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Peace of Mind is Happiness

Swami Dharmananda

Swami Dharmananda

Assistant Director

Swami Dharmananda is a faculty of the Sivananda Institute of Health (SIHY) and is one of the main teachers of Yoga Philosophy and Meditation at the Ashram. 

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“Health is Wealth, Peace of Mind is Happiness, Yoga shows the Way” 

– Swami Vishnudevananda

Swami Vishnudevananda tells the story of a man who is seated under a tree in a desert. The tree gives him shade and a little cool breeze. All around he is surrounded by white sand.

As the sun starts to rise on the horizon, he starts to get thirsty and becomes more and more dehydrated. Still he sits in the shade of the tree.

Soon, his desire for water becomes important to his very existence. He sees a beautiful, shimmering lake in the distance. Waves. Ripples. What is that?

A hand reaches out in the dry desert full of sand.

The senses grasp for something external, but lasting happiness is not found there.

That white sand is full of water and waves. The senses tell him there is cool water. Yet, the intellect knows there can’t be any water, there is only sand.

Generally, perception is more powerful than our reasoning. The senses kidnap the intellect and override our power to discern what is real from unreal.

Happiness comes and goes as quickly as the objects of the world. In our search for happiness, we lose sight of real lasting peace. We suffer for wanting one thing.

We suffer for fear of losing something else. Happiness does not lie in external objects. If happiness were to be found in Paris, then everyone in Paris would be happy! 

Swami Vishnudevananda meditating in Nature

Swami Vishnudevananda meditating in nature.

Swami Vishnudevananda emphasized that we must find inner peace first. When you feel troubled, work to find the peace and calm within yourself. Do not seek happiness outside. 

Do not run toward the sense objects for relief from stress and difficulty. We all have times of trial. It’s how we work through them that shows us who we are – Yoga shows the way.

Learn to detach and recognize the “mirage” the mind has created through our expectations, desire for outcomes, and pre-conceived ideas. Identify your mind’s tendencies.

A Yoga Teacher Training student meditates next to outdoor stairs and a babbling brook.

Counter negative thought patterns with virtues of gratitude, abundance, and contentment. Cultivate equanimity and face life’s challenges with peace. 

Turn your gaze within. Calm the waves of the mind with daily meditation practice. Therein lies the unchanging, stable, eternal Self.

Free yourself from dependency on that which is changing and finite. Then you will know the lasting peace of the Self!

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