Monday, September 20, 2010

Bharath Thakur - An Exceptional Yogi from Himalayas

Today’s update on wonders of yoga is about Bharath Thakur – The Yogi from Himalayas. His journey to the life is quite intriguing, interesting and equally captivating. Bharath Thakur is one of the most popular and celebrity guru of India. He is among one of the most talented yogis of present times with immense knowledge of yoga. He has gained the knowledge of yoga from the guru of Himalayas Sukhdev Brahmachary. I always believed that true yoga and yogi lives in Himalayas and suppose most of you agree to that. Himalaya is the most sacred and mighty place where yoga lives and prospers. The story of Bharath Thakur is like flipping through the pages of various autobiographies of Himalayan Yogis compiled into one.

I first read about Bharath Thakur in a weekly edition of India Today Magazine some time ago. My first impression on him was like world famous Bikram Chodhury who is termed as Bad Boy of Yoga by Yoga Journal. To me Bharath Thakur was like any other modern day yoga guru who wants to corporatize yoga and make money. He again came to my notice when he married a Telugu Matinee Idol Bhumika Chawla.

A few days back I happened to stumble upon a blog written by Bharath Thakur where he mentioned about his journey of life in the past. It was quite interesting and intriguing journey of life. My eagerness took me to facebook where I found some fantastic videos titled “Yoga – an understanding by Bharath Thakur.” Believe me I watched around 40 videos at a stretch. Each and every word he taught in those videos was coming out from the very bottom of his heart. It was a true and honest effort by him to take you to the real world of yoga. I was quite impressed by the knowledge of yoga this man has got. His knowledge on yoga is like an ocean which is endless. He has a story on every word he speaks. After reading his life story I reckon him the modern Tirumalai Krishnamacharya of Yoga. Similar to Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, he too came out to the people learning yoga from the Guru in Himalayas. He is surely one of the best yogis with true knowledge of yoga today.

Bharath Thakur the founder of Artistic Yoga is an internationally recognized Spiritual Master who has conducted numerous meditation workshops, yoga sessions and corporate yoga workshops all over the world. Bharath Thakur has a loyal following of students worldwide who appreciate his vast knowledge, his depth insight, his powerful presence and also his disregard for conventional behavior. He is a man who happily lives his contradictions, which is integral to his philosophy of life that embraces the profound and the bane. Let us focus some light on this great yogi of modern times.

Bharath Thakur hails from a Thakur family of Landlords from Bihar. His parents didn’t have children for a long time. His father Narendra Thakur was a chief of Eastern Railways then and mother Abha Thakur was a house wife. (I hope Bharath will forgive me if I wrongly spelt his parents name as there is least mention of his father’s name in most of the pages I referred). They went to London to have a doctor’s opinion but nothing helped the cause. They then took Chardham Yatra and visited Yamunothri on their way. They met a yogi called Sukhdev Brahmachari near Yamonothri. They were passing by and the yogi called his father by his name. He asked them for water and after drinking the water he said, “You are searching for something that is stupid. The world does not begin or end only if one has a baby. Surprised couple then sought his blessings and asked for the divine intervention and what they should do for kids. The yogi took some ash and put it on his mother’s forehead and said that she will give birth to four kids, each one year. He left the place by saying that he will visit their house after one month.

Accordingly, he visited their house after one month, performed his puja or prayers and blessed his dad by putting his hand over his head when he was practicing meditation. It is said that Narendra Thakur felt a lightening cosmic energy flowing all over his body and fell unconscious for couple of hours. When he opened his eyes he found a lightening cosmic aura around the head of guruji. He rubbed his eyes time and again in disbelief. Guruji asked Narendra Thakur to maintain silence and not to discuss about this matter to anybody and left the place with blessings and a promise to take their first kid with him when he gets around 4 years of age. He also mentioned that the first boy will be born on the date 6. Abha Thakur got pregnant 35 days after the guruji left and gave birth to a child who was none other than Bharath Thakur. His parents went to Yamunothri in search of Yogi and failed to find him there.

Everything was going well for them and the yogi visited them after four years and asked to send their elder child with him. They were worried to send their child to send with him but the yogi reminded that it was a part of their deal. According to their promise they let Bharath to go with that yogi. He took Bharath along with him to his ashram in the Himalayas (above Rishikesh). After 3 years, he took him to Gangotri to stay in Panduranga cave. They were three students with him and all of them (himself, Niranjan and Kankeswari) had similar backgrounds. They used to converse in Sanskrit. It is said that Bharath learned his first word of English at the age of 22. His training of asanas in the cave was not easy. He used to tie them with a rope in Padmasana and used to hang them for eight hours. They used to lead the life of Aghoras. They used to go around, kill animals and eat them. They used to go around in open lands in sub-zero temperature with tiny cloth wrapped around their genitals.

He used to doubt his guru sometimes for his conflicting ideas. He was really excited with the concept of Tantra at that time. He came to know about a voodoo practitioner and went in search of that Tantra guru. They returned after seven days and the guru asked where they were been to. They then expressed their interest in learning Tantra. He then took them to a guru called Swamy Aghoranath. They were amused to see him chewing human flesh when they went there. He was also a protégé of his guru and he took them in. They learned Tantra for two and half years. They realized that Aghoras don’t eat flesh. They just keep it between their teeth, chew it and then spit it out. Bharath was so much annoyed of Tantra at that time and decided to jump off the cliff and commit suicide. They tried to run out of the place several times but he used to find them and get them back to his Ashram.

He then met a Sufi Master who was also a disciple of his guru. He went along with him to learn Sufi. Sufi is a superior form of yoga and he learned Sufi for four years. Bharath knows Quran by heart. He is very proficient at Urdu.

He again went back to his Guru after learning Sufi and stayed with him for 3 years. He got annoyed with his behavior so much that he threw him out of the Ashram finally. He had nowhere else to go but to his parents. When he reached there, He was told that his parents were killed in a feud and all their properties were taken away. He had no place to go and joined a small job. That is where he got in touch with a Church Father. He took him in and taught Bible. That was where he learnt his first English word.

He under the guidance of his Guruji Sukhdev and others, studied yoga intensively and mastered all sorts of yoga techniques in Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Karma Yoga, Kundalinin Yoga etc. along with other subjects such as Tantra, Mantra, Ayurveda, Sufism, Jainism and Bhudhism etc. and returned from the Himalayas into normal education.

Incidentally Church Father was also an acquaintance of his Guru Sukhdev Brahmachari. His guru visited him there and instructed him to study science. Accordingly he joined Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education, Gwalior. The Church Father gave him the money to start his education. There on, he continued his studies on scholarships. He completed his BP, MPE, M Phil and PhD.

He later got an opportunity to meet late. Madhav Rao Scindia, the former Member of Parliament of India. He got into the good books of Scindia who later asked him to join his “Scindia School” as a Yoga Teacher. When he was working as a yoga teacher, got a call from his guru who was 113 years old by then. He told him that it was time for him to leave his physical body and he was looking for his heir and his choice was none other than Bharath again. Bharath thought that his fellow mate Niranjan was perfect in everything and he was expecting him to be chosen. But the guru has chosen him. He also said that he need not be in Himalayas and practice spirituality. He asked him to go to the free world and do it in his way. He understood his message and decided to be his heir in disguise. Bharath in his interview has mentioned that he has so many enemies that he was attacked and hospitalized nine times but he hasn’t mentioned it why anybody like him has enemies. He later moved to Delhi and started a Yoga school named name ‘Artistic Yoga’. According to Bharath Artistic Yoga is a thoroughly researched, ground-breaking system that helps modern man effectively. He called ‘Artistic’ because he incorporated many new aspects into it that were very different from traditional approach to yoga.

It went on becoming a big corporation now. He expanded it all over the world and has around 50 yoga schools now. He do practice spirituality and do business at the same time. He now own 3 software companies and now into various lines of business like movie making. He after getting married to Bhumika has produced a movie called Takita Takita in Telugu which is about to release shortly.

Approximately 40 lakh people got trained in Yoga workshop conducted by him. He was the personal instructor for various corporate czars and heads of various nations. He was also the personal Yoga teacher for Sunil Mittal of Airtel. He taught him to corporatize the craft of yoga and currently reaping benefits of it. He also trained corporate heads like Russi Modi, Ratan Tata, Sunil Mittal, Subrata Roy etc and also many film celebrities like Kareena Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Sri Devi, Salman Khan and David Dhawan etc. His Yoga Empire is currently spread over 10 nations and 16 cities in India.

His unique Stress Management program Transformation has found great success in the corporate world. Several companies like Infosys, Wipro, Acer, HLL, HSBC Bank and UTV have benefited tremendously from simple yogic techniques and Desktop Yoga, which bring down stress levels immediately and remove common problems like headaches, backache, stomach disorders and hypertension – a boon to those working in the corporate sector.

He wrote 24 books on Yoga and penned 5 novels some of which are “Yoga for all, Yoga for Stress Relief, Yoga for weight loss, Yoga for family, Yoga for flat abs, yoga for backache relief, Desktop Yoga and a collection of poetry titled “Truth: The art of the mystics”.

More about Bharath Thakur; he still allocates 3 hours time for meditation and one hour for yoga every day. He finds eating the most boring thing in life. Only thing he enjoys in life is smoking as he is a chain smoker and had been smoking since he was 11. He either meditates or works when he is awake according to an interview given by him to a website.

I finally hope that you enjoyed reading the amazing story of this great yogi Bharath Thakur. Do write in your valuable comments and suggestions and also feel free to write your experiences with Bharath. Go through the below link if you want to stay connected to his story in detail.

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