How to Recognise a Sincere Spiritualist?


Question 1: How to recognise a sincere and truthful devotee of God?

Answer 1: Let not appearance deceive you. There goes the devotee, chanting the scared Name of Narayana. He sings in ecstacy and dances in rapture for an hour or two. He is vehement in asserting that all indeed is Narayana. Here is a great monist who would not stop repeating: ‘I am God, I am God’. Profound is his learning, and mighty his swordsmanship in argument. Tarry a while, friend. Watch them under three conditions: (1) when desperatively hungry, (2) when bitterly provoked and insulted, and (3) when another man is pathetically distressed. Now, if they fulfil former assertions, all hail to them, obeisance to them, veritable gods on earth they are, and let the dust of their feet adorn our foreheads.” (pg. 66, Self-Realisation by Swami Sivananda)

Question 2: Who is deemed an unspiritual and worldly-minded person?

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Answer 2: “A worldly-minded person is a prey to sexual thoughts, and thoughts of hatred, anger and revenge. He is enslaved by these two type of thoughts which take possessions of his mind. He does not know the laws of thoughts, and how to divert his mind, and fix it on good, noble thoughts. He cannot resist an evil desire, craving or temptation on account of his weak will. He is completely ignorant of the nature and workings of the mind. His position is extremely deplorable, despite his earthly possessions and knowledge obtained from universities. Dispassion and discrimination have not awakened in him. He has no faith in saints, in scriptures and in God….” (pg. 355, Science of Yoga, Vol. 2 by Swami Sivananda)

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Emotion is Not Devotion


Swami Sivananda: “Emotion is mistaken for devotion; violent jumping in the air during Sankirtan for divine ecstasy; falling down in swoon on account of exhaustion from too much jumping for Bhava Samadhi; Rajasic restlessness and motion for divine activities and Karma Yoga; Tamasic man for Sattvic man; movement of air in the back due to rheumatism for ascent of Kundalini; Tandri and deep sleep for Samadhi; Manorajya or building castles in the air for meditation; physical nudity for the Jivanmukti state.” (Chap. 4 Essence of Yoga) 

“Emotionalism is certainly not devotion… Do not mistake emotion for devotion… Do not cultivate the habit of weeping through emotion… Do not jump and dance violently.” (pgs. 68, 77, “Conquest of Mind” by Swami Sivananda)

“Know things in their proper light. Emotion is mistaken for devotion; violent jumping in the air during Sankirtan for divine ecstasy; falling down on swoon on account of exhaustion from too much jumping for Bhava samadhi; Rajasic restlessness and motion for divine activities and Karma (Yoga); a Tamasic man for a Satwic man; movement of air in Rheumatism in the back for ascent of kundalini;… Building castles in the air for meditation…,” Swami Sivananda  (pg. 323, Sadhana)