True Love

Love is a feeling. You cannot even put it in words. You will know what love is if you really want to know. Wanting to love itself is the beginning. And then if you want to love you should know how to love. Now, what is the meaning of love? It’s not just attachment. Real…

Pranayama: The Breath of Life

For breath is the life of beings and so is called “the life of all.” —Taittiriya Upanishad, 11.2 Prana is the vital force that makes up the entire cosmos; it is the Parashakti or cosmic power. When we breathe, in addition to the oxygen, we also take in a lot of prana. The oxygen gets…

Meditation

Meditation starts with concentration. Meditation actually begins when the mind is well-focused and it learns to become totally still. When the mind becomes completely still it seems to be losing itself. That is what you call transcending the mental state. All authentic types of meditation should ultimately help you to transcend the mind’s limitations. Through…

Listening to the Sound Within

Nada Yoga is the Yoga of sound and it includes practices using sound formulas and mantras. Mantra repetition itself is a Nada Yoga practice. Through repeating the mantra, you gradually develop that sound vibration within. After practicing for a long time, you will be able to hear the anahata, or the inner sound. That inner…

Lessons from the Yoga Sutras: Viveka

Patanjali once beautifully said, “Dukham evam sarvaam vivekinaha.” For a viveki, a person with discriminative knowledge, everything is painful. When you realize that everything is painful you cease to develop attachments toward those things. In fact, it is to relieve you from the attachment that everything becomes painful. Truly, if we read just that one…

Lead a Dedicated Life

The following talk was given by Sri Swamiji at his 61st Jayanthi (birthday) celebration 1974, which was held on December 22, 1974, at the Wilshire-Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles and attended by more than 1300 persons. I want to thank you all for having me. As I always say, every time I come to Los…

Is Yoga a Religion?

Many people ask this question: “Is Yoga a religion?” My answer would be, “No and yes.” How could it be both no and yes? Yoga is not a religion, so in that sense, the answer is no; but it is a synthesis of all the religions, so in that sense, it is yes. That is…

In the World, Not Of the World

The majority of the emotional pain that people experience is caused not by something outside of themselves but by their internal reaction to things. And those reactions that bring pain are usually based on attachments and expectations that are unfulfilled. You make an appointment with you and they don’t fulfill your expectations so you get…

Integral Yoga

It was May 7, 1966, and Narayana Kiekens, President of Yoga Vedanta introduced Swami Satchidananda with the following words: “Gurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji has sown in our hearts a little spiritual seed. May your presence, Swamiji, be the sunshine and the shower to make it grow into many beautiful flowers.” Here is an excerpt from…

Immortality

Everybody has to die one day or another. Nobody can avoid death. That’s where we should know what death means. In death we simply lose our body, that’s all. But the soul is eternal. The real you is never born and never dies. It is only the body that dies. We all should try to…

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.”(I.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 deem…

How to Live Yoga

Yoga is something that you live. If you want to be a Yogi you should be a Yogi always, not just while you are standing on your head. If you are a Yogi only when you stand on your head, then what are you when you walk on your feet? If you are a Yoga…