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Sivananda Yoga FAQ

Q 1: We see a very good man suffering too much. Why?

A: The law of Karma is inexorable. Every one reaps the fruits of his previous births. A good man only will suffer a lot, because he is hurrying up in the spiritual march. Many of his evil Karmas have to be worked out and purged out quickly to hasten his salvation in this very birth. But, God gives him extraordinary power of endurance through His grace. An aspirant or a good man gets many difficulties and sufferings. But he rejoices even in sufferings and destitution on account of the descent of the Lord’s grace. He voluntarily welcomes these sufferings. The only best thing in this world is pain or suffering, because it is the eye-opener towards God.

Q 2: Difficulties and anxieties upset me every day. Failure and troubles face me on every side. What shall I do, my Lord?

A: Don’t be afraid. Remember the saying, “Even this will pass away”. Write this on a piece of paper in bold types and fix it on the wall in your room. Difficulties and troubles are Agamapaya. They come and go. Read Verse 14 in Chapter 2 of Srimad Bhagavad Gita. Become a hero. Stand firm as a rock. Live in the Centre. Live in Om. Live in Truth or Atma. Nothing can shake you. Difficulties will make you more strong and endow you with more endurance. Mysterious are His ways. Say, “Thy will be done”.

Q 3: I have been reading the Upanishads and other scriptures and I find one and the same thing in all of them. They say that everything we come across is unreal, only God is real and that we have to think and understand the Truth by ourselves. How are we to do it, Swamiji?

A: Reading will help you only to a certain extent. Too much reading will land you in confusion. You should meditate and concentrate on one particular idea. That particular idea should serve as the eye-opener. Then alone will you get Vairagya; you will be able to understand the false nature of things. Take, for instance, the life of Sri Swami Sadasiva Brahmendra of Nerur. The mere uttering of the word ‘wait’ by his mother, when he asked her to serve food, inflicted such a blow on his mind and stirred it so well. You may be convinced intellectually that the world is false, only God is real and all the sense-enjoyments bring misery only. But this conviction is not strong. You may think, “Let me enjoy the sense-pleasures for five minutes”. Thus you are deceived by Maya. Reflect on such Slokas as “Ye Hi Samsparsaja Bhoga Duhkha Yonaya Eva Te…”. Identify with the Higher Self which is infinity, eternity, immortality. Always think, “Suddhoham, Shantoham, Satchidanandoham”. You will be elevated. Abhyasa and Vairagya are necessary. Tyaga and Tapas will give you tremendous powers. Be not cheated by the temporary pleasures of the world– car, property etc. Be not unnecessarily worried by undue attachment etc. Do your duty and leave the rest to Him. He will take care of you.

Today, many have turned away from the Rishis’ ideals – viz., service, love, sacrifice, renunciation, dispassion, devotion, meditation. Suffering, unrest, war, exploitation and misery have taken hold. – Sri Swami Sivananda

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Spiritual Calendar


04 New Moon
14 Ekadasi
19 Full Moon
25 Christmas
30 Ekadasi
31 Swami Vishnudevavnanda’s Birthday / New Year’s Eve


SUDDHOHAM – I am Purity
Mentally repeat the formula, “Suddhoham, Suddhoham. I am purity, I am purity”, and attain that state of pristine, matchless purity.
SHANTOHAM – I am peace. I am silence.
SATCHIDANANDOHAM – I am the pure and benevolent form. I am the true mind and the form of bliss.
NITYOHAM – I am in the present.
CHIDOHAM – I am the consciousness, I am the consciousness form. I am alive I am full of life. I am pure energy and pure consciousness.

You can not get true and lasting freedom without self discipline. – Sri Swami Sivananda