Life And Living: Swami Niranjananda Saraswati -Part I

Manifests into disorders and when stress is unmanaged it leads to hyper tensions," said Swami Niranjananada Saraswati. Swami Niranjananada Saraswati was born in Rajnandgaon (MP) in 1960 and joined the Bihar School of Yoga, Munger (Bihar) in 1964. Initiated into the Dashnami Sannyasa tradition in 1970 by his Guru Swami Satyananda Saraswati, he was initiated as a Paramahamsa Sannyasin at the age of thirty and was anointed Preceptor in succession to Swami Satyananda Saraswati. During his (Swami Niranjananada Saraswati's) brief visit to Bangalore after a span of 8 years he threw light on life and living. Here are the excerpts. " Imagination is the cause of hypertension," he said. We are influenced by the opinions of others and base our life and living on what other's think of us. No one except you alone can help yourself. Change yourself, change your opinion. Narrating a short hilarious incident he explained the meaning behind this theory. One day a man visited Swamiji in his Munger ashram. He had just retired and complained of hypertension. On inquiring he revealed that hypertension caught him unaware and that it was only now, after his retirement that he was facing this ordeal. On further enquiry, he had a story to tell. It so happened that since his retirement he did a series of things religiously to keep himself busy during the day. His typical day looked like this: Morning walk, breakfast, a round of newspaper and odd jobs. The Afternoon lunch was followed by meeting friends, chatting, supper and sleep. In a life like this, how did hypertension crop up? One morning, as he was reading the newspaper, his daughter- in-law, who was not in the best of her moods, commented, "he just lies around like a dog." So affected was he by this that he swooned. After he regained consciousness, he realized that hypertension had made home in him. On hearing this Swamiji enquired, " when she commented that you were a dog, what dog did you imagine?" " A lame, limping, dirty street dog," replied the man. Swamiji calmly remarked, "Why did'nt you imagine yourself to be a ferocious Alsatian, living in an air conditioned house, eating good food? Go and become a better dog." Unable to fathom what that meant he left the ashram. Three months later he returned to Swamiji with a tale. " I followed what you said and today have relieved myself of hypertension. I think I'am the boss (ferocious Alsatian) of the house and nothing really affects me after that." We all should become better dogs and not base our lives on the opinions of others. No one except we alone can make our lives better. We are easily affected by what other's say and that is the weakness of the mind. When the mind is strong, it develops strength.

Life And Living: Swami Niranjananda Saraswati - Part II
says that it is possible to improve the quality of the mind and with this anything can be achieved. There are different forms of yoga but they all lead to the same point and goal. By perfecting the discipline of yoga one is able to control mental modifications and with this one's true nature is realized. For yoga to be successful you should prepare the ground of your personality, which is your mind and nature. Before farming, you have to prepare the earth. Seeds do not grow on hard ground. Only your effort and sadhana will lead you to perfection. Swami Sivananda Saraswati said that there are three expressions of humans: head, heart and hands. Integration of these three, becomes the purpose of yoga, but they have become so selfcentered that there is no space for growth. The day formal education begins, the intellect becomes dominant and inner growth stops. When the intellect becomes dominant it can lead you on the path or lead you astray. Our family and society shape our intellect. With the development of intellect the spiritual growth stops. When you try to use intelligence to understand spirituality you will never succeed. Why do we need to practise Yam and Niyam (two of the eight ladders of yoga)? This is to change the 'tamas' of our personality, which includes aggression, violence, distraction and pleasure. The positive forces within us remain dormant while the aggressive forces become prominent. When you try to follow any of the yams with awareness, it is like fine-tuning a radio to receive signal without disturbance. Cultivate the opposite of what exists within you. If aggression is what exists within you, then cultivate the opposite. Pranayama kosh is like a neutralizer and with its activation we have access to the physical, mental, conscious and spiritual body. Only with Pranayama can yoga be practiced. How is a baby alive without breathing? This is because an embryo survives on prana when the mother breathes. This prana is the vital force. What is prana? Warmth in the Sun is prana, cool in the breeze is prana, heat in your body is prana, aura is prana and the air you breath is prana. All activities that sustains/ musters life is prana and the gap between inhalation and exhalation is Pranayama. "Shwaas Prashwaas Gathi Vichedaha Pranayamaha." Pranayama and Pratyahara will lead to success in yoga. Where does yoga lead? Yoga leads to the development of creative faculties, which help us to use the physical faculties of the indriyas to experience higher knowledge. Swami Niranjananda's guru, Swami Satyananda Saraswati once told him, "World is the play of the mind. Nowhere will you find peace if the mind is not in control. There is neither peace

in the Himalayas nor noise in the world. Everything is in the mind." When the mind is controlled you become a yogi. In whatever you do, you will become more efficient. With efficiency comes contentment. Yoga is a system that leads to greater efficiency in life. When yoga establishes in this manner in our lives, they become samskaras. Yoga can become a new samskara leading to health, peace and prosperity.