Letter to Swami Dharmashakti

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Blessed Self

There is a voice that comes from the depth of my soul saying that I should live in a remote village amongst people who are illiterate, poor and unhappy, and serve them. I think about it but I cannot say how far I will succeed in this. I have decided that I will follow my call. I will leave whenever I receive Gurudeva's blessings.

Your japa and dhyana will happen regularly. We must accomplish something in life. You should go to all kinds of satsangs. At the physical level, socialize and do everything as you would normally do, but on the mental plane, dance to the beat of "No ego, no me, no you, no office. Satyam Shivam Sundaram." Life itself is a yoga sadhana. Another name for God is bliss. Bliss is of two kinds; one is the bliss of worldly pleasures and the other is the bliss of Brahma, brahmananda or of the self, atmananda. Worldly bliss is the result of external experiences and brahmananda manifests and awakens from within. The bliss obtained from worldly objects is perishable and a womb of sorrow. The bliss that is self-created is eternal and is the gateway to liberation, moksha. It is this bliss that is attained when meditation is successful.

It is also attained through love. Among all the known sadhanas, prem sadhana, or the sadhana of love, is the supreme sadhana. Love is the name of a strange phenomenon. Good behaviour is its characteristic trait and a smile is its pulse. Service to others is the touchstone of love.

The final culmination of love is self-knowledge. The pervading feeling in love is, ‘Everyone is mine and I am everyone's'. An example of love is ‘Another person's sorrow is my sorrow and another person's joy is my joy'. To love from the mind is the easiest form of love, but it is not possible for us to become this simple.

Spoken love is a little less easy. It can happen if we have the blessings of Goddess Saraswati. There is more bitterness than love in people's speech.

If love becomes a spontaneous expression in behaviour, it changes the world. It brings joy to the whole garden of life. It is a tapasya, austerity, that only a rare tapasvi can master. If your behaviour is an expression of love, you receive God's darshan. If there is love in all that you do, in all that you say and in all that you feel, and the three become an integral part of your life, only then do you attain ananda, bliss,

Until such time that we have only one of these attributes, we are human. When we have two of them, we become great people, but when we attain all three, we become God.

Regularly do some japa, meditation, bhajan and kirtan. Continue reading books that deal with the truth; who knows when and how they will become a part of your thoughts. Study them, understand them and contemplate on them. The good wishes of saints are perpetually flowing in space.

—4 March 1956, Rishikesh, India