Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Is satsang a simple question and answer session or is it a form of deeper communion, and can it be conducted by any sannyasi or only one who is perfected in sannyasa?

Satsang is a combination of two ideas. Sang means association and sat means reality or the truth. Whenever you are attuned to the reality or the truth within yourself or outside, that is known as satsang. Satsang is not necessarily a session of questions and answers. Within you there are the lower self and higher self, the two personalities. The lower self is ignorant, and the higher self is full of knowledge. When the conversation takes place within your self between the lower self and the higher self, that is satsang.

It is not possible for everybody to invoke the higher self. Most of the people are on that level where they have a self filled with conflicts, confusions and ignorance. Therefore, at that time, they need an external personality to represent their higher self. As I am here to answer you questions I represent your higher self. This is the spirit of satsang. The knowledge can be acquired by two known ways. One of the ways is known as tuition, the other as intuition. In the tuition, an external personality represents your higher self, and in intuition your higher self is awakened and you get an answer through it.

Anybody who can answer your questions is not considered qualified for satsang. Whether it is your higher self which you have evolved and raised or whether it is a person outside of you, he should represent the higher consciousness. Merely attending to satsang through intellect is not enough. One has to have some sort of communion with one’s higher self. The higher self is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. That alone can give you a proper answer. Therefore, every sannyasin cannot conduct satsang, but if he has evoked and raised his higher self, surely he can.

Do particular faculties of a chakra manifest while awakening that specific centre or only once the chakra is fully awakened?

It is a very important question. There is a confusion which is attached to the awakening. Awakening is a very general terminology. Awakening of chakras is completely different from awakening of kundalini. Awakening of sushumna is also quite a different event. Even awakening of mooladhara chakra is not awakening of kundalini. In the systematic practices, first of all the awakening of the chakras takes place. If awakening can take place, it should take place in each and every chakra from mooladhara up to ajna. Even when the awakening takes place in these chakras, either in one or all of them, it still does not mean that kundalini is awakened.

By concentration on bhrumadhya you can awaken one chakra, the practice of uddiyana bandha can awaken another chakra, by practising your mantra or any bija mantra you can awaken almost all the chakras one by one. As a result of this awakening you can have very good psychic experiences also. That does not in any way mean that you have awakened your kundalini.

From incarnation to incarnation, with the yoga that we have been practising some of us may have already awakened the lower chakras in our previous incarnation. Although we have been trying to awaken mooladhara, swadhisthana or any other chakra, it is not necessary that these chakras may be awakened. We may have evolved even beyond manipura on account of our efforts in a previous life. In any case, it is essential that all our chakras are awakened before we make an attempt to awaken sushumna.

These chakras are like junctions. From here the energy is distributed to different parts of the body. From here the lowest and highest energies are distributed. After the awakening of the chakras you have to awaken sushumna. Sushumna is a direct link between the lower self of consciousness to the highest consciousness. It is in a dormant state, and when sushumna wakes up then only the attempts should be made to awaken kundalini.

When awakening of kundalini takes place, it passes through sushumna. When it passes through different chakras and does not find any obstruction, it goes further. When it finds an obstacle in a chakra which is not awakened, it either stays there or returns. When awakening of kundalini takes place, and ascendance also takes place, then the different chakras begin distributing the higher energy to different parts of the body. Therefore, we should try to awaken all the chakras.

Through the practical experience of yoga, we are convinced of its benefits; so then how can we introduce it to the people without presenting it as propaganda, and still respect their ideas?

Yoga is a life saving science. It is not a religion, and it need not be propagated. It does not need an organization; it only needs teachers. It needs totally dedicated teachers because the science of yoga is a very vast science. The teacher must have an all comprehensive knowledge of the external and internal sciences. This question came to me about ten years ago and I fixed it properly. I do not have to propagate yoga. People will need it and I teach them. If humanity needs yoga we shall teach. If humanity does not need yoga we will not teach. We are not going to convert you. Yoga does not convert or compel. It is not passing you from one tradition into another tradition. It is a system of transformation of the totality of consciousness of the human being.

If humanity wants this transformation, we shall transmit it. If this transformation is not necessary, we can close the ashrams. We do not worry about propagation.

26 December 1981