Discovery of Sunyoga

Written in November 2000

Umsankar Sunyogi was born into a Hindu family in West Bengal, near Calcutta in India in 1967. Living next to an ashram throughout his childhood, he developed an early interest in Yoga and spirituality. By the age of eighteen, having spent a large proportion of his life practicing Yoga, he made the decision to dedicate part of his life to walking through every state of India spreading the message of ‘Universal Unity, Peace and Brotherhood’. Although his spiritual training is from a Hindu background, Sunyogi’s message has always been directed at people of all religions. His ideas are based on a religion of humanity that makes no distinction between colour, race or religion, which pave a path for all mankind with a common goal that is unity, peace and brotherhood.


Sunyogi’s journey through India did not start until 1997. For two years prior to his journey, he stayed in Aurobindo ashram in Pondicherry practicing Yoga and making many important discoveries. The most important of his discoveries was Sun Yoga. Very little is known about Sun Yoga, and though it is mentioned in some of the ancient Indian scriptures, but at the time of Sunyogi’s discovery, only one other person (Hira Ratan Manek in Gujarat) was known to be practicing it in the modern world. Now, five years later, there are many people throughout India practicing Sun Yoga, taught by Uma Sankar Sunyogi  during his travels.

Pondicherry is on the coast of south east India, looking over the Bay of Bengal. During his time at the ashram, Uma Sankar Sunyogi spent every morning meditating on a rock looking out at the sun’s reflection off the sea. His daily meditation upon the reflected sunlight gave him great pleasure, but at this time he did not consider it to be a form of Yoga. As he continued though, Uma Sankar Sunyogi became aware that, through this method of meditation, he was somehow able to absorb powerful energies from the sun’s rays. Uma Sankar Sunyogi began to experiment by looking directly at the sun – initially as it was rising, then day by day he began to concentrate on it as it rose higher into the sky. He continued his meditation and after a couple of months the sun started to appear as a “clear hazy ring with soft blue sky inside”. The harsh brightness disappeared and he felt it become increasingly soothing. As time went on, he started to see “seven bright colours radiating from the sun, slowly reaching closer to the ground”. Three months after starting his concentration on the sun, Uma Sankar Sunyogi felt these rays – the sun’s cosmic energy – touch his body, creating within him an indescribable feeling of peace and calm.

Shortly after this experience, Uma Sankar Sunyogi returned to the ashram to eat his usual food, but he found that he was unable to digest his simple plate of chapattis (round Indian flour bread). His body rejected the food, yet he felt that he was fully nourished, and that perhaps he had found a way of absorbing the sun’s energy directly into his body. So as an experiment, Uma Sankar Sunyogi stopped eating breakfast and continued concentrating on the sun. Six months later, he stopped eating his dinner, and then six months after that he stopped eating all food. From the 17th August until the 7th December 1996, Uma Sankar Sunyogi stopped eating and sleeping altogether. His body weight remained the same and he continued his daily routine working in the ashram in a perfect state of health. Shortly after this period of his life, he began his journey through India teaching his discoveries to people he met along the way. During his travels, he became a source of great interest to a number of scientific and medical research centres where he had his claims tested, examined and verified, at least up to the level of sophistication that modern scientific instruments are capable of reaching.

I have met Uma Sankar Sunyogi 31,000 km after he started walking barefoot through India. I have now witnessed him living with no food, water or sleep, spending part of each day staring at the sun as if it was as soft as the moon. On a number of occasions I have watched him enter Samadhi (the ultimate state of liberation attained through Yoga) during meditation, and I have felt him stop his pulse through sheer concentration. He does not seem to feel the cold – he sometimes sits bare-chested at night when I am feeling cold wearing thick woolly clothes and wrapped in a blanket. His personality is patient, gentle and calm and his attitude towards others is like that of a close friend or a brother. He is always true to his philosophies and all his claims, and I believe they are 100% true.


Updated March 2004

Three and a half years later, having completed his 62,000km barefoot journey through every state of India, Uma Sankar Sunyogi and I have met again to add a few sections to the website.

In addition to the original website, written in 2000, we have added three sections on practical meditation techniques, photograph meditation, eye-to-eye meditation and Sun Meditation. These can give some guidance, but if you are genuinely interested to learn more about Sun Yoga, then it is best for you to meet Uma Sankar Sunyogi at one of the conferences he organizes in India.


Updated May 2009

Another five years on and Uma Sankar Sunyogi and I meet again. Uma Sankar Sunyogi has recently completed a two-year retreat (Gnatavasan), spending much of this time in an isolated ashram at an altitude of 4700m near the source of the Ganges, high in the Himalayas.

Uma Sankar Sunyogi has come down from his retreat with fresh ideas, humbled and inspired by his life and experiences in the Himalayas.

During his retreat Uma Sankar Sunyogi made the decision to start eating food again. Quoting from the Bhagvad Gita, Uma Sankar Sunyogi tells me ‘a true yogi neither eats too much or too little, nor sleeps too much or too little’, and that he has decided to take the middle path, as too many people have only been interested in his ability to live without food and drink, and this has detracted from the true goal of self-realisation, both for him and for his students. Living without food, he explains, is a ‘siddhi’, or power that is achieved on the path to realising this goal, but not the ultimate goal.

The purpose of one’s spiritual journey, explains Uma Sankar Sunyogi, is Peace, achieved through the union of individual and universal consciousness. Fixing one’s attention on siddhis, such as deriving one’s energy from the sun, can block progress towards achieving this goal. Despite this, however, he acknowledges the importance of this particular siddhi, especially at a time of increasing concern over global food supplies and resources, and would still be interested to offer himself for serious scientific research if the opportunity arises.

Translate »