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Gurugram April 2017 | Preface

Blessed Self,
Om Namah Sivaya

April is a busy and exciting time of year for the Sivananda Centres and Ashrams around the World with the Southern countries gearing down from a successful busy high season and the Northern climates cleaning and grooming their facilities for their upcoming busy season. Exciting new programs are being coordinated for the Summer months. Staff members are on the move across the World, arriving to various Ashrams in support of the upcoming roster of TTCs, ATTCs, Sadhana Intensives and wellness programs. Meditation, Ayurveda, Juice Fasting, Family Programs and Gentle Yoga are just some of the most popular programs found at our Centres and Ashrams across the globe. The two week Yoga Vacation module has increased in popularity, with many guests returning year after year for their annual vacation. The Sivananda family of dedicated yogis continues to grow.

In this month’s Gurugram we continue the exploration of Meditation techniques from the book “Swamiji Said – A Collection of Teachings by Swami Vishnudevananda in His Own Words”, plus, an extensive lesson on the Yogic Diet from an excerpt of “The Science of Pranayama” by Sri Swami Sivananda.

We thank you, the students and devotees, for the continued support to the Sivananda Organization while staff continues the teaching of Swamiji’s mission, impacting the peoples of the World on their multifaceted search for Peace.

Pranams to all.

Meditate to the chambers or your heart. Go down deep. Realize Divinity. – Sri Swami Sivananda

Upcoming Courses

Apr 04 – May 01/17
ATTC – English, עברית
Nassau, Bahamas 04 – May 01/17
TTC – English, עברית
Nassau, Bahamas 09 – May 07/17
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, Himalayas, North India 03 – Jun 01/17
TTC – Français
Orleans, France

May 04 – May 31/17
TTC – English
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May 06 – Jun 03/17
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May 14 – Jun 11/17
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May 20 – Jun 18/17
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May 27 – Jun 24/17
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Jun 01 – Jun 29/17
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Jun 03 – Jun 30/17
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Jun 18 – Jul 16/17
TTC – English
Netala, Uttar Kashi, Himalayas, North India

Jun 30 – Jul 28/17
TTC – English, Français, Espaňol
Orleans, France

Jun 30 – Jul 28/17
ATTC – Français, English, Español
Orleans, France 02 – Jul 30/17
TTC – English, Français, Espaňol,
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ATTC – English
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TTC – English, Deutsch
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TTC – English
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Aug 05 – Sep 03/17
TTC – Espaňol, English
Aluenda, Zaragoza, España Spain

Aug 06 – Sep 03/17
ATTC – English, Français, Español
Val Morin, QC, Canada

Aug 06 – Sep 03/17
TTC – English
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TTC – English
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Ustka, Baltic Sea, Poland

Sep 03 – Oct 01/17
TTC – English, Deutsch
Reith, Tyrol, Austria

Sep 09 – Oct 07/17
TTC – English, 中文
Chengdu, Sichuan, China

Raja Yoga

This month Swami Vishnudevananda advises us on choosing the sitting position and observation of the breath.

At the feet of Swami Vishnudevananda. Thoughts on Meditation.

Swami Vishnu-devananda would say that it is not possible to teach someone how to meditate, any more than it is possible to teach them how to sleep. Sleep overtakes us only when we detach our mind from its concerns. Meditation also cannot be forced, but unlike sleep, it is a conscious state. We need a degree of willpower to remain in the state of heightened awareness that occurs when we meditate. However, at the same time we need to relax, letting go of all expectations and desires. This subtle balance between the effort needed to sustain concentration on the one side and detachment from all distractions on the other is the art of meditation. We learn to focus the mind without struggle, yet maintain enough control to avoid a drift into reverie. To attain this state of relaxed awareness we need to prepare ourselves, and there are several steps that will help us. It is important to reiterate that meditation is a process, and as such, takes time. Be gentle and patient with your mind; do not expect miracles.

We continue with Swamiji’s guidance:


Sit in a comfortable steady posture, with spine and neck erect but not tense. The psychic current needs to travel unimpeded from the base of the spine to the top of the head, helping to steady the mind and encourage concentration. A comfortable cross-legged posture provides a firm base for the body, but it is not necessary to place the legs in padmasana, the classic lotus posture. You may wish to sit in siddhasana, the half-lotus position, or in any simple cross-legged position. Sitting on a cushion will help the thighs relax and bring the knees closer to the ground. In these sitting positions, a triangular path is created for the flow of energy, containing it rather than allowing it to disperse in all directions. Metabolism and breathing slow down as concentration deepens. Elderly or less able people may wish to sit on a comfortable chair, with ankles crossed. Lying down is not recommended because you relax completely and may find it almost impossible to ward off sleep. The mild muscular contraction necessary to hold the back upright in a sitting position keeps you alert. Try to relax the rest of the body as much as possible, especially the muscles of the face, neck and shoulders. The chest should be open, with the rib cage lifted to encourage abdominal breathing.

Initially you may find it difficult to keep the back straight for more than a few minutes. The practice of asanas (yoga postures) for as little as thirty minutes a day will strengthen your back, making it easy for you to sit comfortably over a long period of time. The actual purpose of asanas, according to the classical texts, is to be able to sit effortlessly and without fatigue for prolonged stretches. Patanjali, author of the most significant treatise on raja yoga, says that the meditation pose should be “sukham sthiram”, pleasant and firm. Swami Sivananda says one should feel as steady as a mountain outwardly and as flowing as honey within. Your body will be at ease and will require no attention; a little like a vehicle that has been parked and can be forgotten about. You will be able to disconnect from the sense of being the body and focus on the deeper aspects of consciousness. It may take a few months to master the meditation posture; however the confidence and satisfaction gained from training the body is well worth striving for. This first achievement in your practice will give you much joy and the confidence to overcome higher obstacles.


Consciously try to relax and make the breath rhythmic. Begin with one minute of deep abdominal breathing to bring oxygen to the brain. Then, slowing the breath down to an imperceptible rate, inhale and exhale rhythmically, for approximately three seconds each. The breath becomes light and completely silent. This technique is a pranayama (breath control) exercise that steadies the prana (breath) and thereby quietens the mind.

Hint: Face north or east to take absorb the favourable magnetic vibrations.

The self is not the individual body or mind, but rather that aspect deep inside each individual person that knows the truth. – Swami Vishnudevananda

Excerpt from the book: “Swamiji Said – A Collection of Teachings by Swami Vishnudevananda in His Own Words”

The spiritual consciousness dawns during silent meditation. You forget the world and the body during meditation. – Sri Swami Sivananda

Bhagavad Gita Quote

Chapter XVIII: The Yoga of Liberation by Renunciation


(Krishna speaking to Arjuna)

The unwavering firmness by which, through Yoga, the functions of the mind, the life-force and the senses are restrained-that firmness, O Arjuna, is Sattwic!


But that firmness, O Arjuna, by which, on account of attachment and desire for reward, one holds fast to Dharma, enjoyment of pleasures and earning of wealth-that firmness, O Arjuna, is Rajasic!


That by which a stupid man does not abandon sleep, fear, grief, despair and also conceit-that firmness, O Arjuna, is Tamasic! Bound by a hundred ties of hope, given over to lust and anger, they strive to obtain by unlawful means hoards of wealth for sensual enjoyment.

Cultivate strong patience. – Sri Swami Sivananda

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Spiritual Calendar

APRIL 2017

05        Ramanavami
07        Ekadasi
11        Full Moon
11       Hanuman Jayanti
14        Vishu (Malayalam New Year)
22        Ekadasi
26        New Moon

MAY 2017

06        Ekadasi
10        Full Moon
22        Ekadasi
25        New Moon


MITAHARA – Moderate diet

Take wholesome Sattvic food, half stomachful. Fill a quarter with pure water. Allow the remaining quarter free for expansion of gas and for propitiating the Lord.

“Mitaharam vina yastu yogarambham tu karayet, Nanaroga bhavettasya kinchid yogo na sidhyati” — Without observing moderation of diet, if one takes to the Yoga practices, he cannot obtain any benefit, but gets various diseases” (Ghe.S. Chap. V-16)

The Yogic practice will give you success if you observe Mouna, Mitahara and practice of Japa and meditation. – Sri Swami Sivananda