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by Swami Sivananda
Table of Contents
About This Book (Back Cover) Introduction 6 Towards Integral Revival 8 Nature of God 12 Light, Power and Wisdom 17 What is Divine Life? 21 The Power of Prayer 24 Arise Victorious 26 Secret of Success 29 Seek Good Company 34 The Path of Vedanta 37 Share the Glory with all 40 Prayer to Mother 42 Behold Jesus in Thy Midst 43 A Divine Treasure for You 47 Peace 49 Conquest of the Mind 52 Control of Anger 54 Be Good; Do Good 57 Seek the Immortal 59 Love Leads to Liberation 61 Ethics and Morality 64 The Technique of Yoga 67 Roar Om Om Om 71 Health and Happiness 72 You are Master of Your Destiny 76 Real Renunciation 78 Foundation of Yoga 81 Religion of One 82 Religion of the Real 85 Yoga Sadhana 87 Universal Love 90 Divine Father 93 The Goal of Life 94 Happiness is Within 96 Control of the Senses 100 The Qualifications for a Student of Yoga 102 All is God: God is All 105 Thoughts on Vedanta 107 Meditation 109 Assert Your Real Divine Nature 111 Charity 114 Slay the Mind 115 Gospel of Peace 116
About This Book
This compilation of select writings from the pen of Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, under the significant title "Self-Realisation" is a fairly comprehensive manual upon the art of ideal living. The master’s precious advice and invaluable guidance on a variety of important subjects concerned with the integral culture of the human being, serve to enlighten you concerning the true meaning and purpose of your life. They throw a flood of light upon the problem of overcoming vice and cultivating virtue, controlling the mind and subduing the senses, eradicating fear and worry and developing the perfection of purity, goodness and divine knowledge, in and through the obstacles, imperfections and distractions of earthly life. They serve to reveal the secrets of self-culture, personal development, and spiritual perfection.
This book will become your constant companion. It will be a true guide, friend and philosopher in your life. It will solve your problems of life. It will put you in possession of the priceless treasure of a sage who has established himself in the highest spiritual wisdom.
Restlessness, dissatisfaction, frustration and despair prevail amidst a large section of mankind today. Greed, jealousy, hatred, violence are all seen manifest everywhere in the life and activities of individuals as well as nations. Both in the East and in the West, man is basely polishing up the exterior life with a veneer of so-called civilisation, culture and refinement. But in times of every crucial test, this polish is soon to be off and unregenerate man shows himself as he is, a savage, ruthless bestial combination of hatred, cruelty, violence, greed and unscrupulousness. Selfishness and arrogance make hell of human life. Sensuality, anger, crookedness and cunningness totally cover up and hide his essential divine nature.
This is more or less a picture of the world as it is today. Sri Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh is one of those inspired men of God-vision, who are attempting to change the above gross picture for the better. They would fain bring in love where there is hatred, joy where there is despair and sorrow, and light where there is darkness. They would have man become wise and turning away from war, so that peace and goodwill may reign upon earth. Sri Swami Sivananda has dedicated his life to the task of awakening man to the true purpose of life and making him rise from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, from this mortal life of sorrow and pain to a higher life of eternal bliss and peace. Through his voluminous writings he has been working out an inner revolution of ideas and ideals in increasing the number of fortunate men and women all over the earth. Aiming as he is at the physical, mental, cultural and spiritual regeneration of mankind, the Swamiji’s literature covers a wide range of subjects belonging to every aspect of human life.
This present compilation of select writings from his pen under the significant title ‘Self-Realisation’ is intended to be a fairly comprehensive manual upon the art of ideal living. The master’s precious advices and invaluable guidance upon a variety of important subjects concerned with the integral culture of the human being, serve to enlighten you upon the true meaning and purport of your real life. They throw light upon the problem of overcoming vice and cultivating virtue, controlling the mind and subduing the senses, eradicating fear and worry and developing the perfection of purity, goodness, and divine knowledge, in and through the obstacles, imperfections and distractions of earthly life. They serve to reveal the secrets of self-culture, personal development, and spiritual perfection. They awaken faith in the heart of the sceptic. They have in them the power to transform your life from failure to success, from frustration to fulfilment from restlessness to serenity, and lead you on to a new life and a higher consciousness hitherto beyond your reach.
The writings complied in the present volume have been brought out in this form mainly with a view to bring true happiness and blessings in the life of the readers. Its aim is practical. Swami Sivananda does not concern himself so much on exposition of abstruse philosophy. He is not an academic theorist. His writings aim to show you a way of life. His is a vital philosophy of practical divine life. He inspires you and shows you how to think good, see good, hear good, speak good and ‘DO GOOD’.
These sage admonitions of a widely revered spiritual master show you the practical methods of overcoming evil and becoming good and moving towards godliness and becoming established in divine perfection.
I urge my readers to make this book their constant companion. It will be a true guide, friend and philosopher in this life. It will solve for you the problems of life. It will put you in possession of the priceless treasure of a sage who has established himself in absolute peace and moral power, spiritual wisdom and the lasting light of an illumined Atmic Consciousness. May this little book help you to attain such a perfection in this very life.
Towards Integral Revival
A nation truly comprises a people and their Culture. It is not merely a particular geographical area that goes to make up a nation. It is the cultural heritage that has been evolved and handed down through successive generations (each adding to it and enriching it) that really constitute the life and vitality of a Nation and its civilisation. Just as the country’s territory and the external form of the community has to be protected and safeguarded and an elaborate system of administration is built up to do this, even so the true life-breath and vital life current of the nation has to be carefully safeguarded and kept alive. This is done by those illustrious sons and daughters of the Great Motherland, who realising the utmost importance of this inward aspect of the nation’s life dedicate their entire life to the task. They embody in their own patriotic personalities all the highest and the finest elements of the Bharatiya Samskriti and seek through example and ceaseless precept to keep bright the lamp of culture. In Sri Swami Sivananda we have such a one who has been labouring selflessly since the past more than a quarter of a century now to bring about a revival in the outer and inner life of the people of Bharathavarsha.
Swami Sivananda’s mission is to awaken the people of this great land to the glory, the worth and the peerless value of their hoary civilisation and immortal culture. His Mission is to give to the people a proper realisation of the inward essence of the Bharatian way of life and to inspire them to follow it in its true and pure form. He seeks to restore to them the sense of Dharma, Sadachara (right conduct), and Paropakara (doing good to others). Swami Sivananda works to reinstate in the life of man the moral and the spiritual ideal, the neglect of which has plunged the present day world into the fiery furnace of hatred, war, destruction and endless turmoil and agony.
In working out this mission of lifting up man from degradation and moral degeneracy Swami Sivananda does not behave like a dreamer or an armchair theorist. If anything he is a realist who takes a practical approach to the problems he has to deal with. He has therefore set about reviving our culture in all its aspects, physical, mental, moral and spiritual. The widest possible propagation of all these aspects of our cultural heritage by all variety of means including the most modern like the movie-film, electrical tape-recorder, etc., is the salient feature of his work in India today. The Swamiji is in his belief that India has a great and responsible role to play in the near future and as his contribution to the renaissance of Bharatha, he works to make the people conscious of their part in the world context as the spiritual sons and daughters of their grand Upanishadic ancestors.
To carry out this worthy mission in and organised manner he founded the institution known by the name of The Divine Life Society as it aimed at showing man the way to overcome his undivine, base, animalistic lower nature and to manifest the Divine qualities of Truth, Purity, Mercy, Love, Selflessness, dedicated Service of his fellow men, Practical goodness, Right Conduct and moral and spiritual Idealism. Through The Divine Life Society the Swamiji is working to systematically educate the people of this great land as well as those abroad towards the living of a higher and better life by eradicating vice and embracing virtue. He teaches very practical and effective ways of shedding hatred, greed, lust, egoism, intolerance and immorality. He gives effective ways of cultivating the positive virtues to overcome these negative traits in man. He practises, preaches and trains all in the Divine Life.
The physical regeneration of the nation is sought to be achieved by the propagation of the science of Yoga, Suryanamaskaras, etc. Through numerous branch centers of the Divine Life Society all over the country, training in Yoga Asanas and Pranayama is imparted to the youth as well as all people of the land. The science of natural living and health culture is broadcast through books, periodicals, journals, booklets, leaflets and other free literature. The gospel of Brahmacharya, marital moderation and restrained living is propagated through a varieties of ways.
The spread of Dharma and ethical living is an important aspect of Swamiji’s regeneration work. Placing before the nation a lofty conception of morality he has been striving to awaken in one and all the consciousness of the moral Ideal prevailing in our lives. Swamiji’s work extends to all people young as well as old, men, women and children alike. The subjects of Character Building, Mind Control, etc., receiving special attention and detailed treatment at the hands of this broad-hearted, farsighted and parochial minded saint of Free India at this critical juncture of the modern Atomic Age where moral values are in dire danger of being swamped out of man’s life.
This unique personage though apparently an orthodox Sannyasi of the Sankaraite tradition holds aloft the Ideal of Selfless Service which he advocates with all the zeal and ardour of a fiery reformer. He is never tired of reiterating that, "The salt of Life is Selfless Service." He calls it the glorious Gospel of Worshipful Action. He proclaims that selfless Seva is the most effective means of purifying our nature and ennobling our lives. Therefore the Society’s headquarters at Rishikesh conducts a well equipped Allopathic Hospital, giving FREE treatment to the suffering.
To train numerous workers in all aspects of this sublime culture and spiritual work Swami Sivananda has established a unique Academy which is known as the Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy where the theoretical and practical aspects of our time-honoured systems of integral self-culture are taught in rational way suited to the present times. A series of valuable publications by the Academy are carrying on The Divine Life Society’s central aim of cultural dissemination. Experts in the different branches of practical Yoga and Vedanta give personal guidance and instructions to all seekers and students who visit the Headquarters and stay there for some time. The Ashram owns its own Printing Press where all the books and also the numerous periodicals on health, Yoga, Sadhana and Self-culture (in Hindi as well as in English) are printed.
The Headquarters of the Society seeks to present in itself a model for an all-round institution of many-sided activities for the branch centers to copy and emulate. These branches are found dotted all over the globe many of them working vigorously to spread the lofty culture of Bharatavarsha by translating the works of Swami Sivananda in all the important Continental languages. Thus the mission of a cultural regeneration is spreading outside the shores of the country and is as it were preparing the ground for India to play her legitimate role as the guide and the leader of the nations of the world in the moral and spiritual field of life.
Nature of God
God is Truth. God is love. God is Light of lights. God is Peace, Knowledge, embodiment of Bliss. God is Sat-chit-ananda, Existence absolute, Knowledge absolute and Bliss absolute. God is Eternity, immortality, infinity. God is Avinashi, Supreme Vastu, all-pervading Essence. God is the only, Sara-Vastu. God is infinite beauty.
That Secondless Supreme Being, who resides in the chambers of your heart as Inner Ruler or Controller or Silent witness, who has no beginning, middle or end, who is the source of this world, the Vedas, body, mind, senses and Prana, who is the pervading, unchanging, who is one homogenous Essence, who exists in the past, present and future, who is self-existent, who is independent, and who is self-luminous is God or Atma or Brahman.
Eternal bliss, supreme peace, eternal satisfaction, infinite happiness, unbroken joy can only be had in God. Your highest duty is to attain this God-consciousness through Ananya Bhakti or Vichara. You will reach the Goal.
With eternal greetings of love, peace and Om!
At the feet of God
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Last Updated: Friday, 04-Nov-2016 21:15:29 EDT
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