In Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

In this mornings Satsang we read Martin Luther King Jr’s acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize. His words of peace in a time of war are harmonious to the teachings of our Masters, Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda. The following essay is from Swami Vishnu’s book Upadesa, in the section on Peace.

“What is happening on this planet Earth or in your own body, also holds for the universe. With this understanding you view of God will change; your view of the universe will change. You will become a different type of person. But if we carry our old notions with us – God created only Israelis to rule or Arabs to rule or Christians to rule, or white people to rule black, or black people to rule, or Aryans to rule non-Aryans – Germans, the Nazi party, to rule the world – then you do not understand God. Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Arabs, white and black – we can live together. Educated people, uneducated people, contractors and businessmen, ordinary swamis and yogis – we can all live together, eat together and speak together. We can live our life in a very universal way. This is love, universal love.

Do not forget True World Order. The purpose of TWO is to train our leaders in yogic patterns and show them some peace and tranquillity. When the leaders don’t have this peace of mind and they fight and agitate their followers, there will be more wars and more calamities.
We only think of war in terms of Vietnam or WWII, but look at the war that is going on every day. This is the way of the world. War is going on constantly. And the True World Order is to remind us that we are living like human brothers on this planet Earth. Try to remove the idea that ‘I am a Jew, I am a Catholic, I am a Protestant, I am a white man, I am a black man, I am a colored man, I am an Indian’ and so forth. This idea should go from human thinking.
Yoga teachers that you are immortal spirit. Until you find this spirit, until you know that everyone is made up of the same substance, the same spirit, same consciousness, same dignity, there will be no peace. And that is why yoga through TWO is trying to train the people, the leaders, to find this dignity within themselves, at least to a certain extent, so they will not create war, and we can life peacefully on this planet Earth for the short period we are all here.
Let us not fight. Let us bring this message of TWO: world brotherhood, unity in diversity. We should allow everyone to develop their religion, their language, their culture, their way of life. There is nothing to condemn, We can have beauty by having all these things. There is a beauty in different languages. It is not possible to have one language, one religion, one faith, or one philosophy, to suit all human levels. There will always be different languages. Different religions will be there, different colors will be there, different customs, different philosophies, different thinking. Let them all have what they want. If we can live peacefully, respecting others’ wishes, others’ religion, our faith, our own way of life, this is beauty. This is called ‘unity in diversity’.”

For more information on Ahimsa, which is the practice of non-violence, see the essay, and beautiful words from one of Swami Sivananda’s disciples, from the Divine Life Society website:
Martin Luther King Jr.’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech:


About Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center

FIRST CLASS FREE Teaching classical yoga in San Francisco since 1957. This nonprofit organization, founded by Swami Vishnu-devananda, teaches methods to attain physical, mental and spiritual health based on Vedanta philosophy. Our dedicated, volunteer staff are all internationally certified teachers. We offer daily drop-in hatha yoga classes for all levels, daily satsang/meditation/kirtan, vegetarian meals after class, special events/workshops, as well as courses in hatha yoga, in positive thinking & meditation, and in related spiritual topics. Our open classes accommodate beginning through advanced students and consist of savasana (relaxation), pranayama (breathing exercises), Sun Salutations (warm-up exercises) and 12 asanas (postures). Variations of these postures are usually included and others added according to the level of the students. Classes are 90 minutes, with the exception of our beginners' drop-in class, which is 1 hour. FREE OPEN HOUSE - 1st Sunday of every month.
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