by H.H. Sri Swami Sivananda Maharaj


Tenth Edition: 1970

(Copies 10,000)

World Wide Web (WWW) Edition : 2001
Print copy Published By
P.O. Shivanandanagar249 192
Distt. Tehri-Garhwal, Uttar Pradesh,
Himalayas, India.


Chapter One




Who is God?

Spiritual Culture

(a)    Jnana Yoga

(b)    Bhakti Yoga

(c)    Raja Yoga

Special Instructions


Formulae for Developing Will

How to Apply Will

How to Develop the Will-Power

Capacity and Will

Desire and Will

Free Will

Have a Cool and Balanced Mind

Have a Presence of Mind

Signs of Growing Will

Become an Expert

Develop Firmness and Patience

Have a Definite aim in Life

Eastern and Western Modes of Culture


Ethical Culture

Bhava Culture

Think of the Opposite


The Subconscious Mind


Exercise for Memory-Culture

Interest Develops Memory

Health and Mind

How to Develop Perception and Hearing

Exercise for Developing Hearing

Exercises for Developing Sight


Mental Relaxation 

Physical Culture





God is Satchidananda (Existence-Absolute, Knowledge-Absolute and Bliss-Absolute). God is Truth. God is Love. God is Light of lights. God is all-pervading Intelligence or Consciousness. God is all-pervading Power who governs this universe and keeps it in perfect order. He is the Inner Ruler of this body and mind (Antaryami). He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. He is the silent Sakshi of your mind. He is the Sutradhara or the holder of the string of your Prana. He is the womb for this world and the Vedas. He is the prompter of San­kalpas (Preraka). He has six attributes, viz., Jnana (intelligence), Vairagya (dispassion), Saundarya or Madhurya (beauty and grace), Aishwarya (Siddhis or powers), Sri (wealth), and Kirti (fame). Hence He is called Bhagavan.


He exists in the past, present and future. He is unchanging amidst the changing phenomena. He is permanent amidst the impermanent things of this world. He is imperishable amidst the perishable things of this world. He is Nitya, Sasvata, Avinasi, Avyaya and Akshara. He has created this world through the three Gunas, viz., Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, for His own Leela. He has Maya under His control.


He is Svatantra (independent). He has Satkama and Sat-sankalpa. He dispenses the fruits for the actions of the Jivas. He is all-merciful. He quenches the thirst of the Jivas in the form of ice and succulent fruits. It is through His power that you see, hear and walk. Whatever you see is God. Whatever you hear is God.  God works through your hands and eats through your mouths. On account of ignorance and Abhimana you have forgotten Him


Nitya Sukha and Parama Shanti can be had only in God. That is the reason why sensible, intelligent aspirants attempt to have Darshan of God or God­realisation God-realisation can bring an end to the Samsaric wheel of birth and death with its concomitant evils. This world is a long dream. It is a jugglery of Maya. The five senses delude you at every moment. Open your eyes. Learn to discri­minate. Understand His mysteries. Feel His pre­sence everywhere. Feel His nearness. He dwells in the chambers of your heart.




a. Jnana Yoga


Spiritual culture is the king, of all cultures. So I have given prominence to this Culture is refinement or education. Spiritual means that which relates to the inner Self or Atman or Brahman, whose nature is Existence-Absolute, Knowledge-Absolute and Bliss-Absolute I do not mean here spiritualism which deals with ghosts, planchette, table-turning and possession of spirits in medium, etc. Thinking on Atma (Atma-Chintana), meditating on Atma, Conversing on Atma, hearing of Vedanta or Upanishads, remembering of Atma, will constitute spiritual culture. The student should try, to possess the qua­lifications for realisation of Atma These qualification; are four in number, viz., (1) Viveka (discrimination between the real and the unreal); (2) Vai­ragya (indifference to sensual enjoyments herein and hereafter), (3) Shadsampat (sixfold virtue) - such as Shama (tranquillity of mind) which results in the eradication of Vasanas, Dama (restraint of the Indriyas, Uparati satiety or Sannyasa or renun­ciation of works), Titiksha (endurance), Sraddha (faith in the Vedas, words of the Guru and ones own Self), Samadhana (one-pointed mind) and (4) Mumukshutva (intense longing for liberation from births and deaths) Study of Atma Bodha, Tattva Bodha, Pancheekarana, Laghu Vasudeva Manana, Sankaras Select Works, Pancha Dasi, Upanishads and Vichara Sagara, is of great help in spiritual cul­ture in the beginning.


The Mantras for meditation are silent repetition of Om or Soham or Aham Brahma Asmi or Sivoham. One can select any of these four according to his taste. He should feel, “I am the Immortal Self in all. I am the living Truth. I am All-pervading Light, Intelligence or Pure Consciousness”, when he meditates on these Mantras. This will eventually result in Atma-Sakshatkara


b. Bhakti Yoga

The other ways for spiritual culture are Bhakti Yoga and Raja Yoga. A man of devotional tempe­rament should develop the nine modes of devotion, viz., Sravana, Kirtana, Smarana, Padasevana, Archa­na, Vandana, Dasya, Sakhya and Atmanivedana. He should select his Ishta Devata - either Lord Krishna or Lord Rama, or Devi or Gayatri or Lord Siva - and repeat the particular Mantra, i.e., Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya of Lord Krishna, Om Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram of Lord Rama, Om Sri Kalikayai Namah of Devi or Om Namah Sivaya of Lord Siva, daily, for one or two hours in the morning between 4 and 6. He should study the Ramayana and the Bhagavata. He should be in the company of Bhagavatas for sometime. He should do Kirtana and sing His Name. He should meditate on His form in his heart. He should think of His attributes such as all-merciful nature, omnipotence, omniscience, etc. He should try to eradicate the vicious qualities such as lust, anger, greed, dis­honesty, cruelty, etc. He should practise Ahimsa, Satya, Brahmacharya, which constitute right con­duct. He will slowly cultivate Bhakti and have Darshan of his Ishta Devata. This is the path of devo­tion or Bhakti which is suitable for the vast majo­rity of persons.


c. Raja Yoga


There is another way for spiritual culture. This is the practice of thoughtlessness or making the mind blank. There are eight limbs in this Yoga. Hence it is called Ashtanga Yoga. The book of Yoga Darshana of Patanjali Maharshi is the stan­dard work on this subject. The eight limbs are Yama (restraint), Niyama (observances), Asana (pose), Pranayama (restraint of breath), Pratyahara­ (abstraction or withdrawal of Indriyas from objects), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana) and Samadhi (superconscious state) should be well established in Yama and Niyama. Then alone he can hope to get success in this branch of Yoga. Yama consists of Ahimsa (non-injuring in word and deed), Satya (truthfulness in thought, word and deed), Asteya (non-stealing), brahmacharya (celibacy or purity in thought, word and deed), and Aparigraha (non-covetousness). Niya­ma consists of Saucha (internal and external purity) Santosha (contentment), Tapas (austerity), Svadh­yaya (study of religious literature) and Ishvara Pranidhana (devotion to God). Raja Yoga is an exact science.  All the methods are very scientific,




Take up physical culture in the beginning. Take to any exercise that suits you best and put it in daily practice. Keep a daily record. This is very important. Mere skipping over the pages will not do. You will not be benefited. If you really want rapid improvement, if you want to become a real man, put the lessons in practice and take down notes. You can watch your progress and correct your mistakes. I want to make you a practical man quickly. Keep special notebooks. Send me a copy of the notes of exercises that you have done in month. I will make corrections and give you very valuable suggestions. I will put you in the right path. If you are very earnest and sincere, you can finish, up the memory exercises in three months. For a mediocre, I allow six months. For a third class type, I allow one year.


After you are well up in memory-culture, you can take up will-culture. You have gained now some success and power through memory-culture. This will give you a great impetus in the will-cu1ture. You will be rejoicing now. You will be training your every nerve in the practice of will-culture. You have already started the current.  It will keep up your zeal and enthusiasm. Practise the assertions boldly and calmly. Fully understand the meaning of every assertion and try to feel it. The feeling will slowly manifest. Do not be discouraged. You will have to fight against your old enemies, the old Samskaras. Wait coolly. Try to develop patience, attention, power of endurance, balance of mind, presence of mind. These qualities are very necessary to de­velop your will. Develop attention also. Practise will-culture for three months. You will feel your inner strength. The thing that appeared difficult sometime ago can be done with ease now. You will feel that you now have an unruffled mind. Things that easily upset your mind cannot do so now. You can turn out immense work quite smoothly. Your walk is graceful. Your speech is powerful. You are completely a changed man. There is a glow in your cheeks and a peculiar charm in your smile. You are now able to influence many. Your friends notice a magnetic aura in your face.


The practice of concentration should go hand in hand with the memory and will cultures. Concentration is an auxiliary in all cultures. No culture is possible without concentration. Have regular con­centration daily in the morning, for half an hour or 1 hour. Have a spiritual basis in your concentration.


You practise concentration not only for developing your memory and will, but mainly for Self­-realisation. That is the chief aim. Never, never forget this point. This is the fundamental difference between my system and the various other systems. Brahmacharya and Self-realisation are the key-notes of my system. I harp on these two points in various ways. 


I want you to develop your memory and will for success in life and achievement of Brahmic bliss eventually. Concentrate on the picture of Lord Krishna or Lord Rama or Lord Siva or Lord Jesus or Lord Buddha or Lord Mohammad, according to your inclination. The practice of concentration will immensely help your memory and will culture also. Keep a record of your experiences in concentration in your diary and send a copy to me every month.


The fourth point is the development of virtues. Through the articles “Character Building” and “Subconscious Mind” you will understand the me­thod of developing various virtues. Develop that virtue which you are hopelessly lacking in. Courage, mercy, universal love, nobility, forbearance, content­ment, frankness and honesty, must be developed one by one. Take up one virtue every month and medi­tate on that virtue regularly. You will manifest that virtue in your character. If you develop one important virtue, all other virtues will cling to you. If you have humility and courage, all other virtues will come of their own accord. You should spend daily sometime, say half an hour, for development of virtues.

If you are established in Brahmacharya or truthfulness, all other virtues will cling to you by themselves. Take up one of these four virtues - humility, courage, Brahmacharya and
truthfulness - for development.

The fifth point is eradication of evil qualities. The development of virtuous qualities will itself re­move the negative qualities. But, it is better to make a positive attempt also in the eradication of these evil qualities. Then the progress will be rapid. It is a double attack on the enemy. Then success becomes easy and sure. If you could remove lust or anger or egoism, all other evil qualities will dis­appear by themselves. All evil qualities are the at­tendants of egoism. If egoism is destroyed, if the commander is slain, all the soldiers and retinues will take to their heels, out of fright, because they have lost their head. All vices originate from anger. If anger is destroyed, all sorts of vices will vanish. Therefore, concentrate your attention in killing ego­ism or anger. Then the whole work is done, and done perfectly, too.

The sixth point is the discipline of the Indriyas. This is very important. If the Indriyas are turbu­lent, you cannot have concentration. Watch every Indriya carefully and curb it by suitable methods, such as fasting, Mouna, Trataka, celibacy, renuncia­tion of articles, Dama and Pratyahara (vide the article on “Discipline of Indriyas”). Indriyas draw you out and make your mind outgoing. Curbing of, the Indriyas really means the curbing of the mind. The Indriyas cannot do any independent work with­out the direct help of the mind.

The seventh point is physical culture. I again rewind you that no culture is possible if you do not possess a sound and healthy body. Keep your body fit and healthy, vigorous and active, by regular exercises. You must have a beautiful, symmetrical body.

 The eighth point is the keeping up of a daily diary. If you want quick and rapid progress, if you want substantial growth, keep this diary daily. Let s be a true diary with a clean conscience. Having armed yourself with the above Sadhana, you can be­come a mighty emperor of this world. You can en­joy health, wealth, spiritual bliss and longevity. I have shown graduated exercises according to the capacity of the students. Now it is left to you to expand and grow. You will have to apply yourself diligently. A hungry man will have to eat for him­self. A thirsty man will have to drink for himself. Now drink the nectar of Immortality and become a spiritual darling and hero. Get success in every department of your life. These practices will now become part and parcel of your nature after one year. You can go on developing them till you attain perfection.



Now comes another important culture. The stu­dent should pay great attention in this direction, be­cause he will derive immense benefits. Will is Atma­bal. Will is dynamic soul-force. Will, if it is rendered pure and irresistible, can work wonders. There is nothing impossible for a man of strong will to achieve in the three worlds. The vast majority of persons have no consciousness of will or mind or intellect, though they talk much on will and mind.


The will has become impure and weak through Vasa­nas (desires). When a desire is controlled, it be- comes changed into will. The sexual energy, the muscular energy, anger, etc., are all transmuted into will-force when they are controlled. The fewer the desires, the stronger the will.


Napoleon had a strong will and so he won san­guine success in wars.  Visvamitra had a strong will and therefore he created a third world for King Tri­shanku. Dattatreya had a strong will and so he created a woman by mere willing. Shams Tabreiz had a strong will and so he caused the sun to come down to roast his piece of mutton. Jnanadeva had a strong will and therefore he made the Masjid to move. All Jnanins and Yogins have very strong will.


The force of Brahmacharya is at the back of the will. No will-culture is possible without Brahma charya. Will is another name for the force of celi­bacy. Every drop of semen is a magnetic force. Sat­sankalpa is the pure willing of Jnanins. They can do anything by Sat-sankalpa. The Yogi or Jnani creates through pure will. Chudalai wanted to test her husband Shikhidhvaja. She willed and created an imaginary husband for her. She willed and stood up in the air to convince him of her powers. Imme­diately Shikhidhvaja accepted her as his Guru.




Get up at 4 a.m. and sit on Veerasana or Pad­masana and meditate on these formulae. Repeat them mentally with feeling.


              .    My will is pure, strong and irresistible.                 Om Om Om.

              .    I can do anything through my will now.                 Om Om Om.

              .    I have an invincible will.                                         Om Om Om.


Meditation on the immortal Atman develops the will. It is the best method. Do not use the will in directions. You will have a hopeless fall. Do not test the strength of your will in the beginning. Wait till it becomes strong and pure. Will is the king of mental powers. Will is Ichha-Sakti; Prana is Kriya-Sakti; intellect is Jnana-Sakti. When the will operates, all the mental powers, such as power of judgment, power of memory, power of grasping, Dharana Sakti (power of holding), reasoning po­wer, discriminating power, power of inference, power of reflection—all these come into play within the twinkling of an eye. They come to aid the will­power, their master.




Be not troubled and anxious if there is delay in the development of the will. The will is bound to carry out all your behests in the long run. You can treat any ailment of other People by mere willing.


Will:        “Let the patient be free from this disease”. This will really come to pass immediately. You will be really astonished. You can treat any disease in your body by mere willing. Will strongly: “I must see Mr. John at 5 a.m.”. The man will be at your door at the exact time. Will alone is your obedient and willing servant. It will fetch anything you want. Will strongly: I must get that appointment”. You will surely succeed. I there is delay, apply the will over and over again. In the beginning you will find it a bit difficult to apply the will, because it is a new prac­tice for you. Gradually you will know how to apply the will. You will understand the knack and techni­que, and the will can be applied in the twinkling of an eye, and the object also will be realised in the twinkling of an eye. The stronger the will, the quicker the realisation. Will strongly “I want to eat mangoes”. The mangoes are at your door. They will come anyhow. Practice will make you perfect. Experiences will teach you.


You will have to be very careful in the use of the will. It is always advisable to reserve the will-force for the achievement of higher spiritual success. Worldly success is nothing. This life is a mere bubble. This world is a long dream. Worldly suc­cess will not give you everlasting peace and happi­ness. Try your will in one or two instances in world­ly matters. You will understand and realise its power. Then apply the will in the realisation of the Self. Ignore mundane affairs. They are worthless, like straw or dung. Become an Atma-Jnani or Raja Yogi. This alone will give you absolute satisfaction. You are an emperor of the three worlds now. All petty desires will vanish now. Thou art an “Apta­Kama” now—a Jnani in whom all desires are grati­fied. Is this not really an exalted state?




Attention, power of endurance, overcoming aver­sion, dislikes and irritations, fortitude in suffering, 1apas (austerities such as standing on one foot, sitting in the hot sun) or Panchagni Tapas before five fires, standing in cold water in piercing winter, raising the hands above and keeping in the same position for an hour, fasting, patience, command of temper, forbearance, clemency, mental power of endurance, firmness in meeting danger, power of resistance or attack, Satyagraha, keeping up daily diary—all pave a long way in developing the will. One should patiently hear the words of others even though they are not interesting and charming. He should not fret and fume. Patient hearing develops will and wins the hearts of others. One should do actions or tasks that are uninteresting. This also develops the will­power. The actions that are not interesting will become interesting after sometime.


Never complain against bad environments. Create your own mental world wherever you remain and wherever you go. There are some difficulties and disadvantages wherever you go. If the mind de­ludes you, at every moment and at every step, try to overcome the obstacles and difficulties by suitable means. Do not try to run away from bad, unfavou­rable environments. God has placed you there to make you grow quickly.


If you get all sorts of comforts in a place, you will not grow strong. Your mind will be puzzled in a new place when you cannot get these comforts. Therefore, make the best use of all places. Never complain against surroundings and environments. Live in your own mental world. Nothing can upset your mind.


You will find Raga-Dvesha even in the eternal snowy regions of the Himalayas, near Gangotri. You cannot get an ideal place and ideal sur­roundings in any part of the world. Kashmir is very cool; the scenery is very, enchanting; but Pissus (small insects like fleas) trouble you at night; you cannot sleep. Varanasi is a centre of Sanskrit learn­ing, but it is notorious for hot winds in summer. Uttarakasi in the Himalayas is beautiful, but you cannot get vegetables, or fruits there; the cold is so very biting in winter. This world is a relative plane of good and evil. Remember this point at all times. Try to live happily in any place, under any condition. You will become a strong and dynamic personality. This is a great secret. Keep this in your pocket and unlock the Elysian regions, the spiritual realms and the immortal abode. You can get sanguine success in any undertaking. You can conquer any difficulty.


The, practice of concentration is of great help to strengthen the will. You must have an intelligent understanding, of the habits of the mind - how it wanders and how it operates. You must know easy and effective methods to control the wandering of the mind. The practice of thought-culture, the practice of concentration, the practice of memory-culture, are all allied subjects.  All these are of immense help in the practice of will-culture. You cannot draw a line of demarcation to denote where the practice of concentration or memory-culture ends and the prac­tice of will-culture begins. There is no hard an1 fast rule. For further particulars on the practice of concentration, please see the article “Control of Mind wandering.”


Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Balfour could go to deep sleep the, moment they went to bed through mere

willing. They had such a strong will. Even Mahatma Gandhi had this practice. They could get up in the morning at any time they wanted, to the very minute. They had so trained their subconscious mind. The subconscious mind was their obedient servant.. It would wake them up at the very second. Every one of you should develop this habit through will and become a Gandhi, a Gladstone or a Balfour.


Generally, the vast majority of persons simply roll in their beds for hours together and do not get sound sleep even for half an hour. It is the quality of sleep, and not the quantity, that gives refreshment. Sound sleep for even an hour is quite sufficient to refresh the body and revitalise the mind. The mo­ment you go to bed, simply relax the mind and give the suggestion, “I will have good sleep now.” Do not think of anything. Napoleon had this habit. Even when the bugle was blowing and the drums were beating on the battle-field, he would be snoring. His subconscious mind would wake him up at the very second he wanted to get up. With a cool mind, Na­poleon would appear like a lion on the battle-field. One should train himself to sleep in running cars, trains, and when moving in the aeroplanes, even in a sitting posture. This practice is of immense help for busy medical practitioners, advocates and busi­nessmen, who have to do immense work daily and a good deal of travelling. Life has become so very complex now-a-days that busy people do not find time to get, enough sleep. Whenever they find some leisure, even for five minutes, they should close their eyes in any place and go to sleep for a short time. This would give great rest. They can continue their further activities. This kind of practice is a blessing to busy people. Their nerves are under great tension and pressure. By relaxing them every now and then, they could refresh themselves and keep quite fit for further activities. One should be able to sleep on the platforms of Howrah or Bombay railway stations when trains are moving at all times. This is a won­derful practice that gives immense strength.


Dr. Annie Besant used to write editorial columns when moving in the cars. There are some busy doc­tors who read newspapers even when they are in the water closets. They keep their minds fully occupied. The practice of keeping the mind fully occupied is the best of all practices for keeping up physical and mental Brahmacharya. Those who want to become magnetic and dynamic personalities or prodigies should utilise every second to the best possible ad­vantage and should try to grow mentally, morally and spiritually, every second. Idle gossiping should be given up entirely. Every one of us should realise the value of time. Will is bound to become dynamic if one utilises his time very profitably. Application and tenacity, interest and attention, patience and perseverance, faith and self-reliance, can make a man a wonderful world-figure




You will have to apply your will according to your capacity. Otherwise, your will deteriorates. You will be discouraged. This is one important point. Make a programme of work or daily routine, according to your capacity, and see that it is carried out daily. Keep only a few items. If you keep several items which cannot be executed in a day, which are beyond your capacity, your interest will slowly wane and your enthusiasm will gradually decline. Your energy will be dissipated and scattered. You will get brain-fag. Whatever you wish to do daily must be carried out to the very letter. Nimbarka Acharya willed that the sun should not pass beyond the Nim tree that was in front of his house; it came to pass exactly. Narayani willed that there would be no day­break; it came to pass accordingly. These people had strong will-power. If you also will like this in the beginning, when you are a neophyte, when you have developed your will to a very small extent, you can­not succeed.


Thinking too much is a hindrance in the execution by the will. It brings confusion, diffidence and procrastination. There is slackening of the force of the will. The opportunity will slip away. You may hesitate to put the thing in action. Think for some­time correctly and then decide. As soon as you have resolved, you must will immediately. There must not be any unnecessary delay. Sometimes you will and do not succeed. This is due to lack of right thinking and right feeling. You must think rightly and, at the same time, feel rightly. Then the will is bound to succeed. Right feeling should invariably accompany right thinking.




Divine will is all-powerful. God wills, and every­thing comes into being the very second. Man wills, but it takes a long time for attaining a thing or materialisation of the desired object as his will is weak. Man thinks, wills, and slowly gets the desired ob­jects after some time. Man also creates. If his will is pure and strong, man also gets the objects in the twinkling of an eye. Mere wish will not suffice for the attainment of the desired thing. You will have -to add to it definite purpose. Wish or desire is a small ripple in the mind-lake, but will. is that po­wer which executes the desires. Will is volition. It is the power of choosing or determining.


Desire and will are different things altogether. Desire is a longing for certain possessions, while will is the power of determination (Sankalpa) with­out any motive whatsoever to enjoy anything. De­sire is Vasana which pertains to the mind; will is ichcha, which is identical with the Law and is characteristic of the Self - the universal consciousness. God’s will and Gods law are one and the same.


When the Self determines the activity, uninfluenced by attractions or repulsions towards surrounding objects, the will is manifested When outer attractions or repulsions determine the activity and the man is drawn hither and thither by these, deaf to the voice of the Self, unconscious of the Inner Ru­ler, then the desire is seen



The man must learn to separate himself from the vehicles in which he, desires, thinks and acts, -to know them as part of the not-self, as material exter­nal to the life. Thus, the energy that went out to the objects in the lower desires becomes the higher desire, guided by the mind, and is prepared to be transmuted into will.


As the lower mind emerges into the higher, and the higher into that which is wisdom, the aspect of pure will emerges as the power of the spirit, self­ determined, self-ruled, in perfect harmony with the supreme will, and therefore free. Then only all bonds are broken and the spirit is unconstrained by anything outside itself. Then and then alone can the will be said to be free.




He who is attempting to develop the will should always try to keep a cool head. He should keep a balanced mind under all conditions. He will have to train or discipline the mind. It is worth practising. Balance of mind is one of the vital characteristics of a developed Jnani or Yogi. That Yogi who can keep a balanced mind at all times is really a strong and happy man. He will get sanguine success in all his undertakings. You may fail to maintain the ba­lance in fifty attempts, but, from the fifty-first en­deavour, you will gain strength of will. You will slowly manifest balance of mind. You should not be discouraged in the beginning. Remember the story of Bruce and the Spider. Bruce learnt from the spider. He failed seven times, but succeeded in the war in his eighth attempt.


If a serious calamity occurs, your mind should not be upset. Just keep the mind cool and calm. Have presence of mind. Do not cry over spilt milk. Anyhow, it has come to pass. You will have, to face it with a cheerful countenance. Try to make, the best of things. Remember the maxim: “What can­not be cured must be endured”. Find out methods to tide over the difficulty. Keep always an unruffled mind. Do not be carried away by undue sentiments and bubbling emotions. Control them. Reflect how the calamity or trouble or catastrophe has come. There is always scope for suitable, effective, easy methods to tide over the crisis or trying situation. Allow the turban to pass off when your head is on the point of being knocked down. This is sagacity. This is prudence. This is wisdom. Develop discri­mination and foresightedness. Many obstacles and calamities can be obviated quite easily. Do not brood over failures, defects and mistakes. This will weaken your will. Let the defects remain there. They will be removed quickly when the will grows and when the will becomes purer and purer, stronger and stronger.


Just reflect for a while why, you have failed in the attempt and try to be careful in the second at­tempt. Try to remove those factors that led to your failure in the previous attempt. Fortify yourself now. Be careful and vigilant. Be on the alert. Be active and nimble as the squirrel. You must be quick and, at the same time, efficient and capable. You should not commit mistakes.




Whenever you are in a dilemma or trying practical difficulty, never get discouraged. Never lose your heart. Use your skill nicely. Devise intell­igent plans or schemes. Call forth all your latent energies or dormant faculties. When the house is on fire, how alert you are! How skillfully and promptly you act at that particular moment! You do not know wherefrom the energy and power are flowing at that time. You are fully concentrated. You contrive skil­ful methods then and there to save your property, as much as possible, and to save the lives of your kins­men dwelling in the house. Marvellous actions you do. Then you say at your leisure, when the difficulty is over, that some mysterious power of God had work­ed through you.


Always cut the Gordian knot at once. Do not be wasting time. When once you have resolved a defi­nite line of action, carry it out dexterously and with cool and calculating deliberation and consideration. Procrastination is the thief of time. A Deerghasu­tri (one who procrastinates) can never succeed in this life or in any of his undertakings.


“Procrastination is the thief of time” is a wise maxim.




Unruffled state of the mind, poise, cheerfulness, inner strength, capacity to turn out difficult works, success in all undertakings, power to influence peo­ple, a magnetic and dynamic personality, magnetic aura on the face, sparkling eyes, steady gaze, power­ful voice, a magnanimous gait, unyielding nature, fearlessness, etc., are some of the signs or symptoms that indicate that ones will is growing.



You must become a Daksha (an expert) (Refer Chapter XII, 16, Gita) in deciding a line of action when you are in a dilemma in the twinkling of an eye that can bring sure and positive success. You must keep the instrument (Buddhi) very, very subtle and sharp. See how smart and adept the Kshatriya kings were in olden days during warfares! A commander-in-chief is expected to have this faculty to a remar­kable degree. Sivaji and Napoleon had this virtue.




Unwavering firmness and patience are needed to tide over critical situations and gain success. Dhriti and Dhairya (presence of mind), and Samata (ba­lance of mind) develop the will to a remarkable de­gree.





The vast majority of persons, even the so-called educated people, have no definite aim in life. Hence they are drifted here and there like a log of wood on a restless ocean. . They do not know what to do. Some students finish their Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts courses, but they do not know how to proceed further. They do not have the power of judgment to select any good avocation that is suitable to their temperament, that can bring them prosperity and suc­cess in life. They become lazy. They are unfit for adventurous enterprises or any speculative business, or any kind of activity that demands knack, pluck and skill.


They waste their time and finish their life’s career in. gloom, despair and sorrow. The energy is there. The intellect is there but they have no defi­nite aim or purpose. They have no ideal. They have no clear-cut programme of life. Hence their life becomes a failure. Every one of you should clearly understand the aim of your life. Then you should chalk out the line of work that is congenial to your aim. You should work hard to realise the aim. You should have your ideal and you should try every second to live up to that ideal. You can realise the ideal right now in this very second, even after ten years by walking with faltering steps. It does not matter much. The ideal and the aim must be there. Then you can develop your will.


When one, has successfully finished his duties of a household, then his sorts are all fixed up in life, when the daughters are given in marriage, he should devote the remaining years of his life in spiritual pursuits, study of religious literature and divine contemplation. Many people have no definite idea as to what they are going to do. After retire­ment from active service, they take to some other avocation.. They are still greedy. Till the end of life, they count money, and entertain thoughts of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Pitiable is the lot of these men indeed. Blessed is he who spends the whole time in study and meditation in a solitary place after retirement from service.




There is a gulf of difference between the Eas­tern culture of the Hindu sages and rishis, and the method of culture of the Western occultists. The fundamental difference is that in the West, people train their will and memory for attaining material progress and worldly prosperity only. They have totally ignored the life beyond. This is their serious blunder indeed. Whereas the Yogins of India do de­velop their will and memory for spiritual ends. Their goal is always Self-realisation. They exhibit psy­chic Siddhis to make their students clearly under­stand that there is a higher supersensual life in the Atma which alone can be real Bliss and Immortality. They clearly impress on their students in unmista­kable terms: “Na Karmana Na Prajaya. Dhanena Tyagenaike Amritatwamanashuh.  Not by actions, nor by progeny, nor by riches, but by renunciation alone one can attain Immortality”. The real bliss is in the Bhuma or the Infinite or the Unconditioned. There is no happiness in the perishable objects. Real, lasting peace is in the Absolute alone. The Absolute must be sought and understood. This one ringing note is blown in their ears daily.


Therefore the Western occultists should not neg­lect the spiritual culture and should not forget the spiritual basis of all other cultures. One can have material prosperity to a certain extent. He should also develop the spiritual side. There should be a spiritual basis for all cultures and undertakings. This is important. If this side is ignored completely, then that culture is no culture at all. There should also be the practice of a little Tapas (austerity) along with the will-culture.  Saunaka, a wise householder, approached the sage Angirasa and said: “O venerable sir, what is that supreme culture or culture of cultures by knowing which all other cultures are known?” Angirasa replied: “It is Brahma Vidya or Para Vidya or the spiritual culture or the Science of the Self”. All cultures are founded on the culture of the Self. I therefore draw the attention of Western culturists to this striking feature of Eastern culture. Then alone they will have roaring success and immeasura­ble joy. Some Hindu teachers completely ignore the material side and practise Tamasic Tapas. This is also inadvisable. This is condemned by Lord Krish­na in the Gita. Extremes are always bad. A healthy combination is highly desirable. Chudalai and Janaka had this happy combination. Tantrikas have Mukti and Bhukti.




Dear readers, I want to place before you another important point. I have not such words as cannot, difficult, impossible, weakness, etc., in my dictionary. Those who are attempting to develop their will-force should remove these words from heir dictionary also. These are the expressions of a weakling or an effeminate person. These are the expressions of a timid woman. Become a lion. Become a spiritual hero. Become a champion in the atmic field. By mere willing or chanting of Om mountains can be crushed to powder. By mere willing mountains should move. By mere willing, oceans should recede. By mere willing, all the waves of the ocean should subside. Lord Jesus did this and you also can do. Whatever one has achieved can also be attained by all if only they will. This is the grand law of Nature. Mother Prakriti is unbiased. She looks up at all her children with equal vision. Speak with dignity and force. Talk with emphasis in a noble manner.


Therefore never entertain in your mind these negative terms. Understand the glory, splendour and power of the Self which is at the back of your mind, thought, will and memory. Understand the magnanimity and immortal nature of that hidden, inter-penetrating, indwelling Essence. Know that this Self is the storehouse for all knowledge, bliss, power, beauty, peace and joy. Feel that the sun, the moon and the stars, and fire do their respective functions at your command. Feel that the air moves, rain showers, fire burns, rivers flow, sun shines, stars glitter, Indra, Agni and Yama do their respective functions, at your bidding.  Thou art the Glory of glories, Sun of suns, Light of lights, Holy of holies, Divinity of divinities, Devata of Devatas, Emperor of emperors, God of gods. Thou art Truth; Thou art Brahman; Thou art the imperishable, undecaying, undying Atman that pervades this whole universe. Assert your divine majesty. Recognise the Brahmic glory. Realise our freedom and Satchidananda nature, your centre, ideal, goal and heritage. Rest in that ocean of light, knowledge, Prema, peace, joy and bliss. Realise the significance of the great sentence Tat Tvam Asi (Thou art That) of the glorious Upanishads. OM! OM! OM!



Do you know the reason why I have chosen this subject as the third  item? Atma is the basis of everything. So I have placed spiritual culture in the beginning. There is intimate relation between Mind and will.  Will is only Atma or God in motion or manifestation. - So I have dealt with will­, culture after spiritual culture. No spiritual or will culture is possible without ethical culture, so I Have placed this subject as the third important item. Ethical culture will result in ethical perfection. An ethical man is more powerful than an intellectual.  Ethical culture brings in various sorts of Siddhis or occult powers. If you study Yoga Sutras, you will find a clear description of the powers that manifest by observance of the practices of, Ahimsa; Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya and Aparigraha. The nine Riddhis roll under the feet of an ethically deve­loped man. They are ready to serve him.


The philosopher need not necessarily be a moral or ethical man; but, a spiritual man must of necessity be moral. Morality goes hand in hand with spiriua1ity. Morality coexists with spirituality. . The three kinds of Tapas,  viz., physical, verbal, and mental that are prescribed in the seventeenth chapter of the Gita, the practice of Yama in Raja Yoga philosophy, and the Noble Eightfold Path of the Buddhists, viz., right thinking, right endeavour, right action, right living, etc. are all best calculated to develop the moral side of man. Sadachara or right conduct aims to making a man moral, so that he may be fit - for the reception of Atma-Jnana or the realisation of the Supreme Tattva.


You should always try your level best to speak, the truth at all costs. You may lose, your income in the beginning. But, in the long run, you are bound to be victorious. You will realise the truth of the Upanishads: “Satyameva Jayate Nanritam. Truth alone triumphs, but not falsehood”. Even a lawyer who speaks the truth in law courts, who does not coach up false witnesses, may lose his practice in the beginning; but later on, he will be honoured by the judge as well as the client. Thousands of clients will flock to him only. He will have to make some sacrifice at the outset. Lawyers generally complain, “What can we do? Our profession is such. We must tell lies, otherwise we lose our case”. These are false excuses. There was an advocate, a mental San­nyasi, who was practising in the Uttar Pradesh, who was a friend and benefactor of Sannyasins, who never coached false witnesses, who never took up criminal cases, and yet, he was the leader of the bar amid was revered by the judges, clients and colleagues. 0, my friends, barristers and advocates, who are killing their conscience and who are slayers of Atman! Will you all follow this noble example and ideal? Be truthful. You will have a peaceful death. Do not kill your conscience in order to have comfor­table living, and in order to please your wife.  Life here is evanescent and like a bubble. Aspire to be­come divine.


The various formulae - Ahimsa Paramo Dharmah (Non-injuring is the highest of all virtues); Satjam Vada, Dharmam Chara (speak the truth and do vir­tuous actions); Do unto others in the same way as you wish others to do unto you; Do as you would be done by; Love thy neighbour as thyself - are all best calculated to develop the moral aspect of a human being. Morality is the basis for the realisation of atmic unity or oneness of life or Advaitic feel­ing of sameness everywhere. Ethical culture pre­pares you for the Vedantic, realisation of Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma (All, indeed, is Brahman; there no such thing as diversity).


All aspirants commit mistakes in jumping to Sanadhi and Dhyana all at once, as soon as they leave their houses, without caring a bit for ethical purification. The mind remains in the same condition” although they have practised meditation for fifteen years. They have the same jealousy, hatred, idea of superiority, pride, egoism, etc. No meditation or Samadhi is possible without ethical culture. Meditation and Samadhi come by themselves when man has ethical perfection.




Bhava is a Sanskrit term: there is no proper equivalent in English. It means mental attitude or mental disposition. Bhava is internal feeling. There are three kinds of Bhavas, viz., Sattvic Bhava, Rajasic Bhava, and Tamasic Bhava according to the nature of the quality that predominates in man. Sattvic Bhava is divine Bhava. It is Suddha Bhava. Just as thought or memory or will can be cultivated or developed by practice, so also, Bhava can be developed. An evil. Bhava can be transmuted into a good Bhava. The Bhava of friendliness or enmity is a mental creation. The enemy or friend is not out­side. It is the feeling or imagination from within. An intimate friend of long standing becomes. a deadly enemy within a second. One hot or harsh word changes the situation completely within the twinkling of an eye. When there is friendly Bhava,  Mr. Smith expects and imagines that his friend Mr. Nicholas will serve him when he is sick, that he will have a good loving company in Mr. Nicholas, that his friend Mr. Nicholas will speak loving words, that he can get a loan of money from Mr. Nicholas when he is in distress, and that Mr. Nicholas will show a loving face and receive him with hospitality when he visits his house. These are the feelings of men when friendly Bhava reigns in their minds. When they lose their friendship, Mr. Smith entertains dif­ferent kinds of feelings towards Mr. Nicholas. He has no confidence in his old friend and colleague. He is afraid of him. He turns his face when he meets his friend. He speaks ill of him. He thinks that Mr. Nicholas will injure him. The whole position is so radically changed. The Bhava has so completely changed now.

Vedanta says: “Man is identical with  Brahman (Existence-Absolute) when he gets rid of his ignorance.” A human being erroneously identifies himself with his body and wrongly imagines that he is a little Jiva with little power and little knowledge. This is his present Bhava. This is human Bhava. This should be changed into Brahma Bhava by changing the angle of vision and mode of thinking. Think you are Brahman. Think you are pure all-pervading intelligence, light and consciousness. Think you are immortal. Think you are omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. Think you are Sakshi. Entertain Sakshi Bhava and Akarta Bhava: “I am the witness. I am not the doer. I am not the enjoyer”.  By this practice you can destroy the idea of agency and of enjoyer, and free - yourself from the bondage of Karmas, and attain the state of Brahman or the  highest bliss, knowledge and immortality. Vedanta also adds: “See and feel Brahman everywhere and ignore the names and forms”.  It teaches you to develop Atma Bhava or Brahma Bhava by Vichara and right thinking and meditation.


When an idea exclusively occupies the mind, a mental state or Bhava corresponding to the nature of the idea comes in. Think of your enemy for some time and inimical Bhava will manifest. Think of mercy or universal love; Prema Bhava or Karuna Bhava will manifest. Think of universal service; Seva Bhava will come in. Think of Lord Krishna and His Lilas at Brindavan; Krishna-Prema Bhava will manifest.  Feeling always accompanies think­ing. You cannot separate thinking from feeling. They are like fire and heat.


You should be ever watching the mental states through careful and vigilant introspection, and should not allow any negative and undesirable Bhava to manifest. You must immediately change the evil Bhava by thinking of the opposite Bhava. Posi­tive overpowers the negative. A Sattvic Bhava is a valuable spiritual asset for you. You must always try to get established in Brahma Bhava through Sattvic Bhava.  The struggle will be keen in the beginning. There will be internal warfare between the Asurika and the divine Bhavas. The former will try its level best to re-enter the mental factory. In the long run, through constant practice, Sattvic Bhava will carry the day. Food has a direct bearing upon Bhava. Sattvic food easily brings in Sattvic Bhava. Put yourself on an exclusive diet of milk and fruits only for a fortnight and study the nature of your mind and Bhava. You will have a wonderful calm mind with Sattvic Bhava. When there is this Sattvic Bhava, the mind naturally moves towards God, and meditation comes by itself without the least possible effort on your part.


When the devotee thinks that be is a servant of the Lord, he entertains Dasya Bhava. When be thinks that the Lord is his friend like the immortal Arjuna, he entertains Sakhya Bhava. When be thinks that the Lord is his son, he develops Vatsalya Bhava. When he thinks that the Lord is his husband like the Sufis or Rup-kalaji of Ayodhya, he develops Madhurya Bhava or Kanta Bhava. He feels that the Lord is present everywhere -  Sarvam Vasudevamiti - and develops Tanmaya Bhava.


A devotee always thinks that God does every­thing and that he is an instrument in the hands of God. He thinks that he is only Nimitta; this is his Bhava. By entertaining this Bhava, he gives up the idea of agency and enjoyment and thus frees himself from the bonds of Karma. He rests in perfect, unal­loyed peace by developing this Bhava. He says when anything happens, whether desirable or undesirable, “God is everything. God does everything for my own good. God is just. Thy will be done. All is Thine.  I am Thine, my Lord”. By the practice of this Bhava, he is always happy, under all circumstances and con­ditions of life.


The Bhavas of a Bhakta and a Vedanti differ.  A Vedanti entertains Sakshi and Akarta Bhavas.  Bhakta entertains Nimitta Bhava. The Vedanti develops Brahma Bhava. The Bhakta develops Dasya Bhava. The Vedanti identifies himself with Brahman. The Bhakta entertains the Bhava of duality. He worships and adores. Eventually, through Para Bhakti, the Bhakta also gets Jnana and attains the state which a Jnani attains. The modes of Sadhana and the Bhavas differ in them in the begin­ning. They meet on the same platform ultimately.


A rich man and a Pandit have the Bhava of arroga­nce and superiority. A real Sannyasi has the Bhava of equality and oneness, and the Bhava of love. Bhava differs in different persons, according to nature and quality.  In worldly parlance, the rela­tionship of father and son, husband and wife, master and servant, friend and friend, brother and sister, etc., is meant to develop the various degrees of Prema and to extend this Prema to God by purifying the lower emotion into higher sublime divine emo­tion. That is the aim and object. The lower human Bhava is transmuted into higher divine Bhava.  Worldly relationship and Bhava is preliminary training for the development of divine Bhava. Do not forget this point.




The Method of Pratipaksha Bhavana


Watch all your feelings very carefully. Suppose you get a gloomy feeling. Take a small cup of milk or tea. Sit calmly. Close your eyes. Find out the cause for the depression and try to remove the cause. The best method to overcome this feeling is thinking of the opposite. Positive overcomes the negative. This is a grand, effective law of nature. Now, think strongly of the opposite of gloom. Think of cheerfulness. Imagine the advantages of cheerfulness. Feel that you are in the actual possession of: this quality. Again and again repeat the formula OM CHEERFULNESS mentally. Feel: “I am very cheerful”. Begin to smile and laugh several times. - Sing! some tunes that can elevate you quickly. Singing is very beneficial to drive off gloom. Chant OM loudly seve­ral times. Run in the open air. The depression will vanish soon. This is the Pratipaksha-Bhavana me­thod of Raja Yogins. This is the easiest method. The method of driving gloom by force, by willing, by assertions, by command - ”Get out O gloom” - taxes the ‘will’ very much, although it is the most efficient method. It demands great strength of will. Ordinarily, people will not succeed. The method of displacing or dislocating the negative feeling by substituting the opposite positive feeling, is very easy. Within a very short time, the undesirable feeling vanishes. Practise this and feel. Even if you fail several times, continue the practice. You will be suc­cessful after some sittings and some practice.


You can treat in the same manner other nega­tive feelings as well. If there is the feeling of anger, think of love. If there is harshness of heart, think of mercy. If there is lust, think - of the advantages of celibacy. If there is dishonesty; think of honesty, integrity. If there is miserliness, think of genero­sity and generous persons. If there is Moha (infatua­tion), think of discrimination and Atmic Vichara. If there is pride, think of humility. If there is hypocri­sy, think of frankness and its invaluable advanta­ges. If there is jealousy, think of nobility and mag­nanimity. If there is timidity, think of courage, and so on. You will drive off the negative feelings, and will be established in the positive state. Practice of a continued type is essential. Be careful in the se­lection of your companions. Talk very little, and that too, on useful matters.






This is also another vital subject. Very few people know this art or science. Even the so-called educated people are unaware of this fundamental education. All have random thinking. All sorts of loose thoughts of diverse kinds come and go in the mental factory. There is neither order nor harmony. There is neither rhythm nor reasoning. There is neither concord nor organised working. There is neither system nor discipline. All is in utter chaos and confusion. There is no clarification of ideas. You cannot think of one subject even for two minutes in an- orderly and systematic manner. You have no understanding of the laws of thought and the laws of the mental plane. There is a perfect menagerie inside. All sorts of sensual thoughts fight amongst themselves to enter the mind of a. sensualist and gain the upper hand.  The eye Indriya struggles to bring its own thoughts. It wants to have sight-see­ing.  The ear Indriya wants to hear radio music, and so on.  In the vast majority of persons, only base thoughts, lustful thoughts, thoughts of hatred, jealousy and fear, exist. They cannot entertain a single sublime divine thought even for a second. Their minds are so framed that the mental energy runs into sensual grooves.


Every man has got his own mental world, his own mode of thinking, his own ways of understanding things, and his own ways of acting. Just as the face and voice of every man differ from those of another man, the mode of thinking and understanding also differs. That is the reason why misunderstand­ing easily occurs between friends. One is not able to understand rightly the views of another. Hence friction, rupture and quarrel occur within a minute even amongst fast friends. The friendship does not last long. One should be in tune with the mental vibrations or thought vibrations of another man. Then only one can easily understand another. Lustful thoughts, thoughts of hatred, jealousy and selfish­ness, produce distorted images in the mind and cause clouding of understanding, perversion of intellect, loss of memory, and confusion in the mind.


Every thought has got image, form, dimension weight, shape, colour, etc. Thought is as much mat­ter as a piece of stone. Thought moves, and passes from one man to another. Thought influences people. A man of powerful thought can influence readi­ly, people of weak thoughts. Telepathy is a branch of occult science, wherein the Yogi can transmit messages to any man in any part of the world. Telepathy is the first telegraphic or telephonic system in this world, known to Yogins and occultists of ancient days.


A thought of anger or hatred sends arrows from the mental factory towards the person aimed at, harms the individual, sets up discord and disharmony in the thought-world, and comes back again to the sender and harms the sender also.  If one can under­stand the effect and power of thought, he will be very careful in the manufacture of his thoughts in his mental laboratory. One should develop the faculty of producing only pure Sattvic thoughts by protracted mental discipline, dietetic adjustments, repetition of good Slokas with meaning, good com­pany, study of divine books, Japa, meditation, Pranayama, prayer, etc.  A good man can help his friend, even though he lives at a long distance, by good thoughts. You must not allow any evil thought to enter your mental factory. Watch always your thoughts. Avoid useless and base thinking, and re­serve- or conserve your mental energy. Energy is wasted: in idle thinking.


Keep yourself always occupied in doing virtuous actions and the study of religious books. You can thereby cultivate good and sublime thoughts. Destroy random thinking. Take a subject, and think on its different aspects and bearings. When you think so on one subject, never allow any other thought to enter the conscious mind. Again with­draw the mind to the subject on hand Take for instance: you begin to think on the life and teachings of Jagadguru Adi Sankaracharya Think of his birthplace, his early life, his character, his personality, his virtues, his preachings, his writings, his philosophy, some of the important utterings in his works or Slokas, the Siddhis that he exhibited from time to time, his Digvijaya, his four disciples, his four Maths, his commentary on the Gita, Upanishads and Brahma Sutras. Think of these items one by one, in order. Exhaust them. Again and again bring the mind to the point. Then take up another sub­ject. By this practice, you will develop organised thinking. The mental images will gain intense strength and force. They will become clear-cut and well-defined. In ordinary persons, the mental images are destroyed and undefined. Every thought has got an image. A table is a mental image plus some external something. Whatever you see outside has got its counterpart in the mind. The pupil is a small round thing in the eye. Retina is a small structure. How is it that the image of a big mountain seen through a small aperture or structure is cast on the mind? How does the big form of a mountain enter a tiny hole in the eye? This is a marvel of marvels. The image of a mountain already exists in the mind. The mind is like a big, vast sheet of canvas cloth that contains all the pictures of the objects seen out­side.


You must have a knowledge of the mental laws, viz., the law of association, the law of relativity, and the law of contiguity. Then you can develop thought culture very easily. You can remember things through the ‘law of association’. Bramacharya, and pure Sattvic diet, are essential, for thought culture. Get up at 4 a.m. Sit on Virasana or Padmasana or Siddhasana. Repeat your Mantra - Om or, Ram or Hari Om - for ten minutes, and then practise thought-Culture. Have another sitting at night. When you think on one subject, do not allow other thoughts to enter. When you think of rose, think of the different kinds of roses only. Do not allow other thoughts to enter. When you think of mercy, think of mercy and mercy only. Do not think of forgive­ness and tolerance. When you study the Gita, do not think of tea or a cricket match. Be wholly oc­cupied on the subject on hand.


Napoleon controlled his thoughts in this manner: “When I want to think of things more plea­sant, I close up the cupboards of my mind revealing the more unpleasant things of life, and open up the cupboards containing the more pleasant thoughts. If I want to sleep, I close up all the cupboards of my mind!”


Thought is both force and motion. Thought is dynamic. Thoughts move. There are various kinds of thoughts. There are instinctive thoughts. There are visual thoughts. There are auditory thoughts (thinking in terms of hearing). There are symbolic thoughts (thinking in terms of symbols). Some thoughts are habitual. There are kinaesthetic thou­ghts (thinking in terms of movement, as in playing a game). There are emotional thoughts. If there is mental fatigue, the processes of thought change from visual to auditory, and from auditory to kinaesthetic. There is intimate connection between thinking and respiration, as there is close relation between mind and Prana. Where the mind is concentrated, breathing becomes slow. If one thinks fast, the respiration also becomes fast. There is a thought ­reading machine, known as psychograph, which re­gisters correctly the type of thoughts.




The subconcious mind is termed “Chitta”, in Vedanta. Much of your subconsciousness consists of submerged experiences, memories thrown into the background, but recoverable.


When you show symptoms of losing your memory, as you grow old, the first symptom is that you find it difficult to remember the names of persons. The reason is not far to seek All the names are arbi­trary. They are like labels. There are no associa­tions along with the names The mind generally re­members through associations, as the impressions become deep thereby You can remember well in old age some passages that you had read in schools and colleges; but you find it difficult to remember in the evening a passage you read in the morning. The reason is that the mind has lost its Dharana-Sakti (power of grasping ideas). The brain-cells have de­generated. Those who overwork mentally, who do not observe the rules of Brahmacharya and who are af­flicted with much cares and anxieties, worries, etc, lose their power of memory soon. Even in old age you can remember old events, as there are associa­tions with events.


The mental processes are not limited to the field of, consciousness alone. The field of subconscious mentation is of much greater extent than that of conscious mentation. Messages, when ready, come out like a flash from the subconscious mind to the surface of the conscious mind through the trap-door of the, subconscious mind or Chitta of the Vedantins. Only ten percent of the mental activities come into the field of consciousness. At least ninety per cent of our mental life is subconscious. We sit and try to solve a problem, and fail. We look around, try again and again, but fail. Suddenly an idea dawns that leads to the solution of the problem. The sub­conscious processes were at work. Sometimes, you go to sleep at night with the thought: “I must get up very early in the morning to catch a train”. This message is taken up by the subconscious mind and it is this subconscious mind that wakes you up un­failingly at the exact hour. The subconscious mind is your constant companion and sincere friend. You repeatedly fail at night to get a solution for a prob­lem in arithmetic or geometry. In the morning, when you awake, you get a clear answer. This answer comes like a flash from the subconscious mind. Even in sleep it works without any rest incessantly. It arranges, classifies, compares, sorts all facts and figures, and works out a proper satisfactory solution. This is all due to the subconscious mind. With the help of the subconscious mind you can change your vicious nature, by cultivating healthy virtuous quali­ties that are opposed to the undesirable ones. If you want to overcome fear, mentally deny that you have fear, and concentrate your attention upon the oppo­site quality, the ideal of courage. When courage is developed, fear vanishes away by itself. The positive always overpowers the negative. This is an infallible law of nature. This is Pratipaksha Bhavana of the Raja Yogins. You can acquire a liking for distasteful tasks and duties by cultivating a desire and taste for them. You can establish new habits, new ideas, new, ideals, new tastes and new character in the subconscious mind by changing, the old ones.


All actions, enjoyments, and experiences leave an imprint in the subconscious mind in the form of subtle impressions or residual potencies. The Sams­karas are the root of causing again Jati (life) and experiences of pleasure and pain. Revival of Sams­karas induces memory. The Yogi dives deep inside and comes in direct contact with these Samskaras. He directly perceives them through the inner Yogic vision. By Samyama (concentration, meditation and Samadhi) on these Samskaras, be acquires know­ledge of the previous lives. By doing Samyama on the Samskaras .of others, the Yogi gets knowledge of their past lives also.


When you desire to remember a thing, you will have to make a psychic exertion. You will have to go up and down into the depths of the different levels of subconsciousness and then pick up the right thing from a curious mixture of multifarious irrelevent matter. Just as the mail-sorter in the railway mail service takes up the right letter by moving the hand up and down along the different pigeon-holes, so also, the sorter (the subconscious mind), goes up and down along the pigeonholes in the subconscious mind and brings the right thing to the level of nor­mal consciousness. The subconscious mind, can pick up the right thing from a heap of various matters.


A Samskara of an experience is formed or developed in the Chitta at the very moment when the mind is experiencing something. There is no gap between the present experience and the formation of a Samskara in the subconscious mind.  Smriti or memory is a function of the chitta (subconscious mind). It is a separate faculty or category in Vedanta. Sometimes it is Antarangata, that comes under the mind. In the Sankhya philoso­phy it is included in Buddhi or Mahat Tattva. The Chitta of Patanjali Maharshi’s philosophy of Raja Yoga (Yogah Chitta Vritti Nirodhah) corresponds to the Antahkarana of Vedanta.



He who dwells in the subconscious mind or Chitta, and in memory, and who is within this memory, whom the Chitta and memory do not know, whose body is the memory (and subconscious mind) who rules the memory and Chitta from within, is thy Self, Inner Ruler (Immortal Atma, Antaryami Amritam). My silent adorations and prostrations to this Inner Ruler!


Memory-culture is very, very important. It brings success in God-realisation as well. A forget­ful man always fails in his endeavours. The manager gets displeased with a forgetful clerk. A forgetful man commits serious mistakes again and again. A man with strong and retentive memory gets sanguine success in all his ventures and undertakings. He who has memory can, conduct his business-affairs very successfully, remember credits and debits, and keep accounts in a satisfactory manner. A student who has a retentive memory will get success in all his exa­minations. Intelligence is only one-tenth of memory.


The Sanskrit term for memory is Smriti.  Smara­na is remembering. This is the function of the sub­conscious mind or Chitta. The Samskaras of thinking and acting are deeply impressed in the Chitta. The Chitta is like the sensitive plate of a camera. It is like the sensitive plate of a gramophone. All the im­pressions are indelibly recorded there. Whenever you make an attempt to remember the past events or things, they come back to the surface of the consci­ous mind through the trap-door. Just as the man en­ters the stage from the side-curtains, just as the pri­soner comes out of the jail through a small door in the big main gate, so also the impressions come out through the trap-door in the form of big waves of thought or mental image. If you have a clairvoyant vision or astral eye, you can clearly watch all sub­terranean movements of these images in the subter­ranean workshop of the mind or the underground mental factory. The term memory is used in two senses. We say, “Mr. John has got a good memory!” Here it means that Mr. John’s capacity of the mind to store up its past experiences is very good. Some­times you say, “I have no memory, of that incident”. Here it means you cannot bring out to the surface of the conscious mind, in its original form, the incident that occurred some years ago. It is an act of remembering


If the experience is fresh, you can have a com­plete recall of your past experience through memory. You cannot get any new knowledge through memory. It is only a repetition. 


In ordinary recollection, there is a temporal coefficient. In personal memory, there is a specific coefficient. That which acts together with another is a coefficient. In mathematics, the numerical or literal factor prefixed to an unknown quantity in an alge­braic term is coefficient.


Suppose you have received a nice fan as a pre­sent from your friend. When you use the fan, it sometimes reminds you of your friend. You think of him for a short time. This fan serves as cause for memory (Udbodhaka or Smriti-hetu).


The following are the four good characteristics of good memory: (i) If you read once a passage and if you can reproduce the same nicely, it is a sign to indicate that you have a good memory. This is ter­med Sugamata. (ii) If you can reproduce the same thing without increase or decrease (addition or sub­traction), it is called Avaikalya. (iii) If you can preserve a fact or passage, or anything for a very considerable period, it is called retentive memory, Dharana. (iv) If you can reproduce a passage at once without any difficulty when it is needed, it is called Upaharana.


If your brother is a coward, the sight of a simi­lar man in another place will bring to your mind the memory of your brother. This memory is due to si­milarity of objects (Sadrishata).


Suppose you have seen a dwarf at Madras. When you see a very tail man or Patagonian, this will remind you of the dwarf whom you saw at Madras.  The sight of a big palace will remind you of a peasants hut or a Sannyasins grass Kutir on the banks of the Ganges. This memory is due to dissimilarity in objects, (Vipareetata).


When you walk along the road on a stormy day and happen to see a fallen tree, you conclude that the tree has fallen owing to the storm. In this case, the memory is due to the relation between cause and ef­fect (Karya-Karana-Sambandha).


A knowledge of the working of the subconscious mind is very necessary for those who want to deve­lop their memory. Most of the mental operations take place in the subconscious mind. The conscious mind takes some rest, but the subconscious mind works throughout the twenty-four hours. It is the subconscious mind that brings the answer like a flash of lightning in the early morning, when you fail to get a solution at night even though you rake your brain for hours and hours together. It is again the subconscious mind that wakes you up in the morning when you go to sleep with a firm resolve: “I should catch the train at 3 a.m.”. It is a most faithful, ser­vant, provided you know the technique of manipulat­ing it in a masterly manner.  You can extract tremendous work from it. All the prodigies, or intellec­tual giants of the world, know the act of handling and tapping this portion of the mind. The Chitta analyses, sorts, arranges facts and figures, takes out all old records from the various pigeon-holes of the mind, and produces in the early morning or at any time, a clear balance-sheet of facts for your perusal and review. Before you retire to bed, give orders to the Chitta to do any kind of work. It will keep the answer ready in the early morning. When you are in a dilemma, when you are at your wits end and con fused, when you do not know how to solve a serious problem, give orders to the Chitta - a definite com­mand - placing before it the nature of your difficulty in the morning at 4 a.m., you will have an unambi­guous answer. Do this. Practise this. Then only you will have wonderful conviction and strength. You will find a very reliable friend in the subconscious mind.


A man of strong and retentive memory can turn out tremendous work in the twinkling of an eye. He can master any subject or art in a short time. Dr. Samuel Johnson used to repeat passages after pas­sages in a few minutes, by committing them to me­mory. His mother was quite astonished. She used to ask him: “Johnson, my dear child, get this passage by heart”. Before she would ascend the staircase, he would follow her-and say, “Mamma, mamma, I know this by heart”. He would then repeat them then and there. What a wonderful memory Johnson had! What one man has achieved can also be achieved by an­other: this is an immutable law of nature.


If you read the introduction of “Pranava Vada” written by Sri Babu Bhagawan Das of Varanasi, you will find that he collected all the materials for his big book in three volumes by hearing the recitations from a Pandit who was blind from his very birth and who knew the contents of many books by heart.  He knew the numbers of the pages also. You go to Bak­shi Sur who lives in a village in Lakhimpur-Kheri in Uttar Pradesh.  He has a wonderful memory.  He is a blind man from his birth. He can quote all the verses from Surdas and Tulsidas.  He can quote the page numbers, too.  How he learnt this, how he com­mitted this to memory, is a wonder of wonders today!


In olden days, Sanskrit scholars got by heart all the Vedas. The Gurukula system of education has its ­own advantages.  It develops memory to a very marvellous extent. Even now there is a Sanskrit Pandit in Varanasi who has committed to memory the whole of the Upanishads, the Gita, the Brahma Sutras, Khandana Khadyam, Chit Sukhi and Advaita Siddhi, the greatest monumental work on Vedanta. There are small boys in the Darshan Maha Vidyalaya of Sri Ra­ghavachari in Rishikesh who have committed to me­mory the eighteen chapters of the Gita. The Guru­kula system of education is wonderful. The students of modern universities cannot compete with the stu­dents of the Gurukula system.


Brahmacharya, dietetic adjustment, and disci­pline of Indriyas are very essential for developing memory. The seminal energy has a direct, intimate connection with the cells of the Chitta and brain. You should try your extreme level best to preserve every drop of your vital fluid. Bad memory is due largely to heavy losses of this life-giving energy Young school and college students do not realise the vital importance of Brahmacharya They grope in utter darkness. Their minds are filled with passion by daily looking at the nude pictures and embraces in the film-shows. They indulge in novel-reading that exci­tes passion. They always seek bad company. They are conceited; arrogant and self-willed. They never care to approach the sages who can give them inspiring lessons on the science of the Self, memory culture, and conquest of passion. They eat whenever they like. They have no idea of Sattvic diet and the effects of unwholesome food on the different compartments of the brain. They have no knowledge of discipline of Indriyas and the science of dietetics. Hence they fail in their lives and lead a cheerless, gloomy life in darkness and despair. This is their only mistake. Those who are careful in Brahma­charya and food, those who have Satsanga with Sa­dhus and Sannyasins, are always quite safe. They be­come quite successful in their lives. Even if they commit mistakes, they are then and there corrected by wise men.


There are Udbodhakas or Smriti-hetus that bring things to memory. The sight of a wrist-watch brings the recollection of your friend who presented a wrist watch to you. The law of association is of immense help in developing your memory. The remembrance of a word that ends in ity, such as “cupidity”, “avi­dity”, etc., will bring to memory other words such as “stupidity”, “superiority”, “inferiority”, etc. The re­membrance of a word that ends in “tic, such as “ro­mantic”, will bring to memory other words as “fan­tastic”. In this way, you can remember things. You will have to group things like this in the various pigeon-holes of your brain. Connect one thing or event with another of a like nature. Then all these things will come back to your memory quite readily and willingly.




Here are some easy exercises for memory cul­ture. Sit on Virasana or Padmasana. Close your eyes. Imagine there is a big garden. In one corner there are jessamine flowers, in another roses, in another Champak, in another lily of the valley.  First, think of the jessamine, then rotate the mind to roses, then to Champak, and then to lily.  Again bring back the mind to jessamine.  Revolve the mind like this for two or three minutes. Look at the map of the hea­vens at night and count. the stars in a small localised area. On Thursday morning, try to remember the die­tetic preparations, vegetables, kinds of Dhal, etc., that were prepared on Wednesday. This is another kind of exercise.


Study one important Sloka from the Gita. Find out parallel lines in the Ramayana, the Bhagavata, the Upanishads, the Yoga Vasishtha and the Bible, and connect all these passages and keep them in your mental disposition or pigeon-holes of the brain.




-  Bring back the word V-I-B-G-Y-O-R to memo­ry. Try to remember the various colours such as vio­let, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. Coin your code words to help you for remembering. Every one of you can have your own code words.



Coin your catch-words, some that start with “A, some with B, some others with R, some that end with -tion, some with -ness. Here are some sentences:


      “An Austrian army at Aurangabad”. “Be bold, but be  benevolent.” “Cunning., camels car­ried caravans.”  “Doctor Dadabhai died during Deepavali.” “Examination is a great botheration to the Hindu nation whose sole occupation is cultivation.” “If you do not want to study, hang that matriculation and take to meditation. This is a sure way for Sal­vation.” “If you combine Satsanga and Kirtan with meditation, this will form a good spiritual emulsion”. “This is my firm conviction after mature deliberation and careful consideration.” Here, you find all words ending in -tion. This is a specimen for you. You can do in your own way. Every one of you has crea­tive power of your own.



Japa, meditation, prayer, devotion, Sirshasana and Pranayama develop memory wonderfully. Here is a short description of Sirshasana. (For detailed particulars, vide the book “YOGA ASANAS”.) Sirsha­sana is the king of all Asanas. Spread a fourfold blanket. Rest the head over locked fingers, and slow­ly raise the legs up. Then slowly bring down the legs without jerks. Take the help of a, wall or any of your friends in the beginning. Do it for a minute; and gra­dually increase the time to ten minutes. It removes diseases of the eyes, ears, nerves, blood, stomach, in­testines, gonorrhoea, spermatorrhoea, dyspepsia, con­stipation, etc. It augments the digestive fire and im­proves appetite. It is a blood and nervine tonic. In­tellectual faculties develop.  It helps Brahmacharya and makes you an Oordhvareto-Yogi.




Here are some assertions and affirmations for developing memory. Meditate and assert on them: -

  1. I have a very strong memory                              Om      Om      Om.

  2.  I can remember things now nicely                    Om      Om     Om.

 3.  My memory has very much improved                 Om      Om      Om.

 4.  I have a wonderful retentive memory                Om      Om      Om.



 Repeat the above formula several times daily. Meditate on this in the morning also for five minu­tes. You will have wonderful improvement. “Day by day, in every way, I am becoming better and bet­ter through the grace of my Lord.” Meditate on the meaning and feel also.


    I shall speak a word on keeping a memorandum notebook. Daily jot down in the notebook, as soon, as you rise from bed in the morning, the various kinds of work that you have to do in the course of the day; and see if all have been carried out to the very letter. Tick each item as soon as it is finished.




Take a packet of playing cards and have six cards from out of it and see them very carefully Then place them in front of you with face down words Through memory, jot down in order on a piece of paper, their exact description You can slowly increase the number to ten or twelve This exercise will also develop memory.




Lie down in an easy chair quite comfortably. Recollect the picture of your father. Close your eyes. Just try to bring out a clear description of some of his distinct physical characteristics and marks on the body, such as the kind of - nose, hair, the condi­tion of his eyes, forehead, lips, ears, chest, whether broad or pigeon chest, whether sinewy or thin arms, whether there is symmetry in his limbs, the condi­tion of his teeth, his gait, way of talking, special dis­tinctive features and physiognomy, special traits that attract people, the nature of his voice, special marks or moles on the different parts of his body, etc. After seeing once any great man, try to bring out the spe­cial qualities and features that have arrested your attention.




Try to remember synonymous terms. This will increase your vocabulary of words and you will be able to write beautiful essays and deliver excellent lectures. You will become a great journalist. You can write thrilling books. Take, for instance, the word “compassion” or “generosity”. Try to bring out the synonymous terms such as “pity”, “mercy”, “liberality”, “munificence”, etc. Through the law of association, connect one idea with several other ideas. This will develop your memory. The thought of coffee will bring the idea of Nilgiri Hills where it is grown, and the idea of Stane’s Company who sell coffee seeds, and the idea of the founder of this com­pany. Through the law of Sadrishya or similarity, you may remember other places in the world where coffee is cultivated. You can remember the advantages of coffee. The idea of coffee will bring in the idea of similar beverages, like tea, and the name of Lipton and his native place, how he started his business and how he became a millionaire in the end, and the nectar of, immortality which the Yogins drink. All these ideas will come in your mind and flash out in the twinkling of an eye. Keep a small notebook in your pocket. Whenever good ideas flash in your mind, then and there jot them down. Take hints. Later on, you can develop them. Jot down, in your diary, the lessons you have received from great Mahatmas.




Just walk briskly along the Mall in Lahore or the Chowringhee in Calcutta. Have a keen acute per­ception. See what is going on in this shopping centre. As soon as you reach home, jot down on a piece of paper the names of shops, and the important articles that are exhibited in the show-rooms outside. Next day, walk along the same road and verify your jot­tings.




Try to remember the different makes of motor cars, such as Ford, Studebaker, Chevrolet, Standard, Morris, Austin, etc., and their prices. Recollect the names of different philosophers of the world in the East and in the West, such as Ankara, Romania, Kant, Plato, etc., and their important works and teachings. Compare the Eastern with the Western philosophy. Do this closing your eyes. This will develop your memory in subtle things. The memory of gross things is easier than the memory of events or philosophical ideas. Events can be more easily remembered than names of persons, because there are associations for events. Names are arbitrary. There is intimate connection between memory, keen observation and acute hearing. Mind thinks on ob­jects that are seen or heard. One who has developed his power of hearing and seeing can have better memory.




There is yet another exercise.  Just imagine that there is a canvas-sheet in front of you which con­tains the pictures of nine animals. In the first top-row, there are lion, leopard and cow; in the second row, horse, zebra and bear; and in the third row, ele­phant, buffalo and tiger. Practise this exercise daily. First try to remember -the animals in the first row, then in the second, and lastly in the third. Now try to remember, in this order, from above downwards, viz., lion, horse, elephant; leopard, zebra, buffalo; cow, bear and tiger. You can change the order in many other ways like algebraical formulae, or per­mutation and combination. Exercises on the memory of different kinds of gross and subtle sounds, tastes of articles of food, touch of various articles, various shades of colours, etc., can also be practised with advantage.




Read one or two pages in a book. Then close the book, and try to remember the important ideas and reproduce them in your mind. Write down the con­tents in your own way, or bring out an exact repro­duction on a piece of paper. Compare and contrast these passages with other passages that are contain­ed in, other books. Draw your own conclusions -and inferences.. This practice will develop wonderfully your memory and will enable you to remember things for a long time. Mark the important passages with a red pencil on the sides, and have thin blue or red underlinings wherever it is necessary. In underlining, do not blot out the words. Take down notes of what you have read, and turn over the pages of the note­book which contains in a nutshell all the important points, every week. Whenever you read a book, keep a dictionary by your side. Never read without a dic­tionary. When you come across difficult words that you do not understand, refer to the dictionary and note down the words and their meanings in a sepa­rate notebook. Many lazy students skip over the pages of books that they do not understand, and ima­gine their meanings in their own ways. This is any­thing but desirable. Those who practise in the above manner will become truly learned and great within a short time. They  will have a rich vocabulary of words and can command huge audiences. They can become distinguished orators, journalists, and able writers of prose and poetry. The Sanskrit term for the power of memory is Smriti-Sakti. The power of memory needs the help of grasping power and Dha­rana Sakti. Dharana Sakti is the power of holding ideas. Those who have good Dharana Sakti will have remarkable retentive memory.




Practise self-analysis or self-examination for ten minutes before you go to bed. Sit comfortably on a chair. Close your eyes. Think of all actions, good and bad, that you did during the course of the day. Think of all the mistakes that you committed consciously or unconsciously. On the first day, you may not be able to find out even two or three mistakes in your actions, because you are not in the habit of do­ing so. But, by daily, regular and systematic prac­tice, you will be able to visualise clearly the actions and mistakes of the day. Even an hour will not be sufficient to review the actions. The mind becomes subtle and sharp by the practice of introspection. It goes more and more inward. It dissects, analyses, groups, classifies and brings the list of actions in the twinkling of an eye. This practice will develop your memory and reduce the number of mistakes. You can note down all the actions and mistakes the same night, or the following morning, in your diary. A time will come when you will do only good actions, without committing even a single mistake. The name of Benjamin Franklin comes to my mind just now.




Study several times the eighteen chapters of the Gita. Try to remember the Slokas according to dif­ferent headings such as those that treat of Viveka, Vairagya, Sadachara, development of Gunas, three kinds of Tapas and the three kinds of food as des­cribed in the seventeenth chapter, Slokas concerning Pranayama, practice of concentration, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, control of mind, etc. You must group them and classify in the pigeon-holes of your mind. This is also a kind of exercise for memory-culture. Select any kind of exercise that suits your taste, temperament and capacity.




Develop the power of describing exactly a cricket match or a football match. Watch the game. As soon as you reach home, note it down on paper, cor­rect the same then and there, and bring out a clear copy.  It is always better to keep paper and pencil in your pocket, or a diary. Busy people, and those whose aim in life is to become great in every way, should always take down notes then and there, even while walking. They can take hints or shorthand notes in their own way, and can develop them at lei­sure. Whenever good ideas roll in your mind, at once jot down in your pocket-notebook. This is the key­note to success in life in all endeavours, in every walk of life, and in all spheres of activity. Practise, feel and enjoy. Mere theorising will not do. You should become a practical man. I always hammer on this point again and again, and I am not at all tired of do­ing so. I want you to become a great man of admira­ble ideals, and not in the unknown future, but right now this very minute. Give your full heart to me. I have got my own ways of developing a man quickly and perfectly. I have a strong passion for service, but I do not get the right type of aspirants. Attend a conference, and reproduce the speeches in your own style and send them to newspapers. You can become a first-class A-1 reporter and able journalist in a short time. Visit Badri-Narayan, Gangotri or Gomukhi where the Ganges takes its source, and take down notes. Give a full description of what all you have seen in the daily papers and journals. All these prac­tices will undoubtedly develop your memory.


Here is yet another exercise for memory-culture. Close your eyes. Sit comfortably in a chair. Try to remember the richest persons of the world such as the Nizam of Hyderabad, Rockefeller, Ford, the big­gest rivers in the world such as the Amazon, the Nile, the Brahmaputra; and the seven holy rivers in India, viz., the Gauges, the Jamua, the Godavari, the Sa­raswati, the Narmada, the Indus, and the Cauvery You can remember the Sloka: “Gange Cha Yamune Chaiva Godavari Saraswati Narmade Sindhu Kaveri Jale Asmin Sannidhim Kuru.”


Remember the waterfal1s, the Niagara, the Siva­samudram; remember the lakes, Chilka in the Gan­jam District, Manasarovar in the Himalayas, etc. You can recall to mind such poets as the immortal Kalidas, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Milton, Shakespeare, Byron and, Keats; essayist such as Johnson and Emerson; philosophers, such as Sankara, Ramanuja, Kant, Heel and Plato; scientists such as Faraday, Newton, Bose, Raman and Einstein; Jnanis such as Sankara, Dattatreya, Yajnavalkya, Madalasa, Gargi, Sulabha, Vamadeva and Jadabharata; Yogins such as Jnanadeva, Bhartrihari, Trilinga Swami and Sada­siva Brahman; Bhaktas such as Gouranga Maha Prabhu, Tulsidas, Ramdas, Hafiz, Mira; the Pan­cha Kanyakas such as Kunti, Draupadi, Mandodari, Ahalya and Anasuya; the seven Rishis such as Atri, Bhrigu, Vasishtha, Gautama, Kasyapa, Pulastya. and Angirasa; the seven Chiranjivis such as Asvattbama, Bali, Vyasa, Hanuman, Vibhishana, Kripa and Para­surama; the twelve Brahma-Vidya Gurus such as Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, Vasishtha, Shakti, Parasara, Vyasa, Suka Deva, Gaudapada, Govindapada, Sanka­racharya and Krishna. This practice will develop memory.




You must know the art of extracting work from the subconscious mind. If you want to remember forgotten passages in Shakespeare’s works, give a definite command to the subconscious mind just before you retire to bed. You can talk to your sub­conscious mind just in the same manner as you talk to your friend or servant. You can say: “Look here, subconscious mind, I have forgotten an important passage in the Merchant of Venice, and another in As You Like It, which I studied in my college days. Bring them now to my memory. I want them very badly tomorrow morning. Do it quickly” Give the order in very clear terms. The following morning, it will place them like a flash before you. If it fails to bring in the next morning, give the command again on the next day. On the following day, you may get the answer. Sometimes, the subconscious mind is very busy, and the brain gets congested. The brain is under high tension or pressure on account of tight work You will have to wait with a calm mind You will have to repeat the command once or twice You must allow sufficient time for the subconscious mind and not disturb it frequently.


A judge has to write summaries of evidences and prepare judgments. His brain sometimes gets confused. He gets bewildered. He is not able to arrive at the proper solution. In such cases, the sub­conscious mind will beautifully work for him. It will arrange the facts and figures in perfect order, and place before him a clear summary. He will have to simply reproduce them on paper the following morning.


In matters which demand too much thinking and long deliberation, you will have to wait for some days before getting an answer from the subconsci­ous mind. Again and again you will have to give command to the subconscious mind at nights, and watch for the results. You need not trouble the sub­conscious mind daily by commanding it. Repeat the command once or twice. You will have to place facts and figures before it, and make it understand clearly what you exactly want.




A Doctor has got good memory in the remem­brance of drugs in the Materia Medica, because he has keen interest in the treatment of diseases He cannot remember even a single item in matters relating to politics, because he has no interest in the subject.  A lawyer can remember all the rulings of the Allahabad, Bombay and Madras High Courts. He cannot remember a few things in a cricket match, for he has no interest in it.


You will have to create interest first in a cer­tain subject, and the memory of things will auto­matically follow. One should be in perfect know­ledge of the subject and should have a general know­ledge of all subjects. A versatile or all-round nature is highly creditable and laudable. Try to become a versatile genius. A strong and retentive memory, or a powerful will, and the practice of daily concentration and meditation will certainly make you a ver­satile prodigy.




A strong man will have a good memory. A weak, delicate man of poor health will have a bad memory. Health plays an important part in memory-culture.  Therefore try to keep a high standard of health, vigour and vitality by taking proper food, exercise, etc.


In conclusion, I request you to attend to these exercises - Brahmacharya, diet, Satsanga and various other things that are inculcated herein - very care­fully. Blessed is he who develops memory, for he will be a very successful man in the world, and will attain God as he can remember Him quite easily.




Organs deteriorate if you do not use them pro­perly, just in the same manner as hands and legs get atrophied by disuse, and are developed by mus­cular exercise, etc. There is intimate connection between sight and memory, and also hearing and memory.  He who has an acute sight, a keen perception, a good power of observation and hearing, will have very good memory. There are counterparts of these external parts in the internal astral body. They are called astral senses. A Yogi hears through astral ears, and sees through astral eyes, and thus develops clairvoyance and clairaudience. He can hear sounds from distant lands, and see objects that are in distant localities.


Generally, people are very careless. They have no interest to learn higher things and to have a fund of knowledge. There are millions of people in India who cannot sign even their names. India, the land of Rishis and sages, still abounds in ignorance when compared with America and the Continent. Even a small boy, who brushes a pair of boots and applies polish in the streets of London and Paris, knows po­litics, reads newspapers, and can discuss things nice­ly. The masses of India are steeped in ignorance and darkness. The root-cause is carelessness, indifference and apathy.


To get success in life, to become an able doctor or a lawyer or a good successful businessman, the ears and the eyes should be developed to an enor­mous extent. A blind man, or a deaf and dumb man, is practically a living dead man. All wealth and knowledge comes from the ears, the eyes, and the organs of speech. These Indriyas are the Ayatana, or the receptacles, for riches and knowledge. The know­ledge of the sense-universe comes through these two channels and is expressed by speech to others. When­ever you move about, you should be very alert. You must keep the eyes and ears sharp. You should try to remember all things and news that you have seen, heard or read. You should develop the power of observation. Be very attentive. Attention helps obser­vation. Bring the power of curiosity into play. Curiosity will turn  into desire after sometime. Interest and attention will come in automatically. Whenever a man talks to you, give him a very patient bearing. If there are useful and interesting points, note down in your pocket-diary then and there. Go through the pages of the diary once a week.




Keep a watch very close to the ear, and hear the sound attentively. On the second day, keep it at a little distance, and hear the tick, tick sound. Every day increase the distance, and train yourself to hear the sound. Plug the ear with the index-finger of your hand. Train the ears alternately.


There is also another exercise. Close both the ears through Yonimudra with your two thumbs and try to hear the Anahata sounds that emanate from the heart-lotus. You will hear ten varieties of sounds, such as, the sound of a flute, Mridanga, Veena, conch, bells, thunder, humming of the bee, drum, etc. Allow the organ of hearing, (ear) to shift from one sound to another, and carefully differentiate the various sounds, and eventually fix the ear on one sound. First try to hear the gross sounds and then the subtle sounds.


There is also a third exercise. Fix the ears on the Pranava Dhvani that emanates from the Ganges. It will be heard like “Bhum”, or long “OM”. Train your ears to hear this sound. Do this exercise in the morning at 4 a.m., or at night at 9 p.m., when the din and bustle of the town is at an end.


Keep your ears keen. Try to differentiate the, sounds of various kinds of birds, beasts, children, factories, motor-cars, aeroplanes, cycles, shrieks, yells, snores, sobbing, crying, laughing, mocking, jok­ing, etc. It is advisable to sit in a quiet room. Close your eyes and try to concentrate on these sounds. Distinguish them. You must be able to find out, from bearing the voice of a person at a distance from with­in your room, that such and such a man has come in front of your room. There are some people whose voices have some resemblance. You should be able to find out that the voice of Mr. Bose more or less resembles the voice of your cousin Mr. Ganga Prasad. You should be able to find out the nature of Ragas and Raginis from the nature of vibrations and undu­lations such as Kalyani, Todi, Bhairavi, Kanada, Kamboji, Deepak, Durbari, Malkosh, etc. Try to hear the sounds of the heart by applying your ear to the chest of another man. You will hear the sounds “lub-dhub”. Pay heed to the sounds of sparrows and other birds, and try to differentiate their sounds. Sometimes they sing. At other times, they give sig­nals of alarm to invite their mates and friends when there is impending danger. Animals and birds have got their own languages. Yogins can understand their languages. There is a particular technique in Sam­yama (or the practice of Dharana, Dhyana and Sa­madhi) on sounds. Some males have the voice of females, and some females the voice of males. You must be able to differentiate. You must be able to know the hissing sound of a cobra, its nature,, strength of vibration, etc. Even at a distance you can say, “There is a cobra in that room”. Cats ex­press peculiar sounds during, before and after copu­lation. dogs, horses and elephants are very intelligent animals. They have got simple consciousness. They laugh and smile and express their feelings of joy and gratitude by certain sounds. You must be able to understand the nature of the sounds. By the practices enumerated above and careful observation, you will be able to develop a wonderful power of hear­ing.  You can get on well in your business ventures and vocations in life. Sharp ears and keen sight bring more wealth.




Whenever you meet a person, look at his figure carefully from top to bottom, and note mentally his peculiar features, condition of his eyes and eye­brows, teeth, arms, etc., the sort of dress he is wear­ing, whether he has got moustache or not, the kind of cap he has on his head, his voice, his behaviour, his looks, his gait, whether he seems to be a kind­hearted or cruel man, whether he is intelligent or dull, whether he is polite or not, his colour, etc. There are many people who are not able to give a clear description of the faces of their own friends with whom they are moving for years and years. The son is unable to describe exactly the physiogno­my or marks on the face of his father, though he lives with him in close contact for a number of years. The obvious reason is that the son has not developed the power of memory. One cannot become a skilful scientist unless he has an acute power of observation. He has to observe the various pheno­mena of nature and to draw his own conclusions and inferences. He has to collect facts and figures to study the Laws of Nature. Enter the drawing room of your friend and notice carefully what all things you find therein. Then close your eyes and reflect. Then come out of the room and note mentally, in order, all the things which the room contains, and then enter again into the room for verification. You should practise this, for some months. Then you will develop a: wonderful power of sight.


Go to a library and note carefully all the books that are arranged in any two rows of the almirah or shelf. Close your eyes and reflect. Note down in your diary, and then verify. Let there be mistakes. It does not matter much. A time will come when you will not commit even a single mistake. You should be able to pick out or single out your comrade in a big crowd by noticing the nature of his gait and movements, of his limbs or hands at a distance.


There was a blind man in Srinagar who could tell the nature of colours by simply feeling the cloth. What a wonderful development of the power of touch he had! It is all a matter of training. At night, you cannot see properly; the power of seeing becomes dull, but the power of hearing is intensified. This is compensation in nature. There are some deaf and dumb people in the world who are intelligent. They do good work in the press as compositors. When one organ becomes deficient, another organ gets more developed.  The energy of the organ that is not in use is utilised by the other organ and it grows rapidly Nature is very merciful and intelligent. There are some people who cannot remember more than two things at a time. There was a soldier who could not remember the ingredients of gun­powder, even though he was trained to remember for months together. This is due to ill-development of the faculty of memory.


A judge in a court of law should have an acute hearing. Then alone he will become a distinguished and able judge. Then alone he can write down quickly all evidences without any mistake. A com­mander-in-chief should have an acute sight. Then alone he can survey all the infantries and cavalries. Then, and then alone, he can have a clear vision of the enemies on the opposite side, even at a very long distance. One will have to develop the power of hear­ing and power of attention. The development of these two organs is of great help in the practice of memory-culture. In some, the organ of hearing is more developed. In others, the power of sight is more developed. Dogs have got an acute nose. They have to smell things before they get their daily bread. Prakriti has shown marked intelligence in the crea­tion of beings. Cobras have acute hearing. They hear through their eyes. They have not got separate ears. Tigers have acute nose; they can smell blood from a very long distance. There is a play of intel­ligence in every inch of divine creation. Songsters and musicians have very acute hearing. They have to develop it. They will have to find out various kinds of undulations in the vibration of sounds which make difference in Ragas and Raginis. The very profes­sion itself demands the development of the particular organ, which helps them in the culture, of their art or science.





Ashtavadhana means doing eight things at one time. Dasavadhana means doing tens things at a time. Satavadhana means doing hundred things at a time. Avadhana means attention and concentra­tion. This, of course, needs straining of memory and concentration. It is really a marvellous feat of the memory. 


He who does eight things at a time is called an Ashtavadhani. You also can do eight things at  time. This demands of you gradual development of memory and concentration. First practise to do two things and gradually increase the number of activi­ties. Now there are people who can do eight things at a time. He can attend to chess, play cards, multi­ply big numerals up to eight or ten digits by eight digits (bringing out the answer alone), tell the exact day in a particular month in a particular year, ans­wer questions, dictate a letter, tell the number o beats of hand on his back by two boys at different spots, and play upon the harmonium. He will be ac­curate in his calculations. He will never commit any mistake. You will be taken aback if you would look at the performance of an Ashtavadhani. Some twenty or thirty boys will stand in a row, and each boy will be given a number and name before the Ashtavadha­ni, only once. Afterwards, while the Ashtavadhani is engaged, if any one of the bays comes in front of him, he will at once say: “You are Gopal and your number is 25. You are Rama and your number is 19”. How marvellous! There was a doctor in Madras who could dictate eight different prescriptions to eight compounders at one and the same time. This is also a kind of Ashtavadhana.


In days long gone by, there were people who could do Satavadhana. For this sort of Avadhani, one hundred questions are put in rapid succession by as many persons - some testing the verbal memo­ry of the performer; some others testing the power of his mental calculations; and some others again trying to test his artistic skill - without giving him any time for committing the - question to memory. This faculty of concentration of mind is often exhi­bited, not only with reference to the intellect, but also with reference to the five senses. A number of bells may be marked differently and the sounds may be allowed to be studied and made a mental note of, with the mark given to it. A number of objects, of similar shape and colour, which are likely  to cause deception to the eye of an ordinary man, maybe shown once to the Avadhani with their marks. While he is attending to other things; if a bell were to be struck or one of the objects suddenly exhibited be­fore his sight, he will at once mention the mark of the bell or the number of the object shown. Similarly, his keenness of touch is also put to severe test; Such feats of memory are not commonly known to any other country in the world.


You can also become an expert if you can practise concentration and memory-culture. You can take any two things at a time according to your taste. You can slowly increase the number. Make yourself perfect at each stage and then take up the higher practice.


Ashtayadhana is worth practising. It wonder­fully develops memory and concentration. It in­creases the earning and working capacity, as also efficiency. It is of immense help in meditation and Samadhi.




Just as you relax your muscles after having finished your Asanas and physical exercises, so also, you will have to relax the mind and rest the mind after concentration and meditation, after the prac­tice of memory and will-culture. Relaxation of the muscles brings repose to the mind. Relaxation of the mind brings rest to the body similarly. Body and mind are intimately connected. The body is a mould prepared by the mind for its enjoyment.


Expel fear, worry and anger. Think of courage, joy, bliss, peace and cheerfulness. Sit for fifteen minutes in a relaxed state and easy, comfortable posi­tion. You can repose on an easy-chair.  Close your eyes. Withdraw the mind from outside objects. Still the mind.  Silence the bubbling thoughts. Think of your real Self. Think you are immortal, eternal, imperishable, Satchidananda Atma. Again and again rotate the mind on these sublime ideas. Think you are an ocean of bliss and peace. Now open your eyes. You will experience immense mental peace, mental vigour and mental strength. You will have a calm, serene and tranquil mind. Practise and feel the divine bliss. You can do this at any time you like, in any place you choose. You can do this seve­ral times daily. You will have no tension in the mind.


Close the eyes. Think of any thing that is very pleasant to your mind. This will relax the mind in a wonderful manner. Think of the grandeur of the Himalayas, the sacred Ganges, any striking scenery in Kashmir, the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta, a lovely sunset, the vast ex­panse of the ocean, or the infinite blue sky.




Physical culture or development of the body is as much important as the development of the mind, will, or memory. If the body is not kept strong and healthy, vigorous and active, no culture is possible. All cultures depend upon a sound body. “Mens sana in corpore sano” is a wise saying, which means a sound mind in a sound body. The body is the tem­ple of God. It should always be kept scrupulously clean by daily bath, and good scrubbing with a clean towel, to open the pores of the skin which might have been clogged by sweat and sebum or fatty ex­udation.


There are different kinds of physical culture. You will, of course, have to select one according to your needs, taste, temperament and capacity. A man of delicate and poor health should take to long brisk walks, both morning and evening.  You should al­ways make it a point to walk alone. Then you can feel the presence of the Almighty everywhere, and can be in perfect tune or harmony with nature. Morning walks are very pleasant. The cool breeze is very refreshing and vitalising. The fragrance of flowers in gardens is, indeed, invigorating. Finish the walk before sunrise. The walk should not be like that of a matrimonial procession. Slow walking cannot give you any substantial benefit. , It should, therefore, be brisk. You should have good perspiration. Then only it is an exercise. You should always walk at least three or four miles per day. You can do Pra­nayama, too, while walking. Inhale for six steps. Retain for six steps. Then exhale for six steps.  This is a good practice.


Now I come to another kind of exercise, viz, running. This is the best form of exercise. The lungs are developed well by running. The blood is purified. Run in the open air. I like this very much. I always run in the open air even now. You can have exercise of a truly vigorous type in a short space of time. The famous surgeon, the late Dr. Rangachari of Madras, used to run in the open air daily. Running on the seashore is immensely bene­ficial. You can charge the lungs with ozone, double volume of pure oxygen. Repeat OM mentally when you run. This will spiritualise the physical exercise. Wipe off the perspiration with your hands. Rub it in the body itself. Do not use a towel


Swimming is also one of the best kind of exercises. It stretches all the muscles of the back. Lum­bago is relieved. You can practise Pranayama also, while floating. This can be practised in a big tank or a big well.


Tennis is also a good exercise. There is running as well. It is a gentle game that never tires a man much. It is pleasant and exhilarating. It develops the ankles and the fingers as well. Though Badmin­ton is styled “ladies game”, yet there is plenty of exercise in it. One has to run from one corner of the court to another.


Those who have got strength and who want to develop their chest and arms, shoulders and other muscles, should invariably take to gymnastics. The biceps, the deltoid, and the triceps are well developed. A gymnast has a very beautiful, expanded chest. Pumping, bend-arm march, press-up in the parallel bars, are also very good exercises.


The Indian system of exercises, such as Dand­ Baithaks, is also very good. There is a symmetrical development of all the members of the body. The effects are lasting. It is also not costly. You need hardly spend a single pie. The Baithaks develop the calf muscles very beautifully. Kasrats develop the chest and arms. You can practise these exercises in any place.


You can practise Suryanamaskar also daily. It is highly beneficial for one and all, irrespective of age and sex. It is a happy combination of some Asanas, Pranayamas, and prostrations to God Surya or Sun. Those who suffer from eye-diseases will find a good remedy here. Diseases of the liver, stomach, intestines, and kidneys, are infallibly cured. The vo­taries of Suryanamaskar are daily increasing and this system is becoming more and more popular. The Raja of Oundh (Satara) has written a good book on this system, both in English and in Hindi.


Asana is a perfect form of physical exercise founded by the Rishis of yore. It is a unique and unparalleled system. It is not merely physical exer­cise. There is something spiritual, something divine, for the Asanas awaken the Kundalini-Sakti (Serpent­Power). Asana is something more than physical exercise. It gives internal massage to the internal organs. This benefit cannot be derived from any other system. It cures diseases. That is one great advan­tage in this system. Some Asanas like Seershasana, Sarvangasan, and Siddhasan are very, very useful in the up-keep of Brahmacharya. Bhujangasan, Sala­bhasan and Dhanurasan remove constipation. The Nauli Kriya, which rotates the muscles of the abdomen, is a unique Kriya that removes the diseases of the abdomen and increases the digestive fire. No exercise in any system can stand before this Kriya in its potency and efficacy. It is God-sent. There are splendid and admirable exercises for keeping the spine elastic. They are Paschimottanasana and Yoga Mudra, Chakrasan, Ardhasupti Asan and Matsyen­drasan. If you do not keep the spine elastic, the spinal column will ossify and degenerate quickly. You will appear old, though you are young. A man who practises these spinal exercises will be as nimble as a squirrel. He will never look old.


Whatever the system may be, there should be some exercises to develop the upper extremities, such as the arm and the forearm. There must be some exercises for developing the thighs and legs. There should be some exercises for bending the spine forward, backward, and laterally. There must be some exercises for developing the chest and neck and the abdomen. That system which does not con­tain a happy combination of these exercises is surely defective.


Those who are doing exercises of any kind should observe the following rules carefully. They should be strictly regular in the performance of ex­ercises. Regularity is a prerequisite if you want to progress rapidly and succeed in physical culture.  Those who do vigorous exercises should take subs­tantial nutritious food, as otherwise, their muscles will waste.  You will not find much improvement. Plenty of ghee, milk, butter, nuts, etc., should be regularly taken. Those who practise Seershasan should take some light tiffin ten minutes after all Asanas are over. You should take some light food after you have finished the exercises. Weigh your body once a month and keep a record. Exercises can be practised both in the morning and evening. You should rest for half an hour before you take your bath. You should try to observe Brahmacharya as much as you can. If you remain a strict celibate, you will achieve astonishing results. What is there in a woman? What is there in repeating the same old act again and again which is so very disgraceful? Are you not ashamed of all that? Do you not realise that it is all the play of Avidya and false Moha? Strengthen the body and then do spiritual Sadhana. You will enjoy real bliss. I beseech you, learn to be wise at least from now onwards.


Asanas can be done in the morning. Physical exercises can be done in the evening. If you want to do physical exercises also in the morning, take a little rest, say for fifteen minutes, after finishing all Asanas, and then do physical exercises. Do Prana­yama after you have finished the Asanas. Practise the Asana in an open, airy place. You should not go to extremes in exercises. There must be the feel­ing of exhilaration during the practice of Asana or any kind of exercise, and also after you have finished them. There should be absolutely no feeling of fa­tigue or depression. Remember this point well. If there is depression or fatigue, you have gone to the extremity; you have gone beyond your capacity. (*For a full an detailed description of Yoga Asanas, please refer to my book “YOGA ASANAS”.)


Soak some Chena or Bengal-gram or almonds or Papaver seeds (Kas Kas) in water over-night and take this in the morning after having finished your exercises. These stuffs are cooling and strengthen­ing. You can take gram for a week and Papaver for another week.


Do not have any Moha for this perishable body. Treat this body as your servant and instrument. You are entirely distinct from this physical body, which is made up of five elements subject to decay and destruction. You are in essence the Reality, the all­pervading imperishable Atma. Just as the house in which you live is separate from you, so also, this body in which you are temporarily encased, on ac­count of ignorance, is entirely different from you.


Identification with this body is the root-cause for bondage and human miseries and sufferings. Do not become a slave to this body. It must obey your orders at all times and under all conditions, and not you its orders. You must be prepared to give this body up or dedicate it to a just and noble cause. Practise self-denial, self-abnegation and self-sacrifice.


In conclusion, 0 Nectar’s sons! Children of Light and Immortality! Keep this body strong, healthy and active by regular physical culture. Lead a happy, contented life. Say: “I have now good blooming health. I can make the pomp of emperors ridiculous”. Use this body-horse to reach the destination - Brahma-Nirvana. Use this body as a boat for crossing the river of life to the other shore of im­mortality and fearlessness.

mp of emperors ridiculous”. Use this body-horse to reach the destination - Brahma-Nirvana. Use this body as a boat for crossing the river of life to the other shore of im­mortality and fearlessness.