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Yoga and the Vedas have been our lifestyle since 2000, when Linda started to attend yoga practical lessons and lectures in Riga led by a teacher, Shiva Vakya Siddha Baba. Shortly after that Atis also joined, having seen the positive impact these lessons made on his wife. Everyone has their own way to yoga: it is something very individual and intimate that occurs at the right time, when the person himself is ready for it.

Mostly these are various external circumstances and problems with health, which, in fact, force a person to overcome these obstacles and begin to find the real causes of these issues in his life. Through fruitless efforts trying to solve external problems, we came to the conclusion that we should better start with ourselves and the arrangement of our inner world. We apply the Vedic knowledge not only for our personal life and needs, but also for our work at the Shiva Centre providing consultations and giving lectures. Furthermore, Linda has been specializing in Ayurvedic cooking and women’s health, as well as everything related to Ayurvedic child care. However, Atis is a Vedic astrologer, who has researched in great detail the Vedic mythology and traditional Vedic rituals, which he successfully applies as an instrument for both himself and his clients.

Although many people think of yoga only as a physical exercise performed twice a week, in fact yoga is a way of life in our family, which we do 24/7. In other words, it is a life according to the laws of Nature, which have been written in the Vedas or passed down orally from the teacher to his disciples through thousands of years. We are a rather unusual family, because we are Ayurvedic vegetarians – we heal both our children and ourselves with the help of Ayurveda, and we have arranged our living place taking into account the cardinal points and their energy according to the laws of Vastu Shastra. We apply the Vedic knowledge at every step – sleeping, eating, breathing, walking, making love, raising children and even thinking. Daily mantra chanting, dhyana (meditation) and pranayama (breathing exercises) are routine activities in our family, which our four-and-a-half year-old son Paul has already started to include in his routine. Daughter Darta was born in May 2015, but she started to do yoga already in the womb, because Linda was deliberately preparing for a home birth doing special asanas (yoga postures) for expectant mothers. We do not live in a cave, nor travel by horse. We are a modern family, who has successfully integrated the ancient Vedic knowledge into our lifestyle while living in the modern world. We are proof that there is no need to go to India or Tibet in order to find specific lessons of life and spiritual growth, because everything what happens with us is the reflection of our consciousness, no matter where we are. We are also a telling example of how to successfully combine ancient Vedic and modern lifestyles while living in the city and we are delighted to share our knowledge and experience with others.

We consider ourselves very fortunate because our fate has led us to an outstanding teacher, Shiva, who practices and teaches all the Vedic sciences right here in Latvia in a manner, which we have not encountered anywhere else in the world, completely overturning the stereotype that a person should go to India in order to study the Vedas.

The Vedic sciences are called Sanatana Dharma. Translating from Sanskrit it means ‘eternal lesson on the proper conduct of everyday life’. This knowledge is based on the four Vedas – the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, the Samaveda and the Atharvaveda. The Vedas bring wisdom and integral knowledge covering all areas of life. God created the world along with guidance as to how to live in it. Vedas themselves do no force anyone to do anything, nor do they classify anything as good or bad, but they tell about different laws and processes occurring in the Universe, Nature and human lives. If a person in his ignorance does not comply with these laws, then he has to reckon with the consequences. Conversely, if a person knows how to apply them in everyday life, he is able to solve his life’s greatest challenges and carry out the remedial actions.

Along with the Vedas, there are also Shastras (Upavedas), which are practically applied in the Vedic sciences. Their task is to explain to each individual his karma, destiny and recommend how to practically solve previously made mistakes. One of the most popular Shastra is Ayurveda, which is the science of health and the ability to live a long and worthwhile life in order to fulfil their life tasks, resolve mistakes made in previous lives and achieve happiness. Ayurveda does not try to suppress the symptoms, but it destroys the causes of illnesses, as well as keeping the immune system healthy to fend off any pathogens. Nowadays people often treat only symptoms, instead of root causes, not knowing that every illness in our life has its own origin in ourselves (or in other words in our karma). If the karma (which initiates the illness) is eliminated, then there is a chance to fully recover. Frequently people ask us what our family doctor says about our lifestyle. Frankly speaking, we have not had a need to visit the family doctor. We perform medical diagnosis ourselves by using the Vedic horoscope. In order to defeat the illnesses we use only Ayurvedic preparations and procedures. However, our family’s health is not maintained with medicine, on the contrary, our Vedic lifestyle serves as a protection against any illness. A doctor may save a person’s life, but he cannot resolve his patient’s karma, therefore he cannot help the patient to fully recover. The causes of the illness cannot be found at the doctor’s office, thus health cannot be bought at the pharmacy. Everything should be done ourselves.

Jyotisha Veda or the Vedic Astrology is considered to be the most important from all the Vedic sciences. Each person’s individual horoscope tells about the main task for this life and how to fulfil it. The Vedic astrologer acts simply as an interpreter, who can read this ‘astral language’ and help a person to ‘find’ himself. Jyotisha Veda is the science of light in its direct and figurative meaning, as translated from Sanskrit ‘Jyotish’ which means ‘light’. Light is the knowledge and the wisdom of life. Being in a dark room you may get lost and gropingly stumble, but if the light is on – it is easier to find your way. It is the same with our life. Jyoitisha Veda may give an accurate perspective on two people’s compatibility both in marriage and business, thus determining the areas which will be more successful for the people. To invest or not to invest your precious time and resources in realizing some idea – the Vedic astrology helps to decide what would be favourable for each individual. In addition, the Vedic astrologer also suggests how specific compensation methods should be done in order to resolve your own bad karma.

Another substantial part of the Vedic astrology is Vastu Shastra that deals with shapes and forms and their impact on our everyday life. Each process has its corresponding cardinal point with its energy and primary element impact. If a process occurs in the space, which is in contradiction to the laws of the Universe and Nature, then all people living or working in this space will encounter problems. The moment the functionality and arrangement of the space is changed according to Vastu Shastra principles, a person’s consciousness, and accordingly also the events in his life, changes for the better.

A person’s destiny or in other words ‘karma’ has been recorded not only in the moment of birth, but also in the person’s appearance. It is possible to ‘read’ a person like an open book by his face, feet, palms and moles on the whole body. Samudrika Shastra is a sub-science of the Vedic astrology which deals with analysis of the whole body. There is no need to read a person’s CV because it can be embellished. However, it is difficult to fake your appearance, because your demeanour will make your character plain to everyone around.

The upbringing of our children can rather be viewed as a cooperation, because we provide them knowledge and treat them as equal family members. We are trying to create an environment to facilitate question asking and exploration of the world in a child’s consciousness. This is how a child accumulates and takes on his ancestor’s specific life wisdom. In order to succeed, it is necessary to spend a lot of time with your children, because they need to see how parents and grandparents behave in real life situations. In the closed environment of a kindergarten or with a nanny it is not possible to pass on to a child the specific wisdom which is deeply rooted in his family. Also, grandparents rarely participate in the child care because they live away. Today, the continuity of generations has often been interrupted. This is why there are so many ‘lost’ people who do not know what exactly they should do in this life. We are for preserving family values because the family and forebears, in general, are our roots. We were born in to this world thanks to our ancestors and family. It would be only reasonable to use their experience to save us time rather than trying to be pioneers ourselves. Neither a tree, nor a human can exist without strong roots. By studying the Vedic sciences and doing yoga as an integrated system of life, it is possible to truly ‘find’ yourself and the meaning of life. Actually, there is a large number of people around us, who have studied at the universities, have got their diplomas but have never worked in their professions. It indicates the inability to both comprehend the meaning of their life and make decisions beneficial to them. Instead of making a decision beneficial to themselves, the easiest option has been chosen. However, it should be highlighted that things you just ‘like’ and things that are ‘‘beneficial’ to you are two completely different things, because things you ‘like’ are not necessarily always ‘‘beneficial’ to you. Everyone can make mistakes but likewise everyone can begin to correct these mistakes.

Over these years we have been confronted with a widespread stereotype that yoga and the Vedic knowledge is a foreign culture’s knowledge and that our culture has nothing to do with it – some even condemn the practice of something so irrelevant to our traditions. Despite that, it cannot be denied that in European folklore, including Latvian and Estonian, there are many similarities with the Vedic tradition. For instance, folksongs, and fire rituals, as well as ancient signs and symbols. It draws attention to the fact that we have the same roots and therefore the Vedas are not so unfamiliar as people may think – they simply are forgotten ancient knowledge. In one of the following articles you will have an opportunity to find out something more about this, because Atis has particularly researched this in greater detail.

In the subsequent articles we will try to present to the readers what Vedas and Shastras are and how we are applying them to our everyday life. It does not matter whether the reader is a beginner, hardened yogi, a person who is simply interested or accidently got here; we hope that our experience and knowledge sharing will be interesting and exciting reading material or a good topic for conversation. See you soon! Om

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