359 – Possession and possessiveness

What is the definition of possession? Something that you own or are carrying with you. Why does possession have such a powerful hold on us? Let us examine why possession has its tentacles wrapped around us. Is our love possessive for our child, partner, parent, and pet? Can we own an individual? Is it healthy to be possessive? Continue reading

330 – Origin of the Sri Rama Mantra

As narrated by Swami Sivananda.

Sri Rama was seated in his court at Ayodhya, after his return from Lanka. He was surrounded by wise and venerable rishis. Deva Rishi Narada, Vishwamitra, Vashishta and many others were present to advise Sri Rama. While discussing spiritual topics, Sage Narada said, “I request all of you to give your opinion on the subject of whether the Lord’s name (Nama) or the Lord himself (Nami) is superior. Continue reading

315 – Fear is real

Fear is everywhere. We are terrified of Covid; the wars all over the world are causing sadness and disturbance in our lives. Forest fires have caused terrible damage and there is flooding in different countries. The biodiversity is declining at an alarming rate. It is essential for us to face these fears. Continue reading

289 – Who was Swami Sivananda’s Guru?

Thursday is the day of the Guru? I asked myself this question, as must so many of you, “Who was Swami Sivananda’s Guru?” Swami Sivananda received mantra diksha from Parmahamsa Viswananda Saraswati, on the banks of the Ganga on 1st June 1924. Swami Sivananda was in quest of a Guru. Continue reading

288 – Eternal sayings of Parmahamsa Satyananda Saraswati

What is the meaning of Parmahamsa? Its literal meaning is supreme swan. Why a swan? The swan is at home on land and water. A true sage is equally at home in the realms of matter and spirit. To be in divine ecstasy and simultaneously to be aware in the world is the state of parmahamsa. Continue reading

277 – Statue of a Deity

Why are statues of the deity important for us in our sadhana? The statue is a symbol, a medium for establishing communion with God. Images are not frivolous visions of the artist, but they are emanating from his heart. When the murtis (deity’s statues) are made for worship, the craftsman follows the design rules of the Shilpa Shastras. Continue reading

274 – The Garden Of Love

Take a walk in a garden and look about you. The most wonderful thing is that one can take a walk anytime of the year, anywhere and appreciate nature. It can be very hot or very cold but it is possible to be appreciative of the greenery or the different shades of brown. Step out on the beach, in the park, forest or even playground. Become aware of everything around you. Of course switch off the phone. Once you are in a space, take a few breaths, normal, spontaneous ones and become comfortable with yourself. Focus on what you are observing. Continue reading

256 – Aradhana, worship from the heart

Swami Sivananda and Swami Satyananda extolled the worship of the divine and perceiving the divine in all creatures. Swami Sivananda would see God in every one who was suffering, and it was his Aradhana which enabled him to help all these persons. Continue reading

251 – What kind of lifestyle am I seeking?

  1. Non-violence, the practice of ahimsa will lead to a flow of compassion in us.
  2. Truthfulness, the virtue of Satya will lead to love of mankind.
  3. Non-possessiveness, the quality of aparigraha will create a sense of innocence and simplicity.
  4. Atmabhava, love of our fellow humans without prejudice.
  5. Love, serve, give.

Continue reading

217 – How many kinds of Gurus are there?

Many of us are searching for a Guru and the search is like looking for the most bahumulya vyakti (priceless person). It is not possible for us to find a Guru, s/he appears before us, when the time is right. There are many kinds of Guru, Gyana Guru, Yogic Guru, Tantric Guru, Brahmanishtha (one who lives in the light of the teaching, of one ness) Guru, Chela Guru. The title given before guru describes the method that a Guru utilizes to transmit his/her energy. Continue reading

214 – Astrology and us

According to the Vedas, when a soul takes birth, it descends through the heavens and the atmosphere before reaching earth. It takes on heavier sheaths of material density. It can only take birth in the physical plane at a time karmically in accord with its nature and destiny. The birth chart represents the seed pattern of its life; how it develops depends upon the environment as well. Continue reading