Tribute - Sri Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister, Bihar

Address on the concluding day of Shraddhanjali Saptah, Ganga Darshan, 30th December, 2009

Hari Om

Revered Swami Niranjananandaji, Swami Satyasanganandaji, Swami Suryaprakashji, other respected swamis, and brothers and sisters who are followers of Swami Satyanandaji and are related to Bihar School of Yoga, Munger, and Rikhiapeeth.

Today is the last day of the week-long program conducted at Ganga Darshan Ashram in memory of Swami Satyanandaji. I have full faith that the life Swami Satyanandaji lived and the message that he has given through his deeds and austerities will continue to spread. I have firm faith that Swami Niranjananandaji will attain full success in this task, and while following the path of his guru, he will fill people’s minds and hearts with love.

The greatest thing that our saints have taught us is love and brotherhood. It is only by the grace of Swami Niranjananandaji that I practice yoga daily for a few minutes, and whenever the opportunity arises, I speak about it in society. I feel that if anyone practices even a few yogasanas for a short time regularly, his mind remains very peaceful and there is a greater increase in energy on account of which he can work for longer periods.

Therefore, although my knowledge is limited, this much is certain – that the message of love is most important. We live with unnecessary tension. A life of tension is no life. It is harmful to one’s health, to oneself and to society as well. Hence, in the light of my limited role in society, I try to see that there is an environment of peace, goodwill and brotherhood in society. And I am happy that with the blessings of all of you, this kind of environment is gradually being created.

I have come here to offer the flowers of my respect at the feet of Swami Satyanandaji. In this I have only one interest, and that is his teachings. His disciples, Swami Satsangiji, Peethadhishwari of Rikhiapeeth, Swami Niranjananandaji, the successor of his sannyasa mission, and Swami Suryaprakashji, President of Bihar School of Yoga, Munger, are present here. I am sure that the yoga work will continue in the future and will certainly have an automatic influence on society. It is due, not to us, but to the influence and efforts of saints and sannyasins like you that the social environment is improving.

When we were leaving for Munger, the pilot of our helicopter showed us some pictures he had taken of the important places in Bihar. I recognized most of them except one. As our helicopter hovered over this place, the secretary of our secretariat, Chanchalji exclaimed, “This is a picture of Munger Yogashram!” Really, it adds glory to Bihar. We would like its influence to grow so that the new generation has an environment and campus where they learn to think well and to do good, which is the greatest thing that people can achieve.

Sri Swami Satyanandaji’s influence has spread all over the world. He restored and reestablished yoga all over the world. Our ancient knowledge of yoga was gathering dust. Sri Swamiji removed that layer of dust with the inspiration of his guru, Pujya Swami Sivanandaji, and today yoga is recognized all over the world.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Rikhia and meet Swami Satsangiji. At that time Swami Satyanandaji was not giving darshan. I saw the place where he had performed Panchagni sadhana. A worldly man as I am, I could not understand the extent and intensity of the arduous austerities he had performed. After this, my desire to have the darshan of Sri Swamiji became much stronger.

Last year, Swami Niranjananandaji sent a swami to teach me yoga so that I could perform the practices properly. He provided a printout of the Rikhiapeeth program, and at that time I thought that I would go to Rikhia. When I went there, I was fortunate enough to have the darshan of Sri Swamiji. I also had the opportunity of listening to some great inspirational words from him.

When I learnt about his Mahasamadhi, as we are worldly people, I immediately thought, “How nice it would have been to have gone to Rikhia this year also.” But to go to such places is not always in our hands. Last year I was fortunate enough to visit, but this year I could not make it. Later I went there to offer my respects and reverence, and today I have the opportunity to come here to Munger.

We perform different activities every day. If we practice yoga, we receive the energy to work harder and the mind also becomes peaceful. These benefits can always be seen. God has given us the opportunity to work hard. So we march ahead through our karma. Today I say that I will try to work with zeal so that an environment is created that will bring about love and brotherhood in society. And this is the greatest teaching for us.

I offer my respects and reverence to Swami Satyanandaji’s memory. As we have heard, he relinquished his body out of his own choice. Swami Satsangiji told us in Rikhia that he entered into Mahasamadhi in the ajeya muhurta. If he had desired, he could have lived for years, but he decided to go. A poem by him tells us, “I have already done everything.”

Now he has become all-pervasive and omnipresent, and will keep his eyes on all of us, and see who is doing what. We are not saints and swamis and have not performed any sadhana or austerities. So, relinquishing our body at will is not possible. But everybody has to leave the body, this is the greatest truth of the world. And after leaving the body, we have to present an account of our doings throughout our life to someone. If someone has given us this body, there must also be someone to take the last account. I feel that Swami Satyanandaji has now become a part of the group of people who will take this account.

Let us do good, propagate love, behave lovingly and devote our time and energy to unite and build society along these lines. This will be our great­est tribute to Swami Satyanandaji. And with these words I offer my most respectful homage to Pujya Swami Satyanandaji.

I also express my feelings of reverence to Swami Niranjananandaji and Swami Satsangiji. Ganga Darshan is bound to grow and progress more and more. The effect and influence of its work and mission will spread throughout Bihar, India and all over the world with greater impact than ever before.

Hari Om