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Τετάρτη, 30 Δεκεμβρίου 2015

The Self Study In Sannyasa

TWO LEVELS OF SWADHYAYA 

(or Self Study)


BY SWAMI NIRANJANANANDA SARASWATI

The foundations of change and a different lifestyle are built with swadhyaya. Swadhyaya is often translated as ‘self-study’, a process by which you can know yourself and realize; know your mind, emotions, nature, character and personality. This is the beginning of swadhyaya; however, there are two levels of self-observation. The first is study of oneself and the second is study of literatures that can more precisely deepen one’s understanding and knowledge.

First, study your own self.

In the first level you analyze yourself and come to know your shortcomings and weaknesses, qualities and strengths. 

You analyze yourself and try to bring about a balance in the extreme expressions of your nature and personality. 

Swadhyaya is not picking up a book and memorizing it; it is implementing and adopting what you know in your life. Once you know your strengths and weaknesses, you can balance them out and use your capabilities for a good cause. You can do something useful for society, inspire others and help them arrive at the right way of thinking.

This is known as living according to dharma. This is what brings about peace, prosperity and happiness. When there is absence of dharma there is anarchy, suffering, struggle, hatred and conflict. All these things exist inside the mind, not outside. It is the mind that connects with desires or with dharma. Therefore, the first change of mental direction is brought about with swadhyaya. 

Try to know yourself, try to understand your desires, the qualities you are trying to imbibe and the attainments you are aiming at.

When Sri Swamiji was to be initiated into sannyasa, he asked Swami Sivananda, “What do I do after sannyasa?” 

Swami Sivananda replied, “The same as you have been doing all this time. There is no change in lifestyle. The same seva, the same departments, the same routine; nothing changes. 

However, there is a difference. After you have taken sannyasa, your purpose should not be to accumulate karmas in your life, not to bind yourself to the world, rather to free yourself from karmas and the world. Therefore, when you perform an action, think that you are not performing it for yourself, think you are offering it to guru. This will make you free from the results and effects of the actions you perform. Over a period of time you will be able to exhaust your karmas, your aspirations, desires, ambitions and motivations. When you have exhausted your karmas, then embark upon a new life.”


Swami Sivananda used the phrase ‘exhaustion of karma’. 
What is this exhaustion of karma? It is the change of the operating system, and this change will come about with swadhyaya, which begins with the discovery of your own nature and character. 

Second, imbibe spiritual wisdom.

The second level of swadhyaya is the input of wisdom to the mind. In the novice stage of life, the brahmachari stage, you studied history, geography and math. You gave exams and passed them to move on to the next class. In the same manner, at this level of swadhyaya you must read, imbibe and understand the literature and scriptures that elucidate spiritual life.
By reading these texts you begin to understand yourself from a different perspective. In the beginning this understanding may not be perfect, yet what has begun will start to mould your thoughts, ideas and concepts, which eventually give you a different perspective and vision.

Thus swadhyaya has to be seen in two main categories: the study of one’s own character, nature and personality, and the study of literature and scriptures by which one strengthens spiritual understanding and awareness.
When you study the spiritual sciences and continue self-study at the same time, you are able to live what you read. You watch how you live and acknowledge what the sages have prescribed. Thus what  you know and what you do become one.









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