Retroprogressive Yoga

Retroprogressive Yoga is the result of Prabhuji’s efforts to improve his own practice and teaching. It is a system based solely on the teachings of his gurus and the sacred scriptures. Prabhuji has systematized different traditional yoga techniques. Retroprogressive Yoga aims for experiencing our true nature. It promotes balance, health, and flexibility through proper diet, cleansing techniques, preparations (āyojanas), sequences (vinyāsas), postures (asanas), breathing exercises (prāṇayama), relaxation (śavāsana), meditation (dhyāna), and locks (bandhas) and seals (mudras) to direct and empower prāṇa.

Social benefit to the community

Social benefit to the community

Question:

Does the Prabhuji Mission offer any social benefits in a practical way to the community?

Answer:

Prabhuji founded his mission with the intention of serving humanity and benefiting it both spiritually and socially. One of the ways in which this noble aspiration is expressed is “Prabhuji Annadanam” or the “Prabhuji Food Distribution Program.” On a weekly basis, the Prabhuji Mission distributes food free of charge to anyone who comes to the Avadhutashram. There is no need to register or present documents.

The term annadānam is composed of two words: annam, or “food” and dānam, or “the act of giving and sharing.” Thus, annadānam means “feeding the hungry and needy.” Among the various kinds of giving, the act of sharing food is called māhādānam, or the “great act of sharing,” because satisfying hunger is a basic and essential service.

The Taittirīya Upaniṣad states, “All life force comes from food (annam vai pranah) and let food be produced in abundance (annam bahu kurveet).” The importance of charity is clearly explained in the Varāha-purāṇa. Among the different ways in which charity is expressed, sharing food is considered the highest. In the Varāha-purāṇa, Śrī Varāha says, “One who gives food, gives all that is worth giving in this world.” In the Bhagavad Gita, Śrī Kṛṣṇa states, “All beings evolve from food (annād bhavanti bhūtāni). Even in the Vedas, Upanishads, Rāmāyana or Mahābhārata during all these periods, feeding a hungry person was considered the greatest service to humanity.

“Give food, give food, give food” is Kṛṣṇa’s advice to Yudhiṣṭhira in the Bhaviṣya-purāṇa when referring to dānam, or “the giving.” Yudhiṣṭhira requests Kṛṣṇa to impart to him the essence of Bhīṣma Pitamaha’s discourse in the Śanti Parva of the Mahābhārata about dharma. Then, Kṛṣṇa says, “Both the animate and inanimate worlds are sustained by food. The bestower of food is the bestower of life and obviously of all the rest. Therefore, one who desires good in this world and beyond should especially strive to give food. He should offer food with venerable hospitality to the old man, the child, and the exhausted traveler.”

The Bible instructs:

“Then the righteous will answer him: ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or נאמר in need of clothing and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and come to visit you?’”. (Matthew, 25:37–40)

Also the Qur’an says:

“They give food, for love of Him (Allah), to the poor, the orphans, and the slaves, saying, ‘We feed you only to please Allah; We desire not from you reward or appreciation.’”  (Qur’an, 76:8–9)

For Prabhuji, service to the human being is service to God, giving food to those in need is equal to a yagña, or ‘the most elaborate ritual sacrifice’.

ayaṃ nijaḥ paro veti
gaṇanā laghucetasām
udāracaritānāṃ tu
vasudhaiva kuṭumbakam

“This is mine, that is his, say the small minded. The wise believe that the entire world is a family.” (Māhā Upanishad, 6.71–75)

 

Shri Shri Radha-Shyamasundara Mandir

Shri Shri Radha-Shyamasundara Mandir

Question:

What is the need for a temple like the Śrī Śrī Radha-Śyāmasundara Mandir in the Avadhutashram?

Answer:

A temple constitutes a place where human beings gather with a selfless spirit and devotional attitude to worship God. It is the proper place for the practice of bhakti-yoga. It is a place capable of elevating us to the recognition of consciousness. Seeing the deities, praying, and leaving a donation are pious acts traditionally done when visiting a temple. A true mandir is not only a religious site, but also a spiritual one. There are many schools, colleges, institutes, universities, and educational institutions. However, temples are not only capable of informing us, but also of transforming us.

Prabhuji’s website

Question:

If Prabhuji is retired from public life, why do you publish his picture, make a site for him on the internet, and so on?

Answer:

Prabhuji is our master and the founder of the mission. The tradition of the Sanātana-dharma religion advises the glorification of the guru by his disciples. As mentioned Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura:

yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo
yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto ’pi
dhyāyan stuvaṁs tasya yaśas tri-sandhyaṁ
vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam

“By the mercy of the spiritual master one receives the benediction of Kṛṣṇa. Without the grace of the spiritual master, one cannot make any advancement. Therefore, I should always remember and praise the spiritual master. At least three times a day I should offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my guru.” (Śrī Śrī Gurvaṣṭaka, 8)

By glorifying our master, we are just following our millennia-old tradition. The Śrīmad-bhāgavatam says:

rahūgaṇaitat tapasā na yāti
na cejyayā nirvapaṇād gṛhād vā
na cchandasā naiva jalāgni-sūryair
vinā mahat-pāda-rajo-’bhiṣekam

“My dear King Rahūgaṇa, unless one has the opportunity to smear his entire body with the dust of the lotus feet of great devotees, one cannot realize the Absolute Truth. One cannot realize the Absolute Truth simply by observing celibacy (brahmacarya), strictly following the rules and regulations of householder life, leaving home as a vānaprastha, accepting sannyāsa, or undergoing severe penances in winter by keeping oneself submerged in water or surrounding oneself in summer by fire and the scorching heat of the sun. There are many other processes to understand the Absolute Truth, but the Absolute Truth is only revealed to one who has attained the mercy of a great devotee.” (Śrīmad-bhāgavatam, 5.12.12)

The Retroprogressive Path

The Retroprogressive Path does not require you to be part of a group or a member of an organization, institution, society, congregation, club, or exclusive community. Living in a temple, monastery, or āśram is not mandatory, because it is not about a change of residence, but of consciousness. It does not urge you to believe, but to doubt. It does not demand you to accept something, but to explore, investigate, examine, inquire, and question everything. It does not suggest being what you should be but being what you really are.

The Retroprogressive Path supports freedom of expression but not proselytizing. This route does not promise answers to our questions but induces us to question our answers. It does not promise to be what we are not or to attain what we have not already achieved. It is a retro-evolutionary path of self-discovery that leads from what we think we are to what we really are. It is not the only way, nor the best, the simplest, or the most direct. It is an involutionary process par excellence that shows what is obvious and undeniable but usually goes unnoticed: that which is simple, innocent, and natural. It is a path that begins and ends in you.

The Retroprogressive Path is a continuous revelation that expands eternally. It delves into consciousness from an ontological perspective, transcending all religion and spiritual paths. It is the discovery of diversity as a unique and inclusive reality. It is the encounter of consciousness with itself, aware of itself and its own reality. In fact, this path is a simple invitation to dance in the now, to love the present moment, and to celebrate our authenticity. It is an unconditional proposal to stop living as a victim of circumstance and to live as a passionate adventurer. It is a call to return to the place we have never left, without offering us anything we do not already possess or teaching us anything we do not already know. It is a call for an inner revolution and to enter the fire of life that only consumes dreams, illusions, and fantasies but does not touch what we are. It does not help us reach our desired goal, but instead prepares us for the unexpected miracle.

This path was nurtured over a lifetime dedicated to the search for Truth. It is a grateful offering to existence for what I have received. But remember, do not look for me. Look for yourself. It is not me you need, because you are the only one who really matters. This life is just a wonderful parenthesis in eternity to know and love. What you long for lies in you, here and now, as what you really are.

Your unconditional well-wisher,
Prabhuji