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September 2, 2011


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wami Sivananda was a Hindu spiritual teacher and a proponent of Yoga and Vedanta. Sivananda was born Kuppuswami in Pattamadi, in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. He studied medicine and served in Malaya as a physician for several years before taking up monasticism. He lived most of the later part of his life near Muni Ki Reti, Rishikesh.
He is the founder of The Divine Life Society, Yoga Vedanta Forest and author of over 200 books on yoga, Vedanta and a variety of other subjects. He established Sivananda Ashram, the location of the headquarters of The Divine Life Society (DLS), on the bank of the Ganges at Shivanandanagar, at a distance of 3 kilometers from Rishikesh. Sivananda Yoga, the yoga form propagated by him, are now spread in many parts of the world through Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres, but these centres are not affiliated with Swami Sivananda’s original ashrams which are run by the Divine Life Society.


A desire arises in the mind. It is satisfied immediately another comes. In the interval which separates two desires a perfect calm reigns in the mind. It is at this moment freed from all thought, love or hate. Complete peace equally reigns between two mental waves.


Purity of food leads to purity of mind. Take a dose of champagne and sit for meditation. Take a dose of orange-juice and sit for meditation. You will know the difference. Different foods exercise different influences on different compartments in the brain. By taking champagne and meat, the mind will be confused and will become restless when you sit for meditation. By taking vegetables and fruits, you will get good concentration. Our rishis lived on vegetarian food. Pure food leads to purity of mind and then one attains moksha. You should have dietetic discipline.


Swami Sivananda used to write instructions for himself on bits of paper which he stitched together into notebooks. These injunctions included: Give up salt, give up sugar, give up spices, give up vegetables, give up chutnies, give up tamarind. Serve Bhangis, serve rogues, serve inferiors, remove faecal matter. Do not revenge, resist not evil, return good for evil, bear insult and injury. Forget like a child any injury done by somebody immediately. Never keep it in the heart. It kindles hatred.


“The Work is about making personality passive, a servant rather than a master.” Gurdjieff investigated many spiritual practices deeply. His distillation remains offbeat and original. Difficult to get a consistent picture from the many schools established in his name.


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Rating: 8.7/10 (16 votes cast)
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Shivananda, 8.7 out of 10 based on 16 ratings