Swami Satyasangananda: Sri Swamiji was totally dedicated, and still is totally dedicated to the evolution of mankind. This was his main teaching: that man has to live a type of life by which his evolution is started, accelerated, and enhanced.
Maybe you are not evolving at all. You are just stagnating. How to give it a push? Sri Swamiji gave two tools for that: one was yoga and the other was yajna. Both are tools of self-evolution by which you can evolve your awareness. There are two processes of evolution going on in each person: one is evolution of mind and the other is evolution of awareness. They are different. They are not the same thing. The mind is evolving through your interaction with the world. You are becoming more intelligent, more intellectual; however, are you becoming more spiritual? That is the evolution of awareness. When you awaken to the reality and to the existence of something that you did not even know existed, and that exists within you, this is what he termed as 'evolution'. It is not a question of becoming good, better or more efficient. No, it is a question of your evolution, movement, growth and development.
Sri Swamiji said that the basis has to be bhakti, devotion. Bhakti is the medium by which you can practise the esoteric part of yajna or yoga. Bhakti has to be the medium. By bhakti he did not mean religion, where you go to the temple or you cry before God. No. By bhakti he meant a state of awareness, just as anger is a state of awareness. When you are angry, you are in a state of awareness. When you are grieving, when you are stressed, when you are confused or agitated, these are all states of awareness. In the same way, you can have a state of awareness called 'bhakti'. It is a brainwave, a pattern of the brain. And it is so necessary to have this state of awareness.
It is with this bhakti that you can experience peace, and in order to progress peace is essential. Peace in society, peace in the nation, peace in the world, and most importantly peace within yourself, because you have to live with yourself despite all the noise around you and the noise within your own self. That is what Sri Swamiji taught us, the evolution of man and the two tools of yoga and yajna.
Sri Swamiji says that the future belongs to bhakti. It is through bhakti that the problems and difficulties that you are facing will be solved. There is no other way. When in society there has been unrest, agitation, absence of peace and an increase in restlessness, it is always the bhakti movement and the divine mystery of bhakti that has come to the rescue, because bhakti has the power to align your awareness in the right way.
—Lakshmi-Narayana Mahayajna, 12 September 2013, Paduka Darshan, Munger