Characteristics of Kali Yuga

We are now Kali Yuga, the age of quarrel, incessant troubles, tribulations, trepidation, calumnies, irreverence, ungodliness, ill-health, pollution, adversities, negativity, un-spirituality, hypocrisy, falsehood and terrorism. Both the Mahabharata and Srimad Bhagavatam give a vivid description of how things are like in Kaliyuga. Many of these things we can see happening around us and we ourselves are also guilty of indulging in many of these actions. The following is a but a short list of features typical of the events in Kaliyuga according to the Ithihaas and purana:

1). People recklessly and mindlessly destroy trees or groves.

2). Everyone will lack discrimination as regards food: they will eat anything and everything.

3). Passing themselves off as saintly, nefarious people will indulge in trade and commercial activity. In the garb of saintliness and spirituality, avaricious people will concentrate on amassing wealth, and find wealth is the mark of a man’s worth in society.

4). In Kaliyuga, man finds friendship only in his wife, and he regards his in-laws as true relatives.

5). People with money and wealth will be considered persons of noble birth with good qualities. People in power will steer the course of justice in their favour.

6). Impecunious and penurious people, and those who are not given to bribery will be deprived of justice.

7). People will consider going on pilgrimage to far-off places more important than honouring and serving their parents.

8). Brahmins will do the work of sudras.

9). Brahmins will abstain from sacrifices and the study of Vedas.

10). People will stop making offerings to their ancestors.

11). Brahmins will start to eat anything (i.e., they become indiscriminate in their choices of food).

12). Men will become feeble, and will have shorter life span: They will lack energy and valour.

13). During Kaliyuga, women will use their mouths for copulation.

14). Under the burden of excess taxation, householders will turn into robbers.

15). In ashramas, brahmacharis will indulge in evil conduct and pander to the desires of the world. The ashrams will be full of show-offs who are experts in the art of living off the food of others.

16). When Kaliyuga degenerates even further, Dharmic people will have shorter life span.

17). People will sell goods with false weights. There will be a lot of deceit associated with trade.

18). Towards the end of Kaliyuga, the young ones will act like old people. The conduct that suits the young is seen in the old. The old will think like children, and young people will have the intelligence of the old.

19). In Kaliyuga, people abbreviate the truth; because of this harm done to the truth, lifespans are further shortened.

20). There will be a lot of intermarriages between people from different strata of society, and miscegenation becomes the order of the day. They will behave like sudras who are devoid of austerities and truth.

21). Because of the shortage of cows, people will resort to drinking goat and sheep-milk.

22). In Kaliyuga, rules about what is to be eaten are transgressed.

23). Brahmins will not observe sacred vows but will criticize the Vedas. Deluded by logic they will give up worship and yajnas.

24). At the end of Kaliyuga, the world will be overtaken by mlechha conduct. There will be no rites and sacrifices. There will be unhappiness everywhere and no festivals will be celebrated.

25). Men will rob possessions of others, even that of widows.

26). Men will happily accept gifts given even by the evil.

27). When the end of Kaliyiga is near, the Kshatriyas will be the thorns in the flesh of the world. They will not protect others.

28). No one will ask for a girl’s hand in marriage; no one will duly give away a girl in marriage. When Kaliyuga is fully ripe, men and women will choose their spouses themselves.

29). Kings, discontented with what they possess, will use every means possible to steal the property of others.

30). When kaliyuga is fully advanced, one hand will steal from the other.

31). Cowards will take pride in their bravery and the brave will be immersed in depression like cowards.

32). During the final stages of Kaliyuga, there will be no Brahmins, Kshatriyas or Vaishyas left. At the end of Kaliyuga the world will have only one varna.

33). Wives will not tend to their husbands. Men and women will eat whatever they wish.

34). People will adorn themselves with the marks of a sadhu, i.e.. there will be profusion of fake sadhus.

35). (Cooked) food will be sold at all major thoroughfares. Note: According to manusmrti selling of cooked food is a sin; this is because everyone has a right to food, whether he has money or not).

36). When Kaliyuga is fully advanced, each will act as he wishes in the name  of human rights.

37). Brahmins will be oppressed by Sudras and thus tormented by the former will wander all over the earth looking for protection.

38). Sudras will expound on Dharma, and the Brahmins will listen to their discourses and serve them. Everything in the world will be utterly upside down.

39). Discarding the gods, bones set into walls will be worshipped.

40). Men will be addicted to meat and liquor and will be weak in Dharma.

41). Rains will come down at the wrong time.

42). Overcome by the burden of taxation, brahmins will flee in the ten directions.

43). Friends and relatives will act only out of love for wealth.

44). Women will be harsh and cruel in speech and will love to cry. They will not follow the words of their husbands.

45). Travelers in transit (guests) will ask for food and water but will not receive it. They will be refused shelter and will be forced to sleep on the roads.

46). People will leave their own countries and seek refuge in other countries, directions, regions, etc., and will roam around the world lamenting ‘Alas, father!’, ‘Alas, son.’

47). Mutual liking between the boy and girl, and not family pedigree or social status, etc., will be criterion for selecting a spouse.

48). Cheating will be the order of the day in business relations.

49). Sexual skill will be the criterion for excellence in men and women.

50). The only mark of evil will be poverty.

51). The one who can make a great display (of his austerities, occult powers etc.) will be considered the greatest sadhu.

52). Brushing one’s hair and dressing up will be considered as substitute for bath.

53). The highest purpose of life will be to fill one’s belly.

54). Maintenance of one’s family will be looked upon as the highest skill.

55). Dharma will be followed to gain fame.

56). There will be no rule in becoming a king. Any Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya or Sudra, depending on who is the most powerful at the time, will become the king. At that time, the rulers will be so greedy that there will not any difference between them and robbers.

57). Houses will be desolate because of the lack of chanting of Vedas and absence of guests.

58) In Kali-yuga the people will be sinful, short-lived, unfortunate, slow, and unintelligent.

How then to survive the virulence of Kali Yuga?

“In this Kali Yuga, when the physique of the vast majority of persons is not good…Japa is an EASY way to God-realisation… There is no Yoga GREATER than Japa Yoga” (pg. 279, Yoga Samhita). In the Gita, Sri Krsna says, “Among Yagnas, I AM Japa Yagna”. Sri Brahma said the same truth to Naradha in Kali-Santarana Upanishad. Vishnu Purana (6:2:17), Brhan Narayana Purana (38:97) have underlined the same fact. Srimad Bhagavatam (12:3:52) asserts, “OTHER processes of worship are NOT possible in THIS yuga”. Hence, Japa IS the sadhana for Kali Yuga.

“In this Kali Yuga, God-realisation can be had in a short period. It is the grace of the Lord. You need not do severe Tapas now. You need not stand on one leg for several years, as people did in days of yore. You can realise God through JAPA, Kirtan (=singing) and prayer.” pg 128, Japa Yoga by Swami Sivananda.

Srimad Bhagwatam 12:3:52 says

krite yad dhyayato vishnum tretayam yajato makhaihdvapare  

paricaryayam kalau tad dhari-kirtanat

That is, whatever result was obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Vishnu, in Treta-yuga by performing sacrifices, and in Dwapara-yuga by serving the Lord’s Lotus feet can be obtained in Kali-yuga simply by chanting the holy names of God.

Padma Purana (Uttara-khanda 72.25), in support of the above, desclares:

dhyayan krite yajan yajnais, tretayam dvapare ’rcayan;

yad apnoti tad apnoti, kalau sankirtya keshavam.

In sum, Whatever is achieved by meditation in Satya-yuga, by the performance of yajna in Treta-yuga or by the worship of Krishna’s lotus feet in Dvapara-yuga is obtained very easily in the Age of Kali simply by chanting the name of God.

Garuda Purana 1.228.18, “What is obtained by means of contemplation in the Krta-yuga, reciting mantras in the Treta-yuga and worshiping in Dvapara is obtained in Kali-yuga by constantly remembering Lord Kesava.”

Garuda Purana 1.230.20, “Evil influence of the Kali age, wicked statements, vile utterances of heretics – none of these affect the mind of the person in whose mind Lord Kesava finds a place”.

Garuda Purana 1.230.23, “If Govinda is fixed in the mind, the vile age of Kali is transformed into Krta. If Acyuta is not fixed in the mind even Krta-yuga is transformed into Kali age”.

Swami Sivananda: “In this kali Yuga, even if just ONE Ekadashi is observed with DISPASSION, faith and DEVOTION, AND if the mind is WHOLLY fixed on Hari, one is freed from the rounds of birth and death. There is no doubt this. The scriptures give us their assurance on this point.” (pg. 152, Hindu Fasts & Festivals).


1. G. P. Bhatt & J. L. Shastri (Tr). The Bhagavata Purana (5 Volumes): Delhi 2002

2. Debroy, Bibek. The Mahabharata: Complete and Unabridged (Ten Volumes): Penguin India, 2015

3. Mahabarath by Kamala Subramaniam,

4. Pandey, Pandit Ramnarayandutt Shastri. The Complete Mahabharata (The Only Edition with Sanskrit Text and Hindi Translation) – Six Volumes: Gita Press, Gorakhpur, 2017

5. Saraswati, Swami Akhandananda (Tr). Shrimad Bhagavata Purana (2 Volumes): Gorakhpur 2004

6. Yoga Samhita by Swami Sivananda

7. Kali-Santarana Upanishad

8. Vishnu Purana (6:2:17)

9. Brhan Narayana Purana (38:97)

10. Srimad Bhagavatam (12:3:52)

11. japa Yoga by Swami Sivananda

12. Śri Sanatkumara-saṃhita Verses 1-25 (Verse 13)

13. Hindu Fasts & Festivals by Swami Sivananda


What is Ego? Do Spiritual people have ego?

Question 1: Everyone in spiritual life talks about ego, and that it is the greatest impediment when it comes to attaining God. What, actually, is ego? How does it cause trouble to us?

Answer 1: “Ego… is the self-asserting principle…born of ignorance…It is the ego which has created the idea of separateness from God or the Atman, It is the ego which is the ROOT CAUSE of ALL human sufferings and births and deaths.” (pg. 44, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 2: How do we know whether we have ego? Or, whether we are acting out of egoistic tendencies? Are there are definite signs of the existence of ego?

Answer 2: “…ego identifies itself with the body, mind, prana, and the senses. Wherever there IS ego, there are mine-ness, SELFISHNESS, LIKES and DISLIKES, LUST, ANGER, greed, HYPOCRISY, PRIDE, JEALOUSY, delusion, arrogance, conceit, impertinence, vasanas (=tendencies), trishnas (=cravings)…”   (pg. 44, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 3: How do we get rid of this ego that causes so much trouble?

Answer 3: “…destrouction of thought, DESIRES, cravings, mineness, selfishness, JEALOUSY, PRIDE, LUST is really destruction of mind or egoism. Control of SENSES also is annihilation of the mind or egoism.” ( (pg. 44, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 4: Do people who are in spiritual life or who practise religions have ego?

Answer 4: “This egoism assumes a subtle form. The gross egoism is NOT so dangerous as the subtle egoism.”  (pg. 44, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 5: I have known people who claim that their religion is the truest and the rest are bogus, or they claim that their group, congregation, church, mosque or temple is genuine and the others, although they may belong to the same religion, do not belong to the true path of and to God. Are they actually working under the influence of ego?

Answer 5: “..Institutional egoism is a subtle form of egoism. The man identifies himself with the institution and gets ATTACHED to the institution or cult. He has no broadmindedness or catholicity.”  (pgs. 44-45, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 6: How to easily detect ego as it is so subtle and abstruse?

Answer 6: “The working of egoism is very mysterious. It is VERY difficult to detect its various ways of working. It NEEDS a SUBTLE and SHARP intellect to find out its operation. If you practise INTROSPECTION DAILY in silence, you WILL be able to find out its mysterious ways of working.”  (pg. 44, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 7: In your answer to Question 2 you said if we identify ourselves with the body, mind, senses, etc., it is an indication that we have that lurking ego in us. If this is so, what about our feelings regarding foreigners, strangers and people who do not belong to our society, culture, etc. Is that feeling of seeing the difference between us and others in terms of nationality, attainment, class, status, etc., the work of ego too?

Answer 7: “The seed of this ego is the differentiating intellect or Bheda Buddhi… This ego likes his own birth, place, and district, people of his district, own mother tongue, his own relations, and friends, his own ways of eating, mode of dressing. He has his own predilection and preferences, He dislikes others’ ways of eating, dressing, etc. (pgs. 44, 45 Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda).

Question 8: You see, I have spiritual friends—great spiritual friends, who are excellent advisers, guide and counsels. They have the little tendencies that you have described. Does it mean they too have the ego?

Answer 8: “It is the ego which has created the idea of separateness from God or the Atman… This ego wants to exercise POWER and INFLUENCE over others. He wants TITLES, prestige, STATUS, RESPECT, prosperity, house, wife, children. He wishes to domineer and rule over others. If anybody points out his defect his vanity feels offended. If anyone praises him he is elated. This ego says, ‘I know everything. He does not know anything. What I say is quite correct. What he says is quite incorrect. He is inferior to me. I am superior to him.’ He forces others to follow his ways and views.”  (pgs. 44, 45 Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda)

Question 9: It, indeed, is subtle and dangerous. But how to destroy it?

Answer 9: “This ego lurks like a thief when you start introspection and self-analysis. It will ELUDE your grasp and understanding. You must be alert and vigilant. If you obtain the GRACE of the Lord through JAPA, kirtan, prayer and DEVOTION, you CAN EASILY kill this ego.”  (pg. 46, Jnana Yoga by Swami Sivananda) 

What Is Japa?

Question: What is meant by Japa (=Chanting)?

Ramana Maharshi: “Japa means clinging to one thought to the exclusion of all other thoughts,. That is the purpose (of Japa). It (should eventually) lead to dyana (=meditation), which (in turn) ends in Self-Realisation or jnana.” (pg. 56, The Spiritual Teaching of Ramana Maharshi)

Question: How should I carry on Nama-japa (=chanting the holy name of God)?

Ramana Maharshi: “One should not use the Name of God mechanically and superficially without the feeling of devotion. To use the Name of God, one must call upon Him with yearning and unreservedly surrender oneself to Him. Only after such surrender is the Name of God (would) constantly (be) with the Man.” (pg. 56, The Spiritual Teaching of Ramana Maharshi)

“You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” [Deuteronomy 5:11] [NIV 2011]

The Purpose of the Sacred Monosyllable: OM

Swami Sivananda: “This sacred monosyllable is thus the means of liberation from the bonds of matter and leads one stage by stage to the highest level of bliss. That is why so much importance is attached to it, and why every mantra commences with it. The concentrated essence of Hinduism is manifest in this great monosyllable. It is suitable for the lowest as well as the highest and most advanced intellect, for the celibate as well as the Sanyasin.

“One may raise the question as to why women are prohibited from uttering this mantra. Women are highly emotional and their intellect cannot grasp subtle truths. Further, most Hindu women marry; they do not remain single. The scriptures maintain that the merits of the husband are divided equally between himself and his wife, but his sins do not affect her. Thus, the scriptures have given her a high place. She can attain salvation without any difficulty simply by following her husband. So, these difficult practices are not prescribed for her. Nevertheless, if a woman has a highly developed intellect, she may also take up such practices. She can also repeat the Pranava. An example of such a woman was Chudalai. The prohibition is only for an ordinary woman who benefits from her husband’s merit.

“Om is your real birthright. It is the property and spiritual heritage of all people throughout the world. It is the word of power. When chanted with faith and rhythm, it fills one with spiritual strength, new vigor and energy. It brings inspiration and intuition and elevates the mind to spiritual heights of ineffable splendor and glory. Om is your spiritual food and tonic. It is filled with divine potency. It is your constant companion and savior. Meditate on Om regularly. Live in Om. Inhale and exhale Om. Rest peacefully in Om. Take shelter in Om. May Om guide and protect you!”

(pgs. 225-226, Science of Yoga, Vol.5)

Japa And Remembrance Of God

Ever remember God. Feel His presence wherever you go for God is everywhere. There is no place where He is not. He is nearer than your breath. See Him in all faces. Cling to His feet. He will protect you and guide you.

Constant remembrance of the Lord will bring you everlasting happiness and Supreme Peace. Let thy every movement be a living prayer to the Lord. Think positively. You grow into a likeness of the thought picture which you hold on to with sincerity and persistence. Contemplate upon your ideal in which you wish to grow. This forms part of daily Spiritual Life.

Have perfect faith in the Lord. His Name is your sole prop, refuge and support. His temple is your pure heart. Be pure in heart and noble in work.

Japa of Lord’s Name is your real wealth. Everything else will pass away. The bungalows, the bank balance, the cars and gardens, do not constitute your real wealth. They will not give you peace of mind. You can have peace and bliss only in Him. Yo Vai Bhuma Tat Sukham. Remember this always.

Do Japa, Kirtan, Prayer. Never hurt other’s feelings. Thought should be noble and divine. Start the day with God. End the day with God. Fill the day with God. Live the day with God.

Japa of Lord’s Name is your real wealth. Japa, Kirtan, Prayer and meditation will surely help you in the purification of the mind and heart.

Please take that Mantra which your heart likes best. That Mantra is the right Mantra which, when taken, brings joy and Peace. You should stick to one Mantra. You should not change from one Mantra to another.

Ever repeat the Name of the Lord. The Lord is everywhere. He is in you and you are in Him. There is no place where He is not. He is closer than your hands and feet. Attain the Lord by regular Japa, Puja and meditation.

Ever repeat the Divine Name of the Lord. The constant chanting of the Divine Name will bring you all joy and happiness.

Lead a life of simplicity and purity. Have separate hours for prayer and meditation. Speak sweetly. Speak little, Help others. Speak the truth at any cost. Be regular in your duties. Remember God at all times. This is Divine Life in essence.

Lead a life of simplicity and purity. Let the sacred Name of the Lord ever be upon thy lips. Feel the presence of God everywhere. God is in you and you are in Him. Do not forget this point. Therefore, hate not any one. Love all.

Practise the presence of the Lord wherever you go. God is everywhere. You are in Him and He is in you. This you will feel as you make progress in prayer and Meditation.

Before you start your Japa in the morning, wash your face and hands thoroughly or take bath if you are used to taking cold bath. Select a particular place to do Japa. Daily practise Japa in the same place where you do Japa regularly. Do not change the place. Lead a simple life. Take Mitahara. Talk little. Speak truth. Be good. Do good. Do not hate anyone. Help others. Pray to God daily. Live righteously. Act truthfully. Meditate regularly. Attain knowledge of the Imperishable. There is no other way to wisdom and peace. 

Ceaselessly think of God. Let the sacred Name of the Lord ever be upon thy lips. A regular study of scriptures, enquiry of “Who Am I”, and discrimination will undoubtedly lead your goodself to God.
Kindly continue to do your Japa. Wherever your mind moves feel there also, that there is God. Make the mind understand that there is no place left where there is no God. There is God in every speech. Watch the mind steadily. Let it wander for some time. Then try to bring it back upon your chosen ideal. Loud recitation of God’s Name helps to develop concentration. If you are not able to read books then request someone in the house to read for you an hour every day some useful spiritual literature.

Live in tune with the Infinite. Rejoice in the Self within. This is a great slogan of life. Ever remember the sacred Name of the Lord.

You can daily sing Lord Siva’s Name both morning and evening. Siva is everywhere. He is in you and you are in Him. Feel His presence everywhere.

Feed your mind with thought of God, your heart with purity and your hands with selfless service. Remain soaked in the remembrance of God with a one-pointed mind.

Have some Ideal in your life and work for it. The highest ideal in man’s life is the attainment of Perfection. This Perfection is full of peace and happiness. Peace and happiness can be attained by regular prayer and contemplation. Therefore, set apart a few hours of the day for this purpose. Start the day of your activities with prayer and end the day with prayer. Practise the presence of God by remembering Him constantly. 

Let the sacred Name of the Lord ever be upon thy lips. See God in every face. Treat all with kindness and compassion. Live a life of simplicity and purity. This is Divine Life.

May His presence ever be felt by you wherever you are, whatever task you are engaged in and at all times. Make His Name thy supreme support. Let remembrance of the Divine be unto you even as breath in the nostrils. Know Him to be the indweller of all things. He is the ever present reality in the midst of changing names and forms.

A harmonious development of the body, mind and soul alone can enable you to fulfil the glorious role for which you have taken birth here. You can attain Self-realisation. Take the sacred Name of the Lord always. Nama Smaran or constant remembrance of the Lord is the only easy Sadhana for God-realisation.

Set apart some fixed hours for Japa and prayer daily. Ever remember God. Let His sacred Name ever be upon thy lips. God is nearer than our hands and feet. He is nearer than your breath. He is everywhere. He is in you and you are in Him. See Him in all places.

Love God fully and intensely with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul. You will be wholly absorbed in Him.

Kindly do Ananya Chintana (constant remembrance) of the Lord.None can explain the immense benefits of Japa. Japa is the rod in the hand of the blind aspirant to plod on the road to realisation, Japa is the philosopher’s stone or divine elixir that makes him God-like. Through Japa alone one can realise God in this life. 

Pray to God daily. Let the sacred Name of the Lord ever be upon thy lips. Dedicate all your household duties to the Lord at the end of each day. Feel the presence of the Lord wherever you go.
Life is precious. Therefore, spend your time in useful pursuits. Set apart sometime during the course of the day for prayer and worship. Feel the presence of the Lord wherever you go for He is everywhere. He is closer than our breath and nearer than our hands and feet. He is in you and you are in Him. Always abide in Him.

Start the day with prayer and Japa of the Divine Name. Follow this by little exercises and deep breathing. Remember God at all times, everywhere. You need not be a Yogi but you must be an Aadarsha-Purusha. Your personality must shine with a radiant light of great qualities. Virtue must occupy your heart and mind. Be bold. Be courageous. Be cheerful always. Service, worship and meditation must constitute your inner life. Always do vichar.

Feel the presence of God wherever you go for God is everywhere. There is no place where He is not. He is in you and you are in Him. He is nearer than relatives and friends. Live in Him. Love for the Lord brings you all joy, bliss and blessedness in life.

Real happiness lies in a simple and pure life. Love of the Lord will transform you into a Divine Being. Cultivate true love for the Lord by glorifying Him, by chanting His Name and by hearing His glories.

Lead a life of simplicity and purity. Be regular in your prayers, Japa and Svadhyaya. Do not forget the Lord even a single moment of your life. Hold on to God as fast as you can. In Him alone you will find true happiness.

Always remember God. Let His sacred Name ever be upon your lips. Be merged in the thought of God. Give your mind to God and hands to work. Be good. Do good. Hate none. Love all. This is Divine Life.
Live in God. The love of God alone can bring you real happiness in life. God alone is real and all else is unreal. Therefore detach yourself from the worldly objects and attach yourself to God. Ever repeat His sacred Name. Do all your duties as worship of the Lord.

Life is a holy and joyous movement towards God, who is the eternal Source of our being. Life is an expression of our continuous spiritual link with the Divine Essence that pervades and is present everywhere. The practice of the Divine Name and loving remembrance is the secret of regaining this Inner Connection. Offer up all that you do, dedicate your life unto the Divine. This is the golden key to blessedness, fearlessness, freedom and bliss.

Do your duties with full attention. Every act is worship and Yoga if done with the correct spiritual Bhava. The tongue may always go on repeating the Divine OM silently when the body is engaged in work. Morning and evening offer your activities to God by doing Brahmarpan or Krishnarpan.

In prayer, you draw near to the Divine. Devotion develops the spiritual consciousness in the devotees. The practice of the Divine Name grants the priceless treasure of Bhakti or devotion or Divine Love. Loving remembrance of God makes mature this Bhakti and brings you face to face with God. Live for attaining God-vision.

Even though you do not find much time to spend in meditation you may repeat the Lord’s Name during the day, whatever the body may be engaged in. This is a very effective Sadhana to win the Lord’s Grace. The Divine Name is very potent. Together with the repetition of the Name there should be the attitude of surrender to the will of the Lord, knowing that everything happens by His Will and for our own good. With this inner feeling of absolute surrender to God there arises constant peace and bliss.

Remember to do three things without fail:

  • one: cultivate the virtues of truth, purity, selflessness, kindness, and simplicity in nature. Control anger, give up hatred or ill-feelings. Treat all as thine own. 
  • Two: remember God at all times and repeat His Name constantly.
  • Three: dedicate all thy actions to God. Don’t think of any activity as worldly. Regard all that you do as sacred and make Arpan to God at every step. Let each day be a day of worshipfulness. Develop your pure emotions but keep them in wise check. Discriminate wisely.

Constantly aspire to feel His presence by calling upon Him. Repeat the Holy Name of the Lord. Constant remembrance of the Lord by the repetition of His Name and thinking of His peace, bliss and light is the surest way to contact Him and live in His immediate and comforting presence. What is wanted is a sustained and constant aspiration with a heart full of love. The Lord is sure to respond to a heart that calls in love, for He is all mercy and all compassion. Be patient and calm and His response will always come.

Side by side with daily and constant meditation you may also read inspiring books written by realised saints and sages. This will keep the aspiration intense and will inspire you. Kindly go through the books of our Divine Master. Every word of his is filled with power and the ability to transform us and lead us Godward. Introspect and remove all defects. At the same time fill the entire being with all Divine qualities.
It is only through selfless service, prayer and worship that one can attain purity of mind. Constantly remember the Lord’s Name.

Remain firm in thy adherence to the ideal of Divine Living. Never neglect the study of spiritual books daily even if it be for a short period. Spiritualise thy ordinary professional work by the Bhava of worshipfulness. Be ever cheerful. Practise kindness and charity towards souls that are less favoured by Providence. Let the Divine Name of God be ever upon thy lips. Be a fearless Messenger of Truth and a humble servant of God.

Remembrance of God is Life. Forgetfulness of God is death. The most invaluable and supreme treasure in this world is faith in God and devotion to God. A life without devotion is a dreary waste. Such a life is essenceless and useless. There is no greater treasure than the Divine Name. There is no greater wealth than Dharma or character. Dharma leads to God and in God alone you will find true happiness, peace and bliss. If you want happiness, you must attain God. There is no other way. This is the only way. This is the truth.
He who turns your mind towards God is your greatest well-wisher. He who creates in you devotion for Dharma is your true friend. Spiritual discourses and Satsangas inspire man and turn the mind towards God. A lofty service indeed to mankind.

Set apart sometime both morning and evening for prayer and repetition of God’s Name. Start the day with the thought of God. Fill the entire day with the thought of God and retire to bed with the thought of God.
Ever remain immersed in the thought of God for God is everywhere. There is no place where He is not. He is in you and you are in Him. Feel this by regular worship and prayer to God.

Your only sole purpose in life is to attain God. All else is useless and worthless. Therefore, strive to attain the Supreme by leading a noble life of simplicity and purity. Take the Name of the Lord always. Let His sacred Name ever be upon your lips. His Name when sincerely taken bestows upon you all joy and blessedness.
Start this New Year feeling the Divine Presence everywhere. Constantly offer prayer to the Lord. Feel He is your very own. Turn your gaze within and enjoy the Eternal Bliss.

Please be regular in your daily meditation. Morning and evening, you should spend at least half an hour in meditation. Constantly live in the remembrance of the Lord. Let His sacred Name ever be on thy lips.
My advice to you is: Lead Divine Life. Practise Japa every day. Sing the Lord’s Name every morning and evening. Take regular morning exercises. Speak the truth. Serve the elders. Study Gita and Ramayana. Develop Bhakti. This is Divine Life. Live this noble life. You will attain God-realisation.

Kirtan purifies the mind and heart. All worldly thoughts will disappear during Sankirtan. In this Kaliyuga, the Name of the Lord is the surest remedy for all worldly ills. Please carry on your Sadhana with redoubled vigour and zeal.

You should continue to repeat the sacred Mantra, Om Namah Sivaya. This has my approval. Yes, you can combine Bhakti Yoga and Raja Yoga. Try to do Japa of the sacred Mantra. Also write the Mantra on a separate notebook. This is called Likhit Japa. Write for half an hour daily. Observe Mouna while writing Japa. Practise Asanas and easy Pranayama to start with. Spend two hours in the early morning in spiritual Sadhana. Chalk out a Sadhana programme for daily practice.

There is infinite Shakti in the Lord’s Name. The Lord’s Name is the solution for all the troubles that have beset mankind in this modern age.

You are simple and pure. You have to strive hard to cultivate virtues. Be noble. Be simple, and plain like a child. Be honest and truthful. Do not forget to offer daily prayers—morning and evening—unto the Lord. Do Japa and observe silence for half an hour daily. You will have Divine Life. 

Have reverence and faith for the Name. The glory of the Name of God cannot be established through reasoning. But it can certainly be experienced through faith, devotion and constant repetition.

Ever repeat the Name of the Lord. Feel His presence wherever you go. He is in you and you are in Him. Let all the various duties that you discharge be as one continuous prayer to the Lord.

Do all your work as a worship or as an offering unto the Lord. Repeat the Name of the Lord mentally all the time. Remembrance and worship are the potent means of drawing His grace. Whatever may be your occupation, wherever you may go or travel, constantly remember Him and offer all that you do as worship unto Him. You will soon attain Divine Grace.

Live in the awareness of God. Seek the company of saints. The company of saints will inspire you and you will be filled with noble thoughts. They help you to contact God. God is the only thing that is worth seeking in this world. Therefore, cling to his Divine Name.

Yes, You are perfectly correct in saying that the easiest way to attain Him is to remember Him always. In remembering Him you grow in love for Him. To think of the Lord is to draw His grace. In His grace there is fulfilment of the purpose of human birth.

Ever repeat the sacred Name of the Lord. The Divine Name is a powerful spiritual force which can counter and ultimately destroy all obstacles, all forces that oppose the aspirant in his inward path of meditation and prayer. The power of the Name cannot be easily realised unless one keeps deep faith in the Name of God and goes on practising it, and the method of awakening the power of the Name is through proper Bhava.

There is infinite Shakti in Ram Nam. Rama Nama is the remedy for all ills. Therefore, let the sacred Name of the Lord be ever upon your lips.

The sacred and auspicious Name of Siva may be repeated all the times of the day. There is no such restrictions that you should recite only at particular times. For a Sadhaka every moment of his life is precious. Therefore, think of the Lord Siva always besides your morning and evening sittings for Japa. Even in the midst of your work, you can repeat His Name mentally. There is no fixed rule.

The Name of the Lord is the surest remedy for all the ills of life. Not only it removes physical troubles, but also cures Bhava-Roga. Therefore, take the Name of the Lord with faith and devotion. Cling to the Divine Name. The Name of the Lord is great relief and consolation.

Verily, life is temporary, body is perishable, and death is a certainty. But God is a great Reality and while man lives he must seek the Eternal. This is life and its central purpose.

Even when the body is engaged in activities, even then your inner being must contemplate the permanent Reality. Let there be remembrance every moment. Let the Name ever be upon thy tongue. Even daily activity should be a dedication with devotion. The Divine Presence is here and now. Behold the light shining through all forms. Such a life will bring you blessedness, joy and peace.

Let the holy and sacred Name of Rama ever be upon thy lips. Do not forget God even a single moment of your life. Give your mind to God and hands to work.

Be rooted in firm faith. Make God the very centre of your life. Draw strength from prayer. His Divine Name is your support. Chant the Name of the Lord loudly in the morning and night. Let the Divine Name fill the home. May peace, prosperity and blessedness be yours.

Lead a life of simplicity and purity. Pray to the Lord daily. There is no place where God is not. He is everywhere. He is all-pervading. See Him everywhere.

Always feel that every movement of your entire being is a living prayer and adoration to the Divinity that resides within the innermost centre of your being. He is the Antaratman. He shines within us as a Divine Light. You are never away from Him even for a moment. He is ever with you. This is the truth. Japa is the method of keeping up this awareness.

Ever feel the presence of God and ever remember Him and take His Name at all times. Serve man and worship God. Fill thy home with the chant of His Divine Name.

When you do Japa concentrate upon the Mantra. Recite every Mantra clearly. When your mind is restless, you can chant the Mantra a bit loudly so that you alone could hear. When your mind is calm, then you can do Japa of this Mantra mentally. Have a fixed place and Asana. Do not change the place. Keep the place neat and clean.

Constant remembrance of the Lord comes through regular habit. Feel the presence of the Lord wherever you go. Feel His presence in every action you do during the course of the day. Make a conscious effort to remember God at all times. Associate God’s Name with the work you do daily mentally. Take God’s Name while you walk, while you sit and while you eat. 

Feel that God is the inner ruler who manipulates your mind, body and sense-organs. Feel that I am only an instrument in the hands of God. Feel that God is the doer. Ever remain immersed in the thought of God. Constantly take the sacred Name of the Lord.

Have a stiff bound notebook to write Mantras. Keep the notebook where you do prayers and worship. Observe silence when you write Mantras. Do not entertain any worldly thoughts during Mantra writing. Write the sacred Mantras with Bhava.

Feel the Presence of the Lord wherever you go for God is everywhere. There is no place where He is not. He is in you and you are in Him. Feel this by regular Japa and meditation.

Lead a life of simplicity and purity. Remember the Lord always. Have a fixed period for prayers and Japa. Respect elders. Entertain guests. Serve thy neighbour. Lead an ideal life. Be an example to others. 

Your goodself will find eternal happiness only in God. Trust in Him. Have faith in Him. He will give you all joy and happiness. Lead a life of simplicity and purity. Have fixed hours to practise prayer and Japa. Take His sacred Name constantly. Feel His all-pervading presence wherever you go. God is nearer than your hands and feet. He is nearer than your breath.

Take God’s Name always. Rama Nama will cure all the ills of life. Have intense faith in His Name. He and His Name are one and the same. There is no difference. Feel His presence everywhere.

Do your work as the worship of God. Feel the presence of God in your office. Have confidence in yourself. Be kind to one and all. Do not use harsh words. Respect your superior officers. Do not doubt your subordinates. God bless you.

Set apart some fixed period for Japa and meditation. Do Kirtan. Do worship of God. Give your mind to God and hands to work.

See God in every living creature and within you. Feel His presence everywhere. You will experience immense bliss, strength and indescribable joy.

Do not forget God even a single moment of your life. God is the source of strength. Remembrance of God is strength and life.

Be ever repeating the holy Name of the Lord which you like most. Start it now itself. Cultivate intense faith and love for God. Ever long for His Grace. Through regular Japa and meditation the Divine flame grows brighter and brighter.

The Lord is within you. He is seated in the heart of all beings. Whatever you see, hear, touch or feel is God. Happiness comes to him who seeks the happiness of others. Relieve the sufferings of those who are distressed as per your ability.

Always repeat the Name of the Lord. Let His sacred and holy Name ever be upon the lips of all devotees and members of your Branch. God alone is real. This life is meant to attain Him. Therefore, lead a life of simplicity and purity and attain this life’s end.

Aspire for Bliss Eternal. Strive to attain Reality. Find God everywhere.

Ever practise the presence of God. Rise up from bed with his sacred Name upon thy lips. Remember Him throughout the day during your activity. Retire to bed with His holy Name on your lips. Such a constant Smaran of the Lord will bring you all peace and happiness.

Start your Japa with right earnest and become a great Japa Yogi. Cling to the Lord’s Name. The practice of the constant repetition of the Lord’s Name is the greatest of all Yogas in this Kali Yuga. Therefore, acquire the habit of “Ananya Chintan” of the Lord. This will take you to the Lord safely.

Devotion to the Lord is regarded as a very efficacious method of attaining self-realisation. Therefore, cultivate devotion through Japa, prayer, Kirtan, study of Ramayana, Bhagavata and through service of Sadhus and His devotees.

Kindly do not worry that you are not able to visualise the form of your Ishta Devata when you do Japa. When you advance in the path you will achieve this.

Sit in front of the picture of your Ishta Devata. Look at it with a steady gaze for some time. Then close your eyes and bring the form to the mind. Repeated efforts will give you success. Withdraw the mind from worldly thoughts. Develop concentration and attention. Be patient. Take Sattvic diet. Pray. Be regular in Japa. All these will aid you to advance in the spiritual path.


(pgs. 36-53, Eternal Messages of Swami Chidananda)

"What Is Death And How To Conquer It ?" by Swami Sivananda

Death is only a change of form. Death is only separation of the astral body from the physical body. Why are you so much afraid of death, my dear Vishvanathan?

Birth follows death just as waking follows sleep. You will again resume the work that was left off by you in your previous life. Therefore, do not be afraid of death.

The idea of death has ever been the strongest motive-power of religion and religious life. Man is afraid of death. In old age he tries to think of God. If he remembers God even from his boyhood, he will reap a rich spiritual harvest in old age. Man does not want to die. He wants to live for ever. This is the starting point of philosophy. Philosophy enquires and investigates. It boldly proclaims “O man do not be afraid of death. There is an immortal abode. That is Brahman. That is your own Atman that dwells in the chambers of your heart. Purify your heart and meditate on this pure, immortal, changeless Self. You will attain immortality.”

O Man, do not be afraid of death at all. Thou art immortal. Death is not the opposite of life. It is only a phase of life. Life follows on ceaselessly. The fruit perishes but the seed is full of life. The seed dies but a huge tree grows out of the seed. The tree perishes but it becomes coal which has a rich life. Water disappears but it becomes the invisible steam which contains the seed of new life. The stone disappears but it becomes lime which is full of new life. The physical sheath only is thrown but life persists.

Can you tell me friend, “Is there any one on the surface of this earth who is not afraid of death? Is there any one who is not uttering the Name of the Lord when he is in serious difficulty, when his life is trembling in the balance, or when he is in acute agony?” Why then, O sceptics, do you deny the existence of God? You yourself admit His existence when you are in trouble. On account of perverted intellect, and worldly intoxication you have turned out as an atheist. Is this not a great folly? Think seriously. Give up arguing. Remember Him and attain Immortality and eternal peace right now.

In Garuda Purana and Atma Purana it is described that the pangs of death are tantamount to the pain caused by the stings of 72,000 scorpions. This is only mentioned to induce fear (Bhayanaka Sabda) in the hearers and readers and force them to attempt for Moksha. In spiritualism there is the unanimous report from the enlightened spirits that there is not even a bit of pain during death. They clearly describe their experiences at death and state that they were relieved of a great burden of this physical body and that they enjoyed perfect composure at the time of separation from the physical body. Maya induces vain fear in the onlookers by inducing convulsive twitching of the body. That is her nature and habit. Do not be afraid of death-pangs. You are immortal (Amara).

Strive ceaselessly to live in God through Japa, Kirtan, service of the poor and meditation. Then only you will be able to conquer time and death.

When the God of Death comes to take your life, he will not accept your excuses: “I had no time to worship God in my life.”

Knowledge of Brahman or Brahma Jnana alone can free us from the clutches of ignorance and death. This knowledge should come to us as a direct realisation through meditation. Mere scholarship or intelligence or study of religious books cannot help us to attain the summum bonum. It is a matter of direct experience but not of argument or reasoning.

Habitual study of abstract problems will result in another earthly life, in a well-developed power for abstract thinking, while flippant hasty thinking, flying from one object to another, will bequeath a restless ill-regulated mind to the birth following in this world.

Self-realisation will remove Avidya or ignorance, the root cause of human sufferings, and produce in you the knowledge of oneness of the Self, which is the means for eradicating grief, delusion, the dire malady of birth and death, the concomitants of Samsara or world’s process.

The sun of pure consciousness is shining in the chambers of your heart. This spiritual Sun of suns is self-luminous. It is the Self of all beings, that transcends speech and mind. If you realise this Self, you will no more return to this Mrityuloka, the world of death.

Birth and death are two illusory scenes in the drama of this world, created by the jugglery of Maya. In truth nobody comes and nobody goes. Atman alone exists for ever. Destroy Moha and fear through enquiry and rest in peace.

“I know that mighty Purusha who resplendent like the Sun, transcends darkness (ignorance). By knowing Him alone, one conquers death. There is no other way to salvation” (Yajur Veda xxxi—181).

Every effort in the direction of Yoga never goes in vain. You will realise thereby the fruit of even a little Yogic practice. If you have succeeded in the practice of the three limbs of Yoga in this birth viz., Yama, Niyama and Asana, you will begin your practice in the next birth from fourth limb, viz., Pranayama. A Vedantin who has acquired two means viz., Viveka and Vairagya in this birth, will start his practice in the next birth from the sixfold virtues, viz., Shama, Dama, etc. Therefore, you should not be discouraged a bit even, if you fail to attain the Kaivalya or Independence or final Asamprajnata Samadhi in this birth. Even a little practice for a short period will give you more strength, more peace, more joy and more knowledge.

You cannot die, because you were never born. You are immortal Atman. Birth and death are two false scenes in the unreal Drama of Maya. They concern the physical sheath only—a false product formed by the combination of the five elements. The ideas of birth and death are mere superstition.

This physical body which is made up of clay or earth is a toy for the Lord for His Leela or sporting. He is the wire-puller or Sutradhara. He keeps His toy running as long as He likes. Eventually He breaks the toy and throws the pieces away. The game of two ceases. There is only oneness. The individual soul merges in the Supreme Soul.

The knowledge of the Self destroys all fear of death. People are unnecessarily alarmed of death. Death is like sleep. Birth is like waking up from sleep in the morning. Just as you put on new clothes, so also you put on a new body after death. Death is a natural incident in its course. It is necessary for your evolution. When the physical body becomes unfit for further activities and use, Lord Rudra takes it away and supplies a new body. There is no pain at the time of death. Ignorant people have created much horror and terror regarding death.
There is only one Reality—Brahman. This world and body are superimposed on Brahman, just as snake is superimposed on the rope. As long as the rope is not known and the idea of snake persists, you are not free from fear. Similarly this world is a solid reality to you until Brahman is realised. When you see the rope with a light, the illusion of snake vanishes and the fear disappears. Even so, when you realise Brahman, this world vanishes and you are freed from the fear of births and deaths.

You dream sometimes that you are dead and that your relatives are weeping. Even in that supposed death-state, you see and hear them weeping. This clearly indicates that even after apparent death, life really persists. You exist even after the physical sheath is thrown out. That existence is Atman or the big ‘I’.

If you realise this immortal soul which is hidden in your heart all these forms of the three knots viz., Avidya (ignorance), Kama (desire) and Karma (action) are rent asunder, if the chain of ignorance viz., ignorance, non-discrimination, egoism, likes and dislikes, Karma, body is broken, you will be freed from the round of births and deaths, you will enter the city of deathlessness.

(pgs. 25-31, Self-Knowledge)

No Time for Spiritual Practice

Question: Many obstacles confront me — I have no time to meditate, I am very tired from work, there are many demands upon me — yet something inside pushes me to keep searching.

Swami Muktananda: “That force inside you that keeps pushing you to search for something spiritual in your life is the real Truth.

Is it only for spiritual practices that you don’t have time? Or, don’t you have time for anything else either? Everything else is ordinary, but this is most important. If you don’t have time for the inner search that will take you to the highest levels of consciousness, what is the point of just eating, drinking, and living in the outer world? If you don’t make time to work for your spiritual growth, what is the point of your human birth?

“Just as you have divided up your time for the different things you do in your life, you should also find time for meditation, becuase this is far more important than anything else. If you can’t find any time for it, at least meditate when you lie down to sleep. Start repeating the mantra and it will continue through your sleep. Even that will probably be enough for you.

“The situation that I find people trapped in amazes me. They say they don’t have time for realisation, they don’t have time for spiritual wealth, they don’t have time for inner peace. They don’t have even a hope of attaining any of these things if they continue as they are. What can you possibly get out of a life that is so intensely fast? At least, do something for your spiritual growth when you lie down to sleep.”

(pg. 5, From the finite to the Infinite)

"The Powers of Japa (Chanting)" by Swami Muktananda

Chanting is the means of attaining everything. Through chanting, you are purified on the inside. Through chanting, love arises. If love arises, it means that you have attained God, because God’s true nature is love. You sing His name so that love will arise.

No good deed can equal chanting,. Tulsidas said that by chanting the Name of God everything becomes pure and auspicious. Your neighbours become pure, the atmosphere becomes pure, and even the sky and the earth become pure. To chant the auspicious name of God is to make the tongue, the ears, and the heart auspicious and pure.

The name is the true form of God. Shaivism says that God exists in letters. From letters come words. From words, a sentence is composed, and from a sentence you get meaning. The meaning of the Name of God. When we chant, the tongue is touched by the form of God, the ears are touched by the form of God, and the heart is touched by that too.

So, don’t consider chanting the name to be a mere sadhana. The Name itself is God. A poet said that the name of God is the mine of God’s nectar. So, chant the Name with great reverence. No deed can equal the Name.

(pgs. 143-144, From the Finite to the Infinite)

"A Divine Life Mission: New Year’s Message" By Sri Swami Sivananda

Children of God!

A New Year of new life has come. Let every day of this New Year of Divine Life be filled with the thoughts of God who is in all and everywhere. A life sacrificed on the altar of Divine Mission, a life dedicated to God is a life of success, peace and joy. On this New Year day surrender yourselves to the Lord who is all around us here, and lead a carefree life of harmony and bliss.

Every day of this New Year should be spent in egoless service, all-embracing love and devotion to God. Stay your minds in Him by offering fervent and sincere prayers daily. Now is the time for you to start a spiritual life, not tomorrow. Japa, Kirtan and meditation are great healers of ills of life. Repeat the Name of the Lord. This indeed, is the way to God’s Kingdom.

One who does not yield to the wrong suggestions of the mind, who is untouched by the commotions of the world, who is pure in mind and heart, who aspires only for the divine good and peace, that is everywhere, enjoys all blessedness here and now. One who forgets himself in the good of others has the Divine Support. If you lead such a selfless life meditating on the Essence of God in all, you will attain Knowledge and Illumination.

Again and again, I exhort you to illumine your deportment with the glow of Love. Love is the mother of all virtues. He that has a heart abounding in Love has known the Lord and scaled the heights of wisdom. Love and God are not different. The Way of Love is the Way of God. It is the way of unity, power and prosperity.
Having become heroes by intense spiritual Sadhana, work with exhilarating charm and ceaseless vigour for the Divine Life Mission in order to show the Light of God to all those who are in darkness and thus end their miseries once for all. To spread the divine knowledge is the only way to cure the diseases of today’s world. With faith in God, live a divine life and awaken people to the spiritual values so that they may enter into a haven of blessedness on this very earth.

May the blessings of sages and saints be upon you all! May God bless you all!