Sayings of a Paramahamsa

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Satsang during Sita Kalyanam, Rikhia, December 1999

The purpose of fasting is to increase the quantum of sattwa in the body, so that you can sit quietly during the yajna and tune in to the mantras for three hours, and during the pooja for one hour, without any physical disturbances or mental fluctuations. Otherwise every now and then you want to get up and go outside for tea or for a smoke or for entertainment. You want to go out for nothing. This is how the mind is. It is a monkey mind. The problem is that the monkey is a monkey by nature. If you give a monkey cognac, it becomes a super monkey. Then a scorpion bites the monkey and it becomes a super slurred monkey. Our mind is that monkey.

Yoga means doing one thing for a given period of time. For that the mind and body should also cooperate. So when you are observing anushthana you should fast. This is the rule, although it is not compulsory for everyone.

This program has been arranged in such a way that you not only feel good but you become good. My purpose is not to create an impression that everything here is nice. My purpose is to create auspiciousness, a spiritual aura, a spiritual energy field just like you get in a church, a temple or a holy place. That is the point – this place is like a temple, which is why the swamis are washing your feet and giving you a tilak initiation.

This program is not a discourse, you are not in a seminar and the purpose is not entertainment. Entertainment is not and has never been my way of life. There are many things that have been invented to make you feel good. When it is cold you feel good in a centrally heated room. When it is very hot you feel very good in an air-conditioned room. You feel very good reposing in a five-star hotel or when you have a Scotch. There are so many ways to feel good. Why come here to feel good? You come here not to feel good but to become good. The mind should become peaceful. If your son is ailing, he should recover. If your have a business problem, it should go away. If you have any problems in your life, they should go away. The purpose is to help you to get rid of your problems in life and have peace, prosperity and good health.

Those of you who are fasting are welcome to do so, but please make a point of sitting at the yajna for three hours. Before going to the yajna site, do whatever you need to beforehand, then sit down quietly and tune in to the mantras. Those who have seen yajnas in India will tell you that the pronunciation, movements and system of the sannyasinis from South India, who are conducting the yajnas, are the best. They belong to my tradition. They are following the path of tantra, not yoga. It is your good luck to be able to witness this yajna.