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The Formidable Gulf Of Slight Difference

Swami SivanandaGovindasmawiji’s heart ached to see Siva clad in an overcoat worn out with age! It was once upon a time a good woollen coat. It had served its master well. Now, it looks like a gunny-bag. Suns and moons adorn its face, revealing the inner garments here and there. Yet, it was proud of the love that Siva bore towards it: and on Siva’s back it laughed—perhaps at a newer coat lying unused.

‘Swamiji, this coat is torn all over the back. It looks ugly also. Please wear the other, new coat.’ Siva looked up and smiled. ‘Achcha? It is torn? Very well: but it keeps the warmth all right.’

People are prone to imitate a saint when he enjoys certain creature comforts: they misunderstand the saint’s behaviour when they see that ‘he also wears good, nice clothes: he also takes sweetmeats.’ But they hardly understand the inner difference, the vital difference that there is between the saint’s attitude towards these and their own. The saint cares not if Prarabdha brings him silk gowns or dirty rags. He greets both with a happy smile. The dull-witted aspirant rejoices in fashionable dress and new clothes, and thinks that he is right in doing so—does not the saint wear these. He would preach to others that equanimity is the secret and that the costly wearing apparel does not taint him. But, ask him to wear a torn coat or a dirty dhoti: the old Abhiman will raise its head from within. That is the difference. It is very subtle. It is like the deep chasm that separates the mountain-peaks very close to each other. From a distance the gulf appears to be very slight: and you think you can walk over it. When you approach it, you discover that the very sight of it makes your head reel. That is why Lord Krishna warned Sadhakas to obey His words and not to imitate His actions.


Chronicler: Swami Venkatesananda

Stages of struggle

Swami Paramananda

In every man’s life there come moments of weariness and struggle, when everything appears gloomy and hard. But know that no true character was ever formed without passing through these stages. So we must be brave and patient.

~ Swami Paramananda

Sharp tongue

Everybody has a sharp tongue. After all, we are all human beings only. But the beauty lies in controlling it. Before an offending word is uttered, you should introspect and check it. And, even if occasionally you happen to use the wrong expression, you should learn the art of smoothening the matter out at once. You should apologise to the man whom you had offended, talk to him sweetly, ask his pardon and pacify him. Gradually your very nature will be changed.’

~ Swami Sivananda

These are all natural treatments for diabetes

‘Venkataramaniji, I wanted to teach you some Asans and Kriyas before you go.’ So saying, Siva got out of his seat and met Sri K.S.V. half-way. And, unceremoniously Siva sat on the ground where he thought fit! Then he started demonstrating Asans to the astonishment of Sri K.S.V. and Sri R.V. Sastriji. ‘This is Uddiyana Bandha. Pumping it quickly, it becomes Agnisara kriya. These two act as natural insulin. The pancreatic secretion is increased. This is Maha Mudra. Just bend and try to touch the knee with your nose. It is not necessary that you should actually do so,—a mere effort is sufficient. And, this is Paschimottanasan. These are all natural treatments for diabetes. You can do them just for a few minutes every day.’

~ Inspiring talks of Gurudev Sivananda by Swami Venkatesananda

That is Siva’s stern advice to one and all.

Put your heart and soul into any work you do: and when you have done it, detach yourself completely and identify yourself with the Atma who is Akarta, Abhokta, Sakshi—that is the golden advice he gives to all Sadhaks. These lessons are worth even the world leaders’ learning.

[Siva = Swami Sivananda]

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