SaptaSwara – The 7 keys to a beautiful life
How can we live our lives, acting from a place of honour and inner peace?
How do we awaken songs of healing, love, and beauty within ourselves and others?
How can a person re-envision the self in response to a radically changing world?
We are confronted with a world where change is commonplace. The psychological process of preparing the self and the capacity to transform continually are critical to developing a robust response to this challenge. We turn to various traditions, their wisdom and practices, to find the principles which we can incorporate in order to live more fulfilling lives.
SaptaSwara is a unique programme that allows participants to discover their own unique answers to their individual quests. Each participant will be enabled to design a personal practice that will help them act with intensity and conviction as well as evolve inwardly.
The SaptaSwara offers the following
- A “here and now” encounter with oneself
- A contemplative context for self exploration
- An experiential learning about the insights of Yoga and Vaastu
- A framework for developing an enduring personal practice
Most of us are aware that we are fast approaching an inflection point. We live amidst great wealth and fast growth as well as dire poverty, industrial expansion along with environmental and cultural destruction. We don’t seem to have discovered a way of responding to these challenges in a meaningful and holistic way that reflects the wisdom of this soil. Many thinkers and seers have spoken about the deep erosion of personal and collective capability and loss of resilience that result from this state of affairs. This becomes especially corrosive when an amnesia and lack of authentic connection with one’s tradition is replaced by an empty adherence to ritual and a superficial imitation of alien ways, in the guise of being modern.
Amidst such rapid flux and fragmentation, each of us is faced with the important questions: “Do I have a meaningful inner life? Do I strive for excellence in all the ways in which I express myself? Am I moving towards self-actualisation?” If a person is feeling unsure within, then one finds it hard to respond adequately to life’s challenges and lacks energy and motivation.
A person who has a deep and meaningful inner life, as well as great accomplishment and excellence in outward action, is known as a Satvik. Such a person is able to conduct one’s own life with greater skill and ease, and provide able leadership for the empowerment of others too. In order to get to the state of Sathvikam, one is invited to put into practice the steps recommended in the SaptaSwara: the seven key values and practices that can provide the foundation for a beautiful and harmonious life.
SaptaSwara is a framework proposed by Sashi and Raghu that is a convergence of over four decades of serious study and practice. It is a set of seven values-in-action based on the energy of the Chakras that a harmonious and meaningful life is replete with. They are:
- Maitri – Friendship
- Karma – Action
- Dharma – Responsibility
- Gnyana – Knowledge
- Ramya – Evocation and Aesthetics
- Yoga – Mindfulness
- Abhyasa – Practice
These are like the 7 basic swaras or basic notes of music. When one becomes adept at living in resonance with these values, one’s life will be beautiful, like uplifting music. All these concepts are found in the Yoga Sutras and they find an echo in all Indian traditions. Many of these ideas are identical in Buddhist and Hindu tradition. Other traditions like Jain, Sufi and Sikh, for instance, also emphasize these qualities. These seven swaras also find close correlation with the seven Chakras of our pranic body.
At the SaptaSwara, we will explore together how these 7 values play out in our lives and how we could embody them more in our everyday existence. The core processes of the programme will be:
- Aarogyam: Working with the body and unleashing its energy and potential and learning to experience well being in oneself. Understanding āsana and prānāyāma.
- Aangikam: Learning the basic skills of expression through body, voice and movement in theatre. This leads to an understanding of the self and communication with the world outside.
- Aahaaryam: Understanding relationships with individuals and groups. Becoming aware of multiple roles and their relevance. Understanding Yamā & Niyamā.
- Vaachikam: Learning how to commune and listen deeply to oneself and the group, share in its sorrows and rejoice in its happiness. Learning the processes by which the drama of playing roles synergises with the use of words and the use of sound and music to communicate one’s insight and one’s picture of reality. Understanding dynamic meditation.
- Saatvikam: Learning the way of anchoring oneself deeply in the unfolding of one’s being and experiencing the flow of life from within, learning the art of expression where one evokes a resonance in oneself and in the other. Practicing the art of collective meditation and synchronous evocation (sahridayatva).
The methodology of work will be a flowing rhythm between an exploration into one’s inner processes and working with outer expression, through a combination of exercises and dialogues. This framework will help to integrate the individual’s inner experience with the action choices he/she makes in the work and family spaces.
Ritambhara Ashram, Kotagiri https://goo.gl/maps/GNB9efP1UV92