Om Sri Ganeshaya Namah!
Om Namo Bhagavate Sivanandaya!
Om Namo Bhagavate Chidanandaya!
Om Namo Bhagavate Krishnanandaya!
Introduction To Yoga
by Sri Swami Sivananda
Yoga aims at controlling the mind and its modifications. The practice of Yoga disentangles the Jiva from the phenomenal world of sense-objects. The Jivatma becomes Identical with Paramatman. This union with Paramatman is the goal of human existence. The western philosophers—Plato, Emerson, Schopenhauer, Spinoza, Descartes, Prof. Max Muller and Paul Daussen have eulogised the study of the science of Yoga very highly.
There are various kinds of Yoga. It varies according to the temperament of the practitioner. Yoga in a generic sense refers to Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Hatha Yoga. In a restricted sense it refers to Raja Yoga. Hatha Yoga is not separate from Raja Yoga. Hatha Yoga means the Yoga or union between “Ha” and “Tha”. “Ha” means the sun. “Tha” means the moon. Prana is known by the name of sun. Apana is known by the name of the moon. Therefore Hatha Yoga is the union of the Prana and the Apana. Hatha Yoga prepares the student for the Raja Yoga. It is only as auxiliary to Raja Yoga.
Yoga is a perfect practical system of self-culture. You can attain harmonious development of your mind and soul by the practice of Yoga. It is an exact science. You can acquire absolute control over the whole nature by the practice of Yoga. It helps the student to attain ethical perfection, perfect concentration of the mind and to unfold various psychical powers. It teaches applied psychology. It helps the practitioner to enter into conscious communion with the Lord through Samadhi, to separate himself from three Gunas and to attain Kaivalya or independence eventually.
Yoga is turning away of the objective universe and the concentration of the mind within. Yoga is eternal life in the soul or spirit. Yoga transmutes a man into divinity. Yoga brings a message of hope to the forlorn, joy to the depressed, strength to the weak and knowledge to the ignorant. Yoga is the secret master-key to open the realms of eternal bliss and deep, abiding peace.
Raja Yoga is an exact science. It concerns with the mind and the suppression of all its modifications. The mind being the cause for the existence of this phenomenal world, its annihilation will eventually lead that Yogic practitioner to the highest goal, i.e., Asamprajnata Samadhi, wherein the Yogi rests in complete peace, in union with the Supreme Soul. So it is called Raja Yoga or Royal Yoga or King of Yogas.
The following article has been posted at Sri Swami Krishnanandaji's site:
- The Brahma Sutra on the Final Salvation of the Soul – Chapter 5: The Stages of the Ascent of Consciousness
Yours in the service of Gurudev,
How To Live Hundred Years
by Sri Swami Sivananda
Gerontology is an ancient science! Since time immemorial Man has sought ways and means to conquer death; because, he is immortal. There is an innate urge in him to express that immortality, and to experience that immortality here and now.
The Isavasya Upanishad enjoins upon man the duty to try to live for a hundred years, performing right actions.
The Rishis had in their forest-research-laboratories discovered various methods of prolonging life–Pranayama, Asanas like Sirshasana and Sarvangasana, prayer, Havan, certain herbs, and Kaya Kalpa. They discovered that those living beings which breathed slowly, with less number of breaths per minute, lived longer, and that suspension of breathing led to hibernation and prolongation of life! They prescribed Pranayama for long life.
But, let us never forget that long life in itself is not an undiluted blessing! Health, strength and vitality are not unalloyed blessings in themselves. It depends upon how they are utilised. Life should not mean prolongation of the miseries of old age, a gradual decay, a living death. Life should be so lived as to keep you in full vigour till the hundredth birthday. Even this will not do, is not enough. Till that day, you must lead the divine life, a life of selfless service to humanity, in such a manner that on your hundredth birthday people will still pray whole-heartedly to the Lord that you will live for another century.
In this remarkable little volume, Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj has, as a skilful doctor, an expert Yogi, an ace psychologist, and a Perfect Sage, laid down several medical, Yogic, Vedantic, psychological, scientific, Ayurvedic and Naturopathic methods for becoming a Centenarian. For all those who are earnestly seeking for perfect health and a very long life, this work will be highly inspiring, informative and valuable.
For more information, please see: How To Live Hundred Years
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BRAHMACHARYA: A gentleman with his wife and child came to have the Master’s Darshan. The Master enquired of him, “Is this your only child?”
“I have six more children. This is the tenth issue. Three children have died,” the man replied.
“Observe Brahmacharya. Do not have more children,” the Master advised.
The visitor consented and departed after bowing.
“If you are firm in your resolve to reach the highest goal of Yoga, if you have firm determination to attain the aim of spiritual life, you will rise up again and march forward even if you have a temporary fall.” – Swami Sivananda
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