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Sadhana-8.

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8.START SADHANA NOW :



Act now. Live now. Know now. Realize now. Be happy now.
Every death is a reminder. Every bell that rings says, "The end is near". Every day robs off from you one part of your precious life. Therefore, you should be very earnest in plunging yourself in constant Sadhana.


Never fall a victim to fruitless regret. Today is the best day. Today is the day of your new birth. Start Sadhana now. With folded palms, bid good-bye to past mistakes and faults. You have learnt your lessons. March forward now with new hope, determination, and vigilance.


Waver not. Fear not. Doubt not. Do something substantial in the path of Sadhana instead of wasting your time in idle pursuits and lethargy. You have infinite strength within you. There is a vast reservoir of power within you. Therefore, do not lose heart. Obstacles are stepping stones to success. They will develop your will. Do not allow yourself to be crushed by them. Defects remind you of perfection. Sin reminds you o…

Sadhana-7.

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7. OBSTACLES TO SPIRITUAL PROGRESS :



Sometimes the aspirant gets stuck up. He cannot proceed further in his path. Sometimes he is side-tracked through Siddhis. He loses his way and walks in some other direction. He misses the goal. Sometimes he is assailed by temptations and various oppositions. Sometimes he gets false contentment. He thinks he has reached his goal and stops all Sadhana. Sometimes he is careless, lazy, indolent. He cannot do any Sadhana. Therefore, be eternally vigilant, like the captain of a ship, like the surgeon in the operation theatre.


The spiritual path is full of hurdles. If you conquer one obstacle, another obstacle is ready to manifest. If you control the sense of taste, another Indriya is simply waiting to assault you with redoubled force and vigour. If you remove greed, anger is waiting to hurl you down. If you drive egoism through one door, it enters through another door. Great patience, perseverance, vigilance, and undaunted strength are needed.


Be frim,…

Sadhana : 6. ( Part-2.)

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6. SIGNS OF SPIRITUAL PROGRESS >

Part -2.


Do not let failures discourage you, but go on doing your best. Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures, as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in future. Be cautious. Just think of the causes which led to your failures and try to remove them in future. Strengthen yourself with new vigour and virtues. Develop slowly your will-power.


Every temptation that is resisted, every evil thought that is curbed, every desire that is subdued, every bitter word that is withheld, every noble aspiration that is encouraged, every sublime thought that is cultivated, adds to the development of will-force, good character, and attainment of eternal bliss and immortality.


Every bit of Sadhana done is surely recorded without fail in your hidden consciousness. No Sadhana ever goes in vain. Every bit of it is credited immediately towards your evolution. This is the law. Think not negative thoughts, but calm…

Sadhana : 6. ( Part-1.)

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6. SIGNS OF SPIRITUAL PROGRESS :

Part-1.


The gradual inward progress is mostly silent and unseen, like the quiet unfolding of a bud into a flower in the hours of the night. Therefore, do not be dejected. Do not depress yourself with the idea that you are not progressing. Real spiritual progress is really and accurately measured by the peacefulness, serenity, and calmness that you manifest in waking state. You will have a healthy body and mind, the excretions will be scanty, the voice will be sweet, the face will be brilliant, the eyes will be lustrous. You will be ever calm, tranquil, and poised; you will be ever cheerful, fearless, and contented. You will be dispassionate and discriminative.


There will be no attraction for the world. Things that used to upset you before will not upset you now. You will have an unruffled mind. You will have introversion. Things that used to give you pleasure produce disgust or a reverse effect now. You will have a one-pointed, sharp, subtle mind. You…

Sadhana : 5.

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5. SPIRITUAL PROGRESS IS LIKE A SPIRAL :



You have to plod on and scale many hills. You cannot climb the Everest in one jump. There is no jumping on the spiritual path.
Self-realization is not like a six-year post-graduate course. It is the result of intense protracted Sadhana.



There is no short-cut in the spiritual path. There is no royal road to the kingdom of immortal bliss. There is no half-measure in the divine path. Strict, hard discipline is wanted. Then alone you can conquer Maya. Only then can you control the mind.
Saints and Yogins will never think that they have controlled the mind. Only the deluded Sadhaka will imagine he has controlled the mind and get a terrible downfall.



It is the very nature of life, mind, and Prakriti to be constantly in motion. When there is the idea in the mind that the highest goal is yet to be achieved, you will always move towards it. If you imagine that you have got to the top, you will anyhow have to move, and that movement will be downward. Yo…

Sadhana : 4.

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4. THE SPIRITUAL PATH :



The spiritual path may, in the beginning, appear to be very hard, thorny, precipitous and slippery. Renunciation of objects gives pain at the outset. If you struggle hard to tread the path, if you once make a strong determination and firm resolve, then it becomes very easy. You get interest and new joy. Your heart expands. You have a broad outlook of life. You have a new, wide vision. You feel the help from the invisible hands of the Indweller of your heart. Your doubts are cleared by themselves by getting answers from within.


You can hear the shrill, sweet voice of God. There is an indescribable thrill of divine ecstasy from within. There is deep, abiding, everlasting joy and unruffled peace. There is ineffable, unabating, undiminishing, undecaying spiritual bliss. This gives new strength. The footing in the path becomes firmer and firmer. The Jivanmuktas, Yogins, Nitya-siddhas, Amara-purushas, and Chiranjivis lend their helping hands to the struggling aspira…

Sadhana : 3.

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3. DANGERS OF MIXING WITH WOMEN (OR MEN) AND WORLDLINGS :



During the period of Sadhana, avoid the company of women (or men in the case of women). You must never mix with young ladies (or men), however strong you may be. Maya works through under-currents so stealthily that you may not be aware of your actual downfall.


Keep the mind fully occupied with spiritual pursuits. Keep yourself at the farthest distance from everything that would stir up your passions. Then only you will be safe.


Do not live with householders. Do not test your spiritual strength and purity when you are a beginner on the spiritual path. Do not rush into evil associations when you are a spiritual neophyte to show that you have the courage to face sin and impurity. It will be a serious mistake. You will be running into a grave danger. You will have a quick downfall. A small fire will be very easily extinguished by a heap of dust.


Mind has a great power of imitation. This is the reason why a spiritual aspirant is pr…

Sadhana : 2.

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2. ASPIRATION AND ACHIEVEMENT :



Good intentions alone will not do. They must be backed up by good actions. You must enter the spiritual path with the best intention of attaining Atma-Jnana (Self-knowledge), but unless you are vigilant and diligent, unless you do intense and rigorous Sadhana, unless you guard yourself against lust, anger and egoism and selfishness, the good intentions alone will not enable you to achieve success.


Moral purity and spiritual aspiration are the first steps in the seeker's path. Without a strong conviction in moral values, there can surely be no spiritual life, or even a good life.
Stern self-discipline is absolutely essential. Self-discipline does not mean suppression, but taming the brute within. It means humanization of the animal and spiritualization of the human.
You will have to break the virgin soil before you sow the seed. The seed breaks itself before it sprouts out as a plant. Destruction precedes construction. This is the immutable law of …

Sadhana : 1.

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Swami Sivananda



1. INTRODUCTION :



Sadhana is spiritual movement consciously systematized. Sadhana is the purpose for which we have come to this place.


Abhyasa and Sadhana are synonymous terms. The object of Sadhana is to release life from the limitations with which it is bound.


Sadhana is a lifelong process. Every day, every hour, every minute, is an onward march. Obstacles are innumerable in this great voyage. But, so long as you hold God as thy guide, there is nothing to worry about. You are sure to reach the other shore.


Some people have curiosity for the spiritual line. They have no real thirsting for liberation. They think that they will get certain powers or Siddhis (psychic powers) if they do some Yogic practices.
When they do not attain the powers, they lose patience and give up the practices, abandon the spiritual path, and pooh-pooh the Yogis and Yoga.


Mere curiosity will not help you to attain any spiritual pro…

Vegetarianism : 6. ( Last Part )

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Abolish Slaughter-Houses :
If you want to stop taking mutton, fish, etc., just see with your own eyes the pitiable, struggling condition of the animals at the time of killing. Now mercy and sympathy will arise in your heart. You will determine to give up flesh-eating. If you fail in this attempt, just change your environment and live in a vegetarian hotel where you cannot get mutton and fish, and move in that society where there is only vegetable diet. Always think of the evils of flesh-eating and the benefits of a vegetarian diet. If this also cannot give you sufficient strength to stop this habit, go to the slaughter- house and the butcher's shop and personally see the disgusting, rotten muscles, intestines, kidneys and other nasty parts of the animals which emits bad smell. This will induce Vairagya (dispassion) in you and a strong disgust and hatred for meat-eating. (Click here if you feel you need to see scenes from a slaughter-house to induce dispassion for meat. If you can…

Vegetarianism : 4 & 5.

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4. Meat Diet Generates Diseases :



Meat generates diseases, excites passions, and produces restlessness of mind. Scientists are coming to the conclusion that there are, in meat, certain things which are absolutely poisonous. A very large number of medical men who have studied the subject of diet in relation to health are forbidding their patients to eat animal flesh, not only as a means of cure for such diseases as gout, rheumatism, etc., but also as a preventive against uric- acid ailments and diseases of many kinds, including consumption, cancer, and appendicitis.

Meat is not at all necessary for the keeping up of perfect health, vigour, and vitality. On the contrary, it is highly deleterious to health; it brings in its train a host of ailments such as tapeworm, albuminuria, and other diseases of the kidneys. In large meat-eating countries, cancer mortality is admittedly very high.


5. Flesh-Eating Involves Cruelty :


Moreover, flesh-eating involves the exercise of cruelty which is no…

Vegetarianism : 1, 2, & 3.

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1. Introduction :


Sage Uddalaka instructs his son Svetaketu: "Food when consumed, becomes threefold. The gross particles become the excrement, the middling ones flesh, and the fine ones the mind. My child, when curd is churned, its fine particles which rise upwards form butter. Thus, my child, when food is consumed, the fine particles which rise upwards form the mind. Hence, verily, the mind is food".

2. Three Kinds of Diet :


Diet is of three kinds, viz., Sattvic diet, Rajasic diet, and Tamasic diet. In the Bhagavad-Gita, Lord Krishna says to Arjuna: "The food which is dear to each is threefold. The food which increases vitality, energy, vigour, health, and joy and which are delicious, bland, substantial, and agreeable are dear to the pure. The passionate persons desire foods that are bitter, sour, saline, excessively hot, pungent, dry, and burning, and which produce pain, grief, and disease. The food which is stale, tasteless, putrid, rotten, and impure, is dear to th…

Happiness : 7 & 8. ( Last Part )

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7. REAL HAPPINESS IS WITHIN :



Real happiness is within you. It is in the Atman. It is subjective. It manifests when the mind is concentrated. When the Indriyas are withdrawn from the objects outside, when the mind is one-pointed, when there is Vasana-kshya and Manonasa, when you become desireless and thoughtless, Atmic bliss begins to dawn, spiritual Ananda begins to thrill.

The musk is in the navel of the deer, but it runs here and there to smell it. The chain is in the neck of the damsel, but she runs hither and thither in search of it. The precious diamond is within you, but you run after the broken glass-pieces in vain. Even so, the ocean of bliss is within you; the fountain of joy is within you; and yet, you run here and there in search of it. The Sun of suns is ever shining in you, but your blind eyes cannot behold it. The eternal sound is ringing within you, but your deaf ears cannot hear it.

Go wherever you may, to Gulmarg or Pahalgam in Kashmir, to Darjeeling in Simla, to Vi…

HAPPINESS : 5 & 6.

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5. PLEASURE IS THE CAUSE OF PAIN :



The cause of pain is pleasure. The man who is addicted to taking tea, and is in the habit of taking fruits and milk after meals, feels very miserable when he cannot get tea, or fruits and milk, in a certain place. When the wife dies, the husband is drowned in sorrow, not because of the loss of his loving partner in life, but because he cannot get sexual pleasure now.

The cause of pain is pleasure. The cause of death is love for sensual life. Give up all sensual pleasures, if you do not want pain. Give up sensual life, if you do not want death.

Enjoyment cannot bring satisfaction of desire. On the contrary, it aggravates and intensifies desires and makes the mind more restless through sense-hankering or Trishna, just as the pouring of ghee or oil aggravates fire. The fewer the wants, the greater the happiness.

Many rich persons, in spite of their immense wealth and possession of two or three wives, are extremely miserable and unhappy. I have come in …

HAPPINESS : 3. & 4.

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3. PLEASURE IS MIXED WITH PAIN :


You cannot have pleasure without pain. Wherever there is pleasure, there is pain. You vainly seek pleasure in gold, in women (or men in the case of women), in this mundane existence. You cannot have absolute happiness in a relative physical plane of pairs of opposites. The pairs of opposites rotate in their turn. Death follows life. Night follows day. Light follows darkness. Pain follows pleasure.

One part of pleasure is mixed with fifteen parts of pain. Pleasure that is mixed with pain, fear and worry is no pleasure at all. If you carefully begin to analyze this one part of pleasure also, it will dwindle into an airy nothing. You will find that it is mere play of the mind.

Pleasure and pain are relative terms only. They are not two entities. They are obverse and reverse sides of the same coin. The difference is not in kind, but in degree only.

Pleasure and pain are two names for one thing. They are two aspects of one thing. For a worldly man without …