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Saturday, December 6, 2014

"What is the goal of EDUCATION and YOGA?" ---Visiting Deenabandhu Children's Home #1

Visiting Deenabandhu Trust Home, about 50 km outside of Mysore, in a small town called Chapanajanagar, has become one of the highlights of YGB visits each time. Professor Gugguri Jayadev founded this home for a six orphaned boys in 1991. Today, it houses 100 girls and boys who have absolutely no other place else to go. 

What strikes me the most about this home is its incredibly peaceful air. This home is embraced with many children's happy greetings all day long. Needless to say, every child has suffered a traumatic background before they reached this home.

Professor Jayadev,  Founder of Deenabandhu Children's Home
Morning coffee with spiritual and critical thinker Professor Jayadev is something I treasure and look forward to. Soft spoken with extremely deep knowledge and views regarding education, socio-economic issues of India, and YOGA, he shared with me what the real education should be for every child. Deenabandhu Trust runs this orphanage and a private elementary school for the lowest income families from local community based on Professor Jayadev's conviction that every child has unlimited talent.  The goal of EDUCATION should be to teach a child "WHO I AM" rather than "WHAT I CAN DO", not to teach skills that deal with resources but "to discover the man and woman behind the skills". Just like YOGA should not be just about physical exercises, ASANA, but needs to be coupled with a path to holy thoughts and meaning "how can I be helpful to others? This is the natural state of the human mind", Jayadev says.  The goal of education should be to learn "control on oneself" and not "control of resources/skills", just like YOGA!
As we start a day, I learn more about the seriousness of the deep scars each child carries with trauma and difficulties, being abandoned by their parents, forced to accept sudden deaths of parents, having to beg with homeless mothers, etc. However, there is no darkness or desperation about this reality at this home. Rather there is prevailing sense of hope with peace. It is a magical place and maybe one of the most peaceful places I have ever been to.  I always feel so grateful for being 

connected to this home through Yoga Give Back's work and really want to share what I learn and experience here even in a short three day stay visit. So, please check back for future blog posts. You can also learn more about Deenabandhu Children's Home in the latest YGB Film "Deenabandhu: Home of Love and Acceptance.

Children chant and meditate daily at 6am. They memorize various Sanskrit chanting without lessons or books!! They also chant at breakfast, lunch and dinner time.
Lokesh Rao, a graduate of Deenabandhu Trust Home. Always smiling and willing to help everyone!! He has been my best filming assistant each time. He majors in Life Science and will travel to Poland in 2015 to volunteer and stay with host family!! "Olleyadagale (good luck in Kanada)!!"
Manjula, one of the house mothers who cooks all day for children and visitors. Best morning coffee with her smile!!
With YGB Ambassadors Anouk Prop who has been volunteering as a psychotherapist and yoga teacher since October and Kathleen Kastner who joined me for this entire trip, owner of Maya Yoga, Kansas City.  Having three meals with Jayadev is a true treat for us. Thank you!!


  1. Beautiful to read and see dear Kayoko! Much love to you and all the children of Deenabandhu xx

  2. Hi Kayoko,
    Wonderful blog! I am so excited to be back at Deenabandhu is just under a month. So lovely to see all those familiar faces.