Forest Academy Lectures on Yoga

by Swami Chidananda

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Book Code: EC3
  x+514 pages
ISBN: 8170522307
Book Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1.10 inches
Shipping Weight: 620 grams


Table of Contents

About This Book (Back Cover)  
Foreword iii
Sri Swami Chidananda v
Chapter One
1. Sadhana for Modern Man 1
2. The Sadhaka’s Lifeboat 7
3. The Path of a Sadhaka 9
4. On Concentration 14
5. The Veil That Hides the Self and Its Removal 15
6. The Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sadhana 24
7. Hints on Practical Sadhana 27
8. The Need for Faith 50
Chapter Two
9. The Glory of Sanyasa 57
10. Sanyasa – A Rebirth into Love and Service 64
11. The Significance of Sanyasa Diksha 66
12. The Glory of Renunciation 68
13. The Great Purpose of Sanyasa 71
Chapter Three
14. The Maha Mantra Sankirtan Yoga 74
15. The Power of Powers 82
16. Deepavali – The Festival of Lamps 84
17. The Call of the Gita 86
18. The Spiritual Significance of Ramzan 90
19. The Esoteric Meaning of Ten Avataras 94
20. Mantra Japa Yoga 98
21. The Message of the New Year 106
22. The Esoteric Significance of the Lilas of Skanda 116
23. The Heart of the Bhagavad Gita 131
24. Guru Purnima 135
25. Saints – Guides of Mankind 141
26. Hanuman – The Ideal Sevak and Bhakta 150
Chapter Four
27. Saints 158
28. The Great Ones 165
29. Jesus 170
30. Jesus Christ 176
31. Thy Kingdom Come 179
32. Christ’s Divine Life 184
33. Tulasidas’ Gift to Humanity 188
34. Mahatma Gandhi as an Embodiment of Eternal Truth 191
35. Gandhiji: His Mission and Message 197
Chapter Five
36. Prayer: Its Purpose and Prerequisites 205
37. Worship of the Divine 211
38. Religion Alone Can Unite Humanity 217
39. The Significance of the Upanayanam Ceremony 225
40. The Significance of the Grihastha Ashrama or Married Life 237
41. The Importance of Satsang and Gurubhakti 240
42. The Importance of Karma Yoga 254
Chapter Six
43. Behold His Cosmic Form 264
44. Ishwara Drishti 265
45. Purification and Illumination 268
46. The Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita 271
47. Yogic Culture of Body and Mind 276
48. The Essence of Karma Yoga 282
49. Not Work, but Sadhana 290
Chapter Seven
50.The Vital Factor in Yoga 294
51. The Bases of Yoga 299
52. The Fundamental Concept of Yoga 307
53. Yogic Practices 313
54. The Path of Yoga 322
55. Ahimsa 331
56. Satyam 334
57. Brahmacharya 336
58. Asteya 340
59. Yogic Sadhana 342
60. The Role of Tapas in Raja Yoga 353
61. The Importance of Swadhyaya 358
62. Different Aspects of Yoga 364
63. The Process of Yoga 373
64. Benefits of Asanas in Yoga 377
65. Need of a Guru for Yogic Practices 381
66. Practice of Concentration in Yoga 386
67. Various Types of Concentration in Yoga 393
68. Facts about Mind and Its Control 402
69. Prerequisite for Meditation 415
70. Imperishable Bliss 423
Chapter Eight
71. Path to Self-realisation 429
72. Nature of Divine Grace 431
73. The Three Supreme Blessings 433
74. The Grace of the Guru and How You Can Receive It 436
75. The Path to the Realisation of Unity 443
76. The Terrible Kaali, the Benign Mother 454
77. The Saint’s Magic 459
78. The Epicurean’s Charge 461
79. The Nature of Parabrahman 463
80. Tragedy of Tragedies 464
81. Karma and Kukarma 469
Chapter Nine
82. Can I Change My Guru? 475
83. Are We Responsible for Our Sins? 478
84. How Gods Communicate with Men 478
85. Supramental Race 479
86. What Should Be Our Goal? 480
87. Memory Culture 481
88. Are the Puranas Real? 485
89. Essentials of a Sadhaka’s Daily Routine 486
90. How To Know Our Previous Birth 489
91. Light on the Ghost-world 490
92. Where Ignorance Is Bliss 491
93. Dharana and Dhyana Defined 492
94. Hints for Concentration 493
95. On Memory 495
96. On the Control of Anger 497
97. The Benefits of Mantra Writing 499
98. Are Spiritual Institutions Necessary? 500
99. The Role of Spiritual Institutions 502
100. Brahmacharaya: Western and Eastern Views 503
101. Rotarians’ Doubts Dispelled 504

About This Book

Yoga has been defined in various ways and mostly from the traditional or technical point of view. Nevertheless Yoga has been an attraction to the public in general, since it has always been regarded as a way to the realisation of the higher values of life. While there are commentaries on the Yoga scriptures from orthodox points of view, teachers have very rarely attempted to bring the loving message of Yoga to the hearts of people. Yoga is, indeed, a great discipline, but at the same time it is a solace to the feeling of the heart of man.

In the present publication Sri Swamiji has presented to the seeking public the knowledge of Yoga as it actually has to be imparted to the novitiates who wish to receive instruction in a parental fashion.


“A thrilling volume of highly inspiring lectures of Sri Swami Chidananda, a great saint and spiritual leader. The lectures cover all subjects of life, and I have no doubt that the publication of this volume will serve the cause of the preservation of our ancient Dharma, culture and way of life.” It was with these words that the founder of the Divine Life Society, His Holiness Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, blessed the first edition of this book in the year 1960.

Soon after Swami Chidananda joined Sivananda Ashram in the year 1943, Gurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji continuously requested him to deliver lectures, especially for important functions. And as Gurudev felt that these talks should receive the widest possible circulation, he insisted that the lectures be taken down in shorthand and be published immediately in one of the Society’s magazines. He also frequently asked Swamiji to write articles for these same publications.

When Gurudev sent Swami Chidananda to the West in 1959, he wanted him to have a book to distribute to the many sincere aspirants he was meeting there. So, another of Gurudev’s foremost disciples, the late, revered Sri Swami Venkatesanandaji was given the monumental task of collecting and editing, in record time, over one hundred of Swamiji’s lectures and articles.

When the task was completed and the books printed and bound, they were sent to Swamiji at Vancouver, Canada. It was fitting that he should receive them there, as it was his Vancouver hostess, Sri Swami Sivananda Radha Mataji, who had originally approached Gurudev with the request that Swamiji be sent to the West. At the time the books arrived, Swamiji was giving two lectures a week on the Bhagavad Gita in Swami Radha’s ashram in suburban Burnaby, as well as two lectures on Raja Yoga in a room above her Yoga Vedanta Bookstore in downtown Vancouver.

Having come into contact with both Gurudev’s teachings and Swami Radha in the year 1959, I had become aware of Swamiji’s proposed 1960 visit to Vancouver. I met him the night of his arrival at Swami Radha’s ashram and then attended all his lectures. As a result I was fortunate enough to be one of the earliest recipients of that first edition.

In rereading the book thirty years later, I am forcibly struck by a number of thoughts and feelings. Most vivid is the sense that I am once again in the presence of the Swami whose presence and message during those few months in 1960 altered the course of my life. Again, while reading the book, I feel as if I am transported back to the Sivananda Ashram of the 1950’s. The occasions, the Ashram, Gurudev, the inmates and guests come alive through Swamiji’s words.

In addition, it is not difficult to see why Gurudev so frequently asked Swamiji to speak, and why he wanted his talks to have the widest possible circulation. Their clarity of thought, simplicity of expression and breadth of knowledge could not help but be of benefit to all levels of seekers. But it is Swamiji’s attitude, reflected in talk after talk, that is perhaps of most help to seekers. His attitude to the Guru, towards the scriptures, towards selfless service, towards everything about the spiritual life sets an ideal example for all those who would like to draw closer to God.

Swamiji’s life has been a constant inspiration to all, and that inspiration has overflowed into the talks and articles in this book.

Swami Atmaswarupananda
January, 1991.



Revered Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji’s worthy spiritual successor has been referred to as follows, “If one wants to see boldness of spirit behind a slender appearance, irrevertible command of heart behind a benign face, unwavering peace of mind behind dynamism of action, impersonal detachment behind personal love and care—all at once in a single person, one cannot do better than meet Swami Chidananda.”

Born on 24th September, 1916, into a wealthy Brahmin family in South India, Swami Chidananda absorbed love for tradition and respect for rituals. At Loyola College, Madras (now Chennai), Swamiji had la brilliant scholastic career. The ideals and teachings of Jesus made a deep impression in his heart, and he was able to synthesize them with all that is best and noble in Hindu Culture. The two profound influences in Swamiji’s life were the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna and the example of his Gurudev, Sri Swami Sivananda. He joined Gurudev in 1943 and from then on the Ashram and the lofty ideals of The Divine Life Society became home and field of service for him.

Swami Chidananda was born with an insatiable zeal to serve the sick and the suffering. Even in childhood he built huts for lepers on the lawns of his home and looked after them as though they were deities.

Swami Sivananda said about his spiritual son and beloved disciple:

“Chidananda is a Jivanmukta, a great Saint, an ideal Yogi, a Para-Bhakta and a great sage. Swami Chidananda is all this and much more. He was a great Yogi and Saint in his previous birth itself. His lectures are the outpouring of his saintly heart, the revelations of intuitive wisdom. And he is a practical Vedantin, his words have tremendous power. He is born to fulfil a great mission.” Swamiji Maharaj attained Mahasamadhi on 28th August, 2008.

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