On the one hand, the Sivananda Ashram is a physical place, located somewhere with buildings, residents, and offices. On the other hand, it is not a place at all. It is the spiritual expression of the divine mission of its founder, Swami Sivananda. If a natural calamity was to occur, and all the buildings were destroyed and all the residents dispersed, there would still be a Sivananda Ashram. To the extent that people devoted to carrying on his work share Swami Sivananda's vision, to that same extent Sivananda Ashram would continue to exist.
So often people in the Ashram will remark how they still feel the spiritual presence of Swami Sivananda and see his hand in the affairs of the Ashram. They will say, "It is not I who works, but Gurudev who works through me." The residents also feel that it is in this very place that they can be led more firmly to their goal of God-realisation. In this place of selfless service, contemplation and ego-annihilation, is an atmosphere vibrant with the spiritual power that can carry the aspirant to that realisation. Swami Chidanandaji once said in response to a request of an Ashram resident to go elsewhere to do sadhana, "Yes, there may be many other places more suited for good spiritual practice. But if it is God-realisation you want, there is no better place than here."
The Sivananda Ashram is the headquarters and spiritual focal point of a vast worldwide organisation called "The Divine Life Society." The Society encompasses more than 300 branches around the world, as well as individual devotees in India and abroad. At the centre of this vast network of spiritual uplift throughout the world, in the form of the Divine Life Society, stands the Sivananda Ashram as the guiding light. The Ashram is dedicated to the service of all and is itself benefited by the generous donations of the devotees who want to see that service continue. It is in the Ashram that any person interested in the spiritual life, whether a member of the DLS or not, can come and be nurtured by the spirit that pervades this place.
THE SIVANANDA PILLAR
INSCRIPTIONS - I
CARDINAL DOCTRINES OF
THE MAIN RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD
Know the Self and be free - Hinduism
The Kingdom of Heaven is within you - Christianity
There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is the prophet of Allah - Islam
For the whole world this is the law: all is impermanent - Buddhism
Non‑injury is verily the only religion - Jainism
Purity of thought, word and deed is the essence of religion - Zoroastrianism
I am that I am - Judaism
He who has overcome himself is mighty - Taoism
Blame yourself as you would blame others. Excuse others as you would excuse yourself - Confucianism
There is but one God and His name is truth; wonderful is the guru - Sikhism
I am that Real - Sufism
See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil - Shintoism
All religions are one. They teach a divine life. Love all. Serve all.
Practise ahimsa, satya, brahmacharya. Be selfless. Seek the Immortal - Divine Life
Heart of Religion
God is love. The only true religion is the religion of love or the religion of the heart.
Feel for others as you feel for yourself.
This universal religion will bring world‑peace and happiness.
SEEK FIND ENTER
REST IN GOD
1. Get up at 4. a.m. daily. Do japa and meditation.
2. Sit on padma or siddha asana for japa and dhyana.
3. Take sattvic food. Do not overload the stomach.
4. Do charity ‑ one tenth of your income or one anna per rupee.
5. Study daily one chapter of the Bhagavad Gita.
6. Preserve veerya (vital force). Sleep separately.
7. Give up smoking, narcotics, intoxicant drinks and rajasic food.
8. Fast on Ekadasi days or take milk and fruits only.
9. Observe mouna for two hours daily and during meals also.
10. Speak the truth at any cost. Speak a little and sweetly.
11. Reduce your wants. Lead a happy, contented life.
12. Never hurt the feelings of others. Be kind to all.
13. Think of the mistakes that you have made (self‑analysis).
14. Do not depend upon servants. Have self‑reliance.
15. Think of God as soon as you wake up and when you go to bed.
16. Have always a japa‑mala on your neck or in your pocket.
17. Adhere to the motto ‑ 'Simple living and high thinking'.
18. Serve the sadhus, sannyasins and the poor, the sick and the suffering.
19. Have a separate meditation room under lock and key.
20. Keep a daily spiritual diary. Stick to your routine.
These 20 instructions contain the essence of yoga and vedanta.
Follow them strictly. Do not be lenient to your mind.
You will attain supreme happiness.
BE GOOD DO GOOD
INSCRIPTIONS - III
0 Adorable Lord of mercy and love!
Salutations and prostrations unto Thee.
Thou art Satchidananda.
Thou art Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient.
Thou art the Indweller of all beings.
Grant us an understanding heart,
Equal vision, balanced mind,
Faith, devotion and wisdom.
Grant us inner spiritual strength
To resist temptations and to control the mind.
Free us from egoism, lust, greed, anger and hatred.
Fill our hearts with divine virtues.
Let us behold Thee in all these names and forms.
Let us serve Thee in all these names and forms.
Let us ever remember Thee.
Let us ever sing Thy glories.
Let Thy name be ever on our lips.
Let us abide in Thee for ever and ever.
The above non‑sectarian prayer is most suitable
for being repeated during all common gatherings.
It is cosmopolitan and all‑embracing.
This is a beautiful universal prayer that you should repeat daily
at home as well as on public occasions.
This is a prayer that will unite all,
spiritualise your activities and reveal the golden Secret of Divine Living.
INSCRIPTIONS - IV
SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA
Hailed as the Prophet of the new age
For his inestimable services in the cause of raising
The Moral and Spiritual standard of modern mankind,
Was born on 8th September 1887 at Pattamadai, South India.
Took to the medical profession.
Published 'AMBROSIA', a medical journal.
Served for over 10 years as doctor in Malaya.
Renounced the world in 1923.
Entered the holy order of Sannyasa in 1924.
After twelve years of intense austerities
Founded the Divine Life Society in 1936.
The All‑world Religions 'Federation' in 1945.
The Yoga‑Vedanta Forest Academy in 1948.
The Divine Life Society has branches and members all over the world,
Belonging to all religions and nationalities.
Swami Sivananda has written over 300 books
on Yoga and Vedanta, Health and Healing.
He toured all India and Ceylon in 1950 and created a spiritual stir
And awakening throughout the country.
He convened the World Parliament of Religions in 1953,
Attended by delegates from all over the world.
His inspiring, godly, dedicated life has brought about
the resurgence of Bharatavarsha's dharma and Spiritual Ideals,
And made the vibrant
MESSAGE OF INDIA
To reach all parts of the modern world.
Our devotion and homage to Swami Sivananda,
The World Preceptor.
This short sketch is preserved above as a token of reverence,
infinite gratitude and eternal love to the beloved Master Sivananda,
the blessed saint of Ananda Kutir.
Disciples of Sivananda