Unified Field

Swami Satyasangananda Saraswati

Namo Narayana

I do not know who is receiving the blessings and who is giving the blessings. I am a bit confused about that since, as far as I can experience, it is I who am receiving all the blessings. I am amazed at the grace and the blessings that I am receiving in this Golden Jubilee Yoga Convention. If this is the kind of appreciation you get for turning sixty, then I am happy I turned sixty!

Unified energy field

This Yoga Convention is a place that has generated an energy field. It is not just a convention of yoga; it is a force of like-minded people who are gathered here for one common aim. Do you feel the magic? It is the magic of the unified field. This is a field of energy which is created, which is projected on Munger: the 'City of Crime' becomes the 'City of Yoga'. Is that not an achievement?

In the 1960s yoga was started in Munger and at that time Munger was famous for only one thing: crime. I am sure that the people who saw Sri Swamiji here saw him in a different light. They did not see him as a yogi, they did not see him as a siddha, they did not see him exactly as he was, as Kashi Babu was telling us. It is their main regret today that they did not see what he really was, but we see the result, the transformation of the 'City of Crime'. At that time, if you said you were going to Munger from any other part of India, people warned you. That is how Munger was famous.

Today Munger is the 'City of Yoga'. It is the unified field; however, this field is not restricted just to Munger. From here it is spreading worldwide. There are about sixty to eighty countries who are receiving this unified field, in the form of the messages that are going out of here, in the form of sound, in the form of sight, for it is through sound and sight that energy is conveyed. It is not just a unified field of Munger, it has been spreading throughout the world in these five days, created by the magic of Swami Satyananda, for he stood for that and represented that.

Sri Swamiji was a living expression of the unified field, which you also are. You are also a unified field, and that is why when you enter here you feel so nice. In fact, I was thinking that this is perhaps the first convention where everybody has become a jnani. Everybody is looking so enrapt in ecstasy and if you ask them, "Do you like the Convention? How are you?" They say, "Oh I'm feeling very nice, but I cannot express in words what I am feeling." That is the true sign of a jnani; a jnani can never express anything. That is why in the Vedas and the Upanishads, the ultimate pronouncement is: "It is not this; it is not this." I cannot explain what it is, but I am experiencing it. That is the unified field, which is being created by the greatest yogi who came to live here. Was it by accident or design? I do not think it was by accident, because to transform an entire place in the span of five days into a unified field requires expertise. That is the challenge you all have to face.

Challenge for yoga today

In the last five days we have heard everything. In fact, I'm wondering what to say, because everything has been said, and said very rightly, correctly and aptly. We are thankful for that, as it is important to know that yoga works from the people who are out there in the field teaching yoga. That is the proclamation from this Convention: yes, yoga does work, and we all know it. It has worked in every field, not just in one field. It has worked in hospitals, armies and mental asylums, with children, adults and the sick. Every sphere of life is touched by yoga.

The person who has guided and shaped this movement of yoga, who has given it a vision, a tradition, a system, who has presented it in the most unique and simple manner is Swami Satyananda. He is giving you the goal of yoga. Remember the goal of BSY: 'Who am I?' That is the motto of BSY. That is the goal and Sri Swamiji is giving you a glimpse of that through the unified field. It is a structured field. It is not a chaotic field. Do you see chaos around you? No. There are thousands of people here. Thousands and thousands of people are eating, listening, enjoying, working, doing seva, or have just come out of curiosity. However, as soon as they enter this field they become organized, structured, aligned. They begin to feel peaceful. The closest description of the experience I received was from a person who said, "I feel immense peace." That is the most wanted commodity: peace.

That is the challenge for yoga today. We don't have to prove that yoga works. We don't have to prove its popularity, but we have to understand what the need of humankind is today. That is what Sri Swamiji studied when he presented yoga in the 1960s. Being a visionary, he did not limit yoga to just the sixties. He saw into the distant future: how will man live fifty years from now, a hundred years from now, two hundred years from now, five hundred years from now, one thousand years from now. That is the efficacy of a tradition. Fifty years is nothing for an institution. An institution has to last, it has to grow and evolve along with society and the needs of humankind.

The tools that Sri Swamiji has given work for all times, no matter what society demands from yoga and what the needs of society are as it evolves, grows and changes. As the demands of people increase, as the situations become difficult, easy, nice or not nice, what will people expect from yoga? That is what we have to think about, and Sri Swamiji has already given the answers. He has sown the seeds and that is why he is called a visionary.

In the sixties it was getting familiar with the body and a little with the mind; familiarizing with thoughts, feelings, emotions; depriving the mind, isolating the mind, creating situations for the mind, creating difficulties for the mind, because it is only in difficult times that the mind evolves. When everything is nice, comfortable and good, the mind does not evolve. That is why Sri Swamiji always said, "If there is no difficulty, create difficulty." That is why he chose the most difficult place: Munger, Bihar. Even Deoghar was part of Bihar when he chose it. Rikhia was part of Bihar at that time. He left Munger, he travelled the length and breadth of India, and came back to Bihar. I said, "Why, Swamiji?" He replied, "Well, you know, you have to live in difficult situations. That's the challenge, and then there is growth. When there is comfort and convenience, it is the life of hell. You are stupefying yourself, you are stagnating yourself." That is why this civilization, which has reached the epitome of comfort, convenience and enjoyment, is experiencing a need for something more, for comfort does not give people everything they want.

In the sixties it was the body that we were made familiar with, and a little bit of the mind. Now, as we move into the 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th century, you have to think of your children. We have missed the bus. Many of us here have missed the bus. It is the children who have to be the focus of yoga in the future. Yoga for children must be the focus, so that despite the things they face as society evolves, they can remain in control, they know how to manage themselves.

Era of the mind

This is the era of the mind. We are not physical people, we are more mental people. The whole time we are thinking and thinking and thinking. There is not a second when we are not thinking. Imagine if you leave your transistor on the whole day long? What is going to happen? By evening the battery is going to be out and you are going to have to put it in the cupboard or get a new battery. You do not get that recharging because even in sleep you are thinking, and the first thought in the morning when you get up is the thought you went to sleep with, the problem you went to sleep with. That is how you deal with your life. It is the mind that one will have to deal with in the future.

The genie is out of the bottle. The funny thing is that you have brought it out of the bottle. It is there, out of the bottle and you have to give it direction. You have to transform your mind. That is the challenge of yoga in the future, which Satyananda Yoga will face, and it can definitely meet that challenge, because the entire focus and motto of Bihar School of Yoga is: 'Who am I?' The tradition that it propagates is the growth of the head, the heart and the hands, not just the head. The principles it advocates are serve, love and give.

With the hands you serve. With the heart you love, and with the head you give. These are the three difficult things. We do not want to use our hands, as we have become so lazy; we just want to use them for the computer. We do not like to do physical work; we like to do mental work. As far as loving is concerned, that is a very selfish matter. We love only because we expect something back in return. We do not love if we do not receive something back in return. If you learn that the person you love loves somebody else, how long will it take before he turns into your greatest enemy? As far as giving is concerned, forget it. We are the most selfish creatures. We cannot think of giving. Even when we give, we have a lot of head-trips about it: 'Should I give it? What should I give? Is he really deserving? How much will it cost? If I don't give will it really matter?' We are very miserly in giving. So these are the three principles: serve, love and give, or the development of the head, heart and hands. It is the growth and evolution of the mind.

The evolution of mind is different from the evolution of awareness. They are two parallel evolutions going on within us. The evolution of mind is going on through the interaction with the outer world. The evolution of awareness takes place when you bring alertness and attentiveness to the inner world. They both have to go on side-by-side. We cannot regress, we have to go forward. We have to move forward and think about the evolution of mind. Physically, you are not going to evolve any more. Yes, you may try to become a superman or a superwoman by evolving the mind, but you are definitely not going to grow any more hands, legs or eyes.

Tackling the mind

It is an awakening that has to take place, a mass awakening to the purpose of one's existence and an awareness of that. Right now you are not aware of why you are existing; you simply exist like a robot. You are not aware of why you exist. Whatever happens, you undergo it as a reaction. Our whole life is a reaction to things that are happening around us, to things we see, hear, desire. It is not just a question of 'Should I desire or should I not desire?' No. It is not possible to live without desire. It is not just a question of 'Should I be good? I should be good.' It is not just that. I know I should be good. I know I should not desire. I know I should not be greedy. I know I should not have hatred. I know I should love. I know I should have compassion. But how to have it? It does not happen. Only the thoughts of hatred, envy, greed, desire and jealousy keep coming to my head. They keep coming to me, and how am I to change that? This is what Sri Swamiji spoke about, which was very different from others, for they spoke of what was impossible. If you struggle to be good, kind and compassionate your whole life, you are going to end up with a guilt complex. It is not going to happen, because just by thinking it doesn't happen.

You cannot tackle your mind through the mind. We are trying to tackle our mind with our mind. We are trying to tackle it with the same mind which is jealous, which is envious, which has hatred, which has guilt, which has complexes, which has phobias. That is simply not possible; you will end up in the loony bin. It is sure and certain that the mind cannot handle the mind. If you want to handle the mind, you have to use a superior agency, and that superior agency is the heart. It is the heart that can tackle the mind.

Sri Swamiji has given that indication too. He said that yoga, as we know it, will be relegated to the background. Of course, that does not remove its importance. Yoga is a rung, a step on the ladder, and we do have to practise it in that form. We should not stop practising it in that form, but we have to look further. After all, when we speak about the bridges on which our gurus will walk when they come back, how will they walk? What will they speak? What will they think? What will they say? Will they be talking the same language as they talked when they walked here now, when they built the bridges? Definitely not. They have moved on and we have to catch up with them. That is the challenge that Satyananda Yoga–Bihar Yoga faces, and all yoga teachers, no matter which tradition they belong to. It doesn't matter because yoga is universal; it is for the growth of humankind. We have to prepare the people to understand the purpose of existence, which is the goal and the motto of the Bihar School of Yoga: 'Who am I?' It is a process of growth and of awareness.

Awareness is expansive, awareness is atma, the unified field that you are sitting in now. Even while telling you the goal of the Bihar School of Yoga, Swami Satyananda is giving you its experience. He is not just telling you the goal; he is also giving you the experience of the goal of yoga. Who am I? I am that unified field. I am that atma. We know it, we have heard it, we like it, we believe in it, but we have to experience it. That is the preparation we have to make for the future. That is the challenge. We cannot be complacent about it. There is no use revelling in past glory. One has to think about the steps to the future so that the vast glory remains unhindered, undisturbed; it shines even brighter. Definitely, what I see here points in that direction, for the kind of momentum, the kind of force, the kind of energy that is built here through the magic of Swami Satyananda is in your hearts.

Bhakti yoga

You are that unified field. It is that unified field in you that Sri Swamiji has tapped and brought out in its splendour. That is the goal of yoga we have to accomplish, so there is oneness. And for that, the yoga that he has indicated is bhakti yoga, the yoga of the heart. Bhakti yoga is not just ritual. Please do not understand bhakti yoga to be something where you stand, wave the lights and ring the bells as we do every day, where you stand with folded hands before God or a higher force and tears stream down your eyes. I am not saying you shouldn't do that, you can do it. It is a good thing to do because it purifies your heart, it empties you, it gives you a feeling of faith, devotion and surrender, which are so important in bhakti yoga. However, Sri Swamiji defined bhakti yoga as a wave of the mind, a brainwave – just as anger is a brainwave and hatred is a wave of the brain. There is a wave, and you become angry. In the same way, there is a wave of bhakti in the brain, and that is the yoga of the future.

What is that state of bhakti? Where you can feel peace and oneness. The strength is in oneness, not in duality, although there is duality all around. It is everywhere; there is duality between what I think and what I say and what I do. There is a difference. We have to bring unity into that. That unity is experienced only through bhakti. It is a force, a wave of the brain. The people who have experienced that have a different quality of relaxation and peace within themselves. For them life is not stress and strain, as it is for us. For them, life is joy, bliss, ananda, as we have been feeling during the last five days. You have to walk to eat your food, then you have to come back, you have to struggle. You may have to carry many kilos of prasad that you have been given here, and you may even reach late for your meal and not get your food, yet you are in bliss. Nobody is complaining. Everybody is so happy, so ecstatic and rapturous and full of tears, saying, "We are in heaven, we are so joyful!" That feeling of joy is not only here. Even the people who are watching the proceedings on their screens are experiencing the same. So let us say a big 'Namo Narayana' to all those who are watching us. Namo Narayana! Maybe the cameras could go on the audience, and show the vast expanse of spirit that is here and is soaring high.

The path is bhakti. I am not a scientist; I am a traveller, a seeker like you. We are travelling, the path is bhakti and the destination is my Self, within myself, for everything that we are seeking outside is in us. The path is long and hard. It is full of difficulties. Remember, it is only in difficult times that you move forward, you get momentum, you get gati, speed. The kind of struggle that everyone involved must have gone through to prepare this orderly and structured program is unimaginable. That is the unity, the unified field that requires seriousness, dedication, commitment.

From selfishness to selflessness

There has to be a feeling of oneness, because we are one, we are not two. We are one big family, we are not two. My thoughts are reaching you; your thoughts are reaching me. Even now, there are unseen links and channels that are connecting everyone to everyone. My thoughts go out, they collide with yours; your thoughts go out, they collide with others. We are creating vast networks of thoughts, energy fields, and that is why it is so important to understand that we have to build the right energy field. It is not a question of being good. It is not a question of being kind. It is not a question of desiring or not desiring. It is: 'What should I desire? When should I desire? Why should I desire? How should I desire? For whom should I desire?' That is the transformation from selfishness to selflessness.

All that was spoken about me earlier in the program, I felt I was not that. I was the most selfish person on earth, only thinking about how I feel, what I like, what I want, and all the rest can go to hell. I did not care. I used to feel that if you could not even earn one piece of bread a day, then you should just be lined up and shot; you didn't deserve to live. How difficult is it to earn one piece of bread a day?

Sri Swamiji used to say, "That is all I need – two rotis, two dhotis." Swami Sivananda sang, "Have no food, have no home, still I will be anandam." You can still be in bliss, in anandam, without the things that you are habituated to or cling to. You don't know it. You are a slave to that. You think you can't live without it, but you can.

That is the journey of life: from selfishness to selflessness. For that you don't have to control the mind. You don't have to kill your mind. You don't have to tame your senses. You don't have to finish off your senses. Swami Satyananda has said this so clearly in all his teachings. No, you don't have to do that. If there are two dogs inside me, one is black and one is white, one is good and one is bad, and I have to keep feeding them all the time and make them strong, then my whole life will go by trying to be good, trying to make the goodness in me right and suffocate the bad in me. What will happen with suffocation? I will only have diseases. I will only have complexes, phobias and neuroses, and one day I will explode. For how long will I suppress these inclinations that you, I, everybody has. You cannot say that you don't have greed, that you don't have envy. Anybody who says that is a liar. How long are you going to suppress that?

In society you have to suppress it. You can't keep expressing yourself all the time. However, there can be a transformation. You can transform from selfishness to selflessness. You can transform. You can change those two dogs and you can have a third one. The two dogs are rajas and tamas, the black and the white, but the third one is neutral, sattwa.

So get a third dog. Awaken it. That third dog is called the third eye. I am saying 'dog' because that was the analogy given by the Red Indian master who told his little grandson about the two dogs. However, he forgot about the third one. The third dog is the one you actually have to awaken, which is the 'I' of awareness.

When you go up in a plane, all the structures that normally look so gigantic appear so small and inconsequential. They do not appear intimidating, unlike when you are down on earth as such a small thing. In the same way, all the problems disappear once your awareness is changed, once your awareness is transformed. If you are going to worry about your problems and neuroses, your whole life will go. You will grow old and die, and you will have missed the chance.

Don't think about correcting yourself. You are as good as you are. Just think about transforming and changing: from selfishness to selflessness; from rajas and tamas to sattwa; from misalignment of the head, heart and hands to a total alignment, to the proper expression of your character. Just think of serve, love and give, which was the second vision of Sri Swamiji, which is perhaps most important for all of us, because we have to think about how to evolve. When you think of evolution, the first obstacle that comes in the way is the karmas.

Expressing the energy of yoga

When you practise yoga in any form – even if you only do a little bit of breathing, just five minutes – you will experience an upsurge of energy. You will experience an awakening of energy. You will feel recharged. Then what do you do with that? Nothing. It just dissipates again in all the useless things you do. You walk out of the yoga class feeling nice, fresh and tranquil, and the first person you see is the person you dislike the most, and all the peace and tranquillity goes out the window. You begin to abuse him inside and say, "Why did I have to see this?" All the energy, peace and tranquillity that you built up through the practices of yoga go away.

Energy has to be expressed. This is the most important point, which everybody is forgetting and which Sri Swamiji has been talking about time and again from the beginning to the end. He has even created a place for that – Rikhia – which is a place for the expression of that energy. Energy has to be expressed; energy cannot be locked up. If you lock up energy, it becomes inauspicious. If you give energy a wrong expression it becomes inauspicious. Bhakti is a way to make that inauspicious energy auspicious, to give it a direction, to streamline it.

You are discovering the energies of the mind as you do the practices of yoga, which make you more mental in nature. The life that you lead has made you more mental in nature. You are an intellectual, you are intelligent, but you cannot handle your mind. You cannot handle your mood. You cannot handle yourself for even five seconds. You are upset if somebody insults you. You are happy if somebody praises you. In every situation your mind is imbalanced, it is never in balance. Even in praise your mind is imbalanced. You lose balance. How to keep a balanced mind? For that we have to awaken bhakti.

Bhakti will link you with your Self, and when you link with your Self you will link with a higher power, and that is to your advantage. Even to manage your daily life, to understand the difficulties you are facing and to deal with your anguish, sorrow, grief, loss, disease, difficulty and pain, the answer is bhakti yoga. That was the final pronouncement of Swami Satyananda, and that is the way that yoga will evolve. Nobody can stop it, because what a saint says becomes true. It is veda vakya, a statement of the Vedas. That is what Sri Swamiji has said, and that is how we have to prepare ourselves. We have to prepare our minds to become more adaptable, more adjustable, more accommodating and more in alignment with our own nature, which is bliss, which is truth, which is peace, which is ananda.

When you go out of this Convention you will feel the difference, and you will know that, 'Yes, I have come out of that field.' You will definitely carry some of it with you, because this is a life-changing event. It is not just a convention; it is a life-changing event.

I am so grateful for all the blessings that I have received in the last five days, spending time with all of you in this wonderful energy field we have been basking in. I hope we can have more and more of these.

Namo Narayana

Address, 27 October 2013, Polo Ground, Munger