Evolution and Transformation

From Bihar School of Yoga, The Vision of a Sage, From the teachings of Swami Satyananda Saraswati and Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

Swami Satyananda: I feel that the time has come when the world will change. The emphasis on material things will diminish and more emphasis will be put on a higher, spiritual life. This can be realized through yoga. When awareness grows, man's thoughts, concepts and values also change. If humanity as a whole is going to change, whether due to time as it has been destined, or through certain practices, then we are heading into the era of the psychic, the supramental race.

Even if we do not practise yoga, the process of unfolding the awareness is going to take place, and it is taking place. From the beginning of time to this day, awareness has evolved through the laws of nature. Nature's scheme is that all men shall rise above instinct. The consciousness shall rise above instinct, then above the body, senses, mind and intellect. Ultimately, it will operate on a higher level. This higher level is the spiritual level, the level of yoga.

Before this psychic race is accomplished, man will have to fighta grim battle with himself. The psychic race will not be established so easily. One has to be careful because the firstexplosion or awakening of the psychic consciousness is complete anarchy, a complete non-acceptance of material values, complete detachment from the established values of life authorities, and so on. This happens in spiritual life, when the development of awareness takes place and we come to a point when we think, 'What is all this nonsense?' Of course, the time also comes when balance returns. This balance must be brought about through evolution or through the practice of yoga.


If yoga is neglected or rejected by the West just because it is considered Hindu and not Christian, then the whole structure of those nations will be on the brink of disaster. The West has progressed because it has a well-organized society, but the individual is not organized. In order to discipline the mind at the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels, there ought to be a science. No politics, no military, no law can save a country unless the individual is disciplined. Individual discipline is a result of continued practice of yoga.

A warrior like Arjuna had to carry a bow and arrow in his hand. A man in the battle of life must also carry a bow and arrow in the form of yoga. You are riding in the chariot that is the physical body. It is being driven by five horses, the senses. The chariot is being guided by the spirit or atman. Do not put down your bow. Yoga has to be heard and yoga has to be practised, not only in a hermitage, monastery or ashram, but also in the face of difficulties, conflicts and possible defeat.

For many years, I lived with my guru, Swami Sivananda, in the Rishikesh ashram and had the divine opportunity to serve him. During this period, I had time to reflect over the matters of body, mind and spirit. After I left the ashram, I wandered all over India, Nepal, Afghanistan, Burma and Ceylon on foot, by rail or by bullock cart. I realized then that it was necessary for every individual to follow a path. It is not that people do not need faith or belief, they do, but today they need something more than that. Yoga can fulfil this long sought-after need. Yoga is one of the holiest mantras of humanity and it is going to be the foundation of the future world communities. It is a culture for humanity, for everyone, regardless of religion, caste or race, for those who believe in God and also for those who do not. Unless we find the way, the purpose for existence, we will not be able to experience the greater side of our lives, the ultimate dimension of our consciousness. The most practical and the easiest way for each and every individual to contact the substratum of his existence is through yoga. People are searching for the purpose of their life. Yoga will give them a path to discover this.