10th Convocation Address
Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samathanam
12 January 2013
Dr. A. Sivathanu Pillai
Distinguished Scientist & Chief Controller R&D, DRDO & CEO&MD, BrahMos Aerospace
Dr. Pranav Pandya, President, S-VYASA, Dr. HR Nagendra, Vice Chancellor; Prof. ECG Sudarshan; Members of the Board of Management; Head of Departments; Distinguished Guests; faculty members; Graduates who are receiving certificates and their proud parents; Ladies and Gentlemen; My warm greetings to all of you.
I am indeed honoured and privileged to deliver the 10th Convocation Address of Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samathanam. I extend my special greetings to the proud parents of the students who are graduating today, whose unflinching dedication and support have made this possible for their success.
Richness of Vedic Sciences
‘Veda’ means knowledge and the set of sacred books originated in India. Vedic sciences are considered to be the richest and most comprehensive of ancient India. They include various disciplines of science like physics, mathematics, astronomy, cosmology, aviation, medicine, yogic science and many more. Our ancient rishis (sages) and Siddhars used enormous mind power and possessed great scientific knowledge that they applied for the benefit of the community. The unique spiritual and mind power, and intellectual thoughts portrayed in the epics of ancient times amaze us today.
Aryabhatta, Charaka, Sushruta, Panini were some of the eminent scientists of the ancient era. These scientists evolved many mathematical and scientific theories that can be proved using contemporary methods. The saints and sages invented and discovered many new scientific breakthroughs. Aryabhatta (476 AD) was the first to proclaim that the earth is round and rotates on its axis. He is also acknowledged for calculating the value of ? (Pi) to 3.1416 and sine table in trigonometry; Bhaskaracharya II (1114–1183 AD) was first to discover gravity 500 years before Sir Isaac Newton; Acharya Kanad (600 BC) said "Every object of creation is made of atoms which in turn connect with each other to form molecules”; Acharya Sushrut (600 BC) performed rhinoplasty (restoration of a damaged nose) and prescribed treatment for 12 types of fractures and six types of dislocations; Acharya Bhardwaj (800 BC) designed and described the techniques of aviation technology; and Acharya Kapil (3000 BC) outlined the concept of transformation of energy.
The great Sage Maharishi Patanjali (800 BC) classified Yoga into four main branches, according to the range of qualities existing in human beings. These are Bhakti Yoga - the path of love and devotion; Karma Yoga - the path of action; Jnana Yoga - the path of philosophy and intellect; and Raja Yoga - the path of self-discipline.
Let me narrate some incidents to you where yoga has played a crucial role in alleviating the pain of people:
DRDO and Yoga Treatment
Defence Scientists at DRDO in collaboration with the Global Hospital and Research Centre, Mount Abu - an institution of the Brahma Kumaris had tried out a unique way of introducing Yoga in curing people who are suffering from Coronary Artery Diseases (CAD). 120 patients having blockage in the arteries were studied. 60 patients were given normal treatment and the rest were asked to practice the Raja Yoga. After 6 months time, the patients were angiographed. The patients who practiced Raja Yoga were found with no blockages in the arteries. Such is the power of Yoga.
My Father’s Experience
I would like to narrate an incident that had happened in my life when I was a school boy. My father lived as a saint practising Raja Yoga. He could sit upright and breathe internally. He was also a Siddha Practitioner. I was sitting on the verandah of my house in a village near Nagercoil and I saw suddenly a white car coming and parked in front of my house. A Gentleman in middle 50s got down and asked for my father. Without knowing the purpose, I took him to my father. He touched the feet of my father and explained the purpose of the meeting. Heard about my father from his relatives at Tirunelveli, he came from Chennai and told my father that his wife was suffering from Blood Cancer and the Doctors had told him that her chance of survival was only for the next 15 days. Tears poured down from his eyes. He surrendered himself to my father and said that he only can cure his wife. My Father without telling anything got ready in 10 minutes and went along with him. After reaching his place, he prepared medicines and food in the form of pashpams dealt with poisonous materials like arsenic and mercury, prepared with extreme care. He was there for a week and took care of that lady. He asked the gentleman to continue the medicines and food as prescribed by him and said she would be alright in a week. After that my father returned to our place. Two weeks later, the same gentleman came and fell flat in front of my father and told that he showed his wife to the doctors and they got astonished that there was no sign of cancer found in her.
The above are the clear examples of the mind power and the determination of the individual that makes him/her to succeed in their mission. I quote what Swami Vivekanand Said:
“Take up an idea. Make that idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success”
Maharishi Patanchali in Yoga Sutra says:
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary work, all your thoughts break their bounds, your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you will find yourself in a new great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamt yourself to be.”
India’s Civilizational Heritage
The spiritual wisdom and culture have been our strength. We as a Nation survived the onslaughts of invaders and the numbing effects of colonization for more than 1000 years. We also learnt to adjust to rifts and divisions in our own society. But in the process of all adjustments, we have also lowered our aims and expectations and settled down to a lower mindset. From the great knowledge givers to the world, we came down to the lowest strata of living at the time when we won our freedom. Eminent leaders emerged during the freedom movement, who tried to boost the spirits and minds of the people to recapture the greatness of India. It is time now that we must regain our heritage and wisdom to enrich our lives in the coming years. Presently, we are far from the expectations. The civilisation and the moral values what we had in the nineteenth century before the invasions by the foreigners, can be visualised through the statement by Lord Macaulay in the British Parliament on 02 February 1835:
“I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation. ”
Present day life is disturbed with problems like crime, violence, terrorism and makes us to realise the significance of human values, without which human life loses all meanings. Moral values are to be brought in the minds of the individuals through value based education.
Ethical and Moral values are the basis of good life. It is only the ethical culture which raises human life to a dignified position. Moral living starts through dedication of ideal principles, maxims and human values. A righteous and virtuous life and a clear conscience provide the backbone of spiritual as well as a humane material progress of the civilized man and his society. Undoubtedly, yoga provides such ethical and moral values.
The human soul has experienced many good and bad, pleasant and unpleasant karmic reactions, and untold sufferings. Desire, pride, ego and greed constantly hold us from reaching the final destination. We continue to live in the darkness of ignorance, with anger, hatred and duality separating us from each other. As a result humans are not able to live together as they should. Today, there is not enough tolerance amongst religions, little respect amongst cultures and an absence of love between nations. It is high time to demonstrate love to our fellow humans, to all of mankind, and to pray for them.
Yoga and World Peace
Yoga is the balancing principle that sustains the entire life and it is the Yoga that will restore harmony to our world. Thus, Yoga not only keeps one’s body and mind united giving peace, but also energises us to take up big challenges. It creates the required positive energy with determination. The benefit of Yoga must reach to everyone if the world has to be peaceful. Along with Yoga, if we all practice to eliminate the desire and greed then we will attain the societal peace and harmony.
If the society is peaceful, understanding each other that blossoms to the world. One should have the Righteousness to help the process of World Peace. It reminds me of the Divine Hyme from Sathya Sai Baba of Puttabarti which says:
Where there is righteousness in the heart,
There is beauty in the character.
When there is beauty in the character,
there is harmony in the home.
When there is harmony in the home.
There is an order in the nation.
When there is order in the nation,
There is peace in the world.
Power of understanding and practicing Yoga will bring Peace in the Society and also following the righteousness will ensure peace in the world.
Dear Friends, based on our inherent strengths, we need to reiterate to the world that Indians are remarkable. We need to set our targets very high and work hard to achieve the same. Problems may come on the way but we have to defeat them so that problems do not absorb us. Nothing is impossible to achieve, if our aims are high and purposeful and we are determined to achieve them. So friends, everything is in your hand. You must make yourself ready to do a remarkable work, which will find a place for you in the history of the world.
India is blessed with the largest youth power in the world. Skill and value system will make them a globally demanded human resource. Ignited mind of the youth is the most powerful resource on the earth, above the earth and underneath. Their knowledge, courage and devotion will make India certainly a great nation, once again!
Courage to think different
Courage to invent
Courage to travel into unexplored path
Courage to discover the impossible
Courage to combat the problems and succeed
Are the unique qualities of the Youth
My best wishes for you