Quote

Practice of Meditation

Meditation in Daily Life

swami Sivananda in Meditation”Dhyanam nirvishayam manah”: – That state of the mind wherein there are no Vishayas or sensual thoughts is meditation.
”Tatra pratyayaikatanata dhyanam”: – A continuous flow of perception or thought is Dhyana (meditation). There is continuous current in the mind of one object like the flow of water in a river (Pravaha). There is only one Vritti in the mind.

Meditation destroys all causes of sorrow. Meditation gives vision of unity, induces sense of oneness, opens the avenues of intuition knowledge, makes the mind calm and steady, awakens an ecstatic feeling. Many of your doubts will be cleared by themselves during meditation.

Real rest can be had during meditation when the mind rests in Atman.

In dream also you will begin to exercise control gradually. You will check the mind when it does an evil act. The force of your Sadhana done in the wakeful state will come to your aid in the dream. This is a sign of your spiritual growth. Watch the dream carefully.

How to Meditate

Keep the head, neck and back in one straight line. Face East or North. A spiritual neophyte should observe this rule. When you are a neophyte in meditation, start repeating some sublime Slokas or Stotras (hymns) for ten minutes as soon as you sit for meditation. This will elevate the mind.

Whatever you meditate on in silence should be manifested in daily life. You should keep up poise and harmony in action. You will be ever peaceful. Then only you will enjoy the real fruit of meditation.

When the body is light and without diseases, the mind without desire, when the colour is shining, the voice sweet and the smell pleasant, when the excrements are few, they say, the first degree of concentration is gained.

Five things are indispensable if you want to practise vigorous meditation and attain Samadhi or Self-realisation quickly. They are Mouna, light diet, solitude with charming scenery, personal contact with a teacher and a cool place.

You will enter into deep meditation only if you lead a moral life.

You must have a mental image of God or Brahman (concrete or abstract) before you begin to meditate. When you see the concrete figure of Lord Krishna with open eyes and meditate, it is the concrete form of meditation. When you reflect over the image of Lord Krishna by closing your eyes, it is also concrete form of meditation but it is more abstract. When you meditate on the infinite abstract light it is still more abstract meditation. The former two types belong to Saguna form of meditation, the latter to Nirguna form.
Even in Nirguna there is an abstract form in the beginning for fixing the mind. Later on this form vanishes and the meditation and the meditated become one. Meditation proceeds from the mind.

When the mind becomes steady in meditation, the eye-balls also become steady. A Yogi whose mind is calm will have a steady eye. There will be no winking at all.

Concentrate and meditate on the expansive sky. This is also another kind of Nirguna meditation. By this method of meditation, the mind will stop thinking of finite forms.

You must be regular in your practice of meditation. Rapid progress and great success can be attained if regularity is observed by the practitioner. Even if you do not realise any tangible result in the practice, you must plod on in the practice with sincerity, earnestness, patience and perseverance. You will get success after some time. There is no doubt of this. Do not stop the practice even for a day, under any circumstance.

If you keep lemon-juice or tamarind-juice in a golden cup, it is not spoiled or tainted. If you keep it in a brass or copper vessel, it is at once spoiled and rendered poisonous. Even so, if there are some Vishaya-Vrittis (sensual thoughts) in the pure mind of a person who practises constant meditation, they will not pollute the man and induce Vikara (passionate excitement). If there are sensual thoughts in persons with impure minds, they cause excitement in them when they come across sensual objects.

At 4 a.m. do Sirshasana for 5 minutes. Then take rest for five minutes. Then sit and meditate. You will have wonderful meditation. All saints and Yogis practise meditation at this period and send their spiritual vibrations to the whole world. You will be highly
benefited by their vibrations if you start your prayer, Japa and meditation at this period. You need not exert. The meditative state of mind will come of itself.
Before doing meditation, do 20 mild Kumbhakas. Then sit for meditation. Pranayama drives away Tandri and Alasya (drowsiness and laziness) and makes the mind steady.

An aspirant who meditates in a solitary upstair room in a town will have as much quiet there as in a forest. But he will not have the congenial spiritual vibrations there as in Rishikesh, Uttarakasi or Gangotri. Vibrations play a vital part in the elevation of mind and in producing Ekagrata of mind. In these holy places the vibrations of Rishis are lodged in the ethereal space and the aspirants are highly benefited by these vibrations. Vairagya, Sattvic Bhava and the meditative mood come by themselves without effort or struggle in these holy places. It is only sages and Yogis who can know at once the nature of vibrations of a place for meditation.

Requisites for Meditation

God has hidden Himself in this world (immanent) and is seated in the cavity of the lotus of your heart. He is an absentee landlord. You will have to seek Him through concentration and meditation with a pure mind. This is the real play of hide and seek.

A cool Sattvic place like Uttarakasi, Rishikesh, Lakshmanjhula, Kankhal or Badrinath is necessary for meditation, because the brain gets hot during meditation.

Meditation is possible when the mind is full of Sattva Guna. The stomach should not be loaded. There is an intimate connection between the mind and the food. A heavy meal is harmful. The night meal should be light for those who meditate.
Every human being has within himself various potentialities and capacities. He is a magazine of power and knowledge. As he evolves, he unfolds new powers, new faculties and new qualities. Now he can change his environments and influence others. He can subdue other minds. He can conquer internal and external nature. He can enter into superconscious state.

Mind is Brahman or God in manifestation. Mind is God in motion. As Brahman is approachable by means of the mind it is only proper to meditate upon the mind as Brahman.

You want for meditation a properly trained instrument (mind). It should be calm, clear, pure, subtle, sharp, steady and one-pointed. Brahman is pure and subtle and you need a pure and subtle mind to approach Brahman.

Mind feels tired after hard and protracted work. It cannot therefore be Atman. Atman is the storehouse of all powers (Ananta Sakti). Mind is only  an instrument of Atman. It should be properly disciplined. Just as you develop the physical body through gymnastics and various kinds of physical exercises, so also you have to train the mind through mental training, mental culture or mental drill.

Before saturating the mind with thoughts of Brahman you will have to assimilate the divine ideas first. Assimilation first and then saturation. Then comes realisation at once without a moment’s delay. Remember this triplet always: ASSIMILATION- SATURATION-REALISATION.

Leading a virtuous life is not by itself sufficient for God-realisation. Constant meditation is absolutely necessary. A good virtuous life only prepares the mind as a fit instrument for concentration and meditation. It is concentration and meditation that eventually lead to Self-realisation. Haste makes waste.
It behoves well that advanced Grihastha Yogic students (householders) will have to stop all the worldly activities when they advance in meditation, if they are really sincere. Work is a hindrance in meditation for advanced students. That is the reason why Lord Krishna says in the Gita ”For a sage who is seeking Yoga, action is called the means; for the same sage who is enthroned in Yoga (state of Yogarudha), serenity (Sama) is called the means.” Then work and meditation become incompatible like acid and alkali or fire and water or light and darkness.

Why do you close your eyes during meditation? Open your eyes, and meditate. You must keep your balance of mind even when you are in the bustle of a city. Then only you are perfect. In the beginning when you are a neophyte you can close your eyes to remove the distraction of mind, as you are very weak. But later on you must meditate with eyes open even during walking. You can meditate only when the mind is beyond all anxieties.

Resist the fatal downward pull by the dark, antagonistic forces through regular meditation. Check the aimless wanderings of the mind through clear and orderly thinking. Hear not the false whispers of the lower mind. Turn your inner gaze to the divine centre. Do not be afraid of the severe setbacks that you will encounter in your journey. Be brave. March on boldly till you finally rest in your centre of eternal bliss.

When you meditate, disregard the substratum awakenings in the mind that arise out of the senses. Avoid carefully the comparisons with all other cross references and memories of ideas. Concentrate the whole energy of the mind on the one idea of God or Atman itself without any comparison with any other idea. The student of Yoga should not possess much wealth as it will drag him to the worldly temptations. He can keep a little sum to meet the wants of the body. Economical independence will relieve the mind from anxieties and will enable him to continue the Sadhana uninterruptedly.

In summer, it is rather irksome and difficult owing to perspiration to have long sittings for meditation. So, have only two sittings during summer. Winter is very favourable for meditation. In winter the mind is not tired at all. You can meditate even for 24 hours without the least exhaustion.

Just as cannabis indica, opium or alcohol gives you intoxication, even if you take a small quantity, and lasts for some hours, so also the God-intoxication that you get from regular meditation, lasts for some hours if you meditate for half an hour daily. Therefore be regular.

Excerpts from “Concentration and Meditation” by Sri Swami Sivananda

Quote

Concentration

Swami Sivananda

Forget the body. Forget the surroundings. Forgetting is the highest Sadhana. It helps meditation a great deal. It makes the approach to God easier. By remembering God, you can forget all these things.

Purify the mind first through the practice of right conduct and then take to the practice of concentration. Concentration without purity of mind is of no avail. There are some occultists who have concentration. But they have no good character. That is the reason why they do not make any progress in the spiritual line.

Practise meditation in the early morning from 4 to 6 (Brahma-Muhurta). This is the best time for the practice of meditation. Meditation kills all pains, sufferings and three kinds of Taapas (fevers) and five Kleshas or sorrows.

Concentration can be done only if you are free from all distractions. Concentrate on anything that appeals to you as good or anything which the mind likes best. The mind should be trained to concentrate on gross objects in the beginning, and later on you can successfully concentrate on subtle objects and abstract ideas. Regularity in the practice is of paramount importance.
Gross forms: Concentrate on a black dot on the wall, a candle-flame, a bright star, the moon, the picture of OM (AUM), Lord Siva, Rama, Krishna, Devi or your Ishta Devata in front of you with open eyes.
Subtle forms: Sit before the picture of your Ishta Devata and close your eyes. Keep a mental picture of your Ishta Devata at the space between the two eyebrows or in the heart. Concentrate on Muladhara, Anahata, Ajna or any other internal Chakra. Concentrate on the Divine qualities such as love, mercy, or any other abstract idea.

If you concentrate your mind on a point for 12 seconds, it is Dharana (concentration). Twelve such Dharanas will be a Dhyana (meditation) 12×12=144 seconds. Twelve such Dhyanas will be Samadhi-25 minutes and 28 seconds. This is according to Kurma Purana.

The practice of concentration and the practice of Pranayama are interdependent. If you practise Pranayama you will get concentration.

When there is deep concentration you will experience great joy and spiritual intoxication. You will forget the body and the surroundings. All the Prana will be taken up to your head. The more is the mind fixed on God the more is the strength you will acquire. More concentration means more energy. Concentration opens the inner chambers of love or the realm of eternity. Concentration is the sole key for opening the chamber of knowledge. Many obscure points will be rendered quite clear. You will get answers and solutions from within. The mind will gradually leave its old vicious habits and get itself fixed on the Lotus-Feet of the Lord. When it is freed from Rajas and Tamas, it will guide you. It will be your Guru.

You must try to be always cheerful and peaceful. Then only you will have concentration of mind. The practice of Maitri (friendship) with equals, Karuna (compassion) towards inferiors or distressed persons, Mudita (complacency) towards superiors or virtuous persons and Upeksha (indifference) towards sinners or wicked persons will produce Chitta-Prasada (cheerfulness or serenity) and destroy hatred, jealousy and dislike (Ghrina).

Attention

Attention is steady application of the mind. It is focussing of consciousness on some chosen object. Through attention you can develop your mental faculties and capacities. Where there is attention, there is also concentration.

Perception always involves attention. To perceive is to attend. Through attention you get a clear and distinct knowledge of objects. The entire energy is focussed on the object towards which attention is directed. Full and complete information is gained. During attention all the dissipated rays of the mind are collected. There is effort or struggle in attention. Through attention a deeper impression of anything is made in the mind. It is one of the signs of trained will. It is found in men of strong mentality. It is a rare faculty. Brahmacharya wonderfully develops this power. A Yogi who possesses this faculty can even fix the mind on an unpleasant object for a very long time. It is easy to fasten the mind on an object which the mind likes best. Attention can be cultivated and developed by persistent practice. All the great men of the world who have achieved greatness have risen up through this faculty.

Throw your entire attention into whatever you happen to be doing at the moment. Practise attention on unpleasant tasks from which you have been shrinking before on account of their unpleasantness. Throw interest upon uninteresting objects and ideas. Hold them on before your mind. Interest will slowly manifest. Many mental weakness will vanish. The mind will become stronger and stronger. There is great attention, if the object is very pleasing. You will have to create interest. Then there will be attention. If the attention gets diminished, change your attention to another pleasant object. By patient training you can direct the mind to attend to an unpleasant object also by creating interest. Then your will will grow strong.

The human mind has the power of attending to only one object at a time. No one process can be singled out and called attention. It is not possible to separate attention as a distinct function. No one can get success either in temporal or spiritual pursuits without attention.

Failure in anything is mainly due to lack of attention. If you attend to one thing at a time, you will get profound knowledge of that subject in its various aspects. The ordinary untrained man of the world generally attends to several things at a time. He allows many things to enter the gates of his mental factory. That is the reason why he has a clouded or turbid mind. There is no clarity of thought. He cannot do the process of analysis and synthesis. He is bewildered. He cannot express his ideas clearly, whereas the disciplined man can attend to a subject exclusively as long as he likes. He extracts full and detailed information about one subject or object and then takes up another. Attention is an important faculty of a Yogi. You cannot attend to two different objects at a time. Mind can do only one thing at a time. Because it moves with such a tremendous velocity backwards and forwards, you think that the mind can attend to several objects or things at a time. You can only see or hear at a time. You cannot see and hear at the same time. But this law is not applicable to a developed Yogi. A developed Yogi can do several things at a time because his will is not separate from the Cosmic Will which is all-powerful.

Meditation follows concentration. Samadhi follows meditation. Jivanmukti state follows the attainment of Nirvikalpa Samadhi which is free from all thoughts of duality. Jivanmukti leads to emancipation from the wheel of birth and death. Therefore concentration is the first and foremost thing a Sadhaka or aspirant should acquire in the spiritual path.

Gist of Yoga of Concentration

Purify the mind first through the practice of Yama and Niyama. Then take to the practice of Dharana. Concentration is steadfastness of mind. If you remove all causes of distraction, your power of concentration will increase. A true Brahmachari who has preserved his Virya will have powerful concentration. Attention plays a prominent part in concentration. He who has developed his power of attention will have good concentration. You should be able to visualise very clearly the object of concentration even in its absence. You must call up the mental picture in a moment’s notice. You will have to march in the spiritual path step by step, stage by stage. Lay the foundation of Yama (right conduct), Niyama, Asana (posture), Pranayama and Pratyahara to start with. The superstructure of Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation), and Samadhi will be successful then only.

Asana is Bahiranga Sadhana (external); Dhyana is Antaranga Sadhana (internal). When compared with Dhyana and Samadhi, even Dharana is Bahiranga Sadhana. He who has steady Asana and has purified Yoga-Nadis and the Pranamaya Kosha (vital sheath) through Pranayama will be able to concentrate easily. You can concentrate internally on any of the seven plexus or Chakras or centres of spiritual energy viz., Muladhara, Svadhishthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddha, Ajna and Sahasrara, or on the tip of the nose, or on the tip of the tongue or externally on the picture of any Devata. There can be no concentration without something upon which the mind may rest.

Dharana is the Sixth stage or limb of Ashtanga Yoga or Raja Yoga of Patanjali Maharshi. In Dharana you will have only one Vritti or wave in the mind-lake. The mind assumes the form of only one object. All other operations of the mind are suspended or stopped. He who can practise real concentration for half or one hour will have tremendous psychic powers. His will also will be very powerful.

When Hatha Yogis concentrate their minds on Shadadhara or the six supports (the Shat Chakras), they concentrate their minds on the respective presiding Devatas also, viz., Ganesha, Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Isvara and Sadasiva. Control the breath through Pranayama. Subdue the Indriyas through Pratyahara. According to the Hatha Yogic School, a Yogi who can suspend his breath by Kumbhaka for 20 minutes can have very good Dharana. He will have a very tranquil mind. Pranayama steadies the mind, removes Vikshepa (distraction) and increases the power of concentration. Those who practise Khechari Mudra by cutting the frenum lingua and lengthening the tongue and fixing it in the hole beyond the palate by taking upwards, will have good Dharana.

For a neophyte, the practice of concentration is disgusting and tiring in the beginning. He has to cut new grooves in the mind and brain. After some months, he will get interest in concentration. He will enjoy a new kind of happiness, the Concentration-Ananda. He will become restless if he fails to enjoy this new kind of happiness even for one day. Concentration is the only way to get rid of the worldly miseries and tribulations. Your only duty is to practise concentration. You have taken this physical body to practise concentration and through concentration to realise the Self. Charity, Rajasuya Yajna are nothing when compared to concentration. They are playthings only.

Excerpts from “Concentration and Meditation” by Sri Swami Sivananda

Quote

Yoga Retreat in Sri Lanka

Yoga Retreat in Sri Lanka

Yoga in Sri Lanka

In modern times, known as an era of information, Yoga is everywhere – it is popularized in social media, propagated among the young and old, the weak and strong, the poor and rich. Almost every town and city will have a yoga studio or school where you can get yoga guidance for money. You do not need to search far and wide to attend a yoga class -google search will quickly provide directions of the nearest yoga center to your location. Don’t get confused by a variety of Yoga styles, trends and brands. Yoga became a part of the market that inevitably leads to versatility with the essential goal of selling. And yoga (union, oneness) turns into multiplicity, competition and opposition. Yoga in Sri Lanka

One of such products in the market that is growing in demand and popularity is yoga holidays when you travel to another place, country or continent to experience different environment,  surroundings, culture, food, climate, people and all of the above seasoned with the yoga gravy. Let us look at what yoga travel has to offer to customers and what has made it such an attractive product in the market. Yoga in Sri Lanka

And to be more precise let us take yoga journeys to the island of Sri Lanka and enumerate names with discriptions as well as reasons for a great variety of Yoga Retreats and Centers that have sprung up in recent times.

  1. Nature of Sri Lanka promotes quietude of the mind and links you towards your own nature.
  2. Water element manifested in the Indian Ocean, innumerable lakes and life-sustaining rivers purifies both thoughts and bodies. Yoga in Sri Lanka
  3. Earth element manifested in magnificent mountains and eye-catching scenery and landscapes.
  4. Fire element expressed in 365 days of summer with a climate that keeps your body warm and open for transformation.
  5. Air element boosts your creativity and adaptability giving new insight and point of view to contemplate over your life perspectives.
  6. Either element promotes meditative state of the mind. Many people arrive to Sri Lanka to learn more about spiritually and meditation as a means to establish connection between human world and spiritual world.
  7. Inhabitants of the island are more than friendly and open, eager to help and chat. English is quite well understood by locals and smiling is a never ending way of communication here.
  8. The island is of medium size though astonishes with diversity of wilf-life, vegetation, terrain and even climate.
  9. Buddhism with all its virtues and ideals is still in the air and that can be the reason why the island bears the name Sri Lanka – Sacred Land.
  10. Ayurveda is an intrinsic part of Sri Lankan nature that naturally sprung up from itself. Ayurvedic education on the island is the most comprehensive and offers theory and all conditions to put it into practice. The climate of Sri Lanka gives life to a great variety of herbs and plants with ayurvedic properties and healing powers.
  11. All the year round fresh fruits and vegetables are available on the island. Coconuts are in abundance here and there is almost no meal without scraped coconuts or coconut milk.

Let us look at some yoga Retreats and Centers in Sri Lanka which are constantly growing in numbers and diversity Yoga in Sri Lanka

VILLA MY WAY

79141954Villa My Way – quite a new Yoga Retreat in Sri Lanka is located in Ahangama. The property overlooks the rain forest, just 10 min to the white beach of Indian ocean and 30min from Historical Galle Fort, organizes free yoga classes twice a day.

Yoga Retreat Villa My Way also includes a spa centre and offers massage treatments. It provides Ayurveda Doctor’s Consultation. Guests can enjoy an outdoor pool and a restaurant on site. You can play darts at the property, and free use of bicycles is available.

This Yoga Retreat serves breakfasts and dinners.

DOOWA YOGA

DOOWA YOGA is a yoga retreat in Sri Lanka, located in Kandy, which provides resources and facilities to learn and practice the yoga of the great Eastern traditions. Accommodation is not available. You will need to find a closeby place to stay. The yoga retreat offers Drop-in classes as well as 7-14 days courses. 100 hours yoga teacher training is also conducted from time to time at the yoga center.

NIAGAMA HOUSE

The yoga retreat Niyagama House was completed in 2012 by the German architect and yoga teacher Elke de Silva and her Sri Lankan husband Chaminda. It is situated on the highest point of an active tea plantation, nine kilometers inland from the coastal city of Galle. 7 generous rooms and 2 double suites are equipped with high quality furniture and luxurious bathrooms. There is 18 meter chlorin free pool. Niyagama House and pool area is non-smoking – with a “secret” smoking spot just behind the pool. They do not serve alcohol – but you can bring your own and enjoy it where ever you want to. All of the above adds up to the relaxing purpose of this yoga retreat in Sri Lanka.

PLANTATION VILLA

Another ayurveda and yoga retreat in Sri Lanka, Plantation Villa situated in a rural village called Nehinna, in Kalutara, 120km away from the International Airport and 80 km from the capital city of Colombo.

The yoga retreat centre has 8 rooms overlooking the lush gardens which are decorated in colonial style. The property itself is a 30 acre plantation of Rubber, Coconut, Cinnamon and Black Pepper located at quite a distance from Kalutara town as well as the beach. Plantation Villa is more an ayurvedic retreat than a truly yoga center that offers an authentic ayurveda treatments, food and care.

Quote

Tap All Powers

Yoga and Meditation1. In all man’s struggles and attempts at achieving any desired end, there is in reality no necessity at all for him to go in quest of external forces to aid him. Man contains within himself vast resources, inherent power, lying untapped or else only partially made use of.
2. It is because he has allowed his faculties to get scattered on a hundred different things that he fails to achieve anything great despite his inherent potentialities. If he intelligently regulates and applies them, quick and concrete results will accrue.
3. To learn to rationally and effectively use the existing forces, man need not wait for any striking new methods, etc., to be invented, to guide him. Since the dawn of creation, nature herself abounds in instructive examples and lessons to aid man in every walk of his life. Observation will tell us that every force in nature, when allowed to flow loosely over a wide area, moves slowly and with comparatively less power than it would do if gathered together in one mass and directed through a single restricted outlet.
4. This gathering together of the scattered rays and bringing this force to bear upon a given point,-any object, idea or action – forms the process.
5. As examples of the power generated by a concentration of force are cited (1) the sluggish and leisurely flow of a river, damned and accumulated, rushes out with an amazing force through the sluice, (2) the phenomenon of ton-loads of cargo in heavy wagons being hauled or propelled by the power of steam concentrated in the boiler of the engine, (3) the most common domestic sight, the clattering and displacement of the covering lid of a cauldron when the latter commences to boil very much, (4) the normally warm sun-rays become suddenly so hot as to burn up objects when centralised and brought into focus through the lens. And the simple and commonest of action, where one unconsciously uses this principle, is noticed when a man wishing to hail another a good distance away, automatically cups his palms and shouts through them.
6. This law is equally applicable to man in all branches of his life’s activities. With the utmost concentrated and careful attention, the surgeon executes minute operations. The deepest absorption marks the state of the technician, the engineer, architect or the expert painter, engaged in drawing the minute details of a plan, chart or sketch, where accuracy is of paramount importance. A like concentration is displayed by the skilled Swiss workmen that fashion the delicate parts of watches and other scientific instruments.Thus in every art and science.
7. This is specially so in the spiritual line where the aspirant has to deal with forces internal. The powers of the mind are always scattered and resist attempts at concentration. This oscillatory tendency is an innate characteristic of the mind-stuff. Of the various methods employed to curtail and arrest this tossing of the mind, those using the medium of sound and sight, stand prominent, because these two have a peculiar knack of catching the attention of and stilling the mind. It is seen how a hypnotist gently subdues the mind of the ’subject’ by making the latter gaze steadily into his (the hypnotist’s) eyes and listen to the monotonous repetition of his steady, deliberate suggestions. We have still another clue to this when we note the mother gently croons the little child into slumber. Also the school masters sharp, ”Now then, boys look here,” whenever he desires them to pay special attention to what he is saying, is significant. He feels that by getting them to fix their gaze on him, he will draw the attention of their minds as well to his teaching.
Therefore in the course of spiritual discipline too, the methods of developing concentration take the form of gazing steadily at a dot, or at the symbol of the Pranava, or the Mantra or the figure of the favourite chosen deity. With some others it is done by the audible repetition of the Mantra or the Lord’s name, or OM, or some select Kirtan tunes with regular rhythm and intonation. By these means the mind gradually gets indrawn and focussed. As this state deepens, the person slowly loses awareness of his surroundings. The concentration, when continued, leads to the state of Dhyana or meditation, when the practitioner tends to forget even that physical frame. Meditation, when persisted in and perfected, brings about the experience of superconsciousness or Samadhi, the ultimate state of Self-awareness or Realisation.

Excerpts from “Concentration and Meditation” by Sri Swami Sivananda

Quote

CONTENTMENT & COURAGE

16-favorite-contentment-quotes-14-728Contentment

There is no greater gain than contentment. A man who is fully endowed with this important virtue is the richest man in all the three worlds.

Contentment is one of the important items in the Niyamas of the Raja Yoga philosophy. The Gita also says: “Be contented with whatever you get by chance and apply yourself to meditation with a dispassionate mind.”

Greed is the Chief Officer of Passion. Wherever there is greed, there is passion and wherever there is passion there is greed almost invariably. The understanding gets clouded, the intellect gets perverted and the memory gets confused by passion and greed. Therefore people find it difficult to develop the virtue of contentment.

An objector says: “I quite realise that contentment gives peace. But I have a doubt. lf I become contented, all my ambitions will die. I will become lethargic and lazy. On account of my various sorts of ambitions, I move about hither and tithel I exert and I am energetic.” My reply is simply this: “Contentment can never make you idle. lt is a Sattvic virtue that propels man towards God. lt gives strength of mind and peace. lt checks unnecessary and selfish exertions. lt transmutes the gross energy viz., greed that is forcing man towards selfish exertions into spiritual energy, Ojas. That man who is contented is full of Sattva. He is more energetic now. He is inward. He is always peaceful. He turns out more work calmly and with one-pointed mind. All the dissipated rays of the mind are collected now.

A contented mind is the greatest blessing a man can enjoy in this world. lt has a beneficial influence on the soul of man. lt destroys all inordinate ambitions, all murmuring, repining, and makes one serene, happy and rich. lt is a pearl of inestimable value. Contentment is the best tonic. lt is the best medicine. lt gives best health and peace of mind.

A contented man is never poor. The discontented man is never rich. Be always contented with what happens. Know that what God chooses is better than what you choose.
lf you are not contented with what you have, you will not be contented with what you like to have.
Contentment is natural wealth. Luxury is artificial poverty.
Abandon all desires. Desire only the will of God. Seek Him alone. You will find perfect contentment, peace and bliss.
lf you increase your wealth, you increase your cares, worries ahd anxietes. But a contented mind is a hidden, supreme treasure. A man of contented mind knows not cares and anxieties.
A contented man is easy in mind. He does not repine. He is satisfled with things as they are. He never complains.

Contentment is the best virtue; contentment is called the true enjoyment; and the contented man gets the best repose. He derives happiness from within. lt is a panacea forthe cure of the dire disease-avarice or greed.

O man! Lead a life of perfect contentment and be happy forever. Live in God who is Nitya Triptior Supreme satisfaction or Contentment.

images (3)COURAGE

It is the quality that enables men to meet dangers without fear. Courage enlarges your resources but cowardice diminishes them.

No spiritual progress is possible without courage. courage is an essential of high character. There cannot be truth without courage, you cannot do anything in this world without courage.

Physical courage depends upon bodily strength and intrepidity. Moral courage is that quality which enables one to pursue a course deemed right through which one may incur contempt, disapproval or opprobrium.

True courage is not the brutal force of vulgar heroes, but the firm resolve oivirtue and reason.

Have the courage of your convictions. Have the courage to act up to or consistently with your views or opinions.

lf you have courage and confidence, you can accomplish anything in this world. Courage is the source of all success. You have strength in proportion to courage. Your abirity to perform deeds is in accordance with your courage and confidence.

You may have courage when everything is going right; but it is difficult to have courage in times of panic and danger. The really courageous man is one who knows no fear when danger is on his heels and helps others with a calm attitude of mind.

Meditate ceaselessly on the absolutely fearless Atman or the lmmortal soul that dwells in the chambers of your heart. You will become an embodiment of courage.

Excerpts from “HOW TO CULTIVATE VIRTUES AND ERADICATE VICES” by Sri Swami Sivananda

Quote

Seeker after Liberation (pt.#8)

1446021480_happy-maharishi-valmiki-jayanti-2015-quotes-messages-wishes-picture-greetings
On Rational Inquiry

Reasoning serves to destroy the false apparitions of errors which present themselves to the minds of children like ghosts in the night sky. Men torment themselves with the false imaginations of their own minds. Only reason can drive away this deeply rooted apparition from the mind.

Know that the fruit of the high tree of reason is the even, unobstructed, interminable and independent happiness called perfect detachment (kaivalya). When a saint has reached his perfection by means of the elixir of judgment seated in his mind, he neither desires  for more nor leaves (what he has). A mind relying on that state of equanimity and perceiving the clear light has neither its fall nor elevation, but enjoys its inward expansion like that of vacuum forever.

One unconcerned with the world neither gives nor receives anything, nor feels himself elated or depressed at any event, but views everything as an indifferent spectator. He is neither numbingly cold nor does he dwell on anything internally or externally. He is not inactive or merged in activity. He slights the loss of anything and lives content with what he has. He is neither depressed nor elevated, but remains as full as the sea.

Men with their minds illuminated by the light of reason are like travelers acquainted with their way. They are not liable to pitfalls of constant danger and misery. It is by means of reason that one comes to the knowledge of truth, and by means of truth that he gets peace of mind, and it is tranquility of mind that dispels the misery of men.
Now Rama, take delight in such acts as may be productive of utility to the world, and whereby you may arrive to perfection. Weigh all things with the clear eye of reason, which will make you blessed forever.

On Contentment

Those who are happy with their prosperity of contentment and possess the calm repose of their souls are like holy saints. They think a kingdom no better than a bit of rotten straw.
Whoever retains a contented mind amidst all the affairs of the world is never disturbed or dejected in adverse circumstances, O Rama.
Abandonment of unfruitful desires, and calmness in those desires that are obtained, feeling no pain and having no sense of pleasure, constitute what is called contentment.
Until the mind can enjoy contentment rising of itself spontaneously in the soul, troubles will continue to grow like briars and brambles in a bog. The mind cooled by calm contentment and purified by the light of philosophy is always in its full bloom like a lotus under sunbeams.
An ungoverned mind, subject to desires and devoid of contentment, does not receive the light of knowledge, like a soiled mirror takes no reflection of the face.  A man whose mind is always bright with the sunshine of contentment does not shrivel like a lotus in the dark night of ignorance. A man devoid of diseases and anxieties, whose mind is content though he be thoroughly poor, enjoys the happiness of a supreme ruler.

On the Company of the Virtuous

It is the tree of virtuous company (satsanga) that produces the fresh blossom of discrimination which, being cherished by men with great souls, yields its fruit of  prosperity. The society of the learned makes solitude appear as company, and the evil of death as good as a festivity, and converts a difficulty to ease. Know that the society of the virtuous is the best way to improve understanding, destroy the tree of ignorance, and  remove all our mental diseases. Whoever has bathed in the cold, clear stream of good company does not need the merit derived from acts of charity, pilgrimage, austerity or sacrifice.

Contentment is reckoned to be the best gain, good company the right course, reasoning the true knowledge, and remaining undisturbed the highest bliss. These are the four surest means to break off the shackles of the world, and whoever is practiced in these has surely passed over the false waters of terrestrial sea. Learn, O best of the intelligent, that the practice of any one of these pure virtues leads to a habit of all four. Every one of these separately is a leader to the others. Therefore apply yourself diligently to one of these for your success in getting them all.

As soon as one of these virtues is strengthened and made fruitful in you, it will serve to weaken the force of the faults of your uncontrollable mind.  The cultivation of virtues leads to their full growth and the suppression of vice, but the fostering of vice will lead to the increase of vices and the suppression of good qualities.

Knowledge in Practice – Good Conduct

The mind is a wilderness of errors in which the stream of our desires flows with full force between its two banks of good and evil where we hold our stand. Know, O high-minded Rama, that one’s own disposition is like a rapid current that must not be permitted to bear him away (to the perilous coast).

They are called intelligent who know the cause and effect of things. Men of unfettered minds look upon the appearance and disappearance of every atomic world as the fluctuating wave of the sea. They neither grieve at unwished-for occurrences nor pine for their wished-for chances. Knowing well all accidents are the consequences of their actions, they remain as unconscious as trees.

Having finished its journey through the world and performed its duties here, the soul assumes a calmness like that of the unbreakably hard column of the sky reflecting the images of the tumultuous world (without changing itself). It rejoices exceedingly at being delivered from the innumerable snares of the world, and it becomes as light as air by being freed from its desire of looking after endless objects.  The soul that takes no notice of any cause or effect or doing, or what is to be avoided or accepted, is said to be disembodied though encumbered with a body, and to become unworldly in its worldly state.

We have by our reasoning well weighed the verbosity of our opinionative adversaries and never set aside the holy sayings of the Vedas, even when they are at variance with the opinions of our families. O Rama, we have stored in our minds the truths resulting from the unanimous voice of all the scriptures, whereby it will be evident that we have attained the object of our belief, apart from the fabricated systems of heretical scriptures.
Let the wise continue their inquiries until they obtain their internal peace and until they arrive at the fourth stage (turiya) of joy known by its name of indestructible tranquility. Whoever has attained this fourth state of tranquil joy, whether he is alive or not, or a house-holder or an ascetic, has really passed beyond the limits of the ocean of the world. Such a man remains steady at his place like the calm sea undisturbed by Mandara Mountain, whether he has performed his duties according to the scriptures and codes of ethics or not.

You can derive happiness from your own observations at any place and time, as you can from your association with the good whenever it is available. This is an optional rule.

As learning produces the qualities of quiet and the like, so do these qualities give rise to learning. Thus they serve to grow each other, just as lake and lotuses contribute to their mutual benefit. Learning is produced by right conduct as good conduct results from learning. Thus wisdom (learning, right knowledge) and morality (good conduct & attitudes) are natural helps to one another. Unless one practices wisdom and good conduct in an equal degree, he will never be successful in either of them.

Excerpts from “Yoga Vasishta” by Sage Valmiki, translated by Vihari Lala Mitra

Quote

Seeker after Liberation (pt.#7)

sivananda wall spirit progress
On Equanimity – The Characteristics of a Saint

Intelligent men who have seen the spirit fix their sight upon it and wander about in the world as persons of great and elevated souls. They do not grieve, nor do they wish or ask for anything of good or evil (in this world). They do their works with detachment. Those who rely on themselves remain quiet, unaffected by good or evil and acting their parts with a calm serenity. They take no concern for what is harmful or delectable to them. They are alike indifferent to coming or not coming, going or not going, doing or not doing, and speaking or not speaking. After having come to know their God (as the author of all good), whatever acts or sights may appear pleasant or disgusting to others cease to affect them in any way. He who ceases to act his magical parts (in this playground of the earth) and desists from following his inclinations and childish pranks, shines forth in his spiritual light. Such are the powers gained from spiritual knowledge, and by no other means whatever.

There is no disease or poison, no trouble or affliction so painful to one in this earth as the ignorance one breeds in himself. Lack of dignity, inextricable difficulties, and baseness and degeneracy are all the offspring of ignorance, just like thorns are the offshoots of the prickly ketaki plant.

Try, O Rama, to imitate those who are liberated in their lifetime, who are free to roam about like the gods Hari, Hara and others, and like the holy sages among brahmins. Here (on earth) our miseries are as endless as atoms, and our happiness is as small as a drop of water on a piece of straw. Therefore do not fix your sight upon that little happiness which is beset by misery. Let an intelligent man diligently apply himself to attain that state of endless happiness which is free from pain and constitutes his highest completion. They are reckoned the best of men and deserving of completion whose minds are free from the fever (of worldly cares) and attached to the transcendental state.

A state reached without return, attained so there is no more cause for sorrow, undoubtedly is attainable only by divine knowledge, and that is a certain truth. Even if such a future state did not exist, there would be no harm to believe in it. But if such a state exists, belief in it will save you from the ocean of this world (samsara).
The undecaying, unerring and fearless state of tranquility is nowhere to be had in the three worlds without union (with the Supreme). Having gained that best of gains, no one is liable to the pain from which no wealth, friend or relation can save. Neither the actions of one’s hands and feet in his offerings and pilgrimage to distant lands, nor the bodily pains of asceticism, nor his refuge in a holy place can serve his salvation. It is only by means of one’s best exertions and the fixing of his mind to one object, and also by the subjection of his desires, that one may arrive at the ultimate state (of bliss). So it is that by means of discrimination, reasoning and ultimate ascertainment of truth, a man may avoid the snares of misery and attain his best state.

That ultimate joy is born of and obtainable from peace of mind. It is fruit from the blossom of peace of the high tree of reason. Those engaged in worldliness without mixing in it are like the all-illumining sun and are known as the best of men. The mind at peace and rest, clear and free from errors, and without any attempt or desire neither forsakes nor wishes for the world.

The man who lives content with his quiet and a calm clarity of his soul, with a mind filled with detachment, makes friends of his enemies. The virtuous man who is calm and quiet and friendly to all living beings feels the benign influence of highest truths appearing of themselves in his mind.

Those holy men who have the lotus-like flower of peacefulness growing in the lotus-shaped receptacle of their hearts are said to have a secondary heart like the two hearts of the god Hari (holding Brahma in one of them).

Whether afflicted by disease or disaster, or dragged by the rope of greed, bear yourself up, O Rama, by the composure of your mind. Whatever you do and eat with the calm coolness of your mind, all that is far sweeter to the soul than anything sweet to taste. The mind that is overpowered by the ambrosial flavor of peacefulness and desists from activity may have the body lacerated, but it will heal shortly.

There is nothing in life so delightful to see as the satisfaction one feels at the sight of a contented and peaceful man. Only he who lives a holy life with his gentle and peaceful conduct is said to be truly living in this world.

He is called the meek who neither feels pleasure nor pain at the sight, touch, sound or taste of anything good or bad. He who is indifferent to all objects and neither leaves nor longs for anything, but keeps his senses and appetites under control, is called a saint. He whose mind remains as calm as moonbeams at the approach of either feast or violence, and even at the moment of death, is said to be a saint. Who, though present, neither rejoices nor murmurs at anything but remains as if he were absent from it, and conducts himself as quietly as if he were fast asleep, such a person is called a saint.

He whose complaisant look casts a graceful nectar-like radiance on all around him is said to be a saint. Who feels a cool calmness within himself and is not disturbed or immersed in any state of life, and who though a layman is not worldly minded, such a man is termed a saint. He who does not take the difficulties of life to his mind, however long or great they may be, or who does not think his body to be himself, is known to be a saint. The man of the world who has a mind clear as the sky and is not tainted (by worldliness) is said to be a saint.

Peacefulness is the greatest of all the many virtues and the best decoration of courage. It shines resplendent among all dangers and difficulties. O Rama, seek your perfection in the way in which high-minded men have sought and attained their perfect states, by holding fast onto peacefulness as an imperishable virtue, preserved by the respectable, and never to be lost or stolen.

Excerpts from “Yoga Vasishta” by Sage Valmiki, translated by Vihari Lala Mitra

Quote

Seeker after Liberation (pt.#6)

2017-09-03-19-44-17The Greatness of True Knowledge

It is by performance of ritual duties and observance of prescribed rules that the demerits of former births are expunged. Upon removing former demerits, understanding turns of itself to become aware of spiritual matters, like the simultaneous flight of a crow towards a falling coconut. But those devoted only to ritual acts are like people plunged in an eddy in which they whirl up and down until they come to perceive the state of supreme (joy). Seeing this (illusory) state of the world, a man must shake off the delusion of his worldly-mindedness, just as the elephant breaks loose from his chains.

This spiritual knowledge was first given to princes, but afterwards it came to be known under the title of royal science (raja vidhya, kingly science). This royal science is of a hidden, esoteric nature. It is also the best kind of spiritual knowledge. Many kings have been set beyond the reach of calamity by knowledge of this science.

It is too intricate, O Rama, to understand the course of this boundless world. Not even the greatest of embodied beings can know it without true knowledge. Know, O support of Raghu’s race, that men of great understanding have passed over the unfordable ocean of the world by means of the raft of their knowledge and reason. Without the remedy of right reason, the unceasing excitement of the senses and the fears and miseries of the world will continually disturb the mind. There is nothing other than rational knowledge that can enable holy men to endure the afflictions of the opposite extremes of heat and cold and wind and rain. The constant cares and miseries which befall to men at every step sometimes serve to torment the ignorant mind like a flame of fire burns straw. But the troubles of this world cannot afflict a wise man who knows the knowable and discerns all things; just as it is impossible for the flame of fire to burn wood drenched by rain.

O best of the eloquent, you must not receive instruction from one unacquainted with truth. Whoever asks such a person anything is the greatest of fools. He is the basest of men who does not carefully attend to the words of the truth-telling teacher who is asked about anything. He is the best inquirer who seeks answers from a person who demonstrates by his actions whether he knows the knowable or not. A person who asks boyish questions without determining the teacher’s qualifications is reckoned a vile inquirer incapable of knowing great things.

When asked, a wise man will reply to him who is able to comprehend the former and later propositions, and who is possessed of a good understanding, but he should make no answer to a vile brutish being. The teacher who gives his lecture without examining the capacity of the inquirer to grasp his meaning is pronounced unwise by the learned.

It is said there are four guards who keep watch at the gate of liberation (moksha), namely: peace (equanimity, self-control), judgment (spirit of inquiry), contentment, and company of the good. At least one of them is to be sought with diligence, even at the expense of one’s life. Because by securing one of these a man can reconcile and gain all four.
The wise man is a receptacle of all scriptures, of all knowledge and austerity, and is a gem on earth, just like the sun is the receptacle of light. The dull understanding of a senseless man becomes as stiff as a block, and like water freezing as hard as stone.

The true light of things dawns only in the minds of the wise, just as the gentle moon appears only in a clear and cloudless sky. He is truly called a man who can judge (the truth) by the major and minor propositions, whose mind is expanded and filled with brilliant ingenuity.

Whatever business or investigation someone undertakes, it must be brought to a happy conclusion that tends towards his peace and tranquility. If men of good understanding did not have the solace of philosophy, what rational being could dare bear the misery that ignorance brings in this world? All the faculties of the mind are absorbed in contemplation of the Supreme, like solar heat dissolves the rocks of boundary mountains at the end of the world. The Supreme Soul of infinite manifestations exists by itself. It passes through and supports the whole in the form of void and understanding and as light to all living beings.

Rama, the intolerable stomach cramping pain caused by this venomous world is healed only by yoga meditation, just like the poison of a snakebite is removed by garda incantations. One obtains the capacity for yoga by discussing the scriptures in the company of good people, which alone can provide us with the great charm of spiritual knowledge.
It must be recognized that we lessen our sorrows by acting with reason. A reasoning man gets released from his worldly sickness. He quits his frame which is full of diseases just like a snake casts off his time-worn skin. He looks with a placid mind and calm composure upon the magic scenes of the world. Hence a fully wise man is not subject to the misery of the imperfectly wise.

Rama, look upon this assembly of great sages, rishis, brahmins and princes who have fortified themselves by the armor of wisdom and are liable to no pain or grief, yet they are engaged in the arduous affairs of this world with minds as placid as yours. Moreover, there are many of the best of men who with their spiritual light and pure understanding reside in this world like the gods Hari (Vishnu), Hara (Shiva) and Brahma above all concerns and fluctuating desires of life.

When serenity of the mind and calm repose of the heart are secured, all the senses are subjected to peace and everything is viewed in an equal light, and this knowledge of the truth gives delight to our journey in this world.

Excerpts from “Yoga Vasishta” by Sage Valmiki, translated by Vihari Lala Mitra

Quote

CHARACTER & CHARITY

character-educationarticle-600x400CHARACTER

Character is the aggregate of peculiar qualities which constitute an individuality. lt is any distinctive mark or trait of a person.

Character is power. Character is real property. lt is the noblest of all possessions. Gharacter is perfectly educated will. lt is higher than intelligence.
Every man is the architect of his own character. You sow an action, and reap a habit. You sow a habit and reap a character.

Character is not born. lt is formed. The noblest contribution which any man can make for the benefit of posterity is that of a good character.

Character is the produce of self-discipline. The grand aim of man’s creation is the development of a grand character.

The richest bequest which any man can leave to the world is that of a shining, spotless example.
The essential factors in character building are morality, truthfulness, justice, temperance, wisdom, nobility, nonviolence, purity and benevolence.

Nothing in this world-wealth, name, fame, victory is worth a fig or a straw without character. Character must stand behind and back up everything.

Wealth comes and goes. Fame evaporates. Power dwindles. Only one thing endures. That is Character.

Take care of your character. Your reputation will take care of itself. A good character is the fruition of personal exertion. lt is the result of one’s own endeavours. Truthfulness is a corner-stone in character. Not education, but character, is man’s greatest need and greatest safeguard. There is no single royal road to build your character. A variety of routes will always need to be used.

Man is not a creature of circumstances. He is really the architect of circumstances. A man of character builds an existence out of circumstances. He steadily perseveres and plods. He does not look back. He marches forward bravely. He is not afraid of obstacles. He never frets and fumes. He never gets discouraged and disappointed. He is full of vigour, energy, via and vitality. He is ever zealous and enthusiastic.
Small kind acts, small courtesies, small consideration, small benevolence, habitually practised in your social intercourse give a greater charm to your character than great platform lectures, discourses, oration, exhibition of talents, etc.

Character is what one is: reputation, what he is thought to be. His record is the total of his actions. One’s nature includes all his original endowments or propensities; character includes both natural and acquired traits.

CHARITY

That which is given to relieve the needy is charity. True charity is the desire to be useful to others without thought of recompense or reward.

Give cheerfully, quickly and without hesitation.

Prayer takes you halfway to God, fasting to the door of His Supreme Abode and charity procures you admission. Charity is love in action.
The whole world is your home. You are a citizen of the world. Cultivate a generous feeling for the welfare of the whole world.

Every good act is charity. Giving water to the thirsty is charity. An encouraging word to a man in distress is charity. Giving a little medicine to the poor sick man is charity. Removing a thorn or a glass piece on the road is charity.
A little good thought and a little kindness are often worth more than giving a great deal of money.

The best form of charity is Vidya-Dana, imparting wisdom. Wisdom removes ignorance, the cause for taking a body and destroys in toto all sorts of miseries and suffering, for ever.
The second best form of charity is giving medicine to the sick.
The third best form of charity is Anna-dana or giving food to the hungry.

First daughter to the love of God is charity to the poor.
Charity given with an unwilling heart is not charity. Charity is not confined to giving in term of dollars, rupees or shillings. Think well towards suffering people. Pray for their welfare. This will accomplish more good than much money.

Excerpts from “HOW TO CULTIVATE VIRTUES AND ERADICATE VICES” by Sri Swami Sivananda

Quote

ADVERSITY & BENEVOLENCE

6361286008790336211435754073_happy-in-adversityADVERSITY

Adversity is affliction or misfortune or calamity. Adversity is a state or condition characterised by untoward, harassing circumstances, severe trial or affliction. lt is opposed to prosperity. Adversity is an event or series of events which oppose success or desires. lt is a state of unhappiness.
Adversity is a blessing in disguise. Sweet are the uses of adversity. lt strengthens the will power and the power of endurance and turns the mind more and more towards God. lt instill dispassion or Vairagya in the heart. lt is the first path to truth.
Adversity is a virtue. lt makes the idle industrious. lt draws out the faculties of the wise. lt puts a man to the necessity of trying his skill.

The crucial test is your conduct under hardship and adversity. The storms of adversity rouse the faculties and talents of an individual and generate prudence, skill, fortitude, courage, patience and perseverance. Adversity makes one think, invent and discover.

Adversity is the only balance to weigh friends; prosperity is no just scale.

Adversity will mould you properly. lt is your great teacher. lt is the best and severe instructor. Great persons and saints have been tried, smelted, polished and glorified through the furnace of adversity.

Do not weep when you are in adverse conditions. Adversity strengthens your nerves and sharpens your skill.

The best thing in this world is pain or adversity. During pain only man remembers God. Pain is the eye-opener. The quest of God begins from pain. The starting point of philosophy is from pain. Had there not been pain in this world, man would never have attempted to get freedom (moksha). He would have been satisfied with mundane life only. ln trying to get rid of pain, he comes across Truth or the abode of Peace, Parama-Dhama. He starts prayer, Japa, charity, selfless seryice, study of religious books, etc. Bhaktas always pray to God, “O Lord! Give us sufferings always so that we shall ever remember Thee.”

Adversity develops power of endurance and will-force. Adversity develops fortitude and forbearance. Adversity melts a stony heart and infuses devotion to God.

Benevolence
BENEVOLENCE

Benevolence. Latin: Benevolentia a good feeling; bene – well, and volens – to wish. Benevolence is the disposition to seek the well-being or comfort of others. lt is the desire to alleviate suffering or promote happiness. lt is love of mankind or kindliness of heart or charitableness.

Benevolence is the all-inclusive virtue. ln order to attain the perfection of benevolence itself the moral judgment of men requires all the other most cardinal virtues both of will and of judgment.

Benevolence is the minister of God. lt is a rare virtue. To feel much for others and little for ourselves, to restrain our selfish and excercise our benevolent affections, constitutes the perfection of human nature.
No one in this world is perfectly independent. He is in need of the assistance of others. Man is placed in society to receive and confer reciprocal helps and mutual obligations.

Your food, your clothes, your health, your protection from injuries, your enjoyment of the comforts and pleasures of life-all these you owe to the assistance of others. Therefore, be benevolent to others. Be a cosmic benefactor. Be a friend to mankind.
The conqueror is regarded with awe; the wise man commands our respect, but it is only the benevolent man who wins our affection.
A benevolent man enjoys peace, joy and tranquillity. He rejoices in the happiness and prosperity of his neighbours and all other people. He who employs his wealth, his thought, his speech, to advance the good of others is a glorious man. He is a veritable god on this earth.

Excerpts from “HOW TO CULTIVATE VIRTUES AND ERADICATE VICES” by Sri Swami Sivananda