Sivananda Yoga FAQ
Q 1: Can you, at a distance half across the earth, intuit the nature of my life-mission?
A: Your life-mission is absolute dedication of all your faculties to the Lord, and not to be curious to know how He is to make use of you. It is not for nothing that He has hidden from our view His higher purposes. Our little mind cannot reason out the meanings of events which He brings to pass. So He does not take off the veil nor need we be curious to know. Surrender yourself to Him completely. He has already chosen you and He will give you commissions from time to time. Carry them out unselfishly and rise up higher and higher in Divine service. That will be the true expression, in thought and deed, of your love for God and His creation, the world.
Q 2: It has been said against reincarnation that there are more people now in comparison with the past world population. Kindly comment Swami ji.
A: It is not necessary that the same persons are reborn into this earth and none else. In the process of evolution into human life, many from lower births also come up to the human level. All these are controlled by superhuman powers or by the Divinity, God or Isvara Himself. Further, rebirth need not necessarily be on this earth plane alone. It can take place anywhere in the Universe.
Q 3: On what grounds should one refrain from meat-eating?
A: On medical, psychological, moral and spiritual grounds. The mind is made up of the essence of the food that a man takes. Tamasic food results in a Tamasic mind. Meat is Tamasic and hence should be avoided. When an animal is killed or butchered, a contraction of its nervous system takes place on account of fear. (And you might have felt certain disturbances in your own stomach when you have experienced fear.) This leads to the secretion of certain poisons in the liver, etc., of the animal. These poisons are cumulative in their nature and are never removed or lost during the process of boiling or cooking meat. Hence, meat-eating is poisonous and dangerous in the long run. Next, there is no difference between you and an animal when both are considered as souls inhabiting the bodies. From whichever source you derive the right to live and enjoy in this material body, from that very same source, the souls of these animals have derived equal rights to live and enjoy in their material bodies. Hence, you do not possess the moral right to kill a single living being, however small it may be. Lastly, but not the least, there is One Consciousness which has expressed itself in the form of the various beings, animate and inanimate. And this makes you one with all beings. When you have known this, will you consciously hurt any being? Can you willingly and joyously cut your own fingers and cook them and eat them? Knowing this oneness alone is the purpose of your coming again and again into the mundane plane. You can know, feel and experience this oneness only when you stop injuring and hurting others and begin to love all, as your own Self. Verily, the animals are thy own Self. Thou alone art residing in these animals as the individual souls and thou alone art manifest in the form of the material bodies in which these souls reside. Hence, wake up; stop meat-eating and butchering the animals. Develop love for them and promote oneness.
You create your own world of worries and troubles. No one forces it on you. – Swami Sivananda
SIDDHIS [Sanskrit]: Psychic powers manifested as by-products of spiritual advancement through personal Sadhana practice, such as meditation, mantra repetition and yoga.
Commentary: Siddhis that are brought into the present life by birth indicate their attainment in a previous life, but it does not guarantee that the individual is making proper use of them in this life. Those gained through chemical means are not necessarily associated with any level of spirituality at all, and can be easily governed by the ego. Siddhis achieved by Mantra repetition or tapas, austerities, are generally of a very high order as long as they are performed for attaining God-Realization rather than personal or material gain. Powers that come from ‘samadhi’ are the purest, for they come to the aspirant without being desired. It must be remembered that siddhis are not the aim but a by-product of the path to God-Realization. Those who misuse Siddhi power for destroying others are themselves destroyed in the end.
Example: The repetition of Gayatri or Pranava or OM Namah Sivaya, OM Namo Narayanaya, OM Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya, one and a quarter lakh of times with Bhava, faith and devotion will bestow a Mantra Siddhi.
When you love God, you love everything. All are manifestations of God. – Sri Swami Sivananda