In 2004, a group of yogis organised a congress in Mallorca, Spain, with the aim of creating a federation that would bring together all the yoga schools and practitioners in Spain. It was the first Satsanga.
This was their declaration of intent:
YOGA IS A HERITAGE OF HUMANITY
We, the undersigned participants of Satsanga I, in view of the crucial moment that humanity is experiencing, make this manifesto public to promote our determined and unwavering commitment to work for the objectives expressed below, and invite organizations and individuals to join our effort.
We affirm that Yoga is a superior state of consciousness that is accessed through an eminently practical methodology, which has been transmitted by thousands of teachers throughout the more than six thousand years of its existence.
We understand that Yoga is patrimony of Humanity and as such, we consider essential to admit the diversity of visions and interpretations. The richness that this implies offers to everyone who approaches Yoga a greater range of possibilities to find the path more akin to his Soul. Therefore, no one should arrogate to himself the faculty or power to judge or impose what is or is not Yoga. The tradition has demonstrated that when fused with the personal experience it generates hundreds of definitions, methodologies and expressions to reach the state of UNIFICATION. This is demonstrated by the amplitude and diversity of the legacy that our ancestors transmitted to us and that our contemporaries transmit to us.
We see that all teachers of this wonderful discipline have the right to impart their teachings wherever they feel they should, without having to ask permission from anyone, as we observe that it is neither ethical nor positive to create plots of land or territorial domains in the field of Yoga. No one should impose the rule in any country by disallowing its practice or teaching. The fundamental requirement of the human evolution is the free will. Therefore, each one of us must enjoy the freedom to learn and practice the Yoga that his conscience dictates. The mistakes or successes, pain or happiness of each human being are the harvest that each one gathers according to the freely executed sowing.
We accept and recognize all the schools, lines of teaching and paths of Yoga that exist today in the world, because we want every human being to have the right to know and to choose the formula and the method of application of it, that because of its idiosyncrasy or interest is more convenient for him. We remember Master Sivananda who cried out in his universal invocation:
Let us worship you under all names and in all forms!
Let us serve you under all names and in all forms!
We propose among the teachers of this discipline the incorporation of the principles and codes of action and relationship in harmony and coherence with the bases of Yoga, so that it can be taught by example to the students. We encourage all Yoga instructors to always keep in mind the following maxim: "You can report what you know, but you can only transmit what you are".
We maintain that Yoga only becomes a reality through personal experience, practice, and the application in daily life of the guidelines it proposes. The opposite is only theory, abstraction and obsolete mental concepts.
We consider that we do not own anything and even less Yoga as a state of inner fullness. We all feel as eternal walkers in the existential evolution of Yoga, as a simple "musical note" of an infinite melody that is more than six thousand years old and that sounds in the middle of Humanity.
We see that Yoga is worthy in itself and the only way to bring it more richness and dignity is by putting into practice the values on which its teaching and practice should be based: the "yamas and niyamas":
- "Ahimsa" – Bringing peace and not war in words, intentions and attitudes.
- "Satya" – Helping us live the truth and not lies and self-deception.
- "Asteya" – Giving us an abundance of satisfaction even in poverty and not a craving for possession of others even in wealth.
- "Brahmacharya" – Inducing us to use our energy properly and not to waste it in banal activities.
- Aparigraha" – Encouraging us to eliminate the unnecessary and not accumulate things and attitudes that deteriorate our quality of life.
- "Saucha" – Purifying our body and soul.
- "Santosha" – Making acceptance, understanding and patience sprout in our life and not allowing complaints, rebellion and nonconformity to nest in our soul.
- "Tapas"– Awakening our will, perseverance and fair effort and thus preventing the state of "tamas" or inertia from taking over our true essence, the soul.
- "Swadhyaya" – Infusing us with the spirit of self-inquiry and the study of the universal laws that govern life, thus freeing us from the existential ignorance that leads to suffering.
- "Ishwara Pranidana" – Teaching us the basis of humility and submission to the Divine in order to get out of the nets of arrogance, conceit, hatred and intransigence, because God gives His light to the humble and denies it to the proud.
We expose that "Satsanga I" was born so that the different schools of Yoga and the practitioners know each other and can freely establish collaborative relationships in the pedagogical, spiritual and human aspects.
Satsanga is an open space for all of us to look at each other as equals and learn to extract the most beautiful things in ourselves and in others, to discover that life is a celebration of unity in diversity.
Satsanga is a forum where all the people who feel Yoga as an important part of their life can meet periodically beyond the schools, associations or groups where they develop their daily life.
Satsanga is born to support, promote or carry out all kinds of initiatives aimed at the transmission, diffusion or realization of Yoga as a path of personal improvement, inner search, selfless service or unconditional love.
We commit to common work and we adopt as the foundation of this collaboration, the disinterested Love that saves all the abysses and misunderstandings, since we understand that as long as the human being does not love all the existing creatures as he loves himself, his internal faculties will remain weakened, overshadowed and hidden. We pursue fraternity among all members of the great yogic family: teachers, professors, practitioners and students, so that love becomes the master key that opens the door of awakening and turns everything into beauty.
We agree to support any centre, institute or school that starts the process of teaching or training of Yoga teachers by advising them in the programming that will be established by mutual agreement by all the schools included in this first congress. Such programming will be in accordance with the basic program of the European Union of Yoga.
We suggest therefore, getting out of the traps of the immediate, the visible and logical to glimpse horizons without borders and the parameters of the new Humanity. This implies the recognition, integration and application of the following values that we decided to incorporate into the guidelines of our work together:
- To recognize selfless love as the greatest demonstration of human evolution.
- To show a vocation of service to Humanity, always remembering that what is given is what is received.
- To incorporate the deep sense of humility and simplicity.
- To feel compassion for all beings, especially the humiliated and abandoned.
- To smile in the face of adversity.
- To practice silence in the face of grievance and dispute, understanding and accepting those who criticize us.
- To listen, above all, to the word born of experience.
- Not to ignore anyone, because we are all equal before the great Atman.
- To turn existence into a celebration.
- To make detachment and renunciation a reality in our lives.
- To exercise tirelessly the gesture of forgiveness.
- To create only those norms that promote fraternity.
- To sow harmony and peace in all times and places.
Thanks to all the groups of Yoga that have contributed and continue to contribute to the dissemination and diffusion of Yoga in Spain and throughout the world.
These are then our motivations, intentions and purposes.