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FOUNDATION OF YOGA
SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA
Develop virtues like generosity, forgiveness and love. Mere Yogic Kriyas alone will not help you much. Do self-analysis daily and eradicate your faults and evil, slavish habits. Rectify your defects such as selfishness, pride, jealousy and hatred. You must cultivate a compassionate and loving heart first. At all times you must share what you have with others and practice selfless service. Then only will you get purity of heart.
Yoga is unity, identity, homogeneity, oneness and sameness with God.
Many aspirants neglect these preliminaries and jump, out of curiosity, to Yogic Kriyas for getting psychic powers. It is really a serious blunder. They will have a hopeless downfall. Therefore, be careful. Mere Yogic Kriyas cannot bring about the desired results. The purification of the heart is of paramount importance. The aspirant must free himself from lust, anger, greed, jealousy, hatred, egoism, vanity, attachment, pride and delusion. This is more difficult than control of breath or the practice of Yoga Asanas.
Virtuous qualities such as mercy, tolerance, adaptability, courage, patience, balance state of mind and cosmic love should be assiduously cultivated. Sages have always laid great stress on selfless service, generous charity, purity and simple living.
With firm faith, application, perseverance, careful attention to even small details, and fortitude in trials, you must set foot and proceed on the path of Sadhana.
Yoga is not hidden in caves, not sequestered in thick Himalayan forests. It is not in taking mountain herbs. God is not a coward to run away from towns, cities and villages. Practice Yoga in your own home. When the desire to practice Yoga comes, it means that liberation is near at hand. Now, take the plunge.
It is a blessing to be a Yogi. Practice Yoga and preach. Hatha Yoga ensures good physical and mental health. You must utilize this to the best advantage by deep meditation on the Atman or inner Self. Self-realization should be your goal. This should be achieved by the constant remembrance of God, by righteousness, by a life of virtue and by the practice of Yoga.
Becoming a Yogi does not involve the abandonment of anyone or neglect of any duties. It means switching over from a life of purpose-lessness to the path of God. It entails a change of your attitude towards life and in the methods pursued for liberating yourself. True and lasting renunciation is, after all, a matter of the attitude of the mind.
There is only one institution for you which can train you to evolve into a full-bloom Yogi, and that is where Providence has placed you-your own home. Mind is indeed the cause of bondage and liberation; a restless mind will find rest nowhere except in its own annihilation. The mind should be attacked on all sides with every possible type of weapon-with the repetition of Gods Name, study of religious scriptures, devotion, practice of silence, service. Pranayama, Japa, prayer, Kirtan and meditation. All these should be combined.
Do not look upon Yoga as something beyond you or as calling for any extraordinary efforts. You can remain in your station of life, carry on your work and at the same time embark on the Yogic path. Do Japa, prayer, Kirtan, meditation and Asanas regularly.
Any effort in the direction of Yoga never goes in vain. You will realize thereby the fruits of even a little Yogic practice.
Yes, there is a popular notion that Yoga is only for the intelligentsia. It is not so. Yoga is for all. Everyone can and should practice Yoga from his own station in life.
I can impart to your noble self training in one of the most ancient Hindu medicine - the great miracle panacea for all ills-Yoga. Become a Yogi from this moment.
The aim and end of Yoga is Self-realization. Yogic methods should not be applied for mere material gains.
Yoga does not consist in just reading books and discussion at a club table. It consists in practicing what you already know.
Every activity - from the rearing of children to the management of the home - can be readily converted into Yoga. Kindly study the first six chapters of the Gita again and again. Merely running away from crowds is not a sign of Yoga. The performance of all actions as an instrument in His hands, and with the consciousness that this world is pervaded by Him, the Supreme Spirit, is called Yoga.
Last Updated: Sunday, 17-Oct-2004 08:51:48 EDT
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