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Sivananda Yoga FAQ

Q 1: How does the Yogi see the subtle rudiments of matter with his Yogic vision? As you would see the material objects with the help of a material instrument in the form of the eye, the Yogi would see subtler objects through the help of subtler instruments. Except in the plane of intuition, in all other lower planes, there exists a subject-object relationship as far as cognition is concerned. The only thing is: the instrument used in perceiving the object should be of the same material of which the object of perception is made.

A: For further grasping of the exact vision of the Yogi, you yourself should become one.

Q 2: How does a person feel when he severs, all of a sudden, all relationships with this mundane world for embracing Sannyas?

A: A true Sannyasi enjoys the utmost bliss when he cuts asunder all connections with the world. When there is a true spirit of Tyaga, in any person, there can never be any idea of the old impressions of the world or of past relations with mundane existence. Even if the person embraces Sannyas without the indispensable Vairagya, he need not necessarily feel for the loss that he sustains, though the latent Vasanas, Vrittis and Samskaras still lie embedded in his mental consciousness.

Q 3: Do you believe in heaven and hell existing as some independent planes apart from this earth-plane of ours?

A: Why not? They are also planes of existence just like ours. They are as real as the earthly plane. All the worlds (Lokas) and all the Tirthas (sacred rivers) are existent in the human being himself, if he has belief in the scriptures. One can enjoy heaven or hell in this birth if he so wishes. The greater the grossness, the more intense will be the torture and suffering till such time as the individual is refined and fit for the descent of the Lord’s grace by repeated calcinations or purificatory processes.
If you want to enjoy heaven on earth, go on purifying yourself by controlling the lower mind, the desires and cravings. All is bliss, all is joy, all is happiness then. If you allow a free rein to the horses of the senses and yield to the prompting of the devilish mind, if you follow the path of Adharma, hell itself will prevail, not elsewhere in some incredible region, but here on this earth itself.

Detachment does not mean that you are loosing something. Actually you are gaining yourself back instead of loosing yourself. – Sri Swami Sivananda

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Adapt yourself to your surroundings and environments. You will enjoy peace and strength. – Sri Swami Sivananda


TYAGA – renunciation; giving up with generosity what one could probably have kept

There are three kinds of Tyāga – Sattvika, Rajasika and Tamasika. Whereas acts of sacrifice, charity and penance, the purifiers of wise men, must be performed without attachment and hope of award.

Renunciation of physical objects is no renunciation at all. The real Tyaga (renunciation) consists in the renunciation of egoism (Ahankara). If you can renounce this Ahankara, you have renounced everything else in the world. If the subtle Ahankara is given up, Dehadhyasa (identification with the body) automatically goes away.

Hope and anticipation are the opposite of Vairagya and Tyaga. They fatten the mind. To be perfectly hopeless is a very high state for a philosopher. It is a very bad state for worldlings. They always say with contempt: “He is a hopeless man.” Worldlings and philosophers move towards diametrically opposite poles.

The mind is the all-in-all and its mastery leads to the renunciation of all. Chitta-Tyaga alone constitutes the renunciation of all. True renunciation lies in the abnegation of the mind. It consists in renouncing all desires and egoism and not world-existence. Through such a mental abnegation, you will be able to free yourself from all pain. Then will come immortality in life or enjoyment of the infinite delight of existence free from ego, founded on oneness of all in Brahman.

You must renounce the Tyagabhimana also. The Tyagabhimana is very deep-rooted. You must renounce the idea, “I have renounced everything.”

Everything happens for a reason. Develop faith that you will understand everything and see the bigger picture in due time. – Sri Swami Sivananda