Sivananda Yoga FAQ

Q 1: What are the marks of spiritual progress?

A: Peace, cheerfulness, contentment, dispassion, fearlessness and an unperturbed state of mind under all conditions indicate that you are advancing in the spiritual path. Spiritual progress is not measured by Siddhis or powers, but only by the depth of your bliss in meditation. These are sure tests of your spiritual progress:
• Is your interest in inner spiritual activity and outer Sadhana increasing day after day?
• Does spiritual life mean to your consciousness a matter of great delight, a delight far transcending the happiness that the world of vital pleasures affords you or offers you?
• Has your personal awareness come to a possession of a sense of peace and strength which those who are not aspirants do not find in their everyday lives?
• Do you feel certain that your power of discrimination and light of thought has been steadily growing?
• Is your life being gradually led to such experiences which reveal to you the operation of a will and intelligence other than your own, the will and intelligence of the Omnipotent?
• Has there come into the conscious activities of your everyday life, the active function of a new delightful angle of vision, a new perspective, a strong sense of self-possession, a steadily growing conviction of your dependence upon and intimate relation with the all-pervading Divinity?

If your answers to all these questions or to any one of them are in the affirmative, be absolutely sure that you are progressing, and progressing speedily, in the spiritual path.

Q 2: A Vritti arises: “Let me renounce the world and do Bhajan in a secluded place like Rishikesh”. Immediately another Vritti arises: “Let me remain as a Grihastha and practice Yoga like Janaka”. How can I know, Swamiji, whether this particular Vritti comes from the Atma or the mind or the Buddhi? I am perplexed.

A: An ordinary worldly-minded man can hardly hear the inner voice of Atma. He cannot get pure thoughts of Vichara also. Any Sattvic thought emanates from the Sattvic Buddhi. In the case of worldlings, all thoughts emanate from the mind only. He who does Nishkama Karma Yoga and has purity of mind begins to entertain thoughts of God. Generally the mind raises various sorts of curious, fantastic thoughts. It deludes all. It may pretend to do Vichar. When it comes to practicality, it will do nothing. If there is serious determination in you to concentrate and meditate, and if you put it into actual practice for months steadily and if the longing for the Darshan of God or Self-realization becomes keen and acute, then alone think that all these kinds of thoughts proceed from your Sattvic Buddhi only.

Q 3: How can a person perpetuate the period of youth?

A: The Yogic method excels all other methods. It is the best and the cheapest of all prevalent systems of treatment. Take to intense Pranayam and Asanas. Both these help a lot in preserving Veerya (semen) and converting the vital energy into Ojas. Practice Sirshasan, Sarvangasan, Matsyasan, Halasan, Paschimottanasan, Padahastasan and Yoga Mudra, coupled with Bhastrika Pranayama. Practice Pranayama till the stage of Kevala Kumbhaka is reached. When there is no necessity either to breathe in or to breathe out, Veerya becomes steady; that is, there will be no discharge or emission in any form. The Ayurvedic jam preparation “Chyawanaprash” is wonderful in enabling the regular user preservation of youth for a very long time.

Tap the source and attain strength, power and wisdom. – Swami Sivananda

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Serenity is merely mental. – Sri Swami Sivananda


DARSHAN – darsan(a), darshan:

seeing; vision; view; sight Darshan is used to refer to the swift meeting of a devotee with a holy person, or guru. The experience can be reciprocal. The result can be the human viewer receives a blessing.

Develop pure love. – Sri Swami Sivananda