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Immortal Words of Infinite Wisdom - Chapter Three

by Swami Venkateshananda

39. SIVANANDA'S PEN

Siva's Pen is Lord Krishna's Flute and Lord Rama's Arrow. The music that issues from It is enchanting, but it pierces our hearts and destroys our evil desires without our knowledge and in spite of ourselves. That is why the hollow fountain-pen has a sharp nib.

Ink is poured into the barrel of the pen; but Siva's touch converts it into spiritual manna. It is distributed to the whole world. Even if it is a mere signature on the fly-leaf of a book, at the close of a typed letter, or on an official receipt, a look at it fills your heart with joy, mind with peace and soul with Divine Light.

Siva has, not one, but several pens. "D.I.N.-Do It Now"-he has dinned into our ears. He does so. The moment a thought comes to his mind, it must be recorded and shared with the whole world. The instruments of transmission must be ready at hand. It is because he has so zealously gathered the precious pearls from the depths of his Realisation, that we are so rich today.

The warrior's riffle, and the "Big" Power's Bombs (Atomic and Hydrogen) cannot stand before Siva's Pen. The Hand that wields the Pen belongs to a Sage; the rifle is in the hands of a slave, and the bombs are used by benighted souls.

Blessed is the Pen for it is ever in the grip of Siva's Divine Hands. Let us pray that we too might be in his grip; then is our salvation assured. Blessed is the Parker Company; for it has provided Siva with his Pen.

May we all keep our hearts as clean as the paper on which Siva's Pen writes, so that Siva might inscribe on the tablet of our hearts his Divine Name which spells Liberation.

40. SIVANANDA'S STYLE OF WRITING

Siva, the incarnation of patience, tolerance, endurance and love, is extremely impatient with himself. He can not serve humanity enough, fast enough and well enough-to his own satisfaction! He is impatient to reach out to every man and woman in the world, awaken everybody and enable everybody to attain Moksha this very second. This secret is revealed in the style of his writing.

Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth is given in every sentence, which the moment you turn to it, passes a death-sentence on the ignorance in your heart. Siva does not mince words, beats about the bush, indulge in arguments, or parade his pedantry. He offers you not a paper garland of flowery words, but a fragrant garland of Atmic flowers. Every paragraph of his book drives you-not to your dictionary-but to the meditation room, to start the practice then and there.

Siva is not a spiritual book-seller, asking you to "see my Hatha Yoga for the Asanas, Science of Pranayama for the breathing exercises and Health and Long Life for instructions on diet". Every book is perfect and complete in itself, sufficient to lead a neophyte to the highest rungs of the spiritual ladder.

Easy, lucid and understandable; direct, forceful and fiery; Siva's style is characterised by the clarity of sage's realisation, the authority of an Avatara's utterances, the commiseration of a cosmic benefactor.

Siva's is the sovereign style: overwhelming in its power to win your heart, and from there to conquer your mind and eradicate your undivine Vasanas and Samskaras.

41. SIVANANDA'S LETTER

Siva's letter is a spiritual awakener. Your problems, whatever they are, solved in simple, straight forward and to-the-point sentences. But Siva never stops with that. Remember: he is a doctor of body, mind and soul. He alleviates pain, heals the ailment, and at the same time shows you the way to avoid it. His letter shares this characteristic.

The very first line, the mode of his address, is a supreme lesson in Vedanta. "Beloved Atman" "Glorious Immortal Atman" "Adorable Self"-thus he reminds you that you are not this body or mind, but the all-pervading Immortal, Satchidananda Atma. The subscription, besides re-affirming this truth reveals the secret of Siva's extraordinary divine love for us and the reason for his abiding and deep interest in us. He is "Thy own Self-Sivananda".

Only Siva can infuse deep and divine love into language. His peremptory instructions are perfumed with the soul-elevating aroma of a love that commands our implicit obedience. His straight notes acquire mellifluous melody and always gladden the heart of the recipient. Selfless love that is interested only in our spiritual evolution, sparkles in every sentence. Siva's soul seems to pray to you to wake up from the slumber of nescience. Ah, what solicitude! What positive encouragement breathes in every line! Never is a criminal condemned, nor a sinner scorned. They (we) are his special wards.

Whether the letter be simple acknowledgement of something received or a reminder of work to be done, it always contains, whether you asked for it or not, some grand, elevating thought. It is a great joy and an inspiration to receive Siva's letter.

42. SIVANANDA'S APHORISMS

1. Work elevates when done in the right spirit without agency, attachment and expectation of fruits.

2. Even scavengering when done with the right mental attitude is a Yogic activity for realisation.

3. He who works in the world with Atma Bhav will eventually reach Atma.

4. He is powerful Yogi who keeps up the meditation while performing actions.

5. Keeping up Brahma Bhava While practising Karma Yoga is more difficult than pure Jnana Yoga.

6. To serve humanity, while living in the world is superior to a life of seclusion in a cave.

7. One can conquer the whole world through love, humility and service.

8. The whole world is bound to work with one who feels himself one with the world.

9. Only he who is unselfish and devoid of Moha for the body can do real Karma Yoga.

10. The Karma Yogi purifies his heart through constant selfless or disinterested service.

11. A special power comes from God to those who have a pure and steady love to humanity.

12. The more you spend your energy in elevating others, the more Divine energy will flow to you.

13. Aspirants of the present day lack in the spirit of service and the burning love for the Lord.

14. The world abounds with people who show some kind of lip-sympathy or vague shallow sympathy.

15. The spirit of service must deeply enter into your very bones, cells, tissues and nerves.

16. A real Karma Yogi does not make any difference between menial and respectable work.

43. SIVANANDA'S ANDADI

Andadi is a poetic style in Tamil: in which the first word of a stanza is the last word of the previous one.

SERVE thy Guru with Bhava, the humanity with humility, so that thy physical sheath may be cleansed and entering the vital, thou canst develop and radiate the divine virtue of LOVE.

LOVE the creation entire, so that thy ego may melt and dissolve; and thus freed from the bondage of the vital, thou canst proceed to PURITY.

PURIFY the "mental" by study of scriptures, Satsanga and service to thy Guru, only in order that thy "ego" may utterly dissolve and thou wilt be qualified to MEDITATE.

MEDITATE on the teachings of the Guru, on the sacred utterances of the scriptures, so that thou wilt REALISE.

REALISE thine own true nature, that Thou art That, that thy true being is Existence-Consciousness Bliss Absolute.

SEEK: the First Requisite for a true aspirant, only that he may FIND.

FIND that silence is the Reality, and ENTER.

ENTER the Hall of wisdom in order that he may REST.

REST, the quest having ended and life's fulfilment having been attained.

Patience is the prerequisite for Self-realisation.

Self-realisation is the fruit of meditation.

Meditation succeeds concentration.

Concentration is the result of practice.

Practice leads to awareness.

Awareness is a conscious state of Being.

Being is Para Brahman.

44. SIVANANDA'S SAYINGS

1. Remember God at all times.

2. Enquire "Who am I?" and realise the self.

3. Make friendship with any one after studying him very carefully.

4. Do always virtuous actions.

5. Hear the wise words of great souls and follow them.

6. Do those actions that are pronounced to be right by the Shastras.

7. Don't make friendship with childish persons.

8. Move with the world tactfully. Adapt.

9. Give up bad company.

10. Don't talk much before great souls.

11. Avoid unnecessary discussions.

12. Don't exaggerate or concoct or twist when you talk.

13. Develop mercy and cosmic love.

14. Share what you have with others.

15. Good and bad, friend and enemy, pleasure and pain, virtue and sin are in the mind only.

16. Mind, when purified by the removal of six passions, becomes your Guru.

17. Patience, perseverance and vital will are indispensable for reaching the goal.

18. Purity of food leads to purity of mind.

19. Don't do any action harmful to anyone.

20. Guru is necessary to show you the path to peace.

45. SIVANANDA'S TWENTY INSTRUCTIONS

1. Get up at 4 a.m., daily. Do Japa and meditation.

2. Take Sattvic food. Do not overload the stomach.

3. Sit on Padma or Siddha Asana for Japa and Dhyana.

4. Have a separate meditation-room under lock and key.

5. Give in charity one-tenth of income or one anna per rupee.

6. Study systematically one chapter of Bhagavad Gita.

7. Preserve Veerya (the vital force). Sleep separately.

8. Give up smoking, intoxicating drinks and Rajasic food.

9. Fast on Ekadasi days or live on milk and fruits only.

10. Observe Mouna for 2 hours daily and during meals also.

11. Speak truth at any cost. Speak little, sweetly.

12. Reduce your wants. Lead a happy, contented life.

13. Never hurt the feelings of others. Be kind to all.

14. Think of the mistakes you have done (self-analysis).

15. Do not depend upon servants. Have self-reliance.

16. Think of God as soon as you get up and when you go to bed.

17. Have always Japa Mala around your neck or in your pocket.

18. Have the motto-"Simple living and high thinking".

19. Serve the Sadhus, Sannyasins and poor and sick persons.

20. Keep a daily spiritual diary. Stick to your routine.

46. SIVANANDA'S NECTAR DROPS

1. Moksha is your birthright. Moksha is freedom or Immortality.

2. Moksha is a harbour of eternal peace.

3. Kaivalya is joy eternal or perfect delight.

4. It is free from even the least trace of misery.

5. Moksha is liberation from the cycle of births and deaths.

6. Moksha is the supreme panacea for all worldly ills.

7. He who attains Self-realisation is perfect and thoroughly contented. He is free from grief and hatred.

8. Self-realisation is Self-discovery.

9. Freedom or Immortality is the birthright of all.

10. Immortality lies in Self-realisation.

11. All men are eligible for emancipation.

12. Moksha confers infinite bliss.

13. That man who is endowed with dispassion, discrimination, self-restraint, devotion, who lives in seclusion in the company of sages crosses Maya and attains eternal bliss.

14. The bliss of Self-realisation cannot be described in words. It is like the experiencing of joy which a dumb man has when he tastes a delicious sweetmeat or sugarcandy.

15. Self-realisation is not a product or effect.

16. God is realised through non-violence, truth and continence.

17. Essence of all faiths is freedom and happiness.

18. Yoga confers self-mastery.

 

47. SIVANANDA'S PROVERBS

1. The eye that sees not the beauty of the Lord is blind.

2. Pain is an eye-opener.

3. Pain is thy silent teacher.

4. Religion is self-realisation.

5. Life without religion is death.

6. Sacrifice everything rather than principles.

7. This world is essenceless; God only is the Essence.

8. Character is the key to self-realisation.

9. Remember God at all times.

10. There is no treasure like the wealth of Atma.

11. There is no safe boat like Satsanga to cross the of Samsara.

12. There is no enemy like anger.

13. There is no teacher like pain.

14. There is no friend like the spiritual teacher.

15. There is no abode like Brahman.

16. There is no virtue like purity.

17. There is no vice like conceit.

18. Think "I am Immortal Atma"; Immortal Atma you will become.

19. Life is short. Time is fleeting. Realise the Self.

20. Purity of heart is the gateway to God.

48. SIVANANDA'S TEN COMMANDMENTS

1. Practise Truthfulness, Non-violence and Celibacy.

2. Be good; Do good.

3. Be Tolerant.

4. Be kind to all.

5. Serve all; Serve the Lord in all; Love all.

6. Share what you have with others.

7. Give, Purify, Meditate, Realise.

8. Think rightly; Act rightly.

9. Behold the one Self in all. See God in every face.

10. Feel "I am the all pervading Immortal Self".

49. SIVANANDA'S WORDS OF WISDOM

1. Renunciation alone can make you fearless and happy. It is the bestower of eternal peace and Immortality.

2. This world is not an illusion. It belongs to a lower order of reality than the Absolute. It is a relative reality while Brahman is the absolute Reality.

3. The basis of lasting unity of all humanity is the religion of heart. The religion of the heart is the religion of love.

4. Men can be united only if they are free from hatred and petty-mindedness and if they are perfectly established in ethical culture.

5. Illusion is born of ignorance. From illusion spring separation, differences, duality, manifoldness and vanity. Therefore, destroy the ignorance by the sword of the knowledge of Self and become free.

6. Man is the resultant product of the sum total of his thoughts.

7. Peace is the most covetable possession on earth. It is the greatest treasure in all the universe. Peace is the most important and indispensable factor for all growth and development. Peace is the fourth condition or super-consciousness.

8. The elimination of egoism is the sole condition of Self-realisation.

9. Evil is a kind of knowledge to show the superiority of goodness by way of comparison.

10. Virtue and vice, pleasure and pain, are of the mind, not thine, beloved Ram! Neither doer nor enjoyer art thou. Indeed thou art ever free. Renounce the ideas: 'I am the doer. I am the enjoyer', and be ever happy.

50. SIVANANDA'S ESSENTIAL TEACHINGS

"Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realise;

Be good, Do good, Be kind, Be Compassionate;

Enquire "Who am I?" Know the Self, and be free-this is my message. Everything is contained in this. Serve. Serve all. Serve the sick and the poor. Serve with love, with Atma-Bhava, Narayana-Bhava. Feel that you are serving the Lord in all. Develop cosmic love. Expand your heart. Give, give. Give in plenty to all. Share what you have with others. Eradicate selfishness and greed. Annihilate egoism and pride. Purify your heart. Transform your nature. Eradicate all the evil qualities that lurk in your mind. Cultivate divine virtues. Lust, anger, greed, pride, egoism-all these must be removed. Truthfulness, love, purity, humility, nobility, magnanimity,-all these must be developed. Meditate in Brahmamuhurta. Do Japa and Kirtan.

"Be good, do good"-this one formula will do for Self-realisation. All the teachings of all prophets are contained in these four words. Be kind to all. Speak soft, loving, sweet words of consolation; never utter harsh, angry, vulgar words. Be compassionate. Compassion is a divine virtue; cultivate it by active unselfish service.

"Enquire 'Who am I?' Know that there is one Atman, Immortal, Unborn, all-Blissful, Peaceful, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. Your goal is to realise this. Forget not the goal. Attain this through service, Japa, Kirtan, Prayer, meditation, right conduct and the Grace of God and Guru. May God bless you all".

51. SIVANANDA'S RADIO TALKS

Here are a few inspiring extracts from the Radio Talks that Siva delivered from the Radio Stations of India, during his All-India Tour:

"You are not this little passing personality hooked on to a mere name and form. You are not Ramaswamy or Mukherji or Mehta or Garde or Apte. You have only fallen into this little delusion by an accident through some passing cloud of ignorance. Awake and realise that you are Pure Atman." (Bombay).

"Of the two, Shreyamarga and Preyamarga, choose you all to proceed along the Shreyamarga, Divine Life teaches you how to do this. Do it through service, selfless Seva, love or devotion to parents, elders, society, country and to the human-kind in general, through worship, meditation and realisation. Strive incessantly to develop a noble character for, virtuous character is the basis of all achievement". (Patna).

"Lead an ideal life of peace. Kill ruthlessly suspicion, prejudices of all sorts, envy, jealousy, selfishness, greed of power and possessions. Practise daily meditation and establish peace in your heart. Then radiate it to your neighbours and all who come in contact with you. Disseminate it far and wide. Preach the gospel of peace to all men and women of the world". (Calcutta).

"If you injure another man, you injure yourself. If you help another person you help yourself. Ishaavaasyam Idam Sarvam: there is one life, one consciousness in all beings. This is the foundation of right conduct. This is the foundation of ethics". (Vijayawada)

52. SIVANANDA'S SERMONETTES

God is Truth. God is Love. Speak the Truth. Love everyone. You will realise Him quickly. Have Satsanga with Sadhus, Sannyasins, Bhaktas. This alone can give you Viveka, Vairagya, spiritual strength and peace of mind. There is no other way. Hunt out for Sadhus. They are everywhere. Sincerity and earnestness are needed in you. They are ever ready to receive you lovingly with outstretched hands.

By Satsanga your mind will be saturated as sugar in water with thoughts of God, with Divine Glory, Divine Presence, with sublime soul-awakening spiritual thoughts. Then only will you be established in the Divine Consciousness always. Then you can attain Self-realisation within the time taken for the squeezing of a flower.

Name of the Lord is a potent unfailing antidote for those who are bitten by the serpent of Samsara. It is a nectar (Amrita) that can confer immortality and perennial peace.

Yama (the God of Death) is terribly afraid of those who repeat the names of the Lord. He cannot approach them. Repeat the name of the Lord always and attain the fearless state.

May the Lord guide you in all your activities! May he enlighten your path enabling you to achieve the goal of life, viz., Self-realisation, your birthright! May you live drowned in a life of joy, bliss and prosperity!

53. SIVANANDA'S DAY-TO-DAY UTTERANCES

See Mother Durga in your wife: A visitor came-along with his wife for Swamiji's Darshan and said "Swamiji, for last eight months I have not been having any peace. I have been deceived by my wife." Swamiji asked him, "Why did you marry? "I married against my will," replied visitor. "Serve her" said Swamiji. "Serve her? I should serve her or God? asked the visitor who was a bit surprised to receive such a command from Swamiji. Swamiji replied, "See Mother Durga in her. Change your Bhav. See God in everyone. God is not someone who jumps from heaven into the earth to give you Darshan? You should see Him in all. He is present in all beings." The visitor agreed to follow Swamiji's advice. Then looking at the lady Swamiji said, "Serve your husband."

Service and charity give meaning to life. A certain devotee of Swamiji was celebrated his sixtieth birthday and at his request, an inmate of the Ashram had typed a telegram conveying Swamiji's blessings, and brought it for Swamiji's signature. Swamiji read the telegram which wished him the celebration of centenary too, and remarked, "What is the use of man living for hundred or two hundred years, disease-ridden and giving trouble to others? It is better to die early in good health rather than living for and suffering for bodily ailments causing suffering to others also. Long life by itself is not a great achievement. One should serve. One should do charity. Then only life becomes fruitful and meaningful. A long life destitute of service and charity means nothing."

54. SIVANANDA'S TREASURE OF TEACHINGS

True culture is the attainment of wisdom of Atma or the Self.

True culture is the discipline of head, heart, and hand. True culture is the attainment of discrimination, dispassion, aspiration and devotion.

True culture is the enquiry of 'Who am I' and finding out the real significance of 'I'.

True culture is right thinking, right speaking, right acting, right living and right meditation.

True culture is honourable, plain living and sublime thinking.

True culture is annihilation of egoism and living in the divine.

True culture is a life of self-restraint, selfless service, cosmic love and self-surrender to the Lord.

True culture is practice of Yoga in the true Vedantic spirit.

True culture is the culture of the inner self of man.

True culture manifests itself in a man in the form of adaptability, egolessness, selflessness, spirit of service, love and supreme devotion to God.

True culture is divine life, a life of truth and purity.


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