The Harmonious Flow

Swami Satyasangananda Saraswati

1983 heralds in new dimensions and horizons for Bihar School of Yoga. Building an institution is in itself a mammoth task, but to find suitable successors to uphold the high ideals and standards, is no less important. Right from its inception, Swami Satyananda has played the dual role of Guru and administrator. Two roles diametrically opposite or contradictory to each other, which led him into many difficulties from time to time, and which he survived with unsurpassable skill. Let me explain this further.

We are all familiar with the role of a Guru. He inspires, instructs and is the guiding light to many lives. For those of you who have a Guru, it is unthinkable to live this life without nurturing that relationship. It is tantamount to having no eyes to see or ears to hear. But have you ever stopped to wonder - how a Guru meets the demands of his disciples. How is it that not just one or two or three or five, but thousands and millions of people all over the world are able to draw energy from that one source. It is obvious that he is able to delve into deeper and higher states of consciousness, where no duality exists, where he is able to sift the true from the untrue, the mundane and the gross experience from the pure experience. It is this ability which allows him to deal with the problems of the people with accurate precision.

However, if at the same time, he also has to play the role of an administrator, it is necessary that from time to time he must return or come down to the practical, day to day affairs of life. So on the one hand he must go deep within, and on the other hand he must eternalise that same consciousness. Of course this constant fluctuation, from higher to lower states of mind is not a trifling matter and not easily attainable. For one state of mind is not complementary to the other. Only a Jivanmukta can do it with the utmost ease. Swami Satyananda has been the epitome of such a person. His decisions as administrator have been flawless and his guidance to the people illuminating.

But how much longer must these demands press on him? Swamiji often jokingly says, "My life has been divided into 20 year cycles. I was born in 1923, I joined my Guru's ashram in 1943, I opened my ashram in 1963, and now in 1983 is the last turning point, I retire." When he sees the disappointed and disconsolate look on our faces, he always hastens to add, "When I say retire, I mean as an administrator, I shall continue to guide and inspire the people as long as I live."

Another very relevant point, which Swamiji has often mentioned is that it is always necessary for the founder of an institution, to step down and install his successors during his lifetime, so that the succeeding persons may be able to master the work thoroughly. This is especially relevant to a sannyas institution where nothing really belongs to any particular person.

The inability of many spiritual leaders to do so has been instrumental in the downfall of many institutions. We have seen many jivanmuktas, liberated beings, who function dynamically during their lifetime, but have been unable to leave behind pillars of strength. Obviously, at some time, they must give their responsibility to others. And for the fulfilment of that responsibility, the decision must be taken not too early and not too late, but at the correct time. After all, a flower blossoms only when the soil is right and the seed is ripe. Swamiji, who has always maintained accurate timing to make decisions, has chosen 1983 to nominate his successors.

This decision will bring a host of questions to the minds of the people. Possibly you are among those who wonder about the future of Bihar School of Yoga, after Swamiji retires from the administration. If you are, read on.

As you will see, Swamiji with his meticulous eye for detail, has been thinking not only of the present, but also years into the future. After all, the disciples and devotees all over the world, must have the assurance that the institution which they have worked so hard for, will not dissolve, but will continue to maintain the policies of the organisation.

At present, Bihar School of Yoga has many ashrams, innumerable centres, a vast number of inspired schools, thousands of teachers and a host of sannyasins of different nationalities and religions, spread out all over the world, with the nucleus and headquarters at Munger. For this purpose it is necessary to have adequate teachers, an efficient administration, a proper internal management and inspiring guidance, as a support for the institutions.

The sannyasins who have been trained by Swamiji as teachers are of a very high calibre and have been producing excellent results and response wherever they go. These sannyasins, whose number is always on the increase, will continue to spread the teachings far and wide.

For the administration, Swami Niranjanananda, heading the Board of Directors, will handle all affairs directly. For a disciple, it is of paramount importance that he should be able to follow every command of his Guru, verbal or otherwise. He should be able to anticipate and remain constantly alert to every need of the Guru, only then can the Guru transmit his knowledge and guidance to the disciple and continue his mission through the disciple. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Swami Niranjanananda has always maintained the high ideals and standards of such a disciple. Although only 23 years of age, his experience, decision making capacity, and judgement can be compared to a person twice his age. He has travelled widely from the age of ten, perhaps little knowing the immense responsibilities that would befall him later. However, judging from his past record one feels that the responsibility rests on very young but very able shoulders.

The management will continue to be headed by Swami Haripremananda, in co-operation with his competent team of workers. Although many of you who have not visited Munger may not know Swami Haripremananda personally, his name will strike you as familiar, because at some time or the other you must have had to deal with him through your letters. He has been one of the stalwarts of the institution, right through its many stages. His steadfast devotion, unswerving loyalty, calm disposition are invaluable assets to Bihar School of Yoga.

Swamiji himself will continue to guide the people spiritually, along with the assistance of Swami Amritananda. Swami Amritananda herself needs little introduction. Most of you have been fortunate to receive her guidance, and are well aware of her ability to make accurate and precise judgements of the problems of the people. She has long been a pillar of strength of the institution, working tirelessly for the mission in India and abroad.

In the Sannyas parampara or tradition, according to the guidelines set down by Adi Shankaracharya, it is the responsibility of a Guru to impart his knowledge to worthy disciples, so that they may continue the work even after the Guru relinquishes his duties. For after all, the work being done is with a definite purpose in mind, and is not the whim of an individual. It has a far greater and wider vision, the benefits and far reaching effects of which should be felt not only in this decade, but also in the decades to come. This culture, this way of life, this philosophy must not become extinct with ravages of time, and neither should it be restricted to only a few people. Rather we must diversify, we must spread the systems of yoga to all corners of the world. We must preserve this fund of knowledge, which can help us in every sphere of our lives, so that not only our children but our grandchildren and great grandchildren may know and be able to judge for themselves the best way of life.

For the continuation and harmonious flow of these resolves, it is not only necessary to set up a strong foundation for the institution, but to eternalise our support. In this respect, we look forward to the enthusiastic support of people from every corner of the world. The history of Bihar School of Yoga shows that the vast number of well-wishers, devotees, and disciples have always extended their help in whichever way possible. Obviously the future depends on the continuation of help provided thus far. The demands and the needs of the people, have caused the institute and work to increase immensely, and most of the requirements are well looked after. However, help in the form of donations of property or any other assets or gifts of money are always welcome.

Now that Swamiji is no longer at the helm of administration, the scope and range which he will be able to cover will increase considerably. In this respect we look forward to seminars and conventions in different countries, cities, towns and villages, which may be arranged, for him to preside over. So that in the words of his Guru, he may take yoga from 'door to door and shore to shore.'