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Thoughts on Mantras – Truth is Existence – Eternity – Japa – Spiritual Life and Spiritual Practices by Swami Chidanand Saraswati

Swami Chidanand Saraswati on Mantras and Japa

Mantras and Japa help us to concentrate. We live in a world that is overflowing with sensory pleasures and stimulation. Our lives are very busy with work, errands, chores, etc. Therefore, it is very difficult to simply still the mind. Mantras and Japa and special pujas serve as bridges between this world and the divine realm. They offer us a way to transverse the water which may seem impassable.

However, mantras and japa are means to the end of God realization. They are the means, not the end themselves. Once we develop that close, intimate bond with God, mantras and japa become less necessary.

Imagine that you love someone with all your heart. You don’t need to take a ‘mala’ and recite her name over and over gain to remember her.

Similarly, once we have that deep love for God, we don’t need to continue doing japa to bring us into contact with Him. We will be in contact all the time. Our lives will become our japa.

Swami Chidananda on Spiritual Life and Spiritual Practices

The vast, vast majority of human beings are human animals only. They are totally rooted in body consciousness. They have no idea of being something else, something other. Even their mental function is instinctive. It's all a reaction to whatever happens to them, not a purposeful independent exercise of their mental faculty. They have no time for it. From the moment they get up, they are absorbed by their daily activities.

And the whole of the spiritual life is a gradual elimination, eradication, of the animal within, and the refinement or purification and education of the entire human nature so that it loses its movement in all other directions and starts taking on an ascending vertical direction. Once the human nature is given an upward turn, one simultaneously starts awakening the sleeping Divinity with the help of all one's spiritual practices. If one knows that the spiritual process, the spiritual life, is the elimination of the animal, the refining and directing upward of the human, and the awakening and unfoldment of the Divine, then all spiritual practices, including the role that brahmacharya plays, fall into their right place.

(Swami Chidananda was the disciple of Swami Sivananda, the founder of the Divine Life Society, and Swami Chidananda succeeded him in 1963.)

Thoughts of Sri Swami Chidananda – Truth is Existence, Eternity

The nature of the Supreme is existence. This can be illustrated by an example.

You go to a jungle and see a tree there. The tree is. Suppose a wood-cutter cuts the tree; it is then called ‘log’. Though the tree has changed its form and name, its existence has not disappeared. It exists in the name and form of the log.

If the log is then made into planks of wood, then the log is not there, but the planks of wood are, or each plank of wood is, there. The existence aspect continues.

Suppose these planks are converted into tables or chairs; then the planks are not there, but still the tables and chairs are there.

If after some years the tables and chairs become useless and are reduced to pieces of wood, then the tables and chairs are not there.

If these pieces of wood are burnt, then the ashes remain. The wood now exists as the ashes.

And if the ashes are also annihilated, according to the scientists, they still remain as atoms.

Thus existence continues. The ultimate Truth is Existence, Eternity.

Sri Swami Chidananda – Swamiji attained Mahasamadhi on August 28th, 2008 at the age of 92.

Swami Chidananda Thoughts on Dispassion and Renunciation

Dispassion and renunciation comprise the key to inner peace. Such peace alone makes happiness possible. With out peace, there is no happiness. Thus, it is clear that anyone who wants peace and happiness must cultivate vairagya (dispassion) and tyaga (renunciation).

Attachment and selfishness constitute terrible bondage. Vairagya eradicates attachment.

Tyaga cuts at the root of selfishness. They make you free and bring you peace and joy.