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Swami Sivananda explains how to spend your holiday

ganga in varanasiWhat`s your idea of a real vacation? You might imagine yourself in a setting full of endless beaches, sun and lots of fun activities with friends or just doing nothing. This can be the perfect vacation for most of us! But what if I tell you that there is a person who seems to have the key for spending your holiday in a more beneficial way? Swami Sivananda gave us already many years ago several tools for a good and enjoyable time on vacation! In 1939 he wrote a book called “Easy steps to Yoga” in which he exposed some ways to spend your vacation immersing in the Yoga practice. So did we just forget about his words or have never heard them before.

He explains that in order to find happiness and enjoy the bliss of life we don`t need to look into material and meaningless objects, people or situations. He also tells us that vacation is not a time to waste in aimless wandering or sight-seeing. In his opinion every second should be utilized in worship and meditation and for him “delay in Self-realization is practical death”. A stance that is probably difficult to understand in our modern rhythm of life but we can always find some time to reconnect with ourselves.

india holy man 226780In his book he gives some concerns to spend a spiritual holiday. In his opinion “Spiritual life is the real life” and even a week is enough time to reach self- realization if you are really willing to do it. The most important is the attitude!

Swami Sivananda defined a daily routine to spend your holiday in a spiritual way that must be followed with faith and perseverance. Some aspects of this routine are:

  • Find a spiritual place to get pure spiritual vibrations that help you to enter into a meditative mood. This can be at home or places like Rishikesh or the banks of Ganga.
  • A diet of milk and fruits, complimented with rice, vegetables, dhal and bread
  • Stay alone and observe complete silence for a week
  • Sleep just three to four hours. Get up at 3 or 4 am
  • Plunge yourself in meditation and Japa
  • Study religious books, practice Kirtan y write your mantras
  • Feed the poor

Hmmm, wait a moment! This should be my perfect holiday? At the first glance it doesn´t look like vacations at all... According to Swami Sivananda all these practices will help us to go back to our roots, to the real aim of life and can help us to feel more connected with our divinity. He wants to show us a wake up of ignorance, eternal peace and your inner spring of boundless ecstasy and light.

india frond palmNevertheless you´re not convinced yet that this is for you? To be honest I can´t imagine myself in this vacation neither. But you can choose a softer entrance to very beneficial holidays with a yoga retreat. There are lovely ashrams around the globe where you can enter into a daily rhythm with yoga, meditation, vegetarian diet, karma yoga, no alcohol and much more. Another possibility could be a retreat of silence to get in contact with your inner voice. The type of holiday Swami Sivananda describes is very strict and seems almost impossible. But you can start your spiritual path by realizing the first steps. Nobody became a Guru in a single day ;-) I think that we have the power to open another perspective of a “real vacation” if we are aware of what our daily needs are (not in a material way).

Do you think the practices Swami describes are easy to follow? Is technology and consumerism an obstacle to enjoy the real aim of life? Would you like to spend your holiday in a quiet and spiritual way?

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