How to Live a Divine Life

From Essence of Yoga, Swami Sivananda Saraswati

1. Nitya sukha, parama shanti, eternal satisfaction, infinite Bliss, knowledge and immortality can be had only in God or atman who gives light to the intellect and the sun. Therefore, realize the sat-chit-ananda atma through meditation right now, this very second, by purifying the mind.

2. Samsara, the world, is mithya, asara, apadramaniya, evanescent, impermanent, full of miseries, untruth, hatred and selfishness, disease and pain. It is a long dream. Be not worldly.

3. Time is most precious. Utilize every second profitably.

4. Serve sadhus, sannyasins, the sick, the poor and the country. This is padaseva of God.

5. Whenever your friend is annoyed with you, speak to him first with a smile, and apologize sincerely with tears in your eyes even though you may be in the right. Serve him nicely with prema, love. A vindictive spirit is a deadly enemy of peace, devotion and jnana.

6. Observe mouna, silence, during eating. Observe mouna for six hours on Sundays.

7. Keep the pictures of saints and sages in your bedroom and the front room. Do not keep any obscene pictures in the house.

8. Speak the truth, preserve virya and control anger by kshama, forgiveness, love and service. Repeat Om Shantih twelve times mentally and drink some cold water when you detect the least symptom of irritation in your mind.

9. Sleep always alone. Take one meal and some milk at night on Sundays. Do one lakh of Rama-Nama japa on Sundays.

10.Write daily for half an hour in a notebook the mantra of your ishta devata or Rama Rama.

11. Keep always a few pies in your pocket and distribute them daily to the poor and the unfortunate.

12. Do Hari kirtan at night. Sing Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare along with the members of your family and servants of your house for one hour.

13. Study Gita or Upanishads, Ramayana, Bhagavata or Yoga Vasishtha for one hour in the evening with some of your friends. The ladies of the household should also do this.