The present publication, unique in itself, comes as a long-expected boon from most Revered Sri Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj, to all seekers of Truth and Sadhakas in general. Being concentrated prescriptions for daily spiritual practice, touching all aspects of the inner life of the Spirit, this book will serve as a highly beneficial Vande Mecum to everyone. Here is a systematised presentation of the well-known "Twenty Important Spiritual Instructions" of Gurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, and it enlarges upon the prerequisites required for the all-round discipline that should act as the fore-runner to direct meditation, arranged beautifully in their sequential order. May the blessings of all saints and sages be upon the readers of this superb spiritual literature.
Shivanandanagar,1st July, 1993.
-THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
About the Author:
Revered Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji's worthy spiritual successor has been referred to as follows, "If one wants to see boldness of spirit behind a slender appearance, irrevertible command of heart behind a benign face, unwavering peace of mind behind dynamism of action, impersonal detachment behind personal love and care-all at once in a single person, one cannot do better than meet Swami Chidananda."
Born on 24th September, 1916, into a wealthy Brahmin family in South India, Swami Chidananda absorbed love for tradition and respect for rituals. At Loyola College, Madras, Swamiji had a brilliant scholastic career. The ideals and teachings of Jesus made a deep impression in his heart, and he was able to synthesize them with all that is best and noble in Hindu Culture. The two profound influences in Swamiji's life were the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna and the example of his Gurudev, Sri Swami Sivananda. He joined Gurudev in 1943 and from then on the Ashram and the lofty ideals of the Divine Life Society became home and field of service for him
Swami Chidananda was born with an insatiable zeal to serve the sick and the suffering. Even in childhood he built huts for lepers on the lawns of his home and looked after them as though they were deities.
Swami Sivananda said about his spiritual son and beloved disciple:
"Chidananda is a Jivanmukta, a great Saint, an ideal Yogi, a Para-Bhakta and a great sage. Swami Chidananda is all this and much more. He was a great Yogi and Saint in his previous birth. His lectures are the outpouring of his saintly heart, the revelations of intuitive wisdom. And he is a practical Vedantin, his words have tremendous power. He is born to fulfil a great mission."
A life without spiritual sadhana is a dreary waste. A life with spiritual sadhana is wise living-a life that will lead to Blessedness. The combination, the blending together, the harmonising, the combining of an active inner spiritual life with an active outer secular life, fulfilling of legitimate duties and obligations-unavoidable, inevitable actions-this combining of the spiritual with the secular, the Divine with the earthly was Gurudev's special mission. And to that end He gave us one aspect of His teachings in the form of the 20 Important Spiritual Instructions. These instructions comprise a harmonising of the outer and the inner, the emphasising of the inner and practising of the teachings of the ancient sages and seers of the Upanishads, practising of the teachings of all the saints who through the centuries have graced and blessed Bharatavarsha by their ideal life and teachings. This practice, together with the normal life is Gurudev's special teaching to the world, and summing up, the practical 20 Important Spiritual Instructions give us the key to Blessedness even while living in the world and through the world itself.
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