This month a veritable feast for your mind with
– questions and answers regarding the cosmic consciousness and the earth we live in
– some information on the value of sunlight to our Sadhana
– Yoga Sutras – explanation of ‘He manifests in the word OM’
– Prayer before food
– Sanskrit glossary – understanding Kala and Nirguna Brahma
THOUGHT OF THE MONTH
Get up now. This is Brahmamuhurta (Auspicious Early Morning Time). Everywhere is silence. Nature herself is at peace. Now you can retire peacefully into the inner chambers of your heart. – Sri Swami Sivananda
SIVANANDA YOGA FAQ ~~~ Frequently Asked Questions
Q 1: Please explain to me what is meant by Cosmic Consciousness.
A: It is a state of consciousness in which you are aware that God is all that there is, and what is more, that He is the link that connects all individuals. God is the Consciousness that illumines the entire creation. Realization of this Consciousness or God liberates one from bondage to passing phenomena, from the illusion of names and forms. This is the state of God-realization or Self-
After God-realization, the individual is completely merged in the Cosmic Consciousness or God. It is like the rivers entering into the ocean; they lose their identity and you can no more distinguish the waters of the Ganges from the waters of the Godavari. The appearance of the world vanishes in the Reality of God, just as when the lamp is brought, the snake which appeared to be vanishes in the rope that exists.
Q 2: What is this earth?
A: Different definitions can be given from different standpoints. The earth is one of the fields for experiencing the fruits of good, bad and mixed actions and for performing fresh actions. It is a Bhoga-bhumi as well as a Karma-bhumi. It is a bundle of atoms, a form of energy, a materialization of thought, an expression of the effects of the Karmas of the individuals of whom it is composed and to whom it is related. Scientifically, the earth is only one of the planets which go
to make the universe.
The more intensely you desire for reaching the Goal, the more rapidly you advance
towards it. – Sri Swami Sivananda
HATHA YOGA TIP – SUNLIGHT
- Sunlight heals diseased bones and weakened muscles.
- Sunlight is like food. You can take this food by exposing the skin of your body to the sun. The skin and nerves will observe the energy of sunlight.
- Sunlight provides sufficient heat that is needed to sustain life.
- The sun’s ultraviolet rays kill the germs, increase your resistance to infection and stimulate the circulation of blood. They are useful in anemia. They cure certain skin-diseases such as leprosy, ringworm and boils and also certain bone-diseases like rickets. They stimulate the healing of wounds and aid the union of fractured bones.
- Sunbath is highly beneficial. To take sunbath, expose your body to the rays of the sun for a short time. Lie down on a cot or on the ground on a blanket. Expose your back to the rays of the sun. If the rays are very hot, cover the back with a green plantain leaf or any green leaf or a peace of folded wet cloth. Remain thus for 15 to 30 minutes. After you get up from the bath, wipe the body with a dry and clean cloth. This will prove useful in lumbago, rheumatism and skin-diseases.
- The best time for sunbath is the morning. Hot rays of the sun should be avoided. Too much exposure to the sun should also be avoided.
- The rays of the sun possess antiseptic and germicidal properties. Expose your clothing to the sun daily and your bedclothes once in a fortnight.
- You need plenty of sunlight so that you may grow into healthy and robust boys and girls. If you do not have enough sunlight, your growth will be interfered and you may get anemia. You cannot have good health and nutrition without exposing your skin to the appropriate dose of sunlight.
- Let the sun’s rays fall on your eyes for two to three minutes everyday. This will improve your eyesight.
- Loose clothing of white fabrics allows freely permeation of the sun’s rays into the skin. Thick clothing shuts the sun’s rays from the skin. Use loose clothing of white fabrics and avoid thick clothing as far as possible.
- Avoid living in dark places where sunlight does not penetrate. Live in well-ventilated rooms where sunlight penetrates freely.
- In the rays of the sun you will find a cheap and easily available tonic, a disinfectant and an antiseptic and a potent germicide.
Be regular in you Japa, Kirtan and meditation. You will feel refreshed, renewed, rejuvenated, uplifted and inspired. – Sri Swami Sivananda
From ‘The Yoga Sutras’ – commentary by Sw. Sivananda
From Chapter I: Samadhi Pada – On Contemplations
I.27. TASYA VAACHAKAH PRANAVAH
‘He manifests in the word OM‘
OM (AUM), the sacred word of the Hindus, is one of the oldest known words. Over 5000 years ago, and probably much earlier in ancient Sumeria, OM was known and used as a secret word by Sumerian mystics and priests. When the Indo-Aryan tribes wandered east from Sumeria to Northern India, they carried the precious and sacred word OM with them. In the oldest known Indian scriptures, OM has always had a place of prominence. Nearly all Mantras and hymns begin and end with OM. Om is also used alone as a Mantra and is considered to be the most powerful one. There are countless stories still circulating in India telling that if a person can pronounced the word OM with the right vibration and proper concentration, he can attain all ‘siddhis’, that is power to perform all kinds of miracles, such as healing people, producing rain, or walking over water.
The lamp of faith must be steadily fed by contact with sages and vigilantly trimmed by meditation. – Sri Swami Sivananda
VEGETARIAN CUISINE – A PRAYER BEFORE MEALS
Brahmaar panam Brahma Havir
Brahmaa gnau Brahma naa Hutam
Brahmaiva Tena Gantavyam
Brahma Karma Samaadhinahaa
The process of eating is Brahman. The act of offering is Brahman. The offering
itself is Brahman. The gastric fire by which the food is consumed is also
Brahman. He alone attains Brahman who, in all actions, is fully absorbed in Brahman.
The 24th verse from the 4th chapter of Bhagavad Gita. As we chant this prayer we
are offering the different types of food to Brahman.
There should be a great demand from within for God. You should be spiritually
hungry. Then alone will the Lord fill you with His grace. – Sri Swami Sivananda
YOGA SANSKRIT GLOSSARY
KALA – is the Great Time personified. It is the destroyer of name and form. In the Hindu pantheon, there are various gods and goddesses who are members of the divine hierarchy. Just as we have our government here composed of various ministers and officers, the celestials who rule the world, too, have their own deities who control the various aspects of creation, preservation and destruction of this world. Some are in charge of the various elements like air, fire and water; some are in charge of birth, death, preservation of life and disease.
Kala or Yama or Dharmaraja is the Lord of Death. The entire universe is under his control in a way; for, when the time comes, he brings about the end of the earthly sojourn of all beings. It is only the man of Self-realization who transcends this Kala and realizes his own Self. All Sadhana is meant to help us transcend this Kala, to conquer death, to go beyond time.
NIRGUNA BRAHMAN – Nirguna is beyond Maya. It is the fullness of everything that
is good. Nirguna is plentitude. In it you find all auspiciousness, all goodness, all beauty, all joy, all health, all sweetness, all purity, all peace, everything developed to perfection. From a distance this fullness becomes inconceivable and so the sages called it Nirguna. Once they reach there, they get merged in that inexpressible experience. It is not nothingness, but it is everything-ness and beyond this too, for it is inexpressible. Only know that all that exists in Maya or false perception, viz., evil, ugliness, misery, change, birth, decay, death, etc., are not in It. For, It is beyond Maya. In Nirguna Brahman, there are no Gunas of Maya, viz.. blue colour, etc. That is what is meant by Nirguna.
When selfishness is destroyed, there is an uninterrupted flow of spiritual force and Grace from Lord into your pure heart. – Sri Swami Sivananda
SPIRITUAL CALENDAR – May 2009
05 - Ekadasi
09 - Full Moon
20 - Ekadasi
24 - New Moon
Be simple, innocent, childlike, righteous, generous and charitable. This will make you divine. - Sri Swami Sivananda
All mortal things are shadows. God is the only Real Immortal Substance. He is in all; all things are in Him. He is all-in-all; all things are in Him. Inside and outside He pervades and penetrates everything that exists.
- Sri Swami Sivananda