Bliss Divine

A Book of Spiritual Essays
On the Lofty Purpose of Human Life
And the Means to Its Achievement

by Swami Sivananda

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Hardcover: xxiv + 528 pages
ISBN: 81-7052-004-5
Book Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1.0 inches
Shipping Weight: 650 grams

Table of Contents

Dedication iii
Publishers’ Note v
A Word About “Bliss Divine” vii
Introduction xii
1. Ahimsa 3
2. Anger 9
3. Avatara 15
4. Bhagavata Purana 21
5. Bhakti 25
6. Brahmacharya 31
7. Brahman 37
8. Buddhism 43
 9. Charity 48
10. Christianity 53

11. Civilisation

12. Concentration 63
13. Confucianism 70
14. Conscience 74
15. Creation 80
16. Death 88
17. Devi 96
18. Disciple 101
19. Dream 107
20. Education 116
21. Ethics 122
22. Fear 129
23. Freedom 136
24. Ganga 141
25. Gita 145
26. God 150
27. Guru 155
28. Happiness 163
29. Health 170
30. Hinduism 176
31. Idolatry 183
32. India 188
33. Islam 194
34. Jainism 199
35. Japa 205
36. Jesus 212
37. Jivanmukta 217
38. Judaism 224
39. Karma 229
40. Krishna 238
41. Kundalini 245
42. Life 254
43. Love 260
44. Mahabharata 265
45. Man 270
46. Marriage 276
47. Maya 283
48. Meditation 289
49. Mind 297
50. Music 303
51. Om 309
52. Patanjala Yoga 315
53. Peace 320
54. Pranayama 324
55. Prayer 331
56. Purity 335
57. Ramayana 340
58. Reincarnation 345
59. Religion 352
60. Sadhana 356
61. Saints 364
62. Samadhi 370
63. Sannyasa 376
64. Satsanga 383
65. Science 388
66. Service 394
67. Sex 400
68. Shat-Sampat    408
69. Shintoism 414
70. Silence 418
71. Sin 425
72. Svadhyaya 430
73. Tantra 435
74. Taoism 440
75. Thought 444
76. Time 451
77. Truth 458
78. Upanishads 464
79. Vairagya 468
80. Vedanta 473
81. Vedas 480
82. Vegetarianism 485
83. Woman 489
84. Yoga 495
85. Yogasanas 501
86. Zoroastrianism 506
Glossary 509



Publishers’ Note

This is the age of scepticism and materialism. Wealth tempts people like a deceptive mirage. It hardens the heart of man and causes pride in him and makes him forget God.

Materialistic civilisation has made man insincere and untruthful. Rudderless, the ship of human civilisation is heading fast towards the rock of self-aggrandisement, hatred, aimless living, and eventually, self-destruction.

The present world is full of fear, suspicion, crimes, conflicts, quarrels and struggles. The philosophy of flesh substitutes licence for discipline and self-indulgence for self-sacrifice. The real ideal of religion is forgotten, the spirit of religion is lost, and only a poor external structure remains.

Scientists have conquered the air and the atom. Sputniks circle around the world. But alas! Men have not realised the mysteries of the Atman, their inner Self. They have conquered nature, and outer space, but they have not conquered their arch enemy, mind.

Mere intelligence, without morality and spirituality, is not helpful. It is dangerous. It will lead to disaster.

Today, in the world convulsed by wars and revolutions, there is a great necessity to revive the moral and spiritual value of ancient Indian culture and its everlasting idealism. If the human mind is to be weaned from materialism, if humanity is to be brought together, the only way is the practice of Yoga and Vedanta.

Yoga and Vedanta are basically the same. Vedanta is the sublime philosophy that gives a directive to the Yoga way of life.

Unconscious movement is called natural evolution. Conscious evolution is Yoga or the practice of religion.

Religion is not a matter of belonging to a church or of professing a creed. It is a matter of evolving a deeper insight and understanding and expressing it through life.

It is this insight and this understanding which the great Master Sivananda seeks to impart in the pages of BLISS DIVINE.

BLISS DIVINE is an immortal work, a legacy for ages to come. It is a spiritual classic. It is a Bible for the Christians, a Bhagavad-Gita for the Hindus, a Koran for the Muslims, a Zend-Avesta for the Parsis. It sums up the teachings of all scriptures of all ages.

Not only that; it offers comfort and consolation, enlightenment and elucidation, in a manner which makes a direct appeal to the modern mind. No line is vague. No explanation is hidden.

Optimism is the keynote of the book. Its pages abound in constructive suggestions for a fuller, happier life, right now, here on earth.

Each essay is self-contained and can be read apart from the rest of the book. The author has prefaced the book with a beautiful introduction, unsurpassed for depth of meaning and lucidity of presentation.


1st March 1974.


This valuable and excellent anthology of a sage’s Wisdom Teachings is in the nature of a devout disciple’s votive offering at the feet of his spiritual preceptor or Guru. This book comprises an act of Guruseva and dedication. By this work the compiler, my Guru-Bandhu SRI ANANTHANARAYANAN, fulfilled an ardent wish of the holy Master SWAMI SIVANANDAJI MAHARAJ for such a collection and as such he has given concrete form to a pure Sankalpa of a saint who sought to serve mankind by helping it see light in the midst of darkness and guide it along the Path of Goodness. Unable to fulfil Gurudev’s desire during His lifetime due to His sudden and unexpected demise, Sri Ananthanarayanan laboured hard night and day to posthumously offer this work at the altar of his Master’s sacred and hallowed memory. This embodies an earnest and unsparing labour of Love.

The worthy compiler’s association with Swami Sivanandaji was over a period of more than a decade. Sri Ananthanarayanan was an officer in the Planning Commission in the Central Government at Delhi when he first visited Rishikesh to meet the Sage of Ananda Kutir. He was enthused by Gurudev’s idea of Jnana Yajna and inspired by His personality of indubitable spiritual eminence. He was charmed by the saint’s spontaneous and motiveless love. Back at Delhi, he set to work and brought out a beautiful little collection of Gurudev’s teachings under the caption “Pearls on the Shore of Wisdom”. Perhaps this first booklet actually anticipated and proved a precursor to this present “BLISS DIVINE”. Eminently qualified for this work more than anyone else, due to his high academic attainment, Ananthanarayanan has been happily endowed by providence with keen intelligence and literary ability. Hence the high quality of this present volume which is being acclaimed by numerous readers as the best publication so far brought out by the Divine Life Society. Born at Kodaikanal in 1927, Ananthanarayanan grew up as an idealistic youth with a sensitive disposition appreciative of higher values in life. It was natural, therefore, that he found scant satisfaction in his secular college education even when he secured a triple First-class in the B.Sc. examination in 1946 at the young age of 19. Going on to pass a higher degree examination, he took a Master of Arts degree in Economics, but felt that the entire period of his education was “wasted” since he saw no substantial benefit therefrom in the shape of inner spiritual evolution or uplift of his higher being.

This discontent made him turn to spiritual literature and he avidly absorbed the wise and lofty teachings of Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Rama Tirtha and other luminaries of recent times. Inevitably he soon came into contact with Swami Sivananda’s spiritual teachings which were at that time flooding this land like the very waters of Life to the seeking souls everywhere. He felt now that Gurudev’s writings were showing him the path. At last the right path had been shown to him in clear and unambiguous terms in a most practical manner and inspiringly too. This drew him to Swamiji when he got appointed at Delhi and thus came near to Rishikesh. Gurudev showered gifts of books upon Ananthanarayananji and won his heart for His divine mission of Dissemination of Spiritual Knowledge. Not much later the power and the influence of His sublime teachings decided the future course of this ardent young seeker. He resolved his step and unhesitatingly threw to the winds all prospects of worldly prosperity and advancement, and renouncing his covetable post in the Central Government, turned his back to secular life and joined Swami Sivananda. Since that day he has done and is still doing yeoman service to the great Guru’s holy Mission with deep sincerity and earnestness.

Through this present volume “BLISS DIVINE” Sri Ananthanarayanan has presented to modern India a rare compendium of spiritual wisdom and brought to the educated classes a comprehensive yet choicest collection of Sivanandaji’s teachings to present-day humanity. The essence of our country’s culture and ideals is contained in this beautiful compilation of his. He has put us all into a deep debt of gratitude which we can only repay by making this “BLISS DIVINE” our life’s Guide and Companion! May God bless him and may Gurudev’s Grace be with him always!

Swami Chidananda      

Vijaya Dasami,

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