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The Harvard Alumni Group of Nepal held its monthly meeting on August 10, 2015 in Kathmandu. Dr. Roop Jyoti, member of the group, gave a talk on “Vipassana Meditation.” Dr. Roop Jyoti is the Vice-Chairman of Jyoti Group of Business in Nepal, and holds a B.Tech.(Hons.) from I.I.T. Bombay, as well as a MBA ‘76, MPA ‘85, and PHD ‘99 from Harvard University. He is a past president of the Nepal group and is also the former minister and the Member of Parliament.

Roop discussed the meaning, characteristics, relevance, and benefits of Vipassana, using his experience as the Vipassana Guru at the Nepal Vipassana Centre in Kathmandu. According to him, Vipassana literally means “to observe, or see something in a particular manner.” “Pashya” means “see” both in Sanskrit and Pali, and the prefix “Vi” suggest that the action of “seeing” should be more focused and intensely carried out. It is a logical process of mental purification through self observation.

In the context of meditation, Vipassana would mean that you need to master or control your mind if you want to control your body. It is typical for human beings to experience agitation, frustration and disharmony. When we suffer, we do not keep our misery limited to ourselves. Instead, we keep distributing it to others. According to Roop, Vipassana teaches that you need to train your mind “not to react.” Reaction is the root of problems; it makes you vent your anguish, your anger, your frustration, and your despair.

Vipassana teaches you to fight against temptation, an instinctive impulse to react to others’ actions. It leads you through the washing away of your past sins and deeds, the Sanskaras, which is an accumulation of past actions of your life. Through Vipassana, you are not affected by them; you will be enjoying your graceful distance from their manifestations.
In essence, Roop explained, Vipassana teaches not only how to live; it also trains how to die. This is both the “art of living” and “art of dying”. It gives you joy while living, and lessens and takes away the pain while dying. It teaches such virtues as equanimity, composure, calmness, tranquility, compassion, kindness, generosity, tolerance, and peace of mind. Vipassana has the capacity to transform the human mind and character.

Roop also highlighted how it is practiced. It is necessary to take a minimum of ten days for a residential course under the guidance of a teacher. During the course period, students do not have contact with the outside world. Complete silence is observed for the first nine days. Students do not have the access to computer or mobiles or any other distracting devices.

The Harvard Alumni Group in Nepal has recently been reactivated. The group’s goal is to serve as an interactive platform for proactive discussions on topical issues of national and global importance, as well as to promote professional networking among the alumni community in Nepal.

For questions about the group, please contact Bhojraj Pokharel,

The Nepal Vipassana Centre ( located in Kathmandu, generally conducts two ten-day course at Dharmashringa from 1st to 12th  and 14th to 25th  every month. In addition to these ten-day courses they also provide other specialized courses for the children and old students. There are no charges for these courses, which are financed totally by donations.