Sivananda Yoga FAQ
Q 1: What are the methods to develop unruffled serenity and mental composure under all conditions of life? Is absolute serenity possible?
A: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.
(To read further on this subject, visit the RAJA YOGA section of this month’s GURUGRAM)
Q 2: I am in earnest search of a Guru who can emphatically say that he has realized Brahman or the eternal Truth or God. Can you give trace of such a man? May I take the liberty to ask you whether you have realized Brahman?
A:The queries you have asked are quite common to all sincere aspirants in the spiritual path. Suppose I tell you that a certain “X” is a realized soul, how can you verify my statement and how far will you be benefited by him? Realized souls are not rare. Ordinary ignorant-minded persons cannot easily recognize them. Only a few persons who are pure and are embodiments of all virtuous qualities can understand realized souls and they only will be benefited by their company. There is no use of running hither and thither in search of realized men. Even if Lord Krishna remains with you, He cannot do anything for you, unless you are fit to receive Him. Realize this point well and purify yourself by Nishkama Karma Yoga, charity, concentration, meditation, Japa, Brahmacharya and control of senses. Testing a Guru is highly difficult. Don’t use your intellect here. Have faith. The real aspirant is quite free from such questions and doubts. You will be miraculously helped if you believe in my words.
Q 3: The Lord’s grace will do everything for me. Why should I do any Sadhana?
A:This is wrong philosophy. God helps those who help themselves. God’s grace will descend only on those persons who exert. The Lord’s grace will descend in proportion to the degree of surrender. The more the surrender, the more the grace. You cannot expect the Lord to do self-surrender for you. Be up and doing. Strive. Plod. Persevere. The Lord will shower His grace upon you. Mira abandoned everything. She renounced kingdom, husband, relatives, friends and property. She remembered her Lord Krishna whole day and night. She shed tears of Prem. She sang His praise with single-minded devotion. She gave up food. Her body got emaciated. Her mind was ever absorbed in Lord Krishna. Only then did Lord Krishna shower His grace upon her.
A craving for comforts weakens your fibre. Lead a simple; a hard life. – Swami Sivananda
02 New Moon
01 New Moon
The enjoyments of the senses are transient and the senses themselves are worn out by too much enjoyment. – Sri Swami Sivananda
INDRIYAS – The senses.
The Indriyas (senses) have two states, static and dynamic. When the desire begins to operate, the Indriyas are put in motion. This is the dynamic state. As soon as the desire is gratified, the Indriyas shrink through Tripti (satisfaction). This is the static or passive state of the Indriyas.
The Mind and Indriyas are one. Indriya is a prolongation of the mind. The sea is fed by the rivers; the sea cannot exist without the rivers. Even so, mind is fed by Indriyas and cannot exist without Indriyas. If you have controlled the Indriyas, you have already controlled the mind.
Eyes can only see. Ears can only hear. Tongue can only taste. Skin can only touch. Nose can only smell. But, the mind can see, hear, taste, touch and smell. Mind is the common sensory. The five senses are blended there. It can directly see, hear, smell, taste and feel independent of the senses. It is an aggregate of the five senses. All the sense-faculties are blended in the mind. You can see and hear directly through the mind by Yogic practice (clairvoyance and clairaudience).
Vasikaran – In this highest stage of Vairagya, the objects no longer tempt you. They cause no attraction. The Indriyas are perfectly quiet. Mind also is free from likes and dislikes (raga and dwesha). Then you get supremacy or independence. Now you are conscious of your supremacy.
Kaivalya (perfect independence) is when the Indriyas are drawn into the mind, the mind into the Mahat, and the Mahat into the Purusha. – Sri Swami Sivananda
Let prayer come from the bottom of your heart.- Sri Swami Sivananda