Gurugram April 2022 | Preface
Om Namah Sivaya
Greetings from all staff in the Sivananda Centres and Ashrams!
A highlight of 2022 was the celebration of Mahasivaratri. All Centres and Ashrams celebrated it with all or part of the night chanting of the “Om Namah Sivaya” mantra, Siva Bhajans and Pujas to honor Lord Siva in the form of the Siva Lingam. The celebration was also shared online with hundreds of enthusiastic and grateful students who spend most of the night with us. It was touching to see the sincerity of the students, chanting along in front of their screens, doing their own Puja from home.
In the midst of the global confusion we are in, Bhakti feels like an anchor, a breath of fresh air and a protection against negativity. Swami Sivananda’s words addressing Lord Siva in his book “Hindu Fasts and Festivals” feel like nectar soothing mind and heart: “You are my Self. My mind is Parvati. My pranas are your servants. My body is your house. My sleep is your Samadhi. My speech is your prayer. Thus I offer all that I am to you.”
The Shiva Lingam is the symbol of the cosmic light, burning with the fire of tapas or sadhana. The celebration of Sivaratri reminds us to rekindle the fire of aspiration in our mind. May our will to turn to the Divine and allow Him / Her to descend in our bodies and minds become firm and steady.
It is believed that if one does one step towards God, He will take ten towards you.
Let us keep our sadhana up and offer it to God!
We wish you inspiration, strength and light on your path.
Om and Prem,
Swami Kailasananda for the Acharyas of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Join us for Sivananda monthly Meditation for a Peaceful Planet on Sunday April 3rd 2022 at 2pm CET. Check our websites for information. https://sivanandaorleans.org/unite-for-a-healthy-planet
Donations: With many of the International Sivananda Yoga Centres and Ashrams teaching online, finances are a concern, so if this is at all possible for you, your financial support would be very gratefully received by contacting any Sivananda Ashram or Centre.
Rely upon nothing to no one other than God. – Sri Swami Sivananda
2022 COVID-19 Update:
Please check with each TTC/ATTC location whether COVID-19 has affected your selected course.
The SIVANANDA YOGA Teachers’ Training Courses are available either online (TTCOL) or in residence, depending on the location. Please check with each TTC/ATTC location whether your selected Teacher Training Course is available online or in residence as some Ashrams have opened, while others remain closed. Thank you for your patience as schedules change during COVID.
To view all 2022 TTC/ATTC/SI courses on the Sivananda website: https://sivananda.org/teachers-training/programme-calendar/
See the full list of other international courses and events: https://www.sivananda.org/
Serve all. Love all. God walks in the garb of a beggar and moans in pain in the guise of the sick. Open your eyes. See Him in all. – Sri Swami Sivananda
From Discourse II: “Sadhana Pada – On Spiritual Disciplines “
“When negative or harmful thoughts disturbs the mind, they can be overcome by constant pondering over their opposites.”
The yogi is ever alert, watching his mind. When he sees useless thought waves arising, he immediately replaces them with positive thoughts, thus creating new mental habits that are conducive to spiritual growth.
If you control the tongue, you have controlled all the senses. – Sri Swami Sivananda
Bhagavad Gita Quote
From Discourse IV: “The Yoga of Wisdom”
IV.18. Karmanyakarma yah pashyed akarmani cha karma yah;
Sa buddhimaan manushyeshu sa yuktah kritsnakarmakrit.
He who seeth inaction in action and action in inaction, he is wise among men; he is a Yogi and performer of all actions.
COMMENTARY: It is the idea of agency, the idea of “I am the doer” that binds man to worldliness. If this idea vanishes, action is no action at all. It does not bind one to worldliness. This is inaction in action. But if a man sits quietly, thinking of actions and that he is their doer, he is ever doing actions. This is referred to as action in inaction.
Persevere. Slowly increase the time spent in practice, by reducing wastage from idle talks and other useless pursuits. – Sri Swami Sivananda
15 Vishu (Malayalam New Year)
16 Full Moon
30 New MoonMAY 2022
03 Akshaya Titreeya (Vamana Incarnation)
Adapt yourself to your surroundings and environments. You will enjoy peace and strength. – Sri Swami Sivananda
PRANAYAMA – Mantra During Pranayama
The Mantra for repetition during the practice of Pranayama is laid down in the Isvara Gita: “When the aspirant holding his breath repeats the Gayatri thrice, together with even Vyahritis in the beginning, the Siras at the end and the Pranava, one at both ends of it, this is, what is called the regulation of breath.”
Yogi Yajnavalkya, on the other hand, declares thus: “The upward breath and the downward breath, having been restrained, regulation of breath is to be practised by means of the Pranava (!) with due regard to the unit of measure of the Mantra.
This repetition of the Pranava alone, is meant for the Paramahamsa Sannyasins. It has been declared in the Smritis, that ordinary contemplation is to be practised, through the inhalation and other stages of breath-regulation at one’s navel, heart and forehead, with reference to the forms of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva respectively. For the Paramahamsa however, the only object of contemplation has been declared to be Brahman. “The self-controlled ascetic is to contemplate upon the supreme Brahman, by means of the Pranava,” declares the Sruti.
Exercise No. 1
Sit on Padmasana. Close your eyes. Concentrate on Trikuti (the space between the two eye-brows). Close the right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale slowly through the left nostril as long as you can do it with comfort. Then exhale very very slowly through the same nostril. Do twelve times. This is one round.
Then inhale through the right nostril by closing the left nostril with your right ring and little fingers and exhale very slowly through the same nostril. Do twelve times. This is one round.
Do not make any sound during inhalation and exhalation. Repeat your Ishta Mantra during the practice. In the second week of practice, do two rounds, in the third week, three rounds. Take rest for two minutes when one round is over. If you take a few normal breaths, when one round is over, that will give you sufficient rest and you will be fresh for the next round. There is no Kumbhaka in this exercise. You can increase the number of rounds according to your strength and capacity.
Exercise No. 2
Inhale through both the nostrils slowly and gently. Do not retain the breath. Then exhale slowly. Do 12 times. This will constitute one round. You can do 2 or 3 rounds according to your capacity and strength and time at your disposal.
Exercise No. 3
Sit on your Asana. Close the right nostril with your right thumb. Then inhale slowly through your left nostril. Close the left nostril with your right ring and little fingers and open the right nostril by removing the right thumb. Exhale very slowly through the right nostril. Then draw the air through the right nostril as long as you can do it with comfort and exhale through the left nostril by removing the right ring and little fingers. There is no Kumbhaka in this Pranayama. Repeat the process 12 times. This will constitute one round.
Exercise No. 4
Meditate that the single letter, the Supreme light—Pranava or OM—is the origin or source of the three letters A, U and M. Inhale the air through Ida or left nostril for the space of 16 Matras (seconds), meditate on the letter ‘A’ during that time; retain the air for the space of 64 Matras, meditate on the letter ‘U’ during the time; exhale through the right nostril for the space of 32 Matras and meditate on the letter ‘M’ during that time. Practise this again and again in the above order. Begin with 2 or 3 times and gradually increase the number to 20 or 30 times according to your capacity and strength. To begin with, keep the ratio 1:4:2. Gradually increase the ratio to 16:64:32.
Strive with faith and single-minded devotion. You will come out victorious in the end. – Sri Swami Sivananda