Sri Swami Satyananda has given to all of us two gifts: yoga and yajna. Yoga is the subject of discovering peace, realizing the beauty and experiencing the divinity in our personal life. Yajna is the means, the medium, by which we can perceive, support and nurture the positive qualities and divinity inside other people. Yoga represents the personal aspect, yajna represents the communal aspect. These were the two gifts that Sri Swamiji gave to us and which have a clear direction. They are not just rituals being performed, or yogas being taught without any aim or purpose. There is a definite direction, a path, laid out before us by our gurus.
The work of our master is seen in Munger and Rikhia. Rikhia is being led by Swami Satyasangananda Saraswati, who is in her own right an authority on the subject of spiritual life. She has been the medium by which the teachings and the messages of the gurus are conveyed.
Munger comes in the jurisdiction which at present is mine. My only contribution is to maintain and nurture the spirit of yoga. To maintain and nurture the spirit of sannyasa, and to play around with the children of Bal Yoga Mitra Mandal for they are the future of our society. I salute all the grown-ups for their contribution and wish them well in their life, to lead a stress-free life. That is my job. I am not at the helm of an institution, but I do work for yoga and I do work for sannyasa.
The intervention of guru in one's life, in my opinion, is the most important and critical intervention, for it gives focus and a purpose and it changes the destiny of a human being. When people ask me, 'What is the role of guru in one's life? I only feel one thing: the association and interaction with guru changes one's destiny. That is true. If we look at our lives and see how it has changed, developed, become better, or we are more at peace with ourselves, we have a focus in our life, due to what? There is better understanding and appreciation of life, due to whom? There is an expanded perception of how we can live our life and beautify our environment. From where does this idea come? This idea comes from associating with those people who are spiritually oriented.
In every session of this Guru Poornima celebration, I have been referring to one incident, one statement given by one of the greatest astrophysicists in the world, Stephen Hawking, who only recently made a statement that in this present scenario, in this present environment, humanity has only two hundred years more to exist. After that, human life will be extinct from the planet, as many other life-forms have become extinct in the past. This is something we have known, that one day we are going to be gone, yet the proximity to our extinction is so close now.
Why has that happened? Earth has taken millions of years. Homo sapiens appeared on the face of this planet two hundred thou sand years ago. We were foragers and hunters then and there was no exploitation. When the agrarian society took over, humans did not become the master of their destiny but grain be came the master of their destiny. We became the servant to grains. Looking after them, caring for them, growing them, consuming them, for what? For our needs. Gradually we became servants to the things that are now essential for us today.
We are not masters of our own destiny, we are dependent on many factors. Many other factors decide what our destiny is going to be. These factors become activated when the mind is absolutely material, involved in bhoga. Bhoga is perfectly all right, but excessive bhoga is detrimental to human health and to global health.
Due to excessive bhoga there is problem in life, there is problem in family, there is problem in body, there is problem in society, there is problem in the nation, there is problem in the world, there is problem in nature, there is problem in water, there is problem in air, there is problem everywhere.
In this exploitative materialistic mentality, we are looking at a time period which is our own time period and not beyond. 'What can I do to enjoy life now?' Nobody thinks what we can do to improve the quality of life for the future generations. In our quest for comfort, pleasure and prosperity, we are destroying so many essential tattwas of our planet which are necessary for our survival. It is only three hundred years ago that we had the Industrial Revolution, the time when humans started to exploit nature and the environment. Now scientists are predicting that the result is so dramatic and drastic that within two hundred years we shall be extinct.
This is the outer, materialistic reality, but can this reality be altered? Can this condition be changed? Yes. How? By becoming spiritual yourself. Spirituality is the antidote to materialism. And if they can go hand in hand, human life is complete. If they do not go together hand in hand, then there is always conflict, confusion, destruction and deviation in human life. Swami Sivananda said that if anything can save humanity, it is spirituality. Many decades later Sri Swami Satyananda made the statement that the goal of life is to cultivate spiritual awareness through which we can manage better the influences of the materialistic life. That has to become our aspiration, if we want to see the continuity of our future generations. Two hundred years is how long? Your grandson, your great-grandson, not beyond that. The only way this destructive nature can be rectified is by becoming spiritual.
For this, Sri Swamiji did not stick to a philosophical idea, that 'you are God, God is in you'. He gave us a practical path: to experience the transformation of the human nature and personality, and to be a witness to that. To be the experiencer of the transformation that happens, by converting the negative into positive. Therefore, be a witness of the transformation that takes place within you, and do not just follow anything in a mechanical manner. When you become the witness of the transformation that happens within you, then you identify with it and it becomes part of your expression in life. When the spiritual awareness sets in, the materialistic greed takes a back seat. We all know that there is enough given to us by nature to survive, yet there is never enough to satisfy the human greed.
Greed leads to manipulation. Manipulation leads to altering the natural law of nature and human beings, and that is where conflicts come in. With spiritual awareness, the greed is observed and greed is converted into a positive need.
My need is four chapatis a day. My greed is four hundred chapatis a day. If I follow the path of greed, then no amount, no volume of grains in the world can ever satisfy my greed. If I follow the call of my need, then I find that there is everything in abundance all around me. There are rich people, who go to New York, and in one day buy goods worth six million dollars. There are rich people, who go to New York to buy, in one day, one million dollars worth of shoes. This is not a joke. What does it indicate? Greed. And what does contentment indicate? Absence of greed. Spiritual life leads you to contentment. And material life leads you to greed.
Both can be balanced and checked by each other. They both can counterbalance each other. The practical method of this was taught to us by Sri Swamiji, whose teachings we are propagating. We are only postmen, the letter has been sent by the writer. The writers are Swami Sivananda and Swami Satyananda. They have written the posts, they have written the letters, they have written the books.
Swami Niranjan is only the postman who brings their correspondence to you. You open that correspondence, you read that correspondence, you like it, you accept it; you don't like it, you throw it in the rubbish bin. That is your choice. My job is only to deliver the goods that have been packed by Swami Sivananda and Swami Satyananda. It is your job to either receive it with dignity or ignore it. One thing is definite, if we want to see the continuation and the evolution of human life, we have to become spiritual. Not tomorrow, not today, but now.
The way to become spiritual now is not by thinking about God, but by connecting with goodness in life. In that expression of goodness, you will feel and experience the grace of God. Therefore, choose one idea, one quality, and develop it in your life. Once you feel that you have come to a point where nothing more can develop, choose another one, pick another one. In this way, go on fine-tweaking your nature, your personality. One day, you will realize that you are what you were searching for. That is the message of Sri Swami Sivananda and Sri Swami Satyananda.
—8 July 2017, Guru Poornima, Paduka Darshan, Munger