An Invitation

Swami Satyasangananda Saraswati

“Yajna is the cure, the remedy, which all lovers of the environment have been searching for. Yajna purifies the akashic atmosphere. All those who believe that the environment must be purified of greenhouse gases and toxic emissions must practise yajna, not only on the scale that we practise it at the Sat Chandi Mahayajna, but also on an individual scale, sitting at home, wherever one lives. It will work wonders.”

- Swami Satyananda Saraswati, 2000

Namo Narayana

It is not at all surprising that for a change the hot topic at a recent meet spearheaded by the G8 nations was not economic reforms or marketing strategies, nor sanctions or an increase in oil rates. Neither were nuclear arms topmost on the agenda. Instead their main concern was how to diffuse the alarming rate at which the earth was disintegrating and jeopardizing our very own existence on this planet! If not our own, most certainly that of our future generations!

It certainly seems that our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will never enjoy the luxury of growing in the nourishing lap of Mother Nature. The atrocities of modern living have unleashed the violent fury of nature to such an extent that calamities, catastrophes and disasters are becoming more and more commonplace. Perhaps the human race, infirm as it has become due to its dependence on artificial amenities, will be extinguished in the face of this justified fury.

After all, when we have been reduced to such slavery that we do not dare any more to drink water straight from the well or tap and have to rely on bottled ‘aqua guard’ in order to remain bacteria free, then what can we expect? Soon there will be parlours to get a dose of fresh pure air at atrocious prices that will make your pocket run dry. When the basic requirements such as water and air, which nature has gifted us pollution free, have been contaminated to such an extent that there is no longer any remedy, then how can we ever dream of a bright future for our children?

Global warming has become a serious threat as the industrial techno-savvy multinationals that are the offspring of modern life continue to shamefully push toxic gases down our throats, despite being aware of the consequences of their actions. It has become such a serious threat that in the course of time many large nations surrounded by sea on all sides, not to speak of little islands, can look forward to being submerged intact in a matter of minutes, with all of their giant factories and the people who toil in them day in and day out. It seems that our leaders lack foresight and vision, for if there is no one left to enjoy the wealth that is being amassed through these giant industries, then what is the purpose of it all? This is not wild imagination on anyone’s part, no sir, it is harsh reality. No wonder then that the world’s leaders, a rare breed who no longer think in terms of harmony, peace or the maintenance of the natural beauty of this planet, because these do not roll in the dollars as fast as disharmony, disturbance and the ugliness of war, had to take some time off and turn their attention to the urgency of becoming ecofriendly.

Of course, we do know that the natural course of nature eventually leads to destruction. Planets die, nations are wiped out, rivers change course, mountains submerge, so how do mere mortals like us stand a chance in the face of this awesome nature? However, despite the destruction which she instigates, nature is essentially benevolent, for in the scheme of nature, destruction is a necessary step towards transformation and rejuvenation. On the other hand, the destruction designed by man leaves no room for rejuvenation. It is destruction for the sake of elimination without the least trace of mercy or compassion. Hiroshima and Nagasaki bear testimony to that.

As far back as the vedic era, the rishis and munis devised ways to compensate for the unavoidable destructive process that is an outcome of the ravages of time. They chose to give back to nature what they took from it so that nature was restored rather than depleted. These rishis, who were the original scientists on this planet earth, were friends of nature, and I would say the foremost ecologists. Not only did they try to preserve nature, they went many steps further than that by worshipping nature in the form of prakriti or devi. For them, nature, the earth and all its components was symbolized as the mother who nourishes and feeds us.

In acknowledgement of their tributes, nature sought to compensate itself. Thus, even though traces of Satya, Treta and Dwapara yugas were lost and gone forever, the grandeur of nature was retained. Although the bridge to Lanka once built overhead by Sri Rama in Dwapara yuga is now submerged due to global warming and the island of Dwarka was submerged after the death of Krishna, still millions of years later the earth bears traces of these events.

In sharp contrast, the destruction caused by man’s inventions when activated to their full strength will leave no traces of this modern world. Einstein, the father of nuclear science, himself envisaged that, at the very end, when man has lost everything he created, he will again be reduced to fighting with sticks and stones just as primeval man did.

If that be so, perhaps someone should secretly smuggle the idea of yajna into the agenda of the meeting of the G8 leaders who are surreptitiously deciding our destinies, even though we may not agree with many of their policies. Because unless some strong, tried and tested methods are introduced to maintain the ecosystem, everything around is going to fall apart.

It is already happening millions of miles away from our homes in the Arctic and Antarctic. Glaciers are melting so rapidly that the entire flora and fauna, which is so vital for the ecosystem, is being disturbed. Although at the moment this does not disturb our sleep by night, nor our enjoyment by day, it will not be long before the sea levels rise drastically and begin to affect our shores.

Man must learn to cooperate with nature, not oppose it. The desire to copy and make nature synthetic as is happening in the world today, is arrogance personified and possibly catastrophic too. Nature has to be revered, not ridiculed. Disrespect for nature is the same as disrespecting yourself, and to threaten the dignity of nature is in actual fact threatening your own dignity. Worship, not defiance of this raw, wild energy, is the only way to subjugate it and invoke its benevolence. Yajnas were designed for this purpose because nature becomes happy and pleased through the act of yajna.

The first quantum leap that our primitive ancestors took was with the discovery of fire. It was this discovery that categorically changed the course of our destiny and brought us to our present level of evolution. Although in the course of this journey man has made astounding discoveries, he will have to concede that the mysteries of nature are as yet an enigma. At any moment nature can reduce man to ashes, leaving no trace of his existence.

What reason then do we have to be proud of our achievements, when we cannot even prevent a tsunami that can wash away millions of people in a matter of minutes. Just as the discovery of fire catapulted man into another dimension then, it is through the medium of fire and sound, the two main components of the ritual of yajna, that man will discover how to establish his connection with the forces that abound in the universe.

This is most certainly the reason why Swami Satyananda has brought into the limelight this ancient ritual of yajna developed by the rishis and munis of India. Just as way back in 1968 he began to systematically present the hitherto unknown practices of yoga for the evolution of man from gross to higher mental levels, in the same way, from 1988 he began to present in the same scientific and systematic way the esoteric practice of yajna so that mankind could have an efficient tool or medium to ensure the safety of his existence on this planet.

At first he conducted the most difficult Panchagni yajna, which few dare to perform as it can be only be practised by a person to whom nature is benevolent, or else the elements of nature will trouble and torment him, perhaps leading to death. After that, he announced the Rajasooya yajna, an event which includes the Sat Chandi Mahayajna and Sita Kalyanam. This Mahayajna, which has been continuing for the past eleven years at Rikhiapeeth, has been witnessed by millions of devotees in the past eleven years.

Now the yajna is in its final year of culmination. This year the sankalpa of Swami Satyananda will be over and it can surely be said that he has firmly placed the system of yajna for future generations to take up for their multifarious purposes.

Yajnas can be performed for health, wealth, happiness, peace of mind, to beget a son, to beget rain, to destroy a powerful enemy, to pacify nature, to get good crops, to increase your assets and properties, to get a suitable life partner, to invoke the blessings of the divine, to create harmony in the universe, to rid the earth of famine and disease. The reasons are many and each very intimate to our own requirements.

Of course, the modern systems also have ways to conquer the enemy, to get abundant crops, to increase the wealth, to get a suitable marriage partner and healthy progeny, but the ways are harsh and violent as opposed to the method of yajna, which is harmonious and peaceful because it does not seek to destroy others while improving one’s own lot.

Yoga has proved to be a boon to the twenty-first century man, who is having a hard time balancing himself between the pressures of accomplishment and his own needs to relax, unwind and be happy, if even for a while. Yoga offers the possibility of being successful and yet humane. Yajna will prove to be a boon to Generation Next who, though unmindful of the havoc that is being stealthily wreaked on them, will sooner or later wake up to the reality of the imminent perils which this world is going to face. Yajna will offer them the possibility of combating those disasters.

It is wrong to imagine that the people who wrote the Vedas and Upanishads were unaware of the perils that the development of technology would bring about on this planet. There is ample evidence that they had full knowledge of energy sources, of aviation, of missiles and sophisticated warfare. Test tube babies and cloning was also not unknown to them and it would not be at all surprising if they had mobiles too, given the speed at which they were able to communicate.

The Srimad Bhagavata was narrated to over ten thousand people who had assembled to hear this discourse by Paramahamsa Sukadev. There were no mikes or highly professional Bose sound systems at that time, so did you ever wonder what technique they employed for the speaker’s voice to reach that large gathering? This is just one small glaring example; there are many more that can be quoted to accept that they were a highly civilized community or race, whoever they may have been.

Why then did they advocate yoga and yajna rather than satellites and nuclear missiles? The answer is simple. The former would save mankind and permit him a glorious time here on earth, whereas the latter would extinguish and eradicate not just mankind, but even the very seed of life.

We have to make our choices here and now. Over the past eleven years we have witnessed the fulfilment of a grand sankalpa of Swami Satyananda through yajna. Last year over eighty villages surrounding Rikhia received the yajna prasad, which has brought prosperity and happiness into their homes. What more do we need to decide?

This is the twelfth and last year of this grand spectacle, which Swami Satyananda has offered all of us on a golden platter. Come one and all to be uplifted by this event and receive the grace of Guru and Devi Ma, which will be flowing in abundance at the culmination or poorna ahuti of a once in a lifetime event.

Jai Mata Di