The Melody of Saraswati

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

When Sri Swami Satyananda established the Bihar School of Yoga, 57 years ago, it was not to propagate or teach people the health benefits of hatha yoga, asana or pranayama, as everyone is doing today, but to create a fellowship of spiritual-minded and yoga-minded people, who would live the principles of yoga and go deeper into the experience of yoga.

Bihar School of Yoga became the nucleus of the International Yoga Fellowship. The International Yoga Fellowship represented this vision of Paramahamsaji where people don’t practise yoga but live yoga.

What he established 57 years ago is taking shape now. For 50 years there was the period of propagating yoga. Yoga became globally known. When we had started our yoga training, there were hardly any yoga teachers in the world. Fifty years later there were thousands of yoga teachers in practically every country and city.

Then the aspiration of Sri Swamiji to establish the International Yoga Fellowship was put into place with the emergence of the Second Chapter of yoga which allowed people to deepen their awareness, understanding and experience of yoga.

The children’s message

Many people are part of that Second Chapter, yet the main recipients and beneficiaries are the children for they are adopting yogic thought in their life. For them yoga is a way of life; for you, yoga is a practice. For them, yoga is a way of thinking and living; for you, yoga is only intervention to manage some stress, anxiety and problem in life. There is a big difference between what you go through and what the children are going through. For them, yoga deals with their personality. For you, yoga deals with your body and mind.

Sonu gave a beautiful example when he explained that he travels with some inspirational sentences of Paramahamsaji. While he is travelling, he tries to live those inspirational sentences and this has changed his whole perspective, understanding and vision of life, and his interactions with people. That really made me happy, to see that the children of Bal Yoga Mitra Mandal are now becoming aware, not only of the asana or pranayama component of yoga but of something which helps them achieve a better understanding and deeper experience of life – a more integrated awareness of life.

I am happy that today the children have conducted this Basant Panchami program. Previously a few people would come to say how good the Institution is for the community and thank the Institution for its presence. That became the celebration of the Foundation Day. Today, that convention is broken. The children have realized that yoga is not a practice but a way of living. They stated, “Life is what you live in your mind. If you live with a positive mind, if you live with a happy mind, your life is positive and happy. If you live with a problematic, critical, negative mind, then life becomes problematic, critical and negative. To manage the negative, critical and diseased life, we come to yoga.”

If we can make the effort to cultivate the positive, like the children are doing at present, we won’t have to face the negatives or the big impact of the negatives, rather we shall sail through life with happiness, wisdom and clarity. That is the message of the children – yoga is not just for our emancipation, enlightenment, health and mental peace, it is also a connection with the environment, with nature and how we interact with our environment, nature, society and the universe.

Positive steps have to be taken to improve not only the quality of ourselves but also the quality of our environment and society. For this everybody has to take a sankalpa, a resolve, a firm determination. The choice of taking this firm resolution is up to you. It has to come up from your own inner depth and you have to have a feeling for it, to achieve the best, the purity, simplicity, wisdom and clarity. Not only to achieve it, but also to apply it in your interactions and behaviour to make your immediate world a little bit better.

In this manner, keep increasing the percentage of positivity one percent at a time. Don’t try to spread positivity ten percent, twenty percent or one hundred percent. One percent, if attainable on a daily basis, will make you ultimately win the race.

So, I wish all the efforts of yoga all the best, and wish all the efforts of all the aspirants in yoga all the best on this day of Basant Panchami where wisdom and action come together to create a beautiful melody of Saraswati.

30 January 2020, Basant Panchami, Ganga Darshan