Om Sri Ganeshaya Namah!
Om Namo Bhagavate Sivanandaya!
Om Namo Bhagavate Chidanandaya!
Om Namo Bhagavate Krishnanandaya!
Sun – The Eye of the World
by Sri Swami Krishnananda
In Sanskrit, Makara Sankranti means the time when the sun crosses the tropic of Capricorn. The day is of special significance to all those leading a spiritual life and mention has been made of the commencement of this new period in such scriptures as the Upanishads and the Bhagavadgita. The sun comes to the North, energising and invigorating all life wherever it is, and on whatever he sheds his light. In esoteric parlance, in mystic terminology, the sun is regarded as the presiding deity over the self of man, while the moon is the presiding deity over the mind of man. The self or the soul is different from the mind; the Atman and the Manas are differentiated by their metaphysical and psychological characteristics, respectively. The self of man is presided over by the sun or Surya. The sun is designated as Atmakaraka. "Surya atma jagatas tasthushascha," says the Veda. The Rig Veda proclaims the spiritual presiding principle in the sun as the invigorator, energiser of the self of all created beings. That is the meaning of the Vedic prayer mentioned above. Of all the things that move and do not move, of all that is organic or inorganic, of everything in creation, the solar principle is the self, as it were, the pivot around which all individual energies revolve. We live by the sun and die if the sun is not to be. Spiritually envisaged, esoterically conceived, the sun is not merely a huge orb of atomic energy as the physicists would tell us, but a radiant mass of life-giving vitality to everyone. The sun is not merely a heating principle, like an electric heater or a fire-like burning mass, or a huge conflagration of fire, because these cannot give you that energy which the sun supplies to you. I shall give a small analogy to give you an idea as to what the sun can contain and does contain.
Do you know what the earth contains? Can you imagine what energy, what vitality, what abundance, what resources are contained in the earth? You have there gold, you have diamonds, you have mineral resources lying under different parts and bowels of the earth, you have gas and petrol and what not; and where do you get this energy from, for the sake of the living beings on earth? The trees vigorously rise from the earth, sucking energy from the bottom of the earth, and they seek energy from above – from the rays of the sun. When we geologically and physically look into the structure of this earth, and chemically examine its contents, biologically investigate into its resources, as a pure scientific mind, we will realise that the earth is not dead matter. It is energy-embodiment, on whose bounties we are alive here. The food that we eat is not dead matter, otherwise it cannot give us energy. From where do we get energy? From the food that we eat. From where do we get the food? From the earth. If energy is to come from food, naturally the source of it must be full of energy. The earth cannot be inanimate, as we generally dub it to be. It is not inorganic; there is something organic and living, meaningful and significant in it, and even many millions of years ago the earth had been declared to be a part of the solar constitution. As our wise men tell us, once upon a time a mighty gigantic star happened to rush by the side of the electromagnetic field of the sun – some light years away from the sun, of course, not merely a few miles. The impact of this upon the orb of the sun was such that it broke off a little piece of the sun. That little piece, being a flaming, diverging, powerful energy-block, rushing from the sun, boiling with the flame of what the sun is, is supposed to have come down after thousands of years, cooling down gradually from the flaming condition in which it was to a cooler condition, and from the cooler condition to a still cooler condition, then from that condition into the gaseous condition, from the gaseous to the liquid condition, and from the liquid condition to the solid condition that we see today. So, all this wonderful earth is nothing but a part of the sun, and its greatness can be traced back to the greatness of the sun which cannot be, by logical deduction, a mere physical or inorganic form as uninformed science may tell us.
January 14th is the holy celebration of Makara Shankranti.
Many new articles have been posted at Sri Swami Krishnanandaji's site since my last update:
- Facets of Spirituality - October 1979: Part 1
- The audio for The First Step in Meditation has been uploaded
- Swami Krishnananda Centenary Series Booklets
- What is a New Year?
- The Historical and the Mystical Implications of the Coming of Christ
- Facets of Spirituality - May 1979: Part 4
- Facets of Spirituality - May 1979: Part 3
The 19th Anniversary of the Punyatithi Aradhana of our Revered and Beloved Sri Swami Krishnanandaji Maharaj is on November 22nd, and the Solar Anniversary is on November 23rd. For this occasion, the following have been uploaded:
- Discourse: A Review of the Samadhis of Sage Patanjali
- Discourse: On Character
- Conversation: The Evolution of Humanity
- The manuscript in Swamiji's handwriting of Part One of The Epic of Consciousness
- The First Step in Meditation has been translated into Japanese
- The Problems of Spiritual Life has been reprinted and will be available from our Online Bookstore
- The Song of God Almighty has been reprinted and is available for free distribution
- Two booklets were released for free distribution:
Yours in the service of Gurudev,
The following new books were recently released:
Lord Siva & His Worship (in Telugu) by Swami Sivananda
Spiritual Stories by Swami Sivananda
Ponder These Truths (in Telugu) by Swami Chidananda
The Guru-disciple Relationship by Swami Krishnananda
Inspiring Talks of Gurudev Sivananda (Part-1) by Swami Venkatesananda
Inspiring Talks of Gurudev Sivananda (Part-2) by Swami Venkatesananda
The following books have been reprinted:
Concentration and Meditation by Swami Sivananda
Health & Diet by Swami Sivananda
Mind - Its Mysteries and Control by Swami Sivananda
Practice of Brahmacharya by Swami Sivananda
Raja Yoga by Swami Sivananda
Sivananda: Health and Hatha Yoga (Vol. 2) by Swami Venkatesananda
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Dr. (Mrs.) Sita K. Nambiar
Ponder These Truths
By Swami Chidananda
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!
For more information, please see: Ponder These Truths
The discount on publications is as follows:
20% on Orders Above Rs. 300/-
30% on Orders Above Rs. 3,000/-
40% on Orders Above Rs. 25,000/-
40% Special Discount on the following Pictorial Volumes of Worshipful Gurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji and Worshipful Sri Swami Chidanandaji:
Please visit our online bookstore for further details.
REAL MEDITATION: In the early days, when the Ashram was still very young, a small group of disciples used to have an early morning meditation class.
The Master used to instruct them, “Right at the conclusion of this period, try to hold the mind steady while the repetition of the Mantra goes on inwardly.”
The class usually lasted for about half an hour, after which everyone went about his morning duties.
A man from South India had come to the Ashram, saying that he wished to learn Yoga. He was extremely regular in his meditation. He would wake up at about 3.30a.m., have a wash and sit on a rock on the bank of the Ganges. He would not attend the meditation class which terminated at 6.30a.m. and would continue to sit on the rock till 7 o’clock.
One morning the Master was talking to the disciples in the hall after the meditation class. When the gentleman entered just after seven, he saw the Master sitting and approached him.
The Master asked, “Where were you? Were you doing your meditation?”
“You are very regular, are you not?”
The Master was very enthusiastic and all thought that the man had won his admiration.
“How long were you sitting there?”
“From 4 o’clock till 7. I do this everyday both in summer and in winter.”
“You enjoy deep meditation?”
As usual the Master closed his eyes, and then opened one.
“H’m! Deep meditation? Samadhi, is it not?”
Sparks seemed to appear from the Master’s one eye as he said, “Do you know what meditation means? It means touching God, touching the Infinite Being.”
Then he opened the other eye and smiled.
“Look at him, he is drowsy. Is this meditation? If you have touched the Infinite Consciousness, you would be able to take the whole universe and roll it up! That is the kind of power you would have! And here he is, dull and sleepy!”
The Master went through all these changes of moods in a few minutes; and then there was supreme compassion and love.
“Give it up. Sit here and do Japa for half an hour. That will do. The rest of the time take a couple of buckets and carry water from the river to the kitchen and fill the tanks. Then you will know what real meditation is. You will know what true Samadhi is.”
“Through viveka and vichara ever try to understand this world outside you, its hollowness, its transitory nature, its true essential emptiness. You cannot find anything that is worthwhile, precious, substantial here; everything is unsubstantial. Try to understand. And try to understand yourself; namely, that you have come here born to achieve, born to attain, born to regain the lost awareness of your divinity. And seek to understand God, your ever-ready helper, your never-failing support and guide, ever at hand, ever ready to help and ever helping in spite of yourself, never failing in spite of your occasional loss of faith, never, never failing. When He has taken you in hand, He will see to it that you attain the Supreme. He will not let go. Anything and everything may fail us, we may even fail ourselves, but God will not fail us. Believe me, God will not fail you. This is the truth and it is ever true; it is an eternal truth.” – Swami Chidananda
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