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Vedanta in Daily Life II

by Swami Sivananda


Vedanta is the science and the art of living one's life at its highest and the best. It is the system of the perfect life, the rule of wisdom and the law of liberty. Vedanta is not merely a conceptual system or a speculation over what 'ought to be', but the factual knowledge of what 'is'. The western philosophers were and are busy with ascertaining what 'ought to be'; but the ancient Hindus have already discovered, realised and proclaimed the truth of what 'is'. Vedanta is the result of this discovery of the Absolute Truth, the declaration of the nature of the Supreme Goal of life and the way thereto. Hence, Vedanta is the very meaning of life, the very fact of one's being; it is not merely a philosophical system to be reserved for intellectual pleasantry during leisure hours. It is the food of the higher understanding which fixes itself up in the verity of the Real Self. Vedanta is as simple as life; and it is also as complex as life is.

Even a child can be taught Vedanta, provided the teacher knows very well what Vedanta truly means, and how it can be applied to the different stages of life. It is ignorance and wrong understanding that make people think that Vedanta is an out-of-the-way and otherworldly theory concerning merely a life which follows death. Certainly Vedanta is not such a narrow theory estranged from the fact of everyday life. Vedanta can and must be applied in the daily life of everyone. Without it life would mean only groping in darkness. What is man, after all if not a thought, or a group of thoughts? And Vedanta is the light which illumines the world of thought, of understanding. One can very well imagine from this the importance of the Vedanta.

Vedanta does not say that one should detest the world or isolate oneself in some world other than this. It does not proclaim that anyone should forsake his duties or put on castor-oil face or behave in an intolerable manner. Vedanta says that one should not be selfish or attached to any fleeting object, that one should live in the consciousness of the loving brotherhood and unity and of the Selfhood or Atmahood of the universe, that the Truth of existence is One and indivisible, that division or separation, hatred, enmity, quarrel and selfishness are against the Eternal Truth, that the pain of birth and death is caused by desire generated by ignorance of this great Truth, that the highest state of experience or perfection is Immortal Life or the realisation of Brahman, that everyone is born for this one supreme purpose, that all other duties are only aids or auxiliaries to this great Duty of Self-realisation, that one should perform one's prescribed duties in life with the spirit of non-attachment and of dedication to the Supreme Being, that every aspect of one's life should get consummated in this Supreme Consciousness. It is not a question of abandoning something or holding on to something, but of a change in the Drishti or the vision of life. It is a change in the way of the function of the conceptual and the perceptual consciousness that is required by the Vedanta. The body will be there; its activities will be there; but these will be transformed into the lustrous gold of the liberated life (Jivanmukti) by the touch of the philosopher's stone of the knowledge of the Self. This life of Self-knowledge is life at its highest and the best. This is the most blessed state, the state of Freedom or Moksha. This is what everyone should aspire after. The way to this state of realisation is Vedanta-Sadhana.

Aspirants! Vedanta is the bread of your life. Assimilate it. Study these admonitive passages and know their spirit. Live up to it, and enjoy the freedom of the spiritual consciousness.


What is Vedanta

Vedanta is the end of the Vedas.
It is the realisation of oneness.
It speaks of unity.
It proclaims:
You are not this perishable body;
But you are the all-pervading,
Immortal Soul
'Tat Tvam Asi', Thou art That

Vedanta Solves all Problems

Vedanta alone can solve all problems.
Understanding and practice of Vedanta alone
Can stop all wars
And bring peace in this world.
Vedanta will remove all barriers.
Vedanta will melt all differences.
Vedanta will unite all.
Vedanta will remove petty-mindedness,
Crookedness, jealousy, selfishness,
Greed, hatred, suspicion and cruelty.
Vedanta ennobles, lifts and inspires.

Vedanta for Health

The Atman is Anamaya, diseaseless.
It is All-Health, All-Joy, All-Bliss.
Meditation on the Atman gives wonderful health
And eradicates all diseases.
It is the best panacea and tonic.
Meditate on the formula:
I am the diseaseless, immortal Soul.
Incurable diseases are cured
By Vedantic Meditation.

Vedanta for World-Peace

No piece of paper called a treaty
Will ever heal the world of war.
Individual peace paves
For world-peace.
The radical cure for war
Is to find the Inner Peace first
Through Self-realisation
And Vedantic Meditation.
If one realises the unity and the oneness,
How can there be war?
Who is to wage war with whom?

Vedantin's Brahman

Vedantin's Brahman is Nirakara, Nirguna.
It is formless and attributeless.
It is Akhanda, Paripurna, Satchidananda.
It is indivisible, All-full, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss.
It is Nitya, Suddha, Buddha, Mukta.
It is Eternal, all-knowing, pure and free.
It is Akarta! Abhokta, Asanga.
It is non-doer, non-enjoyer, unattached.
It is Nirvikara, Akshara, Ananta.
It is unchanging, imperishable, infinite.

Snake-in-the-Rope analogy

Remember the Rajju-Sarpa Nyaya:
Snake-in-the-rope analogy.
Just as a snake is superimposed on a rope,
This body and mind are superimposed on the Atman.
Bring a light,
The snake vanishes.
Attain the knowledge of the Atman,
This body disappears.

There is only One Soul

Ekam eva Advitiyam Brahma.
The Soul of an ant, dog,
Elephant and man is the same.
The Soul in a sinner
Is the same as the Soul in a saint.
The Soul of a peasant
Is the same as that of a king.
Realise the oneness and be free.

Practise Complacency

Practise complacency, Mudita;
Rejoice at the happiness of others,
Because all are your own Self.
See your Self in all beings.
Again and again try this.
Jealousy will vanish.
All hatred and malice will cease.
You will realise the unity of the Self.
You will enjoy peace and bliss.

Share with All

Share with others what you have:
Physical, mental, moral and spiritual.
Do not hoard wealth.
Do not covet the wealth of others.
In sharing there is joy and peace.
Sharing generates cosmic love
And destroys greed.
Sharing removes selfishness
And creates selflessness.
Sharing purifies your heart.
Sharing develops oneness.

Japa of Om During Work

When you work do mental Japa of Om.
There may be breaks;
It does not matter.
Keep the Atma-Bhava always.
Again and again generate the Bhava.
Associate Satchidananda with Om.
Feel Om is Satchidananda.
Repeat the formula: Om Ekah Satchidananda Atman.
Negate the illusory names and forms.
This will lead to Self-realisation.

Take the Essence

When you look at any form,
Take out the essence.
That essence is the Atman or the Soul.
Behold only the true Self.
Reject the Nama-Rupa,
Just as you reject the skin of a fruit.
Again and again try and feel this.
You will attain Self-realisation.

Remember Sankara's Words

Remember constantly Sankara's words:
Brahma Satyam Jagan Mithya,
Jivo Brahmaiva Naaparah.
Brahman is real, the world is unreal;
The individual soul is identical with Brahman.
Meditate on this great saying.
The reality of the world will vanish.
You will be established in Brahman.

Be a Witness

Keep the Sakshi-bhava.
Be a witness of your thoughts.
Be a witness of the waking state.
Be a witness of the actions of the senses.
Separate yourself from the body,
The mind and the senses.
Again and again try.
Discipline and again discipline.
Identify yourself with the Sakshi or the Atman.
This is Vedanta in daily life.

Know Thyself

Be simple, be humble, be gentle.
Be straightforward, be honest,
Be sincere.
Be truthful, be bold, be cheerful.
Be tolerant, be generous,
Be virtuous.
Be serene, be self-controlled,
Be Self-delighted.
Love all, embrace all,
Be kind to all.
Discriminate and be dispassionate.
Reflect and meditate.
Know thy Self and be free.
This is Vedanta in daily life.

Watch the Breath

The breath sings.
The song of Soham:
I am He, He am I.
During inhalation there is So.
During exhalation there is Ham.
It reminds you of your identity with Brahman.
Soham is the highest Mantra.
It comes in the Isavasya Upanishad
And the Hamsa Upanishad.
Remember Soham.
Meditate on Soham.

Study these Books

Study Atma-Bodha,
The ten classical Upanishads,
The Brahma-Sutras and
Vedanta Jyoti,
Vedanta in Daily Life,
First Lessons in Vedanta,
Practice of Vedanta,
Philosophy of OM,
Panchadasi, Panchikarana,
Yoga Vasishta, Moksha-Gita,
The Realisation of the Absolute,
Lectures on Vedanta,
Ten Upanishads.
You will be inspired and elevated,

Vedantic Formulae

Om, Soham, Sivoham,
Sivah Kevaloham,
Hamsah Soham, Soham Hamsah,
Aham Brahmasmi
Are the Important Vedantic Formulae.
Great sentences of the Upanishads.
Meditate on these Formulae.
Keep one for your daily meditation.
They are all Maha-Vakyas:
They speak of the identity
Of the individual soul and the Supreme Soul.
They will help you
In the attainment of Self-realisation.

Be Balanced

If a man abuses you,
Enquire: Reflect:
What is this abuse?
Can this abuse hurt the Soul?
The Soul of the abuser and the abused is the same.
Abuse is mere vibration in the air.
It is mere sound.
The abuser simply wastes his tongue.
He is ignorant and weak.
I simply pity him.
I am myself the abuse, the abuser and the abused.
I am above abuse and praise.
Thus attain serenity and Samata.
This is Vedanta in Daily Life.

Possess these Means

Be dispassionate.
Be serene.
Be self-controlled.
Have Faith.
Have yearning.
These are the means to Liberation.

Antaranga Sadhana

Hear the Srutis.

Enquire 'Who Am I'

What is this 'I'?
This physical sheath is not the 'I',
For it is inert and perishable.
The Prana is not the 'I',
It is also inert;
It has a beginning and an end.
The mind also is not the 'I'
For it is inert.
It has a beginning and an end.
The intellect also is not the 'I'.
The causal body is not the 'I'.
The real 'I' is the Absolute,
Atman or Brahman.
It is imperishable.
It is a mass of Consciousness-Bliss.
Tat Tvam Asi.

Separate and Identify

Separate yourself
From the senses and the mind.
Be a witness.
The eyes do not see.
They are only instruments.
The ears do not hear.
They are also instruments.
They are products of Prakriti.
The Atman is pure Consciousness.
That pure Consciousness thou art.
Identify yourself with the Atman.

Negate the Body and the Mind

I am not this body.
This body is not mine.
I am not this mind.
This mind is not mine.
I am not this intellect.
This intellect is not mine.
I am (Satchidananda) Atman.
I am Satchidananda Svarupa.

Assert and Realise

I am immortal Atman - Om Om Om
I am Absolute Consciousness- Om Om Om
I am Eternity - Om Om Om
I am Infinity - Om Om Om
I am all-pervading Atman - Om Om Om
I am Self-effulgent Atman - Om Om Om
I am All-blissful Atman - Om Om Om
I am Existence-Absolute - Om Om Om

Chant and Sing Om

Sometimes chant Om.
Sometimes roar Om.
Sometimes sing Om.
Sometimes do Japa of Om loudly.
Sometimes do mental Japa of Om.
Sometimes concentrate on Om picture.
Sometimes write Om in a notebook.
Sometimes meditate on Om.

Song of Om

Om Om Om Om Om Om Om
Om Om Om Om Om Om Om

Om Om Om Om Om Vichar.
Om Om Om Om Bhajo Omkar.
Om Om Om Om Pukarenge.
Om Om Om Om Ucharenge.


Within is Om, without is Om,
To the right is Om.
Above is Om, below is Om,
To the left is Om.
In front is Om, behind is Om,
Everywhere is Om.

Vedantic Sadhana

Get up at 4 a. m.
Do Japa of Om.
Meditate on Om.
Feel Aham Brahma Asmi.
Again and again generate
The Brahmakara-Vritti.
During work also have the Bhava.
This is very important.
Be truthful in your dealings.
Have another sitting at night.

The State of a Jivanmukta

A Jivanmukta is ever peaceful and blissful.
He has equal vision and balanced mind.
He is equal in honour and dishonour,
Censure and praise, pleasure and pain.
He is free from egoism, pride, anger, lust, etc.
He has no attachment.
He has no likes and dislikes.
He is full of wisdom.
He clears any doubt.

Song of a Vedantin

Sivoham Sivoham Sivoham Soham, Satchidananda-Svarupoham.


Achyutoham, Anantoham, Advaitoham.
Chidghanoham, Chinmayoham, Chinmatroham.
Nityoham, Nirmaloham, Niranjanoham.
Aham Atma, Aham Brahma, Aham Chaitanyam
Sarvantaratma, Antaryami, Sarva-Sakshi.
Paramatmoham, Paripurnoham, Paramanandoham.
Tejomayoham, Jyotirmayoham, Prakasamayoham.
Sasvatoham, Satyoham, Satchidanandoham.


Song of Chidananda

Chidananda Chidananda Chidananda Hum,
Har Halme Almast Satchidananda Hum.
Ajarananda Amarananda Achalananda Hum,
Har Halme Almast Satchidananda Hum.


Nirbhaya Aur Nischinta Chidghanananda Hum.
Kaivalya-Kevala-Kutastha-Ananda Hum.
Nitya Suddha Siddha Satchidananda Hum.
Knowledge-Bliss, Knowledge-Bliss, Bliss-Absolute,
In all conditions I am Knowledge-Bliss-Absolute.
I am without old age, without death, without motion,
In all conditions I am Knowledge-Bliss-Absolute.
I am without fear, without worry, Bliss-Absolute,
Existence-Absolute, Knowledge-Absolute.
Independent, unchanging, non-dual Atman,
Immortal Atman, Advaita Atman,

Eternal, pure, perfect Knowledge-Bliss-Absolute.
(Chidananda. . . . )

Four Mahavakyas

Prajnanam Brahma, Consciousness is Brahman.
Aham Brahma Asmi, I am Brahman.
Tat Tvam Asi, That thou art.
Ayam Atma Brahma, This Atman is Brahman.

Mantras for Ahamgraha Upasana - Vedantic Meditation

Aham Brahma Asmi - I am Brahman.
Soham - I am He.
Sivoham - I am Siva.
Satchidananda Svarupoham - I am Existence-Consciousness-Bliss-Absolute.


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