Gurugram March 2014 | Preface
Om Namah Sivaya
All International Sivananda Centres and Ashrams report a healthy attendance in asana classes and courses, enabling staff and teachers to wholeheartedly share the profound teachings of Master and Swami-ji. After much diligent chanting from all during February’s Sivaratri, the entire Organization of Ashrams and Centres report the increased prana, which may last until next year.
The 2014 Yoga Walk at Trivandrum, Kerala, South India was a positive success. Sandeep’s report can be found in Trivandrum’s monthly report at bottom of this Gurugram. Dà Lat, Vietnam Sivananda Centre is now up and running, offering a regular schedule of asana classes. To enable to reach to as many students, we have been guided to offer teacher training course in satellite locations other that Sivananda Ashrams. Upcoming satellite teacher training courses include an ATTC in Da Lat, Vietnam – 6 hours from Ho Chi Ming City – in March 2014 and a TTC, in Sikkum, North India in April 2014. With much diligence and dedication from senior teachers worldwide, there is an average of 4-5 TTCs/ATTCs each month during 2014. A list of all teacher training courses can be found at www.sivananda.org/r/en/ttc_schedule
This month the GURUGRAM continues a Raja Yoga series, reviewing Swami Vishnudevananda’s Instructions on Meditation Series, with excerpts from book The Sivananda Companion to Meditation (2003).
We thank you all for your continued support and encouragement. May Master and Swamiji’s blessings be with us always.
Pranams to all.
Meditation is a positive vital dynamic process. It transforms man into Divinity. – Sri Swami Sivananda
Swami Vishnudevananda Instructions on Meditation Series
Swami Vishnu-devananda would say that it is not possible to teach someone how to meditate, any more than it is possible to teach them how to sleep. Sleep overtakes us only when we detach our mind from its concerns. Meditation also cannot be forced, but unlike sleep, it is a conscious state. We need a degree of willpower to remain in the state of heightened awareness that occurs when we meditate. However, at the same time we need to relax, letting go of all expectations and desires. This subtle balance between the effort needed to sustain concentration on the one side and detachment from all distractions on the other is the art of meditation. We learn to focus the mind without struggle, yet maintain enough control to avoid a drift into reverie. To attain this state of relaxed awareness we need to prepare ourselves, and there are several steps that will help us. It is important to reiterate that meditation is a process, and as such, takes time. Be gentle and patient with your mind; do not expect miracles. The more care and attention you give to the preparation, the more positive the results.
We start with basic guidelines for the beginner, in the section ‘Starting Out’.
2 – THE TIME
The most effective times for the practice of meditation are at dawn and dusk, when the
atmosphere is charged with special spiritual force. The most desirable time is Brahmamuhurta, the hours between four and six AM. In these quiet hours after sleep, the mind and atmosphere are clear and unruffled by activities of the day. Refreshed and free of worldly concerns, concentration comes without effort. If this is not feasible, choose a time when you can retreat from daily activities and calm your mind. In the evening around sunset is also a good time or just before going to bed. With the mind freed from the tensions accumulated during the day and tuned to a higher state, you will quickly fall into deep sleep after meditating. At whatever time you choose, make sure you know you will not be disturbed by outside distractions.
Next month… creating the habit of meditation.
Excerpts from The Sivananda Companion to Meditation (2003) – The Sivananda Yoga Centre; Gaia Books, New York.
During meditation you are in the presence of the Supreme Being. – Sri Swami Sivananda
Bhagavad Gita Quote
Chapter VI: The Yoga of Meditation
VI.29. SARVABHOOTASTHAMAATMAANAM SARVABHOOTAANI CHAATMANI;
EEKSHATE YOGAYUKTAATMAA SARVATRA SAMADARSHANAH.
(Krishna speaking to Arjuna)
With the mind harmonised by Yoga he sees the Self abiding in all beings and all beings in the Self; he sees the same everywhere.
VI.30. YO MAAM PASHYATI SARVATRA SARVAM CHA MAYI PASHYATI;
TASYAAHAM NA PRANASHYAAMI SA CHA ME NA PRANASHYATI.
He who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, he does not become separated from Me nor do I become separated from him.
COMMENTARY: The Lord describes here the effect of oneness.
Meditate and feel the living Presence within and around you. – Sri Swami Sivananda
01 – New Moon
08 – Ramanavami
Purushartha can give you anything. Change your habits. Change the mode of thinking. You can conquer destiny. You are now thinking: “I am the body.” Start the spiritual anti-current. You can conquer death and attain the immortal seat of supreme splendour.
Even for realization, the Lord’s grace is necessary. For obtaining the Lord’s grace, intense Purusha Prayatna, otherwise known as Purushartha, can be voiced forth throughout the famous “Yoga Vasishtha”.
By virtuous deeds and right thoughts you can disarm destiny. You have a free-will to act. By self-exertion, Ratnakar became Valmiki. By Purushartha/self-exertion Markandeya conquered death. By Purushartha/self-exertion alone did Uddalaka attain Nirvikalpa Samadhi (higher realization). By Purushartha/self-exertion, Savitri brought back her husband (Satyavan) to life.
Meditation leads to Samadhi – the super-conscious state. – Swami Sivananda