by Swami Krishnananda
The structure and development of this academy has a long history, as envisaged by its founder, Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, for the spiritual development of the human individual. Spirituality in the true sense of the term implies an all-round consideration of the faculties of the human individual so that we become healthy in the total structure of our being, healthy in every aspect of what we really are.
There is nothing with which we are not connected in this world. The physical body is the nearest object of consideration no doubt, but we are not merely the physical body. We are also a mind, we are emotion, and we are intellect and reason. We belong to human society, we are citizens of a country, and we are units of an international setup. We belong to the whole world, whose breath we breathe, whose life in the form of the sun in the sky we enjoy, whose waters we drink, whose diet we take into ourselves. If you deeply consider your involvement in life, you will find that you are much more than what you appear to be to your own self. You have a wider comprehensiveness of being than your physical individuality.
Every one of you has been introduced as so-and-so, from such and such a place, such and such a qualification, with such and such an occupation, but this is not the whole truth of yourself. You are a citizen of this nation, which is a very important factor to be considered. That aspect is the duty involved therein. You have a duty towards anything to which you belong. To what is it that you do not belong? Anything that contributes to your very existence in this world is that to which you belong, and towards that you have a debt to pay, as you have to pay a tax for the protection you receive from that administration.
It was realised by our great founder Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj that people are generally very ignorant of themselves. They may be great masters in the arts and the sciences, they may know the structure of the stars and the inbuilt operation of the sun, they may be highly professional experts in geology, geography, history, and mathematics, but they may not know anything about themselves—as the lamp gives light to everybody, but the bottom of the lamp is dark. That should not be the predicament of any person. You may be educated and you are able to give light to other people in the arts and the sciences, but at the back there should not be a dark, ignorant base.
The discipline that is necessary for any person is all-round in the sense that it has to contribute to happiness in your life. The dissatisfaction that gnaws into the vitals of people in any manner whatsoever has to be taken care of properly, as we do in medical administration. You must be happy internally, emotionally, politically, and also financially. In every way you have to be happy. There should not be pricking or pinching of part of your personality from any side. This requires tremendous adjustment of your constitutional alignment. The whole personality has to be aligned to the structure to which it is actually related.
As you are all very highly educated people, you may be accustomed to think in a rational and intellectual manner, and the rationality spoken of should also be a comprehensive approach of your being. In the East, the emphasis has always been on spiritual experience and a universal approach to all things. In the West, the emphasis has been logical, mathematical, empirical, outwardly motivated, and principally social, as differentiated from the Eastern inwardising process of the integration of life. Now it is necessary to combine both these aspects. As you are part and parcel of the world of experience outside, the exteriorising tendency of the mind and the reason also has to be given proper training and made part and parcel of the process of the final inwardising process which is the spiritual approach to life.The inner and the outer are not contrasted. That idea should be given up. What you think inside should not be in opposition to what you see outside; then there is a gulf between the outer experience and the inner experience. You may be grieved outwardly or grieved inwardly. This is not the proper way of envisaging things. The logical approach, which is the emphasis laid in the West, and the inwardised mystical and spiritual approach which is emphasised in the East, have to be brought together.