A Process of Transformation

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

People resist change; they want everyone else to be good, however goodness in themselves is resisted. Yoga represents the union of the dissipated elements of human nature. The vicious cycle of negative tamasic qualities of envy, jealousy, arrogance and hatred has to be broken. The effort has to be made to cultivate the strength to face one’s own reactions and find a balance.

Sri Swamiji told me, “Don’t come to me with problems. Never. You find a way to deal with them.” Not even once in my life have I gone to my guru with a problem, neither a personal one, nor an institutional one. He said, “It’s your baby, you look after it. Don’t come to me. Success or failure, it is yours. I am not going to help you.” That was the life he lived in Sivananda Ashram and that was the samskara he got from Swami Sivananda.

Swami Sivananda said, “In the jungle, there are scorpions and snakes, tigers and lions. If you have to live in the jungle, you have to live in harmony with all the inhabitants of the jungle. You cannot decide to kill all the snakes or get rid of all the scorpions in order to feel safe. You should learn how to handle them and live with them peacefully and harmoniously, and also understand the utility of that life form, use it and apply it. Use the capacity of that form to enhance your environment.”

Sri Swamiji has talked about his own nature, what it was and what it became. What is seen as becoming ‘large-hearted’ is nothing but a process of transformation that one goes through. Only when one is ready for transformation can things happen, however people resist change in themselves; they expect change everywhere else but resist change in themselves.

The word ‘yoga’ means change. What is union? Is it not a change from dis-unity to union? Though you want union, you don’t want change – that is not possible. If you want union, you have to go through the change from dis-unity to union, from dis-harmony to harmony. The change has to be realized and that is the second chapter of yoga.

5 February 2018, Ganga Darshan