Satsang with Yoga Teachers

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Swamiji, would you like to suggest some codes of conduct for us while teaching yoga or treating patients, that could help us?

Well, I think everybody has common sense. I do not like to preach a code of conduct, ethics and morality, because I am not a moral preceptor. I know yoga, I teach yoga. I don’t even teach God because that is not my training. I don’t teach morality, ethics, whether you drink, don’t drink, whether you don’t eat meat, or you eat it once or twice. Whether you are monogamous or polygamous, that is your business. But you must think yourself as to what is good for you, your body, your mind, your emotions and finally for your community. Which type of life will be important for you to improve the quality of your willpower, that is left of you.

Improving lifestyle

I would just like to tell you one thing. You must teach yoga to people, first to improve the quality of their physical health. Then you should also teach yoga to them so that they can have something to do every morning in the family. Otherwise you get up in the morning, keep on yawning and then you put on soap, and you go on shaving, reading the newspaper, listening to the radio and yelling at the children. I mean, that is how you are going to spend the whole day.

I think you should get up in the morning, have a bath, sit down quietly, do a few exercises and then you do your japa and meditation and then you come out and shave yourself, speak nicely, with your children and with your neighbours. ‘Hey, how are you? How are your children?’ The whole day you spend like that. In the same way, at night also, before sleep, put your head on the pillow, do a little japa, or something like that.

Otherwise what happens, the moment you put your head on the pillow, you go into fantasies, worries, anxieties. Sometimes you spend half the night, tranquillizers, composers, going to bathroom, cigarette, bidi. You must have a very scientific life, in such a way that it contributes to your health, to the quality of your mind.

Yoga makes the difference

Not only that, when you meet the people, you should talk to them about yoga. Yoga is such a powerful system. Even if you go and teach yoga to a person suffering from cancer, who is about to die after five days, it may not cure his cancer - anyway he has to die - but the moment they begin to practise yoga, they come closer to peace and proper understanding. Now there is a difference therefore. He may die of cancer in agony, or he may die of cancer in peace. That makes a difference.

Yoga sometimes may not be able to change the quality of disease. It may not be able to treat the disease, but it will definitely create certain positive influences in your personality, in your way of thinking, in the quality of your philosophy. So anybody you come across you must talk to about yoga in such a way that he is inspired.

But when you teach yoga, you must be very careful of one thing, that you do not destroy anybody’s religious beliefs. Even in this twentieth century, where matter has been exploded and redefined, where the concept of energy and the concept of consciousness have also come following the ways of science, there are people who are very closed in their religious beliefs. You have to be very careful. It is wrong to change anybody’s religious belief. It is absolutely incorrect, it is absolutely wrong to say that, 'Your religious beliefs are not scientific. Yes, he may be wrong, but he himself thinks he is right. The Bhagavad Gita (3:26) says:

Na buddhi bhedan . . .

Those people who are ignorant, those people who are attached to the objects of the world, do not destroy their faith at all. Let them carry on.

So you should talk to them about yoga in such a way, so that they do not become sceptical about their own philosophy, which they had been adhering to for 35 to 40 years. You are destroying their entire structure. Whether someone is a Christian or a Hindu or a Muslim, he has constructed that structure for 35 years, and today because of your intelligence, because of your intellectual power, because of your hypnotic personality, you are destroying it - and that man will be without support. And this is what is happening throughout the world. People have lost their identity. They don’t know what to identify with because the base on which they are standing the base with which they were identifying, is completely lost.

To give respect

There are many Christians in India, they are completely baseless. They don’t know what to do, what they are, whether they should marry like a Hindu, whether they should marry like a European. If you want to marry like a European, there are problems. And if they want to marry like a Hindu, they can’t because a Hindu marriage is a fantastic marriage. You have to do like this, like that. And the European marriage is also hopeless. It is like a contract marriage - five-years contract. I mean nobody likes it, I would not like to have a contract with my wife. I want her to be with me as long as I live or as long as she lives, because love has nothing to do with contracts. It has something to do with the soul. When you marry, you marry for the whole life time. It does not matter. Let him be a wretch. Let him be debauched, ‘I don’t care’.

This is the Hindu way of thinking. She’s my wife, it doesn’t matter whether she is paralytic, whether she is a leper. But she is my wife. In dharma, I have held her hand. If your child becomes paralytic are you going to throw him away, it is wrong. If you are going to throw her away, you are going to throw away another girl also, because maybe that is your nature and not her nature. So the Hindu way of thinking is different.

Christians have been fighting with each other. The same thing is happening everywhere. I have been to Indonesia; I have lived in Japan. I have lived in the South East Asian countries; I have lived in Greece. We should not destroy anyone’s basic faith. That is the respect we have to give. And that is the first element, that is the first character, or that is the first personality, or I should say, that is the religion of Hinduism.

You should not try to convert anybody. You should not even try to change anybody; you should try to help. Even if he does not believe in God, if he is a communist, don’t teach him yoga so that we may lose communism. Communism is also good - balanced philosophy, it is good. You understand, it is necessary to create a balance. Communism is an idea, sensuality is an idea, spirituality is an idea: you should have respect, as you have respect for poison, which is used in medicinal drugs.

Munger yoga

Finally, yoga means Munger. You see I'll tell you why. I know acupuncture. I don’t teach anyone; I don’t even speak a word about it. I know naturopathy; I don’t speak a word about it. I know ayurveda. I have manufactured medicines for years together in Rishikesh, at the Ayurveda Pharmacy Health. But I don’t speak even a word about it. Nothing. I just speak about one thing, yoga, because my guru said yoga, he hasn’t told me anything else.

The institution in Munger now is devoted totally to the concept of yoga, but we are very careful people. For me an institution is a base, it is not even the means, not to talk about the end. Point one clear. The institution is being created to facilitate the work of yoga. To me yoga is also not the end, it is the means. The means to man’s inner light. His outer life, his relationship with day-to-day agonies and problems. Fights with his wife, fights with his children, the whole lot of difficulties he is undergoing. The money he's having, living a life in sensuality: that is the depth of life which every man is subjected to in some way or the other, positively or negatively. That life is the end. And the deeper man has to evolve in the realm of consciousness, in the realm of mind, in the realm of buddhi, in the realm of common sense, so that we may be able to have a little better community of mankind. Not much better, I'm not very optimistic - of course I'm not a doomsday prophet - but I think a little better is always good. That is what you should keep in mind all the time when you talk yoga.

Entering another reality

Munger has to be in your mind all the time, and come to this place every now and then particularly please come in 1983, from November 1st to 7th. You are not going to see any posters; you are not going to see any invitation cards anywhere. I have told all my disciples, no poster will be printed, no pamphlets will be issued, no handbills will be distributed. No. First to seventh November is the period when there is going to be the meeting of all the yoga-minded people, not only from this continent but from all over the world, in thousands. It is going to be just a festival or a meeting; it will not be a philosophical one.

I am not going to have symposiums. I am not going to have subjects. You can sing, you can talk, you can see people. If you don’t want to come to the conference, you can talk about whatever you like, but it is one glimpse of the glory of yoga, which Munger will provide in 1983 from November 1st to 7th.

And it is also very important because in 1923 I was born, in 1943 I renounced, and 1963 I started this work. In 1983 I will hand over my charge to people and let them look after it, so that I can dedicate myself to the cosmic institution, not a particular institution. I am not against this school or ashram, because I have created it, but there has to be some purpose, where I have to transcend the limitations of an institution, dedicate and devote myself to people, and not belong to any institution. The work for all that will start from 1983. This is clear and that will be the period November 1st to 7th, when I will start entering into another reality.

—21 October 1982, Ganga Darshan, Munger