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The Yoga Dristhi

Dr Swami Gitananda
Compiled by
Yogacharya Dr. Alan Davis
Giri Guru Maharaj
The Greatest Guru in Our Universe
Who protected the Purity of Rishiculture Ashtanga Yoga
with his Mighty Roar of Truth
The Lion of Puducherry
Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj
(24.07.1907 - 29.12.1993)
Any material reproduced from this book may be done so
only with prior permission of the authors and with due credit
to the source. This is an important aspect of Yogic Culture
and we request all readers to follow this request in the true
spirit of Yama and Niyama.
Compiled by : Yogacharya Dr. Alan Davis
The Last and Final Lesson
Author Bio Data
Topic Index
Swamiji was a master of capturing profound spiritual
truths in simple language, which the seeker could easily
understand. He had Vak Siddhi, the mastery of human
vocal expression. He could speak for hours, even days,
without exhausting either himself or his listener.In fact
both speaker and listener would be exhilerated with the
exchange. His lectures were always a true Satsangha.Yet
Swamiji was the quietest man I knew. He could go days,
weeks, without uttering a word, if occasion demanded it, or
if he had taken a Mauna Vratam, vow of silence.Every word
he uttered was packed with the power of an awakened
consciousness. His words had the ability to lift his disciples
to higher realms of thought. His vibrant resonant voice
needed no microphone. He could speak to thousands
without a microphone. His words penetrated every cell, and
once they entered the ear of the listener, they were part of
his living spirit forever.To quote the Bible, He spoke as one
with authority, and not as a scribe. Swamiji had trodden
stars (as he once wrote in a poem), and his words radiated
the high reaches of a realized soul.
A disciple of Swamiji who has been his student since the
early 1980s,Yogacharya Dr. Alan Davis has taken upon
himself to compile many wonderful examples of wisdom of
Swamiji's from various sources, particularly the Ashram's
magazine Yoga Life. Swamiji was always partial to
medical doctors and military men (since he himself was
amongst those elite groups) and Dr.Alan Davis and his wife
Yogacharini Cathy were dear to him. Dr. Alan came to
Swamiji as a young doctor along with his wife Cathy, a
nurse as well as midwife, with their newly born baby
daughter. They were students of the Six Month
International Yoga Teacher Training Course under
Swamiji at Ananda Ashram when it was at Sri
KambaliswamyMadam in the early 1980's. Cathy has since
served many years as an Assistant Acharya (teacher) for
that Course at the International Centre for Yoga Education
and Research (ICYER). The family often hosts Dr. Ananda
whenever he travels to United Kingdom where they live.
Dr. Alan's work is a labour of love, a true Nishkama Karma
Yoga. Some editing and filling out of the quotations have
been done by me to put the wisdom into better context. Since
I have been Swamiji's personal secretary, editor and
publisher since 1967, relying on my training as a
professional journalist, I know Swamiji would appreciate
my filling small gaps as he always encouraged me to do in
his lifetime.
The book is thus a working partnership amongst three of us.
Dr.Alan, Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani and myself. We
all feel this small volume will have an enlightening effect on
all who seek the higher life!
We hope that through our efforts all those unfortunate
enough to miss the opportunity to hear the Lion of
Pondicherry roar his words of truth, will be inspired and
uplifted by our humble offering and have a Darshan
(sacred viewing) of Swamiji's great soul.
May the readers, through this small book , feel that at least
in some measure, that they have had the opportunity of
reading his written words, and receive his blessings.
Yogacharini Puduvai Kalaimamani
Smt. Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani
Pondicherry, India.
24 July 2014.
Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj is
truly one of the most astounding human beings to have
graced this planet in the last century.
His contribution to the growth and development of Yoga in
modern times is significant and it reenergised the true
spirit of Yoga worldwide.
Every one of his students considers it their greatest blessing
to be able to live a life of Yoga as envisioned by his teachings.
Each and every one of their lives has been transformed and
their spiritual evolution enhanced by his life and teachings.
He created leaders and not mere followers, each one of them
shining brightly, dispelling the darkness of ignorance
wherever they are.
Swamiji continues to live on through us when we live these
teachings and it is for this very purpose that this book has
come alive through the love and care of one of his dear
students, Yogacharya Dr. Alan Davis. Dr. Alan and his
Dharmapatni Yogacharini Cathy Davis have been all time
favourites of Swamiji, Ammaji and our whole Gitananda
Yoga family. Hence it is indeed befitting that such a
compilation of inspirational thoughts from Swamiji should
come back to us through the Yoga Seva of Dr. Alan Davis
who brings these teachings once again to the forefront of our
consciousness through this compilation.
This book aims to enable the reader to understand this
grand unified perspective, the Yoga Dristhi of the
Maharishi that may be best defined in Swamiji's own words
thus :
Yoga Dristhi implies a Unified Perception which
encompasses all aspects of evolutionary life on this
planet, and not just perceptions based on
information fed to us through our sensual
organsPerception also involves right knowledge,
intuitive insight and proper judgement to qualify
under Yoga Dristhi.
May this book stimulate us all to delve deeper in to our Yoga
Sadhana thus enabling us to grow and glow with the true
eternal spirit of Yoga, the Mother of all Sciences.
Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani
Chairman and Hereditary Trustee,
ICYER at Ananda Ashram,
Pondicherry, India.
nyone privileged enough to
have received Dr Swami
Gitananda's teachings in A
person will confirm that he was indeed
a true master of delivering the
message of Yoga in this oral tradition.
Over many years, students on the six-
month course at Ananda Ashram have
been astonished by the inexhaustible
energy and wisdom of a man who, even
into his ninth decade, not only taught
Hat ha Yoga and Pranayama
techniques but also sustained his
impassioned discourse on the message
of true Yoga from five o'clock in the
morning to nine at night.
Bu t S wa mi j i wa s a g r e a t
communicator in other ways too. The
Yoga: Step by Step Correspondence
Course is a comprehensive and
unparalleled manual on the subject.
Yoga Life continues to be published
monthly and distributed worldwide
after more than forty-five years.
Swamiji was the author of books on
Dr Swami Gitananda, Yoga Life, March 1981
Some modern systems rely on textbooks and a written tradition
for their authority. Yet Yoga was never a written tradition,
rather an oral tradition handed down from the Yoga Rishi to his
disciple, who then perfected the physical-emotional-mental
techniques for worldly well being and the higher Adyatmika
Yoga techniques for spiritual development.
Hari Om Tat Sat
Dr. Alan Davis
Cornwall, UK
numerous aspects of Yoga, from Pranayama to Mudras, to
Siddhis and Riddhis. His grasp of all of these subjects was
We are blessed that his teaching continues to be delivered,
undiluted, by Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani and their son Dr
Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani. The family is devoted to
making the words and actions of Gitananda Yoga available to
all who wish to pursue them, and with no less energy and
dedication than Swamiji himself.
Since his Samadhi in December 29, 1993, Ammaji and Dr
Ananda have continued to reproduce Swamiji's written
works in Yoga Life. However, I am not aware that any
compilation of brief extracts from his teachings has yet been
put together. Without wishing to reduce his encyclopaedic
oeuvre to a series of sound-bites, the following is simply and
humbly presented as an appetiser to introduce those
relatively new to Gitananda Yoga to get a feel for the vibrant
Yoga Dristhi or view which Swamiji proclaimed. In addition I
hope that it gives those fortunate enough (and old enough!) to
have encountered The Lion of Pondicherry in person, a fond
reminder of his boundless wisdom and indomitable presence.
The collection is, inevitably, arbitrary and far from
comprehensive, and taken mainly from his Yoga Life
articles. The dates are given (some are reprinted after his
Samadhi) to enable readers to refer to the original article.
Any minor explanatory additions to the original texts have
been made by none other than Rishipatni Meenakshi Devi.
ection - I
Extracts from:
Commemorative Volume of the Glorious and
Luminous Divine Life and Mission of
Dr Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj
ection - II
Extracts from :
Yoga Step by Step
ection - III
Extracts from
Yoga Life magazine:
December 1991
Nurture your Yoga
our Yoga must also be
carefully nurtured on a
Ydaily, hourly basis. It will
simply go away if it is not properly
tended or maintained. Yoga Sadhana
is like a wife, a husband, or a garden.
If you don't take care of it, it simply
goes away. Be aware. Yoga will never
fail you. It is always there. But you
may fail it. You may fall away from it.
You may neglect it and lose it.
September 1992
Conscious Living
ccepting the Law of Karma
doesn't wipe out the past, it
Ahas to be worked out in
conscious living. The idea that simply
feeling sorry or feeling remorse for
mistakes, evil thoughts, words or
deeds, sins, lapses etc which we have
done will free us from the effects of
our deeds is a nonsensical concept
devised by immature minds which
cannot face the reality of irrevocable
Universal laws.
October 1992
Who Am I? The Eternal Question!
he All, the Cosmos, the
Universe, is unfathomable,
Tbeyond our comprehension,
but we can tune into that one grand
Cosmic anthem emanating out of the
I AM. Aham, the Asmara, [the ego]
completely destroys those areas of the
brain and brain function associated
with Universal Thinking, leaving the
brain and nervous system filled with
the only real disease of human kind:
delusions, divisions, conflicts and
confusions caused by the ego-mind.
February 1993
The Art of Release
irt can be easily swept
away if it is cleaned up as
Dsoon as it is noticed. But if
it is allowed to accumulate for years
on end it will be very difficult indeed
to remove. This is also true of tension.
Learn to be aware of physical, mental
and emotional tension as soon as it
arises - then, release it.
February 1993
Prana - The Cosmic Catalyst
timulation of this higher
Prana by proper Pranayama
Sactivates the two pre-frontal
lobes of the brain. The pre-frontal
lobes of the brain are virtually
dormant in most humans today and
by default we are more animal-like
than human. Divinising the pre-
frontal brain produces that great
human being - Homo Deus, the God
Man we are meant to be.
February 1993
Self Is A Prison
e all live in a Universe of
our own making. The
more self-centred we W
are, the smaller our world, and the
more unhappy we will be. We create
our own prison. Our self becomes
our cell.
February 1993
The Test of Goodness is Opposition
Q - Since taking to the spiritual path, I feel
harassed by people around me. I have in no
way harmed them. But it would appear they
would like to harm me. Why?
t would seem from ancient
times that the very moment
Ianyone tries to be good that the
opposite negative forces are released
in othersI believe the answer is
simply that sometimes it is necessary
to have opposition to test the strength
of one's virtuesimply go on doing
what you are doing with a clear mind
and a clear conscience. When there is
no retaliation or resistance on your
part the contrary action will rebound
upon its source.
May 2005
Expression Creates Duality
nf ortunatel y once a
thought is expressed
Uvocally it becomes false.
The word contains within it the
necessity of duality. It is the spoken
word which is the straight line drawn
down the middle of a blank piece of
paper, which suddenly divides the
wholeness into two-ness. If we say
light it implies the existence of
darkness. If we say up it implies the
existence of down. Thus, to avoid the
trap of duality it is best to keep
January 2006
Miracles in Yoga
o the conscious mind of a
Yogi, the only miracle or
Tmystery that he sees is that
man is sick at all when wellness is
his heritage. Those who look for
miracles in a kind of alchemy which
will make gold out of straw miss the
real Yogic alchemy or miracle, which
is to turn the crude substance of
mortal existence into the refined,
golden splendour of an active Inner
May 2006
The Great Cosmic Sound and
the Human Breath
he Yogi is a deep sea diver.
He/she delves into the ocean
Tof consciousness to discover
the pearls of Cosmic Realisation
embedded there! A deep sea diver
requires oxygen to sustain this quest,
and great breath control to succeed in
this endeavour. So also the Yogi must
cultivate exquisite breath awareness
and control to succeed in his
explorations of the deep levels of
When properly done the Pranava is
consciously carried through the Shat
(six) Chakras in Pinda (the lower
body), which represents the five
spinal centres and the cavernous
plexus, the Ajna Chakra associated
The Last
Final Lesson
Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani
Biographical Note
Alan qualified in Medicine from University of Bristol,
England, in 1974, and had a full-time medical career,
mainly in General Practice, in England, Scotland and
Canada until his retirement in 2011.
In 1980 he completed the six month Yoga Training course at
Ananda Ashram along with his wife Yogacharini Cathy
Davis and their baby daughter Alice Sushila. At that time
almost every class on the course was taken by Dr Swami
Gitananda himself.
Although the demands of family and career distanced him
from the Yoga path for some years, he bears witness to
Swamiji's teaching that those who have been exposed to the
message of his Rishiculture Yoga forever find that this is
deeply imprinted in their cells, whether they like it or not!
Indeed this was reinforced by the fact that on the very day of
his retirement from medicine he and Cathy were priviliged
Dr. Alan Davis
to host Dr Ananda on one of his British tours and attend a
class of his that same evening.
He has since revisited the Ashram in 2012 to further his
Sadhana, and during that stay Cathy and he were blessed
by a Sashtiaapdapoorthi ceremony, as pictured here.
Dr. Alan and Cathy at
Sri Kambali Swamy Madam
A Diabolical Plot Against You! Is Astrology a Valid 117
A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body 120
Author or Translator? 112
A Yoga Catechism: Basic Principles 34
Be Now Here! 86
By Our Works 164
Chandra Namaskar 106
Christianity and Yoga 38
Commitment 69
Concentration and Meditation 31
Dharma 36
Dharma for Successful Life 67
Difficulties are Good Sadhana 72
Easy As It Goes! Non-Strenuous Yoga 165
Education 48
Ego - Less Living 66
Evaluating Spiritual Progress 53
Agni - The God of Fire 94
American Yoga 32
Am I the Body or the Occupant of the Body? 95
A System to Transcend systems 139
Centering the Pancha Kosha 138
Conscious Experience of unconsciousness 134
Conscious Living 154
Conscious Now-Violence 135
Everyone and Everything is a Guru! 57
Everything is Possible 55
Expression Creates Duality 172
Fifty Million Years of Evolution of the Human Brain 128
Going Sane! 68
Going Sane! (Continued) 70
Good Produces Good 161
Guru Kula 130
Hatha Yoga and Chakras 168
Kalki Avatara 79
Kundalini and Fantasy 169
Kundalini: The Eternal Shakti of Yoga and Tantra 44
Letting Go 39
Love Thyself 63
Lower Mind Is Powerful 163
Man Is Insane! 84
Miracles in Yoga 175
Memory Pools - Morphogenetic Fields 111
Fate or Free Will 26
Guru Purnima 10
Hatha Yoga Burns Out Animal Instincts 176
Holy Wholely! 91
I Fully Agree 140
It Is Fashionable To Be Green! 145
Karma: The Law of Life 24
Lord Ganesha - Controller of Siddhis and Riddhis 104
Mudras: Gestures of the Divine Spirit 171
Patanjali Revisited 123
Pity is the Ugliest Word! 90
Polarity: Oneness with the Universe 60
Prana : The Cosmic Catalyst 116
Prana - The Cosmic Catalyst 157
Pranayama 44
Procrastination Is Theft 160
Purpose of Hatha Yoga 107
Riddhi-A State of Psychic Prosperity 103
Real Renunciation 62
Sadhu! Sadhu! Straight on! Straight on! 102
Samkhya : Yoga Mathematics 80
Scientific Subject? 118
Self Is A Prison 158
Siddhi Sadhana 113
Sins of Omission 75
Srimad Bhagavad Gita 54
Nara: Psychic Dissociation 23
Pancha Niyama 22
Nurture your Yoga 153
Potency of the Primordial Sound 149
Rituals and Religion 93
Sailing the Inner Seas: Mandala Dharana 166
Siddhis and Riddhis 98
Soul - mates in Yoga 137
Sthitaprajna : Equal-Mindedness 127
Stories the Hands Can Tell 33
Tattwamasi 49
Tension and Stress Release 87
The Art of Release 156
The Avatara is Man Himself! 59
The Great Cosmic Sound and the Human Breath 176
The Enigma of the Realised Soul 89
The Role of Criticism in Yoga 74
The Root Cause Of Disease 76
The Many Dimensions of Karma 108
The Meaning of Spirituality 64
Then a Miracle Occurs 121
The Path of Patanjali 82
The Power of Mantra 181
The Test of Goodness is Opposition 159
The Triune Principles of Yoga 80
The Unitive Impulse 63
True Seeking 116
Take Only What You Earn 16
The body Speaks 143
The Control of the Subconscious Mind 92
The Real Needs of Man 144
The Source of Karma 25
The True Siddha 103
Vairagya: A Necessity in the Yogic Life 148
Vanity! All is Vanity 27
Was the Father of Judaism a Dravidian Hindu? 135
Walk Straight! Talk Straight! Think Straight! 180
Who Am I? The Eternal Question! 155
Words of Wisdom 11
Yoga Chikitsa : Yoga Therapy 97
Yoga Concept of Prayer 148
Yoga Dristhi 14
Yoga Means Union Not Just Christian Union! 141
Yoga - The Science of Living 21
Yoga Vidya Kosha 9
Yoga World Wide 132
Walking the Talk 128
What is an Ashram? 47
What Purpose Does the Personality Play? 121
Word Constructs and Reality 45
Yoga ... Absolute Union 37
Yoga and Physiological Functions 43
Yoga and the Sufis 48
Yoga Asana Competitions 125
Yoga Chikitsa 52
Yoga Diagnosis and Health Evaluation 162
Yoga For Children 54
Yoga Jubilant 170
Yoga Kosha 56
Yoga - Total Education 115
Abhyasa 9,47,63,103
Adhibhautika karma 109
Adhi-vyadhi 9
Adhyatmika karma 109
Adyatmika yoga 3
Affirmation 148
Agni 94,
Ahimsa 135, 136
Ajna chakra 168,176
Akasha mandala 168
Akasha rai 111
Akashic record 111
Al haq 141
Anahata chakra 167,168
Ananda Ashram 3,261,viii
Animal instincts 179,
Antaranga 31
Anuswara 177
Aparavidya 45
Aparigraha 16
Apas mandala 167
Asana 13,27,114,125,127,142,165,
Ashram 3,47,186,187,191,193,200,
Astrology 106,118,
Atman 22,50,83,142,
Aum 105,134,150,236,
Avatara 59,79,
Avidya 45
Ayurveda 43,44
Ayuryoga 43
Bahiranga 31
Bhagavad gita 52,78,79,84,185,
Bhaya 64
Chakra 166,167,168,172,176,177,
Chandra namaskar 106
Children 187
Christ master 77,142
Christianity 38,117
Commitment 13,69,72,115
Competition 125,213
Conscious 9,11,12,13,21,24,26,27,34,
Contemplation 14,129,256
Cosmic consciousness 68,
Cosmos 25,50,80,91,109,111,122,
Criticism 74
Deva loka 142
Dharma 13,33,34,49,56,67,69,78,82,
Disease 43,44,50,76,136,155
Divine 7,12,25,59,71,139,142,148,
Dogma 140
Dristhikona 14,15
Duhkha 64
Eastern sciences 140
Education 35,48,115,viii
Ego 50,66,126,163,223
Evolution 12,15,34,43,44,66,68,74,77,
Fate 26,27,109,142
Free will 26,
Ganesha 104,105,111,214,
God 9,22,46,48,49,57,58,59,82,87,94,
Guru 7,10,53,57,58,71,102,130,131,
54,256, xi
Guru kula 130,131
Guru purnima 10
Hatha yoga 3,11,32,107,127,129,132,
Health 40,43,44,60, ,66,83,110,113,
Heaven 44,113,142,200,225,236,237
Hebrew 168
Hinduism 46,66,133,148,166,
Holy 91,192,194,214,234,251
Human being 157
Human brain 128
Ich'ha shakti 69,
Islamic culture 46
Iswara pranidhana 22,82
Jesus Christ 38
Jnana 45,69,70,95,110,191,195
Jnana shakti 69,
Karma 16,24,25,26,33,44,65,75,78,
Kriya 26,60,69,70,82,83,110,172,179,
Kriya shakti 69
Kriya yoga 82,83,
Kriyamana karma 26
Kriyas 60,70,172,179,
Kundalini 40,94,173,
Law of entropy 61
Letting go 39
Living 12,13,21,26,36,43,47,65,66,74,
Love thyself 63
Mahakarani 177
Manas 145,168,237
Manas mandala 168
Mandala dharana 166
Manipura chakra 167
Mantra 105,148,181,193,237,242,243,
Marriage 137,196,229,230,253
Mauna vii
Meditation 12,13,31,32,107,
Memory pools 111
Moksha 78,82,110,177,256,
Morphogenetic fields 111
Mudras 4,171,179,
Muladhara chakra 166,
Nara 23,193,249
Nature 9,22,38,40,50,60,63,75,98,
Neo-yoga 32
Nishkama karma 65,viii,
Niyama 22,57,83,
Non-violence 135
No-option yoga 82
Oneness 35,38,60,124,141,142,148
Pancha kosha 23,56,138
Paramatman 142
Paravidya 45
Personality 64,119,124127,257,
Philosophy 26,35,59,84,106,
Physiological functions 43
Pity 90
Polarity 8,60
Prana 3,14,13,42,116,141150,157,
Pre-frontal brain 157
Primordial sound 149
Prithvi mandala 166
Procrastination 160
Quantum physics 121
Raja yoga 57,107,193,
Rajasic 162
Relationship 9,88,133,246
Relaxation 12,70
Religion 35,46,48,84,93,117,141,144,
Renunciation 62,65,163,168
Rest 53,63,76,79,90,107,168,169,193,
Riddhi 4,83,98,103,105,
Rishiculture yoga 126,261
Rishis 24,81,98,102,149
Rituals 93,105,234,245,251,254
Sabija karma 109
Sadhana 47,57,72,75,101,103,113,
Sadhu 102,180,192,193
Sahasrara 177
Saiva siddhanta 69,192
Samadhi 193,194,195,232,223,234,
Samana 141
Samskaras 55
Sanchitta karma 109
Sannyas 62,213
Sanskrit 12,78,80,122,144,145,146,
Saranagathi 12
Sat chit ananda 110,242
Satsangha 71,170,200,219,229,242,
Sattwic 162
Satya 76,135
Satyagraha 135
Self-realisation 139
Service 66,87,202,205,206
Seva 66,xii
Shakti 40,69,107,213
Sheldrake 111
Shivoham 141,148,225,242
Siddha 69,101,105,192,193
Siddhi 4,98,101,103,105,113,vii
Sins of omission 75
Sleep 139,193,203,228,241,242,
Spiritual liberation 110,177,
Spirituality 32,62,64
Sthitaprajna 127,
Subconscious 11,12,24,92,109,
Sufis 46
Sukha 64,114
Swadharma 78
Swadhyaya 21,57,82
Swadisthana chakra 167
Tamasic 162
Tantra 140,98,104
Tapas 72,82
Tattwamasi 49
Tejas mandala 167
Tension 11,12,50,88,134,136,
Thought 24,35,36,50,74,81,85,93,133,
Total education 115
Triguna 162
Trikuti chakra 177
Triune principles 78
Unconsciousness 129,134,
Unitive impulse 61
Unity 76,142,217,ix
Universal law 140,154,
Universe 25,42,50,59,60,76,78,80,81,
Vairagya 58,146,147,163
Vartamana karma 26
Vasanas 27
Vasudaiva kutumbhakam 133
Vayu mandala 167
Vidya 9,45,110,212
Vishnu 145
Vishuddhakhya chakra
Viveka 86
Who am i? 155
Yama 3,4,13,22,26,42,57,83,135,
Yantra 105,171,193
Yoga chikitsa 97
Yoga diagnosis 162
Yoga dristhi 4,14,15,xii
Yoga kosha 56
Yoga life 3,4,29,47,48,49,126,139,210
Yoga sadhana 47,126,153,xii
Yoga vidya kosha 9
Yoga: step by step 3
Yogi 4,11,14,26,38,46,51,65,68,77,83,