All our faculties should be turned towards the one goal, namely, God. Have Faith in Him. Let no doubts enter the mind. If doubts do come pray to Him: ’it is only the impurities in my mind that keep me away from you. Please remove them.’ Pray for purity.
Swami Yatiswarananda (1889-1966) was Vice-President of the Ramakrishna Order, and an illustrious disciple of Swami Brahmanandaji Maharaja, who was held as the spiritual son of Sri Ramakrishna. He contributed much to spiritual life by his talks and writings and personal counsels. He was an well-known spiritual figure in the Neo-Vedanta movement and did 17 years of pioneering work (1933-1950) in spreading Vedanta in Europe and U.S.A. He guided a large number of sincere aspirants on the spiritual path in India as well in other countries. His books such as Adventures in Religious Life, The Divine Life and Universal Prayers are Justly famous. Meditation and Spiritual life, the book containing his teachings, has been acclaimed as a spiritual classic.
He was the President of Sri Ramakrishna Ashrama [now Ramakrishna Math] located at Bull Temple Road in Bangalore for 16 years (1650-1966). Brief notes of the weekly lectures he gave at the Ashrama were recorded by one of the listeners during the period 1954—55 and 1958—59. Later, from October 1979 to September 1985, these were published in The Vedanta Kesari, the spiritual and cultural monthly brought out from this Math. In all, these notes were published in 30 installments under the title How to Seek god. We are glad to present these notes in the present form.
These have been rearranged under different themes. This forms the main body of the book. To this we have added four articles-Continence, Unreality of the World, How to Sublimate our Tendencies, and Preparing for Divine Company. The first Two are based on the notes of His class-talks on Vedanta- Sara of Sadananda, taken at a Wiesbaden (Germany) during January –February 1934. The other two are based on his talks on Narada Bhakti Sutras. The notes on Drig Drishya Viveka are from his talks at Camfer (Germany) delivered in 1935.
The Section on Spiritual Teachings is based on the reminiscences of Swami Yatiswarananda by late Pravrajika Saradaprana of the Sarada Math, Dakshineswar, Kolkakta. They were rearranged and were published in the Vedanta Kesari with her kind permission. Questions and answeres [Published in the Vedanta Kesari in 1999) are also from Saradaprana’s collection.
We are indebted to Sri S.V. Unnikrishnan, former Senior Deputy Accountant general, Jaipur, for the manuscript of How to Seek God; to Mr. Kurt Friedrichs of Hamburg, Germany and Mr. John Manetta of Athens, Greece for notes on the Vedanta-sara, Uddhava Gita and Narada Bhakti Sutras and to the late Pravrajika Saradaprana for her notes. Swami Brahmeshananda, former editor of The Vedanta Kesari, and the present head of Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Chandigarh, organized the contents and gave present shape to the book. Sri S. Sudarshan of Bangalore and the volunteers at the Vedanta Kesari office have helped in the preparation of book in various ways. Our thanks to them for their labour of love.
Although we have tried to arrange these notes under different themes, they are not necessarily sequential. There is also repetition of ideas which is unavoidable in work like this. Though in some places, there was need for deleting some parts to make the text free from repetitions, we have desisted from doing it.
We hope the present book will help all spiritual seekers and they will find it of immediate and practical value .
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