This section is from the "Advices on Spiritual Living" book, by Sri Swami Chidananda.See also A Call to Liberation.
Blessed seeker After Truth!
Om Namo Narayanaya. Loving Namaskars.
A bright joyous auspicious New Year to you. I salute you all in the holy name of Gurudev and wish you prosperity, happiness and all blessedness in His Name during this new year and during many more years in the future. God bless you.
The duty and function of all things in this universe are governed by the law of Rita and Satya. This implies Truth or in other words being true to one's essential real nature by adhering to it and expressing it. One who does it is fulfilling his duty and thus sustaining Dharma. This is what upholds the universe. Such a line of conduct maintains stability in human society, conduces to normalcy of events and occurrences and leads to commonwealth and welfare. Truth is the basis of human welfare. Everything good and beneficial rests upon truth. Gross negation of truth ends in chaos. Hence the significant declaration: God is Truth. To be true to one's own essential nature is the highest Dharma. This is the Godly path. This is Divine Life. This leads to happiness, security and supreme welfare.
The duty and function of rice is to give heat, light and to burn. The duty and function of air is to blow and waft odour. The duty and function of water is to flow and cause sweetness. The duty and function of earth is to be steady and to impart firmness to anything that takes its support. The duty and function of ether is to pervade and offer a field for the manifestation of sound. Akasa is a medium of Sabda. The duty and function of each element is thus the faithful expression of its inherent quality and nature. This is irreversible. If they were not to be true to themselves and go contrary to this, the result will be utter confusion and cessation of the orderly progress of things. Similar too is the case with man.
The duty and function of man is to be thoughtful and reasonable and to manifest his inner essential nature which is Divine and therefore of the nature of goodness peace, auspiciousness and beauty. If he makes his life and conduct a process of such self-expression, his very being becomes a blessing to society as a whole. But if his life and conduct contradict this living Truth within him, then his very being falsifies his essential nature and becomes a source of evil and pain in this very world. His life becomes a living lie. The law of truth is now contradicted. The result is pain and destruction. Truth saves. Falsehood poisons the very root of human progress and world-weal. The great sin of this age is crucification of Truth. The world malady of today is a cult of falsehood. Man has forgotten to be true. Man is taught false hood, practises falsehood and prides himself in falsehood. Thus he forfeits the grace of God. For God is Truth.
You must live to express your higher nature. This will be possible only with the different aspects of your being fulfilling their respective functions dutifully. The body is to work obediently to carry out the obligatory duties. It is not to function as manifold avenues for imbibing sensual pleasures. The mind should function for reflective thought and not for producing unbridled desire. The heart is to act as a source of sublime sentiments and noble emotions mitigating and sublimating the primitive instinctive urges of your gross being. The heart is not meant to be seat of hatred and passion. The function of the intellect is to regulate through reason the upsurge of emotion in your heart. Intellect should not be the source of pride, superiority and bigotry. If these faculties function upon truth, then you have an active, thoughtful, compassionate and stable individual. Divinity manifests itself from within in such a life. His conduct shines with the light of Truth. In such a life you are true to the higher Self, you are true to your culture, and you are true to your Motherland. You are then a true Bharatiya. A Nation that is true to its central culture survives, flourishes. Great is the importance of truth in our national life as much as it is in your individual life. In this New Year may we enter into an ever-growing realisation of this important fact.
Thus is my message of Truth for this New Year. Beloved readers; take up this message for your life: May this message be the Mula-Mantra of your personal life. May truth be the Maha-Mantra of your social life. May Satya be your Aradhana Devata. May Truth be the deity that presides over your professional activities. He who injures Truth verily destroys himself. He who upholds truth in all the spheres of his life secures peace, happiness, honour and Divine Grace. He is the real helper of humanity and servant of the world. He by his life and conduct makes mankind retrace its course from darkness to light, from strife to peace and from hatred to goodwill and love. O Ye Citizens of Bharatvarsha, raise the banner of Truth as your emblem and aim. Silence all slogans. Chant Truth as the National Mantra. Let the silence of purity hush your heart and keep out the den of false slogans and empty words. Truth is the way by which mankind must regain mutual trust, harmony and freedom from fear. Truth will save India and the world for an honourable future. Live Truth. Let Truth see the light of the day.
May this New Year mark for us all a glorious entry into Truth. God be with you. By the time you read this, this servant will be in South India on a spiritual tour. The same message, the call to Truth will be given at all places to be visited during this Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Gujarat tour. Sri Satgurudev Swami Sivanandaji was the embodiment of Satya. Thus will this servant strive to bring the holy Master's spiritual word to the people who seek light. May Truth sustain us in our march towards the eternal reality that is Brahman, the Ekam Sat! Om Tat Sat! Om Shanti!
Jai Gurudev Sivananda!
With regards, Prem and Om,
1st January, 1967
Sivanandashram Letter No. XXXVII