Tuesday, September 30, 2014

1 October

Hari ke premi Hari Hari bolo 
Avo pyare milker gawo 
Hari charaname dhyana laghavo 
Dukhme sukhme Hari Hari bolo 
Abhiman tyago seva karo 
Narayan Narayan Narayan Narayan.

Give up brahmin, sanyas abhiman, 
Give up male-female, sex abhiman. 
Give up doctor, judge abhiman, 
Give up rajah, zamindar abhiman. 
Relinquish pundit, scientist abhiman 
Crush this professor, engineer abhiman 
Kill this collector, thasildar abhiman. 
Kill this vairagya, seva abhiman 
Kill this tyagi, kartrtva abhiman. 
(Narayan Narayan .....)

Remember always Hari Hari Hari Hari, 
Sing always Sita-Ram, Radheshyam, 
See good in every face, 
Share what you have with others. 
Develop nicely adaptability. 
Serve always with Narayana Bhav. 
Scrutinise always your inner motives 
Work without egoism, 
Cultivate the nimitta-bhav, 
Give up expectation of fruits. 
Surrender always fruits to the Lord, 
Have equal vision and balanced mind. 
Selfless work will purify your heart, 
Then you will get knowledge of self. 
(Narayan Narayan .....) 

Monday, September 29, 2014

30 September

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.
Radhe Shyama Radhe Shyama Shyama Shyama Radhe Radhe
Radhe Krishna Radhe Krishna Krishna Krishna Radhe Radhe
Gouri Sankar Gouri Sankar Sankar Sankar Gouri Gouri
Uma Sankar Uma Sankar Sankar Sankar Uma Uma.

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

Is there not a nobler mission
   than eating, drinking and sleeping?
It is difficult to get a human birth,
   therefore try your best to realise in this birth.
Fie on that wretch,
   woe to that man
Who wastes all his life
   in sensual pleasures.
Time sweeps away,
   kings and barons,

Where is Yudhishthira?      Where is Ashoka
Where is Shakespeare?     Where is Valmiki?
Where is Napoleon?          Where is Shivaji?

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

Can you expect real shanti
   if you waste your time in idle gossiping?
Can you enjoy Supreme Peace
   if you waste your time
In novels (and) newspapers?
In fights and quarrels?
In scandal, backbiting?
(Hare Rama Hare Rama…)
Am I not Thou? Art Thou not I?
   One alone is, therefore true.
When the mind melts in the silence,
   you will have Self-realisation.
What have you learnt, tell me frankly
   from the Bihar and Quetta earthquakes?
Have you got now real vairag?
   Do you practise japa and kirtan?
Here is a challenge to non-believers
   of the Hindu theory of transmigration:
Have you not heard the thrilling narratives
   of Shanti Devi, of her past life?
Can you expect real shanti if you waste your time
  in cards and cinemas (cards and smoking)?
When your throat is choked at the time of death,
   who will help you for your salvation?
(Hare Rama Hare Rama…)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

29 September

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

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

Saturday, September 27, 2014

28 September

O Lord, if thou art the sun, 
I am thy ray. 
If thou art the ocean, 
I am the drop. 
If thou art the lotus, 
I am the petal. 
If thou art the tree, 
I am the leaf. 
There is no other Lord like thee. 
Thou art the ocean of compassion. 
I have no qualification 
And yet Thou hast blessed me. 
By singing Thy name I have broken all fetters, 
I have cut Yama's noose. 
Sivananda sings to obtain Thy grace.

O Lord, Thou alone art my mind and senses.
Thou art my tongue, ears and eyes.
Thou art my prana, (the vital breath).
Thou alone dwellest in my heart.
Thou alone abideth in my breath.
Thou fillest my whole body.
Thou art the life within me.
Thou art the prompter of my thoughts.
Thou art the inner ruler.
Thou movest all the internal organs.
Thou illumineth my intellect.
Thou art my all in all.
Thou art my very soul.
Thou art the soul of my soul.
I have none but Thee.
Thou alone art my real friend.
Thou art my guru, my father and my mother.
So says Sivananda.
- - -
Thou art my sole refuge,
I long for Thy grace alone.
Thou art the knower and the teacher,
Thou art the knowledge that knows,
Thou art the ultimate truth
That is known or realised.
So says Sivananda.

Satsang Bhavan Lectures, Message 9

Satsang Bhavan Lectures of Swami Sivananda

18. Vairagya / 19. Spiritual Discipline   

Today I will talk on vairagya. Vairagya is the opposite ­of raga. Vairagya is dispassion. Vairagya is detachment.­ Vairagya is indifference to sensual enjoyment herein and hereafter. It is the second item in sadhana chatushtaya—viveka, vairagya, shadsampat and mumukshatwa.
Vairagya is born of viveka, discrimination between nitya and anitya (eternal and non-eternal), sat and asat (real and unreal), tatwa and atatwa. Viveka comes through disinterested selfless service done in several births and through puja and aradhana, and through the grace of the Lord. From viveka is born vairagya. It gives spiritual strength.  
A man of vairagya has no attraction for the world. It is like a straw. So vairagya is a supreme inexhaustible ­wealth for aspirants. Vairagya produces concentration of mind, samadhana, and generates burning mumukshatwa, strong yearning for liberation or emancipation, or release.
Raga is attachment to objects. Wherever there is a little pleasure, there is raga. Wherever there is pain, there is dislike. Like and dislike are one. Raga-dwesha is also one of the important afflictions, according to Patanjali Maharshi. The five afflictions are: avidya (ignorance), asmita (egoism), raga-dwesha (like and dislike) and abhinivesha (clinging to life). First there is ignorance, the original avidya. From this is born egoism, asmita, and from asmita is born raga-dwesha, and from raga-dwesha, abhinivesha, this clinging to this life. 
Vairagya is of different types or degrees—mridu, madhyama and teevra (mild, moderate and intense). Intense vairagya only will help the aspirant to stick to this path. If it is of a dull type like smasana vairagya or prasava vairagya, the mind will simply be waiting to get back the objects that were renounced previously, and the aspirant will get a downfall. He will not be able to climb again to the heights he formerly reached. So aspirants should be careful. Even though the vairagya is of a mild type, they should try to make it moderate and then intense. Vairagya comes through looking into the defects of sensual life. Sensual pleasure is not real happiness. It is illusory, transient, impermanent. It is mixed with pain. So again and again looking into the defects of sensual life, vairagya dawns. It should be strengthened through study of spiritual books, satsang, vichar and enquiry. 
Simply living in nudity and eating neem leaves, and drinking cow's urine does not constitute real vairagya. Vairagya should be born of discrimination, enquiry and Vichar. By these, the mind is weaned from sensual enjoyments and rendered thin like a thread—thanumanas—and then only the vairagya is lasting. Again and again you will have to make enquiry. Physical nudity and these external things will not constitute real vairagya. Real vairagya should come from enquiry, vichar. All these objects do not give us lasting happiness. They lead us into pain and sorrow. Such deep enquiry, again and again persisted in for a very long time, produces real vairagya. It is the real sadhana. It makes the mind introvert. The vairagya puts a brake to the extrovert tendency of the mind. Even if the mind runs towards objects, at once it will point out that there is pain there, that sensual enjoyment is the cause for rebirth and intense suffering. So the mind is terribly afraid, and gradually through intense practice, it is established in real, lasting, sustained, intense vairagya. 
Vairagya is of two kinds also: para vairagya and apara vairagya. Para vairagya comes after one attains self-realisation. The whole world then looks like a straw. That is intense spiritual strength. That is para vairagya. 
Without vairagya there cannot be any real spiritual progress. In vedanta it is the only vital, fundamental sadhana. If you have vairagya, all other virtues will come by themselves. Patanjili Maharashi says: abhyasavairagyabhyam tannirodhah—"The mind is controlled by meditation or sadhana and vairagya." They are the two wings of the aspirant to soar high into the realm of immortal abode. The same thing Lord Krishna also says: abhyasena tu kaunteya, vairagyena cha grihyate—"The mind is controlled by practice and viragya, dispassion, intense detachment." By vairagya, the mind is detached. He who works in a detached way, is not bound by karma. So it is aspirants' duty to cultivate this one virtue, or sadhana-anka, vairagya. 
Vairagya is, doubtless, a mental state wherein the mind does not run into sensual grooves. It moves towards atma, toward God. Queen Chudalai ruled a kingdom, and yet she had absolute para vairagya. Even amidst the temptations of the world, she had mental vairagya, through vichar and wisdom. So she was not affected in the least by the attractive objects of the world, even though she ruled a kingdom, whereas her husband, Sikhidwaja, went to the forest renouncing his kingdom, yet he was not established in vairagya. He was attached to the body, he was attached to the kamandal. A man may be attached to any one object. 
You see a vairagi. His whole body is smeared with ash, but he will fight for a rupee, if he finds you giving a rupee to another vairagi. This is his mental state. So, by external appearance you cannot tell that one has vairagya. Vairagya is a mental state. Sri Ramanuja does not belong to this extreme type of vairagya—wearing only a rope around the waist. He was amidst luxurious things, but his mind was not polluted. He had that mental state of vairagya, detachment, indifference, born of viveka. 
Lord Krishna says that He is not in favour of extreme asceticism. Karsayantah sareerastham bhootagramamachetasah, mam chaivan tasareerastham tanvidhyasuranischayan—"They torture all the elements in the body and Me also who dwell in the body." Lord Buddha also tortured his body, and later found out that there was not much spiritual progress, and then he came to the golden medium, the middle path. So we should go by the middle path always. The body is an instrument for attaining self-realisation. Especially in this kali yuga, prana lives in the bones. So you should not torture the body. Whatever is needed for the body, you should have. You should not expose the body to chill. God has given commonsense. So you should practise 'commonsense sadhana'. There is no harm in taking good, healthy, food. Every man has got a different physical constitution. Some may require nutritious food. Some strong people like bhumananda may take only kitchedi. You should use commonsense in your sadhana. If you are weak and you cannot sit for a long time in one asan, you can take a little chyavanaprash or some fruits. 
Generally aspirants say, "I have given up umbrella." "I take only one meal." Their whole sadhana is "I have given up shirt," "I have given up sweater," "I have given up shoes," "I live only on bread and dhal." Their sadhana consists in 'giving up'—give up this, give up that. Real spiritual life does not involve any giving up or taking. There is no giving up or taking. The only thing is you should not give too much leniency to the mind. If you are very hungry in the morning, take one or two iddalies and a small cup of milk. Vairagya is a mental state. But do not give leniency to the mind. It will hurl you down. Always be watchful. Be eternally vigilant.
At the present moment, there is a Swami Krishnashram in Gangotri. He is a great vairagi. For the last so many years he is living without clothing in the icy region, and he sleeps over the ice sometimes. Rao Bahadur Modi gave a very good description of him, sleeping on the ice. He found him to be a wonderful man and made him his guru. 
Avadhoot Kesavananda is another vairagi. He was living in Rishikesh. He was very much liked by Malaviaji. He always slept on grass. Malaviaji once took him to Mussorie. He refused to sleep on blanket. It was raining and Malaviaji had to bring grass for him to sleep. He was a vairagi. Vairagi is a cult. Our Ram Kumar belongs to this cult. They put ash all over the body and make the hair look golden, and they wear a very thick rope, of size used for drawing chariots. This is vairagya sampradaya. In Lakshman Jhula there is a vairagi. They do panchagni tapas. They have got a good physical body. 
There was another great vairagi, our Sendamangalam Brahmendra Swami. He lived on gomukha vritti. He used to take food left in the leaves that are thrown out by others after meals. 'Avadhootas' are naked people. They have no clothing or home. Real avadhoota is one who has shaved his mind of all vasanas. When all vasanas are destroyed, you will have manolaya. Brahmendra Swami lived a very austere life. He was Poornabodh's guru and Swami Krishnanda's guru. Once in his ashram, they prepared very good food, and Brahmendra Swami ordered the food to be given to cows. He used to make severe tests. Sankarananda is also his disciple. He had a very strong body and lived an austere life.  
Each one will have to do sadhana according to his constitution and strength. What one does may not suit another. 
Another swami with vairagya was Swami Narayana who lived in Swargashram. For some time he would take only milk, and for some time only dal. His blanket was only two layers of grass specially brought for him. He would not use blanket. The intelligent method is instead of using grass as blanket, have a small blanket. Vairagya is necessary, but too much of it will produce a dilapidated constitution. You will have no progress in sadhana. So use your commonsense and take whatever you want. This is my doctrine. Train the stomach in different ways. Lord Krishna says clearly that the food should be snigdha. You can take a little ghee or a little halva. He does not ask us to eat grass. We do not find report that Sankara lived on grass. In the next sloka Krishna says, do not take too much chillies, do not take too much salt. That means a little chilli is good for health and digestion. There are people in Ayodhya who live on chilli alone. If you eat chilli alone, you will not be able to take food for some days. I do not advise this sort of sadhana. You must train the stomach in different ways. For a week live on fruit. For a week live on halva. For a week live on kitchedy. For a week fast, live on water alone. Whatever you take, it must be digested. Thus, you will have no difficulties. Wherever you go, you will have perfect balance and your constitution can work under different climatic conditions and different kinds of food. That is called commonsense discipline. 
In our Ashram we have got vairagis. Swami Mownananda is also a vairagi. Chidananda is also a vairagi. Krishnananda is a vairagi. There is no world for him. There is no world for Swami Omkarananda. He goes to his table, studies, write articles. Hari Sharanananda, Hari Om Ananda—they are also vairagis. Venkatesananda is a vairagi. I only checked him in the beginning. He was sleeping on the floor, without clothing. I scolded him, and he came back to his senses. Our Mokshananda is also a vairagi. He never accepts even cashew nuts from me. He is a man of service—very useful man. A superman is Swami Satchidananda. He sleeps on the floor. His hands are his pillows. He takes a little milk, and a little fruits. That is all. He studies, composes books. He is rendering great service. If he wants to make his body fat, he can do it. If he takes curd and lady's finger, he can reduce the fat. If he takes milk, his whole body will be bloated. He has got his body under perfect control. He is a great vairagi. There are many other vairagis also. Vairagya is a great help to sadhana. 
How to develop vairagya? By looking into the defects of sensual life and reading vairagya books, lives of saints, Bhartrihari's Vairagya Sataka, and Vairagya Prakarana in Yoga Vasishta. These will increase your desire for liberation and your conviction in spiritual life. Sri Rama describes the disastrous effects of lust, wealth, the miseries of birth, infancy. A beautiful description is given in the Vairagya Prakarana. Everyone should read it. Everybody should study vairagya books. Advanced students should not think that they have attained self-realisation, and that they need not study these books. These books are important to neophytes, middle students and advanced students. You should study 'How to Get Vairagya' and 'Vairaga Mala'. If you are established in vairagya, the super structure of samadhi, ritambaraprajna, can be built very easily. Some of the important slokas if you can remember daily, it will be a great help to you. In Gita there are verses: anityam, asukham, dukhalayam, asaswatam. There are two hundred diseases for the eye. There are fifty thousand diseases or more for the whole body—two hundred for the eye, two hundred for the throat, and so on. In this beautiful body which we worship and adore, there are fifty thousand diseases. Sareeram vyadhi mandiram—'The body is the abode of diseases'. Anityam, asukham, dukhalayam, asaswatam, ye hi samsparsa ja bhoga, dukha yonaya eva te. In the early morning you should repeat these slokas. Then you can start your meditation. Indriyarteshu vairagyam, anahamkara eva cah, janma mrityu jara vyadi dukha doshanudarshanam—'Birth is painful. Death is painful. Old age is painful. Disease is painful'. Again and again you should meditate on these verses. If you have vairagya, your sadhana is over. Yattadagre amritamiva, pariname vishopamam. In the beginning sensual pleasures are like nectar, but in the end they are like poison. Too much sugar produces diabetes. Too much meat produces albumen in urine. Too much cinema leads to cataract, too much indulgence produces debility and impotency. 
janma dukham jara dukham, jaya dukham punah punah, 
samsarasagaram dukham, tasmat jagrata, jagrata. 
Birth is pain. Old age is pain. Wife is pain. Samsagara is pain. Samsara is an ocean of pain. Therefore, wake up, wake up. 
mata nasti, pita nasti, nasti bandhu sahodarah. 
artham nasti, griham nasti, tasmat jagrata, jagrata. 
This is a jati vada. Matri devo bhava, pitre devo bhava—is meant for those who have no vairagya. When vairagya dawns then: mata nasti, pita nasti …. yadahareva virajet, tadahareva pavrajet. The moment you get vairagya, you should renounce the world and come to Ananda Kutir before Sivaratri. 
asaya badhyate loke, karmana bahuchintaya, 
ayuksheenam na janati, tasmat, jagarat, jagrata. 
Man is tied by thousand ties, thousand desires and expectations and hopes and anxieties. But he does not know that he is advancing in age. 
'Vairagya dimdima' is a very great help to aspirants. Patanjali says: sarvam dukham vivekinah—"Everything is pain only for the wise." Even rasaswad is a hindrance. Once gets false satisfaction and stops his sadhana, thinking that he has attained self-realisation. Only in nirvikalpa samadhi there is the greatest happiness. All others are productive of pain. So let us remember all these points, cultivate para vairagya, real vairagya, born of viveka, vichar and enquiry. Otherwise, you will be half-baked aspirants. 
Vairagya does not mean that you should not wear a sweater. 'Commonsense sadhana' is very necessary. Doctors will say, "Do not take this," or "Do not take that." But if you have an inclination to take certain things, you can take them. Instincts speak aloud. They are your guide. Even doctors may say, "Do not take white pumpkin." But you will take it, because you know white pumpkin will give you strength and tushti. 
Vairagya is the only one sadhana. Not all other things. If you have vairagya, all other things will come—manonasa, tatwa jnana. 
May Lord grant you para vairagya. May you all be established in vairagya. It is the only vital, fundamental sadhana for all people to get themselves established in their own satchidananda swaroopa, whose swaroopa is vairagya, whose swaroopa is sanyaya, whose swaroopa is nivritti.
Behold, listen. Come. There is a way to the immortal abode. There is a way to the supreme happiness. There is a way to the fourth state. There is a way to the fourth dimension. Follow the way. That way is vairagya, serve, love, give, purify, meditate, realise, be kind, be compassionate.  

Today I shall talk on spiritual discipline. 
Discipline is necessary for keeping order and harmony in schools and colleges, in military departments. Discipline is necessary in all offices. Punctuality, cleanliness, obedience are some of the ingredients of discipline. Obedience is better than reverence. Obedience is better than sacrifice. 
In the spiritual path rigid discipline is essential. Then alone the different organs, mind, intellect and prana will be controlled. This will help in the attainment of God-realisation. The body must be rendered supple and must be under the control of the aspirant. If it is filled with tamas or inertia, it will become heavy, the aspirant will not be able to sit in one asana for two or three hours, but the body will be unsteady, and when the body is unsteady, the mind will be unsteady. Padmasana or any of the three asanas which are beneficial for concentration should be practises—padmasana, siddhasana, or sukhasana. One should be able to sit in one asana steadily for three hours. This will produce asana jaya, mastery of asana. When one is established in asanas, the prana also will vibrate harmoniously, and the mind also will become steady. Padma asana produces poise of mind. So, every aspirant should practise asanas, first beginning with five or ten minutes and then extending to half an hour and more, keeping the head and trunk in one straight line, steady like a statue. It is of great help to concentration.
You should practise other asanas also. Practice of bhujangasan, halasan, ardha matsendriyasan will keep spine elastic. The bones will not ossify quickly. Siras asana is good for digestion and in the practise of celibacy or brahmacharya. It supplies sufficient quantity of blood to the brains, bestows good concentration and develops the intellect. 
You should have ethical discipline—practice of ahimsa, satyam, brahmacharya (cosmic love, truthfulness and celibacy), asteya (non-stealing) and aparigraha (non-covetousness). You should lead a simple life. When there is ethical discipline, when there is ethical purity, then only one will be established in nirvikalpa samadhi. Ethical discipline is of paramount importance. It is the 'be all'. He who is established in ethical perfection will attain God-realisation very easily and quickly. The heart must be purified. In a pure heart serenity, tranquillity, tolerance, humility and divine light will descend. Ethical discipline, physical discipline, discipline of tongue, dietetic discipline, mitahara, (moderation in diet)—all of these should be practised. Half the stomach should be filled with food, quarter with water and the remaining quarter of the stomach should be left free for the expansion of gas and also propitiation to God. 
You should take satvic food. In Gita, 17th Chapter, Lord Krishna says: Ayuh sattwabalarogyasukhapritivivardhanah, rasyah snigddhah sthira hridya aharah satiwikapriyah—"Food should be bland, non-irritating, delicious, oleaginous (snigddha). It should be calculated to produce good health, longevity, cheerfulness and strength. This food is suitable for satwic people, who meditate." Too much of chillies, too much of pungent things, too much salt, fried things excessively sour things should be avoided. Stale food, remaining of food, (ucchistham), putrid food, should be avoided. It will produce tamas. You should take light food, not heavy food at night. Generally people fill the stomach at night. If you do so, you will not be able to get up early in the morning. Rice at night produces tamas. You will not be able to get up early in the morning. 
Aspirants should go to bed early by nine or ten o'clock and get up at 4 a.m., brahmamuhurth. The atmosphere is satwic at this time, and the mind is refreshed after sleep and is free from disturbances. You should fill the mind with sublime, divine thoughts—recitation of stotras, mantras meditation on OM, pranayama. So, go to bed early and get up early. This is one discipline. Generally people do not do that. They are in the club till 12 o'clock and get up at 8 o'clock. This is unfavourable for the meditator. The aspirant who wishes to meditate should get up early in brahmamuhurth. At this time the sages meditate in different parts of the world, and the aspirant gets help during contemplation. This is very important—trying to get up early in brahmamuhurth and starting kirtan, pranayama, meditation or enquiry into Brahman, practice of sravan, manan and nidhiddhyasan. 
You should practise mowna, discipline of the tongue. Speak sweetly. Speak softly. Speak gently. Speak lovingly. Speak truthfully. Speak measuredly. Speak with force, emphatically. You must practise pranayama. Then only you will be able to control the impulses of speech and emotions. You will have a calm mind. 
In Gita, you will find three kinds of discipline—discipline of the body, discipline of speech, and discipline of them. 
devadwijaguruprajnapujanam sowchamarjavam, 
brahmacharyamahimsa cha sreeram tapa uchyate. (XVII.14)  
Sowcham, (purity internal and external), arjavam, (straightforwardness), practice of ahimsa (non-injury and cosmic love), worship of gods and wise people and practise of perfect brahmacharya and the discipline of the body. No half measure is allowed in the spiritual path. Perfect brahmacharya, physical and mental, should be practised. Ahimsa is not only non-injury and non-killing, but development of positive cosmic love. Embrace all creatures. Love all. Serve all. Be kind to all. Then there is the discipline of speech. 
anudwegakaram vakyam satyam priyahitam cha yat, 
swaddhyayabhyasanam chaiva vangmayam tapa uchyate.  (XVII.15)  
Anudwegakaram—not harsh, not giving pain to others, truthful, pleasant, sweet, beneficial—this is the discipline of speech. Discipline of speech is very necessary. Man wastes his energy in gup-chup. This energy should be transmuted into ojas sakti. It is a great help to meditation. Anger when controlled becomes ojas sakti. You can move the entire world with the help of ojas sakti. Energy is wasted in anger and idle talk. So an aspirant should be very careful in conserving the energy, and transmute it into ojas sakti, which is stored in the brain, and which is a help for concentration. Swadhyaya, study of scriptures, also is a discipline of speech. 
manah prasadah sowmyatwam, mownamatmavinigrahah, 
bhavasamsuddhirityetattapo manasamuchyate. (XVII.16)  
Cheerfulness, equilibrium, silence, self-restraint, purity of nature—this constitutes mental discipline. 
Vigil is another discipline. You have got Sivaratri and Vaikunta Ekadasi. You try to keep awake at night on these occasions. Man sleeps more and through practice of vigil, he can reduce sleep and utilise that time for meditation. Lord Krishna says that the spiritual aspirant should be moderate in sleep, he should regulate diet, he should be moderate in work, in exercises. Do not read too much, do not sleep too much. Keep to the golden medium. These are the aids for the practice of meditation and living the spiritual life. Fasting also is a good discipline. Observance of ekadasi vrata, pradosha vrata, chandrayana vrata and krichra vrata are forms of self-discipline. 
In Japan they have got Nippon discipline, very rigid discipline. In the West also in monasteries belonging to St. Francis they observe very good discipline. They sleep on the floor. They observe silence. 
So, spiritual discipline is very necessary for keeping the body, mind and the senses under your control. Some people like moving about always. This is due to rajas. If you sit in one asana, this rajas will be removed. So sitting in one asana is a help to remove rajas. Practice of tratak, gazing on a spot or the Lord's picture steadily, will make the mind and eyes steady. When the eyes are steady and the mind is steady, you will have good concentration. These are the aids for bringing the body and the senses under control, for purifying the nadis, for purifying the heart and mind. And when you are purified, you will have very good meditation, and you will be able to rest in your own satchidananda swaroopa. So let us all practice spiritual discipline.  
He who has conviction in the existence of Parabrahman, he who has the conviction that he can find eternal peace in Brahman alone, will try to have spiritual discipline and try to control the mind. 
vihaya kaman yah sarvan puman charati nisprihah, 
nirmamonirahamkarah sa santim adhigachchati. (Bhagavad Gita, II.71) 
Peace is not an eternal object. Peace is not in accumulation of wealth. Peace is not in erudition. Santi is in that man who has given up mineness and I-ness, who has given up trishnas, desires, longings for objects. That man alone will have peace. Peace is not in a dark bungalow. Peace is not within the reach of all. He who has got vairagya, he who has understood the magnitude of human sufferings here, he who knows the real value of this earth, composed of the five elements, of colours and sounds, he who has analysed "What is this vast world of mountains and rivers and high posts in government," what this world can give him, and has got vairagya can have santi. The world is nothing for a man of vichar. He who has found out the real worth of this world, who yearns for liberation, who has understood that beyond the names and forms there is one eternal, everlasting Atman or Brahman—that man only will try to discipline the mind and indriyas. That man only will develop viveka and vairagya. That man only is the King of kings, atmasamrat, not he who is simply carried away by a little colour, by a little touch, a little nervous titillation. He is ever miserable who has not got viveka and vairagya—discrimination between the nitya and anitya, sat and asat, tatwa and atatwa. To a man of vichar the world is nothing more than a little bit of sensation and titillation of nerves. So let us have vairagya or dispassion. It is a mental state. Without it we cannot have spiritual progress. That man who has vairagya only is the strongest man. He has inner spiritual strength born of dispassion. He is the King of kings. So let us all try to develop discrimination and dispassion along with spiritual discipline, discipline of the mind, body and senses, and let us march towards the goal of perfection, of kaivalya, of independence. That is the goal of life, the summum bonum of life. Man forgets his goal on account of the forces of attraction and repulsion, because he has not strengthened himself by discrimination. Vairagya is real spiritual wealth, because it opens the door of intuition, the door of Brahman, where you will get eternal sunshine, everlasting peace and bliss, whose nature is satyam, jnanam, anantam, vijnana ghana, ananda ghana, chit ghana. 
So, let us gaze within, introspect within and rest in our own essential nature. Let us not forget our essential nature. I may remind you of the last word of the Upanishads, TAT TWAM ASI—Thou art That!

Friday, September 26, 2014

27 September

My heart drinks the nectar now, 
I have plunged myself in that ocean of joy, 
I have drunk the cup of immortal bliss. 
There is neither doubt nor sorrow here. 
The terror of death is no more. 
There is the sweet fragrance of the soul. 
The music of the soul sounds itself. 
Supreme freedom reigns here, 
Brilliant effulgence streams forth, 
There is the unstruck, sweet melody of harmony. 
This is the sorrowless land of an old man. 
The thirst of the five senses is quenched here. 
Here the rain of nectar pours and pours, 
The sacred stream of the Jamna­ganga 
Flows here perennially. 
The round of births and deaths ceases here. 
Come, come my sweet companions, 
Visit this limitless domain but once 
And see my supreme Lord's Durbar (court). 
So says Sivananda.

I have found the key of the mystery. 
There is wonderful rest in the land of bliss. 
Wonderful is the sorrowless land. 
It is an infinite ocean of sweetness. 
Look within and rest peacefully. 
The three forms of misery are no more, 
The five kinds of afflictions are not here. 
One becomes speechless and silent ­ 
There is stupendous silence. 
The seer, seen and sight have become one. 
The knower, known and knowable are one. 
There is the divine music of the supreme harmony 
Without the play of fingers and strings. 
One enjoys freedom and perfection. 
Bliss is filled to the very brim. 
I have realised oneness. 
So says Sivananda.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

26 September

Hear the music of the meeting of the soul with soul ­ 
It is the divine music, thrilling and soul­-stirring.
It is the music that gives rapturous ecstasy. 
The light of this music illumines the world. 
It is the source of all vocal music, 
It is the source of all musical instruments, 
It is the music of that supreme silence, 
It is the music of the flute of Sri Krishna, 
It is the music that delights Radha, 
It is the music without stringing and playing, 
It is the music of the sahasrara (thousand-­petalled) lotus. 
Sivananda says: "Listen to me, brother, 
There are only a few 
Who have heard this music of silence."

We cannot know thy nature. 
Thou alone knowest what thou art, 
Thyself knowest Thyself, by Thyself. 
The mind cannot reach Thee ­ 
What can poor understanding know? 
Speech cannot reach so far, 
The power of thought fails. 
Thou art not a mental concept, 
You cannot be confined 
Within the walls of the mind ­ 
Thou art infinite. 
Ascetics practise panchagni tapas (five­-fire austerity),
Hatha yogis stop their breath 
And practise tratak (gazing). 
By devotion alone 
You can be known in essence. 
Only a few blessed ones 
Have realised Thee, 
Only through thy grace.
So says Sivananda.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

25 September

I am neither male nor female; 
I am neither dvaita (dualism) nor advaita (non-­dualism); 
I am neither saguna (with qualities) nor nirguna (without qualities); 
I am neither seer nor hearer; 
I am neither body nor mind; 
I am neither far nor near; 
I am neither black nor red; 
I am neither thin nor stout; 
I live neither by food nor by air; 
I neither move nor stop; 
I shall neither go to hell nor to heaven; 
I neither laugh nor weep; 
I work and yet I do not work; 
I hear without ears and see without eyes; 
I smell without nose and taste without tongue; 
Few understand Me. 
He who understands Me, sits in silence. 
Sivananda says: "Mysterious is that silence. 
Drown yourself in that silence 
And be happy."

O Fool! What are you doing in the room? 
Why have you shut the doors? 
Are you meditating or building sand castles? 
Are you planning or sleeping? 
What do you see with closed eyes? 
Darkness? Or some white spots? 
Is this your vision of God? 
Do not waste this precious human life. 
See God everywhere ­ in the sun 
In the trees, the child, the cow, 
In the breeze, in the old man, 
In the running brooks, in the landscapes. 
He is not within your trikuti (eyebrow centre) alone. 
Can you meditate for twenty-four hours? 
Do not become tamasic or lazy. 
Do not mistake tamas (inertia) for satva (divinity). 
Enough, enough of your meditation. 
Thy cells are charged with heavy tamas. 
Come out and serve God in all forms. 
Here is a dynamic path of cosmic vision. 
So says Sivananda.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

24 September

There, the Brahman dwells by Himself; 
There, He sits without support; 
There, there is neither day nor night; 
There, there is neither virtue nor vice; 
There, there is neither light nor dark; 
There, the sun and moon do not rise; 
There, pain and suffering do not enter; 
There, death cannot blow his trumpet; 
There, hunger and disease cannot torment; 
There, nobody sleeps or wakes. 
It is a city of deathlessness. 
It is the abode of fearlessness. 
It is the seat of eternal bliss. 
It is Brahma Nirvana or Paramamgati. 
Sivananda says: "Meditate on Brahman, on the spot 
Where the Ganges and the Jumna meet; 
And rest peacefully, for ever".   

The musk is in the navel of the deer; 
But it runs here and there to smell it. 
The chain is on the neck of the damsel; 
But she runs hither and thither to search for it. 
The tenth man is there in reality; 
But he forgets to count himself and cries. 
Fresh butter is with you in abundance; 
And yet you go here and there in search of ghee. 
The precious diamond is within you; 
But you run after the broken glass­-pieces in vain.
The key is in your pocket; 
But you are searching for it in vain, here and there. 
Even so the ocean of bliss is within you, 
And yet you run here and there in search for it. 
The Sun of suns is ever­-shining in you; 
But your blind eyes cannot behold it. 
The eternal sound is ringing within you; 
But your deaf ears cannot hear it. 
Sivananda says: "Look within and meditate, 
And enjoy the eternal bliss of Atman."

Monday, September 22, 2014

23 September

Do not talk of vedanta and Brahman, 
Work, work, work. 
There is too much talk and vedantic gossiping, 
Enough of tall talk and gossiping. 
Give up lecturing and pedantry, 
Become a practical vedantin. 
Be good to others, even at the point of a bayonet. 
Show your strength and courage now. 
Develop a soft heart, 
That can melt at the sufferings of others, 
This will lead you to the realisation of unity.
I want fiery young men ­ 
Brave, dispassionate and wise, 
With iron will and ferro­-concrete body and nerves, 
Who can pulverise the Himalayas, 
Who can sip the waters of the ocean, 
Who can devour death like a pickle, 
Who can swim across the Pacific, 
Who can uproot Mount Everest, 
Who can swallow the ball of fire. 
Thus sayeth Sivananda.

O Man! Take a dose of this mysterious drug. 
The wonderful drug that grows within, 
The drug that cures the disease of death ­ 
The drug of life, light and bliss, 
The drug that bestows immortality. 
The divine drug, the drug of grace, 
The drug that makes you dance in joy, 
The rarest drug that dispels the darkness, 
The loveliest drug that is precious, 
The only drug that removes grief, 
The drug that kills the six passions, 
The drug that makes you fearless, 
The drug that puts you into samadhi. 
It is the silent drug Bhumi, thy innermost Atman. 
That is my strength, joy and cure­-all, 
That is the potential immortal elixir. 
Thus sayeth Sivananda.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

22 September

There is a mysterious tree, 
It has no roots. 
It has grown without a seed, 
It bears fruits without flowers, 
It has no branches, no leaves, 
It has no pith, no stem. 
Many birds are sitting on this tree. 
It is a very ancient tree, 
It is beginningless and endless; 
It is causeless, 
It never dries up, 
It cannot be cut by axe. 
It gives shelter to millions; 
It is vijnana­ vrksa (tree of pure knowledge).
It gives immortality, 
It is superior to kalpaka vriksha (wish-­fulfilling tree):
Thus sayeth Sivananda.

I celebrated this auspicious day with great ├ęclat and pomp, 
With illumination and joyful songs. 
My wish has been fulfilled. 
I have met my Beloved. 
How shall I find words 
For the beauty of my Beloved? 
He is brilliant like millions of suns, 
He has enthroned himself in my heart. 
The lamp of love burns lustrously. 
I bathed Him with the water of love, 
I adorned Him with the flowers of prem (love), 
I gave him butter and sugar­-candy. 
I have drunk the cup of love, 
Which is filled to the brim; 
It is the cup of perfect joy, 
My rapture wells forth. 
The mercy of my Lord has come upon me. 
How blessed am I 
Who have seen my Beloved:
So says Sivananda.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

21 September

Nirvikalpa Samadhi
The state of samadhi is beyond the reach of mind and speech. Even in worldly experience, you cannot express taste. You cannot express the taste of an apple to one who has not tasted it, nor can you explain the nature of colour to a blind man. The state of samadhi is all joy, bliss and peace; this much only can be said. One has to feel this for himself.
In samadhi or the super-conscious state, the meditator loses his individuality and becomes identical with the Supreme Self. He becomes an embodiment of bliss, peace and knowledge. So much only can be said. This can be experienced by you through constant meditation.
Nirvikalpa samadhi is the state of super-consciousness or godhead. There is no vikalpa or imagination of any sort in this condition. This is the goal of life. All mental activities cease now. The function of the intellect and the ten indriyas (senses) cease entirely.
The spiritual aspirant now rests in Atman (Self). There is no distinction between subject and object. The world and the pairs of opposites vanish absolutely. This is a state beyond all relativity ­- though it is not a state of inertia. It is a condition of complete, perfect awareness. It is indescribable. It must be felt and experienced by the aspirant himself. In this state the triad ­ the knower, known and knowable ­ disappears. Man is now Brahman ­ there is no jivahood.
Try to enjoy that sleepless state wherein all senses and mind remain in a state of quietude and the intellect ceases functioning. The sleepless sleep is maha nidra (the super-conscious state). There is no waking from this sleep.
In samadhi the yogi gets himself merged in the Lord. All limitations and differences disappear. The yogi attains highest knowledge and bliss. This state is beyond description. You will have to realise it yourself.
Samadhi is the super-conscious state in which the veil of ignorance is suddenly lifted and the devotee merges in the overwhelming glory of the one true divine effulgence. In samadhi the soul becomes loosened from its material prison and is separated from individual consciousness. 
An ecstatic feeling of oneness arises and the soul becomes absorbed in the infinite intelligence from which it emanated.
After attaining samadhi a man, though possessed of great spiritual powers, does not wish to change the conditions and circumstances in which he lived before attaining it. In samadhi, ordinary consciousness has flowered into super-consciousness. The stream of samsara (the stream of births and deaths) has ceased to flow.

Satsang Bhavan Lectures, Message 8

15. Integral Sadhana / 16. Three Essentials of Sadhana / 17. Guru is Indispensible

Both yoga and jnana are necessary for annihilating the mind perfectly. Yoga without jnana cannot give you release or final emancipation. Jnana without yoga also cannot liberate you. Just as a bird flies with the help of two wings, you should soar high and reach the paramdhama, the vast illimitable domain of immortal bliss, with the help of yoga and jnana. We find the mention of sama and dama in Shad Sampat, which is one of the items in Sadhana Chatushtaya in vedanta. Sama is serenity of mind which is achieved through the eradication of all vrittis (thought waves) and dama is control of the senses. Sama and dama really pertain to yoga. So, yoga-cum-jnana is necessary for the attainment of freedom, perfection, independence or kaivalya moksha. 
Simplicity, humility, adaptability, tolerance, generosity, veracity, equanimity, steadiness, stairyam, tenacity of purpose, spirit of service and cosmic love constitute divinity. If you develop all virtues, you become God. This is the secret of yoga; this is the secret of renunciation; this is the secret of wisdom. 
You should have a thirst for knowledge-mumukshatwa. Give up all worldly desires. Develop vairagya. Then you become Emperor of emperors. Vairagya does not mean that you should move about in a nude state. Mental non-attachment to the things of the world is vairagya or renunciation. Do not think that the objects of the world will give you happiness. Deeply ignorant is the man who thinks that he can get happiness in the world. Develop discrimination. Discrimination is your highest bank balance and opulence. No object in the world will attract you if you have got vairagya. Nothing can upset you. Even in adverse conditions you will be happy. That wealth you must have. Try to attain it. 
Do Japa. Do kirtan. Do pranayama. Close your eyes, and look within. Introspect regularly. Aspire fervently. Pray whole-heartedly. Meditate seriously. 
Have a program of lie. Maintain the spiritual diary. Strive hard to attain the ideal. Even if you fall five hundred times in the spiritual path, again stand up and walk, just as a child does when it learns how to walk. If you are sincere, you will get help from the indweller. 
So march on, O adhyatmic hero. Plod on. Look not back. March forward and attain the inexhaustible spiritual wealth and enjoy infinite peace and eternal bliss. 
Many people even after studying classic works on religion and philosophy, do not know what they should do in practice in order to attain the goal of life, viz: God-realisation, and they seek enlightenment on the matter. The three things essential for God-realisation are (1) constant remembrance of God, (2) cultivation of virtues and (3) spiritualisation of all activities. 
(1) Constant remembrance of God. There may be breaks in the beginning, but by repeated practice, gradually you will have constant remembrance. Constant nama smaran—Sri Ram, Sri Ram—alone is possible for the vast majority of people. Awakening of kundalini and raising of brahmakara vritti are very far from them. 
(2) Cultivation of virtues. Of all virtues, ahimsa (non-injury), satyam (truthfulness) and brahmacharya (celibacy) are the most important. If one is established in one virtue, all other virtues will cling to him. Watch the vrittis. Introspect. Develop purity in thought, word and deed. In the beginning practise at least physical purity. Then mental purity will come by itself. 
(3) Spiritualisation of all activities. Feel you are instrument in the Lord's hands, and all the indriyas (senses) belong to him. Repeat the formula, 'I am Thine. All is Thine. Thy will be done'. It is a beautiful formula for self-surrender. You may forget this formula and egoism may assert itself. But introspect again and again and find out your weakness. Try to be established in the feeling, 'I am an instrument in the hands of Lord'. Remember the Gita sloka: 
yat karodhi yadasnasi yajjuhoshi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kurushwa madarpanam.    (IX.27) 
Whatever you do, eat, offer in sacrifice, give, or practise as austerity, do it as an offering unto the Lord. 
Praseeda devesa jagannivasa—'O Lord of gods, resort for the world, have mercy'. It is a formula more potent than or as potent as prachodayat. Pahi mam, palaya mam, prachodayat—these are all tremendous formulae. They are very powerful. So again and again remember them and their significance. 
Sri Rama saranam mama; Sri Krishna saranam mama; Hari saranam—these are potent Saranagati mantras. 
prichchami twam dharmasammooddachetah, 
yah sreyah syat nischitam broohi tanme, 
sishyastheham sadhi mam twam prapannam.  (Bhagavad Gita, II.7)  
'My heart is overpowered by the taint of pity; my mind is confused as to duty. I ask thee. Tell me decisively what is good for me. I am thy disciple. Instruct me who has taken refuge in thee'. 
This is a Satguru-Saranagati mantra. 
sarvadharman parityajya mamekam saranam vraja, 
aham twa sarvapapebhyo mokshayishyami ma suchah (Bhagavad Gita, XVIII.66) 
'Abandoning all duties, take refuge in Me alone; I will liberate thee from all sins, grieve not'.
These are all Saranagati formulae. In the Eighteenth Chapter there is the sloka: 
yasya nahamkrito bhavo buddhiryasya na lipyate, 
hatwapi sa iman lokan na hanti na nibadhyate. (Bhagavad Gita, XVIII.17) 
'He who has no egoism, whose intelligence is not tainted by good or evil, even if he kills the whole world, he neither kills nor is bound by the action'.  
Therefore, remember these slokas. You will have saranagati. You will feel that the Lord is in you, and you are in the Lord. 
At the time of going to bed offer whatever you do to God. 
kayena vacha manasa indriyairva 
buddhyatmana va prakriteswabhava 
karomi yatyat sakalam parasmai 
narayanayeti samarpayami. 
Offer all the actions and their fruits also to God. Then you will not be bound. In this way you should spiritualise all your activities. Feel that the whole world is a manifestation of the Lord and you are serving the Lord in all names and forms, and whatever you do—your actions and the fruits—consecrate to the Lord. Then your heart will be purified and will be ready to receive the divine light and grace. 
Therefore, practise the three things—constant remembrance of God, spiritualising your activities and cultivating virtues. Repeat 'Krishna, Krishna' or 'Ram, Ram' or 'Jesus', 'Vasudeva'. 'Vasudeva' means all pervading Lord, sarvavyapak, sarva-saktiman, existence, knowledge, bliss, truth, love, beauty—satyam, sivam, sundaram. Cultivate virtues. Try to love everybody. Remove ghrina (hatred). 
These three things are very important. Practise them. This is the easiest method, the quickest and surest method, for attaining God-realisation. Brahma Sutras are meant only for a very few minority of people who possess subtle, sharp intellect. 
esha sarveshu bhuteshu gooddatma na prakasate 
drisyate twagraya buddhya suksmya suksmadarsibhih. (Katha Upanishad, I.3.12)  
This Atman is hidden in all beings, but it is seen only by subtle seers through their sharp and subtle intellect. The intellect should be sharp like a blade. A very sharp, pure, subtle intellect is necessary to understand the Brahma Sutras properly. Therefore, to the vast majority, constant remembrance of the Lord, spiritualisation of all activities and cultivation of virtues—ahimsa, satyam, brahmacharya, ­these form the easiest sadhana. These also constitute the noble eightfold path of Lord Buddha. They also corres­pond to the 'Sermon on the Mount' of Lord Jesus. These are the essentials of all religions. So kindly practise these and attain God-realisation. Love all. Be good and do good. May Lord bless you all. 
Today is an auspicious, wonderful, marvellous, glorious day. We have in our midst param pujya Sri Sankaracharya and our pujya bhagwan, Swami Akhandananda. The swaroop of Bhagawan you will hear now. These suns are shining for dispelling darkness. 
A guru is necessary for attaining knowledge of atma. You will find in Gita, 
tatviddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya, 
upadisyanti te jnanam jnaninah tatwadarsinah. (IV.34) 
Serve your guru. Service of the guru quickly purifies your mind. In Svetaswatara Upanishad it is mentioned: 
yasya deve paradhaktih, yatha deve tatha gurau, 
tasyethe kathithahhyarthah prakasante mahatmanah.  (VI.23) 
He who has devotion to the Lord, and has as much devotion to the guru as he has to the Lord, to him alone the truths of vedanta are revealed. Acharyavan purusho veda. He who has got guru, to him is revealed the truth of vedanta. Guru dispels darkness, shows the way, removes pitfalls and snares, but you will have to place your feet yourself. Guru cannot meditate for you. He who is hungry has to take food himself. He who is thirsty has to drink water himself. The guru will enlighten you, inspire you. Do not expect a magic pill from him. Do not expect that the guru will sprinkle a drop of water from his kaman­dalu over you and you will attain nirvikalpa samadhi at once. You should do sadhana, cultivate divine virtues like Amanitwam, adambitwam, ahimsa kshanti, arjavam. All these virtues you will have to develop. Serve the guru. You will attain the goal of life. What is the goal of life? The goal of life is self-realisation. It is guru that will show you the path, remove the pitfalls. Serve him well with bhakti.    
Swami Akhandanandaji is a world-famous exponent of Bhagavata. Bhagavata contains the essence of vedanta, yoga marga and bhakti narga. The essence of all these is there. The eleventh skanda will help you to attain God-­realisation. Serve the guru. Purify yourself. Remove your arrogance. Remove your impudence. Be humble. Cultivate virtues. Drink the nectar of immortality from the feet of satguru. You are eager to hear the nectarine words from these great souls. They will give you whatever­ you want. They will give you supreme peace. Hear with rapt attention.