Gondia – Concluding Speech

Fourth International Yoga Convention, Gondia, India, 1–7 November 1967, by Swami Satyananda Saraswati

You have all come here to the Fourth International Yoga Convention. Today is Diwali – a day of auspicious messages. Saints will come to this convention and give you the message of a new way of life. Carry this message and scatter it forth to the great masses of people. Become missionaries in the cause, and work for its fulfilment.

In Gondia, we have erected a new type of public school. Work hard and let this Vidyalaya become the forerunner of many such institutions in India and abroad. Education for what? Education for universal brotherhood, education for one world. That is the end of all education. Again, education for what? For degrees, to earn livelihood? We would rather educate students to bring out all their unawakened potentialities, their dormant powers. Education, not for winning our daily bread, not for degrees and diplomas, but education for one world. Everything that you learn in schools and elsewhere should bring you nearer to the point of world unity where all the differences dissolve. Diversity merging into unity. Christians are not Christians, Hindus are not Hindus, Muslims are not Muslims. First of all, we are all atmans. This should be realized.

This is the message of Vedanta. There is one atman, one essence, one consciousness, one reality, penetrating, permeating everyone. That should be the background of education, and as Vedanta teaches universal brotherhood, there should be one Vedanta textbook in our educational institutes. Vedanta is a science, it is not metaphysics. It trains your psyche to see and feel the unity which runs like a thread in the universe. You may use different labels and they become different religions, but the essence of religion does not change. Religion comes with man, and lives after he is gone. You cannot destroy religion. We must strive to remove the differences in religions, only then will there be universal brotherhood. Political, racial, ideological, religious differences, all these ‘differences' must go. For this we have to take full advantage of educational institutes, and arrange our programs of education so that a day will soon dawn when the slogan of ‘One World' becomes a reality.

This vedantic vision should be developed through the teaching of yoga. Our school textbooks should be written by those with a knowledge of human psychology. They should be written by seers who can envisage the shape of things thirty or forty years hence. The present system of exerting influence to have the monopoly of producing textbooks must go – such people write useless rubbish which cannot do any good to our students. Some yoga techniques of meditation should also be introduced in educational institutes to remove subconscious samskaras of our students and bring out the best in the human personality.

This is the message of Diwali, the day of victory over dark forces.

—printed in YOGA Vol. 6 No. 1 (January 1968)