People are sick because they think they are sick. Sickness and disease have no place in the life of people who do not accept and tolerate the self-limiting thoughts which are the real seeds of their myriad ailments.—Swami Satyananda
Diseases in the modern world are produced by the mind, not by bacteria and viruses. Thought is the greatest virus and can even affect the adrenaline and enzyme secretions. The force of anxiety can cause a heart attack, and unbalanced emotions can induce asthma and respiratory diseases.
However, physical health is not the ultimate definition of health. Is not unhappiness a disease? And what about the mind? How can the health of the mind be restored? How can happiness be restored within the heart?
We stand hypnotized by the belief that disease and illness are our fate and destiny, rather than health and bliss, our true birthright and heritage. In order to emerge from our mass-hysteria and experience health, joy and creative fulfillment we must make a systematic application of yoga in our daily lives.
From 12th to 18th January, a Health and Stress Management Training Program was held at Ganga Darshan for sixteen employees of the Power Grid Corporation of India, Patna. The course was conducted by Swami Atmabhishek. Swami Shankarananda gave satsang to the participants.
From 3rd to 19th March, a Health Management course was held at Ganga Darshan for twenty-one participants. The course was conducted by Swami Atmabhishek, and Swami Shankarananda gave satsang.
From 3rd to 20th September, a Health Management Course was held at Ganga Darshan for fifty participants. The course was conducted by Swami Atmabhishek.
All over the world there are hundreds of thousands of yoga teachers, professors, lecturers, tutors and masters of yoga. Apart from transmitting knowledge, these teachers should also give forth their personal vibrations, magnetism and spiritual qualities.
What can a teacher of yoga give you? An experience and knowledge. Knowledge is confined to the intellectual domain. Experience is what enables you to imbibe what you have learned on a practical level. What is experience in yoga? Facing the situations of life with peace, courage and understanding. Life is not a flat plain or a simple path; it is a series of experiences of ups and downs which occur on the economic, emotional and spiritual planes.
When you go to a yoga teacher, you should see if there is complete agreement between the two lobes of his brain. In most people, the right and left sides of the brain are always in conflict. In order to become a teacher of yoga there should be harmony between these two giants within the head.
For those who wish to teach yoga within their community, these courses provide a systematic understanding of the practices and method of teaching.
From 1st to 21st April, a Yoga Teacher Training Course in Hindi was held at Ganga Darshan. Swami Atmabhishek conducted the course for seventy-four participants.
Participants came from the following states: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, New Delhi, Orissa, U.P. and West Bengal as well as from the UK.
From 14th to 26th June, a Yoga Teacher Training Course was conducted by Swami Taponidhi. Twenty-four participants from the Lucknow Yoga Mandal attended the course. All of the participants, aged from twenty to sixty-five, were regular yoga practitioners and had either a Certificate or a MA degree in yoga or in naturopathy and yoga. They were exposed to the classical teaching techniques of Satyananda Yoga.
From 1st to 20th August, a Yoga Teacher Training course was held at Ganga Darshan for sixty-three students from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Hariyana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and from Morocco. Classes were conducted by Swami Shivadhyanam and Swami Yogatirthananda.
I must tell you very frankly that you can transcend the body, you can transcend the mind, and you can transcend the experience of this mundane life without having anything to do with the mind, just through a pure biological process, influenced by kriya yoga.
The purpose of kriya yoga is to create an awakening in the chakras, to purify the pathways of ida, pingala and sushumna, and finally, to awaken the kundalini shakti, the evolutionary force in man.
From 9th to 15th September a group of eighteen students from Chennai successfully completed the 3-year kriya yoga course. Swami Yogakanti conducted the course assisted by Swami Nirmalratna.
From 15th to 20th September, a group of ten students from Chennai successfully completed a 3-year prana vidya course conducted by Swami Yogakanti.
From 27th September to 5th October, a group of eight students from Chennai attended the third year of a kriya course conducted by Swami Yogakanti and assisted by Swami Nirmalratna. Experiences with the kriyas were discussed and then deepened with the addition of Tattwa Shuddhi. Revealing insights into the practices were gained from Swami Niranjanananda’s satsangs on kundalini and tantra during the Navaratri Satsang Series.
From 30th October to 5th November, twenty-five people from eleven countries delved into the ten stages of ajapa dharana, guided by Swami Muktidharma. Hatha yoga and yoga nidra with Swami Karmakaruna complemented the meditation and theory sessions. The subtle ashram environment with mouna during meals, karma yoga and evening chanting balanced the course perfectly. The biggest highlight was several satsangs with Swamiji, including a post-Diwali lunch and a special satsang with the opportunity to ask questions on ajapa dharana. Swamiji shared personal stories and deep insight into the practice. During the Sri Yantra abhisheka in the Akhara on 5th November, twenty participants received initiation into mantra, jignasu and karma sannyasa.
This special four-month course provides basic training in the practical and theoretical aspects of yoga and ashram life based on the ancient gurukul system.
On 1st February the four-month Yogic Studies Course in Hindi commenced with thirty-eight students from Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttarkhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
On 1st October, the four-month Yogic Studies Course commenced with fifty-six participants from the following twenty-six countries: Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Nepal, Norway, Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, UK, Ukraine, USA and Uzbekistan.
At the end of the course, the participants were asked the following question: What was the most important lesson or teaching that you will take with you from these four months? Here are some of the answers:
From 1st June to 25th August, the Yogic Science and Lifestyle Course took place in Ganga Darshan. Sixteen students from all over India participated and successfully completed the course.
Every person and every child should have a personality of his own and the evolution of this personality can only take place in an atmosphere that encourages independence. Children should be exposed to the world as it is; boys and girls should not be isolated. If they are not exposed, they will not progress and will develop fear in their minds. When exposed to the natural situations of life, children are destined to become intelligent. No one will succeed in cheating them. The children in the ashram or outside the ashram should be provided with an atmosphere of fearlessness.—Swami Satyananda
From 22nd to 26th April, twenty children and teachers from Ramana Vidyalaya, Chennai, visited Ganga Darshan, accompanied by Jignasu Vishnuchittam. Their program included daily yoga classes taught by Swami Divyajyoti and chanting with the children of Bal Yoga Mitra Mandal.
From 1st to 6th August, thirty-two children from the SKILL Foundation visited Ganga Darshan, led by Prem Verma, Patna. Classes were taught by Swami Tyagraj and Swami Divyajyoti.
From 20th to 24th October, twenty-eight children and five teachers from the Krishnamurti School, Begusarai, Bihar, had the experience of ashram life. They were accompanied by Dr. Rakesh Ranjan of Pune. Swami Divyajyoti gave the APMB class in the morning, and the children of BYMM taught yoga nidra in the afternoon, followed by chanting bhajan and kirtan and playing yogic games.
A six-day introductory yoga course was conducted for fifteen members of the local judiciary from 29th March to 3rd April at Ganga Darshan. The officers were given an introduction to asana, pranayama, mantra, relaxation and shatkarma practices. The course was conducted by Swami Shivadhyanam.
From 17th to 27th October, eight aspirants from Romania accompanied by Sannyasi Mangaldharma attended a course on ‘Yogic Tools for Improving the Quality of Life’, conducted by Swami Yogakanti. Two sessions a day covered APMB and yoga nidra. The session on mantra and meditation techniques focused on swadhyaya. The question of how to become strong, healthy and inspired and how to express this in life was studied through ashram life, satsang and Swami Niranjan’s Yogadrishti message of balancing esoteric and exoteric yoga.
We want to create a gurukul type of educational institution wherein the ancient and modern ideas of education will blend in happy harmony. The end of all education is to create universal brotherhood and a united world. Education is not meant for degrees only or to earn a livelihood. We would rather educate students to bring out all their unawakened potentialities and their dormant powers.
Following the traditional gurukul disciplines and principles of service, renunciation and compassion, the training focuses on practical experience and application of the skills required for a balanced development in spiritual life.
On 1st February, the six-month Gurukul Lifestyle Course started with four participants from Bulgaria, Colombia and India.
The Sannyasa Training Course is a fully residential course designed to promote sannyasa training for modern aspirants who sincerely wish to dedicate themselves to the awakening of their spiritual potential. In order to develop the skills required for balanced development in spiritual life, the disciplines of seva, swadhyaya, tyaga and yoga have to be understood, internalised and applied in day-to-day life. This can only be experienced and learnt through continued, unbroken participation in the disciplines and routine of the gurukul environment. The daily schedule is rigorous and challenging, and intended for those of strong physical, mental and emotional character, who can face challenges and difficulties with faith and positivity.
On 1st June, the one-year Sannyasa Training Course commenced with three participants from Bulgaria.