Gurugram November 2023 | Preface
Om Namah Sivaya
This month saw the uplifting celebration of Navaratri, dedicated to the glory of the Divine Mother. May her blessings, protection and compassion be with humanity at this difficult time on our planet. May Goddess Durga give us the strength and power to remove the ignorance and selfishness from our mind. May we be inspired by Goddess Lakshmi to focus on developing positivity, sincerity and humility. Finally, may Mother Saraswati grace us with the vision of the unity of all life.
Our centres in Israel are offering continuous free yoga classes online to help all living in this area of the planet deal with the stress of the situation in the Middle East. We pray that a resolution of this conflict may be found and that things may return to a state of balance.
We need a lot of prayers and mantra repetition at this critical time in the world. We invite you to repeat the peace mantra OM Namo Narayanaya for some time daily. Please join our next online peace chanting on Sunday December 3 at 2pm CET.
May you stay well and focused on the Divine source.
Om and prem
Swami Kailasananda on behalf of the Acharyas of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta centres
Join us for the monthly Sivananda “Meditation for a Peaceful Planet” on Sunday 5th of November, 2023 at 2pm CET. Check our website for information. https://sivanandaorleans.org/unite-for-a-healthy-planet
Donations: Your donations and financial support would be very gratefully received by any of the International Sivananda Yoga Centres and Ashrams. Please contact any Sivananda Ashram or Centre on how to proceed.
The Seer is the unchanging, non-dual, Atma or Soul. The seen is the changing, visible universe and the mind. – 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.
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 2023/2024 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/
Release or freedom lies in the loss of the little self or self-arrogating personality. – Sri Swami Sivananda
From Discourse IV: “Kaivalya Pada – On Realisation”
IV.14 pariṇāma-ikatvāt vastu-tattvam
The reality of an object is due to the uniqueness in change (of the gunas).
Each object on the material plane can be identified and called a reality because it is made up of its own unique combination of the three qualities of nature, just as any colour is a unique combination of the three primary colours – red, yellow, and blue.
The first step in the spiritual path is the selfless service of humanity. – Sri Swami Sivananda
Bhagavad Gita Quote
Chapter VI: The Yoga of Meditation
VI.32 ātmaupamyena sarvatra samaṁ paśhyati yo ’rjuna
sukhaṁ vā yadi vā duḥkhaṁ sa yogī paramo mataḥ
He who, through the likeness of the Self, O Arjuna, sees equality everywhere, be it pleasure or pain, he is regarded as the highest Yogi
He sees that whatever is pleasure or pain to himself is also pleasure and pain to all other beings. He does not harm anyone for he is quite harmless. He wishes the good of all. He is compassionate to all creatures. He has a very soft and large heart. He thus sees equality everywhere, as he is endowed with the right knowledge of the Self, as he beholds the Self only everywhere, and as he is established in the unity of the Self. So he is considered as the highest amongst all Yogis.
Wish good to all beings. This will enrich your life and make you happy and peaceful. – Sri Swami Sivananda
09 Swamiji Mahasamadhi
11 Swamiji Jalasamadhi
12 Divali (Deepavali)
13 New Moon
27 Full Moon
Sadhana is catching hold of one ideal and sticking to it at all costs, even at the risk of life. – Sri Swami Sivananda
DEEPAVALI or Diwali means “a row of lights”. It falls on the last two days of the dark half of Kartik (October-November). There are various alleged origins attributed to this festival. Some hold that they celebrate the marriage of Lakshmi with Lord Vishnu. In Bengal the festival is dedicated to the worship of Kali. It also commemorates that blessed day on which the triumphant Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana. On this day also Sri Krishna killed the demon Narakasura.
In South India people take an oil bath in the morning and wear new clothes. They partake of sweetmeats. They light fireworks which are regarded as the effigies of Narakasura who was killed on this day. They greet one another, asking, “Have you had your Ganges bath?” which actually refers to the oil bath that morning as it is regarded as purifying as a bath in the holy Ganges. Everyone forgets and forgives the wrongs done by others. There is an air of freedom, festivity and friendliness everywhere. This festival brings about unity. It instils charity in the hearts of people. Everyone buys new clothes for the family. Employers, too, purchase new clothes for their employees.
Waking up during the Brahmamuhurta (at 4a.m.) is a great blessing from the standpoint of health, ethical discipline, efficiency in work and spiritual advancement. It is on Deepavali that everyone wakes up early in the morning. The sages who instituted this custom must have cherished the hope that their descendants would realise its benefits and make it a regular habit in their lives.
In a happy mood of great rejoicing village folk move about freely, mixing with one another without any reserve, all enmity being forgotten. People embrace one another with love. Deepavali is a great unifying force. Those with keen inner spiritual ears will clearly hear the voice of the sages, “O Children of God! unite, and love all”. The vibrations produced by the greetings of love which fill the atmosphere are powerful enough to bring about a change of heart in every man and woman in the world. Alas! That heart has considerably hardened, and only a continuous celebration of Deepavali in our homes can rekindle in us the urgent need of turning away from the ruinous path of hatred.
On this day Hindu merchants in North India open their new account books and pray for success and prosperity during the coming year. The homes are cleaned and decorated by day and illuminated by night with earthen oil-lamps. The best and finest illuminations are to be seen in Bombay and Amritsar. The famous Golden Temple at Amritsar is lit in the evening with thousands of lamps placed all over the steps of the big tank. Vaishnavites celebrate the Govardhan Puja and feed the poor on a large scale.
O Ram! The light of lights, the self-luminous inner light of the Self is ever shining steadily in the chamber of your heart. Sit quietly. Close your eyes. Withdraw the senses. Fix the mind on this supreme light and enjoy the real Deepavali, by attaining illumination of the soul. He who Himself sees all but whom no one beholds, who illumines the intellect, the sun, the moon and the stars and the whole universe but whom they cannot illumine, He indeed is Brahman, He is the inner Self. Celebrate the real Deepavali by living in Brahman, and enjoy the eternal bliss of the soul. The sun does not shine there, nor do the moon and the stars, nor do lightnings shine and much less fire. All the lights of the world cannot be compared even to a ray of the inner light of the Self. Merge yourself in this light of lights and enjoy the supreme Deepavali.
Many Deepavali festivals have come and gone. Yet the hearts of the vast majority are as dark as the night of the new moon. The house is lit with lamps, but the heart is full of the darkness of ignorance. O man! wake up from the slumber of ignorance. Realise the constant and eternal light of the Soul which neither rises nor sets, through meditation and deep enquiry. May you all attain full inner illumination! May the supreme light of lights enlighten your understanding! May you all attain the inexhaustible spiritual wealth of the Self! May you all prosper gloriously on the material as well as spiritual planes!
From Hindu Fasts and Festivals by Swami Sivananda