Yoga Practices for School Children in USSR

Dr Swami Karmananda Saraswati, MB, BS (Syd.)

In a recently published article*1 Dr L. M. Sukharebsky, medical research worker at the Institute of Juvenile Studies in Moscow, has drawn attention to the vast, untapped creative potentialities of the unconscious realms of the human mind. The potentials of the vast majority of human beings remain in a dormant undiscovered state because of inadequate study of the means of awakening, tapping and utilizing them in the course of daily life.

Dr Sukharebsky observes that, at the present time, only a very small number of people are utilizing their own inborn creativity, and of this group, even fewer possess an objective, rational understanding of what they are actually doing. At the same time, it is vitally important for the expansion and evolution of the collective consciousness of mankind, that many more individuals gain mastery in those techniques of autogenous training commonly known as yoga. These can put each man, woman and child in touch with their inherent powers and enable them to be expressed in a practical, rational and useful way.

In this light, Dr Sukharebsky calls for the introduction of the yogic techniques of self-regulation and expansion of conscious awareness into the state education system of the USSR. He believes that the Russian people of the future should be initially introduced to preliminary techniques during their early childhood and home life, and that ongoing practical instruction should continue in later pre-school and school environments, on up to university level.

"There is a great need," states Sukharebsky, "for further study of the nature of the conscious and unconscious dimensions of the human personality, through investigating the practices and techniques of the yogis of India under scientifically controlled and validated conditions."

Following upon clear scientific definition of these practices "stripped of their connection with mystic and religious goals", they can be integrated into the socialistic education system to great effect.

Actually, the effects of yoga practice extend far beyond the dimension of religious belief or ideological affiliation, and therefore, have no concern with them. The belief system or ideology of an individual is a part of the superficial dimension of human personality, on a par with nationality, skin colour, cultural background and mother tongue.

The science of yoga, on the other hand, is directly concerned with expanding the dimensions of consciousness of the individual by bringing about certain psycho-physiological events within the human central nervous system and brain, which all men and women possess, irrespective of their national, religious, ideological or cultural characteristics.

Whether the expanded states of consciousness which dawn through the practices of yoga are designated as God realization or as realization of higher human potentials, is largely a matter of individual interpretation. Adult or child, atheist or devotee alike, will benefit equally from yoga practices, as the physiological mechanisms of higher perception, knowledge and understanding are activated.


*1 L. M. Sukharebsky, 'On the stimulation of the creative potentials of the unconscious', A.S.Prangishvili, et al. (Editors): The Unconscious, Metsnierba, Tbilisi (USSR), 1978, pp. 776-780 (original in Russian).