Yogic Research in Monghyr

Speech by Swami Satyananda on January, 24th 1977, the fourteenth anniversary celebration of Foundation Day, Bihar School of Yoga

Monghyr is isolated; it is not a place of pilgrimage. Those people who do come have to change trains three times to get here, so they think twice about it before making the journey. Here on the banks of the Ganges is Anand Bhavan where I practiced hatha yoga. Because I liked this place very much, I decided to stay.

Now people from all over the world are coming here to learn yoga; not only Hindus but people from all religions, not only the rich but people from all walks of life. Today the conditions in the world are such that everyone from king to beggar is perplexed and restless. People want to learn yoga, to concentrate their mind, in order to find peace. This is why our small ashram is transmitting the message of yoga to the whole world. Previously yoga was practiced only for self-realization but today yoga is utilised by people everywhere to free their body and mind of disease and tension.

All the top scientists and doctors, whether from America or the socialist countries, are engaged in this search. From my own investigations I found that through meditation, japa, mantra, kirtan, asana and pranayama, changes take place within the physical body and mind. Now hundreds of thousands of rupees and dollars are being spent to open yogic research centres all over the world. There should be complete co-ordination in these investigations, but there is not. Sometimes news of them is published in different scientific journals and magazines, but does the average person have access to the findings of different researches being carried out all over the world - in Yugoslavia, France, Australia, India? Most people know about the latest films, but new experiments and investigations are hardly discussed. At present there is no adequate medium to convey the latest yogic research and its implications to the people in a form which can be understood by all. For this reason the Bihar School of Yoga has started a research co-ordinating centre.

Many of my sannyasin disciples are doctors, engineers, philosophers and psychologists. They have left their countries and homes to come here and take up this work. Being highly trained, they have a basic understanding of all the scientific yogic research going on around the world. Through them, whatever research is being done on yoga, east and west, will be brought here, correlated and conveyed in a readable form to the people.

I am a member of a large number of institutions, but not one of them is transmitting its findings to the public in a systematic, effective and far-reaching way. These investigations cannot just be explained in lectures, because some people may understand but many will not. As soon as the scientists in every country are familiar with the findings of yogic research, they will be able to explain them to the people in a more comprehensive manner. We do not expect every person to understand what alpha intensity is right away; at first the doctors and scientists should become familiar with these ideas, then they can explain them to the people.

Our aim in bringing out this magazine is to convey information about all the investigations going on in the world. How are alpha waves produced while doing kirtan? How does japa influence blood pressure? What is the effect of relaxation on the mind? What does science have to say about yoga? Through meditation changes can be brought about in man's emanations, in his electrical and magnetic centres. Physical, emotional and mental health can be improved. This is not to state that the medical sciences, surgery, ayurveda are of no use. Our ancestors developed many systems of medical treatment to relieve us from all diseases, and one of these systems is yoga. The research being done around the world will throw much light on the possibilities of yoga therapy.

We must be more aware of our yogic culture. Over the last five hundred years we have forgotten it, and spiritual knowledge has nearly disappeared. Today, however, there is a great yogic renaissance going on around the world and spiritual knowledge is again manifesting. Now more than ever it is necessary for every man to be reminded of this great yogic culture before which the whole world bows down.

Finally to all yoga lovers I express the wish that they may share their knowledge and experience with us in the form of assistance and co-operation, so that we can impart this knowledge to the maximum number of people through our new research co-ordinating centre.