Karma yoga è lo yoga dell’azione o del lavoro.
Il suo scopo è di produrre integrazione, armonia e unione attraverso l’azione. È un sentiero yoga aperto a tutti, in quanto tutti dobbiamo lavorare e compiere varie attività sia fisiche che mentali.
Infatti, si adatta molto al mondo moderno orientato verso l’azione ed è ideale per coloro che preferiscono l’azione all’inattività, quindi per tutti, poiché non c’è nessuno che possa restare completamente inattivo. È impossibile. Ci deve sempre essere qualche forma di azione, anche se si tratta solo di dormire, sognare a occhi aperti o cercare di non fare niente.
È attraverso il karma yoga che possiamo incominciare a praticare yoga ventiquattro ore al giorno, utilizzando le nostre azioni come mezzo per raggiungere la consapevolezza superiore.
SWAMI SATYANANDA SARASWATI
Swami Satyananda Saraswati was born in a small town near Almora, Uttar Pradesh in the foothills of the Himalayas in 1923.
As a child he showed extraordinary qualities and had his first spiritual experience at the age of six. He was blessed by many sages and sadhus (holy people) who passed by his home on their way to higher Himalayan regions.
At the age of nineteen, he left his family and home to search for his spiritual master, Swami Sivananda Saraswati who he met in 1943.
During the twelve years he spent with his guru, Swami Satyananda plunged himself into karma yoga to such an extent that Swami Sivananda said he did the work of four people. Like an ideal disciple he worked from dawn until late at night, involving himself in every kind of work from cleaning to management of the ashram. Service to guru was his passion and his joy.
Although he had a very keen intellect and was described as a ‘versatile genius’, Swami Satyananda’s learning did not come from instruction or study in the ashram.
He followed with faith his guru’s one command, ‘Work hard and purify yourself. You do not have to bring the light from the outside. The light will unfold from within.’ This is exactly what happened. At an early age, he gained an enlightened understanding of the secrets of the spiritual life.
After spending twelve years with his guru, Swami Satyananda took to parivrajaka (wandering mendicant) life in 1955. He journeyed extensively for nine years traveling throughout India, Afghanistan, Burma, Nepal and Sri Lanka. During this period he met many great saints and yogis, and spent time in seclusion formulating and perfecting yogic techniques to alleviate the sufferings of humanity.
In 1963, his mission became apparent and he instituted the International Yoga Fellowship Movement (IYFM) and, in 1964, the Bihar School of Yoga (BSY) in Munger. Before long, students were coming from all over India and abroad to stay at BSY.
From 1968 to 1988 he authored over 80 books and toured internationally spreading the teachings of yoga. He became well known worldwide as a leading exponent of yoga and tantra. He guided and inspired thousands of spiritual seekers and centres throughout the world with his holistic and scientific approach to yoga and the spiritual life.
In 1983, he appointed Swami Niranjanananda as his successor and president of the Bihar School of Yoga and associated centres.
In 1984, he founded both Sivananda Math, a charitable institution for rural development, and the Yoga Research Foundation.
In 1988, Swami Satyananda renounced his mission and adopted kshetra sannyasa (renunciation of active participation in one’s own field). He began a pilgrimage through the siddhateerthas (holy places) in India as a wandering sadhu, without any assistance from any of the ashrams and institutions he had founded.
In 1990 he established the Sri Panchdashnam Paramahamsa Alakh Bara and commenced the lifestyle of a paramahamsa sannyasin. Here he has performed the panchagni sadhana (a practice where one is exposed to five fires) and other vedic sadhanas to pave the way for the future paramahamsas to uphold their tradition.
The activities of Sivananda Math are also directed from here and, in recent years, he has opened the ashram to those who wish to experience ashram life.
Swami Satyananda is a man of spiritual authority whose words and actions overflow with gentleness, compassion and wisdom towards all. Through his life, we have a living example on whom we can model ourselves and can gain courage to become wiser individuals and more caring human beings.
SWAMI NIRANJANANANDA SARASWATI
Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati was born at Rajnandgaon, Madhya Pradesh in 1960. An exceptionally gifted child, he was considered a yogi from birth and was selected by his guru, Swami Satyananda Saraswati, for a special upbringing and education. At the age of four he joined the Bihar School of Yoga (BSY) at Munger and his secular and spiritual education were personally supervised by Swami Satyananda. At the age of ten, he was initiated into Dashnami sannyasa in 1970
In 1971 Swami Niranjanananda was sent overseas to further his training and education. He lived in many ashrams and yoga centres throughout North and South America, Europe and Australia.
He traveled widely in these countries, assisting in the development of ashrams and centres, and conducting many yoga programs. During this period of his life, he not only furthered his education, but also achieved a profound understanding of the needs of the different communities and countries he visited. As well as acquiring fluency in many languages, including Hindi, English and Spanish, he also made intensive studies in Sanskrit and ancient texts and is, today, considered a master in this field.
In 1983, Swami Niranjanananda was recalled to India and, although only twenty-three, was appointed president of BSY. He also took over the administration of Ganga Darshan, the Yoga Research Foundation, and Sivananda Math, and was also appointed the first paramacharya of the International Yoga Fellowship Movement (IYFM).
In 1990 Swami Niranjanananda was initiated into paramahamsa sannyasa. In 1993 he presided over the Tyag Golden Jubilee-a world yoga convention in honour of his guru’s fifty years of dedication to sannyasa and the upliftment of humanity.
This event was attended by people from all over the world, who came, not just to listen to various spiritual masters, but also to eminent scientists, doctors and educationalists, who discussed the results of yoga in their particular field. During this convention, Swami Niranjanananda announced his retirement from the presidency of BSY in order to have more time to travel overseas and spread the message of yoga on a more global scale.
Since 1994 he has visited most western countries including North and South America, Europe and Australia, as well as making extensive tours within India where he has been instrumental in introducing yoga into prisons, medical colleges, villages, schools and the army.
In 1994 he founded the Bihar Yoga Bharati, Institute of Advanced Studies in Yogic Sciences (BYB) at Munger, India as an educational and charitable institution for advanced studies in yogic sciences. It is the culmination of the vision of Swami Sivananda and Swami Satyananda. BYB is the world’s first accredited institution wholly devoted to teaching yoga. A comprehensive yogic education is imparted with provision to grant certificates and diplomas in yogic studies. It offers a complete scientific and yogic education according to the needs of today, through the areas of Yoga Philosophy, Yoga Psychology, Applied Yogic Science and Yoga Ecology. Swami Niranjanananda is its present chancellor.
In 1995, during the celebrations of the Sat Chandi Maha Yajna rituals at Rikhiadham, Swami Satyananda transmitted his spiritual powers to Swami Niranjanananda, and he thus became a guru in the tantric tradition.
Swami Niranjanananda has authored over twenty books and guides national and international programs. He is a man who belongs equally to both East and West. His cosmopolitan background has contributed to his inherent understanding of people and their particular needs, no matter what society or walk of life they come from. He is universally revered and loved as a spiritual master, not just because of his infinite wisdom and compassion, but because he is a man who radiates joy and celebrates each moment of life.
EDIZIONI SATYANANDA ASHRAM ITALIA
The Publishing House Satyananda Ashram Italia, founded in 1982, publishes, books, compact disc, DVDs and digital downloadaudio tapes on yoga in Italy.
The authors of the texts are Swami Paramahansa Satyananda, who is worldly recognised as one of the major authorities of yoga and tantra, and his successor Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati, founder of Bihar Yoga Bharati, the first yoga University in the world, an institution that imparts education in yogic studies and is recognised by the Indian Governament.
Our books are suitable for practitioners, researchers and yoga teachers and are utilised as study texts.
Besides, Edizioni Satyananda Ashram Italia Editions proposes techniques of meditation, relaxation and lectures through compact disc, DVDs and digital download.