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January 2009

The teachings of Swami Sivananda will be presented in Yoga during the year 2009. In the current issue, he guides aspirants on the basics of living a spiritual life.

High on Waves

New Year Message

Practise Integral Yoga

Twenty Important Spiritual Instructions

May I Answer That?

Yama & Niyama: The Path of Ethical Discipline

Basic Guidelines for Yogic Practices

Eating to Support Your Sadhana

Purify Your Heart

Signs of Spiritual Growth

Yoga in Daily Life



Yoga in Daily Life

The world is for your education. You learn several lessons daily. If you learn all the lessons you can, if you utilize all the opportunities to the best advantage, in the spirit of yoga, then your capacities and will power will develop. You will grow, evolve and expand. Aim for real and lasting success, and remember that an ounce of practice is better than tonnes of theory. Become a practical yogi by following these instructions:

  • Watch your speech. Watch every word. Speak no word that is impure or vulgar or that can hurt the feelings of another. Speak no word that is disrespectful and contemptuous. Speak measured and sweet words. Think twice before you speak and thrice before you act.
  • When you have failed in an attempt, reflect for a while. Try to be more careful in the next attempt. Try to remove the factors that led you to fail previously. Fortify yourself now.
  • Put yourself in the place of others. Learn this great secret. What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.
  • Worry is a waste. Avoid it. Rather sing, pray, meditate, enquire, cogitate and discriminate. You will rise above all worries.
  • Reduce your wants to the barest minimum.
  • Adapt to circumstances.
  • Never be attached to anything or anybody.
  • Share what you have with others.
  • Be ever ready to serve.
  • Never leave the practice even for a day.
  • The guru will only guide you, but you alone must tread the path.
  • Maintain a daily spiritual diary and record your progress and failures. Stick to resolves.
  • Do not complain that there is no time for sadhana. Reduce sleep and tall talks. Stick to meditation in brahmamuhurta.
  • Never postpone a thing for tomorrow if it is possible for you to do it today.
  • Do not boast or make a show of your abilities. Be simple and humble.
  • Spiritual pride is more dangerous than the ordinary pride of wealth and power. It is also more difficult to eradicate. Aspirants should be ever vigilant and cautious. They should always keep up the spirit of service and humility.
  • It there is any good virtue in you, think that there is much more in others. This will infuse humility in you and check your haughtiness.
  • Be slow to promise, but quick to perform. Keep your word at any cost.
  • Always be cheerful.
  • Be indifferent to things that do not concern you.
  • Fly away from idle discussion.
  • Be careful in the selection of your company.
  • Be alone for a few hours daily.
  • Give up backbiting, criticizing and faultfinding. If you harm someone, it will be returned to you. Action and reaction are equal and opposite. If you are aware of this law you will not harm anyone. Remember this law when you become irritated.
  • Respect the moods, sentiments, convictions and views of others. Tolerance is an important virtue in an aspirant.
  • Take to sankirtan, satsang and prayer when the mind is overpowered by lower instincts.
  • Care not for criticism when you are on the path. Yield not to flattery.
  • Accept your mistakes and foolishness. You will grow quickly.
  • Take care of your health. Do not neglect daily asanas and exercises.
  • Always be active and nimble.
  • When you are walking do not look here and there. Always look at the tip of your nose. Practise this and it will become a habit.
  • Desires multiply misery. Develop contentment.
  • Do not lose your temper when anybody insults, taunts or rebukes you. Remember that it is a mere play of words and a variety of sound. Try to nip anger in the bud when it tries to emerge from the subconscious mind to the surface of the conscious mind. Watch the small impulse or wave of irritability carefully. Do not allow it to burst out and assume a wild form.
  • Be moderate in everything. Extremes are always dangerous.
  • There is nothing absolutely right and nothing absolutely wrong in this relative world. There is a grain of truth in every statement of every individual according to his own experience. Remember this.
  • Give up curiosities on the spiritual path. Conserve your energy and concentrate. Think little of food, body and associations. Think more of atman, spirit. You must realize in this very birth itself.

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