First Impression about BSY
In the month of January 2000, I visited Shiv Darshan Yoga Vidyalaya on behalf of Motilal Banarsidas Publishers to see if their books could be displayed at their book store!
On visiting Shiv Darshan Yoga Vidyalaya, Chennai, I came across the books published by Bihar School of Yoga. It was a pleasant surprise for me to see such profound publications in subject matters of all the dimensions of yoga!
When I browsed through some of the books, I was delighted to find that the way I was teaching and the methodology of bringing awareness into every type of practice by Swami Satyananda, was reassuring! I had evolved a method of teaching which got verified when I read through the books of BSY. I was thoroughly impressed with their publications.
SWAN – The fullness of life!
In each of their books I found mention about the author and their Guru Parampara. I read about Swami Niranjanananda there. As I entered their office in the first floor, a picture of Swami Niranjanananda was hanging on their wall.
Just as my eyes fell on that picture, mind became totally calm and felt full and complete, tears of ananda was flowing down he cheeks, drenching me in the bhava of a sishya! Heart simply felt full swelling with a sense of confidence and peace. The urge to meet my Guru just got sown in the longing heart!
Children Yoga Teacher Training by Swami Vibhooti Saraswati
In the month of May 2000 Swami Gambhirananda informed me that a teacher training course will be conducted for teaching yoga to children at Shiv Darshan Yoga Vidyalaya. Purely out of curiosity, I decided to enrol myself in the course.
The teacher had come from Rikhia Ashram, where Sri Swami Satyananda was doing Sadhana. Though the content and the methodology weren’t new to me, the way that Swami Vibhooti Saraswati conducted the course was sincere and filled with dedication.
The quotes that Swami Vibhooti shared during the TTC were profound and inspiring. The Yogic and Vedic flow of thought were captured well in the words of Sri Swami Satyananda that we’re quoted that were shared during the course.
I enjoyed the course, it confirmed my convictions about the efficacy and transformative catalytic power of yoga! At the end of the course, Swami Vibhooti invited the participants to make a trip to Rikhia and also informed us about the four month certificate course that is offered by Bihar Yoga Bharati.
This invitation was tempting, however, by then I had got married and had my first daughter Anandhi, she was just three years old, I had financial liabilities that would need me to work hard for several years to repay. The situation weren’t favourable al all for me to apply for the course.
Yogic Studies Course – Ganga Darshan
I garnered all the courage I could and expressed my desire to my better half, Smt.S.J.Uma about the four month course that is offered by Bihar Yoga Bharati. She couldn’t believe her ears! I was already meditating and doing my sadhana for hours together everyday! I was always in a state of bliss and kind of less interested in normal activities most people at my age would be interested in.
Uma couldn’t fathom, what I wanted to learn more, after involving myself in intense spiritual sadhana for twelve years. She refused to send me for the course. I kept expressing my desire to go for the four months gurukulam program. In 2002 she agreed to my proposal, since she realised that I wouldn’t give up. My application for the yogic studies certificate course was however rejected in 2002.
In 2003, Bihar Yoga Bharati gave admission for the course. On 15th September I left from Chennai by train, without knowing that this trip was just a beginning of a new chapter. Reached Munger on 18th September, was asked to stay outside for two days.
I had to give an entrance exam and interview and admission would be subject to result. Wrote the exam and attended the interview, had to stay outside for three days. On 21/09/2003, I was given admission for provisional period to check whether I was suitable for staying in ashram for four months. They wanted to know if they could tolerate me and if I could manage the stay.
Ashram Life – Gurukula Vasam
The most unique experience for me was the ashram life! The practices that were taught were simple, most of it I had already figured out, practiced, perfected and knew beyond doubt. But to live for such a long time in such a serene and elevating environment, that too in the presence of a living master was the most powerful component of the yogic studies course.
I had blended into the ashram life effortlessly, it was a great time for total involvement in Sadhana. Everyday morning from 3am till 9pm was bliss divine. Life had given me the best essence of life for the entire period of stay at ashram.
First Meeting with SWAN – 21/10/2003
I was given information on 20th October 2003, that Swamiji will give me audience the next day! At the Kutir lawn in Ganga Darshan, Swamiji was seated on the asan. Swamiji was wearing his dark glasses. He had a soft yet stern face. I had written a long letter giving Swamiji details of the fifteen years of yoga experience, understanding and the spiritual crisis that I was in.
I prostrated at Swamiji’s lotus feet and sat there with tears rolling down in ANANDA, unbound and causeless bliss. After settling down, the first statement Swamiji made to me was “TEACHING YOGA IS NOT THE GREATEST THING IN LIFE”. Then Swamiji went on to make the next statement “You can be an ACHARYA of the Satyananda Yoga tradition and propagate Yoga”
Referring to the Mantra Diksha he had given to me Swamiji said, the seeds of spirituality have been sown, let’s see how it grows and you’ll forget that you were in a spiritual crisis and the person responsible.
Guru SEVA at Rikhia
When I was at Ganga Darshan, I came to know about Sita Kalyanam program that is celebrated by Sri Swami Satyananda. Swamiji gave permission for about 16 of us to offer seva for Sita Kalyanam for a period of one month as part of the course.
The period of seva at Rikhia ashram was the most beneficial experience of the entire period of ashram life. The seva opportunity was the greatest blessings of my life time.
I not only lost some 30 kilos of my weight in those 30 days, I had burnt away my karma in Guru Seva. I emerged purified and blessed after that period of Guru Seva