Purity of Parampara

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

We are now sitting at the closing ceremony of the World Yoga Convention which is being conducted at the Polo Ground, Munger, on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the Bihar School of Yoga. The Bihar School of Yoga was established in 1963, and in its journey it has spread the message of yoga and has become the tool to fulfil the mandate of our paramguru Sri Swami Sivananda, which he gave to his disciple Swami Satyananda. "Spread the message of yoga from door to door and from shore to shore." Endowed with the grace and blessings of Sri Swami Sivananda, Sri Swami Satyananda set aside all his personal aspirations of sannyasa life and dedicated himself wholeheartedly and one-pointedly to fulfil the mandate given to him by his guru, placing that mandate before everything else in his life. The mandate was what he lived, dreamt and taught. He created a monument for his guru indicating that he had fulfilled the sankalpa that was given to him by Sri Swami Sivananda.

To us it represents his commitment, dedication and samarpan, the love, the connection and the union which Sri Swamiji had with his guru, Sri Swami Sivananda. After creating this monument of yoga, he moved on, as other horizons beckoned him. He created the tradition that a sannyasin is a selfless being who works not for his own pleasure, and not for his own fulfillment of ambitions and desires, but to bring laughter into the lives of many and to wipe the tears of suffering and pain from the eyes of many. This was the sankalpa that our guru, Sri Swami Satyananda, lived all his life. He brought laughter and joy to the faces of many, he wiped tears of pain and suffering from the eyes of many, and he inspired us to do the same and to dedicate our life to this great spiritual vision.

We came to him not because we wanted to become something in life, but because we wanted to be with him. We had no ambitions or expectations; it was Sri Swamiji who nurtured and taught us, who took us by the hand and taught us how to walk, how to speak. He gave us the strength and the inspiration to do his bidding, and we walked on the path indicated by him. We are the first generation sannyasins who are seated here on the stage. We have given our lives, we have given our youth, we have given our bodies and our minds, and many of us have also given our might.

The people seated on this stage have dedicated themselves to propagating the vision and the mission of their beloved guru, who inspired them to connect with the luminosity within and to bring this spiritual awareness into the lives of everyone. For many here, it is possibly the last time that they shall be here, due to age and other limitations. However, this first generation is happy and proud to pass on the baton of yoga to the future generations with a request and a prayer: run your relay race of yoga with dignity, with purity, with sincerity, with commitment. Make us proud that the heritage and the inheritance of the rishis, of our paramguru, Sri Swami Sivananda, and of our guru, Sri Swami Satyananda, is alive within us all. It is this inheritance, this heritage that will be shared with everyone with whom we come into contact. This is our hope, and this is our prayer for the future generations of sannyasins and yoga teachers, for the second generation and the third and the fourth generations that are present here.

Our gurus were our Rama, and we, the first generation sannyasins, were the monkeys. We did the bidding, and helped build the bridge to fulfil the vision of Rama. Now, as future generations walk upon that bridge, it is our request and prayer that you maintain the bridge in its pristine glory and purity, so that when our masters walk again on this hallowed earth, they see that the light they had lit so many years and centuries ago still continues to burn bright, and still gives light to all the travelers. This is our wish.

With this wish we close the first chapter of the fifty-year history of the Bihar School of Yoga. For that, I would like to thank all of you. Those who have come from every part of the world and nook and corner of the country to participate in this celebration of life, in this celebration of yoga, in this celebration of the vision that is alive in the hearts of each one; the vision of Satyam and the vision of Shivam which has made us into Sundaram. Following this Convention, a new chapter begins in which new generations will have to take up the challenge, the responsibility and the duty, slowly and steadily, to carry forward this torch of yoga. We shall make every attempt to be here twenty years later at the next World Yoga Convention in Munger to see the achievements of the future generations and to take pride in what has been achieved.

The Bihar School of Yoga is not the physical building; each one of you represents the Bihar School of Yoga, for it is that light, it is that power, it is that grace which shines within each one of you. You are the Bihar School of Yoga and you are now the vision and the mission of Sri Swamiji. Therefore, keep it alive. That is our humble offering to humanity on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee. Swami Sivananda gave the mandate 'Spread the science of yoga from door to door and shore to shore', and that was the vision we have lived for fifty years. Today, fifty years later, I am giving this mandate to the whole world and to all present.

The light of yoga has gone everywhere, and the next mandate for all of us is to live yoga with seriousness, with sincerity and with commitment, and to bring this gift to the entire humanity by maintaining the bridge that has been built. You don't have to recreate another bridge, simply maintain it. Clean it; keep it pure and untainted through your own character, through your own effort, through your own personality, through your determination, faith, conviction and belief. Keep it untainted, for we don't know when our masters are going to come again. Therefore, it is your duty, for as long as you live, to maintain the purity and the glory of the tradition, of yoga and of the vision that has been inspired within you by Sri Swamiji and Sri Swami Sivanandaji.

Welcome address, 27 October 2013, Polo Ground, Munger