Gurugram May 2022 | Preface
Om Namah Sivaya
Greetings from all staff in the Sivananda Centres and Ashrams!
The slowing down of the pandemic, now entering an endemic state, plus the reduction or full removal of the Covid restrictions in many countries, has brought a bit of relaxation after these challenging last 2 years. Many are however still affected by the aftermath of the pandemic, both physically and mentally. It seems the world is not the same and will most likely not be the same anymore. We may have to collectively adopt the instructions of Swami Sivananda : “simple living and high thinking”. It can very well be that we will not have the same level of outer comfort and abundance of goods in the coming years. It is a good training to already think how one can simplify our lives on the material level and reset our priorities such as refocusing on feeling the Self within and sharing our contentment and inner stability with others; looking for the truth of who we are and hopefully inspiring others to turn within as well, to find meaning, peace and true satisfaction.
This last month of April was a month of celebration with the anniversary of Lord Rama, symbol of dharma, self-sacrifice and poise, and also Lord Hanuman, who incarnates the bliss and power of perfect faith and surrender to the Divine. May we be inspired to be as self-disciplined as Rama and as humble as Hanuman.
Other celebrations include the Yoga Farm’s upcoming 50th anniversary. Join them on site or online for a great celebration!
The Ashram in Reith will soon host a Bhagavata Saptaha, after a two year of interruption of holding this special event because of the pandemic. The students are looking forward to bathing in the energy of bhakti soon again.
The Sivananda Yoga Health Education course is currently going on at the Yoga Farm Ashram in the US and at the Vietnam Da Lat Ashram, with 57 students embarking on a two year (800 hrs) of study and practice.
The other Ashrams continue to offer the uplifting TTC, ATTC and Sadhana Intensive courses, as well as, the popular rejuvenating Yoga Vacation programs.
The Ashram in Orleans hosted a special retreat for the students of the Sivananda Yoga Academy. After one year of studying some of the classical Vedantic scriptures online every week, the group gathered together on site at the Ashram for the first time. They were thrilled to finally meet each other, do Sadhana together and compose their final essay. The Sivananda Yoga Academy year will conclude with a final retreat in June, focusing on the study of the Katha Upanishad.
Our monthly online meditation for a peaceful planet, lands on on Sunday May 1st. We will send our prayers to those who are affected by the conflict in Europe. Let us remember the message of Peace & Unity in Diversity of the True World Order, founded by Swami Vishnudevananda. It is more relevant than ever.
We wish you and your family good health, peace of mind and much inspiration in keeping a positive mental state in the midst of the many challenges of life.
With Om and Prem
Swami Kailasananda for the Acharyas of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Join us for Sivananda monthly Meditation for a Peaceful Planet on Sunday May 1st 2022 at 2pm CET. Check our websites for information. https://sivanandaorleans.org/unite-for-a-healthy-planet
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 Sivananda Ashram or Centre.
You need not wait for ethical perfection, before starting meditation. – Sri Swami Sivananda
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 2022 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/
Identify yourself with the all-pervading Self. Lead the life of oneness and unity. – Sri Swami Sivananda
From Discourse III: “Vibhuti Pada – On Divine Powers”
III.40. UDANA-JAYAJ JALA-PANKA-KANTAKADISVA ASANGA UTKRANITIS CA
‘By mastery of “udana” comes levitation and the ability not to come into contact with water, mire, thorns, etc’.
Commentary: ’Udana’ is one of the types of prana, which is concerned with the pull of gravity. This power is available to the yogis in the last phases of their earthly lives before merging with the Self. It is not to be confused with “hopping,” the ability to bounce about a foot above ground during certain powerful pranayama exercises. Some spiritual groups teach these exercises to beginners, however this is physically and psychically dangerous and is not recommended because it causes the prana to move too quickly in the body. Problems can result for those who have not been practicing asana and more simple pranayama for a number of years.
Remain absorbed in Brahman, conscious of one’s identity with the Supreme Self. This is Turiya or Nivikalpa Samadhi. – Sri Swami Sivananda
Bhagavad Gita Quote
From Discourse IV: “The Yoga of Wisdom”
Api chedasi paapebhyah sarvebhyah paapakrittamah; Sarvam jnaanaplavenaiva vrijinam santarishyasi.
IV. 36. Even if thou art the most sinful of all sinners, yet thou shalt verily cross all sins by the raft of knowledge.
COMMENTARY: One can overcome sin through Self-knowledge.
The lamp of faith must be steadily fed by contact with sages and vigilantly trimmed by meditation. – 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