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Swami Chidananda Teachings - Divine Life Society Rishikesh

Swami Chidananda was the disciple of Swami Sivananda, the founder of the Divine Life Society, Rishikesh, and Swami Chidananda succeeded him in 1963. Swamiji attained Mahasamadhi on August 28, 2008 at the age of 92. This is a collection of teachings of Swami Chidananda. 

Spiritualize your activities. To live a Divine Life, offer all your actions, even reading, playing tennis, to the Lord. Feel that the whole world is in dwelt by Him. Feel that all your children are manifestations of the Lord. Serve humanity with such in ward spiritual feeling; then all your daily activities will be transformed into spiritual exercises. They will be transformed into Yoga.

Every day, side by side along with your daily duties, you have to keep up this inward contact, this link with the Divine Source through prayer, worship and silent meditation for some time. This is your foremost duty. This should not be neglected on any account.

The great Rishis, in their compassion, have prescribed a very easy Sadhana for us: we can easily realize God by doing a little bit of Japa and engaging ourselves in the ceaseless service.

The great man who does Puja in the Mandir, the great Sevak who serves Swamiji personally in his Kutir, the great Yogi who meditates on the Ganges bank for four hours a day and the great worker who operates the printing machine or composes or binds the books-all of them are engaged in doing the same meritorious Sadhana that will yield the highest fruit of Self-realization.

The foremost thing is Bhava. If your Bhava is that you are doing every work for the purpose of attaining God then your work will be transformed into Sadhana. It may be that for the purpose of earning your livelihood you have taken up a job. But if you have this sublime Bhava, you will not only get your salary, but you will eventually attain Moksha, too!

Swami Chidananda Teachings on Vedanta

The atom bomb of Vedanta is the way to relate yourself to the world of appearance of names and forms. Vedanta wants you to disappear. Vedanta wants you to reduce yourself to a cipher, become nothing. Losing yourself, you gain the whole universe. Holding on to yourself, you lose everything. That is the paradox of life. Those who want to cling to the life of this little ‘I, enter into spiritual death.

When this Vedantic knowledge is gained one remains in total unshaken equanimity, peace and acceptance. One becomes Sthitaprajna.

Three Principles to Follow for a Divine Life by Swami Chidananda

If you wish to enter into Divine Life you have to observe three principles of conduct and character in your day-to-day living in the secular world. They are indispensable requirements which form the foundation and basis of a Divine Life of service, worship, meditation and God-Realization. They are:
  • Kindness and compassion towards all, in thought, word and deed. This is ahimsa, or non-injury. Be a cosmic benefactor, having ceaseless love for all, even to the least of God’s creatures. Be a center of peace and happiness to all.
  • Be rooted in absolute truthfulness, even at the cost of your life. Absolute honesty and integrity for Truth is God. One established in Truth can attain God.
  • Purity of conduct and character, self-restraint, chastity and purity of feeling for all people; the overall control of the base aspects of your being.
Ever keep your mind on the supreme goal. Have absolute faith in your connection with God. See His invisible presence in and through all things in and around you, for He is present in all of creation.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna gives Arjuna a vision of the Truth of God as present, immanent in the entire universe, filling every atom of matter in this world. In this awareness go through all your activities as worship, offering them at His feet. Then to act becomes to adore.

Swami Chidananda
Source – Excerpts from a talk delivered at Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh - 11 Sept. 1984 and published by Sivananda Ashram