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Swami Sivananda


A mountain is composed of tiny grains of earth. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water. Even so, life is but an endless series of little details, actions, speeches, and thoughts. And the consequences whether good or bad of even the least of them are far-reaching.


An ounce of practice is worth a ton of theory!


Cultivate peace first in the garden of your heart by removing the weeds of lust, hatred, greed, selfishness, and jealousy. Then only you can manifest it externally. Then only, those who come in contact with you, will be benefited by your vibrations of peace and harmony.


Don't fear the darkness if you carry the light within.


Fear is only in duality. Fear is Mind. When you are your Self, there is no fear.


If you do not find peace within, you will not find it anywhere else. The Goal of Life is the attainment of Peace and not the achievement of power, name, fame and wealth.


Make others truly happy as you strive to make yourself happy. Speak a helpful word. Give a cheering smile. Do a kind act. Serve a little. Wipe the tears of one who is in distress. Render smooth a rough place in another's path. You will feel great joy.


The divine within you is stronger than anything that is without you. Therefore, be not afraid of anything. Rely on your own Inner Self, the Divinity within you. Tap the source through looking within. Improve yourself. Build your character. Purify the heart. Develop the divine virtues. Eradicate evil traits. Conquer all that is base in you. Endeavor to attain all that is worthy and noble. Make the lower nature the servant of the higher through discipline, Tapas, self-restraint and meditation. This is the beginning of your freedom.


The Ultimate Reality is the support for the world even as the Sun is the support for the mirage. The world is the dazzling of Eternal Consciousness. The nihilists are wrong in saying that nothing exists at all. The world-phenomenon cannot be based on Nothing-less or Emptiness. An appearance demands a Reality as its corollary. The world is an expression of Brahman through Maya even as the body is an expression of Atman through mind. The Prana, the mind and the senses are the operative organs of the active self which is agitated by the Vikshepa-Shakti or the distracting power of Maya. The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says that the one Brahman alone puts on all names, forms and does all actions in its own Being. Thus the whole universe is to be understood as a sport of the one Absolute which seems to play in Itself by revealing Itself in multifarious forms.


There is no end of craving. Hence contentment alone is the best way to happiness. Therefore, acquire contentment.


This world is your best teacher. There is a lesson in everything. There is a lesson in each experience. Learn it and become wise. Every failure is a stepping stone to success. Every difficulty or disappointment is a trial of your faith. Every unpleasant incident or temptation is a test of your inner strength. Therefore nil desperandum. March forward hero!



Nature of the Creative Process

This visible world is God’s jugglery. This world is not chaos. It is an organised, divine institution. The world is a shadow of God. Brahman creates this unthinkable universe through His illusive power of Maya for His own Lila or sporting. The phenomenon of this universe is due to the power called Maya, by which the Absolute, without undergoing any change in or by Itself, appears as an ever-changing succession of phenomena conditioned by time and space.

Brahman has projected this universe without being affected in any way. The Absolute is not affected by the world-process that is going on within It, just as the rains from a cloud do not wet the sky. The one Brahman, through His Sakti, can put on all these countless names and forms and appear as many. There is no change in Himself. The world is mere appearance.

Brahman does not require any instruments or hands for making these forms. He is Chaitanya, self-luminous intelligence. By mere willing, He can bring forth countless worlds. Just as the potentiality of a seed brings forth a tree, so also, the Svabhava or potentiality of Brahman brings forth this universe. Projection co-exists with existence.


The Cause of This Universe
by Swami Sivananda

In the beginning, Brahman who is one without a second, alone exists. When darkness was rolling over darkness, there was existence alone.

In Brahman, there was a Spandana or vibration before the world was projected. This is the Sankalpa of Brahman. He thought or willed: “Ekoham Bahu Syam: I am one; may I become many”. This vibration corresponds to the bulging of the seed within the ground when it is soaked with water. Then the whole world was projected.

When an ordinary, meagre juggler can bring forth mangoes, fruits, money, sweetmeats, an imaginary palace, et c., through Indrajala or Sammohana-vidya, can He—the omnipotent, omniscient Ruler—not create this insignificant world for His own play? When a mortal king adorns his palace with furniture, pictures, curios, garden, fountain, etc., can He not furnish this world with beautiful landscape, brilliant sun, moon and stars, mighty rivers and oceans?


THE DIVINE SECRET
by Swami Sivananda

True wisdom is love. The way is only one love divine that is all. Love divine is a great power; it is the basis of all religious life. Divine love has no sex. It sees God in all and all in God. Where love is, there God is. From love the world is born, by love it is sustained and into love it enters. He who loves not, knows not God, because God is love.

Open the floodgates of your heart for the inpouring of love divine. The path is through love – every moment of separation is a pang of death to the lovers and the devotees. Day and night the flame of love burns in the hearts of the devotees. Solace comes to the devotee in the flow of tears. The creeper of love is nourished by the eyes.

Love is not a passing sentiment or a feeble emotion – it is strong, deep, enduring. There is real love only when there is true inward identification with the life of another entity. Pure love divine communes with the beloved, with unity, with the one, the all pervading essence of bliss.

The most important aspect of spiritual life is bhakti (devotion), and the secret of bhakti is love, a love which embraces all. Company of saints, kirtan (chanting) of the Lord’s names, study of the Bhagavatam and service of the saints will create love for the Lord.

Love of the body or skin is passion. Love of God is prema (or devotion). It is pure love, love for love’s sake. To love someone for attaining a selfish gain, is selfish love. It binds you to this earth. To love all beings, as manifestations of the Lord himself is pure love and leads to liberation. Pure love redeems and purifies the heart and transmutes you into divinity. God is an embodiment of love an ocean of love. If you wish to attain God realisation you must also become an embodiment of love. Love inspires, illumines and leads the way. Love is giving and not taking. Love cements the broken heart. It is the key to open the door to moksha.

Love inspires love. It is divine elixir; it bestows immortality, supreme peace and everlasting joy. Love is the golden link which binds heart to heart, mind to mind and soul to soul. Love never reasons but ever profusely gives. It is not affected by offence or insult. It looks only with the heart.


TURIYA or the Fourth State [See: Turiya]
by Swami Sivananda

TURIYA or the fourth state is that state in which the individual soul rests in his own Sat-Chit-Ananda Svarupa or the highest Brahmic consciousness during Nirvikalpa Samadhi. There are three states, Jagrat, Svapna and Sushupti, for a Jiva who is whirling in the mire of Samsara. Turiya is that state which transcends all these three states. Hence the Turiya or the fourth. Turiya is Atman or Brahman.

Brahman is Sat-Chit-Ananda Vigraha or the embodiment of knowledge and bliss. He has no beginning or end. He is the cause of all causes. He is the shelter, support and the Lord for all.

Languages are many but the language of heart and the mental pictures are one. Cows have many colours but the colour of the milk is one. Prophets are many but he essentials of their teachings are one and the same. Schools of philosophy are many but the goal is one. Opinions and methods of worship are many but the Brahman or God is one.

There are two paths in Yoga to realise the Self viz., the Pipeelika Marga and the Vihanga Marga. Just as the ant slowly marches, so also the aspirant slowly marches on in the spiritual path. He practises Karma Yoga to purify his heart and then takes up Upasana to steady his mind. Finally he treads the path of Jnana Yoga and eventually reaches the goal of life. This is Pipeelika Marga or the ant-path. Just as the bird flies in the sky at once, so also the aspirant of the first class type at once practises Jnana Yoga and attains knowledge of the Self. This is the Vihanga Marga or the bird-path.

Man can be compared to a plant. He grows and flourishes like a plant and dies at the end but not completely. The plant also grows, flourishes and dies at the end. It leaves behind the seed which produces a new plant. Man leaves when dying his Karma behind, the good and bad actions of his life. The physical body may die and disintegrate but the impressions of his actions do not die. He has to take birth again to enjoy the fruits of these actions. No life can be the first for it is the fruit of previous actions, nor the last, for its actions must be expiated in the next following life. Therefore, Samsara or phenomenal existence is without beginning and end. But there is no Samsara for a Jivanmukta or liberated sage who is resting in his own Sat-Chit-Ananda Svarupa. Man destroys the Samskaras which bring him again and again in this earth to reap the fruits of his actions by acquiring knowledge of the Self and becomes free.

Have a deep study of the Upanishads. In the whole world there is no study so inspiring and so beneficial as that of the Upanishads. Every Mantra is pregnant with deep, original, sublime and soul-stirring thoughts. They are the products of the highest wisdom of the ancient Rishis of India. They bring solace, inner strength, peace and courage to the readers. They infuse hope to the hopeless, strength to the weak, joy to the joyless and serenity to the restless. The system of Vedanta takes its origin from the Upanishads which contain the ancient wisdom of the sages of yore. A deep study of these wonderful Upanishads will clearly indicate as to what magnanimous heights those Rishis of yore had climbed in the spiritual ladder. The Western scholars and philosophers pay their homage to the Rishis and appreciate the grandeur and originality of the Upanishads.

Do not argue. Give up lingual warfare, intellectual gymnastics and quibbling. You will be nowhere if you enter into disputations and discussions. Have living faith or unshakable conviction in the existence of the immoral, All-pervading Brahman or the Eternal, the words of your preceptor and the Srutis. Learn from your preceptor the fundamental tenets of Advaita Vedanta. The Advaita Vedantin admits six Pramanas but the final court-of-appeal for him is the Srutis. Srutis contain the inspired revelations and experiences of realised sages. He always opens his Vedantic discourses in the following manner. Sruti Bhagavati says, Ekameva Advitiyam Brahma, Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudha Vadanti, Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma, etc. To understand and know the Truth, much logic and argumentation is not necessary. Truth is very simple. It can be realised by simple meditation. Intellect is a finite instrument only. It is an automatic and routine faculty. It is not self-sustained and self-luminous. It will betray you. Intuition only is infallible or unerring. Those aspirants who are well qualified and well equipped will be really benefited in the path of renunciation or Nivrittimarga. Many renounce the world and take to Sannyasa in their temporary zeal. They do not make progress in the spiritual path, because they lack the preparation and qualifications without which spiritual life is not possible.

The man who sits by calming the mind, who does nothing at all physically, is the most active man in the whole world; whereas that man who runs hither and thither and who is always very busy, does nothing in substance. This may be paradoxical to you. Very few can comprehend this.

Husk is natural to rice and rust to copper, yet they disappear through efforts! Evan so Ajnana which clings to the Jiva or individual soul can be made to disappear through the ceaseless Atmic enquiry. Destroy the Avidya. May you rest incomparably firm in your own Self!

Do not mistake Tandri for Savikalpa Samadhi and deep-sleep for Nirvikalpa. The glory of the state of Turiya or Bhuma 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, if the mind is dull, know that you were sleeping while meditating.

Through ignorance and lust comes death. Through knowledge the deathless state or the immortal Atman is reached. Both life eternal and death abide in the body. Life is a lightning flash or breath. Time is but a thunder-clap of death. Live in Atman. You will attain immortality. Go beyond time. You will attain eternity.

Withdraw the Indriyas. Meditate. Live in the Self. Your whole being will be uplifted into a kind of rapturous delight or mystic ecstasy. You will feel the divine thrill of joy. Wonderful peace will envelop you. You will be drowned in the ocean of bliss. All desires will melt into nothingness all names and forms will vanish. You will behold the Self only everywhere. This wonderful state is indescribable. You will have to feel it yourself. Just as the dumb man cannot express his feeling of joy when he tastes the sugar-candy, so also you cannot express the bliss of Samadhi or Union with the Supreme Self. Words are finite to describe this state. Language is imperfect to express this experience. It is the language of the supreme silence. It is the supreme stillness of the immortal soul. It is the peace that passeth all understanding. This is Turiya or the fourth state.

May Turiya be your centre, ideal and goal!









































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