Sivananda Yoga FAQ
Q 1: Why do we not remember our past lives?
A: Such remembrance under our existing limitations would considerably complicate our present life. Therefore, the wise and beneficent Lord has so ordered our mental evolution that we cannot recall our past lives until such time as it is good and helpful for us to remember. Such instances may well form a cycle which is all clear to us when we come to the end of it, when we see a whole rosary of lives threaded upon the one personality.
Q 2: What are the methods to develop unruffled serenity and mental composure under all conditions of life ? Is absolute serenity possible of attainment?
A: By all means, consider yourself as dead to the world or the world as dead to you. Develop Atma Vichar Sakti. Identify not with the mind, senses and intellect or with any of the other modifications of the mind. Always be engaging yourself in the thought of the Divine. Have no thought of yourself or the surrounding world. Be absolutely indifferent to yourself, as you ought to be towards the surroundings, the various daily happenings and the worldly repercussions. Knowledge of the Self, when once attained, absolves one of all mental disruptions and psychic derangements. Where there is firm-grounded knowledge of the Self in the spiritual seeker, where there is the consciousness in him that “all indeed is Brahman, Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma” and that he is none other than that Supreme Brahman, and where he understands that all happenings– good, bad or mixed– are but passing phases on the screen of the world, there can never be any ill-balanced mental life. It is the mind that is the sole cause for bondage or Moksha. The mind is the substratum behind pleasure or pain, happiness or misery, success or defeat. Rise above the pairs of opposites by resorting to a Guru and his instructions. Study the lives of saints who underwent various trials and the books by realized souls. Develop the spirit of true surrender wherein you have no thought of body or bodily needs or self-protection even in the slightest degree and wherein you forget the idea of life and death altogether. Serenity is merely mental. Therefore, cultivate mental equipoise by gaining spiritual knowledge.
Q 3: Why does God not speak to me? What is the obstacle?
A: The self-surrender is not complete. There are still subtle Moha, subtle desires and egoism. The Indriyas are still powerful and outgoing. These are the obstacles. When these are removed, you can hear the shrill, sweet, inner voice of God. Impure souls mistake the voice of the impure mind for the voice of God.
Sacrifice is truly the sacrifice of egoism. Realize the Self or Atman. You will then realize that Life is a waking dream. – Swami Sivananda
01 Full Moon
MOHA: infatuation or delusion; subtle desires leading to egoism
The ignorance that prevents the understanding of Truth; the obstacle(s) of the Truth. In the “Hatha Yoga Pradipika,” Moha is described as infatuation of the material that clouds the mind in search of Truth. Hatha Yoga is seen as one method of overcoming these obstacles to the Truth.
A pure heart is necessary to know the Will of God. – Sri Swami Sivananda