Gurugram March 2021 | Preface
Om Namah Sivaya
Greetings from all staff in the Sivananda Centres and Ashrams!
March 2021. We have been living with the Covid-19 pandemic for one year now. The world feels like a different place. No one knows what the future will be like. While many experience depression and despair in the current challenging situation, the positive message of Yoga can help them to face the situation.
Maybe this is God’s plan, to force us and teach us to pay attention to the present moment, to show us a grounded perspective and remind us of the true goal of life. Lockdowns, working from home, social distancing, appearance of Covid variants – all the changes and upheaval in our external living conditions can distract and unnerve us, but through Swami Sivananda’s guidance he directs us to tune to the inner Self for support. Swami Sivananda tells us not to put our hope in tomorrow, merely waiting for a better times in future, but focus on the solid present and realize what we are looking for is… right here. It is not easy to convince the mind to focus and resist distraction. It seems there is only one place left to focus to find Peace and Respite and it’s within oneself.
“The Atman is your only real friend” says Swami Sivananda. This has always been the message of the great rishis and sages of India. We need to heed the teachings and guidance of our Masters with great determination. Let us turn within and feel this loving presence. The opportunity is more relevant now than ever. These teachings can be our lifesavers…
Frequently students share how very grateful they are to be able to connect with the light of Yoga in these challenging times. Simultaneously the Sivananda Centres and Ashrams share how they are inspired to teach the yogic way of life. Several TTC-OL started online recently: one TTC combining the European and South American Centres; one at the Yoga Retreat in Nassau and one at the Yoga Farm in California. Some of our Ashrams and Centres are also able to receive guests and hold courses onsite, to the great joy of the students. Our online Satsangs and classes continue to be very popular, outreaching the support yoga to many all over the world.
Meanwhile Spring is in the air in the Northern hemisphere, and after some times of harsh weather conditions, it is a source of joy to see the first daffodils blooming, reminding us of the eternal renewal of life.
We invite you to join us for our online monthly peace meditation for planet Earth on Sunday, March 7 at 2:00 pm CET Central European Time. Let us send powerful thoughts of harmony to planet Earth and all its inhabitants so all may feel supported and protected. May we all join in this intention to uplift our consciousness and embrace Unity in Diversity. https://sivanandaorleans.org/unite-for-a-healthy-planet
Om and Prem,
The Acharyas of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Donations: With many of the International Sivananda Yoga Centres and Ashrams teaching online, finances are a concern, so if this is at all possible for you, your financial support would be very gratefully received by contacting any Ashram or Centre.
Prayer can certainly work miracles. – Sri Swami Sivananda
2021 COVID-19 Update:
Please check with each TTC/ATTC location whether COVID-19 has affected your selected course.
The SIVANANDA YOGA Teachers’ Training Courses are available either online (TTCOL) or in residence, depending on the location. Please check with each TTC/ATTC location whether your selected Teacher Training Course is available online or in residence as some Ashrams have opened, while others remain closed. Thank you for your patience as schedules change during COVID.
To view all 2021 TTC/ATTC/SI courses on the Sivananda website: https://sivananda.org/teachers-training/programme-calendar/
See the full list of other international courses and events: https://www.sivananda.org/
Nirguna is not nothingness. Nothingness is the fullness of everything that is good. From a distance this fullness becomes inconceivable and so the sages called it Nirguna. – Sri Swami Sivananda
From Chapter III: “Vibhuti Pada – On Divine Powers”
III.22. ETENA SABDADY ANTARDHANAM UKTAM
‘From this can also be explained the disappearance of sound and other physical phenomena’.
III.23. SOPAKRAMAM NIRUPAKRAMAM CA KARMA TAT-SAMYMA APARANTA-JNANAM ARISTEBHYO VA
‘Karma may be either dormant or active; by performing samyama on both, and through omens, the yogi may know the time of death’.
III.24. MAITRY-ADISU BALANI ‘(By performing samyama) on friendliness (mercy, love etc. ), their strengths are gained’.
In Nirguna Brahman, there are no Gunas of Maya. – Sri Swami Sivananda
Bhagavad Gita Quote
This month we conclude Swami Sivananda’s summary of the 18 discourses of the Bhagavad Gita.
The Yoga of Liberation by Renunciation
Summary of Eighteenth Discourse
The eighteenth discourse, which is the conclusion of the divine discourse of Lord Krishna, is in many ways a summary of the foregoing portions of the Gita. It covers in brief numerous important points dealt with in the previous discourses. Here you behold the ultimate result or effect of the Lord’s discourse to Arjuna. The drama of Arjuna’s utter despondency and breakdown is finally resolved in triumphant self-mastery, strength and bold resoluteness. Its central message emerges as an assurance that in and through the performance of one’s respective duties in life one can qualify for the highest liberation, if one performs actions by renouncing egoism and attachment and surrendering all desire for selfish, personal gain. By regarding the performance of your duties as worship offered to God, you obtain the Grace of the Lord and attain the eternal One.
Significantly, this discourse opens with a question by Arjuna asking what is true Sannyasa and true Tyaga (renunciation). In reply to this important and crucial query, the blessed Lord makes it clear to us that real Sannyasa or renunciation lies in renunciation of selfish actions, and even more in the renunciation of the desire or greed for the fruits of any action. Very clearly we are told that selfless and virtuous actions, and actions conducive to the welfare of others should not be abandoned. You must engage yourself in performing such action but renouncing attachment and greed. The true and proper renunciation is giving up of selfishness and attachment while performing one’s legitimate duties. This is called Sattwic Tyaga. We neither hate unpleasant action nor are we attached to pleasurable action. As it is not possible for you to renounce all action, the renunciation of egoism, selfishness and attachment in your activity is declared as true renunciation. Karma does not accumulate and bind one who is thus established in such inner renunciation.
The divine injunction is that God must be made the sole object of one’s life. This is the heart of the Gita gospel. This is the central message in its teaching. This is the one way to your welfare here.
Now Sanjaya concludes his narrative by declaring that where there is such obedience as that of Arjuna, and such willing readiness to carry out the divine teachings, there surely prosperity, victory, glory and all blessedness will prevail.
Hari Om Tat Sat
Iti Srimad Bhagavadgeetaasoopanishatsu Brahmavidyaayaam
Yogashaastre Sri Krishnaarjunasamvaade
Mokshasannyaasayogo Naama Ashtaadasho’dhyaayah
Thus, in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of the Eternal, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, now ends with the eighteenth and final discourse.
Om Shanti! Shanti! Shanti!
Therein concludes the 18 chapters of the Bhagavad Gita.
The appearance of the World vanishes in the Reality of God. – Sri Swami Sivananda
The Karma of the individual determines the form or shape of the experience in this World. – Sri Swami Sivananda
SAKSHI – Witness
NIMITTA – Cause; Instrument
BHAV – Feeling; perception; direct experience; mental attitude; subjective state of being; attitude of mind; state of realization in the heart or mind; a right feeling and frame of mind; right intention; right imagination; right mental disposition; purity of thought. Bhava is a Sanskrit term; there is no proper equivalent in English. It means mental attitude or mental disposition. Bhava is internal feeling. There are three kinds of Bhavas, viz., Sattvic Bhava, Rajasic Bhava and Tamasic Bhava according to the nature of the quality that predominates in man. Sattvic Bhava is divine Bhava. It is Suddha Bhava. Just as thought or memory or will can be cultivated or developed by practice, so also, Bhava can be developed.
Sakshi Bhav – The attitude of remaining as a witness.
Nimitta Bhav – The attitude of performing as an instrument of God. A devotee that always thinks that God does everything and they are only an instrument (Nimitta), directed by the hands of God, then this is Nimitta Bhava. The Bhavas of a Bhakta and a Vedantin differ. The Vedantin entertains Sakshi and Akarta Bhavas. The Bhakta entertains Nimitta Bhava. The Vedantin develops Brahma Bhava. The Bhakta develops Dasya Bhava, and so on.
If anyone injures you, forgive and forget the injury done. You will gain immense spiritual strength. – Sri Swami Sivananda