I received three instructions from my guru, Swami Sivananda: serve, love, give. These precepts became the sadhana to be perfected in my life, and took a definite form when I came to Rikhia. To help others grow and become better in all respects, external and internal, social and personal, is my sankalpa. Whatever methods I have adopted over the years, whether yoga or the activities in Rikhia, were only a means to fulfil this sankalpa. All of you must learn to live for others apart from making individual resolutions.

The Rikhia ashram will now be known as Rikhiapeeth. Peeth means ‘seat’, an apt term for Rikhia as the instructions given by Swami Sivananda have culminated and fructified here. Rikhia is an ashram in the original sense of the word, because here a lifestyle is lived. Swami Satyasangananda is the first peethadhishwari, or acharya, of Rikhiapeeth and has been given the sankalpa that the three cardinal teachings of Swami Sivananda will be practised and lived here. This is the future vision for Rikhia.


The place where you are is called Rikhiapeeth. Just as you have Govardhan Peeth or Sharada Peeth, this is a different peeth called Rikhiapeeth. Its mantra is Aim Hreem Kleem. It has just been born. It is not even registered, just the naming ceremony has taken place. We will have it constitutionalized, we will have a memorandum, an association, and make it acceptable to the country and people. It will not be a Hinduistic institution. It will have a spiritual tone, not a secular tone. I do not think that secularity is right for anyone, but people say they believe in it without thinking about what it means. Nobody is secular. So Rikhiapeeth will have a spiritual tone, and at the centre of its spiritual tone will be the masses.

The salt of the earth are the poor people. Eighty percent of India is poor. They make up eighty percent of Rikhia panchayat too. It is these people we have to keep in mind. They live a pathetic life, and we have to do something to raise their standard of living. What is written in your newspapers and books is rubbish. Unless you are able to bring happiness to each and every person, your philosophy is a farce. It is meaningless. Your religions are futile.

The responsibility of religion is to help mankind, but it has never done that. Just read history. Religions have failed in this and history bears witness. The greatest wars were created by religions. The worst genocides were caused by religions. So what should be your approach to religion? At this point of time we have to see whether to re-establish religion, reconstruct religion, or reject it. We are thinking individuals. If there is a cobra in our house, how will we deal with it? We cannot say, “It is my mother’s pet.” Religions have to come to man’s rescue, and not create more problems. Peace, shanti, and ahimsa should be the slogan, aim and purpose of religion. This is the religion we are talking about in the mantra Aim Hreem Kleem.