Discovery of India



The Western student is apt to be somewhat confused in his ideas regarding the Yogis and their philosophy and practice. Travelers to India have written great tales about the hordes of fakirs, mendicants and mountebanks who infest the great roads of India and the streets of its cities, and who impudently claim the title “Yogi.” The Western student is scarcely to be blamed for thinking of the typical Yogi as an emaciated, fanatical, dirty, ignorant Hindu, who either sits in a fixed posture until his body becomes ossified, or else holds his arm up in the air until it becomes stiff and withered and forever after remains in that position, or perhaps clenches his fist and holds it tight until his fingernails grow through the palms of his hands.

That these people exist is true, but their claim to the title “Yogi” seems as absurd to the true Yogi as does the claim to the title “Doctor” on the part of the man who pares one’s corns seem to the eminent surgeon, or as does the title of “Professor,” as assumed by the street corner vendor of worm medicine, seem to the President of Harvard or Yale. There have been for ages past in India and other Oriental countries men who devoted their time and attention to the development of Man, physically, mentally and spiritually. The experience of generations of earnest seekers has been handed down for centuries from teacher to pupil, and gradually a definite Yogi science was built up. To these investigations and teachings was finally applied the term “Yogi,” from the Sanscrit word “Yug,” meaning “to join.” From the same source comes the English word “yoke,” with a similar meaning.

Its use in connection with these teachings is difficult to trace, different authorities giving different explanations, but probably the most ingenious is that which holds that it is intended as the Hindu equivalent for the idea conveyed by the English phrase, “getting into harness,” or “yoking up,” as the Yogi undoubtedly “gets into harness” in his work of controlling the body and mind by the Will. Yoga is divided into several branches, ranging from that which teaches the control of the body, to that which teaches the attainment of the highest spiritual development. In the work we will not go into the higher phases of the subject, except when the “Science of Breath” touches upon the same. The “Science of Breath” touches Yoga at many points, and although chiefly concerned with the development and control of the physical, has also its psychic side, and even enters the field of spiritual development. In India there are great schools of Yoga, comprising thousands of the leading minds of that great country. The Yoga philosophy is the rule of life for many people.

The pure Yogi teachings, however, are given only to the few, the masses being satisfied with the crumbs which fall from the tables of the educated classes, the Oriental custom in this respect being opposed to that of the Western world. But Western ideas are beginning to have their effect even in the Orient, and teachings which were once given only to the few are now freely offered to any who are ready to receive them. The East and the West are growing closer together, and both are profiting by the close contact, each influencing the other. The Hindu Yogis have always paid great attention to the Science of Breath, for reasons which will be apparent to the student who reads this book. Many Western writers have touched upon this phase of the Yogi teachings, but we believe that it has been reserved for the writer of this work to give to the Western student, in concise form and simple language, the underlying principles of the Yogi Science of Breath, together with many of the favorite Yogi breathing exercises and methods. We have given the Western idea as well as the Oriental, showing how one dovetails into the other.

We have used the ordinary English terms, almost entirely, avoiding the Sanscrit terms, so confusing to the average Western reader. The first part of the book is devoted to the physical phase of the Science of Breath; then the psychic and mental sides are considered, and finally the spiritual side is touched upon. We may be pardoned if we express ourselves as pleased with our success in condensing so much Yogi lore into so few pages, and by the use of words and terms which may be understood by anyone. Our only fear is that its very simplicity may cause some to pass it by as unworthy of attention, while they pass on their way searching for something “deep,” mysterious and non-understandable. However, the Western mind is eminently practical, and we know that it is only a question of a short time before it will recognize the practicability of this work. We greet our students, with our most profound salaam, and bid them be seated for their first lessons in the Yogi Science of Breath.

From : THE HINDU-YOGI Science of Breath


If Pramana, Viparyaya, Vikalpa, Nidra and Smriti may be called the painless functions of the Antahkarana, which are studied in general psychology, the other functions, viz. Avidya, Asmita, Raga, Dvesha and Abhinivesa may be regarded as the painful ones, because it is these that cause the unhappiness of all beings, and these form the contents of abnormal psychology.

The painful functions create pain not only to oneself but to others as well, because we have a tendency to transfer our pain to others. A personal affair becomes a social problem and the personal ego becomes a social assertiveness. One’s likes and dislikes may seriously affect others in society. The Yoga psychology takes this fact into consideration. Hence, before contemplating any method to frees the mind from its painful functions, it has first to be weaned from society and brought back home from its meanderings

The Divine Life Society, Sivananda Ashram, India
outside. Like a thief who is first arrested and then suitably dealt with, the mind has to be made to turn away from the tangle of the external world, and then analyzed thoroughly. Social suffering is the impact of these psychological complexities mutually set up by the different individuals through various kinds of interaction.

Social tension is the collision produced by individualistic psychological entanglements. This is the reason for everyone’s unhappiness in the world. No one is prepared to sacrifice one’s ego, but everyone demands the sacrifice of the egos of others. Yoga has a recipe for this malady of man in general, for this internal illness of humanity. It asks us to bring the mind back to its source of activity, and if all persons are to do this, it would serve as a remedy for social illness, also. Thus, though Yoga is primarily concerned with the individual, it offers a solution for all social tensions and questions.

Yoga alone can bring peace to the world, for it dives into the depths of man. Yoga is, therefore, a means not only to personal salvation but also to social solidarity. The mind is to be brought to its source. Unfortunately, we cannot know where the mind is unless it starts working, like the thief whose presence is known from his activities. The outer problems are manifestations of the inner fivefold complexity. Ignorance is the first cause. But it is a negative cause when one is merely ignorant or stupid. Man does not stop with this acceptance.

He wants to demonstrate his ignorance, and here is the root of all trouble. Affirmation of egoism is the first demonstration. When one wants others to yield to the demands of one’s ego which goes counter to the egos of others, there is clash of personalities and interests, and this circumstance breeds unhappiness in family, in society, and in the world. Yoga makes an analysis of this situation. Avidya affirming itself as Ahamkara and clashing with others produces the context of Himsa or injury. As Himsa is an evil which begets social grief of different types, Ahimsa or non-injury is a virtue. Ahimsa is akin to the Christian ethics which teaches us to ‘resist not evil.’ If even a single ego would withdraw itself, the friction in society would be less in intensity to that extent.

Himsa is born of Asmita, Raga and Dvesha, and hence Ahimsa is a moral canon. Ahimsa, or the practice of non-violence, is not merely a rule of action but also of thought and feeling. One should not even think harm of any kind. To contemplate evil is as bad as committing it in action. Contemplation is not only a preparation for activity but is the seed of the latter. ‘May there be friendliness instead of enmity, love instead of hate,’ is the motto of Yoga. By love we attract things and by hatred we repel them. Love attracts love, and hatred attracts hatred.

vision, love without attachment (Raga) or hatred (Dvesha). Ahimsa has always been regarded as the king of virtues and every other canon of morality is judged with reference to this supreme norm of character and conduct. The ego tries to work out its likes and dislikes by various methods, one of them being the uttering of falsehood in order to escape opposition from others.

The insinuating of falsehood in society is regarded as a vice. Satya or truthfulness is another virtue. Truthfulness mitigates egoism to some extent. Dishonesty is an affirmation of the ego to succeed in its ways in the world for its own good, though it may mean another’s harm. Truthfulness is correspondence to fact. Yoga stresses the importance of the practice of truth in human life. There are dilemmas in which we are placed when we find ourselves often in a difficult situation. Sometimes truthfulness may appear to lead one to trouble and one might be tempted to utter falsehood.

From The Yoga System

Scriptures give many answers to our questions on the issue. Truth that harms is considered equal to untruth. We have to see the consequence of our conduct and behaviour before we can decide whether it is virtuous or not. But, then, are we to utter untruth? A most outstanding instance on the point is narrated in the Mahabharata.



Procedure : In the first position of Surya Namaskara contemplate the virtues of Lord Surya with concentrated mind and feel that you are the friend of everybody and have friendship with every creature on the earth. Immersing yourself with these feelings stand erect stretching your hand, neck and all other parts of your body. Stretching both of your arms, touch your thighs with palms and inflate the chest and point your vision on the tip of the point your vision on the tip of the nose. This is a position of attention. Since you stand straight in 'Daksha' position hence this posture is named 'DAKSHASANA'.

a. Disorders of the skin and waists are corrected, the back becomes strength and new life and vigor are pumped into the legs. b. Focusing of the vision on nose helps to control the mind. c. The face becomes glorious d. It is an easy and effective way of attaining good health and development of personality for the students. e. Meditating with concentrated mind enhances confidence.


Procedure : Fold together both of your hands in such a way that that both the thumbs begin to touch your chest. Expand your chest and pull in the belly as far as possible. Look straight ahead. The head, the neck and the body should remain in a straight line. Closing the mouth inhale the breath and hold it inside as far as possible and then expose the breath.
Disease of the throat is corrected and voice is enhanced. Both mind and body become healthy.

Procedure: Raising the arms up, stretch whole of your body backward while gazing the sky with open eyes. Ben backward as mush as possible, expand your chest at the same time.
Both the shoulders and the food pipe (Esophagus) get exercise and diseases related to them are corrected. Eyesight is also improved.

Procedure: Inhaling the breath through nostrils retain it and bend forward without folding the knees. Ultimately rest both of your palms on the ground and touch your knees with your forehead or the nose and exhale the breath that you held so far with audible sound. If, in the beginning you are unable to rest your palms on the unable to rest your palms on the ground, simply touch the ground with finger and practice slowly.
a. Disorders of the belly and digestive system are corrected. The chest grows strong, hands too become stronger and your become well balanced, beautiful and good looking. b. Diseases of the feet, fingers are also corrected and new lease of life is pumped in week persons.

Procedure: Inhale the breath through nostrils and pull your right leg
backward in such a way that the knee and the fingers of the foot touch the
ground. Push forward your left leg pressing the abdomen (belly) hard. Then
raising your head as high as possible, look upward. Push down the waist and
hold the breath and stay in the osture as long as you can.
a. The posture stresses the small intestine as well as the seminal vesicles and these
are stretched. Thus this posture helps in correcting the constipation and diseases
of the liver.
b. Thinness of the semen is also corrected.
c. Diseases of the Throat are also corrected.

Procedure: Inhale the breath deeply and hold it and pull both of your legs
backward, so that the thumbs of the feet, ankles and knees touch each other.
Stabilizing the feet and keeping the head, waist, the back and the elbows in a
line bend forward and resting both the palms on the ground keep your body like a bow.
One get relief from the pains specially of arms, legs and the knees, Bulging waist is
trimmed and slimmed this posture is like a panacea for the abdominal disorders.

Procedure : Holding the breath, rest both of your knees on the ground. Touch
the ground with your chest and touch the lower part of the neck with chin. Also touch the
ground with the upper part of the forehead and the nose. Please note that the abdomen
should not touch the ground. It should be pulled in. Exhale the breath now, both the
hands (palms) must be kept on the sides of the chest (Fig.)
a. This posture makes the arms strong.
b. If ladies perform this Asana before getting pregnant, the breast fed babies could
be saved from the attacks of many diseases.


Yoga metaphysics holds that the body is not all, and even the five elements are not all. We do not see what is inside the body and also what is within the universe of five elements. A different set of senses would be necessary for knowing these larger secrets. Yoga finally leads us to this point.

When we go deep into the body we would confront its roots; so also in the case of the objects outside. When we set out on this adventure, we begin to converge slowly at a single centre, like the two sides of a triangle that taper at one point.

The so-called wide base of the world on which we move does not disclose the truth of ourselves or of objects. At this point of convergence of ourselves and of things, we need not look at objects, and here no senses are necessary, for, in this experience, there are neither selves nor things.

There is only one Reality, where the universal object and the universal subject become a unitary existence. Neither is that an experience of a subject nor an object, where is revealed a knowledge of the whole cosmos, at once, not through the senses, mind or intellect,-for there are no objects,-and there is only being that is consciousness.

Yoga is, therefore, spiritual, superphysical or supermaterial, because materiality is shed in its achievement, and consciousness reigns supreme. This is the highest object of Yoga, where the individual and the universe do not stand apart as two entities but come together in a fraternal embrace.

The purpose of the Yoga way of analysis is an overcoming of the limitations of both subjectivity and objectivity and a union of the deepest within us with the deepest in the cosmos.

From - The Yoga System by Swami Krishnananda


As all thoughts can be reduced to five types of internal function, all objects can be reduced to five Bhutas or elements. The five great elements are called Pancha-Maha-bhutas, and they are (1) Ether (Akasa), (2) Air (Vayu), (3) Fire (Agni), (4) Water (Apas) and (5) Earth (Prithivi).

The subtlety of these elements is in the ascending order of this arrangement, the succeeding one being grosser than the preceding. Also the preceding element is the cause of the succeeding, so that Ether may be regarded as containing all things in an unmanifested form. The elements constitute the whole physical cosmos. These are the real objects of the senses, and all the variety we see is made up of forms of these objects. Our sensations are the five objects. We sense through the Indriyas or sense-organs. With the sense of the ear we come in contact with Ether and hear sound which is a reverberation produced by Ether.

Touch is the property of Air, felt by us with the tactile sense. With the sense of the eyes we contact light which is the property of Fire. With the palate we taste things, which is the property of Water. With the nose we smell objects, and this is the property of Earth. There is the vast universe, and we know it with our senses. We live in a world of fivefold objects. The senses are incapable of knowing anything more than these element. The internal organ, as informed and influenced by the objects, deals with them in certain manners, and this is life.

While our psychological reactions constitute our personal life, the adjustment we make with others is our social life. The Yoga is primarily concerned with the personal life of man in relation to the universe, and not the social life, for, in the social environment, one’s real personality is rarely revealed.

Yoga is essentially a study of self by self, which initially looks like an individual affair, a process of Self-investigation (Atma-Vichara) and Self-realization (Atma-Sakshatkara). But this is not the whole truth. The Self envisaged here is a consciousness of gradual integration of reality, and it finally encompasses all experience and the whole universe in its being.

While the psychology of Yoga comprises the functions of the internal organ, and its physics is of the five great objects or Mahabhutas, the philosophy of Yoga transcends both these stages of study.

From - The Yoga System by Swami Krishnananda



Surya Namaskar is included in the regular routine of prayer and worship. Means it must be practiced regularly. Its greater importance has been described in the scriptures. As per the scriptures, a single day worship of the sun has virtues equivalent to the bestowal presentation of one lakh milk cows. Like worship, Surya Namaskaras too has their own significance. Surya Namaskara means prayer (Vandana) of Lord Surya.

Surya Vandana is short. Surya Namaskara is an ancient system of Indian exercise. Stand facing the east at dawn and peacefully chant the mantras to pray Lord Surya and offer red sandals, flowers, rice grains (Akshatas) with water of simply the water alone as ARGHE (libation) and perform Surya Namaskara.

This whole process must be performed before the sunrise. Take water in a metal pot and mix all the available veneration materials in it and hold the pot in your fingers alone keeping the thumbs aside and facing the east and chanting the following Mantra offer the libation thrice. EHI SURYA! SAHASTRANSHO! TEJORASHE! JAGATPATE ANUKAMPAYA MAM BHAKTYA GRIHANARGHYAM DIVAKARA ! Now recite the following Mantra to pray Lord Surya.


With all of these twelve positions, each and every part of the body gets ample execrsie. Surya Namaslara also enhances the vision. Among these twelve positions, ten are Asanas only. The first one and the last one are two positions. All these Asanas and position are very easy to perform and can easily

be practised by the people of all ages. Together these twelve positions constitute the process of Surya Namaskara and twenty-five Namaskaras form one Avriti (frequency). Surya Namaskar must be performed at some open and airy place. Perform Surya Namaskara slowly without feeling tired (fatigue) or panting and puffing, changing the feet every time, it must be performed on each of the feet successively. The completely procedure of performing Surya Namaskara is thus: It begins with the Mantras, one each for all the twelve Namaskara. These Mantras are as follows:


Basics Of Yoga

BASIS OF YOGA - Strive Ceaselessly Have self-confidence. Develop independent judgment. Cultivate the indomitable will. Practise self-control and self-mastery. Do not argue. Strive ceaselessly for Self-Realisation. Kill this little ego. Develop pure love. Rise above all distinction of caste, creed and colour. Give up the idea of “I-ness” and “mine-ness”. Look within for the happiness which you have sought in vain in sensual objects. Happiness Within One anna of pleasure is mixed with fifteen annas of pain. Pleasure that is mixed with pain and fear is no pleasure at all. If you begin to analyse this one anna of pleasure, you will find that it is no pleasure at all. It is mere play or delusion of the mind. Milk gives pleasure to some and pain to others. Milk brings on retching in fever. The third cup of milk induces vomiting. What is this? This is play of Maya.

This is Indra-Jala of Avidya-Shakti. The Indriyas and mind are deceiving you at every moment. Beware. Wake up. Open your eyes. Develop Viveka. If you suffer from cancer of the stomach, can you enjoy Rasagulla and sweets even though you are a multi-millionaire? The doctor will put you on a diet of pepper-water only. If your wife dies, you are drowned in sorrow. You cannot expect happiness from finite, perishable objects that are conditioned in time, space and causation. Nitya Nirupadhika, Niratisaya Ananda, eternal, independent, infinite bliss can only be had in the Atman that is hidden in your heart. Search, understand and realise Atman. Need For Adhyatmic Knowledge The secular knowledge that you get from Universities is mere husk only. It serves the purpose of earning the bread only. It cannot give you peace of mind and salvation. It thickens the veil of ignorance only. He who says, “I am specialist in Biology and various logies” is only a fool.

One Mantra, one Sloka of the Upanishads will blow up the knowledge that you derive from colleges. Study the first Mantra of Isa Upanishad: “Isavasyam idam sarvam—The whole world is indwelt by the Lord.” Rejoice in Atman by removing the names and forms. Do not be covetous. Imbibe the ideas of this Mantra. Practise. Feel the indwelling presence. Live in the spirit of the Mantra. You will become a King of kings, Emperor of emperors, the Sun of suns, the Light of lights. Do not be puffed up with your University degrees. Be humble. Destroy scientific atheism. Have faith in the teaching of Srutis.

Do Kirtan in a chorus with harmony and concord, with one Svara and one Tala. Sing Rama Nama from the bottom of your heart with Bhava. I will make you realise the infinite peace and bliss this very moment. 1 Importance Of Guru Guru-Bhakti is absolutely necessary. Guru-Seva with Atma-Lakshya will take you to God immediately. People generally complain: “We do not get good Gurus these days.” This is a lame excuse. You can take even the worst possible rogue as your Guru. You will have to change your angle of vision. When you look at a coconut made of sugar, you have a double consciousness. You know pretty well that it is not coconut. In your heart there is Bhava, it is sugar and sugar alone. Even though you see the world, it is really not. This is the Nischaya of the Vedantic student. It is the determination. Even so, the defects of the ‘rogue-Guru’ do not exist for the disciple who has taken him as his Guru with Bhakti. The aspirant should deify and superimpose all the attributes of the Lord on the ‘rogue-Guru’. You should never look into the defects of the Guru.

You must deify the Guru. Guru, Ishvar, Brahman, Om, Truth are all one. You must strictly obey and carry out his orders. You must think that underneath the name and form of the Guru, there is the all-pervading pure consciousness. In course of time the physical form will vanish and you will realise your own self, the pure Brahmic consciousness that lies at the back of the physical form of your Guru. When once you have taken a man as your Guru, you should never change even if you get a man with greater developments or Siddhis. Then only you will have faith. Through strong faith, you will realise then and there, Brahman, the God in that Guru.

You must become the famous Bhakta, Pipa of the well-known Bhaktamala, who took a rogue Nata as his Guru and when he saw his Nata-Guru dancing on the bamboos in the open market, he took him as Guru, the Brahma-incarnate, prostrated before him and thus eventually had his Self-realisation through the form of the rogue-Guru, the Nata. Three Requisites Of Mukti Yoga is communion with Lord. The goal of life is Self-realisation. There are two ways for attaining God-consciousness. They are the Pravritti-Marga and Nivritti-Marga. Pravritti-Marga is the path of activity with detachment for attaining the cosmic vision in and through the diverse experiences of normal life. Nivritti-Marga is the path of absolute renunciation or Jnana-Yoga. Karma-Yoga is only Jnana-Sadhana, i.e., means for attaining Self-knowledge. Three things are indispensably requisite for attaining Self-realisation. They are: (1) Guru-Bhakti—devotion and Prema towards the spiritual preceptor, (2) Jijnasa—longing for liberation and (3) a taste for Satsanga.

He alone who is endowed with these three attributes can cross this ocean of Samsara (Bhava Sager). Four Kinds Of Temperaments There are four kinds of temperaments, viz., the active temperament, the devotional temperament, the mystic temperament and the intellectual temperament. The Four Yogas There are four Yogas, viz., Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga and Jnana Yoga. 2 YOGA IN DAILY LIFE Karma is suitable for people of active temperament, Bhakti Yoga for people of devotional temperament, Raja Yoga for men of mystic temperament with bold understanding and strong will-power. Bhakti Yoga is suitable for vast majority of persons as they are emotional.

Jnana Yoga is suitable for a microscopic minority only. Ladies can realise God quickly as their hearts are filled with devotion, Prema and affection. But it is very difficult for them to get Vairagya. Yogic Diet Food plays a very important role in exciting the senses and passions. An aspirant should be very careful in the selection of articles of diet of Sattvic nature in the beginning of his Sadhana period. Later on drastic dietetic restrictions can be removed. Havis Annam, which is a mixture of boiled white rice and ghee, is very conducive to Yogic practices. When white rice is boiled with ghee, white sugar and milk, it is called Cheru. This is a wholesome combination suitable for Sadhakas.

Milk Milk is a perfect food by itself, containing the different nutritive constituents, fats, proteins, carbohydrates, etc., in well-balanced proportions. It leaves very little residue in the bowels. This is an ideal food for Yogins during Pranayama practice. Fresh milk from a healthy cow, free from bovine tuberculosis, is preferable to scalded milk. Milk should be scalded or pasteurised but not boiled. The process of scalding is that the milk should be immediately removed from the fire, as soon as the boiling point is reached. Too much boiling destroys the vitamins, the mysterious nutritive principles and renders milk quite useless as an article of diet. Fruit Diet A fruit diet exercises a benign, soothing influence on the constitution and is very desirable diet for Yogins. This is a natural form of diet. Bananas, grapes, sweet oranges, apples, pomegranates are wholesome fruits. Bananas are very nutritious. Lemons possess anti-scorbutic properties and act as restoratives to blood. Fruit juice contains a form of nutritive principle, Vitamin C. Mitahara Take wholesome, Sattvic food half-stomachful; fill the quarter-stomachful with pure water; and allow the remaining quarter free for expansion of gas.

This is Mitahara, the ideal food for Yogins. This is the ideal for all who want to preserve health. This is quite hygienic and is in harmony with the dietetic principles of modern medical science. This is Mitahara prescribed for Yogis. “Nathyasnatastu Yogoasti na chaikantamanasnatah Na chaathisvapnaseelasya jagratho naivacharjuna”. “Verily, Yoga is not for him who eateth too much, nor he who abstaineth to excess, nor who is too much addicted to sleep, nor even to wakefulness, O Arjuna.” (Gita VI- 16).

From - YogaDaily