Bhakti & Jnana Part#2

swami sivanandaBhakti Yoga and Jnana Yoga are not incompatibles like acid and alkali. The fruit of Bhakti Yoga is Jnana. Highest Love (Para Bhakti) and Jnana are one. Perfect knowledge is love.

Action, emotion and intelligence are the three horses that are linked to this body-chariot. They should work in perfect harmony or unison. Then only the chariot will run smoothly. There must be integral development. You must have the head of Sankara, the heart of Buddha and the hand of Janaka. Vedanta without devotion is quite dry. Jnana without Bhakti is not perfect.

(1) Jnana Yoga is like crossing a river by swimming. Bhakti Yoga is like crossing a river by a boat.
(2) The Jnani gets knowledge by self-reliance and assertion. The Bhakta gets Darshan of God by self-surrender.
(3) The Jnani asserts and expands. The Bhakta dedicates and consecrates himself to the Lord and contracts himself.
(4) A Bhakta wants to eat sugar-candy. A Jnani wants to become sugar-candy itself.
(5) A Bhakta is like a kitten that cries for help. A Jnani is like a baby-monkey that clings itself boldly to the mother.
(6) A Jnana Yogi exhibits Siddhis through will or Sat-Sankalpa. A Bhakta gets all the divine Aisvaryas through self-surrender and the consequent descent of Divine Grace.

In the Gita (IV-39) Lord Krishna clearly points out that Bhakti and Jnana are not incompatibles like oil and water. He says: “Sraddhavan labhate jnanam – The man who is full of faith obtaineth wisdom.”

“To this ever harmonious, worshipping in love, I give the Yoga of discrimination by which they come unto Me.” (X-10.)

“By devotion he knoweth Me in essence, who and what I am; having thus known Me in essence, he forthwith entereth into the Supreme.” (XVIII-55.)

A happy combination of head and heart is perfection.

Excerpts from “Practice of Bhakti Yoga” by Swami Sivananda

Yoga of Universal Love

swami sivanandaThere is no virtue higher than Love, there is no treasure higher than Love, there is no knowledge higher than Love, there is no Dharma higher than Love, there is no religion higher than Love because Love is Truth, Love is God. This world has come out of Love, this world exists in Love and this world ultimately dissolves in Love. God is an embodiment of Love. In every inch of His creation you can verily understand His Love.

To love man is to love God alone. Man is the true image of God.

Love is a great leveller. There is no power on earth greater than Love. Pure love is a rare gift of God. It is the fruit of one’s untiring service of humanity and incalculable virtuous actions in several incarnations. It is a rare commodity indeed.

True religion does not consist of ritualistic observances, baths and pilgrimages but in loving all. Cosmic love is all-embracing and all-inclusive. They are the products of ignorance only. They cannot stand before pure love. Just as darkness is dispelled by the penetrating rays of the burning sun, so also jealousy, hatred and egoism are dispelled by the rays of divine Prem.

A man who is struggling to develop cosmic love and realise Him through love, cannot keep anything for himself more than he actually needs for keeping the life going. People talk of universal love but are very niggardly in action. They show only lip-sympathy and lip-love. This is absolute hypocrisy. He who tries to develop universal love should serve humanity untiringly with a disinterested, selfless spirit for many years. He has to kill his little self ruthlessly. He must bear calmly insults and injuries. Then only there is the prospect of cultivating cosmic love. Otherwise it is all vain and flowery talk and idle-gossiping only. It is sugar in paper or tiger in the carpet.

Pure divine love consciously felt and spontaneously directed towards all beings including animals and birds is indeed the direct result of one’s vision or realisation of the Supreme Being. Let me repeat here the words of Bhagavan Sri Krishna: “He who seeth Me everywhere and seeth everything in Me, of him I never lose hold and he shall never lose hold of Me” (Gita: VI-30). “The self-harmonized by Yoga, seeth the Self abiding in all beings, all beings in the Self; everywhere he seeth the same” (VI-29). “He who beareth no ill-will to any being, friendly and compassionate, without attachment and egoism, balanced in pleasure and pain, and forgiving, he, My devotee, is dear to Me” (XII-13).

There is no iota of hope for your salvation till you develop your heart. Dear friends, bear this in mind always! Love alone will bring you liberation.

The saints, seers and prophets of the world have spoken of love as the end and aim or goal of life. The Rasa Lila of Sri Krishna is full of Prem and divine mysteries. The stripping of clothes of Gopis means the destruction of egoism. Lord Krishna has preached love through His Flute. Lord Buddha was an ocean of love. He gave up his body to appease the hunger of a cub of a tiger. Raja Sibi gave from his own thigh an equivalent weight of the pigeon’s flesh to satisfy the appetite of the hawk. What a noble soul! Lord Rama lived a life of love and showed love in every inch of his activity. My dear children of Love, draw inspiration from their teachings. Tread the path of Love, commune with God and reach the eternal abode of Love. This is your highest duty. You have taken this body to achieve Love which alone is the goal of life.

Excerpts from “Practice of Bhakti Yoga” by Swami Sivananda

Spiritual Evolution

gnothi seautonJesus Christ: “The kingdom of God is within us”

Buddha: “Look inside – you are the Buddha (pure consciousness)”

The ancient Greeks: “Gnothi seauton – Man, know thyself and thou shalt know the universe”

Krishna in Bhagavad Gita: “Meditation is greater than intellectual knowledge”

Sri Ramakrishna: “In the fable musk deer walked the whole world in search of the source of the smell, which was in him”

Saint Augustine: “People travel to look at mountains and waves of the sea, at the wide expanse of the river and the ocean, but passes the greatest miracle – themselves”

Buddha speaks Wisdom

Sri-Lanka-Buddha“I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done.”

“The wise man makes an island of himself that no flood can overwhelm.”

“Few among men are they who cross to the further shore. The others merely run up and down the bank on this side.”

“The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life activity; it affords protection to all beings, offering shade even to the axe-man who destroys it.”

“The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.”

“From a withered tree, a flower blooms”

“Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are, it solely relies on what you think.”

“If you are facing in the right direction, all you need to do is keep on walking.”

“Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.”

“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”

“Our theories of the eternal are as valuable as are those that a chick which has not broken its way through its shell might form of the outside world.

“If you knew what I know about the power of giving you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way. ”

“Not merely by rules of conduct and religious observances, nor by much learning either, nor even by attainment of concentration, nor by sleeping alone, do I reach the happiness of freedom, to which no worldlings attain. If you have not put an end to compulsions, nurse your faith”

Gautama Buddha

Siva Yogaswami speaks of life

Yogaswami_ASIf you want to commit suicide, one pin is sufficient. Similarly, in order to improve oneself, much study is not necessary.

You can go to the top by climbing up step by step. But exceptionally there are some who, with the help of Sruitis, the guru, and their own understanding and experience, can fly like birds.

 Don’t do things in order to please others.

We must demolish the fortress that we ourselves have built.

The railway engine pulls many coaches. Can it do so if it runs off the track? No. Great people have shown the path. We must follow it.

When you see the mountain you do not see the trees. When you see the trees
you do not see the mountain.

Very few have understood the teachings of Buddha.

Try to remain without taking any furthur births.

What is there to study? Man is mad.

The lotus is highly esteemed, even though it grows out of mud. Similarly,
knowers of the Self can be found anywhere.

On the highest level, where is the guru? Where is the disciple? Everything is
Brahman.

With one hand you must take hold of God, with the other you must hold on to
the world.

Satguru Siva Yogaswami

Buddha speaks of struggle

Sri-Lanka-Buddha
“You throw thorns, falling in my silence they become flowers.”

“She who knows life flows, feels no wear or tear, needs no mending or repair.”

“The greatest prayer is patience.”

“Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again.”

“The trouble is, you think you have time.”

“The one who has conquered himself is a far greater hero than he who has defeated a thousand times a thousand men.”

“If you find no one to support you on the spiritual path, walk alone. There is no companionship with the immature.”

“There are no chains like hate…dwelling on your brother’s faults multiplies your own. You are far from the end of your journey.”

“The Way is not in the sky; the Way is in the heart.

“Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind.”

“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.”

“one moment can change a day, one day can change a life and one life can change the world”

Gautama Buddha

Buddha Speaks of Love, Anger & Joy

Gautama-Buddha“If you truly loved yourself, you could never hurt another.” 

“You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger.”

“Conquer the angry one by not getting angry; conquer the wicked by goodness; conquer the stingy by generosity, and the liar by speaking the truth.

“If we fail to look after others when they need help, who will look after us?”

“A man asked Gautama Buddha, “I want happiness.”
Buddha said, “First remove “I,” that’s Ego, then remove “want,” that’s Desire.
See now you are left with only “Happiness.”

“In separateness lies the world’s greatest misery; in compassion lies the world’s true strength.”

“a dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. a man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.”

“If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path. ”

“Speak the truth do not become angered and give when asked, even be it a little. By these three conditions one goes to the presence of the gods.”

“He is able who thinks he is able.”

“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship. ”

Gautama Buddha