We have great pleasure in releasing this beautiful volume of sixteen lectures by Sri SwamiChidanandaji Maharaj, our revered President, on the eve of his 75th Birthday, which fails on the24th September, 1991.In a way, these lectures are the outcome of the holy Satsankalpa of His Holiness Sri SwamiSivanandajiMaharaj,whodeputedhisforemostdiscipleSwamiChidanandatotheWest,toconveypersonally his message of Divine Life to aspiring seekers.Thirty years have passed since these talks were delivered; but their meaning and relevanceare as valid today as they were at the time they were delivered. Also, the teachings and guidancecontained in these lectures are universal in scope and intensely practical in their approach. It is ourearnesthopethatthissmallvolumewillhelpinitsownwaytofurthertherightunderstandingofthetimeless message of spiritual life.
—THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
Beloved Immortal Self! Rays of the Eternal Light Divine! It gives me great happiness towrite this little preface to the series of lectures included in this volume. All these lectures, with theexceptionofthetalk“WorshipofGodasMotherDivine”,weredeliveredbymeintheyear1960inCanada where I went as a personal representative of my holy Master Sri Swami Sivananda to carryIndia’s message of Yoga and Vedanta to the West.GurudevSwamiSivanandawasreveredalloverIndiaasoneofitsforemostspiritualleadersand was known in most of the world as a spiritual awakener
and a friend of allmankind who tirelessly broadcast for more than thirty years the universal truth of ethical andspiritual idealism.In the West, there are many misconceptions about Yoga. They know not what is real Yoga.Most of them think that assuming certain physical postures is Yoga. Though there are many bookson Yoga, yet there is a great urge in the West to know more about the inner aspect of Yoga. In thesetalks, I have made an attempt to put before the spiritual seekers (especially those in the West) thetruth about Yoga as understood by me in the light of my holy Master’s teachings and in the light of my own experience. I do hope that this small attempt on my part will help to dispel many popularmisconceptions about Yoga and put the whole subject in the proper perspective.Yoga is an exact science. If you define Yoga in the simplest term, it is the steady movementof the individual soul towards the Supreme Soul. Yoga is a steady ascent to the Divine. Yogatransforms one’s lower nature into the Divine Nature. The practice of Yoga confers upon oneradiant health, happiness, peace and tranquillity of mind.