Today we conclude the sixteen-day Shodashi Anushthana after the Mahasamadhi of our guru, Sri Swami Satyananda.
Sri Swamiji came to Rikhia in 1989 and departed from his body in 2009, after twenty years. Sri Swamiji has himself said, “My life is divided in twenty-year cycles.” From birth to the age of twenty he lived at home. From the age of twenty-one to forty he served his guru, Sri Swami Sivananda, at Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh. From forty-one to sixty he established the monument of yoga in Munger according to the instructions of his guru, and dedicated that monument to his guru. His next twenty-year cycle started in 1989 when he came to Rikhia. Here he dedicated his life to live and propagate the teachings of Swami Sivananda. Thus, Rikhiapeeth is the second monument created by him and dedicated to his guru.
Today, the two eternal monuments created by him, Munger and Rikhia – one dedicated to the mandate of the guru and the other to his teachings – offer their tribute to the great visionary, Sri Swami Satyananda, who was the crown jewel disciple of our Sadguru, Sri Swami Sivananda.
After establishing and dedicating Rikhiapeeth to Sri Swami Sivananda, Sri Swamiji appointed Swami Satsangi as the Peethadishwari or acharya of this place. He saw in her the potential to carry forward to greater heights the work that he had started. After seeing her commitment, dedication and devotion, he gave her the initiation of Paramahamsa, and today Swami Satyasangananda, is sitting before you as Paramahamsa Satyasangananda.
She will be carrying forward the vision given to her by our guru, Sri Swami Satyananda, to maintain, propagate and live the teachings of Sri Swami Sivananda, to serve, to love and to give. Therefore, the people of Rikhia Panchayat should never think ‘What will happen to us’. Sri Swamiji has made complete arrangements here – not only so the people are looked after, but also to install a person who can fulfil his wishes and his vision. Therefore, Rikhiapeeth has not been orphaned, but has been strengthened with Swami Satsangi.
Swami Satsangi will now be traveling to different parts of the country and the globe to give the message of spiritual life to aspirants and seekers. You have the opportunity to see her, invite her in your town, in your country, in your home, in your village – wherever you wish to invite her, so that she can come and bring guru’s grace in that region.
There is also a question in people’s minds, what will Swami Niranjan do now. Sri Swamiji had made it very clear to me that during this year, 2009, one chapter of my life is to close and a new one is to begin. He said to me, for forty years you have been traveling, you have lived the life of a parivrajaka. You have traveled through the country and the world. You have carried the message of yoga and showered the blessings of our parampara. Now your parivrajaka life has to end. And he gave me a clear direction for the next phase of my life.
The situations have also evolved in accordance with his mandate. In the year 2008, Swami Suryaprakash was appointed President of Bihar School of Yoga and I became free of my institutional obligations. The future yoga work will now be guided by Swami Suryaprakash with the blessings, guidance and inspiration from Swami Satsangi. And I will walk my path keeping in mind the direction and guideline given to me by Sri Swamiji.
When Sri Swamiji appointed me as his successor, it was not to direct an institution, it was not for the post, power or position in the yoga world, it was not to receive the garlands and accolades that come with name and fame. In an institution, administrators change and they can be anyone.
The succession that I have received from my guru is that of sannyasa. His commitment to sannyasa is what I have received as my inheritance. His sannyasa life was completely infused with renunciation, faith, surrender and austerity. When he nominated me as his successor, his intention was that I would succeed him in his sannyasa, his sankalpa, his dedication, his belief, his faith. In order to cultivate that, he has made me free from my social and institutional obligations.
I am not a sannyasin of Munger or of Rikhia; I am Swami Satyananda’s sannyasin. I do not belong to Munger, neither do I belong to Rikhia. They came much later after I had dedicated my life to my guru. When I was born, he held me in his arms. When I was three years old, he declared that I was the successor of his sannyasa, spiritual sadhanas and attainments. I have a sankalpa – to realize in my life the inheritance that my guru gave to me.
Today, I sit before you not as an acharya or teacher, member or post holder of an institution, but as a sannyasin, asking for your prayers so that I can be the worthy successor of the sannyasa of my guru.
I am praying to Sri Swamiji for wisdom, understanding and strength to live the life and tread the path that he has walked as a sannyasin. I am sure that all your prayers will help me fulfil my goal and aspiration.
Hari Om Tat Sat