Sivananda Yoga FAQ
Q 1: Do you think that a mediator is necessary in order to enable us to attain Self-realization?
A: Yes, yes. That is the Tutelary Deity or Ishta Devata. The mind cannot all at once rise beyond itself. The ego will seldom cut its own throat. Your consciousness will find it a hard task to realize the Cosmic Consciousness. Therefore the Name and the Form of a Deity are chosen to meditate upon. In due time, this Deity will manifest Itself before you and do the work of annihilating the ego and the mind, enabling you to realize Cosmic Consciousness.
Q 2: What is meant by “killing of conscience”?
A: He who is pure in thought, speech and action, who fears sin and Adharma, who is pious, God-fearing and equanimous, who is balanced and capable of maintaining equilibrium, will have his conscience in an unblemished state. He who has abundant Sattva (quality of purity) will always have an unmarred conscience. Expansion of heart gives rise to the hearing of the voice of conscience. Inner guidance will always be to that individual who has Sattva in abundant measure by way of Japa, Svadhyaya, Pranayam, selfless service and other elevative works (Yajna). “Killing of conscience” means killing of what is divine in man, killing of the enviable quality of Sattva, expenditure of the laudable wealth of Dharma, the praiseworthy treasure of spiritual progress. He who is God-fearing can never commit anything that debases him or degrades him in moral evolution. To kill the conscience means to kill the God in man, to make an end of all Daivi Sampat (wealth of divine qualities) and equal oneself to a brute and reduce oneself to a spiritual cannibal. True conscience is another name for the Antaratma or Inner Soul. Go through my book “Ethical Teachings” in this connection.
Q 3: Why does God create rogues?
A: As this is a relative world, there must be rogues and honest men. A rogue is not an eternal rogue. A rogue is the saint of the future. Roguery is a negative virtue. It is not a separate entity. Honesty will have no existence in the absence of roguery. The raison d’etre of roguery is to glorify honesty. Roguery and honesty are the obverse and the reverse of the same coin. They are mental creations only. Even a rogue has some virtues. There is neither absolute roguery nor absolute honesty. God Himself plays the part of a rogue in the world’s drama for His Lila. There is neither John nor Peter.
Concentrate all your attention on the work at hand. – Swami Sivananda
ANTARATMA [Sanskrit]: inner soul; inner self
The secondless Supreme Being who resides in the chambers of your heart as Antaryamin or Inner Ruler or controller or Sutradhara or Sakshi (silent witness), Antaratma (inner Self) has no beginning, middle or end. The Supreme Being is the source for this world, the Vedas, the body, the mind, the Indriyas and the Pranas; is All-pervading; is unchanging; is the one homogeneous Essence (Ekarasa); existing in the past, present and future; is Self-existent Svayambhu; is Svatantra (independent) and is self-luminous (Svayam Jyoti) as God or Atman or Brahman or Purusha or Chaitanya or Purushottama.
Thought must agree with your word and word with your deed. – Sri Swami Sivananda