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
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
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
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
Will power is very essential in our spiritual growth. We treat it very casually, and for many things that we wish to do, we say that we do not have the will for it. Without a strong will it is impossible to make progress. Continue reading
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
- Non-violence, the practice of ahimsa will lead to a flow of compassion in us.
- Truthfulness, the virtue of Satya will lead to love of mankind.
- Non-possessiveness, the quality of aparigraha will create a sense of innocence and simplicity.
- Atmabhava, love of our fellow humans without prejudice.
- Love, serve, give.
…as described in Devi Gita.
The Goddess explains the first kind of vedic worship to her devotees. Continue reading
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
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
How do we define boredom? Boredom is fatigue, ennui, monotony, tedium and indifference. There is a German proverb which says, boredom is the father of all sins. Continue reading
Negativity comes in all shades and colors. We have negative feelings, reactions, and emotions. Negativity makes us more angry and unreasonable. It overtakes us and it is very difficult to remember at that time, that we could turn it into a positive thought, feeling or emotion. Continue reading
Swami Sivananda’s favourite quote to his disciples was “Love, serve and give.” They in turn said it to their disciples and all of us also repeat it to our students. What does it mean? Continue reading
It is an eternal question. It is so fashionable to attribute all our problems to our karma, we blame our karma for every sadness and misfortune in our life. When Swami Satyanananda met Swami Sivananda the first time in1943, he told him to exhaust his karmas. Continue reading
Swami Sivanananda respected all women and treated them as reflections of the Devi Ma. He conducted no formal worship of the Mother Goddess. A venerated scholar from South India visited Swami Sivanananda’s ashram. He was overwhelmed by the spirituality, piety and beauty of the ashram. He said to Swami Sivanananda that the spiritual wealth and vibrance were the blessings of Tripura Sundari. Continue reading