratap, and co-chaired by Dr. Samprasad Vinod and participated by Dr.Alicia Souto,(Argentina), Prof. Marcos Rojo Rodrigues, (Brasil), Prof. Imma Schneider, (Germany), Prof Hiroshi Aikata, (Japan), Prof. Kawee Kongpakdeepong (Thailand), Dr. B. T. C. Murthy, (India), Dr. I. V. Basavaraddy, (India) and Dr. Parimal Devnath (India).

All the distinguished participants spoke convincingly that there is a perceived deviation from the mainstream Yoga as it is found rooted in its ancient traditional form. This ancient science can again be re-established in its full pristine glory by adopting and implementing the strategies:

The Valedictory Address was delivered by Padmashri Dr. B. K. S. Iyengar-ji who extensively dwelt on the importance of regular and consistent practice of Yoga with complete devotion. He also emphatically spoke about the importance of Bhakti-Yoga as it has been recommended in Patanjala Yoga Sutras. Dr. Iyengar also talked about the ancient texts of Yoga, their significance and relevance in reviving and preserving this ancient Indian heritage.

Shri. Romi Sidhwani-ji, Chairman, Om Sai Ram Ashram, Panvel (Mumbai),
Shri. Romi Sidhwani-ji addressed the audience in which he narrated the efficacy of Yoga especially in modern times.

Shri. H. G. Makhijani-ji, International Chairman, Om Sai Ram Ashram, Lagos, Nigeria..
Shri. H. G. Makhijani-ji read out the message of Param Pujya Swami Shri Narayana Babaji of Om Sai Ram Ashram, Panvel, in which Swamiji very kindly offered his blessings for the successful organization of the Conference. He also wished his best for The Lonavla Yoga Institute (India) for the work it is doing in the field of Traditional Yoga.

Shri V.S.S.M. Rao, Chief Guest. Chennai.
Shri V.S.S.M. Rao was a close associate of Dr. M. L. Gharote since his student life in Kaivalyadhama. He extensively dealt on his special relationship with Dr. Gharote who was not only a Yoga expert but also a practicing Yogi imbibed the rich and distinct lessons of Yoga in day-to-day life.

A Vote of Thanks was given to the scholars, experts, associates, donors, advertiser, participants, hosting Hotel and the staff, event management team, press and TV reporters and printers by Dr. S. B. Sakhalkar on behalf of The Lonavla Yoga Institute (India) for their direct and indirect co-operation in making the Conference a grand success.

The 1st International Conference on Revival of Traditional Yoga came to an end with the prayer of Pasayadan by Saint Dnyaneshwara which was sung by Mrs. Savita Salvekar.

The conclusion of the Conference was spirited with a promise to meet again on such highly educative and informative Congress of scholars and experts of international repute.