The Name of God

I would like to begin with OM. The mystic sound OM is the word expressive of God. It is God’s name. We have to give a name to God, to have a Christening ceremony. A namegiving ceremony. It is something like a child is born – he has to be given a name, a suitable…

The Guru Within You

“Satchidananda” is the common name for all of us and every thing. Satchidananda is your own essential name. And that is the real Guru within. That essence is what you call Satchidananda. It is divided into three parts: Sat, Chid, Ananda. Sat is existence, Chid is knowledge; the Truth revealed. And then by knowing that,…

The Guru and the Broomstick

At a satsang in August of 1999, a group of new graduates from the Integral Yoga Hatha Teacher’s Training (TT) program took the opportunity to ask Swami Satchidananda some questions about himself and the role of the Guru in the life of a spiritual seeker. We find this an appropriate satsang to reprint as we…

The Greatest Victory

When the word Yoga is mentioned, most people immediately think of some physical postures for relaxing and limbering up the body. This is one aspect of the Yogic science, but actually only a very small part and relatively recent in development. The physical Yoga, or Hatha Yoga, was primarily designed to facilitate the real practice…

The Essence of Yoga Therapy

When I came to this country in 1966, I met Dr. Ramamurti Mishra (who became Swami Brahmananda), the founder of Ananda Ashram, New York and a doctor from India who was also a Yoga practitioner. He was giving a lecture and, casually, he mentioned that Yoga practices can help healing. He did not even say…

Tapas: No Pain, No Gain

“Dukham eva sarvam vivekinaha. For a discriminating person the entire world is created to give you pain and nothing but pain,” Patanjali says in Book Two, sutra 15. Not that he was condemning the world, no. If you have the right approach, the world doesn’t cause you pain, nor does it give you pleasure. It…

How to Succeed in Yoga

Yoga means to control the mind, to master the mind. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras begin by saying, ‘Control of thoughts is Yoga – Yoga chitta vritti nirodhah.'(1,2) But how is it to be done? Even the ideal disciple, Arjuna, says to Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, ‘My mind is verily restless, turbulent and obstinate. I…

Beyond Words

I do believe that silence is golden. I always recommend speaking in measured words. I don’t believe in going to extremes—either complete silence or endless talking. Talk only when there is a need. And even there measure your words. Because speaking itself takes a lot of energy. And not only that but, unnecessary speaking can…

Self-mastery

As human beings, the biggest task we face is training the mind. The great thinkers have said, “It is easy to win victories over all the continents, to conquer the entire world, but the biggest victory ever won is over your own mind.” If you can master your mind and make it listen to you,…

Samadhi

“By the total surrendering to God with devotion, samadhi is attained. (11:45 Yoga Sutras of Patanjali) Very often, I am afraid of using the name “God” alone, for it is very much misunderstood and misinterpreted. The moment you say God, people think that there is somebody sitting in a corner and pulling all the reins…