Gurugram January 2017 | Preface
Om Namah Sivaya
While we reflect on the year 2016, the feeling was unanimous among the Sivananda staff on how Swamiji guided us in every step to impart the pure teachings of the ancient scriptures. All Centres and Ashrams worked hard in sharing the Knowledge with the most needed throughout the World, just the way Swamiji wished.
At Sivananda we are excited to see the increased inquiry into the beneficial teachings of Yoga. It is more evident than ever. In India, with the plethora of Indian students walking through the Ashram doors, the halls and the yoga teacher trainings are filled alongside the guaranteed steady steam of international students. Still growing, many SVYC Centres and Ashrams sprouted and flourished in Asia of late, including the new Sivananda Ashram in DaLat, Vietnam, with the new facilities well appreciated by its citizens near and far.
On the subject of continued growth and development of the Sivananda Organization, we are also very glad to inform you that soon we will be owning one of our oldest SVYC Centres in Munich, Germany.
We are also happy to announce sanyas and brahmacharya initiations in Europe. With Master’s, Swamiji’s and the EBM’s blessings a sanyas and brahmacharya initiation was held at the Retreat House on 29th December 2016. Saraswati Chaitanya is now known as Swami Santosananda Saraswati. Vishnupriya is now known as Vishnupriya Chaitanya. Sivani is now known as Sivani Chaitanya. May Master and Swamiji guide them on the path.
In the publishing side of things, the Sivananda GURUGRAM has always something interesting and uplifting to read. This month the GURUGRAM begins a monthly series on meditation, located in the Raja Yoga section. The written commentary will alternate from Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda. At the Sivananda Headquarters at the Yoga Camp the staff started typing precious Master and Swamiji’s books that have been out of print.
We thank you all for your continued support and wish you all a Happy New Year 2017. All your contributions help nourish Master and Swamiji’s mission.
All the best with your Sadhana and much success in your spiritual path. May Master and Swamiji’s blessings be with you always.
Pranams to all.
The initial stages in Sadhana will be one of ups and downs. Obstacles and unfavourable circumstances are God-sent chances to make you more steady and strong in will. – Sri Swami Sivananda
|Jan 04 – Jan 31/17
TTC – English, עברית, French
www.sivananda.org/nassauJan 04 – Jan 31/17
ATTC – English, עברית, Deutsch
Jan 05 – Feb 02/17
Jan 07 – Feb 05/17
Jan 08 – Feb 05/17
Jan 21 – Feb19/17
Jan 22 – Feb 19/17
Feb 03 – Mar 02/17
Feb 11 – Mar 11/17
|Feb 12 – Mar 12/17
TTC – English
Neyyar Dam, South India
www.sivananda.org/neyyardamFeb 18 – Mar 18/17
TTC – English
http://www.sivananda.org/london/teachers_training_UK.htmlFeb 25 – Mar 26/17
TTC – Deutsch English Español Français Italiano
Rudraprayag, Himalayas, North India
Feb 26 – Mar 26/17
Mar 04 – Apr 02/17
Mar 05 – Apr 01/17
Mar 12 – Apr 09/17
Mar 19 – Apr 16/17
Apr 04 – May 01/17
Apr 04 – May 01/17
Apr 09 – May 07/17
In January, the beginning of a new year plus, the blanket of darkness of winter in the northern hemisphere, both set the stage for beginning or diving deeper into a meditation practice.
An integral part of yoga, Meditation is an important key to achieving peace of mind in our increasingly chaotic lives. Regular practice will enhance our mental, physical and spiritual well-being. You will learn about the beneficial effects of meditation, including how this powerful art will help you to:
- Reduce stress and experience greater clarity of mind
- Treat health problems, ranging from depression, anxiety, insomnia to chronic pain
- Develop your powers of concentration and positive thinking
- Lead a more balanced life
The first look in our series on Meditation, Swami Vishnudevananda asks us to think about where meditation fits into our lives.
At the feet of Swami Vishnudevananda. Thoughts on Meditation.
Meditation starts in your day-to-day life. If you cannot detach yourself from the day-to-day activities, you cannot close your eyes and meditate. If we have continuous identification with our activities and nature, when we sit, the same activities will go on. Even if you keep your eyes closed, your hands clasped, your feet crossed, still the mind is not checked. The mind will play the part and you are going to identify with the mental play. You sit for three hours with eyes closed. Does the meditation come? Sitting with closed eyes like a statue is not going to bring you anything as long as the play is still going on inside. Continuously the play is going on; meditation is a continuous dehypnotizing of our identity with this play, this play of the body and mind.
Whether you are going to work with your physical body and identify with your physical body, or if you keep the physical body still and close the eyes, it makes no difference. The mind will play its part in all conditions.
Now, try just for a few minutes, to dive deep into a silence. Hear the silence, see the silence, taste, smell, and touch the silence. The last moment of your life, you’ll hear that beautiful silence, that melody of your soul, the sound of your own soul, the music of your soul. That Godhead, that peace will come to you. You will leave your body with full awareness and peace and shanti. Now dive deep. Hear the eternal sound of Om in silence, and we’ll keep silence just for a few minutes, just a few minutes.
In order to detach and keep the mind away from the day-to-day portion so that when you sit for meditation you will be able to withdraw the mind, you must take the first step which is called Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga is the fundamental step on which your meditation practice is built. No meditation is possible without Karma Yoga. It doesn’t matter what else you do.
Excerpt from the book: “Swamiji Said – A Collection of Teachings by Swami Vishnudevananda in His Own Words”
Study thoroughly, prayerfully and unhurriedly with an alert mind and without interruption. – Sri Swami Sivananda
Bhagavad Gita Quote
Chapter XI: The Yoga of the Vision of the Cosmic Form
XI.11. DIVYAMAALYAAMBARADHARAM DIVYAGANDHAANULEPANAM;
SARVAASHCHARYAMAYAM DEVAM ANANTAM VISHWATOMUKHAM.
(Sanjaya narrating to Arjuna’s cosmic vision to King Dhritarashtra)
Wearing divine garlands and apparel, anointed with divine unguents, the all-wonderful, resplendent (Being), endless, with faces on all sides.
XI.12. DIVI SOORYASAHASRASYA BHAVEDYUGAPADUTTHITAA;
YADI BHAAH SADRISHEE SAA SYAADBHAASASTASYA MAHAATMANAH.
If the splendour of a thousand suns were to blaze out at once (simultaneously) in the sky, that would be the splendour of that mighty Being (great soul).
Keep a fixed time each day for study of scriptures (Svadhaya). – Sri Swami Sivananda
VAIRAGYA – [Sanskrit] – Non-attachment; Dispassion
Commentary from Swami Vishnudevananda –
“What is the cause of all problems, individual as well as universal?The root which everything spreads out? Attachment. Attachment is the cause of all pain. For example, this glass is very special. I bought it at an auction and it was used by King George 100th!! King George 100th used this glass. It is MINE. D. said, “Is that so Swami-ji? Can you give it to me – I would also like to have it.” “No way,” I said, as I held it tight. When I go to sleep I lock it up in a special vault with a special lock and put on a special electronic alarm, so if anyone tries to touch it I will know. I am unable to sleep because of this glass. Any sound I hear I think someone is after my glass. L. is coming over. She is only trying to be friendly because of the glass. I trust no-one now. I ask Swami P. to check on D. to see what he is up to, but later I see Swami P. and D. outside talking together. Oh my God, they are plotting against me for my glass.
What we call love – L.O.V.E. becomes completely depleted because of attachment. This applies to anything. I just took an example of the glass, but it could be to anything, to money, to anything. Our main problem is that we get attached to various objects. And why do we get attached? Two things are the cause of attachment. The two causes of attachment are I-ness and Mine-ness. You want an object because you think you can get happiness from it. You then get attached to it. ” It is mine. I own it.” I-ness and Mine-ness are the root cause of all problems.
Swamis and Yogis also get into problems. ” This is my Yoga Centre, my disciples, my money.” They also get attached, but to different things. The purpose of life is to get rid of this problem. But we do not even know that we have it as a problem. We do not recognize the level of our attachment to things. Nor do we recognize the trap of attachment. Slowly Maya (illusion) binds us.
Attachments can come slowly. We are not aware that they are slowly creeping up on us. The movement is very subtle. This is why an aspirant should have purity, so he can understand and become aware of the subtle attachments, by which he can so easily be trapped. This problem is not because you are living in society. People who live in the Himalayas, the forest or in the jungles may not have attachment to the same objects as a city dweller, but they become attached to their kamandalus (water pot). They decorate them, put their initials on them and become possessive or envious of another’s. Attachment is not about having or not having, a house or a big car. You can get attached to even the smallest thing and the same problem, the same pain, will result.