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Sivananda Yoga FAQ

  Q 1: How can a person, who has been thinking in a negative way for a long time, change to positive thinking?

A: Let him start with some positive suggestive formulas: “I am hale and hearty. I am healthy. There is nothing wrong with me. I was under a misconception of my own abilities and capacities. Now I have realized my real nature”. Let him do it with the help of some person advanced in Yoga or a devotee of the Lord. Let him start with a prayer to the Lord. Let him make prayer a part of his daily life and ‘a must’ in life. All negative thinking will end and he will become quite normal.

Q 2: It takes a long time to remove Mala and Vikshepa. What to do?

A: If you want to become a Master of Arts, it takes a large number of years. You will have to pass through the Matriculation, Intermediate and B.A. courses and then take up the M.A. course. Even so, you will have to plod on and persevere for many years to remove the Mala and the Vikshepa. How patiently does the fisherman wait with concentrated gaze to catch a single fish! When such is the case for a trifling thing, what to speak of attaining Brahma-Jnana? It is Kshurasya Dhara, walking along the blade of a sharp razor.

Q 3: God-realized souls, on leaving the mortal coil, merge in the cosmos and thus do not have any individuality on any plane. However, it is claimed that saints like Sai Baba and others, who have attained Moksha, do help and guide those devotees who seek their blessings. How can we explain this apparent contradiction?

A: Realized souls, who wish to help the devotees even after they give up their physical bodies, retain their astral bodies (Sukshma Sarira) for the sake of their eagerness to help those that are in need of their help. But Jivanmuktas, generally, do not retain their astral bodies just in order to help the aspirants, since there will always be highly evolved souls on the relative plane, who will carry on the task of teaching the spiritual aspirants.

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Lead the divine life of truth, love and purity. – Swami Sivananda

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If you want God, you must turn your back to worldly enjoyments. – Sri Swami Sivananda


SHASHTI ABDA PURTHI – Sanskrit: Shashti – 60, Abda – years, Purthi – completion

Shashti Abda Purthi is also known as ‘Shashti Purthi’. It is a Hindu ceremony that is celebrated to commemorate a person’s 60th birthday. The age sixty is of great significance because it is considered as a turning point in one’s life. At this age one has usually fulfilled their commitments to family, home and service and now can turn their mind to spirituality. There are many meaningful, elaborate rituals and ceremony to mark this 60 year milestone.

Forget the past. Begin life afresh. Face life boldly. A glorious future is awaiting you. – Sri Swami Sivananda