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Sivananda World News: The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Zentrum, Berlin, Germany

Om Namah Sivaya. The Berlin Centre was well visited in October. A Yoga 3-course started and the attendance of classes and Satsangs slightly increased in spite of fall vacations starting. A young and dynamic group was here for the trial class and stayed on afterwards, nicely connecting with the teachings and also with each other. New students found their way to the Centre and the upcoming Autumn Retreat was fully booked. Navaratri started with Pujas in the morning where we connected online with the priest in Bangalore with beautiful Pujas. There was a devotional energy and support from many helping hands. Students came with beautiful flowers and the altar is radiating peace and bliss.

As October continued, classes and Satsangs were well visited and a Y2 Beginners course started with a nice group of students. Throughout the whole month we had good support with maintenance projects and housekeeping. After a storm, the garden presents itself autumnal with falling leaves and slightly thinned out trees. A highlight was the retreat at Breitenteicher Mühle about 1,5h from Berlin. Swami Gokulananda left for the 4 day retreat. Participants were mainly from Berlin and Hamburg, many of them had already been to retreats before and were happy to be able to practice again together. Everybody enjoyed the asana-classes, inspiring workshops, uplifting Satsangs and peaceful walks in nature. The food was lovingly prepared and the weather perfect.

We had good support from Karma yogis for cleaning and reception. Staff are all well. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Buenos Aires, Argentina, South America

Om Namah Sivaya. We are grateful to be able to offer daily yoga classes through Zoom. Please join us! We will wait for you! Any sum you can contribute will be grateful from the heart. You can contact us for any questions about practicing yoga at home through e-mail: [email protected]
or by calling 11 4804 7813.

Continue your practice from your home. For any queries do not hesitate to contact us. If changes or news arise, we will inform you. We salute you with a fervent desire for peace and health for all. We hope you are all well. Pranams. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Om Namah Sivaya to all Blessed Selves from the Chennai Centre. In October in-person classes gradually picked up in popularity with a slight drop in students due to the heavy rain. We started Navarathri Poojas, chanting & a beautiful golu (display of Gods & Goddesses). We organized a 3-day variation course, led by Uma Natarajan. We celebrated Manimala’s (Staff) birthday with cakes. We chanted Om Namo Narayanaaya every evening, Vishnu Sahasranama on Thursdays & Lalitha Sahasranama on Friday for peace.

Later in October we held a Ganapathi Homa which elevated the energy at the Centre. We started two beginners course at the Centre with 17 students. We began one hour chanting class (Vishnu Sahasranama) especially for staffs, taught by Badri Narayana Murthy, adhyapak trained by Vishwa Vishnu Sahasranama Samsthanam,(VISVAS). The second Module of Mindful Sadhana by Nirmala Chaitanya started on the same day. We began Online Bhagavad-Gita chanting class which attracted good number of participants, taught by Uma Natarajan from Uttarkashi. Another highlight of the month was the two days online workshop on the topic Joint strengthening & Mobility, taught by Shyamala Swaminathan. We received good feedbacks from the participants. Satsangs were led by Gopan.

Our India Centres and Ashrams are following MHA guidelines closely to ensure the safety and comfort of all. The continued practice of sociaw distancing and limited class sizes are to meet these requirements. These guidelines will be posted in all our Centres and Ashrams. Please familiarize yourself with these safety precautions: MOH Guidelines for Yoga Institutions. We look forward to having you at the Centre and practicing together. We are also continuing online classes. Please visit for online classes.

All staffs did their Sadhana and enjoyed the Sunday evening Satsangs. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Chicago, USA

Om Namah Sivaya from the Chicago Centre. We are grateful to the Gurus for continuing to protect and inspire our Sadhana. Join us online for courses, studies, Satsangs and yoga classes. Take good care! We wish you awareness of Guru’s Grace. Om and Prem.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DÀ LAT Centre, Dà Lat, Vietnam

Om Namah Sivaya from the beautiful DaLat Centre. Thanks to Guru’s blessing, our Centre can keep the strong energy to serve the community. Dalat Centre was allowed to reopen at 50% capacity. We have received a small number of students back to offline asana classes. We continued to run online classes at the same time. All classes went well.

In October the Hochiminh Centre celebrated Navaratri with a lot of Pujas, increasing the prana of the Centre and every staff member. For the online programs, we finished the advanced asana course with good feedback from students as well as we started the new Ayurveda for Beginners course with 10 students. Fortunately we were able to reopen the Centre to welcome students for Satsang and on site classes with limited numbers. Even though only a few people came for Satsang and open classes, we still felt very happy to see and teach them in person. Besides that, Karma yogis returned to help with cooking, teaching and cleaning.

As October progressed we started an online Basic Meditation Course, and an on-site Beginner’s Course, the first one after months of lock down. We had online Satsang with Swami Sita and a Satsang with Swami Narayan on-site. We started another on-site Beginner’s Course, online Proper Breathing Course and online Meditation Course. We finished the November schedule to publish. Online Gentle Yoga finished as we reopened the on-site classes. Nirmala finished her 5-day practicum course.

We did our best to keep our Sadhana strong and maintain energy. We pray for Guru’s grace and blessings. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta DWARKA Centre, Delhi, India

Om Namah Sivaya to all. Namaste to one and all. The Dwarka Centre’s activities went well in October. We started a Beginners’ Yoga course at 6 am & 6:30 pm with good numbers of students. Open classes went well with weekends finishing with Satsangs. We celebrated the Devi Pooja and Dussehra. We had a public Satsang attend by few teachers.

We continued with our online classes, courses & programs. For details, please visit

May Master and Swamiji bless all in continuing on the yogic path. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta NATARAJA Centre, Delhi, India

Greetings and Namaste from Sivananda Nataraja Centre. With the Grace of Gurus everything was fine at the Centre in October. We started a Beginners’ Yoga course both at onsite as well online. The number of students was steady both at onsite and online. The number of students did not increase because of the onset of Festival season. We conducted a headstand workshop which was attended by good no. of students. Open and kids classes were doing well.

All the staff at Centre are doing well by the Grace of Gurus. May Master and Swamiji bless and protect all while continuing on their yogic path. Please stay connected – Pranams to all. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Geneva, Switzerland

Om Namah Sivaya. Asana classes and beginners courses continued in October. We had a Yoga 2 start. The pensioner’s classes, organized by the city of Geneva, started with a nice group of 10 people. Vani Devi joined the teacher’s team and started to assist in the class. The cooking class was very successful and appreciated by everybody.

Mid October was more quiet due to the autumn holidays. We had a visit of the Indian community of Geneva. They came for the Satsang and shared a Puja, Kirtans and traditional mantras. We concluded the evening with a meal nicely prepared by the Indian community.

With best wishes for health and peace. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Om Namah Sivaya. The Hochiminh Centre remained closed in October and continued teaching online classes.

We pray for everyone’s health and inspiration to keep practicing and teaching! May the Sivananda family worldwide be safe and continue the wonderful teachings, in all ways possible. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, London, England

Om Namah Sivaya. October was quite inspiring with a few positive prospects for the development of the London Centre. Two yogis from other yoga traditions got in touch with us to enquire how they could serve at the Centre. Both just wanted to get the opportunity to serve selflessly and connect with an authentic spiritual community. We found a new place for our weekly nature retreats. Our students gave very positive feedback about their experience at the Centre. Slowly but surely, a little community of yogis grew around the Centre. Rukmini was here for a week to support the Centre in many different ways. The Navaratri festival and Pujas were a true blessing.

Mid month everything went smoothly and still rather quietly at the Centre. We had a nice little live Satsang at the Centre with a small group of long term students who had not come to the Centre for a long time. Ashley came back to beautifully incarnate one more time the true meaning of karma yoga at the Centre. We went to a new retreat for our weekend nature retreat. The place was very nice and very promising for future retreats in the warmer days.

You can reserve your online yoga class or course via MindBody. For more information, please call us on +44 (0) 208 780 0160 or if would like to receive our daily newsletter.
May the Masters’ blessings and protection be with all of you, always. With best wishes for health and inner peace. Om Tat Sat. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Om Namo Narayanaya. Blessed Sivananda Yoga Community, the Sivananda Yoga Centre in Los Angeles has reopened. All continued forward, with Gurus’ Grace.

In early October we set up a canopy and lights on the deck, preparing for the start of Navaratri. The outdoor Pujas were beautiful and allowed us to gather without masks. The Divine Mother was with us. Our seven-day Ayurveda Rejuvenation week ended. The students were visibly transformed by the body treatments and lots of rest. Mahadevika went back to the Yoga Farm, but hoped to do another program for us before the end of the year. We offered a Pranayama Workshop and a Yoga for the Eyes class. We had another guest, who thoroughly enjoyed her dip into the yogic lifestyle, plus the Navaratri Pujas. She signed up for a series of Yoga Health Education sessions. A 5-session Pranayama 1 Course finished.

By mid October TTC students at the Yoga Farm finished their first week. Swami Sivasankariananda introduced the Daily Chants in Kirtan class. Mentoring continued. For the Centre, we offered a Yantra Painting Workshop on the deck. Students joined both in person and online. Two students from Loyola Marymount University helped in the garden as a service project for one of their classes. Their regular shifts kept us on our toes. We started a Yoga 1 course and finished a Yoga 7 course. Savitri left to spend her last week in LA with her sister.

We were grateful to serve and very blessed and in awe of Gurus’ Grace. May the Gurus guide us as our reach grows wider and wider. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madrid, Spain

Om Namah Sivaya, Blessed Selves! Welcome to the oasis of peace amid the pressures of everyday life in the city. The Sivananda Yoga Centre in Madrid is the place where you can recharge and reconnect with yourself.

October started with the nice weather, allowing practice on the outdoor patio. A Yoga 1 started with 14 students, using the main hall to maintain the 1,5 meter distance. Many students left for a weekend because of the bank holiday. Navaratri started with inspiring online morning Pujas and two onsite programs, celebrating in the main altar. The new TTC online course started with a beautiful all-Spanish inauguration. 10 students from both Spain and South America were enrolled. All other classes and courses continued as usual.

During mid October we conducted a weekend retreat in the new location Qiterra, 45 minutes South of Madrid. It is a large space with many halls. Many supporting staff and teachers joined in an uplifting time of collective Sadhana, feeling very much like a Summer Ashram and with very nice weather! In the Centre a new online course Meditation 2 started with good participation. The TTC online continues with good spirits.

We are grateful to Master and Swamiji. Staff are well and sending our best wishes for health and peace. Pranams to all. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Madurai, India

Om Namah Sivaya to all. Due to the unpredictability of the on-going Covid-19 pandemic situation we recommend you contact your local Centres and Ashrams directly for their latest update. Free online Yoga classes, courses and programs are always available during the Covid-19 pandemic. We look forward to having you at the Centre and practicing together. Please familiarize yourself with these safety precautions at We thank our Masters for all blessings and support bestowed. May all be blessed with equanimity and steadiness in practice. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montevideo, Uruguay

Om Namah Sivaya from the Montevideo Centre. October started with a new Beginners’ Yoga course. Chandrashekar taught with the students appreciating his classes very much. Dra. Padma had continued with the workshop on adapted Yoga. We started another TTCOL with the European Centres. We joined with Spain for Spanish classes. The highlight of the month was the beginning of Navaratri. The meditation room and the altar was prepared every day with new cloths, flowers and incenses. We conducted the ceremonies from different countries. It was very inspiring to feel the devotion of each participant, they prepared their altars at their homes, and they were ready to offer the flowers to the Divine Mother. Every day a new delighted gathering full of love, songs, and sincere interest to listen to the Devi Mahatmyam. Mantras and Ganga Arati were very much appreciated by the devotees. Happy Navaratri to all.

We are happy to serve, love to all. We pray intensely for peace and harmony in this world. May the Grace of Gurudev and Swamiji be upon us all. Om Shanti. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Om Namah Sivaya and Greetings from the Montreal Centre! We have an extensive lineup of online classes. May God’s grace and the teachers’ blessings always remain with us and guide us into being of impeccable service to the people around the world. Pranams to all. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Munich, Germany

Om Namah Sivaya. October started with a spiritual highlight – the celebration of the first Navaratri Pujas. We joined all the other European Centres and many students connected via Zoom to the beautiful morning Pujas which priest Yagneswara Dixit conducted from India.
We had a special Navaratri Satsang, dedicated to Sri Lakshmi. We felt the strong energy of the Divine Mother lifting us up and inspiring us in our Sadhana! We also started a Meditation Course with a group of very motivated students. The kids class again filled our yoga hall. The children really loved to practice the asanas. Almost all of them knew the Tryambakam by heart. Parallel to the kids class we also offered a Drop-In class for the parents which is well received.

By mid October we held a special program with Swami Sivadasananda and Swami Narayanananda. Swami Narayanananda taught a well appreciated asana workshop. Afterwards Swami Sivadasananda gave an inspiring Satsang on soul force as yoga. Many longtime and also some new students came and enjoyed a special yoga evening. Our three advanced courses went into a new round. The participants were thankful for their weekly yoga session.

We wish everyone health and inner strength. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, New York, USA

Om Namah Sivaya from Manhattan. October started with Navratri in full swing. The daily Pujas were surprisingly quite well attended. A few supporters of the Centre also moved into the Centre in order to be able to attend all of them. The Centre became very much alive with the Pujas. Also with all these extra hands around, a lot of of projects and cleaning was done with everyone putting their best to help out. The in-person classes continued with steady attendance.

We send our blessings for all to stay healthy, positive and strong in Sadhana! Join us online for courses, studies, Satsangs and yoga classes. May Gurudev’s blessings continue to light our path. Om.

Centre de Yoga Sivananda Vedanta, Paris, France

Om Namah Sivaya. October started with the celebration of Navaratri and the visit of Swami Kailasananda and Swami Jyotirmayananda. We had the morning online Pujas and two evening ones onsite. The altar looked beautiful, first in red and then in pink. The days ended with the Lalita Sahasranama chanting and the Ganga Arati. We chanted the Mahisasura Mardini in the mornings after Puja. The entrance looked welcoming with the new flowers planted by Balarama. The central heating was initialized. Narayana repaired all the bathrooms and he had a look a one of the computers which had problems. God gave us cheerful days with new Beginners’ Yoga courses, running parallel to the regular open classes. There was a positive thinking course, with few students. Swami Jyotirmayananda gave the evening class and Satsang with an introduction of Navaratri. Everyone was grateful. Swami Kailasananda gave an inspiring program. Swamiji arrived by noon with Parvati, Narayana and Pushkar the dog. Swamiji gave a workshop on the topic of how to control the mind. She also led the evening Durga Puja. Many close students and teachers where there. There was a strong and warm energy during the Pujas. Everyone was grateful  for the Celebration and for the beautiful Navaratri postcard that they received from Swamiji as Prasad with petals of the Puja. The day after, Swamiji led the online Navaratri Celebration from Paris. We were a big family with Swami Kailasananda chanting the Devi Mahatmyam and reading the chapter seven. Swamiji and the yogis from Orleans had to leave just after the morning Puja to be on time at the Ashram for the Academy’s forum. That day, there was a good attendance for the evening Puja. There was a meditative mood with many kirtans, the Devi Mahatmyam mantras and flowers.

By mid October there were many sunny days almost like summer days, a gift from the Lord. There was also rain and leaks. There was a big storm. The workers helped to evacuate part of the water with an special hoover and they worked on it until late in the evenings. The reception area looked like a swimming pool. The workers solved the problem. Some beginners courses started with motivated groups of students. There was yogic diet workshop. The students were happy to have a little taste of the yogic food. The staff enjoyed teaching and doing their daily duties. We appreciated also reading the Gita, chanting om namo narayanaya daily, the Lalita sahasranama and the weekly Puja on Fridays and the silent walk on Sundays. As well as the recordings of hatha yoga inspirations and the fire of yoga. For the evening Satsangs we had many kirtans and inspiring words from Master on the topics of ‘music’, ‘balance’ and ‘the eighteen virtues’. Swami Jyotirmayananda came to give the morning class which was well attended. Swamiji gave also an inspiring Satsang on the topic of balance as a virtue from a text of Swami Sivananda. The Masters keep sending help. Vyasa and Daya came on their way home. They were of great support to the Centre. They cooked, assisted all departments, updated the webpage and helped with some technical projects.

We continued to chant daily online the Om Namo Narayanaya for peace chant. We also chanted the mantra onsite with a group of students and karma yogis.

May Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda continue to guide and to inspire all of us. With all our wishes for health and peace. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tel Aviv, Israel

Om Namah Sivaya. October started the celebrations of Navaratri with beautiful Pujas in the Centre. Some teachers and karma yogis joined us every day in the Centre and also via zoom. At the end of each Puja we opened a message from the Master and read from the Devi Mahatmia. Those who could not join us received recordings of the teaching. We did a thorough cleaning of our kitchen, with all the cupboards cleaned and arranged. We also promoted the many new courses of the Centre.

By mid October we were happy to welcome Swami Prema and Kumari from the Bahamas Ashram. We had a beautiful Shabbat together. We were busy cleaning the Centre. The office, the library, the kitchen and the rooms were thoroughly cleaned. The whole Centre was organized and we bought some new items to refresh. Bhargavi Chaitanya and Pranava Chaitanya opened a new yoga for beginners course. We keep promoting the different courses of the Centre and also the recorded courses.

May the Master’s grace be with all. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Tokyo, Japan

Om Namah Sivaya. October started with the Navaratri Celebration pujas, which we broadcasted live on Facebook everyday. We had some guests who stayed with us during this special celebration, receiving blessings of Divine Mother. Supplementary course consisting of 4 sessions for the Bhagavad Gita course guided by Swami Sitaramananda started on Saturday. The students have been so committed to studying the Bhagavad Gita following the previous course, deepening their spiritual learnings. Also, many students enjoyed watching the Satsang, led by Swami Sita which we broadcasted every Saturday. Yoga 2 was going well in progress.

By mid October we held a trial class. Many of the attendees have yoga experiences, showing a rise of those who want to learn more about Sivananda Yoga after experiencing other school of yoga. We led the online program, a communication course, to cultivate skills to understand and love guided by Swami Narayanandaji from the Da Lat Ashram in Vietnam. The students were so committed to learning about the communication skills.

Online asana classes went well in October with good number of students attending. May Master and Swamiji’s grace be with all. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Om Namah Sivaya. October started with several new courses and a meditation course. Open classes had fewer students since vaccination passports were introduced. We celebrated Thanksgiving and offered daily prayers to Divine Mother during Navaratri. Several new teachers assisted classes, eager to start teaching. We did some outdoor karma yoga.

By mid October we started another gentle yoga course as well as morning yoga and meditation practice online. A new pranayama challenge started with a group of 12 enthusiastic students. Later in the day they participated in the workshop on the topic of prana, breath and pranayama and their connection. We had beautiful chanting for Navaratri and the reading from Devi Mahatmyam. We left different items we use to participate in karma yoga on the altar to be blessed by Divine Mother.

May Master and Swamiji’s blessings bring all good health and peace. May we continue to be useful for many. We send Om Namo Narayanaya to everyone. Pranams. Love to all. Om.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala, India

Om Namah Sivaya. in October all the classes went well, with gurus and gods grace. As Kerala was still having many cases, compared to other states Two of our family member were found Corona Positive. They were in quarantine for two weeks as per doctor advice. We prayed for their fast recovery so that they can be come to routine activities. Climate was on and off raining in almost daily affairs. Sunday Satsang was conducted with some outside guest. Otherwise all is well.

By mid October our Corona positive staff were still in isolation but found negative, by gurus grace. The climate was cool as it rained most of the day. We promoted our TTC Tastar program. Sunday Satsangs were attended by many student and family member.

Our thoughts are with you all and we pray that you keep well and positive during these challenging times. Keep up your Sadhana and prayer for one and around in the planet. Praying for world health and peace – OM NAMO NARAYANAYA. Please stay connected.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vienna, Austria

Om Namah Sivaya. Participation in our on-site yoga classes and evening meditations is possible if you have been tested, vaccinated or recovered, please bring proof with you. We continue to offer an extensive online and live schedule.
October started with drop in classes and courses were well visited, also Satsangs. Highlight of the month was a special Satsang with Swami Sivadasananda and Swami Narayanananda, with many teachers and students participating. Also Navaratri celebrations started – the staff were joining online performing morning Pujas in the Centre. The evening Satsangs were devoted to the Divine Mother as well and were highly appreciated. A Yoga 1 course started with a good number of students, the trial class was also well visited. We had the first presential teachers’ meeting since 2 years. Swami Durgananda, Swami Sivadasananda were participating online in the meeting and giving guidance as well as Swami Ramapriyananda, Swami Narayanananda and Swami Vasudevananda. Other Swamis from Vienna also joined the meeting online. Teachers and staff were happy to see everybody coming together again, receiving further inspiration from the Masters. Monday to Wednesday Swami Narayanananda supported the Centre with further renovation works. Staff continued with their online activities. Many Karma Yogis supported the Centre devotedly.

By mid October three Yoga Beginners courses started with inspired students enthusiastic to learn and practice. Also the Satsangs were well attended. More and more new students attended the Centre. The new reception area was well appreciated by all. Staff continued their online activities with hosting, translating and teaching.

Staff are well. We wish everyone health and inner strength. OM.

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Vilnuis, Lithuania

Om Namah Sivaya. We were very glad that the Vilnius Centre can function, that new students were arriving and previous students and teachers returning in October. Next to the continuing courses for beginners – Yoga 1, 2 and 3 – new course Yoga 1 started with a very good amount of interested in yoga students. Durga Devi came back from Reith very inspired and full of strength and new ideas how to expand the service of the Centre to the Lithuanian people. The very auspicious time and Navaratri daily Pujas lifts up the energy at the Centre and the minds. This was the first time that we had hybrid Navaratri Pujas – performed by the priest online and also at the Centre. Students and teachers were impressed taking part in the Puja together with the priest Yagneshwara on the big screen in a hall and direct from Bangalore. Our courtyard asana platform was renewed by the owner of the house and the brick fence newly plastered and painted. It looks very cozy and tidy.

By mid October Satsangs, open classes and courses (Yoga 1,2 and 3) continued as usual. People needed to get used to the change in the weather: it gets darker faster, the wind and rain chase them home as soon as possible after work. The clocks were turned back an hour, so it will be easier for everyone and we hope to get even more students and organize more interesting workshops.

We are very grateful to the teachers, who support the Centre so well. OM.

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Spiritual Calendar


01 Ekadasi
04 Deepavali (Diwali)
04 New Moon
09 Swami Vishnudevananda’s Mahasamadhi
11 Swami Vishnudevananda’s Jalasamadhi
14 Ekadasi
19 Full Moon
30 Ekadasi

December 2021

04 New Moon
14 Ekadasi
19 Full Moon
25 Christmas
30 Ekadasi
31 Swami Vishnudevavnanda’s Birthday / New Year’s Eve

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