Wednesday, September 19, 2018

20 September

The Liberated Sage

If the vasanas (tendencies) and the attachment to objects of the world vanish entirely, and if you are in that immovable state, then you have become a jivanmukta (liberated sage). You will abide in your own self. You will rest in that non­dual, supreme seat. The jnana-vision will arise in you, the light of wisdom will shine unobscured, like the sun in the absence of clouds. You will never be attracted to any worldly objects now. You will be absolutely freed from delusion and sorrow.

You will actually feel that the Self alone pervades and permeates everywhere in the world. You will shine with Brahmic effulgence. You will possess equal­-vision and a balanced mind. You will be free from longing for sensual objects because the mind will always remain cool with Brahmic bliss. You will be bathed in the cool ambrosial nectar that dribbles from the contented and quiet mind.

Advanced aspirants should stop all sorts of work and study of religious books, if they want to enter into samadhi quickly. They should observe mouna and remain in a solitary place on the banks of the Ganges, the Yamuna or any other suitable river. They should live on one and a half pints of milk alone, or they should live on milk and fruits alone. They should plunge themselves into samadhi in right earnest.

They should reduce sleep to two or three hours. They should start the practice at the beginning of winter. There is real rest in meditation ­ it is far superior to that rest obtained in deep sleep. Sound sleep for an hour or even half an hour will suffice the man who meditates regularly.

- - -

Samadhi, moksha (liberation), turiya (transcendental state), are synonymous terms. Samadhi means super-consciousness. In samadhi the meditator is conscious of his own self. Moksha is freedom from birth and death. It is the attainment of the state of 'paramananda' (supreme bliss). It is freedom from all sorts of pains. Turiya transcends the three states ­ the waking state, the dream state and the deep sleep state ­ and so it is called the fourth state.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

19 September

Samadhi - True and Fake

Do not mistake deep sleep for samadhi. The glory of the state of turiya is ineffable. Its splendour is indescribable. If the body is light, if the mind is clear, if there is cheerfulness, know that you are meditating. If the body is heavy, the mind dull, know that you are sleeping while meditating.

There is always a complaint among aspirants: "I have been meditating for the last twelve years and I have not made any improvement, any realisation. What is the matter?" They have not plunged themselves in deep meditation in the innermost recesses of their hearts. They have not properly saturated the mind with thoughts of God. They have not done regular, systematic sadhana (practice). They have not disciplined the indriyas (senses) properly. They have not collected all the out­going rays of the mind. They have not made the self-determination that: "I will realise God this very second". They have not given the whole mind to God. They have not kept up an increasing flow of divine consciousness.

Even if you do not feel any pulse in the sadhaka (seeker) when he is in meditation, even if the breathing stops, do not think that he is in nirvikalpa samadhi (unconditioned state). If he is, he will return with super­sensual divine knowledge ­ then only can it be said that he has attained real samadhi. Breathing and pulse may stop from various other causes as well.

The sadhaka must have perfect awareness in meditation. There is not much gain if he remains in mere jada (inert) state, even though he is insensible to external sounds.

O aspirant, struggle hard. Make sincere efforts. Meditate regularly and systematically. Enough of heated discussions and heated debates. Retire into a solitary room. Close your eyes. Have deep silent meditation. Feel God's presence. Repeat His name -­ Om -­ with fervour, joy and love. Fill your heart with prem. Destroy thoughts, whims, fancies and desires when they arise on the surface of the mind.

Withdraw the wandering mind. Fix it on the Lord. Now meditation will become deep and intense. Do not open your eyes. Do not stir from your seat. Merge in him. Dive deep in the recesses of your heart. Plunge into the shining Atman. Drink the nectar of immortality. Enjoy the silence. Peace. Silence. Glory.

Monday, September 17, 2018

18 September

Samadhi

Still the waves of the mind and hold it steady in nirvikalpa samadhi (unconditioned state of super-consciousness). This needs constant, protracted practice of meditation. There may be breaks in the meditation in the beginning, but practice makes you perfect. Later you will be able to remain absorbed in meditation for long periods. You can merge yourself in samadhi, with a mind like a flame protected from wind.

Before getting sanguine success in meditation get victory over the pose first. Sit upon your seat with the steadiness of a rock ­ for two or three hours. If the body is steady then the mind will also be steady.

Do not mistake a little concentration or one-­pointedness of mind for samadhi. Simply because you have risen a little above body consciousness, on account of a little concentration, do not think that you have attained samadhi.

Separate the mind from the body and unite it with the Supreme Self. This is known as samadhi or the super-conscious state. This will give liberation or freedom from births and deaths. Samadhi is obtained by practice for a long time and with zeal and enthusiasm.

Samadhi is the highest goal which one can attain through meditation. It is not a little thing that can be attained through a little practice. To attain samadhi one should observe strict brahmacharya (celibacy), dietetic restrictions and one must have purity of heart.

If these are not attained there is no possibility of attaining samadhi. These are preliminary qualifications and should be well grasped. Then only one should try to enter the portals of samadhi. None can enter there unless he is a great devotee of the Lord.

- - -

Moksha (liberation) is loss of one's personality in the divine. It is deliverance from the delusion of personality. Just as the river becomes the ocean itself, the individual soul becomes the mighty supreme soul, with higher consciousness, transcendental bliss and knowledge. 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

17 September

Yoga of Meditation

O beloved Ram! You are within a strong fortress now. A spiritual fortress where no temptation can influence you. You are absolutely safe. Now you can do vigorous sadhana (spiritual practice) without fear. Kill the foe ­ the mind. Wear the spiritual laurels of peace, equal­-vision and contentment.

You are already shining with Brahmic Bliss. The all-merciful Lord has given you all sorts of comforts, good health and a guru to guide you. What more do you want? Grow. Evolve. Realise the truth and proclaim it everywhere.

Be silent. Know thyself. Know that. Melt the mind in that. Truth is quite clear and simple. Solitude and intense meditation are two important requisites for self-­realisation. If sadhana is interrupted, make up the deficiency later.

Practise self-restraint at all times because, all of a sudden, the senses may suddenly become turbulent. This is why Krishna says: "O son of Kunti, the excited senses of even a wise man, though he be striving, impetuously carry away his mind."

The wandering habit of the mind must be controlled by making it stick to one place, by one method of sadhana, by one guru and by one form of yoga. A rolling stone gathers no moss. When you take up a book for study, you must finish it before you take up another one. When you take up any work, you must devote your whole-­hearted attention towards it and finish it before you take up any other work.

Do not cause pain or suffering to any living being, whether through greed, selfishness, irritability or annoyance. Give up anger and ill-will. Give up the spirit of fighting and heated debates. Do not argue. If you quarrel with somebody you cannot meditate for three or four days, because your balance of mind is upset. Thus much energy is wasted in useless channels. Also the blood becomes hot; the nerves are shattered. Keep a serene mind always. Meditation proceeds from a serene mind.

An aspirant must be sensitive and yet possess a body and nerves completely under control. The greater the sensitivity becomes, the more difficult the task. Noises which pass unnoticed by an ordinary person are torture to one who is very sensitive. Develop the inner power of the self. Centralisation of ideas will stop the outgoing habit of the mind.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

16 September

On Seclusion

As the will power in many persons has become very weak, as they had no religious discipline or training in schools and colleges when they were young, and as they are under the sway of materialistic influences, it is necessary for them to go in for seclusion for some weeks, months or years, to practise rigorous japa (repetition of God's name) and undisturbed meditation.

Calm the bubbling emotions, sentiments, instincts and impulses through silent meditation. You can give a new orientation to your feelings by systematic practice. You can entirely transmute your worldly nature into divine nature. You can exercise supreme control over the nerve centres, the nerves, the muscles, the five koshas (sheaths), emotions, impulses and instincts through meditation.

Those who have fixed up their sons in life, who have retired from service and those who have no ties in the world can remain in seclusion for four or five years and practise intense meditation and tapas (austerity) for purification and self-realisation. When they have attained self-knowledge, they should come out and share their knowledge and bliss with others. They should disseminate knowledge of the Self through lectures, conversations, discourses or heart-to-heart talks.

A householder (grhasta) with yogic tendencies and spiritual inclinations can practise meditation in a solitary and quiet room in his own house - or in any solitary place on the banks of any holy river, during holidays or throughout the year if he is a whole-­time aspirant or if he is retired from service.

The aspirant should be free from hope, desire and greed. Then only will he have a steady mind. Hope, desire and greed make the mind ever restless and turbulent; they are the enemies of peace and self-knowledge. He should not have many possessions. He can keep only those articles which are absolutely necessary for the maintenance of his body. If there are many possessions the mind will be ever thinking of the articles and attempting to protect them. Those who want quick progress in meditation during seclusion should not keep any connection with the world by way of correspondence, reading newspapers or thinking of the family members and possessions. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

15 September

The Glimpse and the Goal

When you get a flash of illumination, do not be frightened. It will be a new experience of immense joy. Do not turn back. Do not give up meditation. Do not stop there. You will have to advance still further. This is only a glimpse of truth. This is not the whole experience. This is not the highest realisation. This is only a new platform. Try to ascend further. Reach the bhuma (the infinite). Now alone you are proof against all temptation. You will drink deep the nectar of immortality. This is the acme or final state. You can take eternal rest now. You need not meditate any further. This is the final goal.

You have within yourself tremendous powers and latent faculties of which you have really never had any conception. You must awaken these dormant powers and faculties by the practice of meditation and yoga. You must develop your will and control your senses and mind. You must purify yourself and practise regular meditation, then only can you become a superman or God-man.

Every human being has within himself various potentialities and capacities. He is a magazine of power and knowledge. As he evolves, he unfolds new powers, new faculties, new qualities. Now he can change his environment and influence others. He can subdue others' minds. He can conquer internal and external nature. He can enter into super-conscious state.

- - -

The wise cut asunder the knot of egoism by the sharp sword of constant meditation. Then dawns supreme knowledge of the Self or full illumination or self-­realisation. The liberated sage has neither doubt nor delusion. All bonds of karma (action) are rent asunder. This is the master-key to open the realms of eternal bliss. It may be tiring in the beginning, because the mind will be running away from the point (lakshya) every now and then. But after some time it will be focused in the centre. You will be immersed in divine bliss. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

14 September

Instructions in Meditation

Just as the light is burning within the hurricane lamp, so also the divine flame is burning from time immemorial in the lamp of your heart. Close your eyes. Merge yourself within the divine flame. Plunge deep into the chambers of your heart. Meditate on this divine flame and become one with the flame of God.

If the wick within the lamp is small, the light will also be small. If the wick is big, the light also will be powerful. Similarly if the jiva (individual soul) is pure, if he practises meditation, the manifestation of the Self will be powerful. He will radiate a big light. Likewise the purer the soul, the greater the expression.

If the magnet is powerful, it will influence the iron filings even when they are placed at a distance. Even so, if the yogi is an advanced person, he will have greater influence over the persons with whom he comes in contact. He can exert his influence on persons even when they live in distant places.

During meditation note how long you can shut out all worldly thoughts. Watch the mind. Try to increase the period. Fill the mind with thoughts of God again and again.

In meditation do not strain the eyes. Do not strain the brain. Do not struggle or wrestle with the mind. Relax. Gently allow divine thoughts to flow. Steadily think of lakshya (point of meditation). Do not voluntarily and violently drive away the intruding thoughts. Have sublime (satvic) thoughts. The vicious thoughts will vanish by themselves.

If there is much strain in your meditation, reduce the duration of each sitting for a few days. Those who meditate for four or five hours at a stretch can have two meditative poses. Keep the spine erect.

You must daily increase your vairagya (dispassion) and meditation on satvic virtues such as patience, perseverance, mercy, love and forgiveness. Vairagya and good qualities help meditation. Meditation increases the satvic qualities. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

13 September

Philosophy of Om

The sound produced in the flowing of the river Ganges, the sound that is heard at a distance, the sound that proceeds from the bustle of the market, that is produced by the fly­wheel when it is set in motion, that is caused when it rains, or there is a conflagration, or thunder -­ it is all Om only. Split any word and you will find Om there. Om is all-pervading, like akasha (space), like Brahman, the Absolute.

Om is the symbol of Brahman. It is the word of power. It is the sacred monosyllable. It is the essence of the vedas. It is the boat to take you across to the other shore of fearlessness and immortality.

The word Om is the most appropriate name of Brahman. By its application, by its chanting, he becomes propitiated. Om is emblematic of Brahman, as images are of material objects. When you hear the sound 'tree', you at once understand it has a root, a stem, branches, leaves, flowers, fruits, etc. Similarly too, when you hear the shabda (sound) Om it denotes Satchidananda Brahman -­ existence absolute, knowledge absolute, bliss absolute.

Shabda (word) and artha (meaning) are inseparable. All collections of words (speech), terminate in one sound ­ Om. All objects are denoted by sounds, and all sounds merge in Om. The whole universe comes out of Om and is absorbed into Om. Hence Om is very important.

Om should be worshiped. Om should be chanted loudly. Om should be repeated mentally, with deep meaning and feeling. Om should be meditated upon.

Watch the breath. When you inhale, the sound so is produced. When you exhale, the sound ham is produced. You are naturally uttering soham ­ I am he ­ or ­ he am I ­ with every breath. The breath reminds you that you are in essence identical with the Supreme Self.

In soham the 's' and the 'h' are consonants. If you delete them you get 'oam' or om. 
Consonants depend on vowels for their existence. 'S' and 'h' represent names and forms, or this universe which is phenomenal or relative or empirical or dependent existence. Om is the only solid reality. Om is the soul of your breath.

As soon as you sit for meditation, chant Om loudly - three, six or twelve times. This drives away worldly thoughts from the mind and removes vikshep (tossing of the mind). Later you may take to the mental repetition of Om.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

12 September

Sivananda Gita - 5 (...continued)

I constantly meditate on the following:

Prajnanam Brahman, aham brahmasmi, tat tvam asi, ayam atma brahman.
Satyam jnanam anantam brahman, santam sivam advaitam.
Aham atma gudakesa.
Aham atma nirvikarah sarvavyapi svabhavatah.                                      
Brahma satyam jagan mitya jivo brahmaiva na parah.                                         
Akarta, abhokta, asanga, sakshi, ajo nityah sasvatoyam purano.                                        
Jyotisamapi tat jyotih.

To raise the fallen, to lead the blind, to share what I have with others, to bring solace to the afflicted, to cheer up the suffering are my ideals.

To have perfect faith in God, to love my neighbour as my own self, to love God with all my heart and soul, to protect cows, animals, women and children are my aims.

My watchword is love. My goal is sahaja samadhi avasta or the natural, continuous, super-conscious state.

SONG OF JOY

Om Om Om Om - Om Om Om Om
Om Om Om Om Om - Om Om Om Om Om Om Om Om Om Om
Om Om Om Om Om - Om Om Om Om Om Om Om.

Within you is hidden God
Within you is immortal soul
Kill this little 'I'
Die to live
Lead the divine life.

Within you is the fountain of joy
Within you is the ocean of bliss.
Rest peacefully, in your own atma
And drink the nectar of immortality.

Monday, September 10, 2018

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 self­delight and self­knowledge. 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.

11 September

Sivananda Gita - 4 (...continued)

I respect all saints and prophets of all religions. I respect all religions, all cults, all faiths and all creeds.

I serve all, love all, mix with all and see the Lord in all. I stick to my promises. I serve the poor. This is my delight. I do mental prostrations to asses, dogs, trees, bricks, stones and all creatures. I respect elders and sadhus. I obey. I please all through sincere selfless service.

I attend on guests very carefully. I run hither and thither to serve them. I shampoo the legs of sick persons and sadhus.

I give very prompt reply to all my letters. I do several things at a time. I write with electric speed.

I spend everything. I do lot of charity. I do not keep anything. I take immense delight in feeding the poor and my students. I try to be a mother to them.

I talk to others on things which I have myself practised. I look within always, introspect, analyse, and examine. I hold the trisul, spiritual diary, daily routine and resolve.

I ever served my masters with great sincerity and intense faith and devotion. I learnt many useful lessons for life. I developed many virtues.

I wandered without food during my parivrajak life. I slept on the roadside at night without clothing during winter. I ate dried bread with water.

I stick tenaciously to my principles and ideals. I do not argue much. I live in silence.

I pray and do kirtan for the peace of the whole world, for the health and peace of sick people, and for the peace of the departed souls and the earth bound spirits also.

I take a dip in the Ganges in the name of all those who are longing for a bath in the Ganges.

I sing the names of all saints of all religions in the bhajan hall. I observe All-Saints day and All-Souls day.

Om. Om. Om.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

10 September

Sivananda Gita - 3 (...continued)

I love nature, music, art, poetry, philosophy, beauty, goodness, solitude, meditation, yoga and vedanta.

I am humble and simple. I am frank and straightforward. I am perfectly tolerant and catholic. 
I am merciful and sympathetic. I have spontaneous and unrestrained generosity.

I am bold and cheerful. I am patient. I can bear insult and injury. I am forgiving. I am free from vindictive nature. I return good for evil. I serve that man who has injured me, with joy.

I love Ganga and the Himalayas. Ganga is my mother divine. Himalayas is my father divine. They inspire and guide me. I take bath in Ganga. I swim in Ganga. I adore Ganga. I feed the fishes of Ganga.

I wave light to Mother Ganges. I pray to Ganga. I do salutations to Ganga. I sing the glory of Ganga. I write about the grandeur and glory of Ganga.

Ganga has nourished me. Ganga has comforted me. Ganga has taught me the truth of the Upanishads. Glory to Ganga!

My daily routine is like that of Lord Buddha. I always remain in the room. I do japa, kirtan and meditation. I study sacred books. I write. I come out of the room for a short time for work, service and interview.

I talk a little. I think much. I meditate much. I try to do much and serve much.

I do not waste even a single minute. I ever keep myself fully occupied. I lead a well­-regulated life. I perform worship of Atman at all times. I work for the good of others. Om. Om. Om.

Gita, Upanishads, Bhagavat, Yoga Vasishta, Avadhootha Gita, Vivekachudamani are my constant companions.

I am a strange mixture of service, devotion, yoga and wisdom. I am a follower of Sri Shankara. I am a Keval-Advaita vedantin. I am not at all a dry lip­vedantin. I am a practical Vedantin.

I practise and advocate the yoga of synthesis. I practise ahimsa, satyam and brahmacharya. Glory to Sri Shankara!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

9 September


Sivananda Gita - 2 (...continued)

I am 59 (1946) now. I ever feel I am quite young. I am full of vigour, vim and vitality. I am ever cheerful. I sing, dance, run, and jump in joy. I am robust and strong. I can digest any kind of food.

I continuously work, read and write. I never go to hill stations or seaside for a holiday. Change of work gives rest. Meditation gives abundant rest.

Work gives me delight. Service gives me happiness. Writing bestows joy. Meditation energises and invigorates me. Kirtan vivifies me.

"Aham Brahmasmi, Sivoham, Soham, Satchidananda Swaroopoham" ­ This is my favourite formula for vedantic meditation.

Hare Rama hare Rama Rama Rama hare hare
Hare Krishna hare Krishna Krishna Krishna hare hare. - This mahamantra kirtan is my favourite kirtan.

At the present moment I am the richest man in the whole world. My heart is full. Further, all the wealth of the Lord belongs to me now. Hence I am King of kings, Emperor of emperors, Shah of shahs, Maharaja of maharajas. I take pity on the mundane kings. My dominion is limitless.

My wealth is inexhaustible.

My joy is inexpressible. My treasure is immeasurable. I attained this through sanyasa, renunciation, untiring selfless service, japa, kirtan and meditation.

I am tall. My height is 6 feet. I have a sinewy frame. I have symmetrical limbs. I was a first class gymnast.

I fast on Ekadasi. I do not take even a drop of water. I take milk and fruits on Sundays. I do not take salt on Sundays.

I lead a simple, natural life. There is a fountain of youth in me. I beam with joy. I observe fasting, resting, airing, bathing, breathing, exercising, sun­bathing and enjoy freedom, power, beauty, courage, poise and health.

Om. Om. Om.

Friday, September 7, 2018

8 September

Sivananda Gita - 1

I was born of P.S. Vengu Aiyar and Parvathiammal on 8th September 1887 at Pattamadai, Tirunelvely District, S. India, in the line of Appayya Dixit. My star is Bharani.

I was extremely mischievous in my boyhood. I studied in the S.P.G. College, Trichy. I was a Doctor in Malaya States for 10 years. I took Sanyasa in 1924 in Rishikesh.

I did tapas and meditation for 15 years. I went on lecturing tours for 10 years. I founded the Divine Life Society in 1936 and the All­World Religions Federation in 1945.

I am childlike in my svabhava. So I mix with all. I become one with all.

I am ever happy and joyful and make others also happy and joyful.

I am full of educative humour. I radiate joy through humour.

I respect all. I do salutations to all first.

I always speak sweetly. I walk quickly.

I do japa and meditation while walking and while at work also. I am ever hardworking. I have intense application to work. I never leave a work till it is finished. I never procrastinate any work. I finish it then and there. I am very quick in doing things.

I cannot suppress the spirit of service in me. I cannot live without service. I take immense delight in service. Service has elevated me. Service has purified me.

I know well how to extract work from others. I extract work through kindness, service, respect and love.

I am very regular in doing asanas and exercises. I even now do sirshasan, sarvangasan and other asanas. I do pranayama also regularly. These give me wonderful health and energy. I run round the bhajan hall daily.

I cannot deliver fiery lectures sitting on a special seat. Special seat pricks me. I stand up or throw the seat away and then begin to speak. I never sat on a special seat when I presided over spiritual conferences.

I rejoice in giving. I always give.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

7 September

Importance of Om

Brahman is the highest of all. Om is his name. Om is also your real name. It covers the threefold experiences of man. From Om this sense world has been projected. The world exists in Om and dissolves in Om.

Om is the greatest of all mantras (mystic formula). Om bestows direct liberation. All mantras begin with Om. Om is the life, the soul, of all mantras. Every Upanishad begins with Om. Oblations that are offered to the various gods are all preceded by Om.

All languages, all sounds, come out of Om. The essence of the four vedas is Om. A-U-M covers the whole range of sound vibrations. 'A' starts from the root of the tongue, 'U' proceeds from the middle and 'M' comes from the end, by closing the lips.

Om is the source of all religions and scriptures. This sacred monosyllable is the means of liberation from the bonds of matter. It leads one, stage by stage, to the highest bliss. It is fit for the lowest as well as for the highest and most advanced intellect. It is fit for the Brahmachari (celibate-­student) as well as the sanyasin (monk). It is fit for any condition.

Om is your birthright. It is the common heritage of all. It is the word of power. It fills the devotee with spiritual strength, vigour and energy when chanted with harmony and rhythm. It brings inspiration and intuition.

It elevates the mind. It is a spiritual food and tonic. It is full of divine potency. Live in Om. Meditate on Om. Inhale Om. Exhale Om. Rest peacefully in Om. Take shelter in Om. May that Om guide you.

Om stands for all phenomenal worlds. From Om this sense universe has been projected. Om has been formed by adding the letters A­U­M; 'A' represents the physical world; 'U' represents the mental and the astral planes, the world of spirits, all heavens; and 'M' represents the deep sleep state and, even in the waking state, all that is unknown, beyond reach of the intellect. Om therefore represents all. It is the basis of your life, thought and intelligence. All words that denote objects are centred in Om ­ hence the whole world has come from Om, rests in Om and dissolves in Om.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

6 September

Exercises in Meditation

Keep a picture of Lord Krishna with a flute in his hands. Sit in your meditative pose and gently concentrate on this picture until you shed tears. Think of his feet, adorned with anklets. Think of his yellow silken garment. Think of the ornaments around his neck. Think of the long garland of beautiful flowers of various colours. Think of his ear­rings and the crown set with precious jewels he wears on his head. Think of the long dark hair, the sparkling eyes and the tilaka (mark) on the forehead. Think of the magnetic aura around his head. Think of his arms and hands, adorned with armlets and bracelets. Think of the flute, ready in his hands, waiting for him to play it. Then close your eyes and visualise this picture mentally. Repeat this process again and again.

This is one kind of meditation and is suitable for beginners. Sit in padmasana in your meditation room. Close the eyes. Meditate on the effulgence in the sun, or the splendour in the moon, or the glory of the stars.

- - - - -

There is a living universal power that underlies all these names and forms. Meditate on this power, which is formless. This will terminate in the realisation of the Absolute, nirguna (attributeless), nirakara (formless) consciousness eventually.

Sit in your meditative pose. Close your eyes. Imagine that there is a supreme, infinite effulgence hidden behind all these names and forms, tantamount to the effulgence of millions of suns put together. This is also a form of nirguna meditation.

Concentrate and meditate on the expansive blue sky. By the previous methods of concentration the mind will cease thinking of finite forms. It will slowly begin to melt in the ocean of peace as it is deprived of its contents. Thus the mind will become subtler and subtler.

Concentrate on the picture of Om in front of you. Do this with open eyes until the tears flow profusely. Associate the ideas of eternity, infinity, immortality, etc., with Om.

The humming of bees, the sweet notes of the nightingale and all other sounds emanate from Om only. Om is the essence of all the vedas (scriptures).

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

5 September

Listen to the Mystic Sound

Sit in padma asana or siddha asana. Practise yoni mudra by closing the ears with the thumbs. Hear the internal sound through the right ear. The sound which you will hear will make you deaf to all external sounds. Having overcome all obstacles you will enter the turiya state within fifteen days. In the beginning you may hear many loud sounds. Then try to hear more and more subtle sounds.

The mind having first concentrated itself on any one sound, fixes firmly to that and is absorbed in it. The mind becomes insensible to external impressions and becomes one with the sound. Being indifferent to all objects and having controlled the passions, you should, by continual practice, concentrate your mind upon the sound which destroys the mind.

Having abandoned all thoughts and being freed from all actions, you should always concentrate your whole attention on the sound and then the chitta (mind) becomes absorbed in it. Just as the bee, drinking the honey alone, does not care for the odour, so the chitta, which is always absorbed in sound does not long for sensual objects - it is bound by the sweet nada (sound) and has abandoned its flitting nature.

The serpent chitta, through listening to the nada, is entirely absorbed in it and, becoming unconscious of everything, concentrates itself on the sound. The sound serves the purpose of a sharp goad to control the maddened elephant chitta, which roves in the pleasure garden of the sensual objects.

The sound proceeding from the pranava (Om) is Brahman. It is of the nature of effulgence. It is the seat of Vishnu. The mind exists so long as there is sound but, with its cessation, there is that state termed turiya. Being freed from all states and all thoughts, you will remain like one dead. The body is like a log. It does not feel heat or cold, joy or sorrow.

When spiritual sight is fixed - without any object to be seen, when prana (life-force) becomes still - without any effort, when the chitta becomes firm - without any support, you become Brahman. When manas (mind) is destroyed, when virtues and sins are burned away, you shine as the effulgent, immaculate, eternal, stainless Brahman.

Monday, September 3, 2018

4 September

Stages in the Practice of Meditation

In the beginning you can meditate twice daily, from 4 to 6 in the morning and 7 to 8 at night. As you advance in your practices, you can increase the duration of each sitting, little by little, using your common sense and discretion, and also have a third sitting either in the morning between 10 and 11 or in the evening between 4 and 5.

In the Yoga Vasishta you will find: "The right course to be adopted by one who is in his novitiate is this: Two parts of the mind must be filled with the objects of enjoyment, one part with philosophy and the remaining part with devotion to the teacher. Having advanced a little, he should fill one part of the mind with the objects of enjoyment, two parts with devotion to the teacher and the remaining one part with getting an insight into the meaning of philosophy. When one has attained proficiency, he should every day fill two parts with meditation and the other two with devoted service to the guru. This will eventually lead you on to meditation for twenty-four hours."

Sitting in your favourite meditative pose and keeping the head and trunk erect, close your eyes and gently concentrate on either the tip of the nose, space between the two eyebrows, the heart lotus or the crown of the head. When once you have selected one centre of concentration, stick to it till the last with leech-like tenacity.

Meditation is of two kinds, namely, saguna (with gunas or qualities) and nirguna (without gunas or qualities). Meditation on Lord Krishna, Lord Siva, Lord Rama or Lord Jesus is saguna meditation. It is meditation with form and attributes. The name of the Lord is also simultaneously repeated. This is the method of the devotees. Meditation on the reality of the Self is nirguna meditation. This is the method of the vedantins. Meditation on Om, Soham, Sivoham, Aham Brahma Asmi and Tat Twam Asi is nirguna meditation.

If you want to keep the mind charged with the fire of Brahmic wisdom, you must always keep it in contact with the Brahmic fire of knowledge, through constant and intense meditation.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

3 September

Self-Effort and Grace in Meditation

You need a calm, clear, pure, subtle, steady, sharp one-pointed buddhi (intellect) to understand the reality of Brahman. Only then is realisation possible. Only a trained mind which utterly controls the body can enquire and meditate as long as life remains, never losing sight of the object of its search and never letting it be obscured by any terrestrial temptations.

Energy is wasted in useless idle talk and gossiping, planning and unnecessary worrying. Conserve energy by getting rid of these three defects and utilise it in meditation. Then you can do wonderful meditation. He who says and imagines that he practises deep meditation daily, when he has not removed the evil traits of the mind, deceives himself first and then others. He is a first class hypocrite.

If you strain yourself in meditation and go beyond your capacity, then laziness and inactive nature will supervene. Meditation should come naturally on account of serenity of mind, induced by practice of sama, dama, uparati and pratyahara (control of mind and senses, non-pursuit of pleasure and introversion of attention). Atman (Self) is the fountain of energy. Thinking on Atman or the source of energy, also is a dynamic method of augmenting energy, strength and power. Divine energy flows freely from the feet of the Lord to the different systems of the aspirant, and new nerve currents, new grooves, new cells are formed. The mind and nervous system are remodeled and you will develop a new heart.

Conserve energy by talking little, observing mouna (silence), controlling anger, observing brahmacharya (celibacy), practising pranayama (yoga breathing) and controlling irrelevant and non-essential thoughts. Meditate and behold the imperishable Atman. Rest yourself firmly in the self. Nothing can hurt you now. You can become invincible.

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In contemplation, you are in spiritual contact with unchanging light; you are cleansed of all impurities. If you have an open heart, devotedly lifted up to God, the light of his purity and love will consume all your shortcomings. This purifying process leads to a deeper insight into truth. This is the action of the grace of the Lord upon the soul in meditation. In this inflowing grace there arises that light of the mind into which God is sending the ray of his unclouded splendour.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

2 September

The Secret of Meditation

Meditation is the road to the attainment of salvation (moksha). Meditation kills all pains, suffering the three kinds of tapas (fevers), and the five kleshas (sorrows). Meditation gives the vision of unity. Meditation produces a sense of oneness. Meditation is the aeroplane that helps the aspirant to soar high in the realms of eternal bliss and everlasting peace.

Meditation is the mysterious ladder that connects heaven and earth and takes the aspirant to the immortal abode of Brahman. Meditation is the continuous flow of one thought of God or Atman, like the continuous flow of oil from one vessel to another.

When you sit for meditation, all sorts of worldly thoughts will crop up in your mind; this will disturb the meditation. You will be astonished. Old thoughts, old memories of past enjoyments will bubble up and force the mind to wander in all directions. The trap-door of the vast magazine of thoughts and memories, within the subconscious mind, is opened up and these thoughts gush out in a continuous stream. The more you attempt to still them, the more they will bubble up.

Do not be discouraged. Never despair. Through regular and constant meditation you will purify the subconscious mind and thus control the thoughts and memories. The fire of meditation will burn all thoughts. Be sure of this.

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Meditation on the immortal Self will act like dynamite. It will blow up all thoughts and memories in the subconscious mind. If the thoughts trouble you much, do not suppress them by force. Be a silent witness, as in a bioscope. They will subside gradually. Then you must root them out by regular silent meditation.

The practice of meditation must be constant. Then only will one attain Self-realisation, quickly and surely. He who practises meditation, by fits and starts, for a few minutes daily, will not be able to achieve any tangible success in yoga.

In the beginning, beginners fall down from meditation into their old grooves. They must lift up their minds again and again. They will have to fix the mind on the lakshya (target). When the meditation becomes deep and steady, they eventually get established in God. Then meditation becomes sahaja - it becomes habitual.

Friday, August 31, 2018

1 September

Meditation

If you want to get rid of the pains and afflictions of this samsara (worldly life) you must practise meditation. Meditation is the pathway to divinity. It is the royal road to the kingdom of Brahman. It is a mysterious ladder which reaches from error to truth, from darkness to light, from pain to bliss, from restlessness to abiding peace, from ignorance to wisdom, from mortality to immortality. Meditation leads to knowledge of the self, to eternal peace, supreme bliss. Meditation prepares you for direct intuitive knowledge.

Truth is Brahman. Truth is self. You cannot realise the truth without reflection and meditation. Be silent. Know thyself. Melt the mind in that. Without meditation you cannot liberate yourself from the trammels of the mind and attain immortality. Tear the veils that cover the soul. Rend asunder the five sheaths that screen the Atman (Self) by constant meditation. You will find final beatitude.

Meditation is a powerful tonic. The holy vibrations penetrate all the cells of the body and cure all its diseases. The powerful soothing waves that arise during meditation exercise a benign influence over the mind and the nerves. If you meditate for half hour you will be able to engage yourself with peace and spiritual strength in the daily battle of life, for a week. You do this just through the force of this one meditation.

A yogi who meditates regularly has a magnetic, charming personality. Those who come in contact with him are much influenced by his sweet voice, his powerful speech, his lustrous eyes, his brilliant complexion, his strong healthy body, his good behaviour, his virtuous qualities and divine nature. People draw peace and joy and strength from him.

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Close your lips. Shut the doors of the senses. Meditate on Atman (Self). You will enjoy peace and bliss. The more you grow in aspiration and meditation, the more you grow God-like. For in meditation is the light of the Lord.

Meditate and charge your battery by contact with God. Dive deep in the chambers of your heart through profound and silent meditation, and bring up the pearl of truth.