Monthly Archives: November 2009

Sivananda daily reading for 24th November


MOST IMPORTANT SADHANA

Man is a mixture of three ingredients. These are the human element, the brutal instinct and the divine ray. He is endowed with a finite intellect, a perishable body, a little knowledge and a little power. This makes him distinctly human. Lust, anger and hatred belong to his brutal nature.


The reflection of cosmic intelligence is at the back of his intellect. So he is an image of God. When the brutal instincts die, when this ignorance is rent asunder, when he is able to bear insult and injury, then he becomes one with the divine.



A thirsting aspirant is one who practises self-denial. He always tries to feel that the body does not belong to him. If anyone beats or cuts him, either his hand or throat, he should remain quiet. He should not speak even one single harsh word – because the body is not his. He starts his sadhana (practice) saying: “I am not this body. I am not this mind. Chidananda Rupa Sivoham.”

One harsh word throws a man off balance and a little disrespect upsets him. How weak he has become, despite his boasted intellect, his high position in society, his degrees, his diplomas and titles.



Bear insult; bear injury. This is the essence of all sadhana. This is the most important sadhana. If you succeed in this, you can very easily enter the illimitable domain of eternal bliss. Nirvikalpa samadhi (super-conscious state) will come by itself. This is the most difficult sadhana. But it is easy for those who have burning vairagya (dispassion) and true yearning for liberation.



First you must become like a block of stone. Only then you will be established in this sadhana. Now nothing can affect you. Abuse, ridicule, mockery, insult, persecution – none of these can have any influence on you.


Life is God in expression.

Life is joy.

Life is the flooding bliss of the spirit.

Life is the fight for fullness and perfection.

Life is a battle for attaining supreme independence.


Taken from: Sivananda daily emails – sign up here http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sivanandadaily/

Anniversary of Swami Vishnu’s Mahasamadhi

Today marks the anniversary of Swami Vishnu Devananda’s Mahasamadhi, with his Jalasamadhi in 2 days.

And a reminder from Swami Sivananda to look for the best in every situation, grow stronger and march forward like a hero:

"Every failure is a stepping-stone to success. Every difficulty or disappointment is a trial of your real faith. Every disease is a Karmic purgation. Every unpleasant incident is a test of your trust in God.  Every temptation is a test of your spiritual strength. Therefore Nil Desperandum. Be ever bold and  cheerful. March on courageously. Be sincere and earnest in all your endeavours. March forward like a hero." - Swami Sivananda

Viveka / Discrimination:

Discrimination is the faculty which distinguishes between the real and the unreal. The whole world outside and the universe that is inside, are unreal. Earth, water, wind, fire, the sky, the ocean, our bodies and the vital force animating them, our minds, our consciousness of ourselves – all are but airy nothingness. The only real thing is the Atman (Self) or Brahman, the Absolute.



~ Sri Swami Sivananda

Sivananda Gurugram: November 2009

 
OM NAMAH SIVAYA

This month:
-          a new centre opens in Lithuania
-          Swami Sivananda explains the benefit of pilgrammage
-          PURVOTTANASANA – Upward Plank Pose
-          Understanding Jalasamadhi
-          How to make wheat free crepes

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SPIRITUAL CALENDAR
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NOVEMBER 2009

02 - Full Moon
09 - Swamiji's Mahasamadhi
11 - Swamiji's Jalasamadhi
12 - Ekadasi
16 - New Moon
28 - Ekadasi

You cannot realize the Infinite by mere metaphysical speculation.
- Sri Swami Sivananda
 
Html formatted version of this guru-gram available at
http://www.sivananda.org/gurugram

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
THOUGHT OF THE MONTH
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Love all, because all are the manifestations of the One Self.
- Sri Swami Sivananda

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NEWS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Blessed Self, Om Namah Sivaya,
In the spirit of expansion of the Sivananda Organization, the 4th of October 2009 saw the opening of the first Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre in Eastern Europe in Vilnius, Lithuania. On the most full moon of the year the new Sivananda Centre attracted over 250 people for an Open House day. Yoga Acharyas Swami Durgananda and Swami Atmaramananda blessed the Centre with uplifting talks on Swami Vishnudevananda, sharing their love and enthusiasm with all. The organization is very blessed to be instruments of the Masters, for bringing the 
teachings to this new part of the world.

In His Service,
Swami Durgananada, Swami Atmaramananda, Bhima 


The Atman neither dies, nor is born, nor has any modifications.
- Sri Swami Sivananda

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SIVANANDA YOGA FAQ ~~~ Frequently Asked Questions
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Q 1: Does the mental equilibrium of an advanced Yogi get affected when attacked by some serious disease? How does he/she react on such occasions?

A: Never. If there is any thought of the body or the disease or the bodily affliction or something that cannot be tolerated by the fleshy frame, remember that he is no advanced Yogi or saint or Sannyasin. He who has no thought of himself or the surroundings or the world, he who is centered in his own Self or his beloved Ishta Devata or gracious Guru, and he who is entirely oblivious of limitations of any sort, and identifies himself with the limitless, disease-less, unconditioned, all-pervasive Brahman, is a true and advanced Yogi or Bhakta or Jnani; and not otherwise. He can have no match in the whole world in the matter of utter indifference either towards his disease or towards his limited, perishable body or the whole world. He always remains in his own Self and he never loses his balance under any circumstance. He firmly believes that he is the Infinite, the Absolute Brahman. He firmly believes that death awaits all and snatches away everyone at one time or the other and that the six Urmis Shoka, Moha, Kshut, Pipasa, Jara and Mrityu-- are but common to all the Jivas, 
not necessarily mankind, and that he is the deathless, imperishable and eternal Brahman. Hence there can be no mental upset for him even amidst crucial tests.


Q 2: How are people benefited by a pilgrimage?

A: This question has to be answered by each pilgrim for himself. The spiritual benefit always depends entirely upon the heart's faith. Faith is the life-breath of the spirit in man. No spiritual endeavour can be fruitful without it. With it, no spiritual achievement is impossible. If a pilgrim heartily believed, was convinced, and was certain-at-heart that all his sins would be washed away, that he would attain Moksha and get beyond the wheel of Samsara, there is absolutely 
no reason why it should not actually prove to be so. A pilgrimage like Badri-Yatra can wash off all your sins and enable you to take great strides towards the Great Goal-- Self-realization--if you have firm faith in its glory. But, remember, the test of this faith is what you are after you return from the pilgrimage; if, after the pilgrimage, you prove that you have been thoroughly 
purged of all your sins, that all the evil Samskaras have been washed away by the holy waters of the rivers you have bathed in, and that you have been filled with the spiritual vibrations of the sublime atmosphere you have sojourned in, and if you live a pure life of righteousness, devotion, truth, love and purity, you have certainly been liberated. The pilgrimage has served its supreme purpose. Some pilgrims do rise to such spiritual heights, though their number may be small, and though they may not advertise their achievements.


Banish all barriers/boundaries from your mind. Barriers and boundaries are illusory products of Avidya/Ignorance. - Sri Swami Sivananda

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
HATHA YOGA TIP
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PURVOTTANASANA – Upward Plank Pose

Sit in Dandasana (Staff Pose) with your hands several inches behind your hips and your fingers pointing forward. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor, big toes turned inward, heels at least a foot away from your buttocks. Exhale, press your inner feet and hands down against the floor, and lift your hips until you come into a reverse tabletop position, torso and thighs approximately parallel to the floor, shins and arms approximately perpendicular. 
Without losing the height of your hips, straighten your legs one at a time. Lift your hips still higher without hardening your buttocks. Press your shoulder blades against your back torso to support the lift of your chest. Without compressing the back of your neck, slowly drop your head back. Hold for 30 seconds. Sit back down in Dandasana with an exhale.

Benefits:

* Strengthens the arms, wrists and legs
* Stretches the shoulders, chest, and front ankles
* Relieves fatigue

Moksha is in the heart of every human - free from hatred, lust, egoism, greed and desires.
- Sri Swami Sivananda
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
YOGA SANSKRIT GLOSSARY
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

JALA SAMADHI – The ceremony of merging a body with sacred water. Swami Vishnu-devananda attained Mahasamadhi on November 9, 1993. His body was then placed into the Ganges at the Sivananda Kutir, and the rite named jalasamadhi was performed, merging the abandoned body with the water.

Knowledge reveals itself. It is not taught. It embraces everything in its fold. - Sri Swami Sivananda

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
RAJA YOGA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From Chapter II: "Sadhana Pada - On Spiritual Disciplines"
II.14. TE HLADA-PARITAPA-PHALAHPUNYAPUNYA-HETUTVAT

'They have pleasure or pain as their fruit, according to whether their cause is virtue or vice'.

Commentary:
Understanding this, the yogi strives to do only good actions and to accept peacefully the ill that comes his way so that all his seeds of Karma are burned and no new ones are known.


The love you bear to anything is an aspect of the love that you bear to Brahman. Things are dear, because the Self is mirrored in them. - Sri Swami Sivananda

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
VEGETARIAN CUISINE - from 'The Yoga Cook Book'
– a collection of recipes from the Sivananda Yoga Centres
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WHEAT-FREE CREPES – For breakfast or a snack these light crispy crepes are so 
good that they can be served plain or with maple syrup. For a festive breakfast, 
serve them with Baked Bananas. They can also be filled with either a sweet or 
savoury filling, folded and topped with syrup or sauce. 
Serves 4 -6

Ingredients:

100g (4oz) soy flour
225 g (8oz) rice flour
3 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
350ml (12fl oz) water
1-2 tsp honey
4 tbsp oil
oil for frying
maple syrup or raisin sauce to serve

Preparation:

1. Combine the soy flour, rice flour, baking powder and salt
2. Add the water a little at a time, stirring so that the mixture is smooth
3. Gradually beat in the honey and the oil – the mixture should be quite runny
4. Heat a heavy frying pan over high heat, reduce to medium heat and brush with oil.
5. Add a ladleful of the mixture to the pan and flatten out thinly with the back of the spoon
6. Fry until the centre bubbles, turn it over and cook until golden brown
7. Repeat with the remaining mixture to make 10-12 crepes
8. Serve hot, with syrup or sauce


Equip yourself with these ingredients. The four means of salvation: Viveka (discrimination between the real and the unreal); Vairagya (dispassion); Shad Sampat (six-fold virtues) and Mumukshutva (eagerness for liberation). Then add Hearing, Reflecting and Meditation. Then alone you can have an integral experience, Self-realization. - Sri Swami Sivananda