Tools for the Nuclear Age
Swami Satyasangananda Saraswati (Swami Satsangi)
Ganga Darshan Yogapeeth, 15th February 2013
We are living in exceptional and exciting times, because it is a time of immense possibility. We see that we are at the threshold of a new age. It is not the industrial age or the technological age, we have passed all that. We are at the threshold of a nuclear age, an atomic age. The world that we live in is greatly influenced by that, and therefore our lives are also greatly influenced. The matter has been exploded, and underlying the matter, we have arrived at very refined forms of energy – we can call them nuclear energy. Nuclear energy is refined energy that can penetrate very, very deep. In a matter of minutes it can melt everything that you have created: that is the power of nuclear energy which scientists have discovered. Matter has been refined to that extent.
To meet the challenges of this nuclear age which we are entering, we have to also make ourselves exceptional. Each individual must do this. It is not the duty of the government, or of religion, or of society. It is not the duty of your parents or your teachers. It is your duty to make yourself fit to meet these challenges. You have been given the tools, how to refine that energy within yourself – that same energy which scientists have refined and made nuclear, discovering the nuclear potential of the energy behind matter.
What is all this, this body? This is matter, and you have to refine that energy which is entrapped within you, to that extent where it manifests its nuclear potential. This most refined energy is Saraswati. What is Saraswati? Saraswati is the most sattwic manifestation of that energy. That energy has tamasic manifestation, rajasic manifestation, and also sattwic manifestation, which is Saraswati: the most refined, the nuclear energy. When the energy becomes more and more refined, then it ceases to be just knowledge. There is a difference between jnana and vijnana. Jnana is knowledge, and vijnana is refined knowledge, which is nothing but experience. Vijnana is experiential knowledge, when it becomes one’s intimate experience.
You understand everything that I am saying and maybe you know more than me, but to experience that, this refinement has to take place within each individual. That was what Swami Satyananda dedicated his whole life to. For him yoga was a means. We have been singing the songs of yoga, but what was yoga for him? Yoga for him was a means to develop that refined state of awareness, that refined state of energy, and to experience it within oneself. That is what yoga is intended for.
He gave that tool, for you to meet the challenges which you are having to face and which our future generations will have to face, because fifty years or even one hundred years is nothing for an institution. An institution may survive five hundred years or one thousand years – even five hundred years is nothing for an institution. It has to meet the test of time. Definitely the reason why Bihar School of Yoga stands out is because it has provided the tools. Yoga has existed for a long time, it’s not that Bihar School of Yoga or Sri Swami Satyananda discovered yoga. Rather, he made it available to us in the manner in which every individual, no matter what he is or whatever kind of life he leads, can use it to arrive at this refined experiential knowledge within.
Sri Swamiji didn’t stop at yoga. He also gave another tool, and that is of yajna, which is also a tool for refining the awareness of each individual. It is fire that created a quantum shift in civilization. Prior to that, man lived like animals do. He did not even know that fire existed. It is when he became aware of fire that his awareness just changed, and everything, the whole world changed. Today you see the outcome of that quantum leap when man discovered fire, and then he discovered grain, and then he discovered ways of worship, and then means of living, and the whole world was illumined. Today what we see is a result of that illumination. Everything that we see around us, all the satellites, everything is a result of that quantum leap of awareness, and now the shift has to take place again.
Whenever there is a shift and a change, there is a lot of discomfort, uncertainty and not-knowing, and that is why this institution is so important for society, because it provides the tools and the way to use those tools. It gives you the skill, the art, of how to use these tools. We have the tools but we don’t know how to use them, so you need a guide, a teacher. That is why this institution is important, because it gives direction and guidance on how to follow this path so one can have a change of awareness. The difficulty is not outside. The difficulty is not with the job, not in the family or children, not in the sickness, not in the wealth. The difficulty is in me, and if I want to improve the quality of my experience, then I have to change the quality of my mind. Therefore, you have to discover the tools that have been given: yoga and yajna.
Bhakti and Serve, Love, Give
Sri Swamiji has also given a third tool, which is linked to both yoga and yajna. Yoga stands for the path of jnana, knowledge, and yajna stands for the path of karma, how to perform the right actions. It is not enough to have knowledge, the wisdom that one has must show in the actions one performs. If there is no trace of wisdom in one’s actions, then what is the use of that wisdom? So these are the first two tools, yoga and yajna, knowledge and karma, and the third tool, the third path, which is the most important for us today in this nuclear or atomic age, and that is to refine the emotions. Without refining one’s emotions, one cannot have a refined awareness, a change of awareness. You have to refine your emotions. You have discovered the energy in matter. You have refined the energy to a certain extent, but beyond that what? You can only go further if you refine your emotions, and that is the path of bhakti, of “Serve, Love, and Give”, which Sri Swamiji has established.
When I first went to Rikhia, I was astonished. In each house they worshipped Saraswati, and they had very elaborate ceremonies. I was astonished that in the place where they worship Saraswati in every home, each person was illiterate. They didn’t know how to read, they didn’t know anything. They were dull-witted, there was no sign of intelligence or alertness in them, but today I see the result of that. When we speak about refined awareness we have to think about prayer and devotion. After all, what does Saraswati have in her hand? She has the veena, the rosary, and she has a book; she does not have any nuclear weapons of mass destruction. The most refined energy is the energy of devotion, knowledge, and peace, and that is what man is searching for.
Sri Swamiji said that this is what people desire throughout the world. There’s only one thing we desire: peace. You may be searching for it in everything, in wealth, for example, but it is not wealth that you desire, it is happiness that you desire. You look for it in wealth, you look for it in status, you look for it in fame, but you don’t find it there. It is not that which you are desiring, rather you are desiring peace. The person who can give you peace will be the most popular person in this nuclear age. It is not the person who can give you the weapons of mass destruction who will be the most popular, it will be the person who bestows peace, because that is what we need.
The basis of peace is love; serve and love. That is the third tool that Sri Swamiji has given for this man who is about to enter the nuclear age, because when Swamiji returns – and of course he is going to return, he has promised that, and he doesn’t break his promises – then he is not going to be entering the age which he left. He’s going to be entering the nuclear age. He has given us the tools to be ready for that time, and it is up to us, on this day of Saraswati, who represents refined energy in its purest form, in its most simple form, in its most adorable form, to take that pledge to use those tools.
Munger and Rikhia
For that, there is no other place that you can go except the Bihar School of Yoga, Munger, or to Rikhiapeeth. These are the two places where you have to go to access that, because Sri Swamiji has said, “Munger and Rikhia, they have a bright future” because he is the foundation.
In the course of time you will see many, many more things that will be happening here, because the events that take place here at Munger and at Rikhia are not the events of human effort. It is not human effort that can achieve what has been achieved in Munger and Rikhia. There is a hand which is guiding and shaping the events, and we are all bathing and basking in it [ its shelter? ]. We are privileged souls in that we have a chance to bask and bathe in it and to receive the immense grace and blessings, because of the two monuments that Swami Satyananda has created for all of you. These have been created for you.
Basant Panchami, Foundation Day and Progression
On this day of Saraswati puja, Basant Panchami, the Foundation Day of Bihar School of Yoga, which is 50 years of age today, it is a very profound and touching moment for all of us who have been here since its inception and for those who have been here over the years, seeing this great movement develop in its diverse forms. We don’t just stop at one point. Yoga means progress, not regression or stagnation. We have to keep progressing, and that progress has to reflect in each one of us.
That is the challenge before this institution, and that is the challenge for all the institutions that represent Sri Swami Satyananda. The challenge is how to keep alive the teachings and the tools, and how to reach out with them so that more and more people can be helped. That is the challenge for all the institutions, including Bihar School of Yoga which will lead and guide the way: how to present the teachings further and further, and more widely, to all the people, because that is what they need in the coming times.