Gurugram August 2020 | Preface
Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Self
The teachings of Yoga are more important than ever as we go through a major test of strength and faith. The effects of the COVID-19 lock down on people’s physical and mental health are becoming more apparent, with many suffering from high level of stress. Uncertainty about the future is having its toll on our wellbeing. Together, let us renew our commitment to take good care of our body, resist the negative emotions of fear and anger and tap into the true Self within for strength. Not only can the practice of the Five Points of Yoga help keep our immune system strong, it can also stabilize our mind, bring relief from stress and ultimately give a different perspective on the challenging time we are experiencing worldwide.
Recently some of our Centres and Ashrams reopened, although on a small scale, as they adjusted to their government’s regulations on social distancing. Meanwhile, the popular online classes and workshops continued to bring renewed inspiration, health and hope to many.
The celebration of Swami Sivananda’s Mahasamadhi on July 14 brought much inspiration to the Organization. Pujas were held in all Ashrams and Centres, many of them streaming the event live. Students joined the online events from all over the world and expressed much gratitude to be able to connect in this way. We felt refreshed and uplifted by the soothing energy generated by the Pujas. Swami Sivananda’s presence was strongly felt. May all receive his blessings and feel his love and protection.
The second TTC online (TTCOL) experience ended very positively in Europe, with a group of enthusiastic students graduating. A few in house TTCs also started. It is a joy to be able to teach the students directly, in person, after so many months of online teaching.
We are also working on the last touches of the next issue of our Yoga Life magazine, which should come out in August. This year it will be an online edition only.
The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres feel more inspired than ever to continue bring the teachings of the Masters to all of you. Please visit our website www.sivananda.org for updates on our offerings. Let us stay connected online or directly, when possible.
May you stay well, may you stay strong, may you take good care of yourself and others.
With Prem and OM.
|Aug 02 – Aug 30/20*
Woodbourne, NY, USA
Aug 29 – Sep 27/20*
|Sep 19 – Oct 20/20*
Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Nov 15 – Dec 13/20*
Some Ashrams have opened, while others remain closed. Please check with each TTC/ATTC location whether COVID-19 has affected your selected course.
Also check on Ashram websites for their next TTC, ATTC or TTCOL (SIVANANDA YOGA Teachers’ Training Course Online (TTCOL).
A Jivanmukta has no desires. Desire is imperfection. – Sri Swami Sivananda
From Discourse II: “Sadhana Pada – On Spiritual Disciplines”
‘”Yama”, “niyama”, “asana”, “pranayama”, “pratyahara”, “dharana”,
“dhyana”, and “Samadhi” are the eight limbs.
The eight limbs can be translated as:
A) Yama: Abstentions or restraints
B) Niyama: Observances which cultivate positive qualities
C) Asana: Yoga postures
D) Pranayama: Yogic breathing
E) Pratyahara: Withdrawal of senses
E) Dharana: Concentration
F) Dhyana: Meditation
G) Samadhi: Superconsciousness
Raja Yoga is sometimes called ‘Ashtanga Yoga’, or Yoga of eight limbs. They translate, in the order given above, as self restraints, observances, postures, regulation of breath, withdrawal of the mind from sense objects, concentration, meditation and the superconscious state.
The spoken language is imperfect and finite. – 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 the Vision of the Cosmic Form. Summary of Eleventh Discourse
Arjuna’s doubts having been removed through a clear description of the nature of the Atman and the origin and destruction of all created things, he is now ready to behold the Cosmic Vision. Krishna grants him the divine sight by means of which Arjuna beholds the Lord as the vast Cosmic Manifestation. The vision is at once all-comprehensive and simultaneous. In every direction Arjuna sees the Lord as the entire universe. All the created worlds, gods, beings, creatures and things stand revealed as the one gigantic body of the Lord. Arjuna further sees that the great cosmic drama is set in motion and controlled by the all-mighty power of the Lord. His Will alone prevails in all things and actions, both good and bad. The Lord exhorts him to fight, he being only an apparent cause of the destruction of his enemies. Arjuna is unable to bear the pressure of the sudden expansion of consciousness and is filled with fear. He begs the Lord to assume once more His usual form. Krishna reiterates that this vision cannot be had through any amount of austerities, study, sacrifices or philanthropic acts. Supreme devotion is the only means by which one can have access to His grand vision.
What makes a wise choice? Something that will bring maximum good and less harm. Something that will bring you closer to the Truth within. – Sri Swami Sivananda
03 Full Moon
02 Full Moon
Do not hate the evil-hearted, the jealous and the selfish. It is they who promote your salvation. – Sri Swami Sivananda
Pranayama terms, ‘Svasa’ is the inspiratory breath. Inhale. ‘Prasvasa’ is the expiratory breath. Exhale.
Tasmin sati svasa prasvasayor-gativicchedah pranayamah —
“Regulation of breath, or the control of Prana, is the stoppage of inhalation and exhalation, which follows after securing that steadiness of posture or seat.”
This is the definition of Pranayama in the Yoga-sutras of Patanjali.
Take up the practice of Pranayama after you have gained steadiness in your Asana (seat). If you are able to sit from half to one hour even, you can take up the practice of Pranayama. Make any spiritual progress with the practice of Pranayama.
Atman is the fountain of all bliss. – Sri Swami Sivananda