Introduction to Bihar Yoga Wiki
In humility we offer this dedication to Swami Sivananda Saraswati, who initiated Swami Satyananda Saraswati into the secrets of yoga.
The Bihar Yoga Wiki has been launched on the occasion of the Munger Yoga Symposium conducted at Ganga Darshan Vishwa Yogapeeth from 25th to 28th October 2018. The Symposium has been a unique and significant occasion to deepen the inner connection with yoga vidya, the living knowledge of yoga, heralding Bihar School of Yoga’s second chapter of yoga.
During the first chapter of yoga from 1963 to 2013, the practices and teachings of yoga were disseminated far and wide to every region of the world, fulfilling the mandate given to Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati by his beloved guru Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati, for the benefit and upliftment of all yogic aspirants and those in need.
In accordance with the vision and mandate of Sri Swami Satyananda, it is time to embark on the second chapter of yoga, a new phase in the development and propagation of yoga under the guidance of Sri Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati.
More than ever, yoga is the need and panacea of today. It is time for sincere yoga practitioners to embark on life’s most profound voyage of discovery by deepening the connection with the yoga vidya, and learning to live yoga moment to moment.
The Bihar Yoga Wiki is an online encyclopaedia of the Bihar Yoga/Satyananda Yoga system, which is being produced in collaboration by the worldwide Bihar Yoga/Satyananda Yoga family. It is presented here to make the yogic teachings available in English to all in an accessible and easily understood way.
The Bihar Yoga Wiki is intended for yoga students and practitioners, spiritual seekers, and all those who wish to increase their understanding of the vast field of yogic teachings and practices.
"An ounce of practical experience is much better than tons of theory."
- –Swami Satyananda Saraswati,
- Teachings of Swami Satyananda Saraswati (Vol I)
"Yoga can only be understood when it is practised."
- –Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati,
- On the Wings of the Swan (Vol IV)
First and foremost, it is necessary to understand and approach yoga as an experiential science. For the benefits to arise in oneself and in one’s life, yoga is a science that must be practised, experienced and lived.
The understanding of yoga is founded on the successive discoveries and realizations that unfold within from the efforts to practice, experience and live the yoga vidya. Without sincere and systematic practice, no amount of reading about yoga can give the experience of yoga. However, when combined with sincere and systematic practice, reading about yoga can expand one’s understanding and promote a deeper experience.
Necessity of yoga teacher
The effects of yogic practices, sadhana and lifestyle arise when the practices are performed properly and when the teachings are lived. From ancient to modern times, spiritual luminaries have made the practices and teachings available for people to practice, apply and live, with guidelines for safe and effective practice. All yoga training should be conducted under the guidance of a competent teacher, and not from yoga writings alone.
The Bihar Yoga Wiki provides relevant information about yoga teachings and practice, and is not to be used for teaching oneself or others. When learning the practices of yoga, the guidance of a competent teacher is recommended.
People with specific health problems or who are undergoing a period where additional care is needed, such as pregnancy, need individual guidance and should not learn practices from yoga writings alone.
Although health professionals may consult specific yoga practice texts as a guide when constructing programs to provide clients with physical, mental and emotional balance, the techniques of yoga are not primarily for the unwell but the healthy.
For those wishing to extend their understanding in a particular area, each Bihar Yoga Wiki article includes references and suggestions for further reading. These include the works by the spiritual luminaries of the Bihar Yoga tradition, Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati, Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati, and Sri Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati.
Together, these sages of the present age have gifted humanity with a stream of seminal works on all aspects of yoga, including texts on yoga practices, techniques, teachings and philosophy, and on yoga practices for health improvement.
In these masterworks, the various components of yoga have been presented as a complete scientific system. Simple, powerful practices within a progressive system have been made available that everyone can do, and clear, practical yogic teachings have been offered to meet the real needs that people face in their daily lives.