The ninth and last recording in the archive series of 2003 from the Satyananda Tapovanam Ashram in Bangalore, India. Conversation and discourse from Swami Nishchalananda. In this last session more of the informal exchanges have been left in the edit, so we get a feel for the closeness between Swamiji and the people asking questions. Many of them travelled from the UK to be with Swami Nishchalananda in India, some are local people.
The session kicks off with a lighthearted discussion about the principle of non-harming (ahimsa). Swamiji’s conclusion is also there in the Bhagavad Gita, it’s all to do with intention.
Talking with a lady who lives locally, Swamiji explores with her the possibility that after bringing up a family it can be time to follow deeper yearnings to explore spirituality. I include it in the edit because many of the things they discuss relate to some of us.
A question about the peace and quiet of the ashram prompts the reply that yes, this may allow desires to settle and quieten down, but its common for the opposite to happen. Dormant desires may rise to the surface and desires may be heightened. This often happens among those living in an ashram. Not surprisingly, Swamiji opts for realism; don’t deny if you have desires, don’t try and pursue what you believe is the correct ‘spiritual stance’.
In fact Swamiji then tells of his own experience in forcing austerity onto the body and discovering first hand that it’s really not appropriate, in fact it’s actually an insult to the gift we’ve been given. But at that time of which he talks, there were so many ideas of how we should behave ‘spiritually’, whereas these days, it’s not appropriate to behave like that. The middle path. Be Real.
Living with desires is everyone’s condition, but perhaps if one has spiritual aspirations, the ideal is to move away from tamasic desire where possible, move towards sattvic desires.
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