Connected or Not Connected

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

Hundreds of children go to school. They all study the same subject, yet the intention of many is to learn enough to pass the class so that they can finish school quickly. The intention of few is to study the subject to master it and become an expert in it. Those who study to move on, they don't remember or imbibe — they have short-term memories. Those who want to have mastery over the subject, they convert the short-term memory into long-term memory and develop an affinity with the subject. They develop a connection with the subject. There are many stories to indicate that this has happened to many different scientists around the globe who have become so engrossed in their own calculations that they have forgotten what exists around them. In yoga too, there are two types of people. One is the public who come to yoga for general well being. They are concerned with their stress management, pain management, sleep management, and that is also what they need. They don't need to develop a connection with guru. They need a relief to their condition. Those people who try to become gurus to such people will always be a failure for that connection will never develop; it will be a connection of selfish wants. Then there is this other group of people who want to master, understand and apply what they have learnt in life. These people pursue a topic, a subject, and it is this group that develops a connection with the vidya and with the master, not everybody.

For the experience

When Sri Swamiji started the yoga work, he conceived a fellowship of people. If you look at the logo of ajna chakra, it says underneath — International Yoga Fellowship. It is a fellowship of yogis, meaning those people who want to master, learn, imbibe and apply; they want to live yoga. It is those people who will ultimately make a qualitative change in their own life, in their own family, in their own society and in their own nation. Not the random practitioners of yoga who for a few months come to your class, then for a few months go to someone else's class, then for few months they join some other club, another ashram, another mantra from another guru, comparing this system with that system.

The fellowship is created by people who are connected to the vidya, for they want to explore, understand and master the subject. This second group of people nurture and nourish the vidya. They don't practise the vidya; the practice of vidya is for the first group. They come, they learn the practices: pawanmuktasana, pranayama, yoga nidra, meditation for three months they associate with you, and then no longer.

Their purpose with yoga is over. They got what they were looking for. They are not interested in deepening their experience, or in following your aspirations. The connection develops between people who have similar aspirations, not between people who have different aspirations. When aspirations are different, there is no connection. When aspirations are the same, then there is deepening of connection. That is what Sri Swamiji envisioned: that our aspiration should be to experience and explore yoga vidya, and our connection has to be with that — to experience.

It is this relationship we need to cultivate. When the person is not there, we connect with the spirit which has motivated us to find that path of richness and goodness. If you are interested in deepening your own experience, your own understanding, you are connected — so be sincere, committed and truthful to that.

—20 October 2018, Munger Yoga Symposium