sadhana chatushtaya by swami sivananda

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    SflDHf,MCHflTASHMYfl

    SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA

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    gADHANACHATUgHTAYA

    Sri Swami Sivananda

    THE"'(({::: 'OCIETY.O. SHIVANANDANAGAR-24g 1 92

    Distt. Tehri'Garhwal, Uttaranchal, Himalayas, lndia

    Price I 2004 [Rs. 20/-

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    First Blition: 1958Revised Second Edition: 2fi)4

    (2,m0 Copies)

    @The Divine Life Tbust Society

    Published by Swami Jivanmuktananda for The DivineLife Society, Shivanandanagar, and printed by him

    at the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy Press,P.O. Shivanandanagar, Distt. Tbhri-Garhwal,

    Uttaranchal, Himalayas, India

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    PUBLISHERS' NOTE

    His Holiness Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj

    did not write textbooks as such. The books he

    wrote were the outpouridgs of wisdom from hisown direct realisation of the Tiuth-

    From his books you will derive not only thebenefit of his wisdom and knowledge of both

    practical andesoteric matters pertaining to Yoga,

    but also the power of his spiritual force.

    Sri Swami Sivanandaji had a unique style-simple, direct and compelling. His books are notdull treatises on Yoga and philosoPhY, rather hisenthusiasm and eagerness to help all is evident inevery p?Be, lifting the reader to new heights ofunderstanding.

    During recent years there has been a greatspiritual revival and people in India and abroadhave taken seriously to the study of Yoga andVedanta. But, in practice, it has been found thatthere is-in keeping with the rapid tempo of lifeitself in the modern world-an unpardonablehurry and neglect of essentials, in the field of the

    (5)

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    . r I - -,1-

    practice of Yoga, too. Seekers after Ti.uth areimpatient to enter into the Tianscendental Realmof Self-realisation; practitioners of yoga expect toenter into Samadhi a week after taking up thepractice'concentration and meditation,.

    The all-important preparation is woefullyneglected. Our ancient scriptures have given theplace of greatest prominence to these preparatorysteps-Yama-Niyama or the Sadhana Chatushtaya.His Holiness Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, too,has been forewarning students of yoga not toneglect this; and as a matter of fact he hasdeclared that

    thegreater

    the attention paid tothese preparatory steps-the cultivation ofl virtuesand the eradication of vices -the more rapidwould the march of the seeker towards the Goalbe.

    To the sincere and earnest seeker after Tiuth,therefore, this book is a boon. It gives him thekey to success in Yoga.

    _THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY

    (6)

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    SADHANA CHATUSHTAYA(The Four Qualifrcations)

    BneHue-vIDYA or the Science of the Self isnot a subject that can be understood andrealised by mere intellectual study, reasoning

    or ratiocination or even by discussions orarguments. It is the most difficult of allsciences. Mere scholarly erudition and vaststudy with a high degree of intelligence alonecannot help one in the practical realisation ofthe Ti.uth inculcated by this Science. Itdemands perfect discipline, a discipline that isnot to be found in our universities andcolleges, and solid Sadhana for theachievement of the goal that is indicated bythis Para-Vidya or Highest Science. One has

    to reach a realm where there is neither lightnor darkness, neither East nor West, neithergain nor loss-a realm which can never bereached by either the mind or the senses.

    SADHANA CHATUSHTAYA

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    Sadhana Chatushtaya or the fourfold meansfor salvation or the four kinds of spiritualpractices, is a pre-requisite to the aspirantj in thepath of Jnana Yoga (Vedanta), or, for that matter,in any system of evolution towards Godhead. Thefour means are:

    1. Viveka-discrimination between Sat (real)and Asat (unreal).

    Z. Vairagya-dispassion or indifference tosensual enjoyments herein and hereafter.

    3. Shad Sampat (6 virtues):(a) Sama-peace of mind through eradicationof Vasanas.(b) Dana-control of sense organs.(c) Uparati-satiety, renunciation of all works(Sannyasa).(d) Titiloha - forbearance.(e) Sraddha-faith in scriptures and theGuru's words.(f) Samadhana-concentration of mind,balance of mind.4. Mumukshutva-Intense longing for

    liberation.

    A student who treads the path of Truth mustequip himself with these four means. OnIy thencan he march quite fearlessly on the path. Not aniota of spiritual progress is ever polsible unless

    SADHANA CHATUSHTAYA

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    - , _

    one is really endowed with these fourfoldqualifications. These four means are as old as theVedas or even this world itself. Every religionprescribed these four essential requisites for theaspirant. Only ignorant people resort to lingualwarfare and raise unnecessary questions. This hasbecome an ignobie habit in them. You should not

    mind this. It is your duty to try to eat the fruitinstead of wasting time in counting the leaves ofthe tree. Try now to know what these four meansare.

    Viveka

    A firm conviction that Brahman alone isreaiity, and all else is unreality, is Viveka. It isdiscrimination between the .real and the unreal(Sat and Asat), permanent and impermanent(Nitya and Anitya), Self and not-Self ($tman andAnatman). Viveka dawns in a man on iccount ofthe grace of God. The grace can come only whenone has done incessant selfless service in countlessbirths with the feeling of offering everything to theLord. The door of the higher mind is flung openwhen there is awakening of discrimination.

    This discrimination is a strong sword todestroy worldly desires, ambitions and earthlyattachments. It is an agent of wisdom, a secondary,intuitive eye of wisdom. It is a spiritual faculty thatSADHANA CHATUSHTAYA

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    I tannihilates the clinging of the mind to earthlyobjects.

    Discrimination also dawns through virtuousactions done in past births, holy company or studyof sacred scriptures and selfless service or workdone without the expectation of fruits and withoutegoism.

    The body, mind, senses, intellect and theworldly phenomena are temporary. Their value isimpermanent. They are identified with the pairs ofopposites, therefore they are unreal and not to besought after. Tiuth is timeless, causeless,enduringly blissful, one without a second, the onlyentity to be sought after, the only thing that cangive real happiness.

    The five sheaths are floating in the universalconsciousness like straw in water. The fivechanging Kosas or the physical, mental, vital,intellectual and bliss sheaths are mixed up withthe eternal Atman or the Self. There is childhood,boyhood, adolescence and old age for this physicalbody, but there is an unchanging background forthis ever-changing body and mind, like theblack-board in a class room or screen in a cinemaon which are manifested various forms and figures.The witness or the silent spectator of thesechanges of the body and mind is'permanent andunchanging. He is like the all-pervading ether. He

    10 SADHANA CHATUSHTAYA

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    pervades, permeates and interpenetrates all thesechanging forms like the thread in a garland offlowers. This eternal essence or Atman is

    present

    everywhere and in everything-atoms, electrons,ants and mountains. He dwells in the chambers ofyour own heart. He is the soul of this tree, stone,flower, goat, dog, cat, man and saint. He is thecommon property of all-a saint or a sinner' aking or a peasant, a beggar or a baron, a scavengeror a cobbler. He is the very source of life andthought.

    The aspirant should learn to discriminatebetween this eternal and unchanging substratum of

    all objects and the ever-changing names andforms. He should seriously engage himself at alltimes to separate the eternal unchanging Self fromthese names and forms. He should try to separatehimself from the changing, impermanent fivesheaths, from the passions, emotions, feelings,thoughts and sentiments and from the oscillatingmind itself. He should distinguish betrveen themind and the witness who moves and illumines themind; between ordinary sensation, feelings andsentiments and perfect awareness of pureconsciousness which remains unaffected andunattached; between personality and individuality.He must also separate himself from the falsesuperimpositions of the body-position, rank,SADHANA CHATUSHTAYA 11

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    , . ry

    avocation, birth, caste, stage and order of life.These are all accidental appendages of the falsepersonality.

    When he sees a fascinating flower or anyattractive form, he should philosophise withinhimself: "This beautiful flower will fade within aday, however sweet it may be. It will be turnedinto dust tomorrow. This beautiful woman also

    willturn to dust. Even the mighty Himalayas, thoughthey appear to be permanent, are sure to tumbledown like a pack of cards one day. The beauty inthe flower, the feminine form and the icylf1qalayl1 is only a reflection of that unchanging

    Self within the infinite undecaying Beauty o1beauties."