|Newsletter - August 2012|
August 20 - 23, 2012
August 24 - 26, 2012
August 27 - 30, 2012
August 31 - September 3, 2012
September 2 - 6, 2012
September 4 - 6, 2012
September 7 - 9, 2012
September 8, 2012
September 10 - 13, 2012
September 14 - 16, 2012
SAVE THE DATE
December 22, 2012 - January 3, 2013
Om Namah Sivaya!
Blessed Yogis & Yoginis,
When you arrive in Paradise, the feeling of tranquility and the beauty of nature surrounds you. Swami Sivananda says "The real spiritual progress of the aspirant is measured by the extent to which he achieves inner tranquility." Through practising yoga, we can come back to our true nature; that of peace, love and stillness. We invite you to achieve inner tranquility this summer with one of our many body-mind-spirit courses. Transcend Depression and Anxiety, Reach Lasting Happiness, Open the Spiritual Heart Through Chanting, Meditation Theory & Practice and The Joy of Vegetarian Cooking are just some of the courses offered during the month of August. We welcome you home to the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat Bahamas.
Om Shanti. Om Peace.
On Forgetting Past Lives, and the Yogic View of ETs
Why do we not recall other lives?
Answer: The fact that we don't remember past lives is actually a blessing, because remembering them could create many complications. Often, for instance, we are reborn again and again to learn about relationships. The law of karma is such that your tormenter in a past life, someone who brought you a lot of pain, who tortured you, may in this life be someone who has to take care of you. There may be a relationship of child and mother in which the mother was the tormenter of the child in a past life, and the child was the victim, and now that mother karmically has to take care of the one she tormented. Because the mother does not remember the past life, she loves the child and takes care of the child. Because the child does not remember the past life, he or she does not try to take revenge on the mother. Imagine the kind of trouble that would arise if they remembered, which actually does happen occasionally.
Forgetting also gives us a fresh opportunity to start again. One of the reasons we cannot change our life is because of memory. We always have grievances, and we always remember "what she did to me" or "what he did to me" or "what they did to me." Because of memory we cannot forgive, we cannot start anew, we cannot correct mistakes and so on. Sometimes memory is a problem. By not remembering past lives, we have a chance to learn again, to re-establish relationships and learn what we did not learn in the past. It gives us another chance. If we have to remember, we will remember. But otherwise, not remembering is a blessing.
What does yoga say about life on other planets? What would be the impact of space aliens coming to Earth?
Answer: Since time immemorial, yogis have said that this whole universe is full of life, that there is life everywhere. The ancient scriptures of yoga describe spaceships and visitors -- not just from other planets but from the other 14 dimensions described by yogis. There are many universes and many planets with so-called aliens, who are really just our brothers and sisters who may look a little different from us. That's all. Nonhuman visitors have come to this planet in the past, and according to the yogic scriptures they will always visit. If you go to India and speak to Hindu yogis about extraterrestrials, they won't understand why it is such a big deal because they have known about it since time immemorial. In fact, they will tell you that we are extraterrestrials, that we have not always incarnated on Planet Earth. If someone conducts a past-life regression, and if you go back enough lives, you will see that some of those incarnations were not here at all. In reality, all of us are aliens.
The Divine Self is one; it is all-pervading, it is everywhere. Just look at Planet Earth which has so many types of beings, so many animals, so many insects. The diversity of life is immense, so why should it be so difficult to understand that in this vast universe, there are an innumerable number of life forms? Stephen Hawking, the British theoretical physicist and author, says he firmly believes that life in the universe is everywhere. He says that if it is not so, he would be extremely surprised, that it has to be so. Yogis have accepted extraterrestrial life for millennia and millennia. They look at it as natural. For example, you have people coming to the United States from another country and it's considered normal. Why should it be so difficult to accept the idea that there are extraterrestrial visitors? If you have never seen a spaceship or an extraterrestrial, you have a good chance to see one sometime. It is nothing extraordinary.
Swami Swaroopananda is the Acharya (spiritual director) of Sivananda Yoga Centers and Ashrams on the West Coast of the United States, in the Middle East, and in the Bahamas, and is one of the foremost disciples of Swami Vishnudevananda. This article is from one of his spontaneous question and answer sessions, which he frequently offers at Sivananda centers and ashrams all over the world.
SIVANANDA DAILY READING FOR 14 JULY
My purpose is achieved. The entire circle of birth and death is over. I have realised the perfect bliss of the Atman. I have known myself to be Brahman. I am free. I am perfect. I am independent. I enjoy bliss. I enjoy the bliss of the immortal soul.
I am brimful of perennial joy. A self effulgent light burns in my heart. I have broken all illusory relationships. Now there is no husband, no wife. Now there is no cousin and no grandfather. It is all one homogeneous essence of bliss only. Now my task is complete.
I am free from doubt. I am free from delusion. Why should I study the scriptures? I rest in my own essential nature. Now, where is the necessity for meditation? I act like any other human being. I bathe, I sleep, I sing, I answer the calls of nature, I work, I write, I walk, I eat and I talk. And yet, I do not perform any action at all.
I am the witness of all these processes. I am identical with Brahman. These acts are not obstructions to me. All these dealings are perfectly harmless. I am not susceptible to viksepa (the disturbance of the equilibrium of the mind).
Where is the necessity for samadhi for me? Viksepa and samadhi are functions of the mind only. I have obliterated the mind. I am continuously experiencing the satisfaction which results from samadhi.
Let people have any opinion of me. Let them glorify me. Let them vilify me. It matters little. "Sivoham. Sivoham. Sivoham. Sivah Kevaloham".
I have risen above ignorance. I have risen above my knowledge of this seeming universe. It is not only escape from misery and grief. I enjoy the joy eternal, the joy unspeakable, the joy supreme, the joy unbounded.
What is this joy that I feel? Who shall measure it? I know nothing but joy limitless and unbounded.
The Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training Course (TTC)
This inspiring video describes the history of TTC and the personal transformation that empowers graduates to become peaceful, self-controlled leaders and citizens of the world.