Sivananda Gita

Swami Sivananda Saraswati, 1946

I was born of P. S. Vengu Aiyar and Parvathiammal on 8th September 1887 at Pattamadai, Tirunelvely District, South India, in the line of Appayya Dixit. My star is Bharani.

I was extremely mischievous in my boyhood. I studied in the S.P.G. College, Trichy. I was a doctor in the Malaya States for ten years. I took sannyasa in 1924 in Rishikesh. I did tapas and meditation for fifteen years. I went on lecturing tours for ten years. I founded the Divine Life Society in 1936 and the All-World Religions Federation in 1945.

I am childlike in my swabhava. So I mix with all. I become one with all. I am every happy and joyful and make others also happy and joyful. I am full of educative humour. I radiate joy through humour. I respect all. I do salutations to all first. I always speak sweetly. I walk quickly. I do japa and meditation while walking and while at work also. I am ever hard working. I have intense application to work. I never leave a work till it is finished. I never procrastinate about doing any work. I finish it then and there. I am very quick in doing things.

I cannot suppress the spirit of service in me. I cannot live without service. I take immense delight in service. Service has elevated me. Service has purified me. I know well how to extract work from others. I extract work through kindness, service, respect and love.

I am very regular in doing asanas and exercises. Even now I do sirshasana, sarvangasana and other asanas. I also do pranayama regularly. These give me wonderful health and energy. I run round the bhajan hall daily.

I cannot deliver fiery lectures sitting on a special seat. A special seat pricks me. I stand up or throw the seat away and then begin to speak. I never sat on a special seat when I presided over spiritual conferences.

I rejoice in giving. I always give. I am 59 (1946) now. I ever feel I am quite young. I am full of vigour, vim and vitality. I am ever cheerful. I sing, dance, run and jump with joy. I am robust and strong. I can digest any kind of food.

I continuously work, read and write. I never go to hill stations or the seaside for a holiday. A change of work gives rest. Meditation gives abundant rest. Work gives me delight. Service gives me happiness. Writing bestows joy. Meditation energizes and invigorates me. Kirtan vivifies me.

Aham Brahmasmi, Sivoham, Satchidananda Swaroopoham – this is my favourite formula for vedantic meditation. Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare – this mahamantra kirtan is my favourite kirtan.

At the present moment, I am the richest man in the whole world. My heart is full. Further, all the wealth of the Lord belongs to me now. Hence I am king of kings, emperor of emperors, shah of shahs, maharaja of maharajas. I take pity on the mundane kings. My dominion is limitless. My wealth is inexhaustible.

My joy is inexpressible. My treasure is immeasurable. I attained this through sannyasa, renunciation, untiring selfless service, japa, kirtan and meditation. I am tall. My height is six feet. I have a sinewy frame. I have symmetrical limbs. I was a first class gymnast. I fast on Ekadashi. I do not take even a drop of water. I take milk and fruits on Sundays. I do not take salt on Sundays.

I lead a simple natural life. There is a fountain of youth in me. I beam with joy. I observe fasting, resting, airing, bathing, breathing, exercising, sunbathing, and enjoy freedom, power, beauty, courage, poise and health. Om. Om. Om.

I love nature, music, art, poetry, philosophy, beauty, goodness, solitude, meditation, yoga and vedanta. I am humble and simple. I am frank and straightforward. I am perfectly tolerant and catholic in my views. I am merciful and sympathetic. I have spontaneous and unrestrained generosity. I am bold and cheerful. I am patient. I can bear insult and injury. I am forgiving. I am free from a vindictive nature. I return good for evil. I serve that person who has injured me, with joy.

I love Ganga and the Himalayas. Ganga is my mother divine. Himalayas is my father divine. They inspire and guide me. I bathe in Ganga. I swim in Ganga. I adore Ganga. I feed the fishes of Ganga. I wave lights to Mother Ganga. I pray to Ganga. I do salutations to Ganga. I sing the glory of Ganga. I write about the grandeur and glory of Ganga.

Ganga has nourished me. Ganga has comforted me. Ganga has taught me the truth of the Upanishads. Glory to Ganga! My daily routine is like that of Lord Buddha. I always remain in the room. I do japa, kirtan and meditation. I study sacred books. I write. I come out of the room for a short time for work, service and interviews.

I talk a little. I think much. I meditate much. I try to do much and serve much. I do not waste even a single minute. I ever keep myself fully occupied. I lead a well-regulated life. I perform worship of atman at all times. I work for the good of others. Om. Om. Om.

Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, Bhagavata, Yoga Vashishtha, Avadhoota Gita, Viveka Chudamani are my constant companions. I am a strange mixture of service, devotion, yoga and wisdom. I am a follower of Sri Shankara. I am a Keval-Advaita vedantin. I am not at all a dry lip-vedantin. I am a practical vedantin.

I practise and advocate the yoga of synthesis. I practise ahimsa, satyam and brahmacharya. Glory to Sri Shankara! I respect all saints and prophets of all religions. I respect all religions, all cults, all faiths and all creeds.

I serve all, love all, mix with all and see the Lord in all. I stick to my promises. I serve the poor. This is my delight. I do mental prostrations to asses, dogs, trees, bricks, stones and all creatures. I respect elders and sadhus. I obey. I please all through sincere selfless service.

I attend on guests very carefully. I run hither and thither to serve them. I shampoo the legs of sick people and sadhus. I give very prompt replies to all my letters. I do several things at a time. I write with electric speed.

I spend everything. I do lot of charity. I do not keep anything. I take immense delight in feeding the poor and my students. I try to be a mother to them. I talk to others on things which I have myself practised. I look within always, introspect, analyse, and examine. I hold the trishul of spiritual diary, daily routine and resolve.

I ever served my masters with great sincerity and intense faith and devotion. I learnt many useful lessons for life. I developed many virtues. I wandered without food during my parivrajaka life. I slept on the roadside at night without clothing during winter. I ate dried bread with water. I stick tenaciously to my principles and ideals. I do not argue much. I live in silence.

I pray and do kirtan for the peace of the whole world, for the health and peace of sick people, and for the peace of the departed souls and the earth-bound spirits also. I take a dip in the Ganges in the name of all those who are longing for a bath in the Ganges. I sing the names of all saints of all religions in the bhajan hall. I observe All-Saint’s day and All-Soul’s day. Om. Om. Om.

I constantly meditate on the following:

Prajnanam brahman, aham brahmasmi, tat tvam asi, ayam atma brahman.
Satyam jnaman anantam brahman, santam sivam advaitam.
Aham atma gudakesa. Aham atma nirvikarah sarvavyapi svabhavatah.
Brahma satyam jagan mithya jivo brahmaiva na parah.
Akarta, abhokta, asanga, sakshi, ajo nityah sashvatoyam purano.
Jyotisamapi tat jyotih.

To raise the fallen, to lead the blind, to share what I have with others, to bring solace to the afflicted, to cheer up the suffering are my ideals. To have perfect faith in God, to love my neighbour as my own self, to love God with all my heart and soul, to protect cows, animals, women and children are my aims. My watchword is love. My goal is sahaja samadhi avastha or the natural, continuous superconscious state.