When Swami Satyananda went to Rishikesh to live with his guru, his guru did not tell him, “Close your eyes and meditate.” He said, “Work hard, purify, and the light will reveal itself.” So he said, “Ok, then I go back home and I work hard and I’ll be purified.” Swami Sivananda said, “No, you have to do selflesswork, only then you will be purified.”
Sri Swamiji lived in his guru’s ashram for twelve years. He worked hard. He did not sit and meditate or learn the Upanishads and Vedas or practise kundalini yoga or learn about chakra sadhana, no. Swami Satyananda taught many things, he taught chakra sadhana, kundalini yoga, hatha yoga, raja yoga, but what did he himself practise that made him an enlightened being? It was karma yoga.
It was karma yoga which he practised all his life and that was his main teaching actually and that was the last message of his, “Improve your karmas; it is by improving your karmas that you can uplift your life.” How do you improve your karmas? By thinking about others. That is how he lived his life, by thinking about others. Kriya yoga, chakra sadhana, kundalini he perfected in fiveminutes. His guru gave him that knowledge in fiveminutes, what it takes us lifetimes to learn. It is not difficultto learn these sadhanas but it is difficultto think about others.
At the end of this Chakra Sadhana seminar, I feel that I should tell all of you, that along with your sadhana of the chakras and trying to improve the quality of your mind and the quality of your experiences, and trying to awaken your own power within you, also include this aspect of yoga. Then your experiences will be much richer and you will have very good and quick result. If you don’t know how to do that, you are welcome to Rikhiapeeth, because that is how we live; we live there for others.
I asked my guru one question, mind you, we don’t usually ask guru any questions, but we get all the answers. I asked him, “Is it possible to have that highest experience, which they write about in books?” He said, “Yes, it is.” I asked him, “What is the way?” He said, “Serve others selflessly, that is the way.” He said to me the same thing his guru had told him, in other words. He said, “That is the way.” That is why I’m doing what I am doing. If he had said anything else, I would not be doing what I am doing, but he said, “That is the way to have that highest experience: live for others. Serve others, serve selflessly those who don’t belong to you, from whom you will get nothing in return, serve without expectation.”
Swami Satyananda was a very frank person, he used to say things straight. He said, “No matter how many books you write, no matter how many yoga seminars you give, that will not get you that experience. But serving others will give you that experience.”
Twenty years, from 1989 to 2009, that is what I did, with body, mind and soul, forgetting everything, even forgetting myself. I can tell you, that what he said was correct. When you live your life in that way, it is like meditating with your eyes open. If you want to go high, your awareness immediately catapults up, it does not take long, because, through selfless service, all the dross, all the garbage, all the rubbish that we have been collecting, gets cleaned. I don’t know where it disappears, yet that is the only thing that is standing between you and that experience of that light.
If you want to know more about this, you should read the Bhagavad Gita. There this philosophy is very clearly defined and explained. So along with your own practices which you have to do – it is not that you should not do the practices, you have to do that – but side by side also incorporate, maybe once a week, maybe twice a week, maybe once a month, spend time for others. Wherever you live there is that opportunity: there are old age homes, there are sick homes, there are children who need help. Many people need help and you can give one hour in a week. I’m sure that you have that much time – one hour in a week, four hours in a month, you can easily give for helping others who do not belong to you.
—19 June 2011, Chakra Sadhana Seminar, Bulgaria