Svadhyaya. The sadhana of Wisdom

Svadhyaya. The sadhana of Wisdom


Namaskar. The next portion of Niyama
Sádhaná is called Svádhyáya. Adhyáyam, in Saḿskrta, is to study, to
read. So, Svá… Svádhyáya. Svá means
on your own, by yourself. So, Svádhyáya means to study,
to read by yourself, self-study. And this principle is extremely
important in the practice of yoga. This principle helps to set you
right on the spiritual path. When we develop, there are three factors
of evolution, and there are no more, only three factors are there. I will release one video
about that in the future. For now, I will say that one of
those factors is psychic clash. The clash of ideas within your mind. Let’s say that there is a crude idea and that idea will always
remain there in the mind, but if you try to neutralize that idea, if you try to replace that idea
with a subtle idea; there will be struggle between
the vibrations within the mind, and finally, the mind will develop,
the mind will ascend. So, how to provide that intellectual clash, how to provide the clash of these ideas? Just by seeing a different life,
by seeing a different picture, this already creates clash. You know, when the people from,
let’s say, a very undeveloped country, where it is accustomed to throw
the garbage everywhere. When they see a well-organized
system of recycling and separating the garbage,
the rubbish, into the glass and iron, and how people,
with very much discipline, they follow this practice,
there will be psychic clash. The person will think,
“Why do they do this? Nobody is paying for them.” He cannot understand that we
must take care of the environment. But, when this clash occurs in the mind, the person will think and think and think and think, and then finally he will
arrive at a conclusion, “Oh, this is a good practice.
I would also like to do that.” That is the expansion of the mind. You see a different example, and then there is a clash
of ideas within the mind and the mind will develop. In some people, the seeds of spirituality
are sown in them by just seeing. You sit and meditate, and
somebody will see you and he will think, “What is he doing? He’s sitting with closed eyes.
What is he doing?” “Is he sleeping? No, no,
he must not be sleeping.” “I’m interested to find out what’s going
on there with him.” And that is already a seed, that one day he will also
start doing meditation. As you think, so you become. The ideas with which
we come in touch with, those ideas shape our personality. It does not matter the quality of the idea. What matters is the frequency, how much you are in touch with that idea. If you stay with the crude company,
however elevated you are, you may be a very elevated person, you may understand everything,
you may be very wise. But you constantly come in touch with the
crude idea. And that idea will slowly, slowly, slowly,
slowly corrupt your mind. You will think, “Oh, actually I can
do like this, I can do like this.” “There is no harm. Everybody
does like that. Why not?” So, the mind slowly, slowly,
slowly, slowly degenerates. So, the antidote for that poison is to constantly come in
touch with the subtle ideas. And where will we get those ideas? Either we have to stay with
a developed personality, we have to stay with a strong Guru, a strong teacher, who will
constantly guide you, constantly show you the
example of a different life, of different conduct. Or, if we have no access to such company, then our resort is to read the books. And special literature is called Svádhyáya. Special literature, spiritual literature, literature that comes from
a bona fide Spiritual Master. Someone who has… A Spiritual Master, in the Tantric tradition, does not mean the one who studied well and who knows all the scriptures. No, the Spiritual Master is the one who has attained the goal of life. He has merged his mind
with the Cosmic Mind. So, if you have such a person and
you are reading such books, those books will elevate
your mind so much. And you can try to develop on your own. You are trying to do meditation,
and meditation itself provides clash with the higher idea,
highest idea actually. You are thinking of the
Supreme Consciousness. But that idea is sometimes too high to grasp, and we have to assimilate much more wisdom, we have to assimilate much
more proper attitudes of life, to bring the mind into the state in which it is capable
of doing meditation. And for that we need
to read spiritual books. I am basing my lectures
on Yama and Niyama; on the book which is called “A Guide
to Human Conduct”; Jiivanveda. I will put the link under this video, and please go and get yourself
acquainted with this book. This is a beautiful book. I have read it, I don’t know how
many times. 30, 40, 50 times. I don’t remember. I have translated it from English to Russian. Then I have edited it many times. And then recently, also,
I wanted to edit it. I thought that some defects were there
in the translation. “Let me edit it.” And when I was editing it,
I was thinking deeply about it. It was such a miraculous effect. It was like I had come out of
the mist into the clear light. I found out that I had internally deviated from the path of the spiritual ideals. That actually some understanding in me had started to become corrupt. I had started to adjust my
spiritual understanding to the standard of today’s world. And then after reading, it was just like I was coming
out of the mist into the clarity. I understood, “No, no, no, no.
This is my ideal.” “I have accepted it whole heartedly,
and I must implement it in my life.” You see, this is the effect. And what else can give this to you? Nothing else can give this. Only the pure, most spiritual ideas. When you come in touch with
the pure, most spiritual ideas, then you will become pure yourself. And if you come, every day, in touch with
the pure ideas, you will become more and more and more pure. Sometimes, you just open, and you have so many
problems in your mind, difficulties, complexes, crude thoughts. And you read just one page of the book and you come in touch
with those pure ideas. And they vibrate your mind with the purity. They vibrate your mind with the spirituality and suddenly you find out
that “I have no problems”. All the problems are gone,
they have disappeared in the light of those clear ideas. Sometimes, actually I am so grateful that I had an opportunity to translate
those books into my local language. When translating, you
really try to understand the very, very essence of what is
said there, and that changes you. After translating one book properly, you can never be the same person again. Because you have become that book. After you have read that book, that book has become you,
you have become that book. And you are transformed forever. So, Svádhyáya means not only reading. Many spiritual traditions of the past, they got corrupted due to
misunderstanding of Svádhyáya. They thought, “just read, no
need to understand. Read.” And reading without understanding
is accepting a dogma. Believing what is said there,
without asking the question “why?” There is no logic behind,
there is no understanding, just the simple, dogmatic following
of the tenets of a religion. And those are the teachings,
which were alive, given by spiritual masters,
which were life itself, they have become dead,
crusty, stony dogmas. They have lost all the significance, because people didn’t try
to make them alive. Once the truth is realized, once
the truth has been understood, it has become your truth. It is a sudden mutation,
immediately you transform. If something you have understood,
even a little bit you have understood. You understood one sentence. That one sentence will change you forever. You will never be the same again. You will have become a purer entity. And the secret is to constantly go and read and read and read and read, and be in touch with these ideas, and try
to understand. And ask a million times the question “Why?”. Don’t accept it, don’t accept
the Svádhyáya as the… “Ok it is written and I just put
it superficially in my mind.” No, you should ask the question “why?”. Why? There is one book which is called
“Elementary Philosophy”. The name is misleading, because
elementary means easy. It should have been called
fundamental philosophy; it is not easy at all when you read. But when you read it, even you read
just one chapter, it’s like meditation. You are reading, and you are
trying to understand, “Why”. But why the author is saying like this? And then you concentrate
your mind, and you find that, “Oh, yes, because two chapters
ago he has proven this thesis.” And now on the basis of that proven logic,
he is building another logic. Wow. And then everything just
connects in your mind. All my lectures are actually based
on that book, a little tiny book. But after reading that, I felt that I am able to answer all the
questions about spirituality. Because the answers, they are
not coming from the book, but they are coming from
that alive understanding. I have this understanding,
I have grasped the spirit. And from that spirit,
you can solve all the problems, which comes from time, place and person. So, that’s Svádhyáya. And then when you read Svádhyáya, when you really dive deeply into the texts, then after reading you feel like, “Ok, let me not do anything,
let me sit and meditate.” Because you thought
about those Cosmic things, and now you want to know them. You read about them, you understood
about them intellectually. And you have felt the inner urge, the higher layers of the mind have been awakened in you, and you felt the inner urge to taste them. So, then you sit and meditate, and suddenly your meditation
becomes very inspired. So, when you are reading Svádhyáya, you are coming in touch with the consciousness of a realized master. And with that contact, it is just
like having the Guru by your side. The Guru is living with you in one room. So, the same book is living
with you in one room. You read that book and you come in touch with
the consciousness of the Guru. You become like Him,
whatever wisdom He has, you start to have also. And that evolution that you will have… Normally we are all evolving,
if we are not misbehaving, if we are not breaking the laws of nature, but slowly, slowly, slowly we are evolving. But if you read, if you come in touch with the consciousness of the Master, then the evolution that is
supposed to take 100 years, you will go through in just one month. In one year, we can cross. All those truths, they come as our truths, not the bookish knowledge. So, that has to come, of course,
together with meditation, because without meditation you cannot
really understand spiritual literature. You will read spiritual literature,
and will take it as a religion, you will take it as a dogma,
and it will be dead. You will try to convince others,
but there will be no life in that. And it is a dogma, because there is no life [experience] understanding,
there will be conflicts. Some person understood this,
some person understood that. They only understood parts of the truth, and then they try to tally those parts. They don’t tally, they don’t come together, because there is not understanding. And then they start to fight, these people. But once there is this
voluminous understanding, you understand not only this much, but you understand the very
spirit, the very essence, then there will be no fight. You understand that
there are so many angles, and from so many angles you can speak and you can think and you can talk. And it will almost be the opposite. But understanding the spirit you will know
that all opposites they unite in one. So that is the practice of Svádhyáya. I recommend to you, very much, to read. At least once a day, we should read; even a little paragraph that is already
enough and that will feed your soul. It just gives you inspiration. I read the books of my Spiritual Master,
Shrii Shrii Ánandamurti. Maybe I am not objective, I love Him so much. That is why I think it is really
the best literature of the world, of the present-day society. It is very much adjusted
to the modern world, but it is bona fide spiritual. Because He was a great spiritual master, He was a completely realized soul. He had such a knowledge, He
had just infinite knowledge. And when you read His books,
your mind just elevates. If you read His literature, you will
fall in love with His literature and with Him; there is no option,
it cannot happen differently. You will have fallen in love with Him. And, also there are other scriptures, like Avadhúta Giita, Aśt́ávakra Giita,
Bhágavata Giita, and different Upaniśads, different
Puráńans, different Tantras, Vedas. They also contain the seeds of spirituality. If you read them you will
become an elevated man, you become an elevated person. And some traditions, they only read the books, their holy books, without doing meditation; that is their only practice. But for us, it is a part of our practice, but it is an indispensable
part of our practice. I have seen so many
people fall from the path because of lack of this principle. They’ve never read the books. They were meditating, they enjoyed
the company of spiritual people, they enjoyed singing the mantra,
they enjoyed meditation, but when the time came, when the bad karma started to
surface form within their minds, they could not stay on the path,
because they did not have realization, they didn’t have those understandings, they didn’t have that wisdom that
could keep them on the path. So, to stay on the path, to proceed
on the path, to achieve the goal, we must follow this principle of Svádhyáya. Thank you very much. Namaskar.

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  1. Dada, I am looking for some advice. A few times in meditation I have experienced nondual awareness, but I don't know how to reliably bring it about. Sometimes while meditating, I try to use that previous experience to help pinpoint what I'm trying to do but instead various things like out of body experiences keep happening. If you have any advice, please help!

  2. Thank you Dada!! This is very much in line with what my philosophy teacher told me back in India: Meditation should go hand in hand with knowledge. One cannot do without the other. Namaste!!

  3. Dada I downloaded the book. I'm excited to find it through you. Thank you so much! But I could not donate before that. I sincerely want to donate for your endeavour. but there's no Rupees option in the link. Can you please let me know how to contribute? Also where can I find all the books in hard copy form , of Shri Shri Anandamurti ji? I reside in india, Kolkata.

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