Universal Ideals for Spiritual Perfection

From the Autobiography of Swami Sivananda Saraswati

The Divine Life Society is an all-embracing and all-inclusive institution. Its objects, ideals and aims are broad and universal. It does not condemn any of the principles or tenets of any religious group. But it includes the fundamental principles of all religions and cults. There are no pet dogmas or sectarian tenets. It leads people to the spiritual path. It enables people to take easily to the divine life even while living in the world and following the teachings of some particular cult or religion.

The Society has brought about a vigorous awakening throughout the world and has contributed much to a new life of freedom in action, a life of harmony amidst worldly turmoil and a life of bliss through mental non-attachment and renunciation of desires, egoism and mine-ness. There is universal appreciation of the principles, aims and ideals of the society and the method of its work. It lays great stress on the practical side of sadhana. It expounds the yoga of synthesis in a rational and scientific manner.

Members belonging to various institutions and organisations in all parts of the world become members of the Divine Life Society and write to me for spiritual guidance. I take special care of them and give them lessons by post for their spiritual progress and welfare.

The Divine Life Society proclaims that any individual can attain wisdom in his own station of life, be he a brahmachari, grihastha, vanaprastha or sannyasin, be he a scavenger, brahmin, sudra or kshatriya, be he a busy man of the world or a silent sadhaka of the Himalayas. Divine knowledge is not the sole property of sannyasins and recluses.

The Divine Life Society explains how although the central basis is jnana yoga, Vedanta, it is necessary for one to practise karma yoga for the purification of mind and heart; hatha yoga to keep up good health and strength, purify the prana and steady the mind; raja yoga to destroy sankalpas/vikalpas, thought/conter-thought and induce concentration in meditation; and jnana yoga to remove the veil of ignorance and ultimately rest in one’s own satchidananda swaroopa, one’s own form of truth, consciousness and bliss.