Vision of Yoga

by Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

Swami Satyananda and yoga complement each other. Sri Swami Satyananda adopted yoga, not the hatha yoga, jnana yoga, kriya yoga, kundalini yoga, or mantra yoga that people know and are attracted to, but yoga as a culture, a style of life and an attainment of life.

After all, what is your exposure to yoga? Five percent exposure to yoga – it can’t be more. Even the yoga teachers who have been teaching yoga for decades have only exposed themselves to maybe five or ten percent of yoga, only asana, pranayama, some pratyahara and some meditation techniques, and maybe a cock-eyed theory of chakra and kundalini.

Yoga should not be taken lightly. Sri Swamiji is the epitome of that yogic tradition and culture which was emitted by Swami Sivananda. In this tradition life becomes complete, correct and perfect. Our example is our guru, who lived a correct life, who lived a perfect life, and who lived an enlightened life. He still continues to shine brightly in the lives of people who are connected to him and he still continues to attract, through his luminosity, those people who have never seen him. Such is the power of a saint. Such is the power of an enlightened being.

We are all part of his vision. All of us who have come from near and far, the affluent and poor, no matter who we are, no matter to which caste, creed, religion, or belief we belong, we come here only for two things: to experience love and to experience divinity.

Although we speak about the experience of love and unity and listen to it many times, let me ask a question today: “Do you live that love and unity with your people, with your friends, with your neighbours, with your associates?” If you do not, then you have not learnt anything. But if you can share even one percent of that love and that unity, then yes, you’re on the right track. And this is something that each spiritual aspirant must think about. You do not have to be generous, loving and kind overnight. A bud does not become a flower instantly. It follows its course of time and destiny. In the same manner let your faith, let your belief, let your conviction become the strengths which allow what is destined for you to be realized in this lifetime.

All the traditions which Sri Swamiji has spoken about share two criteria: to have faith and to have belief. Without these two elements, you cannot attain love; forget unity. If you do not have faith and belief in your mother, you will not go near her. You will be unable to love her. If you believe in your mother and have faith in your mother, there is no need to call you, you will always be near your mother, seeking that solace, love and support. It is also stated in the Ramacharitamanas, that without faith, belief and conviction, not even siddhas can realize the higher nature within themselves.

We are here as part of a family, not visitors and guests, but a family that is united and together in the vision of our guru. As a family, we are sharing and experiencing the joy of being and giving together.

You may feel happy giving, but did you look at the faces of the people who are receiving? Their smile is the biggest blessing that you have ever had in your life. When you are able to create a smile of happiness on the troubled faces of humanity, that is real seva, real prem and real karuna. For that, you have to connect with the inspiration to help other people.

—7 December 2013, Rikhiapeeth