A hearty welcome to all of you participating in this sacred event of Guru Poornima.
First of all, I would like to thank all the gurus of our tradition due to whom we are celebrating this holy Guru Poornima program today. Do you know why I said all the gurus? I said so as the establishment of Bihar School of Yoga was the concept and thinking of Swami Sivananda, which was fulfilled by Sri Swami Satyananda and which is now being furthered by our Swamiji.
When Sri Swamiji got the instruction of yoga propagation from Swami Sivananda, he came here to Munger in 1956 after roaming around the whole of India. In Munger he first came to Paduka Darshan on the banks of river Ganga as he found peace and aloneness here. At Ganga Darshan he would go for a walk and sit on a rock in that place of the ashram which today is called Jyoti Mandir. There he saw a miracle – a white light shaped like a person who told him that this would be the place of yoga.
When Swami Sivanandaji took mahasamadhi in 1963, Sri Swamiji was in Munger and as per tradition, after the samadhi of one’s guru, a disciple has to settle wherever they are at that moment. Sri Swamiji was in Munger, so he established Bihar School of Yoga in Munger near the holy Ganga.
In 1977 when the design of Ganga Darshan was shown to Sri Swamiji he said, ‘I have seen this ashram before in 1950 when I was in Rameshwaram with Swami Sivananda’, because he had seen the whole plan of Ganga Darshan when he bowed down to the Shivalinga in Rameshwaram. You see the establishment of yoga in Munger was not just the vision or goal of one or two persons. It is all organized by god. It is the destiny of Munger.
Today Bihar School of Yoga has progressed a lot and we enjoy a comfortable life in the ashram. But if we talk about the early life in Bihar School of Yoga it was very difficult. There was not enough money to buy food, so sannyasins had to go to the market and collect useless leaves which were thrown by vegetable sellers. They cleaned the good parts, removed the rotten part and cooked it. They hardly used to cook 2 to 3 leaves in 10 litres of water. So imagine what conditions they have suffered.
50 years later, we eat a variety of food in the ashram. Today, many yoga classes are conducted, and many programs are organized. I think this is the only ashram in the world where we learn integral yoga, that is the yoga of head, heart and hands, which does not only include physical and mental practices, but it contains the development of the whole human character, which causes the rise of spirituality in our life. This integral yoga is what we call Yoga Chakra which includes 6 yogas: 3 external – hatha yoga, raja yoga and kriya yoga; and 3 internal – karma yoga, bhakti yoga and jnana yoga.
Bihar School of Yoga has also received many awards and honours. In 2017, Swamiji was given the Padma Bhushan and recently on this International Day of Yoga Bihar School of Yoga received the Prime Ministers award for outstanding achievement in the promotion and development of yoga. All this is because of our Swamiji who continues to work tirelessly for yoga.
So this is the short story of Bihar School of Yoga which is the head of integral yoga. And because of the establishment of Bihar School of Yoga we now come here to Sannyasa Peeth which has come next and is the hands of integral yoga.
I humbly salute all the gurus who made this happen.
July 2019, Guru Poornima, Paduka Darshan, Munger