Page sized inspirational teaching from the writings of Swami Sivananda, compiled by Swami Venkatesananda. These teachings are content progressive and cover the entire width of Yoga and Vedanta in a practical and easy to follow format. Messages are sent daily for the next day to accommodate different time zones.
Chapter Four: On Nation Building 38. Real Independence - 39. Students, Pillars of the Nation - 40. The Spiritual Basis of Social Service
38. Real Independence
Swamiji's speech on 15th August, 1956.
Today is the Independence Day, the day on
which India attained independence nine years ago. Everybody wants independence.
A small cook working in a coffee hotel collects money, purchases vessel and
opens a coffee hotel. He wants independence. He does not want to serve under
anybody. A paid servant working in a cloth-shop wants independence. He collects
money and opens a cloth shop of his own. A professor wants independence. He
wishes to become a principal. A disciple wants independence. He starts an
ashram of his own and becomes a guru. There is an innate urge in every one to
become independent, not to serve under another. This gives the clue that the
nature of Atman is independence.
India has attained Independence. There was
the First Five Year Plan. We got some benefit. Now there is the Second Five
Year Plan. Sri Nehru is trying his level best to make India enjoy more wealth,
more industry, more facilities for education, better health and a higher
standard of life, and various plans have been made. But this sort of material
independence will not give you perfect happiness, cannot give you perfection.
Real independence is kaivalya, real independence is mastery over the gunas,
mastery over the vrittis, control over indriyas and senses, triumph over likes
and dislikes and attainment of the wisdom of the self, Atman. You must have
atmaswarajya; you must become an atmasamrat. That is real independence. Bread
and jam cannot give you real happiness. These little things of the world cannot
make you a perfect man, cannot give you eternal joy. One has to exert much,
practise concentration, reflection, meditation, control the lower nature and
become one with the Absolute, wherein only you will find real independence,
mastery. Then alone you become a real king. You become King of kings, Emperor
of emperors. Everybody should try to attain atmaswarajya and become atmasamrat
as mentioned in Chhandogya Upanishad. Then you will not return back to this
world of birth and death. You will become one with satchidananda. You will
attain immortality, infinity, eternity. Everybody should try to attain that
goal, real independence.
Let us do some kirtan, so that India will
attain the real goal, ramrajya, the goal that Gandhiji tried to attain.
39. Students: Pillars of the Nation
Swamiji's speech on the occasion of the
departure of Patan students after a month's training in Sivanandashram.
Eleven students from Patan came here. They
were sent by Dr. Adhvaryoo for undergoing spiritual training. Last year also a
batch of students were here for training. Spiritual training is very essential
for students. Students not only from all over India, but from the whole world
should come here and undergo training. Then alone they can become ideal
citizens and ideal householders. Though this ashram is small and kutirs are
insufficient, there is infinite space in the heart. A large heart can
accommodate the whole world.
These students were of very active habits.
They were trained by Swami Chidananda, Swami Bhoomananda and others. They
practised selfless service, japa, kirtan, yogasanas, pranayama. They learned
how to purify the heart, how to control anger, how to develop the various
virtues such as tolerance, amiability, spirit of service and sacrifice,
self-discipline and self-reliance. Such sort of training is necessary for
ministers and secretaries far more than I. C. S. or T. A. S. course.
These eleven students are the eleven
pillars of India. They had been trained previously by Dr. Adhvaryoo himself.
They are now most fit to enter the grihasthashrama, or householders' life. They
may be made ministers and secretaries, for they have been trained here. We
invite more students from all parts of India and from all parts of the world to
come here and undergo spiritual training. Spiritual training alone makes life
worth living and gives value to life. Without such a training, life is useless,
In times of yore in the convocation
addresses the rishis gave the students the advice. Matre devo bhava, pitre devo
bhava, acharya devo bhava, athithi deveo bhava—treat your mother, father,
preceptor and guest as God. Satyam vada—speak the truth. Dharmam chara—be
They should remember the song which I sing
daily: "Serve, love, give, purify, meditate, realise; Be good, do good, be
kind, be compassionate". If they practise these instructions they attain
the summum bonum of existence and enjoy perennial bliss and immortality.
Observe ahimsa, satyam and brahmacharya.
These are the basis of all yogas. Never hurt others' feelings. Be kind to all.
Serve all see the Lord or Self in all. Even when your life is at risk, stick to
truth. "Come what may, I will stick to truth"—that should be your
bold stand. Be regular in japa, kirtan, pranayama, asan. Share whatever you
have, material, physical, intellectual and spiritual, with others. In sharing
you expand, you evolve. 'Do unto others as you would like others do unto you'.
This is the essence of all religions. If you practise this one dictum you will
enjoy infinite bliss, you will be a light to the whole world. Let your life be
an example to others. Example is better than precept. But do not neglect
precept also. Share whatever you have learnt here with all. Teach yogasanas,
pranayama to your friends. Teach them how to do japa, how to do kirtan, how to
You should all maintain spiritual diary.
Spiritual Diary is a goad to push you further in sadhana. You should send a
copy of your diary every month to me, and also induce your friends to do
likewise. You should conduct classes and, impart instructions on spiritual life
to your fellow students, householders and neighbours.
I again request that young students should
come here and undergo training. Only young people can be bent, moulded. Grown
up people cannot be bent. The spiritual seed should be sown when one is young.
Then alone it will grow into a mighty spiritual tree and yield
life-transforming fruits, which will confer immortality and infinite bliss. Dr.
Adhvaryoo has done a great work in sending these students here. He has
recognised the importance of spiritual training. He is a great selfless worker
and a saint. He has done a lot of eye-operations free. May more people follow
his example. May Lord bless you all with health, long-life, peace, bliss,
prosperity and Immortality.
40. The Spiritual Basis of Social Service
Swamiji's speech on 16 November, 1955, on
the last day of the stay of Sevikas of the Mahila Sahayak Sangh, Lucknow.
The administrative officer-students, after
finishing their course in Delhi Central Secretariat, used to come here, take
Ganges bath, have darshan of Lord Viswanath at the Mandir, see Yoga Museum
which gives the gist of all the yogas, get the blessings from the Lord
Viswanath and then they used to go back and join the service. Even so the
Lucknow Sevikas before they proceed to the villages to start work there, have
come here to take Ganges bath, to do kirtan, to do various yogic exercises, and
get the blessings of Lord Viswananth. May He bless them all with health, long
life, peace, prosperity, tushti, pushti, vidya and divine aiswarya is my
We have heard about Maitreyi, the
Brahmavadini, and Madalasa, the Grihadharmini. We have to include one more
category—the Seva Dharmini. We have got karma yoga veeras, with a spirit of
dedication, which even males are lacking. But these crest jewels among women
have come forward and taken up the service for the uplift of the country. Glory
to these sevikas who have dedicated their lives to the service of humanity.
This is yoga. They have done meritorious service in their previous birth. So
the samskara of service is there in them. They have led a life of yoga in their
previous birth. So, they have in this life also taken up karma yoga.
It is our fortune to entertain them and to
have cultural camp for them and to do a little bit of service. God has given us
an opportunity for a little bit of service to these people who will purify the
whole world, not only U.P., but the whole world and stand as an example for the
world at large. They have learnt here everything in a short time. They have
learnt massage also. They had already learnt crafts, embroidery, soap-making
and many other things. They can have a life of economic independence. They need
not depend upon others. And all these knowledge they will impart to the women
and children in the villages. If the villages are uplifted the whole India is
So, we pray that they will do their service
remembering God. Not mechanical service, but with remembrance of the Lord,
feeling that the world is a manifestation of the Lord, feeling that the energy
of the Lord is flowing through the instruments of hand, and mind. Then people
will feel the influence. It is yoga.
These sevikas are not ordinary social
workers. The versatile santi, the reflective mohini, the joyful prem, the
psychologist, Principal Nirmala—all are talented. Each excels the other.
Everybody, each one of the sevikas who have come here, has got her own talent.
So how can I describe them. Joshi, the songster, Tiwari the asana expert, Prem
has given wonderful entertainment. They are not ordinary social workers, they
are yogis with capacities and talents. They can elevate the world, serve the
world with massage and first aid. They are highly qualified, much better than
some of lazy, the Ananda Kutir inmates. They are full of enthusiasm, full of
devotion and spirit of service. All these virtues they have got. Mrs. Lilavathi
Munshi has made a wonderful selection.
Karma yoga purifies, transforms, redeems.
Service elevates. Service makes you a yogi. Karma yoga is the gateway to
intuition. So, you will go back and serve with devotion, with mercy, with
kindness, with sympathy, controlling anger, not having seva abhiman,
virakta-abhiman, with humility. You should be endowed with all these qualities.
Then only you will shine. You should not have the abhiman, "I am a great
songster", "I am a social worker." You should have equal vision.
Samatwa bhav—in all conditions, of success and failure.
siddhyasiddhow samo bhootwa,
samatwam yoga uchyate.(Bhagavad Gita, II.48)
Continue your service in this spirit.
We request you to come back again and
again. You should not write to me whether there is accommodation. The inmates
will vacate and give you accommodation. Whenever you feel a little tired, for
peace and for re-charging the battery, for learning more of yoga, come here.
It is a standing invitation for all these sevikas and future sevikas also. They
can come at any time and whatever we have we will share with you all with joy,
glee and delight.
May Lord bless you all with health, long
life, peace, bliss and prosperity is my fervent prayer.