Gurugram April 2023 | Preface
Om Namah Sivaya
Days are getting longer in the northern hemisphere, and the energy of spring is in the air. The Easter programmes were well attended and much appreciated by grateful groups of guests and TTC graduates, keen to refresh their practice and bathe in the pure and positive energy of the Ashrams.
We joyfully celebrated Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti. This was the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of Dharma, the cosmic law of harmony and contribution. As Swami Sivananda puts it: “do your duty first, your privileges will follow unasked.” Paying homage to Hanuman also reminded us of the importance of faith and surrender to God. May we feel inspired to emulate his total devotion to Lord Ram, which made him so humble and so powerful at the same time.
The Ashram in Orleans, France will be organizing again a gathering of TTC graduates from 9 to 15 June, a TTC refresher after three years of interruption due to pandemic.
May you stay well and inspired in your practice and service.
Om and prem
Swami Kailasananda for the Acharyas of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Join us for the monthly Sivananda “Meditation for a Peaceful Planet” on Sunday 7th May, 20223 at 2pm CEST. Check our website for information. https://sivanandaorleans.org/unite-for-a-healthy-planet
Donations: Your donations and financial support would be very gratefully received by any of the International Sivananda Yoga Centres and Ashrams. Please contact any Sivananda Ashram or Centre on how to proceed.
Selfless service is the watchword along the road to salvation. – Sri Swami Sivananda
SIVANANDA YOGA Teachers’ Training Courses are available both Online (TTCOL) and in-person in residence. Please check with each TTC/ATTC location for any TTCOLs.
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 2023 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/
An hour’s service of the sick, with divine bhav is better than a year’s pilgrimage to Thirtas. – Sri Swami Sivananda
From Discourse IV: “Kaivalya Pada – On Realisation”
IV.7 karmāśuklākṛṣṇaṃ yoginas tri-vidham itareṣām
For a yogi, Karma is neither white nor black; for others it is threefold.
For a yogi, Karma is objectively worked out – there is no positive or negative about it. For others it is threefold – black, white and grey – meaning that there are subjective reactions to the work that must be carried out, and this in turn creates new Karma.
The moment ignorance is dispelled or duality is removed, Moksha is experienced. – Sri Swami Sivananda
Bhagavad Gita Quote
Chapter VI: The Yoga of Meditation
VI.24 saṅkalpaprabhavān kāmāns tyaktvā sarvān aśeṣataḥ
manasaivendriyagrāmaṁ viniyamya samantataḥ
Abandoning without reserve all desires born of Sankalpa (thought and imagination), and completely restraining the whole group of senses by the mind from all sides,
Without reserve: the mind is so diplomatic that it keeps certain desires for its secret gratification. Therefore, you should completely abandon all desires without reservation.
Desire is born of imagination. So, destroy imagination first. If imagination is annihilated, then desires die by themselves. Note here that all the senses must be controlled by the mind from all sides. Even if one sense is turbulent in one direction, it will distract the mind very often. The senses are absorbed in the mind through constant practice of abstraction. The mind is then unable to think of the objects of sense-pleasure and becomes perfectly calm.
Only that mind which is endowed with strong discrimination and dispassion will be able to control the whole group of senses in all directions. So, develop discrimination between the Real and the unreal. (Cf. II.62)
VI.25 śanaiḥ śanair uparamed buddhyā dhṛitigṛihītayā
ātmasansthaṁ manaḥ kṛtvā na kiñchid api cintayet
Little by little let him attain to quietude by the intellect held firmly; having made the mind establish itself in the Self, let him not think of anything.
The practitioner of Yoga should attain tranquility gradually by degrees, by means of the intellect controlled by steadiness. The peace of the Eternal will fill the heart gradually with thrill and bliss, through constant and protracted practice of steady concentration. Through ceaseless practice the student should make the mind abide always in the Self within. If one constantly thinks of the immortal Self within, the mind ceases to think of pleasurable objects. The mental energy is now directed along the spiritual channel in constant contemplation on the Self.
The secret of true life is in the love of God and the service of humanity. – Sri Swami Sivananda
21 New Moon
30 Ram Navami
Ramnavami or the birthday of Lord Rama falls on the 9th day of the bright fortnight of the month of Chaitra (March-April).
Rama was the Lord Hari Himself, incarnate on earth for the destruction of Ravana.
Lord Rama was the prince of the Ikshvaku race. He was virtuous and of manly strength. He was the Lord of the mind and the senses. Brave and valiant, He was yet gentle and modest. He was a sage in counsel, kind and sweet in speech, and most courteous and handsome in appearance. He was the master of all the divine weapons, and a great warrior. Ever devoted to the good and prosperity of His kingdom and His subjects, He was a defender of the weak and the protector of the righteous. Endowed with numerous wondrous powers of the mind, He was well versed in all sciences–in military science as well as the science of the Self.
Lord Rama was the best of men with a sterling character. He was the very image of love. He was an ideal son, an ideal brother, an ideal husband, an ideal friend and an ideal king. He can be taken to embody all the highest ideals of man. He led the ideal life of a householder to teach the tenets of righteousness to humanity. He ruled His people so well that it came to be known as Ram-Rajya, which meant the rule of righteousness, the rule which bestows happiness and prosperity on all.
The noblest lesson embodied in the Ramayana is the supreme importance of righteousness in the life of every human being. Let mankind follow His footsteps and practise the ideals cherished by Him, for it is only thus that there can be everlasting peace, prosperity and welfare in this world.
One who approaches Sri Rama with love and worshipfulness becomes large-hearted, pure in spirit, good-natured and dispassionate in thought, word and deed. A true devotee of Lord Rama is His representative, with His power and His knowledge.
On the auspicious Ramnavmi day take a firm resolve that you will repeat Ram-Nam with every breath and that you will endeavour to lead a righteous life.