Sivananda Yoga FAQ

Q 1: What is Vairagya?

A: Vairagya is the opposite of raga. It is dispassion or non attachment. It is indifference to sensual objects herein and hereafter. Vairagya thins out the fatty sensual mind. It turns the mind inward (antarmukh vritti). This is the most important qualification for an aspirant. It is the one and the only means to enter into nirvikalpa samadhi. There are four stages in vairagya:

1. Yatamanam. This is an attempt not to allow the mind to run into sensual grooves.
2. Vyatirekam. In this stage some objects are attracting you and you are endeavouring to cut off the attachment and attraction.
3. Ekendriyam. The Indriyas stand still and subdued, but the mind has either raga or dwesha for objects.
4. Vasikaran. In this highest stage of Vairagya, the objects no longer tempt you. They cause no attraction. The Indriyas are perfectly quiet. Mind also is free from likes and dislikes (Raga and Dwesha). Then you get supremacy or independence. Now you are conscious of your supremacy.

Without vairagya no spiritual progress is possible. If you get vairagya, rest assured that is a sign of purification of mind (chitta-shuddhi).

Q 2: Is it true that death places us in a more conducive environment in the next birth for the fulfillment of certain deep-rooted desires, which are otherwise difficult to fulfill in this life?

A: Death need not necessarily place one in a more conducive environment in the next birth. That depends upon the quality of man’s actions during the present birth as well as in the remoter past. It is true that our desires guide our future births to a great extent.

Q 3: Sometimes I hush up things in my mind. I get mental torments thereby. What shall I do to get rid of this habit?

A: You must be frank and as simple as a child. Then only you will get the divine light. You will grow spiritually. Even if it is a horrible crime, you must admit it before a Guru. Then only you will get his sympathy and protection. By admitting your faults before others, you remove the effects of bad actions. It serves as a Prayaschitta or expiatory action.

The Absolute is beyond thought, beyond thinking. – Swami Sivananda

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Keep your heart tranquil, pure, empty of desires and thoughts. – Sri Swami Sivananda



This sacred syllable, sometimes written AUM, is the original mantra. The Sanskrit letter represents the journey of the human spirit towards eternal peace.

OM is everything.
OM represents all.
OM is the basis of your life, thought and intelligence.
OM is the name or symbol of God, Isvara or Brahman.
OM is your real name. OM covers all the threefold experiences of man.
OM stands for all the phenomenal worlds.
From OM this sense-universe has been projected.
The World exists in OM and dissolves in OM (AUM).

AUM: “A” represents the physical plane, “U” represents the mental plane and astral planes, the world of spirits, all heavens, “M” represents the deep sleep state, and all that is unknown even in your wakeful state, all that is beyond the reach of the intellect.

All words which denote the objects are Centred in OM. Hence the World has come from OM, rests in OM and dissolves in OM. – Sri Swami Sivananda