Gurugram November 2021 | Preface
Om Namah Sivaya
Greetings from all staff in the Sivananda Centres and Ashrams!
It’s November and we are now well into the autumn season. Its glorious colours are a feast for the eyes. On sunny days, there is a special light in the sky at this time of the year, soft and deep altogether.
The challenges of the world situation continue, along with their stress and opportunities to surrender a bit more each day. We want to see it as a God-sent chance to develop inner strength and the clarity of insight to see the positive, in the seemingly negative. As Swami Sivananda says, “The pessimist sees a difficulty in every opportunity, and the optimist sees an opportunity in every difficulty”. Lets resolve to adopt the latter’s attitude and make the best of this situation.
A highlight of last month was the celebration of the Navaratri festival. The nine day invocation of the Divine Mother is a powerful experience of purification and spiritual upliftment. It represents the complete process of Sadhana: the invocation of Durga brings to the surface the negative tendencies and habits that need to be uprooted from the subconscious mind. Mother Durga, the power aspect of the Divine Power carries different weapons in her many hands to fight demoniacal forces. She gives us the strength and courage to face our darker side, acknowledge it with humility and gather the power needed to renounce it. The invocation of Lakshmi comes next. She brings with her all positive qualities: generosity, compassion, beauty and abundance. She reveals the splendour of the Self, once the covering of ego is thinned out. Finally, we invoke the blessings of Mother Saraswati, the bestower of true knowledge. She symbolizes the next step on the spiritual path, the attainment of pure sattva, which awakens the power of intuition and make us aware of who we truly are.
This year the Navaratri celebration was held both online and onsite in our Centres and Ashrams. The daily Pujas brought much energy, joy and longing to feel the presence fo the Divine in the heart. Its transformational power could be felt by all. On the last day, Vijaya Dashami, students and staff members brought their malas, books or other tools to be blessed during the Puja. We were sorry to see this powerful event end. May the Divine Mother continue to bless us and may we surrender to Her a bit more each day. As Swami Vishnudevananda said, “Nnothing can move without the grace of the Mother”.
The TTC teachers’ training courses continue online and onsite. We see it as a privilege to be able to continue to share the teachings of our Masters with all of you.
May you stay well, inspired and determined in your Sadhana
Om and Prem
Swami Kailasananda for the Acharyas of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres
Join us for our monthly Meditation for the Planet on Sunday, 7th November 2021 at 2pm CET. Check our websites for information.
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.
This marvellous world is a great university of wisdom. Learn your lessons and become wise. – Sri Swami Sivananda
SIVANANDA YOGA Teachers’ Training Courses are available both Online (TTCOL) and in-person in residence. Please check with each TTC/ATTC location for any TTCOLs.
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/
Keep a fixed time each day for study of scriptures (Svadhaya). Study thoroughly and unhurriedly with an alert mind and without interruption. – Sri Swami Sivananda. – Sri Swami Sivananda
From Discourse IV: “Kaivalya Pada – On Realization”
IV.11. HETU-PHALASRAYALAMBANAIH SAMGRHITATVAD ESAM ABHAVE TADABHAVAH
‘Desires are held together by cause, effect, support and objects; and when these disappear, so do the desires.’
Commentary: What gives momentum to desires is cause and effect, past Karma, the activity of the mind which creates the desires and the objects of the desires. When these foundations are removed so are the desires.
Good character is like catching a contagious disease. Acquire it by Satsanga or the company of good people. This is the best way. – Sri Swami Sivananda
Bhagavad Gita Quote
Chapter V: The Yoga of Renunciation of Action
V.28. YATENDRIYA MANOBUDDHIR MUNIR MOKSHAPARAAYANAH;
VIGATECCHAABHAYA KRODHO YAH SADAA MUKTA EVA SAH.
(Krishna speaking to Arjuna)
With the senses, the mind and the intellect always controlled, having liberation as his supreme goal, free from desire, fear and anger-the sage is verily liberated for ever.
V.29. BHOKTAARAM YAJNATAPASAAM SARVALOKA MAHESHWARAM;
SUHRIDAM SARVABHOOTAANAAM JNAATWAA MAAM SHAANTIM RICCHAti.
He who knows Me as the enjoyer of sacrifices and austerities, the great Lord of all the worlds and the friend of all beings, attains to peace.
HARI OM TAT SAT
ITI SRIMAD BHAGAVADGEETAASOOPANISHATSU
BRAHMAVIDYAAYAAM YOGASHAASTRE SRI KRISHNAARJUNASAMVAADE
KARMASANYAASAYOGO NAAMA PANCHAMO’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 ends the fifth discourse entitled: “The Yoga of Renunciation of Action”.
The enjoyments of the senses are transient and the senses themselves are worn out by too much enjoyment. – Sri Swami Sivananda
04 Deepavali (Diwali)
04 New Moon
Dwell in the Divine. Live and move in it. Get absorbed in the Divine Flame. – Sri Swami Sivananda
KSHURASYA DHARA – the razor’s edge
The Katha Upanishad refers to the spiritual path as the kshurasya dhara, the razor’s edge.
uttiṣṭhata jāgrata prāpya varānnibodhata | kśurasya dhārā niśitā duratyayā durgaṃ pathastatkavayo vadanti || 14 ||
14. Arise, awake. Having reached the great teachers, learn from them. The edge of a razor is sharp and impassable. That path, the intelligent say, is hard to go by.
Commentary: Stop not until the Goal is reached. Approach the wise teachers and learn from them. The spiritual path is like the sharp edge of a razor and difficult to tread alone. The importance of the human teacher cannot be overestimated. “Study of scriptures without a Guru, for mere intellectual knowledge alone, will only lead to ajnana — ignorance,” says Lord Vasishta.
Lord Vasishta also says, “If higher knowledge is not already in the soul, then rebirth continues and there will be no other recourse than to suffer cause and effect. Even striving for light will not bestow any real benefit, for to seek enlightenment without the mantra, the teachings and the guru, is like trying to grow crops only at night.”
It is in the nature of man to strive for happiness, but all the happiness which he can gain by his actions is only of limited duration. – Sri Swami Sivananda