Daily Readings

Sivananda - March

CYT for DLS - Mauritius - isbn 0620036540

Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Venkatesaya

march 1

epistle of swami sivananda - 11
this is the way to spiritualise all your actions (continued)

now i will tell you what vicara is.
vicara means enquiry.
it is an enquiry into the nature of brahman or atman.
enquiry of 'who am i' is also vicara.
what is bondage?
what is freedom?
what is the relation between the jiva and brahman?
how was this universe born?
who is the creator?
these constitute vicara.
vicara leads to brahma jnana - realization of the infinite.

you are imprisoned in this cage of flesh for a long time, on account of your identification with the body.
cut this illusion with the sword of knowledge.
'i am the all-pervading sat-chit-ananda brahman'.
be ever blissful.
give up 'i-ness, mine-ness' agency, or doership.
become a silent witness.
this is wisdom.
brahman or the absolute is the only reality.
mind and the universe are unreal.
mind alone is the universe.
action of the mind alone is karma.
renunciation of egoism and desires constitutes real renunciation.
this leads to atma-jnana - self-knowledge.
practice brahma vicara, and you will soon attain self-realization.

identification with the body is bondage.
identification with the atman or soul is liberation.
'i am body',
'this is mine',
'he is my son',
'she is my wife',
this is bondage.
'i am all-pervading immortal soul',
'nothing belongs to me',
'all is brahman',
this is liberation.
if the mind is attached to objects,
this is bondage.
if it is unattached,
this is liberation.

where there is no duality, there is immortality.
when the three knots are cut, one attains immortality.
if your object in life is immortality, shun sense-objects as poison.
where there is nothing to be seen, or heard, or thought of, there is immortality.
immortality is the very nature of atman.
the road to immortality is steep and thorny.
the help of a realized sage is necessary, at every step.

march 2

epistle of swami sivananda - 12
this is the way to spiritualise all your actions (continued)

walk the brahman way.
brahmacarya is walking with god or brahman.
brahmacarya is the brahman way.
regard a woman as mother or devi - goddess.
this is brahmacarya of the eye.
hear not lustful talks.
this is brahmacarya of the ear.
speak not of woman.
this is brahmacarya of the tongue.
entertain not lustful thoughts.
this is brahmacarya of the mind.

brahman is supreme goodness.
rajas and tamas are the causes for kwaad.
evil is a mere appearance.
it exists to glorify good.
evil is a kind of knowledge.
evil shows the superiority of goodness, by way of comparison.
an evil man is a saint of the future.
see good in everything.
destroy the evil-finding quality.
develop the good-finding quality.
rise above good and evil.
your real nature is essentially sat-chid-ananda brahman.
thou art the
eternal atman,
the supreme soul.
tat twam asi.
thou art that.

om om om.

come out of this cage of flesh.
know thy essential divine nature.
thou art
the whole,
the infinite,
the absolute,
the eternal,
the immortal.
thou art above pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow, all pairs of opposites.

search within.
gaze within.
within you is the immortal soul.
aim at perfection.
fight life's battle bravely.
live wisely.
strengthen your resolution.
become one with the eternal.
have tenacity of purpose.
climb the peak of perfection.
self-realization is here and now.
attain life's goal.

if you observe perfect physical brahmacarya - celibacy,
you will have control over your temper,
you will not become irritable.
gradually you can attempt to attain mental brahmacarya, through
japa - repetition of god's name,
discrimination and
brahmacarya is the first requisite for god-realization.
brahmacarya is the pathway to the kingdom of god.
may you be established in perfect brahmacarya.

march 3

epistle of swami sivananda - 13
this is the way to spiritualise all your actions (continued)

self-realization is not a process.
it is not a becoming.
it is pure being.
it is not a new thing to be attained.
the aspirant knows that he is the all-pervading, immortal soul.
to know that is to become that.
self-realization is direct, intuitive perception of the atman.
all distinctions vanish.
the sage is freed from fear, sorrow, and pain.

do not get false contentment.
do not imagine that you have reached the highest nirvikalpa state, and stop your sadhana - practice.
slay spiritual pride.
shun the company of worldly persons, who always talk on sexual matters, money, and worldly topics.
observe the laws of health and hygiene.
be moderate in eating and drinking.
do not overwork.
this will produce fatigue.

fight bravely in this battle of life.
be bold.
be cheerful.
be patient.
be wise.
arm yourself with
the shield of discrimination and
the sword of dispassion.
march forward courageously, o brave spiritual soldier.
yield not to temptations.
yoga is an exact science.
it aims at the harmonious development of the body, the mind, and the soul.
thou art divine.
live up to it.
feel and realize thy divine nature.

yoga of synthesis is a unique yoga.
it is suitable for the vast majority of persons.
man thinks, feels, and wills.
he must develop his heart, intellect, and hand.
then alone can he attain perfection, or integral development.
everyone should have one yoga as a basic yoga.
he must combine
karma yoga,
hatha yoga,
raja yoga,
bhakti yoga and
jnana yoga.
this is the yoga of synthesis.

march 4

epistle of swami sivananda - 14
this is the way to spiritualise all your actions (continued)

take stock of the past year.
turn back the leaves of your spiritual diary.
mark your spiritual progress.
note how far you have advanced in cultivating virtues, like
cosmic love,
purity, etc., and
in the control of the senses.
even if there is a set-back in certain things, nil desperandum.
march forward, o adhyitmic - spiritual - hero.
look not back.
a brilliant future is awaiting you.

god is the source of all happiness.
all beings abide in him.
he is an embodiment of
wisdom, and
he is
beauty, and
all beings abide in him.
god is one, god and his laws are one.
god is love and law.
god is pure spirit.
god is the path and the goal.

god alone is your real
friend and
realize god
now, and
and be happy for ever.

the deeper a man's love of god is, the greater is his spiritual knowledge, in due proportion to his capacity and depth of love.
the final consummation of the love of god is union with god.
love of god is inborn in a man by virtue of his spiritual evolution.
may you live in god.

to realize god is your duty.
god-realization is your birth-right.

develop strong yearning for god-realization.
have confidence in your self.
be self-controlled.
be fiery in your determination.
stick to your resolves tenaciously.
cultivate a very strong faith in god.
do total self-surrender, and obtain his grace.
may you be established in god-consciousness.

i shall tell you about the nature of the atman or brahman.
the supreme self or atman abides in the chambers of your heart.
it is the substratum of this
prana - life,
body, and
it is satchidananda.
it is
ever pure,
ever free,
perfect and
it is one without a second.
it is truth and wisdom.
it is
formless and

march 5

yogasara-upanishad mantra - 1
now yoga is explained

notes and commentary

yoga is the state wherein there is no sankalpa-vikalpa - thought or doubt.
yoga is the control of mind and its modifications.
yoga is the equal state between jivatma - soul - and paramatma - god.
the word 'yogi' signifies
an aspirant or a student in the path of yoga,
as well as a full-blown developed adept in yoga.
he who is fully established in the highest nirvikalpa samadhi - superconsciousness - is a yogi.
he who practices yoga is also a yogi.
a 'raja yogi' is otherwise known as 'dhyana yogi'.

dhyana means meditation.
it is the continuous flow of one idea of god.
raja yoga aims at controlling all thought-waves or mental modifications.
it concerns with the mind, its purification and control.
hence it is called, 'raja yoga king of yogas.'
it is otherwise known as astanga yoga - yoga with eight limbs.

a sutra means a thread or aphorism or terse saying.
each sutra is pregnant with high, sublime ideas.
without the help of commentary, it is difficult to understand the meanings of the aphorisms.
just as flowers or pearls are studded in a string or a thread,
even so, philosophical or spiritual ideas are studded in a sutra or thread.

food - food,
sleep - nidra,
fear - bhaya, and
coition - maithuna -
are common to both animals and human beings.
but man has got
power of discrimination - viveka, and
power of enquiry - vicara shakti.
with the help of these special powers, he
can realize his self, and
can know his true nature.
even devas - gods - are envious of human beings, because deva-yoni - divine species - is mere bhoga-yoni - enjoyment.
they can enjoy only with a daivic - divine - body.
man has got both
karma-yoni - activity, and
he can do nishkamya karma yoga, and attain jnana through cittasuddhi - purity of mind.
he can take recourse to various yogic practices for spiritual unfoldment, and can become a full-blown yogi in this birth.
horses and dogs possess minds, but they have
neither discrimination
nor intelligence
nor vicara shakti.
hence it is not possible for them to attain freedom.

you will find in yajnavalkya smrti that hiranyagarbha was the original teacher of yoga.
patanjali maharishi is only a compiler or explainer of the yogic principles and tenets taught and practiced by hiranyagarbha and others.

march 6

yogasara-upanishad mantra - 2
yoga is the restraint of the thought-waves

notes and commentary

now i proceed to explain the system of yoga philosophy in brief,
and bring home to the readers the salient and vital points in the yogic system.
yoga teaches how
to control the vrttis - thought-waves - of the mind and
get freedom.
yoga teaches how
to curb the outgoing mind and
attain one's pure state of bliss, by going beyond the mind.
yoga teaches how
to transmute the unregenerate nature and
attain the state of divinity.
yoga is a complete suppression of
the tendency of the mind to transform itself into objects, thoughts, etc.

raja yoga is an exact science.
one can ascend the yogic ladder patiently through its different rungs.
the highest summit of the ladder is
asamprajnata samadhi - superconsciousness,
wherein all the samskaras - mental impressions,
which bring about successive births,
are absolutely fried up.
the eight limbs of astanga yoga are:
yama - self-restraint,
niyama - religious observances or canons,
asana - posture,
pranayama - restraint of breath,
pratyahara - abstraction of senses,
dharana - concentration,
dhyana - meditation - and
samadhi - super-conscious state.

this is one kind of classification of yoga:
raja yoga, and
this is yogatraya - three-fold yoga.
upasana is bhakti.
another classification is
mantra yoga,
laya yoga,
hatha yoga, and
raja yoga.
mantra yoga is recitation of mantras as
'om namah shivaya' of lord shiva,
'om namo narayanaya' of lord vishnu,
gayatri, etc.
laya yoga is kundalini yoga.
nada anusadhana - concentration on anahata sounds of heart - is also laya yoga.
laya means dissolution.
the mind is dissolved in god.

hatha yoga relates to
the restraint of breath - pranayama,
mudras, etc.
'ha' and 'tha' means the
union of sun and moon,
union of prana and apana.
hatha means any obstinate practice till the object or end is achieved.
hatha is sticking to some spiritual practices.
mauna - vow of silence,
trataka - steady gazing,
standing on one leg - a kind of austerity - etc.,
are all hatha practices.
hatha yoga is not separate from raja yoga.
it prepares the student to take up raja yoga.
hatha yoga is concerned with
the breath - prana - and
the physical body.
pranayama purifies the pranamaya kosa - vital sheath.

march 7

yogasara-upanishad mantra - 3
then there is communion with the lord

notes and commentary

the word 'yoga' comes from the sanskrit root 'yuj' which means 'to join'.
by the practice of yoga, the individual soul - jivatma - is united with the supreme soul - paramatma.
yoga means union with god.
then all samsara - cycle of birth and death - comes to an end.

yoga kills all sorts of pain - miseries and tribulations.
yoga frees you from the samsaric wheel of birth and death.
yoga gives you
various powers, and
through jnana - self-knowledge.
therefore drink the elixir or nectar of immortality, and become a yogi.
'tasmat yogi bhava arjuna', gita, ch. vi:46.
union with god is the goal of human life.
it is the
be-all and
of our existence.
it is the summum bonum.

the lord - isvara - of raja yoga is a special purusa - person - who is not affected by
the five afflictions and
the fruit of actions and desires.
his name or symbol is om.
he is indicated by the mono-syllable om.
he is

song of real sadhana

do real sadhana, my dear children
to free yourself from birth and death
and enjoy the highest bliss

i will tell you the surest way
kindly hearken with greatest care
acquire first sadhana chatushtaya,
then proceed to the feet of sadguru,
after having sravan and manan,
then do practice nidhidhyasan,
remove first the old, old dehaadhyas,
by repeating shivoham bhavana,
then remove the veil, avarana,
you will rest in your own swaroop.

march 8

yogasara-upanishad mantra - 4
learn the yoga under a guru

notes and commentary

learn the yoga under a guru - preceptor.
then only will you be able to understand the subtle points.
get practical lessons also from him.
then alone you will grow rapidly.
he will remove your doubts and show you the right path, because he has already trodden the path himself.
he will point out the pitfalls, the snares, etc., that tempt and deceive the aspirants on the path.
he will inspire his disciples.

just as water flows from a higher level to a lower level,
so also the grace of the guru flows towards the disciple,
if the latter has a true receptive attitude and sincere faith in his guru.
just as electricity flows from a positive-charge battery towards the negative pole,
even so the power, energy, love, wisdom and spiritual current
flow from the master-mind of a yogi towards the lesser mind of the disciple.

even in cooking and typewriting you want a guru to guide.
when such is the case with ordinary matters and secular sciences, what to speak of the science of yoga which treats of sublime spiritual matters and transcendental questions?
the mysteries of knowledge are handed down from guru to disciple.

books also can help you.
they will inspire you.
they can guide you only to a certain extent.
you will have to practice for yourself yama, niyama or the rules of right conduct before you approach a guru.
you can start the minor practices, asana, pranayama, some concentration exercises etc., with the help of books.
books written by realized persons can serve the purpose of a guru till you come in personal contact with a realized yogi or adept.
you can also get help from senior aspirants in the path of yoga.

make a programme of your life.
draw up a spiritual routine.
stick to it systematically and regularly.
apply diligently.
never waste a single minute.
life is short.
time is fleeting.
that 'tomorrow' will never come - now or never.

stand up with a firm resolve: 'i will become a yogi this very moment.'
gird up your loins.
do rigid, constant yoga sadhana, or yoga abhyasa.
if you are very sincere in your practice, and
if your mind is filled with burning vairagya - dispassion, and
keen longing for liberation - mumukshatwa,
you can reach perfection within six months.

march 9

yogasara-upanishad mantra - 5
a vrtti is a whirlpool in the mind-lake

notes and commentary

vrtti literally means a whirlpool.
it is a thought-wave in the lake of citta.
citta is the mind-stuff or mental substance.
it takes various forms.
these forms constitute vrttis.
it gets transformed or modified - parinama.

these transformations and modifications are the thought-waves, whirlpools or vrttis.
if the citta thinks of a mango, the vrtti of a mango is formed in the lake of citta.
this will subside, and another vrtti will be formed when it thinks of milk - milk-vrtti.
countless vrttis are rising and subsiding in the ocean of citta.
these vrttis cause restlessness of mind.

why do vrttis arise from citta?
because of
samskaras - habits - and
vasanas - desires.
if you annihilate all desires, all vrttis will subside by themselves.

when a vrtti subsides, it leaves a definite impression in the subconscious mind.
it is known as samskara or latent impression.
the sum-total of all samskaras is known as karmasaya - receptacle of works.
this is sancita karma - accumulated work.
when a man leaves the physical body, he carries with him his astral body of seventeen tatvas and the karmasaya as well to the mental plane.
this karmasaya is burnt by the highest knowledge, obtained through asamprajnata samadhi.

modification is a vrtti in the mind.
when the vrtti subsides, it assumes the subtle state of potency or samskara in the citta or subconscious mind.
this potency again becomes a vrtti under suitable conditions, when the mind comes in contact with sensual objects, or through memory of objects from stimulus within.

there are degrees in the vrttis or modifications that arise from the mind.
you can check or control the lower vrtti with the help of higher vrttis or transformations.
for instance, anger is a lower vrtti, or a vrtti of a lower degree.
ksama - forgiveness - is a vrtti of a higher degree.
with the help of ksama you can control the lower vrtti, anger.
you can become a yogarudha - one who is established in yoga - by controlling all the vrttis of the mind.

the yogi does not annihilate himself by controlling all the vrttis or modifications of the mind.
by suppressing the transformations of the mind he acquires great powers.
he becomes a siddha - adept or perfect being.

although the mind is one,
it passes into many conditions or states,
as it is made up of three qualities - gunas - satva, rajas and tamas.
all these qualities enter into a variety of combinations.

the modifications or vrttis of the mind are also various.
peace of mind is a satvic vrtti.
lust is a rajasic vrtti.
laziness is a tamasic vrtti.

march 10

yogasara-upanishad mantra - 5 (continued)
a vrtti is a whirlpool in the mind-lake (continued)

notes and commentary

by destroying the vrttis one by one, you gain more and more
mental strength - manasic bala - and
spiritual strength - atma bala.
do the practice, and feel the strength yourself.

the annihilation of even one vrtti will give you strength to destroy the second vrtti that is tormenting you.
patience, perseverance and persistent sadhana are necessary.
how difficult is it to get a degree?
how much more difficult should it be, if you want to attain the state of immortality and absolute freedom?

just as you remove a small pebble that causes irritation to your feet, so also you should then and there remove every vrtti that torments the mind.
unless and until you are able to do so, you have not gained any real mental strength or spiritual power.
just as you extract a tooth and then chuck it away, so also you should extract a disturbing vrtti and cast it aside.
raja yoga teaches how to extract or root out the disturbing thoughts.
you will have to pay a heavy price for mastering this yoga.

ignorant people identify themselves with the body, mind, and the vrttis of the mind.
the mind and the body are instruments only.
the real man is behind the mind.
if you become one with the mind, body and vrtti, you get various sorts of miseries and sufferings.
the whole universe is created by the vrttis of the mind only.
if these mental waves or thought-waves subside, you can attain the absolute state.
just as you can clearly see the bottom of a lake when the ripples and waves subside, so also you can cognise your real self when the vrttis that agitate your mind subside.

march 11

yogasara-upanishad mantra - 6
thought is a thing. thought is a dynamic force

notes and commentary

thought is as much a thing as the yonder piece of stone.
it has weight, colour, shape, size and form.
thought is a dynamic force.
it is caused by the vibrations of psychic prana - suksma prana - on the mental substance.
it is a force like gravitation, cohesion, or repulsion.
thought travels or moves.
thought has got tremendous power.
thought can heal diseases.
thoughts can transform the mentality of persons.
thought can do anything.
it can work wonders.
the velocity of thought is unimaginable.

thought is a finer force.
this is supplied to us by food.
if you read chandogya upanishad - the dialogue between uddalaka and swetaketu - you will understand this point well.
if the food is pure, thought also becomes pure.
he who has pure thoughts, speaks very powerfully, and produces deep impression on the minds of the hearers by his speech.
he influences thousands of persons through his pure thoughts.
a pure thought is sharper than the edge of a razor.
entertain always pure sublime thoughts.
thought-culture is an exact science.

thinking is of four kinds, viz.,
symbolic thinking,
instinctive thinking,
impulsive thinking, and
habitual thinking.
thinking through words is symbolic thinking.
instincts are more powerful than impulses.
thoughts of body, food, drink, bath, etc., are habitual thinking.
you can stop easily symbolic thinking.
it is difficult to stop instinctive and impulsive thinking.

thought is a great force.
thought has tremendous power.
it can be transmitted from one man to another man.
you can move the world through thought-force.
the powerful thoughts of great sages - rsis - of yore are still recorded in the akasa - akasic records.
yogis who have clairvoyant vision can perceive those thought-images.
they can read them.
you are surrounded by an ocean of thought.
you are floating in the ocean of thought.
you are absorbing certain thoughts and repelling some in the thought world.

every one has his own thought world.
through practice of yama, niyama, pranayama and meditation, you can change impure thoughts into suitable pure thoughts.
meditation fills the mind with cheerful, powerful, satvic thoughts.

march 12

yogasara-upanishad mantra - 7
citta is the mind-stuff from which the vrttis arise

notes and commentary

the thinking principle is a comprehensive expression equivalent to the sanskrit term antahkarana.
antahkarana is a broad term used in vedanta.
it includes
manas - mind,
buddhi - intellect,
citta, and
ahamkara - egoism or self-asserting principle.

the one mind assumes the three other forms,
citta, and
ahamkara ,
according to the different functions it performs - vrittibheda,
just as one man is a judge in courts, president in a sabha, store-keeper in a store, and general secretary of a managing committee.
manas is a sankalpa vikalpatmaka - willing and doubting.
it thinks whether to go to a place or not, whether to do this or not, and whether this is good or bad.
the mind is of a doubting nature.

buddhi - intellect - is niscayatmaka - certitude.
it is the determining faculty.
it is that light of buddhi that determines one way or the other.
i must go to dehra dun by this evening train.
i must do this work.
this is good.

citta does the function of
anusandhana - contemplation - and
dharana - concentration.
the function of memory also belongs to citta.
according to yoga philosophy, citta is the mind-stuff or the mental substance.
and the mind,
the intellect, and
are various processes in the mind-stuff.

ahamkara is the self-arrogating principle.
it does the function of abhimana - identification.
it creates mamata - mineness.
this is the root cause of all human sufferings.
all vrttis hang upon this one 'aham vrtti' - 'i' thought .
it is the root cause of human ignorance.

it should be distinctly borne in mind that the thinking principle - mind - is not the atman - self.
the atman is the fountain-source of all consciousness or knowledge.
just as a piece of iron moves in the presence of a mighty magnet,
so also the little mind moves in the presence of the majestic atman.
just as a minister works with fear in the presence of a king,
so also the mind works in the same way in the presence of the king of kings, the atman.
just as a mirror borrows its light from the sun,
so also the mind borrows its light from the atman, the supreme being.

march 13

yogasara-upanishad mantra - 8
perception comes only when the mind is connected with the centre and external instrument

notes and commentary

modification of mind is known as parinama.
when milk is changed into curd, it is also parinama.
even so the mind gets modified into a vrtti,
by assuming the form of the object it perceives.
knowledge of perception is a kind of transformation - parinama - of the mind.

some people sleep with their eyes open.
the object is there.
the centre of vision is there, and yet they cannot see the object.
why? because the mind is not there.
therefore three things are necessary for perception of an object viz.,
the physical instrument,
the external fleshy eyes, which act as windows to the soul, the centre of the vision in the brain, and
the mind.
it is the mind that really sees.
it is the commander of the five senses.
the senses carry the vibrations from outside to the mind.
they are avenues of sense-knowledge.

according to sankhya philosophy, it is the purusa or soul that is the real perceiver of an object.
the sense transmits the sense-vibrations to the mind,
and the mind in its turn presents the vibrations to the prime minister of the soul - the buddhi or intellect - the discriminative faculty, which is very close to the soul.
now, reaction comes in.
with the reaction of the buddhi, egoism manifests side by side.
then the whole thing is presented to purusa, who really perceives all objects.

if the physical instrument, eye, is not in a good working order owing to disease, you cannot have perception of an object.
the eye may be all right, but if the centre of vision that is situated in the occipital lobe of the brain at the back of the skull does not function properly, owing to the diseases of this particular lobe of the brain, in that case also you can have hardly any perception of any object.
the eye and the centre of the vision may be in sound condition, but if the mind is not linked with the centre and the external eye, you can hardly have perception of any object.
sometimes a man says: 'i did not hear. i did not see. my mind was elsewhere.'
you will find such instances in your daily life.

march 14

yogasara-upanishad mantra - 8 (continued)
perception comes only when the mind is connected with the centre and external instrument (continued)

notes and commentary

when you are deeply engaged in solving a mathematical problem, you do not hear any sound, though your friends shout loudly by your side.
trams and cars run about in the street.
if you are deeply engaged in something, you do not hear them.
why? because your mind was not linked with the organ of hearing.
the indriyas cannot do anything by themselves.
they need the help of their master, the mind, at every moment.
it is the mind that sees, hears, tastes, smells and feels.
senses simply transmit the sense-vibrations from outside to the mind.

the table that you see is a mental kalpana - imagination.
this table, though you see it externally, really exists in your mind.
a mental picture or image, plus external something, is the table.
that which exists outside is unknown and unknowable.
mind reacts to external vibrations, and you see the external universe.
if there is no mind, there is no universe.
where is the world for you during deep sleep?
hence this world is termed as manomatra jagat or manahkalpita jagat.
this mind is the universe.
there is no world apart from the mind.

how can a tiny lens produce a big image of a mountain?
a small image is produced by the lens, the retina, and the optic centre.
it is the mind that develops and enlarges it.
all the pictures do already exist in the mind.
what you perceive as a big mountain outside is only the mental image, plus some external unknowable something.

if you say, 'there is nothing outside', why do you run after food and water when you are hungry and thirsty?
if everything is within, you should get satisfaction from hunger and thirst from within only.
but it is not the case.
there is something outside, call it
avivarta - appearance - of brahman,
vilasa - expansion - of maya,
camatkara - trick - of avidya - ignorance,
parinama - modification - of vishnu,
electrical waves of scientists,
combination of anus - atoms - of kanada, or
tatva - elemental - vilasa.
it does not matter much.

march 15

yogasara-upanishad mantra - 9
pleasure also must be given up as pain

notes and commentary

pleasure that is derived from sensual objects gives pain to one who discriminates.
worldly-minded persons, who have lost the faculty of discrimination, rejoice in sensual objects on account of lack of discrimination.
they weep in old age.
you weep when you are born.
you weep when you die.
you weep in the interval also.
where then is pleasure in the world?
learn to discriminate.
become a yogi.
yoga will put an end to all sorts of pain.
yoga will destroy all klesas - afflictions.
wake up.
open your eyes.
practice yoga, my child!

sensual pleasure is
illusory, and
a mustard seed of pleasure is mixed with a mountain of pain.
enjoyment cannot bring about satisfaction of a desire.
on the contrary, it makes the mind more restless after enjoyment. through intense craving - trisnas and vasanas.
sensual pleasure is the cause of birth and death.
this body is nothing but a mass of flesh, bone, and all sorts of filth.

place before the mind
the fruits of self-realization or
life in the soul or
brahman or
the eternal
such as
eternal bliss,
supreme peace, and
infinite knowledge.
if you remember these points always, the mind will be weaned from the cravings for sensual pleasure.
viveka, and
mumukshatwa - dispassion,
discrimination from the real and unreal, and
keen longing for liberation from birth and death -
will dawn.
you should seriously look
into the defects of the sensual life, and
into the unreal nature of worldly life.

just as pure gold,
which has been treated in the crucible with borax etc.,
and rendered pure,
shines brilliantly,
so also the yogi,
whose mind is rendered pure by the agents of vairagya and abhyasa,
becomes a lustrous person.

march 16

yogasara-upanishad mantra - 10
prakrti operates through three gunas

notes and commentary

rajas, and
are the three gunas or qualities of the mind.
satva is purity or light or knowledge.
rajas is passion or activity.
tamas is inertia or darkness.
by checking rajas and tamas,
you can increase the satva.
when the satva is increased,
the mind becomes steady,
like the flame of a lamp in a windless place.

he who is satvic,
can do real concentration and meditation, and
can enter into samadhi - superconscious state - easily.
a rajasic man loves power and objects of sense.
a tamasic man does vicious actions, on account of ignorance.

satva cannot stand by itself.
it is mixed with disturbing rajas and tamas.
when there is preponderance of satva, rajas and tamas get controlled.
but they lurk in the mind all the same.

where there is increase of satva, there is
peace, and
your important duty is to increase satva and control the senses and the mind.
other duties are secondary only.
a sensible man only can understand this point.

the mind is wandering - ksipta - and unsteady, through the disturbing energy rajas - passion - which makes the mind run towards various sensual objects.
the mind becomes forgetful - mudha - when it is filled with tamas - inertia.
deep sleep supervenes on account of excess of tamas.

march 17

yogasara-upanishad mantra - 11
dharana (concentration) is fixing the mind on an idea or a point or object either internal or external

notes and commentary

it is very difficult to say where concentration ends and meditation begins.
meditation follows concentration.
purify the mind first through the practice of
yama - selfcontrol - and
niyama - discipline.
then take to the practice of dharana.
concentration without purity is of no use.

there are some occultists who are much advanced in concentration.
but they have no good character.
that is the reason why they do not make any progress in the spiritual path.

some foolish, impatient yogic students take to dharana at once without undergoing the preliminary ethical training.
they want to have a long jump.
they break their legs and fall down.
this is a serious blunder.
ethical perfection is of paramount importance.

concentration is steadfastness of mind.
if you remove all causes of distraction, your power of concentration will increase.
a true brahmacarya - celibate - who has preserved his virya - vitality - will have wonderful concentration.
attention plays a prominent part in concentration.
he who has developed his power of attention will have good concentration.
you should be able to visualise very clearly the object of concentration, even in its absence.
you must call up the mental picture in a moment's notice.
if you have good practice in concentration, you can do this without difficulty.
he who has gained success in pratyahara - abstraction,
by withdrawing the indriyas - senses - from the various objects,
will have good concentration.
you will have to march in the spiritual path step by step, stage by stage.

lay the foundation of
yama - right conduct,
asana - posture,
pranayama, and
to start with.
the superstructure of
dharana - concentration,
dhyana - meditation, and
will be successful then only.

asana is bahiranga sadhana - external practice;
dhyana is antaranga sadhana - internal.
when compared with dhyana and samadhi,
even dharana is bahiranga sadhana.
he who has steady asana,
and has purified the yoga-nadis and the pranamaya kosa - vital sheath,
through pranayama,
will be able to concentrate easily.

march 18

yogasara-upanishad mantra - 11 (continued)
dharana (concentration) is fixing the mind on an idea or a point or object either internal or external (continued)

notes and commentary

you can concentrate internally
on any of the seven plexus or chakras or centres of spiritual energy,
or at the tip of the nose,
or at the tip of the tongue,
or externally on the picture of any devata - deity, hari, hara, krishna or devi.
you can concentrate
on the tick-tick sound of a watch
or the flame of a candle,
or on a black point on a wall,
or on a pencil, or rose flower,
or any pleasing object.
this is concrete concentration.
there can be no concentration without something upon which the mind may rest.
the mind can be fixed easily on a pleasing object,
such as jasmine flower, mango, orange
or a loving friend.
it is difficult to fix the mind in the beginning on any object which it dislikes,
such as faecal matter, cobra, enemy, ugly face, etc.
practice concentration till the mind is well established on the object of concentration.
when the mind runs away from the object of concentration, bring it back again and again to the object.
lord krishna says: 'as often as the wavering and unsteady mind goes forth, so often reining it in, let him bring it under the control of the self'. - bhagavad gita ch vi-26.

if you want to increase your power of concentration, you will have to reduce your worldly activities.
you will have to observe mauna - vow of silence - for two hours daily.
a man whose mind is filled with passion, and all sorts of fantastic desires, can hardly concentrate on any object even for a second.
his mind will be oscillating like a balloon.
regulate and master the breath.
subdue the senses,
and then fix the mind on any pleasing object.
associate the ideas of holiness and purity with the object.

you can concentrate on the space between the two eyebrows - trikuti.
you can concentrate on the mystic sounds - anahata dhvani - that you hear from your right ear.
you can concentrate on 'om' picture.
the picture of lord krishna with flute in hand,
and the picture of lord vishnu with conch, discus, mace and lotus,
are very good for concentration.
you can concentrate on the picture of your guru or any saint also.
vedantins try to fix the mind on atman, the inner self.
this is their dharana.

dharana is the sixth stage or limb of astanga yoga or raja yoga of patanjali maharshi.
in dharana you will have only one vrtti or wave in the mind-lake.
the mind assumes the form of only one object.
all other operations of the mind are suspended or stopped.
he who can practice real concentration for half or one hour will have tremendous psychic powers.
his 'will' also will be very powerfull.

march 19

yogasara-upanishad mantra - 11 (continued)
dharana (concentration) is fixing the mind on an idea or a point or object either internal or external (continued)

notes and commentary

when hatha yogis concentrate their minds on the six supports - the sad-chakras,
they concentrate their minds on the respective presiding deities also,
viz., ganesa, brahma, visnu, rudra, isvara, and sadasiva.

control the breath through pranayama.
subdue the senses through pratyahara.
and then fix the mind
either on a form, or
the formless brahman.
according to hatha yogic school,
a yogi who can suspend his breath by kumbhak for 20 minutes
can have very good dharana.
he will have a very tranquil mind.
steadies the mind,
removes viksepa - distraction, and
increases the power of concentration.

those who practice khecari mudra,
by cutting the frenum lingue and lengthening the tongue and fixing it in the hole in the palate by taking upwards,
will have good dharana.

those who practice concentration evolve quickly.
they can do any work with scientific accuracy and great efficiency.
what others do in six hours can be done by one who has concentration within half an hour.
what others can read in six hours, can be read by one who does concentration within half an hour.
purifies and calms the surging emotions,
strengthens the current of thought, and
clarifies the ideas.
concentration helps a man in his material progress also.
he will turn out a very good amount of work in his office or business house.
what was cloudy and hazy before
becomes clear and definite.
what was difficult before
becomes easy now, and
what was complex, bewildering and confusing before
comes easily within the mental grasp.
you can achieve anything through concentration.
nothing is impossible for a man who practices regular concentration.
it is very difficult to practice concentration
when one is hungry and
when one is suffering from an acute disease.
he who practices concentration will possess
very good health, and
very clear mental vision.

if you read with concentration the bhagavad gita, the ramayana or the eleventh skandha of bhagavatam several times,
you will get new ideas each time.
through concentration,
you will get penetrative insight.
subtle, esoteric meanings will flash out in the field of mental consciousness.
you will understand inner depths of philosophical significance.
when you concentrate on any object,
do not wrestle with the mind.
avoid tension anywhere in the body or mind.
think gently of the object in a continuous manner.
do not allow the mind to wander away.

march 20

yogasara-upanishad mantra - 11 (continued)
dharana (concentration) is fixing the mind on an idea or a point or object either internal or external (continued)

notes and commentary

retire into a quiet room;
sit on padmasana;
close your eyes.

see what happens when you concentrate on an apple.
you may think of its colour, shape, size, and its different parts such as skin, pulp, seeds, etc.
you may think of the places - australia or kashmere - wherefrom it is imported.
you may think of its acidic or sweet taste and its effects on the digestive system and blood.
through law of association ideas of some other fruits also may try to enter.
the mind may entertain some other extraneous ideas.
it may begin to wander about.
it may think of meeting a friend at the railway station at 4 p.m.
it may think of purchasing a towel or a tin of tea and biscuits.
it may ponder over some unpleasant happening that occurred the previous day.

you must try to have a definite line of thought.
there must not be any break in the line of thinking.
you must not allow other thoughts which are not connected with the object on hand to enter.
you will have to struggle hard to get success in this direction.
the mind will try its level best to run in the old grooves, and to take its old familiar road or old beaten path.
the attempt is somewhat like going uphill.
you will rejoice when you get even some success in concentration.
just as law of gravitation, cohesion, etc., operate in the physical plane,
so also definite laws of thought
such as law of association, law of relativity, law of continuity, etc.,
operate in the mental plane or thought-world.
those who practice concentration should thoroughly understand these laws.
when the mind thinks of an object, it may think of its qualities and its parts also.
when it thinks of a cause, it may think of its effects also.

if emotions disturb you during concentration, do not mind them.
they will pass away soon.
if you try to drive them, you will have to tax your will-force.
have an indifferent attitude.
the vedantin uses the formulae:
'i don't care.
get out.
i am a saksi - witness of the mental modifications.'
to drive the emotions.
the devotee simply prays and help comes from god.

train the mind in concentration on
various subjects, gross and subtle, and of
various sizes, small, medium, and big.
in course of time, a firm habit of concentration will be formed.
the moment you sit for concentration, the mood will come at once quite easily.
when you read a book, you must read it with concentration.
there is no use skipping over the pages in a hurried manner.
read one page in the gita.
close the book.
concentrate on what you have read.
find out parallel lines in mahabharata, upanishads and bhagavatam.
compare and contrast.

march 21

yogasara-upanishad mantra - 11 (continued)
dharana (concentration) is fixing the mind on an idea or a point or object either internal or external (continued)

notes and commentary

for a neophyte, the practice of concentration is disgusting and tiring in the beginning.
he has to cut new grooves in the mind and brain.
after some months, he will get great interest in concentration.
he will enjoy a new kind of happiness, the concentration-ananda.
he will become restless if he fails to enjoy this new kind of happiness even on one day.
concentration is the only way to get rid of the worldly miseries and tribulations.
your only duty is to practice concentration.
you have taken this physical body
to practice concentration, and
through concentration, to realize the self.
charity, rajasuya yajna are nothing when compared with concentration.
they are playthings only.

through vairagya - dispassion,
pratyahara, and
practice of concentration,
the dissipated rays of wandering mind are slowly collected.
through steady practice,
it is rendered one-pointed.
how happy and strong is that yogi who has one-pointed mind!
he can turn out voluminous work in the twinkling of an eye.

those who practice concentration off and on,
will have only occasionally a steady mind.
sometimes the mind will begin to wander, and will be quite unfit for application.
you must have a mind that will
obey you at all times sincerely, and
carry out all your commands,
in the best possible manner
at anytime.
steady and systematic practice of raja yoga will make the mind very obedient and faithful.

there are five yoga bhumikas or stages or five stages of the mind, viz.,
ksipta - wandering,
mudha - forgetfulness,
viksipta - gathering mind,
ekagra - one-pointed,
niruddha - controlled or well restrained.
by gradual and well regulated practice of concentration daily,
the rays of the wandering mind are collected.
it becomes one-pointed.
eventually it is curbed properly.
it comes under proper control.

if the aspirant pursues what is not fitting,
his progress is painful and sluggish.
he who pursues what is fitting,
gets easy progress and quick intuition.
he who has no past spiritual samskaras - tendencies - of previous birth,
makes painful progress.
one who has such samskaras,
makes easy progress.
in one whose nature is actually corrupt, and
whose controlling faculties are weak,
progress is painful, and
intuition is sluggish.
but to one of keen controlling faculties,
progress is rapid, and
intuition is quick.
in one overcome by ignorance,
intuition is sluggish.
to one not so overcome,
intuition is rapid.

march 22

yogasara-upanishad mantra - 12
dhyana or meditation is the keeping up of flow of one idea like the flow of oil

notes and commentary

meditation is of two kinds, viz.,
concrete, and
if you meditate on any picture of concrete object,
it is concrete meditation.
if you meditate on an abstract idea, on any quality - such as mercy, tolerance,
it is abstract meditation.
a beginner should practice concrete meditation.
for some, abstract meditation is more easy than concrete.

the aspirant can take up the practice of meditation after he is well up in pratyahara - abstraction of senses - and concentration.
if the senses are turbulent, if the mind cannot be fixed on one point, no meditation is possible, even within hundreds of years.
one should go stage by stage, step by step.
the mind should be withdrawn again and again to the point when it runs.
one should reduce his wants, and renounce all sorts of wild, vain desires of the mind.
a desireless man only can sit quiet and practice meditation.
satvic - pure - light diet, and
brahmacarya - celibacy,
are the prerequisites for the practice of meditation.

consciousness is of two kinds, viz.,
focusing consciousness, and
marginal consciousness.
when you concentrate on trikuti,
the space midway between the two eye-brows,
your focusing consciousness is on the trikuti.
when some flies sit on your left hand during meditation,
you drive them with your right hand.
when you become conscious of the flies,
it is called marginal consciousness.

a seed which has remained in fire for a second, will not undoubtedly sprout into leaves, even though sown in a fertile soil.
even so, a mind that does meditation for some time, but runs towards sensual objects on account of unsteadiness, will not bring in the full fruits of yoga.

march 23

yogasara-upanishad mantra - 13
samadhi is of two kinds, samprajnata and asamprajnata

notes and commentary

samadhi means super-conscious state, wherein the yogi gets super-sensual experiences.
samadhi is of two kinds viz.,
samprajnata, or sabija, or savikalpa, and
asamprajnata, or nirbija, or nirvikalpa.

in savikalpa samadhi there are triputi - triad,
the knower,
knowledge, and
there is alambana - support - for the mind to lean upon.
the samskaras - tendencies - are not fried.

in nirvikalpa, there is neither triputi nor alambana.
the samskaras are fried in toto.
the nirvikalpa samadhi only can destroy birth and death, and bring in highest knowledge and bliss.
savikalpa samadhi is of various kinds - savitarka and nirvitarka, savicara and nirvicara, sa-ananda, and asmita.

when you get full success or perfection - siddhi - in raja yoga,
by entering into asamprajnata samadhi - nirvikalpa state,
all the samskaras and vasanas - conditioning,
which bring on rebirths,
are totally fried up.
all vrttis - mental modifications - that arise from the mind-lake, come under restraint.
the five afflictions, viz.,
avidya - ignorance,
asmita - egoism,
raga-dvesa - love and hatred, and
abhinivesa - clinging to life,
are destroyed,
and the bonds of karma are annihilated.

control the mind and the senses,
become desireless,
develop the power of endurance,
see the self in the self.

samadhi brings on highest good - nisreyas, and
exaltation - abhyudaya.
it gives moksa - deliverance from the wheel of births and deaths.
the afflictions, egoism, etc., have their root in avidya - ignorance.
with the advent of the knowledge of the self, the ignorance vanishes.
with the disappearance of the root cause, viz., ignorance, egoism, etc., also disappear.

in the asamprajnata samadhi, all the modifications of the mind are completely restrained.
all the residual samskaras also are totally burnt.
this is the highest samadhi of raja yoga.
this is also known as nirbija samadhi - without seeds - and nirvikalpa samadhi.

dharma megha in raja yoga means 'the cloud of virtue'.
just as clouds shower rain, so also this dharma-megha samadhi showers on the yogis omniscience and all sorts of siddhis - powers.
karma is the seed for life state, life period, and life experience.
nirbija samadhi will burn all the seeds.

march 24

yogasara-upanishad mantra - 14
the yogi saturates himself from the three gunas (qualities) and attains kaivalya

notes and commentary

by increasing the satvic modifications of the mind such as
ksama - patience,
you can destroy the rajasic and tamasic mental vrttis.
internal fight is ever going on
between gunas - satva, rajas and tamas,
between vrttis - good and evil.

if satva predominates in the mind, thoughts of god, brahma-vicara - enquiry into truth - will manifest.
the mind will be one-pointed.
the meditative mood will come by itself without any exertion.
in spiritual neophytes the satvic state of mind will not last for a long time.
rajas and tamas will try to rush in.
you will have to be very careful and vigilant.
you will have to watch the mind through careful introspection.
your important duty is to increase the satva in the mind.
a satvic man will be ever virtuous, god-loving, dispassionate and powerful.
a rajasic man will be ever engaged in worldly activities.
he wants to lord over people.
he has a domineering attitude.
he wants powers.
he is much attached to wife, children and property.
the dross or impurities of the mind - rajas and tamas - should be removed by heating the mind in the fire of vairagya and abhyasa - dispassion and spiritual practices of sadhana.
then alone you will become a dhyana yogi.

eventually the purusa - soul - realizes his own native state of divine glory, isolation, or absolute independence - kaivalya.
he has completely disconnected himself from the prakrti and its effects.
he feels his absolute freedom, and attains kaivalya, the highest goal of a raja yogi.
all klesa-karmas are destroyed now.
the gunas, having fulfilled their objects of enjoyment and evolution, now entirely cease to act.
he has simultaneous knowledge now.
the past and future are blended into present.
everything is 'now'.
everything is 'here'.
he has transcended time and space.
the sum-total of all knowledge of the three worlds, of all secular sciences is nothing, nothing compared to the infinite knowledge of a yogi who has attained kaivalya.
glory, glory to such exalted yogis.
may their blessings be upon us all!

march 25

the supreme gift

yoga is the supreme gift of india to the world at large.
yoga does not quarrel with science ; it supplements it.
yoga is a methodical way to attain perfection,
through the control of the different elements of human nature - both physical and psychical.

yoga is the supreme science of contacting reality.
it is perfection in action.
it is equanimity of attitude.
it is perfect peace.
yoga is union with god.

yoga is not a thing merely to be heard.
yoga is a thing that has to be assimilated, and put into practice in daily life.
the practice of yoga enables one to realize unity with the whole world.
it is living in tune with god.

yoga is abiding by the principles of truth, and
avoiding the path of untruth.
yoga is a science which is meant for the study of the reflective.
it is for those who are convinced that the world of the senses has nothing substantial to offer.

yoga is a process of continuous transformation.
the inner perfection of self-realization can only come to be revealed by experience.
this happens only progressively.
the transformation of one's personality is achieved through stages.

as you advance in yoga, the ego is progressively replaced by the spirit.
it is through this that the will of god works.
by the practice of yoga, the sadhaka - seeker - is freed from the tyranny of the lower mind, and he becomes divine.
at a later stage the transformation takes the shape of a progressive unfoldment of the spirit.

a preceptor or guru is indispensable for the practice of yoga.
the aspirant should be
merciful, and

you will not have success in yoga if you have desire to get psychic powers.
yoga does not consist of sitting cross-legged for six hours, nor in stopping the heart-beat, nor in getting buried in the ground for a week or a month.

march 26

yoga is eternal life

yoga is a perfect and practical system of self-culture.
yoga is an exact science.
it aims at the harmonious development of the body, the mind and the soul.

yoga is the turning away of the senses from the objective universe, and
concentrating it on the mind within.
yoga is eternal life in the spirit.

yoga aims at controlling the mind and its modifications.
the path of yoga is an inner path, whose gateway is your heart.

yoga is the discipline of the mind, the senses and the physical body.
it helps to control and co-ordinate the subtle forces within the body.

yoga brings perfection, peace and everlasting happiness.
yoga helps you in your businesss, and also in your daily life.
through yoga you can have a calm mind and a peaceful sleep.

through yoga you can also have increased energy, vigour, vitality, longevity, and a high standard of health.
yoga transmutes your animal nature into divine nature.
it raises you to the pinnacle of divine glory and splendour.

the practice of yoga will help you to control your emotions and passions.
it will give you the power to resist temptations, and to remove disturbing elements from the mind.

yoga enables you to keep a balanced mind always.
it removes fatigue.
it confers on you serenity, calmness, and wonderful concentration.
it will enable you to hold communion with the lord and thus attain self-realization.

if you want to attain success in yoga, you will have to abandon all worldly enjoyments.
you will have to practice tapas - austerity - and brahmacarya - celibacy.

to curb the mind you have to use intelligent and judicious methods.
because, if you use force, the mind becomes more turbulent and mischievous.
those who try to control the mind by force, are like those who endeavour to bind a furious elephant with a silken thread.

march 27

what is yoga?

yoga is the science that teaches us the way, the most effective way,
how to remove our defects and weaknesses, and
how to attain
the state of perfection, freedom and super-conscious blessedness,
the state in which there is union with the absolute.

yoga enables its students to acquire perfect control over the physical body, the mind and the senses.
yoga shows you the marvellous method of rising
from evil to goodness, and
from goodness to godliness, and then
from godliness to divine splendour.

yoga is a search for truth.
it raises a man to spiritual eminence.
this form of self-education is called yoga.
the yogi observes the law of moderation at all times.
he treads the middle path.
he does not torture his body, but
he does regulate his eating and sleeping,
he does regulate his talking and working.

yoga is your unique heritage.
proceed upon this path gradually and steadily.
nothing can be achieved overnight.
but steady practice will certainly bestow great blessings in the long run.
yoga has an unparalleled utility and curative value,
not yet tapped by modern medical science.

the practice of yoga is not opposed to any religion.
it is not opposed to any sacred church.
it is purely spiritual and universal in its teachings.
it does not contradict anyone's sincere faith.

yoga does not want you to turn away from life.
it demands spiritualization of life.
yoga brings about physical and spiritual development, side by side.
and finally, yoga enables the aspirant to attain blissful union with the supreme being.
when yoga gets ripened, it becomes the super-conscious state.
it becomes the state called nirvikalpa samadhi - realization of the absolute.

apply yourself tenaciously to self-enquiry and meditation.
be vigilant.
be diligent.
kill thoughts and desires of the world, through holy desires.
slay unholy thoughts with holy thoughts.
thus gain victory over your destiny.
there is a vast ocean of knowledge within you.
become a jivanmukta - a liberated soul.
remember, god helps those who help themselves.

march 28

the ladder of yoga

there are people
who have not been able to serve their preceptors,
who have not done any selfless service, or any devotional practices,
who have not had the heart to treat other children with the affection they show to their own,
who may not have had the heart to help others who were in severe distress.
and yet, they sit and speak high philosophy,
they sit and speak of cosmic love, of cosmic vision, and of their own spiritual experiences and realization - brahma jnana,
they repeat the mantra shivoham shivoham - 'i am siva' - or the mantra aham brahma asmi - 'i am the infinite' - every few minutes,
they wish to be in contact with great avataras - incarnations of god - this very second.

place your foot, step by step, very cautiously, on the different rungs of the ladder of yoga.
ascend very gradually to the summit.
be earnest in your sadhana - practice.
equip yourself with the necessary qualifications.
do not waste your time in search of a preceptor.
when you are ready, you will enter the halls of wisdom.
and there, waiting on the threshold, you will find your preceptor.

sage vasishta says:
'i assure you, on the authority of my own intuitional knowledge, as well as that of other illumined souls, that the reality can be realized by man.
but one who has known it, cannot communicate it to others, for want of means.'
even the knowledge acquired by the five senses, which are common to all, cannot be communicated to others.
you cannot tell the taste of butter to a man who has never tasted it.
nor can you communicate the idea of colour to a man born blind.

all that a teacher can do is to tell his disciple the method of knowing the truth.
all he can do is to tell the disciple of the path that leads to unfoldment of the intuitional faculty.

if you have a burning desire, like lord buddha,
if you possess patience and forgiveness, and
if you have devotion to the preceptor,
then you can contact avataras and sages right now, this very second.

march 29

understand nature

every man should have a comprehensive understanding of nature's laws, and their operations.
then he can pull on in this world, smoothly and happily.
he can utilise the helping forces, to serve his ends in the best possible manner.
he can neutralise the hostile or antagonistic currents.
just as the fish swims against the current, so also he will be able to go against the hostile currents, by adjusting himself properly, and safeguard himself through suitable precautionary methods.
otherwise he becomes a slave.
he is tossed about hither and thither helplessly by various currents.
various hostile forces drag him in different corners.
he drifts like a wooden plank in a river.
he is always very miserable and unhappy, although he is wealthy, and possesses everything that the world can offer.

the captain of a steamer who has a mariner's compass, who has knowledge of the sea, the routes and the oceanic currents, can sail smoothly.
otherwise his steamer will drift here and there helplessly, and be wrecked by being dashed against some icebergs or rocks.
likewise, a wise sailor in the ocean of this life, who has a detailed knowledge of the laws of karma and nature, can sail smoothly, and reach the goal of life positively.
understanding the laws of nature, you can mould or shape your character in any way you like.
'as a man thinketh so he becometh', is one of the great laws of nature.
think you are pure; pure you will become.
think you are noble; noble you will become.
think you are a human being; human you will become.
think you are brahman; brahman you will become.

he who spreads happiness will always get such favourable circumstances as can bring him happiness.
he who spreads pain to others will, doubtless, get such unfavourable circumstances, according to the law of nature, as can bring him misery and pain.
therefore man creates his own character and circumstances.
bad character can be transmuted into good character,
by means of good thoughts,
and unfavourable circumstances can be changed into favourable circumstances,
by doing good actions.
o ram! you must understand the laws of nature and become wise and happy.

march 30

nature's laws

the law of compensation operates everywhere in nature's phenomena.
the seed breaks, and a large tree arises from the seed.
there is no loss in the breaking of the seed.
fuel burns.
fuel is destroyed.
but there is heat, in accordance with the law of compensation.
many articles are cooked in the fire on account of the heat.

the law of compensation operates in the mental plane also.
it keeps up the balance, and establishes
harmony, and
in nature.
think deeply, cogitate and reflect.
you will see that this law of compensation is operating everywhere in the phenomena of nature.
it is inexorable and immutable.
no one can defy this relentless and irresistible law.
if you do an evil act, you will reap a bad fruit in compensation.

if you take an individual life as an isolated event, which begins with birth of the physical body, and terminates with its death, you cannot find any correct explanation or solution for the affairs of life.
you will be groping in darkness and despair.
your present life is nothing, when compared with the whole soul-life.
it is momentary - a mere fragment.
if you want to find the cause or antecedent for anything, you will have to go deep into the affairs of the eternal soul-life.
then alone there will be perfect balance of
cause and effect,
antecedent and consequence.
life does not end with the disintegration of this physical body alone.
there is reincarnation.
there had been countless previous lives also.
you will have to take into consideration the widest view of the life of the soul.
then you will find a perfect, satisfactory solution for all the intricate and complicated affairs of life.

every wrong action or crime brings its own punishment in accordance with the law of retribution.
the law of causation,
the law of action and reaction,
the law of compensation, and
the law of retribution,
all operate together.
he who hurts another man, hurts himself first.

remember that god is neither partial, nor unjust.
remember that god is not responsible for the wealth of one man, or the poverty of another.
you suffer on account of your own wicked actions.
there is nothing chaotic or capricious in this world.
things do not happen in this universe by accident or chance in a disorderly manner.
they happen in regular succession, and events follow each other in a regular order.
there is a kind of definite connection between what is being done now by you, and what will happen in the future.
sow always the seeds which will bring pleasant fruits, and which will make you happy herein and hereafter.

march 31

threefold karma

man is threefold in his nature.
he consists of
desire or feeling,
knowing, and
these three fashion his karma.
he knows objects like chair, tree, etc.
he feels joy and sorrow.
he wills - to do this, or not to do that.

behind the action, there are desire and thought.
a desire for an object arises in the mind, and then you think of ways and means to obtain it.
then you exert to possess it.
thought, and
always go together in this process.
they are the three threads, as it were, that are twisted into the cord of karma.

desire produces karma.
you work and exert to acquire the objects of your desire.
karma produces its fruits as pain or pleasure.
you will have to take birth after birth to reap the fruits of your karmas.
this is the law of karma.

karma is of three kinds, namely,
the accumulated works,
the works that fructify, and
the current works.
the accumulated karmas have accrued to you from the past.
part of it is seen in the character of man, in his tendencies and aptitudes, capacities, inclinations and desires.

the fructifying karma is that portion of the past karma which is responsible for the present body.
it is ripe for reaping, and cannot be avoided or changed.
it is only exhausted by being experienced.
you pay past debts.

the karma of current works is that karma which is now being made for the future.

in vedantic literature, there is a beautiful analogy.
the archer has already released an arrow; it has left his hands.
he cannot recall it.
he is about to shoot another arrow.
the bundle of arrows in the quiver on his back is the accumulated work.
the arrow he has shot is fructifying work, and the arrow which he is about to shoot from his bow is current work.
of these, he has perfect control - the accumulated and the current works, but he must surely work out his fructifying works.
the past which has begun to take effect he has to experience.
fructifying karma cannot be prevented, even by the lord.

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