Daily Readings

Sivananda - September

CYT for DLS - Mauritius - isbn 0620036540

Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Venkatesaya

september 1


if you want to get rid of the pains and afflictions of this samsara - worldly life,
you must practice meditation.
meditation is the pathway to divinity.
it is the royal road to the kingdom of brahman.
it is a mysterious ladder which reaches
from error to truth,
from darkness to light,
from pain to bliss,
from restlessness to abiding peace,
from ignorance to wisdom,
from mortality to immortality.
meditation leads
to knowledge of the self,
to eternal peace,
to supreme bliss.
meditation prepares you for direct intuitive knowledge.

truth is brahman.
truth is self.
you cannot realize the truth without reflection and meditation.
be silent.
know thyself.
melt the mind in that.
without meditation, you cannot liberate yourself from the trammels of the mind, and attain immortality.
tear the veils that cover the soul.
rend asunder the five sheaths that screen the atman - self - by constant meditation.
you will find final beatitude.

meditation is a powerful tonic.
the holy vibrations penetrate all the cells of the body,
and cure all its diseases.
the powerful soothing waves that arise during meditation, exercise a benign influence over the mind and the nerves.
if you meditate for half an hour, you will be able to engage yourself with peace and spiritual strength in the daily battle of life, for a week.
you do this just through the force of this one meditation.

a yogi who meditates regularly, has a magnetic, charming personality.
those who come in contact with him, are much influenced by
his sweet voice,
his powerful speech,
his lustrous eyes,
his brilliant complexion,
his strong healthy body,
his good behavior,
his virtuous qualities and divine nature.
people draw peace and joy and strength from him.

close your lips.
shut the doors of the senses.
meditate on atman - self.

you will enjoy peace and bliss.
the more you grow in aspiration and meditation, the more you grow god-like.
for in meditation is the light of the lord.

meditate and charge your battery by contact with god.
dive deep in the chambers of your heart, through profound and silent meditation, and bring up the pearl of truth.

september 2

the secret of meditation

meditation is the road to the attainment of salvation - moksa.
meditation kills all pains, suffering the three kinds of tapas - fevers, and the five klesas - sorrows.
meditation gives the vision of unity.
meditation produces a sense of oneness.
meditation is the aeroplane that helps the aspirant to soar high in the realms of eternal bliss and everlasting peace.

meditation is the mysterious ladder that connects heaven and earth,
and takes the aspirant to the immortal abode of brahman.
meditation is the continuous flow of one thought of god or atman,
like the continuous flow of oil from one vessel to another.

when you sit for meditation, all sorts of worldly thoughts will crop up in your mind.
this will disturb the meditation.
you will be astonished.
old thoughts, old memories of past enjoyments will bubble up,
and force the mind to wander in all directions.
the trap-door of the vast magazine of thoughts and memories, within the subconscious mind, is opened up,
and these thoughts gush out in a continuous stream.
the more you attempt to still them, the more they will bubble up.

do not be discouraged.
never despair.
through regular and constant meditation you will purify the subconscious mind,
and thus control the thoughts and memories.
the fire of meditation will burn all thoughts.
be sure of this.

meditation on the immortal self will act like dynamite.
it will blow up all thoughts and memories in the subconscious mind.
if the thoughts trouble you much, do not suppress them by force.
be a silent witness, as in a bioscope.
they will subside gradually.
then you must root them out by regular silent meditation.

the practice of meditation must be constant.
then only will one attain self-realization, quickly and surely.
he who practices meditation, by fits and starts, for a few minutes daily, will not be able to achieve any tangible success in yoga.

in the beginning, beginners fall down from meditation into their old grooves.
they must lift up their minds again and again.
they will have to fix the mind on the laksya - target.
when the meditation becomes deep and steady, they eventually get established in god.
then meditation becomes sahaja - it becomes habitual.

september 3

self-effort and grace in meditation

you need a
sharp one-pointed
buddhi - intellect,
to understand the reality of brahman.
only then is realization possible.
only a trained mind, which utterly controls the body,
can enquire and meditate as long as life remains,
never losing sight of the object of its search, and
never letting it be obscured by any terrestrial temptations.

energy is wasted in useless idle talk and gossiping, planning, and unnecessary worrying.
conserve energy by getting rid of these three defects, and utilise it in meditation.
then you can do wonderful meditation.
he who says and imagines that he practices deep meditation daily,
when he has not removed the evil traits of the mind,
deceives himself first, and then others.
he is a first class hypocrite.

if you strain yourself in meditation and go beyond your capacity,
then laziness and inactive nature will supervene.
meditation should come naturally
on account of serenity of mind,
induced by the practice of
uparati, and
control of mind and senses,
non-pursuit of pleasure, and
introversion of attention.
atman - self - is the fountain of energy.
thinking on atman or the source of energy, also is
a dynamic method of augmenting energy, strength, and power.
divine energy flows freely from the feet of the lord to the different systems of the aspirant,
and new nerve currents, new grooves, new cells are formed.
the mind and nervous system are remodeled,
and you will develop a new heart.

conserve energy by
talking little,
observing mouna - silence,
controlling anger,
observing brahmacarya - celibacy,
practising pranayama - yoga breathing, and
controlling irrelevant and non-essential thoughts.
meditate and behold the imperishable atman.
rest yourself firmly in the self.
nothing can hurt you now.
you can become invincible.

in contemplation,
you are in spiritual contact with unchanging light,
you are cleansed of all impurities.
if you have an open heart, devotedly lifted up to god,
the light of his purity and love will consume all your short-comings.
this purifying process leads to a deeper insight into truth.
this is the action of the grace of the lord upon the soul in meditation.
in this inflowing grace there arises that light of the mind into which god is sending the ray of his unclouded splendour.

september 4

stages in that practice of meditation

in the beginning you can meditate twice daily,
from 4 to 6 in the morning and 7 to 8 at night.
as you advance in your practice,
you can increase the duration of each sitting, little by little,
using your common sense and discretion,
and also have a third sitting,
either in the morning between 10 and 11 or in the evening between 4 and 5.

in the yoga vasishta you will find:
'the right course to be adopted by one who is in his novitiate is this:
two parts of the mind must be filled with the objects of enjoyment,
one part with philosophy
and the remaining part with devotion to the teacher.
having advanced a little,
he should fill one part of the mind with the objects of enjoyment,
two parts with devotion to the teacher
and the remaining one part with getting an insight into the meaning of philosophy.
when one has attained proficiency,
he should every day fill two parts with meditation
and the other two with devoted service to the guru.
this will eventually lead you on to meditation for twenty-four hours.'

sitting in your favorite meditative pose,
and keeping the head and trunk erect,
close your eyes,
and gently concentrate on either
the tip of the nose,
the space between the two eyebrows,
the heart lotus, or
the crown of the head.
when once you have selected one centre of concentration, stick to it till the last with leech-like tenacity.

meditation is of two kinds, namely,
saguna - with gunas or qualities, and
nirguna - without gunas or qualities.
meditation on lord krishna, lord siva, lord rama, or lord jesus,
is saguna meditation.
it is meditation with form and attributes.
the name of the lord is also simultaneously repeated.
this is the method of the devotees.
meditation on the reality of the self
is nirguna meditation.
this is the method of the vedantins.
meditation on
aham brahma asmi, and
tat twam asi,
is nirguna meditation.

if you want to keep the mind charged with the fire of brahmic wisdom,
you must always keep it in contact with the brahmic fire of knowledge,
through constant and intense meditation.

september 5

listen to the mystic sound

sit in padma asana, or siddha asana.
practice yoni mudra by closing the ears with the thumbs.
hear the internal sound through the right ear.
the sound which you will hear will make you deaf to all external sounds.
having overcome all obstacles, you will enter the turiya state within fifteen days.
in the beginning you may hear many loud sounds.
then try to hear more and more subtle sounds.

the mind having first concentrated itself on any one sound, fixes firmly to that, and is absorbed in it.
the mind becomes insensible to external impressions, and becomes one with the sound.
being indifferent to all objects, and having controlled the passions,
you should,
by continual practice,
concentrate your mind upon the sound which destroys the mind.

having abandoned all thoughts, and being freed from all actions,
you should always concentrate your whole attention on the sound,
and then the citta - mind - becomes absorbed in it.
just as the bee, drinking the honey alone, does not care for the odor,
so the citta, which is always absorbed in sound, does not long for sensual objects.
it is bound by the sweet nada - sound, and has abandoned its flitting nature.

the serpent citta, through listening to the nada, is entirely absorbed in it,
and, becoming unconscious of everything, concentrates itself on the sound.
the sound serves the purpose of a sharp goad to control the maddened elephant citta, which roves in the pleasure garden of the sensual objects.

the sound proceeding from the pranava - om - is brahman.
it is of the nature of effulgence.
it is the seat of vishnu.
the mind exists so long as there is sound,
but, with its cessation, there is that state termed turiya.
being freed from all states and all thoughts, you will remain like one dead.
the body is like a log.
it does not feel heat or cold, joy or sorrow.

when spiritual sight is fixed - without any object to be seen,
when prana - life force - becomes still - without any effort,
when the citta becomes firm - without any support,
you become brahman.
when manas - mind - is destroyed,
when virtues and sins are burned away,
you shine as the effulgent, immaculate, eternal, stainless brahman.

september 6

exercises in meditation

take a picture of lord krishna with a flute in his hands.
sit in your meditative pose and gently concentrate on this picture until you shed tears.
think of his feet, adorned with anklets.
think of his yellow silken garment.
think of the ornaments around his neck.
think of the long garland of beautiful flowers of various colors.
think of his earrings and the crown set with precious jewels he wears on his head.
think of the long dark hair, the sparkling eyes and the tilaka - mark - on the forehead.
think of the magnetic aura around his head.
think of his arms and hands, adorned with armlets and bracelets.
think of the flute, ready in his hands, waiting for him to play it.
then close your eyes and visualise this picture mentally.
repeat this process again and again.

this is one kind of meditation and is suitable for beginners.
sit in padma asana in your meditation room.
close the eyes.
meditate on
the effulgence in the sun, or
the splendour in the moon, or
the glory of the stars.

there is a living universal power that underlies all these names and forms.
meditate on this power, which is formless.
this will eventually terminate in
the realization of the absolute,
nirguna - attributeless,
nirakara - formless - consciousness.

sit in your meditative pose.
close your eyes.
imagine that there is a supreme, infinite effulgence hidden behind all these names and forms, tantamount to the effulgence of millions of suns put together.
this is also a form of nirguna meditation.

concentrate and meditate on the expansive blue sky.
by the previous methods of concentration the mind will cease thinking of finite forms.
it will slowly begin to melt in the ocean of peace as it is deprived of its contents.
thus the mind will become subtler and subtler.

concentrate on the picture of 'om' in front of you.
do this with open eyes until the tears flow profusely.
associate the ideas of eternity, infinity, immortality, etc., with 'om'.

the humming of bees, the sweet notes of the nightingale, and all other sounds, emanate from 'om' only.
'om' is the essence of all the vedas - scriptures.

september 7

importance of 'om'

brahman is the highest of all.
'om' is his name.
'om' is also your real name.
it covers the threefold experiences of man.
from 'om' this sense world has been projected.
the world exists in 'om' and dissolves in 'om'.

'om' is the greatest of all mantras - mystic formula.
'om' bestows direct liberation.
all mantras begin with 'om'.
'om' is the life, the soul, of all mantras.
every upanishad begins with 'om'.
oblations that are offered to the various gods are all preceded by 'om'.
all languages, all sounds, come out of 'om'.
the essence of the four vedas is 'om'.

'aum' covers the whole range of sound vibrations.
'a' starts from the root of the tongue,
'u' proceeds from the middle and
'm' comes from the end, by closing the lips.

'om' is the source of all religions and scriptures.
this sacred monosyllable is the means of liberation from the bonds of matter.
it leads one, stage by stage, to the highest bliss.
it is fit for the lowest as well as for the highest and most advanced intellect.
it is fit for the brahmacarya - celibate student - as well as the sanyasin - monk.
it is fit for any condition.

'om' is your birthright.
it is the common heritage of all.
it is the word of power.
it fills the devotee with spiritual strength, vigour and energy when chanted with harmony and rhythm.
it brings inspiration and intuition.

it elevates the mind.
it is a spiritual food and tonic.
it is full of divine potency.
live in 'om'.
meditate on 'om'.
inhale 'om'.
exhale 'om'.
rest peacefully in 'om'.
take shelter in 'om'.
may that 'om' guide you.

'om' stands for all phenomenal worlds.
from 'om' this sense universe has been projected.
'om' has been formed by adding the letters 'aum';
'a' represents the physical world;
'u' represents the mental and the astral planes,
the world of spirits,
all heavens; and
'm' represents the deep sleep state and,
even in the waking state, all that is unknown, beyond reach of the intellect.

'om' therefore represents all.
it is the basis of your life, thought and intelligence.
all words that denote objects are centred in 'om'.
hence the whole world
has come from 'om',
rests in 'om', and
dissolves in 'om'.

september 8

sivananda gita

i was born of p.s. vengu aiyar and parvathiammal on 8th september 1887 at pattamadai, tirunelvely district, south india, in the line of appayya dixit.
my star is bharani.

i was extremely mischievous in my boyhood.
i studied in the spg college, trichy.
i was a doctor in malaya states for 10 years.
i took sanyasa in 1924 in rishikesh.

i did tapas and meditation for 15 years.
i went on lecturing tours for 10 years.
i founded the divine life society in 1936, and
the all world religions federation in 1945.

i am childlike in my svabhava.
so i mix with all.
i become one with all.

i am ever happy and joyful, and
make others also happy and joyful.

i am full of educative humour.
i radiate joy through humour.

i respect all.
i do salutations to all first.

i always speak sweetly.
i walk quickly.

i do japa and meditation while walking and while at work also.
i am ever hardworking.
i have intense application to work.
i never leave a work till it is finished.
i never procrastinate any work.
i finish it then and there.
i am very quick in doing things.

i cannot suppress the spirit of service in me.
i cannot live without service.
i take immense delight in service.
service has elevated me.
service has purified me.

i know well how to extract work from others.
i extract work through kindness, service, respect and love.

i am very regular in doing asanas and exercises.
i even now do siraasana, sarvangasana and other asanas.
i do pranayama also regularly.
these give me wonderful health and energy.
i run round the bhajan hall daily.

i cannot deliver fiery lectures sitting on a special seat.
special seat pricks me.
i stand up or throw the seat away and then begin to speak.
i never sat on a special seat when i presided over spiritual conferences.

i rejoice in giving.
i always give.

september 9

sivananda gita (continued)

i am 59 - 1946 - now.
i ever feel i am quite young.
i am full of vigour, vim and vitality.
i am ever cheerful.
i sing, dance, run, and jump in joy.
i am robust and strong.
i can digest any kind of food.

i continuously work, read and write.
i never go to hill stations or seaside for a holiday.
change of work gives rest.
meditation gives abundant rest.

work gives me delight.
service gives me happiness.
writing bestows joy.
meditation energises and invigorates me.
kirtan vivifies me.

'aham brahmasmi, shivoham, soham, satchidananda swaroopoham'
this is my favourite formula for vedantic meditation.

hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare
hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare.
this mahamantra kirtan is my favourite kirtan.

at the present moment i am the richest man in the whole world.
my heart is full.
further, all the wealth of the lord belongs to me now.
hence i am king of kings, emperor of emperors, shah of shahs, maharaja of maharajas.
i take pity on the mundane kings.
my dominion is limitless.
my wealth is inexhaustible.

my joy is inexpressible.
my treasure is immeasurable.
i attained this through
untiring selfless service,
kirtan, and

i am tall.
my height is 6 feet.
i have a sinewy frame.
i have symmetrical limbs.
i was a first class gymnast.

i fast on ekadasi.
i do not take even a drop of water.
i take milk and fruits on sundays.
i do not take salt on sundays.

i lead a simple natural life.
there is a fountain of youth in me.
i beam with joy.
i observe
and enjoy
poise, and

om. om. om.

september 10

sivananda gita (continued)

i love
yoga and vedanta.

i am humble and simple.
i am frank and straightforward.
i am perfectly tolerant and catholic.
i am merciful and sympathetic.
i have spontaneous and unrestrained generosity.

i am bold and cheerful.
i am patient.
i can bear insult and injury.
i am forgiving.
i am free from vindictive nature.
i return good for evil.
i serve that man who has injured me, with joy.

i love ganga and the himalayas.
ganga is my mother divine.
himalayas is my father divine.
they inspire and guide me.
i take bath in ganga.
i swim in ganga.
i adore ganga.
i feed the fishes of ganga.

i wave light to mother ganga.
i pray to ganga.
i do salutations to ganga.
i sing the glory of ganga.
i write about the grandeur and glory of ganga.

ganga has nourished me.
ganga has comforted me.
ganga has taught me the truth of the upanishads.
glory to ganga!

my daily routine is like that of lord buddha.
i always remain in the room.
i do japa, kirtan and meditation.
i study sacred books.
i write.
i come out of the room for a short time for work, service and interview.

i talk a little.
i think much.
i meditate much.
i try to do much and serve much.

i do not waste even a single minute.
i ever keep myself fully occupied.
i lead a well regulated life.
i perform worship of atman at all times.
i work for the good of others.
om. om. om.

yoga vasishta,
avadhootha gita,
are my constant companions.

i am a strange mixture of service, devotion, yoga and wisdom.
i am a follower of sri sankara.
i am a keval-advaita vedantin.
i am not at all a dry lipvedantin.
i am a practical vedantin.

i practice and advocate the yoga of synthesis.
i practice ahimsa, satyam and brahmacarya.
glory to sri sankara!

september 11

sivananda gita (continued)

i respect all saints and prophets of all religions.
i respect all religions, all cults, all faiths and all creeds.

i serve all,
i love all,
i mix with all, and
i see the lord in all.
i stick to my promises.
i serve the poor.
this is my delight.
i do mental prostrations to asses, dogs, trees, bricks, stones and all creatures.
i respect elders and sadhus.
i obey.
i please all through sincere selfless service.

i attend on guests very carefully.
i run hither and thither to serve them.
i shampoo the legs of sick persons and sadhus.

i give very prompt reply to all my letters.
i do several things at a time.
i write with electric speed.

i spend everything.
i do lot of charity.
i do not keep anything.
i take immense delight in feeding the poor and my students.
i try to be a mother to them.

i talk to others on things which i have myself practiced.
i look within always, introspect, analyse, and examine.
i hold the trisul, spiritual diary, daily routine and resolve.

i ever served my masters with great sincerity, and intense faith and devotion.
i learnt many useful lessons for life.
i developed many virtues.

i wandered without food during my parivrajak life.
i slept on the roadside, at night, without clothing during winter.
i ate dried bread with water.

i stick tenaciously to my principles and ideals.
i do not argue much.
i live in silence.

i pray and do kirtan
for the peace of the whole world,
for the health and peace of sick people, and
for the peace of the departed souls and the earth bound spirits also.

i take a dip in the ganga in the name of all those who are longing for a bath in the ganga.

i sing the names of all saints of all religions in the bhajan hall.
i observe all-saints day and all-souls day.
om. om. om.

september 12

sivananda gita (continued)

i constantly meditate on the following:
prajnanam brahman, aham brahmasmi, tat tvam asi, ayam atma brahman.
satyam jnanam anantam brahman, santam sivam advaitam.
aham atma gudakesa.
aham atma nirvikarah sarvavyapi svabhavatah.
brahma satyam jagan mitya jivo brahmaiva na parah.
akarta, abhokta, asanga, saksi, ajo nityah sasvatoyam purano.
jyotisamapi tat jyotih.

to raise the fallen,
to lead the blind,
to share what i have with others,
to bring solace to the afflicted,
to cheer up the suffering
are my ideals.
to have perfect faith in god,
to love my neighbor as my own self,
to love god with all my heart and soul,
to protect animals, women, and children,
are my aims.
my watchword is love.
my goal is sahaja samadhi avasta or the natural, continuous, superconscious state.

song of joy

om om om om - om om om om
om om om om - om om om om
om om om om - om om om om
om om om om - om om om om.

within you is hidden god,
within you is immortal soul.
kill this little 'i'.
die to live.
lead the divine life.
within you is the fountain of joy,
within you is the ocean of bliss.
rest peacefully, in your own atma
and drink the nectar of immortality.

september 13

philosophy of 'om'

the sound produced in the flowing of the ganga,
the sound that is heard at a distance,
the sound that proceeds from the bustle of the market,
that is produced by the flywheel when it is set in motion,
that is caused when it rains, or there is a conflagration, or thunder,
it is all 'om' only.
split any word, and you will find 'om' there.
'om' is all pervading, like akasa - space, like brahman, the absolute.

'om' is the symbol of brahman.
it is the word of power.
it is the sacred monosyllable.
it is the essence of the vedas.
it is the boat to take you across to the other shore of fearlessness and immortality.

the word 'om' is the most appropriate name of brahman.
by its application, by its chanting, he becomes propitiated.
om is emblematic of brahman, as images are of material objects.
when you hear the sound 'tree', you at once understand it has a root, a stem, branches, leaves, flowers, fruits, etc.
similarly too, when you hear the sabda - sound - 'om', it denotes satchidananda brahman - existence absolute, knowledge absolute, bliss absolute.

sabda - word - and artha - meaning - are inseparable.
all collections of words - speech, terminate in one sound - 'om'.
all objects are denoted by sounds, and all sounds merge in 'om'.
the whole universe comes out of 'om', and is absorbed into 'om'.
hence 'om' is very important.

'om' should be worshipped.
'om' should be chanted loudly.
'om' should be repeated mentally, with deep meaning and feeling.
'om' should be meditated upon.

watch the breath.
when you inhale, the sound 'so' is produced.
when you exhale, the sound 'ham' is produced.
you are naturally uttering 'soham' - i am he - or - he am i - with every breath.
the breath reminds you that you are in essence identical with the supreme self.

in 'soham', the 's' and the 'h' are consonants.
if you delete them, you get 'oam' or 'om'.
consonants depend on vowels for their existence.
's' and 'h' represent names and forms, or this universe which is phenomenal or relative or empirical or dependent existence.
'om' is the only solid reality.
'om' is the soul of your breath.

as soon as you sit for meditation, chant om loudly, three, six or twelve times.
this drives away worldly thoughts from the mind and removes vikshep - tossing of the mind.
later you may take to the mental repetition of om.

september 14

instructions in meditation

just as the light is burning within the hurricane lamp, so also the divine flame is burning from time immemorial in the lamp of your heart.
close your eyes.
merge yourself within the divine flame.
plunge deep into the chambers of your heart.
meditate on this divine flame and become one with the flame of god.

if the wick within the lamp is small, the light will also be small.
if the wick is big, the light also will be powerful.
similarly, if the jiva - individual soul - is pure,
if he practices meditation,
the manifestation of the self will be powerful.
he will radiate a big light.
likewise, the purer the soul, the greater the expression.

if the magnet is powerful, it will influence the iron filings, even when they are placed at a distance.
even so, if the yogi is an advanced person, he will have greater influence over the persons with whom he comes in contact.
he can exert his influence on persons, even when they live in distant places.

during meditation, note how long you can shut out all worldly thoughts.
watch the mind.
try to increase the period.
fill the mind with thoughts of god again and again.

in meditation do not strain the eyes.
do not strain the brain.
do not struggle or wrestle with the mind.
gently allow divine thoughts to flow.
steadily think of laksya - point of meditation.
do not voluntarily and violently drive away the intruding thoughts.
have sublime - satvic - thoughts.
the vicious thoughts will vanish by themselves.

if there is much strain in your meditation, reduce the duration of each sitting for a few days.
those who meditate for four or five hours at a stretch can have two meditative poses.
keep the spine erect.

you must daily increase your vairagya - dispassion - and meditation on satvic virtues such as patience, perseverance, mercy, love and forgiveness.
vairagya and good qualities help meditation.
meditation increases the satvic qualities.

september 15

the glimpse and the goal

when you get a flash of illumination, do not be frightened.
it will be a new experience of immense joy.
do not turn back.
do not give up meditation.
do not stop there.
you will have to advance still further.
this is only a glimpse of truth.
this is not the whole experience.
this is not the highest realization.
this is only a new platform.
try to ascend further.
reach the bhuma - the infinite.
now alone you are proof against all temptation.
you will drink deep the nectar of immortality.
this is the acme or final state.
you can take eternal rest now.
you need not meditate any further.
this is the final goal.

you have within yourself tremendous powers and latent faculties of which you have really never had any conception.
you must awaken these dormant powers and faculties by the practice of meditation and yoga.
you must develop your will, and control your senses and mind.
you must purify yourself, and practice regular meditation.
then only can you become a superman or god man.

every human being has within himself various potentialities and capacities.
he is a magazine of power and knowledge.
as he evolves, he unfolds new powers, new faculties, new qualities.
now he can change his environment and influence others.
he can subdue others' minds.
he can conquer internal and external nature.
he can enter into super conscious state.

the wise cut asunder the knot of egoism by the sharp sword of constant meditation.
then dawns supreme knowledge of the self, or full illumination or self-realization.
the liberated sage has neither doubt nor delusion.
all bonds of karma - action - are destroyed.
this is the master key to open the realms of eternal bliss.
it may be tiring in the beginning, because the mind will be running away from the point - laksya - every now and then.
but after some time it will be focused in the centre.
you will be immersed in divine bliss.

september 16

on seclusion

as the will power in many persons has become very weak,
as they had no religious discipline or training in schools and colleges when they were young, and
as they are under the sway of materialistic influences,
it is necessary for them to go in for seclusion for some weeks, months or years, to practice rigorous japa - repetition of god's name - and undisturbed meditation.

calm the bubbling emotions, sentiments, instincts and impulses through silent meditation.
you can give a new orientation to your feelings by systematic practice.
you can entirely transmute your worldly nature into divine nature.
you can exercise supreme control over the nerve centres, the nerves, the muscles, the five kosas - sheaths, emotions, impulses and instincts through meditation.

those who have fixed up their sons in life, who have retired from service, and those who have no ties in the world, can remain in seclusion for four or five years, and practice intense meditation and tapas - austerity - for purification and self-realization.
when they have attained self-knowledge, they should come out and share their knowledge and bliss with others.
they should disseminate knowledge of the self through lectures, conversations, discourses, or heart to heart talks.

a householder - grhasta - with yogic tendencies and spiritual inclinations, can practice meditation in a solitary and quiet room in his own house, or in any solitary place, on the banks of any holy river, during holidays or throughout the year, if he is a whole time aspirant, or if he is retired from service.

the aspirant should be free from hope, desire and greed.
then only will he have a steady mind.
hope, desire and greed make the mind ever restless and turbulent.
they are the enemies of peace and self-knowledge.
he should not have many possessions.
he can keep only those articles which are absolutely necessary for the maintenance of his body.
if there are many possessions, the mind will be ever thinking of the articles and attempting to protect them.
those who want quick progress in meditation during seclusion should not keep any connection with the world by way of correspondence, reading newspapers, or thinking of the family members and possessions.

september 17

yoga of meditation

o beloved ram!
you are within a strong fortress now.
a spiritual fortress where no temptation can influence you.
you are absolutely safe.
now you can do vigorous sadhana - spiritual practice - without fear.
kill the foe - the mind.
wear the spiritual laurels of peace, equal-vision and contentment.

you are already shining with brahmic bliss.
the all-merciful lord has given you all sorts of comforts, good health, and a guru to guide you.
what more do you want?
realize the truth, and proclaim it everywhere.

be silent.
know thyself.
know that.
melt the mind in that.
truth is quite clear and simple.
solitude and intense meditation are two important requisites for self-realization.
if sadhana is interrupted, make up the deficiency later.
practice self restraint at all times because, all of a sudden, the senses may suddenly become turbulent.
this is why krishna says: 'o arjuna, the excited senses of even a wise man, though he be striving, impetuously carry away his mind.'

the wandering habit of the mind must be controlled
by making it stick to one place,
by one method of sadhana,
by one guru, and
by one form of yoga.
a rolling stone gathers no moss.
when you take up a book for study, you must finish it before you take up another one.
when you take up any work, you must devote your wholehearted attention towards it, and finish it before you take up any other work.

do not cause pain or suffering to any living being, whether through greed, selfishness, irritability or annoyance.
give up anger and ill-will.
give up the spirit of fighting and heated debates.
do not argue.
if you quarrel with somebody, you cannot meditate for three or four days, because your balance of mind is upset.
thus much energy is wasted in useless channels.
also the blood becomes hot, the nerves are shattered.
keep a serene mind always.
meditation proceeds from a serene mind.

an aspirant must be sensitive, and yet possess a body and nerves completely under control.
the greater the sensitivity becomes, the more difficult the task.
noises which pass unnoticed by an ordinary person are torture to one who is very sensitive.
develop the inner power of the self.
centralisation of ideas will stop the outgoing habit of the mind.

september 18


still the waves of the mind and hold it steady in nirvikalpa samadhi - unconditioned state of super consciousness.
this needs constant, protracted practice of meditation.
there may be breaks in the meditation in the beginning, but practice makes you perfect.
later you will be able to remain absorbed in meditation for long periods.
you can merge yourself in samadhi, with a mind like a flame protected from wind.

before getting sanguine success in meditation, get victory over the pose first.
sit upon your seat with the steadiness of a rock - for two or three hours.
if the body is steady, then the mind will also be steady.

do not mistake a little concentration or one-pointedness of mind for samadhi.
do not think, simply because you have risen a little above body consciousness, on account of a little concentration, that you have attained samadhi.

separate the mind from the body, and unite it with the supreme self.
this is known as samadhi or the superconscious state.
this will give liberation or freedom from births and deaths.
samadhi is obtained by practice for a long time, and with zeal and enthusiasm.

samadhi is the highest goal which one can attain through meditation.
it is not a little thing that can be attained through a little practice.
to attain samadhi one should
observe strict brahmacarya - celibacy,
observe dietic restrictions, and
one must have purity of heart.

if these are not attained, there is no possibility of attaining samadhi.
these are preliminary qualifications and should be well grasped.
then only one should try to enter the portals of samadhi.
none can enter there unless he is a great devotee of the lord.

moksa - liberation - is loss of one's personality in the divine.
it is deliverance from the delusion of personality.
just as the river becomes the ocean itself, the individual soul becomes the mighty supreme soul, with higher consciousness, transcendental bliss, and knowledge.

september 19

samadhi - true and fake

do not mistake deep sleep for samadhi.
the glory of the state of turiya is ineffable.
its splendour is indescribable.
if the body is light, if the mind is clear, if there is cheerfulness, know that you are meditating.
if the body is heavy, the mind dull, know that you are sleeping while meditating.

there is always a complaint among aspirants :
'i have been meditating for the last twelve years, and i have not made any improvement, any realization.
what is the matter?'
they have not plunged themselves in deep meditation in the innermost recesses of their hearts.
they have not properly saturated the mind with thoughts of god.
they have not done regular, systematic sadhana - practice.
they have not disciplined the indriyas - senses - properly.
they have not collected all the outgoing rays of the mind.
they have not made the self determination that: 'i will realize god this very second'.
they have not given the whole mind to god.
they have not kept up an increasing flow of divine consciousness.

even if you do not feel any pulse in the sadhaka - seeker - when he is in meditation, even if the breathing stops, do not think that he is in nirvikalpa samadhi - unconditioned state.
if he is, he will return with super sensual divine knowledge.
then only can it be said that he has attained real samadhi.
breathing and pulse may stop from various other causes as well.

the sadhaka must have perfect awareness in meditation.
there is not much gain if he remains in mere jada - inert - state, even though he is insensible to external sounds.

o aspirant, struggle hard.
make sincere efforts.
meditate regularly and systematically.
enough of heated discussions and heated debates.
retire into a solitary room.
close your eyes.
have deep silent meditation.
feel god's presence.
repeat his name - om - with fervour, joy and love.
fill your heart with prem.
destroy thoughts, whims, fancies and desires when they arise on the surface of the mind.

withdraw the wandering mind.
fix it on the lord.
now meditation will become deep and intense.
do not open your eyes.
do not stir from your seat.
merge in him.
dive deep in the recesses of your heart.
plunge into the shining atman.
drink the nectar of immortality.
enjoy the silence.

september 20

the liberated sage

if the vasanas - tendencies - and the attachment to objects of the world vanish entirely, and if you are in that immovable state, then you have become a jivanmukta - liberated sage.
you will abide in your own self.
you will rest in that non dual, supreme seat.
the jnana-vision will arise in you, the light of wisdom will shine unobscured, like the sun in the absence of clouds.
you will never be attracted to any worldly objects now.
you will be absolutely freed from delusion and sorrow.

you will actually feel that the self alone pervades and permeates everywhere in the world.
you will shine with brahmic effulgence.
you will possess equal vision and a balanced mind.
you will be free from longing for sensual objects, because the mind will always remain cool with brahmic bliss.
you will be bathed in the cool ambrosial nectar that dribbles from the contented and quiet mind.

advanced aspirants should stop all sorts of work and study of religious books, if they want to enter into samadhi quickly.
they should observe mouna and remain in a solitary place on the banks of the ganga, the yamuna or any other suitable river.
they should live on one and a half pints of milk alone, or they should live on milk and fruits alone.
they should plunge themselves into samadhi in right earnest.

they should reduce sleep to two or three hours.
they should start the practice at the beginning of winter.
there is real rest in meditation - it is far superior to that rest obtained in deep sleep.
sound sleep for an hour or even half an hour will suffice the man who meditates regularly.

samadhi, moksa - liberation, turiya - transcendental state, are synonomous terms.
samadhi means super consciousness.
in samadhi the meditator is conscious of his own self.
moksa is freedom from birth and death.
it is the attainment of the state of 'paramananda' - supreme bliss.
it is freedom from all sorts of pains.
turiya transcends the three states - the waking state, the dream state and the deep sleep state - and so, it is called the fourth state.

september 21

nirvikalpa samadhi

the state of samadhi is beyond the reach of mind and speech.
even in worldly experience, you cannot express taste.
you cannot express the taste of an apple to one who has not tasted it, nor can you explain the nature of color to a blind man.
the state of samadhi is all joy, bliss, and peace.
this much only can be said - one has to feel this for himself.

in samadhi or the super conscious state, the meditator loses his individuality, and becomes identical with the supreme self.
he becomes an embodiment of bliss, peace, and knowledge.
so much only can be said.
this can be experienced by you through constant meditation.

nirvikalpa samadhi is the state of super consciousness or godhead.
there is no vikalpa or imagination of any sort in this condition.
this is the goal of life.
all mental activities cease now.
the function of the intellect and the ten indriyas - senses - cease entirely.

the spiritual aspirant now rests in atman - self.
there is no distinction between subject and object.
the world and the pairs of opposites vanish absolutely.
this is a state beyond all relativity - though it is not a state of inertia.
it is a condition of complete, perfect awareness.
it is indescribable.
it must be felt and experienced by the aspirant himself.
in this state the triad - the knower, known and knowable - disappears.
man is now brahman - there is no jivahood.

try to enjoy that sleepless state wherein all senses and mind remain in a state of quietude and the intellect ceases functioning.
the sleepless sleep is maha nidra - the super conscious state.
there is no waking from this sleep.

in samadhi the yogi gets himself merged in the lord.
all limitations and differences disappear.
the yogi attains highest knowledge and bliss.
this state is beyond description.
you will have to realize it yourself.

samadhi is the super conscious state in which the veil of ignorance is suddenly lifted, and the devotee merges in the overwhelming glory of the one true divine effulgence.
in samadhi the soul becomes loosened from its material prison, and is separated from individual consciousness.
an ecstatic feeling of oneness arises, and the soul becomes absorbed in the infinite intelligence from which it emanated.

after attaining samadhi a man, though possessed of great spiritual powers, does not wish to change the conditions and circumstances in which he lived before attaining it.
in samadhi, ordinary consciousness has flowered into super consciousness.
the stream of samsara - the stream of births and deaths - has ceased to flow.

september 22

a tree without roots

there is a mysterious tree,
it has no roots.
it has grown without a seed,
it bears fruits without flowers,
it has no branches, no leaves,
it has no pith, no stem.
many birds are sitting on this tree.
it is a very ancient tree,
it is beginningless and endless;
it is causeless,
it never dries up,
it cannot be cut by axe.
it gives shelter to millions;
it is vijnana vrksa - tree of pure knowledge.
it gives immortality,
it is superior to kalpaka vrksa - wish fulfilling tree.

thus sayeth sivananda

my auspicious day

i celebrated this auspicious day with great eclat and pomp,
with illumination and joyful songs.
my wish has been fulfilled.
i have met my beloved.
how shall i find words
for the beauty of my beloved?
he is brilliant like millions of suns,
he has enthroned himself in my heart.
the lamp of love burns lustrously.
i bathed him with the water of love,
i adorned him with the flowers of prem - love,
i gave him butter and sugar candy.
i have drunk the cup of love,
which is filled to the brim;
it is the cup of perfect joy,
my rapture wells forth.
the mercy of my lord has come upon me.
how blessed am i who have seen my beloved.

thus sayeth sivananda

september 23

work work work

do not talk of vedanta and brahman,
work, work, work.
there is too much talk and vedantic gossiping,
enough of tall talk and gossiping.
give up lecturing and pedantry,
become a practical vedantin.
be good to others, even at the point of a bayonet.
show your strength and courage now.
develop a soft heart,
that can melt at the sufferings of others,
this will lead you to the realization of unity.
i want fiery young men -
brave, dispassionate and wise,
with iron will and ferroconcrete body and nerves,
who can pulverise the himalayas,
who can sip the waters of the ocean,
who can devour death like a pickle,
who can swim across the ocean,
who can uproot mount everest,
who can swallow the ball of fire.

thus sayeth sivananda

take a dose of divine drug

o man! take a dose of this mysterious drug.
the wonderful drug that grows within,
the drug that cures the disease of death,
the drug of life, light and bliss,
the drug that bestows immortality.
the divine drug, the drug of grace,
the drug that makes you dance in joy,
the rarest drug that dispels the darkness,
the loveliest drug that is precious,
the only drug that removes grief,
the drug that kills the six passions,
the drug that makes you fearless,
the drug that puts you into samadhi.
it is the silent drug bhumi, thy innermost atman.
that is my strength, joy, and cure all,
that is the potential immortal elixir.

thus sayeth sivananda

september 24

immortal abode

there, the brahman dwells by himself;
there, he sits without support;
there, there is neither day nor night;
there, there is neither virtue nor vice;
there, there is neither light nor dark;
there, the sun and moon do not rise;
there, pain and suffering do not enter;
there, death cannot blow his trumpet;
there, hunger and disease cannot torment;
there, nobody sleeps or wakes.
it is a city of deathlessness.
it is the abode of fearlessness.
it is the seat of eternal bliss.
it is brahma nirvana or paramamgati.
sivananda says:
'meditate on brahman, on the spot
where the ganga and the jumna meet;
and rest peacefully, for ever'.

happiness is within

the musk is in the navel of the deer;
but it runs here and there to smell it.
the chain is on the neck of the damsel;
but she runs hither and thither to search for it.
the tenth man is there in reality;
but he forgets to count himself and cries.
fresh butter is with you in abundance;
and yet you go here and there in search of ghee.
the precious diamond is within you;
but you run after the broken glass pieces in vain.
the key is in your pocket;
but you are searching for it in vain, here and there.
even so the ocean of bliss is within you,
and yet you run here and there in search for it.
the sun of suns is evershining in you;
but your blind eyes cannot behold it.
the eternal sound is ringing within you;
but your deaf ears cannot hear it.
sivananda says:
'look within and meditate,
and enjoy the eternal bliss of atman.'

september 25

sit in silence

i am neither male nor female;
i am neither dvaita - dualism - nor advaita - non dualism;
i am neither saguna - with qualities - nor nirguna - without qualities;
i am neither seer nor hearer;
i am neither body nor mind;
i am neither far nor near;
i am neither black nor red;
i am neither thin nor stout;
i live neither by food nor by air;
i neither move nor stop;
i shall neither go to hell nor to heaven;
i neither laugh nor weep;
i work and yet i do not work;
i hear without ears and see without eyes;
i smell without nose and taste without tongue;
few understand me.
he who understands me, sits in silence.
sivananda says:
'mysterious is that silence.
drown yourself in that silence
and be happy.'

come out of your meditation

o fool!
what are you doing in the room?
why have you shut the doors?
are you meditating or building sand castles?
are you planning or sleeping?
what do you see with closed eyes?
or some white spots?
is this your vision of god?
do not waste this precious human life.
see god everywhere - in the sun, in the trees, the child, the cow, in the breeze, in the old man, in the running brooks, in the landscapes.
he is not within your trikuti - eyebrow centre - alone.
can you meditate for twenty-four hours?
do not become tamasic or lazy.
do not mistake tamas - inertia - for satva - divinity.
enough, enough of your meditation.
thy cells are charged with heavy tamas.
come out and serve god in all forms.
here is a dynamic path of cosmic vision.

so says sivananda

september 26

music of silence

hear the music of the meeting of the soul with soul -
it is the divine music, thrilling, and soul stirring.
it is the music that gives rapturous ecstasy.
the light of this music illumines the world.
it is the source of all vocal music,
it is the source of all musical instruments,
it is the music of that supreme silence,
it is the music of the flute of sri krishna,
it is the music that delights radha,
it is the music without stringing and playing,
it is the music of the sahasrara - thousand petalled - lotus.
sivananda says:
'listen to me, brother,
there are only a few
who have heard this music of silence.'

thyself knowest thyself

we cannot know thy nature.
thou alone knowest what thou art,
thyself knowest thyself, by thyself.
the mind cannot reach thee -
what can poor understanding know?
speech cannot reach so far,
the power of thought fails.
thou art not a mental concept,
you cannot be confined
within the walls of the mind -
thou art infinite.
ascetics practice pancagni tapas - 'five fire austerity',
hatha yogis stop their breath
and practice tratak - gazing.
by devotion alone
you can be known in essence.
only a few blessed ones
have realized thee,
only through thy grace.

so says sivananda

september 27

here rains nectar

my heart drinks the nectar now,
i have plunged myself in that ocean of joy,
i have drunk the cup of immortal bliss.
there is neither doubt nor sorrow here.
the terror of death is no more.
there is the sweet fragrance of the soul.
the music of the soul sounds itself.
supreme freedom reigns here,
brilliant effulgence streams forth,
there is the unstruck, sweet melody of harmony.
this is the sorrowless land of an old man.
the thirst of the five senses is quenched here.
here the rain of nectar pours and pours,
the sacred stream of the jamnaganga
flows here perennially.
the round of births and deaths ceases here.
come, come my sweet companions,
visit this limitless domain but once
and see my supreme lord's durbar - court.

so says sivananda.

ocean of sweetness

i have found the key of the mystery.
there is wonderful rest in the land of bliss.
wonderful is the sorrowless land.
it is an infinite ocean of sweetness.
look within and rest peacefully.
the three forms of misery are no more,
the five kinds of afflictions are not here.
one becomes speechless and silent -
there is stupendous silence.
the seer, seen and sight have become one.
the knower, known and knowable are one.
there is the divine music of the supreme harmony
without the play of fingers and strings.
one enjoys freedom and perfection.
bliss is filled to the very brim.
i have realized oneness

so says sivananda

september 28

shower thy grace

o lord, if thou art the sun,
i am thy ray.
if thou art the ocean,
i am the drop.
if thou art the lotus,
i am the petal.
if thou art the tree,
i am the leaf.
there is no other lord like thee -
thou art the ocean of compassion.
i have no qualification
and yet thou hast blessed me.
by singing thy name
i have broken all fetters,
i have cut yama's noose.
sivananda sings to obtain thy grace.

thou art my support

o lord, thou alone art my mind and senses.
thou art my tongue, ears and eyes.
thou art my prana - the vital breath.
thou alone dwellest in my heart.
thou alone abideth in my breath.
thou fillest my whole body.
thou art the life within me.
thou art the prompter of my thoughts.
thou art the inner ruler.
thou movest all the internal organs.
thou illumineth my intellect.
thou art my all in all.
thou art my very soul.
thou art the soul of my soul.
i have none but thee.
thou alone art my real friend.
thou art my guru, my father and my mother.

so says sivananda

thou art my sole refuge,
i long for thy grace alone.
thou art the knower and the teacher,
thou art the knowledge that knows,
thou art the ultimate truth.
that is known or realized.

so says sivananda

september 29

come to me

i want only thee, my lord.
when the senses hiss and drag me,
come to me and crush them.
when i am overworked and tired,
come to me with thy peace and harmony.
when my mind becomes turbulent,
come to me with thy yoga power,
and still this boisterous mind.
when desires and cravings attack me,
come to me with thy light and grace.
when fear overpowers me,
come to me with thy courage.
when avidya - ignorance - tries to overwhelm me,
come to me with thy supreme wisdom.

thus sayeth sivananda

secret of love

subtle and profound is the path of love.
it is like the edge of a sharp razor.
but the true lover treads it easily.
his grace renders his path smooth.
there is no asking or bargaining there,
it is all sacrifice and self surrender.
it is the outpouring of the heart's love
at the lotus feet of the lord.
egoism is burnt in the fire of love,
desires are destroyed in the flame of love.
the two have become one now.
the lover plunges himself
in the ocean of divine love,
he immerses himself
in the sea of divine joy.
he offers his all in the lord's service,
his tan - body, man - mind, dhan - wealth,
this is the secret of this love.

thus sayeth sivananda

september 30

song of admonition

hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare
hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare.
radhe shyama radhe shyama shyama shyama radhe radhe
radhe krishna radhe krishna krishna krishna radhe radhe
gouri sankar gouri sankar sankar sankar gouri gouri
uma sankar uma sankar sankar sankar uma uma.

o my jesus o lord jesus hail hail jesus o father father
o my mary o virgin mary hail hail mary o mother mother
o my buddha o lord buddha hail hail buddha o saviour saviour
o my allah o lord allah hail hail allah o father father
o my shakti o adi shakti hail hail shakti o mother mother.

is there not a nobler mission than eating, drinking and sleeping?
it is difficult to get a human birth,
therefore try your best to realize in this birth.
fie on that wretch, woe to that man, who wastes all his life in sensual pleasures.

time sweeps away kings and barons -
where is yudhistra? where is asoka? where is shakespeare?
where is valmiki? where is napoleon? where is shivaji?

be up and doing yogic sadhana,
you will enjoy supreme bliss.
be up and doing brahma vichar,
you will attain immortality - kaivalya moksa.

can you expect real santi if you waste your time in idle gossiping?
can you enjoy supreme peace if you waste your time in novels and newspapers? in fights and quarrels? in scandal and backbiting?

am i not thou? art thou not i? one alone is therefore true
when the mind melts in the silence, you will have self-realization.
what have you learnt, tell me frankly from the bihar and quetta earthquakes?
have you got now real vairagya?
do you practice japa and kirtan?
can you expect real santi if you waste your time in cards and cinemas?
when your throat is choked at the time of death, who will help you for your salvation?

hare rama hare rama

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