About the Author:
Born on the 8th September, 1887, in the illustrious family of Saga Appayya Diskhita and several other renowned saints and savants, Sri Swami Sivananda had a natural flair for a life devoted to the study and practice of Vedanta. Added to this was an inborn eagerness to serve all and an innate feeling of unity with all mankind. His passion for service drew him to the medical career; and soon he gravitated to where he thought that his service was most needed. Malaya claimed him. He had earlier been editing a Health Journal and wrote extensively on health problems. He discovered that people needed right knowledge most of all; dissemination of that knowledge he espoused as his own mission. It was divine dispensation and the blessing of God upon mankind that the doctor of body and mind renounced his career and took to a life of renunciation to qualify himself for ministering to the soul of man. He settled down at Rishikesh in 1924, practiced intense austerities and shone as a great Yogi, Saint, Sage and Jivanmukta. In 1932 he started the Sivanandashram. In 1936 was born The Divine Life Society. In 1948 the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy was organized. Dissemination of spiritual knowledge and training of people in Yoga and Vedanta were their aim and object. In 1950 he undertook a lightning tour of India and Ceylon. In 1953 he convened a 'World Parliament Reliogions'. He is the author of over 300 volumes and has disciples all over the world, belonging to all nationalities, religions and creeds. To read his works is to drink at the fountain of Wisdom Supreme. On 14th July, 1963 he entered Mahasamadhi.
That this book has already run into eight editions is in itself the best tribute that can be paid to this, one of the first books written by Sri Swamiji Maharaj.
About the book and its author, we cannot do better than to quote from the Publisher's Note to the first edition of this book, in which Sri Em. Airi Writes:
"His Holiness Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati needs scarcely and introduction to the vast multitudes of reading public that pants for spiritual unfoldment and Self-Realisation. The revered Yogi belongs to the ages and ranks amongst the blessed souls who have had the good fortune to taste the Nectar of Cosmic Consciousness. In clear, simple and impressive style the Swami addresses the young and yet inexperienced spiritual aspirants and lays down before them the fundamentals of spirituality and the various means essentially requisite for Divine Wisdom."
"This book is a message from the great Yogi of the Himalayas to the helpless and bewildered seeker of Truth. This inspiring and soul-stirring little volume will, we venture to say, undoubtedly contribute its mite to the moral and spiritual perfection of the human race in general and the aspirants in particular. As we wish to present this volume in a popular and a presentable style, it is printed on good paper and got up excellently well. If this book appeals to the broad-minded and expanded hearts amongst the religious reformers and also aspirants, the Publishers' labours will have been sufficiently recompensed."
We reiterate Sri Airi's pious with as we offer this priceless treasure to the blessed aspirant-world.---THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
Man wants happiness. He shuns pain. He makes
various sorts of efforts (Pravritti) to get happiness from
objects and gets himself entangled in the meshes or
snares of Maya. As these objects are perishable, finite
and conditioned in time, space and causation, he fails
to get the desired happiness from the objects. This
world is Apurna (imperfect) and there is uncertainty of
life. A barrister talks at the telephone, ascends the stair-
case to take his meals upstairs and dies on the stair-
There is not an iota of happiness in objects and
they are Jada (insentient). Even the sensual pleasure is
a reflection of Atmic Bliss only. Just as a dog which
sucks a dry bone in the streets imagines foolishly that
the blood comes from the dry bone, whereas, it really
oozes from its own palate, so also worldly-minded per-
sons foolishly imagine that the happiness they enjoy
comes from the objects only.
There is a mental uneasiness, dissatisfaction, dis-
content and restlessness even in multi-millionaires and
kings. Some kind of sorrow, misery or pain is always
present even when you are in the height of enjoyment
of worldly pleasures. When the marriage of your sec-
ond son is celebrated the remembrance of your first son
who passed away, torments your mind. Mind is so con-
stituted that the rhythm of pleasure and pain is kept up
like the rhythm of systole and diastole (contraction and
dilation) of the heart. You entertain the idea that the
happiness will pass away soon. This adds pain when
you are in the enjoyment of sensual pleasure.
You can find eternal, infinite, supreme peace and
bliss, only in the Atman of your heart. It is an embodi-
ment of bliss (Ananda Swarupa).
All objects that you see consist of five parts, viz.
Nama-Rupa-Asti-Bhati-Priya (name, form, existence,
knowledge, bliss). Nama and Rupa constitute the
world. They are the cause for human activities and suf-
ferings. Asti, Bhati and Priya are the Svarupas of Atman
or Brahman or Moksha.
Amongst the things desired by human beings of
this world, Moksha alone is the best and highest thing.
The means (Sadhan) for Moksha is Atma Jnana
(knowledge of the Self or Atman), Vichara of "Who am
I" or significance of "Tat Tvam Asi" Mahavakya. This is
the means for attainment of Brahma Jnana.
Moksha is desired in order to get rid of the pains of
Samsara which are in the form of birth, death, disease,
old age, etc. Moksha can harldy be attained without
Some say, that Karma is the Sadhan for Moksha.
Some other say, that Karma and Jnana combined
(Samucchayavada) is the means. Sri Shankara has re-
futed the Karma and Samucchaya theories by strong,
sound, convincing arguments and has established the
Truth that Kevala Jnana (pure knowledge alone) is the
means for Moksha. Just as fire is the direct means for
cooking food, so also Brahma Jnana is the Sakshat
Sadhana (direct means) for Moksha. The famous
Mandana Misra (Sureshwaracharya) disciple of Sri
Sankara has also said in his reputed book Naishkarma
Siddhi that Kevala Jnana alone is the means for
Do not say: "Karma. Karma. My Karma has
brought me like this." Exert. Exert. Do Purushartha. Do
Tapas. Concentrate. Purify. Meditate. Do not become a
fatalist. Do not yield to inertia. Do not bleat like a lamb.
Roar OM, OM, OM like a lion of Vedanta. See how
Markandeya who was destined to die at his sixteenth
year became a Chiranjeevi, an immortal boy of sixteen
years on account of his Tapas! Also note how Savitri
brought back to life by her Tapas her dead husband;
how Benjamin Franklin and late Sri T. Muthuswamy Iyer
of Madras High Court elevated themselves. Remem-
ber, my friends, that man is the master of his own des-
tiny. Visvamitra Rishi, who was a Kshatriya Raja,
became a Brahma Rishi like Vasishtha and even cre-
ated a third world for Trishanku by his power of Tapas.
Rogue Ratnakar became the sage Valmiki through
Tapas. Rogues Jagai and Madai of Bengal became
highly developed Saints. They became the disciples of
Lord Gauranga. What others have done, you also can
do. There is no doubt of this.
You can also do wonders and miracles if you apply
yourself to spiritual Sadhana, Tapas and meditation.
Read the book "Poverty to Power" by James Allen with
interest and attention. You will be inspired. Draw up a
programme of your life. Follow my Twenty Spiritual In-
structions and Forty Golden Precepts. Adhere to the
"Spiritual Daily Routine" prescribed by me. Apply your-
self with zeal and enthusiasm to Sadhana. Become a
Naishtic Brahmachari. Be steady and systematic in
your Yogabhyasa. Assert. Affirm. Recognise. Realise.
Shine in your native pristine Brahmic Glory. Become a
Jivanmukta. You are the children of light and immortal-
ity. "Tat Tvam Asi- Thou art That," my dear readers.
This is a book with a message of hope, success in
life, of peace, of bliss and of the secret of life itself.
Herein will be found the Way to Peace, to Truth, and to
the Abode of Immortality, eternal sunshine, infinite Joy
and Knowledge (Nirvana or Kaivalya) or the final beati-
tude, the highest goal of life.
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