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Swami SivanandaSwami Vishnu

Sivananda Bahamas Blog

Expand Your Horizons …

Inspiration and ideas on yoga philosophy, practice, and lifestyle. Enjoy, tell others, and return often.
 

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We had a wonderful Family Spring program at the ashram! What a blessing to have children here. ... See MoreSee Less

2 days ago

Neelkanth-Papaji Karoona, Alessia Certo and 23 others like this

Sam Mik'ElI'm interested in coming down there to receive training but I have no way for my 7yr old to remain here in the States for the month or 2 that I would be there. Would love to know what options there might be for us. She needs yoga & loves Bhakti! Could someone message me? Thank you for your work!2 days ago

Giuliana CassataroHoping to bring my children there too one day. Special place!!1   ·  1 day ago

Caroline TasonWhat a shame it wasn't over Easter when most of the schools are on vacation. Indra would have loved the kids vacation programme. Can the family spring programme be over Easter 2016 Or just after?1 day ago

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Seated Forward Bend #YogaPose
#Paschimottanasana
Some Benefits of this pose:
Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
Stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings

Have you meditated in this pose?
... See MoreSee Less

4 days ago

Phil Brown, Edward Joaquin and 23 others like this

Saraswati Sylvie BoisclairYes 😊1   ·  4 days ago

Carol CaseyIt's a goal.3 days ago

António Manuel MeyrellesI wish I could make the pose!3 days ago

Teresa ZarembaWłaśnie miesiąc temu stamtąd wróciłam, wspaniałe miejsce do odkrycia Siebie, polecam3 days ago

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A mountain is composed of tiny grains of earth. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water. Even so, life is but an endless series of little details, actions, speeches, and thoughts. And the consequences whether good or bad of even the least of them are far-reaching.

Swami Sivananda
#EarthDay
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6 days ago

Dani Justice, Chancey Gardner and 19 others like this

Stacy Kamala WaltmanAwesome!5 days ago

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Swami Swaroopananda Q&A | sivanandabahamas.org

Dispassion Does Not Mean Indifference

Question: If one successfully attains vairagya, or dispassion, why would one do anything beyond one’s immediate responsibilities and duties? For example, why did Swami Vishnudevananda feel such a strong need to promote world peace, if he had attained vairagya?

Answer: In the yogic scriptures, vairagya, or dispassion, is described as acting without desire for the fruits of the action. Let’s say, for example, that you are feeding hungry people, that you are feeding a million hungry people a day. Someone might ask, why do you do this? What do you get out of it? When this question came up during a talk yesterday, one person spoke about a smiling child. She said that seeing a smile on the face of a distressed child is a great reward for helping.

But we have to ask the question, “Did you help the child for the smile?” Is that really the reason you helped? I don’t think the person helping the child thought, “I’m helping the child so I can get a smile.” Let’s assume you helped the child, but you didn’t see the smile, or that you helped the child, but didn’t see any direct results at all. Now let’s suppose someone again asks, why do you do what you do? Your answer will be, I do what I do because I care for the child, because I love the child. Then the person might ask, but what do you want for yourself? The answer is, if you really love, if you really care, ultimately you don’t want anything for yourself. All you want is for the other, not for yourself.

Many of our desires relate to the question, “What can I get for myself?” We want happiness or knowledge or power or name and fame. “I have to get something for myself. If I get something for myself, I’ll be happy.” But there is another way to look at it, like this: “I do a lot of good in this world. I act. But whatever I do, it’s never for myself.” If whatever I do is never for myself, at that very moment I am free. That freedom is called vairagya, or detachment. I am free of desire that has as its motive an egotistic reason. I am free from selfish desires, and that is vairagya. Vairagya means that I act, but not because of selfish desires. I only act out of love, out of care. I don’t want anything for myself. Nothing. Not even a thank you. The joy is in serving, in loving.
When we study the Narada Bhakti Sutras, we learn in the very beginning that bhakti, or devotion, is its own fruit. It says, “‘Bhakti is its own fruit’ thus opines Brahma Kumara, Narada, the son of Brahma.” In other words, if you have love, if you care for others, what more do you want? What reward do you desire? Really, vairagya is nothing but love. Mother Theresa was asked, “What is service?” She answered, “Service is love in action.” If love is there, all of your desires are fulfilled, immediately. Keeping this in mind, ask yourself which you prefer, love, or money?

Audience mumbles

Yes, because money cannot buy love. This is the point. If you have love, you have everything. Or you can have all the money in the world and die a beggar. When a person dies, do you think he thinks, “Oh, it was such a wonderful life. I had so much money”?  Imagine instead that with your last breath, you think, “It was such a wonderful life, there was so much love.” Let’s say that at the moment of your death, you see the faces of all the people you helped. What more reward do you want? Vairagya means that you don’t do it for any reward, because the service itself is its own reward. Love itself is its own reward.

In response to the question, you can see that dispassion or non-attachment is not indifference. It is precisely because someone has vairagya that all of that person’s life will be a sacrifice for others, nothing but giving and loving in an embrace of all of humanity.

http://www.sivanandabahamas.org/wp-content/uploads/Swamiji_b.jpg

Swami Swaroopananda is a senior disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda. A practicing yogi from a very young age, Swami Swaroopananda has dedicated his life to the practice and teaching of yoga. He taught in Yoga Teacher Training Courses around the world and is currently teaching advanced yoga philosophy courses and lectures internationally. He is Director of the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat and acharya (spiritual director) for the Sivananda centers and ashrams in the Bahamas and the Middle East. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres.

Upcoming Courses

Special Event
May 17 — 21, 2015
Swami Swaroopananda, Stephen Kaplan, Daniel Drubach, Francisca Cho, and Michael L. Spezio
This 5-day symposium will open a conversation that engages the ideas of consciousness, self-consciousness, selflessness, and compassion.
 
Special Event
May 24 — 28, 2015
Swami Swaroopananda, Shayk Abdul Haqq Sazonoff, Rabbi Jonathan Kligler, Ed McGaa (Eagle Man), and Carrie Grossman (Dayashila)
Join us as leading teachers and practitioners explore the mighty power of prayer and lead you on the path of devotion.
 
Special Event
June 2 — 8, 2015
Swami Swaroopananda, Krishna Das, G.S. Sachdev, Swapan Chaudhuri, Atmarama Dasa, Swami Atmananda, and Master Ou Wen Wei
Join us for this special celebration of Swami Swaroopananda’s birthday, his 60th, an auspicious one in the Vedic tradition.
 
Yoga Vacation Program
June 3, 2015
Swami Swaroopananda
Ask anything you ever wanted to know about yoga practice and philosophy and the spiritual path
 
Special Event
December 21, 2015 — January 2, 2016
Swami Swaroopananda, Lama Surya Das, Brant Secunda, Shayk Abdul Haqq Sazonoff, Lama Migmar Tseten, Reverend Jane Vennard, Daniel Matt, Jan Booman Saeed, Snatam Kaur, Gaura Vani, and Krishnan Namboodiri
Experience the underlying unity in diversity at this gathering of spiritual leaders, mystics and musicians from the world’s major spiritual traditions.
 
Yoga Vacation Program
December 29, 2015
Swami Swaroopananda
Ask anything you ever wanted to know about yoga practice and philosophy and the spiritual path.