Gurugram June 2020 | Preface
Om Namah Sivaya
Greetings from the Sivananda Headquarters.
The COVID-19 lockdown continues around the world. This brings a lot of challenges both physically and mentally for many of us. We, from Sivananda Organization, are doing our level best, innovating and offering online classes for many in need of the paths of yoga than ever before. We are elated to report most Centres and Ashrams switched to online classes, workshops and seminars with additional Satsangs offered through Ashrams, thanks to staff members setting up Zoom conferencing. Attendees report very positive feedback, which in return encourages staff to do more Sadhana and give the best they can back to the online community. Together, we can put to practice one of the instructions of Swami Sivananda – “Adapt to all situations”.
Ashrams also started offering longer courses which were meant for only residential students, now for online students, wherever they live around the world, including TTCs, available online on the 9th June. The TTCs are offered in multi languages, with mentors and translators on the ready. Now with over 47,000 graduates, the Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training is the largest classical yoga training in the world.
Please know that we are with you in this fight against this deadly virus, only prayers can help and others around us.
Continue to chant the sacred and powerful mantra “Mahāmṛtyuṃjaya Mantra”, for healing rejuvenation and nurturance, beneficial for physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.
ॐ त्र्य॑म्बकं यजामहे सु॒गन्धिं पुष्टि॒वर्ध॑नम् ।
उ॒र्वा॒रु॒कमि॑व॒ बन्ध॑नान् मृ॒त्योर्मुक्षीय॒ मा ऽमृता॑त् ।
oṃ tryambakaṃ yajāmahe sugandhiṃ puṣṭi-vardhanam
urvārukam iva bandhanān mṛtyor mukṣīya mā ‘mṛtāt ||
Another way to connect is to join us for meditation and chanting session on Sunday June 7th 2020 (see below) or chant bhajans with others through Live Facebook, Skype or Zoom; join our Online Satsangs and courses; connect with a group study of a scripture, and last, but not least, practice karma yoga. Please watch out for others. Look out for any opportunity to connect with someone, even for a short while, keeping them cheerful and away from anxiety. There are so many ways we can help others.
As Swami Sivananda would say, “always look out for the chance to serve.” Now we have the perfect time.
Our prayers are with you all at this time, and with the grace of the Gurus and God together we can emerge from these trials stronger and more committed to peace on this earth. Health and Peace to all.
UNITE FOR A PEACEFUL PLANET
The Gathering of 100,000 Minds
The mantra Om Namo Narayanaya was given to humanity to be used in time of need to generate powerful waves of harmony and peace.
The Sivananda Organization has launched a worldwide peace action, gathering 100,000 meditation practitioners across the globe at the same time, once a month, every month for a 30-minute practice of meditation, positive intention and repetition of the peace mantra, Om Namo Narayanaya.
We invite all yoga students and anyone wanting to help create a positive future for humanity to participate at home in this large scale peace mission. The focus of our meditation will be the unity of all beings, including our home and Planet Earth. To participate in this peace action, please register on our web site at https://sivanandaorleans.org/unite-for-a-healthy-planet.
Next meditation and chanting: Sunday June 7th 2020 at 1:00pm UTC/GMT.
Through all this, may there be many blessings to the Sivananda family. We thank you all for your continued support in sharing the teachings and the mission of Sivananda Organization. We strive to share with humility and truth, becoming stronger and better instruments to carry on the work without compromising the authenticity of the message. Pranams to all.
Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future. – Sri Swami Sivananda
|Jul 03 – Aug 01/20
TTC – English
www.sivananda.org/nassauJul 18 – Aug 15/20
TTC – English 中文 Việt
English, Vietnamese, Chinese Mandarin
Da Lat, Vietnam
Jul 19 – Aug 15/20
Jul 26 – Aug 23/20
|Jul 28 – Aug 26/20
TTC – Français
www.sivananda.org/orleansAug 02 – Aug 30/20
TTC – English
Woodbourne, NY, USA
Aug 29 – Sep 27/20
Aug 30 – Sep 27/20
Please check with each TTC/ATTC location whether COVID-19 has affected your selected course.
All upcoming 2020 TTC, ATTC and Sadhana Intensive courses can be viewed here “TTC | ATTC | SI – Calendar” on the NEW Sivananda website, under the tab, Teachers’ Training. You can now conveniently apply for Teacher Training Courses Online on the new Sivananda Organization website – www.sivananda.org
Cultivate the divine virtues such as purity, courage, humility, self-restraint, non-violence, truth, mercy and faith. – Sri Swami Sivananda
The Eight Limbs – The Goal of Raja Yoga
Patanjali’s Raja Yoga is generally termed the Ashtanga Yoga or the Yoga of Eight Limbs, through the practice of which freedom is achieved. These eight limbs are:
- Yama or Eternal Vows:
- Ahimsa (non-violence)
- Satya (truth)
- Asteya (non-stealing)
- Brahmacharya (continence)
- Aparigraha (non-avariciousness)
- Niyama or Observances:
- Saucha (purity)
- Santosha (contentment)
- Tapas (austerities)
- Svadhyaya (study)
- Ishvarapranidhana (surrender to God)
- Asana (firm, comfortable meditative posture)
- Pranayama (the regulation of the Vital Force)
- Pratyahara (abstraction of the senses and mind from objects)
- Dharana (concentration)
- Dhyana (meditation)
- Samadhi (superconscious state or trance)
These eight limbs have been scientifically arranged and dealt with. They are the natural steps in the ladder which takes man from his human to the real divine nature. From the gross to the subtle, all the chords that bind the Purusha to Prakriti are cut asunder. This snapping of the ties releases the Purusha to enjoy his Independence, Kaivalya Moksha. This is the goal of Raja Yoga.
Yama and Niyama purify the individual’s actions and make them more Sattvic. Tamas and Rajas which are the pillars of Samsara are pulled down through the practice of the Ten Canons of Yama and Niyama. Inner purity is increased. The individual’s nature itself is made Sattvic. Asana gives the individual control over the Rajasic impulses; and at the same time it forms the foundation of the grand structure of Antaranga Sadhana, or the Inner Yoga-process. Pranayama brings the aspirant face to face with the Life-Principle. Control of this Life-Principle gives him an insight into its motive force. He is made aware of the fact that it is desire that sustains the life-force. Desire is the cause of externalization of the mind. Desire is the bed of Vrittis. Vrittis together form the mind, and it is the mind that links Purusha with Prakriti. The mind or the Chitta is the subtlest form of Prakriti’s manifestations. If mind is to be destroyed, Vrittis are to be eradicated. If Vrittis are to be eradicated, desire is to be rooted out. The Yogi than rapidly withdraws all the rays of the mind from their external propulsion (Pratyahara). To find the root of the mind, the Seed-Desire, he needs the light of the whole mind. At the same time, prevention of the externalization of the mind breaks the vicious circle, as desire is deprived of its active manifestation. This concentrated beam of light is then directed towards the root of the mind itself (Dharana); and the mind is held in check. Now the consciousness which had so long been flowing outward collects itself and flows back into its source – the Purusha within, which is Dhyana. The link with Prakriti is gone. The Purusha experiences the transcendental state of independence – Kaivalya – in Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Now ignorance is destroyed. The Purusha realizes that it was only His consciousness that gave Prakriti its power to please Him, to give Him joy, to delude Him, and to bind Him. He enjoys the bliss of His own nature and remains for ever independent and blissful. All thought ceases once for all in Nirvikalpa Samadhi. The seeds of Desire and Vasanas and Samskaras are fried in toto; this is Nirbija Samadhi. The Yogi in this supreme state loses all external consciousness, all awareness of duality and multiplicity; he loses even the I-idea (Asmita) in Asamprajnata Samadhi. That is the Supreme State where the Seer (Purusha) is established in His own Svarupa.
Do not imagine that you are an Uttama Adhikari and that you have only to sit in meditation and enter into Samadhi. You will have a terrible downfall. Even after years of practice you will find you have not progressed an inch forward, because there are deep within you lurking desires and cravings, evil Vrittis which are far beyond your reach. Be humble. Make a searching analysis of your heart and mind. Even if you are really a first-class aspirant, think you are an aspirant of the lowest class and practice the eightfold Sadhana prescribed by Raja Yoga. The more time you spend in the first two steps, viz., Yama and Niyama, the less will be the time needed to attain perfection in meditation. It is the preparation that takes very long. But do not wait for perfection in Yama and Niyama, in order to take up the higher practices of Asana, Pranayama and meditation. Try to get established in Yama and Niyama, and at the same time practice Asana, Pranayama and meditation as much as you can. The two must go hand in hand. Then success will be rapid. You will soon enter into Nirvikalpa Samadhi and attain Kaivalya Moksha. What that supreme state is no one has described, and no words can describe. Practice, O bold aspirant, and realize it for yourself. May you shine as a Yogi in this very birth!
All good actions have their beginning in good thoughts. – Sri Swami Sivananda
Bhagavad Gita Quote
The Bhagavad Gita is a dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna, narrated in the Bhishma Parva of the Mahabharata. The Bhagavad Gita is comprised of eighteen discourses, with a total of 701 Sanskrit verses. The timeless scene takes place on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Sri Krishna, through a swift conversation with Arjuna, reveals profound, sublime and soul stirring spiritual truths, plus, rare secrets of Yoga, Vedanta, Bhakti and Karma. Those who study, and endowed with Faith, can reap the full benefits of the Bhagavad Gita, and the science of the Soul.
We continue reviewing Swami Sivananda’s summary of each chapter of the Bhagavad Gita.
The Yoga of the Kingly Science & the Kingly Secret – Summary of Ninth Discourse
Observing that Arjuna was a qualified aspirant and endowed with faith, Krishna declares to him the sovereign knowledge and sovereign secret that is to be known by direct experience. He adds that without faith in this knowledge man fails to reach God and is reborn to suffer.
Now the Lord proceeds to describe His nature as the eternal, all-comprehensive Truth. He is everything that is invisible and visible. He pervades everything that exists. He creates everything, sustains everything, and when final dissolution takes place, absorbs everything into Himself. He manifests them again when the next creation begins. All beings who are ignorant of this knowledge are caught helplessly in the cycle of birth and death. In the midst of this creation, preservation and dissolution of the universe, the Lord stands as a silent witness, unaffected and unattached. He is the sole director, sustainer and supervisor of His Cosmic Prakriti.
Ignorant beings are not able to recognize the Lord in one who has realized Him. Although these cruel beings assume a human form, their nature is that of demons. The God-realized Mahatma, on the other hand, is a man of knowledge, and perceives Him indwelling all beings and creatures. He beholds the underlying unity of existence in all names and forms.
The Lord’s divine protection is assured to all those who take refuge in Him. Whatever path a devotee follows, he ultimately reaches Him. He is the goal of the various methods of spiritual practice. Devotion, Sri Krishna emphasizes, is the essence of all spiritual discipline. If this supreme element is present, then the devotee is freed from bondage. The Lord observes the motive and degree of devotion. Even the most sinful and diabolical man, if he takes a radical turn towards the path of righteousness and truth, reaches the Lord. Whatever vocation one follows, one can attain the Lord if one seeks earnestly and with loving devotion. The essential thing is to fix the mind on the Lord and dedicate everything unto Him—one’s body, mind, actions, emotion and will.
Peace is truth. Truth is peace. If you want to attain peace, be truthful at all times. – Sri Swami Sivananda
When one rises to the state of Samadhi, he does not make the mistake of doubting as to whether it is lower or higher or the highest. He knows what it is without doubt, quite naturally. – Sri Swami Sivananda
Free from worldly activities or concerns.
Make patience thy strength. – Sri Swami Sivananda