Sunday, 7 June 2015

The body begins in one droop.



The Gita is not only for knowing.




Tuesday, 2 June 2015



Srimad Bhagwat Gita Swadhya


On last Sunday of the month i.e. 5th Sunday on Swami Sivananda Bhawan Srimad Bhagwat Gita Swadhya was done.







voiceofsivananda@gmail.com

Friday, 19 December 2014

Inspiring speech of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam on the occasion of “Chidananda Sevashram” dedication ceremony at Bangalore

Inspiring speech of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam on the occasion of “Chidananda Sevashram” dedication ceremony at Bangalore


WAYS TO ACQUIRE SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES:

I am delighted to participate in the dedication function of Swami Chidananda Sevashram and share some thoughts with the followers of Swami Chidananda who are seeking the paths of divinity by serving the humanity. My greetings to all the distinguished guests, devotees and monks.

Citizens will be happy that “Swami Chidananda Sevashram has a mission to teach individuals a holistic approach to the modern society. The Ashram also seeks to nurture, rejuvenate, improve their wellbeing and maintain harmony and joy in the midst of today’s, stressful life, and ultimately leading individuals towards enlightenment”.

In 1948, Swami Sivananda blessed Swami Chidananda as the General Secretary of The Divine Life Society and said “Chidananda is a Jeevanmukhta, a great saint, an ideal Yogi, a param-bhakta and a great Sage. He was born to fulfil a great mission. He is the torch bearer of my mission”. What a great blessing by a Guru!

Dear friends, when I study the mission of Swami Chidananda Sevashram who are seeking the paths of divinity by serving the humanity. I would like to share one incident, how the music and art which are indeed the freedom of choice to shape human lives to be as close to the Almighty as possible.

Yesterday I participated 10th Chennaiyil Thiruvaiyaru” function at Chennai. When I entered into the big hall, I heard a beautiful music recitation of the Thyagarajar Keerthanai “எந்தரோ மகானுபாவலு அந்தரிக்கே வந்தனமுலு” in Sriragam, it entered into me, I couldn’t move. Badma Bhusan Sangeetha Kalanithi P.S. Narayanasamy and his group has recited this keerthana, which engulfed the entire audience. Great music and great art work is indeed God’s gift to the human life. My greetings to all of you friends.

Swami Chidananda Sevashram

The Swami Chidananda Sevashram is a monastery for the modern world that integrates the ancient Vedic concepts with modern technologies, bringing together science and spirituality, it’s a blend of ancient wisdom and the modern science which is required to face the challenges of present life.

The Holy Mission of the Sevashram is guided by the inspiring words “SEEK DIVINITY, SERVE HUMANITY”. This principle was given by Sri Adi Shankaracharya to Parama Gurudev Sri Swami Sivananda, and to Gurudev Sri Swami Chidananda and the current generation of spiritual savants, all serving humanity in pursuit of divinity. Swami Chidananda Sevashram is a collective vision to promote the teachings of this lineage—to achieve universal well-being through Vedic Knowledge.

While I am addressing this divine gathering of disciples of Swami Chidananda with so many youth present, I would like to share my thoughts on how to facilitate youth to have spiritual experiences, how parents and leaders can foster opportunities. I will talk on the topic “Ways to acquire Spiritual Experiences”.

Origins of Life:

Life originated 600 million years ago and continental drift occurred 200 million years ago creating five continents. Mammals evolved 140 million years ago, Hominids that is the human type, evolved 26 million years ago but modern man only arrived on the scene some 200,000 years ago. He migrated and colonized the world only in the last 50,000 years. The spoken language is some 10,000 years old while writing evolved only a few thousand years ago. All this phenomenal progress has been achieved only within the short span of 200 to 400 generations that is in just 10,000 to 5,000 years.

Newer DNA technologies have given us better insight in retracing the history of man. ‘The DNA of a human being is his history book ever written’. Nowadays intelligence, cognizance, drug response, behavioral problems everything is related to genes: disease gene mapping is progressing at a faster pace with new age DNA technology. It is probably during the 50,000-30,000 years of co-existence that societies have evolved adopting newer innovations and cultures.

Challenges of Modern Society:

Advances in genetics demonstrating great similarity in the genome of man and animals shows that the limbic brain perhaps is the cause for all conflicts within and outside. So far human society, from origin until now has always been at war within and between groups and has led to two World Wars. Presently, terrorism and low intensity warfare are affecting many parts of the world. Can we find methods by which we can remove these conflicts?

Unity in Diversity:

India is a country which has over the years learnt to evolve and maintain a unique unity amongst diversity. It has become an inspirational model and an example to emulate for every region in the world. India supports a social form of economic development and encourages a model of growth with equity. We are conscious of the need for growth to respect the environment and make it sustainable for future generations. With this valuable experience of centuries behind India, we can bring a doctrine of global cooperation built over the foundation of regional collaborations and core competencies of people and society of many nations.

In this context, I am reminded of the dream of the Indian poet who articulated 3000 years back in the Tamil classic:

which means "I am a world citizen, every citizen is my own kith and kin”. This feeling itself, I am sure, can be the foundation for the way of human thinking on unity of minds.

Evolution of Enlightened Society:

With this spirit of universal brotherhood, I would like to put forth to this important gathering, a methodology for evolving a happy, prosperous and peaceful society in our planet, which I call as “Evolution of Enlightened Society”. How do we create such an enlightened society, which will have three components (a) Education with value system (b) Religion transforming into spirituality and (c) Economic development for societal transformation?

Let us discuss.

A) Education with value system: We have seen that the seeds of peace in the world have their origin in the righteousness in the heart of every individual. Such righteous citizens lead to the evolution of enlightened society. Education with value system has to be so designed that the righteousness in the heart is developed in young minds. That should be the mission of education. The prime learning environment is five to seventeen years of age. This reminds me of an ancient Greek teacher's saying, “Give me a child for seven years; afterwards, let God or devil take the child. They cannot change the child". This indicates the power of great teachers and what good teachers can inculcate in the young minds. Parents and teachers must inculcate moral leadership amongst children. It requires the ability to have insights into the uniqueness and universality of human consciousness. True education is the acquisition of enlightened feelings and enlightened powers to understand daily events and to understand the permanent truth linking man, to his environment, human and planetary.

While I was in college, I remember the lectures given by the highest authority of a Jesuit institution Rev Father Rector Kalathil of St. Joshep’s college, Tiruchirappalli, Southern India. Every week on Monday, he will take a class for an hour. He used to talk about good human beings present and past and what makes a good human being. In this class he used to give lectures on personalities such as Buddha, Confucius, St. Augustine, Califa Omar, Mahatma Gandhi, Einstein, Abraham Lincoln and moral stories linked to our civilizational heritage. In the moral science class, Father Kalathil used to highlight the best aspect of, how the great personalities have been evolved as good human beings through parental care, teaching and companionship of great books. Even though these lessons were given to me in 1950’s during my college days, they inspire me even today. It is essential that in the schools and colleges, lectures are given by great teachers of the institution once in a week for one hour on civilizational heritage and derived value system. This may be called as Moral Science Class that will elevate the young minds to love the country, to love the other human beings and elevate them to higher planes. This will ensure embedding of righteousness in each citizen with eternal goodness and wholesomeness in conduct. As we say in our country:

Righteousness

Where there is righteousness in the heart There is beauty in the character. When there is beauty in the character, There is harmony in the home. When there is harmony in the home. There is an order in the nation. When there is order in the nation, There is peace in the world.
This is true, for the whole world. When we need peace in the world, we need order in the nation; we need harmony in the home. The origin is righteousness in the heart.
Now, let me take up the area that is transforming religion into spiritual force. Many in the world believe, it is a difficult mission. I would like to share an experience that I have witnessed which has convinced me that it is possible.

Religion Transforming into Spirituality: Universal Mind: Religion has two components, theology and spirituality. Even though theology is unique to every religion, the spiritual component spreads the value to be inculcated by human beings for promoting a good human life and welfare of the society, while pursuing the material life.

Let me now talk to you on the message of “Giving”.

Mahatma Gandhiji Mother’s advice:

Only good deeds lead to good thinking, good thinking results into actions radiating love as commanded by Almighty. While talking about good deeds, I am reminded of the advice given to Gandhiji by his mother. She says, "Son, in your entire life time, if you can save or better someone's life, your birth as a human being and your life is a success. You have the blessing of the Almighty God".

This advice has made a deep impact in the mind of Gandhiji, which made him to work for the humanity throughout his life. Every mother has to give this advice to her sons and daughters, so that the whole humanity will be benefited.

Economic development for societal transformation:

We have a mission of spreading this economic growth throughout the country including the rural sector. Nearly 220 million people have to be lifted by upgrading their quality of life in both rural and urban areas. Even though the GDP growth indicates our economic growth, people’s participation is essential for achieving the required targets. It is essential to ensure that the citizens are empowered with good quality of life encompassing nutritious food, good habitat, clean environment, affordable healthcare, quality education and productive employment, integrated with our value system drawn from civilizational heritage leading to the comprehensive development of the nation that will bring smiles in one billion people. These are indicators for the growth of the National Prosperity Index. To achieve that growth rate, we have identified five areas where India has a core competence for integrated action: (1) Agriculture and food processing (2) Education and Healthcare (3) Information and Communication Technology (4) Infrastructure development such as power, transportation, communication and including Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) and (5) Self reliance in critical technologies. We propose to realize the vision of transforming India into a developed nation before 2020 by energizing and igniting the minds of all the 540 million youth of the nation.

Conclusion:

I will now share with you five ways, that I evolved out of my experience with youth, to help them experience how useful to the mission of humanity.
  1. Give Youth Opportunities to Serve. It is an eternal truth that the greatest satisfaction we find in this life is not that which is done for self but that which is given for the benefit of another. The principle is “what can I give? What can I give?”
  2. Connect Youth with the Word of God. Scriptures contain the record of the self-revelation of God, and through them God speaks to human beings. Every home has to have a small library, say about ten books. One of them definitely, on great human spiritual life.
  3. Cultivate the virtue of consistency. It does not make sense to occasionally ‘fill up’ with water, with long periods of dehydration in between. The same thing is true spiritually. Spiritual thirst is a need for living water. Every home should have small praying place.
  4. Creating family environment where children can learn truths for themselves. Our most important and powerful assignments are in the family. They are important because the family has the opportunity at the start of a child’s life to put feet firmly on the path home.
  5. Work Together toward a Common Goal. Leaders who provide example, encouragement, and caring can be invaluable to youth at this important time of their lives. As leaders learn about each young man and young woman, they can receive inspiration for how best to empower them.

With these words, let me pay my Pranams to the great soul Swami Chidananda and dedicate the services of Swami Chidananda Sevashram. Best wishes to all the participants of this event.


May God Bless you.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Improve Your Health with Triphala


Improve Your Health with Triphala

By H.P.M.


In the present times, when most of us have a lifestyle that is far from natural, and everything around us seems to suffer from some degree of contamination, it is not easy to maintain good health.  It is indeed quite a challenge, but one that must be tackled with some seriousness by every one of us.  After all, no one likes to fall a victim to any of the innumerable old and new diseases of organs, body systems, and cells that constantly threaten much of the mankind today. 


The rules for ensuring good health are generally well-known.  These mainly emphasize regularity and discipline in living. You must get up early, maintain bodily and dental hygiene, regularly exercise all major muscle groups and joints, breathe fresh air, eat nutritious meals (fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and whole foods, etc.)  that suit your body’s nature, thoroughly chew every morsel of food, drink adequate amounts of pure water, eat only when hungry and to less than capacity, avoid unhealthy items like refined flours, extra table salt, sugars, trans-fats (hydrogenated oil, or ghee), most processed foods, aerated drinks, toxic substances, and overcooked or fried foods.  Finally, every day you must get adequate relaxation, devote some time to know your inner self, and get 6 to 8 hours of sound sleep.  


Unfortunately, most of us lack the rigorous mental and bodily discipline needed to adhere to these simple principles.  Family habits, social pressures, circumstances, long hours spent daily in commuting to work, crowded roads, exposure to polluted air, water, food, and endless demands on our time and attention from friends, superiors at work, and family members, etc. – all these also play a role in making us apathetic to pursuing genuine good health.  


So, is there something simple that one may do to counter the effects of such unsettling circumstances and inertia?  Well, the answer is “yes”.  A strategy that can efficiently, effectively, and economically help a person to get rid of his systemic weaknesses, accumulated toxins, improve his body’s capacity to remain disease-free, and also reduce the effects of natural (or accelerated) aging, involves the use of “triphala”, a mixture of yellow harad, baheda, and amla – three fruits extensively used in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine.  Let us now spend a few minutes getting to know some key features of each of these herbal fruits, as summarized in the following box.



Yellow harad has carminative and laxative properties. It also kills intestinal worms, and helps protect the lungs. It is used in the treatment of asthma, sinus allergies, constipation, and piles.
Baheda is a rich source of vitamin A, and acts as an expectorant, astringent, digestive, laxative, and anti-allergic. It is used to treat cough, bronchitis, inflammation of small intestines, eye problems, and enlargement of liver and spleen.
Amla has anti-viral and anti-microbial properties, is a powerful anti-oxidant, and an excellent source of highly bio-available vitamin C.  It is very useful in fighting harmful free radicals in the body, and is used to treat indigestion, constipation, fever, cough, asthma, acidity, urinary problems, diabetes, etc.



The reader will readily appreciate the depth of healing that can be expected to occur if the three ingredients could be harmoniously combined in one formulation.  And, fortunately, that is what triphala is: a wonderful mixture of three powerful fruits.  In fact, Ayurveda describes triphala as a rasayan, something with the capacity to heal as well as rejuvenate.  Triphala yields its highly beneficial health results by tackling digestion, and working on vata, pitta, and kapha – the three humors of the body as per Ayurveda to remove their imbalances.  By gently toning up the respiratory, digestive, excretory, immune, and circulatory systems, it brings about marked improvements in overall health, intelligence, emotional equilibrium, cholesterol levels, and visible reversal of several signs of aging.  


Traditionally, triphala is made by mixing each of the three ingredients in equal proportion.  That means one part by weight each of the powders of yellow harad, baheda, and amla.  This is the composition of commercially available triphala powders. 

The formulation that is being recommended here for gradual transformation (healing and rejuvenation) of one’s body over a period of 10-12 years, involves a slightly different composition of the mixture.  It envisages making the powders of ‘fresh’ herbs yellow harad, baheda, and amla, and mixing them in the ratio of 1: 2: 4 respectively, care being taken to remove the seeds of these herbs before powdering them.  The mixture is to be kept in a sealed (preferably glass) container and consumed within four months. 

This formulation has been tried and tested by many (including friends of the author of this article) and found to be efficacious.  The recommended course of action is to personally procure the best quality dried fruits, deseed them, and grind the flesh to a fine powder. However, if it is not feasible, you may procure the respective powders from reputed source(s) and mix them in the ratio given above.  


The detailed instructions for consuming this (modified) triphala are as follows.  

The recommended dosage for this long-term regimen is age-dependent.  If your age in completed years is X, your daily dosage D for the triphala powder will be X/8 grams.

Depending upon the season of the year, you will have to add one more substance to the above-mentioned triphala mixture.  This is indicated in the following table.  The appropriate dosage of triphala powder, together with the added substance in correct ratio, should be consumed on empty stomach the first thing in the morning (after cleaning your mouth, etc.) with about 250 ml of fresh water.  After that you should not eat or drink anything (except some water) for at least one hour. 

Caution:


In the beginning, some users may have to endure one or two instances of loose motions in the hours following the day’s morning dosage.  You should therefore be prepared for this.  Once your body gets adjusted to the new regimen, this problem will get automatically resolved.  Use of triphala is also inadvisable during pregnancy or when one is suffering from diarrhea or dysentery.



Season / Months
Substance to be Added
Quantity of the
Substance to be added
14th January to 13th March
Powder of Lendi Pippali
1/8th part of D
14th March to 13th May
Pure raw honey
1/4th part of D
14th May to 13th July
Jaggery (Gur)
1/6th part of D
14th July to 13th September
Sendha Namak (Rock salt)
1/6th part of D
14th September to 13th November
Shakkar (Raw unrefined sugar)
1/6th part of D
14th November to 13th January
Powder of Sonth (Dry ginger)
1/6th part of D



The benefits that you can expect to derive by adhering to the triphala regimen are substantial, and have been briefly described in the following table.



Year of Practice
Expected Results
1st
You’ll acquire freedom from fatigue/ laziness/ inertia.
2nd
You’ll acquire freedom from common diseases.
3rd
There will accrue much improvement in your eyesight.
4th
Your skin and body will begin to acquire a beautiful lustre.
5th
Your intellect will start showing great improvement.
6th
Your body’s strength will be greatly enhanced.
7th
Your hair will start turning dark.
8th
Signs of aging start disappearing.
9th
Your sense of sight will especially strong.  
10th
Your voice and speech will improve greatly.
11th
You will acquire spiritual and mental gains.
12th
Your mental purity and spiritual development improve further.



Important Caveats:


Those wishing to embark on this health regimen will do well to remember and heed three caveats.  First, triphala is not a substitute for the essential nutritional inputs that your body requires.  You must ensure proper daily intake of proper amounts of healthy carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals, as per the requirements of your body and lifestyle, from a sattvik, vegetarian, diet with due discipline.  Second, you must refrain from smoking, drinking, and consuming any harmful substances (like drugs and gutka).  Third, if you are presently under any medical treatment for an existing illness, do consult your doctor before beginning the triphala regimen, particularly because its ingredients may interact adversely with your medication.

References:


  1. Aarogya Ank, 9th Edition, 14th Reprint; Gita Press, Gorakhpur.
  2. Articles from the Internet.

Friday, 22 August 2014

6th Anniversary Punyatithi of HH Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj



Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya 
Om Namo Bhagavate Sivanandaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Chidanandaya

Sri Swami Sivananda Cultural Association

invites you all to

6th Anniversary Punyatithi of His Holiness Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj


on this Saturday,  August 23, 2014

Timings: 09:00 AM to 12:00 Noon

Program details:

Jai Ganesh                                                    9:00 a.m.
Paduka Puja                                                 9.15 a.m.
Meditation, Bhajan and Satsang              10.45 a.m.
Arati                                                               11.45 a.m.
Bhandara Prasad                                         12 Noon
All are requested to attend the function.

Managing Committee

Sivananda Bhawan, Amar Colony, Lajpat Nagar IV, New Delhi