Right Proportion

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

With the practices of yoga, harmony is established in the physical, mental, emotional, intellectual and spiritual dimensions. This has been the belief system of our paramguru Swami Sivananda. He said to his disciples that when one cooks vegetables, one does not put one litre of water and one kg of salt and one kg of spices in one kg of vegetables. If one does, one will not be able to eat that vegetable. If the vegetable is to be made delicious, it should be cooked according to the right proportion. Vegetable, water, salt, spices, oil, cumin – everything has to be in the correct proportion. The quantity is fixed.

Similarly, in the practice of yoga also the duration and sequence of every practice is fixed. Swami Sivananda used to say that the work of yoga in a person's life is his development. Yoga awakens one's genius, therefore it should not be restricted to one particular dimension only. Even though one becomes healthy physically by doing asanas, one remains distant from one's talents and far removed from peace of mind and the wisdom of the mind. If one works only at the level of the mind, then the mind remains unbalanced, and the senses keep running after sense objects.

Asana and pranayama should be performed by an aspirant every day according to the right proportion, frequency, duration and sequence. This proportion was determined by Sri Swami Satyananda, along with other methods developed to cook the vegetables.

So, the basic theory was given by Swami Sivananda, but the development of that theory was done by Sri Swami Satyananda.

—4 June 2014, Kathmandu, Nepal