Daily Readings

Spiritual Diary - June

compiled by Yogeshwari Muhl - Cape Province - SA

Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Venkatesaya

June 1


My Master, Swami Sivananda enjoined upon His followers this sacred duty: "Never to hurt others' feelings. This is culture, all else is hypocrisy."
Our entire personality, thoughts, words and deeds, must be cultured.
This is only possible if we rightly understand what is meant by culture.
Culture is the fruit of the influence upon nature of human intelligence and will.
It is seen in a garden, a garland of flowers, literature, fine arts, science and in philosophy.
Man's intelligence evolves out of chaos, beauty evolves out of disorder.
Man's will transforms potentiality into actuality.
The wise man recognizes that even his intelligence and other faculties are but gifts of the supreme being - and that it is his duty to make proper use of them.
He knows that, used properly, they will grow (develop) and become powerful and fruitful.
This is the purpose and the goal of human life.
The goal of the body is the grave or the crematorium.
But the goal of the soul is God or perfection.
"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your father in heaven is perfect."
In our endeavor to reach this perfection, we serve humanity.
This is culture, this is religion.

June 2


A sage knows that matter and spirit are two poles of the same being - that both of them blend into one consciousness, which transcends but includes both.
Matter is the superficial appearance; spirit (as the indweller of each object in nature) is the superior appearance.
When these two are grasped together, there is one consciousness.
Material instruments can analyze gross matter and discover its nature and the laws that govern it.
Keen intelligence can analyze the spirit that dwells in all the objects of creation, and understand its nature and function.
The one consciousness cannot be thus analyzed, either by physical instruments or by intellection, for it is the supreme subject of all existence.
The one consciousness can, however, be intuitively realized in a state of consciousness where neither the senses nor the mind function.
For then consciousness exists as itself, not modified into matter, nor multiplied into the many indwelling souls.
In that state there is neither subject nor object, hence the difficulty of proving it either physically or logically.
Mind cannot be measured, nor chemically analyzed.

June 3


A very holy man pointed out, "Fear is the first product of duality."
The realization of non-duality is yoga.
Any attempt to bring duality in again, to split up yoga in the name of yoga, is absurd.
Yoga is harmony - harmony that already exists.
Any attempt to create harmony is dis-harmony.
If you consider yourself a man of God and see two people fighting, you may feel impelled to butt in and stop them.
If they ignore your peace-making efforts, you join the quarrel, and matters become worse.
You can never bring about peace by any kind of violence.
You and I cannot create harmony, bring about unity, or non-duality, because there is no need, no possibility for this.
It is already there.
But what you and I can and must do is observe how and where this oneness has been disrupted.
I must learn to observe myself, and see exactly how and where this harmony, this oneness, this love, got disrupted.
If one sincerely and seriously carries out this observation, then it does not take a split second to realize that the break happens the moment the feeling "I am" comes up, that thought, mental modification, creates the "you", and there is conflict.
"I" is immediately afraid of "you".
That fear generates conflict, violence, hatred.

June 4


Meditation is the direct immediate observation of the arising of the "I", the ego, without a mediator.
A mediator is merely another distraction.
Even words, descriptions of meditation, may be distractions.
Meditation is observation, without descriptions of any type that will give you an image of what it "should be".
What you and I practice while we are seated in a meditation posture is meant as a help.
But even while talking, while eating, while looking at anything, one should watch the arising of the "I".
Where does this feeling, the thought, "I am talking, I am seeing him," spring from?
This questioning is to be done continuously, not only in the morning and the evening.
There is the assurance of the great masters (which can again be a danger) that it is possible for us to extend this consciousness through to our dreams.
If we continually observe the arising of the ego-sense during our waking hours, whatever we are doing, then even while dreaming there is the enquiry, "Who is dreaming, to whom is the dream occurring?"
So eventually even while one sleeps, there is this continuing self-consciousness.
This continuous awareness, which runs through all states of consciousness, is called samadhi, the fourth state of consciousness.

June 5


You and I are one.
There is this oneness alone in reality - but there is some mysterious loss of memory.
Anything that helps to bring about the remembering of what has been temporarily forgotten, is called yoga sadhana, yoga abhyasa - the practice of yoga.
Having heard that, I am sure the question is itching in all of us, "What does one do?".
We must be careful here.
The danger lies in excessive concern about our doing (and not doing), which may then become a routine performance.
As soon as the emphasis is on what I do, it is likely to become a ritual, and I tend to see myself as the "doer".
We feel that, unless we do something, we cannot get from here, our present position, to there, that state of yoga.

Study all the scriptures as a bee collects nectar from the different flowers, and makes sweet honey.
But beware - do not manufacture poison.
The bee does not do it.

June 6


Patanjali, in his Yoga Sutras, gives us quite a number of exercises.
He describes astanga yoga.
This is the yoga which has eight limbs, not steps.
The limbs that together constitute yoga are yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi.
Samadhi, direct experience of truth, is like dhyana or meditation, also a limb of the body of yoga.
I may pretend that whatever I am and do in my life, as long as I sit and meditate for half an hour every morning, I can call myself a yogi.
But this is like my amputated leg telling you, "I am Swami Venkatesananda."
In fact, it is cut off from the main body, and is nothing but a rotten piece of flesh.
One limb does not make a person.
Similarly, it is all the eight limbs together that constitute yoga practice.
We cannot claim that any part of the body is more important than any other.
It would not do to say, "Swami is a nice fellow. To have him with me, I will take the head home, as the head is the most important part. The rest can be picked up later."
One cannot isolate one limb and call it yoga.

June 7


According to yoga philosophy, asana is any position or posture in which one is able to sit, firmly and comfortably.
If I am seated in a comfortable way, then it is possible for me directly to observe the rising of the ego-sense, and suddenly to become aware that it is a shadow.
When the shadow is gone, there is realization of oneness.
When light meets a shadow, the shadow vanishes, leaving the truth unaffected.
These yoga postures are given to us to awaken in us the truth of this harmony, this oneness of existence, the harmony that is built into everybody, because it is omnipresent, cosmic.
The body too functions on the principle of this harmony.
Without harmony life is impossible.
If I understand this, I understand the yoga asanas, their beauty, their limitation, the body, the body language - and the fear of old age, sickness and death disappears.

June 8


What do you call ill-health?
It is really the harmonizing effort of the intelligence in the body that is sometimes misinterpreted as illness.
You have a headache. It followed two late nights with too many drinks.
Enough for two days! So, you rest a day. Harmony is restored. It balances out.
You eat something you should not have taken, or you overeat, and the intelligence, the life-force within you springs into activity.
It creates a bad taste or ulcers in your mouth that stop you from eating for the present.
It is like the road sign warning, "Road closed - men at work", telling you, "Wait a while - repair work in progress."
It is yet another attempt of the vital force in you to re-establish this balance, this harmony.
When harmony is restored, it does not mean that there will be no more upsets, pains and aches.
There are a number of cults that claim that, when you meditate, all disease will go.
Impossible. And what for?

June 9


Probably what is known as pranayama is meant, not so much to cleanse your lungs and to help purify your blood, but to steady what the yogis call the nadis.
These are very difficult to demonstrate.
Some people have translated nadis as nerves; others have called them arteries and veins.
But if you look at the root of the word, nadi means something like river that which flows.
It is like a light ray, something that flows onwards, which cannot be said to apply to a nerve.
Nadis can be vaguely compared to the sound waves picked up by the radio.
Something like that happens within you, and that is the nadi.
The pranayama exercises are supposed to purify the nadis.
When you are doing yoga postures, you are in fact being spiritually awakened.
That your body is also benefited is a side effect, an incidental fringe benefit, not the real one.
In the same way, when you do pranayama exercises, the nadis are purified and the mind and nerves are calmed; but these too are merely fringe benefits.
The pranayama exercises have a tremendous meaning in spiritual life.
Patanjali describes the fruit of pranayama thus: "When you practice pranayama, the veil that covers the inner light is removed."

June 10


If you will consider pranayama as mere breathing exercises, you will find the condition of your lungs is helped and nothing more.
There have been great spiritual masters in India who have roundly criticized, if not exactly, condemned yoga postures - laughed at them as a silly waste of time - but even they approved of and practiced pranayama.
So we conclude that pranayama has a spiritual value beyond the mere physical and physiological one.
The mind is enabled, by the practice of pranayama, to go on to the practice of concentration and meditation.
Concentration is a focusing of the attention in such a way that the mind does not wander in all directions.
It is as it were, bound to the object of attention.
We may use a mantra to focus attention.
I tell myself that all I want to do is to repeat the mantra.
I give the mind the instruction, "Hold on to this."
For those of you attending meditation classes, it would be interesting to watch how few seconds the attention can remain focused without wandering.
After twenty or thirty seconds, the attention is gone - no one knows how.
So one tries to limit it to a particular focal point.
That is concentration.

June 11


When the attention is absorbed, it is meditation.
For example, when I keep on looking at you, it is concentration.
When I am completely absorbed in looking at you, it is meditation.
And when I go deeper and these three (I-looking-you) become one, so that it is as though you alone are the reality and "I" is non-existent, that is samadhi.
These are again all words - which I hope do not mean much to you.
When these three, concentration, meditation and samadhi are practiced simultaneously, there is intense inner awareness, illumination or enlightenment.
We can dispose of one more question that people ask.
"Is yoga, especially meditation, like hypnosis?"
The yogi replies, "No."
In this ocean of one cosmic being, the wave has already hypnotized itself into an independent entity.
You really are the cosmic being, but you have hypnotized yourself into a self-limited personality.
Therefore the yoga of meditation is not self-hypnotization, but self-dehypnotization.
But there is a danger in being promised any reward for the serious practice of meditation, in that we may be caught in a hunt for results.
This is due to a basic insincerity.
If the fundamental sincerity is not there, then one's life on the path of yoga is full of difficulties from day to day.

June 12

Pain and Disease

When I fall and sprain an ankle, will thinking of God fix the ankle?
If I try to think that the trouble does not exist, it may work for a short while, but as soon as I come out of my autosuggestion or self-hypnosis, it will hurt all the more.
The pain in the ankle only tells me that I twisted it and should lie down and give it some rest, so that the repair work can go on.
It is not at all an undesirable feature, but the body communicating with you.
If there is pain somewhere, give the aching part a rest.
If the stomach hurts, it asks, "Please keep off food for a while.
Everything will come all right if I have some rest."
Disease is something different.
It means there is tension within.
What does tension mean?
When you hold a piece of rubber, you can note that there is tension as the two ends are pulled in opposite directions.
This happens to me when I sit here "practicing meditation".
I go up and enter the transcendental realms lovely - but really my whole heart is rooted in earthiness, in pleasures of the senses.
Naturally there is tension - the body pulls me down and the head pulls me up.
There is a tearing in the process.
This is what can be called disease.
It is not really physical illness, though the body may manifest the inner diseased condition of a tense torn mind, of confusion and doubt.

June 13


One has to come to the end of one's own tether.
One must come to the understanding, the insight that enough fish has been eaten, enough chicken has been swallowed.
Leave them free to swim in the ocean or to run around in the courtyard.
Enough alcohol has been tasted and enough cigarettes have been smoked.
The same thing has been repeated again and again - it has become boring.
Let us forget it and try something else.
Here is yoga, here is meditation.
Even if it leads nowhere else, at least it does not cause the destruction of all those living things and the intoxication of the body.
We want to have pleasures - be it chocolate, food or sexual enjoyments.
But why is it that this pleasure compels me to indulge in it?
Who is the boss?
Pleasures, not we, are the real enjoyers, and at our expense.
Natural appetites are not cravings.
We have to eat in order to live.
The natural progression of starvation is towards death.
But a craving is a perversity.
It makes the whole mind restless, and anything that makes the mind restless is harmful.

June 14


Disease, doubt, and restlessness of the mind are all obstacles and they manifest in us because of lack of one-pointed devotion.
Remember the biblical commandment: "Love the Lord with all thy heart, all thy mind, and all thy might and being."
We must apply that wholeheartedness, not only to devotion to God, but to everything we do.
That is yoga.
The whole life is yoga when real integration exists in us, and we are able to apply a totally integrated personality, to whatever we do.
The entire message of yoga is contained in the single commandment to love with one's entire being.
Patanjali echoes this in his Sutras when he says, "In order to remove the obstacles on the path of yoga, an integral approach is necessary."
Whatever I may practice, if I am not sincere in the sense of wholesouled dedication and an integrated approach, yoga is not possible.
Yoga is integration, wholeness.
Sincerity here means that I do not only accept it intellectually, but also emotionally, with my whole being.
If there is insincerity, then only part of me accepts.
I may feel it is nice to practice yoga, but when it comes to rational understanding, it seems so crazy.
I carry on doing it because I like it, but there is division here.

June 15


One is able to assent to yoga philosophy rationally, with one's intellect, but one lacks the passion of emotional assent to practice it.
It sounds very good, it is logical, and I understand the value of doing it.
I have a mind to do it - but no heart.
The mind understands, the intellect accepts yoga, but something within says, "No," or the opposite seems so tantalizing, so delightful, that it appears to be a great pity to spend one's life standing on one's head, holding one's nose, and meditating.
It does not appear to appeal to the emotions.
Yet it is the emotional assent that provides the energy for what we do.
When the emotions are stirred, they provide an almost constantly increasing supply of energy.
When it comes to intellectual comprehension and dry discussion, the head becomes heavy, the mind gets dull.
There is no energy.
It is the emotion that is needed to supply the energy.
Therefore if there is not a wedding of intellect and emotion, then there is no energy available for the yoga that you and I practice.

June 16


What is God?
The God of yoga philosophy is not a puppet, nicely wrapped with a ribbon, like a Christmas parcel and guaranteed for genuineness.
The God of yoga philosophy is a special being who enjoys the distinction of not being subject to the illusion to which you and I are subject.
The "I" is a creature of ignorance.
God is not subject to ignorance.
But God is not a total stranger to you - God is very much like you.
In order to find out what God is, you must first of all know what sort of person you are, who you are - not the body, not the living being, the flesh and bones, but the inner-spiritual entity.
God is not so different from this inner spiritual entity.
But whereas your spiritual or psychological personality is subject to ignorance and therefore egoism, God is not.
If you enter into the spirit of this, without any prejudice, it seems to be a beautiful way of looking for help in transcending oneself.
I see that I am trapped in my own ignorance, egoism.
I practice yoga, I meditate, I enquire into the nature of the self - but it is always "I" who is doing all these things.
How can I understand "I"?
How can the ego know itself?
The ego understanding itself may be nothing more than a projection of itself.

June 17


Japa means repetition of a mantra.
Repeating Om is japa.
That is easy. "Om ... Om... Om..."
It is so tranquil, so beautiful.
But it can also be mind-dulling, deadening.
The mechanical repetition of a mantra may not produce much of an effect.
If one goes on for half an hour or more saying "Om ... Om ... Om ...", even if you are on the verge of madness, or greatly disturbed, I predict that you will fall asleep.
It does not matter whether you believe in its use as a verbal indicator, as the name of God, if you sit or lie and keep on repeating Om, you will inevitably drop off to sleep.
So it has some effect - to produce sleep and to run the manufacturers of tranquillizers out of business.
I am not criticizing those who do japa mechanically, but I am pointing out that the mechanical saying of Om has no spiritual value.
The spiritual meaning is different.
The Sanskrit for the English word "meaning" is artha.
Now what is the artha of Om?
What does the label "Om" signify?
What is the substance it denotes?
It is for each one to find out.

June 18


The word mantra can be interpreted in many different ways.
"Om Namah Shivaya" can be said as a mantra, and some people believe that the very structure of these words has a distinct mystic significance, so that the repetition of the mantra builds up a psychic deity within you. Possible.
The Jewish "Adonai Elohaina Adonai Echad", can also be used as a mantra.
A mantra maybe merely a powerful spiritual instruction.
It is not only a mystic formula, but may also be a sincere piece of advice, a counsel or teaching, which can rouse the whole being.
If the mantra is repeated as a verbal indicator of God, while looking for the substance it represents, the mind will become calm, one-pointed, awake and alert.
Added to this, there will be the passion of inquiry, if one is sincerely and seriously searching for the substance.
It is traditionally forbidden to reveal one's mantra, as also any spiritual practice.
Through discussion with others there is danger that someone might interfere with one's inner feelings.
This has led to the advice not to talk about your spiritual practice.
The whole-souled acceptance and emotional participation in what you are doing is tremendously important.
The effort I put into finding the substance of the mantra leads me to the ultimate transcendence of the ego.

June 19

The Right Spirit

I am mentally repeating the mantra Om, and I hear the sound Om.
I ask, "Where does the sound come from? Where does it happen?"
Here your emotions must be deeply roused, you must be terribly enthusiastic, like the Hasidim who dance and sing for love of God in joy.
The right spirit is a feeling of "I love it".
Be happy, smile, but be deadly earnest, sincere and serious.
This combination of sincere earnestness, with great joviality and cheerfulness, is also yoga.
I am very serious about searching for and also discovering the substance, yet I am quite relaxed, not at all worried or anxious.
As I am mentally repeating Om with each inhalation and exhalation, I can hear the sound within myself.
That is strange.
We know that sound is produced when one object strikes another, or when wind passes down a tube or air through the voice box, but how is it that I hear Om when I am saying it mentally?
Where and how does this happen?
What are the elements involved?
Is there vibration somewhere in my voice box, or is there another vocal chord somewhere in my brain?
I am arguing, considering, trying to analyze logically.
This is the analytical approach to enquiry into japa.

June 20

The Quest

After a while the analytical approach to japa becomes a search, a research.
You go deep within and try to locate the sound.
Analytically you cannot possibly solve the riddle as to how the sound is produced.
Therefore one abandons the logical, rational approach, and engages oneself in enquiry, which is the next stage of meditation.
"Where is the sound arising? Where is it heard?"
In this search the direction is inward, the mind is one-pointed, all distraction is ignored.
With intensity of concentration, no distraction of attention is possible, and all the obstacles fall away.
The mind is quiet and peaceful.
In that complete mental tranquility, there is an experience of great bliss and joy.
This happiness is comparable to what happens in sleep, but one's consciousness is fully alert.
Even Om gets merged with "I am".
The Om sound has merged in you, and just the feeling "I am" is there.
Not very difficult to experience.
"Who is this 'I'?"
Even the mantra is forgotten.
The mantra becomes one with you, part of you, and the enquiry into the self is pursued.
"What is experiencing the 'I am-ness'?"
The individual has no help at all but through enlightenment, the "I" explodes and the wave subsides into the ocean.
God's Grace lifts you out of all this into the ocean of oneness.
And that is the end of the quest!

June 21


Yoga philosophy seems to suggest the contrary of world denial.
It tells us not that life is a shadow, but that the ego is a shadow.
Not that the world is unreal, but that unworldliness is.
This tape-recorder is a tape-recorder.
Nobody can say it is non-existent.
I cannot claim that the wall here is an illusion and walk through it.
The yogi is not a dreamy wool-gatherer.
What yoga philosophy demands is, "Look within. See, observe your ego."
Why should I abolish it?
What must I abolish?
The thing to be eliminated must be real.
I cannot destroy a non-existent entity.
I cannot fight a shadow.
Therefore yoga philosophy, yoga practice, teaches me merely how to look at this "me".

The "I" is the measure with which we measure all else.
If the weighing scale is not set properly, it will only give us a wrong reading!
Know thy self!

June 22


What you call the seer is nothing but the action, the event of seeing.
All our yoga practices are supposed to lead us to this realization that seeing is not the doing of "I", but a happening.
What lifts the legs are the abdominal muscles, not the "I".
The "I" is only a mischief-maker.
Most of those who try difficult postures, know that the "I" with its own projections, is merely a nuisance, an obstacle.
When the projection of one's own self-image creeps into it, one becomes nervous, excited and anxious.
One wants to excel the other and gets into trouble.
The alternative is letting the energy and intelligence in each part of the body do what they want to.
Then the posture is perfect.
It is the best you can do at the moment.

There is no such thing as failure really.
There is only failure to do, not failure to achieve.
Success is always there.
So long as one does anything, success follows.
To succeed is "to come after".
The outcome follows the earlier action.
It is when we do not start at all, when nothing is done, that there is failure.
It is this fear of what is called failure that makes one feel ambition is necessary, that without the driving force of the urge for achievement, we would all be cabbages.

June 23


We have been taught that we have acquired a great amount of knowledge without which our life would be unbearable.
I doubt this.
Looking at the achievements of the most humanitarian of the scientists, the medical scientists, (leaving alone the pollution creators - engineers, automobile designers and manufacturers) they are right now busy studying one cell through the microscope.
They want to know how it multiplies, what a virus is, what causes cancer, and how a cell is attacked and responds to invasion.
They want to know what genes are and how heredity is transmitted, how the brain functions, and many other things.
Medical science is still probing into the nature of the intelligence that you are full of.
It is not going to create any more of it.
The simple action of lifting an arm, which you and I do effortlessly, unthinkingly, is studied by many mighty scientists.
They are eager to discover what exactly makes the arm flex, and get Nobel Prizes for such investigations.
And the arm simply bends, life flows on, is, in its totality.
That is yoga.

June 24


Why do people practice yoga?
This question arises in the minds of the practitioners themselves, unfortunately!
Because we have come to accept that every action is invariably motivated and goal-oriented, that every event has a cause, we ask this question.
It is not ambition that brought "me" into being, gave birth to me.
I was born without any regard whatsoever to my feelings.
I am not eager to die; yet I am bound to die, very much against my wishes or private feelings about it.
When these two fundamental events are independent of my ambition, why should I assume that ambition is inherent in life?
Even so, the natural functions of the body take no notice of my ambitions!
I may be ambitious to hold my breath for half an hour, so that I may be acclaimed as a great yogi, but my body does not heed.
Digestion, circulation and sensation, as well as growth and decay, go on naturally.
Ambition is powerless to alter them.
Except in a destructive way!
Ambition always leads to frustration.
If this does not happen in the lives of some, it is only because death overtakes frustration.

June 25


Our philosophy of life, the very mainsprings of our existence, is polluted by ambition.
"Is it not natural?" we ask.
We think that even the bird has some motive in waking up at 4 a.m. and singing.
"How can life go on if we abandon all our ambitions?"
"How could there be progress in the world if the people had not ambitiously worked for and created the cars and planes, teacups and television sets?"
When we thus assume the paramount importance of ambition, we are either blind to its destructiveness, or accept it as the inevitable price one pays for progress.
It is necessary to distinguish ambition from action.
Action is natural, inherent in life; just as "eating" (and therefore hunger) is natural to all living beings.
But ambition is not natural, even as "craving for chocolate" is not natural.

June 26


Understanding of the truth restores wisdom to the inner consciousness and the energy moves naturally, generating appropriate actions, without being deflected by ambition or inhibition.
The bird awakes without ambition.
It sings without inhibition.
Meditation at dawn dispels the darkness of ignorance.
When the sun of self-knowledge arises, the ever-existent reality shines.

If we live only to promote others' happiness, we need never grow old.
This doctrine is often twisted to appear as though it involves large gifts and sacrifices.
It is nothing of the kind!
You can promote the others' happiness by just a kindly smile and a loving look.
It can bring sunshine, not only into their lives, but also into their very souls!
Radiate happiness, and you are doing greater service than do all saints and sages in the world put together.

June 27


Frustration is directly related to ambition: it is the other "side" of ambition.
It thus destroys me and the world at large.
When the several conflicting and competing ambitions of people oppose one another, there is fear, hate, violence and destruction.
This is abundantly evident in the world today.
Wisdom, therefore, recognizes not only that ambition is destructive, but also that it is unnatural and unnecessary.
The wise man turns his gaze within to see the source of this ambition.
What is this ambition made of?
Naturally, of the very substances that exist in each one of us - energy (life-force) and intelligence.
This intelligence is somehow veiled from an awareness of itself, and therefore entertains the wrong notion that it is an independent individual, whose survival as such is possible only by overcoming "others", the "others" being similar individuals, which in self-ignorance one feels are different and often hostile to "oneself".
Blinded by this self-ignorance, man becomes ambitious, and the energy flows in destructive channels.

June 28


Any motivation in the practice of yoga becomes almost immediately counter-productive.
Indeed, it is obvious that it is some sort of a motivation that brings the student to yoga in the first place.
But a wise teacher would do well to point out immediately that yoga being the antidote to the ills caused by motivation and a goal-oriented life, seeking a goal for the practice of yoga defeats its purpose.
People are ill, physically and mentally, because, instead of living, they are constantly struggling for something.
Living does not involve struggle, contrary to popular misconception.
The simplest form of "living" is joyous and blissful, and life is intelligent, wise and alert enough to avoid pain and unhappiness instantly.
It is some sort of twisted motivation that causes pain and suffering, and then rationalizes such pain and suffering, even to the point of exalting them.

June 29

The Pursuit

Right from the very beginning of the practice of yoga, the student discovers that the intelligence in the body is capable of meeting every situation that arises in life from moment to moment.
This is the "purpose" of the yoga asanas (postures).
During pranayama the yogi again discovers the great power and vigilance of the life force, which is beyond the ego-sense, and which alone enables us to live.
In meditation the yogi discovers (uncovers) self-ignorance.
Then, self-knowledge (knowledge as the self or self as pure knowing) alone is.
This is freedom, liberation - which ever is and should, therefore, not be treated as the goal, nor as an idea.
There is not even a "rejection" of pain, but the realization that such rejection makes pain painful!
There is not the pursuit of pleasure, but the realization that it is the pursuit that makes pleasure pleasurable - and its inevitable reaction, painful.
When there is neither rejection nor pursuit, life is liberated from the haunting shadows of ignorant notions.
There is enlightenment.
All life becomes divine life.
All this becomes clear only when one is able to observe the life of a great Master like Gurudev Swami Sivananda.

June 30


Yoga is the realization of God's Omnipresence.
Is it not real now?
It is, and so we say "God is Omnipresent".
But these are words, not the reality.
The actions of one to whom that statement is real are karma yoga.
But, karma yoga is often confused with laudable social service.
One who lives (and more often dies) for a cause or another person is said to be a karma yogi.
One who does his duty as defined by some others is regarded as a karma yogi.
In God or cosmic consciousness there is inherent energy of life.
There is motion or activity.
Natural motion arises in its source, moves in it, and merges into it.
It has no motivation, no goal.
In it, therefore, there is no sorrow.
But, why is our own life haunted by sorrow all the time?

"I am not what I want to be".
How do you know what you want to be?
If you are not in the refrigerator, you will not know how cold it is!
You are what you want to be already.
Because of the opening and closing of the refrigerator door, that inner state is disturbed.
Identifying yourself with the distraction, you feel you are not what you want to be.
That is all.

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