An inspirational Story of Yogi Satyananda and the Rikhiapeeth Ashram
“Namo Narayan! Welcome to Rikhipeeth Aseem, Oh’ My God! the young Sanyasi is back again.”- This was the statement filled with joy by Swami AmritaMurti, when I just arrived at the Rikhiapeeth Ashram. Rikhiapeeth Yogashram is the sister ashram of Bihar school of Yoga, Munger. It is situated in Rikhiapeeth 10 kms away from Jasidih Railway Junction, Jharkhand (Previously Bihar).
This ashram was established my swami Satyananda Saraswati, one of the great Disciples of Swami Sivananda. I am a strict follower of Sivananda Yoga and always follow his guidelines. Swami Satyananda took Samadhi in the year 2009 in the Rikhiapeeth. This was his Tapobhumi, where he has performed all the spiritual practices.
He is also the founder of the Bihar School of Yoga, Munger. Now swami Niranjananada is the Paramacharya of Bihar school of Yoga, and Swami Satsanganand is of Rikhiapeeth. I often visit these two ashrams. Yogashram has the branches all over the world. So people all over the world come here to learn Yoga, meditation.
When Swamiji Arrived here, the economic condition of the village was not good. The head of the village (Mukhia) offered food to Swamiji, but he didn’t have food for last 3 days. That day Swamiji has taken the oath to arrange the availability of two times meal for the inhabitants and elevate the financial condition of the villagers.
The ashram is divided into different blocks like Paramhansha, Yagyansala, Annapurna Kitchen, Akhara, Sophia Bhavan, Patanjali etc. Akhara is the place where Havan, Kirtan and spiritual Practices are performed. A hospital is there running under Swami Yogpratap providing free treatment to people. I was allotted a room at the Shophia Bhavan. Swami Amritamurti issued the Id card and Ashram rules sheet.
The rules are like,
Not to use the camera or any electronics devices, wear formal clothes, not to keep arms and weapons, not to enter others rooms, active with seva and different programs etc. Visitors are not allowed to move to different campus by walking. They can go by carts and vans of ashram.
After coming to the Annapurna kitchen campus, I met Ajay, who was in the seva of Annapurna kitchen. He welcomed me and showed me the room.
‘I wanted to take Samadhi, but when I came to Rikhia Peeth, Swami Satyanand was no more. He took Samadhi in 2009’ – Ajay told.
I had some tea and met swami Nitya Chaitanya. Once he was the top class actor (Shriram Panda) from the Odisha Film Industry. But his career was in trouble and he was under stress. Then he met Swami Niranjananada and his life changed. He took initiation from him and came to Munger. He renounced the world and dedicated his life in the holy feet of his Guru. I have met him before two years in the Sambalpur Ashram.
‘Sanyas is not the ultimate solution to end the sorrows and difficulties in your life. You can achieve everything at your home. You don’t need to leave everything and go to the Mountains. You just need to learn the art of controlling your senses.’ - Swamiji advised me.
In the evening I went for the Guru Puja at the Samadhi place. I felt the spiritual vibration and the presence of Swamiji. That is the place where a big snake appeared and crawled into the earth surface. Immediately Swamiji stuck his Trishul there and chose that place to start Sadhana.
After Guru Puja, Kameshwari Devi stuti was recited by the saints. It was really heart touching. You can feel the effect of Bhakti Yoga. Swamiji used to say in his previous discourses, ‘among all the yogas, Bhakti Yoga is the Yoga where you can realize the apex of spirituality in every moment. It has the magnetic power that can attract the lord.’ Then a havan was conducted reciting the Mahamrutyanjay Mantra 108 times.
I got rest that day and the following day as it were the weekend. The Prasad, I had was really healthy and hygienic. It was the traditional Indian Food special chapatti, butter, mix veg, dal and pickle. Really I love it, as it was auspicious and completely different.
The next day I met Swami Atma Jyoti, She gave me some tasks for seva as The Navaratri Anusthan was ahead. I got the seva opportunity as the supervision of the Painting works.
“Swamiji used to visit our homes in the early morning around 4.30 a.m. We daily got his divine darshan in the early morning. His teachings were very simple. He forbade us to consume alcohol, drugs and indulge in any type of illicit activities. He taught us how to live a happy life with simple life style. ‘- The painters (Mukesh) told me.
People who came in the influence of Swamiji got their desire fulfilled. Some got material boons and some spiritual progress.
I thought, ‘great persons are really immortal. Even they sacrifice their body they are still alive in the hearts of millions’. Human life is really a great gift by the almighty. We forget him being under the influence of Maya or illusion. This life should be dedicated for the sake of humanity and selfless service. Then we can approach the path of God realization.
The great saints take birth for the welfare of the human beings, they are really the incarnations of the Supreme Lord. We shouldn’t miss the opportunity of the seva of the saints, sanyasi or sadhus. They have sacrificed everything for the welfare of the human being without any expectation in return.
They have great power, they can even bring the great turning point in your life. India is known all over the world for its spirituality, Yoga, Ayurveda. The golden bird is now featherless. To make it superpower we have to build the reputation.
In the evening cultural Program was organized by Kanya and Batuk (School Boys and girls) of the village. They performed amazing chanting of Shri Hanuman Chalisa, Ram Rakha Stotram, and Bharatnatyam dance. The Kanya and Batus (School Children) were the favorites of Swamiji. He believed them as the incarnation of Lord Shiva and Shakti. He used to forbid their parents to beat their children or give any punishment.
The motto of Rikhiapeeth Ashram is Serve, love and Give. They are conducting various workshop programs like vocational courses on computer literacy, short term professional courses for the children of the village. At the closing ceremony of the Navaratra, cows, clothes, rickshaws, carts were distributed to the villagers.
The Navaratra came and we got the opportunity to listen to Swami Satsanganandji’s discourses in the morning. She used to say the essence of Karma Yoga (selfless service) and how one can get enlightenment by going on the path of seva. You can do meditation in the Himalayas 100 years, but without seva or karma yoga you can’t get the progress. She also lectured on the Navaratri Anushthan.
The Ramayan Path was conducted 9 days by the school girls (Kanyas). I got the opportunity of the supervision of Sound Men and learnt how to do the arrangement of mikes, speakers, mixture in a program. In the mid-day I used to give seva for the Kanya Bhoj in the Annapurna Prasadalay. The whole month of the Navaratra, Kanya and Batus have their day meal in the ashram.
I met some people from Australia, Newzealand, the USA who were pursuing Sanyas courses in the ashram.
I came back to Deoghar city after the Navaratri and stayed there for two days. I had the darshan of Lord Shiva in the Baba Dham temple. I visited very famous Naulakha temple, Balanand Ashram, Trikuti Ban.