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Multi-Phased Message - Chapter Four

by Swami Venkateshananda

55. SIVANANDA'S VERSATILITY

Don't refer to the dictionary for a definition: let us turn to Siva for a demonstration. Siva is versatile: but is he "unsteady" or does he "turn round"? Far from it. But he has in abundance "the faculty of turning easily to new tasks and subjects!" How? Because he is firmly rooted in Absolute Consciousness, the fountain of Supreme Wisdom, Chit-Shakti. He knows (in the words of the Upanishads) "that by which all this is known". He is one with that which is the fountain-source of all power. What, then, is impossible for such a divine being?

This faculty is natural to him. In Malaya he (Dr. Kuppuswamy) used to contribute articles to news papers. He was asked to cover "Sports" besides his own field, viz, "medicine". He readily accepted. He studied a few books and overnight made himself thoroughly familiar with the game, with the result his article was a masterly work. Even so with the different branches of medicine and fields of activity. Details of administration of a Hospital, principles of accountancy-when the need arose he manifested the talent. His colleagues would wonder: "was he bluffing us, he was only a doctor; he is as good an accountant and administrator!"

The Ashram and the Divine Life Society are unparalleled achievements and are the living monuments to his versatility. There is no aspect of the work with which he is not familiar and in regard to which he would not give fruitful advice and wholesome direction. Book-printing and get up, photography and art, music and medicine, Yoga and Vedanta, rituals and festivals-he is a master of all. Over and above all this, he knows the other great Vidya-Indrajala Vidya by which he hides his faculties and makes you feel you know better!

56. SIVANANDA'S WORKS

Sivananda's Works of Corporal Mercy, the whole Malaya used to praise when he lived there. "To feed the hungry": I have heard it from the lips of his own cook that, if a hungry man called at his house in Malaya, the doctor would give his own food away and starve. Even today, whatever be his other preoccupations and whatever be the financial problems of the Ashram, he takes the keenest delight in feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, and clothing the naked. "Visit prisoners, visit the sick, harbour strangers, and bury the dead" are the other four Works of Corporal Mercy. Siva's words of life-transforming counsel do go out to the class of "prisoners" (criminals) who have somehow escaped the arms of the Law. Visiting the sick has been the great service on which Siva's Life Itself has been based. Harbour stranger? To Siva none is a stranger: into his Ashram as into his Heart all are welcome. Siva not only buries the dead human beings, but animals and insects; but what a grand spiritual festival he has made of it! He buries the corpse, but lets the soul fly on the wings of his prayers and Kirtans.

Volumes have been written by the disciples and devotees of Siva on the Seven Works of his Spiritual Mercy: viz., "to convert sinners, instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, console the afflicted, bear wrongs patiently, forgive injuries, pray for the living and the dead". To what extent Siva has gone in order to effect these! All his divine knowledge and spiritual wisdom, acquired over long years of tedious austerities, he has placed at the disposal of everyone. He delights in distributing knowledge free to all. Millions of sinners have been converted. The ignorant are enlightened. Doubts vanish in His presence or after a perusal of his book. He radiates cheer and removes afflictions. He is the embodiment of patience and forgiveness. He constantly prays for the living and the dead.

57. SIVANANDA'S LITERATURE

The Sivananda Literature bestows upon us the best of boons: for it is not composed of mere words, but it conveys to us the "Word that was with God". Therefore, it inspires us and elevates our souls. Sivananda Literature is the safest elevator which takes us to the Seventh Heaven in the twinkling of an eye.

"The purpose of Language is communication; that is what we learn after two years' study of Literature", writes an M.A., student. Then Siva's literature stands unrivalled as the best medium of communication. It is easily understood by everybody. It is the average school-boy's companion, every man's guide, and the friend indeed of everyone in need of peace, happiness and solace.

Siva's Literature is a library, comprehensive and complete. He has said the Last Word on every subject you wish to study, whatever be your object. Nothing is worth learning that has not been dealt with by him.

Siva's Literature is the Light that puts out the darkness of ignorance, forever. It illumines your heart, silences all doubts, and dissolves all problems.

Sivananda Literature is for all in all conditions of life. It makes the young grow old in wisdom. It makes the aged grow young in spirit. It promotes prosperity; it is your consoling friend in adversity. It restrains you in happiness; and relieves you of your sorrow. It inspires the dispirited; it strengthens the weak. It humbles pride; and uplifts the downtrodden.

Siva's Literature is the echo of the ancient sage's call; it is the voice of Awakened India. It is free India's best contribution for commonwealth, world-peace and salvation of Man. Bacon declares: "If I might control the literature of the household, I would guarantee the well-being of the church and state". Assuredly,-if the Sivananda Literature fills the bookshelf of every household.

58. SIVANANDA'S GITA

Siva's Gita is the song of his illumined soul. Hence he sings: "At the present moment I am the richest man in the whole world. My heart is full. Further, all the wealth of the Lord belongs to me now. Hence I am King of kings, Emperor of emperors, Shah of Shahs, Maharaja of Maharajas. I take pity on the mundane kings. My dominion is limitless. My wealth is inexhaustible. My joy is inexpressible. My treaure is immeasurable. I attained this through Sannyasa, renunciation, untiring selfless service, Japa, Kirtana and meditation."

Siva's Gita is the revelation of the greatest secret of success in life: "I am ever hard-working. I have intense application to work. I never leave a work till it is finished. I never procrastinate any work. I finish it then and there. I am very quick in doing things. I cannot suppress the spirit of service in me. I cannot live without service. I take immense delight in service. Service has elevated me. Service has purified me. I know well how to extract work from others. I extract work through kindness, service, respect and love".

In giving us a glimpse into his nature, he proclaims the ingradients of sainthood: "I love nature, music, art, poetry, philosophy, beauty, goodness, solitude, meditation, Yoga and Vedanta. I am humble and simple. I am frank and straightforward. I am perfectly tolerant and catholic. I am merciful and sympathetic. I have spontaneous and unrestrained generosity. I am bold and cheerful. I am patient. I can bear insult and injury. I am forgiving. I am free from vindictive nature. I return good for evil. I serve that man who has injured me, with joy".

A daily devout study of Sivananda Gita will mould you into a Sivananda.

59. SIVANANDA'S UPANISHAD

The modern Maharshi's Upanishad is unique in every way. In sublimity of thought and the stirring grandeur of presentation, the Sivananda Upanishad ranks with the best of the ancient "classical" Upanishads. The soul-force and moral courage of the seer, reflect not only in every line of sparkling wisdom on every page of this Immortal scripture, but also in the daringly modern method adopted to present the Truth.

The Upanishad is the most authentic, for it is in the sage-author's own handwriting! For that very reason it is the most inspiring, too. The charming picture of Siva steals your heart; and retrieve it with a message inscribed on it.

Here is a page: "Is there really any happiness in this world? Then, why do you cling to these mundane objects? Search within. Look within. Meditate and rest in the Supreme Abode of peace and immortality now. Never delay a second. Plod on. March forward. Realise now and free. May you reach the goal of life in this very birth."

Truth is revealed in simple, direct, and vigorous style: "One Immortal Soul or Atman dwells in all beings. This all pervading Atman is the support for this world, body and life. Mind, intellect and senses derive their intelligence from this Atman. You are not this perishable body. In essence you are this Atman. Identify yourself with this Atman. Feel I am the Immortal Self or Atman. Again and again repeat mentally this formula. This will make you absolutely fearless at this perilous hour. Tat Tvam Asi".

Siva's Upanishad is your Guru, to guide you in your meditation. Concentrate on the divine picture of Siva that adorns every folio and read the opposite page several times. Then sit for Dhyana-you will soon enter into Samadhi.

60. SIVANANDA'S YOGA, ASANA CHART

Most of the people of the world have a code of morals for themselves and another for others! A glutton would speak of the glory of fasting; and the father of a dozen children would extol Brahmacharya. Siva's example ought to open their eyes. He talks to others on things which he himself has practised. He treats others with even greatest respect and consideration than he expects from them.

Siva does not waste a single minute; and does not waste a single minute of other people's time. He is dynamic; and he enables others to be dynamic. He likes clearcut, precise and concise presentation of all subjects; he leads the way. Siva is the favourite Guru of the busiest man and the most dynamic Sadhaka. To them he provides wonderful facilities.

The inspiring "Twenty Instructions" and its well-grouped counterpart the "Sadhana Tattwa", as well as the Yoga Asana Chart, are illustrations of this truth. They are to be framed and hung on the wall. Just glance at them; and you know what to do without having to wade through big volumes.

Siva's Yoga Asana Chart is the Sadhaka's friend. The techinque of the important Asanas and the "benefits" in a few words are given, alongside good pictures of a Sadhaka actually doing these Asanas. Besides saving your time, it is an unforgetting reminder and compelling inspiration; you glance at it in the morning and automatically begin to do the Asanas.

Similarly the "Twenty Instructions" chart reminds you of the essentials of Sadhana and of the imperative need to be regular. It saves you from sloth, and spurs you on to the grand goal of human life-God-realisation.

61. SIVANANDA'S SMRITI

Sivananda Smriti is the Modern Man's ancient scripture. It is the ancient message broadcast through a modern transmitter. Siva and Siva alone could expound Dharma and lay down the code of morals, and re-interpret Sanatana Dharma in a way suited to the spirit and the needs of modern times. For, he is the divine bridge that links the Past with the Present. He has the insight into the Truth embodied in our scriptures and the farsight to foresee the March of Time.

Siva is the Prophet of the New Age. Just as Lord Sri Krishna, just before the dawn of Kali Yuga, have the Bhagavad Gita to serve as our guide, even so Bhagavan Sivananda has given, at the dawn of a new Golden Era of spiritual revival a new code of morals, universal in its concept, modern in its application, liberal in its doctrines, kind and considerate in its injunctions and prohibitions.

Siva takes cognisance of the confusion that has taken place in Varnashrama Dharma and revives the spirit while ignoring the non-essential formalities. He showers the Lord's Grace and Compassion on everyone, convinced that It will by Its own Merit transform the "undeserving" recipients into deserving aspirants. He relegates "sin" to its rightful position as a mere mistake, and thus takes its sting away. He exalts virtue for its own sake; he exhorts people to be good, for, it is good to be good and to do good! He does not hold out promise of heaven to good people; but guarantee Moksha straightaway-release from the miseries of birth and death!

Truth, Love and Purity he exalts above all virtues; and the repetition (Japa) of the Lord's Name is sufficient expiation for any mistake (sin) committed, provided, of course, that it is supplemented by a firm determination to turn away from the sin. Sivananda Smriti is the scripture for the coming generation.

62. SIVANANDA'S GOSPEL

Siva's is the Gospel of Divine Life. It is the word of God. It is the Eternal Truth, Immutable Law, re-stated to suit modern conditions, re-interpreted to help us understand It. This Gospel amply illustrated by Siva's own daily life is a synthesis on all sides. There is synthesis of life in the Spirit and life in the world. There is synthesis of ancient tradition and modern civilisation. There is synthesis of conservative views and progressive ideas. There is synthesis of ideals and realities. What is most wonderful of all: there is a mysterious synthesis of the Great Transcendental Reality and the illusory unreal appearance.

Siva leads to the Paradise of "Sarvam Brahmamayam" through the boulevard along which there is an infinite variety of trees, casting a delightful but paradoxical pattern of light and shade. The seeker after Truth is asked by Siva to do his work in the world with zeal and enthusiasm, but cultivate the Sakshi (witness) Bhava within. He utilises every useful instrument that modern science provides him for the propagation of ancient scriptures. Unquestioning faith in God and the Glory of His Name is indispensable for a disciple of Siva; but in matters (like caste restrictions, organisational methods, diet to an extent), dress and such other details his views are most modern and progressive. The Transcendental Truth is nameless, formless and beyond all attributes; but Siva insists that an aspirant should worship a Saakaara Murthi (God with form), and do Kirtan and Japa of a Name, and let the Abstract Absolute Truth reveal Itself. He exhorts the aspirant to feel "Sivoham" (I am He: I am Brahman), but behave "Dasoham" (I am the servant of all). An aspirant should meditate on the Mahavakya "Aham Brahmasmi"; and as he walks along the road should prostrate mentally even to a donkey. Such is the glories Gospel of Siva which leads us to the Grand Goal of God-realisation: Sarvam Brahmamaya.

63. SIVANANDA'S MESSAGE

Siva's Message can be summed up in the words that he frequently uses: "DETACH-ATTACH." "Detach the mind from the objects of the world and attach it to the Lord," he explains. That is the central theme of his Message.

"There is no pleasure at all in worldly objects. What appears to be pleasure in the objects is illusory; the fountain of joy and bliss is within yourself. Milk appears to give you pleasure; but the third glass produces retching and vomiting. Homogeneous, Immortal and Eternal Bliss can be had only in the Atma, the innermost Self.

"Ignorant of this perennial source of Immortal Bliss, waiting within him to be tapped, man runs after the objects of the world, in the hope of getting happiness. Cars, bungalows, wife, children, property, wealth, position, power, name and fame-all these he acquires: but they do not give him happiness.

"The man of discrimination renounces all these. He renounces egoism, Kartritva and Bhoktritva Abhimana (doership and enjoyership), too. He is a spiritual hero, a Dheera. He has withdrawn the senses from their objects and directed the rays of the mind within. He soon realises the Atman.

Kaupeenavantah Khalu Bhagyavantah. That sage who has no belongings and who belongs to humanity, is fearless, blissful and peaceful. He radiates peace and bliss. He has gone beyond Raga-Dvesha (likes and dislikes), pleasure and pain, honour and dishonour, success and failure. He rests in his own Self. He is the living proof of the Glory of Self-realisation. You should try to attain Self-realisation, in this very birth, nay, this very second."

This is the great Message of Siva. Blessed are they that have heard it! Thrice blessed are they that have acted up to it.

64. SIVANANDA'S ADVICE

What Siva says always takes the form of advice, never a command. The mighty Yogi knows not how to order people about. He is so full of love and compassion that even his advice, boarders on request. What he advises you to do is for your own good only; yet he makes it appear as though it is for his sake you have to do it and so requests you to do so! "Kindly do Sadhana". "Please do Japa". You have done a lot of work; kindly take rest". In this respect, too, Siva is an exampler in ideal gentlemanly behaviour.

Siva advises the young boy or girl to obey parents, teachers and elders; study well; maintain good health by regular exercise, Asanas and Pranayama.

Siva advises the mother to mould her children into Yogins. Siva advises retired people to prepare themselves for Sannyas. Siva advises doctors and nurses to serve the patients with Atma Bhav or Narayana-Bhav, to treat poor people free, and place the patient's recovery and health above all pecuniary considerations.

Siva advises advocates to be honest, truthful and just; and to plead for the poor, without fees.

Siva Advises politicians to take a genuine selfless interest in the welfare of the people and to treat service of the nation as Sadhana.

Siva advises the Sannyasins to plunge in the holy work of spiritual uplift of mankind.

Siva advises everyone to lead the divine life of truth, love and purity; to spiritualise all activities by offering all actions unto the Lord as His worship.

Siva advises all of us, earnestly requests us, to realise the Self through the practice of the Yoga of Synthesis. He is earnest in his request because his Mission is fulfilled only if we attain Self-realisation and become Immortal. That is his greatest delight.

65. SIVANANDA'S EXHORTATION

Standing on the summit of Self-realisation, Siva exhorts you to run up and share the supreme bliss with him. His exhortations are not an arm-chair advice on adventure. He himself is not only an assurance of achievement, but he has made achievement easier by paving the way with years of selfless toil. His is an exhortation by example.

Even as a young doctor, Siva was ever eager to share his knowledge with all and therefore conducted a journal "Ambrosia". Today he exhorts every man-doctors, engineers, Yogins, Jnanins, etc.-to broadcast all knowledge and not to make a trade-secret of it. This is the greatest service to humanity and best worship of God.

Dr. Kuppuswami (Siva before he became a Swami) was devoted to the welfare of the patients and did all that lay in his power to restore them to good health. Today he exhorts doctors and nurses to be kind and compassionate towards patients, assuring them that by such service rapid spiritual progress can be made.

Sadhu Sivananda served the Mahatmas and the poor people of Rishikesh, at the same time carrying on intense meditation and austerities. Today he exhorts all Sannyasins to be dynamic and judiciously divides their time between selfless service, study, and meditation.

The Sage of Self-realisation, the Lord Who dwells in all beings,-Bhagavan Sivananda-demonstrates in his daily life the significance of "Sarvabhutahite Ratah" (devoted to the welfare of all beings). This Supreme Being in human garb, therefore, exhorts all saints and Yogins to work for the spiritual awakening of man.

Lord Sivananda exhorts everyone to become one with Him and enjoy perennial peace, eternal bliss and immortality.

66. SIVANANDA'S ADMONITION

Blessed are they who have been personally admonished by Siva even once; they belong to the rarest class of men.

Among Siva's inspiring philosophical songs, there is one "Song of Admonition" which begins with:

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?

What have you learnt, tell me frankly, from the Bihar and Quetta earthquakes?

Have you got now real Vairagya; do you practise Japa and meditation.

When your throat is choked at the time of death who will help you for your salvation.

Be up and doing in Yogic Sadhana, you will attain Immortality.

Admonitions are hidden away in his writings. Occasionally one might hear them in his lectures. In conversation, it is extremely rare. Behind this admonition is the recognition of oneness. The Song of Admonition goes on!

Am I not thou, art thou not I, one alone is, therefore, true. Even his admonition, therefore, is full of love and solicitude for our permanent well-being. He is one with us. He feels for us. He is eager that we should quickly ascend to the plane of super-consciousness. He is impatient to serve us immediately from the miseries inherent in worldly life. His admonitions awaken us to our real spiritual nature; to the transient nature of the world and to the fact that all worldly pleasures are but wombs of pain. If, therefore, he chooses any of us to administer a personal admonition, be sure, we are saved. Siva's divine admonition would awaken divinity in a stone.

67. SIVANANDA'S SONG

Siva's songs are the allurments of the almighty. They stir up the slumbering, lead the weak, save the sinful, and cheer up the despondent soul. They are a paradoxical mixture of caution and good cheer.

Krishna's divine songs compelled Gopis to rush to Him: Mira's songs compelled Krishna Himself to dance in front of her. Siva's songs convert an atheist into a devotee, awaken knowledge of the Self in a Sadhaka, and instantly unite the devotee and the Lord in an Infinite Bond of Self-realisation.

Siva's songs are like a divine fire for a worldly man: as the strains reverberate in his ear, the evil in the worldly man's heart is burnt away. Siva's songs are like an ocean of nectar to the devotee: he delights in swimming in it, and remaining forever drowned in it, he attains Immortality. Siva's songs are the cool, refreshing, fragrant breeze of the spring, to the weary traveller traversing the hills and dales of life: they infuse new life, new vigour, and new divine strength into him, so that he can climb the pinnacle of perfection with ease and delight.

Set to simple tunes, they are rich in their contents. Even a little boy can sing them and inspire even a mighty Yogi. The songs are universal in their application and direct in their appeal.

During his epochal All-India-Ceylon Tour in 1950 there was not a gathering in which Siva did not sing his English philosophical songs. Long after the Tour had been completed, young children in every town visited by Him, were singing his "Song of a Little" and "Song of Ities" and parents were thankful to Siva that he had sown rich spiritual seeds in the virgin soil of their children's heart. Siva's songs are unforgettable. They are the Lords Compassion for man's redemption.

68. SIVANANDA'S POEMS

Siva's poems are not poems in the usual sense of the word: they are flashes of intuition captured by his mind and couched in his own sweet inimitable language. They form the threshold to trance. The fruits of Siva's trance-experiences, they can lead us into trance.

He who reads Siva's poems knows that, long after he had laid the book aside newer and newer meanings "flash" within him. As the poem sinks deeper into him, its significance becomes clearer still. That which is beyond grasp has been captured by the Siva and the inexpressible has been clothed in mystic expression by the compassionate sage.

Siva's poems are the keys to the meditation-chamber in your heart. It is when you enter this chamber is meditation possible; and the poems unlock the gates to it. A glance at any poem, before the practice of meditation, will elevate the mind, shut out distractions, flood the heart with aspiration and the whole being with inspiration.

On the lonely inward path of meditation, Siva's poems are lamps that throw a flood of light; they save you from pitfalls, lead you to the goal, they are the landmarks of progress.

The wisdom of life-long experience, the knowledge that one could acquire after years of study, and the information that others would take tomes to convey,-are all given to you in simple sentences, strung in delightful verse, easy to read and assimilate, difficult to forget, and impossible to ignore.

69. SIVANANDA'S PARABLES

In his own talks and discourses, Siva seldom uses a parable or a story. He does not need them. It is a miracle that a mammoth gathering of people, obviously standing at various spiritual levels, understands Siva's utterances, without any need for amplification. Even the greatest among the professors does not rate the discourse as commonplace; nor does a simple layman feel it is beyond his comprehension. The divine personality of Siva enables his soul to transmit the message direct to the soul of the listener. Therefore the huge audience listens spell-bound.

But Siva has mercifully given his Parables as a boon to the preachers, teachers and mother. It is a preacher's scripture. The Parable brings the Truth within the grasp of all, and it has the weight of Siva's divine authority, besides. The teacher in the class-room, and the mother at home, trying to instill holy ideas in the young heart, have in the Parables of Sivananda a peerless scripture of practical value. When Educational Authorities begin to value inculcation of moral ideas in the youth of today, they would discover in the Parables of Sivananda an unrivalled text-book.

Listen to the Parable of the Old Lady and the Needle. "An old lady lost a needle in the house. But she was searching for it outside, in the moonlight. A man asked her; 'O Lady, what are you searching here?' She replied: 'I lost a needle in the house. There is darkness inside. So I am searching for the needle here'. Worldly people are like this old lady. They are searching for happiness in the objects where real happiness does not exist. Look within. Control the mind. You will find the object of your quest in your own Atman."

70. SIVANANDA'S STORIES

Man likes stories. Woman likes them still more, and often creates some. Children love them. There is no one in the world who does not like stories. That is why our ancient seers presented (and preserved, too) great spiritual truth, through interesting stories, the Puranas.

Siva, too, has written a number of story-books. Children, young and old, love to read them. And, the lessons that Siva intended to convey through them, are forever store in the student's mind.

Siva often tells the story of a polished cheat who said he was I.C.S. in summer and P.C.S. in winter, meaning Ice Cream Seller in summer and Potato Chop Seller in winter! Siva himself is a K.C.S. throughout the year. He is knowledge-Cream Seller. Even spiritual knowledge, Pundits often give us, with a lot of chaff. Not so with Siva. He gives us the very essence of it. The price: the human birth that we have already taken is valuable enough for him to bestow the greatest gift of the essence of knowledge. This characteristic we find to marked degree in his stories. Stories are expected to be long winding, full of "details" and verbiage not directly connected with the main theme. Siva's stories are not like that. He gives us the essence of the Truth, and yet makes the stories highly interesting.

Siva's style in this as in every other manner of presentation of the Truth is unique and inimitable. He "sees" the Truth; he "sees" our heart; he "sees" the simplest effective method of planting that Truth in this heart. The method of a master is always simple.

A school in a foreign land (South Africa) has set the example for all nations to follow, by prescribing Siva's Illuminating Stories as a text-book.

71. SIVANANDA'S WISDOM IN HUMOUR

-In His own words-

One man puts his title as M.Bh. This is not a doctor's title; it means only "Madras Brahmin". One man has his title S.S.O. It is not a sub-divisional officer. It means "Simply Sitting Officer"-i.e., an idler, loafer or a falthu. One man uses the title M.R.K.D. It means a "Member of the Rice-Killing Department'-i.e., a glutton or Sappattu-raman, who fills his belly with rice or rotti up to the mouth. Another calls himself I.C.S. in Summer and P.C.S. in Winter; it means Ice Cream Seller in summer and Potato Chop Seller in Winter.

Such title-holders are plenty in this world. Please do not aspire to own such big titles and come to limelight. Shun all such titles, hide yourself; you will be peaceful. Sincerity, simplicity, humility, generosity and devotion to God-these you should own and not self-deluding and world-cheating titles of the above type.

Half a dozen monkeys sat on a mango tree and discussed certain things. One monkey said: "Now listen to me. People say that man descended from us. No monkey ever divorced his wife. No monkey ever starved his children. No monkey abandoned his children and took Sannyasa. No monkey smokes, gambles, drinks and dances in a club. No monkey suffers from syphilis and takes 606 injection. No monkey marries a fourth wife at 80. No monkey takes another monkey's life with a gun or knife or atom bomb. Be quite sure that he did not descend from us. Darwin is incorrect in his statement".

Siva sometimes reads such pieces to infuse wisdom into casual visitors to the Ashram. In personal discussion and conversations, Siva is full of humour, though his lectures are more serious and serene, full of the fire of wisdom and Vairagya.

72. SIVANANDA'S MEDICAL HUMOUR

-In His own words-

Think well before you act: The doctor said: "Shake the bottle before use". The attendant had by mistake giving the mixture to the patient without shaking the bottle. He then saw the label. He thought of a bright idea. He shook the patient several times. The feeble patient died immediately. Always be on the alert. Hear the instructions with rapt attention. Think well before you act.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing: The Ayurvedic teacher said: Bhedikki Eduthatu Vaalam. Bhedi means cholera. It also means "motions". Vaalam means croton. The teacher meant that Croton is very useful in constipation-to induce good motions.

The student adminstered it in cholera: the patient died at once.

English Laddu: Europeans like immensely this Laddu. They die for this Laddu. They eat it with avidity, cupidity and stupidity. Bhramin children throw this away. Some Indians also take this Laddu with the same avidity and stupidity. Its shape is different from Hindu Laddu. Its composition also is different. Its colour is different. Its property also is different. This Laddu is Tamasic. It hinders meditation. It is an enemy of Naturopaths. It cannot be broken lengthwise. It is not man-made Laddu. This famous English Laddu is Anda or egg.

With one doctor there is prescription. With two doctors there is consultation. With three doctors there is cremation.

In a few words Siva gives the most sublime truth and life-transforming advice, in a highly interesting manner.


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