Light, Power and Wisdom

By

Sri Swami Sivananda

 

A DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY PUBLICATION

 

Thirty-sixth Edition: 1998
(3,000 Copies)


World Wide Web (WWW) Edition : 1999

WWW site: http://www.dlshq.org/

 

This WWW reprint is for free distribution

 

© The Divine Life Trust Society

 

ISBN 81-7052-066-5

 

Published By
THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
P.O. Shivanandanagar249 192
Distt. Tehri-Garhwal, Uttar Pradesh,
Himalayas, India.


Contents


PUBLISHERS’ NOTE

This small book is a boon. It is your pocket Guru, handy friend, invigorating tonic and soft goad. The flaming words of Sage Sivananda are stored in this unique treasure-trove for you to take the fullest advantage of. Every word is directly addressed to you.

Perhaps you are faced with a problem that defies your solution; turn to any page and you are sure to find a way if not to solve better still dissolve it. Perhaps you are assailed by doubt or despair that threatens to envelop you in the darkness of gloom; it is then that you will realise the fullest benefit that you can derive from this volume—turn to any page and the light that emanates from it, is sure to dispel the darkness of despair. Every page is filled with Divine Light, Power and Wisdom.

It is the spiritual aspirant, however, who will find that this handy volume is more indispensable to him than his eye-sight; walking the path to the great Goal, through the darkness that is Samsara he needs Light to overcome the obstacles on the Path; to sustain his continuous vigilance, to resist temptations and to march vigorously forward, he needs Power; to save him from error, to keep the flame of discrimination burning bright, and to enable him to realise his own essential nature, he needs Wisdom. They are found in this volume.

—THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY


CHAPTER ONE

Light

Do You Really Want God?

Do you really want God? Do you really thirst for His Darshan? Have you got real spiritual hunger?

He who thirsts for the Darshan of God only will develop love. Unto him alone He will reveal Himself. God is a question of supply and demand. If there is sincere demand for God, the supply will come at once.

Pray fervently like Prahlada. Sing like Radha. Repeat His name like Valmiki, Tukaram and Tulsidas. Do Kirtan like Gouranga. Weep in solitude like Mira over the separation from the Lord. You will have Darshan of the Lord this very second,

The Light Is Within You

Be righteous always. Never deviate from the path of righteousness. Stand upright. Be bold. Be fearless. Practise Truth. Proclaim it everywhere.

March forward in the spiritual path. The light is within you. Fix the mind on the Lord. Kill egoism and pride. Cultivate fellow-feeling and universal brotherhood. Love all. You will have full life.

Control the senses. Pray fervently with intense faith and sincerity. Have an unshakable conviction in the existence of God and in the efficacy of spiritual practices. Be humble and simple. You will attain Immortality.

Lesson Of Life

Get up at 4 a.m. daily. Practise to sing God’s name in the early morning hours in the form of Nama Kirtan (like, Govinda Jaya Jaya, Gopala Jaya Jaya, Radha Ramana Hari Govinda Jaya Jaya). When you sing Hari’s Name, feel that the Lord Hari is seated in your heart and is hearing all your songs.

Study systematically Gita, Ramayana, Bhagavatam, Vishnu Sahasranama, Lalita Sahasranama from half an hour to one hour daily. Obey your parents. Speak the truth at any cost. Speak little. Speak sweet.

May the Divine Flame grow brighter in you! May you tread the path of righteousness and attain God-realisation in this very life!

Be Good, Do Good

Do thou always without attachment perform action which should be done; for by performing action without attachment, man reaches the Supreme. —Gita II-19.

When the thought of good becomes part and parcel of man’s very being, then he will not entertain any bad motive at all. He takes immense delight in serving others, in doing good to others. There is peculiar joy and Ananda in doing selfless service.

Expand. Purify your heart. Live in the true spirit of selfless service. Live every second for the ideal and goal of life. Then and then alone will you realise the true glory of selfless service. May you shine as a dynamic Yogi by the practice of selfless service! May you enjoy the true bliss of the eternal.

Do As You Wish To Be Done By

All the phenomena of nature are governed by one important law, the law of causation, the law of Karma. It is that law that keeps up the inner harmony and logical order of the universe. No phenomena can escape from the operation of this mighty law.

The cause is bound in the effect and effect is in the cause. The effect is similar to the cause. This world runs on this fundamental vital law. This law is inexorable and immutable.

Any action is bound to react upon you with equal force and effect. If you do some good to another man, you are really helping yourself. Because there is nothing but the Self. “Atmaivedam Sarvam” is the emphatic declaration of the Srutis or Upanishads. This virtuous action will react upon you with equal force and effect. It will bring you joy and happiness.

Be Up And Doing

The power of prayer is indescribable. Its glory is ineffable. Sincere devotees only realise its usefulness and splendour.

Sit not idly craving God to help thee, but be up and doing as God helps those who help themselves. Do the best you can and leave the rest to God.

Serve the devotees. Remain in their company. Do Japa and Kirtan. Study Ramayana and Bhagavatam. You will soon develop devotion. The Divine Grace will descend upon you.

Practise Ahimsa

Goal of life is God-realisation. Never forget this. Aspire ceaselessly for His Grace. Thirst for His Darshan. Have constant Satsanga. You will realise Him.

Practise Ahimsa. Speak the Truth. Have faith in God. Do everything for the sake of God (Ishvararpan). Serve untiringly. Pray with complete devotion. Fight with the mind and the Indriyas. Turn them towards God. Weep for the separation from the Lord. You will have His Darshan.

Feel that God works through your hands, sees through your eyes, hears through your ears. You will become a changed being. You will have a new angle of vision. You will enjoy the Supreme Bliss.

Be Kind

Extract the essence from all scriptures, great or small just as the bee does from flowers. Abandon all vain expectations and evil desires and take refuge in the Supreme Lord.

Perceive the immanence of God in all objects. Be kind and compassionate to inferiors, friendly to your equals and respectful to your superiors.

Get possession of the wealth of Vairagya. Cool your mind with the bliss of the Self. Rejoice yourself in the ambrosia of the serenity of the mind induced by the eradication of the Vasanas and the dawn of Tattva-Jnana.

Develop Pure Love

Love is the immediate way to Truth or Kingdom of God or the vast domain of perennial peace and joy. It is the life-principle of creation. It was the driving force behind Mira, Tukaram and Gouranga.

Therefore, develop pure, unselfish love. Pure love is a rare commodity. Cultivate it gradually. All your negative qualities like dislikes, prejudice will be eradicated. Love is a great purifier of the mind.

Abandon all sorts of wrong beliefs, weaknesses, superstitions, wrong notions, and ideas of impossibilities. Live in Love. Cling fast to the faith in Divine Life. Aspire fervently and constantly to live in the Divine. You will enjoy the Supreme joy.

Have Equal Vision

Have equal vision for all. Give up dry idle talking. Learn to be wise. Have unshakable faith in the name of God. Sing His Name. Feel His Presence everywhere.

Do not be troubled by difficulties. Endure them patiently. Turn your mind towards God. Walk like a spiritual lion. Break the bond of desire. Cultivate Daivee Sampat such as mercy, peace, forgiveness tolerance etc. You are bound to attain the highest knowledge and Bliss.

Pray fervently to the Almighty Lord for His Grace. Rise above the conventional distinctions of mundane life. Dispel the cloud of ignorance by the dawn of Jnana Surya, the Sun of knowledge. Do total unreserved self-surrender unto the Lord. You will enjoy Peace.

Have A Broad Vision

Live a life of utter devotion to service. Fill your heart with fervour and enthusiasm for service. Remember the Almighty Lord every moment.

Mould your character. Behave properly. Develop sympathy, affection, benevolence, tolerance and humility. Come out of the centre of your small narrow egoistic circle and have a broad vision. Speak gently and sweetly in a courteous manner. Eradicate undesirable thoughts and desires.

Stick to your ideals, convictions and principles tenaciously, even if the whole world opposes you. Stand up boldly on your own principles of right conduct and right living. Follow the instructions of one preceptor. You will attain the Supreme.

Love All

Love all. Be pure. Serve all with Atma Bhava. Have perfect control over your senses. Rely on your own self. Aspire ceaselessly for the Grace of God.

Do not make any difference between male and female. When you are in the company of women, repeat the Mantra “Ek Sat Chit Ananda Atman.” The same Atman which is in your heart prevails in all the bodies of women. The idea of sex will vanish. You will see God in them.

Feel that Lord Krishna works through all hands, sees through all eyes, hears through all ears. Sing like Radha. Thirst like Gopis for His vision. Lord Krishna’s Grace is bound to come. He is the Immortal friend. Never forget this. You will realise Him.

Behold The Self In All

There is something dearer than wealth. There is something dearer than a son. There is something dearer than a wife. There is something dearer than Prana (Life). That something is thy Self, Inner ruler, Immortal and All-Merciful Lord.

Be kind and compassionate. Be pure and gentle. Be sweet and loving. Be humble. Be sympathetic. Be friendly to the poor. Live with them. Serve them. Cheer them up when they are in difficulties. Be simple in your life. Behold the Self in all. Give up the idea of diversity. Have equal vision for all.

Do not use harsh words. Do not exploit others. Do not waste your energy in idle talking and worldly gossiping. Renounce all attachments.

Serve, Love, Give

Do not make any difference between menial and respectable work. If any one is suffering from acute pain in any part of the body, at once shampoo the affected part very very gently. Feel that you are serving the Lord in the body of the patient. Repeat your Ishta Mantra also. If you see a man or animal bleeding on the roadside, tear your upper cloth or shirt and use it for bandaging. Do not fight with the poor porters at the Railway Station. Be liberal and generous. Keep always some paise in your pocket and distribute them to the poor and decrepit.

When the heart is purified, the mind is naturally turned towards God. Eventually it is absorbed in the Lord, through pure love, self-surrender and worship.

Give, Give

Sins can be destroyed by charity.

Lord Jesus says, “Charity covereth a multitude of sins.” In the Gita you will find: “Yajno danam tapas-chaiva pavanani manishinam: Yajna, charity and austerity are purifying to the wise.”

Doing abundant, spontaneous and unrestrained charity to relieve the pains of suffering humanity is an effective means to destroy evil nature; give money like water. If you give, the whole wealth of the world will be yours. Money will come to you. This is the immutable, inexorable, unrelenting law of nature. Therefore give, give.

Be Cheerful Always

Be cheerful and happy. Away with depression and gloom. There is nothing more infectious than depression. Drive the feeling of depression and gloom at once by enquiry, singing divine songs, prayers, Pranayama, a brisk walk in the open air, the thinking of the opposite quality viz., the feeling of joy.

Live only to be a blessing to others. Feel that all is light and Bliss only. Do not allow the mind to see any external objects. Collect all the dissipated rays of mind. Develop the power of attention. Throw interest upon uninteresting objects and ideas. Many mental weaknesses will vanish. The mind will become stronger and stronger.

Cultivate Adaptability

Never grumble when you do service to others. Take delight in service. Watch for opportunities to serve. Work is worship of the Lord.

Have an amiable, loving, social nature. Have sympathy, adaptability, self-restraint, tolerance, love and mercy. Adjust yourself to the ways and habits of others. Be balanced even when you are insulted, when others use harsh words against you. Have equal mind in pleasure and pain, heat and cold.

Karma Yoga prepares the mind for the reception of Light and Knowledge. It expands the heart and breaks all the barriers that stand in the way of oneness or unity. Karma Yoga is an effective Sadhana for Chitta Shuddhi or purity of heart. Therefore do selfless service constantly.

Be Righteous

Happiness results from good acts, pain from evil ones. Acts must always bear fruits. Without action no fruit arises. Righteousness is the refuge to attain to the feet of God. Everything can be attained by righteousness.

Refrain from injury to all creatures in thought, word and deed. Be kind and charitable. Be liberal in your views. Have constant devotion to Truth. Free yourself from anger, hatred and malice.

Worship your preceptors and elders with respect and devotion. Worship the Gods with faith and sincerity. Be gentle towards wicked people. You will enjoy great merit and fame herein and hereafter.

Develop Virtuous Qualities

Develop virtuous qualities. Build up good habits. Do good. Meditate regularly. Try to live in God. All defects, evil thoughts and all weaknesses will vanish in toto.

Cherish no desire in your heart. Move amicably with all. Embrace all. Love all. Develop adaptability and the spirit of selfless service and penetrate into the hearts of all through untiring service and thus behold the one Self in all.

Forget all the illusory names and forms. Feel and see Lord Krishna in everything every moment. You will enjoy the Supreme Peace, Bliss and Immortality.

Establish Good Habits

Much of your subconsciousness consists of submerged experiences, memories thrown into the background but recoverable. You can establish new habits, new ideas, new ideals, new tastes and new character in the subconscious mind by changing the old ones.

Think deeply. Cogitate. Reflect. Have constant Satsanga. Do selfless service, Nishkamya Yajna. Develop the four means or qualification—Sadhana Chatushtaya.

Do not jeer at any one. Do not frown at anybody. Restrain all your senses. Be cheerful always. Do not look back. Divest yourself of desire and wrath. Cast off pride. Turn your gaze inwards. Contemplate. You will enjoy true happiness.

Develop The Power Of Endurance

Just as the Sun collects all its rays at sunset and merges in the horizon, collect all the scattered rays of your mind and merge into the Lotus Feet of the Almighty Lord.

Do not give indulgence or leniency to the mind. Cultivate the spirit of love and humility and Divine Compassion and tenderness like Lord Buddha. Nurse the sick. Comfort and console the distressed and disappointed. You will become Divine.

Develop the power of endurance. Open yourself to higher spiritual consciousness. Fix your mind on the Lotus Feet of the Lord. Pray for mercy, light, strength, peace and knowledge. You will surely get them. You will attain Supreme Joy.

Speak Measured Words

Control the mind skilfully and tactfully. Think rightly and clearly. Discipline the organ of speech. Speak sweetly, gently, and truthfully. Become a man of measured words.

Be humble and do prostrations to all beings mentally. Feel the Divine Presence everywhere. Give up vanity, pride and hypocrisy. Never hurt a man in thought, word and deed. Always do good and kind acts. You will attain Supreme Peace and eternal happiness.

Attune your heart with the Lord by doing fervent and sincere prayer daily. Be humble and simple. Practise morality. Develop contentment. Drink the Bliss of the Soul.

Light On Life

Lust for power, material greed, sensual excitement, selfishness, passion, passion for wealth and the lower appetites have drawn man from his true life in Spirit into the materialistic life. He can regain his lost Divine glory if he practises in right earnest the principles of Bhakti. Bhakti transmutes animal nature into Divine Nature and raises him to the pinnacle of Divine glory and splendour.

May you develop Bhakti so that it will lead you to attain Godhead or Self-Realisation in this very life! May the spiritual flame grow brighter in you!

Admit Your Faults

Keep the Divine flame burning steadily. Treat everybody with respect. View all with an equal eye. Behold the Lord in all beings. Have intense and exclusive devotion for the Lord.

Do not be offended by trifling matters. Admit your faults if they are pointed out by others. Thank the man who points out your defects. Pray. Sing the Lord’s Lilas. You will attain eternal happiness.

Use your intelligence. Intelligence is the most precious possession that a man can acquire. Do everything in this world with intelligence. Then only will you succeed in achieving all desired objects.

Kill This Little Ego

Just as dark clouds hide the burning Sun, so also the clouds of egoism and Vasanas (desires) hide the Jnana Surya (Atman).

Keep up the unbroken current of Meditation. Kill the little ego! Develop pure love. Surrender the fruit of action unto the Lord. Beseech Him to bestow His Grace. You will drink the nectar of Immortality.

Wake up from the sleep of ignorance and materialism. Divert your attention to selfless service and worship of the Lord. Develop brotherly feeling towards all men. You will enjoy Supreme Peace.

Eradicate Self-Justification

Do not be offended by trifling matters. Cultivate an amiable loving nature and adaptability. Admit your faults if they are pointed out by others. Eradicate them and thank the man who points out your defects; then only can you grow in spirituality and meditation.

Introspect. Look within. Try to remove your defects. This is the real Sadhana. You will have to remove all your weaknesses. Many old vicious habits will have to be cut out. Remove the defects of self-justification and of self-assertive nature.

Be regular in Japa, Kirtan, meditation, study of Gita and Ramayana. Observe Brahmacharya and Mouna. You will enjoy the Supreme.

Control Anger By Love

Anger shatters the physical nervous system and produces deep lasting impression on the inner astral body. Dark arrows will shoot from the astral body. A terrible fit of wrath will produce deep inflammation of the astral body. Have you realised now the disastrous consequences of anger?

Do not become a victim of anger. Control it by Kshama, love, mercy, sympathy, Vichara and consideration for others.

Fix your mind on the Lotus Feet of the Lord. Give the hands to work. You will be able to do two things at a time by practice. The manual work will become automatic, mechanical or instinctive. Your mind will be at the Lotus Feet of the Lord. You can realise God even while remaining in the world.

Follow The 20 Instructions

Spiritual life is not a mere idle talk. It is not mere sensation. It is actual living in Atman. It is a transcendental experience of unalloyed Bliss.

Tread the path of Truth and righteousness. Stick tenaciously to the TWENTY SPIRITUAL INSTRUCTIONS. Be regular in your meditation. Do selfless service. Cultivate all-embracing love. Develop Vairagya. You will attain Immortality.

Lead A Simple Life

Lead a simple life. Let your thoughts be lofty. Fear God. Speak the Truth. Love all. See your own Self in all. Be honest in all your dealings. You will succeed in your life and God-realisation.

Never worry yourself on any matter. Be always cheerful. Use your common-sense and reason always. Have a balanced mind always. Turn your mind towards God. Sing His name. Thirst for His Vision. Be sincere at heart. The Divine Grace will descend on you.

Have a strong determination and iron will. You have got everything to transmute yourself into a sage. Apply yourself diligently and ignite the spiritual dynamo within. Exert. Plod. Ignite. Realise.

Plain Living And High Thinking

Kindly develop faith in the Vedas and in the power of Mantras. Practise regular Japa and meditation daily. Take Sattvic food. Do not overload the stomach.

Obey the laws of nature. Take plenty of physical exercise daily. Perform the prescribed duties at the appointed time. Develop simple living and high thinking. You will realise God in this very birth.

May you remember the holy Names of the Lord at all times and live in an ocean of divine ecstasy and divine communion! May you prosper gloriously!

Lead Regulated Life

You are the real master or governor of the whole world. You are bound to none. Abandon all anxiety, fear and worry. Rest in Peace. Perform worship of Atman at all times. Lead a regulated life. Mould your character. Develop noble and virtuous qualities. Be righteous, and work for the good of others. Be devoted to your preceptor. Develop the power of concentration.

Remove lust, egoism, anger, selfishness, pride, etc. You will get Chitta Shuddhi or purity of heart. You will experience sublime divine feelings. When the attraction and attachment for sensual objects vanish, knowledge of Atman will dawn. You will enjoy the Supreme.

Life Is Very Precious

Neither birth nor learning makes one good. Good character alone makes one good. He who has lost his character is himself lost. The cultivation of good character leads to spiritual progress. Life is very precious. Live in the spirit of Gita’s teaching and work without expectation of fruits and egoism. Think you are Nimitta in the hands of Lord Narayana. You will become a Yogi soon. Have Nishtha with God and Cheshta with hands like Bahurupi who has the Nishtha of a male and the Cheshta of a female. You will be able to do two things at a time. You will become one with the Lord.

Acquire Spiritual Wealth

Any number of zeroes have no intrinsic value unless number 1 (one) is added before them. Even so the wealth of the three worlds is nothing if you do not try to acquire spiritual wealth and if you do not strive for Self-realisation.

Therefore live in the soul or the Self within. Add Atman to the life here. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto thee” (Lord Jesus). Just as the light is burning within the hurricane lamp, so also the Divine Flame is burning from time immemorial in the lamp of your heart. Plunge deep into the chambers of your heart. Meditate on this Divine Flame and become one with the Flame of God.

Understand The Law

No event can occur without a positive, definite cause at the back of it. Everything follows the law of cause and effect. This law is quite mysterious. That is the reason why Lord Krishna says: “Gahana Karmano gatih—Mysterious is the nature of action.” All the physical and mental forces in nature obey this grand law of cause and effect. Law and Law-giver are one.

You can change your thoughts and habits and mould a new character. You can become a righteous man and a saint by doing virtuous actions and entertaining noble Divine thoughts. When you attain knowledge of Self, you can rest in your own Svarupa. You can become identical with the Law-giver and then the law of cause and effect will not operate on you. You have conquered Nature.

Stick To One Guru

Develop forgiveness. Give up idle talk. Study the sacred books. Observe straight-forwardness, celibacy, innocence and equanimity under the opposite conditions of pain and pleasure, gain and loss etc. Do no harm to any being.

Have patience, adamantine will and untiring persistence. Stick to one place, one spiritual preceptor, one method, one system of Yoga. That is the way to positive success. Drive the feeling of depression and gloom at once by enquiry, singing Divine songs, prayers, chanting of OM, Pranayama, a brisk walk in the open air and thinking of the opposite quality viz., the feeling of joy. Try to be happy in all states and radiate only joy towards all around you.

Worship Your Teacher

Be free from desires. Thirst for the knowledge of God. Engage yourself in performing selfless service. The Divine vision and intuition will dawn in you.

Worship your father, mother, the teacher and guests as veritable Gods, without regarding them as mere human beings. Pay them due reverence. Serve them with great respect. Do not yield to fatalism. Change your habits. Lead a virtuous life. Eradicate greed and anxiety. Give up vanity. Be devoted to the Lord. The Divine Light will dawn in you.

Have Satsanga With Sages

Be sincere at heart. Don’t run after the shadowy toys of name and fame. Name and fame are illusory. They are mere vibrations in the air. Nobody can earn an everlasting name in this Mayaic plane. Care not for the little perishable things. Care for the everlasting Reality only.

Do constant selfless service silently with thoughts of God and Bhava within. Never grumble or murmur when you do service to others. Watch for opportunities to serve. Never miss a single opportunity. Create opportunities. Create the field for good service. Be regular in Japa, Kirtan, meditation and study of Gita and Ramayana. Control your emotions. Observe Mouna and Brahmacharya. Have contact with sages and saints. You will reap the Supreme Joy.

Follow The Instructions Of Sages

Just as the man who runs after two rabbits will not catch hold of any one of them, so also a meditator who runs after two conflicting thoughts will not get success in any one of the two thoughts.

Have only one Divine thought all times. Stick to it tenaciously at any cost. Run after the thought with the greater vigour, strength and one-pointedness. Success is bound to come. Do not be anxious. Do not act according to the dictates of your mind. Act according to the words of Sages and Saints. Mere remembrance of the high Souls destroys atheistic tendencies of materialistic people, inspires and goads them to strive for the final emancipation or Brahma-Jnana.

God Is Love

God is Truth. God is love. Speak the Truth. Love everyone. You will realise Him quickly. Have Satsanga with Sadhus, Sannyasins and Bhaktas. This alone can give you Viveka, Vairagya, spiritual strength and peace of mind. There is no other way. Hunt out for Sadhus. They are everywhere. Sincerity and earnestness are needed in you. They are ever ready to receive you lovingly with outstretched hands.

By Satsanga your mind will be saturated as sugar in water with thoughts of God, with Divine Glory, Divine Presence, with sublime soul-awakening spiritual thoughts. Then only will you be established in the Divine consciousness always. Then you can attain Self-realisation within the time taken for the squeezing of a flower.

Name Is Verily Omnipotent

Name of the Lord is a potent unfailing antidote for those who are bitten by the serpent of Samsara. It is a nectar (Amrita) that can confer immortality and perennial Peace. Yama is terribly afraid of those who repeat the names of the Lord. He cannot approach them. Repeat the name of the Lord always and attain the fearless state.

May the Lord guide you in all your activities. May He enlighten your path enabling you to achieve the goal of life, viz., Self-realisation, your birthright. May you live drowned in a life of joy, bliss and prosperity!

Do Kirtan Regularly

Sankirtan is food for the mind and the Soul. Sankirtan is a Divine tonic. Sankirtan is a potent healing balm for the shattered nerves. Sankirtan is a celestial nectar. Drink the nectar daily by doing Sankirtan in Brahmamuhurta and night.

The strength and intensity of devotion depends upon the completeness of the self-surrender and sacrifice. As the vast majority of persons keep certain subtle desires for secret gratifications, they do not grow in devotion. The two obstacles to self-surrender are desire and egoism.

Sing The Lord’s Glory

Worship the Lord at all times with all your heart and with all your mind. Sing His glory. Remember His name always. All miseries will come to an end. Your heart will be purified. The Lord will soon reveal Himself to you. You will feel His Presence.

Pray fervently to the Lord for the descent of the Divine Light. Crave for His Mercy. Weep for His separation on account of Viraha. Yearn for communion with Him. Melt the mind in the Agni of Divine Love. Burn the body in the fire of devotion. Drink the honey of Prem. Get yourself intoxicated with the wine of Divine Love. Attain immortality and eternal Bliss.

Develop Devotion

Control your mind, speech and actions. Speak the truth. Be calm. Discipline the senses. Hear, recite, sing and meditate on the deeds, qualities and Avataras of Hari.

Have exclusive devotion to the Lord. Give your whole mind to Him. Do not allow any outside worldly impressions wherein there is an iota of selfish desire to enter into your subconscious mind. Learn how to sing, interchange devotion and love each other and speak to each other of the glory of the Lord, till your hairs stand on end and sing and dance till you lose yourself in devout contemplation.

Realise The Lord Through Prem

Lord Siva is the Supreme Soul, the Antaryamin, the protector of all beings. He is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent. He was never born. He never died.

If you are a true seeker of God, you will meet Him within a moment. Remember Him always. Live by His name. Sing His praises. Search for Him in your heart of hearts. Learn from the devotees the way to love and serve Him, the support of your soul, the only sovereign of the whole world, the Indweller of your heart and the inner Ruler.

May you remember the Holy names of the Lord at all times and live in an ocean of divine ecstasy and divine communion! May prosperity attend on you for ever.

Pray Sincerely

Have intense faith in God and have proper understanding of the scriptures. Take refuge in Vairagya. Do not waste time in idle gossiping. Time is fleeting. Utilise every moment in His worship and service. Develop humility, Kshama, patience and the spirit of service. Be sincere and true. The Lord is quiet close to you in your heart. Cling to His Name with leech-like tenacity. You will enjoy Supreme Joy.

Pray to God for purity, devotion, light and knowledge. Pray in any way you like. Become as simple as a child. Open freely the chambers of your heart. You will attain everything.

Prayer Works Wonders

Prayer has tremendous influence. Mahatma Gandhiji is a great votary of prayer, if the prayer is sincere and if it proceeds from the bottom of your heart (Antarika), it will at once melt the heart of the Lord.

Lord Krishna had to run bare-footed from Dvaraka on hearing the heart-felt prayer of Draupadi. Lord Hari, the mighty ruler of this universe apologised to Prahlad for coming a little late when the latter prayed. How merciful and loving is the Lord! Do not argue about the efficacy of prayer. You will be deluded. There is no arguing in spiritual matters. Intellect is a finite and frail instrument. Remove now the darkness of your ignorance. You will enjoy the unalloyed bliss of the prayer.


CHAPTER TWO

Power

Aspire Fervently

Give up thirsting for sensual objects. Cling fast to the faith in the Divinity. Aspire fervently and constantly. You will have pure mind. Never hurt a man in thought, word or deed. Always do good and kind acts. Purge yourself of all miseries and sorrows. Merge in calmness and silence. You will attain supreme peace and eternal happiness.

Destroy the tossing of the mind through Viveka, constant meditation and ceaseless Brahma Vichara (Atmic enquiry). Direct your attention to selfless service and worship of the Lord. You will attain supreme joy.

Stick To Your Principles

Follow the Truth always. Strive for it ever in thought, word and deed. Be compassionate. Be bold. Resign yourself to the Lord. There is no room for lamentation and despair.

Stick tenaciously to your principles and ideals. ‘Do your duty without looking to the fruits or consequences of your actions and God will be with you. Become dispassionate. Learn to discriminate. Know thyself and be free from attachment. You will go beyond “Time” and “Death.”

Be Fiery In Your Determination

Be always cheerful and smile away your worries. Follow the correct principles of living. Be temperate in eating, drinking, sleeping, amusements and in all other things. Cultivate a very strong faith in God.

Silence the surging emotions and bubbling thoughts. Do not be carried away by the temptations of the world. Be careful. Be wise. Get away from the company of worldly-minded persons. Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even in your smallest act. Always act with faith and determination. Be firm in your resolve and fiery in your determination.

Be Firm In Your Vows

Do your duties properly. Be firm in your vows and true in speech. Possess good character. Be kind to all. Conquer wrath. Become master of self. Get rid of envy. You will soon attain God-realisation.

Take refuge in the Name of the Lord. Do not think very often of your defects and weaknesses. Aspire fervently. Grow in spirituality. You will attain Divinity.

Meditate on the glory and splendour of the Supreme Being who illumines everything, who is indivisible, the Existence-Knowledge-Bliss-Absolute. You will attain the Supreme.

Never Despair

You have got Svatantrya in action. You can do your Karma in any way you like. You can become a Yogi or Jnani by right thinking and right action. Man is not a helpless being. He has a free will of his own. Therefore overcome all your unfavourable circumstances. Have courage. Be bold. Never despair. You will succeed. There is nothing in the world which cannot be achieved by a man by the right sort of efforts.

Wake up now. Open your eyes. Become a virtuous man. Do good actions. Sing Hari’s name. Have constant Satsanga. All evil habits will be eradicated. Purify. Concentrate. Meditate. You will realise the goal.

As You Think, So You Become

“As a man thinketh, so he becometh” is one of the greatest laws of nature. Think you are pure, pure you will become. Think that you are a man, man you will become. Think you are Brahman, Brahman you will become. Become an embodiment of good nature. Do always good actions. Serve. Love. Give. Observe Brahmacharya and Mouna. Control anger. Make others happy. Live to serve others. Then only will you enjoy happiness.

Draw Strength From Within

Do not allow the mind to go its own way altogether. Keep your Prana and senses under your control, and bring the mind under your control with the help of the intellect strengthened by Sattva.

Be slow to make a promise but be quick to carry it out. Cultivate an amiable, loving nature and adaptability. Be courageous. Never despair. Draw strength from within. Feel the divine presence everywhere. Dive deep into the Divine source. You will realise the infinite bliss.

Conquest Of Nature

To live is to fight for the ideal and goal. Life is a series of awakenings. Conquer the mind and the senses. These are your real enemies. Live under lifelong vows. Conquer your internal and external nature. Fight against the dark antagonistic evil forces, through Japa and meditation. Soar high always in the realms of higher spiritual knowledge. Show your manliness and spiritual strength now.

This World Is A Great School

This world is a great school. It is for thy education. Be wise. Be in the spirit of Yoga. Utilise all opportunities to the best possible advantage. There is no such thing as bad. Your capacities and will-power will develop. You will receive more of Divine Light, Knowledge, Purity, Peace and Spiritual strength.

Smile with the flowers and the green grass. Shake hands with the shrubs, ferns and twigs. Develop friendship with all neighbours, dogs, cats, cows, human beings, trees, in fact, with all nature’s creations. You will have a perfect and rich life.

Open your eyes now. Wake up from your deep slumber and profound inertia. Regain the lost divinity. Thou art Divine. Thou art Atman. Realise this and be free.

The World Is Your Body

Actions produce Samskaras or impressions or potencies. The impressions coalesce together through repetition and form tendencies. Tendencies develop into habits and character. The sum total of the tendencies of a man is his character. Character generates Will. Therefore, if the character is pure and strong the Will also will be pure and strong and vice versa.

Therefore sow the seed of good habits at once. It will grow gradually. It will assert itself to gain a seat in the body and mind, and work by itself till it gets sanguine success. All the old morbid habits will be destroyed. Feel that the whole world is your own home or body. Feel that God dwells in all creatures of this universe. “Isavasyamidam sarvam.” You will attain the Supreme.

Understand The Secret Of Karma-Yoga

Look at the stupendous and magnanimous work turned out by Lord Buddha, Sri Sankara and other Karma Yogins of yore. Their names are handed down from posterity to posterity. Their names are still remembered. The whole world worships them with reverence. Can you attribute an iota or grain of selfish motive to their actions? They lived for doing service to others. They had absolute self-abnegation.

Work cannot bring misery. It is the attachment and identification to work that brings in all sorts of worries, troubles and unhappiness. Understand the secret of Karma Yoga and work without attachment and identification. You will soon attain God-consciousness. This is Jnana. This is Jnanagni (fire of wisdom) which burns all fruits of actions.

Karma Yoga Gives Joy

Do you expect anything from your small son, if you do him something? In a similar manner you will have to work for others also without expecting anything. You will have to expand and think that this whole world is your own Self.

It gives you a little pain in the beginning, because you have never worked up to this time in this line of selfless and disinterested service. When you have tasted a bit of the Bliss of selfless service, you can never leave it. The force of service will induce you to work more with great zeal and enthusiasm.

You will begin to feel that this whole world is manifestation of God. You will gain immense inner strength and purity of heart. Your heart will be filled with sympathy, mercy and pure love. Your spirit of selfless service and self-sacrifice will grow ad infinitum.

Karma Yoga Leads To Knowledge

Work is worship. Work is meditation. Serve everyone with intense love, without any idea of agency, without expectation of fruits of reward. You will realise God. Service of humanity is service of God.

“The Lord dwelleth in the hearts of all beings O Arjuna, by His illusive power, causing all beings to revolve as though mounted on a potter’s wheel.” (Gita.XVIII-61).

The spirit of service must deeply enter into your very bones, cells, tissues, nerves, etc. The reward is invaluable. Practise and feel the cosmic expansion and Infinite Ananda (Bliss). Evince intense zeal and enthusiasm in work. Be fiery in the spirit of service.

A Karma Yogi Is Very Near To God

A Karma Yogi says: “Do all works without expectation of fruits. This will produce Chitta Suddhi. Then you will get knowledge of the Self. You will get Moksha or Eternal Bliss and Immortality.” This is his doctrine.

You will get purity of mind if you work in the spirit of the above doctrine. This is a very great reward for your actions. You cannot imagine the exalted conditions of a man of pure mind. He has unbounded peace, strength and joy. He is very near to God. He is dear to God. He will soon receive the Divine Light.

Work without any sort of motive and feel its effects, purity and inner strength. What an expanded heart you will have! Indescribable! Practise, feel and enjoy this state.

Karma Yoga Is The Best Yoga

Even if you do a little service to the country or to the society or to the poor sick people, it has got its own advantages and benefits. It purifies your heart and prepares the Antahkarana for the reception of the Knowledge of Atman.

The Samskaras or impressions of these good actions are embedded in your subconscious mind. The forces of these Samskaras will again propel you to do some more good actions. Sympathy, love, the spirit of patriotism and service will be developed.

Feel Oneness With All

Serve any Society, Ashram, Mutt, or religious institution for 2 hours daily in any way you like with Nishkama Bhava. This will purify your heart. Remember that God is the foundation of the Society. Remember that the whole world is the manifestation of the Lord (Virat Rupa). Earth is Hari. Milk is Hari. Tree is Hari. If you serve with Narayana or Atma Bhava, you will have a changed angle of vision. You will have heaven on earth.

Keep the mind fully occupied. Get rid of all mental weaknesses. Do not allow the Indriyas to run riot. Be ever vigilant and diligent. Hate lust but not the woman. Hear the Divine whisper in silence. You will enjoy the transcendental life.

Expand, Evolve

Convert all activities into Yoga. Walk in the path of righteousness. Wake up from the slumber of ignorance. Do not mix with undesirable persons. Take recourse to Sattvic company. You will have much peace.

Expand. Evolve. Have a large heart. Mix with all. Be humble. Take refuge in God. All torment will disappear. You will enjoy supreme Peace.

Scrutinise Your Motives

Work unselfishly with a disinterested spirit. Scrutinise your motives. Your motive should be absolutely pure. Never care for fruits. But do not become a victim of sloth or inertia. Pour forth all your energies in the service of humanity, country, etc. Plunge yourself into selfless service.

The manual work will become automatic, mechanical or instinctive. You will have two minds. A portion of the mind will be in meditation and Japa. Repeat the name of the Lord while at work also. Ashtavadhanis do eight things at a time. This is a question of training of the mind. You can train the mind in such a way that it can work with the hand and can remember God at the same time. This is Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga combined. This is the best Yoga.

Keep Spiritual Diary

Develop Sattvic virtues. Conserve energy. Keep your body strong and healthy by regular exercise. Keep a true diary with a clean conscience daily. Develop attention. Become a Spiritual Hero.

Always think rightly and act rightly. Never envy your neighbours. Entertain noble and sublime thoughts. Have supreme self-confidence and courage. Whatever you do, do with a will to succeed in your attempts. This is the Sovereign secret.

Remember saints and sages. Draw inspiration from their teachings. Tread the path of love. Drink freely the honey of devotion. Commune with God and reach the eternal abode of God-consciousness.

Practise Sadhana Now

This is the time when you should spend your time happily by doing regular Japa and meditation. God has given you all conveniences and opportunities. Remember Him and thank Him always.

Sing His glories. Hold Sankirtan at night with all the members of the family. Be bold. Be cheerful. Be calm. Be contented. Be good. Do good. Be pure. Be alert. Become a Jivanmukta in this very birth.

Do Constant Sadhana

Keep your mind always busy in doing Japa, concentration, meditation, study of religious books, Satsanga or in doing something useful.

Regularity in Sadhana is of paramount importance. Remember this point always.

May you lead a contented and happy life singing the Lord’s Name at all times by doing selfless service, sharing what you have with others and by regular Japa and meditation.

Be Regular In Your Sadhana

Keep a balanced mind always. Be cheerful and happy. Drive the feelings of depression and gloom at once by enquiry, singing Divine songs, prayers, chanting of Om, Pranayama, a brisk walk in the open air and thinking of the opposite quality viz., the feeling of joy. You will be happy.

Apply yourself diligently to Yoga. Employ your skill and promptness. Kill the thoughts and desires. Do not become a fatalist. Stand like a lion. Exert. Aspire. You will attain independence.

Steady the mind. Fix it on the Lord. Plod on patiently like the farmer at his plough. Be persevering. This is real Sadhana. Be regular in your Sadhana. This will give you freedom, bliss, peace and immortality.

Be Strong Through Love

Be regular in your spiritual Sadhana. Regularity is of paramount importance. Love all. Embrace all. Behold the Self in all. Develop cosmic love. Grow spiritually strong day by day. Attain liberation. Enjoy bliss of the Self and be free.

May you all be happy! May you all be free from disease! May you realise what is good! May you abide in the Lord for ever!

Sadhana And Santosh—The Secrets Of Health

The best medicine or panacea for all diseases and for keeping good health is Kirtan, Japa and regular meditation. The Divine waves electrify, rejuvenate, vivify, energise the cells, tissues, nerves, etc.

Another cheap but potent drug is to keep oneself always joyful and cheerful. Study Gita daily one or two chapters with meaning. Keep yourself fully occupied, which is a remedy to keep off thoughts of worldliness.

Equip With The Four Means

Stand firm on the rock of Truth or Brahman. Have a firm grip of the reality, the self-luminous, immortal Atman or Soul. Equip yourself with the four means.

Try to do daily as many virtuous actions as possible. Repeat mentally or silently or with the breath, the name of the Lord such as Hari Om, Sri Ram or your Ishta Mantra. Performance of virtuous actions is the beginning of spiritual life.

Lead a simple natural life with high sublime thinking. Develop ethical virtues, control the Indriyas and mind, practise meditation, realise the Self and be free for ever.

Be Self-Controlled

Spiritual life is not an idle talk. It is actual living in the Atman. It is a transcendental experience of unalloyed bliss. It is a life of fullness and perfection.

Be self-controlled. Be just. Know the right. Keep your promise. Be noble and impartial. Be like the ocean in depth of devotion, like the Himavan in firmness.

Cultivate peace in the garden of your heart by removing the weeds of lust, hatred, greed, selfishness and jealousy. Know and feel always that you are the all-pervading, immortal consciousness, the undying eternal Atman.

Rely On Your Own Self

Be courageous, candid and modest. Respect your superiors. Be ever vigilant. Have perfect control over anger. Become the source of all good. Act according to the words of sages and saints. Rely on your own Self. Endure suffering patiently. Be patient. Persevere. Help is bound to come.

Be devoted to God. Purify the mind. Sit in a solitary place for some hours daily. Withdraw all the senses from their objects. Bring the mind under control. Turn it towards God. The Divine grace will descend upon you.

Conquer Nature

Entertain holy desires. You will shine in Divine glory. You will be placed in holy surroundings as Uttarakashi, Himalayas, Prayag, etc., where you can perform Tapas, Sadhana and meditation amidst holy persons and can have Self-realisation.

Under the security of the changeless law of cause and effect, a man can serenely proceed to achieve any thing he desires to accomplish. Therefore entertain Divine thoughts. You are sure to succeed in your well-directed efforts. In nature nothing is lost. Again as Bacon said: ‘Nature is conquered by obedience.’

Acquire Vairagya

Do not think any more of your worldly concerns than is necessary to determine your duty. Do your duty and leave the rest to. God. Have your ideal, mottoes and principles. Adhere to them strongly and steadily. Do not deviate from your ideals and principles even a fraction of an inch.

Remember the goal and the purpose for which you have taken this physical body. Watch the mind. Watch the Vrittis or thoughts. Drive them. Acquire mental Vairagya, mental Sannyasa.

Faith Is Life

Cultivate a very strong faith in God. Faith is the gateway to God. Faith can work wonders. Always act with faith and determination. Be firm in your resolve and fiery in your determination.

Remember the saints and sages. Do prayer, Japa, Kirtan regularly. Have contact with your Guru. Read religious books like Gita, Ramayana and Bhagavatam. These will sow the seed of faith and increase it till it becomes quite firm and unshakable.

No Faith, No Jnana

The goal of life is God-realisation. Life is faith and illumination. Faith is an important qualification for an aspirant. No faith, no devotion. No faith, no Jnana.

Bad company, lust, greed, infatuated love for wife, son and property and unwholesome food are the enemies of faith. Take bland, light, substantial food.

Meditate. Realise Him intuitively this very second and enjoy the Bliss of the Self.

Know Him In Essence

Lord Hari manifested in the form of Lord Krishna and Rama for the protection of the good, for the destruction of evil-doers and for the sake of firmly establishing righteousness. Lord Krishna says: “The foolish disregard Me when clad in human semblance ignorant of My Supreme Nature, the great Lord of all beings.”

Do not be carried away by the turbulent senses and the influence of the Mayaic forces. By devotion and faith know Him in essence and through His grace attain Supreme Bliss, Supreme Peace and Supreme Knowledge.

Meditate And Get Strength

Conserve every bit of energy within. Do not waste the time and energy by entering into hot discussions, lingual warfare and intellectual gymnastics. Give up arguing and discussions entirely. You will progress in the spiritual path.

Expel delusion and cultivate devotion unto Siva, the Lord of Lords, the Deva of Devas, the Yogi of Yogis.

If you meditate for half an hour, you will be able to face the daily battle of life with peace and spiritual strength for one week through the force of meditation. Such is the beneficial effect of meditation. As you have to move with different minds of peculiar-nature, get the requisite strength and peace from meditation and be free from worry and trouble.

Annihilate Ajnana

Lead a life of austerity and meditation. Come out of your small narrow egoistic circle and have a broad vision. Beware of bad company. Even a sober man begins to drink in the company of drunkards.

Be patient in difficulties, danger, troubles. Stand adamant and overcome obstacles. Have a burning desire for liberation. Annihilate Ajnana through Satsanga, Sravana, Manana and Nididhyasana.

Master your emotions, impulses. Be strong in your determination. Be firm in your resolution. You will get success in every walk of life.

Practise The Three Kinds Of Tapas

Practise Ahimsa and Brahmacharya in thought, word and deed. Practise Saucha and Arjava (straight forwardness). Try to keep up balanced mind. Be cheerful always. Keep up Shuddha Bhava. Try these three kinds of Tapas (physical, verbal and mental) and control your actions.

Be careful in your speeches. Speak little. Speak sweet loving words. Never utter any word of harshness that can affect the feelings of others. Try to speak the truth. Thus put a check on the Vak Indriya and the impulses of speech.

Kill the evil thought with the sword of Viveka when it tries to enter the fort of the mind. Thus you can build a noble character.

Drink The Nectar

Purify your mind. Withdraw all the senses from their objects. Bring the mind under your control. Introspect. Direct your attention towards the knowledge of God.

Become a true Brahmachari. Get established in mental and physical Brahmacharya. Take Sattvic food. Develop Vairagya. Have perfect faith in God.

Put on the armour of discrimination. Wear the shield of dispassion. Blow the conch of courage. Kill the enemies of doubt, ignorance, passion and egoism and enter the illimitable kingdom of the blissful Brahman. Drink the Nectar of immortality.

Immortality Is Thy Birthright

Courage, power, strength, wisdom and joy are your Divine heritage, your birthright from the Absolute. You are the centre of thought, influence and power. Never forget this.

The world is assailed by death. Days and nights are falling incessantly like bolts. When one day passes away, remember that a part of one’s life wears away with it.

Apply yourself diligently to Yoga. Remember the Sages and Saints. Be sincere. Develop mercy, love, friendship, feeling of brotherhood. You will become one with all. You will see God in every face. You will enjoy the unalloyed Bliss.

Forget Not Thy Goal

Try your best to keep cool and calm in difficulties, adversities and trying conditions of life. Pray fervently from the bottom of your heart and wait. Help is bound to come. Have firm, perfect and one-pointed faith in God.

Develop universal sympathy and cosmic love of pure nature. Lead a life of oneness and unity. Have deep concentrated right thinking.

Forget not the goal. Everyday place a step further towards the goal. Maya will assume various forms. Watch, pray, conquer obstacles.

Awake, Achieve The Goal

Remember the goal and the purpose for which you have taken this physical body. Do not give indulgence or leniency to the mind. Watch the Vrittis or thoughts. Drive them. Just as the soldier kills his enemies with his sword when they enter the fort, take the rod of Viveka when the mind raises its hood or Vritti and strike indiscriminately. Annihilate the thoughts.

Goal Of Life Is God-Realisation

The goal of life is God-realisation. All desires are gratified by realising God. God can be realised by pure, subtle reasoning. There is not an iota of happiness in objects, because they are insentient. There are mental uneasiness, discontentment and restlessness even in multi-millionaires and kings.

All sorts of fears, miseries and troubles will melt away when the knowledge of God dawns. You will be freed from the Samsaric wheel of births and deaths with all its concomitant evils. Form a strong habit of remembering God at all times. Control the senses. Be balanced in pleasure and pain, heat and cold, praise and censure. Have unshakable faith and unflinching devotion towards God.

Live In The Present

Do not think of the past, nor plan for the future. Live in the present. Believe in the glory of the Self. Regard all alike. Help the Self in all.

Tear into pieces the veil of ignorance. Catch the fickle deer mind with the snare of enquiry and Brahma Chintana. Ride the elephant of Self-knowledge and reach the highest peak of Supreme Wisdom of the Self.

Melt all illusory differences. Remove all barriers that separate man from man. Mix with all. Destroy the sex-idea by constantly thinking on the Self or the sexless and bodiless Atman.


CHAPTER THREE

Wisdom

Give Up Attachment

Attachment is the first child of Maya. This whole Lila of the Lord is kept up by the force of attachment. There is in the mind gummy substance which is like a mixture of castor oil, glue, gum-arabic, mucilage of tragacanth, gluten paste, honey, glycerine, jack fruit’s juice and all other pasty substances of the world. The mind is glued, as it were, to the objects with this mixture. Therefore the attachment is very strong.

Selfishness causes attachment. Attachment is the root-cause for all the miseries and troubles of this world. Work incessantly without an identification. Then alone you can have real happiness. You will yourself feel that you are a different being. This is the master-key to open the realms of Brahmic Bliss.

Shun Sensual Enjoyments

Look out for an unchangeable, infinite and Supreme happiness which must come from a Being in whom there is no change. Search and find out such Being, and if you could only succeed in your quest, then you can get that unalterable happiness from Him.

Sensual enjoyment is attended with various defects. It is attended with various sorts of sins, pains, weaknesses, attachments, slave mentality, weak will, severe exertion and struggle, bad habits, cravings, aggravation of desires and mental restlessness. Therefore shun all sorts of sensual enjoyments.

Have A Balanced Mind

Though the cow grazes on the pastures having been separated from the calf, her mind is always fixed on the calf only. Similarly you should fix the mind on God when you do Japa, and give your hand to work.

Renounce all attachment. Be balanced in success or failure, gain or loss, victory or defeat, pleasure or pain. Discipline your mind cautiously. This is your master-key to open the doors of the realm of Bliss. This is the secret of success in Yoga.

Feel and think that you breathe, live and work for God alone, in every second of your life, and that without Him life is absolutely useless. Feel the pangs of separation while at work if you forget Him even for a fraction of a second.

Coax The Mind

Let not your heart give way to trials. Be ever intent on your spiritual Sadhana. Learn to discriminate. Develop true lasting Vairagya by association with wise people.

Make the mind understand about the unreal nature of objects and the defects of a sensual life. Talk to your mind. Coax the mind. It will hear your words. Gradually the mind-wandering will cease. Then the mind will abide firmly in the centre of the source.

Become a Yogi. Yoga will put an end to all sorts of pain. Yoga will destroy all Kleshas (afflictions). Wake up. Open your eyes. Practise Yoga. My Child!

Discipline The Mind

Destroy the Sankalpas or imagination of the mind. Discipline the mind in a perfect manner through discrimination, enquiry, dispassion and regular meditation on Atman.

Have a wide outlook on life. See God in everything, in every face. Give up all that is false and untrue. Pray fervently. Lead a life of virtue and happiness.

Renounce all your sorrows, fears and anxieties, and walk in the path laid down by the scriptures. You will attain supreme peace and eternal bliss.

Keep The Mind Fully Occupied

Understand fully the aim and purpose of life. Yield not to temptations. Develop virtuous qualities like humility, forgiveness, tolerance, etc. Wish eagerly and fervently to attain God-consciousness. Have faith, interest and attention. You are bound to succeed.

Conserve all energy and utilise it for higher spiritual achievements in life. Purify. Be just. Be true. Be sincere in your attempts. Respect all prophets and saints. You will shine as a dynamic Yogi.

Keep the mind fully occupied. Sing the name of the Lord. Twirl the beads. Study the scriptures. Think of God and meditate upon Him with true devotion and feeling and merge in Him. This is the goal of life.

Give No Leniency To Mind

Mere hearing of eloquent valuable spiritual lectures will not do in the spiritual path. You will have to act according to them. You will have to give your whole heart, mind and soul to practice. Then only you will have progress in the path.

Follow the instructions of your master and the teachings of the scriptures to the very letter. Give no leniency to the mind. Exact, implicit, strict obedience to the instructions is expected of you.

Do not fight for rights. Think more about your duties and less about your rights. These rights are worthless. It is wasting of time and energy. Assert your birthright of God-consciousness. Realise this and become wise.

Learn To Discriminate

Know things in their proper light. Do not be deluded. Emotion is mistaken for devotion; violent jumping in the air during Sankirtan for Divine ecstasy; Rajasic restlessness and motion for divine activities and Karma Yoga; a Tamasic man for a Sattvic man; Tandri and deep sleep for Samadhi; Manorajya or building castles in the air for meditation; physical nudity for the Jivanmukti state.

Understand the laws of the universe. Move tactfully in this world. Learn the secrets of Nature. Learn to discriminate and become wise. Fight out the inner battle again and come out victorious!

Sacrifice Pleasure To Secure Bliss

Spiritual pursuits, and practice of Yoga are really sweet, but appear to be bitter; sensual pursuits, which are really bitter, appear to be sweet. This is due to the perversion of intellect caused by Avidya.

Select some good songs or Dhwanis and repeat them during night along with your friends and relatives. Even during day while working, you can sing the select Dhwanis of your Ishta Mantra. By this you will have continuity of Divine thoughts.

May you always shine with the divine splendour and inexhaustible wealth of Atma Jnana, which is the common property of all mankind!

Think Rightly

Worry does great harm to the astral body and the mind. Energy is wasted by worry. It causes inflammation and drains the vitality of man. Nothing is gained by the worry-habit. Be vigilant. Keep the mind fully occupied. The habit will be eradicated. Keep the Divine Flame burning steadily. Have strong determination and strong will. Have courage, fixity of mind and a definite purpose of life. Be not wavering.

Wake up now from the deep slumber of ignorance. Never become a fatalist. Think rightly. Act rightly. Lead a virtuous life. Never hurt the feelings of others. Mould your character. Purify your mind. Concentrate. Fix your mind on the Lord.

Control Your Thoughts

Stick to any rule that, appeals to your reason. Follow it with faith and attention. You will evolve and reach the abode of eternal happiness. Performance of one’s own duties brings happiness, quick evolution and freedom.

Events occur in succession or order. There is perfect harmony. The three things viz., desire, thought and action always go together. It is thought that moves the body to action. There is thought behind every action. If you entertain bad thoughts you will do bad actions.

Learn to become wise. Discriminate. Control the thoughts and desires. Watch your thoughts carefully. Do not allow any evil thought to enter the gate of the mental factory. Develop passion for Self-realisation. You will attain the goal of life.

Do Action As Ishvararpana

God is great. Resign yourself completely to His Will. His Will is great and His actions are wise. Nobody can grudge or complain when the collective Karma is in operation. There is always a chapter of accidents in the history of Nature’s work. Let us be sincere and offer our actions and fruits at His feet as Ishvararpana. Let us never forget Him. Let us pray for the Peace of the whole world.

May you be ceaselessly engaged in the pursuit of Atmic enquiry! May peace abide with you forever!

Become Pure, Evil Will Perish

When you do Japa and meditation, if evil thoughts enter your mind, do not use your will-force in driving them. You will lose your energy only. You will tax your will only. You will fatigue yourself. The greater the efforts you make, the more the evil thoughts will return with redoubled force. They will return more quickly also. The thoughts will become more powerful. Be indifferent. Keep quiet. They will pass off soon. Or substitute good counter thoughts or think of the picture of thy Ishtam and the Mantra again and again. Forcibly pray.

Never miss meditation for a day. Be regular and systematic in your spiritual practices. Take Sattvic food. Fruits and milk will help mental focusing.

Raise The Rod Of Viveka

Collect all the rays of your mind. Turn the mind towards God. Persevere seriously in the pursuit of knowledge of God. Struggle hard. You will succeed.

Give up all sorts of fears, cares, worries and anxieties. Rest in the ocean of silence. Destroy all sorts of fears by the rod of Viveka and the sword of Vairagya.

Pray to the Almighty Lord for help and guidance. Thirst for His grace. Place your trust in Him. Do not be moved by difficulties. Difficulties strengthen your will and augment your power of endurance and turn your mind towards God. He will guide you in all your activities.

Rely On God Alone

Lead a life of intense activity. Do not depend upon anybody. Rely on God alone. Give up idle talking. Remember God at every moment. Utter in every breath the name of the Lord. Centre your thoughts upon His lotus feet. Have strong faith in Him. Endeavour to make your faith a matter of adoration and love. You will enjoy Supreme joy.

Think rightly and clearly. Become a man of measured words. Do selfless service. Surrender the fruits of action unto the Lord. Pray to God for His mercy, Divine Light, purity and guidance. You will attain the Supreme.

Eternal Happiness Is In God Only

Nitya Sukha (eternal happiness) and Paramasanti (Supreme Peace) can be had only in God.

Therefore pray to the Almighty Lord: “O My Lord! By entertaining various useless thoughts, by vain and wild imaginations by entertaining myriads of Sankalpas my heart and mind are afflicted with severe sores. Enough! protect me. O Lord, do protect me. Turn my mind towards Thy lotus feet. Make it rest in Thee for ever. This is my fervent prayer. This is all I want. Thou knowest my heart.” He. will guide you in all your activities.

Worship God In The Poor

Cultivate right understanding and right thinking. Develop cosmic love. Eradicate selfishness. Practise Yama and Niyama. Develop virtuous qualities. Have faith in the existence of God. Pray to the Almighty daily. The Divine Grace will descend upon you.

Kill unholy desires through holy desires. Do not become lazy. Be ever up and doing. Break the evil of ignorance. Know thyself and be free.

Worship God in the poor and sick. Serve every one with intense love. Give your hands to work and mind to God. You will attain Supreme Peace, Bliss and Immortality.

Root Yourself In God

Understand clearly the aim of your life. Chalk out the line of work that is congenial to your aim. Work hard to realise the ideal. Have your ideal before you and try every second to live up to it.

Develop a strong desire to remove carelessness and forgetfulness. Have confidence in your own powers and faculties.

Keep up your mental poise amidst the changes of the world without consideration of success or failure, gain or loss, pleasure or pain. Have the mind always rooted in God amidst activities. Use the blowpipe of “Teevra Vairagya” and intense concentration to kindle the fire of devotion.

God Is The Inner Ruler

God is the inner Ruler. He goads the body, mind and senses to work. Become an instrument in the hands of the Lord. Do not expect thanks or appreciation for your work. Do actions as your duty and offer them and their fruits to the Lord. You will be freed from the bonds of Karma. Your heart will be purified soon.

Repeat the Mantra, “I am Thine, All is Thine, My Lord. Thy will be done.” Throw all burden on Him and be at ease. Do not keep any desire for you. Destroy egoism completely, by unconditional, unreserved and ungrudging self-surrender to the Lord. If your surrender is total and sincere, there is free flow of Divine Grace.

Start Quest Of Self

Work with a heart within and God overhead. Have a profound faith in the will of Providence. Meditate on the divine attributes of the Lord viz., mercy, cosmic love, beauty of beauties and All-pervasiveness. You will get success in life and God-realisation.

Keep open the portals of your heart by removing selfishness, greed, lust, so that the Almighty Lord may come and dwell therein. Give up all useless discussions and proceed straightaway in the quest of the Self or God. You will possess immense inner spiritual strength. Abandon all superstitions and doubts. Cultivate an indomitable will. Strive ceaselessly for Self-realisation. You will attain Supreme Peace, Bliss and Immortality.

Enquire “Who Am I?”

Develop patience, tolerance, mercy and love. Practise Vichara. Enquire, “Who am I?” Serve others With Atma Bhava.

Have firm faith in Srutis and Sastras. Regulate your conduct when you deal with others. Prostrate before everybody mentally. Possess a keen longing for liberation and intense Vairagya. Be sincere and earnest. Develop your will-power. Conserve all leaking energy. Draw up a daily routine and stick to it tenaciously. Grow. Expand. Get success in life. Realise God.

Search, Understand, Realise

Hold fast the lamp of Dharma. Entertain thoughts of Divine Love. Preserve equanimity in success and failure. Restrain the senses. Calm the mind. Fix it on God. Soar high in the realm of bliss. Behold unity. You will have cosmic vision.

Give up all sorts of fears, anger, care, worries and anxieties. Do not be disheartened by failures. Pain is the best thing in the world. It is an eye-opener. Never forget this.

Dear friend, can economical sufficiency and a few more comforts with electric lights, fans and sofas give you real peace and freedom, Shanti and Mukti? Certainly not. Search, understand and realise. Thy guide has come.

Introspect

Watch your mind and thoughts. Introspect and practise self-analysis. Avoid evil company. Understand the way of Maya. Be on the alert. Be very humble and simple, remember God at every moment.

Remove arrogance, self-conceit and laziness. Develop humility to a maximum degree. Be sincere. Serve all with love. Respect your elders and parents. Lead a simple, laborious life.

Cheer up your spirit. Have Perfect trust in God. Keep the mind fully occupied. Practise daily meditation. Develop virtuous qualities. Sing the name of the Lord. Thirst for His vision. The Divine Grace will descend upon you. You will enjoy supreme Peace, Bliss and Immortality.

Search Him Inside Your Heart

God is your heart. He is in you and you are in Him. Search Him inside your heart. If you do not find Him there, you will not find Him anywhere else.

This search after God is a question of supply and demand. If you really want God, if there is a demand for God, then the supply will come at once.

Give up clinging to illusory life. Be fearless. Take refuge in Vairagya. All fears will die away. Cling to the lotus feet of the Lord. Cling to the invisible, unseen Brahman. May the Almighty Lord guide you in all your activities.

Remove The Veil

Remove the veil of ignorance which is hiding your real Svarupa. Destroy egoism, the sense of duality, sense of separateness. Your real nature is Satchidananda. You are identical with Brahman. Never, never forget this.

Always protect yourself from evil influences. Do not allow the spiritual Samskaras to be obliterated. It is difficult to regain what is lost in spirituality. Exercise Vichara, Viveka, always. Utilise your will to resist evil influences.

Develop your will-power by driving desires, by Titiksha and great patience. Acquire peace by contentment, Santosha, Vichara, Satsanga and great patience. You will shine in your own glory.

Look Within

Within you is the hidden God. Within you is the immortal soul. Within you is the inexhaustible spiritual treasure. Within you is the ocean of bliss.

Look within for the happiness which you have sought in vain in perishable sensual objects. Rest peacefully in your own Atman.

Surrender everything unto Him. Place your ego at His feet and be at ease. He will take complete charge of you. He will do everything for you. Practise. Feel. Assert. Enjoy the Supreme.

Knowledge Gives Freedom

The practice of selfless service destroys sins and impurities and causes purity of Antahkarana. Knowledge of Self dawns in a pure mind. Knowledge of Self is the only direct means to freedom. Cooking is not possible without fire, so is emancipation without knowledge of the Self. Knowledge certainly destroys ignorance as light destroys thickest darkness.

Be absorbed in your work. Give your full heart, mind and soul. Do not care for the results. Do not think of success or failure. Do not think of the past. Have complete confidence. Practise self-reliance. Be cheerful always. Keep a cool balanced mind. Work for work’s sake. Be bold and courageous. You are bound to succeed in any undertaking. This is the secret of success.

Sit Motionless

Do not grumble of bad environments. Create your own mental world and environments. Build up your character properly. Establish virtuous healthy habits.

Understand the glow, splendour and power of the Self which is at the back of your mind, thoughts, will and memory. Keep your body strong and healthy by regular exercise. Become a spiritual hero.

Shut out the doors of the senses. Still the thoughts, emotions and feelings. Sit motionless and calm in the early morning hours. Have a receptive attitude. Go along with God. Commune with Him. Enjoy abiding peace in the silence.

Hear, Reflect, Meditate

Discipline the mind and the senses. Cultivate noble virtues. Develop the four means. Hear the Srutis. Reflect and meditate on Atman. This will result in Self-realisation.

Have no blind faith. Reason out carefully and then accept anything. Annihilate lust, anger and greed. Share what you have—mental, physical and moral—with others. Take delight in serving others. All your egoism and arrogance will disappear.

In the lamp of the heart put the oil of Vairagya. Insert the wick of devotion. Now kindle the light of knowledge by constant meditation and see. The darkness of ignorance will be dispelled. You will be fully illumined.

Meditate In Brahmamuhurta

Purify your heart and meditate. Dive deep into the innermost recess of the heart. You will find the Atmic pearl. If you search in deep water only, you will find the pearl. If you keep only to the shore, you will find broken shells only.

O friend! Wake up. Sleep no more. Meditate. It is Brahmamuhurta now! Open the gate of the temple of the Lord in your heart with the key of love. Hear the music of the soul. Sing the song of Prem your Beloved. Play the melody of the infinite. Melt your mind in His contemplation. Unite with Him. Immerse yourself in the ocean of love and Bliss.

Practise Regular Meditation

Do not give a loose rein to the mind. Curb it ruthlessly. Annihilate it. You will soon cognise the Truth and attain the final emancipation. All pains, sorrows and delusions will terminate.

Renounce all your sorrows, fears and anxieties, and walk in the path laid down by the scriptures. Abandon the impure Vasanas, cultivate the pure Vasanas and practise regular meditation on the pure, All-pervading Atman.

Meditate on the Lord who is an embodiment of Light, Peace, Bliss and Knowledge. Do not waste the time in idle-gossiping, eating, drinking and sleeping. Life is meant for higher purposes. Come, come attain Immortality.

Tap The Source

Meditation is the Grand Trunk Road to attain Godhead. Without that no spiritual progress is possible: Therefore, meditate. It will take you to the realm of Bhava Samadhi and make you drink the honey of Prema and Nectar of Immortality.

Therefore, withdraw your mind from sensual objects. Fix it at the lotus feet of the Lord. Merge in the Atman within. Practise silent meditation. Swim freely in the ocean of Atmic Bliss. Float in the Divine joy. Tap the source. March directly towards the fountain-head of Divine Consciousness and drink the Nectar.

Concentration Leads To Bliss

Concentration is the only way to get rid of the worldly miseries and tribulations. Your only duty is to practise concentration. You have taken this body to practise concentration and through concentration to realise the Self.

When you read a book you must read it with concentration. There is no use of skipping over the pages in a hurried manner. Read one page in the Gita. Close the book. Concentrate on what you have read. Find out parallel lines in Mahabharata, Upanishads and Bhagavata. Compare and contrast.

Be Unshakably Serene

Be calm under all circumstances. Cultivate this virtue again and again through constant and strenuous endeavour. Serenity is like a rock. Waves of irritation may dash on it, but cannot effect it.

Meditate on the ever tranquil Atman within, which is unchanging. You will attain calmness. The Divine Light will descend on a calm mind only. An aspirant with a calm mind only can enter into deep meditation and Nirvikalpa Samadhi.

Be sincere at heart. Care not for the perishable things. Care for the ever-lasting Reality only. Give up idle talk, long talk, big talk, tall talk and loose talk. Become silent.

Introspect. Look within. Try to remove your defects. Collect all your scattered thoughts and apply yourself in remembering God. Become very, very humble. Become an embodiment of good nature. Do always good actions. Serve. Love. Give. Make others happy.

In Stillness Let Truth Shine

Be still and realise the Truth. Be vigilant and destroy the Vasanas and Vrittis. The more the thinning of the Vasanas, egoism and Dehadhyasa, the greater the bliss of the Self.

May you attain Kaivalya or peace of the Eternal, leading the divine life, serving the poor and the sick, feeling the Divine presence everywhere at all times, in all faces and radiating joy and peace to all those who come in contact with you.

Hear The Inner Voice

Do not be guided and influenced by public opinion. March boldly and cheerfully in the path of Truth, consulting your conscience and hearing the inner, small, sweet voice of the soul.

Keep company with one Sattvic man. Spend every second profitably. Serve sick people. Share what you have with the poor people. Unfold the Divinity hidden in the chambers of your heart. Repeat your Guru Mantra or the Mantra of the Ishta Devata mentally. Associate the idea of purity, infinity, eternity, immortality, Vyapaka, Paripoorna, Satchidananda, Akhanda, Advaita, Chidakasa, etc., with OM repetition. Do mental Puja also.

Feel You Are Atman

Do not act under the influence of sudden impulses. Do not be carried away by the force of emotions, however noble they may be. Be ever vigilant and diligent.

Avoid unnecessary worry. Be not troubled. Be not anxious. Do not be idle. Do not waste time. Do not worry yourself if there is delay in further progress. Wait coolly. You are bound to succeed.

Develop courage by constantly feeling you are Atman. Deny and negate the body idea. Practise, practise Nididhyasana always; all difficulties, tribulations will come to an end. You will enjoy unalloyed bliss.

Live In Atman

Wake up from the dream of forms. Do not be deceived by these illusory names and forms. Cling to the solid living reality only. Love your Atman alone. Atman only persists. Live in Atman. Become Brahman. This is real life.

Approach the sages, the doctors of divinity with faith, devotion and humility. Take a dose of medicine called Jnana. Then the disease of Ajnana will be eradicated completely. You will attain everlasting peace.

Do not be deluded by Maya. Be calm as the waveless ocean. Be broad-minded as the sky. Be pure as the crystal. Strive ceaselessly for the realisation of the Atman. Be patient as the earth. You are bound to succeed. You will succeed. Rest assured.

Rejoice In Atman

Lead a life of intense activity. Keep always a calm mind. Mentally repeat your Ishta Mantra. Mix with all. Serve all with Atma Bhava. See God in them.

Do not be afraid of difficulties and failures in the spiritual path. Difficulties will develop your will-power. Failures are stepping stones to success. Use your intelligence, sagacity, discrimination and commonsense. You will overcome the difficulties one by one.

Stand adamant. Be cheerful. Dismiss fear and anxiety. March boldly in the spiritual path. Do not be discouraged. Draw courage, strength and power from within. Be cautious. Thou art Invincible. Nothing can harm you. Remain serene always. Smile and rejoice in the Atman.

Be Frank Like A Child

Have an eager, receptive attitude to imbibe the teachings of your master. Be absolutely guileless, frank and candid like a child. Have unshakable faith in the words of your Guru or Srutis.

Be ever ready to serve. Serve with pure love, kindness, and courtesy. Never show a weary or gloomy face when you serve. Live a life of utter devotion to service.

Develop sympathy, affection, benevolence, tolerance and humility. Have a catholic or liberal view. Give a place for the views of all. You will have an expanded life and a very large heart. You will attain the exalted state of Buddhahood.

Be Humble And Simple

Develop joyful nature. Have an amiable nature, a modest and unassuming temperament. Understand the secrets of nature. Develop your will-power. Conserve all leaking energy. Move tactfully in the world. You will have much peace.

Do not waste your precious hours in idle talk. Cut short the conversations. Be humble and simple. Do everything as Ishvararpana. Accept your faults openly and endeavour to rectify yourself in future. Pray fervently to the Almighty God. You will realise Him quickly.

Taste The Eternal Bliss

Allow the waves of love to arise constantly in your heart. Feel the warmth of the Divine Love. Bask in the sunshine of Divine Love. Taste the bliss of the eternal life.

Do not murmur when you encounter difficulties, troubles, diseases and sorrows. Be courageous. Endure them with patience. Turn your mind towards God. Cultivate serenity of mind. Educate your will. You will possess tremendous inner spiritual strength. You will have rapid spiritual progress.

Conquer your difficulties one by one. Do meditation daily. Realise the ideal of life. Become a magnanimous Soul. You will enjoy Supreme Bliss.

Realise The Infinite Bliss

You are born for higher things. A glorious brilliant future is awaiting you. Do not think of the past. Purify. Concentrate. Reflect. Meditate. March forward. Find thy rest in the Supreme Soul.

Do not be troubled by difficulties, adversities and sorrows. They instil mercy in thy heart. They will help you in developing your will and power of endurance. They will make you wise and help you in your evolution.

Be courageous. Never despair. Draw strength from within. Move forward. Feel the Divine Presence everywhere. See the Divine Glory all around. Dive deep into the Divine source. You will realise the infinite Bliss.

Live In God

Speak kind and sweet words. Have Satsanga of Mahatmas. Eat moderately. Take care of your health. Cultivate fellow-feeling and universal brotherhood.

Do not waste your precious hours. Find out your evil habits and remove them. Thou art the best judge in this direction. Try to minimise the time spent in useless company. Be on the alert. Speak little.

Feel that the whole world is your own Self. Feel that all beings are your own Self. Develop universal love. Live in God. Be kind to all. Take refuge in the Lord. Meditate on the Lord. You will realise. The divine light will descend upon you.

Be In Tune With The Lord

Attune your heart to the Lord by doing fervent and sincere prayer daily. Lay bare your heart to Him. Do not keep any secrets. Talk to Him like a child. Be humble and simple. Implore Him with a contrite heart to forgive your sins. Beseech Him to bestow His Grace. Do not depend upon human help. Rely on God and God alone. You will get everything. You will get His Darshan or vision.

Be regular in your Japa, Kirtan, meditation and study of Gita and Bhagavatam. Regularity is of paramount importance in spiritual Sadhana. Never forget this.

Do Total Surrender

Surrender completely to the Almighty Lord. Fix your mind on Him. See Him in all faces. Sing His name. Work for Him. Think of nothing else than Him.

He is your guide. He is your light. Remember Him at all times whether it is pleasure or pain. He will cheer you up. He will come and save you from all your difficulties, as He protected Prahlada. He will give you light, love and wisdom.

Become One With The Law-Giver

Man is dragged to places where he can get the objects of his desires. God gives suitable surroundings according to the nature of the desires of the man for his growth and evolution. This is the greatest law of nature.

If you once understand this which guides your life and action, you will be able to act in such a manner as to make this law your ally and helpmate rather than your adversary. So long as the conditions laid down by a law are meticulously fulfilled and observed, you can have the fullest certainty of your success in any direction.

Understand this law carefully. Discharge your duties carefully. You will soon attain God-consciousness and you will become one with the Law-giver.


Sivananda Gita

1st January, 1946.

I was born of P.S. Vengu Iyer and Parvati Ammal on the 8th September 1887 at Pattamadai, Tinnevelly District, Tamil Nadu in the line of Appayya Dikshit. My star is Bharani. I was extremely mischievous in my boyhood. I studied in the S.P.G. College, Trichinopoly. I was a Doctor in the Malaya States for 10 years. I took Sannyasa in 1924 in Rishikesh. I did Tapas and meditation for 15 years. I went on teaching tours for 10 years. I founded the Divine Life Society in 1936 and the All-World Religious Federation in 1945.

I am childlike in my Svabhava. So I mix with all. I become one with all. I am ever happy and joyful and make others also happy and joyful. I am full of educative humour. I radiate joy through humour. I respect all. I do salutations to all first. I always speak sweetly. I walk quickly. I do Japa and meditation while walking and while at work also.

I am ever hard-working. I have intense application to work. I never procrastinate any work. I finish it then and there. I am very quick in doing things. I cannot suppress the spirit of service in me. I cannot live without service. I take immense delight in service. Service has elevated me. Service has purified me. I know well how to extract work from others. I extract work through kindness, service, respect and love.

I am very regular in doing Asana and exercises. I do Pranayama also regularly. These give me wonderful health and energy. I run round the Bhajan Hall daily. I cannot deliver fiery lectures sitting on a special seat. Special seat pricks me. I stand up or throw the seat away and then begin to speak. I never sat on a special seat when I presided over spiritual conferences. I rejoice in giving. I always give.

I am 73 now. I ever feel I am quite young. I am full of vigour, vim and vitality. I am ever cheerful. I sing, dance, run, jump in joy. I am robust and strong. I can digest any kind of food. I continuously work, read and write. I never go to hill-stations or seaside for holiday. Change of work gives rest. Meditation gives abundant rest. Work gives me delight. Service gives me happiness. Writing bestows joy. Meditation energises and invigorates me. Kirtan vivifies me.

“Aham Brahma Asmi”, “Sivoham”, “Soham Sat-Chit-Ananda Svarupoham”. This is my favourite formula for Vedantic meditation. Song of “Chidananda” is my favourite song for singing.

Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare,
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.”

This Mahamantra Kirtan is my favourite Kirtan.

At the present moment I am the richest man in the whole world. My heart is full. Further, all the wealth of the Lord belongs to me now. Hence, I am King of Kings, Emperor of Emperors, Shah of Shahs, Maharaja of Maharajas. I take pity on the mundane kings. My dominion is limitless. My wealth is inexhaustible. My joy is inexpressible. My treasure is immeasurable. I attained this through Sannyasa, renunciation, untiring selfless service, Japa, Kirtan and Meditation.

I am tall. My height is 6 ft. I have a sinewy frame. I have symmetrical limbs. I am a first-class gymnast. I fast on Ekadasi. I do not take even a drop of water on that day. I take milk and fruits on Sundays. I lead a simple natural life. There is a fountain of youth in me. I beam with joy. I observe fasting, resting, airing, bathing, breathing, exercising, sun-bathing and enjoy freedom, beauty, courage, poise and health.

I love nature, music, art, poetry, philosophy, beauty, goodness, solitude, meditation, Yoga and Vedanta. I am humble and simple. I am frank and straightforward. I am perfectly tolerant and catholic. I am merciful and sympathetic. I have spontaneous and unrestrained generosity. I am bold and cheerful. I am patient. I can bear insult and injury. I am forgiving. I am free from vindictive nature. I return good for evil. I serve that man who has injured me, with joy.

I love Ganga and the Himalayas. Ganga is my Mother Divine. Himalayas is my Father Divine. They inspire and guide me. I take bath in Ganga. I adore Ganga. I feed the fishes of Ganga. I wave light to Mother Ganga. I pray to Ganga. I do salutations to Ganga. I sing the glory of Ganga. I write about the grandeur and glory of Ganga. Ganga has nourished me. Ganga has comforted me. Ganga has taught me the Truths of the Upanishads. Glory to Mother Ganga!

My daily routine is like that of Lord Buddha. I always remain in the room. I do Japa, Kirtan and meditation. I study sacred books. I write. I come out of the room for a short time for work, service and interview. I talk a little. I think much. I meditate much. I try to do much and serve much. I do not waste even a single minute. I ever keep myself fully occupied. I lead a well-regulated life. I perform worship of Atman at all times. I work for the good of others.

Gita, Upanishads, Bhagavata, Yoga Vasishtha, Avadhoota Gita, Vivekachudamani are my constant companions. I am a strange mixture of service, devotion, Yoga and wisdom. I am a follower of Sri Sankara. I am a Kevala-Advaita Vedantin. I am not at all a dry lip Vedantin. I am a practical Vedantin. I practise and advocate the Yoga of Synthesis. I practise Ahimsa, Satyam and Brahmacharya. Glory to Sri Sankara!

I respect all Saints and Prophets of all religions. I respect all religions, all cults, all faiths and all creeds. I serve all, love all, mix with all and see the Lord in all. I stick to my promises. I serve the poor. This gives me delight. I do mental prostrations to asses, dogs, trees, bricks, stones and all creatures. I respect elders and Sadhus. I obey. I please all through sincere selfless service. I attend on guests very carefully. I run hither and thither to serve them. I shampoo the legs of sick persons and Sadhus.

I give very prompt reply to all letters. I do several things at a time. I write with electric speed. I spend everything. I do a lot of charity. I do not keep anything. I take immense pleasure in feeding the poor and my students. I try to be a mother to them. I talk to others on things which I have myself practised. I look within always, introspect, analyse and examine. I hold the Trisul—spiritual diary, daily routine and resolve.

I served my Masters with great sincerity and intense faith and devotion. I learnt many useful lessons for life. I developed many virtues. I wandered without food during my Parivrajaka life. I slept on the roadside at night without clothing during winter. I ate dried bread with water. I stick tenaciously with my principles and ideals. I do not argue much. I live in silence.

I pray and do Kirtan for the whole world, for the health and peace of sick people and for the peace of the departed souls and the earth-bound spirits also. I take a dip in the Ganges in the name of all those who are longing for a bath in the Ganges. I sing the names of all Saints of all religions in the Bhajan Hall. I observe All-saints day and All-Souls Day.

I constantly meditate on the following:-

Prajnanam Brahma, Aham Brahma Asmi, Tat Tvam Asi, Ayam Atma Brahma, Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahma. Santam Sivam Advaitam. Aham Atma Gudakesa, Aham Atma Nirakarah, Sarvavyapee Svabhavatah. Brahma Satyam Jaganmithya Jivo Brahmaiva Naparah. Akarta, Abhokta, Asanga Sakshee. Ajo Nityah Sasvatoyam Purano. Jyotishamapi Tat Jyotih.

To raise the fallen, to lead the blind, to share what I have with others, to bring solace to the afflicted and to cheer the afflicted and suffering are my ideals. To have perfect faith in God, to love my neighbour as my own Self, to love God with all my heart and soul, to protect cows, animals, women and children are my aims. My watchword is love. My goal is Sahaja Samadhi Avastha, or the natural, continuous superconscious state.

How God Came Into My Life

It would be easy to dismiss the question by saying: “Yes, after a prolonged period of intense austerities and meditation, while I was living in Swargashram, and when I had the Darshan of a number of Maharshis and their blessings, the Lord appeared before me in the form of Sri Krishna.”

But that would not be the whole truth, nor a sufficient answer to a question relating to God, who is Infinite, Unlimited and beyond the reach of the speech and mind.

Cosmic Consciousness is not an accident or chance. It is the summit, accessible by a thorny path that has steps, slippery steps. I have ascended them step by step, the hard way; but at every step I have experienced God coming into my life and lifting me easily to the next step.

My father was fond of ceremonial worship (Puja) in which he was very regular. To my child-mind, the Image he worshipped was God; and I delighted in helping father in the worship, by bringing him flowers and other articles of worship. The deep inner satisfaction that he and I derived from such worship implanted in my heart the deep conviction that God is in such Images devoutly worshipped by His devotees. Thus did God come into my life first and placed my foot on the first rung of the ladder.

As an adult, I was fond of gymnastics and vigorous exercises. I learnt fencing from a teacher who belonged to a low caste; he was a Harijan. I could go to him only for a few days before I was made to understand that it was unbecoming of a caste Brahman to play the student to an untouchable. I thought deeply over the matter. One moment I felt that the God whom we all worshipped in the image in my father’s Puja-room had jumped over to the heart of this untouchable. He was my Guru, all right! So I immediately went to him with flowers, sweets and cloth, and garlanded him, placed flowers at his feet and prostrated myself before him. Thus did God come into my life to remove the veil of caste-distinctions.

How very valuable this step was I could realise very soon after this: for I was to enter the medical profession and serve all, and the persistence of caste-distinction would have made that service a mockery. With this mist cleared by the Light of God, it was easy and natural for me to serve everyone. I took very keen delight in every kind of service connected with healing and alleviation of human misery. If there was a good prescription for malaria, I felt that the whole world should know it the next moment. Any knowledge about the prevention of diseases, promotion of health and healing of diseases, I was eager to acquire and share with all.

Then, God came into my life in the form of the sick in Malaya. It is difficult for me now to single out any instance; and perhaps it is unnecessary. Time and space are concepts of the mind and have no meaning in God. I can look back now upon the whole period of my stay in Malaya as a single event in which God came to me in the form of the sick and the suffering. People are sick physically and mentally. To some, life is lingering death; and to some others, death is more welcome than life. Some lead a miserable life, unable to face death; some invite death and commit suicide, unable to face life. The aspiration grew within me that if God had not made this world merely as a hell where wicked people would be thrown, to suffer, and if there is (as I intuitively felt there should be) something other than this misery and this helpless existence, it should be known and experienced.

It was at this crucial point in my life that God came to me as a religious mendicant who gave me the first lesson in Vedanta. The positive aspects of life here, and real end and aim of human life, were made apparent. This drew me from Malaya to the Himalaya. God came to me in the form of all-consuming aspiration to realise Him as the Self of all.

Meditation and service went on apace; and with them came various spiritual experiences. The body, mind and intellect, as the limiting adjuncts, vanished; and the whole universe shone as His Light. God then came in the form of this Light in which everything assumed a divine shape; and pain and suffering, that seem to haunt everybody, appeared to be a mirage, the illusion that ignorance creates, on account of low sensual appetites that lurk in man.

One more milestone had to be passed in order to know “Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma.” Early in 1950 (on the 8th Jan.) God came to me in the form of a half-demented assailant, who disturbed the night Satsanga at the Ashram. His attempt failed. I bowed to him, worshipped him and sent him home. Evil exists to glorify the good! Evil is a superficial appearance; beneath its veil, the one Self shines in all.

A noteworthy fact ought to be mentioned here. In this evolution nothing gained previously is entirely discarded at any later stage. One coalesced into the next; and the Yoga of Synthesis was the fruit. Murti-Puja, selfless service of the sick, meditation, the cultivation of cosmic love that transcended the barriers of caste, creed and religion, with the ultimate aim of attaining Cosmic Consciousness, was revealed. This knowledge had immediately to be shared. All this had become an integral part of my being.

The mission had been gathering strength and spreading. It was in 1950 that I undertook the All-India Tour. Then God came to me in His Virat-Svarupa, multitudes of devotees, eager to listen to the tenets of divine life. At every centre I felt that God spoke through me, and He Himself in His Virat-form spread out before me as the multitude, listened to me. He sang with me; He prayed with me; He spoke and He listened. Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma.

(Bhavan’s Journal, May 3, 1959)


Philosophy And Teachings Of Swami Sivananda

In Sayings

1. Brahman or the Absolute is the only reality. It is Sat-Chit-Ananda

2. Brahman or the Absolute manifests itself as Jiva or the individual soul, Ishvara or the Lord and the universe. The light of Brahman alone is Jiva and others.

3. The world and the ego are unreal. This universe is nothing but a diversity of Maya. Mind alone is the universe. World is nothing but mind manifesting as such only through the potency of Brahman.

4. Those who are without Atmic enquiry will see as real this world which is nothing but the nature of Sankalpa. Sankalpa alone manifests itself as Jiva, Ishvara and the Universe. This universe as universe ever is not. There is no world in the three periods of time.

5. All things though appearing different are no other than Brahmic light, in short, world static means Brahman. Brahman in motion is world.

6. Individual is no other than Brahman. The body with its organs, etc., is no other than mind. The mind manifests itself as the external world in the shape of pains and pleasures, bondage and liberation, right and wrong. The mind subjectively is this universe. Time, space and causation are the creations of the mind.

7. Actions of the mind alone are truly termed as Karma. True liberation results from the disenthralment of the mind. The play of the mind constitutes this universe.

8. Those who have freed themselves from the fluctuations of their mind are endowed with the supreme meditation.

9. If the impurities of the mind are removed it will become calm, steady and blissful. Then the Samsaric delusion with its births and deaths, pain and pleasure will be destroyed.

10. The conception of the reality of the world will increase on the contemplation on the non-Atma or worldly objects.

11. Through the grace of Ishvara also the higher spiritual state will be attained.

12. Atma can be realised by controlling Maya. All ideas of the world will vanish if Maya is controlled.

13. Manifold pains will arise in the mind in the absence of Samadhi which leads to the attainment of Brahmic bliss.

14. Nothing can create differentiation and disturbance in the mind if you do not long for the fruits of actions. The Jnana vision alone will enable one to realise Atman personally.

15. All will be Brahman through Sushupti Mauna. The same result can be obtained through the giving up of Sanga or desires. The path to the higher goal will be rendered smooth by the preceptor who is able to make his disciple progress through various means as well as by renunciation, though many obstacles may intervene.

16. The Neophyte on the path of Vedanta or Jnana Yoga should possess the fourfold qualifications, viz., Viveka (discrimination between the real and the unreal), Vairagya (dispassion), Shad Sampat (sixfold virtues) and Mumukshutva (intense longing for emancipation).

17. Cultivate pure Vasanas, Shanti (peace), Santosh (contentment). Practise Brahma Vichara. Take recourse to Satsanga or association with the wise. You will soon attain self-realisation.

18. The renunciation of Ahamkara or egoism leads to the attainment of Atma Jnana.

19. Through the performance in the world of Nishkama Karma even sensual pleasures are transmuted into spiritual or Brahmic Bliss.

20. The Supreme Immortal Bliss of Atman can be attained through Samadhi consequent upon Atmic enquiry.

21. The result of quiescence of mind etc., which is developed through Samadhi can also be attained through Atma Vichara or Atmic enquiry.

22. Mental abnegation and control of Prana are the two requisites for the control of the mind which leads us to quiescence.

23. Abandon the attraction towards sensual objects and you will get quiescence of the mind. Nirvanic Bliss where all are Brahman only will result through Jnana or Yoga.

24. Renunciation of egoism alone constitutes the renunciation of all. Doership or enjoyership arises through the idea of ‘I’.

25. SERVE, LOVE, GIVE, MEDITATE. This is Sadhana in a nutshell. Be good, Do good. Be humble. Be noble. This is the highest Sadhana. Enquire ‘Who am I’? and know thy Self. Find the knower, find the seer. This is Sadhana in essence.

26. A Jivanmukta is a liberated sage. He is emancipated while living. He has cut off all bonds. He has destroyed his mind. He is in a state of mindlessness. He is absolutely free. He has identified himself with Brahman or the Absolute Consciousness. He has no identification with the body. He is free from egoism, lust, anger, greed, selfishness, pride, likes, dislikes, exhilaration or depression (Harsha-soka). He is balanced in pleasure and pain, censures and praises, honour and dishonour, respect and disrespect. He has equal, vision. He has supreme knowledge of Brahman. He is a Brahmajnani. He is a Brahmavid or Knower of Brahman. He can clear all your doubts. You will feel extreme elevation and inspiration in his presence. He radiates joy and peace everywhere.

27. He may be absorbed in Samadhi or he may work like an ordinary man of the world. Internally he has the Bhava or mental attitude “I am a witness” (Sakshi) “I am non-doer” (Akarta) “I am non-enjoyer” (Abhokta) because he has no egoism or individuality. So he is not bound by Karma.

28. He is a Gunatita. He is beyond the reach of the three Gunas or qualities, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. He has Trikalajnana or the knowledge of the three periods of time. He has omniscience. He enjoys the sense-objects offered by others like a child. He beholds this world like one seen in dreams.


Twenty Important Spiritual Instructions

1. Get up at 4 a.m. daily. This is Brahmamuhurta which is extremely favourable for meditation on God.

2. ASANA:—Sit on Padma, Siddha or Sukha Asana for Japa and meditation for half an hour, facing East or North. Increase the period gradually to three hours. Do Sirshasana, Sarvangasana for Brahmacharya and health. Take light physical exercise as walking, etc., regularly. Do twenty rounds of Pranayama.

3. JAPA:—Repeat any Mantra as pure Om or Om Namo Narayanaya, Om Namah Sivaya, Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya, Om Saravanabhavaya Namah, Sita Ram, Sri Ram, Hari Om or Gayatri according to your taste or inclination from 108 to 21,600 times daily. (200 Malas x 108 = 21,600).

4. DIETETIC DISCIPLINE:—Take Sattvic food (Suddha Ahara). Give up chillies, tamarind, garlic, onion, sour articles, oil, mustard, asafoetida. Observe moderation in diet (Mitahara). Do not overload the stomach. Give up those things which the mind likes best for a fortnight in a year. Eat simple food. Milk and fruits help concentration. Take food as medicine to keep the life going; eating for enjoyment is sin. Give up salt and sugar for a month. You must be able to live on rice, dhal and bread without any Chutnie. Do not ask for extra salt for dhal and sugar for tea, coffee or milk.

5. Have separate meditation-room under lock and key.

6. CHARITY:—Do charity regularly every month or even daily according to your means or ten paise per rupee.

7. SVADHYAYA:—Study systematically Gita, Ramayana, Bhagavata, Vishnu Sahasranama, Lalita Sahasranama, Aditya Hridaya, Upanishads or Yoga Vasishtha from half an hour to one hour daily and have Shuddha Vichara.

8. Preserve the vital force (Veerya) very, very carefully. Veerya is Vibhuti (God in motion or manifestation). Veerya is all power. Veerya is money. Veerya is the essence of life, thought and intelligence.

9. Get by heart some prayer Slokas, Stotras and repeat them as soon as you sit on the Asana before starting Japa or meditation. This will elevate the mind quickly.

10. Have constant Satsanga (company of the wise). Give up bad company, smoking, meat and alcoholic liquors entirely. Do not develop any evil habits.

11. Fast on Ekadasi or live on milk and fruits only.

12. Have a Japa Mala (rosary) in your neck or pocket or underneath your pillow at night.

13. Observe Mouna (vow of silence) for a couple of hours daily.

14. DISCIPLINE OF SPEECH:—Speak truth at any cost. Speak little. Speak sweetly (Mita Bhashana).

15. Reduce your wants. If you have four shirts, reduce the number to three or two. Lead a happy, contented life. Avoid unnecessary worry. Have simple living and high thinking.

16. Never hurt anybody (Ahimsa Paramo Dharmah). Control anger by love, Kshama (forgiveness) and Daya (compassion).

17. Do not depend upon servants. Self-reliance is the highest of all virtues.

18. Think of the mistakes you have committed during the course of the day just before retiring to bed (self-analysis). Keep daily diary and self-correction register as Benjamin Franklin did. Do not brood over the past mistakes.

19. Remember that death is awaiting you at every moment. Never fail to fulfil your duties. Have pure conduct (Sadachara).

20. Think of God as soon as you wake up and just before you go to sleep. Surrender yourself completely to God (Saranagati).

This is the essence of all spiritual Sadhanas. This will lead you to Moksha. All these Niyamas or spiritual canons must be rigidly observed. You must not give leniency to the mind.


Resolve Form

My Resolves For The Year:.........................................................

1. I will perform Asanas, Pranayama for __________ minutes daily.

2. I will take milk and fruits only in lieu of night meals once a week/fortnight/month.

3. I will observe a fast on Ekadasi days or once a month.

4. I will give up __________ (one of my cherished objects of enjoyment) once every __________ days/months or for__________ days/months.

5. I will not indulge in any of the following more than once every __________ days/months or for __________ months: a) Smoking, b) Cards, c) Cinema, d) Novels.

6. I will observe Mouna (complete silence) for __________ minutes/hours daily and __________ minutes/hours on Sundays/holidays and utilise the time in concentration, meditation, Japa, introspection.

7. I will observe Brahmacharya (celibacy) for __________ weeks/months at a time.

8. I will not utter angry, harsh or vulgar words towards any one during this year.

9. I will speak the truth at all cost during this year.

10. I will not entertain hatred or evil thoughts towards anyone.

11. I will give __________ paise per rupee of my income in charity.

12. I will perform selfless service (Nishkama Karma Yoga) for __________ hours daily/weekly.

13. I will do __________ Malas of Japa daily (Mala of 108 beads).

14. I will write my Ishta Mantra/Guru Mantra in a notebook daily for __________minutes or __________pages.

15. I will study __________ Slokas of the Gita daily with meaning.

16. I will maintain a Daily Spiritual Diary and send a copy of it every month to my Guruji for getting further lessons..

17. I will get up at __________a.m. daily and spend __________hours in Japa, concentration, meditation, prayers, etc.

18. I will conduct Sankirtan with family members and friends daily for __________ minutes/hours at night.

Signature ....................................

Name and address ....................................
....................................
....................................

Date ..........................

The Spiritual Diary

(WEEKLY)

The Spiritual Diary is a whip for goading the mind towards righteousness and God. If you regularly maintain this diary you will get solace, peace of mind and make quick progress in the spiritual path. Maintain a daily diary and realise the marvellous results.

Spiritual Diary

Month : ________________

Questions
Date
 
           
1. When did you get up from bed ?
 
           
2. How many hours did you sleep ?
 
           
3. How many Malas of Japa ?
 
           
4. How long in Kirtan ?
 
           
5. How many Pranayamas ?
 
           
6. How long did you perform Asanas ?
 
           
7. How long did you meditate in one Asana?
 
           
8. How many Gita Slokas did you read or get by heart ?
 
           
9. How long in the company of the wise (Satsanga) ?
 
           
10. How many hours did you observe Mouna ?
 
           
11. How long in disinterested selfless service ?
 
           
12. How much did you give in charity ?
 
           
13. How many Mantras you wrote ?
 
           
14. How long did you practice physical exercise ?
 
           
15. How many lies did you tell and with what self-punishment ?
 
           
16. How many times and how long of anger and with what self-punishment ?
 
           
17. How many hours you spent in useless company ?
 
           
18. How many times you failed in Brahmacharya ?
 
           
19. How long in study of religious books ?
 
           
20. How many times you failed in the control of evil habits and with what self-punishment ?
 
           
21. How long you concentrated on your Ishta Devata (Saguna or Nirguna Dhyana) ?
 
           
22. How many days did you observe fast and vigil ?
 
           
23. Were you regular in your meditation ?
 
           
24. What virtue are you developing ?
 
           
25. What evil quality are you trying to eradicate ?
 
           
26. What Indriya is troubling you most ?
 
           
27. When did you go to bed ?
 
           

Sadhana Tattva

or

The Science Of Seven Cultures

For Quick Evolution of the Human Being

INTRODUCTION

(a) An ounce of practice is better than tons of theory. Practice Yoga, Religion and Philosophy in daily life and attain Self-realisation.

(b)These 32 instructions give the essence of the Eternal Religion (Sanatana Dharma) in its purest form. They are suitable for modern busy householders with fixed hours of work. Modify them to suit your convenience and increase the period gradually.

(c) In the beginning take only a few practicable resolves which form a small but definite advance over your present habits and character. In case of ill-health, pressure of work or unavoidable engagements replace your active Sadhana by frequent remembrance of God.

HEALTH CULTURE

1. Eat moderately. Take light and simple food. Offer it to God before you eat. Have a balanced diet.

2. Avoid chilies, garlic, onions, tamarind, etc., as far as possible. Give up tea, coffee, smoking, betels, meat and wine entirely.

3. Fast on Ekadasi days. Take milk, fruits or roots only.

4. Practice Yoga Asana or physical exercises for fifteen to thirty minutes every day. Take a long walk or play some vigorous games daily.

ENERGY CULTURE

5. Observe silence (Mouna) for two hours daily and four to eight hours on Sundays.

6. Observe celibacy according to your age and circumstances. Restrict the indulgence to once a month. Decrease it gradually to once a year. Finally take a vow of abstinence for whole life.

ETHICAL CULTURE

7. Speak the TRUTH. Speak little. Speak kindly. Speak sweetly.

8. Do not injure anyone in thought, word or deed. Be kind to all.

9. Be sincere, straightforward and open-hearted in your talks and dealings.

10. Be honest. Earn by the sweat of your brow. Do not accept any money, things or favour unless earned lawfully. Develop nobility and integrity.

11. Control fits of anger by serenity, patience, love, mercy and tolerance. Forget and forgive. Adapt yourself to men and events.

WILL CULTURE

12. Live without sugar for a week or month. Give up salt on Sundays.

13. Give up cards, novels, cinemas and clubs. Fly from evil company. Avoid discussions with materialists. Do not mix with persons who have no faith in God or who criticise your Sadhana.

14. Curtail your wants. Reduce your possessions. Have plain living and high thinking.

HEART CULTURE

15. Doing good to others is the highest religion. Do some selfless service for a few hours every week, without egoism or expectation of reward. Do your worldly duties in the same spirit. Work is worship. Dedicate it to God.

16. Give two to ten percent of your income in charity every month. Share what you have with others. Let the world be your family. Remove selfishness.

17. Be humble and prostrate yourself to all beings mentally. Feel the Divine Presence everywhere. Give up vanity, pride and hypocrisy.

18. Have unwavering faith in God, the Gita and your Guru. Make a total self-surrender to God and pray: “Thy Will be done; I want nothing.” Submit to the Divine Will in all events and happenings with equanimity.

19. See God in all beings and love them as your own Self. Do not hate anyone.

20. Remember God at all times or, at least, on rising from bed, during a pause in work and before going to bed. Keep a Mala in your pocket.

PSYCHIC CULTURE

21. Study one chapter or ten to twenty-five verses of the Gita, with meaning, daily. Learn Sanskrit, at least sufficient to understand the Gita in original.

22. Memorise the whole of the Gita, gradually. Keep it always in your pocket.

23. Read the Ramayana, the Bhagavata, the Upanishads, the Yogavasishtha or other religious books daily or on holidays.

24. Attend religious meetings, Kirtans and Satsangas of saints at every opportunity. Organise such functions on Sundays or holidays.

25. Visit a temple or place of worship at least once a week and arrange to hold Kirtans or discourses there.

26. Spend holidays and leave-periods, when possible, in the company of saints or practice Sadhana at holy places in seclusion.

SPIRITUAL CULTURE

27. Go to bed early. Get up at four O’clock. Answer calls of nature, clean your mouth and take a bath.

28. Recite some prayers and Kirtan Dhvanis. Practice Pranayama, Japa and meditation from five to six O’clock. Sit on Padma, Siddha or Sukha Asana throughout, without movement, by gradual practice.

29. Perform the daily Sandhya, Gayatri Japa, Nityakarma and worship, if any.

30. Write your favourite Mantra or Name of God in a notebook for ten to thirty minutes, daily.

31. Sing name of God (Kirtan), prayers, Stotras and Bhajans for half an hour at night, with family and friends.

32. Make annual resolves on the above lines. Regularity, tenacity and fixity are essential. Record your Sadhana in a spiritual diary daily. Review it every month and correct your failures.


Twenty Hints On Meditation

FROM THE INSPIRING PEN OF SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA

1. Have a separate meditation room under lock and key. Never allow anybody to enter the room. Burn incense there. Wash your feet and then enter the room.

2. Retire to a quiet place or room where you do not fear interruption, so that your mind may feel secure and at rest. Of course, the ideal condition cannot always be obtained, in which case you should do the best you can. You should be alone, yourself, in communion with God or Brahman.

3. Get up at 4 a.m. (Brahmamuhurta) and meditate from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. Have another sitting at night from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

4. Keep a picture of your Ishta Devata in the room, and also some religious books—the Gita, the Upanishads, the Yoga Vasistha, the Bhagavata, etc. Spread your Asana in front of the picture of your Ishta Devata.

5. Sit in Padma, Siddha, Sukha, or Svastika Asana. Keep the head, neck and trunk in a straight line. Do not bend either forward of backward.

6. Close your eyes and concentrate gently in the Trikuti, the space between the two eyebrows. Lock the fingers.

7. Never wrestle with the mind. Do not use any violent effort in concentration. Relax all the muscles and the nerves. Relax the brain. Gently think of your Ishta Devata. Slowly repeat your Guru-Mantra with Bhava and meaning. Still the bubbling mind. Silence the thoughts.

8. Make no violent effort to control the mind, but rather allow it to run along for a while, and exhaust its efforts. It will take advantage of the opportunity and will jump around like an unchained monkey at first, until it gradually slows down and looks to you for orders. It may take some time to tame the mind, but each time you try, it will come around you in a shorter time.

9. SAGUNA AND NIRGUNA DHYANA: To meditate on a Name and a Form of the Lord is Saguna-Dhyana. This is concrete meditation. Meditate on any form of God you like, and repeat His Name mentally. This is Saguna-Dhyana. Or repeat OM mentally and meditate on abstract ideas like Infinity, Eternity, Purity, Consciousness, Truth, Bliss, etc., identifying these with your Self. This is Nirguna-Dhyana. Stick to one method. In the initial stages, Saguna-Dhyana alone is suitable for the vast majority of persons.

10. Again and again withdraw the mind from worldly objects when it runs away from the Lakshya, and fix it there. This sort of combat will go on for some months.

11. When you meditate on Lord Krishna in the beginning, keep His picture in front of you. Look at it with steady gazing without winking the eyelids. See His feet first, then the yellow silken robe, then the ornaments around His neck, then His face, earrings, crown on the head set with diamonds, then His armlets, bracelets, then His conch, disc, mace and lotus. Then come again to the feet. Now start again the same process. Do this again and again for half an hour. When you feel tired, look steadily at the face only. Do this practice for three months.

12. Then close your eyes and mentally visualise the picture and rotate the mind in different parts, as you did before.

13. You can associate the attributes of God, as omnipotence, omniscience, purity, perfection, etc. during the course of your meditation.

14. If evil thoughts enter your mind, do not use your will-force in driving them. You will only lose your energy. You will only tax your will. You will fatigue yourself. The greater the efforts you make, the more the evil thoughts will return with redoubled force. They will return more quickly, also. The thoughts will become more powerful. Be indifferent. Keep quiet. They will pass away soon. Or, substitute good counter-thoughts (Pratipaksha-Bhavana method). Or think of the picture of God and the Mantra, again and again, forcibly. Or, pray.

15. Never let a day pass without meditation. Be regular and systematic. Take Sattvic food. Fruits and milk will help mental focussing. Give up meat, fish, eggs, smoking, liquors, etc.

16. Dash cold water on the face to drive off drowsiness. Stand up for 15 minutes. Tie the tuft of hair on the head with a piece of string, to a nail above. As soon as you begin to doze, the string will pull you up. It will wake you up. It will serve the part of a mother. Or, lean upon an improvised swing for 10 minutes and move yourself to and fro. Do 10 or 20 mild Kumbhakas (Pranayama). Do Sirshasana and Mayurasana. Take only milk and fruits at night. By these methods you can combat sleep.

17. Be careful in the selection of your companions. Give up going to talkies. Talk a little. Observe Mouna for two hours daily. Do not mix with undesirable persons. Read good, inspiring, religious books. (This is substitute for good company, if you do not get positive good company). Have satsanga. These are all auxiliaries to meditation.

18. Do not shake the body. Keep it as firm as a rock. Breathe slowly. Do not scratch the body every now and then. Have the right mental attitude as taught by your Guru.

19. When the mind is tired, do not concentrate. Give it a little rest.

20. When an idea exclusively occupies the mind, it is transformed into an actual physical or mental state. Therefore, if you keep the mind fully occupied with the thought of God alone, you will get into Nirvikalpa Samadhi very quickly. Therefore, exert in right earnest.


Course Of Sadhana

1. You must be able to sit in one Asana with head erect for a period of 3 hours at a stretch.

2. Practise Pranayama for half an hour daily.

3. You must get up at 4 a.m. and start meditation first. Then you can have the practice of Asana and Pranayama. Meditation is most important.

4. Have concrete meditation. To begin with, meditate on any form you like best. Feel the indwelling presence in the form and think of the attributes—Purity, Perfection, All-pervading Intelligence, Bliss Absolute, Omnipotence, etc. When the mind runs again and again bring it to the point. Have another sitting for meditation at night. Be regular in your practice.

5. Develop right thinking, right feeling, right action and right speaking. Become a pure vegetarian.

6. Eradicate vicious qualities, such as anger, lust, greed, egoism, hatred, etc.

7. Discipline the Indriyas. Observe the vow of silence for two hours daily.

8. Develop virtues—forgiveness, mercy, love, kindness, patience, perseverance, courage, truthfulness, etc.

9. Keep daily spiritual diary regularly and stick to your daily spiritual routine at all costs.

10. Write your Ishta Mantra—‘Hari Om’ or ‘Sri Ram’ etc., in a notebook one hour daily and send it to me along with the spiritual diary at the end of every month.


Advice To Aspirants

1. Vanity, arrogance, self-assertive nature and Rajasic violence are great obstacles in the spiritual path. They take various forms. It is very difficult for the aspirant to detect them. The Guru only can detect them and show efficient methods to eradicate them. The aspirant vainly imagines that he is advanced in the spiritual path. He resents when these defects are pointed out by others. He never admits his defects. Such an aspirant cannot make any spiritual progress.

2. The aspirant claims that he is a superior Sadhaka with psychic powers and great knowledge of Yoga. He thinks that he is free from defects and that he is a perfect Yogi. He poses as a Yogi with realisation. He says that he can influence others and has a large number of disciples, devotees, and admirers. Such an aspirant cannot make an iota of spiritual progress. He is more egoistic and proud than ordinary householders.

3. Lower nature persists and resists. It refuses to get itself sublimated and transformed.

4. If the aspirant is not willing to regenerate his lower nature, he will not be benefited even if he remains for several years with his Guru.

5. Disobedience and indiscipline are great obstacles in spiritual path. Self-assertion stands in the way of obedience. The ego can be annihilated only by obedience, humility and service. The aspirant has his own ideas, whims, fancies and impulses. He is unwilling to accept any order or discipline, presented by his Guru. He has his own ways. He promises to be obedient and observe discipline, but the actions done or the course followed is the very opposite of his profession or promise.

6. He finds faults in his Guru and even superimposes defects in him. This is height of his folly. How can he improve in the spiritual path?

7. He who is not straightforward cannot profit by the Guru’s help.

8. An aspirant who conceals facts, who utters falsehood, who is hypocritical cannot hope for the descent of divine light. He does things to keep up his position, to get his own way or indulges in his own habit. He clouds his own understanding and conscience.

9. It is impossible to correct an aspirant who has the dangerous habit of constant Self-justification. He is ready to bring any kind of clumsy argument to justify himself, to keep up his position and prestige.

10. If an aspirant continues out of Self-esteem and Self-will or Tamasic inertia to shut his eyes or harden his heart against the Divine Light, so long as he does that, no one can help him.

11. The entire being must agree for the divine change. There must be integral surrender. Then alone the light will descend. Then alone the Guru can help the aspirant.

12. An aspirant who is obstinate, Self-assertive or aggressive and Self-willed has his own ways of thinking and acting. He will not pay any heed to the advice of his Guru. He gets stuck up in the Self-created mind. He cannot rise up in the ladder of Yoga.

13. If an aspirant who is arrogant, vain, untruthful and violent says, that he is meditating for two hours nicely, he is a hypocrite, he is a deluded soul. No meditation is possible in one who has such evil traits. Do not believe this deluded man.

14. Obey your teacher. Follow his instructions implicitly. Be truthful. Be calm. Be serene. Be humble. Be devoted. Be disciplined. You will attain Self-realisation now and here. May Lord bless you all, O sincere seekers after Truth.

15. Svetasvatara Upanishad says: “He who has supreme devotion to God, and has intense devotion to the Guru as he has to God, unto him are the truths of the Upanishads revealed.”