Swami Sivananda     202 posts


Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
People talk of celibacy; but practical men are rare, indeed. A life of continence is really beset with difficulties.

It is easy to tame a tiger or a lion or an elephant. It is easy to play with a cobra. It is easy to walk over the fire. It is easy to uproot the Himalayas. It is easy to get victory in the battlefield. But, it is difficult to eradicate lust.

You need not despair even a bit, however. Have faith in God, in His Name and in His grace. You are bound to succeed if you have faith in Him. Mere human effort alone will not suffice. The divine grace is needed. Lust cannot be completely uprooted from the mind except by the grace of the Lord. God helps those who help themselves.

Lack of spiritual Sadhana is the main cause for all sexual attractions. Mere theoretical abstention from sensuality will not bring you good results. You must mercilessly cut off all formalities in social life and lead a pious life. Leniency to internal lower tendencies will land you in the region of suffering. Excuse will not be of use in this respect. You must be sincere in your purpose for the sublime life of spirituality. Half-heartedness will leave you in your old state of misery.

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
It is easy to tame a tiger or a lion or an elephant. It is easy to play with a cobra. It is easy to walk over the fire. It is easy to uproot the Himalayas. It is easy to get victory in the battlefield. But, it is difficult to eradicate lust.

http://www.dlshq.org/teachings/brahmacharya.htm

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
Teachings of Guru Nanak

Guru Nanak felt that it would be improper to postpone Nama Smarana or remembering the Name of the Lord, even by a single breath, because no one could tell whether the breath that had gone in would come out or not. Nanak says, "We are men of one breath. I know not a longer time-limit". Guru Nanak calls him alone a true saint who remembers the Name of the Lord with every incoming and outgoing breath. The ideal is practical and within the reach of every man. He tells the people not to lose any time but to begin at once. He also says that there are no barriers of race, class, caste, creed or colour which check the progress of any in reaching the goal. He realised the great truth of the brotherhood of religions. He preached the universal brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God to all people.

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
Thiruvalluvar, Tamil Siddha.

Thiruvalluvar was born at Madurai, the capital of the Pandyas.
He is regarded as an Avatara of Brahma.
His wife Vasuki was a chaste and devoted lady, an ideal wife, who never disobeyed the orders of her husband, but always carried them out implicitly.
Thiruvalluvar showed people that a person could lead the life of a Grihastha or householder, and at the same time, lead a divine life or a life of purity and sanctity. He showed people that there was no necessity to leave the family and become a Sannyasin to lead a divine life of purity and sanctity.
All his wise sayings and teachings are now in book form and known as ‘Thirukkural’. These sayings are all in couplets. Here are some of them:

Just as the alphabet ‘A’ is the beginning of all letters, so also, God is the beginning for this universe.

http://www.dlshq.org/saints/thiruvalluvar.htm

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
Yoga is Universal

Yoga is for all. Yoga is universal. It is not a sectarian affair. It is a way to God and not a creed.

The practice of Yoga is not opposed to any religion or any sacred Church. It is purely spiritual and universal. It does not contradict anyone's sincere faith.

Yoga is not a religion, but an aid to the practice of the basic spiritual truths in all religions. Yoga can be practised by a Christian or a Buddhist, a Parsee, a Muslim, a Sufi or an atheist.

To be a Yogi means to abide continuously in God and to live at peace with men. Yoga is union with God. Yoga is union with all. God dwells in all.

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
Here is my little song of the Yoga of Synthesis, for your daily practice:

Eat a little, drink a little
Talk a little, sleep a little
Mix a little, move a little
Serve a little, rest a little
Work a little, relax a little
Study a little, worship a little
Do Asana a little, Pranayama a little
Reflect a little, meditate a little
Do Japa a little, do Kirtan a little
Write Mantra a little, have Satsang a little
Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realize
Be good, Do good; Be kind, Be compassionate
Enquire 'Who am I ?', Know the Self and be Free

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
A little practice of Hatha Yoga (Asanas and Pranayamas) will give you good health. Raja Yoga will steady your mind. Upasana and Karma Yoga will purify your heart and prepare you for the practice of Vedanta. Sankirtan will relax your mind and inspire you. Meditation will take you to liberation.

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
To behold the one Self in all beings is Jnana, wisdom; to love the Self is Bhakti, devotion; to serve the Self is Karma, action. When the Jnana Yogi attains wisdom, he is endowed with devotion and self less activity. Karma Yoga is for him a spontaneous expression of his spiritual nature, as he sees the one Self in all. When the devotee attains perfection in devotion, he is possessed of wisdom and activity. For him also, Karma Yoga is a spontaneous expression of his divine nature, as he beholds the one Lord everywhere. The Karma Yogi attains wisdom and devotion when his actions are wholly selfless. The three paths are, in fact, one in which the three different temperaments emphasize one or the other of its inseparable constituents. Yoga supplies the method by which the Self can be seen, loved and served.

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
Barometer of Spiritual Progress

By
Sri Swami Sivananda

Here is an infallible barometer to find out the degree of your spiritual progress. How would you feel, if:

Your clean hands or best clothes are stained.
You stumbled down or commit a blunder and are laughed at.
You are hurt accidentally or stung by an insect or scorpion.
You suffer from illness or pain.
You do not succeed in your efforts.
You do not get a thing that you want, or find that some thing you possess is missing.
You are kept waiting for a long time by some other person.
You are insulted or abused for no reason.
Others fail in their duties towards you.
You suffer a loss or bereavement.

If none of these can disturb your peace of mind and you are indifferent to them, you have won the struggle and achieved 50% self control. God sends trials and troubles to strengthen your character: Greet them and test yourself.

Swami Sivananda


DLS branch, Raurkela, Orissa, India, 1972.

http://www.dlshq.org/teachings/baro.htm

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
Paramahansa Yogananda was born on 5 January, 1893, near the Himalayas, in Gorakhpur. His parents, brothers and sisters were all saintly and pious, but Mukunda (the boyhood name of Yogananda) was unique amongst all of them. He displayed his spiritual gifts and powers even from his childhood.

His line of Gurus descended from Babaji, the deathless Guru said to be the reincarnation of Lord Krishna. Babaji’s disciple was Lahiri Mahasaya, who in turn had as his disciple, Sri Yukteswar. It was Sri Yukteswar who was destined to be the spiritual master of Paramahansa Yogananda.

For ten years Yoganandaji trained for his high duty at the Ashram of his Guru, pursuing his university career at the same time. After his rigorous training, filled with the light of God-vision, he was now ready to undertake the mission entrusted to him by his line of Gurus.

The education of the youth was always dear to the heart of Yoganandaji. He set up his first school in Bengal in 1917. Its curriculum includes the standard high school subjects as well as Yoga concentration, meditation and the Yogoda system of physical development.

In 1920, Yoganandaji went to America as a delegate from India to the International Congress of Religions at Boston, and from then on America became his home. Five years later he founded the Self-Realization Fellowship with its head quarters at Mount Washington, Los Angeles. In his famous Autobiography of a Yogi, Yoganandaji has given graphic descriptions of his spiritual experiences and his contact with the great Yogis of India. This book has since become one of the greatest spiritual classics in the world and has been translated into many languages.

Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952)



Paramahansa Yogananda had a broad and liberal heart. Even though he himself was a great Master, he approached other saints with great reverence.

Kriya Yoga was the method of God-realisation taught by Yoganandaji. His mission in the West was to spread the knowledge of Yoga practices, by which man can enter into union with God. Yoganandaji also gave new explanations to the teachings of the Bible, showing the similarity of its teachings with that of Hinduism. He promoted the cause of a better understanding between the East and West. Numerous students got personal instructions in Yoga teachings in the classes conducted by him in his ministry of thirty-two years. He spoke in churches, societies, universities and clubs.

In 1935, Yoganandaji’s class instructions were published in the form of lessons and mailed to students all over the world. In India the same teachings were spread by the Yogoda Satsanga Society, with its headquarters at Dakshineswar.

The Self-Realization Fellowship today has hundreds of centres throughout the world. There are seven large centres in California, where renunciates stay to serve and practise Yoga. A number of trained monks tour all over the world, giving discourses and Kriya Yoga initiation to students.

Besides giving instructions on Yoga and balanced living, SRF also conducts many social services, especially in India.

Yoganandaji attained Mahasamadhi on March 7, 1952. The great Master showed his power over death, for his body did not decay for many weeks.

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
Milarepa



Tibet's Great Yogi: It was in the first autumn month, on the twenty-fifth day of A.D. 1052 under the influence of an auspicious star that Milarepa was born. His father gave him the name Thopaga (which means "delightful to hear"). He had one sister by name Peta. Milarepa's father was Mila-Sherab-Gyaltsen. Milarepa was born in a rich family. His hair was plaited with gold and turquoises when he was young. When Milarepa reached the age of seven, his father died. His uncle was in charge of the estate of Milarepa. He deceived Milarepa and his mother and ill-treated them. Milarepa was a black-magician in the beginning. He destroyed his enemies by launching a hailstorm just to please his mother. Then he repented very much and turned to the "white path" or the path of virtue.

Marapa was the Guru of Milarepa. Milarepa was also known by the name of Jetsun. Marapa tested Jetsun very much in various ways.

With great difficulty Milarepa got the highest initiation from his Guru, and became his pet disciple. He practised severe austerities and meditation in solitary caves. Demema, the wife of Marapa, treated Milarepa with kindness and tender affection, because Milarepa was energetic, sincere, hardworking and intelligent. He was shut up in a cave. Food was passed inside by the servant of Marapa through a small aperture in the side. Milarepa used to sit in a rigid posture with a lighted-lamp on his head, without moving till the light was out, were it night or day.

Milarepa meditated in various caves. His body was reduced to a skeleton owing to severe austerities. He lived on nettles only for several months. He followed the instructions of his Guru to the very letter. He developed various Siddhis. Just as Lord Krishna multiplied himself and appeared in the house of all the Gopis, so also Milarepa had the power to take as many forms as he liked. He played with his disciples by multiplying himself.

Milarepa once transferred his pain to the door of his meditation room. The door began to emit sounds of cracking and splitting. It throbbed and vibrated and was on the point of crumbling down.

Milarepa attained the state of Buddha-hood. The caves where he practised devotion and meditation are even now places of pilgrimage and worship. He had a large number of followers. Even now there are people in Tibet who belong to his school. He died in A.D. 1135 at the age of eighty-four. Those who desire to have a detailed study of his life can get a copy of the book "Tibet's Great Yogi—Milarepa" (by W.Y. Evans Wentz, Jesus College Oxford) from the Oxford University Press, London.

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
Mahavira

By
Sri Swami Sivananda

Mahavira was born in 599 B.C. He lived for 72 years. He abandoned home in 569 B.C. He attained omniscience in 557 B.C. and entered into Nirvana in 527 B.C. He was the last Tirthankara.

Mahavira lived a life of absolute truthfulness, a life of perfect honesty and a life of absolute chastity. He lived without possessing any property at all.

Mahavira was born of Sidhatha, Raja of Kundalpura, and Queen Trisala, who was known by the name Priya Karni. ‘Maha’ means great and ‘Vira’ means a hero. ‘Tirtha’ literally means a ford, a means of crossing over. Metaphorically, it denotes a spiritual guide or philosophy which enables one to cross over the ocean of recurring births in this world. ‘Kara’ means one who makes. The whole word Tirthankara means a Jain holy teacher.

Mahavira is not the founder of Jainism. He revised the Jain doctrines. He was more a reformer than the founder of the faith. In Jain metaphysics, "Time" is divided into cycles. It is claimed that in each half-cycle, twenty-four Tirthankaras, at long intervals, preach anew the doctrines. Mahavira was the twenty-fourth, and like the others, is claimed to have been omniscient.

Mahavira was also known by the names Vardhamana (i.e., ever advancing) and Sanmati. At the age of eight he observed the twelve vows of Ahimsa, etc. He was obedient to his parents and served them with great faith and devotion. He was an able statesman. He did not marry.

Mahavira was immersed in Self-contemplation. He knew that the pleasures of this world were transitory and that they strengthened the letters of Karma. He knew that renunciation would lead to the attainment of eternal bliss.

People were quite astonished at the virtuous nature of Mahavira at such a tender age. He was very much interested in meditation. He cultivated the arts of music and literature. Thirty years of Prince Vardhamana’s life passed off in this way.

Vardhamana saw, through his clairvoyant vision, that he had been passing through innumerable births. He thought, "How many births have gone by fruitlessly! I clearly see that the Soul is essentially separate from the Karma matter. I have still wasted away thirty years of my life. I have not practised any penance. I have not renounced the world in order to attain pure Knowledge. The infatuation which is at the root of all evils is not yet destroyed".

Prince Vardhamana became extremely penitent. He resolved to give up everything worldly. He gave up attachment to his parents, friends and relatives. He thought over the twelve Anuprekshas or matters of deep thinking according to the Jain scriptures:

1. All worldly things are temporary.

2. The Soul alone is the sole resort.

3. This world is beginningless and crooked.

4. There is nothing to help the Soul, but the Soul itself.

5. Body, mind, etc., are essentially separate from the Soul.

6. The Soul is essentially pure and the body, etc., are essentially impure.

7. The Soul’s bondage is due to the inflow of Karma in it.

8. Every being ought to stop this inflow.

9. Emancipation is attained when Karma is absolutely got rid of.

10. The emancipated Souls remain fit the foremost top of the filled spaces.

11. In this world, to have the birth of a human being and to meditate on the nature of the Soul are the greatest blessings.

12. To have the three jewels as described by the Omniscient is the only morality.

Mahavira thought over these twelve things and decided finally that he must abandon home.

Mahavira’s mother said, "My beloved son, you will not be able to bear the severity of the austerities. There is time yet for it. You must help your father in governing the kingdom. You can become a monk after some years".

Mahavira said, "Adorable mother! All the objects of the world are evanescent like water bubbles. Where can one get happiness in this world which is the abode of disease, sorrow, pain and death? I must leave this world".

Mahavira distributed all his wealth to the poor with his own hands. He went to the forest. He took off even the piece of cloth which he was wearing and became absolutely nude. He turned to the north and said, "Salutation to the Siddhas!" He rooted out with his own hands five tufts of hair from his head and became a monk.

Mahavira practised rigorous austerities. He fasted for many days. He meditated on the pure nature of the Soul.

Mahavira was tested by the celestials. A group of handsome women surrounded him. But Mahavira remained unmoved and unperturbed. He attained omniscience. He preached his message of peace for thirty years after the attainment of omniscience. He wandered in Magadha, Mithila, etc. Many kings became his disciples.

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
Parsvanatha

By
Sri Swami Sivananda

Parsva is regarded as an incarnation of Indra. He was the son of King Visvasena of Kashi, a descendant of the Ikshvaku family, and Queen Bama Devi, daughter of King Mahipala. He was the twenty-third Tirthankara. He was born on the eleventh day of the dark fortnight in the month of Pousha in the year 872 B.C.

Parsvanatha began to practise the twelve vows of a householder when he was only eight years old.

Prince Parsva was now sixteen years old. He was sitting on the throne. His father Visvasena said, "My son, in order to continue our celebrated royal dynasty, you must marry now. At the desire of Nabhi Raja, Rishabha had to marry".

Parsvanatha was very much frightened when he heard the words of his father. He said, "My life-period will not be so extensive as that of Rishabha. I am to live only a few score years. I have already wasted sixteen years in boyish sports. I must enter the order in my thirtieth year. Should I then have a married life for so short a period in the hope of getting pleasures which are, after all, only imperfect, transient and illusory?"

Parsvanatha’s heart was filled with a spirit of renunciation. He reflected within himself: "For long, long years I enjoyed the status of Indra and yet the lust for pleasures did not decrease. Enjoyment of pleasures only increases the lust for pleasures, just as the addition of fuel only increases the virulence of fire. Pleasures at the time of enjoyment are pleasant, but their consequences are surely disastrous.

"The soul experiences from beginningless time the sufferings of birth, old age, etc., on account of its attachment to the objects of this world. To satisfy the cravings of his senses, man wanders in the realm of pain. So that he may have sensual gratification, he does not heed the moral injunctions and he commits the worst vices. He kills living animals to enjoy the pleasures of the senses. Lust is at the root of theft, greed, adultery and all vices and crimes.

"As a consequence of sinful acts, the soul is forced to migrate from birth to birth in the kingdom of the lower animals etc., and to suffer the torments of hell. This lust for pleasures must be shunned ruthlessly. So long I have wasted my life. I am not going to spend any more time in the vain pursuit of pleasures. I shall be serious and practise right conduct."

Prince Parsva had the twelve Anuprekshas or meditations. He resolved to abandon the world. He took leave of his parents and then left his house. He retired into the forest. He became absolutely naked. He turned towards the north and bowed to the great Emancipated Siddhas. He plucked five tufts of hair from his head and became a monk.

Parsva practised fasting. He observed with scrupulous care the twenty-eight primary and the ninety-four secondary rules of the order of monks. He was found lost in meditation. He attained the pure omniscience. He attained the final liberation in the Sammeda Hill which is known today as the Parsvanatha Hill.

Parsvanatha preached in Kashi, Kosi, Kosala, Panchala, Maharashtra, Magadha, Avanti, Malava, Anga and Vanga. Many joined the Jain faith. Parsvanatha spent seventy years in preaching.

Mahavira modified and enlarged what had already been taught by Parsvanatha. He did not preach anything which was absolutely new.

Parsvanatha lived for one hundred years. He abandoned his home when he was thirty years old. He left home in 842 B.C. and attained Nirvana in 772 B.C.

Glory to Parsvanatha, the twenty-third Tirthankara!

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
Dattatreya



Anasuya is generally quoted as the model of chastity. She was the wife of Atri Maharishi, a great sage and one of the Sapta Rishis. She was well established in Pativrata Dharma.

She served her husband with intense devotion. She did severe Tapas for a very long time in order to beget sons equal to Brahma, Vishnu and Siva.

Once Narada took a small ball of iron—the size of a gram-grain—to Sarasvati and said to her, "O Sarasvati Devi! Please fry this iron ball. I will eat this iron-ball-gram during my travel". Sarasvati laughed and said, "O Rishi Narada! How can this iron ball be fried? How can this be eaten?". Narada afterwards went to Mahalakshmi and Parvati and requested them to fry the iron ball. They also laughed at Narada Rishi. Then Narada said, "O Devis! See, I will get it fried by Anasuya, wife of Atri Maharishi, a great Pativrata who lives in the earth-plane".

Then Narada came to Anasuya and requested her to fry the iron-ball-gram. Anasuya put the iron ball in the frying pan, meditated on the form of her husband and put a few drops of water which were used in washing the feet of her husband on the iron ball. The iron ball was at once fried. Narada went to Sarasvati, Lakshmi and Parvati, ate before them the fried iron-ball-gram and gave them also a little of it. He greatly praised the glory of Anasuya and her chastity. Then Narada resolved to fulfil the wish of Anasuya to beget sons equal to Brahma, Vishnu and Siva.

Narada said to Sarasvati, Lakshmi and Parvati: "You also could have fried the iron ball, if you all had done service to your husbands with faith, sincerity and devotion. Make a request to your husbands to test Anasuya’s Pativrata Dharma".

Then Sarasvati, Lakshmi and Parvati requested their husbands to test the Pativrata Dharma of Anasuya, wife of Atri Maharishi, and ask her to give them Nirvana Bhiksha, that is, to give them alms in a naked condition.

The Tri-Murtis, through Jnana-Drishti, came to know of the action of Narada and the Tapas and the wish of Anasuya. They agreed. The Tri-Murtis put on the garb of Sannyasins, appeared before Anasuya and asked her to give them Nirvana Bhiksha. Anasuya was in a great dilemma. She could not say ‘No’ to the Bhikshus. She had to maintain her Pativrata Dharma also. She meditated on the form of her husband, took refuge in his feet and sprinkled over the three Sannyasins a few drops of water which were used for washing the feet of her husband. The Tri-Murtis were converted into three children on account of the glory of the Charanamrita. At the same time, there was accumulation of milk in the breast of Anasuya. She thought that those children were her own children and fed them with the milk in a nude state and put them to the cradle. She was eagerly expecting the arrival of her husband who had gone for taking his bath.

As soon as Atri Rishi came back home, Anasuya related to him all that had happened during his absence, placed the three children at his feet and worshipped him. But Atri knew all this already through his divine vision. He embraced all the three children. The three children became one child with two feet, one trunk, three heads and six hands. Atri Rishi blessed his wife and informed her that the Tri-Murtis themselves had assumed the forms of the three children to gratify her wish.

Narada went to Brahma-Loka, Vaikuntha and Kailasa and informed Sarasvati, Lakshmi and Parvati that their husbands had been turned into children through the power of the Pativrata Dharma of Anasuya when they asked her Nirvana Bhiksha and that they would not return unless the Devis asked for Bhartri Bhiksha (Bhiksha of husband) from Atri. Sarasvati, Lakshmi and Parvati assumed the forms of ordinary women, appeared before Atri and asked for Pati Bhiksha: "O Rishi, kindly give us back our husbands". Atri Rishi duly honoured the three ladies and with folded hands prayed to them that his wish and the wish of Anasuya should be fulfilled. Then the Tri-Murtis appeared in their true form before Atri and said, "This child will be a great sage according to your word and will be equal to us according to the wish of Anasuya. This child will bear the name of Dattatreya". Then they disappeared.

Dattatreya attained manhood. As he had the rays of the Tri-Murtis, and as he was a great Jnani, all the Rishis and ascetics worshipped him. He was gentle, peaceful and amiable. He was always followed by a great multitude of people. Dattatreya tried to get rid of them, but his endeavours were all in vain. Once when he was surrounded by many people, he entered a river for bathing and he did not come out of it for three days. He entered into Samadhi inside the water. On the third day, he came out and found that the people were still sitting on the banks of the river awaiting his return. He did not succeed in getting rid of the people by this method.

So Dattatreya adopted another plan. He created a beautiful girl and a bottle of wine out of his Yogic power. He came out of the waters holding the girl in one hand and the bottle of wine in the other. The people thought that Dattatreya had fallen from his Yoga and so they left him and went away.

Dattatreya threw away all his personal possessions, even the scanty clothing he had, and became an Avadhuta. He went out preaching and teaching the truths of Vedanta. Dattatreya taught his Gita, named Avadhuta Gita, to Lord Subrahmanya. This is a most valuable book which contains the truths and secrets of Vedanta and the direct experiences of Self-realisation.

Once, while Dattatreya was roaming in a forest happily, he met king Yadu, who on seeing Dattatreya so happy, asked him the secrets of his happiness and also the name of his Guru. Dattatreya said that the Atma alone was his Guru and yet he had learned wisdom from twenty-four individuals and that they were therefore his Gurus.

Dattatreya then mentioned the names of his twenty-four Gurus and spoke of the wisdom that he had learnt from each.

Dattatreya said: "The names of my twenty-four teachers are:
1. Earth
2. Water
3. Air
4. Fire
5. Sky
6. Moon
7. Sun
8. Pigeon 9. Python
10. Ocean
11. Moth
12. Honey-gatherer
13. Bee
14. Elephant
15. Deer
16. Fish 17. Dancing girl Pingala
18. Raven
19. Child
20. Maiden
21. Serpent
22. Arrow-maker
23. Spider
24. Beetle

1. I have learnt patience and doing good to others from the earth, for it endures every injury that man commits on its surface and yet it does him good by producing crops, trees, etc.

2. From water I have learnt the quality of purity. Just as the pure water cleanses others, so also the sage, who is pure and free from selfishness, lust, egoism, anger, greed, etc., purifies all those who come in contact with him.

3. The air is always moving through various objects, but it never gets attached to anyone of them; so I have learnt from the air to be without attachment, though I move with many people in- this world.

4. Just as fire burns bright, so also the sage should be glowing with the splendour of his knowledge and Tapas.

5. The air, the stars, the clouds, etc., are all contained in the sky, but the sky does not come in contact with any of them. I have learnt from the sky that the Atma is all-pervading and yet it has no contact with any object.

6. The moon is in itself always complete, but appears to decrease or increase, on account of the varying shadow of the earth upon the moon. I have learnt from this that the Atma is always perfect and changeless and that it is only the Upadhis or limiting adjuncts that cast shadows upon it.

7. Just as the sun, reflected in various pots of water, appears as so many different reflections, so also, Brahman appears different because of the Upadhis (bodies) caused by its reflection through the mind. This is the lesson I have learnt from the sun.

8. I once saw a pair of pigeons with their young birds. A fowler spread a net and caught the young birds. The mother pigeon was very much attached to her children. She did not care to live, so she fell into the net and was caught. The male pigeon was attached to the female pigeon, so he also fell into the net and was caught. From this I learnt that attachment was the cause of bondage.

9. The python does not move about for its food. It remains contented with whatever it gets and lies in one place. From this I have learnt to be unmindful of food and to be contented with whatever I get to eat (Ajahara Vritti).

10. Just as the ocean remains unmoved even though hundreds of rivers fall into it, so also, the wise man should remain unmoved among all sorts of temptations, difficulties and troubles. This is the lesson I have learnt from the ocean.

11. Just as the moth, being enamoured of the brilliance of the fire, falls into it and is burnt up, so also, a passionate man who falls in love with a beautiful girl comes to grief. To control the sense of sight and to fix the mind on the Self is the lesson I have learnt from the moth.

12. Just as black bee sucks the honey from different flowers and does not suck it from only one flower, so also I take only a little food from one house and a little from another house and thus appease my hunger (Madhukari Bhiksha or Madhukari Vritti). I am not a burden on the householder.

13. Bees collect honey with great trouble, but a hunter comes and takes the honey easily. Even so, people hoard up wealth and other things with great difficulty, but they have to leave them all at once and depart when the Lord of Death takes hold of them. From this I have learnt the lesson that it is useless to hoard things.

14. The male elephant, blinded by lust, falls into a pit covered over with grass, even at the sight of a paper-made female elephant. It gets caught, enchained and tortured by the goad. Even so, passionate men fall in the traps of women and come to grief. Therefore, one should destroy lust. This is the lesson I have learnt from the elephant.

15. The deer is enticed and trapped by the hunter through its love of music. Even so, a man is attracted by the music of women of loose character and brought to destruction. One should never listen to lewd songs. This is the lesson I have learnt from the deer.

16. Just as a fish that is covetous of food falls an easy victim to the bait, so also, the man who is greedy of food, who allows his sense of taste to overpower him, loses his independence and easily gets ruined. The greed for food must therefore be destroyed. It is the lesson that I have learnt from the fish.

17. There was a dancing girl named Pingala in the town of Videha. She was tired of looking out for customers one night. She became hopeless. Then she decided to remain content with what she had and then she had sound sleep. I have learnt from that fallen woman the lesson that the abandonment of hope leads to contentment.

18. A raven picked up a piece of flesh. It was pursued and beaten by other birds. It dropped the piece of flesh and attained peace and rest. From this I have learnt the lesson that a man in the world undergoes all sorts of troubles and miseries when he runs after sensual pleasures and that he becomes as happy as the bird when he abandons the sensual pleasures.

19. The child who sucks milk is free from all cares, worries and anxieties, and is always cheerful. I have learnt the virtue of cheerfulness from the child.

20. The parents of a young girl had gone in search of a proper bridegroom for her. The girl was alone in the house. During the absence of the parents, a party of people came to the house to see her on a similar mission. She received the party herself. She went inside to husk the paddy. While she was husking, the glass bangles on both hands made a tremendous jingling noise. The wise girl reflected thus: "The party will detect, by the noise of the bangles, that I am husking the paddy myself and that my family is too poor to engage others to get the work done. Let me break all my bangles except two on each hand". Accordingly, she broke all the bangles except two on each hand. Even those two bangles created much noise. She broke one more bangle in each hand. There was no further noise though she continued husking. I have learnt from the girl’s experience the following:—Living among many would create discord, disturbance, dispute and quarrel. Even among two persons, there might be unnecessary words or strife. The ascetic or the Sannyasin should remain alone in solitude.

21. A serpent does not build its hole. It dwells in the holes dug out by others. Even so, an ascetic or a Sannyasin should not build a home for himself He should live in the caves and temples built by others. This is the lesson that I have learnt from the snake.

22. The mind of an arrow-maker was once wholly engrossed in sharpening and straightening an arrow. While he was thus engaged, a king passed before his shop with his whole retinue. After some time, a man came to the artisan and asked him whether the king had passed by his shop. The artisan replied that he had not noticed anything. The fact was that the artisan’s mind had been so solely absorbed in his work that he had not known the king’s passing before his shop. I have learnt from the artisan the quality of intense concentration of mind.

23. The spider pours out of its mouth long threads and weaves them into cobwebs. It gets itself entangled in the net of its own making. Even so, man makes a net of his own ideas and gets entangled in it. The wise man should therefore abandon all worldly thoughts and think of Brahman only. This is the lesson I have learnt from the spider.

24. The Bhringi or the beetle catches hold of a worm, puts it in its nest and gives it a sting. The poor worm, always fearing the return of the beetle and the sting, and thinking constantly of the beetle, becomes a beetle itself. Whatever form a man constantly thinks of, he attains in course of time. As a man thinks, so he becomes. I have learnt from the beetle and the worm to turn myself into Atma by contemplating constantly on It and thus to give up all attachment to the body and attain Moksha or liberation".

King Yadu was highly impressed by the teachings of Dattatreya. He abandoned the world and practised constant meditation on the Self.

Dattatreya was absolutely free from intolerance or prejudice of any kind. He learnt wisdom from whatever source it came. All seekers after wisdom should follow the example of Dattatreya.

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
Maharshi Vyasa

By
Sri Swami Sivananda

In ancient days, our forefathers, the Rishis of Aryavartha, went to the forest to do Tapasya during the four months following Vyasa Purnima—a particular and important day in the Hindu calendar. On this memorable day, Vyasa, an incarnation of the Lord Himself, began to write his Brahma Sutras. Our ancient Rishis did this Tapasya in caves and forests. But times have changed and such facilities are not common nowadays although Grihasthas and Rajas are not wanting who are able and willing to place at the disposal of the members of the fourth Ashrama such help and facilities as they can afford. The forests and caves have given place to the rooms of Sadhus in their own Gurudwaras and Mutts. One has of necessity to suit himself to time and place; and change of place and situation should not be allowed to make such a difference in our mental attitudes. Chaturmas begins from the Vyasa Purnima Day when, according to our Shastras, we are expected to worship Vyasa and the Brahmavidya Gurus and begin the study of the Brahma Sutras and other ancient books on ‘wisdom’.

Our mythology speaks of many Vyasas; and it is said that there had been twenty-eight Vyasas before the present Vyasa—Krishna Dvaipayana—took his birth at the end of Dvapara Yuga. Krishna Dvaipayana was born of Parasara Rishi through the Matsyakanya—Satyavathi Devi—under some peculiar and wonderful circumstances. Parasara was a great Jnani and one of the supreme authorities on astrology and his book Parasara Hora is still a textbook on astrology. He has also written a Smriti known as Parasara Smriti which is held in such high esteem that it is quoted by our present-day writers on sociology and ethics. Parasara came to know that a child, conceived at a particular Ghatika or moment of time, would be born as the greatest man of the age, nay, as an Amsa of Lord Vishnu Himself. On that day, Parasara was travelling in a boat and he spoke to the boatman about the nearing of that auspicious time. The boatman had a daughter who was of age and awaiting marriage. He was impressed with the sanctity and greatness of the Rishi and offered his daughter in marriage to Parasara. Our Vyasa was born of this union and his birth is said to be due to the blessing of Lord Siva Himself who blessed the union of a sage with a Jnani of the highest order, although of a low caste.

At a very tender age Vyasa gave out to his parents the secret of his life that he should go to the forest and do Akhanda Tapas. His mother at first did not agree, but later gave permission on one important condition that he should appear before her whenever she wished for his presence. This itself shows how far-sighted the parents and the son were. Puranas say that Vyasa took initiation at the hands of his twenty-first Guru, sage Vasudeva. He studied the Shastras under sages Sanaka and Sanandana and others. He arranged the Vedas for the good of mankind and wrote the Brahma Sutras for the quick and easy understanding of the Srutis; he also wrote the Mahabharata to enable women, Sudras and other people of lesser intellect to understand the highest knowledge in the easiest way. Vyasa wrote the eighteen Puranas and established the system of teaching them through Upakhyanas or discourses. In this way, he established the three paths, viz., Karma, Upasana and Jnana. To him is also attributed the fact that he continued the line of his mother and that Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura were his progeny. Vyasa’s last work was the Bhagavata which he undertook at the instigation of Devarshi Narada who once came to him and advised him to write it as, without it, his goal in life would not be reached.

Vyasa is considered by all Hindus as a Chiranjivi, one who is still living and roaming throughout the world for the well-being of his devotees. It is said that he appears to the true and the faithful and that Jagadguru Sankaracharya had his Darshan in the house of sage Mandana Misra and that he appeared to many others as well. Thus, in short, Vyasa lives for the welfare of the world. Let us pray for his blessings on us all and on the whole world.

Everybody knows that there are six important systems of thought developed by our ancients known as the Shad Darshanas or the six orthodox schools of philosophy, viz., Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaiseshika, Purva Mimamsa and Uttara Mimamsa or Vedanta. Each system has a different shade of opinion. Later, these thoughts became unwieldy, and to regulate them, the Sutras came into existence. Treatises were written in short aphorisms, called "Sutras" in Sanskrit, meaning clues for memory or aids to long discussions on every topic. In the Padma Purana, the definition of a Sutra is given. It says that a Sutra should be concise and unambiguous; but the brevity was carried to such an extent that the Sutra has become unintelligible and particularly so in the Brahma Sutras. Today we find the same Sutra being interpreted in a dozen ways. The Brahma Sutras written by Vyasa or Badarayana—for that was the name which he possessed in addition—are also known as Vedanta Sutras as they deal with Vedanta only. They are divided into four chapters, each chapter being subdivided again into four sections. It is interesting to note that they begin and end with Sutras which read together mean "the inquiry into the real nature of Brahman has no return", meaning that "going by that way one reaches Immortality and no more returns to the world". About the authorship of these Sutras, tradition attributes it to Vyasa. Sankaracharya, in his Bhashya, refers to Vyasa as the author of the Gita and the Mahabharata, and to Badarayana as the author of the Brahma Sutras. His followers—Vachaspathi, Anandagiri and others—identify the two as one and the same person, while Ramanuja and others attribute the authorship of all three to Vyasa himself. The oldest commentary on the Brahma Sutras is by Sankaracharya; he was later followed by Ramanuja, Vallabha, Nimbarka, Madhva and others who established their own schools of thought. All the five Acharyas mostly agree on two points, viz., (i) that Brahman is the cause of this world and (ii) that knowledge of Brahman leads to final emancipation. But they differ amongst themselves on the nature of this Brahman, the relation between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul, and the condition of the soul in the state of release. According to some, Bhakti and not Jnana, as interpreted by Sankara, is the chief means of attaining liberation.

Vyasa’s life is a unique example of one born for the dissemination of spiritual knowledge. His writings inspire us and the whole world even to this day. May we all live in the spirit of his writings!

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
Thiruvalluvar

By
Sri Swami Sivananda

This biography is from Swami Sivanandaji's book "Lives of Saints".


About two thousand years ago there flourished in Mylapore, Madras, a born Siddha and a born poet by name Valluvar or, as he is more commonly known, ‘Thiruvalluvar’, which only means, ‘the devotee of the Valluva caste’. Valluvas are Pariahs (now called Harijans) and their vocation was proclaiming the orders of the king by beat of drum. There is a tradition that Thiruvalluvar was the son of one Bhagavan, a Brahmin, and Adi, a Pariah woman whom he had married.

Thiruvalluvar was born at Madurai, the capital of the Pandyas. He is regarded as an Avatara of Brahma. His wife Vasuki was a chaste and devoted lady, an ideal wife, who never disobeyed the orders of her husband, but always carried them out implicitly. Thiruvalluvar showed people that a person could lead the life of a Grihastha or householder, and at the same time, lead a divine life or a life of purity and sanctity. He showed people that there was no necessity to leave the family and become a Sannyasin to lead a divine life of purity and sanctity. All his wise sayings and teachings are now in book form and known as ‘Thirukkural’. These sayings are all in couplets. Here are some of them:

Just as the alphabet ‘A’ is the beginning of all letters, so also, God is the beginning for this universe.

Learn the Shastras completely and then act according to their injunctions.

The Anicha flower will fade by smelling, but guests are more sensitive if the hosts turn their faces a bit.

Death is like sleeping in the burial ground;
birth is like waking in the morning.

These couplets are 1,330 in number. They contain the essence of the Vedas, the Upanishads and the six Darshanas. Thirukkural is regarded as a universal Bible. It is another Gita, Koran or Zend Avesta.

Some aspirants repaired to Thiruvalluvar and enquired: "O sage, which Ashrama of life is better—Grihastha or Sannyasa?". Thiruvalluvar did not give any answer. He simply kept quiet. He wanted to teach them the glory of Grihastha Ashrama by example.

Thiruvalluvar was taking cold rice in the morning. He said to his wife: "Vasuki, the rice is very hot. Bring a fan to cool it". Thiruvalluvar’s wife was drawing water from the well when Thiruvalluvar called her. She at once left the rope and ran to him with a fan to cool the rice. She did not say to her husband: "How can the cold rice be hot? Why do you want a fan now?". She simply obeyed his commands. The vessel that contained water was hanging half-way in the well unsupported, on account of her Pativrata Dharma Shakti. The aspirants noticed this phenomenon and the noble conduct of Vasuki and were simply struck with amazement.

About midday, on another occasion, Valluvar called his wife and said, "Bring a lamp immediately, O Vasuki! I am stitching the cloth. I cannot see the eye of the needle. I cannot pass the thread properly". Vasuki did not say to her husband: "It is broad daylight now. Why do you want a lamp? You can see the eye of the needle clearly". But she implicitly obeyed his word. The aspirants were much inspired by the ideal life of sage Thiruvalluvar and the exalted conduct of Vasuki. They did not speak a word to the saint. They took leave of the saint and quietly left the place with profound satisfaction. They were deeply impressed by the practical and exemplary life led by Thiruvalluvar and Vasuki. They learnt the lesson that the life of an ideal householder was in no way inferior to that of an ideal Sannyasin who was treading the path of Nivritti and austerity in the Himalayan caves and that each was great in its own place, time and circumstances.

Dear readers! Such ladies sit enthroned in the hearts of their husbands. No doubt they are hard to find, because such women never advertise themselves; but there must be many in our land of Rishis and sages; and unless we maintain such a high level of moral purity, we will all be going down in these days of modern civilization and scientific advancement. If the husbands of the present day behave like Thiruvalluvar, the wives will say, "My husband has become senseless. He wants to fan the rice when it is so cold! He wants a light when there is broad sunlight". The wives will rebuke their husbands and fight with them.

That house wherein the wife serves the husband with sincere devotion and observes Pativrata Dharma is heaven on earth. That house wherein the wife fights with the husband and disobeys his orders is a veritable hell on earth. Ladies who practise Pativrata Dharma need not go to temples. They need not practise any Vrata or penance. Service to the husband becomes worship. They can realise God through service to their husbands. Husbands also should be ideal persons with noble qualities. Husbands are the Gurus for their wives. The wives need not get any initiation from any Acharya. Glory to such exalted ladies who practise Pativrata Dharma!

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
Sri Swami Sivananda

Power is an intoxicant. Under its sway man will cut his own throat, bring about his own ruin. O Man! Have you not yet realised this patent truth? Have you not had enough of the poisonous fruits of power-politics, a mad hunt for power in national, international, social and even in domestic fields? Have you not yet realised that it will only produce disharmony, wars, riots and misery?

Power is an intoxicant. Even superhuman Tapas, even the Darshan of Lord Siva (for which aspirants engage themselves in life-long Sadhana) proved to be the ruin of Ravana who had surrendered himself to the lust for power.

Nothing can save you, except Dharma. Nothing is of any use, except Dharma. Nothing avails here except Dharma. Nothing, nothing can bring about harmony, universal peace and prosperity, except Dharma. Peace will remain unknown where Dharma remains unknown. Happiness will desert that house, village or nation in which Dharma has not been enshrined.

With Dharma as the sovereign ruling principle, everything acquires meaning. Based on Dharma, Tapas acquires Divine Power. Founded on Dharma, politics and nation-building activities ensure prosperity. Anchored in Dharma, family life will be happy and blissful, ennobling and divine.

The universe is maintained by Dharma. The planets are held together by Dharma. O Man! Wake up! Wake up now at least and walk the glorious path of righteousness.

You will attain what you want only if you seek for it where it is. If you want happiness, seek for it in the Self, in God, the fountain-source of the highest bliss, not in the little sensual objects. If you aspire for power, get omnipotence in Self-realisation; you will become One with the Supreme power that governs the universe; but not in petty positions, in empires and colonies, in wealth and machine-guns. If you want prosperity acquire it in righteousness, not in artificial living, bungalows and motor cars. If you seek happiness, prosperity, power and glory in the things of this earth, you will suffer the fate of the drowning man who got on the crocodile’s back mistaking it for a log of wood that would take him to the shore. Remember this. Be not deluded. Wake up, wake up, this very moment.

Remember: Adharma cannot survive for long. It will ruin its adherents and then suffer defeat at the hands of Dharma. That Golden Era, that Age of Dharma, that Satya Yuga, when Dharma will reign supreme is not far off. No power on earth can hold it back. If you co-operate with the divine forces that work for the ushering in the Golden Era, you will enjoy unalloyed bliss, peace and prosperity.

Beloved Children of Immortality! Arise, awake! Lead the Divine Life of truth, purity, love and goodness. Attain peace, perfection and Eternal Bliss. May God bless you all with health, long life, peace, prosperity and Atma-Jnana!


The Golden Era is at Hand

By
Sri Swami Sivananda

http://www.dlshq.org/discourse/sep2013.htm

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
Beloved Children of Immortality! Arise, awake! Lead the Divine Life of truth, purity, love and goodness. Attain peace, perfection and Eternal Bliss. May God bless you all with health, long life, peace, prosperity and Atma-Jnana!

http://www.dlshq.org/discourse/sep2013.htm

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
When you fast, do not entertain thoughts of food. You will not derive the benefits if your mind always dwells on food. Turn your mind towards God. Entertain sublime, divine thoughts.

http://www.yogamag.net/archives/1981/emay81/imp.shtml

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
Animals, which depend only upon nature, fast spontaneously if there is any disease, and cure themselves by natural means - sunlight and fresh air, fast and rest. If you stuff your stomach with food when there is no hunger, you are going against nature, and nature will punish you severely. Therefore, do not overload the stomach. Observe moderation in diet and fast from time to time. Then you will be happy and healthy, and you will make spiritual progress.

When you notice the first sign of disease, it is time to fast for a day or two. Many serious ailments can be averted if you start fasting in the early stages. If you allow any disease to strike deep roots it will be difficult to cure it later on. You will have to take recourse to long fasts and the rate of progress will be very slow.

Just observe a man who has eaten and drunk fully. He suffers more than a sickly man, for his stomach gets bloated with poisonous gas. Therefore, never eat unless you are really hungry and are able to enjoy every mouthful. Beware of a false appetite. Never force yourself to eat. If you have no appetite it clearly indicates that the body does not require any food at that moment. To force yourself to eat simply because it happens to be the time for meals is exceedingly unwise.

Fasting gives perfect rest to the overworked digestive organs. Undigested food gets digested. The digestive juices which are poor in quality and quantity regain their normal condition. It is absurd to imagine that you will grow weak for want of food. One becomes stronger day by day while fasting, because energy is conserved. A considerable amount of energy which is used in digestion, assimilation and elimination is saved, and this conserved energy builds better health.

http://www.yogamag.net/archives/1981/emay81/imp.shtml

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
Fasting gives perfect rest to the overworked digestive organs. Undigested food gets digested. The digestive juices which are poor in quality and quantity regain their normal condition. It is absurd to imagine that you will grow weak for want of food. One becomes stronger day by day while fasting, because energy is conserved. A considerable amount of energy which is used in digestion, assimilation and elimination is saved, and this conserved energy builds better health.

http://www.yogamag.net/archives/1981/emay81/imp.shtml

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
Just observe a man who has eaten and drunk fully. He suffers more than a sickly man, for his stomach gets bloated with poisonous gas. Therefore, never eat unless you are really hungry and are able to enjoy every mouthful. Beware of a false appetite. Never force yourself to eat. If you have no appetite it clearly indicates that the body does not require any food at that moment. To force yourself to eat simply because it happens to be the time for meals is exceedingly unwise.

http://www.yogamag.net/archives/1981/emay81/imp.shtml

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
When you notice the first sign of disease, it is time to fast for a day or two. Many serious ailments can be averted if you start fasting in the early stages. If you allow any disease to strike deep roots it will be difficult to cure it later on. You will have to take recourse to long fasts and the rate of progress will be very slow

http://www.yogamag.net/archives/1981/emay81/imp.shtml

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
Animals, which depend only upon nature, fast spontaneously if there is any disease, and cure themselves by natural means - sunlight and fresh air, fast and rest. If you stuff your stomach with food when there is no hunger, you are going against nature, and nature will punish you severely. Therefore, do not overload the stomach. Observe moderation in diet and fast from time to time. Then you will be happy and healthy, and you will make spiritual progress.

http://www.yogamag.net/archives/1981/emay81/imp.shtml

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
Both fast and feast are blessings to human beings. The feast gives you an immediate blessing which vanishes in a few hours, inducing a craving for more, whereas a fast gives you a different kind of happiness more lasting than that of a feast. Fasting gives a continuous flow of bliss which brings lightness to the body. The bliss lingers on in your system and forms a part of your Self. It is constantly evolving and gives you absolute happiness and a different personality altogether. You are definitely nearer to God. This kind of bliss sheds its rays on whomsoever it comes into contact with. It was from this experience that sages of old practised and preached fasting as an important routine in life.

From http://www.yogamag.net/archives/1981/emay81/imp.shtml

Andriy shared a Swami Sivananda quote         SHARE URL

Swami Sivananda

See More
Fasting bestows a divine happiness which can be enjoyed with such delight that once you take to it, you will be reluctant to leave the habit. A man who spends a few hours in absolute calmness after his first meal on breaking a fast has a feeling of enjoyment which can never be expressed. His joy knows no bounds. It is heavenly and bears no comparison to anything on earth.

http://www.yogamag.net/archives/1981/emay81/imp.shtml

Contribute to the project

Support and Contribute to This Project of Sharing and Spreading Timeless Wisdom.

Thank you!

· · ·   View More Channels   · · · Random Being
Our Friends:
Buddha at the Gas Pump Big library of interviews with awakened and inspiring beings of our time. Swami Vivekananda Quotes Beautiful library of Swami Vivekananda Inspirational works.