November 25, 2013 Comments Off on Reason is learned from the ever changing world
Reason is learned from the ever changing world, but true knowledge comes from the essence of life.
Bowl of Saki, November 23, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
Knowledge and heart quality must be developed together. … Without a developed love quality, man is incapable of having that knowledge. There are fine lights and shades in one’s life that cannot be perceived and fully understood without having touched the deeper side of life, which is the devotional side. The person who has never in his life been wholly grateful cannot know what it is. He who has not experienced humility in life does not know its beauty. The one who has not known gentleness or modesty cannot appreciate its beauty or recognize it. … The heart must be open too. A very intellectual man went to Jami and asked him to take him as his pupil and give him initiation. Jami looked at him and said, ‘Have you ever loved anybody?’ This man said, ‘No, I have not loved.’ Then Jami said, ‘Go and love first, then come to me and I will show you the way.’
Wisdom is that which is learned from within, and intellect is that which is acquired from without. The source of wisdom is above, the source of intellect is below. And therefore it is not the same method, it is not the same process one adopts in order to attain wisdom as that which one adopts in order to acquire intellect.
There are people who look at life through their brain, their head, and there are others who look at life through their heart. Between these two points of view there is a vast difference; so much difference that something that one person can see on the earth the other sees in heaven, something that one sees as small the other sees as great, of something that one sees as limited the other sees the unlimitedness. These two persons become opposite poles; it is as if one is looking at the sky, the other at the earth.
September 13, 2013 Comments Off on YOGA OF SELF-SURRENDER
Repeat this formula very often and with intense faith: “The Lord is my strength, my support and my stay.” Thus you will derive strength, power and peace.
God knows what is best for you and He does what is best for you. His ways are mysterious – know His ways and become wise.
Slay egoism and desire, they are the enemies, the obstacles of self-surrender. You may accuse God and say: “He is not just; He is cruel. Vicious persons are thriving I am virtuous and yet I suffer. There is no God.” Later on you will realise that He has done the best thing for you. Do not pray to the Lord for the removal of sufferings. Pray to Him to grant you power of endurance and patience to bear all calamities.
A devotee remains unaffected by adversities, trials and tribulations. He knows and feels that they are all karmic purgations and are the real messengers of God. He welcomes them calmly. A devotee alone gets troubles and adversities; because this is his last birth, many karmas have to be worked out and he must be united with the Lord in this very birth.
God gives immense strength and patience to His devotee to bear troubles and calamities. The devotee is ever calm and cheerful – he is not affected by them as his mind ever dwells in the contemplation of the Lord. He is not body-conscious.
Murmur not. Grumble not. Even a leaf cannot fall without the will of God. What is destined to take place as willed by God, takes place. Face the difficulties, the battle of life with a smile. Become a brave soldier. Difficulties come to intensify your faith, to strengthen your will and power of endurance and to turn your mind more and more towards God.
Pain is the great eye-opener. It is your silent teacher. It will make you remember God. Kunti prayed: “O Lord Krishna, give me pain always so that I may ever remember you.” The more troubles and adversities you get, the stronger and firmer will be your faith in God. They will mould you into a divine being. Welcome them.
Seek God’s grace through self-surrender and He will show you the way. Transient are all mundane things! Evanescent are all earthly forms! Seek the immortal and attain bliss eternal. – Swami Sivananda
September 12, 2013 Comments Off on THE POWER OF CONCENTRATION
If you focus the rays of the sun through a lens, they can burn cotton or a piece
of paper; but the scattered rays cannot do this. If you want to talk to a man
at a distance, you make a funnel of your hand and speak; the sound waves are
collected at one point and then directed towards the man. He can hear your
speech very clearly. When water is converted into steam and the steam is
concentrated at a point, the railway engine moves. The steam in the cooking
vessels moves the lid and produces a put-put sound. All these are instances of
concentrated waves. Even so, if you collect the dissipated rays of the mind and
focus them at a point, you will have wonderful concentration. The concentrated
mind will serve is a potent search-light to find out the treasures of the soul
and attain the supreme wealth of Atman, eternal bliss, immortality and
perennial joy. Therefore practise concentration and meditation regularly.
Kumbhaka (retention of breath) helps concentration. It checks the velocity of the mind
and makes it move in smaller circles and ultimately curbs all its wanderings.
Trataka (gazing) is a potent aid to concentration. Fix the mind on the candle
flame, or a black dot, or sivalinga (symbol of Siva), or saligrama (symbol of
Vishnu). Brahmacarya (celibacy) helps concentration. Without brahmacarya you cannot have definite
progress. Satvic (pure) food is another aid to concentration. Seclusion, mouna
(silence), satsanga (holy company), asana (yoga posture), japa (repetition of
God’s name), practice of yama, niyama, fasting, moderation in diet, non-mixing with
persons, little talking, little walking, little exertion – are all aids to
The mind can be controlled by continuous practice. You must always keep it occupied
in divine contemplation. If you slacken your efforts, idle thoughts will at
once occur. Continuous practice only can bring the mind under control.
If you wish to attain success in yoga you will have to abandon all worldly
enjoyments. You will have to practise brahmacarya and tapas (austerity). These
will help you in the attainment of concentration and samadhi
(super-consciousness). – Swami Sivananda
September 7, 2013 Comments Off on Reality is a living thing
Reality is a peculiar thing; it is there when you are not looking, but when you do look, with greed, what you capture is the sediment of your greed, not reality. Reality is a living thing and cannot be captured, and you cannot say it is always there. There is a path only to something which is stationary, to a fixed, static point. To a living thing which is constantly in movement, which has no resting place how can there be a guide, a path? The mind is so eager to attain it, to grasp it, that it makes it into a dead thing. So, can you put aside the memory of that state which you had? Can you put aside the teacher, the path, the end – put it aside so completely that your mind is empty of all this seeking? – JKrishnamurti
July 6, 2013 Comments Off on THE INNER INSTRUMENT
Antahkarana (the inner instrument) is a broad term which includes mind, intellect, memory and egoism (ahankara). The one antahkarana assumes different names, just as the same man assumes the name of judge when he works as a judge in the law courts, or president when he serves in a society or association, and store keeper when he is in charge of the stores.
When you walk through a mango garden, the will and doubt are done by the mind – it thinks whether the mango is good or not. The intellect comes to its aid; it determines that the mango is `good’. Then the citta (mind stuff) finds out how to get hold of some of the mangoes from the gardener. Ahankara self arrogates. It demands the mango at any price. The mind executes this order by passing it to the feet (karma indriya) to take the man to the gardener. Ahankara buys the mango and eats it. The impressions of the mango remain in the mind and the vasana (tendency) is formed in the mind. The thought of enjoyment comes to the mind later on. And this, through memory (in the form of a subtle vasana) produces thought (sankalpa) and troubles the man again and again, to enjoy the mango.
This cycle: desire, thought, action, goes on from eternity to eternity. This brings bondage to man. When the vasana is repeated several times it becomes a strong passion. Then the man is a slave of the passion and indriyas (senses). A strong sense hankering is called a trsna. The difference between desire and vasana is that the vasana is subtle and hidden in the subconscious mind, whereas the desire is gross. The pleasure derived from the enjoyment of the object brings attachment in this mind. Attachment is moha.
The man who is attached to objects, who is full of sense vasanas, is tied to those objects. Escape becomes nearly impossible for him. Escape is possible only by destroying these knots, by knowledge of the witness, the director of this mental factory, who has kept up this show inside.
If you can clairvoyantly visualise the inner working of this mental factory you will be dumb-founded.
Wake up from this long slumber of ignorance.
Purify, meditate and attain wisdom
And roam about happily.
—So says Sivananda
June 21, 2013 Comments Off on THE FLOWER OF FLOWERS
Divine love (or prema) is the flower of flowers. It is the rarest of all flowers and it is cultivated in the hearts of all devotees. Prema or bhakti is intense love, or the highest form of devotion to God. It is supreme attachment to the lotus feet of the Lord. It springs from the bottom of the devotee’s heart. In it there is no effort – there is only genuine, natural, spontaneous longing to meet God.
Just as a fish cannot live without water, just as the sunflower cannot live without the sun, just as the chaste wife cannot live without her husband, so also a true devotee cannot live without God even for a moment.
Bhakti or prema is of the nature of nectar. It gives freedom to the devotee and makes him perfectly and fully satisfied. It takes him to the feet of the Lord.
There are three things which are indeed rare and are due to the grace of the Lord. They are human birth, the longing for liberation and the protecting care of a perfected sage.
The man who, having by virtuous actions in previous births, obtained a human birth and a good intellect, is foolish indeed not to exert for Self-realisation. He verily commits suicide, for he kills himself by clinging to things unreal.
There is no hope of immortality by means of riches. Such indeed is the emphatic declaration of the srutis (scriptures). The scriptures declare: “Na karmana na prajaya dhanena tyagenaike amrtatva masasuh” – “neither by rituals, nor by progeny, nor by riches, but by renunciation alone can one attain immortality.”
Mere giving up of objects will not constitute real renunciation. Dear friends, remember this point well. Real tyaga (renunciation) consists in renouncing egoism, ‘mine’-ness, selfishness, anger, pride, desires and cravings.
People despise this Kali Yuga. This is a mistake, for in Kali Yuga you can attain God-realisation easily; you do not have to do hard tapas (austerities). Merely singing the names of the Lord and by his constant remembrance will you attain God-realisation. Wherever there are satsanga (holy company), kirtan (chanting), svadhyaya (study of scriptures), bhaktas, swamis and yogis – there is Satya Yuga (golden age). In all ashrams and holy places Satya Yuga prevails. Kali cannot enter here. – Swami Sivananda
June 19, 2013 Comments Off on SIVA’S FINAL TEACHING
Purify your heart through selfless service,
Be devoted to the Lord and obtain his grace,
Through japa (repetition of God’s name), kirtan (chanting), prayer and self-surrender.
Practise asanas (postures), pranayama (yoga breathing), etc.
Abandon egoism, desire, anger and greed.
Control all the senses.
Cultivate discrimination and dispassion.
Practise the four means.
Hear the srutis (scriptures).
Reflect and meditate ceaselessly.
You will attain Self-realisation.
– Swami Sivananda