Saturday, October 21, 2017

22 October

The Sadhana That Hardens
(A letter was on Siva's table: a great European yogi had written to Siva requesting him to invite him to India. This was needed to obtain a passport.)
What a big show of themselves do these so­-called saints make. Flying from this country to that country: everywhere they go, parties, receptions and farewell parties, again. It is not?
Some of them should be received with a unique honour. Instead of flags and festoons adorning the reception entrance, people should hang old shoes and broomsticks.
We should not wait for the thing to happen actually. We should train ourselves. I have done so. I have beaten myself with shoes severely. This I used to do especially on birthdays ­ just after returning to my kutir after the meetings where people will praise me, glorify me, deify me, I will go into my kutir and beat myself nicely with a pair of shoes: "What are you? You wretched flesh­-blood­-excreta made body? Do you want garlands? Can you not wear torn clothes? Do you think that you are great? Do you want to be prostrated to? Now, take these garlands."
Suka Deva was tested by Janaka like this. He was a great jnani. When he went to Janaka for instruction, he was made to wait outside the palace uncared for, without food, without shelter and without any honour. Then he was attended upon by the ladies of the court and the Maharanis. In these ways Janaka tested Suka Deva's tranquility of mind. Suka was above all these things. He had preserved his equanimity all through. Such should be a sadhaka.
I have heard this said of St. Francis of Assisi also. He used to call his body 'Mr. Ass'. What a tremendous vairagya they all had.
Even this occasional shoe­-beating is not enough for me. I should give this body a dose of this hardening-medicine at least once a week.

Friday, October 20, 2017

21 October

Perfection
The essential qualification for a sadhu (man of renunciation) is that he should adapt himself to all conditions and circumstances, causing no inconvenience to others. His is the duty to serve ­ not to worry others. Very few sadhus know what they are and what they should be.
This morning an old sadhu from Swarg Ashram came here. He was there when I was there, too. He is aged 80 now. Today they did not prepare roti here. There was only rice and curry. But, the sadhu would not take. He wanted only roti (bread). It seems rice will produce wind. If you allow him, he will lecture to you for half an hour on the evil effects of rice­-eating. But he will refuse to be reminded that a very large population in India and the world lives on rice alone.
This is all that he has understood of sadhana (spiritual practice) during all these thirty years of sadhu life: "Rice should not be taken; roti alone is good for health and meditation." All their life these people will waste on this one thought of the right food and the wrong food. What is there if one day you do not get your food to your own liking. Even your own wife will not tolerate you for a day if you are so particular about what food you should have.
It is the special duty of a sadhu not to cause any inconvenience to householders. We are not to be a burden on householders, but to be of some service to them. When will the sadhu understand this. Some sadhakas (seekers) here also have that impression that they are living in an ashrama and that one consideration ought to be sufficient to open out the gates of Kaivalya (liberation) to them. I assure you: even if they live many hundreds of their lives near the greatest saint in the world, they will not improve even a bit. They must themselves exert. Each one must think for himself, act for himself. There have been some sadhakas here whom I myself trust and put in charge of the affairs of the ashrama ­ then I myself used to dread to approach them. If, for instance, I go to them and ask them to prepare a little more of what they give me for my food in order that I may give the extra quantity to someone else, I would be refused. What I do on those occasions is to reduce my own consumption and distribute this to the others.
If a sadhaka gets real samadhi (super-consciousness) in a hundred births, that is a very great achievement. God is perfect; and unless and until all the evil qualities are eradicated and divine qualities acquired to the degree of perfection, there will be no samadhi. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

20 October

One-Pointed Mind
(Siva was very busy attending to the dispatch of free books. He suddenly stopped and looked up.) 
From the time I got out of the morning class I have been going on thinking of writing a few poems, but I do not find time. I am doing this work, but my mind is still working on the poems. Even when I was taking my milk, I was busy within sifting the points for the poems. Only when I finish the poems will my mind know rest.
Are you all keeping a note­book to record your thoughts? First of all, you should note down in this book all the new points that you learn in the class. Then there are parallel ideas that might strike you; or ideas arising out of those expressed by others in the class. These may be new, novel and unknown to others. These should at once be noted down. Are you keeping such note­books?
Evil should not have time to dwell in your mind. What if someone refuses to give you milk, to give you food? What if someone scolds you? Always repeat: "I am not this body; I am not this mind; I am the eternal immortal satchidananda Atman".
Bear insult and injury. If someone slaps you on your cheeks, you should not even mind it; you should not even be aware of it, so to say. This is very difficult. But this is most important. When the other man is scolding you, your mind should be engaged in vichara. After a while this man will realise: "What is this? I have been scolding him several times; he does not get irritated, he does not retort. There must be something in him, which I should learn." Then he will fall at your feet and apologise. You have conquered.
- - -
That which draws out this hidden consciousness of Atman, is the highest knowledge. The teachings that break your bondage and bestow on you freedom, are the teachings of the ancient rishis (sages) which lay bare the mysteries of the universe. On the dawn of true knowledge, the veil of ignorance is lifted and, with it, all illusory appearance of phenomena is sublated. What is left is only the perceiving self, the negator of all negations -­ which is no other than Brahman, existence, knowledge, bliss absolute.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

19 October

The Oneness of All Existence
Realise the totality and all-­inclusiveness of your life. Your being is cosmic. You inhabit all the worlds ­ all the worlds are your spontaneous expression. One's love for friends, sons, etc. is not for the sake of others, but for one's own self. Therefore love for Self is the highest and hence full of supreme happiness. The more you give up your hankerings for objects and try to realise your identity with the true Self or Atman, the more you will realise your true happiness.
The path of evolution is from unconsciousness to life; from life to consciousness; from consciousness to self­-consciousness; and from self­-consciousness to super-consciousness. 
Mysticism is the art of union with the reality. A mystic is a person who has attained that union with the reality, or who is aiming for that attainment.
What is this ego; what is this little 'I'? Is it your foot or flesh or hand or blood ­ or any part of your body? Reflect well. You will know that there is no such thing as 'I'. The 'I' will vanish into nothingness. What is left is the pure, infinite Atman. When the ego perishes, the Supreme Soul reveals itself in all its pristine glory and splendour.
Do not seek to satisfy the ego -­ offer all your life and actions as sacred sacrifice to the supreme divine. You yourself are passing a death sentence on yourself -­ you are creating a hell by your own evil thoughts. It is useless to look up to the skies to find the divine. Turn inwards. In your own heart dwells the eternal.
COSMIC POWER HOUSE
Individual souls are like electric light bulbs. The bulbs get their light from the power house. The jivas (souls) get their power from Brahman, the infinite cosmic power house. The bulb imagines that it is independent and boasts of its effulgence and power. It has no idea of its source. When the current fails it hangs its head in shame and weeps. Even so, the jiva drags out his egoism. O fool, O dunce, know the source through purity, devotion, tapas, meditation and enjoy supreme peace and eternal bliss.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

18 October

Learn From Sleep
Study the condition of deep sleep, where there is neither the play of the mind nor the senses. There are no objects; there is neither attraction nor repulsion. Wherefrom do you derive ananda in sleep? This experience is universal; everyone says: "I slept soundly. I knew nothing. I was very happy in sleep." During deep sleep you rest in Satchidananda Atman and enjoy the atmic bliss which is independent of objects. The difference between deep sleep and samadhi (super­-consciousness) is that in deep sleep there is the veil of ignorance and in samadhi this veil is removed.
From sleep you draw four conclusions: 
   You exist. There is a feeling of continuity of consciousness. 
   There is advaita (oneness). 
   You are ananda svarupa (bliss-­itself). 
   The world is mithya (a play of the mind). 
Names and forms are illusory. The world is mere play of the mind. When there is mind, there is world. If you can produce destruction of the mind consciously through yoga sadhana (practice), the world will disappear and you will feel the Atman everywhere.
Even in the daytime you become one with the Atman whenever a desire is gratified. When you enjoy an object you become mindless for a short time. You rest in your own Atman and enjoy the atmic bliss. Ignorant persons attribute this happiness to the objects. Just as the dog which sucks a dry bone foolishly imagines that the blood comes from the dry bone - whereas in reality the blood oozes out of its own palate, so also foolish persons imagine that happiness comes from external objects, while they actually derive the happiness from their own Atman within. They are deluded owing to the force of illusion and ignorance.
- - -
Have no longing for objects. Reduce your wants. Cultivate vairagya (dispassion); it thins out the mind.
Do not mix much. Do not talk much. Do not walk much. Do not eat much. Do not sleep much. Control the emotions. Abandon desires and vasanas (tendencies). Control irritability and lust.

Monday, October 16, 2017

17 October

Know Thyself Now
Man is a soul and has a body. Man's true nature is God. You are pure consciousness. Through ignorance you have imposed limitation upon yourself. Reflect and abide in the Absolute or Brahman.
Man's innermost essence is Atman or the divine spirit. Realising the spirit, man achieves security, certainty, perfection, freedom, independence, immortality and bliss eternal. Man and his life become the starting point and the end of philosophy. Man is of the nature of his faith. What his faith is, that verily is what he is.
Physical body and intellect depend on the soul within about which man knows little or nothing. Personality is the sum total of man. A man of good personality has a number of good qualities. He behaves quietly and politely. He has confidence in himself. He has the capacity to win other people's cooperation. He has the capacity to draw others towards himself. Hunger, libido and fame are the fundamental urges in man. Unless man is liberated from the bondage of the mind and matter he cannot have knowledge of the Self and of God.
The head and the heart must be wedded ­ then alone there will be perfection and integration in man. Faith, virtue, piety, dispassion and honesty are the greatest treasures of man.
Every man must arise, purify, meditate, and declare freedom unto himself. Man says, "When this (worldly activity) is over then I will have time to do that (meditate)". But it is never done because something new turns up all the time to distract him. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power. Truth is not outside you, it is within you. It dwells in the cave of your heart.
You are a truth of God, a work of God, a will of God. You are unfettered, free ­ eternally free. Roar Om. Come out of the cage of flesh and roam about freely.
- - -
When the cause of illusion is pulled away by the roots, when knowledge annihilates ignorance (without a possibility of a remnant or reminiscence) ­ then there is not an ego, a body or world to be experienced. When there is the cloud of ignorance you cannot see God, but you cannot say that there is no God.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

16 October

Be One With All
Mere intellectual conception of identity or oneness will not serve your purpose. You must actually feel the truth of it through intuition. You must become fully aware of the real Self, the basis or substratum or bedrock of this world, body, mind, prana (life) and senses. You must enter into consciousness in which the realisation becomes a part of your everyday life. You must live the ideal spiritual life daily. Your neighbours should actually feel that you are an entirely changed being, a superman. They should smell the divine fragrance in you. A full­-blown yogi or jnani can never remain incognito. Just as fragrant fumes emanate from scented incense sticks, so also spiritual fragrance emanates from the body.
There is no such thing as inanimate matter. There is life in everything. Life is involved in a piece of stone. All matter is vibrant with life ­ this has been conclusively proved by modern scientists. Smile with the flowers and the green grass. Play with the butterflies, birds and deer. Shake hands with the shrubs, ferns and twigs of trees. Talk to the rainbow, wind, stars and sun. Converse with the running brooks and the waves of the sea. Speak with the walking stick. 
Develop friendship with all your neighbours, dogs, cats, cows, human beings, trees, flowers, etc.  Then you will have a wide, perfect, rich, full life. You will realise oneness or the unity of life. This can hardly be described in words -­ you must feel it for yourself.
A strong mind has influence over a weak mind. Mind has influence over the physical body. Mind acts upon matter. Mind brings bondage. Mind gives freedom. Mind is the devil. Mind is your friend. Mind is your guru. You will have to tame the mind. You will have to discipline the mind. This is your important duty.
- - -
There is only one caste -­ the caste of humanity. There is only one religion -­ the religion of love, the religion of vedanta. There is only one dharma - the dharma of truthfulness. There is only one law - the law of cause and effect. There is only one God -­ the omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent Lord. There is only one language -­ the language of the heart; the language of silence.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

15 October

The Riddle of the World
You yourself have made your life complex. You have entangled yourself in this quagmire. You have multiplied your wants and desires. Everyday you are forging new links in the chain of bondage. Simplicity has vanished. Luxurious habits are daily developed. People are dying of starvation; there is depression and unrest everywhere. There is devastation by earthquake. The divorce courts are increasing. One nation is afraid of another nation. Life has become a matter of uncertainty. It has become a mass of confusion and bewilderment; it has become stormy and boisterous.
You can escape from these troubles and difficulties if you lead a life of dispassion, self-restraint, purity and selfless service, if you develop cosmic love, if you make a habit of developing the right point of view, right thinking, right feeling, right action, with the right mental attitude and if you practise meditation and devotion.
If you have no sustained vairagya (dispassion) you will find no improvement or progress in spirituality. Vows, energy, austerities and meditation will leak out like water from a cracked pot. You have spent eight hours in sleep and the rest in idle gossiping, telling lies and deceiving others. How can you expect spiritual good or immortality if you do not spend even half an hour in the service of God, in singing his name and in divine contemplation?
Is there pain or pleasure in this world? If there is pleasure, then why do young educated men retire into the forests? If there is pain, why do young men run after wealth, position and women? Mysterious is maya (illusion)! Mysterious is moha (delusion)! Try to understand the riddle of life and the riddle of the universe. Acquire viveka (wisdom). Have satsanga (holy company). Enquire into the nature of the Atman. Study the Yoga Vasishta and the Upanishads. Then you will have a comprehensive understanding of the problems of life. There is not one iota of happiness in this world.
- - -
Real freedom is from birth and death. Real freedom is freedom from the trammels of flesh and mind. Real freedom ­ is freedom from the bonds of karma. Real freedom is freedom from attachment to the body, etc. - Real freedom is freedom from desires and from egoism.

Friday, October 13, 2017

14 October

Guide to Sadhakas
No complete knowledge is possible as long as there is the relationship of subject and object. When the subject and the object merge into absolute union there are no doubts or questions. When you enter the consciousness of the infinite you will have no problems. You will have no questions to ask, for the questioner and the questioned will be one ­ subject and object will be dissolved.
Only when action is quickened with love and illumined with knowledge, then the pilgrim in the spiritual path finds his destination and end. The one you seek is he who seeks you. The essential craving of the heart is the inner light. He who has faith, he who is tranquil and self-controlled, he who meditates on the Atman attains immortality and eternal bliss.
So, reduce your wants to the utmost minimum. Adapt yourself to circumstances. Never be attached to anything or to anybody. Share what you have with others. Be ever ready to serve. Lose no opportunity ­ serve with atma­-bhava (feeling that the Self is all). Speak measured and sweet words. Have a burning thirst for God-­realisation. Renounce all your belongings and surrender yourself to God.
Keep your soul strong and fresh and give it spiritual food ­ prayer, japa (repetition of God's name), selfless service, etc. Feed your mind with thoughts of God, your heart with purity, your hands with selfless service. Remain soaked in remembrance of God, with one­-pointed mind. Repeat the Lord's name with faith and devotion. Meditate on his form and surrender your heart and soul to him.
Let the thought of God or reality keep away the thought of the world. Forget the feeling that you are so-­and­-so, that you are a male or a female, by vigorous brahma­-chintana (contemplation of God.) Never postpone a thing for tomorrow if it is possible for you to do it today. Do not boast or make a show of your abilities. Be simple and humble. Always be cheerful. Give up worries. Be indifferent to things that do not concern you. Fly away from bad company and discussion. Be alone for a few hours daily.
Control the emotions by discrimination and vairagya (dispassion). Maintain equilibrium of mind always. Give up backbiting and fault­finding. Find out your own faults and weaknesses. See only good in others. Do good to those that hate you. Shun lust, anger, egoism, moha (delusion) and lobha (greed) like venomous cobras.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

13 October

Brahman of Vedanta
Brahman cannot be approached by argument. He is unknowable. He is without any limiting adjunct. He is the source of the world, vedas, body, mind and prana (life).
Brahman is the only abode of eternal peace and purity. He is the instrumental and material cause for the universe, though He Himself is causeless because He is beginningless and endless. He is one without a second. He is attributeless. He is free from birth and death.
Brahman is absolute, infinite. He is the Supreme Being. He is the highest self. He has no attachment; He has no connection with anything - He has no connection with bodies, minds, etc. - This is his supreme yoga which ordinary mortals can hardly understand.
Brahman dwells in every heart. He is boundless, unfathomable and immeasurable. There is neither subtle desire nor craving nor sense hankering in Brahman. He is an embodiment of purity. His name or symbol is Om. He is the silent witness of the activities of the world and the activities of all minds. He is imperishable.
Brahman is absolute consciousness, the indwelling Atman. He is the one great indivisible bliss - satchidananda. He is awake when people sleep at night. He is the passive spectator of this world show or cosmic bioscope. The aspirant finds full and eternal satisfaction in Brahman. All his desires melt away like mist or snow before the rising sun.
There is something behind life, matter, energy, mind that is the ultimate reality - it is eternal and unchanging. The finite mind cannot solve certain problems of life and the riddle of the universe. On account of egoism we perish in our vain researches and experiments. But our boasted intellect has failed to satisfy our yearnings and equip us with real knowledge that will dispel our ignorance and give us real peace of mind.
We bow our heads before the inner ruler who dwells in the chambers of our hearts, who is the source of matter, life, energy and mind, who is immortal, eternal, bliss absolute, knowledge absolute and existence absolute. May He now give us real enlightenment. May He grant us that highest knowledge of Self through which alone we can get full knowledge of all secular sciences. Our silent salutations to that highest self, the Brahman of the vedanta.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

12 October

Meditation in Vedanta
Preliminary meditation for six months: 
1. On the blue expansive sky, all-pervading air or ether, or light, or Himalayas, or infinite ocean.
2. On abstract qualities -­ mercy, patience, generosity, etc.
3. On abstract ideas -­ indivisibility, existence, wisdom, bliss, truth, eternity, immortality, infinity, purity, etc., will render the mind subtle and sharp and prepare it for deep abstract meditation on Atman.
Just as one thread penetrates all flowers in a garland, so also one Self penetrates all these living beings. Behold the one Self in all. Serve all. Love all. Give up the idea of diversity. You will be established in Brahman. When one Atman dwells in all living beings, then why do you hate others? Why do you use harsh words? Why do you try to rule and dominate others? Why do you exploit others? Why are you intolerant? Is this not the height of folly; is it not sheer ignorance?
Behold the "One in all". Feel, "I am the all", and "I am in all." Feel, "All bodies are mine; the whole world is my body, my sweet home". Feel, "I work in all hands; I eat in all mouths". Feel, "I am the immortal Self in all". Repeat these formulas mentally several times a day. Repeat Om mentally and feel oneness of life or unity of consciousness when you play football or tennis, when you drink and eat, when you talk and sing, when you sit and walk, when you bathe and dress, when you work in the office or answer the calls of nature. Spiritualise every movement, action, thought, feeling. Transmute them into yoga. Gradually names and forms will vanish and you will feel, "Aham asmi" (I exist). The balance or residue left will be Atman.
A jnani sees Atman everywhere; there is no thought of self; the lower self is entirely annihilated. He lives to serve all. He feels that all is himself only. He has cosmic vision and cosmic feeling. He is free from worry, trouble, difficulties and sorrow. He is always happy and cheerful.
In the formless vedantic meditation of advaitins (non­dualists) there will be an abstract mental image in the beginning of sadhana (practice). This will vanish eventually. When you meditate, deny names and forms, do neti­-neti (not this, not this).

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

11 October

Root Out Attachment
Atman is Brahman or Absolute or infinite or supreme being. It is existence-absolute, knowledge-absolute and bliss-absolute. It is eternal, perfect, pure, self-luminous. It is self-delight and self­-knowledge. It is bodiless, formless (nirakara) and attributeless (guna-less). It is all­-pervading, all-­full, imperishable. It has neither beginning nor end. It exists in the present, the past and the future. It is svayambhu (self-­existent). It is the source for the body and the mind, prana (life), indriyas (senses), vedas and the universe. No one can deny it because it is the Self of all beings.
Selfishness retards spiritual progress. If anyone can destroy his selfishness, half of his spiritual sadhana (practice) is over. No samadhi or meditation is possible without the eradication of this undesirable, negative quality. Aspirants should direct their whole attention in the beginning towards the removal of this dire malady by protracted, selfless, disinterested service.
Never say 'my body', 'my wife', 'my son', 'my house'. Attachment is the root cause for the miseries and sufferings of this world. Discipline the mind carefully. The old habits will creep in ­ destroy them at the very root. Lead the life of mental non­-attachment. This is the master­key to open the realm of Brahmic bliss. Non-attachment is dispassion or indifference to sensual enjoyments.
It is the mind that creates the ideas of 'I­ness' and 'mine­ness'. It is the mind that links the body and the jiva (soul) and creates intense deha-adhyasa (body­-consciousness) and the man thinks, "I am the body". If the binding link in the mind is destroyed, you can remain wherever you like ­ you can roam peacefully, in any part of the world, unattached, like water on the lotus leaf. Nothing can bind you. The whole mischief is wrought by the mind.
Introspect. Look within. Try to remove your defects. This is real sadhana (practice) ­ you will have to do it at any cost. Intellectual development is nothing. But the former needs a great deal of struggle for many years as many vicious habits have to be rent asunder.
Keep up the unbroken current of meditation. Avoid mixing. You will soon get over body­consciousness. A little more drastic sadhana is needed for a month ­ unbroken silence. Do not allow inertia or laziness to overpower you.

Monday, October 9, 2017

10 October

Goal of Vedanta
The goal or aim of life is self-­realisation which confers immortality, highest bliss, knowledge and supreme peace. Fixing the mind on the source or inner Self and getting it absorbed there is the highest yajna (worship), the highest charity, the highest karma (action), the highest bhakti (devotion), the highest yoga or knowledge. Now the little self­-arrogating 'I' vanishes. Just as the river joins the ocean, the little self becomes one with the ocean of bliss. With the disappearance of the little illusory 'I' comes the disappearance of 'you', 'he', 'this', 'that', time, space and causation, 'mine' and 'thine', the pairs of opposites, the ideas of jiva (soul), Ishvara (God), prakriti (nature), etc. The whole world presents itself as Atman. This grand vision this magnanimous samadhi (super-consciousness) is atma­-darshan (vision of the ultimate reality), which is beyond description. Many have attained this vision ­ why not you also? Apply diligently right now in its achievement.
There is something dearer than wealth; there is something dearer than wife or son; there is something dearer than your life itself. That dearer something is thy own Self (Atman), inner ruler (antaryamin), immortal (amritam). He who dwells in this eye, who is within this eye, whose body this eye is, whom the eye does not know, who rules the eye from within, is thy self, inner ruler, immortal.
- - -
The vedantic method of meditation on the formula 'anomayoham' (I am all­-health) or the enquiry, "Who am I?" is the most efficient, patient and best method for eradication of all disease and ensuring perfect health and a high standard of vigour and vitality. This is the king of all physical cultures. For those aspirants who practise the "Who am I?" enquiry and who are not able to keep up good health by this method alone, I prescribe the practice of asana (posture) and pranayama (yoga breathing).
The aspirant who has got chitta suddhi (pure mind) will only be able to hear the still, small voice of the soul or self. If there is no purity he will certainly mistake the voice of the self. He will be misguided ­ he will blink and grope in darkness. The help of a realised guru is indispensably requisite in the beginning for the aspirant who treads the path of jnana yoga.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

9 October

Essence of Vedanta
Vedanta is expressed in the mahavakhyas (great sentences) of the Upanishads as "Tat twam asi" - "Thou art That"; "Aham brahma asmi" - "I am the self". Vedanta says, "O little man! Do not identify yourself with this perishable body. Give up 'I­ness' and 'mine­ness'! Do not hate your neighbour or brother. Do not try to exploit him ­ he is your own self. There is a common Self or common consciousness in all. This is the same in a king and a peasant, in an ant and a dog, in a man and a woman, in a cobbler and a scavenger. This is the real immortal entity. Mind is the dividing principle. It tempts and deludes. Kill this mischievous mind. Control the indriyas (senses) which drag you out to the external objects. Fix the mind in the source. Rise above body and mind. Eradicate desires. Learn to discriminate the real from the unreal. Identify yourself with this immortal, non­dual, self­-existent, self-luminous essence. Behold the one Self in all. See the one in many. All miseries will come to an end." 
Vedanta speaks of the one Atman or Brahman or Self who exists in the past, the present and the future, who has no beginning, middle and end, who is the support for everything, who is the embodiment of wisdom, peace and bliss. The seers of the Upanishads have expressed their realisation in glowing terms. They have given out their inner experiences after long research and mighty struggle. All these have been collected in the form of the Upanishads. This constitutes the subject of vedanta philosophy.
Although vedanta is the direct royal road that takes one to the goal, it should not be prescribed for all in a wholesale manner. There are four types of aspirants. They are the karmic (active) type, the bhakti (devotional) type, the mystic type and the rational type. Karma yoga should be prescribed for people of karmic tendencies ­ for the busy and active men who have mala (impurities) in the mind; bhakti yoga for men of devotional temperament - in whom the emotional element predominates; raja yoga for men of mystic temperament; vedanta yoga for men of reason and will ­ for people of intellectual temperament.
Vichara (enquiry, "Who am I?") can only benefit that aspirant who is free from impurity and tossing of the mind, who is endowed with bold understanding, gigantic and tremendous will, sharp, subtle intellect and the four means. It is certainly not meant for all ­ it is meant for the select few only who can really understand and realise the full significance or import of vedanta and reap the fruits.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

8 October

What is Vedanta
Om. Vedanta is that bold philosophy which teaches the unity of life or oneness of consciousness. It is that supreme philosophy which boldly proclaims, with emphasis and force, that this little jiva (human being) is identical with the eternal or Absolute. It is that sublime philosophy which elevates the mind at once to magnanimous heights of Brahmanhood, divine splendour and glory, which makes a man absolutely fearless, which destroys all barriers that separate man from man and which brings concord, unruffled peace and harmony to suffering humanity. It is the only philosophy that can really unite (on the basis of one common Self in all) a Hindu and a Mohammedan, a Catholic and a Protestant, an Irishman and an Englishman, a Jain and a Parsee, in a common platform and in the core of their own hearts also. It is the only philosophy that, when properly understood and practised, can put a definite stop to world wars and all sorts of dissensions, splits and skirmishes that exist in nations and communities.
Vedanta is a magnetic healing balm for the wounded and the afflicted in the dreadful battlefield of this dire samsara (phenomenal existence). Vedanta is the divine collyrium which removes the cataract of ignorance and gives a new, inner eye of intuition or wisdom. Vedanta is the direct, royal road to the domain of felicity; it is the supreme abode of immortality and eternal bliss. It is a panacea, a 'cure-­all' for those who are being burned by the three fires and the five afflictions of this miserable mundane existence. It is the Himalayan herb that can bring immediate life to a dying man. It lifts a man, at once, to the status of Emperor of emperors, King of kings ­ even though he has nothing to eat; even though he is clad in rags.
Vedanta gives real spiritual strength; it inspires, renovates, vivifies, invigorates and energises. It eradicates ignorance ­ the root cause for human sufferings. It puts a stop to the never ending wheel of birth and death and confers immortality, infinite knowledge and bliss. It gives hope to the hopeless, power to the powerless, vigour to the vigourless and joy to the joyless.
Vedanta is the only universal, eternal religion. Vedanta means 'end of the vedas' or the essence of the teaching of the shrutis (scriptures).

Friday, October 6, 2017

7 October

Persevere in Sadhana
Let the sadhana (spiritual practice) always be regular, continuous, unbroken and earnest. Not only regularity but also continuity in sadhana and meditation are necessary if you want to attain self-­realisation quickly.
A spiritual stream, once set going, does not dry up unless the channel­-bed gets blocked, unless there is stagnation. Be vigilant eternally. Meditate regularly. Annihilate the under­current of vasana (habit­-patterns).
Patience, perseverance, courage, determination, discrimination and dispassion are needed to tread the spiritual path. Put away thoughts, stimuli, perceptions, intentions, emotions, feelings, preoccupations and deliberations arising out of the senses and the sense objects.
You will attain supreme blessedness or the peace of the eternal. Keep the flame of thy aspiration ever kindled bright. Let purity, serenity, compassion, truth and oneness, manifest in thy thoughts and actions. Through penance, prayer and meditation the soul ascends on the divine chariot to the realms of infinite bliss, to God's halls of wisdom.
Regularity is of paramount importance in spiritual practice. Spiritual aspirants must be arduous and efficient in performing their tasks without a break. Pray without a break. Have unshakeable faith.
Remember vairagya (dispassion) and abhyasa (constant practice). Prayer is the wing by which you fly to God. Meditation or intuition is the eye by which you see God. Pray fervently unto the Lord. Pray for the Lord's light and guidance.
Meditate on the great truth within. Strive ever to keep thyself close to the divine centre. Day by day draw nearer unto the Lord. Strive inwardly to grow into the likeness of the divine ideal.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

6 October

Realise Thy True Nature
First, learn to know yourself, the true value of your own character. Then alone you will be able to serve humanity and benefit people. You are taintless, tranquil, pure consciousness; you are beyond nature. All this time you have been duped by illusion, maya.
Know one individual (yourself) correctly - and you can know the whole world. To know thy self, is to know God. Seek perfection, freedom and eternal bliss in the Atman or Self, by the Self and through the Self. Talk only of Atman. Purify, meditate, lose yourself in Brahman or the Absolute and you will find your Self, you will know your Self.
Nobody doubts his own existence, though he may doubt the existence of God. Find the truth, the source of your own Self and then you will know everything. The more you know the more you will grow in humility. I climbed the peak of vedanta and merged in the Light of lights. How can I express it? To express the unspeakable - all words are feeble. I am the witness - the eternal, pure, infinite, internal self. I am Siva himself. I am changeless. None of the things of the world have touched me or touch me. I have no moods - I am beyond moods. I am the blissful Atman. The light which illumines the intellect, the sun, the moon, the stars and also the yonder lamp, is bliss eternal. That light am I. Om.
If you find you need a place of perfect security and peace then come, sit in my heart and be one with me. There is a central harmony within you, a wisdom, a spirit of wholeness which is divine. That is immortal Atman, your own innermost soul or self. Dwell in this Atman. Realise this Atman and be free for ever. The Atman or Supreme Self must be realised. This is practical religion. 
- - -

 Open the eye of your heart,
       Enjoy the vision of the Lord.
       Break the seal of your ego,
       Realise the eternal bliss of your Self.
       Clean the dirt of your mind's mirror,
       Behold the beauty of the majestic Atman.
              Sit on the horse of brahmakara vritti.

Reach your destination; the home of eternal peace.
       Still the waves of the mind,
       Take a dip in the ocean of bliss,
              Shut up your mouth and the mouth of your mind
And enjoy the peace of supreme silence.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

5 October

Strive
Strive. Strive to realise God. This is the purpose of human birth. The perfection of the realisation of absolute knowledge, supreme bliss and immortality is the one and only goal in human life. Release from the round of births and life in eternity is the goal of man. Till Self-realisation is attained, man is subject to the law of karma and rebirth. Finish your task - God­realisation in this life itself; do not postpone it. Just as food is necessary for the body so also daily meditation and prayer are necessary for the soul.
O man! Wake up from this slumber of ignorance. Why do you waste your life building castles in the air? Turn your gaze within. Stop all this hurry and worry. Sit down and relax. Dive deep within. Discover the pearl of Atman. You will be freed from birth and death here and now.
Remember the goal every moment of this life. Strive incessantly to realise it by living a life of detachment, dispassion, devotion, deep meditation and samadhi (self-knowledge).
O man! Nothing is permanent. All things change. All things pass away. Seek the permanent, changeless, immortal Atman and be free. He is truly wise who lives in the eternal and who is endowed with discrimination and dispassion.
Life is a transforming process by which attachment, fear, anger, hatred and lust are transformed by steady and rigorous discipline and meditation into joy, bliss, peace and love.
- - -
In simplicity is the secret of real beauty. Simplify your life. Be humble, pure, straightforward and true to yourself and others. Be good and do good so that each tomorrow will find you farther than today. Be humble, be meek, be pure, be holy, be godly and peaceful. Be charitable. Be moral. Be humble. Be courageous. Be pure. Meditate. Become wise. Whoever does anything with enthusiasm, patience and perseverance, never fails to achieve his object. Annihilate desires.
Seek the company of saints and devotees. Control the mind. Control anger. Be charitable. Help the needy. Kill the ego. Be grateful. Respect the great. Be truthful. Indulge not in gossip. You will attain the supreme blessedness.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

4 October

I Am Siva
I am Siva, the life and soul of all. I am the substratum for all the forms of the world. I am the substratum for the mind, prana (life) and senses. I am the energy in the atoms and the elements. I am the effulgence of the sun, moon and stars. I am the beauty of beauties. I am the charm and beauty in women. I am the life of all youth. I am the intelligence in all scientists, educationalists, culturists, research scholars and philosophers.
I am the foundation of the world. I am the wisdom of the sages. I am the siddhis (powers) in yogis. I am the life of the cyclones, earthquakes and volcanoes. I am the energy in dynamos. I am the energy in all germs and microbes. I am the power in herbs, minerals and tonics. I am goodness, truth, success and prosperity. I am Siva, the life and soul of all.
Lumbago and rheumatism shake my body. All diseases are my guests. Let them stay. What is that to me? I welcome them cordially. I always sing: "I am not this body, not this mind. Chidananda rupah sivoham Sivoham". I defy, deny diseases. What is it to be if the body perishes? I am anamaya (diseaseless) Atman (Self). I am the life of this cosmic play.
I have burnt up all duality. I am sadchitananda. I have drunk the cup of pure knowledge ­ it is all sweet nectar. There are neither vrittis (thought­-waves) nor vasanas (tendencies) in the Absolute. There is neither thought nor world here. I have experienced this supreme state ­ it is neither dual nor non­dual. It is only keval asti (pure being). It is pure consciousness or supreme essence.
- - -
KNOW THE ATMAN: If atmic reality is cognised then all differences between trees, mountains, clothes and 'others', will vanish. With them, sankalpas (thoughts) will also be swept away. The only way out of grief and delusion is the inner realisation of the unity of the individual soul with Brahman (the Absolute). The Atman is to be known ­ there is no attainment higher than that. One fears not death who has realised Brahman, who is serene, ageless, self­-luminous, desireless, firm, immortal and self­-existent.  

Monday, October 2, 2017

3 October

SONG OF MEDITATION
Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram
Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram
Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram 
Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram  

Truth is Brahman, truth is your own self,
Realise this truth, be free, be free, be free, be free.
You must have a pure mind, if you want to realise 
Practise karma yoga, be pure, be pure, be pure, be pure.  

You cannot enjoy peace of mind 
And cannot practise meditation
If you are passionate, kill this lust, kill this lust.  

Be regular in your meditation,
And take satvic food,
You will have peace of mind, this is the Truth, this is the Truth.  

When you meditate on Hari, keep His picture in front of you,
Look at it with a steady gaze, you will develop concentration.
If evil thoughts enter the mind,
Do not drive them forcibly,
Substitute divine thoughts, they will pass away, they will pass away.  

Meditation leads to knowledge, meditation kills pains,
Meditation brings peace, meditate, meditate, meditate, meditate.
Samadhi is union with God, this follows meditation.
You will attain immortality, this is moksha, this is moksha.  

SONG OF EIGHTEEN 'ITIES'
Serenity, regularity, absence of vanity,
Sincerity, simplicity, veracity.
Equanimity, fixity, non-­irritability,
Adaptability, humility, tenacity,
Integrity, nobility, magnanimity,
Charity, generosity, purity.  

Practise daily these eighteen 'ities',
You will soon attain immortality.
Brahman is the only real entity,
Mr. So and So is a false non­entity,
You will abide in eternity and infinity,
You will behold unity in diversity,
You cannot attain this in the university.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

2 October

Annihilate the Ego
Study the autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi. He never made any difference between menial service and dignified work. Scavenging or cleaning the latrines were the highest yoga for him, the highest puja. He annihilated his illusory little 'I' through this service.
Many highly educated persons joined his ashram to learn yoga under him. They thought that Gandhiji would teach them yoga in some mysterious manner, in a private room. They thought that he would teach them pranayama, meditation, awakening of the kundalini, etc. They were asked to clean the latrines first.
Gandhiji used to mend his own shoes. He himself used to grind the flour. He would take upon himself the work of others when they were unable to do their allotted portion of work. When an educated person, a new ashramite, felt shy to do grinding work, Gandhiji himself would do the work in front of him. And then the man would willingly do the work the next day.
Try to do daily as many virtuous actions as possible. When you go to sleep have a review of your day's actions. Mark them in your spiritual diary. Performance of virtuous actions is the beginning of spiritual life.
Repeat mentally or silently with the breath, the Lord's name ­ such as Hari Om, Sri Ram, or your own ishta mantra. Do this even when you are working in the office. A strong habit of repetition of the mantra will soon be formed.
- - -
Karma, according to Jaimini Rishi, is the performance of agnihotra and other vedic rituals. According to the Gita, any action done with nishkamya bhava (unselfishly, motivelessly), is karma yoga. Lord Krishna says: "Work incessantly. Your duty is to work but not to expect the fruits thereof." The central teaching of the Gita is non­-attachment to work. Breathing, eating, seeing, hearing, thinking, etc., are all karmas.
Service of your guru or a mahatma (saint) is the highest form of karma yoga. This purifies your heart quickly. Contact with a great soul or guru has immense advantages. You will benefit by the magnetic aura of the great personage. You will draw inspiration from him.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

1 October

SONG OF A KARMA YOGIN
Hari ke premi Hari Hari bolo 
Avo pyare milker gawo 
Hari charaname dhyana laghavo 
Dukhme sukhme Hari Hari bolo
Abhiman tyago seva karo 
Narayan Narayan Narayan Narayan.   

Give up brahmin, sanyas abhiman, 
Give up male-female, sex abhiman. 
Give up doctor, judge abhiman, 
Give up rajah, zamindar abhiman.

Relinquish pundit, scientist abhiman 
Crush this professor, engineer abhiman 
Kill this collector, thasildar abhiman. 
Kill this vairagya, seva abhiman 
Kill this tyagi, kartrtva abhiman. 
(Narayan Narayan .....)  

Remember always Hari Hari Hari Hari, 
Sing always Sita-Ram, Radheshyam, 
 
See good in every face, 
Share what you have with others. 
Develop nicely adaptability. 
Serve always with Narayana Bhav. 
 
Scrutinise always your inner motives 
Work without egoism, 
Cultivate the nimitta-bhav, 
Give up expectation of fruits.

Surrender always fruits to the Lord, 
Have equal vision and balanced mind. 
Selfless work will purify your heart, 
Then you will get knowledge of self. 
(Narayan Narayan .....)

Friday, September 29, 2017

30 September

SONG OF ADMONITION
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.  

Radhe Shyama Radhe Shyama Shyama Shyama Radhe Radhe
Radhe Krishna Radhe Krishna Krishna Krishna Radhe Radhe  

Gouri Sankar Gouri Sankar Sankar Sankar Gouri Gouri
Uma Sankar Uma Sankar Sankar Sankar Uma Uma.  

O my Jesus                       O Lord Jesus
Hail Hail Jesus                  O Father Father      
O my Mary                        O Virgin Mary
Hail Hail Mary                   O Mother Mother
 
O my Buddha                    O Lord Buddha
Hail Hail Buddha               O Saviour Saviour
O my Allah                        O Lord Allah
Hail Hail Allah                    O Father Father
 
O my Shakti                      O Adi Shakti
Hail Hail Shakti                  O Mother Mother   

Is there not a nobler mission 
     than eating, drinking and sleeping?
It is difficult to get a human birth, 
     therefore try your best to realise in this birth.

Fie on that wretch, woe to that man
Who wastes all his life in sensual pleasures.   

Time sweeps away, kings and barons,
Where is Yudhishthira?      Where is Ashoka
Where is Shakespeare?     Where is Valmiki?
Where is Napoleon?          Where is Shivaji?  

Be up and doing (in) yogic sadhan, 
     you will enjoy Supreme Bliss.
Be up and doing (in) brahma vichar, 
     you will attain Immortality (kaivalya moksha)
(Hare Rama Hare Rama…)  

Can you expect real shanti 
     if you waste your time in idle gossiping?
Can you enjoy Supreme Peace 
     if you waste your time
In novels (and) newspapers?
In fights and quarrels?
In scandal, backbiting?
(Hare Rama Hare Rama…)
- - -

Am I not Thou? Art Thou not I? 
     One alone is, therefore true.
When the mind melts in the silence, 
     you will have Self-realisation.

What have you learnt, tell me frankly 
     from the Bihar and Quetta earthquakes?
Have you got now real vairag? 
     Do you practise japa and kirtan?  

Here is a challenge to non-believers 
     of the Hindu theory of transmigration:
Have you not heard the thrilling narratives 
     of Shanti Devi, of her past life?
 
Can you expect real shanti 
     if you waste your time in cards and cinemas 
     (cards and smoking)?

When your throat is choked 
     at the time of death, 
     who will help you for your salvation?
(Hare Rama Hare Rama…)

Thursday, September 28, 2017

29 September

COME TO ME
I want only Thee, my Lord. 
When the senses hiss and drag me, 
Come to me and crush them. 
When I am overworked and tired, 
Come to me with Thy peace and harmony. 
When my mind becomes turbulent, 
Come to me with Thy yoga power, 
And still this boisterous mind. 
When desires and cravings attack me, 
Come to me with Thy light and grace. 
When fear overpowers me, 
Come to me with Thy courage. 
When avidya (ignorance) tries to overwhelm me, 
Come to me with Thy supreme wisdom.
So says Sivananda 

SECRET OF LOVE
Subtle and profound is the path of love. 
It is like the edge of a sharp razor. 
But the true lover treads it easily. 
His grace renders his path smooth. 
There is no asking or bargaining there, 
It is all sacrifice and self­-surrender. 
It is the out­pouring of the heart's love 
At the lotus feet of the Lord. 
Egoism is burnt in the fire of love, 
Desires are destroyed in the flame of love. 
Two have become one now. 
The lover plunges himself 
In the ocean of divine love, 
He immerses himself 
In the sea of divine joy. 
He offers his all in the Lord's service, 
His tan (body), man (mind), dhan (wealth) ­ 
This is the secret of this love.
So says Sivananda.