My Chitta Vritti of Pranama

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

Today is the seventh year since Sri Swamiji was put in the lap of mother Earth and flowers were placed on top of the spot where he was sitting in meditation. Remembering those moments and being here present in Ganga Darshan, brings to mind many chitta vrittis of pramana, memories which have been lived, seen, experienced of the times when my guru used to live in Ganga Darshan in Munger and walk around the property.

When he came here there was nothing and the place grew in front of him. He was the witness of every brick being laid and every tree being planted. Swami Shankarananda and Swami Kaivalyananda and other people of the old times who are here today do have those memories. Whether they remember them or not, I do remember them, for this place grew up in front of him, brick by brick, from a big hole to a towering building. He lived in many of the buildings, in many of the rooms as they were being constructed, he did not only stay in one place but he moved from building to building and room to room.

He used to have a bamboo hut, a platform on stilts, under a tree, on different terraces of the ashram where he would sit to have his meals, overlooking the work happening in the garden and in the construction. I remember the pathways where he walked. He would look across to Ganga, flowing north, at the beauty of the sunset with a mysterious smile on his face. I remember the places where he sat and had tea, spoke to people, gave satsangs, instructed and guided people. Today those memories are my chitta vrittis of pramana, for I have seen, lived and experienced those moments. Thinking about those moments all I can see was happiness, joy, contentment, hope, optimism radiating from him as he watched the ashram grow.

A vision come alive

He was happy that it was happening. Why was he happy? Because it was a place where he had envisioned yoga coming alive – yoga in the truest sense, not as a yoga centre or as a yoga studio but as a place of yogic tradition, where yoga could be lived by people to attain peace, creativity, contentment and happiness. This was the outcome that he envisioned for people who came here to practise yoga.

He was also happy because here he felt that the sannyasins who were coming would have independent, individual rooms, which until then was never possible in the old BSY because there were not enough rooms there. We used to sleep under the stair-case, in the veranda, under the tree, we did not know what a private room was until 1983–84 when people came from the old BSY to Ganga Darshan and entered a space called ‘room’, twelve by twelve, fourteen by fourteen which was to be their own.

For sannyasins he had envisioned that they would be able to excel in the spiritual as well as the material world. If they can excel in administration they can excel in meditation also. If they can excel in finding their own balance and peace, they can excel also in following the discipline and maintaining the optimism of belonging. For this place he always visualized and envisioned the best of yoga and the best of sannyasa.

6 December 2016, Ganga Darshan, Munger