Gurugram January 2020 | Preface
From Swami Sivadasananda for the EBM:
OM Namah Sivaya
For the rural population in India there is a great lack of doctors, nurses and modern equipment. Private medical care is unaffordable for most people.
A project was launched in 2015 on the initiative of Dr Narayanswami, trustee of the Sivananda Ashram and founder and CEO of Vikram Group of Hospitals in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India. After receiving a generous donation from a Canadian devotee, a medical van was purchased and one doctor and two nurses were employed. They conducted daily visits in many villages around the city of Madurai, bringing basic medical diagnosis, mobile medical care, treatment, a medical camp and advice to the rural population.
With Master’s and Swamiji’s Grace we are glad to announce we are able to manifest the next step in this dynamic charity project of the Sivananda organization with a website with information and videos, where your donations can directly be offered:
The Sivananda Mobile Rural Medical Care in Madurai, South India
In the names of the many patients in the villages near Madurai, we thank you all for your support.
OM and Prem
With 2020 upon us may there be blessings to all the Sivananda family for the year to come. We thank you all for your continued support towards sharing the teachings and mission. We strive to do so with humility and truth, becoming stronger and better instruments to carry on the work without compromising the authenticity of the message. Pranams to all.
Practice meditation regularly. – Sri Swami Sivananda
Pray and surrender your will to divine grace. – Swami Vishnudevananda
|Feb 03 – Mar 03/20
Feb 09 – Mar 07/20
Feb 09 – Mar 09/20
Feb 14 – Mar 14/20
Feb 16 – Mar 14/20
Feb 22 – Mar 22/20
|Feb 24 – Mar 23/20
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, South India
Mar 02 – Mar 29/20
Mar 04 – Apr 02/20
Mar 08 – Apr 05/20
Mar 15 – Apr 11/20
Mar 22 – Apr 19/20
All upcoming 2020 TTC, ATTC and Sadhana Intensive courses can be viewed here “TTC | ATTC | SI – Calendar” on the NEW Sivananda website, under the tab, Teachers’ Training.
You can now conveniently apply for Teacher Training Courses online on the new Sivananda Organization website – www.sivananda.org
The highest use of Life is to live it in the service of all beings. – Sri Swami Sivananda
Chapter IV: “Kaivalya Pada – On Realization”
Introduction to the Fourth Chapter:
The final chapter of Patanjali’s Raja Yoga Sutras discusses ‘Kaivalya’, liberation or independence. The full-blown yogi develops perfect discrimination, or the ability to distinguish the Real from the unreal. He is no longer addicted by the three gunas of nature, and can distinguish ‘Purusha’ (Soul) from ‘Prakriti’ (nature).
IV.1. JANMAUSADHI-MANTRA-TAPAH-SAMADHI JAH SIDDHAYAH
‘Siddhis are attained as a result of birth, medicinal herbs, Mantras, austerities or “samadhi”(Super-Consciousness)’.
Commentary: Siddhis that are brought into the present life by birth indicate their attainment in a previous life, but it does not guarantee that the individual is making proper use of them in this life. Those gained through chemical means are not necessarily associated with any level of spirituality at all, and can be easily governed by the ego. Siddhis achieved by Mantra repetition or tapas, austerities, are generally of a very high order as long as they are performed for attaining God-Realization rather than personal or material gain. Powers that come from ‘samadhi’ are the purest, for they come to the aspirant without being desired. It must be remembered that siddhis are not the aim but a by-product of the path to God-Realization.
There is no bond stronger than Maya. There is no power greater than Yoga, to destroy this bond. – Sri Swami Sivananda
Bhagavad Gita Quote
The Bhagavad Gita is a dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna, narrated in the Bhishma Parva of the Mahabharata. The Bhagavad Gita is comprised of eighteen discourses, with a total of 701 Sanskrit verses. The timeless scene takes place on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Sri Krishna, through a swift conversation with Arjuna, reveals profound, sublime and soul stirring spiritual truths, plus, rare secrets of Yoga, Vedanta, Bhakti and Karma. Those who study, and endowed with Faith, can reap the full benefits of the Bhagavad Gita, and the science of the Soul.
We continue reviewing Swami Sivananda’s summary of each chapter of the Bhagavad Gita.
The Yoga of Wisdom
Summary of the Fourth Chapter/Discourse
Lord Krishna declares that He is born from age to age, in order to raise man and take him to the Supreme. Whenever there is a prevalence of unrighteousness and the world is ruled by the forces of darkness, the Lord manifests Himself to destroy these adverse forces and to establish peace, order and harmony. Hence we see the appearance of the great saviours of the world.
What is the secret of Yogic action? This the Lord proceeds to explain to Arjuna. Even though one is not engaged in action, but if the mind is active with the idea of doership and egoism, then it is action in inaction. On the other hand, though engaged physically in intense action, if the idea of agency is absent, if one feels that Prakriti does everything, it is inaction in action. The liberated man is free from attachment and is always calm and serene though engaged in ceaseless action. He is unaffected by the pairs of opposites like joy and grief, success and failure.
One who has true union with the Lord is not subject to rebirth. He attains immortality. Such a union can only be achieved when one is free from attachment, fear and anger, being thoroughly purified by right knowledge. The Lord accepts the devotion of all, whatever path they may use to approach Him.
Various kinds of sacrifices are performed by those engaged in the path to God. Through the practice of these sacrifices the mind is purified and led Godward. Here also there must be the spirit of non-attachment to the fruits of actions.
Divine wisdom, according to Sri Krishna, should be sought at the feet of a liberated Guru, one who has realized the Truth. The aspirant should approach such a sage in a spirit of humility and devotion. God Himself manifests in the heart of the Guru and instructs the disciple. Having understood the Truth from the Guru by direct intuitive experience the aspirant is no longer deluded by ignorance.
The liberated aspirant directly beholds the Self in all beings and all beings in the Self. He cognizes through internal experience or intuition that all beings, from the Creator down to a blade of grass, exist in his own Self and also in God.
Arjuna is given the most heartening assurance that divine wisdom liberates even the most sinful. When knowledge of the Self dawns, all actions with their results are burnt by the fire of that knowledge, just as fuel is burnt by fire. When there is no idea of egoism, when there is no desire for the fruits of one’s actions, actions are no actions. They lose their potency.
In order to attain divine wisdom one must have supreme faith and devotion. Faith is therefore the most important qualification for a spiritual aspirant. The doubting mind is always led astray from the right path. Faith ultimately confers divine knowledge, which removes ignorance once and for all.
Mere intellectual knowledge does not lead to liberation. It cannot grant one supreme peace and freedom. When one has achieved complete self-mastery and self-control, when one has intense faith and devotion, then true knowledge dawns within and one attains liberation and freedom from all weaknesses and sins.
The Lord concludes by emphasizing that the soul that doubts goes to destruction. Without faith in oneself, in the scriptures and in the words of the preceptor, one cannot make any headway on the spiritual path. It is doubt that prevents one from engaging in spiritual Sadhana and realizing the highest knowledge and bliss. By following the instructions of the Guru and through sincere service, one’s doubts are rent asunder and divine knowledge manifests itself within. Spiritual progress then goes on at a rapid pace.
Courage and Patience are the twin qualities of a real aspirant. – Sri Swami Sivananda
SIDDHIS [Sanskrit]: Psychic powers manifested as by-products of spiritual advancement through personal Sadhana practice, such as meditation, mantra repetition and yoga.
Commentary: Siddhis that are brought into the present life by birth indicate their attainment in a previous life, but it does not guarantee that the individual is making proper use of them in this life. Those gained through chemical means are not necessarily associated with any level of spirituality at all, and can be easily governed by the ego. Siddhis achieved by Mantra repetition or tapas, austerities, are generally of a very high order as long as they are performed for attaining God-Realization rather than personal or material gain. Powers that come from ‘samadhi’ are the purest, for they come to the aspirant without being desired. It must be remembered that siddhis are not the aim but a by-product of the path to God-Realization. Those who misuse Siddhi power for destroying others are themselves destroyed in the end.
Example: The repetition of Gayatri or Pranava or OM Namah Sivaya, OM Namo Narayanaya, OM Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya, one and a quarter lakh of times with Bhava, faith and devotion will bestow a Mantra Siddhi.
When you love God, you love everything. All are manifestations of God. – Sri Swami Sivananda