Swami Janakananda

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Swami Janakananda Saraswati
A colour photo dated 1995 of Swami Janakananda clad in orange-coloured clothes, pictured sitting with eyes closed in the yoga pose ardha padmasana (half lotus pose), his wrists are resting on his knees, and his fingers are forming a variation of the yoga gesture chin mudra. He is equipped with a lapel microphone which together with his body posture suggests that he is instructing a meditation.
Swami Janakananda at the National Yoga Conference in Aix-les-Bains, France, 1995
Born Jørgen Dreiager
(1939-06-13)13 June 1939
Copenhagen, Denmark
Guru Paramahansa Satyananda Saraswati
Philosophy Tantric
Literary works Yoga, Tantra and Meditation in Daily Life
Quotation Whatever you experience, you acknowledge and use in the process of realisation, rather than avoiding it through control and restraint. This approach is of fundamental importance in Tantra – in its practices, rituals and meditations. It is not a question of taking severe measures, but of being aware and present in what is anyway done, thought and experienced. In a devoted and yet neutral way you let happen what happens, without reacting or struggling against it – and without giving up or letting yourself be overwhelmed by or dependent upon anything.[1]

Swami Janakananda Saraswati[2] is a tantric yoga and meditation teacher[3] and a writer,[4] who has had a significant influence in the dissemination of yoga and meditation in Scandinavia and Northern Europe.[3][5] He is the oldest active sannyasin disciple of Satyananda Saraswati in Europe.[2][6]

Early life[edit]

Born Jørgen Dreiager[7][8] on 13 June 1939[9][10] in Copenhagen, Denmark he was introduced to yoga by his medical doctor as a child[11] and continued to practise as a teenager and while in his twenties. From 1962 to 1965 he was part of a professional pantomime group,[12] in which he learned through intensive practice how to use physical yoga as a means for creative expression and concentration.[13]

In 1968 he met his teacher Swami Satyananda Saraswati,[14] who initiated him into Kriya Yoga[15] and other advanced tantric practices. For two years he lived with Swami Satyananda in his ashram in Bihar, India,[16] and for several months traveled with him throughout the country.[17]

Scandinavian Yoga and Meditation School[edit]

In 1970 Swami Janakananda returned to Denmark where he founded the Scandinavian Yoga and Meditation School,[18][19] Copenhagen's first yoga school.[20] The Scandinavian Yoga and Meditation School grew quickly[21] and expanded to 12 independent branches[2] in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Germany and France. It is today Scandinavia's largest yoga school[22][23] and a well-known institution of the Satyananda Yoga tradition in Europe,[24] training thousands of students each year in classical yoga and meditation.[25][26][27]

Teaching[edit]

For the past four decades, Swami Janakananda has been active in Northern Europe, teaching in Håå Course Center, Småland, Sweden or one of the independent branches of the Scandinavian Yoga and Meditation School.[28] He has been a resident and guest teacher at the Ananda Ashram in New York through the 1980s[29] and again in 2006,[30] and has travelled extensively, teaching meditation, giving lectures and participating in conferences in Sydney, Singapore, Bogota, Buenos Aires, London, and several other locations around the world.[31][32]

In 1971 Swami Janakananda was one of the first in Europe to teach the full Kriya Yoga sequence of 22 kriyas,[15][20] during a period of 21 or 33 days of silence,[33][34][35] and he has done so ever since, twice a year, in retreats at Håå Course Center.[36] Swami Janakananda maintains that, according to the tradition, and his own teacher, Kriya Yoga should only be taught under the special conditions of an ashram,[37] during a period of strict silence.

In the early 1970s, Swami Janakananda advanced the teaching of the tantric sexual rituals. But, faced with misunderstanding in the media and society in general, he quickly discontinued the teaching of this practice in favor of the more deep-reaching methods of tantra. Nevertheless, he has had "a profound, and often unacknowledged influence on many Western Neo-Tantric teachers and practicioners of sacred sexuality".[38]

He is also one of the pioneers in teaching and publicizing the deep relaxation Yoga Nidra,[39][40][41] which is currently available in four languages.

In 1977, Swami Janakananda organized "Meditation Yoga 77", an international yoga congress held in Stockholm and attended by an eclectic list of speakers, reflecting the many Indian teachers who would visit the Scandinavian Yoga and Meditation School in succeeding years.[42]

From the start of his teaching career, Swami Janakananda has incorporated many different tools and mediums in order to inspire his students and divulge the methods of yoga.[43] To this end he has actively used art, technology and science. Swami Janakananda was a close friend and associate of the late tantric poet and painter Sohan Qadri. For many years, they worked together on promoting the tantric practice of yantra meditation in the West. Swami Janakananda is prominently featured on The Seer, a short film about the life and art of Sohan Qadri.[44]

Janakananda has collaborated in scientific research into yoga[45] with the University of Cologne,[46] the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm,[47][48] The Kennedy Institute in Copenhagen,[49] among others. He has also facilitated a deep-reaching study into Kriya Yoga's effect in the brain, performed by neuroscientist Erik Hoffmann, PhD[50]

Janakananda writes articles for the yoga magazine Bindu and contributes articles to several publications,[51] and his book Yoga, Tantra and Meditation in Daily Life[52] has been published in nine languages.[53][54]

Swami Janakananda has conducted anthropological research,[55] bringing to light evidence that demonstrates that ancient knowledge of yoga is not limited to the Indian subcontinent alone, but has existed at different times throughout most of the world.[56]

During the 2009 and 2010 concert seasons, Swami Janakananda was invited by Danish Radio to guide the tantric meditation "Returning" to a national radio audience.[57]

Swami Janakananda bases his teaching on a holistic view of yoga where all dimensions of the human being is touched. He stresses non-idealism and the importance of active participation in life.

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Saraswati, Swami Janakananda (1996). "Harmony between the Experiencer and the Experienced". Bindu (8): 10–11. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Satyananda Saraswati (Swami); Bihar School of Yoga (1994). Yoga sagar: commemorative volume : compiled from the complete proceedings of the Paramahamsa Satyananda Tyag Golden Jubilee World Yoga Convention, 1993. Bihar School of Yoga. p. 126. ISBN 978-81-85787-91-6. Retrieved 13 April 2011. "Janakananda is the oldest working sannyasin disciple of Paramahamsa Satyananda in Europe. He is the founder of the Scandinavian Schools of Yoga and Meditation ... He is also a great scholar and orator, well versed in the literature of tantra and yoga, both an intellectual and a sadhak." 
  3. ^ a b Aagaard, Johannes; Meldgaard, Helle (1997). New religious movements in Europe. Aarhus University Press. p. 175. ISBN 978-87-7288-548-3. Retrieved 13 April 2011. "Eastern guru movements – such as Swami Narayanananda with his Yoga-trust, Swami Janakananda with his Scandinavian Yoga – have had the most impact on Danes in the 70s and 80s" 
  4. ^ Aagaard, Johannes; Pandit, Moti Lal (1 September 2002). The hidden way: a study in modern religious esoterism. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers. p. 52. Retrieved 13 April 2011. "Swami Janakananda, together with his disciples, has published a very illuminating text in Danish, Swedish and English. In this book, the Swami has attempted at describing in detail the essential features of the Yoga that was initiated ..." 
  5. ^ Peter Øvig, Knudsen (25 November 2002). "Guruens dilemma". Yogasenteret (in Norwegian). Retrieved 30 April 2011. "Den danske yogi Swami Janakananda har nylig fylt 60 år. Få personer har hatt større innflytelse på utbredelsen av yoga og meditasjon i Skandinavia og Nord Europa enn ham." 
  6. ^ Report on the Proceedings of the Paramahamsa Satyananda Tyag Golden Jubilee World Yoga Convention November 1-4, 1994 Yoga Magazine March 1994
  7. ^ "Lærer - Laya.dk - Yoga og Meditation:" (in Danish). Retrieved 13 April 2011. "Min lærer var Swami Janakananda Saraswati, født Jørgen Dreiager i København 1939." 
  8. ^ "Skandinavisk Yoga Och Meditationsskola". Gulex.se. Retrieved 13 April 2011. "Contact: Jorgen Dreiager" 
  9. ^ "DREIAGER, Jörgen - People - 121.nu". Retrieved 13 April 2011. "Dreiager, Jorgen (71 years) - 13 June 1939" 
  10. ^ "Firma DREIAGER, JÖRGEN". Retrieved 13 April 2011. "Org.nr: 390613-XXXX" 
  11. ^ Nygaard, Else Marie (16 June 1999). "Mesterens balance". Kristeligt Dagblad (in Danish). Retrieved 16 May 2011. "Når Janakananda ser tilbage på sit 60 år lange liv, tror han, at troens sporskifte begyndte allerede, da han var otte år. Han havde været syg i en lang periode og trivedes i det hele taget ikke. Familielægen tilså drengen og gav ham to yoga-øvelser, som han skulle lave. - Jeg skulle ligge bomstille i et kvarter på dagligstuegulvet." 
  12. ^ Jørgensen, Aage (1983). Det alternative teater i Danmark (in Danish). Drama. p. 115 quote=Den samlende skikkelse omkring forestillingen hed Jørgen Dreiager. Han havde tidligere lavet nogle enkelte ting på Studenterscenen blandt andet en Polyt-revy, hvor han forsøgte at presse traditionelt revy-materiale ind i en Batman-ramme. I dag har han under navnet Swami Janakananda en stor meditationsforretning. ISBN 978-87-7419-306-7. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  13. ^ Nygaard, Else Marie (16 June 1999). "Mesterens balance". Kristeligt Dagblad (in Danish). Retrieved 16 May 2011. "Det var først, da jeg kom ind i en professionel pantominegruppe, at yogaen virkelig fik betydning for mit liv. I den intense daglige træning indgik yoga, og det havde en tydelig virkning på min tilstand, så jeg ville lære mere og gik videre på egen hånd." 
  14. ^ Wikström, Lester (1982). Nya religioner mitt ibland oss: en liten handbok om nyandliga strömningar i 80-talets Sverige (in Swedish). SkeabFörlag. p. 36. ISBN 978-91-526-0284-3. Retrieved 13 April 2011. "Skandinavisk Yoga och Meditationsskola Ledaren för denna rörelse är dansk och kallas swami Janakananda Saraswati och är född 1939. 1968 mötte han sin guru, swami Satyananda" 
  15. ^ a b Marianne C. Qvortrup Fibiger (red.), ed. (2004), Religiøs mangfoldighed: En kortlægning af religion og spiritualitet i Århus (PDF) (in Danish), Århus, Denmark: Systime Academic, p. 306, ISBN 87-616-0882-3, retrieved 30 April 2011, "Undervisningen inden for Skandinavisk Yoga og Meditationsskole er baseret på den Kriya-yoga inden for den tantriske tradition, som Janakananda har med sig fra sin læremester." 
  16. ^ Jonsson, Britta (1983). Alternativa livsformer i sjuttiotalets Sverige (in Swedish). Distributor, Uppsala universitet, Sociologiska institutionen. p. 38. ISBN 978-91-506-0391-0. Retrieved 13 April 2011. "Skandinavisk Yoga och Meditationsskola grundlades av en man med danskt ursprung, född 1939, som heter Swami Janakananda Saraswati sedan han genomgick en tvåårig yogalärarutbildning hos sin guru Swami ..." 
  17. ^ "Fra Jørgen til Yogi - dr.dk/P1/Vita/Udsendelser" (in Danish). Retrieved 13 April 2011. "Efter en lang rejse rundt i Indien med sin lærer, kunne Jørgen vende hjem som Swami Janakananda. I mellemtiden havde han blandt andet lært at undervise og i 1970 grundlagde han Skandinavisk Yoga og Meditationsskole." 
  18. ^ Union of International Associations (1996). World guide to religious and spiritual organizations. K.G. Saur. p. 184. ISBN 978-3-598-11296-6. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  19. ^ Acta physiologica Scandinavica: Supplementum. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica. 1996. p. 158. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  20. ^ a b Marianne C. Qvortrup Fibiger (red.), ed. (2004), Religiøs mangfoldighed: En kortlægning af religion og spiritualitet i Århus (PDF) (in Danish), Århus, Denmark: Systime Academic, p. 306, ISBN 87-616-0882-3, retrieved 19 April 2011, "Tilbage i Danmark åbnede Janakananda i 1970 den første yogaskole i København." 
  21. ^ Sand, Erik Reenberg (1994). Indiske religioner i Danmark (in Danish). Museum Tusculanum Press. p. 33. ISBN 978-87-7289-250-4. Retrieved 13 April 2011. "Skandinavisk Yoga og Meditationsskole, der er grundlagt af danskeren Swami Janakananda, har skoler i København, Århus og Esbjerg, med henholdvis 5-8, 3-6 og 2 fuldtidsbeskæftigede lærere." 
  22. ^ Marianne C. Qvortrup Fibiger (red.), ed. (2004), Religiøs mangfoldighed: En kortlægning af religion og spiritualitet i Århus (PDF) (in Danish), Århus, Denmark: Systime Academic, p. 306, ISBN 87-616-0882-3, retrieved 19 April 2011, "Skandinavisk Yoga og Meditationsskole er Nordens største yogaskole med tolv afdelinger fordelt i Danmark, Sverige, Norge, Finland, Tyskland og Frankrig." 
  23. ^ Peter Øvig, Knudsen (25 November 2002). "Guruens dilemma". Yogasenteret (in Norwegian). Retrieved 19 April 2011. "Etter et opphold i India i slutten av sekstiårene reiste Janakananda hjem og startet Skandinavisk Yoga og Meditasjonsskole, som fikk hovedsete på Købmagergade midt i det københavnske strøg. I dag er skolen Nordens største med avdelinger i flere danske byer samt ..." 
  24. ^ Haisken, Nina (2008), "Vorgestellt: Satyananda-Yoga, ein zeitgenössisches, wissenschaftlich orientiertes Yogasystem" (PDF), Yoga Aktuell (in German): 74, retrieved 19 April 2011, "Ein bekannter europäischer Schüler Swami Satyanandas ist auch der Däne Swami Janakananda, der die renommierte Skandinavische Yoga und Meditationsschule gründete. Zur Schule gehört ein Kurszentrum in Südschweden, in dem regelmäßig international besuchte Retreats stattfinden, bei denen Yoga in der Tradition Swami Satyananda Saraswatis auf profunde Weise vermittelt wird." 
  25. ^ Andersen, Peter B. (1994). "Indiske idéers udbredelse i Danmark - yoga og reinkarnation". Chaos, Dansk-norsk tidsskrift for religionshistoriske studier. (in Danish) (Museum Tusculanums Forlag) 21 (Indiske Religioner i Danmark): 33. ISBN 87-7289-250-1. Retrieved 19 April 2011. "I København [på Skandinavisk Yoga og Meditationsskole] har der i de sidste år været et stabilt antal kursister på mellem 1.400 og 1.600. En del af disse tager flere kurser i løbet af året." 
  26. ^ Nygaard, Else Marie (16 June 1999). "Mesterens balance". Kristeligt Dagblad (in Danish). Retrieved 16 May 2011. "For 29 år siden grundlagde han »Skandinavisk Yoga og Meditationsskole«, der i dag består af ni selvstændige skoler fordelt på Danmark, Sverige, Norge, Tyskland og Finland, hvor der årligt bliver undervist omkring 7000 elever." 
  27. ^ Korsholm, Anne (30 January 2004). "Balance i krop og sjæl". Kristeligt Dagblad (in Danish). Retrieved 17 May 2011. "Hver uge mødes flere end 4000 elever til yogatræning på Skandinavisk Yoga og Meditationsskole." 
  28. ^ "Få succes med dig selv". Danish Radio. 3 April 2009.
  29. ^ Yoga Journal. Active Interest Media, Inc. 1980-05 - 1980-06. pp. 50–. ISSN 01910965. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  30. ^ "Yoga, Tantra, and Meditation Retreat at Ananda Ashram With Swami Janakananda Saraswati". Yogafly. 4 May 2006.
  31. ^ "Scandinavian yoga practitioner to speak at SUCO". The Daily Star Newspaper. New York. 27 April 2006.
  32. ^ Event Calendar. Scandinavian Yoga and Meditation School. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  33. ^ NineMsn travel
  34. ^ Sion, Avi (2003). Phenomenology: basing knowledge on appearance. p. 408. ISBN 978-2-9700091-5-3. Retrieved 13 April 2011. "I am referring here to Dynamic Meditation (and more advanced Kriya Yoga techniques) as taught in the Scandinavian Yoga and Meditation School by Swami Janakananda Saraswati" 
  35. ^ Strandberg, Åke (2002). The Orphic voice: T.S. Eliot and the Mallarmean quest for meaning. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. p. 8. ISBN 978-91-554-5434-0. Retrieved 13 April 2011. "Special thanks go to my guru, Swami Janakananda, for his invaluable, extraordinarily beneficial Kriya Yoga courses at the ashram in Smaland (www.scand-yoga.org)" 
  36. ^ Sylge, Caroline (1 May 2007). Body & Soul Escapes. Footprint Travel Guides. p. 64. ISBN 978-1-904777-91-5. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  37. ^ Swami Janakananda (1995). "Kriya Yoga III: Time for Learning... Time for Insight... Time for Teaching...". Bindu Magazine (Hamneda, Sweden: Bindu) (7): 25. Retrieved 30 April 2011. "While living in my teacher's ashram in Bihar, India, one day the conversation turned to the conditions for teaching Kriya Yoga. He said: 'Kriya Yoga should only be taught under ashram conditions.'" 
  38. ^ Michaels, Mark A.; Johnson, Patricia; Ballentine, Rudolph (1 July 2006). The Essence of Tantric Sexuality. Llewellyn Worldwide. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-7387-0900-0. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  39. ^ Active Interest Media, Inc. (1980-05 - 1980-06). Yoga Journal. Active Interest Media, Inc. p. 50. ISSN 01910965. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  40. ^ Ramsdale, David Alan; Ramsdale, Ellen; Allan Parker (1 July 1993). Sexual energy ecstasy: a practical guide to lovemaking secrets of the East and West. Bantam Books. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-553-37231-1. Retrieved 13 April 2011. "We recommend as an effortless preparation for Tantric lovemaking Experience Yoga Nidra, a guided deep relaxation experience combining an ancient Tantra yoga method taught by Swami Janakananda with music by Roop Verma." 
  41. ^ Taming the monkeymind
  42. ^ Jones, Constance A. and Ryan, James D. (2007). "Encyclopaedia of Hinduism". p. 391. Facts on File Inc, New York. 2007. ISBN 0-8160-5458-4.
  43. ^ Nityabodhananda Saraswati, Swami (June 1994). "Satyam Yoga Ashram: Report by Swami Nityabodhananda Saraswati". Yoga Magazine. Retrieved 19 April 2011. "We [at the Scandinavian Yoga and Meditation School] are trying to use every tool we can find in the mediums of art, technology and science to inspire the people to start working creatively." 
  44. ^ STG Productions (producer); Sundaram Tagore (cinematographer); Adam Perez (editor) (23 July 2010). Sohan Qadri: The Seer (FLV) (Short Film). New York: Sundaram Tagore Gallery. Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  45. ^ Swami Mounamurti Saraswati (2000). "Some of the added benefits of nostril breathing and Nitric Oxide (NO)". New South Wales, Australia: Satyam Yoga Centre. Retrieved 30 April 2011. "The school headed by Swami Janakananda is dedicated to traditional Yoga and Yoga research." 
  46. ^ Mira (2000). "Why hold your breath?". Bindu Magazine (Hamneda, Sweden: Bindu) (13): 6. Retrieved 27 April 2011. "In the beginning of the eighties, the [Scandinavian Yoga] school’s yoga teachers took part in a research project led by the German doctor Dr. Thomas Schmidt at the University of Cologne." 
  47. ^ Swami Mounamurti Saraswati (2000). "Some of the added benefits of nostril breathing and Nitric Oxide (NO)". New South Wales, Australia: Satyam Yoga Centre. Retrieved 30 April 2011. "Some interesting research was recently conducted [with the Scandinavian Yoga School] at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm." 
  48. ^ Weitzberg, Eddie (2000). "Breathe through the nose: Modern research confirms the wisdom of the yoga tradition". Bindu Magazine (Hamneda, Sweden: Bindu) (13): 9. Retrieved 30 April 2011. "Our research group at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm has studied the significance of NO in the respiratory system." 
  49. ^ Lou, Hans C.; Kjaer, Troels W.; Friberg, Lars; Wildschiodtz, Gordon; Nowak, Markus (1 February 1999), "A 15O-H2O PET study of meditation and the resting state of normal consciousness.", Human Brain Mapping, Volume 7 (Issue 2): 98–105, doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0193(1999)7:2<98::AID-HBM3>3.0.CO;2-M, "Cerebral blood flow distribution was investigated with the 15O-H2O PET technique in nine young adults, who were highly experienced yoga teachers [from the Scandinavian Yoga and Meditation School], during the relaxation meditation (Yoga Nidra), and during the resting state of normal consciousness." 
  50. ^ Hoffmann, Erik (1999). "Mapping the brains activity after Kriya Yoga". Bindu Magazine (Hamneda, Sweden: Bindu) (12): 11. Retrieved 30 April 2011. "Yoga teachers from the Scandinavian Yoga and Meditation School - all with many years experience of Kriya Yoga - participated in the research." 
  51. ^ Janakananda, Swami. (February 2002). "Das Vermögen, zu erleben". Yoga Aktuell. No. 13.
  52. ^ Cheng, Khor Chu (11 October 2009). Transforming Conflict into Harmony: The Answer to Your Lifelong Suffering. p. 175. ISBN 978-1-4495-3474-5. Retrieved 13 April 2011. "Though many books are available on Raja Yoga, Yoga, Tantra and Meditation in Daily Life by Swami Janakananda is recommended. It is well organized and written in a clear, simple and down-to-earth manner." 
  53. ^ Jones, Constance; Ryan, James D. (February 2007). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Infobase Publishing. p. 391. ISBN 978-0-8160-5458-9. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  54. ^ J. Gordon Melton (1 January 1993). Encyclopedia of American religions. Gale Research. p. 933. ISBN 978-0-8103-6904-7. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  55. ^ "Fra Jørgen til Yogi" Danish Radio. 7 April 2009.
  56. ^ Mumford, Jonn. "The Celtic – Indus Valley Yoga Connection: A Transcultural phenomenon". Satyam Yoga. 11 July 2006.
  57. ^ Fage-Pedersen, Max (October 2009). "Meditationsmusik i Koncerthuset Et fantastisk rum hvor der findes lyde". Danish Radio. Retrieved 4 April 2011.

External links[edit]