Yoga and the New Human Race: The Psychic Race
Swami Satyananda Saraswati
Paris, France, 1969
Through the practice of yoga a definite change takes place in the sphere of human consciousness. In fact one must admit that all the aspects of yoga including the yoga asanas will surely bring about a change in the inner sphere of man. It is true that by the practice of meditation, the yoga postures and also through pranayama and other methods, a definite change can be brought about in the structure of the human brain and psyche. But it does more than this.
The awareness which is a special privilege of man becomes increasingly keen and intense with the practices of yoga. Animals think but do not know that they think, maybe monkeys, cows or some higher animals do think and also plan but they do not know that they are doing it. Some of the animals have even more intelligence than man, undoubtedly they do, but they are not aware that they have it. There are thousands and thousands of species existing but unaware of their own existence. But with the appearance of human beings something new has appeared.
He not only exists, but he knows that he exists. He thinks and he knows that he thinks. He has problems and he is aware of those problems, and this is how the human being differs from the rest of the animals. This special quality of human beings is to be known as awareness. In the phrase Sat Chid Ananda, the second word Chit refers to this awareness. If we could develop this awareness in the monkey, if we could develop this awareness in a cow, perhaps something fantastic would take place. It is the mark of man’s special evolution and this awareness produces the remarkable difference between him and the other species.
If you will for the moment imagine that man became aware of himself just like somebody else is aware of him then you can go to the extent of discovering, of creating, visualizing or imagining a seer, a spectator, you may say God, who shares my awareness. This awareness is the special vehicle by which man shall complete the journey.
Atman is the witness to all that exist, past, present and future.
This consciousness, this awareness is known as Atman or Self. This Atman is the seer of my existence, this Atman is the witness of all that exists in the past, the present and which is sure to come in the future. But this Atman is not aware of itself. The day that the Atman experiences itself, then that shall be the completion of your evolution. You may say, “I will become aware of myself”, but it will not be possible. If you close your eyes and think: I am aware of myself, I can assure you that you will be aware of your body, you will be aware of your name, you will be aware of your background but you will not be aware of your Self! The name, form, time, space and object are not the Self. But it is through the Atman that we know that they are.
Among human beings you will find that people are not aware of this higher existence. They are only aware of their external lives and because they are connected with this outer life there is pain, there is agony and there are problems. When we talk about the psychic race, when we talk about the coming race, when we talk about the world culture, we mean a culture that shall be aware of this Atman. It is through the practices of yoga that you will become more aware of yourself and gradually you will commune with your inner nature.
For more than five thousand years of our history, mankind has suffered very much. Attempts to bring about this culture were made many times in the past but they resulted in utter failure. For some reason or the other this culture could not be restored because the people of that age could not develop their center known as bruhmadhya, or the third eye. People had to work with their bodies, their physical bodies, with their hands and feet and as it happened they could not develop their psychic centers which are situated in this body. For centuries people fought for prosperity, people fought for men and women. They did believe in God but they did not find their own source.
Kundalini will wake up by the passage of time.
Now the whole picture is changing. The intellectual evolution is complete. With the completion of the intellectual evolution the psychic body and the psychic centers in the brain are awakening and whether you care or not, the kundalini, in general, is going to wake up in times to come. Maybe after a few hundred years people will not go to a guru to learn Kundalini Yoga, but their kundalini will wake up by the passage of time. To express it in a different way I can tell you that in this brain there are certain centers which now have already become fused to waking consciousness and those centers in the brain which are lying dormant for past centuries are now coming to life.
You know very well that within the brain there are millions and millions of ultra-sonic and super-sonic circuits and centers. The centers of intuition, the centers of supreme understanding and all the center are situated in this our physical brain.
By the practice of Kriya Yoga, by the awakening of the Muldahara, by awakening of the Manipura chakra, by mahamudra, by bandhas, people have been trying for centuries to awaken this dormant side of the brain, this 9/10 of the brain.
When I started the practice of yoga, I found that people thought yoga had nothing to do with them and said it was absolutely useless for the man of the world; I am talking of the years 1936-1939, when people did not know that this practice could bring them something precious and valuable. Within a few years, suddenly a great change has taken place. In spite of heavy preoccupations, social and family problems, people have come to the understanding that yoga is for them.
In 1962 when a conjunction of eight planets occurred in Aquarius and many were terrified by the thought that a chaos was going to take place I was in Munger, the place that I come from now. That town was in absolute terror! Do you know why? On 15 January, 1934, when there had also been a conjunction of four planets and the sun in Aquarius, the town of Munger was brought down to ashes by a terrible earthquake so that not one house survived. 50,000 causalities occurred in a half hour and thanks to the astrologers who told the people of Munger that the next time they were going to face the same calamity, everyone was terrified. Around the clock throughout the month, everybody left his job, everybody left his duty, everybody left his shop, and they were only praying day and night. At that time I happened to go to Munger for the first time. I was just a wandering monk. I was not speaking very much so I did not even have one friend. I was accustomed to sleeping on the roadside, like many people do even today, and I was not sure that I would have something to eat at the time of lunch; if I had a few onions that was enough for me.
On my arrival in Munger a gentleman called me and said, “Swami, what is your opinion about this day?” I told him, “The birth of a new world”. That man left Munger that same afternoon. He misinterpreted me; I told him that there would be the “Birth of a new World”. He thought that everything was going to be finished by that afternoon. This news spread to different people in the town. I stayed in Munger and that day passed without incidents. At about one o’clock at night when it was supposed that the deluge, the destruction was to happen, I got up and I felt now the birth of the new world is taking place. The man who had left Munger, the same day out of fear, got in touch with me the next morning, came back to Munger and asked me to build an ashram there. To tell you the truth and to be frank, I never thought of a mission, I never had any ambition. Without my wanting the ashram grew up, without my wanting the disciples stared coming, without my wanting I came to the west a number of times and everything happened without my wanting it.
So you can understand that even though mankind is at the same time moving in a different world, in a different and worldly sphere, that sooner or later a great change is going to take place in the whole world. Even if you take a vow here this evening that you are not going to practice yoga I can assure you that you cannot help it. You can be sure of one thing. After a few years when you meet your friends you will say “have you got a television?” He will say yes or no. You will ask, “Have you got a car?” He will say yes or no. You will ask, “Do you practice yoga? If he says no, you will say, “what type of man is he, he does not practice yoga at all!” It has already started happening. When the great violinist Jehudi Menuhin, was recently awarded the Nehru Prize in India and was asked by the press correspondents what the firm bases of his life were, he said, “First yoga, next music.”
Finally, before I conclude, I can tell you that if you practice yoga asanas, pranayama, mediation, ajapajapa or antar mouna, a change does take place in the body undoubtedly, but more than that, a change is taking place in the deeper spheres of your life but you do not know it.
When you practice yoga, you should not acceptor you should not take to the path of abstention or rejection. It should be a path of synthesis. Yoga should unite not only two parts but many. All the great thinkers like Annie Besant, Aldous Huxley, Sri Aurobindo, have been talking about this super human race or this supramental race. As this super human race or this supramental race, you need not be afraid that you are going to develop horns or wings, but you will develop your consciousness to such a degree that you will become aware of the whole cosmos.
Hari Om Tat Sat