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The Ideal of Life


The aim of philosophy is right living. The meaning of right living depends on how it is defined. It is a life of wisdom, free from the imperfection, which characterises unphilosophical life. Philosophy is neither intellectual diversion nor aristocratic pedantry which overlooks the facts of experience in the world. As against a feat of scholarship or a mere hobby of the care-free mind, philosophy is the intelligent analysis of the implications of experience and a scientific theory evolved from such wise meditations for the purpose of regulating the functions responsible for the various experiences in the world. Philosophy is, therefore, the great art of the perfect life, a kind of life where the common notion of life is transcended and where the Supreme Life, which is identical with existence itself, is realised.

The philosophy taught by me is neither a dreamy, subjective, world-negating doctrine of illusion, nor a crude world-affirming theory of humanism. It is the theory of the divinity of the universe, the immortality of the soul of man, which is identical with the Absolute Self of the universe, there being an essential unity of everything in the universe with the highest Brahman, which is the only existing Reality. The Vedanta does not shut its eyes to the heart-rending pitiable condition of the world, nor does it ignore the body and the mind with their downward pull towards an empirical life, though the province of the Vedanta is supra-mundane.


The one Brahman or the Supreme Self appears as the diverse universe in all the planes or degrees of its manifestation, and, therefore, the aspirant has to pay his homage to the lower manifestation before he steps into the higher. Sound health, clear understanding, deep knowledge, powerful will and moral integrity are all parts of the process of the realisation of the Ideal preached by the Vedanta. I insist on an all-round discipline of the lower self. The teachings of the Vedanta are not in conflict with Yoga, Bhakti or Karma. All these are blended together as elements constituting a whole in the several states of its experience.

To adjust, adapt and accommodate, to see good in everything and to bring to effective use all the principles of Nature in the process of the evolution of the individual towards Self-realisation along the path of an integrated adjustment of the human powers, are some of the main factors which go to build up my philosophy of life. To love all and to see God in all, to serve all, because God is all, to realise God as the identity of all in one fullness of perfection are the main canons. In all my writings I have prescribed methods for overcoming and mastering the physical, the vital, the mental and the intellectual planes of consciousness in order to enable the aspirant to proceed with his Sadhana without impediments towards this great spiritual destination, the realisation of the Absolute. The Vedanta is a philosophy and way of life which teaches the method of spiritual realisation, the direct experience of the immortal, the omnipresent nature of the Self, where the universe is realised as identical with the Self, where nothing second to the Self can exist, and as the result of this high realisation, the realised sage becomes the Saviour of the Universe, Sarva-bhuta-hite Ratah.


To behold the Atman or Self in every being or form, to feel the Brahmic consciousness everywhere, at all times and in all conditions of life, to see, to hear and taste and smell and feel everything as the Atman is my creed. To live in Brahman, to melt in Brahman and to merge and dissolve in Brahman is my creed. By dwelling in union with Brahman, to utilise the hands, mind, senses and the body for the service of humanity, to sing the Lord's Names for elevating Bhaktas, to give instructions to sincere aspirants and to disseminate knowledge far and wide through books, pamphlets, leaflets, magazines and platform lectures is my creed.

To be a cosmic friend and a cosmic benefactor, a friend of the poor, the forlorn, the helpless and the fallen is my creed. It is my sacred creed to serve sick persons, to nurse them with care, sympathy and love, to cheer up the depressed, to infuse power and joy in all, to feel oneness with each and every creature and to treat all with equal vision. In my creed there are neither saints nor sinners, neither peasants nor kings, neither beggars nor emperors, neither friends nor foes, neither males nor females, neither Gurus nor Chelas. It is all Brahman. It is all Satchidananda.


I am now 72 (in 1958). I keep myself busy. I am always blissful and happy. I can do more work. I personally attend to hundreds of students at the Ashram and manage the affairs of the Divine Life Society, the Forest University, the General Hospital and guide thousands of students at far off places through correspondence. I pay much attention to the Printing Press and the despatches of useful books to the students, libraries and religious institutions. I can do more. The secret of my energy for the dynamic work is the keeping up of the Divine Consciousness throughout.

Change the angle of vision and be always happy and cheerful. See only good everywhere. Dance in joy. Saturate the mind with divine thoughts. You will at once feel tremendous, inner spiritual strength and spiritual power from within. The peace you enjoy now cannot be described in words. Adopt any method that can make your mind move inward, that can make the mind one-pointed and steady. Keep control over the senses. Have a careful vigil and intense faith. Develop will-power. Otherwise, Vikshepa and Alasya (oscillation and laziness) will overpower you.


All over the world, doctors experiment on the poor patients with so many medicines. How to expect a permanent and lasting cure when the doctors work with the selfish motive of earning more and more wealth? In the Ayurvedic system experts prepare genuine drugs from Himalayan plants, seeds and roots. They study the pulse of the patients and diagnose the case properly and prescribe effective medicines for bringing a permanent cure in the patients. The patients also should follow natural methods to a great extent and select suitable food-stuff and follow the instructions of the expert doctors.

In this Ashram I combine all the methods in the Sivananda General Hospital. There are expert doctors in all systems of medicine. In addition to this, I have great faith in the power of Mantra and grace of the Lord. Through special prayers conducted in the Lord Viswanath Mandir, I have seen miraculous cures of the hopeless cases even in distant places. I have tremendous faith in healing through prayers-healing of diseases by chanting of Mantras and prayers. The results are wonderful. The Lord's Name is so effective. I call this NAMAPATHY.

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