Monthly Archives: October 2009

SIVANANDA DAILY READING FOR 29 OCTOBER


BRAHMAN AND MAYA

Like the pot and clay, waves and the sea, ornaments of silver and gold, the universe is non different from Brahman. The cause does not lose its being by appearing as the effect. The world is not an illusion, but it is non different from Brahman. Like heat is inseparable from fire and identical with it, so the universe which is of the nature of Brahman is identical with it.



The world is dependent on Brahman and independently the world is nothing. The play of cit (consciousness) alone shines as this universe. The universe was, is and always will be. There is no beginning or end to creation.


Behind the impermanent material world there is the invisible source of all things, pure, unchanging spirit or Atman. In the presence of God, maya (illusion) creates the world, even as in the presence of the superior officer, the subordinates do their work. Just as a carpenter cannot work without the instruments, and the instruments themselves also cannot do any work without the carpenter, so also, Isvara (God) cannot create the world without maya, nor can maya create the world without Isvara.



This world is an overflow of the love of God. This is the view of a bhakta (devotee). This world is an overflow of the bliss of Brahman. This is the view of a vedantin or sage. Love and bliss are one; God and Brahman are one. This world is nothing but the expression of God’s love for Himself. This world is an expression or manifestation of God. It is the outcome of the spontaneous play of love and joy. God expands Himself and manifests as the world.



Atmic sankalpa (the will of the self) makes this universe shine and constitutes it. Every object is surcharged with divine significance. Everything in this world has got a spiritual message to convey. Learn from everything. All is Brahman. When this truth is intellectually recognised and intuitively realised, then all feelings of differences end forever.



Sivananda Gurugram: October 2009


OM NAMAH SHIVYA 
THIS MONTH:
-        Swami Mahadevananda extends an invitation to all Sivananda Yoga Teachers, to attend a gathering ‘Yoga for Inner Peace’ at the Yoga Camp, Val Morin, in August 2010.  Details will follow on a monthly basis, check www.sivananda.org for up-to-date information
-        Is Diwali!  Read below for an explanation on this holy festival
-        As relevant now as it was when originally asked, Master is questioned on the fall in ethical values as a result of global economic development
-        The wide legged Halasana, plough pose
-        From the sutras, how contentment brings happiness
-        How to make PINEAPPLE PACHADI
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SPIRITUAL CALENDAR
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OCTOBER 2009
04 - Full Moon
14 - Ekadasi
17 - Diwali
18 - New Moon
29 - Ekadasi

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THOUGHT OF THE MONTH
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All misery in the World is due to ignorance and false identification of the 
perishable body. - Sri Swami Sivananda


God walks in the garb of a beggar. He moans in pain in the guise of the sick. 
Open your eyes. See Him in all. Serve all. Love all.
- Sri Swami Sivananda


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SIVANANDA YOGA FAQ ~~~ Frequently Asked Questions
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Q 1: Is there a remedy for the fall of ethical laws and standards due to the global economic revolution?

A: Any revolution does not compel anyone to lower the moral standard. No doubt, it can facilitate this fall to some extent. The real mischief was done by the misleaders of mankind who deliberately exalt material values over spiritual values. It is never too late to mend, however. Even now, if the heart of man be cleansed of the impurities selfishness and self-aggrandizement, and righteousness enthroned in it, the moral standard can be kept high in spite of the most exaggerated commercial development.


Q 2: What standards measure true greatness?

A: The true greatness of a human is to be measured, not by the amount of wealth, nor by the number of bungalows, nor by the exercise of personal influence, but by the degree of selflessness, all-embracive outlook, generosity, liberal views, cosmic benefaction, self-sacrifice, egoless, self-effacing nature, grade of perception of unity in diversity and humanitarian services. A truly great person is pious, spiritually elevated, magnanimous and noble-hearted. He/she can never have a thought for their self and prefers the welfare of humanity, casting aside all petty, selfish and personal interests. He/she ever prays for the welfare of humanity. Where there is an open, un-constricted, expansive, large heart, there lies true greatness.


There is no virtue like Truthfulness.
- Sri Swami Sivananda


Previous FAQs at http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/faq/faq.html

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HATHA YOGA TIP
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WIDE-LEG HALASANA – Plough Pose

Halasana is usually performed after Sarvangasana for anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes. From Salamba Sarvangasana, exhale and bend from the hip joints, keeping the legs straight, slowly lower your toes over your head to the floor. As much as possible, keep your torso perpendicular to the floor. Press into the back of the head. Soften your throat.

You can continue to press your hands against the back torso, as in Salamba Sarvangasana, pushing the back up toward the ceiling as you press the backs of the upper arms down for support of the posture, or release your hands away from your back and stretch the arms down on the floor, parallel and on the mat. For wide-leg Halasana, while in Halasana, walk the legs apart into V-shape of wide-leg Halasana. Inhale. Exhale. Walk feet back together into Halasana. 
Option 2: 
While in Halasana, clasp the hands together behind the back and press the arms actively down into the mat as you lengthen the back of the leg & knee toward the ceiling.

To exit the pose return your hands onto the small of your back as in 
Sarvangasana, lift legs from Halasana, back into Sarvangasana. Lower arms to the mat on sides of the body, then slowly roll the back onto the mat, one vertebrae at a time, on a slow exhalation.

Benefits:

* Calms the brain
* Stimulates the abdominal organs
* Stimulates the thyroid gland
* Stretches the shoulders and spine
* Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
* Reduces stress and fatigue
* Therapeutic for backache, headache, infertility, insomnia, sinusitis 

Cultivate strong patience, under crushing trials, and intense forbearance in the face of malignant persecution. You will succeed in every attempt.
- Sri Swami Sivananda


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YOGA SANSKRIT GLOSSARY
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DIWALI - "a row of lights". It falls on the last two days of the dark half of Kartik (October-November). Some celebrate the marriage of Lakshmi with Lord Vishnu during Deepavali. In Bengal the festival is dedicated to the worship of Kali. It also commemorates that blessed day on which the triumphant Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya, after defeating Ravana. On this day also Sri Krishna killed the demon Narakasura. In South India people take an oil bath in the early 
morning and wear new clothes. Everyone forgets and forgives the wrongs done by others. There is an air of freedom, festivity and friendliness everywhere. This festival brings about unity. It instills charity in the hearts of people. On this day Hindu merchants in North India open their new account books and pray for success and prosperity during the coming year. The homes are cleaned and 
decorated by day and illuminated by night with earthen oil-lamps.


Meditation leads to Samadhi or the super-conscious state.
- Sri Swami Sivananda

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RAJA YOGA
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From Chapter II: "Sadhana Pada - On Spiritual Disciplines"
II.42. SAMTOSAD ANUTTAMAH SUKHA-LABHAH
'From contentment comes supreme happiness.'

Commentary:
Man is ever searching for happiness in external objects, but it can
only be attained when the mind is satisfied with what has been allotted and is no longer looking. When the mind is stilled and contented, happiness is automatic.

He Knows, who realizes the Atman Self (Big Self) within the self (small Self).
- Sri Swami Sivananda

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VEGETARIAN CUISINE - from 'The Yoga Cook Book'
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PINEAPPLE PACHADI – Lightly spiced pineapple and yogurt, served in a Kerala, used as an accompaniment for Sadyas (Feast). Serves 4

Ingredients:

25g (1oz) desiccated coconut
1 green chili, seeded and chopped
pinch of mustard seeds
½ pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into small cubes
125ml (4 fl oz) natural yogurt
½ tsp ghee
½ tsp black mustard seeds
1-2 curry leaves, shredded
¼ tsp salt

Preparation:

1. Place the coconut, chili and pinch of mustard seeds in a blender and grind finely.
2. Mix this powder with the pineapple cubes and yogurt.
3. Heat the ghee in a small frying pan.
4. Add the black mustard seeds and roast them until they “pop”
5. Pour the seeds over the pineapple mixture
6. Stir in the curry leaves and salt
7. Serve hot with rice

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


Meditate. Go down into the chambers or your heart. Go down deep, deep. Realize Divinity.
- Sri Swami Sivananda