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January 2003

New Year Message

High on Waves

Peace is Your Goal
Swami Sivananda Saraswati

Sayings of a Paramahamsa
Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Bihar Yoga Bharati Convocation Address
Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

It's Never Too Early to Detoxify
Swami Satyasangananda Saraswati

Facing Difficulties
Dr Swami Shankardevananda Saraswati

Sat Chandi Maha Yajna
Swami Muktananda Saraswati

My Pilgrimage to Rikhia and Munger - A Homecoming
Swami Nishchalananda Saraswati

The Wisdom of Wanting
Swami Ahimsadhara Saraswati

The Three A's of Yoga
Swami Yogaratna Saraswati

ITIES 13 - 15 : Integrity, Nobility, Magnanimity
Swami Yogatirthananda Saraswati

The Race for Moksha
Swami Chintanshuddhi Saraswati

Life is a Risk
Swami Yogasagar Saraswati

The Lotus Flower
Swami Muktidharma Saraswati

Sivananda Math Report October - December 2002



Life is a Risk

Swami Yogasagar Saraswati (South Africa)

Imagine for a moment that your life is in danger, your heart is pounding, the senses are at their peak of sensitivity and you are so awake that every thought is right now in this moment. You feel alive and full of vitality, then suddenly the moment arrives and the danger is past. The event has taken place and you are trembling with excitement, amazed and relieved. Eventually the heart slows down and you are able to function more calmly, but the memory remains and even days later you are still able to feel excited and powerful because of your experience of danger.

These experiences come to everyone now and then, but very few are courageous enough to take risks and test their survival skill. Most of us become dull and insensitive to even the most obvious changes in our environment. We build around us a safe haven full of security that becomes for some a quiet predictable life of boredom and can even lead to fear induced mental phobias.

But look around. Who is successful in life? Who has fulfilled their dreams and ambitions? The great composers, artists, politicians, business empire moguls and spiritual sages all have something in common. This is because they give themselves completely to the fulfilment of their goal and for this many risks are involved.

To become proficient requires study and experimentation. All the great achievers have experienced hunger, rejection, poverty, criticism and sometimes personal injury in their effort to become proficient in their chosen path of creativity. The demands and rigours of acting out your role as a musician, a social reformer or even the life of a saint requires sacrifice and endurance to face difficulties. These become the very foundation of your experiences.

The difficulties in life, the great leaps into the unknown, are exactly what is required so that we are challenged by new experiences, and when we learn how to deal with them then we gain experience. Wisdom is the proper use of one's accumulated experiences. These experiences remain with us as memory, but also remember that as we realize the truth and learn how to manage situations then that ability becomes our experience, and throughout our lives all of our actions and thoughts are based on our experience.

Remaining safe and secure insulates us from the profound variation in experiences. The day to day events become predictable and so do we. Fearlessness and courage are the qualities of a sannyasin. If you aspire to sannyasa then throw off the attachment to security and familiar ways. Discover your strengths and transform your weaknesses. With a clear mind and vigorous discipline jump into the unknown territories of your personality and become everything that you are and want to be.

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