Practice of Yoga Sadhana
by Swami Sivananda
Meditate regularly on your ideal. Strive to live in it.
Weed out the vices. Scrutinise your character. Enlarge your capacities. Cultivate mental and moral qualities.
Close the doors of the senses. Make the mind steady and calm by silencing the thoughts, subduing the surging emotions and crushing all desires and cravings. Meditate. You will behold now the majesty and the glory of the Supreme Self, the Indweller.
Forgive those who slander or speak ill of you. Do not harm anyone who injures you. If anybody from aversion speaks disparagingly of you, greet him courteously without caring for those disagreeable words.
Steadily resist the promptings of the lower nature. Gradually it will lose its power over you. You will gain strength. Even if you fail, it is one step nearer to victory or the goal. You will develop your will-power. The will-force will penetrate into the subconscious mind and eradicate all wrong impressions, vicious habits and evil traits.
You will encounter various difficulties in the beginning of your Sadhana. You are not conscious of any spiritual progress, but you are only conscious of your failures in your attempts, in meditation, the resistance you meet and your defects and weaknesses.
If you persist in your Sadhana vigorously and diligently, if you are regular in your Sadhana you will attain success. Meditation will come without effort. Meditation will become habitual. All resistance will vanish. You will develop strong will-power. You will have triumph at every step. Failure and despair will be unknown to you. Sadhana will go on in great strides.
Evil thoughts perish when divine thoughts are entertained. Evil thoughts die when good thoughts are cherished. Evil thoughts and evil desires perish merely from want of nourishment.
Abstention from gratification of a desire will cause starvation of desire and then its death.
The desire will fade away if you do not indulge in the objects of desire.
Do not talk of Samadhi and awakening of Kundalini. The greater things you can begin to do afterwards. Do the smaller things first. Practise, Yama, Niyama first. Be good, do good. Attain ethical perfection first. Eradicate evil traits and develop divine qualities first. Control the senses and purify the heart first. What is the use of talking of Samadhi and awakening of Kundalini when the first steps are not yet taken up and practised?
Be abstemious in everything. Abandon fear, anger, cupidity and errors of judgment. Stick to your vows at any cost, even at the risk of your life. Then only you are fit to attain immortality.
Sticking to the vows will contribute to your true happiness. Observe the vow with your passions under control, with a pure heart.
If you like mangoes very much, if you are longing intensely to eat them, if they are actually in front of you and if you are quite ready to eat them do not eat them. Control the desire through discrimination. Practise this again and again in respect of those things which you like best. Gradually you will be able to control the tongue.
Each failure sows the seed of your future success or triumph. Stand up. Do not be afraid of your failures. March forward boldly with undaunted spirit and redoubled energy.
If you do a wrong action, when you do not wish to do it, your weak will has been overpowered by the strong force of past habit. Do more virtuous actions daily. You will develop a strong will. Then you will not repeat wrong actions.
Strong will-power consists in overcoming desires, irritability, anger, impurities, evil emotions and in possessing serenity, self-possession, presence of mind, balanced mind in success and failure, censure and praise, honour and dishonour, gain and loss.