Need for Yoga Sadhana
by Swami Sivananda
Why should you prolong your bondage unnecessarily? Why should you not claim your divine birthright right now? Why should you not break your bondage now? Delay means prolongation of your sufferings. You can break it at any moment. This is in your power. Do it now. Stand up. Gird up your loins. Do rigorous and vigorous Sadhana and attain freedom, which is immortality or eternal bliss.
Make the lower nature the servant of the higher through discipline, Tapas, self-restraint and meditation. This is the beginning of your freedom.
The divine within you is stronger than anything that is without you. Therefore be not afraid of anything. Rely on your own Inner Self, the Divinity within you. Tap the source through looking within.
Without renunciation you can never be happy. Without renunciation you can never be successful in gaining the highest good i.e., Moksha. Without renunciation you can never be at your ease. Therefore renounce everything. Make happiness your own. Hold renunciation as the foremost of things.
Improve yourself. Build your character. Purify the heart. Develop divine virtues. Eradicate evil traits. Conquer all that is base in you. Endeavour to attain all that is worthy and noble.
Only when you have purified the heart, silenced the mind, stilled the thoughts and surging emotions, withdrawn the outgoing senses, thinned out the Vasanas, you can behold the glorious Atman during deep meditation.
There are five means by which perfect tranquillity or emancipation can be attained. These form the highest happiness. They are Satsanga or association with the wise, discrimination between the real and the unreal, dispassion, enquiry of 'Who am I?' and meditation. These are called Heaven. These are religion. These form the highest happiness.
Become a good man first. Then control the senses. Then subdue the lower mind by the higher mind. Then the divine light will descend. Only then the vessel will be able to receive and hold the divine light.
Practise meditation persistently and calmly without haste. You will soon attain Samadhi or the Nirvikalpa state.
Spiritual life is toilsome and laborious. It demands constant vigilance and long perseverance before substantial progress is made.
You have yourself built the walls of your prison-house through ignorance. You can demolish the walls through discrimination and enquiry of "Who am I?"
Sufferings purify the soul. They burn up the gross material sins and impurities. The Divinity becomes more and more manifest. They give inner spiritual strength and develop the will force, the power of endurance. Hence sufferings are blessings in disguise.
Even a ray of inner light during meditation will lighten your path. It will give you a great deal of encouragement and inner strength. It will goad you to do more Sadhana. You will experience this ray of light when the meditation becomes deeper and when you rise above body-consciousness.
Meditation and worship are the means of evolving your potentialities and seeking a higher level of consciousness or existence.
Life is the unfolding of the latent capacities of the soul. Lead the divine life. Generate sublime divine thoughts in your mind through meditation, Japa, Kirtan and study of sacred scriptures.
Bathe in the river of life everlasting. Plunge in it. Take a dip in it. Swim in it. Float in it. Rejoice.
Bask the body in the physical sunlight. Bask the soul in the sunlight of the Eternal. You will have good health and everlasting life.
Worship is the unfolding of the bud of the flower of the soul. Worship is life. Worship bestows life eternal.
You may conquer millions of persons in battle, but you will become the greatest conqueror only if you can conquer your own lower self or mind.
So long as your senses are not subdued or weakened, you will have to practise Tapas or self-restraint, Dama or Pratyahara.
Sit down with a composed mind. Assert your mastery over the body and mind. Plunge deep into the chambers of the heart, and enter into the stupendous ocean of Silence. Listen to the voice which is soundless.
Build your spiritual life on a sure foundation, on the rock of divine grace and strength of character. Take refuge in the Lord and His eternal law. There is no power in heaven or on earth that can bar your march now. Success in Self-realisation is certain. Failure exists not for you. There is light on your path. All is brilliant.