The Bihar School of Yoga was founded in 1964 by Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati to impart yogic training to householders and sannyasins alike.
The Yoga techniques developed there are a synthesis of many approaches to personal development, based on traditional vedantic, tantric and yogic teachings in conjunction with contemporary physical and mental health sciences. Today, these techniques are taught by Bihar Yoga Bharati and also by Satyananda Yoga Academies in Australia and Colombia and through the programmes outlined below.
Bihar School of Yoga also guides yoga projects and medical research in association with prestigious hospitals, organisations and establishments. Programs made by Bihar School of Yoga are being used today in the education and prison Government sectors, in hospitals, by the Defence Services, private and public sector industries such as Indian Oil Corporation, Coal India Limited, National Thermal Power Corporation, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, the Steel Authority of India, Hindusthan Paper Corporation, Hindusthan Copper Corporation and many more.
Bihar has a history and spiritual heritage that goes back to ancient times. Thousands of years ago, Bihar was the home of two great spiritual universities, Nalanda and Vikramshila. Its soil has been touched by the feet of Gautama Buddha. The first sound of Gayatri was whispered on Bihari winds. Mother Ganga herself bathed and caressed the shining bodies of Sri Rama and Sita. Mahavir, the founder of Jainism, and Valmiki, composer of the epic Ramayana, were nurtured in Bihar. Bihar gave the world its first republic. Ashoka, the greatest ruler of India, was born in Bihar.
The father of surgery, Sage Sushrata, resided in Bihar.
Bihar gave birth to Aryabhatta, the ancient mathematician, and Chanakya, the father of economics. Sage Vatsyayana wrote the Kamasutra, the treatise on love, while in Bihar. The Ashok chakra adorning the national flag of India originated in Bihar. Bihar gave the world its first yoga university. The epicentre of many social, cultural and spiritual revolutions lies in Bihar. Bihar is blessed to be the karma bhoomi of Swami Satyananda Saraswati the modern yogic visionary and reknowned sage.
Ganga Darshan Yogashram stands on a hill overlooking the Ganga river, in Munger, Bihar, 175 km from Patna, the state capital, and 500 km from Kolkata. Against a backdrop of natural splendour, surrounded by beautiful gardens, Ganga Darshan Yogashram commands a majestic 180-degree panoramic view of the Mother Ganga as she sweeps through green paddy fields, fertilizing, energizing and purifying the surrounding areas.
The river Ganga is the symbol of yoga, the soul’s journey to unite again with the supreme. At Ganga Darshan Yogashram, a new vision of yogic life is inspired, making it a spiritual oasis in the 21st century.
In the ancient past, the site of Ganga Darshan Yogashram was the seat of King Karna of Mahabharata fame. Here he performed great acts of tapasya (austerity and sacrifice) sadhana, (spiritual endeavour) and daan (unconditional giving) which are still remembered today.
Here, Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati had the vision of Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati blessing him at exactly the same time that Sri Swami Sivananda left his mortal body in Rishikesh. It is the site where he perfected his sadhanas and had the vision of the future role of yoga for humankind.
Ganga Darshan Ashram
Lifestyle & Routine
An Ashram is not a temple or monastery, or a place for sannyasins or the guru, it is an embodiment of simple living, where one can develop a positive attitude and an understanding of selfless service. It is a place of inspiration because it does not teach or preach; it exhibits and you imbibe what is applicable to you.
Countless people have been inspired at Ganga Darshan Yogashram through the medium of yoga, sannyasa, guru’s grace or heavenly blessings and through contact with this hallowed place. Today Ganga Darshan Yogashram is a modern day gurukul, embodying yoga, the essence of spiritual life.
Events held at Ganga Darshan Yogashram on a regular basis throughout the year for all sadhakas, devotees and well-wishers include chanting of:
Mahamrityunjaya mantra for universal health (every Saturday)
Shiva Mahimna Stotra (every Monday)
Saundarya Lahari (every Friday)
Akhanda Bhagavad Gita Path (twice monthly on Ekadashi)
Sundarkand for removal of obstacles (monthly on Poornima).
Other celebrations include:
Basant Panchami – the foundation day of Bihar School of Yoga
Guru Poornima – the full moon of July, a day of rededication
Navaratri – a twice yearly celebration of Goddess Durga, the Cosmic Mother (March/April and September/October)
Sivananda Janmotsav & Swami Satyananda Sannyasa Diwas – which celebrates the birth of Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati and the sannyasa initiation of Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati (September),
Hanuman Chalisa – chanting on 1st January
Below is the current ashram timetable.
Wake up and personal sadhana
Classes start at 5 am. Timings change as per winter or summer season.
Between 6:30 and 7:30 am there is seva yoga for all visitors and residents.
Departmental seva yoga is assigned to individuals in administration, maintenance, publications, transcriptions, art, gardens, kitchen, etc.
Time from 12.00 am to 4.30 pm is devoted to classes or departmental seva yoga.
Kirtans (mantra chanting and singing) and Satsangs (discourses and discussions).
Private study or sadhana in one’s own room.
Gates of residential buildings close.
Observance of Mauna (silence) is obligatory at all meal times
and from 6 pm to 6 am.