Living The Divine Life
SRI SWAMI CHIDANANDA
You are imperishable Divine Spirit, beyond body and mind. God is the source of your being and you are inseparable from Him in your inner nature. Despite wealth and oppulence there is no peace in the 20th Century mankind. Man is in a state of restlessness and insecurity and there is discord and disharmony in the world.
Holy Master Swami Sivananda out of great love and compassion showed modern man the path to blessedness in and through Divine Life right here in this world. We are only passing pilgrims here. Due to the force of karma we have temporarily come into this state of physical embodiment as a rare, golden oppurtunity to once again regain our lost connection with that Universal Being which is our source.
We must strive for Moksha–liberation from pain, sorrow and suffering and for the attainment of eternal bliss. Gurudev showed mankind an easy path even while fulfilling one’s obligations in the world in andthrough secular life.
Divine Life means living in the awareness that you are essentially divine; that your real being is timeless, eternal, Immortal Soul. God is the basis and goal of all religions, despite their different names. That Supreme Cosmic Reality remains one and non-dual regardless of place of worship and is the same One glorified in all the world scriptures. Divine Life proclaims that the goal of life is God-Realization.
You need not renounce the world to lead a Divine Life, because even while living your normal domestic professional and social life you can attain your goal. First, you must purify your heart and rid it of individual selfishness by dedicated service to others. Be ever eager to serve all–the sick, the poor, the suffering and sorrowful. Feel blessed by every opportunity to serve your fellow beings and all of God’screatures on Planet Earth. From this motiveless selfless service comes a pure heart, which in turn brings devotion to God.
Secondly, worship the Supreme daily, for God is the centre of your existence. He is not far away from you but is the ever-present Divine Spirit pervading all of this Universe. He is closer to you than your very breath. Never forget this. Out of a heart full of love for Him try to re-establish your relationship of spirtual love with God. This process of daily worship and prayer has the power to gradually steady the restless mind, to overcome its fickle nature and bring concentration.
Thirdly, the withdrawal of the mind, controlling the senses and thoughts, and meditation upon that Supreme Divine Reality. Devotion and prayer create an upward ascent in your life and you enter into daily meditation which brings about steadiness. You begin to FEEL the presence of God in your heart so that even as you are engaged in daily activities, meditation creates an unbroken current of God-awareness. You begin to KNOW that you live, move and have your being in God. Meditation brings a spiritual quality to your life which lifts you to new standards of purity, kindness and wholeness. You become a transformed spiritual being with lofty thoughts and sublime sentiments.
Fourth, having entered into this state of God-awareness your intellect becomes purified. Philosophical enquiry and discrimination dawn between the permanent and passing, the eternal and the non-eternal. This discrimination should be carried on every hour of your waking life. You then begin to reject that which is unspiritual You become established in that Supreme Divine Reality.
Ceaselessly inquire: “Who am I? Whence have I come into this universe? What is my goal? What is the nature of all these sense objects?”
Affirm : “I am NOT this body, mind and limited, finite intellect. I am unborn, deathless, eternal Atman-Satchidananda (Sat-Existence, Chid-Consciousness, Ananda-Bliss) I am”.
If you wish to enter into Divine Life you have to observe three principles of conduct and character in your day-to-day living in the secular world. They are indispensable requirements which form the foundation and basis of a Divine Life of service, worship, meditation and God-Realization. They are:
- Kindness and compassion towards all, in thought, word and deed. This is ahimsa, or non-injury. Be a cosmic benefactor, having ceaseless love for all, even to the least of God’s creatures. Be a center of peaceand happiness to all.
- Be rooted in absolute truthfulness, even at the cost of your life. Absolute honesty and integrity for Truth is God. One established in Truth can attain God.
- Purity of conduct and character, self-restraint, chastity and purity of feeling for all people; the overall control of the base aspects of your being.
Ever keep your mind on the supreme goal. Have absolute faith in your connection with God. See His invisible presence in and through all things in and around you, for He is present in all of creation.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna gives Arjuna a vision of the Truth of God as present, immanent in all the universe, filling every atom of matter in this world. In this awareness go through all your activities as worship, offering them at His feet. Then to act becomes to adore.
Come ! Rise to this Divine experience ! Even now you are Satchidananda ! Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. That is your true Being. Living on this awareness is Divine Life.
God bless you all.
(From a talk delivered at Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh – 11 Sept. 1984)