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Vegetarian Cuisine

Here is protein and vegetables in a mousse! Tofu is extremely high in protein, iron, calcium and phosphorus. Firm tofu is versatile as in this recipe where it is blended with cooked vegetables. Serve with steamed new potatoes and a crisp salad. Serves 6.

2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 -3 carrots sliced
1 small rutabaga or 1 parsnip, roughly chopped
1⁄2 cup water
1 to 2 tablespoons tamari
9 ounces firm tofu
Toasted sesame seeds or chopped fresh parsley to garnish (optional)

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Heat the sesame oil in pan and sauté the carrots and rutabaga or parsnip over medium heat for 5 minutes.
3. Add the water and tamari and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
4. Transfer the vegetables to a food processor or blender, add the tofu and blend till smooth.
5. Spoon the mixture into a 21⁄2 cup baking dish and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until just firm.
6. Leave to cool, then garnish with sesame seeds or parsley before serving.

This recipe is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram, sourced from The Yoga Cookbook: Food for Body and Mind – Recipes from the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres” 1999.

Always do good to others. Be selfless. Mentally remove everything and be free. This is divine life. This is the direct way to Moksha or salvation. – Sri Swami Sivananda

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Raja Yoga

Discourse IV: Kaivalya Pada- On Realization
‘If one mind could perceive another, then there would be cognition of cognition, as well as confusion of memory.’

The mind can neither perceive itself nor perceive another mind, for if this were the case there would be complete confusion of the knowledge and memory of the different minds. The mind is but an instrument; all knowledge comes from beyond it.

From Discourse II: “Sadhana Pada – On Spiritual Disciplines”
“When negative or harmful thoughts disturbs the mind, they can be overcome by constant pondering over their opposites.”

The yogi is ever alert, watching his mind. When he sees useless thought waves arising, he immediately replaces them with positive thoughts, thus creating new mental habits that are conducive to spiritual growth.

When you are free from attachment to all external objects, the mind will be at peace. – Sri Swami Sivananda

Bhagavad Gita Quote

Chapter XI: The Yoga of the Vision of the Cosmic Form

(Arjuna speaking to Krishna)

Thou art the primal God, the ancient Purusha, the supreme refuge of this Universe, the knower, the knowable and the supreme abode. By Thee is the Universe pervaded, O Being of infinite forms!

Renunciation alone can make you fearless and happy. – Sri Swami Sivananda


PRAKRITI – the primordial creative force
Prakriti refers to a primordial creative or natural force; the natural or original intended state of something or of an individual’s being. The term is derived from the Sanskrit pra, meaning “beginning,” and kriti, meaning “creation.”
Prakriti is composed of three gunas (elements):
Rajas – Creation
Sattva – Preservation
Tamas – Destruction

The three gunas give movement to the force of Prakriti in the world, allowing modification and change to that which is primal and original in nature. Prakriti is considered to be a feminine, creative energy. Its counterpart, Purusha, is the masculine energy.

VICHARA – the enquiry into the real nature of things.

Vichara results in Viveka or discrimination between the real and the unreal.
Atma Vichara is a yogic practice that involves analysis or inquiry into the Self. The term comes from the Sanskrit, atma, which means the “self” or “soul,” and vichara, meaning thought, deliberation” or analysis. Atma Vichara is one of the main practices of Jnana yoga, or the yoga of knowledge.

Vichara results in Viveka or discrimination between the real and the unreal. It helps the aspirant to sift the true from the false. Swami Sivananda asserts that without cogitation, the Truth cannot be known or realized. Vichara sharpens the intellect and leads to the discernment of the Truth that lies behind the phenomenal universe. Swami Sivananda suggests that the spiritual aspirant should practice Vichar.
The justification for this method of Vichara or enquiry is contained in the saying, “As you think, so you become”. By constant reflection on the Reality behind the appearances, the seeker attains oneness with the Reality and becomes that Reality itself.

ATI-PRASNA – a transcendental question

The question, “Why has God created the world?”, is an Ati-prasna question.

The Mind generally plays this trick of asking ‘Ati-Prasna’ during the initial stages of practice of vichara. As Swami Sivananda states, these ati prasnas, or transcendental questions, are questions that are beyond the scope of human mind and intellect. There can’t be a suitable explanation for these questions within the scope of humanity’s words and ideas. Generally, the Mind plays the vichara by showing few ati-prasnas without a solution within its domain and hints that vichara is not much use. However, the key is to get over these open ended questions like this and continue ahead on one’s path. The Ati-Prasna hints to the sadhaka there is a greater phenomenon than life on Earth and to search for the Truth that lies behind the phenomenal universe.

When you are free from attachment to all external objects, the mind will be at peace. – Sri Swami Sivananda