YOGA PEETH EVENTS

Basant Panchami

From 7th to 10th February, Basant Panchami was celebrated at Ganga Darshan, commemorating the 56th Foundation Day of the Bihar School of Yoga. The yoginis from Lalita Mahila Samajam at Thirueengoimalai, Tamil Nadu, conducted daily aradhana dedicated to Devi Chandi, Lalita and Saraswati.

In the morning and afternoon, a group of singers and musicians from Kabir Math, Pandarpur, Maharashtra, delighted participants and local citizens with their soulful rendering of the compositions of Kabir and other saints.

On 9th, Swami Niranjan initiated 3 aspirants into mantra, 9 into jignasu and 2 into karma sannyasa. Nine children were given the upanayan samskara, including one girl from Mumbai and one from Bulgaria. Swamiji said that in the vedic scriptures girls were not excluded from the samskara.

On 10th, the Foundation Day of BSY, Swamiji and Swami Samvidananda of Kailashdham Ashram, Nashik, addressed the gathering. In his message, Swamiji said that the basis of yoga is purity and this is the aim of the Second Chapter of BSY as well. He said that yoga is a samskriti, a culture, which aims at bringing peace, happiness, harmony and cooperation in life.

The yoginis concluded the program with pooja in the Chhaya Samadhi.

International Day of Yoga

On 21st June, Bihar School of Yoga conducted a program from 6 to 7.30 am at Paduka Darshan on the occasion of the fifth International Day of Yoga. More than 600 participants attended and were guided through simple practices of mantra, asana, pranayama, relaxation, concentration and a meditation on yama-niyama.

In Munger, ‘the city of yoga’, similar programs were conducted by members of BYMM, YYMM and the Ramayan Mandali at over 100 venues, in which thousands of people participated.

Programs were conducted by ashrams and centres in Bihar, including Asarganj, Bariyarpur, Bhagalpur, Dharhara, Haveli Kharagpur, Lakhisarai, Patna, Saharsa, Sangrampur, Suryagarha and Tarapur; nationally in Amravati, Bengaluru, Bhilai, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Dhanbad, Golahat, Jaipur, Jabalpur, Jamshedpur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nashik, Vijayawada and other locations; and around the world in many countries, including Bulgaria, Colombia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, Thailand and USA.

On the occasion of the International Day of Yoga, Bihar School of Yoga was selected for the Prime Minister’s Award for Outstanding Contribution for Promo- tion and Development of Yoga, in the national institution category.

Guru Poornima

From 13th to 16th July, the inspiring and uplifting Guru Poornima celebrations were held at Paduka Darshan. The daily program consisted of havan, chanting of stotra and kirtan, and different performances by the children of Bal Yoga Mitra Mandal. Each day one of the children would enact the personality of Swami Sivananda, Swami Satyananda or Swami Niranjanananda and present an inspiring message from them.

In his satsangs, Swami Niranjanananda spoke about the role and aim of the guru parampara in freeing humanity from the bondages of maya and inspiring them on the path of self-discovery and self- transformation. By creating inspiration in the disciple, by sustaining and protecting it and by destroying the obstacles, such as ego, the guru performs the role of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva in the life of the disciple.

During the course of his satsangs, Swamiji invited senior sannyasins and devotees like Swamis Kaivalyananda, Gorakhnath, Gyanbhikshu, Tyagraj and Sannyasis Gyanananda, Shaktijyoti and Omnath on stage, where they spoke on their association with the guru parampara and the learning they have imbibed.

On Guru Poornima day, havan and paduka poojan were performed. More than four thousand people came to pay their respects to the guru tattwa. In his Guru Poornima message Swamiji emphasized the importance of cultivating a simple, straightforward and innocent relationship with the guru, and developing goodness in all aspects of life.

Diwali

On 28th October, Diwali was celebrated with performances of dance, drama and song by the international group of participants of the Progressive Yoga Vidya Training. They depicted the theme of the six conditions of mind and how to overcome them by developing pratipaksha bhavana.

Yoga Poornima

From 8th to 12th December, Yoga Poornima was conducted for the first time at the Akhara. Honouring the birth of Sri Swami Satyananda according to the lunar calendar, the learned pandits from Varanasi invoked the grace of Shiva, the first yogi, with abhisheka, havan and the chanting of mantras.

Yoga Chakra

From 18th to 22nd December, the Yoga Chakra program was conducted at Ganga Darshan. The focus was lifestyle and how to bring harmony into one’s day-to-day life. In his satsangs, Swami Niranjanananda said that ‘life is what you live through your mind, and lifestyle is the expression of the quality of your mind’. He further emphasized the importance of awareness not only of thoughts but also of one’s feelings which are a pranic experience. Both mental and pranic activities need to be balanced. For that the first three steps are: observation, acceptance and correction. A yogic lifestyle is based on a connection with one’s inner self, as well as with the social and natural environment one lives in.

As a special treat during the program, Shabnam Virmani from Bangalore, ac- companied by Swagath Sivakumar, delighted everyone with bhajans of Kabir and saints of other spiritual traditions of India and Pakistan. The vedic chanting group from Atma Darshan Yogashram, Bangalore, impressed the audience with the purity and strength of their presentation. Everyone felt transported to the vedic era.

The overseas participants came from the following 26 countries Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Qatar, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Uruguay, the USA and Venezuela.

The national participants came from the states of Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The practical sessions were conducted by Swamis Anandananda, Shivadhyanam and Yogatirtha.

Christmas

On 24th December, residents of Ganga Darshan sang Christmas carols. A modern rendering of a Kabir bhajan was presented by Swagath Sivakumar. In his address, Swamiji spoke on his own connection to Christianity which developed during his travels throughout the world. For yoga aspirants Jesus is a master of yoga whose teachings resonate with the teachings of Swami Sivananda and Swami Satyananda.

On 25th December, the students of the 3-month Yogic Studies course and the children of Bal Yoga Mitra Mandal brought the spirit of Christmas alive with song and dance and an inspiring rendering of the nativity play.

On this day also, Sri Swami Satyananda’s birthday, according to the solar calendar, was honoured with a havan dedicated to him.

Year End program

The last day of the year was celebrated with great joy at the Chhaya Samadhi of Sri Swamiji. A havan dedicated to Devi, the Divine Mother, was conducted by the children of Bal Yoga Mitra Mandal, and two dance performances impressed the spectators who had come from all corners of India and overseas. The 3-month Yogic Studies students presented song and dance from around the world on the theme of happiness. They sang Russian, Korean, Hebrew, French and Sufi songs inviting everyone to join in. They also gave twenty resolutions for the new year to live a yogic life. Swamiji spoke on hope and faith as the foundation for the year 2020 and the need to use the learning of previous years to progress on the path of peace, harmony and contentment.

20 Wishes for the Year

2020 Presented by students of the 3-month Yogic Studies (English) at the Year End program.

  1. We wish you courage to face your fears.
  2. We wish you faith that carries you through the ups and downs of life.
  3. We wish you to go beyond established boundaries.
  4. We wish you to explore the highest of your potentials.
  5. We wish you understanding and wisdom that helps you understand each other.
  6. We wish you love that extends to all of creation – big and small.
  7. We wish you clarity to see solutions through difficulties.
  8. We wish you acceptance of all that life has to offer.
  9. We wish you the ability to forgive and forget.
  10. We wish you persistence to never give up.
  11. We wish you digital fasting that connects you to the real world and disconnects you from the virtual world.
  12. We wish you to stay calm in this fast-paced world.
  13. We wish you to enjoy the opportunities provided by the emptiness of a moment.
  14. We wish you the pure joy of a child.
  15. We wish you to minimize your possessions and maximize your affections.
  16. We wish you the ability to laugh through every phase of life.
  17. We wish you to be an artist in everything you do.
  18. We wish you a compassionate heart that connects you to all.
  19. We wish you to live in the moment.
  20. And finally, we wish you to live a sloka from the heart of Indian scriptures which depicts the true source of unity:

This is mine, that is yours It is a sign of narrow-mindedness. For the ones with a big heart The entire world is their own family.