Astral Insight

December 24, 2013

By Swami Sivananda

There are different regions for sentiments, emotions, instincts, impulses. There are highlands and lowlands in the mind. There is the spiritual plane, and there are the planes of the instinctive mind and the intellect.

On the one side the will steps in to execute a certain strong desire of the mind. The other faculties, such as memory and the power of judgement and reflection, stand behind, in a disciplined array, to help their master, the the will.

After the will has executed the order, imagination comes forward and speculates. Memory helps imagination. Then the three gunas (qualities of nature), the various modes, and the thirteen evil vrttis (lust, anger, etc.), show their faces in different colours. They come to the scene, do their work, and then retire for a rest.

Words colours. They come to the scene, do their work, and then retire for a rest. Words cannot describe how thrilling this scene is.

Develop this clairvoyant astral sight, through purification and concentration. Do not forget the inner ruler who is awake even when the mental factory is closed down temporarily.

Purify the mind. Practice concentration. Develop the power of the mind. Eventually you will merge with him.



If you can clairvoyantly visualise the inner working of this mental factory, you will see that it is like a big telephone exchange.the messages come from diverse houses and firms into the central exchange. The operator connects and disconnects the various switches. So too, the mind connects and disconnects.

When you want to see something, the mind puts a plug into the other four senses – centres of hearing, smelling, taste and feeling. When you want to hear something, the mind plugs into the other four centres.

The mind functions at an unimaginable speed. There are numberless entrances in the subconscious mind, where various sorts of things are recorded in perfect order. There they are classified, grouped, labelled with accurate precision.

One impression rises up as a thought-wave, and comes to the surface of the mind. It tickles the jiva – individual – into action.

You can also see various colours in thoughts – spiritual or holy thoughts are tinged with beautiful yellow colour. If there is thought of anger, dark red arrows shoot out from the mind. There is perfect order in the cosmos – the working is smooth and harmonious, because there is the antaryami (inner controller) behind it, directing and guiding.

In the mere presence of the inner ruler, the indwelling, interpenetrating presence, the mind and other inner faculties work without any friction.



December 24, 2013

A modern stoic knows that the surest way to discipline passion is to discipline time: decide what you want or ought to do during the day, then always do it at exactly the same moment every day, and passion will give you no trouble.

From Sandoirs

Managing the Mind

December 13, 2013

How can one actively defeat one’s own lower nature, and train the mind to be even and balanced? The point is very simple. Always maintain a positive attitude. As long as one maintains a positive attitude, and is happy and clear in one’s mind as far as one’s own aspirations and participation are concerned, one can easily manage the mind.

It goes without saying that the nature of mind is to create problems all the time. Problems are created by the mind because of two things only: firstly, one’s expectations and needs, and secondly, mismanagement of the mental behavior. A person’s expectations and needs become their personal areas of involvement, and then managing of the reactive mind in normal situations has to be the focus.

An example is a soldier who is fighting in a war. His priority in life is not to be victorious; rather it is to save himself from attacks. The aim and effort of a soldier is to ensure that he lives, and survives the war. In the process of surviving the war, he has to be very alert and aware. He has to recognize every sound and know which sound represents what. A bang in the distance can indicate an explosion, a firing of a bullet, or the firing of a cannon. The sound of a missile, which he can’t see but can hear, will indicate whether that missile is coming towards him or going in another direction.

The sound of a twig being broken as someone walks will indicate an enemy presence nearby. The sudden flight of birds from one region of the forest will indicate the presence of enemies in that area. In this manner, the soldier is trained to be aware of his environment in the most minute detail. He has to be aware of and know everything if he is to survive the war, and if he knows all the details of survival he can win the war. However, if he does not know the details of survival, and thinks, “I’m a soldier going to kill” and then walks in front of enemy soldiers, he will be shot. People can look at their own life in the same manner.

On the one hand people say that life is tamasic, restrictive, painful and confusing, yet on the other hand we all expect so much from our own life. There is a contradiction in life. There is no intellectual reasoning, logic or practice that can elevate one from this state, except one’s own understanding and effort to be happy, optimistic, and hopeful at all times, and to never allow any obstacle to become a problem, but only a hurdle to be overcome. ‘Pratipaksha Bhavana’, the cultivation of the opposite quality, is the answer.

– Swami Niranjanananda (Bihar School of Yoga)

Keep Quiet

December 13, 2013

Q: How am I to reach perfection?

M: Keep quiet. Do your work in the world, but inwardly keep quiet. Then all will come to you. Do not rely on your work for realisation. It may profit others, but not you. Your hope lies in keeping silent in your mind and quiet in your heart. Realised people are very quiet.

I AM THAT. Pg 297.


December 12, 2013

The Misconception: You should focus on the successful if you wish to become successful.

The Truth: When failure becomes invisible, the difference between failure and success may also become invisible.

Occult Powers

December 12, 2013

Devotee: Does Bhagavan use occult powers to make others realize the Self or is the mere fact of Bhagavan’s realisation enough for that?…….

Bhagavan: The spiritual force of realisation is far more powerful than the use of ALL occult powers. Inasmuch as there is no ego in the sage there are no ‘others’ for him.

What is the highest benefit that can be conferred on you? It is happiness, and happiness is born ofpeace. Peace can reign only where there is no disturbance, and disturbance is due to thoughts that arise in the mind. When the mind is itself absent, there will be perfect peace.

Unless a person has annihilated the mind, he cannot gain peace and be happy. And unless he himself is happy, he cannot bestow happiness on ‘others’. Since however there are no ‘others’ for the sage, who has no mind, the mere fact of His self-realisation is itself enough to make the ‘others’ happy too.

No powers can extend into self-realisation, so how can they extend beyond it? People who desire powers are not content with their idea of pure consciousness. They are inclined to neglect the supreme happiness of realisation for the sake of powers.

In search of these they follow by-lanes instead of the highroad and so risk losing their way. In order to guide them aright and keep them on the highroad, they are told that powers accompany realisation. In fact realisation comprises EVERYTHING and the realised man will not waste a thought on powers. Let people get first realisation and then seek powers if they still want to…

The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi. Edited by Arthur Osbourne. 


December 8, 2013

Every thought has an image, form, dimension, weight, colour, etc. Thought is as much matter as a piece of stone. A table is a mental image plus some external something. Whatever you see outside has a counterpart in the mind. The pupil is a small round thing in the eye, and the retina is another small structure in the eye. How is it that the image of a big mountain, seen through that small aperture, is cast onto the mind? How does the big form of the mountain enter a tiny hole in the eye? This is a marvel of marvels.

The image of the mountain already exists in the mind. The mind is like a big, vast sheet of canvas cloth that contains all the pictures of the objects seen outside. Thought moves and passes from one man to another. Thought readily influences people. A man with strong thoughts can readily influence people with weak thought. Telepathy is a branch of occult science wherein the yogi can transmit messages to any man in any part of the world.

A thought of anger or hatred sends arrows from the mental factory towards the person aimed at. It harms the individual, sets up discord and disharmony in the thought world, and comes back again to the sender and harms him also. If one can understand the effect and power of thought, he will be more careful in the manufacture of his thoughts in his mental laboratory.
swami sivananda

Just as fire has got the property of burning, so also the names of the Lord have got the property of burning the sins and the old vicious sanskaras.

– Swami Sivananda

Go through life – love all, be friendly to all, make use of things, but be detached within; do your duty, fulfill your obligations, behave normally, but be detached within. Be super-normal within. It may be a secret between you and God. It is not necessary that others know, but all throughout your waking state, in the midst of vyavahara, this awareness should be there: “I am in God, God is within me; God is within all”.

– Swami Chidananda

First Things First

December 7, 2013

Religion cannot be forced upon gnawing stomachs and naked backs for the guy with toothache will only ask, “In the name of that Infinite Almighty of yours, please tell me how to stop my toothache first”.

– Swami Chidananda


December 5, 2013

Questions from Mercedes de Acosta

Question: Is reincarnation a fact?
Bhagavan: You are incarnated now, aren’t you? Then you will be so again. But as the body is illusion then the illusion will repeat itself and keep on repeating itself until you find the real Self.
Question: What is death and what is birth?
Bhagavan: Only the body has death and birth, and it (the body) is illusion. There is, in Reality, neither birth nor death.
Question: How much time may elapse between death and rebirth?
Bhagavan: Perhaps one is reborn within a year, three years or thousands of years. Who can say? Anyway what is time? Time does not exist.
Question: Why have we no memory of past lives?
Bhagavan: Memory is a faculty of the mind and part of the illusion. Why do you want to remember other lives that are also illusions? If you abide within the Self, there is no past or future and not even a present since the Self is out of time – timeless.
Question: Are the world, the mind, ego and the body all the same thing?
Bhagavan: Yes. They are one and the same thing. The mind and the ego are one thing, but there is no word to explain this. You see, the world cannot exist without the mind, the mind cannot exist without what we call the ego (itself, really) and the ego cannot exist without a body.
Question: Then when we leave this body, that is when the ego leaves it, will it (the ego) immediately grasp another body?
Bhagavan: Oh, yes, it must. It cannot exist without a body.
Question: What sort of a body will it grasp then?
Bhagavan: Either a physical body or a subtle-mental body.
Question: Do you call this present physical body the gross body?
Bhagavan: Only to distinguish it – to set it apart in conversation. It is really a subtle-mental body also.
Question: What causes us to be reborn?
Bhagavan: Desires. Your unfulfilled desires bring you back. And in each case – in each body – as your desires are fulfilled, you create new ones. You must conquer desire to be absorbed into the One and thus end rebirth.
Question: Can sex change in rebirth?
Bhagavan: Oh, surely. We have all been both sexes many times.
Question: Is it possible to sin?
Bhagavan: Having a body, which creates illusion, is the only sin, and the body is our only hell. But it is right that we observe moral laws. The discussion of sin is too difficult for a few lines.
Question: Does one who has realized the Self lose the sense of ‘I’?
Bhagavan: Absolutely.
Question: Then to you there is no difference between yourself and myself, that man over there, my servant – are all the same?
Bhagavan: All are the same, including those monkeys.
Question: But the monkeys are not people. Are they not different?
Bhagavan: They are exactly the same as people. All creatures are the same in One Consciousness.
Question: Do we lose our individuality when we merge into the Self?
Bhagavan: There is no individuality in the Self. The Self is One – Supreme.
Question: Then individuality and identity are lost?
Bhagavan: You don’t retain them in deep sleep, do you?
Question: But we retain them from one birth to another, don’t we?
Bhagavan: Oh, yes. The ‘I’ thought (the ego) will recur again, only each time you identify with it a different body and different surroundings around the body. The effects of past acts (karma) will continue to control the new body just as they did the old one. It is karma that has given you this particular body and placed it in a particular family, race, sex, surroundings and so forth.
Bhagavan added, “These questions are good, but tell de Acosta (he always called me de Acosta) she must not become too intellectual about these things. It is better just to meditate and have no thought. Let the mind rest quietly on the Self in the cave of the Spiritual Heart. Soon this will become natural and then there will be no need for questions. Do not imagine that this means being inactive. Silence is the only real activity.” Then Guy added, “Bhagavan says to tell you that he sends you his blessings.”
This message greatly comforted me.


December 4, 2013

Viveka said: When I rise, anger dies.

The function of revelation begins when that of reason leaves off.

– Swami Sivananda