The training in an ashram is practical and dynamic. Ashram is not a haven for escaping from the world but a place where you are taught to live rightly in the world. You cannot escape from reality. Ashram is a family culture. Nobody is a teacher, nobody is a student. Everyone is an aspirant.
—Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati
From August 2015 to May 2016, the one-year Diploma Course (English) was conducted at Ganga Darshan. Twenty-six students, ten females and sixteen males, participated. They came from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Haryana, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal as well as from Argentina, China and Nepal. Daily APMB classes, meditation and yoga nidra were held.
Teachers were Swamis Kaivalyananda, Krishnapriya, Taponidhi, Tyagraj, Upasana, Yogamaya and Yogatirtha, and sannyasis Devileela, Satchidananda, Soumyasahakti and Vijayashakti.
From February to May, the four-month Yogic Studies course (Hindi) was conducted at Ganga Darshan. Twelve females and eighteen males attended the course. They came from Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, New Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
Classes were conducted by Swamis Kaivalyananda, Mantrapushpam and Tyagraj, and sannyasis Atmarpan and Srimurti.
On the day of the certificate distribution, Swami Shankarananda addressed the students and Swami Niranjanananda encouraged them to continue their journey of yoga.
On 1st October 2015, the four-month Yogic Studies commenced. The inter national group of 31 students came from 10 countries: Argentina, Australia, China, Colombia, France, Iran, Nepal, Switzerland, Uruguay and the USA. The Indian students came from the 9 states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttarkhand and West Bengal. The students’ participation in classes and ashram activities throughout the course was tremendous.
Classes were conducted by Swamis Krishnapriya, Maitreyi, Tyagraj, Upasana and Yoga maya, and Sannyasi Vijaya shakti.
The certificate distribution took place on 29th January 2017 during the auspicious Basant Panchami celebrations. Swami Shankarananda and Swami Gyanbhikshu congratulated the students and encouraged them to carefully walk the path of dharma, as representatives of BYB, to maintain a regular sadhana, to come back to Ganga Darshan regularly, and most of all to be always happy.
After seven years of coming to Ganga Darshan, I finally attended my first course.
Before I came I was thinking that maybe I am already old, maybe I know a lot, maybe this course is only for beginners. Now I realize that all those thoughts were only fear to jump and grow, and that we should always have the attitude of a ‘beginner’ and give ourselves the opportunity of a new understanding every day.
I have learnt, re-learnt and experienced so much! I have received positive and fresh – but – ancient impressions which with faith I will continue watering.
I am glad I came to dig one more metre in the same hole, to see one more piece of the whole picture, to confirm once again that yoga is how I want to live and to feel the strength of this parampara holding me in its lap.
The most beautiful gift I take back home are the million of smiles, in the million diverse moments, in the thousand different faces and also in mine. This makes every effort and difficulty tiny and helps to keep the flow.
Thanks to Swamiji, to my teachers, classmates and every single being that without knowing allowed me to be a better me.
—Sannyasi Mantrasiddhi, Argentina
Prior to coming to the ashram my knowledge of yoga was limited to only asanas, since the exposure of yoga was through the internet. I put my body in different postures without much awareness and like many people this was yoga for me – a means to simply stretch and become flexible. However, things started changing since the first day of arrival in the ashram. I was given a glimpse of what yoga is and as time progressed it became more clear what yoga is and is not. These four months I have observed many changes in myself and on different planes as well, not just physical. On the physical plane there has been an increase in flexibility, strength and weight loss. These are the obvious changes. On the mental plane there are an increase in awareness, being well informed on yoga and experiences of a stable mental state through different practices.
On the emotional plane: being more open with my emotions and learning to face and accept them. The practice of pratipaksha bhavana helped a lot in making changes on the emotional plane. As for the spiritual plane, I would say there is a rise of interest in chanting and engaging myself in it. Additionally I have the inclination to study myself and work towards positivity. Also I continue to learn and practise yoga in which there is an integration of the faculties of head, heart and hands. With this I conclude and would like to thank Swami Niranjan, Swami Satsangi and all the sannyasins of Munger and Rikhia ashrams who were part of my growth in these past four months.
—Chosum Tashi, USA