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.
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.
If the vasanas (tendencies) and the attachment to objects of
the world vanish entirely, and if you are in that immovable state, then you
have become a jivanmukta (liberated sage). You will abide in your own self. You
will rest in that nondual, supreme seat. The jnana-vision will arise in you,
the light of wisdom will shine unobscured, like the sun in the absence of
clouds. You will never be attracted to any worldly objects now. You will be
absolutely freed from delusion and sorrow.
You will actually feel that the Self alone pervades and
permeates everywhere in the world. You will shine with Brahmic effulgence. You
will possess equalvision and a balanced mind. You will be free from longing
for sensual objects because the mind will always remain cool with Brahmic
bliss. You will be bathed in the cool ambrosial nectar that dribbles from the
contented and quiet mind.
Advanced aspirants should stop all sorts of work and study
of religious books, if they want to enter into samadhi quickly. They should
observe mouna and remain in a solitary place on the banks of the Ganges, the
Yamuna or any other suitable river. They should live on one and a half pints of
milk alone, or they should live on milk and fruits alone. They should plunge
themselves into samadhi in right earnest.
They should reduce sleep to two or three hours. They should
start the practice at the beginning of winter. There is real rest in meditation
it is far superior to that rest obtained in deep sleep. Sound sleep for an
hour or even half an hour will suffice the man who meditates regularly.
- - -
Samadhi, moksha (liberation), turiya (transcendental state),
are synonymous terms. Samadhi means super-consciousness. In samadhi the
meditator is conscious of his own self. Moksha is freedom from birth and death.
It is the attainment of the state of 'paramananda' (supreme bliss). It is
freedom from all sorts of pains. Turiya transcends the three states the
waking state, the dream state and the deep sleep state and so it is called
the fourth state.
Do not mistake deep sleep for samadhi. The glory of the
state of turiya is ineffable. Its splendour is indescribable. If the body is
light, if the mind is clear, if there is cheerfulness, know that you are
meditating. If the body is heavy, the mind dull, know that you are sleeping
There is always a complaint among aspirants: "I have
been meditating for the last twelve years and I have not made any improvement,
any realisation. What is the matter?" They have not plunged themselves in
deep meditation in the innermost recesses of their hearts. They have not
properly saturated the mind with thoughts of God. They have not done regular,
systematic sadhana (practice). They have not disciplined the indriyas (senses)
properly. They have not collected all the outgoing rays of the mind. They have
not made the self-determination that: "I will realise God this very
second". They have not given the whole mind to God. They have not kept up
an increasing flow of divine consciousness.
Even if you do not feel any pulse in the sadhaka (seeker)
when he is in meditation, even if the breathing stops, do not think that he is
in nirvikalpa samadhi (unconditioned state). If he is, he will return with
super-sensual divine knowledge then only can it be said that he has attained
real samadhi. Breathing and pulse may stop from various other causes as well.
The sadhaka must have perfect awareness in meditation. There
is not much gain if he remains in mere jada (inert) state, even though he is
insensible to external sounds.
O aspirant, struggle hard. Make sincere efforts. Meditate
regularly and systematically. Enough of heated discussions and heated debates.
Retire into a solitary room. Close your eyes. Have deep silent meditation. Feel
God's presence. Repeat His name Om with fervour, joy and love. Fill your
heart with prem. Destroy thoughts, whims, fancies and desires when they arise
on the surface of the mind.
Withdraw the wandering mind. Fix it on the Lord. Now
meditation will become deep and intense. Do not open your eyes. Do not stir
from your seat. Merge in him. Dive deep in the recesses of your heart. Plunge
into the shining Atman. Drink the nectar of immortality. Enjoy the silence.
Peace. Silence. Glory.
Still the waves of the mind and hold it steady in nirvikalpa
samadhi (unconditioned state of super-consciousness). This needs constant,
protracted practice of meditation. There may be breaks in the meditation in the
beginning, but practice makes you perfect. Later you will be able to remain
absorbed in meditation for long periods. You can merge yourself in samadhi,
with a mind like a flame protected from wind.
Before getting sanguine success in meditation get victory
over the pose first. Sit upon your seat with the steadiness of a rock for two
or three hours. If the body is steady then the mind will also be steady.
Do not mistake a little concentration or one-pointedness of
mind for samadhi. Simply because you have risen a little above body
consciousness, on account of a little concentration, do not think that you have
Separate the mind from the body and unite it with the
Supreme Self. This is known as samadhi or the super-conscious state. This will
give liberation or freedom from births and deaths. Samadhi is obtained by
practice for a long time and with zeal and enthusiasm.
Samadhi is the highest goal which one can attain through
meditation. It is not a little thing that can be attained through a little
practice. To attain samadhi one should observe strict brahmacharya (celibacy),
dietetic restrictions and one must have purity of heart.
If these are not attained there is no possibility of
attaining samadhi. These are preliminary qualifications and should be well
grasped. Then only one should try to enter the portals of samadhi. None can
enter there unless he is a great devotee of the Lord.
- - -
Moksha (liberation) is loss of one's personality in the
divine. It is deliverance from the delusion of personality. Just as the river
becomes the ocean itself, the individual soul becomes the mighty supreme soul,
with higher consciousness, transcendental bliss and knowledge.
O beloved Ram! You are within a strong fortress now. A
spiritual fortress where no temptation can influence you. You are absolutely
safe. Now you can do vigorous sadhana (spiritual practice) without fear. Kill
the foe the mind. Wear the spiritual laurels of peace, equal-vision and
You are already shining with Brahmic bliss. The all-merciful
Lord has given you all sorts of comforts, good health and a guru to guide you.
What more do you want? Grow. Evolve. Realise the truth and proclaim it
Be silent. Know thyself. Know that. Melt the mind in that.
Truth is quite clear and simple. Solitude and intense meditation are two
important requisites for self-realisation. If sadhana is interrupted, make up
the deficiency later.
Practise self-restraint at all times because, all of a
sudden, the senses may suddenly become turbulent. This is why Krishna says:
"O son of Kunti, the excited senses of even a wise man, though he be
striving, impetuously carry away his mind."
The wandering habit of the mind must be controlled by making
it stick to one place, by one method of sadhana, by one guru and by one form of
yoga. A rolling stone gathers no moss. When you take up a book for study, you
must finish it before you take up another one. When you take up any work, you
must devote your wholehearted attention towards it and finish it before you
take up any other work.
Do not cause pain or suffering to any living being, whether
through greed, selfishness, irritability or annoyance. Give up anger and
ill-will. Give up the spirit of fighting and heated debates. Do not argue. If
you quarrel with somebody you cannot meditate for three or four days, because
your balance of mind is upset. Thus much energy is wasted in useless channels.
Also the blood becomes hot; the nerves are shattered. Keep a serene mind
always. Meditation proceeds from a serene mind.
An aspirant must be sensitive and yet possess a body and
nerves completely under control. The greater the sensitivity becomes, the more
difficult the task. Noises which pass unnoticed by an ordinary person are
torture to one who is very sensitive. Develop the inner power of the self.
Centralisation of ideas will stop the outgoing habit of the mind.
As the will power in many persons has become very weak, as
they had no religious discipline or training in schools and colleges when they
were young, and as they are under the sway of materialistic influences, it is
necessary for them to go in for seclusion for some weeks, months or years, to
practise rigorous japa (repetition of God's name) and undisturbed meditation.
Calm the bubbling emotions, sentiments, instincts and
impulses through silent meditation. You can give a new orientation to your
feelings by systematic practice. You can entirely transmute your worldly nature
into divine nature. You can exercise supreme control over the nerve centres,
the nerves, the muscles, the five koshas (sheaths), emotions, impulses and
instincts through meditation.
Those who have fixed up their sons in life, who have retired
from service and those who have no ties in the world can remain in seclusion
for four or five years and practise intense meditation and tapas (austerity)
for purification and self-realisation. When they have attained self-knowledge,
they should come out and share their knowledge and bliss with others. They
should disseminate knowledge of the Self through lectures, conversations,
discourses or heart-to-heart talks.
A householder (grhasta) with yogic tendencies and spiritual
inclinations can practise meditation in a solitary and quiet room in his own
house - or in any solitary place on the banks of any holy river, during
holidays or throughout the year if he is a whole-time aspirant or if he is
retired from service.
The aspirant should be free from hope, desire and greed.
Then only will he have a steady mind. Hope, desire and greed make the mind ever
restless and turbulent; they are the enemies of peace and self-knowledge. He
should not have many possessions. He can keep only those articles which are
absolutely necessary for the maintenance of his body. If there are many
possessions the mind will be ever thinking of the articles and attempting to
protect them. Those who want quick progress in meditation during seclusion
should not keep any connection with the world by way of correspondence, reading
newspapers or thinking of the family members and possessions.
When you get a flash of illumination, do not be frightened.
It will be a new experience of immense joy. Do not turn back. Do not give up
meditation. Do not stop there. You will have to advance still further. This is
only a glimpse of truth. This is not the whole experience. This is not the
highest realisation. This is only a new platform. Try to ascend further. Reach
the bhuma (the infinite). Now alone you are proof against all temptation. You
will drink deep the nectar of immortality. This is the acme or final state. You
can take eternal rest now. You need not meditate any further. This is the final
You have within yourself tremendous powers and latent
faculties of which you have really never had any conception. You must awaken
these dormant powers and faculties by the practice of meditation and yoga. You
must develop your will and control your senses and mind. You must purify
yourself and practise regular meditation, then only can you become a superman
or God man.
Every human being has within himself various potentialities
and capacities. He is a magazine of power and knowledge. As he evolves, he
unfolds new powers, new faculties, new qualities. Now he can change his
environment and influence others. He can subdue others' minds. He can conquer
internal and external nature. He can enter into super-conscious state.
- - -
The wise cut asunder the knot of egoism by the sharp sword
of constant meditation. Then dawns supreme knowledge of the Self or full
illumination or self-realisation. The liberated sage has neither doubt nor
delusion. All bonds of karma (action) are rent asunder. This is the master-key
to open the realms of eternal bliss. It may be tiring in the beginning, because
the mind will be running away from the point (lakshya) every now and then. But
after some time it will be focused in the centre. You will be immersed in
Just as the light is burning within the hurricane lamp, so
also the divine flame is burning from time immemorial in the lamp of your
heart. Close your eyes. Merge yourself within the divine flame. Plunge deep
into the chambers of your heart. Meditate on this divine flame and become one
with the flame of God.
If the wick within the lamp is small, the light will also be
small. If the wick is big, the light also will be powerful. Similarly if the
jiva (individual soul) is pure, if he practises meditation, the manifestation
of the Self will be powerful. He will radiate a big light. Likewise the purer
the soul, the greater the expression.
If the magnet is powerful, it will influence the iron
filings even when they are placed at a distance. Even so, if the yogi is an
advanced person, he will have greater influence over the persons with whom he
comes in contact. He can exert his influence on persons even when they live in
During meditation note how long you can shut out all worldly
thoughts. Watch the mind. Try to increase the period. Fill the mind with
thoughts of God again and again.
In meditation do not strain the eyes. Do not strain the
brain. Do not struggle or wrestle with the mind. Relax. Gently allow divine
thoughts to flow. Steadily think of lakshya (point of meditation). Do not
voluntarily and violently drive away the intruding thoughts. Have sublime
(satvic) thoughts. The vicious thoughts will vanish by themselves.
If there is much strain in your meditation, reduce the
duration of each sitting for a few days. Those who meditate for four or five
hours at a stretch can have two meditative poses. Keep the spine erect.
You must daily increase your vairagya (dispassion) and
meditation on satvic virtues such as patience, perseverance, mercy, love and
forgiveness. Vairagya and good qualities help meditation. Meditation increases
the satvic qualities.
The sound produced in the flowing of the river Ganges, the
sound that is heard at a distance, the sound that proceeds from the bustle of
the market, that is produced by the flywheel when it is set in motion, that is
caused when it rains, or there is a conflagration, or thunder it is all Om
only. Split any word and you will find Om there. Om is all-pervading, like akasha
(space), like Brahman, the Absolute.
Om is the symbol of Brahman. It is the word of power. It is
the sacred monosyllable. It is the essence of the vedas. It is the boat to take
you across to the other shore of fearlessness and immortality.
The word Om is the most appropriate name of Brahman. By its
application, by its chanting, he becomes propitiated. Om is emblematic of
Brahman, as images are of material objects. When you hear the sound 'tree', you
at once understand it has a root, a stem, branches, leaves, flowers, fruits,
etc. Similarly too, when you hear the shabda (sound) Om it denotes
satchidananda Brahman existence absolute, knowledge absolute, bliss absolute.
Shabda (word) and artha (meaning) are inseparable. All
collections of words (speech), terminate in one sound - Om. All objects are
denoted by sounds, and all sounds merge in Om. The whole universe comes out of
Om and is absorbed into Om. Hence Om is very important.
Om should be worshipped. Om should be chanted loudly. Om
should be repeated mentally, with deep meaning and feeling. Om should be
Watch the breath. When you inhale, the sound so is produced.
When you exhale, the sound ham is produced. You are naturally uttering soham -
I am he - or he am I - with every breath. The breath reminds you that you are
in essence identical with the Supreme Self.
In soham the 's' and the 'h' are consonants. If you delete
them you get 'oam' or om. Consonants depend on vowels for their existence. 'S'
and 'h' represent names and forms, or this universe which is phenomenal or
relative or empirical or dependent existence. Om is the only solid reality. Om
is the soul of your breath.
As soon as you sit for meditation, chant Om loudly - three,
six or twelve times. This drives away worldly thoughts from the mind and
removes vikshep (tossing of the mind). Later you may take to the mental
repetition of Om.