This section is from the "Advices on Spiritual Living" book, by Sri Swami Chidananda.See also A Call to Liberation.
Immortal Atma Swarupa!
Blessed Seekers of Truth!
Om Namo Narayana! Loving Pranams.
Glory to Lord Krishna and to Sri Gurudev Sivananda, the visible expressions of the Absolute Divine Reality. Salutations to you in their holy names.
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya, Om Sri Sivanandaya Namah. Upon you all, travellers upon the shining highway of Divine Life, pilgrims to the radiant Shrine of Eternal Bliss, may their Divine Love and benedictions ever shower in abundance. Be ever vigilant and ever be pressing forward towards the Grand Goal of your life. Be active in Vichara (right enquiry) and alert in Viveka (discrimination). O traveller, do not tarry on the way. O bold Sadhaka, stick to the Great Ideal at all cost and struggle bravely towards it. Every day, every minute, earnestly strive to live the perfect pure life. Divine you are. So Divinely live while life lasts.
Every thing is here evanescent. This life of yours is a two-days fair, the meeting of souls in a market place. Soon there will be end of it. What are you doing about it? All things shall perish and pass away. This is a non-eternal play of sound and colour, of names and forms. O man, seek the Eternal. Therein alone is true happiness, true peace and Bliss Divine. Time flies away. You were an infant, then grew up into youth, attained your prime and moved towards middle age. When chill winter of old age descends upon you what will you gather and take upon the journey? How much falsehood, unkindness, egoism and anger how much rudeness and dishonesty and how much impurity and selfishness has accumulated upon your head. Will these serve to make your life sweet or take you towards that sublime attainment for which God has given you this precious body and mind? Beloved friend, human life is too precious to be spent away in heedlessness and to be wasted in unwise sense pleasures that only bring suffering and misery in the end. Forgetting God and turning away from Him, do you ever think that you will succeed in attaining happiness here. A great mistake, a great folly. There is no greater blunder. This is miserable blindness. Neglect of spiritual Sadhana is the most dangerous calamity that can befall humanity. All things may be postponed but to attain happiness without adoring God, this is absolutely impossible.
This human life is too precious to be lost in delusion and ignorance. Wake up, O wake up. This world is passing through times of great uncertainty. The caprice of nature visits man with innumerable sudden and unexpected catastrophes. Floods and famines volcanoes and earthquakes, cyclones and hurricanes, wars and pestilences and accidents galore are taking their terrible tolls before your very eyes even as you watch and see your near and dear ones and cherished objects go the way of destructions. From all sides come reports of pain and death. Day by day, year after year, countless lives thus come to an end abruptly. What have you learnt? Do you alone feel secure in the midst of this inevitable process? Have you got in your shirt pocket the sealed guarantee that you alone live to be a hundred summers? Do not deceive yourself. Be wise. Live nobly. Practice virtue. Be thou a Yogi, one who tries to attain God. Even such is the clear call of Lord Krishna, Tasmaat Yogi Bhavaarjuna that He gave to us through the Gita. Do Sadhana. Lead a Divine Life. Infinite blessedness will be yours right here and now.
This year the sacred Sri Krishna Jayanti (Janmashtami) closely precedes Sri Sivananda Jayanti. The auspicious Birth Anniversary of Lord Krishna falls on the 7th Sep. and the joyous Birthday of Gurudev is on 8th Sep. Thus we celebrate twin Jayanties this month. With sincerity, earnestness, keen interest and enthusiasm practice the Gospel of the Gita and the Gospel of Divine Life. They are identical. These both mean one and the same thing. Sri Gurudev Sivanandaji proclaimed anew the message of the Gita in the modern world. Divine Life is a practical exposition of the way of the Gita. What Lord Krishna did in Dwapara-Yuga, even that Sri Gurudev did in this century. The one delivered the message in Kurukshetra and the other did it in Rishikesh. Only Lord Krishna addressed it to one individual, whereas Gurudev addressed all mankind. During Lord Krishna's lifetime only three individuals got to know of His wonderful Divine Message but through Gurudev the Divine Wisdom and spiritual message came to be the possession of countless thousands of people during His own life time. Verily, this is a marvel and a miracle that demonstrated the benign compassion of the Lord to awaken struggling humanity and draw souls towards Himself with a view to confer upon them Divine Blessedness. Thus the Lord works through His saints, sages and Godmen. They are His messengers. To follow them is to soon cross beyond all sorrow and suffering and reach the realm of eternal sunshine, perennial joy and supreme peace.
With the approach of these Jayanties my thoughts dwells again and again upon the Divine words and wisdom-teachings of Bhagavan Sri Krishna and Sadgurudev. I ponder the central message contained in their teachings Having attained to this impermanent and joyless world, do thou worship Me. Those who seek to approach Me alone cross over the formidable ocean of Maya which is indeed difficult to over come. My Supreme Abode is that having reached which there is no return (into this mortal world). And Gurudev's words declare emphatically that God-realisation is the goal of life. You should attain this through selfless service, devotion, meditation and wisdom. Virtue, worship and Vichara are the base to illumination. To unfold your Divine consciousness in and through the normal life in the world is Gurudev's special message for this age. It is by the spiritualism of your normal daily activity through an open attitude of worshipfulness and dedication of all actions to the Lord that you achieve Yoga in the midst of apparent Vyavahara. Detach your mind from the perishable objects of this world and attach it to the lotus feet of the Lord. Purify, concentrate, meditate, realise. So says Sivananda. Let the inspiration of these Divine teachings take fresh birth within your aspiring heart upon this holy Krishna Janmashtami and Sivananda Jayanti. This month marks the 80th Birthday (79th Anniversary) of our holy Sadguru. May His spirit of renunciation, service, devotion, aspiration and dedication fill you and make your life and speed up your progress towards Light, Joy and Blessedness.
We will be pleased to know that Andhra Pradesh Divine Life Society has already announced their provincial Conference this year. The forthcoming Conference is being convened by Sri T. Venugopala Reddy Garu (President of the Hyderabad Maradipalli D. L. Branch) with the help of Sri Vijayaranagam Garu and others. Sri Venugopal Maharaj is doing this in his capacity as the Organiser of the newly opened D. L. Branch of Kothapalam which is his home place. This is ten miles from Gudur station on the Grand Trunk line. Dates of the Conference are closing days of December. A Souvenir is going to be issued on the occasion of the conference. All D. L. Branches as well as members and devotees of Sri Gurudev throughout Andhra Pradesh are requested to joyously give their fullest co-operation to the Conference. Orissa state has decided to repeat its Conference this year. This will be its second provincial Conference and is likely to take place in every way to S. C. Debo, Prof. Durlab Chakaravarthy and others who will organise it. This year our enthusiastic and progressive group of Rajkot D.L.S. Centre in Gujarat have decided to convene the all Gujarat Divine Life Conference in the month of November under inspiring and memorable occasion. They have taken a promise from me to attend this blessed Conference. You will perhaps remember that Sri Sivanaada Adhvaryooji has Convened the All-India Divine Life Conference for the year 1967 at Patan in North Gujarat. News from Delhi D.L. Society brings the welcome information that the construction work of the Sivananda Satsang Bhavan has at last been taken up by Sri Swami Sivananda Cultural Association which coordinated the activities of all the Delhi Divine Life Centres. We wish speedy progress to this construction work and early completion of it. I look forward to the day when I shall have the joy of taking part in the inaugural Satsang held under the roof of the completed Satsang Hall. May the willing co-ordination, ready generosity and enthusiastic exertion of one and all of the members of the S.S.C. Association bring about this desired consummation. Thus Gurudev's work gradually grow and moves onwards for the benefit of many and for the glory of Sanatana Dharma as well as Universal Spirituality. All Religious are one. All mankind one. All faiths lead to the common goal of humanity which is one. May you all live to proclaim this oneness through love and through service. God bless you. OM NAMO BHAGAVATE VASUDEVAYA, OM NAMO BHAGAVATE SIVANANDYA. With regards, Prem and Om,
Yours in Sri Gurudev,
Sivanandashram Letter No. XXXIII
Golden Jubilee Message
BELOVED IMMORTAL ATMAN!
Glory be to the Divine. Salutations and prostrations at the sacred feet of Sadgurudev Sivanandaji Maharaj, the holy dust of whose feet is verily fit to be worshipped by all those who have found the spiritual guidance, sustenance and blessedness by worshiping them. The feet of the Sadguru serve as a sure boat to take the faithful across the ocean of Samsara to the other shore of freedom, bliss and peace. Worship and adorations to those feet that constitute the supreme source of highest happiness. Let me dwell in contemplation daily upon the lotus feet of the Guru, the greatest wealth and the most precious treasure in all the Universe.
On this occasion when a number of my spiritual brethren have decided to observe and celebrate Birthday Anniversary I take the opportunity to remind you all that you are verily birthless and deathless. Thou art immortal Atman, O beloved friend! Beginningless and endless changeless and eternal, thou art Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute in the essential nature! The Self is unborn, eternal, permanent and ageless and dwells radiantly as the imperishable reality within this perishable body. Thus declares the blessed Lord in the great Universal scripture, the Bhagwad Gita. This grand truth of thy real nature should be remembered this day. Where comes birthday for the birthless one? Birth is of this body and if its birthday is celebrated verily, then how can it be my birthday? Am I the physical body? I am not this body. I am not this mind. Immortal Self am I. Thus teacheth Gurudev Sivananda.
I am Chidananda. Verily I am Consciousness Bliss. Chidananda-roopham! Even so art thou, blessed reader, Thou art Chidananda! Thou art Satchidananda! Thou art Eternal, Pure, Perfect, Knowledge-Bliss absolute. Remember, reflect contemplate, meditate, realise! This is thy important duty. Aspire, affirm, assert attain. Thus is indeed the best and the grandest celebration.
They have requested for a message on this Birthday. Well, the message has just been given above. However, I shall add this more. Divine experience is attainable here only through Divine Life. Without Divine Life no Divine experience is possible. Divine Life is the foundation and the basis of all spiritual attainment and God-realisation. Divine Life means a life of truth, purity, chastity, and kindness. It implies simplicity, humble nature, selflessness and motiveless service unto all with Universal Love. Divine Life is friendliness towards all being, devout worship of Lord, constant remembrance of the Divine reality.
It means a life of Dharma and Sadachara, namely goodness, holiness and Godliness by which you attain God-realisation and supreme spiritual freedom or Kaivalya Moksha. Just as a tree cannot stand without ground to stand on and fish cannot swim without water to swim in and man cannot walk without way to walk on even so spiritual life is impossible without a substratum upon which to live it. This indispensable substratum or basis of all spiritual Sadhana, Yogabhyasa and Divine unfoldment is precisely ethical or moral life. This basis is character, good conduct, noble behaviour and virtuous life. Practise this and develop this first. God is very near to those who do it. It is not the number of Pradakshinas round the temple that you do or the number of Malas that you turn or even the coconuts that you break, that are ultimately pleasing the Lord but it is your pure thoughts, sublime sentiments and noble good deeds that bring you closer to Him. In him lies all happiness.
Therefore, my beloved friend if you wish to attain supreme happiness and Divine bliss then lead a virtuous life and worship God regularly. Do not apply reason and logic. Do not question and argue. To be good and do good is your greatest duty. To worship God is the noblest function. This is a realm where Logic has no entry and reason is ineffective. Faith is the thing needful. Regard thyself as a servant of all. Give up pride, vanity, arrogance and egoism. Be not haughty and intolerant. Be simple. Be sweet. Be natural. Give up anger, hatred, empty pomposity and superiority. Speak truth. Forgive and forget. Be honest. Develop sense of duty. Live to bring happiness unto others. Renounce selfishness. Know that God indwells all beings. This is the teaching of all scriptures and of all saints and sages and wise people.
Be up and doing on this path. There is no time to lose. Do not waste your days and weeks. Time is precious. Years will roll away in a flash. Remember death. Earnestly try for perfection. Remember the pains of Samsara. Do not be deceived and duped by the worthless objects of this world. Remember God in Whom lie highest peace and supreme bliss. Remember the saints daily. They have shown you the way to cross beyond sorrow and pain and triumph over death and attain immortality. Constantly remember the Eternal Divine Reality. Grow in virtue. Cultivate noble good qualities. Do all your work worshipfully. Offer up every action to God. Spiritualise your entire life. So says Sivananda Gurudev. Thus reminds Chidananda. Hear this message. Take a glorious new birth in the Spirit.
Lead the Divine Life. Fill yourself with radiant Divine Consciousness. Rejoice as an illuminated being. May Grace be in abundance showered upon thee. May your days be filled with joy, joy and more Joy. Rejoice for thy name is Bliss, O Ananda! Virtue, goodness and love lead to joy, peace, and illumination. Jai Gurudev Sivananda! Glory to the Divine Life in Atman!! May peace be unto all. May all beings in this Universe be filled with happiness!!! Om.
At the feet of Gurudev,
Sept. 24, 1966
Sivanandashram Letter No. XXXIV