788 – A Prayer and a Promise

Swami Satyananda asked God to help him only twice.

In 1963 and in 1989, he asked for help from the Divine. He had been told by Swami Sivananda to spread the message of Yoga and to present it in a logical and effective way. From 1956 to 1963 he travelled all over Asia as a wandering sannyasin. On his travels he found that it was almost impossible to become a Seer. Continue reading

767 – Puja and Yagna

 

What is the difference between Puja and Yagna? The word puja means prayer and it is 2500 years old. It was found in Griha Sutra, which talks about rituals. It describes the ceremonies (samskaras) that mark each stage of an individual’s life, from the moment of conception to the final death rites; the five daily sacrifices (mahayajna); seasonal ceremonies; and those observed on special occasions, such as house building or cattle breeding. The Griha sutra mentions the word pujaniya, worthy of reverence. It is assumed that the word puja comes from it or from south India. In Tamil, pujai means flowers or offering of flowers. Continue reading

183 – Shiva, the Auspicious one

Shankaracharya addresses Shiva, as the great ruler. He says, “O Auspicious One, the Great Ruler, O Compassionate One, O Thou wielder of the Trident, Thou Lord of Gauri and of the creatures, the destroyer of all bondage of the jivas, Thou Lord of Varanasi, out of thy mercy Thou projectest, maintainest and destroyest this world. Thou art the Great Ruler.” Continue reading

107 – Who should be your Ishta Devata

The meaning of Ishta Devata is the personal deity with whom a devotee feels the greatest affinity. According to Swami Sivanananda, our worship of a God is defined by the element which is predominant in us. Our body and mind are composed of five elements. These are earth, water, fire, air and ether. Our elements have to be in harmony for us to tread on the path of self-realization. What ensures that our elements are in balance is the flow of prana. Continue reading