Precepts for Householders

From the Teachings of Swami Sivananda Saraswati

I will give a very simple method for sadhana, with which you can achieve the divine awareness while involved in worldly affairs. You do not need a separate place, a separate room or a lot of time for samadhi. During your working hours take a few minutes after every two or three hours. Close your eyes for a few minutes and meditate on the virtuous qualities of the Almighty, such as mercy, love, peace, bliss, knowledge, purity or wholeness. Along with that you may also do mental japa of any mantra of your choice repetitively, or say your Hari Om, or Sri Ram or Ram, Ram or Krishna, Krishna. Feel that this body is a moving abode of God, your office or business premises is a big temple or Vrindavan.

Have a feeling of surrender towards God during all your daily activities like walking, talking, writing, eating, breathing, seeing or listening. Karma is worship, karma is samadhi. Renounce the desire of the fruits of action and also the feeling of doership, that ‘I am the doer, I am the enjoyer’. Feel that you are an instrument in the hands of the Lord and by your actions, he is the one who does all the work. Feel that this world is a manifestation of God. All your children, women, mothers and fathers are the images, idols of or children of him.

See him in all faces and in every object. Always keep your mind balanced and peaceful. By constant practice, if you are able to develop divine awareness, it will change your attitude in life. All your actions will become yogic actions. All actions will become the worship of the Lord. And that is abundance. You will very soon be able to feel God. This change and transformation is yoga. This is a very powerful sadhana. I have given you a very simple sadhana.

Write down your Ishta mantra in a notebook while observing mouna, and take your awareness away from the day-to-day affairs for half an hour.

Write down in bold letters on pieces of paper ‘Speak the truth’, ‘Om purity’, ‘I want to have a glimpse of God right now’, ‘I am the embodiment of mercy, love and tolerance’ and others of your choice. Keep them in your bedroom, dining room, living room, on the veranda. Keep similar kinds of paper in your diary or your pockets. This is a simple practice to attain transcendental divine qualities.

—Printed in Yoga Vidya, July 1969