Friday, October 31, 2014

1 November

There is no other duty for man except meditation on the self. Dismissing all else, one should establish oneself in the Self. There remains nothing to be done or attained when the Self is experienced. For, that Brahman the immortal is before, behind, to the right and to the left and stretched forth above and below.
Brahman is all this. The real alone is an enduring being, and this real is experienced through meditation coupled with knowledge. Whatever a man of purified mind makes clear in his mind, and whatever desires he desires, that he gets and that he fulfils. One should therefore have pure and perfect resolves. 
The Supreme Self is experienced in the fourth state of consciousness. It is neither this nor that ­ it has no quality in particular, and yet it is everything. It is peaceful, blessed and non­dual. It is the cessation of all phenomena. It is the Atman that should be known and realised. That is the purpose of life. The liberated sage experiences that he is everything ­ the tree, the mountain, the sun. He is the food and the eater of the food. He is the knower, the knowledge and the known, in one. He is the whole universe in himself.
Bliss is the ultimate nature of reality ­ from bliss all this comes forth. All the bliss of the world is only a shadow of Self­bliss. The Self is the source of all bliss ­ it is everything ­ all knowledge and all bliss. All this is based on consciousness and is guided by consciousness. Consciousness is Brahman. I am Brahman. That thou art. This Self is Brahman. Only the infinite is bliss. There, one sees nothing else, hears nothing else, understands nothing else. That is the infinite fullness.
The Self is an ocean without a shore and a surface. It is merely existence, consciousness and bliss. When there is duality one can speak to the other, but when everything is but one's own Self, then who can speak to whom? Who can see whom?
- - -
Atman is pure consciousness ­ it is the unchanging witness. It is realised within your heart as existence, knowledge, bliss absolute. Realise this Atman within the temple of your own heart and enjoy immortal bliss.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

31 October

The Atman (Self) is most ancient, hard to perceive and abides secretly in the innermost cave of the heart or intellect. This Atman or supreme soul fills all with his radiance. This Atman is incorporeal, pure, invulnerable. He is untouched by evil. The Atman is the supreme seer and thinker, immanent and transcendental. This Atman is the immortal spirit, the common, unifying entity present in all. You live, because the supreme Atman is. You understand, because the Atman is intelligence. You enjoy, because the Atman is bliss.
Atman is the reality itself - it is of the nature of pure consciousness. It is undifferentiated, pure awareness and pure experience. Atman is secondless; it alone is; all else which appears to be is not. Atman is the one which appears divided; the changeless as full of change; the timeless as temporal; the infinite as extended and fragmented in space.
Atman is one. It is the root, the reality itself. Atman is pure consciousness, calm and infinite like the waveless ocean. That Atman which is impersonal, changeless, like unto space, by nature purity itself - verily, verily, that am I. The one who is the eternal, the Atman, exists. He is all in all. This Atman is so mysterious that it cannot easily be grasped. This Atman can easily be grasped when the science of the Self (brahmavidya) is taught by a guru who has attained Self-realisation.
This Atman is subtler than the subtlest and so is not attained by arguments. Like butter hidden in milk, this mysterious Atman is hidden in every being. Realise this Atman by the churning of meditation. The Atman is unborn, ageless, immortal, deathless and fearless. He who knows this Atman becomes Brahman, the fearless.
Atman is Brahman - absolute, infinite, the Supreme Being. It is existence absolute, knowledge absolute, bliss absolute. It is self-delight and self-knowledge. It is bodiless, formless and without gunas, all pervading, all full, imperishable. It has neither beginning nor end. It exists in past, present and future. It is self-existent, the source for body, mind, senses, prana, the vedas and the universe itself. No one can deny it; it is the inner Self of all beings.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

30 October

Whatever has a beginning or an end is unreal. That which exists in the past, the present and the future is real. Only Brahman exists in these three periods of time. Hence Brahman alone is real. The reality underlying all names and forms, the primal one from which everything originates is Brahman, the Absolute. Brahman is the soul of all joy, all bliss. Brahman transcends phenomena. Production and destruction are only phenomena, the jugglery of the mind or maya (illusion).
Brahman is infinite, eternal, immortal. Infinity is one -­ only that which is unchanging, indivisible, non­dual, beginningless, endless, timeless, spaceless, causeless, can be infinite. There can be no parts, no differences, no distinctions in Brahman.
Brahman is self­-luminous, self-­existent, self­-contained, self­-established, self­-revealed. Brahman illumines itself by itself; by its nature it is ever illumined. Individual souls and the world are unreal -­ nothing save Brahman is eternal.
Immortality, knowledge, bliss purity, independence, perfection, etc., constitute the very nature of Brahman. He resides in your heart. He witnesses the activity of the buddhi (intellect). Word, speech, mouth, may not approach Brahman. Mind also cannot go there. Supreme Brahman is impersonal, formless, all­pervading and subtle ­ but He can be reached through meditation, through the eye of intuition, by one who has purified himself and who is endowed with the four means of salvation.
God cannot be seen with the physical eyes ­ but He reveals himself to His devotees. He is one though called by countless names. Realise the reality of the one existence, the one life that throbs in all atoms, in all beings ­ the one power that creates, sustains and dissolves this universe.
When the heart of the devotee is united in the Lord, no difference between them remains.
- - -
Before saturating the mind with thoughts of Brahman you will have to assimilate divine ideas first.
Remember this triplet always: Assimilation -­ Saturation -­ Realisation.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

29 October

Brahman and Maya
Like the pot and clay, waves and the sea, ornaments of silver and gold, the universe is non-different from Brahman. The cause does not lose its being by appearing as the effect. The world is not an illusion, but it is non­-different from Brahman. Like heat is inseparable from fire and identical with it, so the universe which is of the nature of Brahman is identical with it.
The world is dependent on Brahman and independently the world is nothing. The play of chit (consciousness) alone shines as this universe. The universe was, is and always will be. There is no beginning or end to creation.
Behind the impermanent material world there is the invisible source of all things, pure, unchanging spirit or Atman. In the presence of God, maya (illusion) creates the world, even as in the presence of the superior officer, the subordinates do their work. Just as a carpenter cannot work without the instruments, and the instruments themselves also cannot do any work without the carpenter, so also, Ishvara (God) cannot create the world without maya, nor can maya create the world without Ishvara.
This world is an overflow of the love of God. This is the view of a bhakta (devotee). This world is an overflow of the bliss of Brahman. This is the view of a vedantin or sage. Love and bliss are one; God and Brahman are one. This world is nothing but the expression of God's love for Himself. This world is an expression or manifestation of God. It is the outcome of the spontaneous play of love and joy. God expands Himself and manifests as the world.
Atmic sankalpa (the will of the self) makes this universe shine and constitutes it. Every object is surcharged with divine significance. Everything in this world has got a spiritual message to convey. Learn from everything. All is Brahman. When this truth is intellectually recognised and intuitively realised, then all feelings of differences end forever.

Monday, October 27, 2014

28 October

Am I The 'I'?
You say, "This is my body" ­ this indicates that you are different from the body and the body is your instrument. You are holding it just as you hold a walking stick in your hand.
In sleep you exist independent of the walking stick in your hand (body). In dreams you operate through the astral body without having any concern for the fleshy body. Through ignorance you have identified yourself with the physical body and mistaken it for the real 'I' which is ever­-pure, all­-pervading, self­-existent, self-­luminous and self­-contained, which has neither beginning nor end, which is changeless, beyond time, space and causation, and which exists in the past the present and the future.
Prana (vital force) is not 'I'. It is the effect of rajas (energy). It is inert. It cannot welcome a man while you are asleep, though it is flowing. It increases and decreases. You say, "My prana" ­ this shows you are different from prana. It is your instrument only. You can control the breath by pranayama. The controller is different from the controlled (prana). Prana is not 'I'.
Mind also is not 'I'. It gropes in darkness. It borrows light from a higher power. It gets puzzled and confused. During shock and fear it becomes insentient. It is the effect of satva. It is your instrument. You say, "my mind" ­ therefore mind is different from 'I'. It is full of changing ideas. It has a beginning and an end. You can control the mind and the thoughts ­ the controller is different from the controlled (mind). It is as much your property, and outside of you, as your limbs etc., or dress, chair, etc.  In sleep there is no mind, yet you wake up with a feeling of continuity of consciousness. There is no mind in delirium or coma, yet 'I' remains. Mind is a bundle of thoughts and all thoughts are centred around the false egoistic little 'I'. The root thought of all these thoughts is the 'I' that is full of vanities.
Talking of myself, I always speak of 'I'. The sheaths in which I am happy, old, black, a sanyasi (monk), etc., are incidents in the continuity of the 'I'. They are ever changing and varying but the 'I' remains the same ­ unchanging amid the changing.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

27 October

Body is Not 'I'
This is a world of diversity. Intellects are different; faces are different; sounds are different; religions are different; faiths are different. Colours are different; faculties are different tastes and temperaments are different. But one thing is common to all ­ every one of us wants nitya sukha (eternal happiness), infinite knowledge, immortality, independence and freedom. These things can be attained by knowledge of the Self alone.
Everybody wants happiness that is not mixed with sorrow and pain, but he does not know where he can get this Supreme Bliss. The best means to acquire this knowledge is by the enquiry, "Who am I?". This has the potentiality of producing the quiescence of mind which will enable it to wade through this ocean of samsara (cycle of birth and death). It demands a sharp, subtle, pure intellect, bold understanding and gigantic will. The commonplace 'I' that everyone is glibly talking about and relishing acutely every moment of his life, from the babbling baby to the garrulous old man, must be clearly understood.
The physical body is not the 'I', it is the product of food ­ it lives on food and dies without food. It is a bundle of skin, flesh, fat, bones, marrow, blood and a lot of other filthy things. It does not exist before birth or after death. It lasts for a short intervening period. It is transient. It undergoes changes such as childhood, youth and old age. It has six changes -­ existence, birth, growth, modification, decay and death. It is not of one homogeneous essence; it is manifold, insentient, inert. It is an object of perception, like a chair or a table. You continue to live even when hands and legs have gone.
How can the body be the self­-existent, eternally pure Atman, the knower, the silent witness of the changes that take place in the body and in all things, the inner ruler of all?
- - -
You have learned that body and mind are not 'I'.
You have learned that prana is not 'I'.
The world is unreal, this thou hast understood.
Thou hast understood that Brahman alone is real.
Now meditate on the formula 'I am Brahman' 
Lose thyself, unite with him.
Rest there peacefully, joyfully.  
This is the proper place, the abode of the pure.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

26 October

The mind is a creation of avidya! (ignorance) and it is the effect of avidya. The mind is filled with delusion ­ this is why it tempts you and makes you go astray. If you can destroy the cause of the mind by getting knowledge of the Supreme Self, the mind is nowhere; it dwindles into an airy nothing.
The whole experience of duality, made up of perceiver and perceived, is pure imagination. There is no ignorance apart from the mind. On the destruction of the mind, all is destroyed. The mind's activity is the cause of all appearance. On account of illusion you think that the outside objects are separate from you and real.
As long as there is mind there are all these distinctions ­ big and small, high and low, superior and inferior, good and bad, etc. ­ but the highest truth is that there is no relativity. If you can transcend the mind by constant and profound meditation on Atman you will be able to attain a state beyond the pairs of opposites wherein lies supreme peace and highest knowledge.
The first thought is the 'I­thought'. As this 'I-thought' is the base of all other thoughts, egoism is the seed for the mind. The idea of 'I' brings in its train the idea of time, space and other potencies. With these environments, the name 'jiva' (soul) accrues to it. And contemporaneously with it there arise buddhi (intellect), memory and manas (mind) which is the seed of the tree of desire.
You cannot realise God if you have the slightest trace of egoism, or attachment to name and form, or the least tinge of worldly desire in the mind. Try to minimise egoism little by little. Root it out by self­-sacrifice, by karma yoga, by self­-surrender, or by vedantic self­-enquiry. Whenever egoism asserts itself, raise the question within yourself: "What is the source of this little 'I'?" Again and again ask this question and, as you remove layer after layer, the onion dwindles to nothing. Analyse the little 'I' and it becomes a non­-entity.
- - -
The ego is the Lord for whose entertainment the dance is performed and the objects of the senses are his companions. The intellect is the dancing girl and the senses are the persons who play on the instruments which accompany the dance. The sakshi (witnessing soul) is the lamp which illumines the scene. Just as the lamp, without moving from its place, furnishes light to all parts ­ so too, the sakshi from its unchangeable position illumines everything situated inside or outside.

Satsang Bhavan Lectures, Message 13

Satsang Bhavan Lectures of Swami Sivananda
Chapter III: Stages of Life
27. The Philosophy of Mundan / 28. Brahmacharya / 29. Upanayanam

Swamiji's speech on the occasion of the Mundan ceremony of Sri Lakshman, son of Sri Sivanarayan Vadhwa, Divisional Superintendent, Eastern Railway, Dinapore, on 19th August, 1956.  
Today is an auspicious day. It is the day of the Mundan ceremony of Sri Lakshman, son of Sri Sivanarayan Vadhwa, Divisional Superintendent, Eastern Railway. They had been here today and the Mundan ceremony was per­formed in my kutir, on the sacred bank of the Ganges.  
Mundan ceremony is one of the samskaras in life. I think there are eighteen samskaras and Mundan is one of the important samskaras. In Mundan ceremony the hair is removed. Mundan is very convenient. It is convenient for bath. Any number of times you can take bath. You will not catch cold. The time spent in combing the hair is also saved. Generally people waste much time in combing the hair. 
Hair and skin are the two important vehicles of maya. The whole beauty of a person consists in hair and skin. If the skin is removed from a body, one man will have to stand beside it with a long stick to drive away the vultures! If one hair falls in milk, you throw away the milk, for it will cause you vomiting. Where is beauty of the hair then? Real beauty is in the Atma, your inner self. Do not depend upon the beauty of the body. Develop vairagya, dispassion. Look at the components of the body. How filthy they are! To a woman, hair is the most valuable property. If you try to remove the hair she will die! 
You should meditate on the Beauty of beauties, Atma, and attain realisation, atmasakshatkar.
Let us do kirtan today for the health, long life, peace, prosperity and divine aiswarya of the boy, and the family, as well as the whole world at large.  

Thirteenth April is a remarkable and auspicious day. It is the Kumbha Mela day in Hardwar. It is Tamil New Year's day. On this auspicious day the Upanayanam ceremony of Sri Ramakrishna, otherwise known as Ramu and Sri Rajagopalan, otherwise known as Raju, took place. They are brothers of Annaswami. They are the sons of Sri. N. Srinivasan, a greatest devotee, of Egmore, Madras. —Swami Venkatesananda
Upanayanam ceremony is a most fundamental sacrament amongst the Hindus. During this ceremony the boys enter Brahmacharya Ashram. Brahmacharis are of two ­kinds. After finishing studies, vedic or college studies, they become householders, they marry. Some become naishtic brahmacharis. They take a pledge or vow to lead the life of brahmacharya throughout the life. For this word 'naishtic brahmacharya' yesterday Dr. Roy gave a very good substitute, 'Chronic Brahmacharya!'—because he is a doctor. Brahmacharya is not a disease. Brachma­charya is a universal mahavrata, a great vow to be observed by all, not only by Hindus. He who has taken a pledge or vow to remain a brahmachari throughout his life is a brahmachari. He may enter the order of sanyasa or he may remain as a brahmachari, taking the vow of celibacy. A brahmachari is one who moves in Brahman—'Char' means 'to move'. He who, through meditation, lives an inner life in the Atma or Brahman is a brahmachari. 
Brahman or God is purity, and we will have to realise ­him through the practice of purity. Brahman or God is truth. We have to realise him by observing truth in thought, word and deed. brahmacharya should be observ­ed in thought, word and deed. A bramachari should strictly avoid the eight breaks in brahmacharya. That is very important. The upanayana thread consists of three threads. That means purity in thought, word and deed. He promises that he will break the three knots of avidya, kama and karma. That is the significance of the knot in the three threads. From ignorance (avidya) is born desire (kama), and to satisfy the desires one works (karma). He is bound. Man always works with expectation of fruits and with the idea of agency. "I am the doer." So he is bound. By self-realisation one should free himself from all bondage.
     bhidyate hridayagrantihsh, chindyante sarva samsayah, 
     ksheeyante cha asya karmani, tasmin drishte paravare.       
          (Mundaka Upanishad, II.2.8) 
When one attains self-realisation all doubts are rent asunder, all karmas are burnt, all doubts are cleared, because he attains knowledge of the self. 
In the practice of brahmacharya certain things are necessary to keep up brahmacharya. I used to sing a song "Just as curd, pappad, and acharchutney goad the tongue to eat more kitchedy, japa, kirtan and swadhyaya develop bhakti marvellously." Japa, kirtan and swadhyaya aid brahmacharya marvellously. 
Whenever kitchedy is prepared you want curd, pappad, and achar. They are a good combination, good appetiser. So also the spiritual appetiser is japa, kirtan, satsang, swadhyaya—japa of any mantra, study of Upanishads. 
When one becomes a brahmachari, he is initiated into ­the mysteries of Gayatri, the blessed mother of Vedas. Gayatri mantra is the greatest mantra. For householders and brahmacharis Gayatri is the greatest mantra, just as OM is the greatest mantra for sanyasins. Gayatri and OM are one. Gayatri bestows mukti and bhukti, not only liberation, but also bhukti, enjoyment in this world. So, a brahmachari should be regular in reciting Gayatri, understanding the meaning. OM and Tat are one. They mean Parabrahman. Savituh—Iswara, sun or consciousness hidden in the sun. Varenyam—fit to be worshipped. Bhargah—remover of sins and ignorance. Devasya—resplendent. Jnana-swarupa—Embodiment of knowledge. Dheemahi—We meditate.  
Dhiyoyonah prachodayat—May he enlighten our intellect, give us Light, so that we may know our essential divine nature and give up identification with the body, dehadhyasa. 
The first part of Gayatri mantra is stuti, praise, just as in Maha Mrityunjaya mantra first there is stuti. Trayambakam yejamahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam. Sugandhim—full of fragrance. 
Pushti vardhanam—'He who increases bodily health and spiritual knowledge'. Even so the first portion in Gayatri is stuti of Ishwara and the second is prayer. It is not a selfish prayer asking for son, property or earthly possessions. Dhiyoyonah prachodayat­—'For my buddhi (intellect) give enlightenment, illumination'. So a brahmachari should repeat Gayatri daily with bhav, not merely counting sixteen or thirty-two. He must do one thousand and eight. The more you recite, the more your intellect will develop. You will have a brilliant face. So you must be regular in reciting Gayatri with bhav and meaning. The heart will be purified. All sins will be destroyed. You will get devotion, onepointedness, faith and it will lead you to meditation, aspiration, renunciation and realisation. You should do japa and kirtan. Kirtan also is of great help for purifying the heart, for attaining success in life, vidya, tushti, pushti. You can do kirtan of any mantra, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, or Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram, or Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya—any mantra, your ishta mantra or guru mantra. 
Satsang is a great help in maintaining purity. It is a fortress to protect you from the onslaughts of maya, satsang with saints and devotees, is positive satsang. When there is no positive satsang, have negative satsang. Study of books written by realised souls is negative satsang. Study Yoga Vasishta, Ramayana, Bhagavata. A brahmachari should have a daily programme. Early morning he should get up. After a little prayer he should start his study, bath and arghya. He should offer arghya in the morning, noon and at night. This is very important. He should observe dietetic discipline. He should avoid garlic, onions. turnip, too much pungent articles, oily and dry things, musur ki dal, etc. 
You must sow the seed now, when you are robust. You must offer a very good pure flower to the Lord. You must offer a pure intellect, not an old intellect full of evil samskaras. Offer a very good flower, of your intellect, of your heart. 
Ramakrishna, Rajagopal, it is only for you I am talking. You must become brilliant charged with power and wisdom, like a lighthouse in Srinivasan's family. Venkatesananda has already become a blooming cosmic light. He is an exemplar to you. You should both lead a bachelor's life, and after you have got established in getting money, a good post, you can marry. Do not marry before that. It will be a burden. You must have economic independence. You both should marry because already I have absorbed Swami Venkatesananda. You must keep up the line. 
Be regular in japa, Gayatri japa. You will get success in everything. You will become a first class professor and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees you will hold. Do not think that Gayatri is only a sound. It is very potent. You know of Malaviyaji's success in establishing the Benares Hindu University. All this is due to his japa of Gayatri on Triveni bank. You may have heard of Vidyaranya. He did purascharana of Gayatri and caused a golden shower in karnatic, to remove famine from the land. There are twenty-four letters in Gayatri. Akshara Laksha japa you must do-twenty-four lakhs. This is one purascharana you will become a first class Brahmin, a first class pandit. This 'sixteen business' will not do—hurrying up thinking of coffee and iddly. Get up early and do 1,008. On Sundays do more. This is a treasure, japakajana, a real treasure. It is the only thing that will follow, that will liberate you, that will afford you spiritual, inexhaustible wealth. People have ignored this. At this young age you must sow the seed of spirituality. It will grow into a big tree, blossom and bear fruit. You must become ideal devotees. So regularly do japa. Remember the convocation address given in ancient times. Satyam Vada. Dharmam Chara. Be righteous. Dharma is law, dharma is duty. Dharma is religion. If you are a dharmic purusha only you will be saved in this world. There is no difference between an adharmic purusha and a horizontal being. Think of the prestige of the family. Become a noble soul. People should admire and appreciate your character, your excellent virtues. These are wealth. Humility, tolerance, courage, boldness, self-restraint, self-reliance—all these virtues you should cultivate. Amanitwam, adambitwam, ahimsa, kshanti, arjavam. These are dharmalakshanas. Self-restraint, cheerfulness—these are angas (limbs) of brahmacharya. Justice, impartiality—these are all forms of brahmacharya. Bhishma, Lakshmana Anjaneya, Swami Dayananda, Vivekananda—these were brahmacharins. Those who have attained spiritual greatness, moved the world and elevated people to high standards of morality and spirituality are people who have observed brahmacharya. 
Western psychiatrists and psycho-analysts say that brahmacharya will lead to neurosis. They have no knowledge. The vital energy should be sublimated into ojas, spiritual sakti, which will move the whole world. If it is transmuted into ojas sakti, it is useful for realisation, for doing great work in the spiritual path, elevating people. The fruit of observing brahmacharya is veeryalabha, attain­ment of immense spiritual strength and samadhi. So be on the alert. Be vigilant. Be diligent. Become ideal brahmacharins, ideal citizens, ideal Indians, yogis, vedantins, sages and bhagavatas. All you can do through the power of brahmacharya. Become a Bhishma, Hanuman, Lakshmana. It is within you, to make yourself a great yogi. Also do not neglect your material prosperity. Both are necessary, material and spiritual—not lopsided develop­ment. Wealth is necessary. Acquire wealth and spend it in charity, in serving the poor, in serving spiritual institutions. There is a great work before you. 
Strive. Plod on. Overhaul yourself. Transform yourself and become a devotee, become a good citizen, become a luminary and become like Swami Venkatesananda. May God bless you with health, long life, peace, prosperity and bliss eternal is my fervent prayer. 
They are fortunate. On the Ganges bank, in Uttarakhand, on the Kumbha Mela day—it is only the devatas and angels will have Upanayanam ceremony on the Ganges bank, in the presence of Annaswami and Guru Swami, these rare ones. Their previous samskaras have materialised and taken this shape. So they have come to the land of rishis and they will also become rishis. Glory to such small boys, Ramakrishna and Rajagopal—both are very intelligent boys, artists, scientists. May Lord bless them their family, parents, Rukmani, Srinivas, their sister Vijaya. May they all shine as great spiritual personalities.  

Swamiji's speech on 12th July 1956, in connection with the Upanayanam of Sri Venkitasubramanian and Swaminathan
Today is the Upanayanam day of the two noble, praiseworthy brahmacharins, Sri Venkitasubrahmanian and Sri Swaminathan. I trust they will be regular in the recitation of Gayatri, the blessed mother of the Vedas, who gives bhukti and mukti, not only release or freedom from births and deaths, but also enjoyment in this life. Whatever the devotees want, the blessed mother gives. So they will have to be regular in reciting Gayatri, not only today in the presence of the priest, but at all times. Sandhyavandan, offering arghya to the sun, gives purity, removes obstacles and paves the path to blessedness. They should be regular in Sandhya and Gayatri. If not, 1008, at least 108 Gayatris they should do daily. They can do 1008 Gaytaris on Sundays. It is necessary for health, peace and success in all undertakings, for success in career or life and in passing examinations, grace of mother Gayatri is necessary. 
You should be regular in Sandhya, Gayatri, study of Gita. You should practise selfless service. You should observe the vow of sadachar, right conduct, of ahimsa (non-injury), satyam (truthfulness) and brahmacharya (celibacy) in thought, word and deed. This will mould your character, and enable you to lead a life of renuncia­tion, aspiration and meditation. Brahmacharya life is a preparation for a higher, divine life. 
You are wearing yajnopavita of three threads. It means that you will have to be pure in thought, word and deed. That is the means which will lead you to God-realisation, a higher divine life where there is immortality and eternal bliss. You will be free from hunger, thirst and pain. That is the goal of life. There is one Atma which is free from hunger and thirst, pain and sorrow. You have to realise this Atman. Then alone all miseries will come to an end. You will have to attain nirvikalpa samadhi. That is the goal of your life. Therefore prepare yourself for a life of renunciation, developing all divine virtues. Amanitwam, adambitwam, ahimsa, kshanti, arjavam, abhayam (courage). A timid man will not have success to any undertaking. Be bold, truthful. Cultivate courage. Fearlessness is Brahman. Amritam, abhayam, paramo—'supreme fearless Brahman'. 
Life here is a preparation for the divine life, immortal life. The phenomenal world is a means to attain the Absolute. You will learn many things here. The world is a vast university. Nature is a book. It teaches many lessons. So you should benefit from this world of relative experience and try to rest in your own satchidananda swaroopa. That is the goal of life wherein you enjoy immortal bliss and are not brought again to this mundane world of sorrow and death. You will enjoy freedom from death. You will see Atma everywhere. You will behold oneness, unity of life, unity of existence and unity of consciousness. There is only one life, one common consciousness. He who sees the reality, he who realises the Atma, goes to the world of eternal bliss and eternal sun­shine and enjoys freedom from birth and death; he enjoys ever-lasting peace, perennial joy. That state you can attain only seclusion through discipline, aspiration, renunciation solitude, meditation. 
You must prepare yourself for that now, and not after you have retired from service. In old age you will not be able to sit in one asana for practising meditation. Youth is the period when you have to sow the seed of spirituality, again all sorts of good samskaras, by study of Gita, Upanishads, service, discipline, and cultivation of virtues. You should not aspire to merely become a Ph.D., D.Litt. These are nothing. They are mere husk. Though they may help you in leading a little comfortable life in the world, they will not help you in attaining the Goal. 
Let me remind you of the last word of the Upanishads—­TATWAMASI. In essence you are not the perishable body, composed of the five elements. You are the witness of the three states. You are the witness of your mind. In reality you are satchidananda swaroopa—existence-knowledge-bliss. Everything exists. Existence is common. You are pure existence. You are pure knowledge, and pure bliss. Satchidananda is your goal. Never forget this. 
Every day you have to repeat Gayatri. It will help you to open the door of intuition. It is filled with sakti-sarvasakti, ananta-sakti and achintya-sakti—all powers, infinite power and unthinkable powers. Therefore be regular in your recitation of Gayatri. The more japa you do, the more power you generate, and you are nearer to God. Daily do one thousand Gayatris. Do not waste your time. Conserve your energy. Practice obedience, reverence. Cultivate virtues. This will make you divine, and enable you to attain God-realisation. You will become a jivanmukta; not after death, but remaining here you will attain jivanmukti. May you shine as glorious yogis by cultivating virtues, by practising daily meditation and become useful citizens, beacon-lights to your family, and assets to the whole world. May Lord bless you all with health, long life, peace, bliss, prosperity and immortality. 
Your mother, Sri Bhagyalakshmi, has trained you intelligently. In this modern world, people have no faith in Upanayanam ceremony, but she has faith. She is a bit orthodox. Orthodoxy is necessary for the preservation of our vedic culture. You are fortunate in having your Upanayanam performed here on the Ganges bank, beside this auspicious Viswanath Kshetra.  
You should not aim at many titles, you must become yogis, bhaktas, saints, glorious personalities full of divine virtues. 
Gayatri will give you insight, far sight, intuition. So be regular in your japa, kirtan, meditation, selfless service, self-analysis, study of Gita. Now you should start study of Gita and Ramayana. You should understand the way of life, the way of ideal life, the way to Illumination, how to cut your knots of avidya. You should free yourself from avidya, kama and karma (ignorance, desire and action) and become glorious jivanmuktas. 
You should develop the virtues enumerated in my song of eighteen 'ities'—serenity, regularity, absence of vanity, sincerity, simplicity, veracity, equanimity, fixity, non-irritability, adaptability, humility, tenacity, integrity, nobility, magnanimity, charity, generosity, purity. You should daily sing this song and practise these virtues. If you practise the one virtue, 'serenity', you will be established in all other virtues also. Serenity is not easy to cultivate. Adaptability is a wonderful virtue. If you cultivate it, you will be able to mix with all and be one with all. Generally people are not able to adapt. The wife is not able to adapt herself to her husband, so there is friction and rub in the house. The wife thinks that "the husband should obey me." The husband thinks, "The wife should obey whatever I say." That is not possible. So friction results. The secretary is not able to adapt himself to the minister. So he resigns. You should adapt, you should reduce your ego. If you want to drink water from a tap, you have to bend. Similarly, you have to bend, you have to crush your egoism, pulverise your ego. You should become humble. Then only you will be able to attain success both in the world and in the spiritual path. He who has no adaptability becomes a rolling stone. He moves from place to place. A rolling stone gathers no moss."  
Let us do kirtan and Mahamrityunjaya japa for these glorious brahmacharins, who will become really great, reli­gious, divine persons in the future. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

25 October

World is the Body of God
The universe is a mirror in which is reflected the being and beauty of God. God's universe is ruled by his eternal laws. In the East, the law of cause and effect is called the law of karma. In the New Testament it is expressed in the words: "Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." What is written is written and no man can change the eternal plan. That which is decreed by God's will occurs on this earth. There is system, method, order, regularity everywhere in this universe because the universe is, ultimately governed by God.
This world is the body of the Lord. This world, though it really is not, appears to be. Know that it is nothing but a reflection. When you know the rope, the snake-­knowledge disappears. Even so, the world does not really exist and yet appears to be existing through ignorance. It disappears with the knowledge of the Atman on which the illusion of the world is superimposed. In Brahman or the Absolute, this world shines falsely, owing to ignorance. It is not true, even as dreams under the influence of sleep. It is because of illusory superimposition on the part of the individual that the empirical names and forms appear to be real. When, by the power of meditation, the effect (world) is negated as unreal, the cause (Brahman) also ceases to be a cause. The certitude or conviction that the universe is not the supreme Brahman is itself avidya (ignorance). Hence the certitude that, "The universe is Brahman alone", is emancipation.
The world is a spirit manifested in space and time. When you look at the Absolute, through the senses, it appears as the universe. The puryastaka (body) is composed of the eight ­ that is mind, egoism, intellect and the five objects of the senses (sound, sight etc.). All these, composed of the five elements, are appearances only. So also is time through right discrimination. In this mortal world, everything perishes, but the ideas and the ideals do not perish. Ideas are more enduring than objects, which are perishable, but Atman, the immortal soul endures forever. Just as the universe appears dark to the blind, and shining to those who have eyes to see, so it appears blissful to the sages and painful to the ignorant.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

24 October

There is no duality in reality. All modification is illusory; multiplicity is an illusion.
Maya (the illusory power of the Lord) projects multiplicity. Maya creates division -­ division between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul.
Maya is a tremendous, delusive power of God. Maya is the material stuff of this world. Maya is the source of the physical universe. This world of names and forms is a false show kept up by the jugglery of Maya. Just as a stick burning at one end, when waved round quickly, produces an illusion of a circle of fire, so is it with the multiplicity of the world. Maya deludes us. Maya creates havoc in the mind. The things that we perceive all round us are only mind in form or substance. The world is a product of the mind. The whole world is an expansion of the mind. The entire universe arises and exists in the mind. Nothing of the world is outside the mind. Earth, mountains and rivers ­ all are fragments of the mind, appearing as it were, to exist outside. The world does not exist by itself. It is not seen without the aid of the mind. It disappears when the mind ceases to function, as in deep sleep.
It is imagination alone that assumes the forms of time, space and motion. Space and time have no independent status apart from Brahman or the self, which is pure awareness. There is no space without time, and there is no time without space. Space and time go together. Space and time are interdependent. They are both unreal. Time and space are mental projections, as unreal as dreams. However real they may seem to be, they are not ultimately real. Timeless, spaceless Brahman is the only reality.
Brahman alone is. It is Brahman alone that shines as the world of variegated objects, like water differentiated by the waves into many kinds of foam, bubbles, etc. Brahman appears as the world when cognised through the mind and the senses.
- - -
Maya conceals the truth and presents an error ­ it veils the reality and shows the world. Mistaking the body for Atman or the Self is called Maya. Maya screens the knowledge of Atman and therefore man mistakes one for the other. This is the cause of bondage -­ we have the erroneous consciousness that we are objective beings, that our actions are objective expressions projected in time and space.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

23 October

Words of Wisdom
One's individual ego, preconceived notions, pet ideas prejudices and selfish interests should be given up. All these stand in the way of spiritual progress. Lord's grace begins to work only when you learn to discipline yourself, subordinate your selfishness and surrender fully to Him.
Why dost thou try to find thy God in deities and temples when thou has kept thy visible gods standing outside, hungry and naked? Regarding Him as manifest everywhere thou shouldst serve all creatures with intense bhava if thou wishest to attain the highest perfection. Indeed, thy love towards the Lord should engender love for the whole universe ­ for thou must see Him in all.
Kindle the light of love in thy heart for love is the immediate way to the kingdom of God, the vast domain of perennial peace and joy. Where there is love there is peace. Where there is peace there is love. Life and death are the two scenes in the drama of life. All is passing; all is sorrow; all is pain; all is unreal.
This world is merely a play of colours and sounds. Hence, O man, seek the permanent, the all­-blissful, the real, which is ever­-shining in the chambers of thy heart, which is self-luminous, infinite, unchanging and eternal. Moksha (liberation) means nothing but the destruction of the impurities of the mind. The mind becomes pure when all desires and fears are annihilated. Lead the divine life. Light the lamp of divine life everywhere.
Thy aim should be to maintain an unshakeable sweetness of disposition, to be pure and gentle and to be happy in all circumstances. To be always conscious of the divine, always to feel the divine presence, to live always in the awareness of the supreme being in the chambers of your heart and everywhere around you is verily to live a life of fullness and divine perfection, even whilst on earth.
- - -
This body is a lamp. The heart is the wick. The oil is your love for the Lord. You can build a temple in your heart by the absence of anger, by the practice of humility, compassion, forgiveness, faith, devotion, meditation, prayer and recitation of the Lord's name.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

22 October

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

Monday, October 20, 2014

21 October

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

Sunday, October 19, 2014

20 October

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

Saturday, October 18, 2014

19 October

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

Satsang Bhavan Lectures, Message 12

Satsang Bhavan Lectures of Swami Sivananda
25. Meditation / 26.
Now I will talk a few words on meditation, dhyana yoga. To meditate is our foremost duty. It is for that we have taken our birth here. To concentrate, to purify, to meditate and realise our essential divine nature is our foremost duty. Realisation cuts the knots of avidya, kama and karma and gives us permanent satisfaction and everlasting peace and eternal bliss.  
There are various kinds of meditation—saguna dhyana for devotees, nirguna dhyana for vedantins and jyotir dhyana. Jyotishamapi tat jyotih tamasah paramuchyate, jnanam, jneyam, jnanagamyam, hridi sarvasyavishtitam—'Light of lights, which transcends darkness. which transcends inertia, which is attainable through knowledge, which is seated in your heart'. Nowhere you will find this in the western philosophical books. It is only a realised sage like Lord Krishna that can, give the summum bonum of human existence, the essence of all scriptures, in one word—jyotishamapi tat jyotih. What is the nature of Brahman? It is Light of lights. It is seated in the hearts of all. You study Western philosophical books ten or fifteen volumes, and at the end you will find yourself to be an agnostic. That is the difference between the teachings of Eastern sages and the writings of Western philosophers. That Light of lights which trans­cends darkness, which transcends the three gunas is close to you, closer than the jugular vein, closer than your breath. How to obtain this? Through wisdom, through meditation, you will have to obtain this. Every indriya is a light. Ear is a light; eye is a light. Every sense perception is a jyoti, because through the organs of perception you get knowledge of this world. Each is a light. Intellect is a light. Prana is a light. He who gives light to these—these Light of lights—is your own Atma. 
     antar jyotih bahir jyotih, 
     pratyak jyoti paratharam, 
     jyotin jyoti swayam jyoti, 
     atma jyoti sivosmyaham.
If you meditate on this, you will attain jnana and will be established in the supreme Light of lights.  
     na tatra suryo bhati, an chandra tarakam 
     nema vidyuto bhanti kutoyamagnih. 
     tameva bhan tamanubhati sarvam 
     tasya bhasa sarvamidam vibhati.                    
          (Katha Upanishad, II.5.15) 
The sun does not shine there, neither the moon, nor the stars, nor the lightnings. Through its Light all the objects of this world are illuminated, the senses and mind are illuminated. The mind, intellect and senses borrow their light from the ultimate source, the fountain source for everything. There is another upanishadic verse:  
     satyena labhyastapasa hyesha atma, 
     samyagjnanena brahmacharyena nityam, 
     antah sareere jyotirmayo hi subhro yam 
     pasyanti yatayah ksheenadoshah.                   
          (Mundaka Upanishad, III.1.5) 
The method of attaining the self is given. By truth, by tapas, cosmic consciousness by constant practice of celibacy you will find it in your own body. Jyotirmaya—Light of lights. Subhro—bright, self-effulgent. It is attained by those who are free from all doshas, who are free from all the thirteen evil vrittis. Fear is a dosha. Sleep is a dosha. He who has controlled sleep by medita­tion on the Atma, who has stopped the vibration of prana, beholds the light of lights. The world exists because prana vibrates. Where there is vibration of prana there is life. He who has controlled the prana becomes immortal. He who has conquered sleep attains the Light of lights. He rests in his own Atma and enjoys the supreme bliss.  
So let us practise meditation, either saguna dhyana or nirguna dhyana or jyotir dhyana and become one with the supreme Light of lights and free ourselves from the trammels of karma and become jivanmuktas and bhagavatas in this very birth, not in the unknown future, but in this very birth.  

There are some upanishadic mantras which will help you to go near Brahman or God and to establish yourself in Brahman. They are formulas for  vedantic nidhidhya­san.
Atma, antaryamy amritam—this comes in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. This Atman is the inner ruler, immortal. This indicates the real, immortal nature of Brahman and his being the inner ruler. He rules the mind, he rules the subconscious mind, he rules the indriyas. The word, 'antaryami' takes you near Brahman. He is not very far. He is the inner ruler. The word 'antaryami' makes you feel that Brahman is close to you. So this for­mula helps you in vedantic nidhidhyasan and takes you near Brahman. Atma, antaryami, amritam—you will have to constantly meditate on this formula. This will destroy dehadhyasa, body consciousness. One all-perva­ding substance exists. Again and again if you meditate on this formula this is quite sufficient for you to attain self-realisation. You are not this perishable body. You are the Atma, the inner ruler, immortal. 
The second formula is that which comes in Svetaswatara Upanishad and very often quoted by vedantic students. It is very helpful in vedantic nidhidhyasan and brings you near God. 
     eko devah sarvabhuteshu goodah 
     sarvavyapi sarvabhu tantaratma, 
     karmadhyaksha, sarvabhutadhivasa, 
     sakshi cheta kevalo nirgunascha.
          (Svetasvatara Upanishad VI.11) 
There are three terms here through which you can have nearness of Brahman. Antaratma—He is the innermost self, Atman, the source for the mind, body and indriyas. That is the only reality. Karmadhyaksha—­'He supervises all your actions—mental actions, thoughts, feelings and sentiments'. Karmadhyaksha is a word which takes you near Brahman. Sarvabhutadhivasa—He is the indweller in all beings. He is not in Mount Abu or Mount Kailas. He is very close to you, and you have come very close to him. Sakshi, antaratma—these are the formulas for meditation. Eko devah savabhuteshu goodah—'Hidden in all beings'. Sarvavyapi—innermost Atman, pratyagatma. Sakshi—who witnesses thoughts, feelings and sentiments. So meditation on this mantra that is found in Svetaswatara Upanishad is useful for getting oneself established in one's own satchidananda swaroopa. Upanishads are vast and Srutis are countless, but a few words like this are formulas for vedantic meditation which will help you to attain self-realisation. 
The third formula comes in Kenopanishad. Manaso manah, pranasya pranah, srotrasya srotram, chakshushah chakshuh—'Mind of minds, Prana of pranas, Ear of ears, Eye of eyes, Tongue of tongues'. He is very close to you. 'Mind of mind'—He gives Light to this mind. Mind borrows its light from the supreme Light of lights, param jyoti, self-effulgent. Pranasya pranah—'You live on account of prana'—prana is life, but the prana itself derives its power and energy from the Atman or Brahman. 
Srotrasya srotram—'He makes the ear to hear'. Chakshushah chakshuh—'He gives light to the eye'. The eye sees on account of the light that it gets from the self. He gives the tongue the power to taste various kinds of objects. So, how close Brahman has come to you. Remember this formula of Kenopanishad. This will help you to attain self-realisation quickly. Brahman is near you and you are near Brahman. 
And the fourth formula is from the Gurustotra;  
     brahmanandam pramasukhadam kevalam jnana­moorthim,
     dwandateetam gaganasadrisham tatwamasyadi lakshyam, 
     ekam nityam vimalamachalam sarvadheesahshibhu­tam, 
     bhavateetam trigunarahita satguram tam namami. 
Sarvadheesakshibhootam—The word 'sakshi' is a very significant term. He is the witness of the intellect. He is behind the intellect. He permeates the intellect. He is the interpenetrating presence. Ekam, Nityam­—'one' and 'eternal'. Vimalam—'free from impurities'. Achalam—'immovable'. Where will he move? He is all-pervading. These are the terms on which you have to constantly meditate. Brahman can be attained only through some formulas. The mind wants some prop to lean upon. The above formulas will help you to attain self-realisation. They will bring you nearer to Brahman and God. Have strong conviction. 
There are three kinds of doubts: samsayabhavana, asambhavana and vipareeta bhavana. As you find in the Gita, the excited senses carry away even a wise man. Therefore, how powerful is the mind! Ekam, Nityam—if you meditate on this formula, you will have a strong conviction about the existence of Brahman. 'Sravan' destroys samsayabhavana, 'manan' destroys asambhavana and 'nidhidhyasana' destroys vipareeta bhavana. When the aspirant is not established in his own satchidananda swaroopa, all of a sudden he doubts if there can be an all-pervading Brahman. Samsaya comes in. Then asambha­vana—how can the individual soul, with a limited, perishable body, identify himself with the supreme, all-pervading substance? Then vipareetabhavana—he begins to identify himself with the body, in spite of all his meditation. Through sravan, manan and nidhidhyasan, you should destroy samsayabhavana, asambhavana and vipareetabha­vana. Through these vedantic formulas you should annihilate these three doubts. 
The fifth formula is a little kirtan which I used to sing. 
     deenabandhu deenanatha, viswanatha he vibho, 
     pahi mam, trahi mam, prananatha he prabho.  
Prabhum prananatham, vibhum viswanatham. Vibhu—'He is the all-pervading Lord of the universe'. Prananatha—'He is the Lord of the pranas. He is the Lord of the mind and he is the Lord of the senses'. Viswanatha—'He is the Lord of the universe'. This formula will help you to attain self-realisation quickly and remove all doubts and bring you nearer to God or Brahman.  
     deenabandhu deenanatha, viswanatha he vibho, 
     pahi mam, trahi mam, prananatha he prabho. 
These are wonderful formulas of bhaktas. They will help you to attain self-realisation. 'Pahi mam', 'trahi mam', 'prasida', 'Sri Rama Saranam Mama', 'Sri Krishna Saranam Mama', 'Palaya Mam'—these are formulas for effecting self-surrender, total, ungrudging self-surrender. 
Sastras are endless. Life is short. So we cannot master various kinds of puranas and darshanas. The essence of the Vedas, the essence of all the scriptures, is contained in these few formulas. These are quite sufficient for attaining self-realisation. Every formula has got achintya sakti (unthinkable power), ananta sakti (infinite power) and sarva sakti (all powers). You need not study the twelve classical Upanishads. If you can meditate constantly on these formulas, negating the body, sublating all names and forms and taking out the asti-bhati-priya (existence-consciousness-bliss), you can attain realisation quickly. Therefore, let us not worry about the study of scriptures. What is wanted is constant thinking. Vichar and dispassion will enable you to attain God-realisation easily. Even while you work remember that you are sakshi, that you are the witness. 
Let us remember these formulas and attain self-realisation here and now. May Lord bless you all with health, long life, tushti and kaivalya moksha.

Friday, October 17, 2014

18 October

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

Thursday, October 16, 2014

17 October

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

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

16 October

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

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

15 October

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