Press Interview

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

I was a professor of English for over ten years and became disillusioned seeing the change in young students?

There was a time when you thought your elders were your elders, now youngsters feel their elders are their friends.

Even the students who want to learn and listen are forbidden to do so.

It is bound to be for some years, but ultimately the dust storm subsides. It was happening in the West also. The things they are confronting is completely new to them. There is no buffalo- or-water problem. It is something new to them and after some time, it will settle.

India has accepted the philosophy that yoga will help not only to maintain health but also to build up the nation.

We are very happy to hear from you that it is necessary that yoga should come to stay in industrial places.

All the diseases that we find in the world today are manufactured in industrial complexes.

Novelists like Dickens took objection to mass industrialism in the West.

Yes, but we cannot because we have to employ thousands of people and maintain social behaviour. The more people that are employed the better.

What are your experiences in having yoga centres in industrial centres in India?

Wherever we have yoga centres in industrial areas, they have been going very well because the participation is good and fast. The encouragement from the administration is very good. So far we are present at BHEL in Bhopal, Jhansi and Hyderabad, at Tata Steel in Jamshedpur, Bhilai Steel, the coal fields of Madras, in Bokaro, Taxila complexes.

Does living in a colony like Neyveli contribute to people’s interest in yoga?

No, the interest is there in every place, but in a colony it is easier for people because the surroundings and settings are organized and they know where to go. If there is a yoga centre, they will come. A colony is like a compact society, like our old villages.

Is the Neyveli yoga centre affiliated to your ashrams?

Whether it is affiliated or not affiliated I will consider this my own because it will be, since it is only my teachers who teach here. In India, the standard of most yoga teachers is poor. I am the richest in that sense.

Do you have centres in Tamil Nadu?

We have the main centre in Bangalore for the whole of South India and then we have centres in Coimbatore, Trichy, Trivandrum, Madras and now here. In Madurai there is a very good response, although I was there only for 24 hours and I had to use every hour. I did not even have time to eat.

Why do people take to yoga nowadays?

People take to yoga on account of its therapeutic value. But they know very well that after that they will find a spiritual solution to their problems. Most Indians are attracted to yoga for its therapeutic value and the spiritual purpose as well.

7 February 1982, Neyveli House, Neyveli, Tamil Nadu