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Sivananda Yoga FAQ

Q: When I sit for prayers, the lower mind wanders astray, but the other mind recites the Stotras without the slightest flaw, because of habit. But when I consciously try to recite the prayers, I sometimes miss the link, and have at times to repeat a Stotra from the beginning. Thus, are there two minds? How to overcome this difficulty?

A: No. There are not two minds. But the mind gets concentration little by little, and the portion of the mind which is spiritually inclined – call it the higher mind – engages itself in Sadhana, whereas that part of the mind which is more aware of its worldly Samskaras runs along its set grooves. Force of habit makes the repetition of prayers mechanical. But the higher mind should be made to concentrate on the meaning. Then the attention of the mind will be held and the lower part of the mind will have less opportunity to detract from the object in view. The whole trouble with careless Sadhana is that it tends to become mechanical without making an impression on the life of the aspirant.

This marvellous world is a great University of wisdom. Learn your lessons and become wise. – Sri Swami Sivananda

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Instruction in material and practical affairs should keep pace with instruction in Divine things. – Sri Swami Sivananda


Aham Brahmāsmi – A Vedantic assertion meaning I am Brahman. From the Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (1.4.10). One of the four Mahāvākyas or Great Sayings of the Upaniṣads.
Ahaṃtā – I-ness; egoism
Ahaṅkāra – Egoism
Ahiṃsā – Non-violence
Aiśvarya – Divine powers
Ajāti Vāda – The theory of non-evolution, that is, that the Absolute is not subject to birth, change and death. The Absolute is aja, unborn eternal.
Ājñā chakra – The centre of spiritual energy between the two eye-brows
Ākāśa – Ether
Ākāśa-vāṇī – Ethereal voice
Akṣara – The imperishable Brahman; the sacred monosyllable OṂ
Āmalaka – The Indian gooseberry
Amara – Puruṣa. The immortal being
Āmnāya – The Vedas. Sacred texts handed down by tradition or repetition.