Yoga is moving into a newer, more vibrant and deeper phase. From the use of asanas and pranayama as a means of merely curing diseases and of reducing weight, the spectrum of yogic application has broadened until now it has been accepted as a way of life by millions of people all over the world. It has been estimated that in 1968 more than 2000 students were involved in meditation at the University of California alone. These people have returned to the wisdom of the remote past, in an attempt to re-search (to seek again) peace, equilibrium and the deeper values of life, in a world whose pace is rapidly speeding to dizzying heights. We are heading towards a new decade which will shatter many old concepts and open the way for the higher sciences to permeate into the very lowest strata of society.
The new search for old values has taken on many forms and guises. Machinery is playing an important role in substantiating and validating those concepts and techniques which were previously subject to individual and subjective verification. Physical, emotional, mental and spiritual parameters have been and are being devised to make concrete and tangible the more absolute holistic and previously misunderstood aspects of yoga, tantra and spiritual life. What once appeared to be in the realm of mystery, magic and the imagination now takes on the cloak of scientific respectability. Science has shown that the ancients devised a system of individual development capable of making the unknown known, the mystical scientific, and the unfulfilled potential within each one of us to blossom into a greater and higher appreciation of the purpose, direction and meaning of life.
Yoga is the root source of most of today's modern attempts to unravel the secrets of nature and life. Inspired by 'eastern' philosophy and science many have taken the initiative in developing their own 'system' or method of explaining and utilizing the inherent nature of our psychology and physiology. We are all human beings and aside from minor variations are essentially the same. Our physical and mental functioning works on the same principle yet the intellect has created diversified techniques and models to try to explore the inner realms.
What will eventuate in the last year of a very eventful decade is yet to be revealed. Yet the trend is clear, the path has been started. The last 50 years of research have been mainly mechanical, from the outside. Scientists have been looking within, dissecting, comparing, filing and experimenting in an attempt to gain knowledge. They have, however, always tried to stay aloof and separate, in an attempt to remain impartial observers who do not interact, and thereby 'interfere', with their experiment. This view has been proved false. It has been shown that the very act of observing alters the experiment. There can be no impartial observer, no isolation, no barriers. We are all inter-connected and inter-dependent. We all interact. The very action of trying to remain separate is an interaction.
Today scientists are not content to just experiment. They want personal experience. We all want to expand our minds, broaden the intelligence, deepen our feelings, strengthen the body. But how to do this in a balanced and progressively more enjoyable way. Swami Satyananda Saraswati, having concentrated his mind and energies on this problem, has developed integral yoga, a progressive and systematic series of techniques, allied to kundalini-kriya yoga.
Swamiji is not just a re-searcher for he has found what he was searching for. He and the other spiritual masters who have found the truth are the patrons of the latest scientific research, supplying those techniques which will alter the consciousness, change the mental attitudes, reshape the body, cure diseases and thereby provide material for the scientists to use as fuel for the growing interest in the science of higher life. The reception this work is having points to the new year as being a time when spiritual life and the expansion of consciousness will be the prime mover for much of humanity, the goal of a great deal of energy expenditure.
With more than 500,000 articles being published in 1977 on brain research alone, the amount of scientific data collected to date staggers the imagination. No one can hope to read or to learn everything, or even approximate such a feat. It is our hope to be able to share with you the vital essence of world-wide research and the attempt to find a higher, more rewarding life. We will offer that which is both interesting and practical for those uninitiated into the more technical aspects of science. The importance of this research should be clearly understood however. We do not envisage that anyone is interested in reading research data for itself. It must be given practical application in relation to the needs of our inner and outer being. The knowledge gained should be put to useful endeavour. Poets, artists and children can add the essential ingredient to scientific enterprise that may mean the difference between success and failure. It was a child's idea, for example, that led Edwin Land to invent the Polaroid camera. Ideas and knowledge must be translated into practical and tangible results.
The best way to put yogic research into use is to actualize it in our lives. In this way new ideas are generated which are relevant and helpful because they are based on experience. These ideas will make our world ft better place to live. Please feel free to send us your ideas, experiences or any research you have done or read about so that we can pool our knowledge and facilitate each other's creativity.