Sivananda Yoga FAQ
Q 1: My experience has made me conclude that goodness does not always pay in our dealings with people. Then what is the use of being good and doing good when goodness is not recognized and properly rewarded?
A: Whether goodness pays you well or not from the material standpoint, do good and be good always. No doubt the worldly-minded generally take advantage of such people as ideal gullibles to carry their wishes through and even to deceive. It matters nothing, for the Lord is always on the side of the good and the righteous who stick to Dharma and who rely on Him. No man is to be considered good without the virtue of piety or God-fearing nature. Goodness and piety go together. The good man is always the spiritually-inclined, though he is in the world. He is unlike the Vyavaharic Purusha. To be good is to increase the purity and devotion unto the Lord in abundant measure. To do good is to reap good in return. If a good action is done, a sweet fruit in favour of you arises with the result that you enjoy it whether you want it or not. If a bad action is done, the consequent fruit of action liable to be enjoyed willingly or unwillingly will be bitter and against you. Whether goodness is recognized or not, do good and be good throughout life. This alone pays you well to attain Chitta Suddhi and knowledge of the Self. Only those who have no knowledge of the Self, i.e., the worldly-inclined, do not recognize good as a medium of perfection through gradual evolution. Not so is the case with the spiritual-minded, for they know fully well that to do good and to be good help them gain the goal of life, viz., God-realization. Remember that the Lord does recognize and reward always the good people and good actions. He actually lives and moves in them. The good man actually feels the Lord’s presence in himself and around without a vestige of doubt. It is a mockery for a man to consider himself good without being able to be conscious of God’s presence in him, with him and around him. Do not question the benefit of being good and doing good when goodness is not recognized or properly rewarded, for to work alone man has the right and not to the fruits — good or bad — thereof.
Q 2: The mistakes and sins in my life are countless and the limit of my ignorance is infinite. I have not learned Sanskrit. Kindly let me know if I can tread the path of spirituality.
A: Ignorance is a mental Kalpana, imagination. Thou art an embodiment of wisdom. When the veil drops, you will shine in your own Svarupa. Allow the Vasanas and egoism to pass. Break the clouds. Behind the clouds, there is the luminous sun. Behind the mind, there is the self-radiant Atman. Purify yourself. Destroy the evil Vrittis. Plod on in the spiritual path. You have taken this life for this purpose only. For Self-realization and the spiritual path, Sanskrit is not at all necessary. You will have to understand the theory and essence only. All the Sanskrit books are tendered into English and other languages. Be not troubled on this score. Sanskrit may help you a bit. That is all. If you find time. you can learn the alphabets so that you can read some Stotras, Gita Slokas and the Upanishads.
Q 3: How does the mind differ from the Soul?
A: The mind is a special, limited particularization of the Soul-consciousness, which is unlimited and never ceases to be all-pervading. The mind is the form of the collective totality of desires, and hence, it is inert and powerless. But it appears to be conscious and powerful as the Inner Self or the Soul is reflected through it. The mind alone is the real person or the individual and it is the real doer of all actions. It is the experiencer of every condition in the universe, both objectively and subjectively. The Soul is the Absolute which is not really affected by any experience of the mind. The mind is mortal, while the Soul is immortal.
Samadhi is the most excellent form of tapas (austerity). This is incessant Tapas. This is glorious, sublime, lofty Tapas. It is the Tapas of Tapas. – Sri Swami Sivananda
03 Akshaya Titreeya (Vamana Incarnation)
Keep your heart tranquil, pure, empty of desires and thoughts, then alone the divine light and Grace will descend. – Sri Swami Sivananda
CHITTA SUDDHA – Chitta: consciousness; Suddhi: purification. Chitta Suddhi: purity of heart and mind, a fundamental for progress on any spiritual path.
Chitta is pure, universal consciousness, which becomes clouded or impure by thought and ego.
Do Nishkama Karma Yoga for some years to attain Chitta Suddhi and purify the heart. You must develop humility, the spirit of self-sacrifice, Kshama, mercy, Visva-prem. These virtues can be acquired by selfless service – Karma Yoga. You must have the qualifications Sama (peaceful nature), Dama (self-restraint), Sarva-sanga-parityaga (freedom from all sorts of attachments) and perfect obedience to and implicit faith in the teacher before you.
When you have Chitta Suddhi you will have no attraction for sensual objects, worldly desires, unholy ideas, sexual Vasanas. Anger, vanity, hypocrisy, egoism, greed, jealousy, etc. will not arise in your mind. Even in dreams you will not entertain these thoughts. The signs to indicate that you have attained Chitta Suddhi are virtuous divine qualities such as mercy, cosmic love, forgiveness, harmony and balance of mind. Then you will have sustained lasting Vairagya.
Deep beneath the noise and storm on the surface, deep beneath the surging mental waves, there is that stupendous ocean of peace and stillness. Realize this through deep and intense meditation. – Sri Swami Sivananda