Archive for the ‘yoga’ Category

h1

YOGA SADHANA – Part 6

November 23, 2008

O dear children of Love! Draw inspiration from their teachings and tread the path of Love.
Remember Him. Feel His indwelling presence everywhere. See Him in all faces, in all objects, in all
movements, in all feelings, in all sentiments, in all actions. Meditate upon His form with
single-minded devotion. Become a peerless devotee of the Lord in this very life, nay in this very
second.
The student treading the path of Raja-Yoga3 has to ascend the Spiritual Ladder step by step,
stage by stage. There are eight limbs in Raja-Yoga, viz., Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama,
Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. By practicing Yama and Niyama at the outset the
student gets ethical training and purification of mind. By developing friendship, mercy and
complacency, he destroys hatred, jealousy and harshness of heart and thereby gets peace of mind.
By practicing Asana he steadies his posture and gets complete control and mastery over his body.
Then he practices Pranayama to remove the tossing of mind and destroy Rajas (passion) and Tamas
(inertia). His body becomes light and elastic. By practicing Pratyahara (withdrawal of the Indriyas
or senses from sensual objects) he gets strength and peace of mind. Now he is fit for concentration
which comes of itself. He practices meditation and enters into Samadhi. By the combined practice
of concentration, meditation and Samadhi (Yogic Samyama), he gets various Siddhis (powers). By
concentration on the senses, egoism, mind, etc., he gets various other powers and experiences. He
now sees without eyes, tastes without tongue, hears without ears, smells without a nose and feels
without a skin. He can work miracles. He simply wills and everything comes into being.
Those who follow the path of Jnana-Yoga or Vedanta4 should first acquire the four means of
salvation, viz., Viveka, Vairagya, Shat-Sampatti and Mumukshutva. Viveka is discrimination
between the Real and the unreal. Vairagya is indifference or dispassion for sensual objects herein
and hereafter. Shat-Sampatti is the sixfold virtue, viz., Sama, (calmness of mind), Dama (restraint
of the senses), Uparati (satiety), Titiksha (power of endurance), Sraddha (faith) and Samadhana
(one-pointedness of mind). Mumukshutva is intense longing for liberation. Then they should
approach a Brahma-Nishtha Guru (one who is established in Brahman or God), who has fully
realised the Supreme Self and hear the Scriptures directly from his mouth. Then they should reflect
and meditate on what they heard and attain Self-realisation. Now the Jnani exclaims in exuberant
joy: “The Atman alone is, One without a second. Atman or the Self is the one Reality. I amBrahman
(Aham Brahma Asmi). I am Siva (Sivoham).Sivoham). I am He (Sivoham).” He, the liberated soul, sees the
Self in all beings and all beings in the Self.

From – SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA

Advertisements
h1

YOGA SADHANA – Part 5

November 21, 2008

True religion does not consist in ritualistic observances, baths and pilgrimages but in loving
all. Cosmic Love is all-embracing and all-inclusive. In the presence of pure love all distinctions and
differences, all hatred, jealousy and egoism are dispelled just as darkness is dispelled by the
penetrating rays of the morning sun. There is no religion higher than Love. There is no knowledge
higher than Love. There is no treasure higher than Love, because Love is Truth, Love is God. This
world came out of Love; it exists in Love and it will ultimately dissolve in Love. A heart without
love is a desert without water. God is an ocean of Love. In every corner of His creation, you can see
ample evidence of His unbounded Love for His children.
It is all so easy to talk of Universal Love, but when you come to the practical field, you
manifestly show signs of failure. If Mr. John speaks ill of you and uses harsh words, you are thrown
out of balance instantaneously. You get irritated, show your angry face and pay him in the same
coin. You do not like to part with your possessions, when you see people in distress. A man who is
struggling to develop Cosmic Love and realise Him through Love cannot keep anything for himself
more than he actually needs for keeping his life going peacefully. He will willingly sacrifice even
this little to serve a needy person and undergo starvation with much pleasure. He will rejoice that
the Lord has given him a wonderful opportunity to serve Him. People generally talk of Universal
Love but are very niggardly in action. They show lip-sympathy and lip-love in mere words. This is
nothing short of hypocrisy.
Those who talk of Universal Love should endeavour to develop various good qualities.
They should serve humanity untiringly day and night with disinterested, selfless spirit for many
years. They must be prepared to bear calmly insults and injuries. Then only there is a prospect of
developing Cosmic Love. Otherwise it is all vain, flowery talk and idle-gossiping only.
The saints, seers and prophets of the world have spoken of Love as the end and aim of life.
Lord Krishna has preached Love through His flute. Lord Buddha was an ocean of Love. He gave up
His body to appease the hunger of a tiger’s cub. Raja Sibi gave flesh equal to the weight of a pigeon
from his own breast to satisfy the appetite of a hawk. Lord Rama lived a life of Love and showed
Love in every inch of His activity. Lord Jesus also preached and practiced Love in the fullest
measure.

From – SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA

h1

YOGA SADHANA – Part 4

November 20, 2008

yoga-beginnerBhakti-Yoga2 is the path of devotion or the path of affection that is suitable for people of
devotional temperament or in whom the love-element predominates. Ladies are fit for this path, for
affection predominates in them. Generally there is an admixture of devotional and intellectual
temperaments in all persons. Hence Bhakti-Yoga is suitable for the vast majority of persons. In
Bhakti-Yoga the devotee makes absolute and unreserved self-surrender. He depends upon the Lord
for everything. He is extremely humble and meek. He develops devotion to the Lord gradually to a
very high degree by repeating the Name of the Lord, studying the Holy Scriptures and practicing the
nine modes of devotion. Hearing the Name of the Lord, singing His praises, remembering His
presence, serving His Lotus-Feet, worshipping Him, bowing before Him, attending on Him, loving
Him as a Friend and surrendering of the self entirely to Him are the nine modes of devotion. The
devotee will observe austerities, pray frequently to Him and offer mental worship to Him. He will
serve his fellow-men realising that the Lord dwells in the hearts of all. This is the Sadhana for those
who wish to tread the path of Yoga of devotion. Sri Sankara, the great Advaita Jnani, was a great Bhakta of Lord Hari, Hara and Devi. Jnanadeva of Alandi, a great Yogi of late, was a Bhakta of Lord Krishna. Ramakrishna
Paramahamsa worshipped Kali and got Jnana through Swami Totapuri, his Advaita Guru. AppayyaDikshitacharya, a famous Jnani of South India, author of “Siddhanta Lesha” and other monumental
works on Vedanta, was a devotee of Lord Siva.It behoves, therefore, that Bhakti can be combined with much advantage with Jnana. Bhakti is a means to an end. It gives purity of mind and removes mental oscillation (Vikshepa). Sakama Bhakti (devotion with expectation) brings Svarga for the devotee, while Nishkama Bhakti
(devotion without expectation) brings purity of mind and Jnana.
A life without love of God is practical death. There is no power greater than love. You can
win the hearts of others through love alone. You can conquer your enemies through love alone. You
can tame wild animals through love alone. The glory of love is ineffable. Its splendour is
indescribable. The power of love is unfathomable

From – SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA

h1

YOGA SADHANA – Part 3

November 19, 2008

Every work is a mixture of good and evil. This world of ours is a relative plane. You must
therefore strive to do such actions that can bring maximum of good and minimum of evil. If you
know the secret of work, the technique of Karma-Yoga, you will be absolutely free from the taint of
Karma. That secret is to work without attachment and egoism. The central teaching of the
Bhagavad-Gita and the Yoga-Vasishtha is non-attachment to work. Lord Krishna says to Arjuna:“O Arjuna, work incessantly. Your duty is to work always. But do not expect fruits. The lot of that
man who expects fruits is pitiable. He is the most miserable man in the world.”
Generally people have various motives when they work. Some work in society for getting
name and fame, some for money, some for getting power and position, and some others for getting
enjoyments in heaven. Some build temples and churches with the idea that their sins will be washed
off. Some perform sacrifices for getting children. Some sink wells and tanks so that their names will
be remembered even after their death. Some lay out gardens and public parks with the idea that they
will enjoy such lovely parks and gardens in heaven. Some do acts of charity with the idea that they
will be born in the house of a Henry Ford or a Rockefeller in their next birth.
The greatest service that one can render to another is the imparting of Knowledge of Self.
Spiritual help is the highest of all. The root cause for all suffering is ignorance (Avidya) only. Cut
the knot of Avidya and drink the sweet Nirvanic Bliss. That sage who tries to remove the ignorance
of men is the greatest benefactor in the world. If you remove the hunger of man, it is after all a
temporary physical help. It is removal of physical want for three or four hours. Then again the
hunger manifests. The man remains in the same miserable state. Thus it is safe to conclude that
building of hospitals, poor-houses, dharmasalas or choultries for distribution of free food, clothes,
etc. is not the highest kind of help, though they are absolutely necessary. I say this is not the highest
kind of help, because I ask: How long can these last? Miseries have to be eradicated once and
forever. The world will remain in the same miserable state even if you build millions of hospitals
and feeding-places. There is something that can put an end to all these miseries, sufferings, worries
and anxieties, and that something is Knowledge of Self.

From – SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA

h1

YOGA SADHANA – Part 2

November 18, 2008

1111111Raja-Yoga. Raja-Yoga brings Jnana. Supreme devotion is Jnana only. Bhakti, it should be borne in
mind, is not divorced from Jnana. On the contrary, Jnana intensifies Bhakti. Karma-Yoga removes
the tossing of mind, Raja-Yoga steadies the mind and Jnana-Yoga removes the veil of ignorance
and brings in the Knowledge of Self. Every Yoga is a fulfilment of the preceding one. Thus Bhakti
is the fulfilment of Karma, Yoga of Bhakti, and Jnana of all the preceding three.The practice of Karma-Yoga prepares the aspirant for the reception of knowledge of Self. It moulds him into a proper Adhikari (aspirant) for the study of Vedanta. Ignorant people jump at once to Jnana-Yoga without having any preliminary training in Karma-Yoga. That is the reason why they fail miserably to realise Truth. The impurities still lurk in their minds. The mind is filled with likes and dislikes. They only talk of Brahman or God. They indulge in all sorts of useless discussions vain debates and dry, endless controversies. Their philosophy is on their lips only. In other words, they are lip-Vedantins. What is really wanted is practical Vedanta through ceaseless selfless service. Those who follow the path of Karma-Yoga should do work for work’s sake, without any motive. Two things are indispensable requisite in the practice of Karma-Yoga. A Karma-Yogi
should have extreme non-attachment for the fruits of his works and secondly he should dedicate all
his actions at the Altar of God with the feeling of Isvararpana (self-surrender). Non-attachment
brings freedom and immortality. Attachment is death. Non-attachment is eternal life.
Non-attachment makes a man absolutely fearless. When you thus consecrate all your actions to the
Lord, you will naturally develop devotion towards Him, and the greater the devotion the nearer you
are to the Lord. You will slowly begin to feel that God directly works through your body and senses.
You will feel no strain in the discharge of your works now. The heavy load you felt previously on
account of your false egoism, has now vanished out of sight, never to return.
The doctrine of Karma-Yoga1 forms an integral part of Vedanta. It expounds the riddle of
life and the riddle of the universe. It brings solace, satisfaction and happiness to one and all. It is a
self-evident truth. Fortunately even the Westerners have begun to acknowledge its importance and
veracity. They have no other go. Every sensible man or woman will have to accept it. “As you sow,
so you reap” holds good not only on the physical plane but in the moral world as well. Every
thought and every deed of yours generate in you certain tendencies which will affect your life and
hereafter. If you do good actions in a selfless spirit, you will naturally soar high to regions of bliss
and peace. Karma-Yoga is the lowest rung in the Spiritual Ladder; but it lifts us up to ineffable
heights. It destroys pride, selfishness and egoism. It helps growth and evolution.

From – SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA

h1

YOGA SADHANA – Part 1

November 17, 2008

wahe_guru_by_enoshiteYOGA SADHANA
Sadhana means any spiritual practice that aids the aspirant to realise God. It is a means to
attain the goal of life. Without Sadhana no one can achieve the goal. Sadhana differs according to
taste, temperament and capacity.
You can realise the goal of life by four different paths. Just as one and the same coat will not
suit Mr. John, Mr. Smith, Mr. Dick and Mr.Williams, so also one path will not suit all people. These
four paths lead to the same goal, viz., the attainment of the Ultimate Reality. Roads are different butthe destination is the same. Lord Krishna says to Arjuna: “Howsoever men approach Me, even sodo I reward them, for, the path men take from every side, is Mine, O Partha.” The four paths are: the path of work (Karma-Yoga), the path of devotion or love (Bhakti-Yoga), the path of psychic control (Raja-Yoga) and the path of self-analysis and knowledge (Jnana-Yoga).
These divisions are not hard and fast. There is no line of demarcation between one another.
One path does not exclude the other. For instance Karma-Yoga is suitable for a man of active
temperament; Bhakti-Yoga for a man of emotional temperament; Raja-Yoga for a man of mystic
temperament; and the path of Jnana-Yoga or Vedanta for a man of will or reason. Each path blends
into the other. Ultimately they all converge and become one. Thus it is hard to say where Raja-Yoga
ends and Jnana-Yoga begins. All aspirants of different paths meet on a common platform in the
long run.
Religion must educate and develop the whole man—his head, heart and hand. Then only
there will be perfection. One-sided development is not commendable. The four paths, far from
being antagonistic to one another, indicate that the different methods of the Yoga System are in
absolute harmony with each other. Karma-Yoga leads to Bhakti-Yoga which in its turn leads to

Raja-Yoga. Raja-Yoga brings Jnana. Supreme devotion is Jnana only. Bhakti, it should be borne in
mind, is not divorced from Jnana. On the contrary, Jnana intensifies Bhakti. Karma-Yoga removes
the tossing of mind, Raja-Yoga steadies the mind and Jnana-Yoga removes the veil of ignorance
and brings in the Knowledge of Self. Every Yoga is a fulfilment of the preceding one. Thus Bhakti
is the fulfilment of Karma, Yoga of Bhakti, and Jnana of all the preceding three.

From – SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA

h1

THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER

November 13, 2008

THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER
Thou art, O Lord! the Creator of this universe. Thou art the Protector of this world. Thou art
in the grass and the rose. Thou art in the sun and the stars. Salutations unto Thee, O Destroyer of the
cycle of births and deaths! Salutations unto Thee, O Bestower of Bliss and immortality!
O sweet Lord! May I be free from the bonds of Death. May I never again forget my
immortal nature. May I be able to look upon all with equal vision. May I attain the Supreme Seat of
Brahman. May I be free from impurity and sin. May I know my real essential nature.
Adorations to the Supreme Being who dwells in the hearts of all beings, who is in the fire
and water who is in the plants, herbs and trees, who is in the stones, bricks and iron-bars and who
has pervaded the whole universe.
I bow to Thee, O Secret of secrets! I bow to Thee, O Indweller of our hearts! I bow to Thee,
O Silent Witness of all activities of all minds! I bow to Thee, O Inner Ruler of all beings! I bow to
Thee, O Thread-Soul who connects all beings, who pervades and permeates and interpenetrates all
things of this universe!
Salutations to Thee, the Supreme Lord. Thou art without beginning and end. Thou art the
flower; Thou art the bee; Thou art woman; Thou art man; Thou art the sea; Thou art the waves;
Thou art the old man tottering with a stick; Thou art the saint; and Thou art the rogue.
Thou art Light Divine. Thou art Light of Knowledge. Thou art the Dispeller of darkness.
Thou art the Supreme Guru. Thou art beyond the reach of mind and speech. Thou art beyond any
kind of limitation. Thou art the Oversoul. Thou art the Self of this universe.
Thou art Self-luminous. Thou art without parts, without actions, without limbs, without any
taint of fault, without birth and death. Thou art our Father, Mother, Brother, Friend, Guru, Relative
and sole Refuge. Thou art the embodiment of Peace, Bliss, Knowledge, Power, Strength and
Beauty.
O All-merciful Lord! Through Thy Grace, may I realise Truth. May I always entertain
sublime thoughts. May I realise myself as the Light Divine. May I behold the one sweet immortal
Self in all beings. May I realise Brahman with pure understanding.
May that Light of lights ever guide me.May He cleanse my mind of all impurities. May He
inspire me. May He bestow on me Power, Courage and Strength. May He remove the veil in the
mind. May He remove all obstacles in the Spiritual Path. May Hemake my life happy and fruitful. I
bow to Thee O Lord of lords, O God of gods, O Deva of devas, O Brahman of the Upanishads, the
Support for Maya and Isvara, the Supreme Bridge to Immortality!
Om Peace! Peace! Peace!

From – SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA