“Worry is like a rocking chair”

In a time where the global human family and each individual is being asked to hold the dynamic changes in society, politics, and the environment our daily task can be daunting. This morning, here at the Center, we revisited the topic of fearlessness and how our Sadhana (spiritual practice) gives us the tools and clarity to face fear and anxiety with love and surrender.

Our Spiritual Director Swami Padmapadananda stated it best with a smile when he mused, “Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but won’t get you anywhere.”

The now out of print, precious book Daily Readings of Swami Sivananda, that gives a message written by Swami Sivananda for everyday of the year, blessed us with these wise words. We hope you find inspiration and courage in every syllable.

“Fear is a great human curse. It is your worst enemy. Fear assumes many forms and blights many lives. But a calm mind brings courage. Then you will face the trials and difficulties of the spiritual path without fear, Fearlessness is a divine quality. What is fear? It is an imaginary zero; it is maya’s deception. It is a mental delusion. It is a negative modification that arises in the mind-lake when one forgets his real, divine nature. It is a whirlpool that emanates from the citta (mind) when one has lost his power of vicara (enquiry) and discrimination. It is the dark wave that proceeds from the ocean of antahkarana (mind) when one has intense attachment to the body.

Friends, there is nothing to fear really. Fear is due to acceptance of suggestion. Victory over fear really means victory over the thing that we fear. We attract to ourselves the very things we are afraid of. That is the universal law of nature. You need not be afraid of anything else in this world save fear itself.

Auto-suggestion helps a lot in removing fear. Assert the truth of being. Assert, “Nothing in the three worlds can make me afraid. I am absolutely fearless. My will is strong and irresistible.” Make friends with the threatened experience, or the things you do not like. The raja yoga method is to repeat the formula: ” I am courageous” or “OM courage”. In the morning meditate on the virtue of courage.

The devotee’s method is to pray to God with faith and sincerity and to make perfect self-surrender: “O God, make me fearless. Grant me the virtue of courage. O Mother take thy son in thy lap. Thou art fear; thou art courage. Let me see thee alone in all these forms”. Feel the invisible helping hand of the ishta devata (your own deity). Have strong faith. Real strength lies in fearlessness. Remove fear of all sorts.

The vedantic method is to enquire: “Who am I?” Identify yourself with the inner self. Assert: “I am the embodiment of courage – I am immortal atman – I am not this perishable body. Who is to fear whom when all this is the self?” This will destroy fear to its very root. How peaceful and strong are they who have victory over fear. May we all shine in divine glory, radiating courage all around. May the divine splendour, the brahmic aura shine in all faces and remove the darkness of fear, ignorance and terror. May we all attain that state of absolute fearlessness – brahmi sthiti (the state of Brahman). May we become one with the fearless Brahman.”

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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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