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The Spiritual Culture in Nepal & Origins of Yoga: An Interview with Yogi Panchavedi

by Rajesh Shrestha

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Nepal is a beautiful Himalayan Kingdom blessed with an incredible territory and a rich spiritual culture. It is the origin place of the Vedic Sanatan Dharma (root of all the religions), birthplace of Veda Vyasa (author of the 4 Vedas), source of holy river Ganga, the land of Devas, saints and sages.

Therefore, it is a unique opportunity to go on a yoga retreat in Nepal, the pious land from where Vedas, Tantra, Yoga, Astrology, Ayurveda and Vastu-shastra (fengsui) started. Long later, Hindus of India learned this Vedic culture and spread yoga and meditation in the western world. 


Yogi Panchavedi is the spiritual master of Tushita-Nepal. After a long wrestle, mother nature taught him the secret of bliss and beauty. He completed 999 days of deep yoga and meditation in Nagpanchami and started Tushita-Nepal yoga retreats. Tushita means heaven in ancient Nepali language and the setting of the retreat does justice to it! It’s located just in front of the Himalayas, an emerald blue lake, lush green forest, plenty of flora and fauna, and spectacular dramatic views that remind you of the magnificence of nature. 


What is yoga and where did it start?

First of all, people should know that yoga is a pure Sanskrit / Nepali word meaning ‘to add’. Until today, the word yoga is used as a mathematical term for addition in schools of Nepal. So, ‘yoga’ is to add our subtle soul with the supreme soul. Pious land of Nepal is the origin place of Tantra, Yoga and Meditation. It is believed that Yoga was in practice 28,000 years ago in Nepal. Long later, Hindus of India used to come to the Original Rishikesh – the Ruru Kshetra of Nepal in order to learn Vedic culture and practiced yoga. We need to thank the Indian yogis who spread yoga and meditation to the outer world for the noble cause.

What are yoga and meditation for?

Guru Gorakshanath taught Hatha Yoga to human beings for the first time in order to be connected with the Almighty Creator and live a well disciplined, happy, healthy, peaceful life. It is the only key for happiness and peace. Regular practice of Hatha Yoga purifies our body, mind and soul, gives positive thoughts that drives for right action and results good result. Definitely, a good result gives satisfaction/contentment and pure consciousness grows naturally. Eventually, self realization gives happiness and peace in life.    

mountains nepal

What are the limbs of Yoga?

There are 8 limbs of yoga- Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharna, Dhyana and Samadhi as taught in Goraksha-Samhita. It cannot be called ‘yoga’ if it doesn’t follow all the eight limbs. Western yoga is no more than a physical exercise. Closing the eyes and stretching the body parts does not make someone a Yogi. Otherwise, acrobats, athlete, swimmers, football players would be yogis as they are very physically fit. But, it is not so. People should be aware that we are not only in the body form but mind and soul too. Therefore, yoga is more about focusing on purifying our body- mind and soul.

What sort of yoga is taught at Tushita-Nepal?

First of all, I would like to say that yoga is just yoga like we call the water, water. It must not be named with other adjectives, otherwise it sounds like saying Nepali water or British water or American water. I have heard hundreds of yoga styles. They must not put adjectives before yoga and pollute its beauty and essence. People must know that Hatha Yoga is the father of all the yoga styles. If they inhale and exhale from other holes, then it can be called with different names. But if they do pranayamas through nostrils stimulating Pingala (Ha) and Ida (Tha) nadis;  then it is Hatha Yoga- a pranayama that rises Susumna nadi through our body chakras.

Who shall we call a yogi?

Modern people have wrong notion that a long bearded man with ashes in forehead, or knowing few magic tricks and showing difficult physical poses is a yogi. But, not at all, a person who is directly connected with the Almighty creator- who has overcome with ego, lust, greed and anger is a true yogi.  He lives in present and for the happiness of greater number of people. He who helps to discover self, kindle inner light and be a bridge to reach destination, is a Yogi.


How to purify our mind and soul then?

Starting a vegan life is the first step to purify our body and mind because it prepares a nice environment in metabolic process to enhance our inner qualities; Tama, Sata, Raja. Once our body is purified we start to think positively and act with utmost sincerity.  On the other hand, vegetarian life-style reduces ego, lust, greed and anger. Consequently, freshness and right action naturally generate contentment and pure consciousness.

We are but the divine light of three colors- blue, red and ivory white. We entered into mother’s womb through father’s sperm but in light form. Only then, our corporeal body starts growing with the help of air and energy force. Before that, we are just a pure three color of light and divine world is our destination after performing our duties.

We must thank the God for bestowing a beautiful life by performing regular Pooja (worshipping) burning an oil lamp – incense and uttering holy mantras. This action purifies our soul.  At the same time, we must not forget to please / help our suffered ancestors moving in tragedy in-between 96 km of our earth atmosphere. By offering pure water, incense, fruits can be of great help for them to get rid of the suffering world. There is a Nepali saying that goes “Daivale Dine Pitrile Harne’ meaning “our ancestors can take our blessing received from God as they are unseen spirit too.” Therefore, it is our duty to help and please them at the end that purifies our soul.

What should be our goal in life?

Of course, father and mother gave us birth, but they are no more than a vehicle. If they had given birth, they could beget another child- the same like child as they want. But, indeed, they did not give birth to us. They followed the law of nature- nurtured for 10 months in her womb that had entered through our father’s sperm- became a medium to bring us on earth.  That is all. If we think deeply, we are the beautiful creation of the God and we are on earth for a certain purpose. It has been clearly recited “Dharmartha Kaama Mokshanama Sariram Sadhanam Yata” meaning our body is to perform duties/responsibility with utmost sincerity and attain salvation. No creature can attain Mokhsa (salvation), they need to be born as humans and our body is to practice for that purpose.

*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Tripaneer.

Want to add some adrenaline to your vacation? Go on a hiking and yoga retreat in Nepal

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