Happy

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

Listening to the impressions of the Hatha Yoga Yatra participants, not only today but also in the past, makes me happy, thinking that the revival of the Yoga Chakra has been a positive event. For the last fiftyyears the Bihar School of Yoga was involved in yoga propagation, around the world. The practices that were taught were mainly physical in nature, and we saw that yoga was becoming more like an aerobic exercise and getting away from the true intent of harmonizing and developing the qualities and the faculties of head, heart and hands.

Keeping this thought in mind, Yoga Chakra contains the original teachings of Sri Swamiji from the 1960s. When I listen to the impressions of people, I feel happy that as aspirants we are able to go deeper and experience what yoga desires of us, not what we desire from yoga. That is the main difference between yoga practice and yoga sadhana.

I am happy that with this exposure to yoga we can make the effort to improve the quality of our life, our appreciation of life and to begin to appreciate life as beautiful and not as struggle. How long are you going to live in this body? Eighty years average, if you pull a little bit more, ninety. These few years that we live, we should live in a manner which is appropriate, correct, skilful and creative.

Participation

When we came to the ashram in the early days, we learnt everything. From plumbing to electricity, to carpentry, to yoga, to asana, to pranayama, to meditation, to kitchen, to office, to keys, to correspondence, everything we learned, not only asana and meditation. Today we have the confidencethat no matter where we are in the world we will survive; even in the forest and jungle we will survive.

That participation has to come in life, which people are lacking. They avoid participation. You have to move into participation in order to develop your own skills, your creativity, your understanding of life and your own appreciation of life. Yoga opens a doorway by which we can begin to explore our own nature and personality, know our limitations and strengths, overcome the limitations and use the strengths to attain success in life. That is more important to live as a human being. Yoga and ashram environment give that opportunity.

In the ashram everything is not peaceful, it is always chaotic. Just as in a hospital everyone is not healthy, everyone is sick. In the health-care centre, nobody is healthy, everybody is lying on a bed, sick. They don’t call it ‘sick care centre’, they call it health care centre. It is the same in the ashram, everyone who comes to the ashram is not a balanced spiritual person. People are struggling in life, they are struggling with themselves, with their body, their mind, their ambitions and struggling their stress.

When we come to the ashram, we come in a state of struggle and we are trying to overcome and manage that. While managing that we are also trying to look at the other aspects of our nature which can enhance our creativity and productivity. All this happens, yet the start of the journey is important. Yoga and especially these Yoga Yatras indicate that with this yogic journey we can explore ourselves and the possibilities that yoga provides for us. I am happy that Hatha Yoga Yatra 3 and 4 have concluded successfully.

—19 May 2019, Hatha Yoga Yatra 3 & 4, Munger