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Paperback: xi + 379 pages
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PONDER THESE TRUTHS
by Swami Chidananda
Table of Contents
Publisher’s Note v Preface vii 1. You are Unique in the Eyes of God 3 2. Spiritual Life 6 3. Yoga and Vedanta 10 4. The Vision of Our Ancients 14 5. Never Forget Your Divinity 19 6. Purushartha—Self Effort 24 7. Steadfastness In Spiritual Practice 29 8. Make This a Perfect Day 32 9. Early in the Morning 35 10. Abide Beyond the Pairs of Opposites 39 11. The Practice of Truth 44 12. Connect Yourself With God 47 13. The Power of Persistence 52 14. Transcend Your Environment 56 15. Serve Love Meditate Realise 61 16. All Things are Possible 66 17. Why Do You Suffer Unnecessarily? 69 18. Companions Until Illumination 74 19. Subheccha—Good Desire 80 20. Two Indispensable Truths 84 21. Base Your Life Upon Wisdom 90 22. Mind—Your Greatest Friend 93 23. What Has To Be Known? 97 24. The Necessity of Introspection 102 25. The Peace Within 107 26. Nullifying Embedded Impressions 111 27. Enthusiasm—God In You 116 28. Be Aware Only of the One 120 29. Nothing Succeeds Like Success 125 30. A Positive Mind—Your Greatest Asset 130 31. Surrender 134 32. The Immanence of God 139 33. True Dispassion 144 34. No One Can Give You Salvation 149 35. Temptation 152 36. Worship God as Virtue 157 37. Knowledge is Meant to be Lived 162 38. The Paradox of God-Realisation 167 39. Higher Knowledge and Lesser Knowledge 172 40. The Part of Technique in Spiritual Life 177 41. Four Powerful Transforming Factors 183 42. Cultivate Peace 187 43. Dynamic Sravana (Hearing, Listening) 192 44. God is Love 196 45. Ever Keep The Sublime Ideal Before You 203 46. We Live in a Friendly World 209 47. Dying to the Little Self 213 48. What Pleases The Lord 219 49. Know Yourself 224 50. Start the Day in an Ideal Way 230 51. The Divine Name 234 52. “Brahma Satyam Jagan-Mithya” 239 53. From Knowledge To Experience 247 54. The Fundamental Error 253 55. Reflection Must Not Be Bypassed 259 56. Man and His Mind 265 57. Deception 270 58. Be Content in Whatever Way God Keeps You 276 59. The Land of the Gods 280 60. The Conscious and the Inert 285 61. Create Opportunities 289 62. The Arjuna Complex 294 63. When You Wake Up In The Morning 301 64. God’s Grace and Human Effort 306 65. You Have Been Called 310 66. The Keynote of All Yogas 313 67. Dharma Kshetra is Karma Kshetra 320 68. The Key to Happiness 324 69. Faith, Hope and Charity 329 70. The Lord’s Promise 334 71. This Moment 339 72. Practise Your Conviction 345 73. You Are The Light 351 74. Ever Onward and Upward 356 75. The Truth That Liberates 359 Glossary 363 Index of Sanskrit Verses 373
Early morning group meditation has long been a part of the life at Sivananda Ashram. Usually held in the sacred Samadhi Shrine of His Holiness Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, the saintly founder of the Divine Life Society, it includes chanting, kirtan, guru stotra, santi path and silent meditation, followed by a message from one of the senior Swamis.
For many years these prayer gatherings were a daily occurrence, but by the 1980’s they were being held only on special occasions. One such special occasion was the birthday celebration of Sri Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj on September 24, 1984. During his short talk, Swamiji suddenly said: “What would really be a wonderful birthday gift for me is if you were to hold these group meditations every morning at this time. And if you will, I promise that whenever I am in the Ashram I will come and give the message.”
Immediately, one of the senior Swamis offered to lead the prayers, and the very next morning the regular early morning gatherings were resumed. They have continued to this day, and, true to his word, whenever Swamiji is in the Ashram, regardless of the condition of his health or the weather, he has never failed to attend and give a message.
Many of the Ashram residents noticed that there was a very special quality about these talks. They felt that the talks were so helpful and valuable that they should be shared with others. So, taping and transcribing began. This volume contains a selection of 75 of the talks recorded from the beginning of August 1987 until the end of December 1990. They are being brought out in 1991, the year that marks Swamiji’s 75th birth anniversary (platinum jubilee).
In the editing of these talks, no attempt was made to convert them into essay style. Rather, the intent was to stay as close as possible to the spoken word, so that Swamiji’s messages, frequently spontaneous and highly inspired, would be conveyed as he spoke them.
Sanskrit language words have been put in italics with the exception of a few words like Brahman, Atman, Yoga, Vedanta, Guru and Ashram which are commonly found in an English dictionary. Often, while using a Sanskrit word, phrase or verse, Swamiji would give either a translation or a free rendering of it. These have been included in the text. Otherwise, the meaning follows in parentheses or can be found in the glossary.
The publishers would like to acknowledge the very valuable and helpful contribution of all those residents of the Ashram who taped, transcribed, edited, checked, and prepared the talks for printing. Many were involved and our grateful thanks to them all.
The talks are full of the inspiration and wisdom of a true son of our ancient Indian culture. They have been an inspiration to those who heard them and to those who have prepared them for publication. May they be an equal inspiration, help and solace to you!
The Divine Life Society
Guru Purnima, 1991
(*Salutation and conclusion of the early morning meditation talk December 24, 1989.)
Radiant Immortal Atman! Beloved and blessed children of the Divine! Devotees of the Lord, spiritual seekers and aspirants, sadhaks upon the path of sadhana, Yogis engaged in Yoga practice while living your life in different fields of secular activity, either as Ashramites upon the banks of the Ganga in this holy Ashram of Gurudev, or as people in service, people in business, or people engaged in different professional fields!
Engaged thus variously, you are nevertheless seeking souls trying to make this life a steady upward movement towards the great Goal which infuses a new meaning into your life, which infuses a certain purposefulness into your life, a Goal which makes life worth living, a Goal which makes life a very clear means to the accomplishment of a sublime end. Thus, in your own personal subjective inwardness, you are engaged in this quest towards spiritual awakening, unfoldment and progress towards ultimate divine perfection by attaining Self-realisation.
To you all, a cordial welcome to the spiritual presence of Gurudev in this sacred Samadhi Hall of his holy Ashram on Divine Mother Ganga’s bank. Welcome to Muni-ki-reti which is the entrance way to the Himalayan shrines that make this entire area a divine area. It is an area of penance and prayer, seclusion and silence, deep meditation and struggle for Self-realisation. Welcome to this sanctified area of blessed Mother India!
...Above all, the central purpose of these daily sharings is that you may benefit yourself and that you may enrich your life, strengthen your aspiration and move Godward with greater determination. That and that alone is the object of, the purpose behind these daily sharings; there is nothing else. If you are able to see the path clearly, if you are able to move with determination, if you are able to keep the shining Goal ever before you without forgetting it even for one split second, and if you are able to lead the divine life, then I am richly blessed, I am richly blessed indeed. I seek nothing else.
God’s divine grace and Master’s choicest blessings ever shower upon you and make your life a life of glory, moving gradually towards the supreme Goal, the divine goal of your life! This is my prayer at the feet of Gurudev as well as God Who resides within you as your Indwelling Reality, as the Light of lights beyond all darkness, shining in the innermost chambers of your heart. Be aware of that Light within you. Be aware of that supreme Light which is your goal, and live a life illumined and radiant with divinity. God bless you!
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