Sivananda Daily Reading - 16 February
Birth and Death
Birth and death, bondage and freedom, pleasure and pain, gain and loss - all are mental creations. Transcend the pairs of opposites. You were never born, you will never die. Thou art the immortal Self always, O Prem. Thou art ever free from the three periods of time. It is the physical body that goes and comes. The Self is all-full, all-pervading, infinite and partless.
Recognise, O Prem, that you are the living truth. Realise that you are always inseparable from the one essence that is the substratum of all these illusory names and forms. Get yourself firmly established in Brahman. Nothing can disturb you now. You have become invulnerable. Feel this through intuition when you enter into deep samadhi (the supreme silence), my child.
The god of death will tremble before you now. By your command the sun shines, the fire burns and the wind blows. Thou art beyond time, space and causation. Just as the clouds hide the sun, so also the darkness of ignorance, the clouds of the vasanas (mental conditioning) and egoism, are hiding the jnana surya (sun of wisdom) that is ever shining in the chambers of your heart.
Through meditation and attainment of self-knowledge (atma jnana) you will dispel the dark clouds of ignorance. Now you will shine in Brahmic splendour and glory. Proclaim this truth everywhere.
You must not be afraid of maya (illusion) now. She is under your perfect control. Stand firm like yonder rock. Be adamantine. Now move about in the world like a lion. Now go and lift up the young struggling souls out of the mire of samsara (worldly life).
Disseminate knowledge of the self. Love all. Be kind to all. Expand thy heart. Have space in thy heart for all, even for the man who is trying to poison you.
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Do not come under the influence of sudden impulses. Do not be carried away by the force of emotions, no matter how noble they may be. Be ever vigilant. Be ever diligent. Be not troubled. Be not anxious. Be not idle. Wait coolly. You are bound to succeed. Develop courage by feeling you are the Atman. Deny the "I am the body" idea. Practise meditation. All difficulties will come to an end. You will enjoy unalloyed bliss.
Sivananda Daily Reading - 17 February
Life and Death
Death is only a process by which life is continued. Death is not annihilation of the self. Hence do not be afraid of death. Death is for the better; it is a blessing. Therefore grieve not. Life is impossible without death. Death is just another aspect of life. Until the proper time comes, one's death does not take place, however serious the disease or accident may seem. When the right time comes, then one can die by the edge of a straw!
Life is a lightning flash of breath. Time is but a thunder clap of death. The doctrine of reincarnation is indeed a great solace to humanity in so far as it shows a way out from eternal damnation in hell.
When the lust for life ceases, no further rebirth will take place. One power works through all hands, sees through all eyes and hears through all ears. All humanity is one in substance. The same flesh and the same blood form the body of an American, an Englishman, an African and an Indian. The instincts and longings are common to all creatures. This indicates the oneness of all forms of life.
Experiments have revealed life in stone, in wood and in minerals. They have established the unity of consciousness or the unity of all life. Prana (energy) is the driving power of the world. Force is energy. Spiritual force is the saving power. It is the greatest of all forces. It can control all physical and mental forces.
Physical science is objective and hence cannot lead to absolute truth. There is a soul behind mind and nature and will. Soul is the divine essence. The conception of the unity of God is the pivot around which all other doctrines revolve. No religion, no nation, no scheme or reform, nor plan for the future of the world, will endure if it is not based on genuine faith in God. We all belong to one and the same family, to one and the same house, that of the Supreme Lord - the creator, the nourisher and the sustainer.
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When you look at a tree or a shrub, a Sikh or a Muslim, endeavour to behold, behind the veil of form, the real hidden consciousness. If you do this for some time, you will feel inexpressible joy. All hatred will cease. You will develop cosmic love, or unity of consciousness. This will be a magnanimous experience.