July 20, 2013 Comments Off on TREACHEROUS MIND
Mind is very treacherous. It will hurl you down into the abyss of ignorance. It will say: “Pitva pitva punar pitva punar janma na vidyate”. (Drink, drink again, there is no rebirth). It will say: “Give up sadhana (spiritual practice), you will not gain anything. There is no bliss beyond the senses. The world is real, there is nothing like sensual pleasure, enjoy it to your heart’s content.”
Hear not this voice of the mind. Swim against the mind-current. Mind is your bitter enemy. Disconnect your Self from the mind – stand as its silent witness. Do not become one with the mind and the senses. Practise introspection and self-analysis. Thus will the mind gradually be tamed. It will become your obedient servant.
Sensual pleasures are nectar in the beginning but they are venom in the end. Here is a way to thin out the mind, a way to control it. If the mind says, “Eat eggs and meat”, eat only spinach, fruits and milk. If the mind says, “Read novels and newspapers”, read only the Gita, the Upanishads and practise karma yoga. If the mind says, “Gamble”, practise vigil and do kirtan the whole night.
O truant mind: O mischievous imp: I am tired of giving you admonitions. You are like the shameless son-in-law who sits idly in the house of his father-in-law, eating and drinking, and bearing all the rebukes and broom beatings. It is difficult to control the mind without the grace of the Lord. The prompter of thoughts alone can subjugate this wild mind. My prostrations and adorations to the prompter.
Listen, O mind, to this piece of advice. Sink not in the mire of samsara (worldly life), in the perilous ocean of births and deaths. Mix thou not in mundane affairs. Eat not the fruits of pain and sorrow. Take not birth again and again. Wither not thyself in wicked deeds. Is not eternal bliss thy quest? Commune with the Lord of bliss now. Forget the body and its connections and rest peacefully in blissful joy. Abide in thy supreme abode. Now there will be an end of birth.
Desire not name, fame, prestige, position, title, honour, rank. Care not, O mind, for earthly affection, love and kind words, respect, nice clothes and dainty dishes, the company of damsels and their talk. Remain steadfast. Gaze on the Lord dwelling in the cave of thy heart – He who is thy refuge, thy solace, source and centre, the witness and the abode, the Lord and dissolution. – Swami Sivananda
July 14, 2013 Comments Off on MORE ON THE INNER INSTRUMENT
If you can clairvoyantly visualise the inner working of this mental factory, you will see that it is like a big telephone exchange – the messages come from diverse houses and firms into the central exchange. The operator plugs, connects and disconnects the various switches. So too, the mind plugs, connects and disconnects. When you want to see something the mind puts a plug into the other four senses (centres of hearing, smelling, taste and feeling). When you want to hear something, the mind plugs into the other four centres.
The mind functions at an unimaginable speed. There are numberless pigeon-holes in the subconscious mind where various sorts of things are recorded in perfect order. There they are classified, grouped, labelled with accurate precision.
One impression rises up as a thought-wave and comes to the surface of the mind. It tickles the jiva (individual) into action. You can also see various colours in thoughts – spiritual or holy thoughts are tinged with beautiful yellow colour. If there is thought of anger, dark red arrows shoot out from the mind. There is perfect order in the cosmos – the working is smooth and harmonious because there is the antaryami (inner controller) behind it, directing and guiding. In the mere presence of the inner ruler, the indwelling, interpenetrating presence, the mind and other inner faculties work without any friction.
There are different regions for sentiments, emotions, instincts, impulses. There are highlands and lowlands in the mind. There is the spiritual plane and there are the planes of the instinctive mind and the intellect. On the one side the will steps in to execute a certain strong desire of the mind. The other faculties, such as memory and the power of judgment and reflection stand behind, in a disciplined array, to help their master, the will. After the will has executed the order, imagination comes forward and speculates. Memory helps imagination.
Then the three gunas (qualities of nature), the various modes, and the thirteen evil vrttis (lust, anger, etc.), show their faces in different colours. They come to the scene, do their work and then retire for a rest. Words cannot describe how thrilling this scene is. Develop this clairvoyant astral sight through purification and concentration.
Do not forget the inner ruler who is awake even when the mental factory is closed down temporarily. Purify the mind. Practise concentration. Develop the power of the mind. Eventually you will merge with him. – Swami Sivananda
June 10, 2013 Comments Off on Song Of Admonition
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.
Radhe Shyama Radhe Shyama Shyama Shyama Radhe Radhe
Radhe Krishna Radhe Krishna Krishna Krishna Radhe Radhe
Gouri Sankar Gouri Sankar Sankar Sankar Gouri Gouri
Uma Sankar Uma Sankar Sankar Sankar Uma Uma.
O my Jesus O Lord Jesus
Hail Hail Jesus O Father Father
O my Mary O Virgin Mary
Hail Hail Mary O Mother Mother
O my Buddha O Lord Buddha
Hail Hail Buddha O Saviour Saviour
O my Allah O Lord Allah
Hail Hail Allah O Father Father
O my Shakti O Adi Shakti
Hail Hail Shakti O Mother Mother
Is there not a nobler mission than eating, drinking and sleeping?
It is difficult to get a human birth, therefore try your best to realise in this birth.
Fie on that wretch, woe to that man
Who wastes all his life in sensual pleasures.
Time sweeps away, kings and barons,
Where is Yudhishthira? Where is Ashoka
Where is Shakespeare? Where is Valmiki?
Where is Napoleon? Where is Shivaji?
Be up and doing (in) Yogic Sadhan, you will enjoy Supreme Bliss.
Be up and doing (in) Brahma Vichar, you will attain Immortality (Kaivalya Moksha)
(Hare Rama Hare Rama…)
Can you expect real Santi if you waste your time in idle gossiping?
Can you enjoy Supreme Peace if you waste your time
In novels (and) newspapers?
In fights and quarrels?
In scandal, backbiting?
(Hare Rama Hare Rama…)
Am I not Thou? Art Thou not I? One alone is, therefore true.
When the mind melts in the silence, you will have Self-realisation.
What have you learnt, tell me frankly from the Bihar and Quetta earthquakes?
Have you got now real Vairag? Do you practise Japa and Kirtan?
Here is a challenge to non-believers of the Hindu theory of transmigration:
Have you not heard the thrilling narratives of Santi Devi, of her past life?
Can you expect real Santi if you waste your time in cards and cinemas (cards and smoking)?
When your throat is choked at the time of death, who will help you for your salvation?
(Hare Rama Hare Rama…)
– Swami Sivananda
May 28, 2013 Comments Off on LORD IS YOUR SOLE REFUGE
The name of the Lord is your sole refuge. It is your prop, shelter and abode. Name is divine nectar. Name and form are inseparable.
Keep a picture of the Lord and concentrate on it. Concentrate on the face or feet or the whole picture. Then visualise this in your heart or in the space between the eyebrows.
Repeat your mantra – Om Namah Sivaya, Om Namo Narayanaya, Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya – mentally, or if the mind wanders, do this verbally.
There are five kinds of bhavas or attitudes. They are santa bhava (relationship of peace), dasya bhava (relationship of servant-master), vatsalya bhava (relationship of father-son), sakhya bhava (relationship of friendship) and madhurya bhava (relationship of lover and beloved). Have any kind of bhava that suits your temperament. Develop it again and again.
Practise the nine modes of devotion – sravana (hearing the lilas or stories of the Lord), kirtana (singing the Lord’s name), smarana (remembering the Lord), padasevana (service of the Lord’s feet), arcana (offering of flowers), vandana (prostration), dasyam (servant bhava), sakhya (His friendship), and atmanivedana (self-surrender).
Feel that you are an instrument in the hands of the Lord. Feel that the Lord works through your body, mind and senses. Offer all your actions to the Lord. Offer the fruits of your actions to the Lord. This is the way to do self-surrender.
Do anusthana (intense whole-time practice) frequently. Live on milk and fruits for a week.
Observe mauna (or silence). Do japa (repetition of God’s name) and meditate in an intense manner.
Do mental worship – it is a great help for increasing devotion and attaining concentration. Offer flowers, incense etc., mentally, to the Lord.
God is all-pervading.
God is all-permeating.
God is interpenetrating.
God is indwelling.
– Swami Sivananda
May 19, 2013 Comments Off on GOD IS LOVE
God is love. Love is God. God is nectar. God is prem. Bhakti is supreme love towards God. Bhakti is the greatest power on earth. It gushes from one’s pure heart. It redeems and saves. It purifies the heart. Devotion is the seed. Faith is the root. Service of the saints is the shower. Communion with the Lord is the fruit.
Bhakti is of two kinds – apara bhakti (a lower type of devotion) and para bhakti (supreme love). Ringing bells and waving lights is apara bhakti. A devotee who practises this has no expanded heart, is a sectarian and dislikes other kinds of bhaktas who worship other deities. In para bhakti, there is no ritualistic worship, the devotee is absorbed in God. In supreme love the devotee forgets himself entirely; he only thinks thoughts of God. Para bhakti and jnana are one. In the end the two become one.
Bhakti grows gradually just as you grow a flower or a tree in a garden. Cultivate bhakti in the garden of your heart gradually. Faith is necessary for attaining God-realisation. Faith can work wonders. Faith can move mountains. Faith can take you to the inner chambers of the Lord where reason dare not enter.
Japa (repetition of God’s name), kirtan (chanting), prayer, service of saints, study of books on bhakti all are aids to devotion. So too is satvic (pure) food such as fruit and milk, etc.
Evil company is the enemy of devotion. Give up evil company and take recourse to satsanga (or the company of saints). Pray to the Lord thus: “O adorable Lord of compassion and love! Give me faith and devotion. Let my mind be ever fixed on thy lotus feet. Let me have constant remembrance of thee. Let me sing thy glory always.”
A bhakta always does everything to please the Lord. He will abandon everything that displeases the Lord. Thus he corrects himself and removes all defects. He does not practise deliberate self-discipline like a yogi. – Swami Sivananda
May 4, 2013 Comments Off on ORDER IN YAMA AND NIYAMA
There is a deliberate order in the five parts or limbs of yama (self-control). Ahimsa (non violence) comes first, because man must remove his brutal nature first. He must become non violent; he must develop cosmic love. Only then does he become fit for the practice of yoga. Then comes satyam or truthfulness. Because the whole phenomenon of maya (illusion) is asat or unreal, the aspirant should be aware of this fact. He should ever remember the truth or Brahman. Then comes asteya or non stealing. Because he must develop moral consciousness, he must know right from wrong, righteousness from unrighteousness; and he must know that all are one. Brahmacarya is a divine attribute. The aspirant is now becoming a superman by the practice of brahmacarya or celibacy. The fifth is aparigraha. The yogic student is free now from desires, cravings, unnecessary wants, luxuries, desire to possess and enjoy. He has a very expanded heart.
Yama is “taking of vow”. Niyama is “religious observance”. Yama is not a policy or company manners or courtesy, it is sticking to ideals and principles; it is development of divine traits that will transform human nature into divine nature; it annihilates desires, cravings, evil qualities; it eradicates brutal instinct and brutal nature; it removes harshness, violence, cruelty and covetousness; it fills the heart with cosmic love, kindness, mercy, goodness, purity and divine light. It is the foundation of divine life or yoga, on which the super structure of samadhi is built. It is the corner-stone of yoga, on which the edifice of super-consciousness is built.
Niyama is canon or religious observance. It consists of five limbs; namely, puca, santosa, tapas, svadhyaya and Isvara pranidhana. Sauca is purity, internal and external. Santosa is contentment. Tapas is austerity or control of senses or meditation. Svadhyaya is study of scriptures. It means also chanting of mantra (name of God) or enquiry. Isvara pranidhana is self-surrender to the Lord. It is consecration of one’s work as an offering to the Lord.
There is an intimate relation between yama and niyama. Niyama safeguards yama. If one has internal purity one can get established in brahmacarya. If you have contentment, you will not steal or hurt others or tell lies. It will be easy for you to practise aparigraha. – Swami Sivananda
April 25, 2013 Comments Off on Life is Artificial
Life has become very artificial. There is physical, mental and moral degeneration. You do not find robust, stalwart, healthy people. Longevity is unknown. Everywhere you see puny, stunted creatures with dilapidated frames and sickly appearance. They cannot even walk a short distance.
Children beget children. People die like moths. They have become weaklings, effeminate, impotent.
There is wholesale devastation by earthquake. Divorce courts are increasing. One nation is afraid of another nation. Each nation is suspecting the other nation of preparing for war. Life has become a matter of uncertainty. It has become a mass of confusion, chaos and bewilderment. It has become very stormy and boisterous. It is full of under-currents, cross-currents and mixed currents!
You can escape from these troubles and difficulties if you lead a life of dispassion, self-restraint, purity and selfless service; if you develop pure cosmic love; if you develop the habit of taking the right view, right thinking, right feeling, right acting, all with the right attitude – and if you practise devotion and meditation.
Dispassion must be of that type that is born of pure viveka (nitya-anitya vastu viveka – discrimination between the real and the unreal). This is a rare commodity, a rare virtue. Seek everlasting bliss and peace in the Atman or the soul within by purifying the mind and practising meditation. This is the only remedy to get rid of the pains of samsara (worldly existence).
Be quick in taking to spiritual pursuits. Hairs are becoming grey. Teeth are falling. The senses are getting cold. Practise meditation while you are young. After retirement from service you can do nothing. – Swami Sivananda