Messages from Abroad

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

Last year at the time of the World Yoga Convention, I received news from Australia and France. The news from Australia was that for the last twenty years the yoga teachers, were teaching yoga to war veterans to help them manage their psychological crises. For ten years the government had sponsored many kinds of psychological therapies and other interventions to help the war veterans improve their life.

Last year a final decision was taken that the only therapy effective in the management of the mental condition of war veterans is yoga. Yoga was given the status of a therapy to manage the mental behaviour of war veterans. This is now established.

The second message was that after twenty years of yoga training in France, the French government decided that the Bihar Yoga system would be taught in each and every school in France. This agreement came after twenty years of research and experimentation with other forms of yoga. Last year the government concluded, "In our country, in all schools, colleges and universities the only yoga that will be taught is Satyananda Yoga because of its scientific nature, background and understanding, and its correct application in human society."

This was the vision and the gift of our guru, Sri Swami Satyananda. The work which started many years ago is bearing fruits today and giving those results. Yoga is now becoming firmly accepted and entrenched in the community in all the countries where the yoga work was started many years ago.

Purpose of Bharat Yatra

In India, people think of yoga as asana and pranayama. Any other aspect related to yoga, you think of as religious. If you see a sannyasin with stripes on the head, you say, "He is a religious figure." If you do mantra, you say, "This is a religious mantra." Be it Om Namah Shivaya, Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya, or Om tryambakam yajamahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam, or any mantra, you say, "This is a sectarian mantra." You say, anything that is not physical is religious. For this reason, until today, Indians have missed the opportunity of experimenting, realizing and experiencing the true nature of yoga.

It was during the World Yoga Convention that I decided to share the prasad and the achievements of the Convention; to embark on Bharat Yatra, visit each and every village, town and city, and give them the prasad of our parampara, our tradition, and the blessings of our gurus.

This visit to Mumbai and Chembur is the first in the sequence of this yatra. It will take time. It can take many years; but the first steps have been taken.

The purpose of this yatra is to make you aware of the other dimensions of yoga which are equally important, if not more, than the asana and pranayama that you do.

—13 April 2014, Chembur, Mumbai, India