Author Topic: Swami Sivananda's Teachings and Quotes  (Read 21088 times)

atmavichar100

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Swami Sivananda's Teachings and Quotes
« on: September 08, 2014, 05:28:42 PM »
Today i.e September 8 is Swami Sivananda's Birtdhday and I have started this thread on this date as a mark of respect to this great soul whose practical teachings on Yoga & Vedanta had a great impact on me and it shaped me a lot :"
Here is the first quote

Put your heart mind and soul into even the smallest acts. This is the secret of success." - Swami Sivananda
« Last Edit: September 08, 2014, 05:34:11 PM by atmavichar100 »
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

atmavichar100

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Re: Swami Sivananda's Teachings and Quotes
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2014, 05:33:01 PM »
Need for daily self analysis
Daily self-analysis or self-examination is an indispensable requisite. Then alone can you remove your defects and can grow rapidly in spirituality. A gardener watches the young plants very carefully. He removes the weeds daily. He puts a strong fence around them. He waters them at the proper time. Then alone they grow beautifully and yield fruits quickly. Even so, you should find out your defects through daily introspection and self-analysis and then eradicate them through suitable methods~Swami Sivananda
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

atmavichar100

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Re: Swami Sivananda's Teachings and Quotes
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2014, 10:37:52 PM »

Advice to spiritual aspirants - retire periodically from worldly atmosphere
The life of a spiritual aspirant in the world is verily like a fierce struggle and fight with deadly serpent. Samsara or worldly life is a terrible and deadly serpent. Man must keep constant and alert watchfulness lest the Samsara-sarpa take you unawares. Keep the twin eyes of Viveka (discrimination) and Vichara (enquiry) wide open. At times the man becomes poisoned in the course of his Vyavahara (worldly activities). He must retire periodically from the worldly atmosphere and take recourse to Satsanga (association with the wise), Sadhana, seclusion and silent meditation~Swami Sivananda
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

atmavichar100

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Re: Swami Sivananda's Teachings and Quotes
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2014, 11:48:38 PM »
Here is an excellent view from Swami Satyananda ( Disciple of Swami Sivananda and also founder of Bihar School of Yoga ) on Swami Sivananda's Innocent Faith and Purity

Swami Sivananda was not intellectual; he was purely a bhakta, with a very innocent mind. If anyone came to him or wrote to him with problems, at once he would ask everybody to please sit down, close their eyes and repeat the mantra for that person's recovery. He had such faith that immediately after the mantra was repeated, he would have us write a letter saying, 'We have conducted the mantra prayer for you and now you will be alright.'

Unless you have faith, you cannot believe in this. We are all intellectuals. We know all the mantras, but we have no faith in them
. If we practise a mantra for someone who is sick, we will not dare to write and tell him, because we cannot be sure he has gotten better. Whereas faith leaves no room for doubt, knowledge has fissures in it. I am not against intellect, but at the same time its limitations must be pointed out.

Faith is very innocent but it is so powerful that the miracles you see in the lives of the great saints are a product of that innocence. Innocence is not childishness; it is the blossoming of the purity in man's structure. To be innocent you don't have to do anything or be anything. Rather, whatever you have acquired you have to throw away: knowledge, proceeds, wealth, power, status and political and religious background. You have to believe, 'I am nothing.' When this attitude takes hold within you, it becomes the centre of faith and in Swami Sivananda I found this faith in absolutely living form.
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

atmavichar100

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Re: Swami Sivananda's Teachings and Quotes
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2014, 09:49:21 AM »

Note : Most  of the messages of Swami Sivananda  here will be directed to the Mind ,Body and not to Atma ( which is what Bhagavan Ramana always points to ) .This should not be seen as a contradiction as Swami Sivananda's advise to aspirants is  to first prepare the mind and body before you focus on Atma and the reasons are given below  .



When it comes to Swami Sivananda's Teachings ,I wish to point out that his teachings will be a combination of Yoga and Vedanta . He combined the teachings of both Yoga and Vedanta and in fact he started the first Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy in Rishikesh to train spiritual aspirants in the Science of Yoga & Vedanta . He used the Science of Hatha Yoga , Raja Yoga and also Bhakti Yoga  to basically  prepare the body , mind & heart to make it fit to receive the Atma Jnana i.e preparing the body ( Hatha Yoga ) ,mind ( Raja Yoga ) and heart( Bhakthi Yoga )  . In fact his entire mission was to prepare a spiritual aspirant fit enough for Atma Jnana .In traditional terminology this qualification is called "Sadhana Chatusthaya- Four Fold Qualifications " .
But at the same time Swami Sivananda knew that few aspirants are very ripe and they do not need this preliminary steps and are fully qualified for Atma Jnana and he used to pick those people and send them to Swami Tapovan for receiving Atma Jnana .In his book "Sadhana Chatushtaya " , Swami Sivananda has mentioned in the end of the book that there are few  people who may feel that going through all these preliminary disciplines are too time consuming and they just want to go ahead with the direct path and Swami Sivananda has welcomed that approach also .He considered such aspirants to be highly mature and they are fit for the direct path from the start itself .
This is what Swami Sivananda has said in conclusion :
"A first class student can adopt this method , because he had cultivated the four means in his previous birth .A mediocre student will not be able to think of Brahman at the very outset .How can one think of Brahman when the mind is filled with impurities , when it is turbulent and the senses are jumping and revolting ? Absolutely impossible .He may sit for thinking on the Self , but he will be building castles in the air and thinking of other objects .He will mistake deep sleep for samadhi .Many are delued in this manner .They do not have any spiritual progress . They can have no idea of Brahman .It is only the mind that is rendered pure by the practice of Viveka , Vairagya , Sama , Dama etc that can have the definite conception of Brahman .Ideas of Brahman cannot be lodged in a restless , impure mind ."- Swami Sivananda


The reason why I am sharing the above message is that I have myself gone through the  Yoga Training of Swami Sivananda through the institution of one of his senior disciple  by name Swami Vishnu devananda who was the founder of the International Sivananada Yoga Vedanta Centres worldwide ( www.sivananda.org  and this institution should should not be confused with the Divine Life Society / Sivananda Ashram at Rishikesh whose website is http://www.sivanandaonline.org/public_html/ ) I did get lot of benefit from the same and sharing here some of the good things that I learned from those Yoga Sadhanas .
 

« Last Edit: September 24, 2014, 10:35:21 AM by atmavichar100 »
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

atmavichar100

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Re: Swami Sivananda's Teachings and Quotes
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2014, 02:13:37 PM »
This is the Mother River Ganga in Rishikesh , Ram Jhula area . The Sivananda Ghat is visible . The Sivananda Ashram is much above this  .Just like you cant separate Arunachala from Bhagavan Ramana , you cant separate Mother Ganga from Swami Sivananda . Swami Sivananda's  room was on the banks of River Ganga adjoining the Ghat . He did not stay in the Ashram but used to go from his room up to the Ashram only to Give Talks , Satsangh and supervise the works . This is my favorite spot to sit silently during my annual trips to Rishikesh .

However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

atmavichar100

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Re: Swami Sivananda's Teachings and Quotes
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2014, 12:34:04 PM »
Disciples of Swami Sivananda .

Swami Sivananda had many disciples but beauty of Swami Sivananda was that he shaped some of his disciples to become powerful spiritual lights the world over guiding many people  .Many of the disciples of Swami Sivananda went all over the world and set up institutions carrying his message indifferent forms . Some of his notable disciples are :

1) Swami Krishnananda ( a great Vedantic speaker , spiritual writer  and spiritual guide and who too took over the Divine Life Society in Rishikesh after Swami Sivananda's Samadhi ) http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/index.html
2) Swami Chidananda ( a great Saint  and a spiritual guide to many people and who also took charge of the Divine Life Society after Swami Sivananda's MahaSamadhi ) .

3) Swami Chinmayanada ( a great Vedantic Teacher who started the Chinmaya Missions world over . Swami Sivananda was his diksha guru but then later Swami Sivananda sent him to Swami Tapovan for Vedantic studies ) .http://www.chinmayamission.com/

4) Swami Venkatesananda - a great teacher , speaker and write of spiritual books . He is popular for his book on Yoga Vashishta . http://www.swamivenkatesananda.org/

5) Swami Satyananda -
again a great Yogi and who started the Bihar School of Yoga . He reviewed the Kriya Yoga Sadhana and Many Yoga Sadhana . Bihar School of Yoga has published many books on Yoga Sadhana .
http://www.biharyoga.net/

6) Swami Satchidananda - a great Yogi who started the Integral Yoga Institute in America  .His book on Patanjali Yoga Sutra is quite popular .
http://iyiny.org/   Dr.Dean Ornish who wrote the book "Reversing the Heart Disease " was a student of Swami Satchidananda and that book deals with how to reverse heart disease through the science of Yoga .

7) Swami Vishnu devananda - a great Yogi who founded the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres world over with Head Quarters in Quebec , Canada http://www.sivananda.org/ . He was a master of Hatha Yoga & Raja Yoga and famous for his books "Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga " , "Meditation & Mantras ", & commentary on Hatha Yoga Pradipika .He was the first one to structure the Yoga Teachings in the ancient Gurukula method of learning through his Yoga Teachers Training Courses ,Advanced Yoga Taechers Training Courses ,Sadhana Intensives etc  . He did not believe much in giving lectures or writing books and wanted people to get immersed in Yoga Sadhana practically . He is my Yoga Guru .Even though I have not met him personally I went through all the levels of Yoga training in his institute and was fortunate to be trained and guided by his direct disciples . The Practical Yoga  training that I received at the Sivananda Ashrams of Swami Vishnu devananda was the best thing that happened in my life .

8 Swami Chaitanyananda -    http://chaitanyadham.tripod.com/ a great Vedantic Teacher who remained quite reclusive in the Himalayas in his Uttar Kashi Ashram .He was one of the few people ( along with Swami Chinmayananda )  selected by Swami Sivananda to undergo Vedantic studies under Swami Tapovan . Though very reclusive he was well known among the spiritual community in Himalayas and was also called as Uttar Kashi Swami . I was blessed to have his darshan when he came down from the Himalayas after many decades of stay there and had wonderful conversations with him . He cleared many of my spiritual doubts , knocked out all the stupid and wrong opinions I had about the Vedantic Tradition and other matters pertaining to spirituality  and made be aware that Yoga Sadhana without Vedantic Study is incomplete and I understood the same after I started attending the Vedantic Classes of Swami Paramarthananda , a great Vedantic Teacher ( belonging to the Arsha Vidya Group of Teachers ) .

The list goes on but these are the most popular ones that I am aware of .
« Last Edit: September 25, 2014, 12:36:25 PM by atmavichar100 »
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

atmavichar100

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Re: Swami Sivananda's Teachings and Quotes
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2014, 11:24:12 PM »
HOW GRACE WORKS

In the beginning we see God's Grace working behind a veil and understand it vaguely. As we become purified and our faith in Him increases, we see clearly how His Grace works. Then our losses, failures and sorrows have little meaning. We see them as opportunities for making our contact with God more intimate.

?Sri Swami Sivananda
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

atmavichar100

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Re: Swami Sivananda's Teachings and Quotes
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2014, 11:30:08 AM »
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

atmavichar100

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Re: Swami Sivananda's Teachings and Quotes
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2014, 11:32:36 AM »
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

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Re: Swami Sivananda's Teachings and Quotes
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2014, 10:28:48 AM »
Law of Retribution

by Swami Sivananda

Every wrong action or crime brings its own punishment, in accordance with the law of retribution. The law of causation, the law of action and reaction, the law of compensation and the law of retribution-all these operate together. He who robs another man robs himself. He who hurts another man hurts himself first. He who cheats another cheats himself first. Every wrong action causes punishment first in the inner nature or soul and externally in circumstances in the form of pain, misery, loss, failure, misfortune, disease, etc.

Man is ignorant. He is swayed by impulses, wrath, passion, attachment, pride and repulsion. He does various sorts of wicked actions. His intellect becomes perverted. He loses his memory. His understanding gets clouded by selfishness and greed. He does not know what he is exactly doing. Later on he repents. Discipline of the Indriyas is necessary. He should remember the law of causation, the law of action and reaction, and the law of retribution at every step, at every moment of his daily life. He should control his emotions and impulses through the practice of Pranayama and meditation. Then only will he not do any wrong action.

Remember that God is neither partial nor unjust. You suffer on account of your own wicked actions.
Sow the seeds which will bring pleasant fruits and which will make you happy herein and hereafter. Do not sow the seeds which will bring unpleasant fruits and which will make you miserable and unhappy in this life or hereafter. Be cautious in doing your daily duties. Watch every thought, word and action. Go to the root and purify the thoughts first. Prayer, Japa, meditation, study of philosophical books, pure food, Vichara and Satsanga will purify your mind and eradicate ignoble and wicked thoughts. Observe the vow of silence, you will then be able to control your speech. Practise Yama and Niyama, Ahimsa, Satyam, Asteyam, Brahmacharya and Aparigraha. Develop Sattvic qualities. Slowly eradicate negative qualities. By these practices you will not be able to do any wrong action. The force of Sattvic habits will goad you on to do virtuous actions only.

Orthodox Christians and theologians believe that God settles and fixes the destiny of a man before his birth. This is not logical and tenable. The hypothesis falls to the ground on account of its unsound nature. Man becomes like a piece of straw that is tossed about hither and thither in the wind. He has no independence and freedom. This makes God partial, unjust and whimsical. The moral responsibility and liberty of a man are destroyed. The man becomes like a prisoner whose hands and legs are tied with chains. Why should God make one happy and another unhappy? Is He so whimsical and eccentric? Why should one get His Grace before he is born? Is he so biased? If God is all-merciful why can He not make all equally noble, virtuous, happy, good, moral and spiritual? Why is one born blind? Why should a sinner be responsible for his actions? Is he pre-ordained to sin? Why should he suffer owing to the whim of such a Creator? Questions like these remain a puzzle if you accept the theory of 'pre-ordination and Grace'. The doctrine of Karma alone will give satisfaction. It is sound. It appeals to reason. It throws a flood of dear light. Everyone reaps the fruits of his own actions. Man can do and undo his destiny by his own thoughts and character. He is a free agent. He may be a bad man in this birth, but he can change his thoughts, habits, tendencies and character and can become a good man or a saint in the next birth. He has free will. He can choose between two alternatives at every step. The theory of 'preordination and Grace' cannot be accepted. It falls to the ground as it is unsound and untenable.

The doctrine of Karma only can explain the mysterious problem of good and evil in this world. The doctrine of Karma only can bring solace, contentment and strength to the afflicted and the desperate. It solves our difficulties and problems of life. It gives encouragement to the hopeless and the forlorn. It pushes a man to right thinking, right speech and right action. It brings a brilliant future for that man who lives according to this universal law. If all people understand this law correctly and discharge their daily duties carefully they would rise to sublime heights in the ladder of spirituality. They will be moral and virtuous and have a happy, peaceful and contented life. They can bear the burden of Samsara with patience, endurance and strength of mind. There will not be any room for complaint when they see inequalities in birth, fortune, intelligence and capacities. There will be heaven on earth. All will rejoice even in suffering. Greed, jealousy, hatred, anger and passion will vanish. Virtue will reign supreme everywhere. We will have a glorious Satyayuga now with peace and plenty everywhere. Blessed is the man who understands and lives in the law, for he will soon attain God-consciousness and become one with the Law-giver. Then the law will no longer operate on him.

However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

atmavichar100

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Re: Swami Sivananda's Teachings and Quotes
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2014, 05:42:59 PM »
On The Bhagavad Gita by Swami Krishnananda

The whole gospel of the Bhagavadgita is nothing but the technique of the blending of knowledge and activity. We usually think that knowledge means not doing anything and activity means working without knowledge. Sri Krishna tells us that knowledge does not mean understanding without work, nor work means activity without knowledge. It is very difficult to understand what knowledge and action are. Action is the outward expression of knowledge, and knowledge is the inner reality of action. This may be said to be the central theme of the Bhagavadgita.- Swami Krishnananda
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

atmavichar100

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Re: Swami Sivananda's Teachings and Quotes
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2014, 12:18:00 PM »
?Yoga is a life of self-discipline built upon the tenets of simple living and high thinking.? ? Swami Vishnu-devananda
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

atmavichar100

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Re: Swami Sivananda's Teachings and Quotes
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2014, 10:25:21 PM »
HOW TO ACQUIRE GOOD SAMSKARAS
From the book "Mind Its Mysteries & Control by Swami Sivananda " in Chapter -14 Samskaras

Try to acquire some good spiritual Samskaras in this birth at least, if you are not able to
devote all your time in spiritual pursuit. Do some kind of meditation for a short time at least daily,
say for half an hour in the morning and evening.
Have a meditation room. Make some kind of Japa
of any Mantra. Study the Gita regularly. Have Satsanga. Visit Rishikesh, Nasik, Varanasi,
Haridwar, Prayag once a year for a week?s stay.
Have the Darshana of Mahatmas. By doing so, you
will acquire some spiritual Samskaras which will be a valuable spiritual asset for a new, good life.
You will have a very good birth. You will be placed in suitable environments in the next birth for
unfolding the Divinity that is lurking in your heart, for practice of Yoga. All opportunities and
facilities will be given to you by God, through His grace (Isvara-Kripa) for your spiritual Sadhana.

Even by a little systematic spiritual practice (Yogabhyasa and Vedantic Sadhana), you can change
your mentality, your old vicious Samskaras. You can cut short several future births. By practice for
three years, you can free yourself from the clutches of births and deaths. You are bound to become a
Sannyasin. Why not now in this very birth? Why don?t you cut short the cycle of unnecessary births
and consequent miseries? How long do you want to be a slave of the world, a slave of passions and
Indriyas? Wake up now. Do Sadhana and get immortality.
Udharet-Atmana-Atmanam
Rouse the self by the Self.

New, healthy Samskaras can be implanted by new, healthy suggestions. Suppose your brain
is a plank in which are driven nails which represent the ideas, habits and instincts which determine
your actions. If you find that there exists in you a bad idea, a bad habit, a bad instinct,?a bad nail, as
it were, in the plank of your mind?you should take another, viz., a good idea, habit or instinct,
place it on the top of the bad one and give a hard tap with a hammer. In other words, you should
make a healthy, useful suggestion. The new nail will be driven in perhaps a fraction of an inch while
the old one will come out to the same extent. At each fresh blow with the hammer, that is to say, at
each fresh suggestion, the one will be driven in a little further and the other will be driven out just
that much until, after a certain number of blows, the old habits will be completely replaced by the
new habits, new ideas. It demands, doubtless, strenuous efforts. It needs constant repetition of the
new, healthy suggestions. Habit is second nature. But, pure, irresistible, determined will is bound to
succeed eventually.
When you repeat OM or the Mahavakya of the Upanishads Aham Brahma Asmi  once,
one Samskara of the idea that I am Brahman or the Absolute? is formed in the subconscious mind.

The object in doing Japa or silent repetition of OM 21,600 times daily is to strengthen this Samskara
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

atmavichar100

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Re: Swami Sivananda's Teachings and Quotes
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2014, 09:36:02 AM »
Man is the Master of his destiny

"You sow an action and reap a habit; a habit sown results in character. You sow a character and reap a destiny. Man is the master of his destiny. You yourself make your destiny. You can undo it if you like. All faculties, energies and powers are latent in you. Unfold them and become free. There is a certain definite connection between what is being now done by you and what will happen to you in the future. Sow always the seeds which will bring pleasant fruits and which will make you happy herein and hereafter." ~Swami Sivananda
« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 09:37:37 AM by atmavichar100 »
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha