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Hints For Aspirants

by Swami Sivananda

You can learn many spiritual lessons from the baby. The baby has a message to give to all. You will find in the baby the revelations of the Upanishads, the inspiring experiences of the seers, sages and Rishis. You will find in the baby a new practical religion. The baby imparts the message of yore, peace, harmony, freedom and bliss. Watch the baby carefully. Learn the spiritual lessons and become wise. A new-born baby is always in Samadhi or blissful union with the Lord. How steady are his eyes. He is Brahman himself. Maya enters in him only when he begins to look steadily at his parents, recognises them and smiles.

Sin is expiated by auspicious acts, by publishing it widely, by repentance, by alms-giving, by penances, by sojourns to Tirthas or holy places of pilgrimage after renunciation of everything, by constant meditation on the scriptures. He who has practised renunciation is incapable of committing sins anew.

"Those Brahmins who are superior to us-they should be comforted by thee with seats, etc. Give with faith. Do not give without faith. Give with joy, with modesty, with fear, with kindness. Then if there be any doubts as to any action or conduct, in that case conduct thyself as Brahmins who possess good judgment conduct themselves therein, whether they are appointed or not, as long as they are not cruel, but devoted to duty. Then in respect of persons accused of sin, conduct thyself as Brahmins who possess good judgment conduct themselves therein whether they are appointed or not, as long as they are not cruel, but devoted to duty. This is the rule. This is the teaching. This is the purport of the Veda. This is the command. This should be followed-this verily should be followed." This is real education.

Even the most healthy, young man cannot get that sweet deep sleep for more than an hour. The Western psychologists also have agreed on this point. Sleep for six hours is quite sufficient for an adult. Go to bed at 10.00 p.m. and get up at 4.00 a.m.

If two things are compared, they are so only with respect to some particular point or a particular feature they have in common. Examples illustrate on one point only. You cannot find entire similarity in all respects. Entire equality of the two can never be found.

We need not be one another’s enemies because we have different ideas or different politics or different ideals or different opinions.

When you write letters write legibly, giving long full space between lines. Do not be a great miser. If you write illegibly, if you scribble, if you write the contents of an envelope in a post card, you do a very bad Karma. The reader has to strain his eyes. He is annoyed. He has to waste much of his precious time.

If you constantly think of the spirit, you will also become a ghost in accordance with the immutable law or theory that the future birth is determined by the last thought of a man when he leaves the body. The last thought is the resultant product of the strong thoughts he entertains in his life. Think of God or Brahman always, your last thought will be that of God or Brahman and you will attain immortality and freedom.

Communication with the spirits and their messages have established the fact or truth that there is life beyond. But you will not gain much by trying to be in communication with departed souls. You can help the departed souls to enjoy peace and you can comfort them by your prayer and Kirtan by doing oblations and Sraddha. By your attempt to have communication with them you will make them earth-bound souls. You will not allow them to move to higher spiritual regions. They will get attached to you and you also will get attached to them. Further the thoughts of spirits will trouble you in your dream. The message of the spirits do not turn out to be true always. Try your level best to realise your own Self. All the worlds will rejoice. You will help the whole world. All your ancestors will get peace. He who purifies himself purifies the whole world and his forefathers. Do not run after the conch or shell. Get hold of the priceless Atmic pearl that is within you.

The spring has come with all its beauties. Enjoy the spring of life. Let there be a spring in your life-a life of sweet communion with the Lord, with the flowers and fruits of Self-realisation, devotion, Brahma Jnana, freedom, immortality, peace and bliss.

People do not throw away old things. Old sugar, old rice, old pickles, old sugar-candy, old ghee that is kept for fifty years are all highly valuable because they are of high potency. They can eradicate many diseases. So people keep them with perfect safety. Even so, an old wife is very dear to a husband with a Vedantic turn of mind who beholds the Self in all bodies, an old honest servant is dear to the sensible master; old sincere friends are very dear to some conscientious people.

You are surrounded on all sides by microbes and germs. Your body is filled with microbes and germs. Yet you live. This is a great mystery. This is the greatest of all wonders.

Individuality is different from personality. There is no harm in developing one's individuality. A man of strong individuality is a fit person for practice of Vedanta or Jnana Yoga. "Aham Asmi"-I exist. This is individuality. It is Sattvic. Personality is one’s own mental creation. It is Rajasic.

Personality is a great thing in the West. It is nothing for a Hindu. Titles, honours, position, rank, prestige, hang about one's personality. Extinction of personality is a death-blow for a Westerner. Extinction of personality is a joy for a Hindu. A Hindu exerts himself to destroy his little personality to get immortality. Personality is egoism. A Hindu welcomes Tyaga, Sannyasa (renunciation). The religious instinct has been always strong in the Hindu mind. The very words "Tyaga" and "Sannyasa" create terror, fear in the minds of Western people. "Giving up" is ingrained in the minds of Hindus. "Taking up" is ingrained in the minds of Westerners.

Maya is mysterious! She deludes and binds the Jivas in a mysterious manner. She destroys the understanding and makes them slaves of passion, greed and power. The old mother forces her son to marry. She thinks that her daughter-in-law will serve her nicely in old age, will shampoo her legs at night and serve her with betel nuts and tea. As soon as the daughter-in-law enters the house she becomes the mistress of the house. She holds the keys of the money-box, trunks, etc. The mother-in-law expects that her daughter-in-law should obey her. The cultured daughter-in-law expects that her ignorant mother-in-law should obey her. The mother-in-law tries to control the young daughter-in-law and vice versa. The daughter-in-law thinks that she is ill-treated by her mother-in-law, and vice versa. Every day there are quarrels in the house. The poor son is in a great fix. He finds it difficult to please his mother and his wife also. He is beaten on both sides like the drum. There is no peace in the house, although they have plenty of money and varieties of objects. What is the use of trying to control others? What is the earthly use of powers, when everything is perishable? Learn to obey. Learn to serve and please others. Everybody will be under your control. You can penetrate into the hearts of all. Obedience is better than sacrifice. Obedience will annihilate your egoism and will give you inner spiritual strength, joy and peace.

If the bacteria that absorb nitrogen directly from the air are introduced into the human body, then man can dispense with food, because the bacteria will help the man in supplying the nitrogen. There will be symbiosis between man and the bacteria. Bacteria will supply the required quantity of nitrogen to man and in turn will get something from man. Symbiosis is a term introduced by De Bary to denote certain kinds of physiological partnership between organisms of different kinds best restricted to such intimate and complimentary partnership as exist between algoid and fungoid elements in lichens or between uni-cellular algae and Radiolarians. The God of many persons is nowadays confined to their stomachs only. If the above experiment turns out to be successful, man can devote much time to divine contemplation and spiritual pursuits. Thanks to these bacteria which help man in the control of his hunger and in giving up of food.

If you want to purchase a good leather suitcase, you move in the bazaar from shop to shop and you eventually hit at the proper shop in suitable surroundings which can satisfy your desire. The shopkeeper also is eagerly waiting to find a suitable purchaser. This is a case of double coincidence. Similarly, a poor boy who had an intense desire to go to Oxford for his higher studies but who was not able to have his desire gratified in this incarnation, gets suitable environments in his next incarnation and is born in a rich family who are also waiting for getting a son who can go to foreign countries for his degree. This is also a case of double coincidence.

chakshurbhyam hasate vidvan, dantaushtabhyam tu madhyamah
adhama attahasena na hasanti muneesvarah

The learned or the wise smile through the eyes; the middle class smile through teeth and lips; the lowest make a roaring laughter; but the Muneeshvara never smiles nor laughs.

Neither long for life nor wish for death but wait for the time like the servant on his master. This is the different mental state of a Jnani (Udaseena Vritti).

Sri Chakra is the highest point or acme to which Yoga practices can lead. When you attain perfection in Sri Vidya, there is nothing more left for you to gain by the practice of Yoga.

A cooly has limited cares with his daily wages; a clerk has the responsibilities of his work; a Tahasildar has all the cares of a Tahasil; a deputy collector of his sub-division; a collector of his district; a governor of a province; and a viceroy of all the British possessions in India. "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown." The greater a man; the more his cares and responsibilities.

Those who go to Brahma-loka on account of excellence of their merits hold responsible positions in the Cosmic hierarchy in the next Kalpa, according to their merits. Worshippers of Hiranyagarbha, enter into Para-Brahman along with Hiranyagarbha, or Brahma upon the final dissolution of the Brahmanda.

The sacrifices such as Jyotishtoma which enable the performers to dwell in heaven and other ceremonies which are performed with a particular motive or desire are called Kamya Karma. Slaying of a Brahmin, drinking and other vices are Nishiddha karma or prohibited acts. Daily rites such as Sandhyavandana are known as Nitya Karma.


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