The city of Guwahati sees innumerable religious programs being organized the year round. From 8th to 11th October at the Gaushala in Guwahati, the “Know Yourself” program organized under the auspices of the Bihar School of Yoga was the ideal one, the likes of which has never been seen in Guwahati before and I doubt will ever be seen in the future either.
The Paramacharya of the Bihar School of Yoga, Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati, kept giving people something throughout the program while not taking anything from them. In such a huge program there was no show and pomp, no posturing or posing – just the simple propagation of yoga. There was neither entry fee nor any donation receipts. Each participant of every session received attractive T-shirts, angavastras, rudraksha malas or Shiva-Shakti yantras as they left the program. On the last day, while leaving the program, each and every participant was gifted invaluable, informative books on behalf of the Bihar School of Yoga.
There were no officials on stage, no important leader or government representative either. No one was felicitated with flowers and shawls nor did any famous personality make speeches. Swamiji would make a simple unobtrusive entry and the program commenced with the ancient traditional Indian practices like bhajan, chanting of Mahamrityunjaya mantra and the thirty-two names of Durga.
As soon as Swamiji began his satsang, people automatically quietened down, listening to him in rapt attention with a discipline that came from within. There were no volunteers wearing big badges strutting about, there was no office set up at the venue and not a single receipt book or donation box to be seen anywhere. Everyone was welcomed without any discrimination between rich and poor, ordinary or important people. A wealthy industrialist and his driver or attendant received the same reception. Security guards, police on duty, people working on the electricity or sound system and in the marquee were received and welcomed equally. No one was seen showing off as they entered nor was anyone seen wearing expensive clothes to keep to a dress code.
Swami Niranjanananda’s warm and loving manner inspired one to prostrate before him. Swamiji stated very clearly that in keeping with the instructions and directives of his guru, he was not in favour of making yoga a commercial enterprise. The devout might have made an offering if they so desired but he did not ask for anything, instead showered everyone with so much. Such an incredible program reminds one of the sannyasins of Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga and Dwapar Yuga. Local officials have a lot to learn from the organizing of such an event. Such ideal programs should receive a warm and hearty welcome every time!
—Sampat Mishra, Dainik Purvodaya, Wednesday, 15 October 2015, Guwahati