'Eating, Drinking, Sleeping! A little laughter! Much weeping! Is that all!
Do not die here like a worm! Wake up! Attain Immortal Bliss!'
Sri Swami Sivananda (1887 - 1963) was a doctor of medicine at the age of nineteen. He renounced his medical career to perform rigorous spiritual 'tapas' (austerity). He was the author of over three hundred books during twenty nine years. He wrote on every aspect of divine life.
Man wants happiness. He shuns pain. He moves heaven and earth to get the happiness he wants from sensual objects, and so gets himself entangled in the inextricable web of Maya (sensory illusion). Poor Man! He does not know that these objects are perishable and evanescent, finite and conditioned in time, space and causation. And what is more, fails to get the desired happiness from them.
A doctor thinks that the advocate is very happy. The advocate thinks the business man is more happy. The business man thinks that the judge is more happy. The judge thinks that the professor is happier. No one is happy in this world.
An emperor is not happy. A dictator is not happy. A president of a state is not happy. God Indra is not happy.
Who is happy then? A sage is happy. A Real Yogi is happy. A tapasvin is happy. He who has controlled his mind is happy.
Ashram life is bondage. The founders are foolishly wasting their time and energy and utilizing their intelligence in wrong directions. They worry continually about getting more money to support the inmates and workers. They have to please so many people and do many things against their own conscience. They have to tell lies and prepare concocted, false statements. They are at the mercy of the public. If they have to spend their time like this, when will they find the opportunity of engaging in spiritual practices?
After starting an ashram they have to look for selfless workers. Equal vision is unknown in every ashram. One Ashram tries to pull down another. Dissensions and splits, lawsuits in courts, skirmishes, hand to hand fights and scandal mongering prevail everywhere. There is neither peace nor harmony in the management of Ashrams. India still abounds in profound stupidity and any man can have his own Ashram and followers. Such Yogic charlatans, daylight dupes and posing gurus are infectious parasites, a burden on society and a menace to the country. They are like vultures that prey upon the resources of the ignorant and credulous public. Present day Ashrams are fighting centres that disturb the peace of the world.
Analyse your motives, whether you sincerely want to serve humanity or whether you are merely starting the college for leading a comfortable life in your old age and for name and fame. Leave off the slavish, begging mentality. Destroy desires ruthlessly and completely.
Swami Sivananda performed 'detachectomy of the ego' (removal of the ego).