Yajna is not different from yoga, but aims to fulfil the goal of yoga, which is the dawn of a new awareness. There are different dimensions to yoga, exoteric and esoteric yoga. If you want the dawn of a new awareness, then you have to turn to esoteric yoga. Doing asana and pranayama, exoteric yoga, will not take you there. It is a beginning in the right direction, but you have to do more than that. This tantric yajna is esoteric yoga, for the aim of tantra and yoga is the same - expansion of mind and liberation of energy.
You have spent the past few days sweeping the floor day in and day out - that is an expanded mind. In a normal frame of mind you would not do that, but throw the broom away, get angry and become frustrated. You would not have enjoyed it at all, but you enjoyed. The whole day you were all sweeping up the mud in the rain and then sitting in the rain. In a normal state of mind you would not have tolerated or endured it. With expansion of mind comes endurance, tolerance, acceptance and surrender. If you had not surrendered to the divine, cosmic energy generated through the medium of the yajna, you would have caught the next train home. If you want a new awareness, a higher, supramental awareness which can rise above the medium of the senses, the trivialities of life, above anger, jealousy and greed, then you have to undergo difficulties.
Nothing in life comes easy. To achieve something you have to face struggle and difficulty. In the Sat Chandi Mahayajna, the energy of the cosmic power, the matrix of creation, the Divine creator or the Mother was invoked. We have the same process in science. When scientists split the atom, they gave birth to nuclear energy which was so powerful that it could eradicate the whole universe. Of course, now they use this energy for a multitude of constructive as well as destructive tasks. When the atom was split, the energy could have gone anywhere if the scientists had not harnessed, channeled and sublimated it.
At the yajna, this process is happening - refinement of matter, liberation of energy and sublimation or harnessing of that energy. When energy is released from matter, it is wild and raw and has to be directed and channeled in order to give birth to awareness. Scientists have only reached the point of energy, but in tantra there is awareness beyond energy. Awareness can be material or spiritual. It depends on the quality and attraction of the mind. Tantra says there should be a combination of both, because the material and the spiritual are the totality of this universe. Just spiritual energy or only material energy is not sufficient. One must have a balance of both in order to progress and evolve. That is the aim of this tantric yajna.
The process of tantra is scientific and systematic. Tantra is an esoteric science where something is happening in front of you and something is happening which you cannot see. Many things are happening on many dimensions. You can hear the mantras and see the wonderful colours and yantras. However, there are things happening which you cannot see, because you do not have the eyes. There are things which you cannot hear, because you need to expand your mind. Tantra takes you above the dimension of your habitual existence and gives you a new experience. What you see with your eyes and what you hear with your ears is not the ultimate. There is something beyond and as a seeker, as a practitioner, you have to strive for that. The way is tantra.
The tools of tantra are mantra, which you have been hearing, and yantra, the deity which has been installed here. The Sri Yantra is the highest, the most pure and divine of all yantras. It can grant you kama, artha, dharma and moksha. It can grant you anything you desire. This Sat Chandi Mahayajna is a wish-fulfilling yajna. However, if you want to wish, think well. Swami Satyananda used to say that you should wish only after thinking carefully, because your wish could lead you to difficulties and despair. In this yajna, the deity of Sri Yantra, Durga, Chandi and all the manifestations of Devi are present and it bestows blessings of any kind, be it wealth or liberation.
We have been having Sat Chandi Mahayajna for the last fifteen years, worshipping the kanyas whom Swami Satyananda called the virgin. Virgin means pure, raw energy which can become the medium of Devi. These children are raw energy, because they have not yet been attacked by the gravity of maya or matter. They are pure, divine energy and as the medium of Devi they grant blessings.
Is this ashram not flourishing? Is it not a centre or powerhouse of divine energy? Is it not filled with sattwic vibrations, purity, prosperity, peace and plenty? This is not my nor Swami Niranjan's ashram, this is your ashram. It does not belong to any one of us, but it is your ashram. You have come every year to support the ashram and participate in the yajnas. Whenever there has been a need you have come forward.
It was touching to see you withstand the difficulties of the weather, the facilities and lack of facilities. I did not see anyone complain, grumble or show a long face. Everyone was in high spirits, and for that I want to thank you.
With the awakening of energy as in a yajna of this magnitude, there has to be progression, not regression. You practice yoga, attend a yajna, have darshan of saints and swamis, receive blessings and then energy awakens. But there has to be progression and not regression, otherwise the energy dissipates and is lost in mundane things. With progression you move ahead step by step. After fifteen years of yajna, this ashram has fulfilled an important sankalpa of Swami Satyananda _ to give one meal every day to the children of Rikhia, to provide them with the nourishment they need.
Swami Satyananda said that until and unless every child gets enough food so that he or she does not have to go to sleep hungry, philosophy or religion is of no use. Progression is when you are able to help the suffering who need it the most. When you receive something, as in this yajna, you also have to return something. The essence of yajna is creation, distribution and consumption. This yajna has generated immense power, peace and prosperity. The prosperity does not belong to us, it has to be returned.
The ashram has been doing this for the last twenty years, but this year is a culmination, because the highest offering or daan you can make is to feed the hungry. Hunger is something which nobody should have to face on this earth, because God has given plenty. I am happy and proud to say that the Annapoorna Kshetram has started. I invite you to join in the fulfillment of Swami Satyananda's sankalpa. When we join in such sankalpas made with purity of intention and heart, then we receive blessings and the obstacles in our lives begin to vanish. We begin to experience balance, clarity, peace of mind, a direction and goal in life.
—Rikhiapeeth, 10 December 2010