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Swami Chidananda Thoughts And Sayings - Divine Life Society in Rishikesh

Swami Chidananda Saraswati (1916 – 2008) was the president of the Divine Life Society in Rishikesh – associated with the Swami Sivananda Ashram

In spite of, because of, all the deficiencies and imperfections of the human mind and knowing how it is subject to various moods, some positive, some negative, you must take a stand that these things do not affect you. These things do not rob you of the greatest ever chance given to the individual to rise up and ascend back into its universal abode of perfection, fearlessness, freedom and absolute completeness.

The scriptures also tell us the type of person we should be. They say that people in the least category have no stuff in them.

Even before launching into an undertaking they begin to think of all the obstacles and conclude that it is too much for them.

People of the middling type undertake a project, but when some obstacles come in the way, they give up.

But people of real stuff, who know that they are made in the image of an omnipotent God, once they have undertaken some venture—even if they are repeatedly assailed by obstacles and adverse circumstances—never turn back.

Thus we must be of the highest category—the elite—with the right stuff in us.

We never stop to ponder life. We never pause in our ceaseless outward-oriented activities which we think is life. We do not pause for a while to take time to step out of life’s stream, to stand on the banks and observe life from that point.

The banks do not move; the banks do not change. Constantly the river moves; constantly the waters change. Even for a single second, you are not standing before the same river. The river was before you one second ago is not here now. What is before you is some other river; the other river has gone.

Even so with life. You are also ever-changing. If you step out, stand on the bank and observe life, you may get a better understanding about it and its flow. You must stop for a while and ponder life. You must pause a little from ceaselessly being rushed. It takes time.

Where is the soul?
Just as you cannot see your own eyes, you cannot see your own jivatma, yet it dominates. You are completely under its subjugation.

What should the seeker do?
There may be a finding, but there is no seeking. You only have to rediscover, to remember, recollect, and remove this self forgetfulness for you are the Being whom you are seeking. You are already that which you want to be.

What are we after?
There is a greater wisdom, a greater intelligence, a greater understanding in following which alone, one can come out of darkness, and in surrendering to which alone you can liberate yourself from yourself.

Desire and want which arise from the prime delusion, destroy all peace of mind. In a mind devoid of peace how can there be happiness?

It is in a calm tranquil state of mind alone that happiness arises, for essentially true happiness is your inward spiritual state.

Only when there is pace and serenity in the mind and intellect, the inner happiness makes itself felt.

The robber of your peace and serenity is the sense of want and desire which arise out of your prime error that happiness depends upon objects.

Try to evaluate objects as they really are. To lead a proper life one has to assign a limited value to objects. Certain objects are indispensable for the maintenance of life. For that purpose and to that end they should be utilized; but let them not assume an undue prominence. For instead of serving as the proper sustenance, they may become the veritable tyrants, sapping life of all true contentment and satisfaction.

Your happiness may become mortgaged to these objects. No longer of limited utility, they seem to be of utmost importance. Therefore, they come to have a stranglehold upon you and tend to dominate and enslave you. A proper understanding and a right evaluation of objects as they are and for what they are worth, is of prime concern.

“Thus far and no further”—you must say, when they try to invade the interior kingdom of your life.

When man listens, God speaks. When man empties himself, God fills his entire being. When God enters man and fills man’s entire being, man is no more man, but becomes light itself.

To make life divine requires an inner change of location not an outer one.

Once dyed, a white cloth cannot change its colour. Meditation is like that. It is dyeing our entire personality in the color of divinity.

When your spirit begins to be like a bird, fluttering  against the bars of its cage, there comes into you an inner hunger. That is grace. It is the commencement of inner awakening.

If a man is struck by a poisoned arrow and someone runs to him with an antidote, the wise person, in order to save himself, quickly drinks the antidote rather than enquire as to its source and what it is made of. Otherwise, by the time he has finished his enquiry, time may have run out! So, our situation is a situation of being bound, and we should try to know how to liberate ourselves. That is the important thing. Therefore, let us all be wise.

Scriptures are meant not only to be read and known, they are meant to be deeply studied and applied. They are meant to be entered into and practiced. They should become our life, the very fabric of our life. 

There is a time when system, discipline and adherence to certain principles is absolutely necessary. There is time when one gradually transcends them, but one should not leave them. If they fall off by themselves, it is a different matter. Nature has taken you beyond and you no longer need them.

It is in dualities that we have inner and outer; action and inaction; remembrance and forgetfulness.

In the state of absolute faith in the non-dual the pairs of opposites cease to exist and God alone exists.

Beyond all categories, beyond all phenomena there is pure consciousness, which alone knows everything and is able to proclaim anything and everything.

This pure consciousness shines everywhere as awareness. That ultimate reality is awareness, consciousness, which existing all things become known to exist. Without consciousness there would be nothing, no knowledge. Nothing is possible.

There is a class of insects called coleoptera. They have two sets of wings. The external wings will be stiff, thick and parchment-like, and they are not fit for flying. There are two film-like wings inside, which are used for flying. They serve the beetle wonderfully well. They take the insect up and forward, but they are so delicate, liable to be easily damaged that the external wings serve as the protecting armor.

That set of wings which takes the Sadhaka forward on the path is intense aspiration and constant Sadhana. Unless the real fire of aspiration is maintained one cannot progress. And to protect this aspiration against temptation, one must have the other set of wings in the shape of Vairagya and Satsanga, and must constantly keep up the current of Vichara or discrimination.

Vichara is the chief anchor of protection for the aspirant. It is only discrimination which can protect the aspirant against temptations. With aspiration and the protective covering of Vairagya and Satsanga, one will have to work out the programme of life.

Devotion should pervade the entire life-process of man here on earth. To live is to adore the Divine each moment of your life. To know and to be aware that God resides in all living beings, nay, in all things animate and inanimate, is verily the source of all righteousness. This knowledge is the root and support of Dharma. No man will injure another if he is intensely aware that God is in him. For he would be directly offending Him! Therefore, see Him in all and act with devotion and reverence towards all.

Gracious, most gracious indeed is the Lord. Avail of His Grace Divine, the ever-present Love that is ceaselessly pouring upon us all. The irony of human life is not the withholding of Grace by a remote Divinity, but actually, man’s rejection of the ever-present Love and Grace, running madly after egoistical pursuits and fleshy sensations. He would rather dedicate his entire life to his five senses than open his heart to the descent of Divine Love and Grace that seeks to enfold him in its infinite compassion and uplift him to the supreme blessedness.

When you don't make any effort, it is there. When you try to catch it, it goes further away.

Bring your mind to one point and wait for grace.

Love is less doing and more being.

There is no healing balm better than Silence for those persons who have a wounded heart.

A life of selfless service and sacrifice, with regular prayer and meditation, is the highest religion.

We cannot run away from our senses and mind, but we have to understand the working of the mind. As long as we live in the world, its objects are there, its attractions, good and bad. We cannot remove all the objects from the world. We have to live in the world and therefore try our best to adjust to the environment by discrimination and by developing an attitude of indifference when we are in the midst of objects

A saint has said that, if you want to go through a forest infested with thorns, you cannot cover the forest with a thick carpet to easily walk over. Instead of trying to cover the forest with a carpet, a wise man will equip himself with a pair of shoes or sandals. The positive way is, to always hold an attitude of indifference to things which are not conducive to your inner development, and keep the mind fixed upon something good.

Always do mental repetition of God’s Name, constant remembrance of God or of some great ideal. This is a positive hold to which the mind may cling, and its tendency to move towards other objects is lessened, as it is given a centre which it can catch hold of. These are the commonsense methods which a man or an aspirant who wants to live a life of purity should have as his equipment.

A hurricane does not uproot the pliant grass that bends low before its fury, it snaps only proud lordly trees.

"I want Peace." Remove the 'I' and the 'want', and Peace is there.

The purpose of life is to live a good life.

The wave is never apart from the ocean. Even when it is thinking it is a wave, it is only the ocean.

Change your angle of vision. Oneness is the Truth, not separation.

To become dead to desires is truly to live.