Category Archives: Sivananda

Today is Dattatreya Jayanthi !

Dear All,

Om ! Jaya Datta Digambara.

Today on the Full Moon is the auspicious Dattatreya Jayanthi. Five years back, we were in Sivananda Ashram, Rishikeh during this time when Dattatreya Jayanthi celerations happened in the Datta temple in Ashram premises.

In Swami Sivanandaji’s words:
Dattatreya, regarded as God and the Guru of Gurus, considered Nature Herself as His Guru, and learnt a number of lessons from Her twenty-four creatures, and hence he is said to have had twenty four Gurus. The silent, all-enduring earth with its lofty forbearance, the shady fruit-bearing tree with its willing self-sacrifice, the mighty banyan tree reposing with patience in the tiny seed, the drops of rain whose persistence wears away even the rocks, the planets and the seasons with their orderly punctuality and regularity were all divine Gurus to him.

Meditation On Lord Dattatreya
Maalaakamandalu dharah karapadmayugme
Madhyastha paaniyugale damarutrishoolam;
Adhyastha urdhva karayoh shubha shankhachakre
Vande tamatrivaradam bhujashatkayuktam.

MEANING: I meditate on Lord Dattatreya, the son of Atri, who has six hands, who holds the rosary and water-vessel in two hands, with damaru and spear in the other two hands, and with conch and discus in the upper two hands.

If you have time, please go through this Article on Dattatreya Jayanthi from the book “Hundu Fasts and Festivals” by Swami Sivananda.

Yours, In Service of the Lord & Gurudev,
Aparna & Hari.

Non-Difference of Siva-Kesava

Dear All,

Hari Om.

While I was perusing the Divine Life magazine, I came across this Drama – YES, I said it right, a Drama 🙂 that contains the concept of Non-Difference or absence of difference between Siva and Kesava. This drama is an Act-1 among the three Acts to illustrate the glory of Swami Sivananda.

The Hero in this Act is the renowned Sage Sri Appayya Dikshitar, in whose lineage after some generations Swami Sivananda ji was born.

I felt reading of this material was very apt in context and time for me because the previous day I had a very brief conversation with our Temple president. He was narrating to me how he approached a Vaishnavite priest to take up a position in the temple here, and the priest seems to have mentioned “I don’t touch Siva. It is forbidden.”

Hmmm….With my family, religious and scriptural background, and by fortunate association with Saints and Swamijis, and due to inclination towards the literature of the likes of Sri Swami Sivananda, Sri Swami Dayananda (Of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam) and Thakur Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, I have learnt that names and forms of the Divine are personal aids for each seeker, while the essence is the same. Thakur’s parables actually contain a story illustrating this.

My reflection:
Division, once it starts at some point, never ends, like a giant miotic division of cell. It is an ad-infinitum process of dividing up everything and we can never stop. And to see differences is the normal way. As Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati humorously puts it, the Barber Murari (a character in his humors) who is illiterate and has no knowledge of Vedas is highly aware of the differences. Then, what additional wisdom has one gained by the study of Upanishads, Vedanta, Religios scriptures, when one vehemently upholds the differences as real ?

I think it will be a struggle for a Saguna devotee, attached to one form, initially to transcend over the form. But that does not deny the truth that the names and forms are only incidental, while One in essence. Respecting other forms of the Divine is called for until we progress in our spirituality and become more wise.

As I have learnt from Pujya Swami Dayananda ji :

Dvaitaaddhi Bhayam Bhavati – द्वैताद्धि भयं भवति — From the sense of duality indeed, fear arises।

I hope you read this Drama, enjoy it and appreciate the message:

Click to open this Drama

Yours,
In Service of the Lord & Gurudev,
Aparna

Remembrance of God is the greatest fortune

Hari Om!
Om Namo Narayanaya!

After a long gap during which we also enjoyed a month long stay at Sivananda Ashram in India (more on this will be posted soon), here is a post to share a very inspiring talk given by Guru Maharaj Pujya Sri Swami Chidanandaji:-

What is good fortune and what is misfortune? Who is our friend and who is our enemy?

Man is the only living being endowed with discrimination and who has inherited vast knowledge through scriptures – the Vedas, Puranas, Srimad Bhagavatam, Panchadasi, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Narada Bhakti Sutras, Sandilya Bhakti Sutras, Bhagavad Gita, BrahmaSutras, etc – which are filled with so much wisdom. Add to it the wisdom teachings of many, many sages down the centuries. In our own times, there are the teachings of Swami Vivekananda, Sri Ramakrishna Dev, Swami Ramdas, our own Gurudev, Ma Anandamyi, etc.

How much guidance we have got! If we don’t use this for our good, then who is to blame for it? Having all this and not utilizing it – it is our fault, not somebody else’s fault.

Vipado Naiva Vipadah, Sampado Naiva Sampadah !
Vipada Narayana Vismrutih, Sampat Smaranam Narayanasya !!

Misfortune is forgetting God – that is the real misfortune. Constantly remembering God and not to forget Him – what is greater fortune than this? This is indeed the greatest fortune. Other things are neither good fortune nor misfortune. These alone are the greatest good fortune and the greatest misfortune – Remembrance of God and forgetfulness of God.

Who is your friend? Who is your enemy?

He is your greatest friend, well-wisher, relative, companion, helper – who creates in you a taste for repetition of God’s name, even from your childhood. Srimad Bhagavata Maha Puran says that He is your father, mother, companion, best friend, helper, well wisher – who creates within you, a taste for the name of God even from your childhood. There cannot be a well-wisher greater than such a person, because in this Kaliyuga, repetition of God’s name is the greatest way.

Jaake Hruday na Ram Vaidehi !
Tyajiye Koti Vair sam Yadyapi Param Sanehi !!

That person, in whose heart God is not seated – here he mentions Lord Rama and Sita, the daughter of King Janaka Maharaj or Videha. That person who has not kept God and awareness of inner presence of God -even if he is your best friend, cast him away, leave him, renounce him, as though he is a million devils or enemies – who is intent upon doing you harm; who will destroy you, hurt you, harm you. Such a person, even if he happens to be your best friend, if he diverts your mind to miscellaneous enjoyments saying – lets go to the club or the cinemas, lets go and have a nice evening snack in the restaurant, etc. Any person who diverts you towards earthly activities, whose fruit is not attainment of God – discard, renounce, give up such a person as though he were a million enemies put together. Even if he happens to be your most intimate friend, because slowly he will color you in his own color. He will make you like himself.

This is a miniscule wisdom teaching out of many that we have received from various saintly sources. I think this one is from Sant Tulsidas.

Having provided you with these nuggets of spiritual teachings, gems of wisdom, I shall end the service of this morning, but Spiritual teachings are only useful when they are remembered; when they are kept in the heart and so remember them and benefit from them by applying them in your own life – subjective inner life as well as objective outer life in this world. Even if you have many lakhs of rupees in the bank and you do not make use of it, then you are as good as a poor person or a miser. A miser has money but he will not spend; a poor person has no money so he cannot spend. To either of them money is not of use in life. In the same way for spiritual teachings. Therefore, spiritual truths and guidance must be actively and constructively utilized. It is for living; you must apply it in your daily life by thought, word and deed.

Hari Om! Om… Om… Om!”

Yours in service of God and Gurudev,
Aparna & Hari