Sunday, March 15, 2015

Yoga, the light of life

Yoga, the light of life.

Election Observer duty gives an opportunity to understand India and it's culture and to meet people of the area. During my duty in Bihar in 2005, I was fortunate to meet Sanyasi Swami Satyanand Saraswatiji Maharaj (25 December 1923 – 5 December 2009) of Mungher and Rikhia Ashram (Deoghar). 

Swamiji was in Maun Sadhana for a fortnight and his disciples were not sure how long it will last further, we took a chance and requested for his darshana from a distance. But the luck plays its own role. When Swamiji saw us, he broke his silence and started narrating his past association with Shivananda Mission Hospital, Rajkot, Gujarat when he was in his 20s. The hospital was started by his Guru Swami Shivanand Saraswati. After talk in Gujarat and Gandhi he explained about spirituality. The 'panchagni sadhana' he did sitting nude and surrounded by 5 fires.

When I posed a question on purpose of life, he emphasized on acts of three body organs, brain, heart and hands. Brain to understand the creation through 'gyan yoga'; heart to worship God with love through 'bhakti yoga' and hands to serve people or do work through 'karma yoga'. And all three to be done with utmost sincerity, devotion and honesty; Swamiji replied. He advised us to walk to extend life line. The four wheel ride reduces life line and two legs walking extends it. 

Swamiji had one dog, German Shepherd, I hope remembered. We were surprised with the dog, chatting with Swamiji like a true companion. It was replying with gesture and sound as well as express it's will to Swamiji. Swamiji told us that the dog is also his true disciple.

He has written many books on Yoga based on Patanjali Yogsutra (asana, pranayam, mudra, bandh). To fulfil mandate of his Guru, he started yoga centres. His creation Bihar Yoga Bharati is the first university of its kind to impart a comprehensive Yogic education with provision for MA, M.Sc., Mphil, Phd, DSc, Dlitt. The Undergraduate department offers a four month certificate course and a one year Diploma course in Yogic Studies. The Ashram had many white skin students from foreign nations. All chant verse of Gita before taking meal. The ashram schedule follow time table full of activities from early morning to night. The teachings aim to show right path through spiritual knowledge. Shivanand Math founded for free medical services to the people. The offerings the ashram receives from devotees are donated to the needy and poor. 

In recent time Baba Ramdev, Sri Sri Ravishankar and others propagated value of Yoga to the international world. But the technique of force, speed and strength to tire the body so that it connects mind to inner soul easily in meditation sometimes may not suit all. The forceful breathing against the principle of Patanjali Yog Sutra may damage heart pump, the vital organ of life. It is a pump made of muscles. Over exercise may lead to loss of life. Bihar Yoga Bharati teaches Yoga (astang yog) exactly from Paranjali Yog Sutra. Swami Niranjananandji, his heir at Mungher ashram explained. 

Swami Satyanand Saraswatiji Maharaj left this world in 2009 but his institutions and books are guiding people for the elevation of human consciousness by disseminating the light of yoga. If  travelling to Bihar and Jharkhand, do visit the ashrams.

These ashrams are unique, prefer bureaucrats to politicians!

15 March 2015


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