Wednesday, February 20, 2019

21 February

Epistle of Swami Sivananda - 2

Serve untiringly. Serve selflessly. Pray devotedly. Live truthfully. You will soon enter the kingdom of God.

Remain cheerful. Do japa whole heartedly. Rejoice heartily. You will attain the state of blessedness.

Reflect ceaselessly. Meditate intensely. Realise perfectly. Rest peacefully.

- - -

Think rightly. Act righteously. Meditate regularly. You will attain eternal bliss.

Aspire fervently. Pray sincerely. Introspect seriously. Reflect vigorously. You will enjoy supreme peace.

Speak sweetly. Speak softly. Speak lovingly. Speak truthfully. You will attain unalloyed felicity.

- - -

Never leave your sadhana (spiritual practice), your meditation, even for a day. Constant practice and eternal vigilance are indispensable till God-realisation is attained.

As long as you do not realise the truth, practise self-control and meditation.

Conscious attempts to unite oneself with God is called spiritual sadhana.

- - -

Subjugate the senses. Slay this egoism. Curb the mind and enter the illimitable domain of immortal bliss.

Om Krishna.

- - -

Faith creates, faith heals, faith works wonders, faith moves mountains.

Faith is the secret light for finding God. Faith makes the weak strong and the timid brave. 

Faith makes the impossible possible.

Therefore, have unflinching, perfect faith in the Lord.

- - -

Please remember always that renunciation is the essence of spirituality and the secret of Self-realisation. Renunciation is getting rid of egoism, desires and cravings.

Renunciation is the only way to perfection and bliss eternal. Renunciation leads to complete unification with the Supreme Being.

Renounce and be free.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

20 February

Epistle of Swami Sivananda - 1

What is divine life? To shed the animal in man and to sublimate the human in him to the divine; to express the sublimation in his daily life, in his hourly life, in thought, word and deed. That is divine life.

- - -

To pray, to do japa (repetition of God's name), to sing His glory, to do kirtan (chanting), to meditate on the Lord, is divine life.

- - -

Treat all kinds of work, domestic, official, etc., as service of God. Surrender all your actions and their fruits to the Lord. Give up agency. Feel you are an instrument in the hands of the Lord. 

Actions will not bind you. Your heart will be purified. The grace and light of God will descend on you.

This is the way to spiritualise all your actions.

See God in all beings and things. See the world as a manifestation of God. It is not necessary to abandon the world in order to have a vision of God, because the world itself is a manifestation of God.

- - -

Listen! Wake up now. Develop dispassion. Do sadhana (spiritual practice). Beware of the senses. Become desireless.

Understand life. Live divinely. Seek good company. Fear not. Waste not time. Depend on God.

Spiritual discipline is the key to God-realisation. Discipline the body and the senses and the mind.

May you attain God-realisation now and here.

- - -

Be regular in keeping your spiritual diary. Spiritual progress will be greatly quickened. Kindly be regular in sending me a copy of your diary at the end of each month for review and further instructions. I am immensely pleased to note your regularity in sadhana.

Go to bed early (10 p.m.) and get up early (4 a.m.). The early morning hours are most favourable for meditation.

- - -

Understand life's supreme purpose. Seek the eternal. Realise the underlying essence.
Have intense thirst for liberation. Die to live. Discipline the mind. Have self-control.

Learn to be wise. Make the best use of this human birth. Realise the oneness of existence.

Monday, February 18, 2019

19 February

Renounce

Go wherever you like. Go to Kashmir, to Darjeeling, to Vienna or the Alps, you will not find any real rest.

The charming scenery may soothe the retina for a few seconds but raga (attraction), dvesha (aversion), jealousy, passion and greed are everywhere. You will find the same earth, the same sky, the same air, the same water everywhere. You carry the same mind with you everywhere. Imagination and change of place have deceived many people. Be contented. Live wherever you like - but discipline the mind and the senses ceaselessly. Meditate on the inner Self (antar-atman) ceaselessly. Here you will find everlasting peace. The mind will stop deceiving you now.

If you do not have sustained vairagya (dispassion), you will find no improvement or progress in spirituality. Vows, austerities, energy 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, deceiving others, in selfish activities and in gaining money. How do you expect any spiritual good?

How do you expect 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 is there pleasure in this world? If there is pleasure, why do young educated men retire to the forests? If there is pain, why do young men run after wealth, position and women?

Ah! 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 satsang (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.

Renounce this world. Renounce the desire for moksha (liberation). Renounce renunciation itself. Then you will become that.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

18 February

Guide to Sadhakas

Be prepared to suffer any amount of pain. Have a set of maxims with you always to induce vairagya (dispassion). Treat sensual enjoyment as poison, as vomited food, as dung or urine. They cannot give you satisfaction. Preserve your virya (vital energy) carefully. Sleep always separately. Revere ladies as the Mother divine. Root out the sex idea. Prostrate before all. See God in every face, in everything.

Take to sankirtan (chanting), satsang (holy company), prayer when the mind is overpowered by lower instincts. Face obstacles coolly and boldly. Care not about criticism when you are in the right path. Yield not to flattery. Respect even rogues and scoundrels - serve them. Admit your faults plainly. Take care of your health - do not neglect daily asana and other yoga exercises. Be active and nimble always.

Develop your heart by giving. Be extra ordinarily charitable - give more than one's expectations. Desires multiply miseries. Develop contentment. Control the senses one by one. Develop brahmakara vritti ("I am Brahman" idea) by repeated thinking. Have a check over all your thoughts keep them pure and sublime. Do not lose your temper when anyone insults you or taunts or rebukes you. It is a mere variety of sounds; a mere play of words. Rest your mind in God. Live in the truth. Be up and doing in the path of perfection.

Have a definite aim in your life and proceed towards it cautiously. The benefits of mauna (silence) are incalculable. Never give up this practice. There are four important means for passion to enter the mind   sound, touch, sight and thought. Be vigilant! Have intimate connection with none but God. Mix little with others. Be moderate in all things   extremes are always dangerous.

Every day have self-analysis and introspection. Know the extent of your growth. Give up curiosities in the spiritual path. Conserve your energy and concentrate. Think little of the food, body, relatives. Think more of the Atman. You must realise God in this very birth itself.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

17 February

Life and Death

Death is only a process by which life is continued. Death is not annihilation of the self. Hence do not be afraid of death. Death is for the better; it is a blessing. Therefore grieve not. Life is impossible without death. Death is just another aspect of life. Until the proper time comes, one's death does not take place, however serious the disease or accident may seem. When the right time comes, then one can die by the edge of a straw!

Life is a lightning flash of breath. Time is but a thunder clap of death. The doctrine of reincarnation is indeed a great solace to humanity in so far as it shows a way out from eternal damnation in hell.

When the lust for life ceases, no further rebirth will take place. One power works through all hands, sees through all eyes and hears through all ears. All humanity is one in substance. The same flesh and the same blood form the body of an American, an Englishman, an African and an Indian. The instincts and longings are common to all creatures. This indicates the oneness of all forms of life.

Experiments have revealed life in stone, in wood and in minerals. They have established the unity of consciousness or the unity of all life. Prana (energy) is the driving power of the world. Force is energy. Spiritual force is the saving power. It is the greatest of all forces. It can control all physical and mental forces.

Physical science is objective and hence cannot lead to absolute truth. There is a soul behind mind and nature and will. Soul is the divine essence. The conception of the unity of God is the pivot around which all other doctrines revolve. No religion, no nation, no scheme or reform, nor plan for the future of the world, will endure if it is not based on genuine faith in God. We all belong to one and the same family, to one and the same house, that of the Supreme Lord   the creator, the nourisher and the sustainer.

- - -

When you look at a tree or a shrub, a Sikh or a Muslim, endeavour to behold, behind the veil of form, the real hidden consciousness. If you do this for some time, you will feel inexpressible joy. All hatred will cease. You will develop cosmic love, or unity of consciousness. This will be a magnanimous experience.

Friday, February 15, 2019

16 February

Birth and Death

Birth and death, bondage and freedom, pleasure and pain, gain and loss   all are mental creations. Transcend the pairs of opposites. You were never born, you will never die. Thou art the immortal Self always, O Prem. Thou art ever free from the three periods of time. It is the physical body that goes and comes. The Self is all full, all pervading, infinite and partless.

Recognise, O Prem, that you are the living truth. Realise that you are always inseparable from the one essence that is the substratum of all these illusory names and forms. Get yourself firmly established in Brahman. Nothing can disturb you now. You have become invulnerable. Feel this through intuition when you enter into deep samadhi (the supreme silence), my child.

The god of death will tremble before you now. By your command the sun shines, the fire burns and the wind blows. Thou art beyond time, space and causation. Just as the clouds hide the sun, so also the darkness of ignorance, the clouds of the vasanas (mental conditioning) and egoism, are hiding the jnana surya (sun of wisdom) that is ever shining in the chambers of your heart.

Through meditation and attainment of self-knowledge (atma jnana) you will dispel the dark clouds of ignorance. Now you will shine in Brahmic splendour and glory. Proclaim this truth everywhere.

You must not be afraid of maya (illusion) now. She is under your perfect control. Stand firm like yonder rock. Be adamantine. Now move about in the world like a lion. Now go and lift up the young struggling souls out of the mire of samsara (worldly life).

Disseminate knowledge of the self. Love all. Be kind to all. Expand thy heart. Have space in thy heart for all, even for the man who is trying to poison you.


- - -

Do not come under the influence of sudden impulses. Do not be carried away by the force of emotions, no matter how noble they may be. Be ever vigilant. Be ever diligent. Be not troubled. Be not anxious. Be not idle. Wait coolly. You are bound to succeed. Develop courage by feeling you are the Atman. Deny the "I am the body" idea. Practise meditation. All difficulties will come to an end. You will enjoy unalloyed bliss.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

15 February

Essentials Are the Same

The essentials or fundamentals of all religions are the same. Only non-essentials differ. 'The Noble Eightfold Path' corresponds to 'The Sermon on the Mount' of Lord Jesus, and to the practice of sadachara (right conduct) of the Hindus. Every religion shows the correct path to God-realisation.

Every religion emphatically declares: "One can attain eternal bliss, immortality (God-realisation). To do this one must speak the truth, observe purity or self-restraint, love others, and practise concentration and meditation."

An intolerant man cannot attain God-realisation. As his intellect becomes clouded on account of intolerance, he cannot grasp the truth. All prophets are the messengers of God. They are great yogis who have divine intuitive perception of God. Their words are infallible and sacred.

Had it not been for these prophets and their writings, there would be no hope for the salvation and betterment of man. Each prophet helped mankind by the dissemination of knowledge and the founding of the religion which would be most suited to the people amongst whom they flourished. Glory to these prophets and their writings. May their blessings be upon you all!

Beloved Friends! Behold the unity or oneness of all religions. He who knows the truth, who has grasped the essence of all religions, will never again enter into heated debates.

Realise your identity and intimate relationship with all beings   with ants and dogs, with elephants and tigers, with Muslims and Jews, with Hindus and Christians. There is only a degree of difference in manifestation or expression. All forms belong to God or Saguna Brahman.

May you all live happily, with one heart! May you all understand the essential unity of all religions! May the blessings of all the founders of all the religions be upon you! May you all attain God-realisation in this very life!


Om Peace! Om Peace! Om Peace!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

14 February

What is Religion?

Religion is the very foundation of civilisation in all its aspects. It is an applied science that takes man to his highest goal. Religion comprises of non-injury, self-control and austerity.

Religion tries to bring you to God and to make you divine. Its purpose is to release the ultimate values of life   the transcendental   truth, beauty, goodness and love.

Religion is a dynamic force. It is both the science and the art of life. Religion is not merely life transcending, it is life transforming. It is a process of purification and transformation.

Know thyself and be free. Religion teaches tolerance and peace. Religion is essentially an eternal going out in search of completeness, fullness, and wholesomeness.

Believe in the existence of God and life hereafter. Believe in right conduct, unconditional surrender to God, meditation and union with God. These are all the essentials of religion. The union of the individual soul with the divine soul, the lover with the beloved   this is true religion.

Religion lays down the laws of life. Religion teaches us how to live a divine life. Man cannot progress spiritually without religion, just as a tree cannot grow without manure and water. Religion is the support that helps us to climb the steep and narrow ladder of emancipation. It is the most important factor that helps the earnest student to understand the principles of oneness   the oneness of life and universal love.

We can attain eternal bliss, immortality and everlasting peace by attaining God-realisation. All religions admit this, unanimously. This is essential to all religions.

To realise God, one should develop universal love; one should have ethical perfection, self-restraint, the spirit of self-sacrifice, good conduct, devotion to saints and to God. One should study the holy scriptures and have perfect faith in the existence of God, in the scriptures and in the words of the guru. All religions admit this unanimously. This is essential to all religions.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

13 February

Who is God?

God is the source of all light. God is the source of everything. He upholds the earth and the heavens. 

God is spirit. God is love. God is the source of all. God is the destroyer of ignorance. God is beyond all understanding.

God is the remover of all calamities. God is the granter of all prosperity. To the unenlightened man who depends on his senses for all final judgments, God remains unknown and therefore non-existent.

God is the one source of every action and every movement. God is the sustainer of all, the giver of all good and the bestower of all blessings. God is the eternal amongst fleeting things. He is the one in the midst of many. He is absolute consciousness.

God is the fulfiller of the desires of every man. The Lord is all effulgence, divine, the fulfiller of desires and the granter of insight and intuition.

Who is God? God is God. He who is universal consciousness, who is eternal, who himself witnesses all that passes in every heart, who exists immutably throughout the universe and who is ever free, independent and immortal is God.

Where is God? In his own glory. Seek him there. God has form and he is formless too. The Lord reveals himself even in a single leaf, in a blade of grass, in a drop of water.

God reveals himself only to the pure, the humble and the simple. He is the first and the last, the manifest, and the hidden. God cannot be defined. He has to be felt, seen, realised and lived in.

Religion is the link between God and man. Every religion establishes a relation between man and God. Religion should give shelter even to the worst type of sinner. It must be perfectly tolerant, broad minded and catholic.

The essence of religion is love. There is only one religion and that is the religion of love divine, which transcends all creeds and all scriptures. Behold the one essence in all. Love all.

Monday, February 11, 2019

12 February

See Good in All Healing Agents

Brahman or the eternal is infinite. His expressions are also infinite. Allopathy, homeopathy, hydropathy, chromopathy, electropathy, naturopathy, ayurveda, unani - all are his manifestations. All these systems differ. Temperaments also are different, so are natures. Therefore different systems of treatment suit people of different natures.

It is only the prejudiced man who says, "Oh, allopathy is useless   homeopathy is the best system". Or, "Nature cure is good and ayurveda is bad". For some people ayurvedic medicines are good, for some unani medicines are good, and so on. 

Sun's rays, water, herbs, green leaves, steam, mud   all are medicines. They are all products of nature. Only the names are different. The very fact that different systems exist shows that there is something good in each.

Even atoms, molecules and corpuscles have their loves and hates, likes and dislikes, attractions and repulsions, affinities and non-affinities. Everybody has his own whims and fancies, his own eccentricities.

A naturopath hates and condemns an allopath. An allopath dislikes naturopathy. But a large hearted doctor, a man with equal vision and tolerance, who has practical knowledge of vedanta, can find good in every system. He can appreciate the beauty of variety of divine expression. He can behold unity in diversity and thus use every system to the best advantage.

Every system has its own advantage and bright side. Every system has come from the one divine source. Do not fight with one another. Do not try to prove the superiority of your system.

Take the good in everything. Be tolerant. Become wise and happy. Lead a healthy life. Attain God-realisation through the instrument of the body   the healthy, strong body.

- - -

If you have a powerful will and a strong power of endurance, then you will not feel pain. By constant thinking of disease, pain and trouble, you augment the suffering. Pain is in the mind. Atman is full of bliss.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

11 February

Secret of Living

Disease is not a condition that ought to frighten you. It is not brought about by agencies outside yourself. Disease is the result of the kickings of life. Health alone exists. It is life alone that makes a man live. Disease is only a sign of health. It is the reaction of life to the entry of foreign matter into the system.

Life's cleansing process is called disease. There is only one disease and that is dis-ease, or no ease. This means it is the struggle of life to get rid of foreign matter. This disease ought not to be suppressed with toxic drugs. Leave nature to get rid of it in her own way.

The first and foremost aid is fasting. Digestion of food is one of the greatest charges on the vital economy. If you put food into the stomach during disease, the vital power   which is in the process of cleansing the system of foreign matter   is diverted from its function and is made to digest the food! 

The only result is a worsening of the condition.

Food does not maintain life. Life eats the food and produces the energy necessary for its digestion and elimination. That is all. Life lives by itself. Food is necessary only for life to build and repair the body.

Satvic (pure) food such as fruits, vegetables, whole cereals, nuts, green leafy vegetables and milk, nourishes the body and helps life. It does not need to be eaten with appetisers, which act as aeroplanes to carry the food to the stomach, since such food is not demanded by the life-fire within.

This life fire is God Himself. Man should wait for the appearance of this God within and only then offer Him some food. But nowadays people mistake the cravings of the palate for hunger. Perhaps hunger is a joy they have never experienced.

Real hunger, as it is in the form of the Lord Himself, is indescribable in its nature, even as God Himself is. To know this one has to experience it. One cannot be told by another.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

10 February

Way to Radiant Health

Health is joy. Health is wealth. Health is the elixir of life. Without health life becomes a burden. 

Nature tries to keep us healthy but we bring on sickness by continuous violation of the laws of nature. Natural laws are relentless. There is no mercy.

In the animal kingdom there is seldom any sickness because animals do not violate the laws of nature. Before the age of machinery, man's life was more natural. Persons of the past generations were much stronger and healthier.

Life in the twentieth century is becoming more and more artificial. Hence there is much deterioration in health and strength. In spite of the innumerable doctors and the latest medical discoveries our health is still deteriorating.

"A sound mind in a healthy body", as the saying goes. The mind controls the body, so try to keep your mind as cheerful as possible, under all circumstances. A strong mind wards off ill health and it also helps us to preserve good health.

Run in the open air. Wear simple, light clothing. Take only simple, light, nourishing food. Do not go to doctors. Endeavour to qualify yourself as your own doctor. Take lots of exercise. Take sun baths and cold baths. Inhale ozone.

Observe moderation in food, drink and copulation. Lead a pious life. Develop right thinking, right feeling, right speaking, right action, right belief, right knowledge, right conduct. Do not employ servants. Rely on yourself in all things.

If you want radiant health, return to nature. Then you will have a blooming face and a charming personality. Avail yourself of all the healing agencies in nature. Avail yourself of the healing properties of the sun, the water, the air, the earth, fasting, herbal plants and so on.

Observe the laws of nature in all things. Eat, drink, sleep, think, conduct yourself in the way laid down by the ancient sages.

Friday, February 8, 2019

9 February

The Temple of God

This mysterious human body, the temple of God, the nine gated city of Brahman, is a marvellous palace for the immortal indweller, or soul. The body is a product of the prarabdha karma (the karma that determines this present life for this individual soul). It belongs to the jiva (individual soul) and the virat (the physical world) also. The sum total of all physical bodies is virat purusha (the deity presiding over the universe).

The body is the most marvellous and delicate machine in the world. It is a highly complex mechanism. Even the most eminent doctors in the world have not yet completely understood its structure and working. One virulent microbe can destroy it in an instant. The body is surrounded on all sides by enemies   and yet man lives. This is a very great mystery. This is due to the grace of the Lord. The force of prarabdha protects and nourishes it.

A spermatozoan, which is a millionth part of a drop, and an ovum, joined together, give rise to the formation of this body. What a great mystery. That subtle essence, which is the source for this, that which sustains these, is thy own self. That is truth. That is soul. Thou art That.

Realise this and free yourself from the cage of bone and flesh. The growth of the body, with all its limbs, organs, etc., from this tiny speck of sperm, proclaims the omnipotence of the Lord.

- - -

God is that wonderful architect who has built this wonderful body palace. The architect of this marvellous body has shown the greatest skill. He is the architect of all architects. The arches of buildings are nothing when compared to the arches of the body, which are a few fragile bones, joined together to form the arch of the foot, which supports the weight of the body. One tiny nerve moves the muscles of the face. The face then expresses the emotions of the mind   what a grand marvel! Look at that delicate organ of the eye. One small aperture which allows a mountain to enter! This greatest architect is the Lord who dwells in the chamber of your heart. Glory to him. Prostrations to this great architect.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

8 February

A Saint

God dwells in those who have no lust, anger, pride, arrogance, delusion, greed, hatred and deceit. A sage realises his unity, his spiritual oneness with others. He sees their suffering and out of compassion, devotion and love, he stays on the earth plane   to serve and to suffer for all creatures   until they become purified and attain illumination.

He is a saint who has conquered the senses, who is endowed with righteous conduct, who speaks sweet words even to those who are crooked by nature, and whose heart is always softened by tender feelings for others. He is a saint who has shaken off all attachments, who is never swayed by lust, greed or anger, who is constantly established in righteousness, who is wise, humble, modest and forgiving. 

A saint is compassionate   he is free from violence, greed, hypocrisy and duplicity. He regards earthly riches as poison. A saint is forbearing. He has a generous heart and possesses great fortitude and discrimination. A saint is free from egoism and selfishness   he is liberated.

A saint is the one to be worshipped. He is a paramahamsa. He has shaken off everything. Each saint proclaims the same truth but his teachings are adapted to suit the requirements of his time and area of influence.

He who looks upon everything with an equal eye, who is perfectly calm and serene, who does not covet anything, and who is the friend of all - he is a real saint.

- - -

Sri Vasishta tells Rama: "An acharya's (preceptor's) grace, if it becomes en rapport with his disciple, will of itself, in a mysterious manner, enable the disciple to perceive directly the Brahmic principle within, though it is impossible for the guru to point to Brahman as 'this' or 'that', or for the disciple to understand how it is, prior to his direct perception. Each should cognise it within himself, through his own jnana (intuition) and with the aid of the acharya (preceptor) and an understanding of the true significance of the many scriptures. It is indeed very rare to attain that state without the help of a guru and spiritual book. Should all three combine   that is, an acharya, jnana shastra (scripture dealing with self-knowledge) and a true disciple, then it is certain that the seat beyond all bondage will be attained."

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

7 February

How to Eradicate Hatred

No samadhi (union with God) is possible when hatred, prejudice, jealousy, anger, lust, etc., exist in the mind. Remove these defects by love, endurance, contemplation of the infinite, vision of the self, good company, and enquiry. Love is the greatest power on earth. Compassion is the greatest sadhana (spiritual practice).

Karuna (compassion) is to relieve pain where it is and not to give pain to others. He who gives charity to a poor man, gives it to himself. For there is nothing else save his own Self in the universe. 

He who hurts, hates, abuses, another man   he hurts, hates and abuses himself only. When thoughts of hatred and revenge arise in the mind, try to control the physical body and speech first. Do not utter evil and harsh words. Do not censure. Do not injure others. If you can do this for several months, the thoughts of revenge, having no scope for manifesting outside, will die of themselves.

Constant vichara (enquiry) and development of the opposite virtues of prema, daya, karuna (that is - love, compassion and sympathy or commiseration will eradicate these two violent passions.) Serve the man you hate. Share with him what you have. Give him something to eat. Prostrate to him sincerely. Your hatred will subside. Your hatred will leave you. And he will begin to love you. Gifts and kind words tame the untamed man.

Serve all. Serve the Lord in all. Respect all. Have equal-vision. All kinds of hatred will disappear. 

The sadhana (practice) of equal vision is extremely difficult but strenuous efforts will bring about success eventually. Aspirants who wish to abolish the dividing line should develop love for a very dear person first. After that he should develop love for an indifferent person. Then after that, he should develop love for an enemy.

In doing this, in each compartment, they should make the heart tender and loving. And this should immediately afterwards induce meditation.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

6 February

Love All

Love is happiness. Love is life. Love is energy. Love is immortality. Love is wisdom. Love never fails. 

Love is success. Love is victory. Love is eternal sunshine. Love alone creates and unites.
Love is the moving principle of all forms of fellowship. When you realise your oneness with a man, you can really love him whole-heartedly. The world can only be united for common welfare through unselfish, pure, divine love.

Love dissolves hatred and animosity. Love promotes understanding. To love all as one loves oneself is the succinct statement of dharma. Universal love is the mark of saintliness. Without love there is no life.

God resides in all creatures. God is immanent in all forms. Therefore love all. Be compassionate to all creatures. This gives the greatest joy to God. Love all in the one love divine. Modern civilisation is complicated and artificial. Simple folk live in a world of love and peace. Let no one hate another or harm another.

Look not at the defects of your neighbours. Look at your own shortcomings and imperfections. Love one another. When these principles govern an individual's life, then man is happy, peaceful and joyful.

Love is the basis of all real and permanent happiness, of all real and permanent peace. Love is the supreme gift; it is the greatest thing in the world. Love never fails. Perfect love casts out fear. Love lends impetus and incentive to life. It makes one daring, courageous and strong.

Love makes one generous, unselfish, patient, merciful and forgiving. Love discloses the sublimest meaning and purpose of life. Love makes one have good will towards his neighbour, loyalty towards his friends, and it gives compassion for the enemy.
To love is to suffer. Love and suffering always go together.

Monday, February 4, 2019

5 February

True Love of God

My child, you have been extremely fortunate in getting this human birth. Have intense devotion to God and commune with Him. Kindle the light divine within your heart and maintain its flame of devotion through your constant remembrance of the Lord. It is true devotion that counts; it does not matter which deity you worship.

The marks of devotion are love, faith, confidence, humility, service. God accepts all forms of prayer and worship through which man expresses his love and devotion for Him. Bhakti or devotion is the natural affinity between the devotee and the Lord.

As iron that is touched by the touch stone turns to gold at once, as the water of the roadway mixed with that of the Ganges becomes pure at once, even so, the heart of the devotee, though greatly soiled by many great sins, becomes pure if attached with devotion to the Lord.

To remove the afflictions and sorrows of the devotees gives the greatest happiness to the Lord. No evil can touch the devotee whose devotion is sincere, and whose faith is genuine. Put your little seed of faith in your heart, water it with love and devotion. Then the great tree of bhava samadhi (the culmination of devotion) will grow.

- - -

The company of devotees is a priceless asset. It invigorates the mind. It is only through God's grace that man feels the desire to be in the company of saints. A devotee does every action for the sake of the Lord. He hates none, he loves God only. He who is internally and externally pure, compassionate, truthful, forgiving, free from likes and dislikes, and is given to investigating the truth about God, is a real devotee.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

4 February

Man of Virtue

He who is virtuous, who is kind on all occasions, and who is filled with compassion, obtains great contentment. He ascends the superior path of virtue. Harmlessness, forgiveness, peacefulness, contentment, agreeable speech, control of passions and excitements, the service of virtuous people, and actions in accordance with the injunctions of the sacred scriptures, constitute the superior path of virtue. He who daily worships the virtuous, can reach the eternal abode of wisdom.

He who has no liking for what is agreeable and no dislike for what is disagreeable, who practises self-restraint, who regards pleasure and pain as same, who injures no creatures and destroys no life - he is considered good and virtuous.

He who is devoted to the well-being of all, who sacrifices his very life for others, who has truth for his refuge, who gives but does not take, who has mercy, who adores his elders, gods and guests, to whom good conduct is always dear, and who has no fear of the next world   he is regarded as good and perfect.

Such a promoter of virtue cannot be seduced from the path of virtue. He is fearless, tranquil, serene, full of mercy. He is adored by all the good people wherever they are. Such a man is not attached to worldly objects. Fear, lust, anger, restlessness and sorrow do not live in him.

Such a promoter of virtue never deviates from righteousness. He is not attached to anything. He is free from pride. He regards all impartially. Gain and loss, happiness and misery, the agreeable and the disagreeable, life and death, all are held in equal estimation by him. O man, always respect such a good and virtuous person. Serve him. Seek instruction from him.

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Can you serve like Florence Nightingale? Can you obey like a soldier on the battlefield? Can you be generous like Ranti Deva? Can you spend sleepless nights in devotion to the Lord, like Mira? Can you do tapas (penance) like Dhruva? Can you stick to your convictions like Mansoor and Shams Tabriez? Can you be fearless like the sage who met Alexander the Great on the banks of the river Indus?

If you can say, 'Yes', to all these questions, you will have Self-realisation this very second. You will have contact with avataras (divine incarnations) and full blown yogis, this very second. First deserve and then desire.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

3 February

An Exercise for Developing Virtue

Examine your character. Pick up the defects you find in it, and find their opposites. Let us say that you suffer from irritability. The opposite of irritability is patience. Try to develop this virtue by meditating on the abstract virtue of patience.

Regularly, every morning, at 4 a.m. sit down in the lotus posture. Sit in a solitary place for half an hour   think of patience. Think of its values, think of its practice under provocation.

Thus, take one point each day. Think about that point steadily, without letting the mind wander. Think of yourself as perfectly patient, a model of patience. End the meditation with a vow that "This patience, which is my true self, I will feel and show, today and every day". 

For a few days there may be no perceptible change. You may still show and feel irritability. But go on practising. You will see that soon, thoughts of patience will arise simultaneously with the irritable impulse and the irritation will be checked.

Go on practising. The irritable impulses will grow more and more feeble, until you find that irritability has disappeared and patience has become your normal attitude towards annoyance.

In this manner you may develop various other virtues, such as sympathy, self-restraint, purity, humility, benevolence, nobility and generosity.

Concentration of the mind on God, after its purification, gives real happiness and knowledge. You are born for this purpose only. Dive deep. The divine flame, the Light of lights is burning there. Merge within.

- - -

You have passed through millions of wombs, 
You had countless births, 
You had countless fathers and mothers, 
You had numberless brothers and sisters, millions of wives and children, 
And yet your desires have not perished. 
You live to eat, drink and make merry. 
But birth is painful, death is painful, all is painful. 
Listen to me brother - kill passion. 
Enthrone Lord Rama in your heart
Then sound the trumpet of triumph.
     —So Says Sivananda.

Friday, February 1, 2019

2 February

Garden of Virtue

Forgiveness is the greatest virtue which shines forth in all its splendour in the devotee. Courage and patience are the twin qualities of a real aspirant. Humility is the highest of all virtues. God helps you only when you feel truly humble. Humility is not cowardice. It is meekness and not weakness. Humility and meekness are indeed spiritual powers. Make patience thy strength. Assert it. Feel it. Will it.

Non-attachment comes very slowly. It gives a new sense of freedom and peace. Anger is the worst fire. Lust is an all-consuming fire. Both will scorch you. Extinguish these fires through love and purity. Meditate. Think: "I am the fearless, immortal soul". Then fear will vanish.

True love is the greatest power on earth. It rules without a sword and binds without a cord. To love God is to love all. To love all is to love God. Spread the message of love. Practise cosmic love. Love all. Embrace all. Be kind to all. This will remove jealousy, hatred, etc. To love all is the secret of Self-realisation and liberation.

The four fundamental virtues are patience, adaptability, kind speech and pure conduct. Justice, temperance, courage and wisdom are also great virtues. Virtue is the golden key which opens the gate to the abode of eternal bliss.

Cultivate divine virtues such as purity, courage, humility, self-restraint, non-violence truth, mercy, faith, etc.  Be virtuous. You are on the way to wisdom. In the garden of your heart plant the lily of love, the rose of purity, the champaka of courage, the mandara of humility and the lady of the night of compassion.

- - -

Virtue is knowledge. Virtue is excellence. Knowledge is the ripe fruit of the fine flower of virtue. Think well. All saints teach that you must do good in thought and word and deed. This is the principle of morality.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

1 February

Good and Evil

The universe contains two dynamic forces. They are good and evil. Good and evil are twin forces, born of the same father. They are called dvandvas or the pairs of opposites. They have no independent existence. Evil exists to glorify good. This is its only raison d'ĂȘtre. Evil is negative good!

Evil is a destructive force. Good is a constructive force. There is neither absolute good nor absolute evil in this universe. Evil has no independent existence apart from good. Wherever there is good, there is evil. You cannot expect absolute good in this relative world.

You can find absolute good in Brahman alone. From the viewpoint of the basic reality which lies at the back of evil and good, evil and good dwindle into an airy nothing. Evil and good are only mental creations. Transcend good and evil and reach the abode of supreme peace and immortality.

For a jnani, who has knowledge of the self, there is neither good nor bad. The 'why' of evil can only be understood when you get atma jnana (self-knowledge). Do not rack your brain now. This is a transcendental mystery which only Brahman knows. Finite intellect that is conditioned in time, space and causation cannot find out a solution to this problem of evil. When you are fully established in your self, then evil and good both vanish altogether.

Transmute evil into good by changing your mental attitude, or angle of vision. Out of evil good often cometh. Destruction is necessary for regeneration, for renovation and for reconstruction.

Tamas (inertia) is evil. Satva (purity) is good. So convert tamas into satva. Then evil is transmuted into good. Selfishness is evil and selflessness is good. Lust is evil, brahmacharya (celibacy) is good. Greed is evil. Generosity, integrity, disinterestedness   all these are good. Pride is evil and humility is good.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

31 January

Right and Wrong

'Right' and 'wrong' are relative terms. They vary according to time, special circumstances, varna (caste), and ashrama (stage of life). Morality is a changing and relative term. The passionate man who molests his wife frequently to gratify his own passion is more immoral than man who visits the house of a woman of ill-fame once in six months. The man who dwells constantly on immoral thoughts is the most immoral man of all.

Do you clearly note the subtle difference? To kill an enemy is right for a king, but a brahmana (priest) or a sanyasin (monk) should not kill anybody, even to protect himself in times of danger. He should practise strict forbearance and forgiveness. To speak an untruth to save the life of a mahatma (holy one), or one's guru who has been unjustly charged by an unjust officer of state, is right. In this particular case untruth has become truth. To speak a truth which brings harm to many is untruth only. To kill a robber who murders wayfarers is ahimsa only. Himsa (violence) becomes ahimsa (non-violence) under certain circumstances.

Even great sages are bewildered sometimes in finding out what is right and what is wrong. That is why Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita: "What is action and what is inaction? Even the wise are herein perplexed. Therefore I will declare to thee the action by knowing which thou shalt be liberated from evil. It is needful to discriminate action, to discriminate unlawful action and to discriminate inaction. Mysterious is the path of action. He who seeth inaction in action, and action in inaction, he is wise among men. He is harmonious even while performing all actions." (Chapter IV, Verse 16-18).

Rishi Kanada, author of Vaishesika Philosophy, says in the opening verse: "That which brings supreme bliss and exaltation is right. That which elevates and brings you nearer to God, is right. That which brings you down and takes you away from God, is wrong. That which is done in strict accordance with the injunctions of the scriptures is right. That which is done against the injunctions of the scriptures is wrong. To work in accordance with divine will is right. To work in opposition to the divine will is wrong." This is one way of defining right and wrong.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

30 January

Dharma

Dharma or righteousness is the gateway to God-vision. Righteousness is a means of climbing the difficult steps of the spiritual path. Dharma presupposes the knowledge of the truth. Divine life is dharma.

A perfectly moral and ethical life is dharma. Dharma is that which leads to the bliss of nirvana (the immortal being). Dharma is the way in which you have to divert your spiritual life to the supreme spiritual end.

Dharma controls the pulse of a nation and of the world. Dharma is what sustains a being in his evolution. Dharma or righteousness is religion in the highest sense of the term.

Dharma is the eternal law on which the universe rests, and by which the universe is governed. Welfare of mankind ultimately rests upon dharma. Righteousness is the highest wealth. It is the rule of life. In righteousness everything is established or rooted.

The main feature of dharma lies in refraining from doing unto others what one would not do unto oneself. Compassion, liberality, truthfulness, purity, self-restraint and tolerance are the ingredients of dharma. Tread the path of dharma and you will get happiness along with freedom. You can secure the real joy and glory of life.

That which helps you in your spiritual evolution is right. That which obstructs and hinders your spiritual evolution is wrong. That which leads to unity of Self is right. That which leads to separation is wrong. To do good to others, to serve and to help others, to give joy to others, is right. To give pain to others, to injure others, is wrong.

Do not do any act which injures another and makes you feel ashamed to do it. Do as you would be done by. Do unto others as you wish others to do unto you. This is the secret of dharma. This is the secret essence of karma yoga. This will lead you to the attainment of eternal bliss.

Monday, January 28, 2019

29 January

The Law of Being

Dharma (righteousness) is what a man ought to be. It is the law that man must follow for his own spiritual evolution. Sanatana Dharma - is the law of being and it is the religion of humanity. It is not a special privilege of the Hindu only.

Righteousness opens the way for God-realisation. The treasure of dharma is accumulated by plain living and high thinking.

Truth, austerity, knowledge, sacrifice and consecration are the pillars on which dharma rests. These are the great, eternal laws that uphold the earth.

There are ten attributes of dharma. They are: patience or courage, forgiveness, self-restraint, non-stealing, purity, control of the senses, thoughtfulness, knowledge, truthfulness and angerlessness.

Dharma assumes the shape of the moral law that differentiates between good and evil, that impels right action and not wrong action. The rightness or wrongness depends only on what will help or hinder a man's spiritual progress. Human existence has four values. They are: dharma - the ethical value of life; artha - the material value; kama - the vital value; moksha - the infinite value.

No one can lead a life of adharma (unrighteousness) and be happy. This is because happiness is the nature of the Atman, and dharma too is an expression of the law of the self.

That which elevates you is virtue (dharma) and that which pulls you down is vice (adharma) or sin. That which makes you worldly is sin. That which helps you to attain Godhead is virtue. That which hurls you into the dark abyss of ignorance is sin and that which leads you to illumination is virtue.

That which causes intoxication is sin and that which purifies the heart is virtue. That which gives you peace, joy, satisfaction, exhilaration, expansion of the heart is virtue and that which brings restlessness, dissatisfaction, depression and contraction is vice.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

28 January

Destroy Jealousy

There are three ways to destroy jealousy. One is by thinking - "The whole world, with all its enjoyments, wealth and luxury is illusory. What do I possibly gain by being jealous of another?" When anyone thinks seriously about this, several times a day, the vritti (thought or feeling) of jealousy slowly dies. This vritti of jealousy is deep-rooted. It is the root of all miseries.

The second way is to have the feeling of universal brotherhood. You are not jealous of your intimate friend or loving brother - because you have become one with them, and so you feel that all that belongs to them is yours. Do this with everybody. Love everybody as your own brother or friend. Then you will have no jealousy.

The third way to destroy jealousy is a developed stage. Just repeat the formula, "I am the all" - "I am the all-in-all". Think that there is nothing but Atman, your own Self, everywhere. Jealousy will slowly vanish. You will experience infinite joy.

Man sees his own reflection in all people but foolishly imagines that they are different from him and he fights with them. He fights on account of feelings of jealousy and hatred.

Spiritual discernment is what is most needed. Where there is duality, by virtue of ignorance, one sees all things as distinct from the Self, the Atman. When everything is seen as the Self, then there is not even an atom other than Self.  Duality is the root of misery. Realise non-dual consciousness and you will attain bliss everlasting.

Your attitude to the universe should be the same as your attitude to yourself. Man is a member of a great fraternity. Woman is the counterpart of man. Without self-control the new world order can have no lasting strength of character. He who is pure and self-controlled is always peaceful. His life is always successful.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

27 January

Anger

When you become angry, leave the place immediately. Take a long walk; stay away for a half hour. Repeat the sacred mantra OM SHANTI one hundred and eight times. You will find that your anger subsides. Another way is to count from one to thirty - your anger will subside. When anger tries to show itself, observe silence. Never utter a harsh word. Try to nip it off before it emerges from the subconscious mind.

You will have to be alert. It tries to come out so suddenly. But, before anger manifests in the mind, there is agitation in the mind. If you strive to subdue anger, then hatred subsides - but even then there may be slight impatience lingering there. Eschew this slight disturbance also. For a man who is leading a divine life, this is a serious drawback. Irritability is a weakness of the mind. Remove it by practising tolerance, mercy and love. Calmness is a direct means to the realisation of Brahman.

Keep the mind always in balance, in tune. Close the eyes. Dive deep into the divine source. Feel God's presence. Repeat His name and remember Him at all times. You will gain immense spiritual strength. Meditate early in the morning, before you mix with people. Then rise above the thousand and one things which might irritate you in your daily life. Then only you will live in harmony and concord. Then only you will turn out wonderful work.

- - -

Man wastes much energy by becoming angry, very often over little things. The whole nervous system is shattered and agitated. If this anger is controlled, by brahmacharya (purity), forbearance, love and vichara (enquiry), a man can move the whole world. Anger manifests so suddenly that it is difficult to check it. The impulses it generates are so powerful that he is swayed by them. Control anger. Control the mind.