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by Swami Sivananda


Do you really want God? Do you really thirst for His Darshan? Have you got real spiritual hunger?

He who thirsts for the Darshan of God only will develop love. Unto him alone He will reveal Himself. God is a question of supply and demand. If there is sincere demand for God, the supply will come at once.

Pray fervently like Prahlada. Sing like Radha. Repeat His name like Valmiki, Tukaram and Tulsidas. Do Kirtan like Gouranga. Weep in solitude like Mira over the separation from the Lord. You will have Darshan of the Lord this very second,


Be righteous always. Never deviate from the path of righteousness. Stand upright. Be bold. Be fearless. Practise Truth. Proclaim it everywhere.

March forward in the spiritual path. The light is within you. Fix the mind on the Lord. Kill egoism and pride. Cultivate fellow-feeling and universal brotherhood. Love all. You will have full life.

Control the senses. Pray fervently with intense faith and sincerity. Have an unshakable conviction in the existence of God and in the efficacy of spiritual practices. Be humble and simple. You will attain Immortality.


Get up at 4 a.m. daily. Practise to sing God's name in the early morning hours in the form of Nama Kirtan (like, Govinda Jaya Jaya, Gopala Jaya Jaya, Radha Ramana Hari Govinda Jaya Jaya). When you sing Hari's Name, feel that the Lord Hari is seated in your heart and is hearing all your songs.

Study systematically Gita, Ramayana, Bhagavatam, Vishnu Sahasranama, Lalita Sahasranama from half an hour to one hour daily. Obey your parents. Speak the truth at any cost. Speak little. Speak sweet.

May the Divine Flame grow brighter in you! May you tread the path of righteousness and attain God-realisation in this very life!


Do thou always without attachment perform action which should be done; for by performing action without attachment, man reaches the Supreme.-Gita II-19.

When the thought of good becomes part and parcel of man's very being, then he will not entertain any bad motive at all. He takes immense delight in serving others, in doing good to others. There is peculiar joy and Ananda in doing selfless service.

Expand. Purify your heart. Live in the true spirit of selfless service. Live every second for the ideal and goal of life. Then and then alone will you realise the true glory of selfless service. May you shine as a dynamic Yogi by the practice of selfless service! May you enjoy the true bliss of the eternal.


All the phenomena of nature are governed by one important law, the law of causation, the law of Karma. It is that law that keeps up the inner harmony and logical order of the universe. No phenomena can escape from the operation of this mighty law.

The cause is bound in the effect and effect is in the cause. The effect is similar to the cause. This world runs on this fundamental vital law. This law is inexorable and immutable.

Any action is bound to react upon you with equal force and effect. If you do some good to another man, you are really helping yourself. Because there is nothing but the Self. "Atmaivedam Sarvam" is the emphatic declaration of the Srutis or Upanishads. This virtuous action will react upon you with equal force and effect. It will bring you joy and happiness.


The power of prayer is indescribable. Its glory is ineffable. Sincere devotees only realise its usefulness and splendour.

Sit not idly craving God to help thee, but be up and doing as God helps those who help themselves. Do the best you can and leave the rest to God.

Serve the devotees. Remain in their company. Do Japa and Kirtan. Study Ramayana and Bhagavatam. You will soon develop devotion. The Divine Grace will descend upon you.


Goal of life is God-realisation. Never forget this. Aspire ceaselessly for His Grace. Thirst for His Darshan. Have constant Satsanga. You will realise Him.

Practise Ahimsa. Speak the Truth. Have faith in God. Do everything for the sake of God (Ishvararpan). Serve untiringly. Pray with complete devotion. Fight with the mind and the Indriyas. Turn them towards God. Weep for the separation from the Lord. You will have His Darshan.

Feel that God works through your hands, sees through your eyes, hears through your ears. You will become a changed being. You will have a new angle of vision. You will enjoy the Supreme Bliss.


Extract the essence from all scriptures, great or small just as the bee does from flowers. Abandon all vain expectations and evil desires and take refuge in the Supreme Lord.

Perceive the immanence of God in all objects. Be kind and compassionate to inferiors, friendly to your equals and respectful to your superiors.

Get possession of the wealth of Vairagya. Cool your mind with the bliss of the Self. Rejoice yourself in the ambrosia of the serenity of the mind induced by the eradication of the Vasanas and the dawn of Tattva-Jnana.


Love is the immediate way to Truth or Kingdom of God or the vast domain of perennial peace and joy. It is the life-principle of creation. It was the driving force behind Mira, Tukaram and Gouranga.

Therefore, develop pure, unselfish love. Pure love is a rare commodity. Cultivate it gradually. All your negative qualities like dislikes, prejudice will be eradicated. Love is a great purifier of the mind.

Abandon all sorts of wrong beliefs, weaknesses, superstitions, wrong notions, and ideas of impossibilities. Live in Love. Cling fast to the faith in Divine Life. Aspire fervently and constantly to live in the Divine. You will enjoy the Supreme joy.


Have equal vision for all. Give up dry idle talking. Learn to be wise. Have unshakable faith in the name of God. Sing His Name. Feel His Presence everywhere.

Do not be troubled by difficulties. Endure them patiently. Turn your mind towards God. Walk like a spiritual lion. Break the bond of desire. Cultivate Daivee Sampat such as mercy, peace, forgiveness tolerance etc. You are bound to attain the highest knowledge and Bliss.

Pray fervently to the Almighty Lord for His Grace. Rise above the conventional distinctions of mundane life. Dispel the cloud of ignorance by the dawn of Jnana Surya, the Sun of knowledge. Do total unreserved self-surrender unto the Lord. You will enjoy Peace.


Live a life of utter devotion to service. Fill your heart with fervour and enthusiasm for service. Remember the Almighty Lord every moment.

Mould your character. Behave properly. Develop sympathy, affection, benevolence, tolerance and humility. Come out of the centre of your small narrow egoistic circle and have a broad vision. Speak gently and sweetly in a courteous manner. Eradicate undesirable thoughts and desires.

Stick to your ideals, convictions and principles tenaciously, even if the whole world opposes you. Stand up boldly on your own principles of right conduct and right living. Follow the instructions of one preceptor. You will attain the Supreme.


Love all. Be pure. Serve all with Atma Bhava. Have perfect control over your senses. Rely on your own self. Aspire ceaselessly for the Grace of God.

Do not make any difference between male and female. When you are in the company of women, repeat the Mantra "Ek Sat Chit Ananda Atman". The same Atman which is in your heart prevails in all the bodies of women. The idea of sex will vanish. You will see God in them.

Feel that Lord Krishna works through all hands, sees through all eyes, hears through all ears. Sing like Radha. Thirst like Gopis for His vision. Lord Krishna's Grace is bound to come. He is the Immortal friend. Never forget this. You will realise Him.


There is something dearer than wealth. There is something dearer than a son. There is something dearer than a wife. There is something dearer than Prana (Life). That something is thy Self, Inner ruler, Immortal and All-Merciful Lord.

Be kind and compassionate. Be pure and gentle. Be sweet and loving. Be humble. Be sympathetic. Be friendly to the poor. Live with them. Serve them. Cheer them up when they are in difficulties. Be simple in your life. Behold the Self in all. Give up the idea of diversity. Have equal vision for all.

Do not use harsh words. Do not exploit others. Do not waste your energy in idle talking and worldly gossiping. Renounce all attachments.


Do not make any difference between menial and respectable work. If any one is suffering from acute pain in any part of the body, at once shampoo the affected part very very gently. Feel that you are serving the Lord in the body of the patient. Repeat your Ishta Mantra also. If you see a man or animal bleeding on the roadside, tear your upper cloth or shirt and use it for bandaging. Do not fight with the poor porters at the Railway Station. Be liberal and generous. Keep always some paise in your pocket and distribute them to the poor and decrepit.

When the heart is purified, the mind is naturally turned towards God. Eventually it is absorbed in the Lord, through pure love, self-surrender and worship.


Sins can be destroyed by charity.

Lord Jesus says, "Charity covereth a multitude of sins". In the Gita you will find: "Yajno danam tapas-chaiva pavanani manishinam: Yajna, charity and austerity are purifying to the wise".
Doing abundant, spontaneous and unrestrained charity to relieve the pains of suffering humanity is an effective means to destroy evil nature; give money like water. If you give, the whole wealth of the world will be yours. Money will come to you. This is the immutable, inexorable, unrelenting law of nature. Therefore give, give.


Be cheerful and happy. Away with depression and gloom. There is nothing more infectious than depression. Drive the feeling of depression and gloom at once by enquiry, singing divine songs, prayers, Pranayama, a brisk walk in the open air, the thinking of the opposite quality viz., the feeling of joy.

Live only to be a blessing to others. Feel that all is light and Bliss only. Do not allow the mind to see any external objects. Collect all the dissipated rays of mind. Develop the power of attention. Throw interest upon uninteresting objects and ideas. Many mental weaknesses will vanish. The mind will become stronger and stronger.


Never grumble when you do service to others. Take delight in service. Watch for opportunities to serve. Work is worship of the Lord.

Have an amiable, loving, social nature. Have sympathy, adaptability, self-restraint, tolerance, love and mercy. Adjust yourself to the ways and habits of others. Be balanced even when you are insulted, when others use harsh words against you. Have equal mind in pleasure and pain, heat and cold.

Karma Yoga prepares the mind for the reception of Light and Knowledge. It expands the heart and breaks all the barriers that stand in the way of oneness or unity. Karma Yoga is an effective Sadhana for Chitta Shuddhi or purity of heart. Therefore do selfless service constantly.


Happiness results from good acts, pain from evil ones. Acts must always bear fruits. Without action no fruit arises. Righteousness is the refuge to attain to the feet of God. Everything can be attained by righteousness.

Refrain from injury to all creatures in thought, word and deed. Be kind and charitable. Be liberal in your views. Have constant devotion to Truth. Free yourself from anger, hatred and malice.

Worship your preceptors and elders with respect and devotion. Worship the Gods with faith and sincerity. Be gentle towards wicked people. You will enjoy great merit and fame herein and hereafter.


Develop virtuous qualities. Build up good habits. Do good. Meditate regularly. Try to live in God. All defects, evil thoughts and all weaknesses will vanish in toto.

Cherish no desire in your heart. Move amicably with all. Embrace all. Love all. Develop adaptability and the spirit of selfless service and penetrate into the hearts of all through untiring service and thus behold the one Self in all.

Forget all the illusory names and forms. Feel and see Lord Krishna in everything every moment. You will enjoy the Supreme Peace, Bliss and Immortality.


Much of your subconsciousness consists of submerged experiences, memories thrown into the background but recoverable. You can establish new habits, new ideas, new ideals, new tastes and new character in the subconscious mind by changing the old ones.

Think deeply. Cogitate. Reflect. Have constant Satsanga. Do selfless service, Nishkamya Yajna. Develop the four means or qualification-Sadhana Chatushtaya.

Do not jeer at any one. Do not frown at anybody. Restrain all your senses. Be cheerful always. Do not look back. Divest yourself of desire and wrath. Cast off pride. Turn your gaze inwards. Contemplate. You will enjoy true happiness.


Just as the Sun collects all its rays at sunset and merges in the horizon, collect all the scattered rays of your mind and merge into the Lotus Feet of the Almighty Lord.

Do not give indulgence or leniency to the mind. Cultivate the spirit of love and humility and Divine Compassion and tenderness like Lord Buddha. Nurse the sick. Comfort and console the distressed and disappointed. You will become Divine.

Develop the power of endurance. Open yourself to higher spiritual consciousness. Fix your mind on the Lotus Feet of the Lord. Pray for mercy, light, strength, peace and knowledge. You will surely get them. You will attain Supreme Joy.


Control the mind skilfully and tactfully. Think rightly and clearly. Discipline the organ of speech. Speak sweetly, gently, and truthfully. Become a man of measured words.

Be humble and do prostrations to all beings mentally. Feel the Divine Presence everywhere. Give up vanity, pride and hypocrisy. Never hurt a man in thought, word and deed. Always do good and kind acts. You will attain Supreme Peace and eternal happiness.

Attune your heart with the Lord by doing fervent and sincere prayer daily. Be humble and simple. Practise morality. Develop contentment. Drink the Bliss of the Soul.


Lust for power, material greed, sensual excitement, selfishness, passion, passion for wealth and the lower appetites have drawn man from his true life in Spirit into the materialistic life. He can regain his lost Divine glory if he practises in right earnest the principles of Bhakti. Bhakti transmutes animal nature into Divine Nature and raises him to the pinnacle of Divine glory and splendour.

May you develop Bhakti so that it will lead you to attain Godhead or Self-Realisation in this very life! May the spiritual flame grow brighter in you!


Keep the Divine flame burning steadily. Treat everybody with respect. View all with an equal eye. Behold the Lord in all beings. Have intense and exclusive devotion for the Lord.

Do not be offended by trifling matters. Admit your faults if they are pointed out by others. Thank the man who points out your defects. Pray. Sing the Lord's Lilas. You will attain eternal happiness.

Use your intelligence. Intelligence is the most precious possession that a man can acquire. Do everything in this world with intelligence. Then only will you succeed in achieving all desired objects.


Just as dark clouds hide the burning Sun, so also the clouds of egoism and Vasanas (desires) hide the Jnana Surya (Atman).

Keep up the unbroken current of Meditation. Kill the little ego! Develop pure love. Surrender the fruit of action unto the Lord. Beseech Him to bestow His Grace. You will drink the nectar of Immortality.

Wake up from the sleep of ignorance and materialism. Divert your attention to selfless service and worship of the Lord. Develop brotherly feeling towards all men. You will enjoy Supreme Peace.


Do not be offended by trifling matters. Cultivate an amiable loving nature and adaptability. Admit your faults if they are pointed out by others. Eradicate them and thank the man who points out your defects; then only can you grow in spirituality and meditation.

Introspect. Look within. Try to remove your defects. This is the real Sadhana. You will have to remove all your weaknesses. Many old vicious habits will have to be cut out. Remove the defects of self-justification and of self-assertive nature.

Be regular in Japa, Kirtan, meditation, study of Gita and Ramayana. Observe Brahmacharya and Mouna. You will enjoy the Supreme.


Anger shatters the physical nervous system and produces deep lasting impression on the inner astral body. Dark arrows will shoot from the astral body. A terrible fit of wrath will produce deep inflammation of the astral body. Have you realised now the disastrous consequences of anger?

Do not become a victim of anger. Control it by Kshama, love, mercy, sympathy, Vichara and consideration for others.

Fix your mind on the Lotus Feet of the Lord. Give the hands to work. You will be able to do two things at a time by practice. The manual work will become automatic, mechanical or instinctive. Your mind will be at the Lotus Feet of the Lord. You can realise God even while remaining in the world.


Spiritual life is not a mere idle talk. It is not mere sensation. It is actual living in Atman. It is a transcendental experience of unalloyed Bliss.

Tread the path of Truth and righteousness. Stick tenaciously to the TWENTY SPIRITUAL INSTRUCTIONS. Be regular in your meditation. Do selfless service. Cultivate all-embracing love. Develop Vairagya. You will attain Immortality.


Lead a simple life. Let your thoughts be lofty. Fear God. Speak the Truth. Love all. See your own Self in all. Be honest in all your dealings. You will succeed in your life and God-realisation.

Never worry yourself on any matter. Be always cheerful. Use your common-sense and reason always. Have a balanced mind always. Turn your mind towards God. Sing His name. Thirst for His Vision. Be sincere at heart. The Divine Grace will descend on you.

Have a strong determination and iron will. You have got everything to transmute yourself into a sage. Apply yourself diligently and ignite the spiritual dynamo within. Exert. Plod. Ignite. Realise.


Kindly develop faith in the Vedas and in the power of Mantras. Practise regular Japa and meditation daily. Take Sattvic food. Do not overload the stomach.

Obey the laws of nature. Take plenty of physical exercise daily. Perform the prescribed duties at the appointed time. Develop simple living and high thinking. You will realise God in this very birth.

May you remember the holy Names of the Lord at all times and live in an ocean of divine ecstasy and divine communion! May you prosper gloriously!


You are the real master or governor of the whole world. You are bound to none. Abandon all anxiety, fear and worry. Rest in Peace. Perform worship of Atman at all times. Lead a regulated life. Mould your character. Develop noble and virtuous qualities. Be righteous, and work for the good of others. Be devoted to your preceptor. Develop the power of concentration.

Remove lust, egoism, anger, selfishness, pride, etc. You will get Chitta Shuddhi or purity of heart. You will experience sublime divine feelings. When the attraction and attachment for sensual objects vanish, knowledge of Atman will dawn. You will enjoy the Supreme.


Neither birth nor learning makes one good. Good character alone makes one good. He who has lost his character is himself lost. The cultivation of good character leads to spiritual progress. Life is very precious. Live in the spirit of Gita's teaching and work without expectation of fruits and egoism. Think you are Nimitta in the hands of Lord Narayana. You will become a Yogi soon. Have Nishtha with God and Cheshta with hands like Bahurupi who has the Nishtha of a male and the Cheshta of a female. You will be able to do two things at a time. You will become one with the Lord.


Any number of zeroes have no intrinsic value unless number 1 (one) is added before them. Even so the wealth of the three worlds is nothing if you do not try to acquire spiritual wealth and if you do not strive for Self-realisation.

Therefore live in the soul or the Self within. Add Atman to the life here. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto thee" (Lord Jesus). Just as the light is burning within the hurricane lamp, so also the Divine Flame is burning from time immemorial in the lamp of your heart. Plunge deep into the chambers of your heart. Meditate on this Divine Flame and become one with the Flame of God.


No event can occur without a positive, definite cause at the back of it. Everything follows the law of cause and effect. This law is quite mysterious. That is the reason why Lord Krishna says: "Gahana Karmano gatih-Mysterious is the nature of action". All the physical and mental forces in nature obey this grand law of cause and effect. Law and Law-giver are one.

You can change your thoughts and habits and mould a new character. You can become a righteous man and a saint by doing virtuous actions and entertaining noble Divine thoughts. When you attain knowledge of Self, you can rest in your own Svarupa. You can become identical with the Law-giver and then the law of cause and effect will not operate on you. You have conquered Nature.


Develop forgiveness. Give up idle talk. Study the sacred books. Observe straight-forwardness, celibacy, innocence and equanimity under the opposite conditions of pain and pleasure, gain and loss etc. Do no harm to any being.

Have patience, adamantine will and untiring persistence. Stick to one place, one spiritual preceptor, one method, one system of Yoga. That is the way to positive success. Drive the feeling of depression and gloom at once by enquiry, singing Divine songs, prayers, chanting of OM, Pranayama, a brisk walk in the open air and thinking of the opposite quality viz., the feeling of joy. Try to be happy in all states and radiate only joy towards all around you.


Be free from desires. Thirst for the knowledge of God. Engage yourself in performing selfless service. The Divine vision and intuition will dawn in you.

Worship your father, mother, the teacher and guests as veritable Gods, without regarding them as mere human beings. Pay them due reverence. Serve them with great respect. Do not yield to fatalism. Change your habits. Lead a virtuous life. Eradicate greed and anxiety. Give up vanity. Be devoted to the Lord. The Divine Light will dawn in you.


Be sincere at heart. Don't run after the shadowy toys of name and fame. Name and fame are illusory. They are mere vibrations in the air. Nobody can earn an everlasting name in this Mayaic plane. Care not for the little perishable things. Care for the everlasting Reality only.

Do constant selfless service silently with thoughts of God and Bhava within. Never grumble or murmur when you do service to others. Watch for opportunities to serve. Never miss a single opportunity. Create opportunities. Create the field for good service. Be regular in Japa, Kirtan, meditation and study of Gita and Ramayana. Control your emotions. Observe Mouna and Brahmacharya. Have contact with sages and saints. You will reap the Supreme Joy.


Just as the man who runs after two rabbits will not catch hold of any one of them, so also a meditator who runs after two conflicting thoughts will not get success in any one of the two thoughts.

Have only one Divine thought all times. Stick to it tenaciously at any cost. Run after the thought with the greater vigour, strength and one-pointedness. Success is bound to come. Do not be anxious. Do not act according to the dictates of your mind. Act according to the words of Sages and Saints. Mere remembrance of the high Souls destroys atheistic tendencies of materialistic people, inspires and goads them to strive for the final emancipation or Brahma-Jnana.


God is Truth. God is love. Speak the Truth. Love everyone. You will realise Him quickly. Have Satsanga with Sadhus, Sannyasins and 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 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!


Sankirtan is food for the mind and the Soul. Sankirtan is a Divine tonic. Sankirtan is a potent healing balm for the shattered nerves. Sankirtan is a celestial nectar. Drink the nectar daily by doing Sankirtan in Brahmamuhurta and night.

The strength and intensity of devotion depends upon the completeness of the self-surrender and sacrifice. As the vast majority of persons keep certain subtle desires for secret gratifications, they do not grow in devotion. The two obstacles to self-surrender are desire and egoism.


Worship the Lord at all times with all your heart and with all your mind. Sing His glory. Remember His name always. All miseries will come to an end. Your heart will be purified. The Lord will soon reveal Himself to you. You will feel His Presence.

Pray fervently to the Lord for the descent of the Divine Light. Crave for His Mercy. Weep for His separation on account of Viraha. Yearn for communion with Him. Melt the mind in the Agni of Divine Love. Burn the body in the fire of devotion. Drink the honey of Prem. Get yourself intoxicated with the wine of Divine Love. Attain immortality and eternal Bliss.


Control your mind, speech and actions. Speak the truth. Be calm. Discipline the senses. Hear, recite, sing and meditate on the deeds, qualities and Avataras of Hari.

Have exclusive devotion to the Lord. Give your whole mind to Him. Do not allow any outside worldly impressions wherein there is an iota of selfish desire to enter into your subconscious mind. Learn how to sing, interchange devotion and love each other and speak to each other of the glory of the Lord, till your hairs stand on end and sing and dance till you lose yourself in devout contemplation.


Lord Siva is the Supreme Soul, the Antaryamin, the protector of all beings. He is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent. He was never born. He never died.

If you are a true seeker of God, you will meet Him within a moment. Remember Him always. Live by His name. Sing His praises. Search for Him in your heart of hearts. Learn from the devotees the way to love and serve Him, the support of your soul, the only sovereign of the whole world, the Indweller of your heart and the inner Ruler.

May you remember the Holy names of the Lord at all times and live in an ocean of divine ecstasy and divine communion! May prosperity attend on you for ever.


Have intense faith in God and have proper understanding of the scriptures. Take refuge in Vairagya. Do not waste time in idle gossiping. Time is fleeting. Utilise every moment in His worship and service. Develop humility, Kshama, patience and the spirit of service. Be sincere and true. The Lord is quiet close to you in your heart. Cling to His Name with leech-like tenacity. You will enjoy Supreme Joy.

Pray to God for purity, devotion, light and knowledge. Pray in any way you like. Become as simple as a child. Open freely the chambers of your heart. You will attain everything.


Prayer has tremendous influence. Mahatma Gandhiji is a great votary of prayer, if the prayer is sincere and if it proceeds from the bottom of your heart (Antarika), it will at once melt the heart of the Lord.

Lord Krishna had to run bare-footed from Dvaraka on hearing the heart-felt prayer of Draupadi. Lord Hari, the mighty ruler of this universe apologised to Prahlad for coming a little late when the latter prayed. How merciful and loving is the Lord! Do not argue about the efficacy of prayer. You will be deluded. There is no arguing in spiritual matters. Intellect is a finite and frail instrument. Remove now the darkness of your ignorance. You will enjoy the unalloyed bliss of the prayer.

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