|Newsletter - February 2012|
Alan Wiuker (Krishna)
Elaine Valdov, Nirmala, Satyadev
Catherine Gilies (Kumari), Rene Engels
Kam Thye Chow, Mariana Mosca (Mirabai)
Dear Yogis and Yoginis,
Om Namah Sivaya! We hope the first month of the New Year has graced you and your loved ones with peace, health and happiness. We have an array of special programs and courses approaching, presented by a diverse range of renowned spiritual teachers, healers and musicians. Visiting us soon are Krishna Das, Zacciah Blackburn, Edwin Bryant, Jeffery Armstrong and G.S. Sachdev! We also look forward to Maha Sivaratri, one of the most sacred nights on the yogic calendar. We hope you can join us for these upcoming events! Om Shanti.
View a video of Swami Swaroopananda discussing the nature of true religion, war and the cultivation of faith
Be Careful What You Think
Can one's negative wishes toward another really cause actual harm to that person, even a fleeting thought?
Answer: Yes, absolutely. Swami Sivananda said that every karma, or action, starts with a thought and that every action must give a result according to the law of cause and effect. Therefore, Swami Sivananda spoke about the power of thinking — not just the power of talking, not just the power of action, but the power of thinking.
He said that every thought has four effects. First, a negative thought harms the person who thinks it, which also has been demonstrated to a large degree within Western science. Then it harms the person toward whom the thought is directed. So if I hate someone, I actually harm him by the thought. Then, Swami Sivananda said, it pollutes the psychic atmosphere. For example, if you come to a place where people meditate and pray, you will feel one thing, and if you come to a place where people fight, even if no one is in that place, you will feel something else. Imagine that five minutes ago, everyone was fighting here in this temple and then they all left. Then you come here and try to meditate. I assure you that you will see some disturbances in your meditation because the psychic atmosphere is polluted. Lastly, Swami Sivananda said that the effect of the thought returns to the person who originated the thought. It comes back to us, but it doesn't come back to us with a ratio of one to one.
The law of karma explains that effects multiply. It's like sowing a seed. From that seed will come a plant, and that plant is going to produce many seeds, not just one seed. And from these many seeds, many other plants will grow. So from this one seed, many many many plants will grow, which will affect many many many people, animals and other beings in many ways. In the same manner, one thought does not produce one effect. One thought produces many effects, and these effects will come back, in the form of a result, to the person who thought that particular thought. This is what the yogis say about it. When you think negatively about a person, you definitely hurt yourself, you hurt the person, you pollute the psychic atmosphere, and you also are going to hurt yourself in the future because of the result of this thought.
How does Darwinism fit in with Vedanta?
Answer: Darwin was a sincere person, and a very religious person, by the way. He went to the Galapagos Islands, and he uncovered certain things that created a conflict within him between the religion that was taught to him and what he discovered. READ MORE
I've been practicing yoga my whole life. I just found out that my mom was practicing Sivananda Yoga when she was pregnant with me, so I was doing yoga before I was born. This is my First Yoga Teacher Training Course, and after 3 weeks I am really excited. I found out about the course on Google, and it was my step-daughter's lifelong dream to come to the Bahamas, so I brought them with me. It has been the most wonderful thing ever. I'm from Canada, where it's pretty cold. It's the middle of January, and it feels like summer here! I'd say the most rewarding part of the course has been finding that other people think like me and share similar views about their purposes in life. I feel so fortunate to be able to be here in paradise and to discover that the direction I'm taking life has so much value to others as well.
Quote of the Month
To raise the fallen, to lead the blind, to share what I have with others, to bring solace to the afflicted...to cheer up the suffering are my ideals. To have perfect faith in God, to love my neighbors as my own Self, to love God with all my heart and soul, to protect cows, animals, women and children are my aims. My watch word is Love. My goal is Sahaja Samadhi Avastha or the natural, continuous, super conscious state.
This month, we were graced with the presence of so many talented musicians from around the world who shared a variety of spiritual harmonies. Together, we celebrated the bliss of music with performers from various traditions and countries, including Jewish Sephardic, Indian classical, Persian Sufi, Caribbean and local Bahamian gospel. All brought joy and excitement to our hearts! "Singing God's name with feeling, love, and faith is the easiest method for attaining God consciousness." (Swami Sivananda, Bliss Divine)Click for a video of Musicians of many faiths performing Sacred music at Sivanada Ashram Yoga Retreat.