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THE SCIENCE OF SEVEN CULTURES
For Quick Evolution of the Human Being
Sri Swami Sivananda
(a) An ounce of practice is better than tons of theory. Practice Yoga, Religion and Philosophy in daily life and attain Self-realization.
(b)These thirty-two 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 (spiritual practice) by frequent remembrance of God.
1. Eat moderately. Take light and simple food. Offer it to God before you eat. Have a balanced diet.
2. Avoid spicy and hot foods, like chilies, garlic, onions, tamarind, etc., as far as possible. Give up tea, coffee, smoking, betels, meat and wine entirely.
3. Fast on Ekadasi days or once in a fortnight. Take milk, fruits or roots only.
4. Practice Yoga Asana (Hatha Yoga exercises) or physical exercises for 15 to 30 minutes every day. Take a long walk or play some vigorous games daily.
5. Observe silence (Mouna) for 2 hours daily and 4 to 8 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.
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.
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 criticize your Sadhana (spiritual practices).
14. Curtail your wants. Reduce your possessions. Have plain living and high thinking.
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 2 to 10 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 Bhagavad-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 (rosary) in your pocket.
21. Study one chapter or ten to twenty-five verses of the Gita or your scriptures with meaning, daily. Learn the original language of your scripture, at least sufficient to understand it in original.
22. Memorize important and inspiring portions of your sacred scripture according to your capacity. Memorize also any inspiring quotations from other spiritual books. Keep a pocket version your scripture with you at all times.
23. Read the Ramayana, the Bible, the Quran, the Bhagavata, the Upanishads, the Yogavasishtha or other religious books daily without fail. Study more during holidays.
24. Attend religious meetings and seek Satsanga (company) with saints at every opportunity. If not, create opportunities. Listen to spiritual discourses from learned and holy people. If possible, organize such functions on Sundays or holidays.
25. Visit a temple or place of worship daily. Preferably before you leave and upon your return from work, even if only for 5 or 10 minutes.
26. Spend holidays and leave-periods, when possible, in the company of saints or practice Sadhana at holy places in seclusion.
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 (devotional songs). Practice Pranayama (breathing exercises), Japa (repetition of the Divine Name of God) and meditation in the early morning. Sit on Padma, Siddha, or Sukha Asana throughout, without movement, by gradual practice. While you meditate, forget the outside world totally. Gradually increase the period of meditation.
29. Perform the daily prayers of your religion. Do not fail to fulfil your obligatory duties.
30. Write your favourite Mantra or Name of God in a notebook for ten to thirty minutes, daily.
31. Sing the Names of God (Kirtan) and pray for half to one 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.
Last Updated: Monday, 21-Feb-2005 20:30:31 EST
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