Food For The Soul
SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA
Within you is the hidden God. Within you is the Immortal Soul. Within you is the inexhaustible Spiritual Treasure. Within you is the fount of Joy and Happiness. Within you is the ocean of Bliss. Look within for this happiness which you have sought in vain in the perishable sensual objects. Rest peacefully in your own Atman (Self) and drink the nectar of Immortality.
Taste the immortal sweetness of the beautiful life in the Self within by annihilating the mind. Live in Atman and attain the blessed immortal state. Meditate and reach the depths of eternal life, the height of divine glory and eventually attain the full glory of union with the Supreme Self. Now your long wearisome journey terminates. You have reached your destination – your sweet original home of everlasting peace – the Param-Dhama (Supreme Abode).
Just as you require food for the body, so also you require, in the shape of prayers, Japa, Kirtan, meditation, etc., food for the soul. Just as you are agitated when you do not get the food in time, so also you will be agitated when you do not pray in the morning and in the evening, at the proper time, if you keep up the practice of prayer and Japa for some time. The soul also wants its food at the proper time. The food for the soul is more essential than the food for the body. Therefore do your prayers, Japa and meditation regularly.
Just as the physical body needs food for its growth, so also the astral or subtle body requires spiritual food for its growth or evolution. If you are not regular in your Japa and meditation, the subtle body will become weak and your power of resisting the evil thoughts, Vasanas (subtle desires) and Samskaras (impressions in the subconscious mind), will be less. I think you now realize the necessity of the regularity in Sadhana.
It is not true that only one attained Moksha or liberation and none else can. History bears evidence of many a Sankara having come into this world. If the past could produce Sankaras, why not the future also ? What is the immutable law of nature. Whosoever would attain the knowledge of the Self, like Yajnavalkya of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, like Uddalaka of Chandogya Upanishad, will also attain Moksha or Immortality.
Some experience glimpses of the transcendental wonders of Atman. Some are on the border land of the vast domain of Atman. Some like Dattatreya, Jada Bharata, Vama Deva and Sadasiva Brahman, have plunged deep in the ocean of bliss. The more the thinning of the Vasanas, egoism and Deha Adhyasa, the greater the bliss of the Self. The more the Sadhana the more the experience of joy of the Soul.
If you remain even for a minute without doing Sadhana, it is the highest sin (Maha Papa). Have iron determination to stick to the spiritual path and realize the Truth in this very birth. Method and discipline are necessary in work. Then only you will have efficient out-turn. Nothing will come out of chaos. O aspirants! Be very serious and earnest in your devotional practices. Run now to the Feet of God.
The arduous practice of Yoga demands an abundance of energy and nerve-power on the part of the Yogic students. If one conserves the seminal energy only, he can have an abundance of energy and nerve-power. Therefore the practice of Brahmacharya is of paramount importance if one desires to practice Yoga and achieve the highest end of Yoga quickly. If there is slackness and irregularity in the practices, a fit of passion or worldliness may blow away the little good result which the Yogic student has achieved and it will be very difficult for him to rise again to the original heights he has climbed. That is the reason why one has to do arduous practice of Yoga till he is established in the highest Samadhi. That Yogi who has controlled his mind through the arduous practice of Yoga for several years will be able to cognize the immutable reality that is behind this empirical existence or the world of names and forms. That is the reason why Patanjali Maharishi also says: “Practice becomes fixed, steady, when practiced for a long time, without any break and with perfect devotion.” Chap. 1 – Sutra 14.
Do not go to extreme in Sadhana or Tapas (austerities), such as Mouna (silence), fasting, etc. Keep up the golden medium. Lord Buddha did rigorous Tapas in the beginning. This affected his body much. Later on he learnt to keep up the golden medium. Do not spoil your health in the name of Tapascharya.
Instead of weeping, do ploughing. There will be abundant rain on one day and you will have a rich harvest. Even so, be up and doing in Yogic Sadhana and you will attain Supreme Peace and Eternal Bliss on one day.
Every effort in the spiritual path, any sort of spiritual practice never goes in vain. The fruit of Sadhana cannot come immediately to a Sadhaka. He will have to wait for a long time patiently. The spiritual evolution is gradual. Do not become impatient. In Gita, the Lord says: Tat swayam yoga samsiddah kalenatmani vindati – He who is perfected in Yoga finds it in the Self in due season. Chap. VI-38. Mark the words ‘in due season.’
O impatient aspirants! Be patient. You will get everything when the time comes. Do not bother much about awakening Kundalini. Let it awaken by itself spontaneously. Premature awakening is not desirable. Do your Sadhana and Tapas systematically and regularly.