Swami Sivananda: “….Ethical perfection is a pre-requisite to Self-realisation. No amount of practice can be of any value to the aspirant if he ignores this side of Sadhana. Love all. Prostrate yourself before everybody. Become humble. Talk loving, sweet, endearing words. Give up selfishness, pride, egoism, hypocrisy. Regenerate your lower nature.
“Find out through self-introspection if you want real freedom and liberation or you are just inquisitive about higher things or have a lurking desire for obtaining money, name and fame by exhibiting spiritual powers. Become sincere. All qualifications will come by themselves when you are in the company of evolved persons and live in an atmosphere charged with spiritual vibrations.” (Chap. 7, Autobiography of Swami Sivananda).
Swami Sivananda: “Some foolish, impatient students take to concentration at once without any preliminary ethical training. This is a serious blunder. Ethical perfection is of paramount importance.” (Section VII, Yoga in Daily Life).
“…morality is the basis of spiritual life…Practice of morality leads to purity of hearty, and attainment of Self-realisation. Without morality, you will become a spiritual bankrupt.
“Without ethical perfection, there is no spiritual progress. Without spiritual progress, there is no emancipation. Ethical perfection comes through the practice of Yama and Niyama. Asanas and Pranayama form the second stage. Concentration and meditation form the third stage. Samadhi is the summum bonum. Thus, the human soul aspiring after perfection goes from stage to stage and finally merges itself in the blissful glory of the highest union. Aim, therefore, at moral perfection. Spiritual success is half achieved through strong moral foundation.
“Always bear in mind that the primary condition of success in the spiritual life is an earnest longing for purity. So, be sincere and very earnest in your Sadhana and strive for purification and sound ethical culture.” (pg. 116, Ethical Perfection)
“Right from the very beginning of your spiritual life, you must understand clearly that in true humility, sincere desire to root out gradually pride, egoism and jealousy earnest and unceasing introspection to find out one’s own defects and improve oneself, lies your hope of progress. Witout this, all sorts of Sadhana become a delusion and a waste.” (pg. 98, Ethical Perfection)