Tuesday, December 31, 2019

1 January

It is customary to begin our New Year with Gurudev Swami Sivananda's Universal Prayer...

Universal Prayer

O adorable Lord of mercy and love!
Salutations and prostrations to thee.
Thou art satchidananda.
(Existence-Consciousness-Bliss Absolute)
Thou art omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient.
Thou art the indweller of all beings.

Grant us an understanding heart,
Equal vision, balanced mind,
Faith, devotion and wisdom.
Grant us inner spiritual strength
To resist temptations and to control the mind.
Free us from egoism, lust, anger, greed and hatred.
Fill our hearts with divine virtues.

Let us behold thee in all these names and forms.
Let us serve thee in all these names and forms.
Let us ever remember thee.
Let us ever sing thy glories.
Let thy name be ever on our lips.
Let us abide in thee for ever and ever.
                          —Swami Sivananda

Sivananda Daily Reading for 1 January
Real Peace

How long do you want to live a life of duality? A life of restlessness and discontentment? How long do you wish to lead a life of ignorance, hatred, bitterness, and separation? How long do you wish to continue your own selfish struggles? How long do you wish to behold differences and distinctions? How long do you wish to keep the barriers between man and man?

You cry for shanti, for peace. But where to get it? Through whom to get it? Realise peace in your own heart through association with sages and by meditation. You can find this peace only in the stillness, only within your own Self. You certainly cannot find it in objects. Look within.

Sit silently in a quiet room for one or two hours. Close your eyes and concentrate on the point between the eyebrows. Withdraw the mind and the senses from the external objects. Be still.

Silence the surging thoughts and the bubbling emotions. Forget the body. Forget the world. Enter into the great calm. Dive deep down into the recesses of your heart. Plunge into the ocean of peace. Now you can realise your oneness with the Supreme Self.

Be regular in your practice. This is of paramount importance. It is useless to talk of the cessation of war, whilst you are still full of petty hatred and jealousy. So first remove your own inharmonious vibrations. Then there will be no more war between nations. It is only the individuals that constitute a nation.

Lead a life of peace. Kill suspicion. Kill envy. Kill prejudice. Kill selfishness. Kill the greed for power and possession. Do this ruthlessly.

Lead a simple life. Practise daily meditation and establish peace in your own heart. Then you will radiate it to all who come in contact with you.

Mysterious is this peace. If you enjoy this peace, you will be contributing peace to the whole world. Realise the peace that passeth all understanding and be free.