My Philosophy and Principle

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

People often ask: how can one maintain constant awareness in the present? The person who can maintain constant awareness of the present is known as a yogi. A person who is not a yogi is troubled by experiences of the past, worries about the future, and totally ignores the present.

People will often worry about the past as well as the future. They do not worry much about the present compared to the time spent worrying about the past and future.

Yoga can alter this mentality. With yoga, you learn from your past experience; your life until yesterday is what you learn from. Your life tomorrow is something you do not know about, therefore you do not worry about it. Today is the day that you apply the knowledge and everything that you have learnt until now.

If you have had a fight with someone yesterday, you should not carry that negativity with you today, but close that chapter and open a new one. You should contemplate the reason for the fight and look at where you might have gone wrong, what can you do in the future to change that or what you could have done to prevent things from getting so bad. Therefore, today you can apply your learning from yesterday's experience. This is awareness of the present.

If a friend tells you that someone said this and that, and you fret about it, your project for the day will be shattered. Instead apply this simple formula or philosophy in your life: until yesterday I was a student, today I am going to apply what I have learnt in my student life and then I will do it tomorrow.

This is the philosophy and the principle that I follow in my life.

—25 July 2014, Swabhoomi Rangamanch, Kolkata, India