Early morning group meditation has long been a part of the life at Sivananda Ashram.Usually held in the sacred Samadhi Shrine of His Holiness Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, thesaintly founder of the Divine Life Society, it includes chanting,
andsilent meditation, followed by a message from one of the senior Swamis.For many years these prayer gatherings were a daily occurrence, but by the 1980’s theywere being held only on special occasions. One such special occasion was the birthday celebrationof Sri Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj on September 24, 1984. During his short talk, Swamijisuddenly said: “What would really be a wonderful birthday gift for me is if you were to hold thesegroup meditations
at this time. And if you will, I promise that whenever I am in theAshram I will come and give the message.”Immediately, one of the senior Swamis offered to lead the prayers, and the very nextmorning the regular early morning gatherings were resumed. They have continued to this day, and,truetohisword,wheneverSwamijiisintheAshram,regardlessoftheconditionofhishealthortheweather, he has never failed to attend and give a message.ManyoftheAshramresidentsnoticedthattherewasaveryspecialqualityaboutthesetalks.They felt that the talks were so helpful and valuable that they should be shared with others. So,tapingandtranscribingbegan.Thisvolumecontainsaselectionof75ofthetalksrecordedfromthebeginning of August 1987 until the end of December 1990. They are being brought out in 1991, theyear that marks Swamiji’s 75th birth anniversary (platinum jubilee).In the editing of these talks, no attempt was made to convert them into essay style. Rather,the intent was to stay as close as possible to the spoken word, so that Swamiji’s messages,frequently spontaneous and highly inspired, would be conveyed as he spoke them.Sanskrit language words have been put in
with the exception of a few words likeBrahman, Atman, Yoga, Vedanta, Guru and Ashram which are commonly found in an Englishdictionary. Often, while using a Sanskrit word, phrase or verse, Swamiji would give either atranslation or a free rendering of it. These have been included in the text. Otherwise, the meaningfollows in parentheses or can be found in the glossary.The publishers would like to acknowledge the very valuable and helpful contribution of allthose residents of the Ashram who taped, transcribed, edited, checked, and prepared the talks forprinting. Many were involved and our grateful thanks to them all.The talks are full of the inspiration and wisdom of a true son of our ancient Indian culture.They have been an inspiration to those who heard them and to those who have prepared them forpublication. May they be an equal inspiration, help and solace to you!
The Divine Life Society