Divine Life

Swami Sivananda Saraswati

Siva addresses the public of Calcutta

Siva drove to the S.V.S. Vidyalaya, where a public meeting and a meeting of the students of the Vidyalaya had been arranged. One of the acharyas introduced Siva to the audience. Siva spoke as follows:

Sidelights on Divine Life

"The Lord's name will remove all afflictions. You will get your ashta aisvarya if you have shraddha. If you have no shraddha now, acquire shraddha. Again and again feel:

Om namo visvarupaya visva-sthitantya hetave;
Visvesvaraya visvaya govindaya namo namah.

Feel that everyone is a manifestation of God; and that the entire creation is His virat or form. Cut down all barriers that separate man from man. Then you will get happiness. Develop seva-bhay. Do japa, kirtan. Practise vedanta vichara. Remove avidya and get established in the universal brotherhood.

The universe is born of ananda. It exists in ananda. It dissolves in ananda. Prem, love, and ananda, bliss, are one and the same thing. Cultivate universal love and enjoy ananda.

You have heard a number of lectures. You are not trying to practise. Satyam vada. Dharmam chara. Matri devo bhava. You have heard all these. How many of you are treating your mother as God? Please give up this lecture-hearing disease. Ahimsa paramo dharmah – Non-violence is the highest dharma. You have heard this a thousand times. Now practise. Practise ahimsa, satyam and brahmacharya. Do kirtan every day with your family members and servants, too. Everybody will be transformed. You will enjoy happiness perennial.

If someone uses a disrespectful word while addressing you, you get wild and you fight with him. How powerful is a mere word! How much more powerful should be the Lord's name. The Lord's name alone can drive away the various ailments that assail the world today.

Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram

Do japa of Ram nam daily. Increase your japa practice to ten, twenty and one hundred malas. Then you should do whole-time japa. Side by side you should do seva also. Then you will get ananda."

Someone from the audience passed a chit to Siva with the question: 'Can a man observe brahmacharya while yet living in the world?'

Siva replied: "Yes. Take a little food. Do not overload your stomach. Don't go to cinemas. Get up at 4 am and practise japa and kirtan. See your mother in all ladies. Be regular in your sadhana. You will be able to observe brahmacharya while living in the world.

Another person has asked for my opinion about gau-raksha or cow-protection. Without cow you will not get milk. Protection of cows is building of the nation, of the world. Many diseases that afflict man owe their origin to lack of milk. Therefore, it is the duty of all to protect the cow.

Cultivation of divine qualities is the surest way out of the present miserable condition of this world. Try to cultivate any one virtue; you will automatically develop all virtues. Try to remove the evil qualities that afflict the mind. Go on doing sadhana ceaselessly. Do not expect immediate results. The degree of fearlessness, of santosha, contentment, and of peace in you is the degree of your progress in sadhana: not seeing lights or getting siddhis. Previously you got irritated at a mere word; now you are able to put up with insults. That shows you are progressing in sadhana.

God's ways are mysterious

God's grace comes in mysterious ways. Once Lord Krishna and Arjuna went incognito to the house of a big zamindar and asked for bhiksha; he refused bhiksha and insulted them. Lord Krishna went away blessing the zamindar, "May your wealth be increased by ten lakhs." Then they went to the house of a poor man whose sole income was derived from a cow he had. He gave them all the milk there was in the house. He treated them with great respect and veneration. When He was about to depart, Lord Krishna blessed him, "May the cow die immediately." And, the cow died.

Arjuna was unable to understand the mystery. He was puzzled. He protested to Lord Krishna. Krishna said, "Arjuna, the zamindar is already rich. He is arrogant. If I give him some more wealth, he will be thoroughly infatuated. This pious poor man has only one object to which he is attached. It is the cow. If it perishes, then he will acquire undivided devotion to Me. He will attain moksha." Such is the mysterious way in which God's grace descends upon man.

God sends various difficulties and calamities in order to improve you. These calamities are intended to produce vairagya in you. In spite of these calamities, people do not give up sensual enjoyments. When you have earned enough money for the maintenance of yourself and the family, you should stop. You should resort to seclusion and give your whole time to sadhana.

Renunciation must be real

The glory of tyaga, renunciation is indescribable. But do not think that tyaga is running away from the world and going into a cave. Nowadays people honour a sadhu who wears a kaupin. They laugh at a sannyasin if he wears a shirt. This is entirely wrong. The external renunciation is no renunciation at all. Real renunciation is renunciation of cravings, trishnas, and desires. Renunciation of kartritva abhiman, pride of doership, is real renunciation. If you develop the attitude of non-doer and non-enjoyer, akarta abhokhat bhava, then the pride of being the doer will disappear.

Live in seclusion in your own house. Give up read­ing of newspapers. The newspaper fills your brain with the whole world. The mind becomes a big market. Thoughts of God will not enter such a mind.

Beware. Wake up now. Do japa, kirtan, study the Gita, the Ramayana; and attain the everlasting abode of bliss.

—22 September 1950, From Sivananda's Lectures, during All-India and Ceylon Tour – 1950, Chronicler Swami Venkatesananda