the divine life society
p.o. shivanandanagar-249 192
Distt. Tehri-Garhwal, Uttarakhand, Himalayas, India
Www. Sivanandaonline.Org, Www.Dishq.Org
Siva Is Keen On Observing Hospital Rules
The Lord’s Name Travels from House to House
THE GOAL OF LIFE AND ITS ATTAINMENT
Siva’s Speeches and Addresses of the Devotees on 7th and 8th March 1954
Swami Sivananda: A Brief Life-Sketch
He Sustains People’s Faith in God
The Goal of Life and its Attainment
Visit to Janaki Sugar Mills, Doiwala
Swamiji Visits the Blind School
Doon School Elevated to the Status of a University
Spiritual Awakening at the National Defence Academy
In this book, you can experience
Gurudev Swami Sivananda just as he was:
his love, his wisdom, his generosity, his sayings ‘yes’
to everything, his fun, his concern and care for
everything and everybody, and his constant call for—
BE GOOOD and DO GOOD and for God Realisation.
In it, you will also find the essence
of all the three hundred books Gurudev has written.
This book is a real gift!
After his epoch-making All-India-Ceylon Tour in 1950, Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, in three distinct waves, swept the people of Dehra Dun. Soon after the Tour, he was at Dehra Dun for a medical check-up. Even this period (which was expressly meant for rest and recoupment) was utilised by the self-sacrificing sage for dissemination of spiritual knowledge.
In 1954, a surprise visit to Dehra Dun was arranged by Sri Swami Paramananda, during which an intense spiritual awakening was brought about. During the winter of 1955-56, Holy Master used to go out of the Ashram on Sunday evenings, for a ride and walk in the open and the jungle paths alongside the Rishikesh-Dehra Dun road. Even this involved and eventually culminated in another campaign for spiritual awakening. The crowning event was the thrilling lecture at the Military College, Dehra Dun. With devout love, Sri Swami Venkatesananda had chronicled these visits and soul-stirring messages of the Master and the same was published in 1959 as ‘Doon Lectures’.
This unique book gives the readers a blessed opportunity to meet Gurudev Swami Sivananda just as he was – the undisputed Master, the companion, the friend, the child! For all, he was and still is Swami GIVANANDA! Moreover, it contains the essence of the 300 books Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj has written! Therefore, with great joy, we are bringing out the revised edition of this book as ‘Siva’s Doon Lectures’.
We are immensely grateful to the chronicler Sri Swami Venkatesananda for bringing out the first edition in 1959 and telling us about those wonderful days in Dehra Dun.
With respect and love, we put it in your hands.
—The Divine Life Society
II ॐ II
श्री सद्गुरु परमात्मने नमः
ॐ सह नाववतु, सह नौ भुनक्तु,
सह वीर्यं करवावहै, तेजस्विनावधीतमस्तु,
मा विद्विषावहै । ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः
22nd November, 1950.
Dr. Roy and Swami Satchidanandaji had decided to take Siva to Dehra Dun for a general check-up of Siva's health. They had met Dr. Shukla, the Civil Surgeon, who was delighted at the suggestion. "And", says Dr. Roy, "Shukla has reserved two suits in the Private Ward for Swamiji, The rooms have also been specially furnished for Swamiji. He has sent us with a message that Swamiji should come over to the Hospital as early as he can."
"I shall start tomorrow itself", said Siva last night. And without further waste of time Dr. Roy and Swami Satchidananda left this morning for Dehra Dun to get a taxi for Siva.
The taxi arrived at 2 P.M. Siva had left the office after the usual work-and while he was at work, there was no thought about the Dehra Dun trip nor about his absence for about two weeks from the headquarters. Just after he had taken his meal, Siva was told that the car had come from Dehra Dun,
"I am also ready" said Siva and was in the car in ten minutes.
As he came out of his Kutir, Siva bowed with folded palms to Mother Ganges and sang the Ganesh, Guru and Maha Mantra Kirtans.
Siva personally supervised the luggage to be taken to Dehra Dun and ensured that the party travelling with him was well provided for.
We reached Dehra Dun at about 5 P.M. We were received by Dr. Roy who introduced Siva to the staff of the Hospital.
Dr. Shukla said: "It is a great blessing, Swamiji, that you grace this Hospital with your visit. You have granted us the rare privilege of serving you, Sir, and we are grateful to you for that."
25th November, 1950,
SIVA IS KEEN ON OBSERVING HOSPITAL
In the morning Siva wanted to have a stroll on the Town Hall grounds opposite the Hospital. He called Dr. Roy and asked him: "I am now a patient in the Hospital, am I not? I believe I have to take the doctor's permission if I am to leave the Hospital even for a walk?"
"It is generally the rule in Hospitals, Swamiji. But such formalities need not be observed by you, Swamiji, because there is nothing seriously the matter with Swamiji's health. And the doctors also would not like to treat Swamiji as they treat ordinary patients and expect Swamiji to conform to these minor regulations."
"No, no. The moment I got myself admitted in the Hospital, I am a patient, and I must also conform to the Hospital rules" said Siva and went straight to the doctor-in-charge and asked for permission.
The doctor was literally taken aback. Then he understood that Siva was doing so only to set an example to all patients and in order to indicate his own life principle that a leader, and especially a spiritual leader, should teach by example.
Siva is Recognised!
Siva threw away the vest shirt, coat, etc. and was taking a brisk walk on the lawns of the Town Hall. Suddenly a middle-aged man went up to him and questioned him:
"Maharaj, are you not the author of the book 'A Boon to Diabetics"?"
"How do you know?"
"O, I found out from the photo printed in the book. I looked at you as I was walking along the road and knew that you are no other than Swami Sivanandaji."
Siva came back to the Hospital and told us: "I thought I could peacefully stroll about like a man in the street, without being surrounded by people. There, too, this man came! I think I will not be left alone!" One could well understand his yearning to be left alone, especially after the strenuous All-India Tour when he had literally to swim in a shoreless ocean of human beings.
Sri Swami Paramananda used to tell Siva: "Swamiji! Even if you run away into the densest jungles where no human being can enter, you will be surrounded by the beasts of the forest who will make friends with you! You will attract to yourself the fauna of the forest. Never can you be alone even for a single minute." Such indeed is the power of cosmic love!
In the English Book Depot
We mentioned to Siva that the English Book Depot had a copy of the Philosophy of Schopenhauer. Siva wanted to visit the Book Depot himself this evening.
"Ayiye-Maharaj" greeted the Manager of the Book Depot. "Till now I had Darshan of your pictures in the numerous books written by you!" "You have got them here?" asked Siva.
"Yes, Maharaj. I am trying to put them all in one separate shelf in a prominent place. They are the most valued books in the shop. I wish that everyone reads your books."
"Kindly show me your Health and Philosophy shelves."
Siva took his seat in the shop. And the Manager went on showing him one book after the other. "Yes, I will take it", Siva said as each book was given to him. Once or twice we hinted that some books he selected might already be in the Library at the Ashram, "It does not matter. It is better to have two copies of important books."
Then Siva conducted Kirtan in the Shop, blessed the staff and left.
Admiring People's Ignorance!
Siva noticed a name-board 'Restaurant'.
He turned to us and said: "Why not go there and have a cup of hot coffee?" Siva led us into the Hotel. Like any ordinary gentleman he went straight to a table and occupied a chair, indicating to us to occupy two other chairs. He gazed at the menu card: "O, what tempting names!"
"Take coffee and some toast and whatever you like. I do not want anything" said Siva.
We ordered a cup of cocoa for him and coffee for us.
With a smile in his eyes, Siva observed the arrangement of seats and tables in the coffee house, the men and women sitting around each table, smoking between sips of coffee, obviously taking coffee and cakes in order to nourish their idle gossip.
"A true aspirant should never enter a place like this" said Siva as we emerged from the restaurant. "This place is the gateway to hell. I came here only to find out what exactly is going on. How far removed is God from the people who are delighting here! With demons of all sorts playing about them, with the dark abyss of Samsara enveloping them, with dense darkness clouding their inner vision, these people imagine that they are happy, even though every second within this place tightens Yama's noose around their neck."
Even though Siva had a big overcoat which completely covered his orange robes, and even though to all outward appearances he could have been no more than a rich landlord, he attracted the attention of everyone in the hotel. Suddenly four people sitting round yonder table vacated their chairs and came towards Siva.
"It is a great joy for us to have your Darshan, Swamiji, most unexpectedly at Dehra Dun!" There were Swami Bholanathji's brother and a Deputy Commissioner with his wife.
Here too, some devotees! And in the coffee house where people consider it fashionable not to fold their palms in salutation, and all that people do to greet each other is to smile or wink or shake hands, people in the hotel were surprised to find fashionably dressed gentlemen bending low and touching the feet of this man who talks to the devotees with folded palms. Surely, he must be God? And really God did enter the Hotel that evening, for all the time Siva was thinking and talking of God to these devotees. Even as Siva sipped his cocoa he repeated the Gita Slokas
ब्रह्मार्पणं ब्रह्महविः ब्रह्माग्नौ ब्रह्मणा हुतम् ।
ब्रह्मैव तेन गन्तव्यं ब्रह्मकर्मसमाधिना ।।
Brahmaarpanam brahma havir
brahmagnau brahmanaa hutam;
Brahmaiva tena gantavyam
(Brahman is the oblation; Brahman is the melted butter (ghee); by Brahman is the oblation poured into the fire of Brahman; Brahman verily shall be reached by him who always sees Brahman in action.)
अहं वैश्वानरो भूत्वा प्राणिनां देहमाश्रितः ।
प्राणापानसमायुक्तः पचाम्यन्नं चतुर्विधम् ।।
Aham vaishwaanaro bhootwaa
pachaamyannam chaturvidham(B.G. 15/14)
(Having become the fire Vaishwanara, I abide in the body of living beings and, associated with the Prana and the Apana, digest the fourfold food.)
GURUDEV SWAMI SIVANANDAJI MAHARAJ
SIVA AND HIS STAFF
29th November, 1950.
At 4.30 P.M. Siva was at Dr. Shukla's place. Shri and Shrimati Pannalal of Amritsar who have come here to have Siva's Darshan were also with him.
Dr. Shukla very devoutly greeted Siva. Shri Murari Lal, Retired Collector of Dehra Dun, was also with Shukla. As soon as he saw Siva in the car, he rushed to him and bowed low to touch his feet.
"It is a great blessing Sir, that you have condescended to grace my cottage," said Dr. Shukla.
During the entire eye-examination, Dr. Shukla addressed Siva devoutly "Sir."
As soon as the examination of Siva's eyes concluded, Siva requested Dr. Shukla to examine the eyes of Mrs. Pannalal also. Shukla led Siva to the sitting room, introduced him to his wife "This is my wife, Sir."-and while Siva was engaged in conversation with Shri Murari Lal he finished the examination of Mrs. Pannalal's eyes.
As Siva was getting out of the house, Dr. Shukla revealed: "I have been reading your books, Sir, during the past few days. Your book on 'What Becomes to the Soul After Death' is very interesting.
Surely, one who is able to see what is beyond death should have a very powerful vision, Sir; and I am not surprised to see that for your age you have a very powerful pair of eyes."
Then Siva took leave of Shukla.
Pannalal suggested a drive along the Rajpur Road. As the car was speeding towards Rajpur, Siva recollected: "About twenty years ago I have visited this place and walked along this road. In those days this was all jungle. We wanted to go to Mussoorie from here -Swami Adwaitanandaji and I. Adwaitanandaji had only two rupees with him. If we paid this money for our bus fare, we would have had to starve. Therefore, we took a little bit of food for the money we had and then walked along this road up to Mussoorie."
And now seated by the side of a mill manager, Siva rides a first-class taxi on the very road! Such is the power of renunciation, love and service!
30th November, 1950.
Padmanabhanji had come from Bombay, with the tape-recorder. Siva sat up till late at night yesterday and had several of his speeches and Kirtans recorded.
"I cannot sleep till all the tapes purchased so far are finished! Who knows whether I will live tomorrow or not? When we wish to do something good, we should do it at once. Delay is dangerous." explained Siva. Even though the doctors were afraid that it would impose a great strain on his already weakened constitution, he would not stop till midnight! "Now, with this recorder you can go anywhere you like and spread the Message, even without me."
"Have you brought the Yoga-Asanas films?" asked Siva.
"No, Swamiji" replied Padmanabhan. "Then, please go and bring them at once!"
Padmanabhanji went at once to Rishikesh and returned in the evening with the Yoga films.
On the verandah outside the Private Ward several benches and chairs had been placed. The staff of the Hospital and their families had come and taken their seats. Padmanabhan had fixed the Projector and the Screen. Everything was set for the show to commence. Dr. Shukla, Dr. Mitra and the Staff Nurses came in and were welcomed by Siva himself. Tea and light refreshments were ready. They were served, and in the meantime the Gramophone Records of Siva's songs and speeches as well as the Radio talks of Siva recorded on the tape recorder were made to deliver Siva's Message and sing his Kirtan.
The film-show commenced. Dr. Shukla and the rest of the spectators evinced a very keen interest in the demonstration of the difficult Yogic Kriyas.
Short But Inspiring Lecture
When this came to an end, Siva stood up. "Let us sing a little Kirtan!" he began. After Ganesh and Guru Kirtans, Siva commenced his Maha Mantra Kirtan and continued:
"Adapt! Adjust! Accommodate!
Bear Insult! Bear Injury! Highest Sadhana!
Here is the secret of mental peace, equipoise and happiness. For want of this fundamental quality of adaptability, people suffer. When the members of the staff are not able to adapt with the superior officers, there is friction and misunderstanding. When the wife is not able to adapt to the husband, there is disharmony and unhappiness.
Adaptability is a fundamental virtue. It demands the complete crushing, pulverisation and annihilation of the ego, the self-assertive Rajasic nature. You will have to bend; then you can drink the water of eternal bliss and peace at the tap of humility and self-awareness!"
Song of A Little
Eat a little, drink a little,
Talk a little, sleep a little.
Mix a little, move a little;
Serve a little, think a little.
Do Japa a little; do Kirtan a little;
Write Mantra a little; do Vichar a little.
Do Asan a little; do Pranayama a little,
Reflect a little; meditate a little.
Give a little; study a little;
Rest a little; worship a little.
"In the spiritual path certain disciplines are necessary. These I have composed into a little song which I shall sing now.
In the Gita the Lord has enumerated several divine virtues which every Sadhaka should develop and perfect in himself. I have strung them together in the form of the 'Song of Eighteen Ities'. The name of each quality ends in Ity so that children and students can easily memorise it."
Song of Eighteen Ities
Serenity, regularity, absence of vanity,
Sincerity, simplicity, veracity;
Equanimity, fixity, non-irritability;
Adaptability, humility, tenacity;
Integrity, nobility, magnanimity;
Charity, generosity, purity-
Practise daily these eighteen Ities,
You will soon attain Immortality.
Brahman is the only real Entity
Mr. So and so is a false non-entity.
You will abide in Infinity and Eternity;
You will behold unity in diversity;
You cannot attain this in the University.
(But you can attain this in the Forest Academy)
Then Siva explained the glory of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra and with the repetition of this Mantra terminated his speech and blessed the audience.
"I am thankful to you all for giving me an opportunity to serve you and for giving me a patient hearing!" Thus concluded Siva.
"You brought all these from Rishikesh for our sake, Sir?" asked Dr. Shukla.
"How very kind of you! We are all extremely grateful for your love and affection for us, Sir."
It was 10 p.m. and the doctors took leave of Siva.
1st December, 1950.
Siva has been successfully operated upon. From the Operation Theatre he was being wheeled to the Ward.
The mighty Sage, a word from whose lips, a line from whose books, a thought from whose all-powerful mind, could move millions forward on the path to Immortality; the man of inexhaustible energy and indefatigable zeal, whose extraordinary energy and marvelous power of endurance had earned him the admiration of no less a person than the seventy-year old ex-Governor General of India, Sri C. Rajagopalachari, and the millions of men and women of India during the All-India Tour when even on the verge of a collapse, he would continue to deliver his powerful discourses and sing his inspiring songs!
That mighty sage lay like a little babe on the stretcher as he was wheeled along the corridors of the Hospital and carried over the staircase to the ward.
"This experience is also good," said Siva smiling on the corridor.
The ward boys, who carried the stretcher, did their work with the greatest care: "It is the rarest thing in our lives, Swamiji! We feel blessed to be allowed to carry a Mahatma."
Siva was laughing and joking all through. "The first injection was a little painful. Then I did Pranayama. I felt nothing later on. Just a little prick or so and a little hazy feeling of some cutting whenever I thought of it."
Even though the operation was a minor one, Dr. Shukla, the Civil Surgeon, himself performed it.
6th December, 1950.
Sri Narottam Das, of the United Art Studio, has come. He has brought with him some copies of a beautiful photograph of Siva which he had re-copied from a photo taken at Bombay.
"This is the best of the lot, Swamiji," said Das.
"What is it due to? The same lights, the same camera and the same person! Yet you say one photograph is very much better than the others."
"Sometimes it happens like that, Swamiji."
"That is exactly the case!" rejoined Siva. "It is some unique combination and something more that produces sometimes extraordinary results. Just the correct measure of salt and other ingredients-to the minutest degree-only will give the best curry. Even the best cook cannot always produce the best dish. If you understand this, you will not get cross with your wife if there is a little extra salt in today's curry!"
This rule applies to all in all walks of life. An understanding of this Principle of the Ingredients of Perfection-the ingredients which very rarely come together-will enable us to appreciate even when the circumstances, surroundings, conditions and events do not come up to our estimation of perfection and this means peace and joy in all conditions.
Sri Narottam Das was taking leave of Siva. "Swamiji, I have not yet locked the Studio."
This led to a discussion of the measures taken by Das for the security of the Studio. He explained that the whole building employed a good watchman for the night. They have never had a case of burglary at night.
"But Swamiji, only once during the day-time, I lost Rs. 200 in cash and a camera lens."
Siva laughed and said: "O, 'Gupta Daan"!" When a thing is lost, do not consider it as a loss but as involuntary charity'! You will never feel the loss at all."
9th December, 1950
Siva walked into our room in the morning. We were having our morning coffee.
"Give me also a cup of coffee," asked Siva.
"Yes, Swamiji; I shall prepare immediately," said Govindaswamiji. He wanted to prevent Siva from taking the sugared coffee and to prepare a cup of coffee with saccharine tablets-this is a precaution taken to prevent increase of sugar in Siva's urine.
"No, no, no: I want the coffee with sugar!"
"I will give at once, Swamiji." Govindaswamiji would not give the sugared coffee, but in a minute prepared the saccharine coffee.
"No, no. I don't want this." Siva went away. In a few seconds, before he went beyond the threshold, he returned: "O, Govindaswamiji! Give me the saccharine coffee. I will have it." And with a happy smile he drank it: "who loses if I refuse to take it?"
And then Siva narrated the story of one getting offended with his wife because there was a little extra salt in the vegetable. He threw the vegetable away; a few moments later he asked his wife to collect the vegetable sticking to the wall and to give it to him!
Whenever an aspirant wants to leave the Ashram on account of some misunderstanding or quarrel with someone else, Siva would counsel him:
"Who loses if you go away? You yourself would be a terrible loser! Bear insult and injury patiently. Stick to the path and to the Ashram. You will gain immeasurable spiritual strength."
Giving way to upsurge of emotions and fits of temper we quarrel, fight with or leave our friends or relations: who loses? Only we! This one question will set at rest all our emotional disturbances and bestow calmness and equanimity on us. By doing what the mind would not like to do, we get perfect control over the emotions.
Attention to the Minutest Details
Krishnaswamiji has come to take leave of Siva. He is proceeding to Calcutta to look after the Society's printing works there.
"Have you taken enough money for your travelling expenses?" asked Siva.
"Yes Swamiji," and he touched his shirt pocket. "You don't have a purse?"
"Go and get one immediately! You should have two purses. In one you should keep a little money for wayside expenses. This purse you should keep in the inner pocket of your coat, securely pinned. The other purse which contains the bulk of the amount should be in the trunk; and you should open the trunk only when you reach the Press. Otherwise you would lose all the money somewhere on the way and then be stranded even before you reach Calcutta."
"Yes, Swamiji, I shall get the purses now. Actually, Narayanaswamiji told me to get a purse the moment I reached Dehra Dun. He told me also that Swamiji would enquire about it the moment I met you."
"Yes, I have been telling this to all people for so many years past!"
The attention to details which he bestowed twenty years ago when he was a wandering monk and which he bestowed ten years ago when the Ashram had just been started-Siva bestows even today, in the midst of his multifarious duties.
11th December, 1950
"Govindaswamiji! There was something peculiar in the afternoon food. I had an eight-pint-enema motion today." said Siva as he entered our room in the afternoon, referring to the watery, urgent and pumping motion he had. "The commode and the ground were soiled. Then I had to wipe the floor and clean the commode myself."
"You could have called the scavenger or some of us, Swamiji" said Dr. Roy.
"No, no; why, it is so simple. I do not need any one to assist me in this. Day before yesterday, the hospital people had kept a kidney tray beneath the commode so that they could take a little bit of my stool for examination. The kidney-tray was perhaps not kept properly. All the faecal matter had fallen down on the ground. Afterwards I took a little of the faeces from the ground and put it in the kidney-tray for the examination; the rest I collected and put inside the commode and then cleaned the ground with water."
"All with your own hands, Swamiji?"
"Yes, yes; what else?"
"No, no; you should not do that, Swamiji. You can call some servants."
"Why should they do it? I can do it myself without the least discomfort. I did it also when I was in the Medical College in my student days. Even senior students used to feel nausea to clean the intestines of dead dysentery patients. But I would clean the intestines with my own hands and show them."
The whole thing Siva described with the joy and ease with which we would describe the process of serving food with our hands!
The Strong Frame of Siva
The appointment was at 2 P.M., but Siva was ready to start at 1 P.M. At 1.30 we were at Dr. Ramamurti Sharma's X-Ray Hospital. Dr. Ramamurti Sharma, a young radiologist with a radiant face, received Siva with reverence and took him to the X-ray room. Siva admired the huge latest model X-ray plant that the doctor had installed in his hospital. Dr. Sharma explained to Siva the principles of radiology and how the X-ray pictures are taken.
Siva lay down on the X-ray table. Dr. Sharma took a picture of Siva's skull. Immediately he took it inside. Siva was told that he wanted to develop the picture at once. "Yes, yes, that is good. That is my method also. Everything should be done at once. That is the secret of achievement."
After a few minutes, Dr. Sharma returned to the X-ray room. "Swamiji, may I give you a little trouble? I want to take a picture of the skull again."
"Why, the previous one has not come off well?" asked Dr. Roy.
"It is first class, all right: but I would like, if Swamiji permits, to have one copy of the picture for myself."
"O, yes, certainly you can keep one for you. There is no trouble at all for me. You can ask me to do anything you like. It is all joy," said Siva and immediately assumed a baby-sleeping pose (Balasuptasana), ready to be X-rayed.
The next one was the chest from the back. Dr. Sharma asked Siva to stand very close to a wooden frame (with the X-ray plate fixed to it). The chin had to press against the wall, with a Matsyasana-twist of the neck. The shoulders had to remain in contact with the wooden frame; so too the chest. The hands had to rest on the hip. We who were standing near Siva could not bear the sight! Even the doctor felt that the posture was torturing. "I won't take more than a couple of minutes, Swamiji," said he and hastened with the X-ray giant. "Hold your breath for a minute, Swamiji," said the doctor. This on top of all the strain entailed by the posture-surely, anyone in that position would be gasping for breath rather than feel inclined to hold the breath. Well, the picture was taken. But Siva stood there glued to the wall and had to be awakened and requested to relax. "I just did a little Kumbhak" said Siva smiling.
"But it was a very difficult thing to do, Swamiji," remarked Dr. Roy.
"Somewhat like the Crucifixion" said Siva and gave a hearty laugh.
When the doctor was about to photograph his hip, Siva revealed that "Several years ago, I was doing Sarvangasana of a very difficult type one morning and there was a click in the hip. Since then only I am having some sort of pain in the lumber region. Perhaps, the pain is due to lumbago contracted through standing in the Ganges water for long periods of time, as I used to do during the first ten years of my Rishikesh life."
The picture of the knee-joints revealed the presence of a small extra bone there, and Dr. Roy exclaimed: "It ought to be giving you a lot of pain, Swamiji."
"O, just a little rheumatic pain in the knee sometimes," said Siva; and that too, just because the doctor mentioned it. As we noticed during the recent All-India Tour, with Siva pain is a thing to be felt or not felt as one wished to-and there is nothing inevitable about it.
One has to watch Siva closely in order to understand the value of time and how best to use it. Much of what he does has become part and parcel of his very being; we should not expect him to talk about it (for he may not be aware of what is unique in it!), but to watch and do as he does. Three hours he lay on the X-ray table. About three-fourths of this period he was "free" and he merely lay there waiting for the doctor to return from the dark room. Sixteen pictures were taken and each did not take more than three minutes. Nearly two and a quarter hours Siva had to do nothing on the table.
It would have been easy for a Tamasic man who would actually welcome such opportunities to idle time away. He knows not the value of time. It would be impossible for you to do it if you know the value of time as Siva does, and if your nature is to be active, and if you are always "up and doing" as Siva is in the service of mankind.
I watched. How does this dynamic Karma Yogi behave in such circumstances? Does he fret and fume with impatience? No. The moment the doctor entered the dark room with the plate, Siva would close his eyes and sink deep into himself, deeper than the X-rays could. Time is regained and transcended. It is not wasted. Even this period of enforced idleness may be transformed into dynamic inner activity.
At the conclusion of the X-ray photographing, when Siva was getting down from the X-ray table, he wanted his shoes which were lying at the entrance to the house. Dr. Sharma rushed outside. We objected to his carrying the shoes; but he pleaded: "Please let me have this great privilege this one time!"
When the X-raying came to a close, Dr. Sharma took Siva into his office. Here Siva noticed the portraits of several European and Indian doctors adorning the walls. Dr. Sharma explained to Siva that they were the pictures of the most eminent among surgeons, medical men and radiologists.
"It is a grand idea," said Siva. "You are greatly inspired when you look at these portraits. In due course of time you will also grow into a great surgeon and radiologist." Among the pictures Siva found the photograph of Dr. A. L. Sutherland, the Jugadhri Eye Surgeon who had recently visited the Ashram.
"It is Dr. Sutherland's photo?"
"Yes, Swamiji. I underwent training under him for some time. He is an eminent surgeon, Swamiji."
"Yes, I have seen him. You have done the right thing by getting his training before he left for Australia. That is the spirit that will enable you to shine in the profession. Dr. Garg of Mussoorie also got trained by Sutherland. You have to live with such leaders in the profession, serve them nicely, and when they are pleased with your service and your conduct, they will teach you great secrets which will bestow success on you. You have to be humble, patient and forbearing. Only then will you be able to gather knowledge from the fountain sources. You are young and wise. You should go to America and other foreign lands and specialise in the various branches of surgery and radiology."
"By your grace and with your blessings, Swamiji, I will.”
Dr. Sharma then "screened" Dr. Roy's lungs and heart; and Siva watched the heart-beat, the movement of the diagram and the expansion and contraction of the lungs a very interesting sight.
"What a marvelous production of the Lord! Only He could manufacture such intricate machines, with delicate parts, aligned to perfect working. The very study of the human machine ought to set at rest the skepticism of the disbeliever. Who but God could have created this wonderful human body? Who orders the heart to beat, and who commands the diaphragm to move up and down, thus enabling you to breathe and draw the life-giving oxygen from the air? O wonder!"
For Siva everything is a pointer to God. Every bit of phenomena is a lead to the Noumenon. Every name and form is an eloquent suggestion of the Nameless and Formless.
As we came out into the waiting room, Siva abruptly sat down and said: "Dr. Sharmaji, I must do a little Kirtan before I leave the place."
Dr. Sharma was surprised, for Siva said this as though he expected the doctor to grant him a favour, and not as though what he wanted to do was a blessing showed unsolicited on the doctor! "Certainly, Swamiji," was practically all that the doctor could manage to extract out of the admiration-filled heart.
Siva did Kirtan.
The doctor stood up to take leave of Siva.
"Give me the bill!" said Siva and sat down again. "I will prepare a bill tomorrow, Swamiji." said Dr. Sharma, paused a little and added: "I shall talk it over with Dr. Roy and then send the bill to you, Swamiji. What I crave for is your blessing and not money."
"Oji, God will bless you. But do not reduce the amount on any account. Put the full charge. You need money also. You are young and you have to do a lot of work."
Money of course is not for enjoyment, but for doing more work, more service to humanity. Money is valuable to Siva only in so far as it serves this purpose the supreme purpose of his life.
"All right, Swamiji. I will give the bill tomorrow."
"No, no. Right now! Nothing tomorrow."
But Dr. Sharma would not!
"Shashwatji, have you got any money with you?
"Yes, Swamiji." - "Then give!"
Dr. Roy and Dr. Sharma looked at each other in bewilderment-"Now, what?" was written in their eyes.
Dr. Roy came to the rescue. "Swamiji, we may give him a hundred rupees now and whatever remains to be paid we shall pay him tomorrow when he gives the bill."
"All right. Here is a hundred. May God bless you!"
Dr. Sharma received it with reverence-it was Siva's Prasad. He was relieved.
(Later it was known that Dr. Sharma would not accept any more, even though the normal charge per X ray photo was Rs. 10 and at this rate we should have paid him Rs. 256.)
Siva then took leave of Dr. Sharma.
A Stout Heart
From here Siva proceeded to Dr. C. P. Goswami, M. B., D. M. R. E. (Cantab), Cardiologist, for an examination of the heart (purely physical).
Bare-bodied in the biting cold, Siva had to wait for over an hour till he was prepared for the examination.
"Are you comfortable, Swamiji?" enquired kindly the doctor.
"Perfectly!" replied Siva.
The Cardiologist knew already that Siva should have a stout heart that could, even when the health with indifference the was enfeebled, dismiss menacing cold blast that made people around him shiver within five layers of woolen clothing.
The electrical recorder wrote. And the Cardiologist gave his verdict: Siva's heart is perfectly normal and the only abnormality about it is that it had no abnormality or weakness that would have been normal in people of his age.
As soon as he returned to the Hospital, Siva told us: "Dr. Goswami, in spite of his age is very active. See, in a minute he at once wrote out the Cardiogram report. That is my method also. Everything must be done at once, without waiting for tomorrow."
Incidentally, a few minutes later Dr. Roy revealed that this "in a minute" that Dr. Goswami took to prepare the report was really (according to human calculations) forty minutes. As soon as the examinations had been over and Siva was seated, he instantly withdrew his consciousness into the Self, beyond Time and Space, and when he was disturbed in it after forty minutes, he would have felt that it was barely a minute!
Siva then returned to the Hospital.
13th December, 1950.
At 2 P. M. today Narottam Das Ji, the photographer (of the United Art Studio) was at the Hospital. Siva too was ready for him.
"You have only such a small place? You are a very able photographer! You ought to have a palatial studio," remarked Siva as he stepped into the studio.
"Yes, Swamiji. The place is rather too small. But now that you have blessed the studio with your Charanasparsha it is bound to grow!"
N. Das took a number of snaps from various angles, and on one occasion he asked Siva to smile. When Siva smiled, Das was not satisfied; "Give a good laugh, Swamiji." At this suddenly Siva started making faces, actually grinning like a baby; and then at once resumed his serene, inward smiling, a blissful attitude. This sent those in the studio into hysterical laughter for over ten minutes. This mighty Sage is one without being conscious of his own exalted position. Surely, he and very few else satisfy the hair-splitting definition of the Upanishads: "He who knows it not, knows it. He who says he knows, knows it not."
Shashwatswamij suggested a Bengali Sadhu pose. Siva readily agreed. N. Das suggested so many peculiar and often funny poses. Siva obeyed like a good child. "All for your sake not mine. What do I care?" he seemed to say as he mechanically turned this way and that under the directions of those around him.
Referring to another picture taken at the studio, Siva asked: "That photo is very good. Will you give the negative to me?"
"No, Swamiji. I must keep it."
"You keep all the negatives?"
"Certainly, Swamiji. And yours are my greatest treasure from both the spiritual and the material points of view!" said N. Das to every one's amazement.
After spending over three hours at the studio, Siva went to Sri N. Das's residence about half a mile from the studio.
"Swamiji, what would you prefer to take at this time?" asked N. Das.
Feeling that it might be a delicate question for Siva himself to answer, Shashwatswamiji began to answer. But Siva quickly interrupted him and said: “Oji! I would take a little cocoa without sugar. It must be boiling hot. And some light savoury. No sweets. Doctors have forbidden sweets, and I must be a little careful."
Shashwatswamiji with his keen sense of propriety and etiquette perhaps felt that such a mighty sage like Siva should not talk on equal terms with ordinary mortals and that these unimportant or un-transcendental things should be left to be dealt with by a secretary. Siva at once understood the query that shone on Shashwatswamiji's face and told us immediately:
"A saint should not say what he would take? Why this business of Swamiji Maharaj would take.....You may offer..... to his holiness. We should not subject ourselves to such formalities. Simple, straight and heart-to-heart dealings-that should be our motto. We should become one with the people whom we meet and talk to. This big-man idea should never enter the mind."
Siva then did Kirtan and sang his English Bhajans also which were immensely liked by all those present. By now all the neighbours of Das had come into Das's house for Siva's Darshan and Satsang.
You Give Life to the Hospital
Then to the residence of Dr. Mitra, the Assistant Surgeon of the Doon Hospital. Dr. and Mrs. Mitra received Siva and entertained Siva and the party nicely. Siva's gramophone records were played.
"I know it is a bit awkward to say so, Swamiji.
But it is a great pity you are leaving us in a few days. The Hospital will have a deserted appearance without you. You have infused life into it during the last few weeks. So many people came to the Hospital-but most of them came to see you. Everything was lively in the Hospital," said Dr. Mitra.
"You can come to Rishikesh. Please do come!" invited Siva.
In the meantime, Mrs. Mitra was absorbed in studying the copy of 'Light Power and Wisdom' that Siva had presented to her along with a number of other books.
"This is a wonderful book, Swamiji. How many books you have given us! It would form a Library."
"I will send you a full set of my books when I go to Rishikesh," said Siva and then, noticing that without even looking up or turning her head, she was reading the book in right earnest, Siva said: "You can read that book a little later. First read the titles of all the books in your hand!" said Siva, just like a school-boy who would anxiously handle, reading the title and turn this way and that with every new book that falls into his hand, at once. And he added: "I would also do like that."
"Obviously she finds that little book very interesting?" said Dr. Mitra and looked at his wife.
"Yes. I just opened a page of this 'Light Power and Wisdom' and found a mine of wisdom in each line. It clears all our doubts."
"Yes, yes," said Siva, "some people say that it is like the Ramayana. You think of a question and turn a page (closing your eyes); and on that page you find the answer to your question!"
"Exactly so, Swamiji," concurred Mrs. Mitra.
Siva did Kirtan, Mrs. Mitra was thrilled by the Dhwanis. Even after Siva had concluded and got up, she would not open her eyes. She was in a world of her own-or Siva's. She had to be shaken up! Then Siva took leave of the doctor and returned to the Hospital.
14th December, 1950
At 8 o'clock early in the morning when we were just having our tea, a Sadhu appeared in the Hospital. He was a representative from Shahanshah Ji Maharaj, a reputed saint living in Rajpur-about seven miles from Dehra Dun on the Mussoorie Road. Shahanshah Ji had heard that Siva was in the Dehra Dun Hospital and was very much concerned about Siva's health. He paid a visit to the Hospital day yesterday evening, but as Siva had gone out, he could not meet him personally. Therefore, he has sent his disciple this morning to find out if Siva is in the hospital and how he feels. The disciple has instructions to take Siva in Shahanshah Ji's station-wagon to his Ashram in Rajpur.
The disciple pleaded that Siva should grace the Ashram with his holy presence.
"All right, I will come. What time?" asked Siva. "Any time that suits you, Maharaj."
Siva looked at Dr. Roy. Doctor was puzzled, as a tight programme had already been arranged for the rest of Siva's stay at Dehra Dun.
"All right. We shall go now itself. Later it may not be possible," said Siva to the surprise of all.
In a minute we were out of the Hospital. As we walked towards the car, Siva first recited the Jaya-Ganesha and Jaya-Guru and Mahamantra Kirtans. As we turned the Hospital corner, we came into sunlight. As soon as Siva had the sun's Darshan, he bowed to Him with folded palms and recited the Surya Dhyana. Siva also repeated the Mrityunjaya, Bala and Panchadasakshari (Sri Vidya) Mantras.
"I never go out without repeating the Surya, Mrityunjaya, Bala and Srividya Mantras, and with Mahamantra I invoke the blessings of Ganesha and Guru also. That is why I achieve success wherever I go. You should also make it a point to repeat these great Mantras. Mrityunjaya saves me from all sorts of accidents and ill-health on the way. The sun gives me abundant energy. Mother protects me. Sri Vidya enlightens my intellect. Mahamantra gives me inner spiritual strength and power."
The car took us straight to an Advocate's house nearby where Shahanshah Ji was waiting for Siva. He also got into the car which now proceeded towards Rajpur. Shahanshah Ji is much older than Siva (his age is reported to be 92) and was a reputed Mahatma even when Siva had just arrived at Rishikesh. But his reverence and veneration of Siva is something marvellous. Perhaps, Shahanshah Ji feels that Siva has achieved within a short span of twenty years what would have taken two centuries for others to achieve. He admires Siva's dynamism, but is anxious that it should not affect his physical health.
"Swamiji! You have done enough work. You have awakened the whole world! Your message has penetrated distant lands too. You have written countless books. It is time you stopped exerting yourself and leave the work to be done by the younger generation. Overwork affects your health," said Shahanshah Ji.
After some time he said: "I am overjoyed that you have been pleased to grant my request to pay a visit to my Ashram. I requested you long ago to come; but then you could not. Now under the pretext of ailment you have chosen to accede to my request."
We reached the Ashram, the solitary Kutir on a hillock which Shahanshah Ji occupied. Shahanshah Ji and the President of the Rajpur Branch of the Sangh sang a couple of Bhajans. Siva did Kirtan. Siva took a little milk and "parotta" which Shahanshah Ji himself lovingly served him.
Siva then visited the Primary School of the Ashram and also the Guest House. Siva made the school children sing the Maha Mantra Kirtan and also perform the Upanishadic Drill.
As we were returning to the Hospital Siva recollected his previous meeting with Shahansha Ji at Meerut about twenty years ago. At that time Shahanshah Ji requested Siva to learn Hindi and had volunteered to tutor him. After a couple of days Siva 'ran away' to Rishikesh giving up the Hindi-study.
Justifiably so. When he was engaged in doing rigorous Sadhana for Self-realisation, when he was engaged in ceaseless service of humanity, of the Sadhus of Swarg Ashram and the villagers, of what use could be this little book-learning? And perhaps, Siva knew that the Lord had chosen him to re-educate, spiritualise and lead the English- knowing modernised and materialised men and women of India and of the world along the right path. He was content with his knowledge of English and did not hanker after proficiency in any other tongue. This clearly shows that even in those days Siva was abundantly conscious of his particular mission in life.
Even during his lecture-tours in the Punjab and the U.P., and even when he had to address · audiences vastly composed of non-English knowing devotees, he was allowed by the people to talk in English, though they would hoot down any other man uttering an English word. They were content to have his Darshan, to hear him in whatever language he spoke. And they had some other people to translate his lecture into Hindi. This again clearly shows that Siva had a distinct role to play, and that was amongst the English knowing people of the world.
Shahanshah Ji brought Siva back to the Hospital in the station wagon at 11 P.M. and then returned to his own Ashram.
Siva Addresses the Professors of Mahadevi Kanya Pathashala College
A simple but impressive function was arranged by the Professors of Mahadevi Kanya Pathashala College. Some of the Professors of the College came to the Hospital to lead Siva to the College, one of the two girls' Colleges of Dehra Dun.
The Principal of the College and the Professors assembled in the Library Hall. Siva distributed to them all his divine Prasad-fruits and books. After a few minutes silence, the Professors requested Siva to give them some Upadesha. Beginning as a simple talk, to which they eagerly listened, Siva discoursed at length upon the life divine.
It began as simple as this.
"Swamiji, kindly give us some Upadesha!"
"Know thy Self and be free!" w was the ready response.
"How to know the Self, Swamiji?"
"Identify yourself with the Atma that resides in the chambers of your heart and not with this perishable body or the imperfect mind, intellect and ego."
"That is very difficult, Swamiji."
"First you should purify yourself. Then it will not be difficult. There are eight stages in Sadhana. Purification, concentration, reflection, meditation, illumination, identification, absorption and salvation. Purification of the heart and the mind is of the utmost importance. Without purification, no progress is possible in Sadhana.
"You should first be rooted in the firm conviction that there is no pleasure in the objects.
ये हि संस्पर्शजा भोगा दुःखयोनय एव ते ।
आद्यन्तवन्तः कौन्तेय न तेषु रमते बुधः ।।
Ye hi samsparshaja bhogaa
duhkhayonaya eva te;
na teshu ramate budhah. (B.G. 5/22)
(The enjoyments that are born of contacts are only generators of pain, for they have a beginning and an end, O Arjuna: the wise man does not rejoice in them.)
You should be convinced that real, lasting, eternal bliss can be had only in the Atma. You should acquire the Four Means-Viveka, Vairagya, Shad Sampat and Mumukshutwa. You should have discrimination between the real and the unreal. You should have dispassion-not the dispassion that comes out of some calamity or failure, like the Smashana-Vairagya or the Prasava-Vairagya, but dispassion born of discrimination. Then you should be endowed with the sixfold virtues-Shama, Dama (control of the mind and the Indriyas), Titiksha (endurance), Uparati (indifference to the objects of enjoyment), Shraddha (faith and devotion) and Samadhana (mental equipoise). Above all, you should have intense yearning to attain God-realisation.
Disciplining of the mind and the Indriyas is necessary if you wish to tread the spiritual path. The path of Self-realisation is like the razor's edge. But for one who has controlled his mind and senses, who has faith and devotion to God and who has acquired the Four Means, it is the rosy path of bliss and peace. Discipline of the tongue, discipline of speech and discipline of the mind and body- these are of paramount importance. Eat a little; drink a little; talk a little; sleep a little. Thus is the Path that leads to God. Mix a little; move a little; serve a little; rest a little. Do Asana a little; do Pranayama a little; reflect a little; meditate a little. Do Japa a little; do Kirtan a little; write Mantra a little; do Vichara a little. You will soon attain Immortality!
You should be the abode of several fundamental divine qualities. The Lord has enumerated several virtues in the thirteenth and sixteenth chapters of the Gita. I have put it in the form of a little English song-the song of Eighteen Ities. (Here Siva sang the song.) You should cultivate all these virtues.
And, you should ever remember the Lord's Name. This is very, very important! His Name is your only support, refuge and strength. Youth, beauty- they will pass away, giving place to the wrinkles of old age. Wealth, titles and position- they will vanish like lightning.
Do not trust your intellect. The intellect is only a finite, frail instrument. It cannot solve the transcendental problems. Intellect is both a help and a hindrance. It is a help if it leads to discrimination and the dawn of intuition. It is a hindrance if it leads you to disbelief and atheism. It is a help if it conforms to the Srutis and Smritis, the utterances of saints and sages, Apta Vakya. It is a hindrance if it denies their authority, if it depends upon the senses and the mind for its knowledge. You see that the sky is like a big blue dome; but is it really so? No. Like that you see spread before you the vast panorama of the universe. But in reality it does not exist at all, even as the blueness in the sky is a false perception. The intellect must be trained in this manner to enquire into the real nature of things; this will lead to intuition or direct perception of the Truth.
Besides the regular sittings for Japa and meditation, you should spiritualise all your activities. Be unattached to the actions that you perform. Offer them as worship unto the Lord. Be unattached to their results. Work selflessly, with no ulterior motive. Work as an instrument in the hands of God. See God in every face. See God in the children, in your pupils. Feel that the knowledge that you impart to them comes from God. Feel that the energy which enables you to work is God's; it comes from Hiranyagarbha, the Cosmic Power House. This is Karma Yoga. If you practise this, you will soon attain Moksha or Final Liberation, and you will enjoy perennial peace, eternal bliss and immortality.
(Siva then sang the song of a Karma Yogin.)
Song of a Karma Yogin
Hari ke premi Hari bolo,
Avo pyare milker gawo,
Hari charnome dhyana lagavo,
Dukhme sukhme Hari Hari bolo,
Abhiman tyago seva karo.
Narayan Narayan Narayan Narayan.
Give up Brahmin, Sannyasa abhiman,
Give up male-female, sex abhiman
Give up doctor, judge abhiman,
Give up Rajah, Zamindar abhiman,
Relinquish pundit, scientist abhiman,
Crush this professor, engineer abhiman,
Kill this collector, tehsildar abhiman,
Kill this Vairagya, Seva abhiman,
Kill this Tyagi, Kartritva abhiman.
Remember always Hari Hari Hari Hari,
Sing always Sita-Ram, Radheshyam,
See God in every face,
Share what you have with others.
Develop nicely adaptability
Serve always with Narayana Bhav.
Scrutinize always your inner motives.
Work without egoism,
Cultivate the Nimitta-Bhav,
Give up expectation of fruits.
Surrender always fruits to the Lord,
Have equal vision and balanced mind.
Selfless work will purify your heart,
Then you will get knowledge of Self.
May God bless you all with health, long life, peace, prosperity, eternal bliss and success in all undertakings, a brilliant career, Vidya, Tushti, Pushti and divine Aishwarya.
Siva then took leave of the Principal and the Professors and returned to the Hospital. All the ladies had listened enraptured to Siva's oration and felt happy to have had his Darshan and Upadesha.
Siva Visits the Forest Research Institute
There was hardly time for Siva to have his food after he returned from the Women's College. The car was ready to take him to the Forest Research Institution which Siva had promised to visit today.
The car took us straight to the huge Office of the Institute. Viswanathan went in, but found that the President of the Institute, Sri Dr. S. R. Ranganathan, I. F. S., had not yet arrived after lunch.
So we drove to the residence of the President. We were told here that the President had just then left the house for office!
We suggested that we drove back to the office straightaway. A lady was walking along towards the house from the main entrance to the compound. Siva felt that it must be the lady of the house-Mrs. Ranganathan. Quickly he said: "Let us meet this lady, give her some books and fruits and then go to the office. We should not fail in our duty. We should do our bit of service solicited or even unsolicited. You must find out ways and means of conquering people's hearts, thus would you be able to take your message to one and all."
In the meantime the lady was within a few yards from us, and Siva at once literally ran forward to meet her. Siva bowed to her first and she reciprocated with a "Namaskar".
"Dr. Ranganathan has just now gone to the office." she said.
"I will go and meet him there." Siva said and quickly added: "Are you alright? How is father's health? I met your mother in Bangalore, and she told me that father was ailing."
This deep interest in the welfare of her own kith and kin awakened her to the feeling that she was standing right in front of a cosmic benefactor!
"We are going to Bangalore next month, Swamiji." she said and then "Why don't you come in, Swamiji?"
"I am glad to have met you, Now let me go to the Forest Research Institute and meet Dr. Ranganathan," said Siva and instantly took out from his bag half a dozen oranges and offered them to her.
"I should offer fruits to you, but strangely enough you are doing so." she said bewildered at the behaviour of this strange Sadhu.
"Only Patram Pushpam," said Siva, indicating that he was eager to serve the Lord in her and would not miss a chance of doing so!
Then again to the Forest Institute.
Siva met Dr. Ranganathan and offered him some fruits and books also.
Dr. H. Seetharama Rao came in to take Siva round the Institute.
Siva took a deep interest in the various Sections of the Institute. The Seed Section. The Plant Preservation Section where 'allums' of samples of dehydrated plants had been prepared. Another Section contained practical illustrations of the vital need of forests and their culture. Then there were exhibits of various beautiful articles of furniture, etc., prepared out of timber. Siva admired a very big cross section of a pine tree-said to have lived for over six hundred years. This Section of the Museum was explained to Siva by a Chaprassi (peon) of the Institute. Siva insisted on calling him 'Professor Saheb'. "How beautifully he explains the exhibits! He is a very intelligent and resourceful man" said Siva.
Among the "other things of the Forest Section" were the various animals of the forest-some in their skeleton and others preserved in acid. "How many varieties of animals!" exclaimed Siva. "So many kinds of snakes and scorpions; so many kinds of fishes and birds-all to show that God is Omnipotent, Infinite and Supreme Intelligence. Who else could even think of such an infinite variety of creatures, much less create them?"
"One should spend at least one month here, studying the various Sections of the Institute. You have gathered an ocean of knowledge wisdom in these rooms," said Siva as we reached the end of the inspection.
The Institute Visitor's Book was then brought to Siva.
"I have to enter my name, occupation, address, purpose of visit and remarks in this?" asked Siva.
"Yes, Swamiji," replied Dr. Rao.
These were the entries which Siva made in the book: Swami Sivananda, Atma-Samrat, Ananda Kutir, To see the play of Maya, Glory to the One Self dwelling in all beings.
From the Institute Siva went to the residence of Dr. H. S. Rao. He was received by Mrs. Rao and children with great devotion. One by one fruits, sweets and savoury dishes poured on the table. Milk was boiling on the stove.
"Let us do a little Kirtan." said Siva.
"Besides, we should like to have your Upadesha also, Swamiji. I have a method of recording your spoken word," saying this Dr. Rao opened the Wire-Recorder."
Excellent. You have also got this?" Siva understood his difficulty. Obviously Dr. Rao wanted to spring a surprise on Siva, but contrary to this Siva himself surprised him. "I have got a tape-recorder," revealed Siva. "Just a few days back it was brought to the Hospital and I have recorded several of my Kirtans and speeches on it."
Dr. Rao handed the mike to Siva and for over 40 minutes Siva spoke spiritedly and sang Kirtans also.
It was 7 P.M. when Siva took leave. Dr. and Mrs. Rao were practically in tears when Siva came out to the threshold. Mr. Ranganathan was also there.
Siva then went to Dr. Shukla's place with one basketful of fruits and another basketful of sweets and cakes and offered them to him.
15th December, 1950
At about 10 A.M. news reached Siva that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Deputy Prime Minister of India, was dead.
For a few minutes Siva remained grave and indrawn.
"He was a great man, a practical Sannyasin in white clothes, and he has rendered very great service to the country," said Siva.
In the evening a meeting was held in the Hospital to condole Patel's death. Dr. Mistry, Pathologist of the Doon Hospital and Sri Tejbhan Batheja of the Lucky Restaurant spoke on the life and mission of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Siva did Sankirtan and chanted Shanti Path for the peace of the departed soul and said: "Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel has done great work which no one else has done so far. Without bloodshed, without war, peacefully and non-violently, he has united the whole of India. This is indeed a glorious work which has immortalised Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. He was a great patriot and dedicated his entire life to the one of cause of India's freedom. His life was complete dedication, selfless service and sacrifice. He is immortal, he will ever live in our hearts. From his new abode he will continue to inspire us all and give us strength, peace, wisdom, courage and a spirit of selfless service."
16th December, 1950
Siva was pacing up and down the Hospital verandah. He noticed the scavenger scrubbing the floor at a distance. He called him to our ward.
"Dayanandaji! Bring some fruits. Bring some Uppuma. Coffee also" said Siva.
All these were brought. And the scavenger also came near Siva and bowed to him.
"Oji! Patram Pushpam. Kindly take this." Patram Pushpam is the Mantra with which he offers his Puja to the Virat. These two words at once rouse within the Bhavana that the person to whom the fruits are offered is a manifestation of the Lord. And as he went on giving the scavenger Uppuma, fruits, coffee, etc., Siva chanted the Purusha Sukta: "Sahasra Sheershaa Purushah...Purusha Evedam Sarvam."
In the end Siva saluted the scavenger with folded palms and took leave of him.
Though an optimist of unflagging faith, Siva would never for a moment forget nor let others forget that life in this world is transitory and that whatever good one wishes to do, one should do "at once." When he says "at once", you could not fail to detect the sincerity with which this comes from his heart.
"Please prepare an appointment order for Dr. Roy at once" said Siva. "He has gone downstairs to meet Dr. Shukla, and before he returns the order must be ready to be given to him. He may be in here any moment now. Type at once!"
Even as the paper and the copies were being inserted, Siva sat down near the typewriter, put on his spectacles and took his pen: "I am ready to sign. You have not yet typed?"
In exactly three minutes Dr. Roy entered the Ward. Siva had just finished signing the document. "Here is your Appointment Order" Siva handed the paper to Dr. Roy.
"Five minutes ago I hardly dreamt of it!" exclaimed Dr. Roy.
Siva Among Artists
At 10 A.M. Siva was ready to go to the Chitrashala (Academy of Fine Arts and Sculpture) conducted by Shri Dwijen Sen, a young Bengali artist.
At 10.30 A.M. Siva was at the Chitrashala, with his Prasad of fruits and sweets and books.
Dwijen Sen and the family were beside themselves with joy. They received Siva at the entrance. Siva, the Fountain of Art, was happy to be in his own home of Art, where lovers of art adored the Beauty of the Creator.
Dwijen. Sen showed Siva several of the best productions of the Chitrashala, and Siva admired the work of the young artists.
The artists in their turn listened to Siva's recorded songs and speeches.
Sure Way to Self-Realisation
They were eager to have Siva's Upadesha. And Siva, the child among children, was eager to win these young men and women to the side of God. At once he got up and spoke as follows:
"Children of Immortality!
Let us all chant Om. OM is your real name- not Mr. So-and-so, Mr. Sen, Mr. Aggarwala or Mr. Roy. Therefore, chant OM powerfully with all your force, strength, from the very bottom of your heart, from your very soul! Overcome shyness and recite OM aloud. Shyness is a great obstacle to material and spiritual progress. Meera danced on the roads of Brindavan, singing the Names of the Lord; she had such an intense love for Lord Krishna. You should have such faith in OM. Ram Nam or any Mantra of God has got infinite potencies and infinite power. Even common words like 'scorpion', 'Rasagulla' have great power. If I utter the word 'scorpion', you at once jump up. If I say 'Rasagulla', your mouth waters. If you call a man 'donkey' he is greatly upset. Who can measure or deny the great force of the Name of the Lord? God is Omnipresent; God is Infinite; God is everything!
The way to attain the All-Powerful Lord is through Japa, meditation, Satsang, Sankirtan and selfless service. These are the paths to Self-realisation. You should all regularly practise these. Most of us think that meditation, Japa, Kirtan are of little use; therefore we do not find time for them; people bring forth all sorts of lame excuses: "I have no time for Japa, Kirtan and meditation." Of course, they have plenty of time for so many other things. There is plenty of time, if only you know the real value of time. We should realise that Japa and Kirtan are most essential. We should have faith. We waste a lot of our time in idle gossiping and idle talk. We should devote this time to the remembrance of God, the Giver of all. Remember, God is the bestower of all your comforts and enjoyments in life. If you cannot devote a few minutes of your time to concentrate on Him, your life is simply wasted. Make the best use of this life and attain Nirvana, oneness with God. Meditation on God and Japa of His Name bring about concentration of the mind which leads to Self-realisation and Nirvana.
God has given you intelligence and thus differentiated you from animals. What is the use of your intelligence if you do not make the best use of it? Human beings instead are self-indulgent too much after sensual nowadays; they run pleasures and neglect the higher goal of life. People have become too material-minded. Their aim is to acquire wealth and lead a luxurious life. They are not contented with the necessities of life! Yet there is dissatisfaction! They do not enjoy peace of mind. Why? They never care to think over it. They never and look within. practise introspection Introspection enables you to have a detached view of life and saves you from hankering after wealth and getting lost in worldly pleasures.
A Sanyasin gets all in renunciation. You should strive for Self-realisation. That is the goal of life. Self-realisation is the complete identification with God. You must be regular in your meditation. The most practical way to meditate is by counting on the rosary (Japa Mala), writing and reciting Mantras in your spare moments, besides your regular sittings for Japa and meditation. The best time for meditation is the early morning between 4 and 5.30 A.M. and the evening sunset time and just before going to bed. You can have three or four sittings a day. Faith in the Lord's Name is essential for meditation. That day is wasted when we do not remember God and recite His Names even for a few minutes, when we do not practise introspection or self-analysis. Introspection or examination of the heart and mind leads to realisation of the Atman. Remember always: God is all-pervading. He is your Indweller, the Atman. You cannot deceive Him; you cannot deceive your own Self! Therefore, be regular in your meditation. You should practise concentration daily. This practice of concentration helps you to increase your efficiency in your every-day life and you can accomplish your daily tasks in a better and quicker way.
Retiring into the forest is not the only way of renouncing the world and practising devotion to the Lord. You can best serve God by selflessly serving humanity. You should have a magnanimous heart. You should cultivate magnanimity and purity. You should always be alert and you should seize opportunities for rendering selfless service. Perform all your actions without attachment and without expectation of fruits. You should cultivate divine virtues and eradicate the evil traits in you.
I shall now sing my Song of Eighteen Ities. In it I have enumerated some fundamental virtues which every aspirant should possess in abundance. We should cultivate generosity, purity, sincerity, tenacity, equanimity, non-irritability and so many other virtues. Then only will you have real happiness and a balanced state of mind. Wealth, comforts, good position and all sorts of luxuries cannot give you peace of mind. Even if you possess the wealth of the three worlds, there will be no permanent satisfaction. Why? Because negative qualities like jealousy, hatred, egoism and sensuality are lurking within us. They are our real enemies. We lack in adaptability. We are therefore upset by a little word that someone speaks of us. We waste much of our time and energy in thinking of these petty things which should be ignored. Therefore, we are miserable.
These negative evil qualities are obstacles in the path of selfless service. You must annihilate these evil qualities. You should have equal vision and balanced mind. You should have a magnanimous heart, you must forgive and forget; you should cultivate cosmic love in the garden of your heart. Share what you have with others. Give the best food to the beggar who comes to your door; do not turn him away thinking he is a lazy man. See God in him. Mix freely with people of all casts, ranks and position. Pull down the barriers of caste, creed and colour distinctions. Make other's life happy by some action of yours-give free tuition to some children; give a few annas to the needy; serve the sick and the suffering; look after the aged and the infirm. Selfless service is the best path to reach the highest goal set before us-Nirvana!
Feel that you are one with the whole universe. Feel that your own life is throbbing in all beings throughout the universe. Be generous, sincere, honest, pure and non-irritable. You must have adaptability and tenacity in life.
Siva then sang his Song of Eighteen Ities.
Many fashionable people now-a-days consider repetition of God's Name and meditation as a great botheration. You have so many botherations in your daily life. Why not have this Ram-Nam botheration also? You will soon find, however, that Ram-Nam gives you real, lasting and supreme happiness. You will begin to realise that Japa and meditation are your only duties. Everything else will be a botheration to you. Ram-Nam will give you everything. You would always want to repeat His Names. You will live for Him. You will work for His sake. You will serve Him through service of humanity. You will learn to spiritualise all your activities, by performing them in the spirit of worship of the Lord. These will lead you to the goal God-realisation. You will then enjoy perennial peace, eternal bliss and immortality!
May God bless you all with health, long life, peace, prosperity and Kaivalya Moksha, success in all undertakings, a brilliant career, Vidya, Tushti, Pushti and divine Aishwarya.
(Kumari Pushpa Anand, M.A. and Kumari Swaraj, M.A., Professors of the Mahadevi Kanya Pathasala College, who were present at the function, took notes of the discourse; the above account is the result.)
Sadhu Among Millionaires
At 3 P.M. Sri Prem Nath Ji, son of Rai Bahadur Ram Ratan Ji, one of the millionaires of Dehra Dun, arrived at the Hospital. Siva was ready.
Prem Nath Ji drove the car himself and took Siva to his lovely house.
"This is like Rishikesh!" remarked Siva as he walked through the grove within the compound. Ram Ratan Ji received Siva and introduced him to the other members of the family.
As soon as Siva saw the children, he called them to himself and made them sing Kirtan. The little grand-daughter of Ram Ratan Ji sang a few of her English school songs. Prem Nath's eldest son recited the Arati songs. The little girl was very active and always smiling. Siva admired her. "This child is an embodiment of bliss! Always cheerful and always active! Come Amrit, I will teach you a new kind of drill. I will teach you some Kirtans and English Bhajans also."
Siva taught her the Upanishadic Drill. The little girl stood facing the gigantic figure of Siva and implicitly obeyed Siva's directions. Siva also taught her the Song of 'A Little', and 'Song of Kanniah'.
The Fountain of Peace and Bliss
Just before tea was to be served, Siva asked: "Let us do Kirtan now!" and began to sing the Maha Mantra, after which he spoke spiritedly for over half an hour, during the course of which he said:
"You can have peace and real happiness only in the Lord, in the Atman or your own Self. Sankirtan is the easiest way to attain that goal. Sankirtan enables you to commune with the Indweller and to enjoy the bliss of the Self. You can have real happiness only in Him-not in the objects of this world. There is no real happiness in the objects. Milk gives pleasure to some and it is nauseating to others. Even to those who tolerate milk well, the fourth cup produces retching and vomiting. It does not give you the homogeneous happiness as deep sleep gives you. In deep sleep everyone enjoys happiness. The deep sleep experience is the same in the case of all persons and at all times. Everyone says: 'I enjoyed a good sleep.' No one says 'I suffered during deep sleep.' Even when, during the waking state, you suffer from intense pain, the pain vanishes during the deep sleep state. This clearly shows that real happiness is within you, not in the objects, and that you can enjoy this happiness only if you disconnect the mind from the objects of the senses and the senses themselves during deep sleep. In dream there is no body; the body lies like a log of wood. In deep sleep, there is not the mind either. But there is at the same time, a thin veil of ignorance. All Sadhanas are intended to remove this veil.
There are eight stages in Sadhana. Purification, concentration, reflection, meditation, illumination, identification, absorption and salvation. You should purify your heart and mind through selfless service. First see God outside, in all the names and forms- His Virat Swaroopa. Serve humanity with this Bhavana. Then you will find Him within you. And finally you will realise your own Godhead, you will become one with Him.
I will now sing a song which gives you the knowledge of your essential nature.
Chidanand Chidanand Chidananda Hum;
Har hal me almastha Satchidananda hum.
Ajaranand Amaranand Achalananda hum,
har halme almastha Satchidananda hum.
Nirbhaya aur Nischinta Chidghanananda hum;
Kaivalya kevala kutastha ananda hum,
Nitya shuddha siddha Satchidananda hum.
The Atman is fearless; it is beyond worry. It is and perfect of the pure, nature of Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. Sing this song. It will give you inner spiritual strength, peace and bliss. It will remove depression; it will drive away misery. It will remind you of your essential divine nature.
Siva sang this song, then did Mrityunjay Japa and blessed the family-this concluded the discourse in the millionaire's house.
On our way back from Ram Ratan's house, Siva requested Prem Nath Ji to take him to Gill's residence.
"Am I the same Swami or someone else?' asked Siva with the simplicity of a boy of five as he entered Mr. Gill's house.
Mr. Gill is a friend of Matron Lawrence of the Doon Hospital, When the Matron mentioned to him that a Sanyasin was staying in the Hospital, he told her that he knew of a Madrasi Sannyasin who had an Ashram at Hardwar and that he would very much like to meet the Sanyasin at the Hospital, if he was "the same Swami." Siva had volunteered to go to Gill's residence himself, instead of giving Gill the trouble of going to the hospital.
"No" replied Gill, but added quickly: "But how very gracious of you to have come, Swamiji!"
Prem Nath Ji delivered a one-hour speech dwelling on the life and Mission of Siva and elaborately detailing Siva's unique qualities which distinguishes him from the countless pseudo-Sadhus who stalk this fair land polluting its atmosphere. Nowadays we have neither the time nor the capacity to understand the Vedas and other scriptures. Swamiji has given their very essence in his easily-understandable books.
"I have seen several very "big" Sadhus; they are only after money, exploiting poor ignorant people, practically robbing them of their belongings. But Swamiji always gives, gives and gives more than he receives. His heart is as wide as the universe. He is ever engaged in the service of humanity.
"Swamiji has set up a very high Sannyas ideal. Nowadays we can find very few real Sadhus, and Swamiji is the foremost among them. In fact, in spite of my unhappy experiences with several other Sadhus and Sannyasins, I feel inspired, elevated and blissful to be near him, to inhale the fragrance of purity, love, service and renunciation that emanate from his very being. The presence of Swamiji amidst us is a very great blessing to humanity.
Though Siva entered Gill's house as a perfect stranger to Gill, when he took leave of Gill he had become practically one with him. The parting was difficult for Gill. Siva invited Gill to the Ashram and got into the car.
Dr. Roy and Gill had become friends. Siva had introduced them to each other the moment he found out that Gill could converse in Telugu.
Siva Serves Prem Nath
Prem Nath's words proved almost prophetic. He was driving his car himself and as he neared the Hospital he felt giddy. He could hardly park the car in the Hospital compound before he felt he could not even walk without being supported. Siva anxiously enquired about him and he replied: "Nothing, Swamiji: perhaps a bilious attack."
"O Ji! You should take complete rest here for at least half an hour. Dayananda ji! Prepare some coffee quickly. Doctor Roy! Get a stimulant mixture. Shashwatji! Get another driver for the car. He cannot drive back home. Purushottam! Call Dr. Mitra at once!" In a minute everything had been arranged. Siva walked alongside Prem Nath Ji. He went into the ward first and had a bed arranged for Prem Nath to take rest. He nicely closed the door and asked everyone to keep quiet.
Immediately he was downstairs again; and hurried the compounders in the preparation of the stimulant mixture.
For over fifteen minutes Siva was self-forgetfully busy in attending to Prem Nath Ji. The car driver had also arrived. When Prem Nath Ji felt thoroughly revived, he took leave of Siva and started to go. Siva sent Shashwatswamiji and Dr. Roy with him to escort him safely to his home.
Such is the loving care which he bestows on all. No wonder he is the Lord of all hearts.
Siva Does Ecstatic Kirtan
Sri Sohan Lai Ji of Sri Radheshyam Sankirtan Sabha composed mainly of the refugee Sankirtanists from Rawalpindi, had requested Siva to bless them with his august presence at a Sankirtan function, which he had convened for tonight. Siva readily agreed. Sri Labharam Sharma Ji brought a coach to take Siva from the Hospital to the Sabha premises. Sankirtan was in progress. Everyone bowed as Siva entered the hall.
Siva readily recognised Sri Sohanlal Ji and other Rawalpindi Sankirtanists-Siva had presided over Sankirtan Conferences held in Rawalpindi, Quetta and the Punjab. They requested Siva to sing Kirtan and to bless them with his Upadesha. They quickly picked up every one of his tunes which thrilled them. Siva sang the "Gopi-Vallabh" injection-Kirtan; and the Jaya Jaya Radhe Govind Samashti Kirtan ecstatically. The gathering followed a thrilling sight. him with intense Bhav and self-forgetfulness. It was
Glory of God's Name
Then Siva addressed the Sankirtanists as follows:
"Vedantins say that there are three Doshas in the mind-Mala, Vikshepa and Avarana. They prescribe three Sadhanas to remove them-Karma Yoga to remove Mala, Bhakti Yoga to remove Vikshepa, and Jnana Yoga to remove Avarana. But this Sankirtan of the Lord's Names does all these three things. It purifies the mind. It steadies the mind. It removes the veil of ignorance and brings you face to face with God. Such is the glory of the Lord's Name. I am not a Juggler. I am telling you the truth. I am only reminding you of what you have actually just now experienced yourself. You sang the Names of the Lord, forgetting yourself and forgetting the world. You experienced an inexpressible peace and bliss.
An Ayurvedic doctor prescribes certain dietetic restrictions when he gives you some medicine. What can be cured within a few days if you observe these restrictions, takes a long time if you do not. In the practice of Bhakti also there are certain disciplines which you should follow, if you wish to progress rapidly in your Sadhana. You should try to eradicate the vices that lurk in your mind and cultivate divine qualities that the Lord has enumerated in the Gita-thirteenth and sixteenth chapters. You should eat a little, drink a little, talk a little, sleep a little. You should control the mind and the Indriyas. You should annihilate lust, anger, greed, jealousy and other vices.
These evil qualities are very hard to conquer directly. If you attack them from the front, you will only lose your will-power; you will lose your mental energy. On the other hand, if you cultivate their opposite divine virtues, the negative evil qualities will disappear by themselves. Positive always overcomes negative. Evil will disappear in the face of good, even as darkness disappears when you bring in light. Every morning, meditate on the virtue that you wish to cultivate. If you are timid and you wish to cultivate courage, keep the word image OM COURAGE always before your mental eye. Take a resolve in the morning: "I will be courageous today." Similarly, you can keep the mental word-image of OM PURITY if you wish to conquer lust. You should strive to manifest this virtue during your daily thoughts, words and deeds. At night, you should introspect, analyse the day's events and find out in what respect you failed. You should maintain the spiritual diary and record the results of the daily introspection in it. Then you will progress rapidly towards the Goal. You keep so many diaries-the dhobi diary, milkman's diary- but you do not maintain this all-important spiritual diary! You should all begin maintaining the spiritual diary from today. Benjamin Franklin kept a diary, and very soon he was able to eradicate all his evil tendencies. The spiritual diary itself will become your Guru.
Sri Sohan Lal Ji is working day and night to establish a Gita Mandir in Dehra Doon. He is doing noble work in a spirit of selfless service. All of you should co-operate with him and strengthen his hands. There should be no jealousy, no hatred and no ill-feeling among the devotees of the Lord. You should not think of starting a rival Sankirtan Sabha, form two or three parties within the Sabha and do such things as would weaken this glorious institution. There should be only one Sankirtan Sabha; there may be Branches in every Mohalla. And Kirtan should be held in each Mohalla by rotation. There is infinite power within you. You can create a spiritual stir in Dehra Dun if you work on these lines.
All your sufferings will soon come to an end. All the troubles you have been subjected to are indeed a blessing in disguise. The great calamity came upon you only to enable you to repeat His Name with intense faith and devotion. Now you are all singing His Name ecstatically. Be sure all your sufferings will come to an end soon.
May God bless you all!
It was nearing midnight when Siva returned to the Hospital.
11th December, 1950.
In the morning Sri Dwijen Sen's aunt called on Siva. She is a Professor in a Mussoori College. Here are some important pieces from their conversation:
"Swamiji! If what we have to enjoy or suffer is the inevitable fruit of our past Karma, what part does prayer play in the shaping of our fate?"
"Through prayer you can alter your fate. Markandeya conquered death through prayer. Savitri brought back her dead husband through the power of prayer. You should have intense faith in the Lord."
Jeevanmukti and Disease
"Does not disease mean imperfection, Swamiji? Does it not mean suffering? Should not a man who has realised the Self and attained perfection be free from disease and suffering?
"For one who has attained Self-realisation the body does not exist in reality. He does not care for the body-whatever happens to it. He leaves it to the Prarabdha that gave birth to it. Secondly, the Jivanmukta's body is affected by the diseases of people whose sins he takes upon himself. In no case however, is the Jivanmukta affected by the disease. Even in that condition he does good to humanity. He gives people an opportunity to serve him and thus earn great merit."
Wealth and Religious Merit
"Swamiji, we see sometimes a poor man suddenly become very very rich, and we then say that it is through luck - but, what is your opinion about the cause of his sudden rise?"
"Due to accumulated religious merit acquired during many previous births a man suddenly comes upon a great fortune. When his bad Karma which gave him birth as a poor man comes to an end and the good Karma begins to unfold, it looks as though he is turned overnight into a millionaire" said Siva and thoughtfully continued, "This sudden descent of wealth often nourishes the seeds of evil in an unpurified soil. Man is apt to lose his head and let himself go in all sorts of vicious pursuits, thus sowing the seeds for the harvest later in this or in the next birth. Therefore, one should not seek after wealth and position. Only a sage of Self-realisation will be able to keep up his tranquility when fortune suddenly begins to smile on him. He will not be attached to the wealth that flows through him back again to humanity. He is ever rich; he does not remain rich. He uses even wealth as an instrument with which to serve humanity. He is not bound by wealth, nor is it able to delude him."
17th December, 1950
At 11 A.M. Sri Narottam Das came in and informed Siva that the Kindergarten School celebrations which he was to address this afternoon, had been cancelled owing to Sardar Patel's death.
"But I have promised to go. Let's go at once," said Siva and was immediately in the car.
On arrival at 91, Rajpur Road, Siva was received by Srimati Kailasavati Ji and Kumari Sudarshan Sareen. A number of small children had assembled on the school playground: Sudarshan said: "Swamiji! Though the function had to be cancelled, we knew that you would come as you had already promised to. Therefore, we had specially sent for a few of our children to meet you informally and to give you a sample of the items we had included in the programme."
Immediately Siva took his seat amidst the children. His special message for the occasion was read. Siva did Kirtan.
"You have trained the children in the spiritual drill?" Siva asked Sudarshan.
"Yes, Swamiji. They will just now do it." The children, guided by Sudarshan Sareen herself, performed the drill very nicely indeed.
Sudarshan conducted Kirtan and Prarthana.
All the children followed very nicely. One little girl stood with her eyes closed throughout. Siva greatly admired this child: "She is of the meditative temperament, I think. She is a Yogini."
The children then recited some humorous songs. Siva himself distributed "Laddu" Prasad and blessed the children. They dispersed.
Among the several people who were introduced here to Siva was Sri Thakur Dutt Ji, the proprietor of Amritadhara. He is a reputed Ayurvedic doctor. Amritadhara is his patent specific. He took Siva to his house next door in his own car. He showed Siva round the entire palatial house and office. He offered fruits and milk to Siva; and he himself sliced the fruits and served them. During the course of the conversation Siva recollected that he had met Sri Thakur Datt Ji during his (Siva's) Swarg Ashram days, and that at that time the Ayurvedic Vaidya had presented him with a few bottles of Amritadhara.
Siva then had lunch at the Kindergarten School. In the meantime, some more people had gathered in the compound and requested Siva to give them some Upadesha. Siva did Kirtan and addressed the gathering in Hindi for over half an hour, during the course of which he said:
"What more do you need when the All-Merciful Lord has, out of infinitive compassion for us all, given us the easiest, safest, surest, quickest and cheapest way to attain Him? That is Kirtan of the Maha Mantra which one can sing at all times and under all circumstances.
"Even when you go about your household duties, you should be singing the Lord's Names. While you prepare Roti, you should sing His Names. Like this Jaya Sita Ram Jaya Jaya Sita Ram. Give the mind to the Lord, let the lips recite His Names and the hands prepare the Roti! By this method you can spiritualise all your activities."
"Whether you are a Bhakta or a Vedantin, you should repeat the Lord's Names. Kindly bear this in mind. Vedantic Knowledge is not acquired through mere study of the texts. It is attained through Karma and Upasana coupled with the study of the Vedantic texts. When the heart is purified and the mind steadied, you will get Vedantic realisation automatically.
"Discipline your mind and the Indriyas. Merely rolling the beads will not be of much use.
Thoda Khana, Thoda Peena, Thoda Bolna, Thoda Sona. You should practise all these. I am telling you for your own good. I am your friend and well-wisher. I am a cosmic benefactor. I am a friend of the poor, the downtrodden, the suffering humanity. Reflect over what I say. Begin in right earnest now itself!
To some of you one or two letters from Lord Yama have already arrived.
Lord Yama, out of compassion, sends us four letters of warning. 'Beware! Do not waste your time. Wake up from the slumber of ignorance. Repeat God's Name and attain Immortality.' The first letter comes in the form of grey hairs. Some wise persons wake up now and engage themselves in doing rigorous Sadhana. They cross the ocean of Samsara.
The arrogant materialist, on the other hand, puts on fashionable dyes and tries to look young. The second letter arrives: The eyes get dimmed. Vision fails. Man is not able to see. Some wake up now. The arrogant man puts on beautiful spectacles and goes his own way. The third letter comes next. Teeth fall. Now too some wake up and achieve the life's goal. Others go to the dentist and shine with their artificial teeth. 'Even the natural ones were not so lovely as these,' they say and go their evil way. The fourth letter is received. Man is not able to walk without support. The limbs shake. Even now there is time; some wake up. The arrogant, egoistic man carries a silver-rimmed walking stick and poses to be a young man. Death quietly sweeps him away! Beware! Start doing Japa and Dhyana now itself, before it is too late."
Then Siva did some Punjabi Kirtans, Hindi Bhajans and concluded his speech with the song of Govinda, two-party Kirtan and Swasti Vachana.
Photographs were being taken. Siva noticed that Srimati Snehalata's two-month-old baby was thin and weak. At once he called Dr. K.C. Roy, the Ashram doctor, and said: "Doctor! Kindly examine this child and prescribe a tonic. Siva wanted to call Srimati Snehalata's husband so that he could take the direct instructions from the doctor on administration of the medicine. Siva did not know his name. Quickly he found the simplest way and called out: "Oji! Mr. Snehalata!" Everyone present had a hearty laugh.
After going round the School premises, the class-rooms, etc., Siva returned to the Hospital.
Siva Addresses the Postal Staff
Siva had hardly arrived at the Hospital from the Jaswant School, after spending the whole afternoon there without even a moment's rest, when the Inspector of Post Offices, Dehra Dun, called on him. In a minute Siva was ready to go. The usual medical attention had to be hurried through.
The Head Postmaster and many of the postal employees of Dehra Dun had gathered together and were singing Ram Dhun when Siva arrived at the Hall. He was received by the Inspector of Post Offices, who garlanded Siva.
Siva at once recognised Sri Maganlal Ji, a Postmaster. "How are you, Maganlal Ji? We meet after a number of years" greeted Siva.
"I am blessed, Swamiji, that after such a long time, I have the good fortune of having your Darshan and Satsang."
"I am eager to listen to your melodious Bhajans" said Siva.
"I am equally athirst to hear your Kirtan- Dhwanis, Swamiji." rejoined Maganlal.
Discourse on Bhakti-Yoga
Maganlal Ji sang wonderfully well. He then requested Siva to sing Kirtan. Siva at once stood up; and after Ganesh and Guru Kirtans, recited the Maha Mantra. This was followed by a speech which was richly spiced with educative humour which produced side-splitting laughter in the audience. Siva said during the course of speech:
"Sankirtan is the easiest way for attaining God-realisation. The All-Merciful Lord knew that people in this Kali Yuga would not be able to practise intense Tapasya or to awaken the Kundalini through Hatha Yoga, nor even to understand the truths of Vedanta. He has therefore, blessed us with this Maha Mantra, singing of which quickly bestows Mukti on you. Not only Mukti, but Bhukti also! You will have a happy life here and Moksha hereafter. Such is the glory of the Lord's Name that Devas and even Lord Hiranyagarbha want to take birth in Dehra Dun to hear Sri Maganlal Ji's Bhajan."
(At the same instant, Sri Maganlal Ji said: "Swamijis Kirtan-Dhwanis.!" A beautiful coincidence.
You can repeat the Lord's Names at all times. Even as you go on franking the letters and the postal registers. You should make it a point to repeat His Name whenever you have a little leisure. Then the postal seal itself will sing His Name for you."
Explaining the various divine virtues that the Bhakta should cultivate, Siva said: "There should be concord between your thought, word and deed. Your speech should agree with your thought, and your deed should agree with your speech. Such harmony is Brahman. People nowadays think in one way, talk in another way and act in an entirely different way. This is the root-cause of disharmony and misery. Control your thought-you will be able to control everything."
In the course of his talk in Hindi to the ladies in the gathering, Siva said: "You can attain God-realization even more quickly than the menfolk. Because love, patience, forbearance and several other divine virtues are ingrained in you. Look at the woman knitting day in and day out. What an amount of patience she has developed. Man cannot do that. He will get disgusted. Only Women can look after children. With what an amount of patience the mother brings up her child. The child does not allow her to sleep; it cries and disturbs her work during day-time. But she patiently puts up with everything and trains her children. Man will throw the child away and leave the house! All the big officials and the busy businessmen should be given a course of training in patience. Give them a seer of Chilgosa (pine nuts) and ask them to peel them. (Laughter) They cannot do it even for a minute!
But a woman is inordinately attached to her ornaments and the children. If woman gets over this Moha, she will attain God-realisation even more quickly than man. Therefore, kindly be regular in your Japa, Kirtan, study of Gita and meditation. Remember the Lord always. Become Jnanis and Yoginis like Maitreyi, Gargi, Madalasa, Chudala and Bhaktas like Meera."
At the conclusion of his forty-minute speech during which Siva dwelt upon the essence of life divine and the nature of the earthly pleasures, he said: "These postal people are heavily overworked. They are like the sun. The sun has no holidays. Day in and day out they carry on their onerous duties, untiringly serving humanity. I therefore make them laugh and learn. The quantity of today's laughter is enough to keep you healthy and active-mentally and physically, for more than a year! In the meantime, kindly come to Rishikesh and recharge yourself!"
And, then, Siva turned to the Inspector of Post Offices and said: "I am also a Postman."
Perhaps by this he meant that he too has to work ceaselessly and untiringly in the cause of the service of humanity.
Or perhaps he meant that what he receives during the hours of his deep meditation and inner-communion, he transmits to the world through his voluminous writings.
At 10.30 P.M. the Satsang concluded.
18th December, 1950.
HOUSE TO HOUSE
Siva is leaving Dehra Dun this afternoon.
The entire ward is strewn with oranges and bananas: fruits offered to Siva by devotees who streamed into the hospital for Darshan; and fruits that Siva had got ready to offer to the staff-nurses, compounders and scavengers of the hospital and to other devotees whose houses Siva intended to visit this morning.
Shashwatswamiji arrived with nineteen packages of cakes. He had brought a car also.
"Now we shall go." Siva came out of the room. "Swamiji! The nurses will not be in their quarters till 11.30."
"That does not matter. There will be somebody there. We cannot wait. Who knows whether we will live till 11.30?"
All the cakes and fruits were transferred to the car.
32 C. Curzon Road. That is where the nurses of the Hospital live. No one there knew we were coming. "That is how we should go," says Siva. The good that you do should be a surprise sprung on the people. Long preparations and previous arrangements should not make them anticipate what you are going to do.
There was one night-duty nurse in the Hostel. She came out and bowed to Siva. Siva handed to her the nineteen cakes: "These are for all of you. My little offering."
Without premeditation Siva began to sing Sankirtan; he sang Jesus Kirtan; the Song of A Little, etc. and concluded with his Universal Prayer. Then he again bowed to the nurse and boarded the car. The nurse looked on with speechless wonder.
When we returned to the Hospital, we saw what a miraculous effect this had produced. Everyone had known by then that Siva himself had gone to the nurses' quarters to distribute the Prasad. On everyone's lips was: "Swamiji himself went to the hostel and delivered the Prasad. What a great soul!"
Then to Mahadevi Kanya Pathasala College. The ladies in the Professors' quarters were surprised to see Siva alight from a car in front of their residence. They hurried forward to receive him.
"I am leaving for Rishikesh this afternoon," said Siva with the attitude of a son taking leave of his mother.
Their hearts were too full for words.
Siva began to sing Kirtan. He sang his Chidananda Song and explained its purport.
"The Atma is independent and unchanging. It is non-dual. Falsely do we search for that independence here in phenomenal objects. Real freedom and independence can be had only in the Atma. You do not become independent just because you disown your parents or run away from your home. Even then you are bound to this world – you are enslaved by your mind and senses. Real independence is independence from the thralldom of the mind and senses. Real freedom is freedom from egoism, I-ness and mineness!"
He concluded with his Universal Prayer.
Then Siva asked them: "What are those? Answer papers? You value students' examination papers also?"
"Be gracious. Give more marks so that more people may get pass marks in the examination. All potentialities are latent in every man and woman. Even wise men and women sometimes falter; even scholars sometimes fumble for words; platform-fright, examination-fright and stage-fright sometimes cloud people's brains, and they are not able to answer some points even though they know!"
"We shall certainly follow thy commands, Swamiji."
Siva gave them a lot of fruits as Prasad and then got into the car. As the car moved along, he said: "We should do like this for one year. Take a car and go from house to house, whether you know the people whose houses you are visiting or not. Aggressively make them all sit and sing a little Kirtan, recite the Universal Prayer, deliver a short speech and conclude it with Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra and Shanti Path. You can transform the lives of millions for good. You can produce lasting impressions on their minds. This is the greatest service we can render unto humanity."
Then we went to Dr. Ramamurti Sharma's X-ray Hospital. Here too Siva conducted Kirtan, distributed Prasad and took leave of the doctor. Siva also inspected the doctor's dispensary, operation theatre and wards. As Siva was going towards the car, the doctor accompanied him. Siva stopped him saying: "You can go and attend to the patients. Every moment of a doctor's time is precious."
Then to a Sanitary Engineer's house.
Siva returned to the Hospital at noon. Before leaving the Hospital, Siva made sure from Shashwatswamiji that everyone in the Hospital had received his share of the Prasad. A group photograph of Siva with the principal staff of the Hospital was taken and Siva left at 2.15 P.M. The Hospital wore the appearance of a Town Hall or public place of festivity; and there was a large gathering of devotees to give Siva a hearty send-off. But in everyone's eyes welled up tears of love and gratitude. In the words of some of the members of the Hospital staff: "Never before have we seen such a patient. We consider it our great good fortune that Swamiji chose to confine himself to this Hospital for a month and thus to inspire us all."
As the car neared the Rishikesh town, Siva asked the driver to halt outside the Rishikesh civil hospital. He alighted and went inside. The doctor-in-charge, Dr. H.M. Lal was beside himself with joy to see Siva walking towards his quarters.
"How strange Swamiji! I was just reading one of the Magazines and there arose in me a desire to have your Darshan, and you have mysteriously come here yourself to grant my unuttered prayer!"
Dr. Lal is a radiologist and a leprosy specialist. He said he had been posted to Rishikesh specially to do something to tackle the leper problem. "Swamiji! So far this hospital has nothing to offer to the leper. Nowhere in Rishikesh could the leper go for medical relief. Only your Ashram Dispensary could cater to their needs, and I understand that you used to give them rations and money also. I shall try to assist you in this work by equipping this hospital also with the latest medicines for leper relief."
Siva conducted Kirtan here and took leave of the doctor.
A poor patient was standing near the entrance and Shashwatswamiji was about to offer him a couple of rupees.
Siva said: "Do not give the money to the patient. He may misuse it and thus injure his own health. Better give him some fruits. Or if you do not have fruits here, give the money to the doctor. He will arrange to give the patient what is good for him."
Siva spent half an hour at the Vigyan Press and inspected the printing work that is being done there. He conducted Kirtan and distributed Prasad.
An arousing reception awaited Siva at the Ashram. And immediately Siva conducted Kirtan and distributed Prasad.
Surprise visit to Dehradoon
THE GOAL OF LIFE AND ITS ATTAINMENT
A Report of Sri Swami Sivanandds visit to Dehra Dun and Mussoorie on the 7th and 8th of March 1954
The Day of Surprises dawned. The sun, eager to witness the Sage's blissful reaction to being cheated by his own disciples, peeped through the Himalayan ranges, as Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj emerged from his Kutir on the banks of the Holy Ganga and was greeted by Major-General Sri A.N. Sharma and Srimati Lilavati Sharma.
It had been announced that Siva's Birthdate would be celebrated on the 7th and 8th of March. There was just a mild surprise; therefore, when Siva found that the General's car which was to take him for a brief visit to the Leper Colony in Rishikesh was well-adorned with flowers, and that the Sivananda Sankirtan Mandali was there to march ahead of the car with the Lord's Name.
In his child-like simplicity, Siva quickly took the General's felt-hat from his hand and put it on his own head: he looked absolutely European! "The same cap fits us; the same soul dwells in us!" said Siva.
The car drove fast when the Sankirtan Mandali dispersed at the outskirts of Sivanandanagar. Siva reached the Leper Colony, accompanied by Major-General A.N. Sharma, Mrs. Sharma and Dr. K. C. Roy. The Medical Officer in charge of the Leper Colony welcomed them and conducted them to the Colony. Siva took a very keen interest in the improvements that had been carried out for the betterment of the condition of living of the people suffering from leprosy. Eagerly and enthusiastically he listened to their needs and promised to take steps to fulfill them. All the residents of the Colony received sacred Prasad (sweetmeats) from Sage Siva's own hands.
"Have you seen the Viswanath Bagh, the Society's garden at Rishikesh?" Siva asked Mrs. Sharma. She said she hadn't and would like to. The car drove to the Bagh. Sri Tiruvengadam met Siva and party at the gate and entertained them to light refreshments. After inspecting the garden, Siva expressed a desire to visit an old Sadhu who had been suffering from a severe ailment several months ago. No one knew where he lived. Yet Siva marched on undaunted: "We will find out. Let us ask the neighbours." Someone at last directed us to the Sadhu's Kutir, but informed Siva that the Sadhu had passed away a few days earlier. Siva said: "All right; let us at least go to the Kutir. It is as good as meeting the Sadhu." We went. Standing outside the Kutir, Siva sang the Maha Mantra and Mahamrtyunjaya Mantra for the peace of the departed soul. Who can fathom the depth of the Sage's compassion!
"Let us go to the Sivalaya," said Siva and walked on. At the entrance Sri Swami Nityanandaji received Siva and presented him with a large red rose. It was a significant welcome. For Swami Nityanandaji knew that Siva's heart too was exceptionally large and the fragrance of Self-realisation, of Vedantic Oneness and Cosmic Love charmed the whole world. Siva admired the gift. For a moment, the spirit of the great soul Sri Swami Purnanandaji who built the Sivalaya had found its best expression through the lips of Siva. With the enthusiasm of the Founder, Siva explained to Major General Sharmaji the Yogic significance of the architecture of the temple in great detail. Siva conducted Sankirtan and Mahamrityunjaya Mantra Japa inside the shrine and after bowing to the Mahatma in charge of the Sivalaya, departed.
"Now that we have come let us visit some more places. I am told that the Secretary of the Municipal Board, Sri Garg, is ill; let us meet him," said Siva. Paramanandaji promised to fix up a programme during the course of the next few days and requested Siva to get into the car. Siva entered the car.
As the car approached the Dehra Dun road, Paramanandaji was busy explaining to Siva the "Centenary Train" which had arrived at Dehra Dun and which was attracting large crowds. Before anyone in the car realised it, the car was almost a mile away from Rishikesh on the Dehra Dun road. "Why is the car going on this road?" asked Siva. "Swamiji! let us go to Dehra Dun for a change," said General Sharma. "We can go to Mussoorie also," joined Mrs. Sharma. "O yes, let us go to Mussoorie today; it is a very good idea!" said Siva and surprised every one of us by the readiness with which he always made other's plans his own and carried them. to successful fruition. "We should also visit Mahadevi Kanya Pathasala and the Forest Research Institute."
You Knew It All?
"The car was stopped outside the Gita Mandir at Dehra Dun by a huge crowd blocking the road. The door opened, and Smt. Pushpa Anand, Principal of the Mahadevi Kanya Pathashala garlanded Siva. Then Dr. Iswar Singh; then Sri Sohan Lal and a number of others-a number of people garlanded Siva. "O? How did you know I was coming?" "We knew, Swamiji!" they said and Siva got down from the car. The crowd's cry rent the atmosphere: "Sri Swami Sivananda Maharaj-ki-jai!
Siva was led into the Pandal erected near the Gita Mandir to welcome him. There was a mammoth gathering waiting for him. All the devout souls of Dehra Dun had assembled. Sri Raj Bhadur Ram Ratan was there, so was Pt. Thakur Dutt Sharma of the 'Amrit Dhara'. They had all been waiting for Siva since morning.
Siva was conducted to the dais. "Was a meeting going on here or was it specially arranged?" asked Siva. "It has been arranged specially in honour of Swamiji's visit to Dehra Dun." "O! It is a wonder. No one told me!" And yet arrangements had been made a week ago. Paramanandaji and Raghunatha- nandaji had visited Dehra Dun twice to fix up the programme of engagements; the invitation and programme had been printed at the Ashram itself in the Forest University Press. The entire Ashram knew. And yet such was the hearty co-operation which Swami Paramanandaji got from all the Ashramites that he was entirely successful in his desire to present the Dehra Dun function as a great surprise to Siva.
What is of the greatest significance in all this is the Sage's cool and joyous reaction to all this "underground" activities on the part of his own disciples. Where an ordinary master would have flown into a rage, the divine master enjoys a hearty laugh. Where any man would have become annoyed, the divinity is all appreciation and applause. Where even a genius would have got bewildered, the sage calmly and instantly rises to the occasion and makes the best use of it!
Reception at Gita Mandir
Sri Sohan Lalji of the Gita Mandir, presented an Address of Welcome. He also sang a song specially composed by him for the occasion. Sri Malik Ram Sabarwal, Propaganda Secretary of the Gita Mandir also sang a song. Then Sri Karam Chandji introduced Siva to the audience.
The very first opening words of Siva's thrilling speech revealed that Siva had beautifully seized up the situation and was in full command of it. He sent the entire audience into roars of laughter by calling Swami Paramanandaji "the leader of Cheats".
After Siva's address, Sri Swami Nadabrahmanandaji (along with Smt. Pushpa Anand and sisters) gave a Bhajan.
When he was led out of the Pandal, Siva did not even question where he was being taken next. He manifested a readiness for any number and any kind of surprise!
Ananda Kutir Is Here!
At the bungalow of Rai Bahadur Sri Ram Ratan, Siva was greeted by Sri Ram Ratan's family; and to his great surprise he found his entire personal staff-Sri Swami Satchidanandaji and Sri Purushottamanandaji, too. As he turned round, he found Narayanaswamiji, Saradanandaji, Vishnu- devanandaji and others. "The entire Ananda Kutir is here!" Siva exclaimed. "Yes, Swamiji, where Swamiji is, that is Ananda Kutir!" The devout and loving Sri Ram Ratan had specially requested that Siva's own assistants should go over to his bungalow and guide his cooks in the preparation of food for Siva. Siva was delighted to hear this and admired Sri Ram Ratan's zeal for service and devotion to duty. The eighty-eight-year-old (young, as he called himself) Ram Ratan ran here and there the whole afternoon to ensure that Siva and his disciples were well looked after in his house. He could not miss a detail! His heart was hours ahead of the schedule. He and his magnanimous son Sri Prem Nathji were thinking every second of the party's needs and spared themselves no pains to see that Siva had the maximum comfort and convenience. Siva said to his own Sannyasi disciples: "You have all very much to learn from Sri Ram Ratan and Prem Nathji. Sri Ram Ratan has not been keeping good health for some time. If you were in his position, you would not even leave the bed. See how busy he is in service. In service he forgets the body. See how Sri Premnathji plans our stay and prepares for what we might need. Watch with what forethought he works. That is the mark of a real Karma Yogi. He does not wait to be asked; long before the need arises, he is ready to fulfill it. He anticipates our needs. He forestalls time itself. He identifies himself with all and therefore knows what you would do and need hours later. Today he has taught you all by his own example how you should all act."
SIVA'S PHENOMENAL MEMORY: On the lawns of Sri Prem Nath's garden, sofas and teapoys were spread, and a garden-umbrella shaded Siva's sofa from the sun. The entire family gathered around Siva, and Major-General and Mrs. Sharma were there too. Siva had been with Sri Ram Ratan's family three years ago for just one evening. The children had grown so fast that it needed more than a casual acquaintance with them to recognise them. Siva looked around and spotted a little girl, smiling a benign smile and said: "Do you remember that song you sang? I am a tea-pot' Please sing again!" Curiously enough the girl did not remember. She sang some other poems. Siva himself then taught her several of his inspiring songs like "Come here, my dear Krishna Kanhaiya."
At the Town Hall
As Siva entered the Town Hall for the public reception, the gathering roared OM as the most appropriate mark of welcome. Mahantji Sri Indresh Charan Das presided over the meeting. The Hall was packed and on the dais itself had assembled the elite of the town. The students of the Mahadevi Kanya Pathasala sang the opening prayer. Then Sri Major-General A.N. Sharmaji introduced Siva to the audience. Smt. Pushpa Anand, Principal of the Mahadevi Kanya Pathasala College, presented to Siva an address of Welcome on behalf of the citizens of Dehra Dun. Smt. Sushila of the same College, sang Shanti, a soul-elevating Bhajan. Smt. presented another Address of Welcome. Smt. Sushila, Vice-Principal of the Mahadevi Kanya Pathasala, gave a violin recital. The President then requested Siva to address the gathering.
"Little Girl Reciting The Universal Prayer"
In pin-drop silence, the entire gathering sat
spellbound for nearly an hour and a half listening to Siva's oration. There was intimacy in Siva's lecture;
he seemed to talk to one and not to many. He seemed to feel for everyone of the audience; the love and compassion of his heart seemed to flow towards the audience and envelope them all. As though to fathom the depths to which his words had penetrated, Siva now again sang a Sankirtan tune and asked the audience to sing after him; and progressively the pitch and volume of the gathering's Sankirtan increased till towards the close of the lecture, when the audience roared the Sacred Pranava (OM).
Pandit Thakur Dutt Sharmaji of the Amritdhara was then requested to speak. Besides paying glowing tributes to Siva, Panditji translated into Hindi the main theme of Siva's lecture in English.
Then followed a very interesting and erudite lecture by the President, Sri Mahantji.
The function concluded with a vote of thanks by Pushpa Anand.
A Child's Genius
To Dr. and Mrs. Ishar Singh, the 7th of March was the most memorable day in their life. Only in the Puranas have people read of great Bhaktas losing themselves in His service, forgetting themselves in His Love. But we saw with our own eyes this wondrous phenomena, this divine stupefaction where the fullness of the heart prevents speech, the bliss of achievement or fulfilment that robs senses of their tendencies, the limbs of their mobility, and the little brain of all its finite faculties. For nearly two hours Dr. and Mrs. Ishwar Singh lived in a world where everything was Siva, where the bliss of Siva was their soul, where they existed no longer, but he and he alone remained.
Before the Lord of their heart, Siva, entered their house, they had made elaborate preparations. They had made it Divali. The entire house was illumined. A lovely canopy hung above the seat on which Siva would sit. Their son Sri Bala-Yogi Yasvir Singh had his own ideas for welcoming the sage. He had gathered together his little friends, to present a Guard of Honour to Siva on arrival; he had kept ready fireworks to greet Siva with. "Nowhere else during all these years did I have such an enthusiastic welcome by young ones!" said Siva in great joy. Blessed be Yasvir! Blessed be his divine parents!
Words fail to describe the family's devotion to Siva. With tears of gratitude, love and devotion, they took leave of Siva as he boarded the car to return to Sri Ram Ratan's bungalow.
At Sri Ram Ratan's bungalow Sri Premnathji who was awaiting Siva's arrival at that late hour of the night, busied himself to ensure that Siva would spend a comfortable and restful night. His sister burst into Siva's room and in ecstatic joy, repeatedly remarked: "You are a great one! You are indeed a great one! You are not like other Sadhus; you are entirely different. Others are hypocrites; you are a great one! After hearing your lecture at the Town Hall, I feel convinced that you are the most important man in the whole world!"
Sri Ram Ratan's hospitality-machine was powered by a couple of hearts surcharged with divine love. His staff had their allotted duty to serve the honoured guests, but Sri Ram Ratan and Premnathji were ever vigilant to ensure that no detail was overlooked! While we were planning to visit Mussoorie, Premnathji was thinking of providing us with food-baskets to last till we returned to Rishikesh!
Never Before In Its History
En route to Mussoorie Siva paid a visit early in the morning of the 8th March to the District Magistrate Shri V.C. Sharma. Siva conducted Sankirtan and prayers for the health and long life of Sri Sharmaji and family.
As the car sped along the road to Mussoorie, Siva recalled his two previous visits to the hill station during his early days at Rishikesh. "The first time I went to Mussoorie was in the company of Swami Adwaitanandaji. We went on foot. We had only five rupees to cover the entire trip. The second trip too was during my stay at Swarg Ashram, during the 1930's. This is the third trip."
General Sharmaji was talking to Siva about a great soul, a Sanyasin of great renown, who had no Ashram and "felt that all Ashrams were his". Siva quickly remarked: "But it is better to have one's own Ashram, in order to train aspirants in one's principles and method of work. At the same time, we should feel that all Ashrams are ours and be willing and eager to help and serve other Ashrams in their activities! This is very much more difficult than not to have any Ashram and to work for all. To have an Ashram of one's own and not to entertain a sense of possession towards it, is very much more difficult than not to have an Ashram (in which case the sense of possession is naturally absent).
Sri V.C. Sharmaji had instructed the Police officials at Mussoorie to show Siva round the hill station. Sri Shiv Kumar was ready near the Library to welcome Siva and to accompany him to the important beauty-spots of Mussoorie. For about an hour the car drove along the Mall, Camel's-Back Road, etc., and then reached Hakman's Hotel. Light refreshments had been arranged at this Hotel.
Its portals had never before admitted a single saintly person; it was the favourite resort of the idle rich who sought sense-gratification in its bar and dance-hall. Those days are past. The Hotel's present Manager, Sri Mehra, was beside himself in joy that Siva had graced the hotel to purify its atmosphere. After taking a cup of milk, Siva walked over to the theatre and did Sankirtan. He played on the piano and sang the Lord's Names. Shri Mehra said: "Never before, Swamiji, has this hall known the Lord's Names: its atmosphere had received and been filled only with sensuous-music. You have purified it. You have started a new era in the Hotel's history." Siva invoked the Lord's blessings on the Manager and his family, and all the servants of the Hotel and invited them all to the Ashram.
Siva lunched with Pt. Thakur Dutt Sharmaji. General and Mrs. A.N. Sharma, and their daughter Mrs, Kamala Tiwari and the baby granddaughter, were all there. Smt. Amritkalaji, Pt. Thakur Dutt's noble daughter, served them all with great delight and hospitality.
Sri V.G. Garde and Srimati Leelavati Garde (previously of Roorkee and now at the Engineering College Jodhpur) who had been to Rishikesh to have Siva's Darshan had also arrived at Dehra Doon. They had brought Swami Chidanandaji with them. They met Siva at the residence of Sri Pt. Thakur Dutt Sharmaji.
Before leaving for the Forest Research Institute, Siva conducted Sankirtan and prayers at the Amridhara Bhavan for the health and long life of Panditji and family.
Siva himself was wonderstruck to see Ram Ratan walking into Sri Thakur Duttji's residence in time to take Siva to Forest Research Institute. "See how active this 88 year old man is! He is your ideal," remarked Siva. Climbing stairs did not suit his health, but Sri Ram Ratan had no thought about his health. Panting for breath, he came into the hall where Siva was singing Kirtan.
Dr. C. R. Ranganathan (President of the Forest Research Institute) and Mrs. Ranganathan were at the main entrance to receive Siva. Dr. Ranganathan garlanded Siva with a garland of the choicest flowers from the Institute's gardens. For a few minutes, Siva sat in Dr. Ranganathan's office; and Mrs. Ranganathan served him with a cup of milk.
Precisely at 4.45 p.m. Dr. Ranganathan led Siva into the magnificent Convocation Hall of the Institute. And the picture rose on the screen of our minds of a Gurukula where, at the close of their Vedic studies, the students assembled to listen to the parting words of wisdom from the lips of a Brahma-Nishtha Guru. Similarly had the staff and students of the Forest Research Institute assembled in the Convocation Hall to listen to the findings of the Maharshi's research in the forests of the Himalayas-research not into plants and trees, but into the invisible and inexhaustible spiritual wealth of the forests.
Dr. Ranganathan introduced Siva to the gathering in words eloquent of the high esteem in which he held Siva. He also presented a purse to Siva-as well as a beautiful attaché case prepared at the Institute.
Siva's soul-stirring address followed. In serene, steady, calm and most inspiring style, Siva shot right into the heart of his listeners - shaft after shaft of the purest wisdom that tore veil after veil of ignorance in the hearts of his hearers. Dr. H.S. Rao of the Institute wire-recorded the entire speech.
After Siva, Swami Chidanandaji, during the course of a brief lecture, presented the right perspective in which the audience should receive Siva's message and cherish it.
Siva Meets Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
From the F.R.I. Siva drove into Dehra Dun. Imagine Siva's surprise when the car alighted in front of a cinema-house and the door was opened by the zealous and dynamic band of organisers of the Dehra Dun programme, garland in hand. As Siva stepped out of the car, they said: "Swamiji, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wants to meet you who are his re-incarnation!"
Silently Swami Paramanandaji had planned to let Siva see a talkie film in order to acquaint himself with what he himself might have to do very shortly when his own life is filmed. The Manager of the Theatre felt honoured to have Sage Siva on the balcony along with the dignitaries of Dehra Dun who had accompanied Siva to witness the film.
Imagine the surprise again of many of us who had heard Siva's discourse at the F.R.I., when we heard even at the commencement of the film the very same sublime ideas, the same insistence that Sankirtan is the best redeemer in this Yuga, the same call to serve the Lord through mankind, the same declaration that mankind is one family.
The balcony of the theatre soon became a Satsang Bhavan. As the Chaitanya Mahaprabhu on the screen sang the Lord's Names, the group that had gathered around Siva followed, thus getting pleasure and profit out of the entertainment.
A Prisoner Among Professors
Bidding good-bye to Lord Gauranga, Siva motored to the Mahadevi Kanya Pathasala College. It was past 10 p.m. For an unforgettable hour he sat in the drawing room of Smt. Pushpa Anand's Bungalow, imprisoned by the love and devotion of the Professors of the College. The Professors crowded around Siva's lotus-feet and bathed them in milk, decked them with flowers and garlands and worshipped them to the accompaniment of Vedic chants. Among the Professors and their Principal, all well-learned in the arts and sciences of this world, Siva shone as a Divine Being who had come to impart the supreme Brahma Vidya, the art of Divine Life and the Science of the Soul that pertained to a realm altogether different from but interpenetrating our own.
The previous history repeated itself; all the Anand sisters, Smt. Shanti, Smt. Sushila and Mrs. Ishwar Singh who served Siva with a rich repast, moved about from the kitchen to the dining hall as though they were walking in the air, floating in an ocean of bliss, forgetting the world, forgetting themselves, forgetting everything but the One Sivananda. After Sankirtan, for the health and long life of the entire family, of Dr. and Mrs. Ishwar Singh, of "the veteran Sri Ram Ratan" and family, and the whole world, Siva boarded the car to return to Rishikesh. Up to the moment the engines of the car hummed its readiness to leave Dehra Dun, the professors were like hungry bees that hovered over the divine lotus-Sivananda. As Siva roared OM and the car moved forward, tears of joy and grief at the separation streamed down the faces of the devotees and from their heart rose the Song of Viraha: When shall we meet Thee again?
"How calm and quiet are the roads now!" remarked Siva as the General's car silently sped over the deserted Dehra Dun roads. Only one boy cycled fast ahead of the car. It was Sri Sambhu who had for some time worked in the Sivananda Art Studio at the Ashram. When the car turned on the road to Hardwar, Sambhu got down from the cycle and waved the car on. "He must have come all the way to guide the motor car driver, Swamiji," remarked Chidanandaji. "Wonderful service he has rendered! In the heart of man flow at the same time the twin-currents of goodness and evil, virtue and vice, sincerity and insincerity. Even the worst criminal has a streak of sublime virtue in him; and even the most sincere man betrays at times of worst insincerity. Mysterious is the mind. Who can fathom its depths?"
The entire plan of Paramanandaji to take Siva to Dehra Dun by surprise was laid out before Siva as we were returning to Rishikesh. Siva was acquainted with the minutest details of the tactics adopted to keep the secret away from him. "Who thought of the visit to the Leper Colony?" asked Siva. "That was the greatest miracle, Swamiji! The medical officer in charge of the Colony himself wanted Swamiji and General Sharma to visit it; and we merely suggested the date and time. But for it the whole secret would have had to be revealed to Swamiji before starting from the Ashram! And the charm and the joy and the surprise would have been lost."
"It was all in the Lord's Grand Plan that I was to meet all these people, to sing Kirtan at a number of places and to lecture at Dehra Dun. All glory be to the Lord!" said Siva, and we alighted at the Ashram at 1 a.m. on the 9th March, 1954.
SIVA'S SPEECHES AND ADDRESSES OF
ON 7TH AND 8TH March 1954
SIVANANDA-THE AWAKENER OF OUR SOULS
Introducing Sri Swami Sivanandji to the audience, Sri Karam Chandji said: "Swamiji is the only saint today who is spreading the Message of India, the Message of the Sages and Rishis of yore, the Message of real Hinduism, not only throughout the length and breadth of this land, but throughout the world. His disciples are all over the world. In England, America, Germany, and in all lands of the world there are thousands of his followers. You have also read in the papers how hearing his voice, a German lady has come to Rishikesh and is at present learning Yoga and Vedanta at the feet of Sri Swamiji Maharaj."
Paying a tribute to Swamiji's writings, he said: "Swamiji's writings are soul-stirring. Even a casual perusal of a page in his books will awaken the soul. The beauty about his books is that his instructions are most practical. He does not merely talk high philosophy and confuse us. He gives practical instructions in Sadhana and asks us to maintain a spiritual diary and record there "How many Malas of Japa have you done? How many times did you lose your temper? etc. It is the great good fortune of the people of Dehra Dun that Swamiji is in our midst today. On behalf of the people of Dehra Dun and the authorities of the Gita Mandir, I welcome Sri Swamiji!"
Speech at the Gita Mandir Dehra Dun, on 7th March, 1954
This is a dream within a dream. They say that the world itself is a long dream. This is a dream within a dream. My health does not permit me to tour about. I like to go about; I like to work. I want to do intense work. But my present health does not permit this kind of touring work. Yet remaining in my Kutir in Rishikesh, I try to do very good work. I am very fond of selfless service. I wish to tour throughout the world. Nowadays the physical condition compels me to confine myself to my room. However, through correspondence and at heart, I am in touch with the whole world.
I did not know that I was coming here. My disciples cheated me. They said: let us go to the Leper Colony in Rishikesh. I like to go and meet sick people. So I agreed. Then I found that they had arranged for a Prabhat Pheri. I like Kirtan. So I joined them. Kirtan is a very good tonic; it is the best Makaradhwaja and Chyavanprash. In this Kali Yuga the Lord's Name is our sole refuge. To destroy all your old sins, the old Vasanas, a single repetition of the Lord's Name, of Ram-Nam, is enough. But, because there is a great accumulation of evil Vasanas, it requires a great number of repetitions of the Lord's Name in order to attain perfect purity of mind and heart.
I visited the Leper Colony. I think that social workers and leaders should frequently visit these places and acquaint themselves with what is going on there, what sort of arrangements are made for the lepers, for their comforts and treatment and what they need. When we go there, we can find out their grievances, and the authorities also take more interest in their welfare.
Then we went to the Vishwanath Bagh. From there we went to the Shivalaya. Then suddenly I found myself in the Gita Mandir!
I am very happy to be in your midst. Sohanlalji has invited me to the Gita Mandir several times. But I was pleasantly surprised to see Sohanlalji and others come towards the car with garlands! I did not know who informed the people of Dehra Dun that I was coming! But I am glad that I have this opportunity of serving you all. This opportunity has been granted to me by my senior most disciple and now the great "cheat" Sri Swami Paramanandaji! God is the greatest cheat! He is One, but appears to be many. He is all Ananda, but has projected out of Himself this universe of birth, death and misery.
Let us all repeat Ram-Nam. Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Rama Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram. Even during work, go on repeating Ram-Nam. It is a great tonic. It will destroy the Pancha-Kleshas; Avidya, Asmita, Raga-Dwesha and Abhinivesha. There is a great power hidden in Ram-Nam. It will bestow bliss upon you. Do and experience it yourself!
Just as in order to derive the maximum benefit from a medicine you are taking, you have to observe some dietetic restrictions also; so also, if you are to derive the maximum benefit out of Japa and Kirtan, you should side by side observe some Niyamas. You should never utter falsehood. You should not become angry. Purification of the heart is necessary in order to get quick results from Japa and Kirtan.
Sri Sohanlalji is a great Kirtanist. Perhaps you think that we belong to that great association known as the Mutual Admiration Society: he sang songs in my praise, and now I glorify him! But, no! I know him from the days when he was at Rawalpindi. He does wonderful Kirtan. He has also composed many songs. He had a great desire to construct a Gita Mandir; and it has sprung up here!
This is a great need of the hour. Many people can gather together. When people join together and sing the Lord's Name and pray, a great spiritual force is generated. That is the glory of Satsang. If you shut yourself up in your room and do Japa and meditation, you may not progress so fast; if you form a small Satsang group and all of you do Japa together and meditate together, the spiritual force generated will help you all. You will make rapid and wonderful progress. When you attend a Satsang, you will forget the worries of the world. You are in an entirely different atmosphere.
It is Satsang alone that can transform man in these days. Sublime ideas must be constantly dinned into the ears of man. Then only will his heart be transformed. Pundit Thakur Duttji said during the course of his speech at the Parliament of Religions that nowadays there is such dishonesty in business that every article is adulterated. Adulteration of foodstuffs is rampant everywhere. Man is selfish and has no sense of duty. At the moment of death, your conscience will prick you. You will have no peace of mind either now or at the time of death or ever afterwards. Dishonesty kills your conscience; it is worse than Atma-Hatya. It is like killing yourself. Be honest. Have a pure heart, clean mind and clear conscience. Even if you are poor, you will be happy. If you are honest, the whole wealth of the world will belong to you. A man is not rich because he has a lot of money in the bank; only that man is really rich whose heart is rich. Each virtue is worth more than a crore of rupees. Cultivate a charitable heart. You are spending a lot of money on the clothes for your wife and children; give plenty of money in charity, for the construction of temples and Satsang Bhavans! They are great assets for the whole world. Through your charity, there must be a Gita Bhavan in every town, in every Mohalla. What a wonderful thing it will be! There will be Satsang everywhere. In those Satsangs people will learn of Dharma. They will be transformed. The entire society will be transformed. Sublime ideas and ideals will enter the hearts of people. Dishonesty will disappear. Dharma will reign Supreme. People will become 'Sarvabhutahite ratah (devoted to the welfare of all beings), feeling that the entire world is one family.
One life, one consciousness, one Self, dwells in all; just as one sun and one moon shine over the whole world. But the power of Maya shows everything as different. The scavenger and the cobbler are your own Self. It is Maya that makes you feel "This man is inferior and the other man is superior." Vedanta speaks of unity. All are one. This truth has to permeate your entire being. That can be done only through Satsang.
You should constantly hear and dwell upon such sublime ideals. Some Vedantic students go about saying, "there is no world in the three periods of time." But, if there is a little less salt in their dal or less sugar in their milk, they would be upset. This lip-Vedanta will not do. You have to be practical Vedantins. You can become practical Vedantins only through constant Satsang.
You must learn the principles of real life, through Satsang. Real life is living for others. You beautify yourself by wearing diamond rings and Banares Sarees. Is there beauty in diamond rings and Banares Sarees? Seva-Bhav, charity, is a real diamond! You dress yourself nicely and see yourself in a mirror a thousand times; does that give you beauty? Beauty is within. Infinite beauty dwells in the chambers of your heart.
ज्योतिषामपि तज्ज्योतिस्तमसः परमुच्यते ।
ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं ज्ञानगम्यं हृदि सर्वस्य विष्ठितम् ।।
Jyotishaamapi tajjyotistamasah paramuchyate Jnaanam jneyam jnaanagamyam hridi sarvasy vishthitam (B.G.13/17)
(That, the Light of all lights, is said to be beyond darkness: knowledge, the knowable and the goal of knowledge, seated in the hearts of all.)
You spend all your time in beautifying this body! In the morning you have a shave. In the evening you have another shave. This is all waste of precious time, precious life. You must learn to utilise time properly, through Satsang.
Love all. Embrace all. Be kind to all. Help the down trodden brothers. Instead of having six or seven shirts for yourself, give a shirt to the poor man. Thus only can you evolve. Thus only can you realise the Atma which is the One Self that dwells in all.
Serve Sohanlalji. Don't try to find faults in him. He is nearer to God than many others, for he sings the Lord's Names. Whatever his state may be, he who recites the Names of the Lord becomes pure very quickly; his heart is purified very quickly. He is close to God. All people will not be able to understand his sublime divine nature. Try to see good in everybody. Do not develop the Dosha Drishti, faultfinding nature. Your evil mind, your lower nature, will try to ignore the good qualities that are in a man and try to see only his defects. You will have to cultivate the eye of discrimination.. Position, a little wealth and a few titles intensify your egoism and thicken the veil of ignorance. A little education and position give you two annas of egoism; cultivate the eye of discrimination! Human nature is such that man tries to see only defects in others. You will even superimpose evil upon persons in whom such evil qualities do not exist. Through Satsang and study, you will have to eradicate this nature; you will have to cultivate the habit of seeing only good in others. Then only you will be able to unite with all, and you will be able to recognise the goodness in all. You won't have hatred, etc. You will have to cultivate this habit through Satsang.
What spiritual benefit you cannot get in five years of study, you can have in one Satsang. You have experienced it now. I am not deceiving you. You actually feel it: Aparoksha Anubhuti. When you sing Kirtan here, you have forgotten the world. What made you forget the world and rise above body-consciousness? It is Kirtan of Lord's Name, it is Satsang.
Only in Satsang will you be vigilant. You will enter into Bhav-Samadhi here. But when you attempt to do Japa in your own room, you will get another kind of Samadhi-deep sleep! One man wanted to know the easiest way of controlling and annihilating the mind. The preceptor said: "Take rice and sour curd to your bellyful. Lie down on a good bed, soft and comfortable. Have good pillows for your head and feet. Relax. Breathe deeply. You will go beyond the mind." That is deep sleep. That is what you will get if you sit alone in your room and try to do Japa and meditation. When you are in Satsang, you are vigilant; and you get the help of the spiritual vibrations of the entire gathering.
SWAMI SIVANANDA: A BRIEF LIFE-SKETCH
Introducing Sri Swamiji to the audience Major-General A.N. Sharma said:
"There is no place in the world where Sri Swamiji is not known. There is no country in the world-America, Europe, Japan, China, Malaya, Africa and Australia-where Swamiji has not got his disciples.
Swamiji was a doctor in his Purvashram. Then he became a doctor in Malaya. After about ten years of service there, he renounced everything and came to Swarg Ashram and became a Sanyasin. That was the grand culmination of hundreds of lives of Tapasya he had done for the great good fortune of millions all over the world who were to be spiritually awakened by his message.
After embracing the Holy Order of Sanyasa, Swamiji did rigorous Tapas in Swarg Ashram. Then he came over to the right side of the Ganges and established the present Ashram and the Divine Life Society for the service of humanity.
Swamiji is a prolific writer. There is hardly any other Mahapurusha or Mahatma who has written so many books in so short a time. The Ashram has its own press, and it turns out almost one book a day! And yet, there are a large number of books to be printed. I have seen the steel cabinet in which these manuscripts are kept. There are SO many books-precious books-yet to be printed!
There are many departments of activities in his Ashram that everyone who visits the Ashram is amazed at the energy and zeal with which Sri Swamiji has been tirelessly working and the unlimited compassion for humanity that has prompted him to create so many avenues of service. You have everything in his Ashram-a School, a Hospital, a Photographic Department, a Mandir, Yoga Movie-films, Yoga Museum-everything.
That today he is here in spite of indifferent health is itself yet another indication of his compassion and love to serve all. If we had one of the ailments that he has, we would be laid up and not move from bed! And yet, he never rests; he is ever busy in the service of humanity."
Speech at the Town Hall Dehradun, on 7th March, 1954.
"I have put the whole essence of the Vedas and the Upanishads in my little song:
Serve, love, give, purify, meditate, realise;
Be good; do good; be kind; be compassionate.
Enquire 'Who am I?' Know your Self and be free.
Adapt, adjust, accommodate.
Bear insult; bear injury; (this is) Highest Sadhana.
Man runs after happiness; but he cannot get eternal, unalloyed happiness from the objects of this world.
'यो वै भूमा तत् सुखं नाल्पे सुखमस्ति भूमैव सुखम् ।'-
'Yo vai bhoomaa tat sukham
naalpe sukhamasti bhoomaiva sukham-
('Paramatma is the very form of bliss. There is no happiness in mundane objects' (Chandogya Upanishad: 7/23/1)
You can find the Supreme Bliss or Eternal Happiness which the mind is hankering after in the Bhuma alone. That Bhuma is your original essential divine nature. On account of Raga-Dwesha, on account of Avidya or Ignorance, you have forgotten your essential divine nature. From Ignorance of the real divine nature is born egoism or Asmita. From Asmita is born Raga-Dwesha-the two currents of likes and dislikes. Even plants and minerals have got this Raga-Dwesha! Through these currents of likes and dislikes man performs actions. Karma is started in the mind. It is not the actual actions that constitute Karma. It is Raga-Dwesha, it is the Sankalpa, it is the thought that constitutes real Karma. Avidya, Kama and Karma-then comes the body. You have to reap the fruits of your actions through the body. The Maya-Chakra has started; there is no end for it. The intelligent man who is endowed with discrimination, the eye of wisdom-he is the greatest man on earth-he discriminates between the Real and the unreal and he goes beyond Avidya, Kama and Karma and enjoys the Eternal Bliss in the Bhuma. It is to attain this Bhuma that you have taken birth here as human beings.
Shun Titles and Position
It is not got through University studies, Ph. D. titles and degrees; the more of these titles you get, the more is your egoism intensified. The veil of ignorance is thickened. You have already forgotten your real essential nature, and now even a little more education, a B.A. or M.A. degree, and a little more position-your egoism grows to eight annas! This study and these titles are useless!
Bank on Brahma Vidya
You must know that Brahma Vidya, that Science of sciences, by which the Unknown becomes known, the Unseen becomes seen, the Unheard becomes heard. How many of you here are attempting sincerely to acquire a knowledge of that Science?
शौनको ह वै महाशालोऽङ्गिरसं विधिवदुपसन्नः पप्रच्छ ।
कस्मिन् नु भगवो विज्ञाते सर्वमिदं विज्ञातं भवतीति ।।
Shaunako ha vai mahaashaalo Angirasam vidhivadupasanna papraccha;
Kasmin nu bhagavo vijnaate sarvamidam vijnaatam bhavati iti
(Mundaka Up. I-I-3)
(Shaunaka, the great house-lord, came to Angiras in the due way of the disciple and asked of him, "Lord, by knowing what does all this that is become known?")
"Knowing which, O Sire, is everything here known?" asked the intelligent aspirant in days of yore. We want intelligent students like that Shaunaka, who had such sublime aspiration, not people of little intellect who run after this lop-sided education which enables you to earn your daily bread and seek a little sense-comfort. That comfort is the enemy of peace. It is its opposite, Vairagya, that will make you bold and fearless, that will earn for you peace and happiness. Your happiness is now hanging by the bank balance. If that bank balance is lost, when the bank fails, your heart also will fail! Or, you will become depressed or neurotic. That man is the hero of heroes who draws his strength will enjoy the Supreme from within. He Inexhaustible Wealth of the Atman, the Bhuma. You can become such a hero if you acquire the knowledge of that Brahma Vidya taught in the Upanishads.
The Fool Worships the Body
Identification with the body is ignorance. Is there a greater fool on this earth than one who beautifies the body and who takes the body as the Atma? To identify yourself with the Satchidananda Atma is wisdom. That is your real nature. But,
पराञ्चि खानि व्यतॄणत्स्वयम्भूस्तस्मात्पराड्पश्यति नान्तरात्मन् ।
कश्चिद् धीरः प्रत्यगात्मानमैक्षदावृत्तचक्षुरमृतत्वमिच्छन् ।।
'Paranchi khani vyatrinat swayambhuh
Tasmat param pasyati na antaratman
Kaschit dheera pratyagaatmaanamaikad
Aavrtta chakshuh amritatvamicchan
(Katha Up II/I/1)
(Yama said): The self-existent (Brahma) created the senses with outgoing tendencies; therefore man beholds the external universe and not the internal Self (Atman). But, some wise man with eyes averted from sensual objects (with his senses turned away), desirous of Immortality sees the Atman within.)
Brahma the Creator put a little bit of Rajas in this mind; so man looks outward and forgets the Inner Self or Atma; only the Dheera, the spiritual hero, turns his gaze within, yearning for the realisation of the Self. You are all Dheera-Purushas, that is why you have come here to attend this Satsang.
Tap the Source
Tap the Source within and attain that inexhaustible strength born of the realisation of the Bhuma, become a Dheera. Who is a Dheera? He who is endowed with the Four Means-Viveka, Vairagya, Shad-Sampat and Mumukshutwa. You should have intense concentration, renunciation and a strong yearning for Liberation-not yearning for a little promotion in the office. The highest yearning of a District Judge is to become a High Court Judge; the highest yearning of a clerk is to become a Head-Clerk. Poor deluded soul! He is a master of the whole world. He can rule the whole world if he has got discrimination. That discrimination he can develop by a study of the Yoga-Vasishtha and the Upanishads-not by studying novels and newspapers. What ideas do these newspapers bring you? "There was an earthquake in Japan." "So and so was kidnapped." "A great leader was shot dead." "There was a railway accident in Mexico in which two hundred people were killed." Such are the headlines. And without the newspaper you cannot live. You have made your mind the plaything of emotions and sentiments. You have to control these emotions. Every day you have to watch and discipline your mind. Annihilate your desires and cravings. He who has given up cravings and desires, he and he alone attains Peace and Bliss: this is the emphatic declaration of the Lord in the Bhagavad Gita.
You should always have this ideal before you. You may fall down a thousand times; yet you must rise up and with tottering steps you must march forward. You must again and again assert: "I am not this body, nor this Prana, nor this mind, nor the intellect; Chidananda-Rupah Sivoham Sivoham!"
You should be ever intent on equipping yourself with the Four Means. People don't even know what the Four Means are! Sadhana Chatushtaya-Viveka, Vairagya, Shad-Sampat and Mumukshutwa-these seem to be mere imaginary ideas or words! Man today knows everything except Atma-Vidya. He specialises in so many things, but does not know what is Viveka or discrimination! "What is the Atma? What is the Self? Who am I?"-you should enquire into this; that is your duty. Although you have to earn money in this world and to maintain your family, but that is not your highest duty. The highest duty is to know, to understand and realise the nature of the Atma. That only will relieve you of all the sufferings and various kinds of tribulations from birth and death. If you know the nature of the Atma, if you understand your own essential divine nature, you won't aspire much for worldly objects. Money is necessary, but if you forget the nature of the Atma, what is the use of your becoming the Lord of the whole world? All the objects of the world have meaning only when you have the correct understanding, born of the Knowledge of the Self.
No Use Listening-Practise!
You have heard enough. You have heard many lectures. But you have to practise now. Everybody knows that it is good to be righteous, to be truthful, but few practise. I always say: "Be good and do good". The sum and substance of all spiritual teaching is contained in these five words. But you must practise. Every morning determine to be good and to do good that day. At night sit down and reflect: "How many good acts have I done? In how many ways have I failed to be good? This habit will correct your defects. Enter the details in your spiritual diary. Take stock of your day's earnings (Sadhana) and losses (failures). You will evolve. You are maintaining all sorts of diaries-the milk-diary, the dhobi-diary, etc. But are you maintaining the spiritual diary? You know how much milk you have purchased and consumed and what you owe to the milkman. But do you know how much of precious life you have spent and how much you owe to the Creator? Are you conscious that you have to express your gratitude to Him through Japa, through Kirtan, through selfless service, through meditation and Sadhana? Are you checking up the balance sheet in this respect? This is more important than all the accounts of the world. Arise, awake, maintain the spiritual diary. Correct yourself. Add to your spiritual assets. Drain away your liabilities: the evil habits, the vicious traits and the animal instincts. You will soon become a Divinity on earth.
Not Pessimism: But Optimism
Always remember, that this world is full of sorrow, full of miseries, pain and death. This is not pessimism; it is glorious optimism to wean the mind from the objects of the senses and to fix it on the Lord. This is the essential pre-requisite to the enjoyment of the Highest Bliss, the Supreme Peace. It is only constant reflection on the real nature of this world that will awaken you to your foremost duty of realising the Self. It will goad you to eradicate your wrong, vicious Samskaras and to acquire good Samskaras by continuously trying to "be good and do good." You must create good Samskaras now. In old age, when all your energies have been squeezed out-in the office by your boss and in the house by your wife and children-you will not be able to do much Sadhana. Right now you will have to generate good Samskaras. They are your real friends. They will make you divine. They will give you Bhukti and Mukti. It is possible. Moksha is not a state of inertia. Moksha is a state when you are one with the Lord. You can create whatever you want by a mere Sankalpa. You will be free from all sorrows. You will be one with the Divine Will or Cosmic Will. You will be able to help the world. You can inspire all people and impart real knowledge to all. You will enjoy Eternal Bliss, Supreme Peace, like Kabir, Tukaram, Dattatreya and Dakshinamurty. Every word you utter will inspire, elevate and give strength to people, because you are one with the divine source.
Yoga is Not in Caves
People think that Yoga is something that Sannyasins practise in the Himalayan caves. This is wrong. If you repeat Ram-Nam you will come to the feet of the Lord. Every Name of the Lord has infinite potency; it transmutes man into divinity, destroys Rajas and Tamas and fills the mind with Sattwa and purity. Your heart must go on repeating His Name. It is not necessary that you should always have a Japamala around your neck or in your hand to show to people that you are a Yogi. No. Your heart should repeat the Name of the Lord. It will transmute you into divinity.
A balanced mind, cheerfulness, fearlessness; purity, generosity, compassion, all these divine qualities indicate that you are growing in spirituality. Change your angle of vision. Spiritualise all your actions. Offer all actions to the Lord. Do not run after the fruits of your actions. Be unattached to the actions. You have to think, speak and act truthfully at all times. Practise Ahimsa, Satyam and Brahmacharya. Purity in thought, word and deed is essential. You must attempt to develop these virtues. That is your foremost duty, your supreme duty. Do your duties selflessly. Do selfless service. Selfless service is Jnana; selfless service is Bhakti. All Karmas terminate in wisdom. Do your duties and try to live for one hundred years.
Now we have become friends. So, sing the Lord's Names with me. Do not feel shy to sing Kirtan. Kirtan is sweet. Shyness is a great obstacle to human progress-industrial progress, economic progress or spiritual progress. Sing:
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare!
In the same tune I have composed a beautiful song that gives in essence your foremost duty:
Is there not a nobler mission than eating, drinking and sleeping?
It is difficult to get a human birth;
therefore, try your best to realise in this birth.
Time sweeps away kings and barons;
Where is Yudhishthira, where is Asoka,
where is Gandhiji, where is Jinnah?
What have you learnt, tell me frankly,
from the Bihar and Assam earthquakes?
Have you got now real Vairagya,
do you practice Japa and Kirtan?
When your throat is choked at the time of death,
who will help you for your salvation?
Can you expect real Shanti if you waste your time in cards and cinemas,
in novels, newspapers, in fights and quarrels, in scandal back-biting?
Be up and doing in Yogic Sadhana;
you will enjoy Supreme Peace.
Be up and doing in Brahma-Vichar,
you will attain Kaivalya Moksha, Immortality!
I have full trust in you all; and you will do all these from now.
Serve, love, give, purify, meditate, realize;
Be good; do good; be kind; be compassionate.
Enquire "Who am I?" Know thy Self and be free
Adapt, adjust, accommodate;
Bear insult, bear injury; (this is) highest Sadhana.
Adaptability: Highest Virtue
Adapt! Adaptability is the highest virtue. You have to kill egoism in order to develop this virtue. You must develop balanced mind and equal vision. A sub-Judge finds it difficult to adapt with the District Judge; he is transferred. The Head-clerk is not able to adapt with the officer; he is dismissed. The husband is not able to adapt with the wife, and the wife is not able to adapt with the husband. The husband thinks "She should do as I say", and the wife thinks "He should listen to me". There is quarrel and disharmony in the house. They have got property, wealth, comforts and everything else; but they have no Shanti. This is the experience of all-because, there is no adaptability, because there is no real love.
It is very easy to become an M.A. or Ph.D. But it is very difficult to cultivate a virtue or to eradicate an evil trait. Each evil trait is very deep-rooted. From time immemorial the evil has lived in you. The easiest and the only way to get rid of the evil trait is to repeat the Lord's Name. Cultivate the opposite virtue-this is the Prati-paksha Bhavana method of Raja Yoga. If you are short-tempered cultivate love, Kshama, forgiveness, and engage yourself in selfless service. Anger will die. If you are a miser, be liberal. If you are passionate, develop purity. When you cultivate the virtue, the evil trait will die by itself. It is very difficult to attack the evil directly, because it is deep-rooted. But by the repetition of Ram-Nam in the early morning, Brahmamuhurtha, by meditation on the virtue you wish to cultivate, gradually you will grow in virtue, and the evil will die by itself. Develop these virtues and become a Jivanmukta in this very birth.
Those who are endowed with patience, perseverance, tenacity and adaptability will achieve success here and now. All these virtues must become part and parcel of your nature. Maintain the spiritual diary; it will help you in the cultivation of virtues. It is a whip to goad the mind towards God.
Kirtan: The Key to Prosperity
Sing the Lord's Name. Kirtan is very important. If you ask the officers to sing Kirtan, they will not! But singing of the Lord's Name is the thing that will give them peace and worldly prosperity too. But you will not sing Kirtan. You do not get prosperity and success in life, because you do not sing Kirtan or do Japa of the Gayatri Mantra. Some lip-Vedantins, too, think singing Kirtan is beneath their dignity! They think they will realise the Self by repeating Soham, Soham. No. It is Dasoham only that will lead them to Soham in time when the 'Das' drops away. How is this man who is full of egoism and arrogance, to realise the Self by merely repeating Soham, Soham? If you don't give him the proper seat at a meeting, he will get irritated. Say "Ayiye Maharaj!" a hundred times; he will be highly pleased. If you do not, he will get annoyed. You have become a slave of mere sound. A mere word "Bevkoof" rouses your temper. This word does not affect your soul! You are only imagining that it is an insult. Why should you be upset? The man who uttered the word has only spoilt his tongue. You should feel "My Atma and his Atma are one" and be calm.
This is your foremost duty. It is for this great purpose that you have taken birth here as a human being. Do It Now! May you all become Jivanmuktas in this very birth! I am thankful and grateful to you all for this opportunity you have given me of serving you all and for giving me a patient hearing. I am thankful to the President, Sri Mahantji and all of you!
At the end of Sri Swamiji's lecture at Gita Bhavan he asked: "How many of you have resolved today to give up smoking?" Such was the persuasion of his words that a dozen hands at once went up! Similarly at the Town Hall, too, a number of people resolved to give up smoking. May their wonderful example inspire others to follow their lead.
Gist of a Lecture in Hindi by Pundit Thakur Dutt Sharmaji, Amritdhara
Sri Swami Sivanandaji is one of those great souls who, after attaining the Goal of life, viz. Self-realisation, comes out into the midst of the people of the world and serves humanity, awakening man to the pristine glory of his divine nature. His heart is filled with such infinite compassion and with such cosmic love that, when he has found the Self which is of the nature of Sat-Chit-Anand, he wishes to share that Bliss with one and all. He has nothing to gain; but his compassion makes him feel that it is his duty to serve humanity and to enlighten people.
Today's discourse by Sri Swamiji has been soul-awakening. Again and again, he warns you not to leave the Path of Dharma, and to stick to righteousness at all costs. It is Dharma and Dharma alone that will protect you.
Swamiji's call to selfless service should be listened to and obeyed by the youth of our nation. There is nothing more destructive than sloth. Swamiji says you should all be ever busy in selfless service. It is only by such dynamism that India can be raised in the estimation of the world. He is himself an example of that dynamism.
Swamiji's speech was full of truth-thousands of them. I wish to remind you only of one more point-Giving up of evil habits. This is an auspicious occasion. In the morning at the Gita Bhavan, a number of people openly resolved to give up smoking after listening to Swamiji's speech. How many of you here similarly resolve? (Several hands went up!) That is wonderful, and it is the best way of expressing our gratitude to the Mahatma for coming here and addressing us!
HE SUSTAINS PEOPLE'S FAITH IN GOD
From a lecture by Mahant Sri Indresh Charan Das who presided over the meeting.
After several years Sri Swamiii is addressing the public of Dehra Dun. His thrilling speech was full of Bhakti-Ras. You know that Sri Swamiji is spreading the Message of our Scriptures, the Message of Vedanta and the technique of Yoga throughout the world by translating and interpreting our scriptures into English for the benefit of humanity at large. This is a very great work. It is this Prachar that keeps the spiritual spark alive in the human heart.
Sri Swamiji has, through his writings and speeches, sustained man's faith in himself, in God and in the scriptures. That is a very great thing. We should have faith. And then with faith we should love God with all our heart. Only then is the much-emphasised concentration and meditation possible. You know the story of the simple villager who went to a Guru for initiation into concentration and meditation. The young illiterate villager asked the Guru to initiate him. The Guru asked him to concentrate on the form of the Lord. The disciple could not. The Guru asked: "What do you love most in this world?" The disciple said: "The buffalo in our house." "Meditate on it," the Guru said. The disciple began to meditate upon the buffalo and was so absorbed in the meditation that he felt that he himself had been transformed into a buffalo. He refused to come out of the room! Then the Guru initiated him into the meditation on God, and the disciple realised God. If you love God with all your heart, with the same intensity of love that you have for the dearest thing you love most, you will soon develop concentration and meditation and realise God.
This faith is based upon perfect reason. The entire universe has been created and is maintained by the will of the Almighty. We should recognise this fact. Not even a dry leaf can be wafted by the wind except with the sanction of the Will of the Almighty. Once upon a time, the Gods won a victory over the Asuras. The Gods felt that it was their prowess that was responsible for the victory. God Who is the Indweller of all hearts knew it and wanted to teach the Gods a lesson. Therefore, He suddenly appeared near the foremost among the Devas-Indra, Agni and Vayu. Agni and Vayu (the Gods of fire and air) individually approach the mysterious Being and question Him: "Who are you?" That Being asks them: "Tell me who you are and what power you have." Agni says that he can burn up everything. The Being places a straw before Agni, but Agni is not able to burn it and runs away frightened. Vayu says he can waft everything, but he is not able to lift the piece of straw. He too returns to Indra, frightened. When Indra himself approaches the Being, It vanishes and in its place stands the Mother of the Universe Who teaches Indra that it was due to God's Will that they won a victory over the demons and that it was He who appeared before them as a Yaksha in order to teach them the Truth.
When you realise this truth, you naturally develop an abiding faith in God and love Him with all your heart. That in its turn enables you to meditate upon Him and to realise Him. This is what Sri Swamiji wants you all to do.
Gurudev is seated in front of the Sivananda Pillar on its inauguration day in 1957.
Proposing a Vote of Thanks-
Smt. Pushpa Anand, M. A, said:
It is my joyous privilege to propose a vote of thanks to Sri Swamiji Maharaj for his soul-stirring and inspiring Upadesha he gave us this day. His Immortal Message has removed our ignorance, made us conscious of our real nature and filled our hearts with eternal bliss.
Sri Swamiji has been spreading the Message of the Upanishads in all parts of the world and has been imparting the knowledge of the Great Truth to millions on earth. We are very fortunate indeed to welcome Him in our midst, who has been recognised by people all over the world as a Great Sage.
I am thankful to Sri Mahantji for accepting the Presidentship of today's function. He has helped us in various other ways. We are thankful also to Sri Thakur Datt Sharmaji and to General A.N. Sharmaji for giving us their Upadesha. I thank the audience, to whom the function owes its success, and I thank all those who participated in this function!
Welcoming Sri Swamiji to the Forest Research Institute Dr. C. R. Ranganathan, I.F.S., President of the Institute said:
We are greatly honoured this afternoon by the visit of Sri Swami Sivananda, a great Rishi of Rishikesh. This is not the first time that he pays a visit to this Institute. He has been here before and has gone round our Museum. We value his second visit all the more, because having been here once he has thought it fit to honour us again by coming for a second time. We hope that he will continue these visits from time to time in order to enable us to draw inspiration from his great blessings.
As is very characteristic of him, he has signalised his visit to this Institute by bringing a great bundle of books which he has left as his present to this Institute in my Room. We all know the tremendous work that he is doing in Rishikesh by issuing Journals and publications of spiritual value and sending them all over the country and all over the world free. I have myself been the recipient of innumerable favours of this description from him. I know there are several others here who have likewise been the recipients of this particularly attractive form of benefaction.
All the same, we the members of the Forest Research Institute, have resolved to show in our own humble way our great appreciation of the visit of Swamiji, as well as of the numerous gifts that he has been making to us here, by presenting to him a small purse, as well as an article which has been made in the Forest Research Insititute.
I do not need to introduce Swamiji to you. He is very well known here, as well as elsewhere in this country. Before I ask him to address you on the subject which he has chosen for this afternoon, viz. the Goal of Life', I will, in your name and on your behalf, present to him the purse that I have referred to and the small attaché case that has been made here with the hope that he will accept both and will remember us in future.
THE GOAL OF LIFE AND ITS ATTAINMENT
Address at the Forest Research Institute on 8th March, 1954
"Atma-Swaroop and Adorable President,
Let us chant Om, the Prateek of Brahman, the symbol of power, the source of this world, the substratum for this body and mind.
OM OM OM
I have immense delight in addressing you all this evening.
Nature of the Self
The goal of life is Self-realisation.
एको देवः सर्वभूतेषु गूढः सर्वव्यापी सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा ।
कर्माध्यक्षः सर्वभूताधिवासः साक्षी चेता केवलो निर्गुणश्च ॥
'Eko devah sarvabhuteshu gudhah'
Saakshi chetaa kevalah nirgunascha
(God, who is one only, is hidden in all beings. He pervades all and He is the Inner Soul of all beings. He presides over all actions and all beings dwell in Him. He is the witness and He is the pure consciousness. He is alone or single and is devoid of all qualities)
There is one common Consciousness hidden in all these names and forms-the one Self, common Self, common Consciousness in all these names and forms. He is all-pervading (the Infinite Self, the Infinite Consciousness must be all-pervading) and is the Indweller or Antaryami of all beings. 'Chetah": He is Pure Consciousness. He is not Jada. He is Absolute Consciousness. He is Existence-Absolute, Knowledge-Absolute, Who transcends the three Gunas (Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas)-such is the nature of the Atma.
'Om Antaratma Nitya Shuddha Buddha, Nirakara, Kutastha, Vyapak, Swayamjyoti, Purna Para-Brahma, Sakshi Drishta, Turiya, Shantam, Sivam, Adwaitam': He is one without a second, auspicious. He is Truth, Beauty and Goodness. He is Akhanda. He is Pari-purna; self-contained. He is not like the objects of the world. When you attain a desired object, it gives you a satisfaction for the time being; yet, the mind hankers for other objects; there is craving; there is Vasana. The mind becomes restless. So this world which is made up of Gunas, which is conditioned by time, space and causation, cannot give you Supreme Peace, Param Shanti and eternal satisfaction. When you realise this Atma alone, which is the goal of your life, you will enjoy eternal satisfaction. Atma is. Infinite, Eternal, Immortal.
Where is Peace and Freedom
In deep sleep, there is neither body nor mind; yet you enjoy the peace independent of objects, where there is no play of Raga-Dwesha or the two currents of likes and dislikes. You enjoy peace, you rest in your Essential Swaroop, in your own Atma or Brahman or Pure Consciousness. But there is the veil of ignorance, Avidya, Mula-Avidya. That is the reason why you are not able to continue to rest in your own Swaroop. As soon as you get up in the morning, you say: "I have had a peaceful sleep; I knew nothing." Unless you enjoyed something, you cannot have remembrance, as you have when you wake up. This clearly shows that there is one Atma, the Indweller of all beings, Infinite, Eternal, Immortal Being, whose nature is Sat-Chit-Ananda, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute.
Only when you realise this Atma through meditation, through purification and dispassion, can you become immortal, can you enjoy Supreme Peace. This is the experience of all people in the world. This world is Apoorna, incomplete, because it is conditioned in time, space and causation and Janma-Mrityu-Jara-Vyadhi-Duhkham. Man does not enjoy peace here. He is restless. Unless he realises his own Atma, the Indweller, the Antaratma, he cannot have Supreme Peace, Eternal Satisfaction and Immortality. In the finite things of this world you cannot enjoy Supreme Peace.
Peace is the goal of life. Everyone wants to get peace; many don't know where to obtain peace. Maya is so powerful. The nature of Maya is to hide the Real and to make the unreal appear as real. That is its function. But, he who has got the divine grace through recitation of the Lord's Names; he who has devotion; he who is endowed with the Four Means (discrimination, dispassion, the six-fold virtues- serenity, self-restraint, Titiksha or endurance to worldly objects, and faith-faith in his own self, faith in the utterances of the Upanishads like Tat Twam Asi! Thou art That!-when he has all these qualities and concentration of mind - the mind is disciplined and focussed on one object, then he shall have Mumukshutwa and a strong yearning for Realisation, a strong yearning for Moksha, for attaining Immortality, then he will pierce the veil of Maya. Then you study the Upanishads; take to Sravan, Manan and Nididhyasan (hearing of Srutis, constant reflection of what you have heard: "There is One Atma which is free from sorrow and pain, which is free from hunger and thirst, which is free from decay and death, and you realise this Atma; then only will you have eternal satisfaction and supreme peace. You will be freed from the cycle of birth-and-death.
The Four Fundamental Means
You should equip yourselves with the Four Means. Viveka-discrimination. Many are not endowed with this faculty of discrimination. It is a faculty; the eye of wisdom that is given to us through the Grace of the Lord. Through God's Grace one attains discrimination between the unreal and the Real, Sat-Asat-Viveka, Nitya-Anitya-Viveka, Atma-Anatma-Viveka.
Then comes dispassion by itself Vairagya, Vairagya is not an external state; it is an internal state of the mind, which is free from attachment, which is free from passion-it is dispassion. It is indifference to the objects of this world. Such a state is called dispassion.
You must have read the story of Queen Chudala in the Yoga-Vasishtha'. Queen Chudala was a Yogini. She was endowed with wisdom though she was ruling the kingdom. She had internal vision. She had intuitive experience-Aparoksha Anubhuti. Her husband Sikhidwaja had no belief in the Queen. He wanted to practise renunciation and meditation. He wanted to go to the Forest. Queen Chudala told him: "Remain here. You will get the wisdom. I will help you to attain the eye of intuition." He did not hear. He went to the forest. He practised various kinds of Tapas of a foolish type. Queen Chudala wanted to examine him. She had Yogic powers. She moved in the sky and appeared before him, standing a few feet above the ground in the form of a Kumbha Muni. A Yogi shows all these miraculous visions just to show the aspirant that the teacher has got super-human powers, so that the aspirant will have faith; and only on such occasions he exhibits such powers. Sikhidwaja was much astonished to see the Guru standing above the ground. He prostrated before the Muni and wanted spiritual instruction. The Muni (who was Queen Chudala in disguise) said: "You have no idea of renunciation; you have not renounced anything." He said: "I have renounced everything. I have renounced my kingdom. I have renounced my wife. How can you say that I have renounced nothing?" The Muni said: "No. you have renounced nothing." He thought that he had the Kamandalu and the staff; and he threw away the staff and the Kamandalu. Yet, the Muni said: "You have no real renunciation at all." He thought: "I have only this body to renounce". He ascended a tree and wanted to commit suicide. The Muni said: "Yet, you have not attained real renunciation. Real renunciation consists in renouncing egoism, in renouncing the Vasanas, cravings and the desires, in renouncing the that makes you Deha-Atma-Buddhi, Buddhi identify with the perishable body, which mistakes the body for the soul. This you will have to renounce, and only that constitutes real renunciation." Then the Muni gives (Queen Chudala) gives further instructions. Sikhidhwaja understood the real essence of renunciation, practised Sravana, Manana and Nididhyasana and attained the goal of life.
You can remain in the world. What is wanted is an internal mental state of renunciation. That is to be cultivated. Again and again you will have to discipline the mind and free the mind from the objects. 'Detach/attach through the practice of the Patanjali Yoga or Raja Yoga-Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.
Pre-Requisite for Meditation
Attempt again and again; try to fix the mind on the Lotus-Feet of the Lord. If you are a Saguna Bhakta, cultivate devotion to Krishna and Rama. If you are a Nirguna Upasaka, take the symbol of OM. OM represents Sat-Chit-Ananda-Existence- Knowledge-Bliss, Peace. If you are able to do that, if you have got a subtle mind, if you have got an enlightened Buddhi, you can fix the mind on OM or on the abstract ideas-Existence, Knowledge, Bliss, Peace, Love, Akhanda, Paripoorna, Satchidananda, Nitya, Shuddha, Buddha, Eternity, Immortality, Infinity. You will have such a subtle mind if you are endowed with the Four means then you can meditate, and you can have abstract meditation or Nirguna Dhyana.
But to have purity of mind and to be able to fix the mind, you should have a pure heart. Through selfless service, through devotion, you will have to remove the oscillation or tossing of the mind. In the mind there are three defects: Mala, Vikshepa and Avarana. Mala is impurity-like greed, jealousy hatred, mean-mindedness. This has to be removed by the practice of selfless service, without attachment to the fruits, without expectation of fruits. If you are a Bhakta, keep up the Nimitta Bhav, because the mind is moved by the Lord alone. All the Indriyas belong to Him. Remain as a Nimitta or instrument in the hands of the Lord, and work without attachment, offering all your actions and all the fruits of the actions, to the Lord. In this way, you will not be bound by the fruits of the actions, and you will be freed from birth and death.
A Jnani has the Sakshi Bhav. He is the witness of all the actions, all the movements in the body and in the Antahkarana. In the Fifth Chapter of the Bhagavad Gita it is said: "I am distinct from the Indriyas." You don't think; you don't act; you don't see; you don't hear; you don't smell-these are all actions of Prakriti. You are only the witness. You have to develop again and again the Sakshi Bhav. It is a little difficult. The Jnani removes the bondage of action by identifying himself with the all-pervading Self and standing as a witness to the modifications of the body.
Secret of Karma Yoga
These are the two ways in which you can free yourself from the bonds of action. A Karma Yogi is either a Jnani or a Bhakta. Karma and Jnana, Karma and Bhakti, combined only, enable you to detatch yourself from the bondage of action.
But you cannot do any action without expectation of fruits! The mind is so framed that you will have to discipline it. Even if you salute me, you expect that I will salute you in return. If you give a cup of water, you expect thanks in return. This is the nature of the worldly mind, of the Rajasic mind, of the Tamasic mind. You will have to again and again cultivate and improve the Satwa-Guna. When you have Satwa, when you have a pure mind, then only will you be able to free yourself from the bonds of action. Through Japa, through service, through meditation, through thinking, through Vichara, through Pratyahara, through Pranayama, you will increase Satwa; through Satwic food, Satwic thinking, study of Gita, Upanishads, Yoga- Vasishtha you fill your mind with Satwa. And then divine light and divine grace will descend. Karma Yoga is very necessary. You cannot at once jump to the Nirguna meditation. You will have to purify your heart through continuous selfless service, without expectation of fruits. It is a great field, remaining in the world you can develop these virtues; you can serve others, your neighbours, with Sakshi Bhav, with Narayana Bhav, feeling that there is the Lord who dwells in the chambers of your heart:
ज्योतिषामपि तज्योतिस्तमसः परमुच्यते ।
ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं ज्ञानगम्यं हृदि सर्वस्य विष्ठितम् ।।
Jyotishaamapi tat jyotih tamasah param uchyate.
Jnaanam jneyam jnaanagamyam hridi sarvasy vishthitam'. (B.G-13/17)
(That, the Light of all lights is said to be beyond darkness; knowkedge, the knowable and the goal of knowledge, seated in the hearts of all) God dwells in all these beings; He is the Indweller.
न तत्र सूर्यो भाति न चन्द्रतारकं
नेमा विद्युतो भान्ति कुतोऽयमग्निः ।
तमेव भान्तमनुभाति सर्वं
तस्य भासा सर्वमिदं विभाति।।
'Na tatra suryo bhaati na chandra-taarakam
Nema vidyuto bhaanti kutoyamagnih,
Tameva bhaantamanubhaati sarvam,
Tasya bhaasaa sarvamidam vibhaati.
(The sun does not shine there, nor do the moon and the stars, nor do lightnings shine and much less this fire. When He shines, everything shines after Him; by His light, all these shine)
The sun does not shine there, the moon does not shine there; neither the lightning nor the fire- He shines by Himself, Self-luminous, radiant, Self-effulgent; and through His effulgence, all objects shine in this world. The intellect borrows its Light from the Atma. All the senses borrow their light from the Atma. He is the mind of the minds, Prana of Pranas, soul of the souls. He is the eye of eyes; ear of ears. He gives light to the senses, to the five Jnana-Indriyas, to the five Karma-Indriyas. He gives light to the intellect. Such is the glorious nature of the One Atma you are trying to attain, in order to get rid of the miseries.
Become a Real Hero
But the mind always identifies itself with the body. The cause of misery is taking this body. The cause of this body is Karma. The cause of Karma is Raga-Dwesha or the two currents of likes and dislikes. The world is really constituted not of these elements, rivers and trees; but the real world is constituted by the two currents of Raga and Dwesha, the two currents of attraction and repulsion. That is the real world. He who has controlled and destroyed these likes and dislikes, these two Vrittis, he who has thus conquered the mind is a real hero.
कौपीनवन्तः खलु भाग्यवन्तः ||
'Kaupeenavantah khalu bhaagyavantah. (Kaupeena panchakam)
(Blessed indeed is the wearer of the loin-cloth)
That man of renunciation who has realised his own Self is a real hero. You can become an I.C.S. in four or five years. Universities are producing every year M.As and B.As. But Jivanmuktas are rarely produced in this world, because man does not want it. It is only a few who are endowed with discrimination who try to attain it through Lord's Grace, introspection, self-analysis. Very few practise self-analysis and introspection. There is no time for it. As soon as you get up, you put on your coat and go to the office and work for your daily bread alone. Very few begin to think: "Who am I? What is the world?" That man is really the richest man, that man is the king of kings, who determines: "I must achieve something in this world." But that discrimination is very difficult to attain.
How difficult it is to control the habit of coffee or tea! You complain that you get headache without it.
You are a slave of these little things. You are unable to control these evil habits. Then, how to proceed on the spiritual path, with blindfolded eyes, with nobody to inspire you, where you can see only through divine Grace and your own efforts, through your own austerities? That man is a hero who is attempting daily in spite of his work, because man has to work to spiritualise all the actions.
Direct Road to God
How to spiritualise all actions? You must have faith and conviction in that One Essence, in that One Lord, Who is the Goal of Life. You have taken this body for attaining Self-realisation. You have to march forward, equipping yourself with various divine qualities that will make you a hero, converting all your activities, spiritualising them, feeling "I am trying to see the Lord in everything." You will have to study, again and again, the Tenth Chapter of the Gita. God is manifest, God is immanent, God is transcendent! You will have to start from the manifestation alone. You will have to study again and again the Tenth Chapter of the Gita, the Vibhuti Yoga, where Lord Krishna says: "I am Aswattha; I am the sun, the moon; I am OM, I am everything!" Because He had no time on the battlefield to enumerate everything, He also said: "I am the gambling of the cheat." Wickedness is also God. Wickedness is only a negative quality, not eternal. Positive always overcomes the negative. Study daily the Vibhuti Yoga. Try to recognise the Lord in all these names and forms.
But the old currents of Raga-Dwesha are standing in your way! "He is Agarwala." "He is Gupta." "He is inferior to me." "He has got these wicked qualities"- these thoughts create barriers between man and man. Man thinks he is superior to others, if he is endowed with a little faculty. You must cut down the barriers. You must observe equality. You may forget it. Again and again, study daily the 10th Chapter as Swadhyaya. Try to remember, as soon as you see the sun:
सूर्यं सुन्दर लोकनाथममृतं वेदान्तसारं शिवम्
ज्ञानं ब्रह्ममयं सुरेशममलं लोकैकचित्तं स्वयम् ।।
इन्द्रादित्य नराधिपं सुरगुरुं त्रैलोक्यचूडामणिम्
ब्रह्मा विष्णु शिव स्वरूप हृदयं वन्दे सदा भास्करम् ।।
"Suryam Sundara lokanatha maamritam
Vedaanta saaram Sivam,
Jnaanam Brahmamayam Sureshamamalam
Lokaika chittam swayam;
Indraaditya naradhipam Suragurum
Brahma Vishnu Siva Swarupa hridayam
Vande Sadaa Bhaaskaram" (Surya Namaskar)
He is the eye of the Virat. When you see the blueness in the water of the ocean or in the sky, feel "There is Lord Krishna." When you see the expansive sky, think of the Atma "Akashavat Sarvagata Nitya "Vyomavat Sarvavyapi." Whenever the eye is directed, there try to see the Lord.
No Happiness in Objects!
This is very difficult. First, there must be the yearning, the aspiration. Man is generally satisfied with the little things of this world. When everything goes on all right, when he gets a bungalow and a garden, when he has a good bank balance, he is satisfied. He never believes that these things are transitory; he thinks "How can there be happiness beyond the senses?" He takes coffee and feels "Now I realise happiness."
He must study the condition of sleep. In dream you are distinct from the body. In deep sleep you are distinct from the body and the mind. This clearly proves and is the clue that you are distinct from body and mind. Again and again, you will have to assert "I am neither mind nor body, Immortal Self I am." The body is perishable, composed of five elements. The mind also is perishable; mind is made up of subtle matter, the Tanmatras - so it has also a beginning and an end. Truth is One that has no beginning, no middle, no end and is unchanging. Body is changing. You have now got a beautiful face, but after some years the beauty fades. When you become anaemic, you have no beauty. God is Infinite, Unchanging Beauty, Beauty of beauties. The beauty in the objects is only a reflection of That; it is but a shadow.
You should have strength through discrimination. He who treats all the objects of this world as straw-that man is the greatest hero. The world is in need of such Nachiketas. The Nachiketas spirit is wanted. Such a man can move the whole world. He is the support for us all, he is the guide; and he can give us solace.
Nachiketas had no bank balance. He was a boy of five years. Lord Yama tempted him, promised him dominions and celestial cars, innumerable years of life; but he was a wise boy, though he was young. The world is in need of such boys, of the Nachiketas-type. He shunned everything: "O Lord Yama! Keep these things. Give me Immortality. They will only wear out our energies, and the senses will become old. Keep the dance and the cars for you; give me Immortality! Give me the knowledge of the Sreyo-Marga, not the Preyo-Marga, the Sreyo-Marga that leads to Immortality, Eternal Bliss, Eternal Sunshine. Show me that path!" Yama found that the little boy was not an ordinary boy. Then he began to teach him the Immortality of the Soul, the nature of the Soul beyond cause and effect, beyond good and evil, beyond time, space and causation. He found in Nachiketas the proper student, who did not want the earthly objects.
Swadhyaya is Indispensable
Earthly objects we want; but with all that you should never miss a day in meditation, in study of Gita, Upanisbads, Vivekachudamani, full of spiritual gems. One Sloka will give you Shanti.
विहाय कामान्यः सर्वान्पुमांश्चरति निःस्पृहः ।
निर्ममो निरहंकारः स शान्तिमधिगच्छति ।।
"Vihaaya kaamaan yah sarvaan
Nirmamo nirahamkaarah sa shaantim
adhigachchati." (B.G. 2/71)
(That person, who gives up all material desires and lives free from a sense of greed, proprietorship, and egoism, attains perfect peace.)
Never forget this. The mind deludes you. "When I have two cows of my own, when I have beautiful bungalow in Mussoorie, I will be happy." These are all poor ideas. We want people of the Nachiketas-type, aspiring for something beyond time, space and causation. You should have such a strong aspiration, meditation and renunciation, though remaining in the world, like Chudala, like Janaka. Every day you must study Vivekachudamani, Atma-Bodha, Tatwa-Bodha, Panchadasi, Vichara-Sagar-all these elevating Granthas, and Yoga-Vasishtha, the beautiful monumental Grantha on Adwaita Vedanta, these will give you Shanti.
Do It Now
श्रद्धावाँल्लभते ज्ञानं तत्परः संयतेन्द्रियः ।
ज्ञानं लब्ध्वा परां शान्तिमचिरेणाधिगच्छति ।।
Shraddhaavaan labhate jnaanam
Jnaanam labdhvaa paraam shaantim
(The man who is full of faith, who is devoted to it, and who has subdued the senses obtains this knowledge; and having obtained the knowledge he goes at once to the supreme peace.)
A man of faith gets wisdom. You are intent on money. So too you must be intent on God. By controlling the Indriyas through Tratak, through Pranayama, through discipline, develop one-pointed devotion to God. Give up those objects for which the mind is hankering. Give up tea for a week, then take. Don't become a slave. You can take anything as a master. There is nothing to be renounced; renounce this attachment, renounce worldliness, cravings, Abhimanas in the world for everything; be detached. Detach. Attach. But, D. I. N. (Do It Now)! Don't postpone it. Death will come at any moment. Disease, paralysis will come at any moment. You should be prepared. You should have a balanced mind in all tests. Draw strength from Ram-Nam: 'Om Namo Narayanaya (Ashtakshara)- Prahlada recited this Mantra; 'Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya' (Dwadasakshara)- Dhruva recited this Mantra which Narada gave him. You should have faith. Every Mantra has got infinite potency. It was Ram-Nam, Narayana-Nama that cooled the boiling oil for Prahlada. It is Krishna-Nama that made a snake into a garland and turned poison into nectar for Mira.
You should have self-discipline. You should do selfless service. Man has a constricted heart. Very few people have a large heart of charitable disposition. Man loves only his brother or sister and a few friends who will help him when he himself is sick, from whom he can borrow. You don't feel 'The whole world is my family; 'Vasudhaiva kutumba-kama.' You will have to crush this mean-mindedness, this pig-mindedness, through service, generosity, Satwic thinking, daily study of Yoga-Vasishtha, and try to put them into practice. Vedanta is not a philosophy; Raja Yoga is not a theory. It is vital fundamental experience. Raja Yoga is an experience just as the sweetness of the mango you eat. It is the experience of those who sit for meditation daily, those who get up at 4 o'clock in the morning (Brahmamuhurtha is most favourable for meditation, because the mind is filled with Satwa, and the whole atmosphere is charged with Satwa). You have just come down from the supreme Consciousness. That consciousness remains in the mind as "I enjoyed a good sleep." You were one with the Atman, through the veil of Avidya or Karana Sharira. The mind has not taken the form of the Raga-Dwesha currents of the world; just at that time get up and saturate the mind with Satwa, by reciting some of the Slokas like:
ब्रह्मानन्दं परमसुखदं केवलं ज्ञानमूर्ति
द्वन्द्वातीतं गगनसद्दशं तत्त्वमस्यादिलक्ष्यम् ।
एकं नित्यं विमलमचलं सर्वधीसाक्षिभूतं
भावातीतं त्रिगुणरहितं सद्गुरुं तं नमामि ।।
Brahmaanandam paramasukhadam kevalam jnaanamurtim,
Ekam nityam vimalamachalam sarvadhee
Bhaavaateetam trigunarahitam sat-gurum tam namaami. (Guru Gita)
(I prostrate myself before that Guru, the Bliss of Brahman, the bestower of Supreme Happiness, who is Knowledge absolute, transcending the pairs of opposites, expansive like the sky, the goal indicated by the great sayings like "Thou art That", the one eternal, pure, unchanging, the witness of functions of the intellect, who is above all Bhavas (mental conditions) and the three Gunas (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas). Salutations to that Holy Guru.)
This is the nature of the Virat.
Message of Hope
This is your essential nature! Never think "I am weak." Even if you are clad in rags, even if you have nothing to eat, even if your people have deserted you because you have not got much money, this faith will elevate you. You are the Soul. Tat-Twam-Asi. Don't be afraid. You are all-powerful soul. These are your clothing. You are immortal.
न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचि-
नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूयः ।
अजो नित्यः शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो
न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे ।।
Na jaayate mriyate vaa kadaachit
Naayam bhootvaa bhavitaa vaa na bhooyah
Ajo nityah shaashvatoyam puraano
Na hanyate hanyamaane shareere (B.G.2/20)
(It is not born, nor does It ever die; after having been, It again ceases not to be; unborn, eternal, changeless and ancient, It is not killed when the body is killed.)
This is the truth. You are unborn; that which takes birth is only the body. 'Ajo nityah shaashwathoyam puraano' will give you strength. Formulas like this will give you strength: 'Sivoham Satchidanandaswarupoham', 'Anandoham', 'Atma Ajara Amara Avinashi'. There is an Achintya Shakti, an ineffable force in these words: 'Om Akhanda' 'Om Paripoorna' 'Nitya Eternal'. You sublimate the body through Anvaya-Vyatireka. Just as you see a snake in the rope, this world is superimposed on the Brahman. This is the Vivarta-Vada of Sankara. All this is mere appearance. The Reality behind the names and forms-that is unchanging, that is eternal, that is self-luminous, that is Paripoorna. These are formulas which will give you strength, real strength in times of difficulties.
You should not only practise meditation in the morning; you will have to keep up the Bhav even during Vyavahara. The man who says: "I am Atma" must not become irritated! Man is very weak, so weak that he has become a slave of words, in spite of his intelligence. When you call him a dog, his eyes become bloodshot! If you are called dog, did you develope a tail? You do not develop four legs. Man has become weak. He has no Vichara-Shakti. He has not got the strength of mind to say: "O, it is only vibration in the air", but he gets up and fights.
Do Selfless Service
Practise Yoga. Practise selfless service. Practise selfless service! Practise devotion. Do Japa of OM or Ram-Nam! You cannot at once jump to Vedanta. It is extremely difficult. Start with selfless service. When your neighbours are in difficulties, you should go to the Hospital and bring medicines for them. When you find a man in distress, you should feel "He is my own Self". Not mere repetition of Vedantic formulas "Sivoham" no, it will not do. Can you give him a cup of milk? Can you take him to the nearest Hospital? These are the acts that will fill your heart with mercy. Man has a sin-hardened heart from time immemorial. It must melt like butter; then only can the Light of the Lord descend. Compassion is a vital, fundamental Satwic virtue. God is compassion. If you wish to become one with God, you should be compassionate. You should do selfless service. Along with service, spiritualise your work, divinise your activities and practise constant Japa of Ram-Nam. Go on with Ram-Nam. The shorter the Mantra, the greater the concentration. Try to see the Lord in everything. You can salute your shoes also. Sri J.C. Bose has found out that there is intelligence in plants, too. Remove all the barriers through selfless service. And with the recitation of Ram-Nam and spiritualisation of all activities, may you reach the goal of life.
You are all children of Immortality, of Light. For the time being, you are under a little veil or cloud of ignorance. It can be dispersed in the twinkling of an eye through wisdom, through Vichara, through service, when you have faith and aspiration. This is divine life. In it alone you can find the Light. Lord Yama says, "He is the most ignorant man who thinks he is wise." It is only like a blind man leading another blind man, if you are satisfied with these few things of the world and try to lead others along the Preyo-Marga. There is only pain here for a man of discrimination. This is the view of Maharshi Patanjali. He says, even Savikalpa Samadhi, which has got its own magnificence, is a hindrance, because it will make you stop Sadhana here and not go higher. Savikalpa Samadhi where there is the Triputi (distinction between the knower, known and the knowledge) is itself a hindrance. So, duhkhameva sarvam vivekinah. When Viveka dawns in a man, then only everything appears painful. He knows that the objects of the world are "agre amritopamam parinaame vishameva cha"; they look like nectar, but in the end they prove to be poisonous. When you possess an object, it has lost its charm. This craving will end only when you realise the Atma, when all desires are gratified. It is complete, perfect, Paripoorna. Then only the mind really rests, the mind is annihilated, it is absorbed in its source; and you will realise Eternal Bliss. This the goal of life.
परिणाम ताप संस्कार दुःखैः गुणवृत्तिविरोधाच्च दुःखमेव सर्व विवेकिनः
Parinaama taapa samskaara duhkhaih
duhkham-eva sarvam vivekinah
(Patanjali Yoga Sutra 2.15)
[The wise person (vivekinah) understands that suffering (duhkhaih) occurs in all (sarvam) living things due to constant change (parinaama), desire to repeat past experiences (taapa), a conditioned mind set (samskaara) and the quality of change in nature (guna).]
परिणामे विषमिव तत्सुखं राजसं स्मृतम् ।।
yat tad agre 'mrtopamam
Parinaame visham iva
at sukham rajasam smrtam (B.G.18/38)
(That happiness which arises from the contact of the sense-organs with the objects, which is at first like nectar, and in the end like poison-that is declared to be Rajasic.)
Maya is so powerful. You are all immersed in the Atma now; everywhere you see the Atma. But the moment you leave this Hall, the mind will move in its old ruts, with its worries and anxieties. Beware!
We want not only Nachiketas, we want the Maitreyi-element in women also! The world is in need of ladies endowed with the Maitreyi-element. There was a great Jnani in Janaka's Court, called Yajnavalkya. He had countless cows and wealth. When he wanted to enjoy the Jivanmukti-Sukh-he was already a Jnani. Yet he wanted to retire to the forest. He called his two wives, Katyayani and Maitreyi and wanted to divide his property between them. Katyayani was a wonderful woman; she was a righteous housewife. By being a righteous housewife too you can realise the Self. But Maitreyi was a Brahmavadini. She was endowed with Viveka. She was a Kevala Adwaitin. She asked: "My revered Lord! Even if you give me the wealth of the fourteen worlds can I attain Immortality?" That is the real thing! You will have to put that question always, and not be carried away by these little things. She wanted Immortality, God-realisation. "If all the wealth of the three worlds cannot give me Immortality, I do not want them," she said. We want not only Nachiketas, but Maitreyis, too. The world can be saved only by them. We want Gargis, Sulabhas, who had experience of the Self, Aparoksha Anubhuti. That is the goal of your life.
Do selfless service. Always recite the Lord's Names, "Tailadharavat", as continuously as oil when it is poured from one vessel to another. You may forget it. Again try to realise that wherever you look, there is Atman; understand the Vibhuti Yoga. Study. Purify your heart. Forget not the goal; attain it right now, this very second!
It is like walking on the razor's edge; but for an aspirant who is endowed with aspiration it is very smooth. Approach your elders. Try to find out where is real happiness. Enquire "Who am I?" Negate these five sheaths: Annamaya Kosha, Pranamaya Kosha, Manomaya Kosha, Vijnanamaya Kosha, Anandamaya Kosha. These have all a beginning and an end. The Atma transcends all the five Koshas. That is your real nature.
Yoga of Synthesis
Through Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga you reach the same goal. You can combine the various Yogas; the Yoga of Synthesis is more helpful. Man thinks, man feels and man wills. We want integral Sadhana. You must cultivate your heart, head and hand. Many have cultivated the intellect only; that is why the world crisis has come. Cultivate head, heart and hand. This is integral development. This is the Yoga of Synthesis. You can get the help of a little Pranayama, even if you are a Bhakta; a little Asan-Sirshasan, Sarvangasan and Paschimotta- nasan. They will give you good health; and you will be able to sit for meditation for a long time. You can have one Yoga as the basis. There are the kinds of temperament. The man of a different temperament will find that Raja Yoga suits him as the basis. The man of active temperament will find that Karma Yoga is his basis. The man of wisdom will find that Jnana Yoga is suited to him. But he can also do some Asanas and Pranayama. With all these combined, you must reach the goal of life.
Remember the three words: Aspiration, Renunciation, Devotion! You must cultivate all the virtues that are enumerated in the Gita: 'Amaanitwam Adambhitwam', etc. and 'Abhyam Sattwashamshuddhi etc. Be fearless. This is your duty. You must develop these virtues. You must be able to sit in one Asana for at least half an hour. You can have Asana-Jaya if you sit on one Asana for three hours at a stretch. Padmasana and Siddhasana are suitable for meditation. The others help you to maintain good health. Sarvangasan makes the spine elastic; an elastic spine means eternal youth and to move about and work vigorously. Sirshasan fills you with energy.
अमानित्वमदम्भित्वमहिंसा क्षान्तिरार्जवम् ।
आचार्योपासनं शौचं स्थैर्यमात्मविनिग्रहः ।।
Amaanitwam adambhitwam ahimsaa
(Humility, unpretentiousness, non-injury, forgiveness, uprightness, service of the teacher, purity, steadfastness, self-control,)
अभयं सत्त्वसंशुद्धिः ज्ञानयोगव्यवस्थितिः ।
दानं दमश्च यज्ञश्च स्वाध्यायस्तप आर्जवम् ।।
Daanam damascha yajnascha
swaadhaayastapa aarjavam(B.G. 16/1)
(Fearlessness, purity of heart, steadfastness in knowledge and Yoga, almsgiving, control of the senses, sacrifice, study of scriptures, austerity and straightforwardness)
Adjust your diet. Do not take too much chillies. Moongki dal and one or two Parottas will do. Night diet must be light. Generally you take rich, heavy diet only at night. If you go to the cinema and sleep late at night, how can you get up at 4 a.m.? Go to bed early and get up early. The night diet should always be light, e.g., milk and fruits. Study and meditate before going to bed. Then you can get up in the early morning.
Sing Maha Mantra
Atma is far and near. For those who are sunk in worldliness, it is very far, but it is very near to those who are aspiring, who have got aspiration, renunciation, who have found out the magnitude of human suffering and understood the nature of the Atma, who are already endowed with good qualities. They can realise the Self very quickly.
Let us now sing the Maha Mantra. Study of the Kalisantarana Upanishad. This Maha Mantra has been given by the Lord Himself specially for the period of Kali Yuga. There are no rules and regulations for the recitation of this Mantra; you can recite it whenever you like, wherever you like-in the kitchen, in the bathroom-before bath or after bath; even in dream you will repeat it, if you have formed the habit. When a man has developed the habit of snuffing, even in his dream and on his deathbed, he will be thinking of snuff only! Such is the force of habit. If you repeat the Maha Mantra:
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.
It will soon become a habit; and even in dream you will repeat it. Lord Brahma said to Narada. "Here is the Mantra which will save the people in Kali Yuga; go and instruct all, give this Mantra to all!" And thus we have got this precious gift of the Lord.
Eat a Little
Just as a doctor, when he gives you some medicine for your disease, also prescribes some dietetic restrictions in order to derive the maximum benefit from the Japa and Kirtan of the Lord's Names, you have to practise some disciplines.
Eat a little; drink a little; talk a little; sleep little.
If you eat too much, it will only produce Tamas; you cannot concentrate your mind easily. If you eat a little, you can wake up in Brahmamuhurta and practise meditation. Talk a little. Much of your energy is wasted in idle gossiping. Conserve the energy. It will help you in your meditation.
Mix a little; move a little; serve a little;
think a little.
Do Japa a little; do Kirtan a little,
Write Mantra a little; do Vichar a little.
Do Asana a little; do Pranayama a little.
Reflect a little; meditate a little.
Give a little; study a little; rest a little;
worship a little!
This is the Yoga of Synthesis in a nutshell.
In the Gita the Lord has enumerated the various virtues that one has to develop for the purpose of attaining the Goal of life. I have put them in the form of a short English song:
Serenity, regularity, absence of vanity,
Sincerity, simplicity, veracity:
Equanimity, fixity, non-irritability;
Adaptability, humility, tenacity;
Integrity, nobility, magnanimity;
Charity, generosity, purity;
Practise daily these eighteen Ities!
You will soon attain Immortality.
Brahman is the only real Entity,
Mr. So-and-so is a false non-entity.
You will abide in Infinity and Eternity;
You will behold unity in diversity;
You cannot attain this in the University.
(But you can attain this in the Forest Academy!)
I shall now give you the Vedantic tonic. Whenever you have a headache or illness, whenever you are overtaken by calamities and miseries, sing this song, and you will at once be filled with joy, peace and new life. This song gives you the essence of Vedanta. It points out to you your essential nature:
Chidananda, Chidananda, Chidananda hum
Har Halme Almastha Satchidananda hum
Ajaranand, Amaranand, Achalananda hum
Har Halme Almastha Satchidananda hum
Nirbhaya aur Nischinta Chidghanananda hum
Kaivalya Kevala Kutastha Ananda hum
Nitya Suddha Siddha Satchidananda hum
Knowledge-Bliss, Knowledge-Bliss, Bliss Absolute,
In all conditions I am Knowledge-Bliss Absolute
I am without old age, without death, without motion,
In all conditions, 1 am Knowledge-Bliss Absolute.
I am without fear, without worry,
Bliss Absolute, Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute.
Independent, Unchanging, Non-dual Atma
Immortal Atma, Adwaita Atma
Eternal Pure Perfect Knowledge, Bliss Absolute! (Chidanand....)
This song is a beautiful formula for Vedantic Nididhyasana.
Song of Instructions
And now comes the very essence of the life divine for attaining the Goal of Life.
Get up at 4 a.m. Brahmamuhurt,
Get up at 4 a. m. Japa Ram Ram,
Get up at 4 a. m. do Brahma Vichar,
Get up at 4 a. m. enquire 'Who am I?'
Rely on your own self, give up servants,
Do Kirtan at night, have Satsang,
Speak the truth at all costs, preserve Veerya,
Satyam Vada, Dharma Chara, observe Brahmacharya,
Ahimsa Paramo Dharma, love one and all,
Never hurt others' feelings, be kind to all.
Control anger by Kshama, develop Viswa Prem.
Keep daily spiritual diary, you will evolve quickly.
(Hare Krishna Hare Rama.....)
If you follow all these instructions, you will soon attain the Goal of Life. Let me again remind you:
Song of Govinda
Goal of Life
It is God-realisation
Never forget this
Through faith devotion
Through Sravan Manan
Through selfless service
God is truth
God is bliss
God is peace
God is knowledge
God is love
God is light
Control the mind
Control the senses
Realise the Self
This is the teaching
Of all the Vedas
Of all the scriptures
Speak the truth
Serve love give
Serve the poor
Serve the parents
Nurse the sick
Be kind, be pure
Be good, do good
Get up at 4 a. m.
Enquire. 'Who am I?'
This is very important
To attain success
This is the world
Of pain and death
Do not be duped
By the mind and senses
Do not study
This will make you
This will produce
This will make you
A Sage, Yogi
Do not smoke
This is bad
It is very bad
It is very, very bad
It will produce
Do not drink
Do not speak
Do not take bribes
This is bad
This is very bad
It will spoil
Your name, character
Time is precious
Do not waste a second
In Japa, Kirtan
Let us do the Mahamrityunjaya Japa, for the health and long life of Dr. Ranganathan and family, of you all and of the whole mankind and the whole universe at large. Like the Gayatri, this Mahamrityunjaya Mantra has two parts: one is a Stuti and the other is a prayer. You pray to Lord Siva to bestow Immortality on you. It is not a selfless prayer. It is a prayer for Liberation. It will not only give you good health and freedom from all diseases, but it will confer Moksha on you. In these days when motor-accidents, aeroplane accidents, train accidents and cycle accidents, are very common, everyone of you should repeat this great Mantra; you will never meet with an accident. You will enjoy robust health and long life; and in the end you will attain Moksha too.
ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम् ।
उर्वारुक-मिव बन्धना-न्मृत्यो-र्मुक्षीय माऽमृतात् ।।
Om Tryambakam Yajaamahe
(Om-We worship the three-eyed One (Lord Siva), Who is fragrant and Who nourishes well all beings. May He liberate us from death for the sake of immortality even as the cucumber is severed from its bondage to the creeper.)
May the Lord bless Dr. Ranganathan and family, may the Lord bless the students, the members and staff of the Forest Research Institute, may God bless you all and the whole world, with health, long life, peace, bliss, prosperity and Immortality.
ॐ सर्वेषां स्वस्ति भवतु । सर्वेषां शान्तिर्भवतु ।
सर्वेषां पूर्णं भवतु । सर्वेषां मङ्गलं भवतु ।।
सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः ।
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु मा कश्चिद् दुःखभाग्भवेत् ।।
Om Sarveshaam Swastir Bhavatu
Sarveshaam Shaantir Bhavatu
Sarveshaam Purnam Bhavatu
Sarveshaam Mangalam Bhavatu
Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah Sarve Santu Niraamayah
Sarve Bhadrani Pashyantu Maa Kaschid Duhkhabhaag Bhavet
(Om-May auspiciousness be unto all; may peace be unto all; may fullness be unto all; may prosperity be unto all.)
(Om-May all be happy; may all be free from disabilities; may all look to the good of others; may none suffer from sorrow.)
असतो मा सद्गमय ।
तमसो मा ज्यतिर्गमय ।
मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय ।।
ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात्पूर्णमुदच्यते ।
पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ।।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः
Asato Ma Sat gamaya
Tamaso Maa Jyotirgamaya
Mrityor Maa Amritam gamaya
Om Purnamadah Purnamidam Purraat Purnamudachyate
Om Shantih Shantih Shantih
(Om-Lead me from the unreal to the Real; from darkness to Light; and from mortality to Immortality.) (That is whole. This is whole. From the whole the whole becomes manifest. From the whole, when the whole is negated, what remains is again the whole.)
(Om Peace, Peace, Peace.)
Peace unto all beings!!!
I am grateful to Dr. Ranganathan and to you all for giving me this opportunity of serving you and giving me a patient hearing.
Sri Swami Chidananda
(Lecture delivered at the Forest Research Institute on the 8th March 1954, after Sri Swami Sivanandaj's address.)
With your leave and as my contribution of humble service at your feet today, I shall only give the right perspective or view-point or psychological attitude to what we have heard just now from Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj.
This is a Hall for lectures; and I have no doubt most of you would have heard quite a number of lectures from distinguished people visiting this beautiful place. But I wish to point out one very significant feature about what we have heard today, which I hope and wish that you will bear in mind.
All the people who have so far addressed you would have probably spoken learnedly about various things of this world. But today we have heard about that which goes mostly beyond the world.
You are not a permanent resident of this world. As these saints have said they insist-we are all pilgrims; and this world is only a Mussafirkhana where we happen to live for a short space of time and which we have to leave whether we are ready or not. No one bestows a thought on what is going to come after we leave the world! But, that is the real question which man, if he is to justify the appellation "thinking animal", has to ponder.
The importance of this question we would realise if we but think of one factor, that is this: In this whole world of uncertainties-and all the more so in this modern age full of uncertainties-there is one thing which is absolutely certain, about which we can be perfectly sure: and that is that we are going to die one day. No one can deny this one absolute certainty that reigns as a tyrant over the fate of the teeming millions and has been reigning so ever since creation began, and that will hold good as long as time lasts. What is this human life, the ridiculous and ludicrous suspension between to irrevocable terminals?
Thinking people have stressed that, with this irrevocable nature of life, it behoves man to stir himself a little and think what lies beyond. Is it all some unknown terror? Is it all something from which there is no coming back? Is it something which none has tried to plunge into and to know? It is unknown to man who has never tried to know. But we will just try to understand it.
The Great Ones have taught us that we leave this sheath-the body-behind and that we survive:
न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचि-
नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूयः ।
अजो नित्यः शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो
न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे ।।
Na jaayate mriyate vaa kadaachit
Naayam bhootvaa bhavitaa vaa na bhooyah
Ajo nityah shaashvatoyam puraano
Na hanyate hanyamaane shareere(B.G.2/20)
(It is not born, nor does It ever die; after having been, It again ceases not to be; unborn, eternal, changeless and ancient, It is not killed when the body is killed.)
This fact we have to catch hold of. There are now Scientists with their laboratories and instruments. Scientists were there too-scientists in spheres to which man has no access. It was the realm of inner being, where the only instrument by which we can perceive was one that was beyond the mind! They call it intuition. Not only in India were such scientists; there were intuitive philosophers in the West too. They have delved into this realm beyond death.
What did they bring? Did they bring a message of terror? No. They brought a message of hope! They said that the real life of man is that which is beyond the body; it is only deep sleep into which man falls when he comes to be enmeshed in the cage of the body. But really he partakes of the glorious supra-physical life, full of joy, full of fullness, Paripoornata. Since ages gone by, people have said: "This is the nature of man. But this important truth we have somehow or other forgotten. Thus it is how we are born here." Human birth is an opportunity given to man in order to attain this great supraphysical life of bliss and light. This is our native condition, Sahaja Avastha. But for this human birth it is not possible to regain it. If we are born as beasts, we cannot hope to attain to that state.
The purpose of human birth is to attain to that state. Today we have had the opportunity to hear an inspiring discourse of how we can best make use of this human-birth so that we might attain to that grand state which takes us beyond death, beyond all fear, beyond all sorrow, beyond all feelings of want and insufficiency, beyond all feelings of pain, sorrow and ignorance.
The special significant fact today is that we are here, hearing living words! We are not hearing a talk or a lecture about things which are perishable, but we are hearing living words from a being who has delved into that realm and tasted of that bliss. In this is the great value of his lecture. These words that have entered into your hearts are like seeds that have entered into fertile soil. They will enter your consciousness, and one day or other they will flower forth into blissful experience. I wish that you should remember that you have heard the living words from a sage of Self-realisation!
The purpose of the lecture does not end with this Hall. It will go with you; and I am sure that all those who have come here will reap from it a richer life than from even thousands of lectures upon all scientific subjects, dealing with our material earth will ever give. This little earth which is so important to us, about which we are so much concerned- great astronomers tell us that it is a silly mud-pill whirling about in space, having all around it planets and other heavenly bodies millions of times bigger than it! This little mud-pill-one day it will go out of existence! The ego of man gives him a sort of illusory importance. But even this little mud-pill we have to quit one day.
Therefore, take the words of the sage. Don't think it is a mere lecture which you have heard; it is life-giving nectar, which he has given. Take it in. Don't let it out. Lock it up. When you go home, jot down what you remember and treasure it. Every day look into it. In this manner try to grow into the likeliness of what he has said. Then you will have taken the fullest benefit from these living words which you have got from his lecture.
18th December, 1955.
At exactly 3 p.m. the car left the Ashram with Swamiji and three of us. The sky was miraculously clear, though it had been cloudy off and on during the past several days. The sun was very bright. The car sped along the Dehra Dun road, and Swamiji did not at all feel inclined to stop and turn back. "We have almost reached Dehra Dun, I think" said Swamiji "Let us go to Pushpa's house then and see her ailing mother." Imagine the surprise of Sri Pushpa and her sister Ananda Mohini when the car pulled up in front of their house and Swamiji got down. For the next hour they were in ecstasy.
The old woman, Smt. Pushpa's mother, had longed for Swamiji's Darshan; she has been bedridden for the past nearly four months after a fracture of the patella. She shed tears of joy. She could not believe her eyes when she saw Swamiji sitting before her. Swamiji conducted Kirtan and Mahamrityunjaya Mantra Japa for her early recovery, health and long life.
In the meantime, Smt. Sushila Kamboj had arrived. She was in ecstasy. For months past she has been dreaming of going to Rishikesh and laying her head at the holy-feet of Swamiji; and there is the wonderful miracle that she saw the feet here, in front of her, in Dehra Dun itself! She bathed them with her tears and worshipped them with the flowers of her heart.
Another miracle! Smt. Lila Vlachou, the Greek Masseuse arrived upon the scene and danced with joy. She came to give a massage to Smt. Pushpa's mother, but found Swamiji here. Then the Principal of the Mahadevi Kanya Pathasala, Smt. Pippalani, arrived and joined the Satsang.
Hot, hot Uppuma, brought by Swamiji from the Ashram, was served to all the 'guests.'
Smt. Lila told us where Mrs. Sylvia Hellman was staying, and Swamiji asked the driver to go to that house. It was difficult to locate it as it had become dark. Chidanandaji got down from the car to enquire of a passer-by the whereabouts of the house; and it was a wonder that this passer-by happened to be the servant of the house, returning from the bazaar. The car drove into the bungalow, and all was quiet. A servant peeped out, and he brought the most astonished Mrs. Sylvia Hellman to greet Swamiji.
Swamiji stepped on to the verandah of the bungalow when another car halted behind ours and the crowning miracle of the day-Mr. and Mrs. Trautmann, with whom Mrs. Hellman is staying- got down from the car. They had been to Delhi and had returned just in time, to the minute, to welcome Swamiji into their house! Swamiji spent a pleasant half-hour in the company of these wonderful devotees, lucky and happy. He gave them books, did Kirtan, sang a few philosophical songs, and in the end he sang his song of blessings: "May the Lord bless Sri Trautman and family with health, long life, peace, bliss and immortality." Mr. Trautman was visibly moved. Swamiji invited them all to the Ashram and took leave of them.
tw At a roadside petrol-bunk where the car had halted to replenish its petrol, Swamiji gave some books and fruits to the dealer and invited him to the Ashram.
"This is the best method!" Swamiji said as the car sped along the road back to Rishikesh, "we have been able to do more service this evening than mere lecturing these books will prove to be permanent soul-awakening inspirations to them. By taking this knowledge to their very doors, we create a deep impression in them and win their hearts. If we had a car, I think we should adopt this method and silently spread the message of divine life, transforming the nature of people, and winning them over to righteousness."
2nd January, 1956
Swamiji had hardly completed his lunch when, without even taking a minute rest, he came to the car waiting to take him to Dehra Dun. A crowd had gathered around him, and Sri Shanmugam Maistry and his family (Smt. Dhanum and daughter Smt. Kanak) were there to take leave of Swamiji. Smt. Dhanum was crying, as a daughter would cry on leaving her parental home. She couldn't even utter a word: her heart was so full that her tears sang a song of Viraha, of separation, and her tongue felt powerless to express the inexpressible. Swamiji got into the car. With tears in her eyes Smt. Dhanum bowed to Swamiji who said: "Start a Branch of the Divine Life Society at your place. You can do wonderful work. Sri Srinivasan, Sri Sivadand-Jyoti and others have done so. God bless you all." The car started, and Swamiji sang Sankirtan-Dhwanis.
Visit to Silk Factory
As the car was nearing Dehra Dun, Swamiji was enquiring about the magnitude of the Silk Mill, belonging to Sri Govind Ram Kapoor of Kashmir, the number of workers employed etc. "We must take some Prasad for them," said Swamiji. Get some Laddus from the bazaar. The car halted outside a shop in Dehra Dun, and we went to the shop to get Laddus for Rs. 20. Swamiji was seated in the car; and no one knew (we thought) that he was in Dehra Dun. To our suprise, we found one devotee, Sri Sitaram of Punjab, talking to Swamiji!
We reached the Mills, when the manager rushed forward to greet Swamiji. He introduced the staff-members to Swamiji and showed him round the entire mill, explaining how from the cocoons silk cloth is made. Swamiji took a very keen interest in the process and the entire mill. Swamiji presented a number of books to the manager, the members of the staff and all the workers there.
In the Mill stock-room, the manager showed Swamiji the finished product-sarees, shirting cloth and table-cloth. He wanted to present Swamiji with a shirt-length, but quickly Swamiji declined it and said: "No, I don't use silk at all." A moment later, Swamiji asked the manager to show him some good silk-sarees. "Savitri's marriage is to be celebrated on the 15th, and I think we had better get a saree for her right now," he said. Among those which were shown to him, Swamiji selected the best. "For the marriage of my lay-disciples, I have myself to select and get the sarees," he said with the pride, satisfaction and joy of a father. At this moment Smt. Pushpa Anand, Vice-Principal of the M. K. P. College, and Smt. Sushila Kamboj, Professor of Music, walked into the room and garlanded Swamiji. Swamiji showed them his selection and they admired it. "Get another saree for Sushila," said Swamiji, and a beautiful silk saree was purchased for her also.
At the insistence of the manager, Swamiji accepted the gift of a silk table-cloth.
In the meantime all the workers of the mill had assembled on the lawn outside the factory office and were singing Bhajan. Swamiji and the members of the staff joined them. Smt. Pushpa delivered a short lecture in Hindi, voicing the feeling of the workers that it was the greatest day of their life, when they had the Darshan and Satsang of the greatest living sage-Swamiji. She also gave the essence of Swamiji's Upadesh. Smt. Sushila sang a couple of Bhajans and Swamiji himself conducted Sankirtan and prayed for the health and long life of Sri Govind Ram Kapoor and workers.
Swamiji was then entertained to tea. He suggested to the manager to make the best use of Smt. Pushpa, Smt. Sushila and others and invite them to conduct Satsang and deliver their discourses to the workers of the mill.
Swamiji then of his own accord, without any previous arrangement, went over to the residence of Smt. Shanti, Librarian of the M. K. P. College. Only Smt. Shanti and her mother were there, and both of them were happy beyond measure to receive Bhagawan Sivananda in their house. Soon the hall was overcrowded with the neighbouring men, women and children. Swamiji conducted Kirtan and distributed Prasad which Smt. Shanti had got from the bazaar even as the Satsang was in progress.
"Like this we should go from house to house and spread the Message of Divine Life and the glory of the Lord's Names," said Siva as he was leaving. "It is a much better method of spiritual awakening than mass lectures and discourses. Here very close contact is established, and the heart is won very easily. A word that we may say, a Kirtan that we may sing, gets indelibly inscribed in the hearts of these people, and their life is bound to be transformed."
From there Swamiji went to the residence of Smt. Sushila Kamboj. Even as the car was approaching the entrance, he asked Sushila: "What is your father's name? A man is highly pleased if we call him by his name." Smt. Sushila said: "Gauri Shankar, Swamiji." As Swamiji entered the house, he greeted Sushila's father: "How are you, Gauri Shankarji Maharaj?" This did have a tremendous effect upon him. Here too Sri Swamiji conducted Kirtan and prayer for the health and long life of the family. He also invited Sri Gauri Shankarji to the Ashram: "I will myself take you to the Ashram when you have a little leisure, and you should stay for some time and do intense Sadhana."
Then to the residence of Smt. Pushpa Anand, where Swamiji met not only the parents of Smt. Pushpa (Dr. and Srimati R. R. Anand), but also Mr. and Mrs. Mortimer of the Blind School and Dr. Lila Vlachou, the masseuse. The aged mother of Smt. Pushpa who recently had an accident, was able to stand up for a brief while this time. When Swamiji invited her to the Ashram, she actually felt that this was an assurance. Kirtan here too. Swamiji distributed the Prasad (Dosai-rice-cake) which he had brought from the Ashram, to all those present. They all relished it immensely. Then coffee was served.
Throughout Swami Satchidanandaji was ever ready with books and pamphlets to be given to the people who met Swamiji: sweets to the children and biscuits to all. When Swamiji wanted to give Mandir Prasad to Smt. Pushpa's mother, Satchidanandaji at once produced this too! This evoked Swamiji's admiration: "Now Satchidanandaji has become pucca. He knows everything about my ways. He anticipates everything I would say and need, and he is ready with whatever I ask for. He is now perfect!"
Swamiji then got into the car and we were returning. "I have to give Sannyas-cloth to Mrs. Sitaram; she is leaving for Delhi tonight," he said, and the car sped along the road to Rishikesh. Mrs. Sitaram had just left the Ashram and met Swamiji's car near Kailas Ashram. Swamiji requested her to come back to the Ashram. She did and received the initiation.
8th January, 1956
VISIT TO JANAKI SUGAR MILLS, DOIWALA
An invitation had been received from the Assistant Cane Development Officer Doiwala for Swamiji to visit the Sugar Mills at Doiwala. Swamiji had agreed. Sri Sitaram, Postmaster of the Sivananda Nagar Post Office came with us.
Swamiji arrived at the Mills at 3.30 p.m. and was received by the Cane Development Officer and his staff. In their Office a Satsang was going on in honour of Swamiji's visit, and Swamiji was led to the Office. Swamiji made them continue their Bhajan and then began his discourse (in Hindi):
How to Realise the Omnipresent Being
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Is there not a nobler mission than eating, drinking and sleeping?
It is difficult to get a human birth,
therefore try your best to realise in this birth.
Eat a little, drink a little, talk a little,
sleep a little,
Mix a little, move a little, work a little,
cogitate a little,
Do Asan a little, Pranayam a little,
Meditate a little, do Vichar a little.
Do Japa a little, do Kirtan a little,
write Mantra a little, reflect a little!
Do Japa. Do Kirtan. Have constant Nam-Smaran throughout the day. Control anger. Develop cosmic love. Love all. Serve all. Share what you have with others. This is my message to you all.
Love all! Expand your heart. Now you are identifying yourself with this one body of yours and therefore you are selfish. This body is not your real Self. The real Self is the Self of all, the Cosmic Self. You must realise this Self. Your heart must expand to infinite proportions. Then only will you have this Cosmic Consciousness. Serve the poor. Serve the sick. Identify yourself with the whole universe. Then this I-ness and mine-ness born of the identification with this body will go away, and you will experience supreme Peace.
विहाय कामान्यः सर्वान्पुमांश्चरति निःस्पृहः ।
निर्ममो निरहंकारः स शान्तिमधिगच्छति ।।
Vihaya kaamaan yah sarvaan pumans charati nisprihah;
Nirmamo nirahankaarah sa shaantim adhigacchati (B.G. 2/71)
(That man attains peace who, abandoning all desires, moves about without longing, without the sense of mine and without egoism.)
You are not experiencing that peace and that happiness, because you are full of desires. Nothing in this universe can give you that supreme peace and contentment. This world is Apoorna, it is not full.
One man has much wealth and comforts; but he is miserable because he has no children. Another man is poor and has nothing to eat and he has many children. In one family, there is one daughter who has become a widow; in another the only son is mentally defective. The same story is repeated in every house, in every family. Here in this world, you always find something or other wanting. Only in God, the Supreme Brahman, in the Bhuma can you find Eternal Satisfaction, the satisfaction of all your desires!
Therefore, strive to cut at the very root of this Ahamkara, born of ignorance. For that you have to do Japa, Kirtan and meditation. First you have to practise Saguna meditation and then go to the Nirguna meditation. First practise meditation on a name and form, and then you can meditate on abstract ideas. Therefore, repeat Sri Ram, Sri Ram, Sri Ram always. Do Japa of Sri Ram. Even during work keep up the Nam-Smaran; even while your hands are engaged in work, the mind should go on repeating the Mantra. Ram is Supreme Brahman, the all-pervading consciousness. You are house- holders and therefore you require wealth also; so add Sri to Ram and do Japa of Sri Ram.
At the same time, through service remove the Bheda-Buddhi: "I am a big man", "He is an inferior servant", "I belong to a high caste", "He is a low-caste man". Study Vedantic texts, along with Gita and Ramayan. Do Vedantic Vichar also.
"This body is composed of the five elements and is subject to birth and death; therefore, it is not the Self. The Prana is inert, and therefore it cannot be the Supreme Consciousness. The mind and intellect too shine in the Light of the Self, and they too are not the Self." Thus you have to do Vichar and go beyond body-consciousness and identify yourself with the Self.
Then you will realise the Self which pervades all beings on earth and is beyond them, too. The Self pervades everything and is hidden in everything, even as sugar pervades the whole sugarcane and is hidden in it; even as butter pervades the milk and is hidden in it. Realise that Self here and now and become free.
Do not waste precious time. Utilise all your spare time for the study of Gita, for Japa and meditation. Keep a small pocket-Gita, a rosary and a small notebook for Mantra-writing in your pocket always, for whenever you have a little leisure. These will bestow upon you a wealth which no dacoits can rob, which no moths can eat, and which does not decrease even when it is shared with others. Even the multimillionaire is not sure of his financial security. The Government may change, he may be robbed, and he may become a pauper. But that sage who roams about happily, with just a loin-cloth is not at all afraid. He is fearless. Fearlessness is born of the realisation of the all-pervading Self.
कौपीनवन्तः खलु भाग्यवन्तः
'Kaupeenavantah khalu bhagyavantah.
(Blessed indeed is the wearer of the loin-cloth)
He has no car of his own, but travels in all the cars of the world. He has no bungalow of his own, but resides in the bungalows of kings. He has no purse of his own, but operates upon the purse of all.
This is the goal. Forget not the goal! Apply yourself to Sadhana and realise God here and now. May God bless you all!
Swamiji distributed a number of his books and journals to all those assembled and exhorted them to repeat the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra, explaining its glory in detail. He also distributed his 'cashew-nut' Prasad to all those who attended the Satsang.
In the Sugar Factory, he was received by the Proprietors, and the Engineers, who showed him round the entire factory.
After inspecting the Factory, Swamiji had tea with the Proprietors in their office. He distributed Prasad, Uppuma, he had brought from the Ashram and which was relished by all. He conducted Kirtan for the prosperity of the Factory and the health and long life of all the staff and workers and took leave of the Proprietors, after inviting them all to visit the Ashram.
5th February, 1956
When Swamiji left on the usual car trip at 1.30 p.m., we had no idea of any programme at Dehra Dun. We wanted to take Swamiji round the Forest Research Institute grounds and have a look at the various plantations there.
Even as Swamiji was getting into the car, we had the first surprise. A good devotee of Swamiji approached him and requested him to recommend his proposal to marry the daughter of one of Swamiji's lay-disciples. Nowadays Swamiji's lay-disciples and devotees want to marry within the circle of Swamiji's disciples: yes, that would greatly ensure domestic peace, prosperity and spiritual progress too!
The car was nearing Dehra Dun when the next surprise was sprung upon Swamiji. There was a floral toll-barrier! Smt. Pushpa and Smt. Sushila of Dehra Dun blocked the road with a long garland. When the car halted and Swamiji got down, they garlanded him. "We have been waiting here, Swamiji, for the past one hour," they said. But for Swamiji the first consideration was: "You have come here walking all the way from home?" "Yes, Swamiji, it is only a couple of miles from home. To greet Swamiji and to give him a surpise is a joy that is worth much more, Swamiji!" Swamiji's next anxiety was on the score of their return: "I will go away by car, and you will have to walk all the way back home?" "It does not matter, Swamiji. The joy of having met Swamiji here would take us happily back to our home."
"Come, Share with Me!"
What happened then could well have been a page from Srimad Bhagavatam re-enacted. "We shall take the tiffin that we have brought here itself," said Swamiji. He sat down on the ground, very near the road, and Sri Pushpa and party sat around him. "O, this Puliodharai (a Madrasi preparation) is very very nice!" he remarked. "Also the vegetable soup. Give me more! Give them more!" This was all to encourage the guests to eat well. He turned round and called all those who were near the place: "Come, come, all of you can come and share what I have here!" A few passing pedestrians also joined the party. What did they get? Swamiji's Grace! That look of Grace which gleams in Swamiji's eyes on occasions like this is worth more than the wealth of the three worlds. They had his Wisdom too: the ever ready Satchidanandaji had brought a number of books which Swamiji presented to the guests. And they of course had a share of his Prasad.
Saradanandaji took a few photographs. Not only with the Professor-devotees-Sri Pushpa and party, but with three villagers, with pitchers poised delicately on their heads. In Swamiji's eyes there are no distinctions.
Lesson in Leadership
When the car turned into the Forest Research Institute's gate, Raghunathanandaji stopped it and got into the car. "Wherever we go, we find someone or other from the Ashram!" said Swamiji "All are busy in doing selfless service. It is very good." With Raghunathanandaji there were the two sons of Dr. H.S. Rao. They merely bowed to Swamiji and cycled off to tell their father.
Somewhere near the Botanical Gardens the occupants of the car began giving different directions to the driver. The driver was getting puzzled. Swamiji intervened and said: "Let someone direct him!" He continued: "It is human nature that everyone wants to express himself. When a thing has to be done, everybody will give suggestions, and the man who has to do it actually will get confused."
Garden Party with a Difference
Dr. H.S. Rao who had arrived in the meantime, led Swamiji into the Botanical Gardens. The garden itself is in his official charge, and he is conducting experiments in plant breeding in which he is an expert, having undergone specialised training in America.
Just as Swamiji was entering the Garden, Dr. Jag Mohan Singhji greeted him. It was a big surprise. They did not expect Swamiji there; but somehow or other only this morning they felt that they should visit the Gardens!
When Dr. Rao was showing Swamiji some of the experiments that he was conducting there, another group of men moved towards Swamiji-A Bank manager with his party.
Dr. Jag Mohan Singhji took Swamiji to the place where his family had prepared for a nice little tea-party. Mrs. Jag Mohan Singhji (herself a doctor) was busy with the preparations. It was a great picnic for them all; the surprise greatly enhanced the value of the blessing,
"Let us do Kirtan," said Swamiji. By this time, all the people who had gone to the Botanical Gardens on a picnic had gathered around Swamiji. Automatically a Satsang had sprung up around the sage.
Swamiji sang a number of Kirtans and a number of his English philosophical songs. When he found that some were still clinging to their teacups, he sang:
"Eat a little, drink a little, talk a little, sleep a little." Then he switched on to some other songs.
He saw that one or two had yet not finished their tea. And so he repeated the "Eat a little" song! Everyone understood and joined him in his Kirtan.
As he moved along to another part of the Garden, another devotee met him. He had met Swamiji years ago, and when he merely said: "Swamiji, I come from the Frontier where I was an editor," Swamiji recalled to memory a number of interesting incidents. The devotee was amazed. "Swamiji, at first I thought that you would not recognise me. You are so great and you meet so many thousands of people every day that I thought you might have forgotten me." But no, Swamiji had not forgotten him. As the devotee's old father said: "Swamiji has a phenomenal memory."
When Swamiji left the Gardens, people were still talking of the miraculous blessing they had. They came to seek change and pleasure, Swamiji gave them both. He had actually given them a wonderful change: they had for an hour been lifted from the earth to another plane of existence altogether. They had remained for that hour immersed in the joy of Swamiji's proximity-a joy that would last longer than all other worldly joys,
Then to Dr. H.S. Rao's place. Here Swamiji met Sri Sivaram, an Engineer in the F.R.I. He was nicely entertained by Dr. Rao's family. "There is a ten-minute gap in the magnetic wire of my recorder Swamiji, and I would request you to record your message on it," said Dr. Rao, and Swamiji delivered an inspiring speech, the gist of which is given below:
Again and again I have to remind you that the goal of life is Self-realisation! You forget this, because Maya is so powerful that you are carried away by the Raga-Dwesha current. You will have to ever remember Anityam, Asukham. Anityam, this world is impermanent-Asukham, full of pains and sorrows, so you will have to devote your time to Japa, Kirtan, meditation along with your work. Spiritualise your activities! Ashaashwatam!
You will have to remember: What is the function of Maya! Maya hides the real and makes the unreal appear as real. It is only one who is endowed with discrimination, who has done Satsang, who has got a yearning for liberation, he will not be deceived by Maya, he will try to rest in his own Satchidananda Swarupa. While remaining in the world, discharge your duties, study the Gita, remember the important Slokas in the Ramayana and Upanishads,
यो वै भूमा तत् सुखं नाल्पे सुखमस्ति भूमैव सुखम् ।
'Yo vai bhoomaa tat sukham naalpe sukhamasti bhoomaiva sukham' (Ch. Up.: 7/23/1)
(Paramatma is the very form of bliss. There is no happiness in mundane objects)
You can have bliss in the Bhooma of Parabrahma. It is beyond the Gunas, it is beyond Raga-Dwesha, beyond pain and sorrow and beyond birth and death. Infinite, Eternal Existence; there only can you have eternal bliss. Sensual pleasures are not real pleasures at all. It is only an itching of the nerves, titillation. For a man of discrimination it is not pleasure at all:
ये हि संस्पर्शजा भोगा दुःखयोनय एव ते
आद्यन्तवन्तः कौन्तेय न तेषु रमते बुधः ।।
Ye hi samsparshaja bhogaa duhkhayonaya eva te;
Aadyntavantah kaunteya na teshu ramate budhah. (B.G. 5/22)
(The enjoyments that are born of contacts are only generators of pain, for they have a beginning and an end, O Arjuna: the wise man does not rejoice in them.)
The pleasure that is derived from the contact of sensual objects is the womb of pain. You like coffee or tea, it gives you a little pleasure; but if you don't get coffee, it gives pain, so it is the womb of pain. The man of discrimination daily does Japa, Kirtan, and withdraws all his senses. He withdraws the eye, not only the eye but also (it is only Upalakshana) withdraws the senses and the Indriyas and tries to focus himself in the heart. Then only will you get bliss and happiness, and it will lead you to Self-realisation.
Man should ever discipline his senses. Neatness, punctuality, cleanliness, these are the ingredients of discipline. Sadhana is not a bed of roses, it is a distinct discipline. But for a man of discrimination with a thirst for Self-realisation God's Grace is at all times with him, helps him in all respects and he moves towards his goal-Self, Atma-and remains there permanently.
So though discharging your duties, do some kind of Sadhana daily, Japa, Kirtan, Ram Ram Sri Ram etc. This is the easiest Yoga. Yoga is not a thing that you will have to go to a Guru and learn. Repetition of the Lord's Name: The Lord himself guides you, He showers his Grace, and directs and guides you in the spiritual path. Ram-Nam is omnipotent. Ram is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent. He is everything. Sri Ram: ever remember, even when you work in the office or doing work-The ladies in the kitchen should also remember. God's Name is very powerful. There is a marvellous potency in the Lord's Name. It changes the mental substance Chitta
(Patanjali Yoga Sutra-1/2)
(Yoga is the restraint (cessation) of fluctuation (modification) of the mind.)
And all the Vrittis subside, all the wrong emotions, the undivine emotions are controlled. It gives you strength, solace, a balanced mind in adversities; you are able to bear afflictions. A balanced mind at all times. That is the power of Ram-Nam. It gives you strength. It removes all difficulties in life, it gives you eternal happiness; a balanced mind frees you from sorrow and gives you eternal life. That is the power of Ram-Nam.
(Sri Ram Sri Ram) along with it Ahimsa, Satyam, Brahmacharya-That is the path. Love, truthfulness, purity,-purifying the mind is itself a great help and you will attain Self-realisation quickly. Along with the repetition of the name, Ahimsa, Satya, Brahmacharya, rules of conduct, ethics, morality, Yama, Niyama, foundation of Yoga, foundation of Vedanta. A little thing is quite sufficient.
Yoga is not a difficult thing. Sticking to the Lord's Name with faith and devotion, serving all; having a balanced mind, controlling anger, purifying the mind, then you attain God-realisation easily.
Let us not forget the goal; by ever remembering the Lord's Name, it is very easy. Even while at work in the office, Sri Ram; remembering the significance of certain important Slokas:
विविक्तसेवी लघ्वाशी यतवाक्कायमानसः ।
ध्यानयोगपरो नित्यं वैराग्यं समुपाश्रितः ।।
(Dwelling in solitude, eating but little, with speech, body and mind subdued, always engaged in meditation and concentration, resorting to dispassion.)
विहाय कामान्यः सर्वान्पुमांश्चरति निःस्पृहः ।
निर्ममो निरहङ्कारः स शान्तिमधिगच्छति ।।
"Vihaaya kaamaan yah sarvaan
sa shaantim adhigachchati. "(B.G. 2/71)
(That person, who gives up all material desires and lives free from a sense of greed, proprietorship, and egoism, attains perfect peace.)
We are bound to this world through cravings, and we are freed when we become cravingless, when we become selfless, when we become desireless. Mind with the desire, attachment of objects, is bondage. Mind free from objects, free from cravings, free from selfishness leads to realise Moksha or emancipation. These few Slokas remember daily:
अद्वेष्टा सर्वभूतानां मैत्रः करुण एव च ।
निर्ममो निरहंकारः समदुःखसुखः क्षमी
maitrah karuna eva cha;
sama-duhkha-sukhah kshamee (B.G. 12/13)
(He who hates no creature, who is friendly and compassionate to all, who is free from attachmentand egoism, balanced in pleasure and pain, and forgiving)
No hatred, no ill-feeling to anyone, goodwill, compassion, without mineness and egoism; with a balanced mind you become a Bhakta, you become dear to the Lord. Study a few Slokas. Try to remember and live in the spirit of the Gita. Recite the Lord's Name and serve all, and share what you have with others, physical, mental and moral. You will become Jivanmuktas, sages, radiating joy and peace! That is the fulfilment of the purpose of this birth. So let us all become Jivanmuktas in this life! It is not difficult. Jivanmukti is not difficult: a little purification of the heart, reciting the Lord's Name, having a balanced mind and equal vision, having a strong yearning for liberation, serenity of mind, detachment, discrimination and determination. All these are aids for God-realisation. Enquiry, discovery, recovery. Be good, do good. Serve, love, give, purify, meditate, realise. Be good, do good, be kind, be compassionate! Enquire who am I and know thy Self! Detach, attach. Detach the mind from the objects and attach it to the Lord. Do it now, try it now, do it now, try it now, D-I-N, D-I-N, T-I-N, T-I-N.
Afterwards Swamiji did Kirtan for the health and long life of Dr. Rao and family. Just as he was about to take leave of them, he sang his Kanarese song:
Enu Beku, enu beda, ninna hessarenu,
Everyone liked it so much that this too was wire-recorded. Swamiji added a short speech of explanation after the song:
"I learnt only these few words in Kanarese, I wanted to remember them so, I made them into a Kirtan. But it is not a comic Kirtan. It is full of deep significance.
Enu beku: O man, what do you want?
Enu beda: I want nothing. In this world of pain and death there is nothing worth having, nothing worth striving for. I do not want any objects of the world; I want only Knowledge of the Self, Atma-Jnana.
Ninna hessarenu-What is your name?
My Name is not Ramakrishnan, Krishnaswami or Sivaram. My Name is OM.
Bahala-kalasa-maadudri do your duties well here, with the right attitude, feeling that God dwells in all, and that you are serving the Lord in all. Serve all. Serve selflessly and egolessly!
Bhagawan aashirvaad maadali. May God bless you. By God's Grace and Ashirvad, you will get Atma-Jnana or the Wisdom of the Self, Self-realisation.
This is the spiritual meaning of this wonderful song.
Swamiji then took leave of them, inviting them to visit the Ashram and stay there for some days. To Dr. Rao Swamiji said: "You have only passed through, but you have not breathed the atmosphere of the Ashram so far!" Swamiji returned to the Ashram at 8.30. p.m.
From a small boy who met Swamiji on the roadside to Dr. Jag Mohan Sing and Sri Sivaram, everybody got a book or magazine. At the Botanical Gardens, it was a most thrilling sight. People were just strolling here and there, laughing and talking. After a few minutes, everyone had a book of Swamiji in his hand. It was as though they came to see a mirage and found a river of nectar!
10th February, 1956
SWAMIJI VISITS THE BLIND SCHOOL
In view of the heavy programme of visits in Dehra Dun, Swamiji left the Ashram at 1 p.m.
The car entered the compound of Sri Kuthiala's beautiful house. Swamiji went round the garden, gave his books and journals to Sri Kuthialaji's servants. Sri Kuthialaji was away on tour and there were only two close relatives (ladies) of Sri Kuthiala in the house. They received Swamiji who enquired about the welfare of Sri Kuthiala Saheb and did Kirtan for his and his family's health and long life. They were extremely happy that Swamiji gave them Darshan in their own house.
"Even though we came by surprise, without any previous intimation, with what great devotion they got tiffin prepared for us in an hour's time!" Swamiji was thus admiring their hospitality. While leaving the house, we found that they had already sent a big basket of fruits to be placed in the car.
Then we drove to the Blind School, run by the Education Ministry of the Government of India. On the way Swamiji got 'Prasad'-Laddus and other sweets-for Rs. 20 for distribution in the School. Smt. Sushila Kamboj and Smt. Anand Mohini Anand were returning from their School. They were about a mile from the Blind School, and they were running to meet Swamiji. As soon as he got down from the car, Swamiji sent the car back to fetch them.
Sri Datta, the Palmist met Swamiji at the entrance and took him in. Swamiji found a young blind man typing. Sri Datta requested Swamiji to dictate a message which the blind typist took down in Braille shorthand and later transcribed it on the typewriter. The gist of Swamiji's message is as follows:
A Short Lecture
"The Atma is the Immortal, Infinite, Eternal Self of all. It is Sat-Chit-Ananda, Existence-Knowledge- Bliss Absolute. That Atma is Self-luminous, Self-evident. Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate and Realise. Serve: Serve all with Atma-Bhav or Narayana-Bhav, feeling you are an instrument in the Hands of the Lord. Love all. Share what you have with others. Purify yourselves through Japa, Kirtan, Pranayama, service and meditation. Meditate on the One All-Pervading Self. Realise It here and now.
"God is the supreme power that works through all. By His Will and Power alone, you are able to do such marvellous work in this School. By His Power alone you are able to type on the Braille typewriter. He has given you the inner sight of intuition. The external sight is a distraction.
"May God bless all the Surdases of this Blind School with health, long life, peace, prosperity and Eternal Bliss! May He open your eye of intuition and enable you to shine as Jivanmuktas here and now!"
Smt. Anand Mohini and Smt. Sushila arrived in the meantime and garlanded Gurudev.
Sri Dattaji then took Swamiji round the educational vocational training classes for the blind. How the blind had been taught cane-work, weaving cloth and blankets, music and reading with the help of Braille-books-Swamiji watched all these with keen interest and profound admiration. He lovingly spoke to them, invited them to the Ashram and sang the Maha-Mantra Kirtan and Ram-Nama Kirtan with them all. He was delighted to be with the music-students, and he sang a few songs which the blind students picked up at once on the Harmonium accompanied by Tabla.
Then he went into the sales depot and purchased quite a few articles prepared by the blind students of the School, as a mark of his admiration and love for them. Here he met a blind Christian Padre with whom Swamiji shook hands and conversed for long about the Padre's welfare. He invited the Padre to the Ashram. Then Swamiji took leave of the staff and the students of the School.
From the School we drove to the Forest Research Institute, where Dr. H. S. Rao had gathered a number of the Institute's Officers in his house. Many of them were botanists. Referring to their noble work, Swamiji said: "It is a very interesting work, and it is elevating too.
When you study plant-behaviour, life and even sensitiveness in plants, you come very close to the understanding of the mysterious power in nature, close to God Who is the Lord of Nature and by whose power nature is able to produce such wonderful objects."
Dr. H. S. Rao once again requested Swamiji to give a short speech for wire-recording. Swamiji repeated the Ganesh Kirtans first and said: "Whenever a few persons gather in your house, invariably play this part of the wire and let all of them hear these Kirtans of the Lord's Name. They too will begin to recite the Kirtans. The house will become Vaikuntha."
Then he delivered the following speech which was recorded on the magnetic wire:
Practical Lesson in Yoga
"Serve, love, give, purify, meditate, realise, be good, do good, be compassionate. Enquire 'Who am I?' and know thy Self. Detach-attach; detach the mind from the objects and attach it to the Lord. Enquire, recover, discover-these are the essential teachings of the Upanishads. Serve, love; serve the poor, serve the sick with proper mental attitude. Serve the whole world as the manifestation of the Lord, feeling that you are an instrument in his hand. Lord's energy is flowing through all your instruments, all your Indriyas. Serve, purify the heart.
There are three kinds of Doshas in the mind: Mala, Vikshepa and Avarana. Mala is impurity, Vikshepa is tossing of the mind, Avarana is veiling. Mala is removed through selfless service. Vikshepa is removed through Asanas, through Japa, through Kirtan, through Tratak, through Pranayama
ततः क्षीयते प्रकाशावरणम्
Tatah ksheeyate prakashaavarnam
(Patanjali Yoga Sutra-2/52)
(From that, the covering over the inner light is removed)
धारणासु च योग्यता मनसः
Dhaarnaasu cha yogyataa manasah
(Patanjali Yoga Sutra-2/53)
(The mind acquires fitness for dhaarana.)
This mind consists of three Gunas-Sattva, Rajas, Tamas. The Rajas and Tamas are annihilated or diminished by Sattva. Sattva is purity; Sattva fills the whole mind and heart. Love all, serve all, embrace all, be kind to all. Whatever you have, share with others; purify your heart, remove all the three Doshas: Mala, Vikshepa, Avarana. Purify, meditate and realise. Either have a concrete meditation or Saguna meditation on your Ishta Devata, Vishnu, Ram, Krishna or Devi; or Nirguna meditation for intellectual people: Om with meaning: Om is Satchidananda Brahman, Om is existence, Om is knowledge, Om is infinity, Om is eternity. With this Bhav, Nirguna Bhav or the Saguna Bhav chant Om Namah Sivaya, Om Namo Narayanaya, Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya, meditate and realise the Atma within.
Be good, do good. The whole ethics and morality is summed up in these four words, be good, do good! "Be good, do good" demands adaptability, adjustability, annihilation of egoism, cultivation of various virtues, purity, compassion. Then only will you be able to be good and do good. When egoism is annihilated, the mind will melt and become one with the Supreme Self, and you will enjoy Divine Aishwarya, eternal bliss and eternal joy!
Be good, do good, enquire who am I? Know thy Self. You are not this body, the body is made up of Indriyas. You are not this mind also, the mind perishes. There is no mind in deep sleep. Enquire 'who am I?' You are not the intellect, you are not the senses. These are all the products of Prakriti. Beyond the three Gunas, beyond the senses is the immortal Self. Realise It, and thus only can you be happy, then only will you be free from all birth and death, then only will you attain perfection, Jivanmukti! So purify your hearts regularly in your prayer, be systematic in your meditation. Meditation can be done not only in the room in the early morning. You should keep up the Bhav, even when you work; standing as witness, with a double consciousness-the Indriyas work and witnessing the activities of the mind, identify yourself with the silent witness, the Atma-Pratyag Atma.
Even in your work you should continue your meditation. Do meditation from four to five, continue the current, so that you won't be affected by Raga-dwesha of the world and you will rest in your Self. You will have equal vision and a balanced mind. This is the goal.
So let us march on forward in the spiritual path. Let us not forget the goal. Let me remind you of the last word of the Upanishads: Tat Twam Asi - Thou Art That. You are not this body, you are not this mind. Study the Upanishad, the Mandukya Upanishad, all the ten Upanishads, the principal Upanishads, and then you will have a proper understanding of the nature of the Atma. You will have a proper concept of the Absolute Brahma. That is the essence of the Upanishads.
Egoism and desires are obstacles. But if you have a strong yearning for liberation, this strong desire, the Satwic desire, will take you to the goal. Don't forget that this world is full of miseries; this world is a world of pain and death. So a certain portion of the time you can utilise for meditation, for study, for enquiry, for introspection. Reflect on what is going on in your mind, how much Satwa you have got, how much Rajas you have got, why you are unhappy, in spite of possessing all the things of this world. The more you add things of this world, the more you become misled by the senses and Indriyas. Simple living, high thinking, cultivation of the virtues, equal vision, balanced mind, cosmic love- these are the virtues you have to develop. By studying in a University for four or five or six years, you can become a M.Sc. Ph.D. D.Lit. and so on. But can it enable you to realise happiness? Will all the things of the world you possess contribute to immortality? This was the intelligent question put by Maitrayee to her husband, sage Yajnavalkya. Even if you possess the wealth of the three worlds, you cannot be happy. You can be a rich man or a queen, but immortality no amount of wealth can give you.
In deep sleep you see a clue. No objects, no Raga-Dwesha currents. You are peaceful because you are closest to the Atma, Brahman. Only there is a veil of ignorance. That gives the clue that peace, everlasting peace, can be had only in Brahman. So do your duties, spiritualising all activities. Do every activity, whatever you do as Ishawaraarpanam. It becomes Yoga. Everything becomes transformed into Yoga. You must have the Bhav:
तस्मात्सर्वेषु कालेषु मामनुस्मर युध्य च ।
Tasmaat sarveshu kaaleshu
maamanusmara yudhya cha
maam evai hyasyasanshayam(B.G. 8/7).
(Therefore, always remember Me and also do your duty of fighting the war. With mind and intellect surrendered to Me, you will definitely attain Me; of this, there is no doubt.)
Rest in the Lord. A little bit of Japa, a little bit of Kirtan, Ram Ram Ram, this is Yoga. Yoga is not a thing for which you will have to go to Badarinath, live naked and eat Neem leaves.
Recollection of Swamiji's Early Life at Rishikesh
Just as Swamiji was returning to the Ashram, the car halted outside the Nepali Kshetra. The Mahant of the Kshetra, Sri Chetramji, and a gathering of devotees and students, rushed forward to greet Swamiji and to bow to him. At their request Sri Gurudev went into the Kshetra and on the Verandah of the Mandir conducted Kirtan for the health and long life of Sri Chetramji (whose birthday had been celebrated yesterday). During the course of the pleasant conversation that ensued, Swamiji recollected the incidents of his early Sannyas-life in Rishikesh and said, addressing the gathering of devotees:
"The Guru Maharaj (referring to Nepali Baba) and Sri Chetramji are both great saints. I know Sri Chetramji for the past thirty years. His devotion to Sannyasins is unrivalled. They used to prepare very nice dal, and in order to get a few spoonfuls of that dal, I used to walk three miles and come to the Naya-Jhadi, in which it was distributed by Mahantji."
The Mahantji and another lady-devotee, who has been living in Rishikesh for the past thirty years, confirmed this and added: "Babaji (Sri Nepali Babaji) too used to point out Swamiji (Swami Sivanandaji) standing among other Sadhus, as a very great soul. Events have proved Babaji's insight."
Swamiji admired Sri Chetramji's Guru-Bhakti and the wonderful way in which he has developed the Kshetra. He enquired how many boys were studying in the Sanskrit Vidyalaya run by the Kshetra and then turned to us and said:
"We do not have a Sanskrit Vidyalaya. I think we should also follow the Nepali Kshetra's example and start a Sanskrit Vidyalaya. See, all these people are well-versed in Sanskrit and have become great Pundits."
The Acharyas were highly pleased and vigorously nodded their heads. Suddenly Swamiji turned to them and said: "Oji, you should also learn English. It is an international language. It has its own glory and value. Even from the purely utilitarian point of view, if you learn English, you can earn a lot. A Sanskrit Pundit with English-knowledge will be appointed as a Professor in a College and will get Rs. 300; the same man if he has no English qualification will get only Rs. 30!"
A True Prophet of Synthesis
A Pandit recited an inspiring Stotra, composed by Sri Sankaracharya. It was a Vedantic affirmation "Chidananda Rupah Sivoham Sivoham" After expressing his great admiration of the feeling and devotion with which he sang the composition, Swamiji remarked: "How elevating these Vedantic thoughts are! Oji, you have repeated 'I am not the body, I am not the mind, I am not the Pranas, and I have no Raga-Dwesha, etc'. You must put it into practice. Even if a man abuses you, beats you or is about to cut your hand, you should stand unmoved, like a statue. That is the purpose of repeating these Vedantic formulas."
Turning to the ladies assembled, Swamiji asked Sri Chetramji: "Is the Yoga-Vasishtha class being continued? Are these devotees studying the Yoga-Vasishtha?" Sri Chetramji said "Yes." "What a wonderful philosophy Yoga-Vasishtha' has! That is the ultimate truth-that there is no creation in the three periods of time and that what appears as the world is as false as the blueness of the sky. Teen Kalme Jagat Nahin (there is no world in the three periods of time), but Dal Mem Namak Nahin (there is no salt in the soup)-that should not be the behaviour of the Vedantic student. If there is no salt or less salt in the soup, the tongue should not demand salt. That is the discipline needed for a fruitful study of Vedanta. Till that is cultivated, one should combine selfless service and devotion to God-just as Sri Chetramji is doing."
After almost an hour, Swamiji took leave of Sri Chetramji and returned to the Ashram. All the way, in the car, Swamiji was speaking in glowing terms of Sri Chetramji's devotion to Sadhus and of his true humility and divine nature.
12th February, 1956
THE STATUS OF A UNIVERSITY
Even Sri K.N.P. Nair of the Doon School was surprised when Swamiji stepped out of the car outside the Tata House in the Doon School, as Swamiji had come almost a full hour ahead of the schedule.
Swamiji wished to go round the School, and Sri Nair was delighted to have the opportunity of letting the students have Swamiji's blessings. Swamiji visited the students' living rooms, study, dining hall, etc. and admired the spotless cleanliness, the order and the comfort that characterised all these. When he went near a few students listening to a gramophone record on the lawns, they got up reverently and were about to close the gramophone down. But quickly Swamiji said: "Go on with it. I am one of you."
Then Swamiji went to the art school and the workshop. At that art school, Swamiji met Sri Sudhir Khastgir, the art teacher, who had visited the Ashram earlier. After expressing his profound admiration of the sculptured heads of eminent personages that he saw in Sri Khastgir's studio, Swamiji went over to his residence and did Kirtan for Sri Khastgir's health and long life. He characterised him as "Assistant to Brahma, for you also create beautiful forms." Swamiji was very happy when he was told that art was one of the compulsory subjects for the students.
Then he visited the workshop and he saw students busy in the carpentary shop and black-smithy. "Wonderful," Swamiji said, "such training alone can make these boys real leaders and
administrators of the Government of the country. The place, the atmosphere, the education and the training all these are well planned to mould the student into a leader of men.' Then suddenly Swamiji asked Sri Nair: "But where is the Prayer Hall?" "That is in the main building, Swamiji, and that is where this evening's function is to be held." In the midst of all these admirable features of the School, Swamiji did not forget to impress upon the Professor that "Prayer is the most important thing that will give the student a spiritual basis for life."
Swamiji was then taken to the Swimming Pool which had been so constructed that a little boy could learn swimming in 3-ft deep water and an older boy could practise diving in water 10-fit deep.
While returning to Sri Nair's residence, the car was stopped on the way by Smt. Pushpa Anand and party who were standing with garlands to welcome Swamiji. On the lawns behind Sri Nair's house a tea-party had been arranged for Swamiji and the 28 members of the Ashram and foreign visitors who had gone over to Dehra Dun to attend the function.
Tyagaraja Day Celebrations
We then moved into the School Hall where the Music Sabha had organised the Tyagaraja Day celebrations. On every artist who sang or danced, Swamiji bestowed a title. He distributed books to elders (this had started the moment he got down from the car, and everyone whom Swamiji met-students and staff of the school-got a few books of Swamiji), and he gave chocolates to the children. Everything was ready-thanks to Swami Satchidanandaji's vigilant foresight.
After Smt. Sushila Kamboj, Swami Nadabrahmanandaji, Sri Swami Sivananda-Radha (of Canada), Sri Swami Sadasivananda and Swami Amarananda and Sri Chandrasekhar had sung songs, Swamiji was requested to give his Upadesh to the audience. He got up and roared OM and when the audience joined him whole-heartedly in this Om-chanting, the Hall was filled with this powerful holy vibration! Swamiji said:
The Stirring Call Divine
"I am thankful to God, to Sri K.N.P. Nair and to you all for giving me an opportunity to visit this Doon University. From today I will call it Doon University and not Doon School. In fact, it is a greater University than even Oxford and Cambridge Universities-for in the latter the student may not enjoy so many opportunities for evolution. Here instruction is imparted to the students in all branches of knowledge, and surely with the fund of general knowledge and with the high level of general intelligence, the Doon University students will become very successful in life. There is synthetic education here. Not only is the student equipped with intellectual knowledge, but he is also given practical training in arts and crafts. Both head and hand are nicely trained here."
"It is the extreme good fortune of the students of the University that they have wonderful Professors like Sri K.N.P. Nair and a Principal (he is a Principal from now, not a teacher or Headmaster) like Mr. Martyn. The students who are trained here are courageous and bold, not timid weaklings. Abhayam-courage is the foremost virtue of a God-man. God cannot be realised by a timid man. Nor can success in life be had by a weakling. The Doon University students can become wonderful orators and preachers: for they have no stage-fright. These students have come to the Ashram several times previously, and they have delivered beautiful lectures and taken part in impromptu debates. Now by God's Grace and the kindness of Sri Nair and the members of the Dakshina Bharat Sangh have given me the opportunity to meet them here.'
"Music is Yoga. It is a means to Moksha. You know that a Hatha Yogi controls the senses and the mind and then practises Raja Yoga, and through Chitta-Vritti-Nirodha attains Samadhi. The Jnana Yogi equips himself with the Four-Viveka, Vairagya, Shad-Sampat and Mumukshutwa, practises Sravana, Manana and Nididhyasana and attains Self-realisation. There are other Yogas like the Sura-Sabda Yoga of the Radha-Soami cult. But this Music Yoga is the surest, easiest, cheapest means for attaining Self-realisation. The mind is enchanted by music. Just as a hunter traps the deer through music, even so the Yogi traps the mind through music. Music melts the mind and the sin-hardened heart and makes you rest in your own Satchidananda Swaroopa.
"Behind all these names and forms, behind your position and status in society, there is this one Universal Soul or Supreme Consciousness which is full of Ananda, Eternal Bliss. That is your real Swaroopa. You must try to attain it here and now. Never rest satisfied with the petty little things of this earth. Nothing is permanent here. Everything is changing in this world. An earth-quake makes a millionaire a pauper the next day. You cannot trust even your intelligence. When you are suddenly overpowered by emotion, when there is a big shock, when you are under the influence of chloroform, your intellect fails. Develop intuition and reach the Goal, the realisation of the One Self that dwells in all, that is hidden in all."
एको देवः सर्वभूतेषु गूढः
सर्वव्यापी सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा ।
Eko devah sarvabhooteshu gudhah,
(The one Self, common Self, common Consciousness in all these names and forms)
That Atman is hidden in all beings; He is all-pervading, the innermost Self of all beings. Like butter in milk, like electricity in the wires, like the foetus in the womb of the mother, is this Self hidden in the hearts of all beings. You have taken the human birth here to realise this Self."
"But why should you attempt Samadhi or Self-realisation, you might ask. Because the Self is Paripurna, absolutely Perfect and Full. You cannot enjoy that Perfection or Fullness in this world. In this changing world all objects are perishable and finite. But you are not all this. You are the all-full, blissful, peaceful Atman. Let me remind you of the Last Word of the Upanishads-Tat-Twam-Asi! That Thou Art! The all-full Satchidananda Para Brahman!"
"In order to realise that you must discipline yourselves from now. This inner Self-discipline is much more difficult than the discipline that the cadets have to undergo in the National Defence Academy and that the students are put through in the Doon University. You have to get rid of Raga-Dwesha. Remember: it is only Raga-Dwesha (likes and dislikes) that constitute the world. You have to go beyond Raga (likes) by cultivating Vairagya, and you have to annihilate Dwesha (dislikes) by cultivating cosmic love."
"True Vairagya is born of Viveka (discrimination). You run after sensual objects because you think you will be happy if you get them. But if you realise that not all the bungalows and televisions and motor-cars can really make you happy, you will develop Vairagya. These objects, these comforts and conveniences have made you slaves. Luxury is an enemy of peace, an enemy of devotion, an enemy of happiness. Simple living and high thinking should be your ideal. You think that if you had your own cows and you can drink plenty of milk, you will get happiness. These are all thoughts of children, not wise men."
"Vairagya makes you bold, courageous. Vairagya is supreme wealth. It will make you king of kings. Through various virtuous deeds performed in previous births and the Grace of the Lord, discrimination dawns in the mind. How to develop Vairagya? By enquiry, by discrimination, by meditation upon the defects of sensual life-perceiving the defects of birth, death, old age, disease and misery, that characterise life in this world."
इन्द्रियार्थेषु वैराग्यमनहंकार एव च ।
anahamkaara eva cha;
duhkha doshanudarshanam (B.G.-13/8)
(Indifference to the objects of the senses and also the absence of egoism, perception of (or reflection on) the evil of birth, death, old age, sickness and pain)
"Be good. Do good. This is the best way to destroy Raga-Dwesha. Whatever has been written in the world on ethics, is contained in these four words-Be Good and Do Good! Resolve today to be good and to do good. Renew this resolve every morning. At the close of the day, before retiring to bed, analyse your actions during the day and find out how far you have been able to realise the ideal you had set before yourself. Analyse the failures. "Why did I get angry with my brother?" "Why did I insult my friend?" "How did those evil thoughts arise in my mind?" You may be physically strong; but a little word, a little thing upsets you. A man may abuse you, but you should remain unaffected. That is a sage's attitude. This is possible if you posses inner spiritual strength, born of wisdom of the Self."
"Wisdom of the Self will give you all Aishwaryas. You become one with the Lord. Nature will give you everything. Even if you have no money in the bank, the whole wealth of the Lord belongs to you, if you attain Self-realisation. This is the training that you will have to undergo. This is the goal you will have to reach."
"It is not too late. Wake up now. Maintain the spiritual diary. Acquire Knowledge of the Self. University qualifications are necessary for bread-winning purposes. But for Adhyatmik purposes, equal vision and balanced mind-these are the necessary qualifications. Foreign degrees and diplomas cannot give you a balanced mind. Balance in success and failure. You will have to discipline yourself to reach this state."
योगस्थः कुरु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा धनञ्जय ।
सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योः समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते ।।
Yogasthah kuru karmaani
sangam tyaktwaa Dhananjaya,
Siddhyasiddyoh samo bhootwa
samatwam yoga uchyate (B.G.-2/48)
(Perform action, O Arjuna, being steadfast in Yoga, abandoning attachment and balanced in success and failure. Evenness of mind is called Yoga.)
"Serve Love Give Purify Meditate Realise. Serve this is Karma Yoga. Love-this is Bhakti Yoga. Give this is Dhyana Yoga. Purify and meditate this is Raja-Yoga. Realise-this is Jnana Yoga. All these constitute the Yoga of Synthesis. The Mind is purified by the repetition of Mantras and by Saguna Upasana. Nirguna Upasana or meditation on abstract forms or ideas is rather difficult in the beginning. First practise Saguna Upasana, and then Nirguna Upasana will come by itself"
"From countless births the mind has been running along sensual grooves. It takes a long time to control it. So you have to practise introspection, Self-analysis and meditation daily. Walk along the Path. March to the goal. Spiritualise all your activities. Transmute every action into Yoga.
तस्मात्सर्वेषु कालेषु मामनुस्मर युध्य च ।
Tasmaat sarveshu kaaleshu maamanusmara yudhya cha
mayyarpita-mano-buddhir maam evai hyasyasanshayam (B.G. 8/7).
(Therefore, always remember Me and also do your duty of fighting the war. With mind and intellect surrendered to Me, you will definitely attain Me; of this, there is no doubt.)
Remember the Lord at all times and do your duty. Realise God and shine as Jivanmuktas here and now!"
Swamiji also sang several Kirtans and songs.
27th February, 1956
THE NATIONAL DEFENCE ACADEMY
Swamiji has been invited by the Commandant of the National Defence Academy, Dehra Dun, to address the Officers and Cadets of the Academy this evening. The program deserved army discipline, and Swamiji was much ahead of the schedule. At 2.30 Swamiji came out of his Kutir and sat at the roadside waiting for the car. As soon as the car came, the things necessary for the trip were all loaded into it. Satchidanandaji came out almost hidden by the numerous bags he carried in his hands, besides Swamiji's shawl, etc. Swamiji himself was amused at this! "Satchidanandaji has understood my ways thoroughly, and he is ever ready with anything I may ask for. Chocolates and sweets for the children, biscuits and cashewnuts for bigger children; varieties of books for varieties of people-Tamil, Hindi, Canarese and even Sindhi books, pamphlets and leaflets and also Journals." A thousand copies of the pamphlet which Swamiji had specially got prepared with a special message to the Officers and Cadets of the Academy were also taken.
The car left the Ashram at 3 p.m. with Swamiji singing the Jaya Ganesha Kirtans.
Smt. Ananda Mohini Anand and Smt. Sushila Kamboj met Swamiji at the outskirts of Dehra Dun and welcomed him to their town with flowers and garlands. They also tied a Divine Life Flag to the car's bonnet: during the rest of the journey this lovely flag on the bonnet of the flower-bedecked car fluttered proudly, announcing the arrival of the sage.
Major Tiwari received Swamiji at his house in the Academy. Capt. Vasudev of the Academy joined us shortly afterwards. Swamiji admired the lovely garden of the house.
Then to the Club where they had arranged a tea-party. They were serving sweets and tea: Swamiji was sending to all the officers who were assembled there his sweet guides to immortality--the precious books and pamphlets that he had brought with him.
Brigadier Apji Randhir Singhji introduced to Swamiji Sri Aggarwal, President of the Forest Research Institute. During the course of the conversation that ensued, Sri Randhir Singhji remarked: "Hardly ever has this place been blessed with the visit of a spiritual personality of your stature. So it is a great day for all of us here and a real blessing to the officers and cadets of the Academy. Many of the cadets do have a thirst for spiritual truths, but they are just unable to find them. It is therefore, that we have organised this Cultural and Philosophical Association, under whose auspices this meeting has been convened, with the object of enabling the boys to quench their spiritual thirst and discover the spiritual basis for their life."
Referring to the slight drizzle at that time, Sri Randhir Singhji said: "In days of yore they used to sprinkle the roads with water and sweep them clean, when a Maharaja visited their place, as a mark of their respect and devotion to him. That was because the ruler was regarded as a manifestation of God Himself-Naranam cha Naradhipam. Such practices have now gone out of vogue. But I am happy that today when we have the good fortune of receiving you, a spiritual Maharaja and manifestation of divinity, the Devas themselves have arranged for the proper reception and have therefore sent the rains and a mild breeze to sweep the roads and cool the atmosphere down."
The Brigadier then recalled his visit to the Ashram and said: "Your Ashram has been built by you at a very beautiful place." Swamiji invited him to visit the Ashram again and this time to stay there for some days.
Then the Brigadier took Swamiji in his car to the open grounds where the meeting had been arranged.
The program began with an introductory speech by Sri Abhayankar, the President of the Association, and was followed by a demonstration of Yoga Asanas by Swamies Bhumananda, Tejomayananda and Mokshananda. This was accompanied by a thrilling running commentary by Sri Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj. Bhumanandaji also demonstrated his muscle-control feats.
Divine Life Society's Great Service
Sri Abhayankar said: "The Western world has always believed in reaching God through books and parchments. India, the land of the holy ones, has always believed in the study of God through God. Among India's greatest cultures is the Yogic culture, that great training of man to train and harness his mind and unite it in oneness with God.
The Yogic system of health is a culture that has been practised by the Yogis in India for thousands of years. Its roots lie buried deep in the past, but its message is addressed no less surely to the people of today, living in the restless atmosphere of the modern world. Yoga lays stress on the bodily and mental poise and produces equanimity of spirit that is most beneficial to the whole nervous system. It trains the students in the basic principles of health and creates a true placidity of nature that allows great intensity of activity both of body and mind, when such activity is necessary.
To inculcate the Yogism in the religions of our Alma Mater, societies have been formed to mould the mind with spiritualism. One of the most famous of these societies is the Divine Life Society at Rishikesh. Founded in the year 1936 by Sri Swami Sivananda, the Divine Life Society teaches and preaches the way to lead a divine life. It is an ideal institution whose unique object is the promotion of a divine life of truth, purity, love and service in every man, woman and child in accordance with the tenets of each one's own religion.
The Society's chief aim is to awaken man to the true purpose of human life and to enlighten him about the various means and methods of attaining the goal. The aim is purely spiritual and fully tolerant.
Let me no longer interfere with today's performance, and so I now call upon the members of the Society to take the stage."
And then there was Bhajan and demonstration of Thaan' by Sri Swami Nadabrahmanandaji, followed by Bhumanandaji's humorous 'Oriental Restorative Balm.'
After a brief interval of ten minutes the meeting was continued, when Sri Abhayankar introduced Sri Swamiji to the audience and requested him to address the gathering.
Sivananda: Sage of Practical Wisdom
Sri Abhayankar, President of the Cultural and Philosophical Association, said:
"Commandant, Ladies and Gentlemen. It would be an audacity on my part to dare to introduce the enlightened Swamiji addressing us today. Let me then but say that I shall very briefly run over his life's work.
His Holiness Sri Swami Sivananda, the sage of practical wisdom, friend and guide to thousands travelling the spiritual path, philosopher and father to hungry aspirants craving for solace, satisfaction and redemption from sin-is one of the few great spiritual luminaries India has produced.
No blind believer himself, Swamiji has separated the pagan rituals from essential divinity, improbable absurdities from ancient truths and has given us a philosophy which involves a ready acceptance and coalescence of everything that is best in all forms of religious beliefs.
Suffice it to say of his teachings that his followers and disciples are scattered over the globe and are mostly deep thinking men of intellect. His life is a practical proof that he practises what he preaches and selfless service is his Guru-Seva. "Service melts the heart and makes it fit for the reception of divine light," says the Swamiji, "and it can only be done by purity of mind."
His writings have infused wisdom into and inspired the minds of hundreds who have learned Self-realisation by the practice of discrimination, dispasssion, service, renunciation of egoism and ceaseless meditation. The essence of his philosophy is "To know God is to become God." I consider it, therefore, our great good fortune to have amidst us today this great world teacher, and I no longer wish to stand between you and His Holiness Sri Swami Sivananda!
Yoga for the Soldier
Swamiji rose to address the mammoth assemblage of officers and cadets, the future Generals and other officers of the Indian Army. He said:
"Adorable, Immortal Atman! Let us chant Om now!"
(The audience did join Swamiji in the Om-chanting, but it was very mild.)
"This seems to be a civil OM: Let us have a vigorous military OM! You are all about to go out into different parts of the country to serve the nation and to defend it from enemies: this OM, this mighty symbol of divine power will enable you all to discharge your duties in a glorious way."
(Swamiji led the OM-chanting again: this time the loud intonation of the sacred Pranava rent the sky.)
"This OM is your real name, the name of the Immortal Self in you, the Atma that you are in reality. Om and Amen are one. From that Om all languages have come. "In the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was God"-says the Bible. That Word is OM. All other Mantras like OM Namah Sivaya, Om Namo Narayanaya, Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya have come from this Om, this original primal vibration. All arts and sciences have originated from this Om, which is the root-cause for the projection or manifestation of this Universe. Before this creation, before the First Vibration or OM, there was nothing but the One Common Consciousness, one without a second. That was Absolute Bliss. The vibration arose and the whole universe of names and forms was created.
Siva's National Anthem
Let us now sing a song which is significant for this occasion:
Sunaja Sunaja Sunaja Krishna
Tu Gitawala Jnana Sunaja Krishna
Vande Mataram Vande Mataram Vande Mataram
Jai Hind Jai Hind Jai Hind Jai Hind
Jai Jai Jai Jai Hind
Akhanda Ram Ram Ananda Ram Ram, Adwaita
Ram Ram Ram, Chidghana Ram Ram, Chinmaya
Ram Ram, Chidrup Ram Ram Ram, Vyapak Ram Ram Vibhu Ram Ram, Vishuddha Ram Ram Ram, Asanga Ram Ram Akarta Ram Ram Abhokta Ram Ram Ram.
India is the only land where God-realisation is the goal.
India is the only land where Yogis, sages abound Vande Mataram Vande Mataram Vande Mataram Jai Hind Jai Hind Jai Hind Jai Hind Jai Jai Jai Hind!
Baname Khuda Mubarak Salaam Alekhum
Adam Khuda Nahi lekin
Khuda-ki-nurse Adam Juda Nahee.
Sat-Nam Sat-Nam Sat-Nam Ji
Ji Sri Wahe Guru Wahe Guru Wahe Guru Ji
May Lord bless Mother India, the sacred glorious Hind
The land of sages, Yogis and saintly soldiers
Like General Yadunath Singh who meditated on the battle-field
Like Major-General A. N. Sharma and
I rejoice now because I am in the midst of military officers, who have established a wonderful Cultural and Philosophical Association, to serve as a powerful background for the military training.
Inner Yogic Discipline
Life is fruitful, meaningful and colourful only if you add Atma to it. Any number of zeros cannot give you any value, but if you add 1 before them you give value to the zeros. Man lives in vain if he does not practise Japa, meditation, selfless service, Pranayama, enquiry into the nature of the Atma, the immortal soul which is the solid Reality, full of bliss as you enjoy during deep sleep-in fact, you are in reality the Soul and nothing else: but you forget on account of ignorance, Raga-Dwesha-the twin-currents of likes and dislikes, which have their origin in ignorance. Avidya, Asmita, Raga, Dwesha, Abhinivesha-these are the five afflictions. The main original root-cause is Avidya-absence of Knowledge. On account of this man identifies himself with this perishable body. Egoism manifests itself. Man mistakes this 5' 4" body to be the Self. In reality, he is Infinity, Eternity, Immortality-that is your real nature. All sufferings, afflictions and miseries are due to this original ignorance, because man has forgotten his original essential divine nature.
There is no ignorance from the point of view of the Absolute. How the Absolute has assumed these forms and has manifested itself in the form of these Jivas with all kinds of limitations, is inexplicable, because the intellect is a finite instrument and cannot grasp these transcendental truths-the why and how of this universe. Only in the material plane, in matters connected with this phenomenal world, can the "why" and "how" operate. You will have to transcend mind and speech. Then only will you understand the nature of Maya and how the world has been created. This knowledge can be gained only through inspiration, revelation, daily practice of meditation, enquiry and discipline on the senses and the mind.
It is not the military discipline. What you need is the Forest University discipline. What is that? You will have to equip yourself with the Four: Viveka, Vairagya, Shad-Sampat and Mumukshutwa.
All these virtues are necessary to become a student of Vedanta. Then only the truths of Vedanta will be revealed unto you. There is a discipline greater than all the military disciplines: that is Vairagya. For the worldly man this world perceived through the five senses is the solid reality. Man asks: "Prove that there is something beyond this world which is perceived by the senses." Proof is not needed for Para-Brahman. He is the basis for all proofs: he is the supreme-consciousness in whose borrowed intelligence this little intellect thinks and offers proofs for phenomena. That Para-Brahman is beyond logic, beyond metaphysical abstractions. He is that One Supreme, non-dual Consciousness which pervades names and forms-the solid reality. He who attempts to realise this Atman -he and he alone has justified his existence here as a human being. He becomes fearless, absolutely fearless.
This fearlessness, this courage, this strength come from the realisation of the Eternal Imperishable Atman. Man depends upon his bank balance for strength. But the scriptures declare: Kaupeena-vantah khalu bhagyavantah, that sage who roams about happily clad only in a loin-cloth, he is the happiest man on earth. When the bank fails, the worldly man's heart also fails. The deluded man gets pain, sorrow and shock. Not so in the case of the sage. He owns the inexhaustible wealth of the Atman. Discipline the mind and the senses and shine as a sage, a Jivanmukta.
Enquiry into Truth
A little bit of enquiry, correct thinking, will give you a clear understanding that there is One Common Consciousness which pervades all beings and transcends them too. In it there is no pain, there is no sorrow- Ya atma apahata-papma vijaro -no old age, no vimrtyur visoko vijighatso'pipasah-
death, no hunger and no thirst. satya-kamah satya-sankalpah-a saint who has realised this Self has got Sat-Sankalpa to do good to the world. You should all try to realise the Self.
य आत्मापहतपाप्मा विजरो विमृत्युर्विशोको विजिघत्सोऽपिपासः सत्यकामः सत्यसंकल्पः
Ya atma apahata-paapma vijaro vimrtyur
(Chandogya Up. 8-7-1)
(He who is the Soul, who is bereft of sin, He, who is not subject to decay, death or repining,-He, who eats not, nor feels the sensation of thirst,-He, who is all truthful in his wishes and his resolves........)
Even by thinking of the great truths like Ahamatma nirakarah sarvavyapee swabhavatah (I am the Self, without name and form, all-pervading by nature), you will be highly elevated.
वेदान्तसारसर्वस्वं ज्ञानविज्ञानमेव च ।
अहमात्मा निराकारः सर्वव्यापी स्वभावत:
nanam vijnanameva cha,
sarvavyapee swabhavatah (Avadhuta Gita-5)
(I am the all-pervading, formless self. This is the essence of Vedanta)
Instead of thinking "I am this body" "I am the son of Mr. so and so" "I am black" "I am rich," etc., think "I am the all-pervading Self". In all these assertions, see "I am" is common to all. Negate the other attributes like son of so-and-so, rich, black, etc., and assert I Am. You are Absolute Existence. This will give you strength. Feel "I exist, pervading all beings, infinite." That Infinite I, the Self, is the basis of your very existence. In its light do the mind and the intellect and the senses function. That is the Atma. That is your real essential nature. Tat Twam Asi-Thou art That, and this is the last word of the Upanishads.
This is the knowledge that should be imparted to the students in our schools and colleges. Then from them will emerge most wonderful spiritual beings, Yogis and saints. They will be real heroes. They will be men of real courage, born of wisdom. What a great strength is derived from the realisation Ahamatma nirakarah sarvavyapee swabhavatah: I am the all-pervading Immortal Atma. When there is sinking of the heart and the doctors pronounce the case as hopeless, repeat Ahamatma Nirakarah. If you repeat this Mantra with feeling and Bhav even once, you will possess all the divine Aishwaryas. Nature is ever ready to help you and to give you her secret wealth, the Divine Aiswaryas. All the elements you can command. Devatas are ready to worship you, if you repeat Ahamatma nirakarah sarvavyapee swabhavatah, instead of saying "I am Mr. Banerjee." It will make you think and feel that you are the all-pervading Immortal Atma. This is your foremost duty, for which you have taken this body. You fail in this duty if you don't think of the Atma. You become spiritually bankrupt.
In times of despair, even when you are on the roll of unemployment and have nothing to eat, even if you are clad in rags and your relatives have deserted you, even when nobody dares to approach you because you are suffering from a dangerous, infectious disease, still stand up and assert: Chidananda Rupah Sivoham SivohamI I am the Infinite, Immortal Atma. This formula will help you, will strengthen you, and you will become the ruler of the universe, freed from birth and death.
You will get the Knowledge of the Atma through discipline of the mind and senses, through Japa, selfless service and through expansion of the heart. Your heart is small now. You cannot share what you have with others. You may give a few rupees in charity and send money orders to your relatives in London. If you want your heart to expand and if you want to become one with the whole nature and enjoy the wealth of Prakriti, of the Lord, you must have a large heart and do spontaneous generosity. Your heart must melt like butter when you see the sufferings of other people. Now-a-days even retired people give their pension only to their grand-children! If you want to feel oneness with the whole mankind, serve the poor. Everybody is serving: but that is not sufficient. Doing your duties and serving the Army, the Government or the nation, will only give you more wealth and comforts in the next birth. But to attain immortality, you must share what you have with others and do spontaneous generosity. If there is a cup of milk and you are about to drink it, and you see a poor man, you must run to him and give him the milk-not as a big man doing a magnanimous act, but with true humility, thankful that the Lord in him has given you an opportunity to serve Him.
The Ageless Convocation Address
You are all students. You must study the Taittiriya Upanishad. It contains the Upanishadic sages' Convocation Address.
Satyam Vada, speak the Truth. You can attain to Truth only by being truthful.
Dharmam Chara, be righteous in your actions.
Matru Devo Bhava
Pitru Devo Bhava,
Acharya Devo Bhava
Atithi Devo Bhava
may mother, father, guru, and guest be your God!
Give a gift with humility, reverence, with all kindness welling up in your heart and with the proper mental attitude!
Observe these rules. You may fail fifty times; but rise up and march boldly forward. Introspect regularly. Find out how far you have been able to practise these virtues. Find out why you failed. Punish yourself for the lapses. Silence the thoughts. Silence the mind. Find out what evil thoughts you have; introspect and find out your defects. Substitute them with divine virtues. If you have anger, substitute it with patience. If you are lustful, practise Brahmacharya. Pray. Do Japa: Om Jesus. Om Allah. Om Namo Narayanaya. Draw strength and will-power from within. Do it now. Not after retirement. Do not think "When I grow old, I will go to Rishikesh and find my Guru." Your minds are fresh now. So now you will have to practise all these!
Control anger. Never get angry. Energy is depleted by fits of temper. Cultivate the opposite virtue-patience, love and forgiveness. Anger will vanish. These negative qualities will gradually vanish, when you begin to cultivate divine virtues. Practise humility. Even if a man does not know anything, he thinks that he is superior to everybody.
Do a little Pranayama daily!
ततः क्षीयते प्रकाशावरणम्
Tatah ksheeyate prakashaavarnam(Patanjali Yoga Sutra-2/52)
(From that, the covering over the inner light is removed)
धारणासु च योग्यता मनसः
Dhaarnasu cha yogyataa manasah (Patanjali Yoga Sutra-2/53)
(The mind acquires fitness for dhaarana.)
Then the veil is destroyed and the mind is made fit to practise Dharana. That is the fruit of Pranayama. Satwa is Prakasha, the inner light. It is veiled by Rajas and Tamas. By the practice of Pranayama this veil is rent asunder. Then the mind Can be concentrated easily. Always practise Sagarbha Pranayama-Pranayama along with the repetition of your Ishtha-Mantra. Practise the Ati-Sukha-Purvaka Pranayama. This can be done sitting in the chair or even lying down in bed. You can increase your energy by the practice of Bhastrika Pranayama. If you feel exhausted, practise this. You will be filled with energy. Do a little of all these things. Try to get up at 4 a.m., and you will have time for everything.
These ideas must be gradually implanted in the mind. You must have a balanced mind always. When there is a little failure, a little pain, you become immersed in sorrow. When you get a little success or a little pleasure, you jump in joy. No. You must cultivate a balanced mind: a mind that will be equanimous in pleasure and pain, success and failure.
The One Universal Religion
Cut the three knots. You will find in the Upanishads a description of the three knots-Avidya, Kama and Karma. The first knot is ignorance. You have forgotten your essential divine, immortal, all-blissful nature. You seek after these in the external objects. Therefore desire (Kama) arises. Desire is imperfection. To satisfy your desires, you work (Karma). These are the three knots by which man is bound to this earth. By meditation the knots are cut. All doubts vanish. You will be liberated. Mind associated with objects binds you to this Samsara. Mind dissociated from objects liberates you. Rajas and Tamas bind you; Satwa liberates you.
How to increase Satwa? By study, by enquiry into the nature of the Self by Japa, by Pranayama and by meditation. Enquire "Who am I?" You say "I eat" "I know." What is this I? It is certainly not the body: for the I remains even after the death of the body. There is death for the mind also, and the I survives. What is mind? Mind is Vasana, Trishna, craving. Lord Buddha says that the cause for suffering is Trishna. Remove this craving, this selfish craving for sensual objects, which binds you to this wheel of birth and death, which is the cause of rebirth. Kamini, Kanchana and Keerti-these are the three K's that bind you. Remove the craving for these. There is a way to conquer these, and thus to conquer death itself; to be liberated from birth and death and thus to escape suffering. That is the noble eightfold path of Buddhism.
The same truths, the same essential principles are taught in all religions. All religions declare that there is one God and that in God alone can you have tranquility, peace, bliss, because He is self-contained, Paripoorna. This world is not Paripoorna. Every religion says: seek Peace and Immortality in God. Every religion says: be truthful, give charity, go on pilgrimages. During pilgrimages you can meet saints and also, you will have plenty of opportunities for doing some Tapas and practicing natural renunciation, because you will not get all the comforts and conveniences that you have in your home. Hindus go on pilgrimages to Badrinath and Kailas. Muslims go on pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina. Buddhists and Christians visit holy places associated with the life of Lord Buddha and Lord Jesus respectively. Every religion says: Love your neighbour as yourself. All religions are fundamentally one: only here and there, there is a little bit of difference-differences exist only in formalities and rituals.
Again and again I will remind you: you are essentially that Satchidananda Atma! Develop the Four Means-Viveka, Vairagya, Shad-Sampat and Mumukshutwa. Become compassionate. Compassion is the nature of God. To realise God is to become God. You should therefore be compassionate. All the virtues that are enumerated in the Gita, you must possess. If you stick to the one virtue of compassion, of cosmic love, all other virtues will come by themselves.
Everybody knows all this; but few attempt to put these things into practice. Maya is so powerful. Maya deludes you and veils the truth. But by daily practice and by maintaining the spiritual diary and introspecting every day-you can conquer Maya and become divine, and reach the goal of life, Immortality, Infinity.
Don't think that Samadhi or superconscious experience and the attainment of Moksha or Nirvana is total extinction. No, the Self is Satyam Jnanam and Anantam Existence Knowledge and Infinity. It is all Bliss and Peace. It is because the nature of the Self is Immortality, that a man is upset if you tell him "You will die." It is because the Self is All-Knowledge, a man is upset when you call him a fool. But this Self is veiled by ignorance. Sadhana consists in destroying this ignorance. Japa, Satsang, Pranayama and selfless service help you to tear this veil. You should practise all these along with your duties. Along with so many other Jhanjhats (botherations) have this one more Jhanjhat. So begin to do something practical! It is not too late.
Lesson in Meditation
There are two kinds of meditation-one is concrete meditation and the other is abstract meditation. Concrete meditation is meditation on the form of Lord Buddha, Lord Jesus or Lord Krishna, etc. When you think of the sublime Satwic form of these divine beings, Satwic energy flows into you. Concrete meditation itself leads to abstract meditation. If you wish to practise Nirguna meditation, repeat OM mentally and meditate upon Akasha, upon the air, upon space, upon sublime virtues like goodness, compassion, purity, Existence, Knowledge and Bliss. Akhanda, Paripurna, Satyam, Shantam, Aksharam, Nirvikaram, Ekarasa-homogeneous experience- these word-pictures of the impersonal Absolute will help you in your abstract meditation. Reflect for a moment. You cannot have homogeneous experience in the worldly objects. If there is real happiness in these objects, there must be a homogeneous experience. The same object does not give pleasure to all nor to the same person at all times. The only homogeneous experience which you get in this world is deep sleep. There is no diversity in this. Everybody sleeps soundly and derives happiness and peace from it.
These formulas-formulas like Ajara, Amara, Avinashi, Nitya, Nirupadhika, Niratisaya Ananda- will enable you to annihilate the mind and meditate
upon the all-pervading Atma. Mind is the dividing wall between man and God. Mind is but a bundle of thoughts, Vasanas, likes and dislikes. Through Japa and meditation and dwelling on the great formulas that describe the all-pervading Immortal Self, you can destroy this mind, and become one with the Absolute.
The Supreme Knowledge
What is that, knowing which everything becomes 'known?-asks the student in the Upanishads. We want cadets who will ask such questions. That is Brahma Vidya which imparts to you a knowledge of that which dwells in the chambers of your heart
ज्योतिषामपि तज्ज्योतिस्तमसः परमुच्यते ।
ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं ज्ञानगम्यं हृदि सर्वस्य विष्ठितम् ।।
Jyotishaamapi tajjyotistamasah paramuchyate Jnaanam jneyam jnaanagamyam hridi sarvasy vishthitam (B.G.13/17)
(That, the Light of all lights, is said to be beyond darkness: knowledge, the knowable and the goal of knowledge, seated in the hearts of all.)
By knowing this, the unknown becomes known, the unseen becomes seen and the unheard becomes heard, and the unthought is thought of. All miseries come to an end. You rise beyond the body. You realise that you are the Immortal, birthless, deathless, diseaseless Atma, all-pervading, full of bliss. In that alone can you experience Supreme Bliss, and in that Atma or Brahman alone can you have a homogeneous experience.
Glory of Mrityunjaya Mantra
You can do your duties and earn money. But side-by-side, please devote half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the night to prayer, introspection and meditation. You should specially do Japa of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. It is of the greatest importance to the military officers. It is a life-saving Mantra!
The father-in-law of Dr. Ranganathan, who was till recently the President of the Forest Research Institute, was bed-ridden. When I went to Bangalore during my All-India Tour, Dr. Ranganathan's mother-in-law met me at the aerodrome and told me about her husband's condition. I gave her the Mrityunjaya Mantra and requested her and her husband to repeat it. He became completely all right. Soon afterwards he wanted to see me and travelled all the way to Rishikesh along with Dr. Ranganathan.
A military officer's son was in an aeroplane which met with an accident. He was doing regular Japa of the Mrityunjaya Mantra. He was the only passenger saved. This Mantra is a panacea for all ills, and it will give you health and long life. It will give you liberation from Samsara also. This is the Mantra:
ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम् ।
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान्मृत्यो-र्मुक्षीय माऽमृतात् ।।
Om Tryambakam Yajaamahe
(Om-We worship the three-eyed One (Lord Siva), Who is fragrant and Who nourishes well all beings. May He liberate us from death for the sake of immortality even as the cucumber is severed from its bondage to the creeper.)
Saints in the Army
This has become Rishikesh. The N. D. A. has become an Ashram. The Academy has produced many spiritual luminaries already. A soldier can realise God easily, because he is courageous, and he has no attachment to the body and relatives. If there is some disturbance somewhere, the soldier has to go there. The soldiers are the defenders of our motherland. All of you are ready to sacrifice your life for the cause of liberty.
The Indian Army has already produced wonderful saints-Major-General Yadunath Singhji, the adorable Military Secretary to our President. He was called Sadhu Brigadier in those days. Now he is a Sadhu Major-General. Whenever he comes to the Ashram, he sits on the Ganges bank and meditates. He always says: "I do not want any special treatment; I will take food in the Ashram's common kitchen. During the Parliament of Religions held in the Ashram, Major-General Yadunath Singhji worked as a volunteer, carrying chairs and arranging the platform! He is extremely simple in his living habits, because he always dwells in the divine realm of sublime thoughts. He is very fond of meditation. Even on the battle-field, he would not miss his meditation. He has tapped the Source. Therefore, he has won undying fame in Kashmir, and the Government has awarded the Maha-Vir-Chakra to him.
Then we have Major-General A.N. Sharma, retired Director of the Army Medical Services. He is full of humility and devotion, a virtuous man who calls even his car driver 'Beta' (son). General Sharma is ever ready to render any service. Whenever he comes to the Ashram, he is busy with his scheme for building up a Sivananda Medical Organisation. Twice he has conducted First Aid Classes in the Ashram and awarded certificates to successful candidates. His First Aid lectures will soon be published in book-form.
His son Somnath, you have all heard about him. He won the first Param-Vir-Chakra. He was a small boy when he came to the Ashram. He had a very high sense of duty; and he wanted to serve the country. He soon rose to be a Major. In Kashmir he showed remarkable gallantry, for which he was awarded the Param-Vir-Chakra posthumously. Later when his body was searched, there was a copy of the Bhagavad Gita in his pocket. He was a wonderful and keen student of the Bhagavad Gita. He had realised the Immortality of the Soul, therefore he was extremely courageous even when his life was at stake. He was a true Karma Yogi; therefore, he had unflinching devotion to duty. He knew:
न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचि-
न्नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूयः ।
अजो नित्यः शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो
न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे ।।
Na jaayate mriyate vaa kadaachit
Naayam bhootvaa bhavitaa vaa na bhooyah
Ajo nityah shaashvatdyam puraano
Na hanyate hanyamaane shareere(B.G.2/20)
(It is not born, nor does It ever die; after having been, It again ceases not to be; unborn, eternal, changeless and ancient, It is not killed when the body is killed.)
This Atma is Immortal and even when this body is destroyed, the Atma remains. As soon as you get up in the morning, even before taking tea, repeat Ajo nityah shaashwato'yam puraano: I am the Unborn Eternal Atma. Na hanyate hanyamaane sareere. I am not destroyed even though the body is destroyed. This is the formula you will have to repeat daily before taking your tea!
Ajo nityah shaashwato'yam puraano.
(When Swamiji repeated this, every time the tone went higher and higher in pitch, till it seemed as though he was shooting this great truth into the hearts of each one of his listeners. Swamiji himself was in a highly inspired state whenever he uttered this glorious formula).
There is death only for the body. The body is composed of five elements, and they are given back to their source. But the Atma has no death. Ajo nityah shaashwato'yam puraano: this will give you more strength than anything else in this world. It is a supreme Brahmic tonic. You need not go to a doctor. Repeat Ajo nityah shaashwato'yam puraano. When you have no food to eat, when you are lying in bed, and the doctors have given up hope, repeat Ajo nityah shaashwato'yam puraano.
And we have General Cariappa. He is a great soul. He is a saint. He is worshipped in Australia. You are all his spiritual children and you know him better. Even after retirement, he is serving humanity, now perhaps in a greater way. He is India's spiritual ambassador in Australia. Every week I am sending parcels of books to him, and he is spreading the message of Divine Life in Australia. He is in regular correspondence with me. He takes a great interest in the Divine Life Society.
Here you have Capt. Vasudev-repeat his name a few times daily, you will get Mukti! Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya. General Cariappa asked him to publish a book of his most inspiring thoughts.
General Cariappa has written to me that as soon as he retires, he would return to India and go from village to village, distributing medicines and bring about a spiritual awakening in the masses. He is not an arm-chair philosopher. He wants to do, to serve. Service becomes wisdom; Bhakti blossoms into Jnana. The goal is wisdom. Service purifies your heart, and then the divine grace descends illumining your intellect with Atma-Jnana.
श्रेयान्द्रव्यमयाद्यज्ञाज्ज्ञानयज्ञः परन्तप ।
सर्वं कर्माखिलं पार्थ ज्ञाने परिसमाप्यते ।
yajnaaj jnaanayajna parantapa;
Sarvam karmaakhilam paartha
jnaane parisamaapyate. (B.G. 4/33)
(Superior is wisdom-sacrifice to the sacrifice with objects, O Parantapa (harasser of the foes). All actions in their entirety, O Arjuna, culminate in knowledge)
Last but not least, there is Brigadier Randhir Singh. A very God-fearing great and noble soul! It is he who has brought me here, coupled with this magnet Vasudev. They are here in front of me, and you know them much better. So I need not talk much about them.
I thank you all for giving me an opportunity to serve you and to give me a patient hearing!
To the Officers and Cadets of the
National Defence Academy
[Printed and Distributed for the Occasion]
What is the difference between a soldier and a saint? The question is highly significant when you realise that a true soldier is a saintly person and a true saint is a mighty warrior, a powerful hero!
Who is a hero? The Upanishad, the wisdom-scripture of India has a wonderful definition to give us. The hero is one, who is able to restrain the natural outgoing tendency of the mind and the senses-a tendency bestowed upon them by the Creator-and to turn the 'gaze' inward. This is what a true seeker after Truth does. And why? Because that is the Sadhana or spiritual exercise that he has to do in order to attain Immortality, in order to enjoy Eternal Bliss, in order to remain forever immersed in perennial peace.
What does man long for in this world?-A good, happy, peaceful long life. In other words, Immortality, Eternal Bliss and Perennial Peace No one wants to die, no one runs after misery, no one really wishes his peace of mind to be disturbed.
When wars are waged by righteous people, it is only in order that the good and innocent people of the world might live in peace, enjoying reasonable happiness. This is the one motive with which man carries on his daily activities. But, alas, he does not find them in worldly objects. These things are just not in worldly objects. The world itself is perishable and all objects in it are short-lived. How can you get imperishable happiness and peace from perishable objects?
The wise sages discovered that. That Imperishable Something which man seeks, is within himself-his own Self! This Self is the fountain- source of Immortality, Eternal Bliss and Perennial Peace. In the light of this realisation, philosophers concluded that even the very longing of man for more and more life, more and more happiness, more and more knowledge, and greater and greater measure of peace, pointed to the fact that these were the very characteristics of the Self. "Back to the Self!" sounded the sages' call. The spiritual soldier obeyed it and the first Spiritual Army Regulation he had to put into practice was: "Turn the gaze, draw the Indriyas, still the mind and sharpen the intellect. Chant OM with feeling, meditate on Atma."
This called for greater heroism than what is needed even on the battle-field. The inner war is more terrible than the outer war the inner enemy is ignorance. Remember, that is why man runs after the objects of the senses and commits a thousand things for acquiring and retaining the objects, because he does not know, he is ignorant of the Bliss of the Self within-this inner enemy is more powerful than any external enemy in the world.
Man's essential nature is the All-Powerful Self, no doubt. But he is heavily veiled and feels that he is a puny creature. Therefore, this strange inner war starts with a surrender! Man surrenders his finite nature, the little ego, the loadstone that halts his progress towards the target. He cuts off the shackles that bind him to this earth. He detaches himself from the earthly ties and attaches himself to the Lord's Lotus-Feet. For an instant it looks as though he has jumped off the secure shore into an ocean, deep and unknown. But the hero does not hesitate. He takes the plunge. Lo, he discovers that he has jumped into the safest of all boats-God's Grace! Once in it, he is free from the torments of delusion; his horizon widens; he gets a vision of the universe as a visible manifestation of the Lord, and he realises that he himself is in fact the Sovereign of the three worlds. Filled now with compassion for all beings in the universe, he returns to the shore and ascends it-now not as a little, finite being, but as a victor over himself, as the supreme monarch of monarchs. He is the saviour; he is the greatest saint; he is the supreme benefactor of humanity.
How can the soldier become a saint? You have all the equipment necessary to make you a saint.
You are all the very embodiments of renunciation and devotion to duty. You are ever ready to give up your life for the sake of defending the freedom of the country, freedom of innocent people, for the sake of protecting Dharma. You are ever ready to undergo any amount of suffering and privation for the sake of the achievement of this sublime ideal. Your life itself is synonymous with discipline. Obedience is your second-nature. Heroism is ingrained in you. I have heard numberless accounts of the peace-time role of the soldier-how he literally runs to the rescue of the afflicted and to the aid of the needy. You are the ideal Nishkama Karma Yogins. You have devotion.
You have put on a new uniform. This is the spiritual uniform. It is a wonderful uniform which will at once lift you to the realms divine. This uniform is worn in the eyes too: Have uniform, equal vision! See the One Self, the One God in all. Entertain a uniform feeling of love towards all beings. Treat all with uniform courtesy. Adopt a uniform attitude towards all that happens to you; be tranquil and equanimous in all states. This is Yoga. This is the greatest Sadhana. This is the secret of Self-realisation.
May God bless you all with health, long life, peace, prosperity and Kaivalya! May you all shine as Yogis, saints, sages, Jivanmuktas, and Bhagavatas!
ALL OF YOU COME AND TAKE PRASAD!