Munger is isolated; it is not a place of pilgrimage. Those who come here have to change trains three times, so they think twice before deciding to make the journey. On the banks of the Ganga is Ananda Bhavan, the place where I practised hatha yoga and later decided to stay for I liked this place very much.
Now people are coming to Munger from all over the world in order to learn yoga, not only Indians but people from all religions and walks of life. The situation in the world is such that everyone from king to beggar is perplexed and restless. People want to learn yoga and concentrate their mind in order to find peace. This is why our small ashram is transmitting the message of yoga to the whole world.
Previously yoga was practised only for self-realization, but today yoga is used by people everywhere to free their body and mind of disease and tension. All the top scientists and doctors, whether from America or the socialist countries, are engaged in research on yoga. From my own investigations, I found that through meditation, japa, mantra, kirtan, asana and pranayama changes take place within the physical body and within the mind.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent to open yogic research centres all over the world. There should be complete coordination in these investigations, but there is not. Sometimes news of them is published in different scientific journals and magazines, but the average person does not have access to the findings of the research being carried out in Yugoslavia, France, Australia and India.
Most people know about the latest films, but new experiments and investigations are hardly discussed. There is no adequate medium to convey the latest yogic research and its implications to the people in a form which can be understood by all. For this reason Bihar School of Yoga has started a Research Coordinating Centre.
Many of my sannyasin disciples are doctors, engineers, philosophers and psychologists. They have left their countries and homes to come here and take up this work. Being highly trained, they have a basic understanding of the scientific yogic research going on around the world. They will bring here whatever research is being done on yoga, in the East and West, correlate it and convey it in a readable form to the people.
I am a member of a large number of institutions, but not one of them is transmitting its findings to the public in a systematic, effective and far-reaching way. These investigations cannot be explained in lectures, for some people may understand but many will not. We do not expect every person to understand what alpha intensity is. Therefore, first the doctors and scientists should become familiar with these ideas, and then they can explain them to the people in a more comprehensible manner.
Our aim is to convey information about the investigations going on in the world. How are alpha waves produced while doing kirtan? How does japa influence blood pressure? What is the effect of relaxation on the mind? What does science have to say about yoga? Through meditation changes can be brought about in one's emanations, electrical and magnetic centres. Physical, emotional and mental health can be improved. This is not to state that the medical sciences, surgery, or ayurveda are of no use. Our ancestors developed many systems of medical treatment to relieve us from diseases, and one of these systems is yoga. The research being done around the world will throw much light on the possibilities of yoga therapy.
We must be more aware of our yogic culture. Over the last five hundred years, we have forgotten it and spiritual knowledge has nearly disappeared. Today, however, there is a great yogic renaissance going on around the world and spiritual knowledge is manifesting. More than ever it is necessary for every person to be reminded of this great yogic culture before which the whole world bows down.
Finally, to all yoga lovers I express the wish that they may share their knowledge and experience with us in the form of assistance and cooperation, so that we can impart this knowledge to the maximum number of people through our new Research Coordinating Centre.
—24 January 1977, fourteenth anniversary celebration of the Foundation Day of Bihar School of Yoga, Sivanandashram, printed in YOGA, Vol. 15, No. 9 (September 1977)