Dr. Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra: On the Meaning of Life

Dr. Hansaji J. YogendraExcellence Reporter: Dr. Yogendra, what is the meaning of life?

Smt. Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra: During my regular session at The Yoga Institute, one of the students was asked according to him what is the meaning of life? He answered life is B and D. Means life is “B” =birth to “D” =death. But I interjected there is more to life than “B” & “D” in between there is “C”.  Let me explain — “C” is choice, and we have the power of choice.

We can make or break our own lives. Gifted with nimble minds, we can either choose to suffer in life because of others or choose to be happy no matter what!

Pain in life is inevitable, but suffering is not.

  • To react or not to react
  • To respond or not to respond
  • To think or not to think
  • To act or not to act
  • To feel hurt or not to hurt

You have a choice. Life is beautiful — make your actions and experiences accordingly. Problems come in our life to teach us. Choose to be a learner from those experiences. Become stronger more capable rather than becoming weak.

Today superficial goals of losing weight, no wrinkles, getting rich quickly are defining the meaning of life. We are in a technologically advanced age and want quick fix solutions for everything. All these goals take us further away from our true inner self. We end up looking outside for happiness. This kind of happiness is for a very short while. Every life’s existence and journey is different. While it is okay to learn few life lessons from other’s life experience remember to exercise caution. Life is not at all one-size-solution-that-fits everyone.

Today, Middle Eastern countries are in political strife, for them the meaning of life is keeping their children alive every day. For many tribal people of Africa, meaning of life is finding clean drinking water every day. India with its rich cultural heritage and diversity might be the only country where spirituality is advocated. Sages and teachers have been teaching since time immemorial to look inwards for answers and solutions. So we are fortunate that way.

For me, the meaning of life is Yoga and being connected. Life means aligning self with one another and being connected to every relationship and living being. There is divinity within every one of us. Once that realisation filters in, you become a part of universal consciousness. Higher consciousness is the bigger picture, and you only play a small part.

Dynamically, we are all connected to every consciousness, human being, plants, animals and even the tiniest molecule which is omnipresent. The whole universe is vibrating and connected with energy, widely identified and accepted by all as “AUM”.

Therefore, have a positive relationship and an impact on everything and everyone around. Naturally, this gives our lives true meaning. Grab every opportunity and align yourselves harmoniously through positive thoughts, words, deeds and actions. Choose kindness and love to create harmony and enhance your own life’s meaning.

Some suggestions to take you on an incredible journey to discover self within:

  • Reflect and Ponder on true nature of life; it is love!
  • Choose and experience all things. Remember to seek out and remember only the good experiences.
  • Be kind and do good, come what may. Meditate on good.
  • Hone in peace and gratitude in life.
  • Learn the art to co-exist with every living cell on this earth.
  • Learn the art of breathing and make it habit to cultivate healthy relations.
  • Ponder over relevant questions in life.
  • Let go of unnecessary and trivial emotional baggage not worth your time and energy.
  • Sometimes go with the flow.
  • Avoid questioning everyone, and everything in your life path, instead, one can try to find the reasons.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and use earth’s resources sensibly.
  • Exercise caution against negativity.
  • Relaxation is important. Sleep well during night and work hard during the day, flow with nature.
  • Above all be the light and shine the light of consciousness within.
  • Be happy and smile.

It is your life, and only you can decide — the true meaning of your life. Once you decide, don’t look back even if it is not the set norm!


~Yoga Guru Smt. Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra

Director of The Yoga Institute — An exemplary yogi and a scholar transforming millions of lives worldwide.

Born on 8 October 1947 to Yogic Jain parents Shri. Jitendra Phulchand Patni and Shrimati Tara Patni of Indore, Hansaji’s life is an epitome of Yoga. Smt Hansaji right from her childhood days exhibited extraordinary inclination towards Yoga.

Early childhood days were spent in quiet meditative contemplation and reciting verses from Shrimad Bhagavad Gita that astounded her friends and family. A strong foundation based on Gandhian principles shaped her beliefs.

She was a science graduate. Then she went on to complete her Yoga teacher training course at The Yoga Institute as well as her law degree from the Government Law College, Mumbai. When she married Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra (President of The Yoga Institute,) it was a turning point in Hansaji’s life.

She brought about key revolutionary changes in the Institute. Her emphasis on spreading Yoga education especially for women led to the expansion of the Ladies Wing, more special classes for women, Pregnancy, Ante-natal and Postnatal camps, and the Menopause Women’s Camp. She learnt and taught yoga at a time when women were not considered a part of the Yoga fraternity.

She is well-known for her oratory skills and is quite popular amongst the national and international Yoga fraternity. Her capacity to engage the audience using real life incidences to convey Yoga Philosophy is remarkable. She gives her talks in English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati.

Hansaji- “First Lady of Yoga” made the nation proud by being the only lady yoga guru to share the stage alongside-Honourable Prime Minister of India-Shri Narendra Modiji at the ‘First International Yoga Day’ (21 June 2015-New Delhi)

Under her astute guidance, The Yoga Institute (TYI) became the first QCI (Quality Council of India) certified yoga teacher training school in India. Also at present, she is the Chairman of THE YOGA CERTIFICATION COMMITTEE-QCI 

Smt. Hansaji is a charismatic leader who played a pivotal role in making key changes in the Central Government’s policies to further the cause of Yoga awareness and spread the message of holistic health and peace through Yoga for the wellbeing of humanity.

Books Authored

  • Yoga Daily Planner – Heart Care (English, Marathi, Hindi and Gujarati)
  • Dincharya (Gujarati)
  • Yogic Life-Cure of Asthma and Bronchitis
  • Pregnancy, Parenthood and Yoga
  • Yoga for Back and Joint disorders (English, Hindi and Gujarati)
  • Values of Life
  • Recipes for Happiness
  • Yogic Life-Control of Diabetes
  • Yoga of Caring
  • Thoughts on the Gita
  • Insights through Yoga • Swadhaya Practical Tips—For self-development
  • Yoga for the Police (Marathi)
  • Hansaji has a regular feature on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra and The Bhagvada

The shelves at the Institute are lined with awards and certificates, which bear testimony to the indefatigable efforts towardsyoga and education field and holistic development of the community through proactive participation in terms of economic, social, physical, ecological, intellectual and spiritual integration, thereby providing a greater meaning to the life. Few have been shortlisted because list is endless!

  • Awarded by ‘Rotary Club of Bombay’ with a ‘Vocational Excellence Award’ in 1994
  • Selected as “Woman of the Year” in year 2000 by the ‘American Biographical Institute, USA’ for her outstanding accomplishment and the noble example she has set for all women and entire country.
  • Recognized for her contribution to Women’s Health through the award presented by ‘Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres –SPARC’.
  • Felicitated by ‘The Commissioner of Mumbai Police’, for her Guidance and Training of the Police Force in 2009.
  • Awarded by ‘The International Association of Yoga Therapists’ with a special award in recognition for pioneering work in Yoga Therapy, Yoga Education and Research in 2011.
  • ‘HDFC Ltd.’ conveyed their felicitation with a special award on the occasion of Teacher’s day in 2012.
  • She was awarded the prestigious ‘Yoga Tapaswini’ title at ‘Pune International Yoga Week’
  • The ‘Rotary Club of Bombay’ recognized Smt. Hansaji’s contribution in the educational therapeutic and research fields of yoga by conferring a Citation and Appreciation Award on 17 June 2015.
  • Poddar International School’ awarded Smt. Hansaji an appreciation Award of Excellence for her dedicated service in the field of Yoga Education.
  • Lions International Club’ recognized Smt. Hansaji’s notable contribution in the field of yoga and service to all strata of society by conferring Special Award on 21 June 2015.
  • Hansaji was invited as the key note speaker at ‘International Conference on Yoga’ for Holistic Health at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on the topic of Contribution of Yoga for World Peace on 22 June 2015.
  • MORARJI DESAI NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF YOGA(MDNIY) She was invited as the Guest of Honour together with Sri Sri Ravishankar at the inaugural function of the ‘National Yoga’ Week on 12 Feb 2015at ‘Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, New Delhi’
  • Celebrated charismatic presenter of the popular television series ’Yoga for Better Living’, first aired in 1980 on DD (National Channel)
  • Sumitra Mahajan Hon. Speaker of Lok Sabhapresented the prestigious award to Smt. Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra for being the First Yoga School to be certified by Quality Council of India on 23 June 2016under The Yoga School’s Certification Scheme launched by Minsitry of AYUSH, Government of India.
  • Rotary International Award 2017-Smt. Hansaji J Yogendra was felicitated by the Rotary International for her invaluable contribution to spread the awareness of Yoga. She was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 for being an ambassador of yoga for peace and harmony, at the prestigious Annual Rotary International District conference; at Sahara Star Hotel, Mumbai.
  • Urja World Festival 2017-Urja World Foundation felicitates Hansaji J Yogendra for her exemplary efforts and remarkable contribution to the field of Yoga and betterment of lives of the millions across the globe.
  • Hansaji was the chief guest who spoke on the “qualities of yoga teacher” at Pune International Yoga Festival on 6thJan 2018. Festival was at Chinmaya Vibhooti Ashram (Pune)
  • Rotary Discon Utsav Award 2018-Smt. Hansaji J Yogendra was felicitated with a Vocational Excellence Award for her amazing contribution in popularizing Yoga as a way of life at ‘Rotary Utsav 2018’ –Rotary International District 3141’s Annual District Conference (DISCON) on 4thFebruary 2018, Sahara Star Hotel, Mumbai
  • The Open International University for Complimentary Medicines in association with The Zoroastrian College conducted under the auspices of the ALL INDIA SHAH BEHRAM BAUG SOCIETY (for Scientific & Educational Research) An NGO in Special Consultative Status with the UNITED NATIONS Economic & Social Council conferred Smt. Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra with Doctorate of Philosophy(Phd) given at Colombo on 3rdFeb 2018
  • Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji conferred the Divine Shakti Leadership Awardto Dr. Hansaji Yogendra on International Women’s Day 2018 at Parmarth Niketan, International Yoga Festival.

Copyright © 2018 Excellence Reporter

1 reply »

  1. Hello, Doctor, I agree with almost everything you say–yet I disagree with everything you say also. There is too much to say to put in one comment, yet it can possibly be said in one word, life. The essence of life is not love, there can be no love where there is no life. Life is the necessity above all necessities. Luckily, we all have it. It comes before birth, yet it survives after death. I doubt you do not know this, I cannot tell you anything new. But you must live life in order to know life, and you must know life in order to understand life. Whatever reality you choose to live in, you must be alive to choose it. There is Earth reality, there is universe reality, there is cosmos reality. All realities require life.
    You say we are connected to every cell of life. This is very true. But also we must know life does not all come in cells. Each cell has spirit, and every spirit is life. We are the spirits of our cells. Every life is the spirit of its cells, or cell if there is only one. We, each and every cell, are equal, none greater than the next, none lesser than the next. We are all alive. There can be no other way. There is no other way. All ways are life… And life is always…


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