Swami Sivananda

Indian philosopher

Swami Sivananda (8 September 188714 July 1963) was a Hindu spiritual teacher and a well known proponent of Yoga and Vedanta.

Swami Sivananda
Be Good, Do Good.


  • Be Good, Do Good.
    Do thou always without attachment perform action which should be done, for by performing action without attachment, man reaches the Supreme.
    • Light, Power and Wisdom (1959), p. 6; note that the short phrase 'Be good, do good' had occurred in spiritual teachings of others in the 19th century, usually in conjunction with other injunctions. 'Be Good, Do Good' became a prominent motto of the Divine Life Society. Variant: Be good, do good, be kind, be compassionate. (p. 207)
  • Until and unless Self-realisation is attained, Knowledge-Absolute is gained, there is ever the ebb and flow, the constant see-saw between the animal and the man in every human being. The beast or the brute is never completely absent or overcome except through a final Divinisation of the individual. As long as there is the human, side by side there will be the animal also, now the one having the upper hand, now the other.
  • The diseases we suffer from the births we get here on earth are all products of actions done by us in previous times. Every action has its reaction and no action goes unrewarded in a suitable manner. Evil actions do not go without their bitter effects upon the doer. Here are given some of the many pitiable conditions of life which man has to live in due to his careless sinful deeds.
  • Those men or women who abuse innocent poor servants, and coolies who are rather to be pitied and helped for their miserable condition, fall into a hell where they are severely thrashed and forced to embrace a burning image of iron like unto a man or woman. Those who abuse their marriage beds are given a similar punishment.
  • Milk, barley, wheat, cereals, butter, cheese, tomatoes, honey, dates, fruits, almonds, and sugar-candy are all Sattvic food-stuffs. They render the mind pure and calm and play a very important part in the practices of spiritual aspirants, in the mental development of the student, and in the personality- power of the leaders of mankind.
  • Fish, eggs, meat, salt, chillies, and asafoetida are Rajasic food-stuffs; they excite passion and make the mind restless, unsteady, and uncontrollable.
  • Beef, wine, garlic, onions, and tobacco are Tamasic food-stuffs. They exercise a very unwholesome influence on the human mind and fill it with emotions of anger, darkness, and inertia.
  • Fear is illusory; it cannot live. Courage is eternal, it will not die. Perils, calamities, dangers are the certain lot of every man who is a denizen of this world. Therefore, O Man! Fortify your mind with courage and patience. Fortitude, courage, presence of mind will sustain you through all dangers.
  • A man of courage does not tremble in the hour of danger. He is not embarrassed and bewildered. He does not sink down. He is not overwhelmed by despair.. He smiles away all dangers and difficulties, blows the trumpet of triumph and attains victory in the end.

Autobiography of Swami SivanandaEdit

Autobiography of Swami Sivananda (2000 web edition)
  • The life of a mendicant during pilgrimages helped me to develop in a great measure forbearance, equal vision and a balanced mind in pleasure and pain. I met many Mahatmas and learnt wonderful lessons. On some days I had to go without food and walk mile after mile. With a smile I faced all hardships. (Introduction)
  • I consider that goodness of being and doing constitute the rock-bottom of one’s life. By goodness I mean the capacity to feel with others and to live and feel as others do, and be in a position to act so that no one is hurt by the act. Goodness is the face of Godliness. I think that to be good in reality, in the innermost recesses of one’s heart, is not easy, though it may appear to be simple as a teaching. It is one of the hardest things on earth, if only one would be honest with oneself.
    There is no physical world for me. What I see I see as the glorious manifestation of the Almighty. (What Life Has Taught Me)
  • This world is a strange world. We have to learn many lessons. One of the disciples of the Lord Jesus betrayed the Lord. Many obstacles will come to the growing aspirant at every step. We will have to show our strength. Do not be agitated by little things. Be cheerful. Smile. Walk boldly. Think and feel that nothing has happened. Don’t worry about little things. You have to do many great actions yet. Prakriti is preparing you in a variety of ways. Feel this. Be grateful to the Lord. (You Cannot Get Away From Evil)
  • Run in the open air. Do mild Pranayama. Chant OM. Sing with devotion. Dance in ecstasy. Depression will vanish soon. You are Ananda Svarupa—where is gloom and depression? They are mental creations only. Remain silent. You can gain more by silence. (Overcome Depression and Gloom)
  • Do not leave Japa and Sadhana even for a day. Adjust and adapt. Bear insult and injury. Learn to forget trifles. Tactfully move with people. Train everyone in Bhajan and Kirtan. Create spiritual vibrations wherever you go. Then you will find peace, joy, happiness and prosperity. There will be joy in all faces. This is the way for harmony. When you are agitated and irritated, take to Japa or leave the place for some time. Love all and serve all. (When You Are Agitated)

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