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Sivananda Day-to-day (168)

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  • Pannirselvam Kanagaratnam
    Om Namo Bhagavate Sivanandaya! Om Namo Bhagavate Chidanandaya! Om Namo Bhagavate Krishnanandaya! Namaste! We have uploaded a book by Guru Maharaj Sri Swami
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 4, 2000
      Om Namo Bhagavate Sivanandaya!
      Om Namo Bhagavate Chidanandaya!
      Om Namo Bhagavate Krishnanandaya!


      We have uploaded a book by Guru Maharaj Sri Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj
      titled "Ponder These Truths". This book consists of the early morning
      meditation talks delivered at Sivananda Ashram. In this book the seeker
      will find valuable guidance on the spiritual path as well as inspiration
      and motivation to tenaciously stick to ones spiritual disciplines. This
      book is at our free books page at:

      For this month's discourse we uploaded a letter written by Guru Maharaj
      in New York State in August, 1975. The title is "What is Yoga?" In this
      letter Guru Maharaj explains the place of Yoga in religion. This letter
      is at:

      Please note that Sri Swami Ramaswarupanandaji has a new e-mail address.
      Please send correspondence to Swamiji at the following e-mail address:

      Yours in the service of Gurudev,



      A WESTERNER ENLIGHTENED: "What is Moksha, Swamiji?" asked a foreign

      "Moksha is freedom from bondage. It is happiness, absolute bliss and
      immortal life; it is the attainment of Cosmic Consciousness or
      Christ-Consciousness," replied the Master.

      "Please explain to me what is meant by Cosmic Consciousness."

      "It is a state of consciousness in which you are aware that God is all
      that there is and more, that He is the link that connects all
      individuals. God is the Consciousness that illumines the entire
      creation. Realisation of this Consciousness or God liberates one from
      bondage to passing phenomena, from the illusion of names and forms. This
      is the state of God-realisation or Self-realisation."

      "Is there an individuality after the experience of God-realisation?"

      "No. The individual soul is completely merged in Cosmic Consciousness.
      It is like the river entering into the ocean. It loses its identity and
      you can no more distinguish the waters of one river from that of another
      after they have entered the ocean. The appearance of the world vanishes
      in the Reality of God, just as when a lamp is brought, the snake which
      appeared to be, vanishes in the rope that exists."

      "Swamiji, please tell us the means of attaining this wonderful state."

      "You have the Sadhana stated beautifully in the Sermon on the Mount of
      Lord Jesus. Mind is the dividing wall; it is the main obstacle on the
      path of Self-realisation. All Sadhanas aim at removing this obstacle.

      "There are two aspects of the mind--the lower mind and the higher mind.
      The lower mind is full of lust, greed, hatred, anger and jealousy. The
      higher mind is free from jealousy, selfishness and other negative
      traits, and is full of divine qualities like tolerance, love,
      selflessness and renunciation. You should control the lower mind with
      the help of the higher mind and then go beyond the mind also. The mind
      is nothing but a bundle of past impressions and desires. It can be
      controlled by disciplining the senses. This is achieved by the active
      cultivation of virtues."

      "It is very difficult to cultivate these virtues," put in the foreigner.

      "True, but a positive attitude overcomes a negative one. The virtues
      will overcome the vices, which are merely negative qualities preventing
      the cultivation of virtues. Meditate on the divine virtues and their
      glory. Meditate on God, then you will grow in virtue."

      "Is meditation so essential, Swamiji?"

      "Yes, it is the very basis of Sadhana."

      "What is meditation and how to meditate?"

      "Meditation is the withdrawal of the rays of the mind scattered over the
      various objects, and directing the concentrated beam of its light on the
      Self within in order to commune with God. There are two types of
      meditation: the first type is with form and the second is meditation on
      the formless Absolute. In the beginning an aspirant will always find
      that fixing the mind on a form is essential.

      "Meditate on the form of Lord Jesus, for instance, and let the mind
      dwell upon his divine nature, his great virtues and his splendour. You
      will thereby grow in virtue.

      "Another method of cultivating virtues is by means of selfless service.
      It helps you to achieve marvellous control over the mind and the senses.
      It also enables you to snap the bonds of Karma."

      "How to free ourselves from Karma, Swamiji?"

      "As you perform your daily duties feel that you are only a witness of
      all that goes on around you, that you are a witness even of your own
      actions. This is called Sakshi Bhav. You should inwardly realise that
      you are different from the active principle in you. This is the Vedantic

      "There is the other and easier method which is equally potent--the
      method of Nimitta Bhav. Feel that the Lord alone is the real doer of all
      actions and that you are an instrument in His hands. Your actions will
      then be transformed into worship of the Lord and you will not be bound
      to them. Work without the expectation of any reward and without egoism.
      Root out the idea of agency and feel that you are not the doer. You will
      be freed from the shackles of Karma; you will not accumulate new Karma.
      Allow the past Karma to work out, then you will attain liberation."

      "Swamiji, is it true that man suffers only on account of his own past
      Karma? If so, how do you explain the suffering he undergoes on account
      of natural calamities like earthquakes, riots, etc.?"

      "It is perfectly true that man suffers on account of his own Karma. And
      it is the collective past Karma of a number of persons that gathers them
      together at a certain place where an earthquake works out this
      collective past Karma, and large numbers of people enter the mouth of
      Kala at the same time."

      "Swamiji, I have often come across this word 'Kala' in the Indian
      scriptures. What exactly is meant by it?"

      "It is the 'Great Time' personified. It is the destroyer of name and
      form. In the Hindu Pantheon there are various gods and goddesses who are
      members of the Divine Hierarchy. Just as we have our government here,
      composed of various ministers and officers, the celestials who rule this
      world too, have their own Deities who control various aspects of the
      creation, preservation and destruction of the world.

      "Some are in charge of the various elements like air, fire and water;
      others are in charge of birth, death, preservation of life and disease.
      Kala or Yama or Dharmaraja is the Lord of Death. The entire universe is
      under his control in a way, for when the time comes he brings about the
      end of the earthly sojourn of all beings. It is only a man of
      Self-realisation who transcends this Kala and realises his own Self. All
      Sadhana is meant to help us transcend Kala, to conquer death and thus go
      beyond time."

      "In this quest after Truth, Swamiji, I can understand that great
      saviours like Lord Jesus can help us. But it is not always that such
      souls are present amidst us. What are we to do, Swamiji?"

      "Saints are always present in the world. Rogues are also always present.
      Saviours and dacoits are ever present in this world, for it is a world
      of dualities. Good and evil are ever present here. Absolute good can be
      found only in God. You should get the guidance of saints; only they can
      teach you the divine science. Books will certainly help you; they will
      put you in tune with the great ones who attained God. When you read the
      Bible you are in tune with Lord Jesus. When you read the Gita, you are
      in tune with Lord Krishna. This will also help you.

      "But just as you cannot learn the art of cooking merely by reading
      books, similarly, you cannot learn Yoga from books alone. However, you
      should not wait indefinitely for a teacher to turn up. As soon as the
      aspiration arises in your heart, you should at once start the practice
      with the help of some scriptural text that you like, like the Bible."

      "But, Swamiji, I have heard that it is dangerous to engage in Yoga
      practices without the aid of an expert Guru."

      "There is danger at every moment of your daily life. While going up the
      stairs, if you take a wrong step, you are likely to fall and break your
      bones; if you are a little absent-minded while crossing a road, you may
      be run over by a car. The danger of practising Yoga with the help of
      good texts is in no way greater. If you are sincere, if you use your
      common sense at every step, you will achieve success. In due course you
      will find a competent teacher also."

      "Apart from the Guru, Swamiji, do you think that a mediator is necessary
      in order to enable us to attain Self-realisation?"

      "Yes, yes. That is the tutelary Deity, the Ishta Devata. The mind cannot
      rise beyond itself all at once. The ego will seldom cut its own throat.
      Your limited consciousness will find it a hard task to realise Cosmic
      Consciousness. Therefore the name and form of a Deity is chosen to
      meditate upon. In due time this Deity will manifest Itself before you
      and do the work of annihilating the ego and the mind, thus enabling you
      to realise the state of Cosmic Consciousness."

      "What Name shall we choose, Swamiji?"

      "Om, This is the Name of the nameless Supreme Being. This is the nearest
      approximation of the Truth. It is the Mother of all sounds, names and
      forms. It is Sabda Brahman."

      "Is it proper during this practice to feel that we are in truth parts of
      God, Swamiji?"

      "Not exactly parts, but God Himself in reality. Remember how Lord Jesus
      also declared, 'I and my Father are one'. This is the ultimate
      experience, this is the ultimate truth which all the prophets, seers and
      sages have proclaimed.

      "Lord Jesus, Lord Buddha, Guru Nanak, Kabir and Prophet Mohammed all
      delivered the same message in a way suited to the people of the age in
      which they lived. They all taught that God is one, Truth is one, and
      that man can realise the Truth by controlling the mind and the senses."

      "How to control the mind, Swamiji?"

      The Master suddenly switched on to a little humour!

      "Take sour curd and lie down on your bed, covering yourself with a warm
      quilt, and then go to sleep!"

      Everyone burst into laughter!

      "The method of controlling the mind also has been beautifully given by
      all the sages and saints. They said, 'Serve, love, give, purify,
      meditate, realise; be good, do good, be kind and compassionate; enquire
      about the nature of your true Self.' This is the essence of the
      teachings of all sages, prophets and saviours of the world. Follow them
      and attain Self-realisation this very moment.

      "May God bless you! Come again and stay here for some time."


      "If the aspirant takes one step nearer to It, It will come in a hundred
      leaps and bounds nearer to him. Such is the nature of the Eternal Being.
      For every bit of action that is done for Its sake, you receive a
      millionfold in return! This fact is beautifully illustrated in the
      workings of Bhagavan Sri Krishna for the good of His devotees." - Swami

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