The Yoga of Synthesis
- This is the featured article in the (always excellent) new Divya Jivan
Newsletter. It is by Swami Sivananda. He was the guru to more
Enlightened/Realized/Cosmic Conscious/whatever adjective you like,
people than all of the other teachers in the past 100 years put
together. For more information about the Divya Jivan organization:
Yoga of Synthesis is suitable for the vast majority of persons. It is
a unique Yoga.
Man is a strange complex mixture of will, feeling and thought. He is a
triune being. He is like a tricycle or a three-wheeled chariot. He
wills to possess the objects of his desires. He has emotion; and so he
feels. He has reason and so he thinks and ratiocinates. In some the
emotional element may preponderate, while in some others the rational
element may dominate. Just as will, feelings and thought are not
distinct and separate, so also, work, devotion and knowledge are not
exclusive of one another. He must, therefore develop his heart,
intellect and hand. Then alone can he attain perfection. Many
aspirants have lop-sided development. They do not possess an integral
development, as they neglect one or the other of these aspects of
One-sided development is not commendable. Religion and Yoga must
educate and develop the whole man - his heart, intellect and hand.
Then only he will have integral development.
In the mind there are three defects, viz., Mala or impurity, Vikshepa
or tossing, and Avarana or veil. The impurities of the mind should be
removed by the practice of Karma Yoga, by selfless service. The
tossing should be removed by worship or Upasana, by Japa and devotion.
The veil should be torn down by the practice of Jnana Yoga, i.e., by
study of Vedantic literature, enquiry, self-analysis, service to the
Guru, and deep meditation. Only then Self-realization is possible.
If you want to see your face clearly in a mirror, you must remove the
dirt in the mirror, keep it steady, and remove the covering also. You
can see your face clearly in the bottom of a lake only if the
turbidity is removed, if the water that is agitated by the wind is
rendered still, and if the moss that is lying on the surface is
removed. Even so is the case with Self-realization.
Action, emotion and intelligence are the three horses that are linked
to this body-chariot. They should work in perfect harmony or unison.
Then only the chariot will run smoothly. There must be integral
development. You must have the head of Sankara, the heart of Buddha,
and the hand of Janaka.
The Yoga of Synthesis alone will develop the head, heart and hand, and
lead one to perfection. To become harmoniously balanced in all
directions is the ideal of religion and of Yoga. This can be achieved
by the practice of the Yoga of Synthesis.
To behold the one Self in all beings is Jnana, wisdom; to love the
Self is Bhakti, devotion; to serve the Self is Karma, action. When the
Jnana Yogi attains wisdom, he is endowed with devotion and self less
activity. Karma Yoga is for him a spontaneous expression of his
spiritual nature, as he sees the one Self in all. When the devotee
attains perfection in devotion, he is possessed of wisdom and
activity. For him also, Karma Yoga is a spontaneous expression of his
divine nature, as he beholds the one Lord everywhere. The Karma Yogi
attains wisdom and devotion when his actions are wholly selfless. The
three paths are, in fact, one in which the three different
temperaments emphasize one or the other of its inseparable
constituents. Yoga supplies the method by which the Self can be seen,
loved and served.
Hence everyone should have one Yoga as the basic Yoga and combine
other Yogas. You can combine Nishkama Karma Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Raja
Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Sankirtan Yoga, etc., with Jnana Yoga as the basis.
This is my Yoga of Synthesis, which will ensure rapid spiritual progress.
A little practice of Hatha Yoga (Asanas and Pranayamas) will give you
good health. Raja Yoga will steady your mind. Upasana and Karma Yoga
will purify your heart and prepare you for the practice of Vedanta.
Sankirtan will relax your mind and inspire you. Meditation will take
you to liberation.
Such a Yogi has all-round development. The Yoga of Synthesis will help
you to attain God-realization quickly. Upanishads, Gita and all other
scriptures speak of this Yoga. Therefore, O Mokshapriya, practice this
unique Yoga of Synthesis and attain Self-realization quickly.
Here is my little song of the Yoga of Synthesis, for your daily practice:
Eat a little, drink a little
Talk a little, sleep a little
Mix a little, move a little
Serve a little, rest a little
Work a little, relax a little
Study a little, worship a little
Do Asana a little, Pranayama a little
Reflect a little, meditate a little
Do Japa a little, do Kirtan a little
Write Mantra a little, have Satsang a little
Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realize
Be good, Do good; Be kind, Be compassionate
Enquire 'Who am I ?', Know the Self and be Free